The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe (3)
Teacher Title Abstract
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #48: Prophecy R. Kalonymus dealt extensively with the subject of prophecy, its essence, and the connection between it and chassidut. His main contribution lies in the fact that he not only spoke and wrote about prophecy, but also instructed his chassidim in practical methods for renewal of “the service of prophecy.” These methods, previously known only to prophets, kabbalists, and other select individuals, were now addressed to the layman. R. Kalonymus sought to restore the Jewish People to their status as “sons of prophets.”
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #49: Levels of Prophecy In this shiur, we continue our discussion of R. Kolonymus' view of prophecy. How were prophets traditionally trained? And how is prophecy manifest even among the Sages of the Oral Law?
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #50: Kabbala, Chassidut, and Prophecy R. Kalonymus leads us to the conclusion that the goal of chassidut is essentially renewal of the service of prophecy. Although in terms of the connection between Chassidism and prophecy, R. Kalonymus tells us nothing new, his innovation in relation to his predecessors lies in the setting down of a detailed program to revive and restore the “service of prophecy.”
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #51: Developing the Imagination as Preparation for Prophecy Another aspect of R. Kalonymus’s aspiration and activity to prepare “children of prophets” in his generation was his engagement of the imagination. Renewal of this capacity and skill, he maintained, would be one of the central preparations for the training of “children of prophets.” In this shiur, we will elaborate on this goal and process.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #52: Thinking about God’s Presence In this shiur, we discuss R. Kalonymus' view of the role of the mind in reinforcing within oneself one of the main principles of chassidut: God’s immanence, the idea that He is found in all things and in all places.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #53: The Problem of Corporeality R. Kalonymus suggests that one attempt to "see" God in order to approach Him properly. How can this be reconciled with the idea of the incoporeality of God?
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #54: Seeing God and prophetic kabbala In this shiur, we will compare R. Kalonymus's ideas with those of prophetic kabbala. The main conclusion that we may draw from this comparison is that certain aspects of prophetic kabbala – a realm restricted to select individuals – became, in R. Kalonymus’s teachings, part of the guidance for the masses.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #55: Education R. Kalonymus devoted his life to education and spiritual influence on his chassidim. R. Kalonymus’s approach is based on the quest to inculcate Chassidic values in his students, young and old. The uniqueness of his writings lies in their eminent practicality, providing step-by-step instruction as to the implementation of his teachings.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #56: Education (continued) In this shiur, we continue our discussion of R. Kalonymus' educational philosophy. R. Kalonymus places the responsibility for education in the hands of the students; when they are given that responsibility and motivation, they rise to the challenge. We will also see his emphasis on joy in learning and his practical advice regarding overcoming laziness.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur 57: Education (continued) R. Kalonymus establishes a fundamental principle in education: There is no negative characteristic that cannot be corrected and no “bad” child who cannot be influenced. R. Kalonymus maintains that this principle is a direct continuation of the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples, rather than an innovation of his own. As we will see in this shiur, chassidut from its inception defined the perfection of character as elevating deficient qualities to their Divine root.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur 58: Education (continued) In this shiur, we will discuss R. Kalonymus's application of the Chassidic emphasis on elevating all of one's bodily urges towards holiness, instead of suppressing them. In particular, we will examine how R. Kalonymus applies this concept to the modification of one's natural inclinations and character traits.
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #59: Practical Advice for Conquering the Evil Inclination and Improving One’s Character The presentation of practical methods for dealing with the manifestation of various desires is one of R. Kalonymus’s innovations. As in other areas that he addresses, here too we find in-depth, creative thinking that reflects a profound familiarity with the human psyche. In this
שיעורי טקסט Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #60: The Inner World of R. Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro The book Tzav Ve-Ziruz (To Heal the Soul) is a very personal work that allows us a glimpse of R. Kalonymus’s inner world. While his other writings are addressed to the reader, discussing his world and his experiences, here R. Kalonymus focuses on his own perspective. Did R. Kalonymus mean to publish this journal? And if so, for what reason does he expose in public his very personal self-reckoning, his weaknesses, failures, and crises?