As Chabad Chassidim, many of us were brought up by religious parents and lived in religious homes all our lives.
There are so many things we were taught and got accustomed to doing without knowing why. Maybe it’s because we didn’t ask. Or maybe we asked, but our parents and teachers didn’t know how to respond.
Sure we kept the mitzvos and still do because we have Kabalas Ol Malchus Shamayim. We know that taking upon ourselves the yoke of Heaven is rule #1. This is how we were raised, and we know that this is the way we will always live our lives.
The fact is that although it is essential to do things out of Kabalat Ol, how much more meaningful would it be if we understood why we live the way we do! How much easier would it be to teach others to live a Torah-true life! And how much more enthusiasm and genuine chayus would we be able to bring to our learning and performance of mitzovs!
Throughout every day questions arise about what, why and how we live as Jews, as Chassidim. Wouldn’t it be great to finally get some answers?
For example, we wake up every morning, put our hands together and say Modeh Ani. What is the deeper meaning behind the practice of saying Modeh Ani? And why do I say it with my hands together?
When we put on our Tefilin we wrap the straps outward while others wrap in an inward direction. Why?
We don’t eat Shalos Se’udos at the end of Shabbos, something all religions Jews do, well, religiously. Why?
We wave our hands over the Shabbos candles three times before covering our eyes and saying the brocha. Why?
For those who are anxious to quench their thirst for knowledge and meaningfulness, we have created this website. With the Aibersther’s help, we hope to provide a platform for asking and receiving answers to the questions that you have had in the past, and the ones you will be inspired to ask in the future.
The Frierdiker Rebbe tells the following anecdote of a conversation between himself and his father, the Rebbe Rashab:
“When I was a small child, just beginning to speak, my father said to me: ‘Every question you have, you should ask me.’
When I grew a bit older, I asked my father: “Why, when we say Modeh Ani, must we place one hand against the other and bow our head?”
Father replied: “In truth, you should not be asking ‘why.’ But I did tell you to ask me all your questions.”
He then sent for the servant Reb Yosef Mordechai, a Jew of eighty years, and asked him: “How do you recite Modeh Ani in the morning?”
“I place one hand against the other and bow my head,” answered Reb Yosef Mordechai.
“Why do you do so?” asked my father.
“I don’t know. When I was a small child, that’s what I was taught.”
“You see,” said Father to me. “He does it so because his father taught him so. And so on back until Moshe Rabbeinu, and until Avraham Avinu. One should do without asking ‘why.’”
“I’m just a little boy,” I said in my defense.
“We’re all ‘little,’” Father replied. “And when we get older, we first begin to understand that we’re little.”