To really live, you need to be committed to life. Then, even in the darkest of places, you'll hold onto the "life card." Even in moments of extreme self-doubt and fear, you'll be comforted by the fact that spirituality still pulses at the core of who you are; pushing you to move to the farthest of places, lifting you to the highest of heights. If you are committed to making your spiritual life your truest reality, then even when you are shackled you are free. When imprisoned, your heart and soul are able to soar above it.
...Even when you feel you've reached the lowest of exiles, the saddest of moments and the loneliest of places, commitment to spirituality will get you through.
For then, in that moment of pain, the "Yosef" in you still lives. Despite immense internal and external turmoil, he has surrendered to that which keeps him whole forever. He is alive and well in Egypt.
He knows where he's heading, the people that know him best can easily recognize that he hasn't forgotten who is.
Yosef is alive. He is alive because you kept him that way, in the moments that you least wanted to.
When Yaakov saw the wagons that Yosef had sent, he instantly knew that Yosef was alive- not just physically, but spiritually. The last Halacha that Yaakov and Yosef had learned together was concerning the Eglah Arufah. Seeing the wagons, Yaakov instantly knew that Yosef hadn't forgotten the Torah he had learned or his commitment to Torah and Mitzvos. The Rebbe explains that every Jew has a piece of Yosef inside him, that unrelenting drive to succeed despite all odds. The Rebbe points out that through holding on to real life, spiritual life, while in the darkest of places, we can and will overcome.
-From a Sicha from Motzaei Zos Chanukah, 3rd Day of Teves, 5741 (1980)
This project is לעילוי נשמת נחמה בת אברהם יעקב
Rochel Schwartz works for the staff writing team of Chabad.org and is a Madricha and Extracurricular Program Coordinator at Machon L'Yahadus. She is passionate about the importance of positive thinking and working on our inner selves through the lens of Chassidus. Rochel prides herself on being a relatable listening ear to many and on using the concepts found in Chassidus to help others grow and succeed. She is currently working towards a degree in counseling psychology.
Rochel started the "Practical Chassidus Project" WhatsApp Group last year and grew to a few hundred followers. After a brief break she is continuing to write bi-weekly on the Live and Learn platform. The goal of the project is to explain Chassidus in a manner in which it's practical relevance is apparent. She looks forward to continuing to share her writing with women on the Live and Learn platform.