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The Ultimate Pleasure

Thursday, 8 August, 2019 - 11:34 am

Pleasure is a vital component of the human condition. We experience it on many levels and in many forms. In fact, the capacity for pleasure may be one of the most dominant faculties of the human being. It is a powerful motivator, and a compass in decision making process.

Let’s talk about various sources of pleasure in the life of a person. At the lowest level it would be pleasure that originates from a physical experience, such as the pleasure of tasty food and the like. A deeper level of pleasure might be experienced through music that moves a person deeply. Taking it to the next level, there is the pleasure associated with emotions, perhaps from doing something kind for another or expressing love to another. Maybe it comes from reading or seeing an emotionally moving narrative.

The most uniquely human pleasure is the pleasure of the intellect. When one hears or reads something that is intellectually stimulating this can be a source of deep pleasurable experience. When one make an intellectual discovery, whether a solution to a complex problem or a new dimension in a field of interest, this can rock the person’s world in a pleasure sense.

Within the pleasure of intellect, there is the pleasure of Torah learning. What makes Torah even more special, is that it also causes pleasure for the soul. King David in Psalm 119 writes 176 verses of praise for the Torah and Mitzvot. Each one expresses a dimension of our relationship with Torah and Hashem. Verse 97 he declares, “O how I love Your ">Torah! All day it is my discussion.” For a Jew, the greatest pleasure of all should be in the study of Torah.

I heard that once after the Rebbe finished sitting Shiva (during which one is halachicly restricted in the area of Torah study), he came back to his room and opened a volume of the Talmud to begin studying immediately. One of the members of the Rebbe’s secretariat said that he was inhaling the Torah like a person coming up for air after being underwater.

In addition to the intellectual pleasure and fulfillment, there is also the soul connection that one forges with Hashem through learning Torah.

In this vein, Chabad is happy to offer you a pleasurable experience at Project Talmud Summer 2019. It is being held tonight (Thursday, August 8) from 7-9 pm at the Btesh Family Chabad House (Uptown). Two guest lecturers will be sharing inspiring and uplifting talks. The first topic is, “The Heavenly City – The History and Sanctity of Jerusalem. The second topic is, G-d’s Toolbox – Discovering the Energy of the Universe in the Alef-Bet.

We look forward to seeing you there tonight.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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