The Piaseczner Rebbe
Teacher Title Abstract Course
Dr. Ron Wacks The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe - 01: Introduction Not only Torah but also service of the heart and perfection of the character require deep study. Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro of Piaseczno, one of the most fascinating Hasidic rebbes of recent times, attempted to present a comprehensive approach to these issues in a manner that would be comprehensible to contemporary people. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #02: Biography (part 1) R. Kalonymus Kalmish Shapiro of Piaseczno – A Brief Biography The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #03: Biography (part 2) This shiur continues the biography of R. Kalonymus Kalman, focusing on the Holocaust years. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #04: Biography (part 3) In this shiur, we conclude our discussion of the biography of the Rebbe of Piaceszno with anecdotes about him and his persona. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #04: Biography (part 3) In this shiur, we conclude our discussion of the biography of the Rebbe of Piaceszno with anecdotes about him and his persona. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #05: R. Kalonymus’s Written Works (Part I) In this shiur, we will introduce the written works of R. Kalonymus Kalmish Shapiro, including Chovat Ha-Talmidim, Bnei Machashava Tova, Hakhsharat Ha-Avreikhim, Mevo Ha-She'arim, Tzav Ve-Ziruz, Esh Kodesh, and Derekh Ha-Melekh. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #06: R. Kalonymus’s Works (Part II) In this shiur, we will discuss the Piacezno Rebbe's style of writing. We will see that he addresses the reader on the reader's level, and we will examine some of his methods. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #07: R. Kalonymus’s Works (Part III) The presentation of Chassidic ideas in book form - as done by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi in his Likkutei Amarim Tania - was revolutionary and controversial. Why did R. Kolonymus Kalman, who understood the reservations regarding the written word, choose to nevertheless record his ideas in books? The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #08: R. Kalonymus’s Works (Part IV) In this shiur, we will discuss R. Kolonymus's teachings regarding how to properly learn from books, as opposed to teachers, as well as his sources in and attitudes towards Polish chassidut. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #09: Background (Part I) In his works, R. Kalonymus records that he writes about the major pillars of his philosophy as a way of addressing the challenge of modern secularism, among other reasons. His philosophy is not disconnected from the influences of the historical events of his time. In order to address the foundations of his teachings, his motives, and his educational and Chassidic approach, we must first examine the formative events of his era, from the end of the 19th century to the mid-20th century. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #10: Background (Part II) In this shiur, we will discuss R. Kolonymus's explanations for the crisis among the youth of his generation, specifically focusing on a sermon that he delivered in which he decried the state of education. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #11: Chassidut The disciples of the Ba'al Shem Tov were called “chassidim,” and the movement that he founded was called “chassidut.” But what is chassidut, and who is a chasid? In this shiur, we will discuss the Piaseczner Rebbe's definition of the terms. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #12: God, the World, and Man In this shiur, we address the chassidic approach to God and His presence in this world, as reflected in the writings of R. Kolonymus. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #13: The Tzaddik In this shiur, we will begin to examine R. Kolonymus's approach to the idea of the tzaddik in modern times. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #14: The Tzaddik’s Court in all its Glory In this shiur, we continue to analyze the approach of R. Kolynomus to the idea of the tzaddik, comparing it to that of his ancestor, the Maor Va-Shemesh. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #15: The Chevraya In this shiur, we will study R. Kolonymus's approach to the idea of the chavraya, the importance of having a group dedicated to spiritual growth. This concept was elaborated upon by his grandfather, the Ma'or Va-Shemesh. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #16: The Bnei Machshava Tova Chavura In this shiur, we will learn about the chavura that R. Kolonymus began, led, and attempted to disseminate - the Bnei Machshava Tova. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #17: Rules for Membership In this shiur, we will study R. Kolonymus's rules for membership in the chavura, as outlined in Hachsharat Ha-Avreichim. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #18: The Chavura and the Rebbe In this shiur, we analyze how the members of the chavura are influenced by their Rebbe, as well as how he is affected by them. What type of Chasidut was Rav Kolonymus trying to achieve? The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #19: Chassidic Service of God In this shiur, we discuss R. Kalonymus's explanation for the youth's abandonment of Torah observance. He emphasizes that to address this problem, it is necessary to employ means that will arouse and lead to profound religious experience that will help the person to rejoice and experience pleasure and bliss from Torah and the commandments, and to achieve closeness to God, such that he will have no need to stray into foreign pastures. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #20: Chassidic Service of God In this shiur, we will examine the importance of fervor in Divine service according to chassidic teachings, focusing on R. Kalonymus's approach. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #21: Chassidic Service of God (continued) In this shiur, we will study R. Kalonymus's approach to the importance of the "revealed psyche," an idea emphasized by R. Chaim Vital. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #22: Chassidic Service of God (continued) In this shiur, we will consider R. Kalonymus's distinction between hitragshut (emotion) and hitlahavut (fervor), as well as the role that they play in the service of God. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #23: Chassidic Service of God (continued) In this shiur, we will consider R. Kalonymus's suggestions for achieving hitragshut and hitlahavut. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe
Dr. Ron Wacks Shiur #24: Chassidic Service of God (continued) In this shiur, we continue our discussion of R. Kalonymus' instruction regarding achieving hitragshut through recognition of the needs of the psyche. The Path of the Piaseczner Rebbe

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