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Unread 02-17-2002, 01:35 PM   #26
Jude
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I just pray that I am the kind of parent my kids can turn to
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Unread 02-17-2002, 01:40 PM   #27
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agreed. kids should feel that they can talk to their parents. dont think i dont talk to my parents at all. but there are certain things that you just cant discuss with your parents....say issues you have with them or other siblings that might seem "minor" to other ppl, but are really a major problem in your life. there comes a point in a childs life where parents arent exactly the ones who can help them with their problem....
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Unread 02-17-2002, 06:02 PM   #28
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Although there are two seperate inyon of a 'chover' and a 'mashpia' I really think that sometimes a close friend is the best mashpia. Although he might not know as many sichos of the Rebbe as an older mashpia, he will definately understand you better than most mashpiyim and will know where you are coming from.
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Unread 02-17-2002, 09:03 PM   #29
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what about having a few ppl who you go to? like, if you need a certain type of advice, you'll go to those friends who you know will be able to help you...is that "legal"?
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Unread 02-17-2002, 10:35 PM   #30
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Jude and Fund, parents and friends both have a major influence on our lives, but we're talking about the official role of a mashpia here. For younger children, they can and should turn to their parents, but it's a different ballgame with older ones.

I think it's great that you have such a close relationship with your parents, jude. But take a look at the subjects on this board. I am quite quite sure that the average teen would NOT be discussing most of it with their parents. Parents are simply not subjective.
They are of the most important people in your life. But remember, there's a big difference between being able to feel that you can turn to your parents, [as Jude and chach --and probably everyone else here-- is praying for] and for them to be your official mashpiim. Sometimes it's even healthier to have an objective person involved. (Especially if the problem being discussed is the parents, hehe, --JK !)
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Unread 02-17-2002, 11:21 PM   #31
PeaceInIsrael
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what if someone can find guidance within the confines of their family...older sisters, bros, in laws, aunts, uncles. (im not talking about parents here who are obviously biased at times)

is that considered a proper mashpia?

what if you are very close to your family and get enough support from many different people in different areas, that you do not feel the need for a mashpia?
how would a mashpia help you then, if you had nothing to say to them?

Last edited by PeaceInIsrael; 02-17-2002 at 11:25 PM.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 12:23 AM   #32
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BH

I personally like the idea of older [wise] siblings and parents. However one should also have someone else to confide in if needed.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 03:46 AM   #33
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One may find that there are things you DON'T want to discuss with family, and rather do it with someone "outseide". Overall, if the Mashpia is doing good for you, and they are helping improve you, then it doesn't really matter who it is.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 04:42 AM   #34
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I think to get a real understanding of what type of person is best as a mashpia you should ask your mashpia! Seriously, take a good look at all the Rebbe's letters/sichos on the subject - there are plenty of them!
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Unread 02-18-2002, 07:13 PM   #35
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what if you dont feel comfortable telling one person EVERYTHING about yourself, and you'd rather have a few different ppl who youd discuss your problems with?
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Unread 02-18-2002, 07:53 PM   #36
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you know, kind of spread your issues around, so no one person is privy to ALL of it ... it would be just too much for one to handle and you don't really want ONE person knowing ALL THAT about you ...
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Unread 02-18-2002, 07:59 PM   #37
ChachChach
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hope you're not being sarcastic jude, cause i'm being serious.
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Unread 02-19-2002, 04:05 AM   #38
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It is sometimes good to discuss your problems with a few different people, but you must replay on ONE to give you a solution. There is no point asking 10 different people, hearing their opinions, and making a nice pudding of all the ideas together, and producing what you want from it.
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Unread 02-19-2002, 06:21 PM   #39
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ChachChach, from my reading about mashpiim, it seems that a Chassid had one mashpia who knew him thoroughly and guided him accordingly.

I know that nowadays, with the Rebbe asking us to find a mashpia, and people having difficulty doing so, some people ask different things of different people. I am sure this is better than not asking at all, but I don't think it's optimal.
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Unread 02-25-2002, 10:09 AM   #40
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The following is taken from N'shei U'Bnos Chabad's Mashpia Guide:

In these turbulent times, the necessity for friendship, guidance, and advice is ever more relevant. By consulting another person who can approach our situation with an objective, Torah and especially a Chasidishe viewpoint, we gain not only friendly counsel, but G-dly wisdom that is channeled through Divine Providence.

The Rebbe has over the years stressed the necessity and benefit of having a mashpia, for when two G-dly souls approach an issue, the negative influences of a person's inclination are subdued, allowing one to behave with a true Torah perspective...

Since choosing a mashpia is a serious subject that involves sensitive and personal issues, the following are some guidelines:

1) Choose someone that you have respect for. A mashpia does NOT have to be an expert in every area, however the mashpia must be someone you can trust, and that you feel is truly concerned for your welfare. Choose someone who is mature and sincere.

2) The true role of a mashpia is someone that you can confide in and talk to freely. Choose a person that will allocate time to discuss your issues with complete discretion and confidentiality. Most importantly, a mashpia must be one who can give you a Torah and Chasidishe outlook on the matter at hand.

3) Choose someone you will be as comfortable consulting a year from now, as you are today. Choose a mashpia that you can listen to and accept, without turning to another person for a "second opinion."

4) Remember, a mashpia is not a substitute for a rav, but a person who can evaluate and aid your growth, giving you enthusiasm, inspiration, and support.

5) Although the ideal mashpia should have all the above qualities, please do not hesitate to avail yourself of the people already close to you, until the ideal person can be found.

The Rebbe said, "It is a request from the heart, and even deeper, but I have not found a more adequate phrase."

The Rebbe has promised us that if we sincerely look for a mashpia, we will find a person that will be an immeasurable asset to our lives and in our quest for G-dliness.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two comments:

1) it sounds to me like the guidelines for a mashpia would be good guidelines in looking for a shidduch!

someone you respect, doesn't have to be an expert in everything (this for the girls looking for a learned guy), someone you can trust who you feel is concerned about you, mature, sincere, that you can confide in and talk to freely, that you'll be comfortable with a year (hopefully decades) from now ...

2) about the line in the guide : "channeled through Divine Providence" -

some people consult a mashpia and take what they say as the "word of G-d," while others consult a mashpia and take what they say as good advice, not necessarily binding.

Now of course it depends on what the issue is. Generally, a mashpia is someone to report to, to be accountable to in one's avodas Hashem. It seems to me, that in issues of avodas Hashem, the mashpia should be obeyed.

But what about other matters that people discuss with a mashpia, like plans for the future, shidduchim, chinuch decisions for oneself or one's children?

If a mashpia thinks you should go to a certain yeshiva or sem, does that mean you MUST go there? If the mashpia thinks you should or shouldn't marry someone, MUST you listen? Is what they say "G-dly wisdom channeled through Divine Providence?"
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Unread 02-25-2002, 02:05 PM   #41
ChachChach
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thanks for taking the time to type that all out

i think you should just keep in mind, that unlike shidduchim, you are allowed to switch your mashpia if you dont feel comfortable enough with them, or if you feel that you've "outgrown" them.

about your last comment-when the mashpia is telling you something that is halacha, then you should do what they say. its not like they're just stam giving their opinion. when it comes to their opinion, however, realize that its an opinion. it does not necessarily have to be followed.

is a person supposed to consult with a mashpia about EVERYTHING? i know someone who does this-they wont take a step without asking for advice. it seems to me a little extreme...
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Unread 03-06-2002, 07:58 AM   #42
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BS"D <<Is what they say "G-dly wisdom channeled through Divine Providence?">>

I know of someone (a Chassidishe Yid) who constantly repeats what the Rebbe told him in Yechidus about his Asai Lecho Rav: "his words are my words." This is not easy to feel, because a) the one who consults may be fully aware of the faults of the Rav and b) it is really very hard to have so much bittul to another person (even just to consult him for advice about personal matters is quite hard ). In fact, I would venture to say that this is virtually the most difficult of all the Rebbe's instructions, because it requires so much kabbolas oil.

But the Rebbe is saying that despite the Asai Lecho Rav's faults, he is given Siyata DiShmaya (Divine assistance) to transcend them and aid another Jew, and we must trust in Hashem that this advice is best.
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Unread 03-10-2002, 09:19 AM   #43
Jude
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Noahidelaws: I'm quoting you again (orignally from the goyim thread, which I also put in the Feeling Threatened by Geula thread):

<<I know people aren't going to like this point. Most people do not really think for themselves, but rely on the opinions formulated by others (usually not mashpi’im, actually), whether peers, friends, family, etc. As for those who claim to follow Mashpi’im/Aseh lecho Rav etc. I suppose each situation is unique, but I will say one thing: Mashpi’im are not supposed to serve as a substitute for independent thinking, but merely a guide, an aid. On the contrary – a true Mashpia ought to teach his student to think and grow for himself. And to encourage him to do ma'aseh bepoal. Since most Mashpi’im or askonim are unfamiliar with and inexperienced in this particular issue [Jude: not just reaching out to goyim as in the original post, but understanding all the Rebbe taught about Moshiach and Geula], and therefore cannot really be consulted for particular guidance, the prospect of having to confront these matters oneself, find out on the ground what is really going on and what needs to be said and done and actually use one’s own brain is a frightening one.>>

Noahidelaws: how do you reconcile this with the post right before this one?
In other words, if somebody thoroughly learns a subject in the Rebbe's teachings, whether about sheva mitzvos, Moshiach, chinuch, whatever it might be, but their mashpia is not as knowledgeable in the subject, where does kabbolas ol fit in?
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Unread 03-10-2002, 11:14 AM   #44
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BS"D
Ideally, of course, one should have a rav/mashpia who is just as knowledgable, if not moreso, in all the sources. Otherwise - what can I say - one must educate his Asai Lecho Rav. "Mitalmidai yoiser mikulom" (from my students, I have learned more than all of them). I have quite some experience in this...

I think an Asai Lecho Rav is mainly needed a) where one has a particular question, or dilemma - "asai lecho Rav ve'histalek min hasofek" - make for yourself a teacher and free yourself of doubt, and "there is no joy like that of the removal of doubts" and b) simply to discuss events or issues in life and avoidas Hashem, to get another perspective and ask for advice in improving them.

However, he is never to be seen as a substitute for avoida bekoach atsmoi - labour with one's own strength.
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Unread 04-27-2002, 03:19 PM   #45
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The Mashpia must have several qualities:

1) He possesses knowledge of Halacha, Chassidus and Chassidishe stories and advice that give him unique insight into human nature.

2) He must be an example of the teachings that he stands for, so that he has the respect of the one consulting him.

3) This is a person who is understanding and compassionate with whom one feels comfortable, to whom one can open up and speak freely without fear of ridicule. In this respect, he is like a therapist.

4) He must have some sort of actual life experience in the matters that he counsels.

(I have merited to have several Mashpi’im who fit this description and I am most grateful to them for their guidance.)
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Unread 04-27-2002, 09:48 PM   #46
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I just want to remind everyone that if they don't find the "perfect" mashpia with every single quality necessary, that does not mean that they should just not have one--the search can go on for years! It's better to get one that's not 100% the one of your dreams --you can always switch mashpiim. It is crucial to have a mashpia, it's a real lifeline, and if you settle for nothing less than the best you will very possibly never fulfill this heartfelt request of the Rebbe.
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Unread 04-28-2002, 11:32 PM   #47
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after a lot of convincing and talk for a long time, i finally got one, nothing good really came from it though, and i hate to say this, but i almost regret asking her. it's not that she's bad or something, just sometimes instead of looking up to her, i think she's a little nerdy, we both live in crown heights so i see her quite often even though she's out of school, and sometimes i'm embarrassed when i see her now. i only spoke to her 5-10 times so far, sometimes it helped a bit, but i'm not sure it was worth it? i thought something big would happen when i would get one , two friends said it totally changed their lives, but i wasn't all that succesful, i wish i would have waited for the 'perfect' one now, . i know it's not a shidduch, that's why i DID ask someone who was only 2nd choice, but except that for some reason which i can't figure out, i think about her a LOT, she didn't add much to my life. Again, i can't say she took away either though. ( maybe i'm too young? i'm still a teen)

Last edited by dude; 04-28-2002 at 11:35 PM.
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Unread 04-28-2002, 11:40 PM   #48
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BS"D Yes, Jac, the Rebbe clearly instucted to search for any mashpia, even an imperfect one.
Dude: The more you talk to the Mashpia, the more you stand to benefit from her. The relationship only exists to the extent that you work on it (yes, like a Shidduch perhaps).
I'm sure that there has already been a significant improvement in your life due to this undertaking.
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Unread 04-29-2002, 12:12 AM   #49
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Dude (or Dudess),

The Rebbe explained that having a Rav or Mashpia is for the purpose of consulting someone who can be objective about things, in which you yourself are too subjective to judge clearly. A Mashpia is not there to solve all your problems in life, or to do the work of living your life for you. Therefore, if you find a really good Mashpia, that person should be making life a little bit uncomfortable for you (at the beginning), because he or she is making tougher demands on you. It is only later (if you actually listen to your Mashpia) that you will begin to see the benefits.

One of the disturbing things I have encountered about some Mashpiim, is that they seem to think that their job is to make people feel good, by telling them to take it easy and not to be too demanding etc. There is nothing further from the truth.

Numerous people have asked me to be their Mashpia, and I avoid them as much as possible, simply because I am not convinced they want to hear the truth. I discovered long ago, that when you tell people things that they don't want to hear, it doesn't win you lots of friends. However, if they truly want to hear it, it is an honor and a privilege to be invited to have a positive impact on someone else's spiritual (and material) life.
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Unread 06-17-2002, 07:04 PM   #50
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ohh my gosh, what do you do when your mashpiah is getting married?? ahh!
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