Thursday, July 7th | 8 Tammuz 5782

November 13, 2011 11:21 am

Lord Get Me High: Chabad Ohel and the Carlebach Shul

avatar by Ronn Torossian

The chabad ohel in Queens.

In 2011, a career survey revealed that behind being a commercial pilot, working in Public Relations was the most stressful job in America – for me, owning a PR agency in New York – the city that never sleeps – it’s nonstop pressure and requires a constant state of high alert. My friend who is a pilot tells me, “flying allows me to see things from way above – to analyze from a higher angle.”

While I am not yet ready to take up  flying, I have uncovered a number of ways that allow me to fly high naturally, think clearer and find answers to the daily questions and challenges of life:

  • Anyone who has never visited the Chabad Ohel – the grave of the Chabad Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson in Queens, about 30 minutes outside of Manhattan – is missing out on a very holy experience. I go approximately once a month, and being there even for a few minutes leaves me with a little more clarity and focus. The Rebbe helped so many when alive – and his emissaries worldwide help so many today – it’s impossible not to pick up that positive energy effect that visitors are blessed with. Jewish Sages declare that the righteous leave a holy presence even after their passing. Visiting his grave at any hour of the day or night one will see people from all over the world who have come for inspiration, as I encountered this past week during a late night visit. I recommend it on any good or bad day for those seeking answers, giving thanks or pursuing inner peace. Visiting the grave of great rabbis allows us to balance  the craziness of life.
  • Reading: with good reason, the Jewish people are known as the people of the book. Reading can allow one a healthy escape and clarity of thinking. A book I am always reading and keep by my nightstand: Gan Emunah by Rabbi Shalom Arush – Based on the works of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, this book teaches that everything happens for good reason and stresses the importance of faith as the cornerstone of everything in life. It provides resolution for many of my personal and professional challenges.
  • Prayer and meditation: attending Friday night synagogue services allows the creation of a bridge between work, family and other life activities. Creating time to think and reflect – for me, this week’s Friday night experience, attending services at the Carlebach Shul – where the Annual anniversary of Rabbi Carlebach’s passing was commemorated – was nothing short of being high. The room was packed to the point that one couldn’t move, it was a holy experience with singing and dancing, one simply felt that they could communicate directly with the heavens.

    Rabbi Carlebach famously said that when the Jewish people lost the Holy Temple, we lost the music that was played in the Holy Temple that included thousands of instruments and voices. Approaching the Holy Temple was said to be the most awesome experience; between the smell of the incense and the sound of the music, it was beyond. One of the holiness’ in Judaism are the melodies of the Torah and the Prophets – and as Reb Shlomo used to say “if more people could ‘sing a new song to God!’ we could really fix the whole world.”

  • Meditation – In a world where the Dalai Lama can win a Nobel Peace Prize (and 2 million Twitter followers,) the ancient rabbis who spoke of meditation may have been onto something. I have a friend – a successful New York City investment banker who commences each day with 30 minutes of prayer and meditation at the Hudson River prior to going to work.

Life is full of pressures and challenges, whether one owns a NY PR Agency, or is a stay-at home mom or a student – Judaism provides many paths for inspiration, allowing high pressured people a balanced outlet – I know I prefer Judaism to flying a plane.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 PR Agency and is the author of an Amazon best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” available for purchase here.

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