A Chasidic discourse by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn of Lubavitch
Translated By: Rabbi Zalman Abraham
In contrast to other cultures, Judaism abhors asceticism and total abstinence from physical dealings. Instead, it celebrates interaction with the physical as a possible and even ideal mode of divine service. Elaborating on this point, Chasidus, in its unique way, teaches a person how to live in a state of inner peace - how to make peace in his relationship with G-d, and how to make peace with the world around him. Chasidus guides a person to be in control of his world and not to be tempted by his desires, and to devote all of his energies toward serving G-d - without negating all of the basic obligations to the physical body and to others.
The present Chasidic discourse speaks of the great transformation that a person can bring about by way of his interactions with the physical; how mortal man can unleash tremendous divine energy through a seemingly simple and mundane activity such as eating, drinking, and business dealings, so that these can be carried out truly for the sake of heaven.