To solar cycle represents continuity and consistency. The lunar cycle represents rise and fall, והחיות רצוא ושוב.
The two cycles don't inherently mesh, and it takes the actions of people (as represented by Beis Din which sets the leap year) to combine the two.
See here for a similar expression of this idea.
In terms of lessons in Avodas Hashem, there are ...
Mesorah has it that Rabbi Elimelech from Lizensk was famous for starting out as a massive talmid chacham whilst Litvish, and converting to Chasssidus later after being persuaded by his brother Reb Zusha.
Lehavdil Rabbi Yochanon Kohein Gadol after serving for 80 years became a Zedoki.
A different angle on the question: at the funeral for Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger (who was a mathematics and astronomy enthusiast), it was suggested that God values our engaging the world. This way, we would have to study astronomy to determine how to modify the calendar.
(Recall that the Gemara praises the role of an honest human judge as "partnering with God."...
The Lubavitche Rebbe said that there are four explanations on "What is Chassidus":
The [Jewish] world was in a faint, and the Baal Shem Tov woke them up.
A Chossid does more than the law requires
Through Chassidus, a person can change his natural traits to G-dly traits.
Chassidus innovated that even a simple unrefined person can understand G-dliness
Hashem created you. You are to him like an only son.
If he made you, it's because he needed you to be around.
You are not a mistake.
That being said:
Hashem obviously knew what would "come out" of you (though, as the Rambam says - at least I think that's who said it - : "It is (almost-?-) impossible to understand how free choice and Hashgocha ...
The Mishnah in Berachot (33b) rules as follows:
האומר על קן צפור יגיעו רחמיך ועל טוב יזכר שמך מודים מודים משתקין אותו.
IF ONE [IN PRAYING] SAYS ‘MAY THY MERCIES EXTEND TO A BIRD'S NEST’, ‘BE THY NAME MENTIONED FOR WELL-DOING’, OR ‘WE GIVE THANKS, WE GIVE THANKS’, HE IS SILENCED.
(Soncino translation, capitals in original)
The Talmud there ...
You are probably referring to this, on the first Rashi.
ז] בשביל ישראל והתורה. בב"ר (א, ד). ויראה לומר מה שנברא העולם בשביל אלו ב' דברים, דכתיב (משלי טז, ד) "כל פעל ה' למענהו", רוצה לומר כל מה שנברא בעולם בשביל הקב"ה נברא ולכבודו נבראו (יומא לח. ), "כל הנקרא בשמי לכבודי בראתיו" (ר' ישעיה מג, ז), ואין כבוד מן הנבראים אלא כאשר יקיימו את מצוותיו ועובדים אותו,...
the more you know/understand the greatness of God the more you will have awe/fear of Him. This is why Moshe Rabeinu was the humblest of all men despite that he achieved more than any other person in history (source). He knew God more than anyone else, hence his fear/awe of God made Him totally humble. therefore for any exercises you do, the effectiveness ...
As explained in this article the ideal Jewish year is actually 13 months (representing a dominance of the Jewish lunar calendar over the non-Jewish solar one) and it will resume this cycle in the days of Moshiach. The leap month is added to provide access to the future redemption even in our times.
It's said that Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, if I'm not mistaken, would study Gemara out-loud before he discovered Hassidism (presumably as you remember it better that way); after his transformation, he studied it quietly (I suspect as you could be learning a page all about your cow eating someone's toxic plants, and using that as a way of personal ...
The fact that although you are holding where you are, your service is still allowed and even demanded, is alone a good cause for celebration.
In reality we should be told that learning Gemara, Davenning, Succah, Shabbos etc. is not for you. Just be a citizen of the world in which you spend most of your time. And yet, our service is allowed, requested, ...
Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner explains that the yetzer hara has no substance inherently, only that which he has stolen from you where your 'spare' abilities were not utilised in the service of Hashem.
Therefore all your feelings are either a glimpse into your soul or a mirror-image of a glimpse into your soul, but nevertheless a portal.
The most susinct summation of what the Ba'al Shem Tov innovated I have seen is from the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe in Kuntres Toras HaChassidus:
מורנו הבעש"ט נ"ע פתח צנור היכולת בעבודת השי"ת, בהוראה והדרכה אשר כל אחד ואחד מישראל יכול לעבוד את הוי' באהבה וביראה. גם אנשים פשוטים הנה על ידי תמימות עבודתם באמירת תהלים - אף גם כשאינם יודעים פירוש המלות - ואהבת ...
You seem to be asking two things:
"what it was that was so new" – past tense: when chassidus was a new thing
"how Chassidus defines itself" – present tense: chassidus today
So, in very short form:
Increasing emotional attachment to Judaism by incorporating aspects of kabbalah into daily life (esp. prayers and rituals) under the closer supervision of a ...
If you want to spend a year on the subject read the 5th Chabad rebbes talk on the subject. sefer hamamarim 5666 http://hebrewbooks.org/31623. In the new printing there are tons of footnotes with sources. Read the first essay.
In very short the idea is, the only purpose of any endeavor is for a profit. Now hashem was doing pretty well before he created the ...
The Yismach Moshe was one of the misnagdim that switched to Chassidus https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Teitelbaum_(Ujhel)
And for the heretic list, although I'm not sure if it's really what the OP is looking for, Tzadok and Beitus went off the path of truth when they misunderstood Antigonus Ish Socho as brought in pirush hamishnayos from the Rambam in ...