Reb Simcha Bunim’s Self Awareness

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Yom Kippur Reb Simcha

“A Millennial Rebbeh from the 18th century.”

he hardest thing in the world can be self-awareness and honesty with yourself.

Reb Bunim preached a life of hyper self-awareness and honesty. Acknowledging our true feelings and actions is a prerequisite to character development.

Yet, we mustn’t succumb to the brutally honest version of ourselves. We must also validate the imaginary fantasy version of ourselves and strive to be who we want to be. But we have no chance of achieving this goal without knowing who we are first.

This means living a self-contradictory life. It means being in at least two worlds all the time. It means not isolating and not assimilating. Living with soul and living with intellect. Living with love and living with fear. Living with attention to details and living with attention to the broad spirit of things. Living with science and living with art. Living with nature and living a modern urban life.

These are not contradictions that must be resolved. These contradictions are life itself.

Reb Bunim is amazing. A man ahead of his time. I think his ideas resonate more today than ever before.

I call him the Millennial Rebbeh. Somehow, he got us.

(Read more about Reb Bunim in this excellent book:

Rabbi Eliyahu Fink is the founder of
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