I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have been able to "discover" Hasidism and start studying its teachings at Torat Hanefesh in Jerusalem. I have to confess that I had all kinds of prejudice against Hasidism, especially because I used to hang around among the-called "misnagdim", studying at one yeshiva of theirs in Jerusalem.
I came to this school through a chain of "chance" encounters and incidents dating back to November 2017, the most important of which is my encounter with the book הנפש - also available in English translation as Anatomy of the Soul - by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, the dean of this amazing school, through a course in Jewish life coaching I took between December 2017 and February 2018 in Jerusalem. In parallel with my continued study of Jewish life coaching I took a basic course at this school between November 2018 and June 2019 and studied Jewish psychology based on the teachings of Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, and Chabad Hasidism.
My original plan was to taste Hasidism for one academic year, but the more I studied it not only formally at this school but also privately in my free time, the more fascinated I became with its teachings, one of the most important of which is the innerness of our psyche as reflected in the Torah, the more keenly I came to feel I don't know enough and I want to study more. My next plan was to continue studying another year, until I attended a half-day intensive course organized by this school yesterday and decided to spend two more years to complete its three-year program of this Jewish psychology.
Compared to it, both the conventional psychology and the so-called academic study of the Torah really pale as sources of life wisdom and spiritual growth. I've also come to realize that many of its teachings have a universal appeal, that is, not only for Hasidim and other frum Jews but also for secular Jews and even non-Jews. Rabbi Ginsburgh himself wrote an online article and gave a long lecture on what he calls the "fourth revolution n Torah learning"
Both this specific teaching of his and the universal teachings of Hasidism can be incorporated very nicely into my new practice of Jewish life coaching for speakers of Japanese. It's my new - and probably my most daring - life mission to bring the light of Hasidism to the Japanese and transform their inner darkness into light.
PS: The uniqueness of this school is, among others, that it has systematized the teachings of Hasidism that are scattered in various books, using a modern language.