Dec 29, 2019

Raize Guttman 12-29-19 (01 Tevet 5780)

Zot Chanukah

Join us as we hear the Guttman boys light their chanukiah's and sing traditional songs for us.
Raize discusses the meaning of Zos Chanukah, which our great Rabbi’s teach us that this is a very special and holy day. It surpasses the holiness of Yom Kippur. This in fact is the climax of all the high holidays.

Our learning today is dedicated for the refuah shlemah of our dear GEM sister Tzipora bat Golda and for the 5 victims that were stabbed at Rabbi Rottenberg's home in Monsey. Their names are Yosef ben Perel, Chaim ben Vittel, Shlomo ben Vittel, Naftali Tzvi ben Gila & Nachman ben Elka. We should only hear good news.

Raize Guttman 12-22-19 (24 Kislev 5780)

Chanukah shiur

After the Maccabean Revolt over the Syrian-Greeks, the Jews reclaimed the holy Temple of Jerusalem. To rededicate the temple, and resume the performance rituals they needed pure oil with the seal of the High Priest to light the Temple menorah. They could only find one small pure cruze of oil, enough to keep the flames burning for one day, but miraculously it lasted for eight.

Since that revealed miracle of supernatural light some 2,200 years ago, we celebrate Chanukah as a cumulative spiritual process through which over the course of 8 nights the number of candles grow. A total of 36 candles are kindled to reveal the light of creation.

With Hashem uttering the words "Let there be light," his creation of the world emerged. His primordial light illuminated the world for 36 hours, Friday noon through Shabbat day. It is said that Adam could see from the end of the world until its other end revealing the inner wisdom of purpose and truth to mankind.

But for the purpose of creation to be actualized and the mandate of overcoming darkness to be manifested, this holy light was hidden from the universe and stored for a time yet to come. However, once every year on Chanukah this special light comes back through kindling the 36 candles.

Hashem also took these 36 hours of light and saved it for the 36 tzadikim who live in every generation. These 36 elevated souls sustain, nurture and guard this light. The 36 are concealed, unassuming, and virtually unknown yet these 36 righteous people are sparks of this Hidden Light.

The word ohr (light) is written in the Torah 36 times. It is also the 25th word in the Torah and is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev. The ohr of Chanukah is the antidote to all the tragedies that have taken place in our history.

This light is so special and so holy so we cannot "use" this light. We need to stare at it and imbue it into ourselves. It makes us wise and gives us clarity to understand that Hashem runs the world. Every Jew that is alive today is a testimony that Hashem runs the world.

Dec 16, 2019

Raize Guttman 12-15-19 (17 Kislev 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 32 - 51

Dec 8, 2019

Raize Guttman 12-08-19 (10 Kislev 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 28 - 31

Rivka runs to her mother to tell her what had just transpired, while her brother Laban runs to the nose ring, toward something glittering. Laban thought this guy is rich. Laban was only interested in the money. That was his goal/desire/ aspiration. (That is why he ended up where he ended up.)

Everyone in this world is running, it depends on where you are running to and what you are running for. Are you running for materialism, this becomes a deep, dark hole. Or are you running to spirituality which is and an everlasting life. Difference between running for the wrong reason’s vs the right reasons.

This feeling of yearning, and desire for more, was planted in us from Hashem starting with Adam Rishon. In every mothers womb a candle flickers over the head of the baby and we are shown one end of the world to the other. When we are born we can either spend our lives trying to fill this yearning for more with either physicality or with spirituality. True fulfillment only comes from ruchnias. Yes, we can & should have fun, but happiness is the feeling of being full inside, and making the right spiritual choices.

Our learning today is dedicated for the refuah shlemah of Tzlota Rivka bat Chaya Ruchel (the beloved cousin of our GEM sister Janet).

Dec 1, 2019

Raize Guttman 12-01-19 (03 Kislev 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verse 27

Eliezer is amazed about the good fortune of finding Rivka and the first thing he does is to thank Hashem. He thanks Hashem by saying he had both chesed (kindness) and emet(truth). Raize brings down lesson from Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. The word ahava (love) is an emotion inside a person. The way a person expresses love is through his actions. Those actions are called chesed. Because the feeling of love that a person has for someone can sometimes blind him, those actions can be dangerous. Therefore, sometimes when you love someone so much you do what you think is chesed, but it may not be a true chesed. True chesed is what is truly good for that person. We must always have chesed v'emet (kindness & truth).

Hashem’s chesed may not always look like emet, but he knows what is good for the soul. It does not always feel nice, and its truth can be harsh. Even if we don’t think something is good for us, and may think this is the worst thing that can happen, it is not. It is what is best for you and your soul. Hashem's truth is the truth.

Nov 24, 2019

Raize Guttman 11-24-19 (26 Cheshvan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verse 23 - 26

Rivka answers Eliezers question about"whose daughter are you?" by saying who she is by going back 4 generations to her great great grandfather Nahor (who happens to be Avraham Avinu's brother). From here we see how proud she was of her lineage, teaching us that we all should be proud of ours. For each of us have a great great grandfather who had a beard and a great great grandmother who covered her head. We all come from great stuff. And the older you are, the closer you are to Sinai. We have to remember our ancestors, who are the links in our chain, and bring us back to our great, great roots in the great mesorah of Klal Yisroel.

Raize briefly mentions something from the Netziv from his book Ha’amek Davar which details why Rivka did not have the same relationship with her husband as Sarah had with Avraham.

Raize Guttman 11-17-19 (19 Cheshvan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verse 21 - 22

Eliezer waited to see, and thought I will have Hashem guide me, and show me. This is the biggest test for anything in life. Hashem is saying relinquish control. Let me lead you, let me guide you. Let go of all the things that you are bound by, everything that is shaping your decision and/or how you react.

Eliezer gave Rivka 1 nose ring, and 1 bracelet. These 3 pieces of jewelry hint to the luchos (the tablets) and the 10 commandments. Their mention is very deep and meaningful, as they are connecting the present and the future. This is not just the shidduch of Yitzhak, but the shidduch of the future of the Jewish people

Nov 10, 2019

Raize Guttman 11-10-19 (12 Cheshvan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 17 - 20

Nov 3, 2019

Raize Guttman 11-03-19 (05 Cheshvan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verse 16

Today in our Torah portion we speak about Rivka and her exceptional beauty which was not coming just from her physicality, because from just physical you cannot have Tovas Mareh meod . It has to be coming from something much greater & deeper. This extreme beauty was because of her great, holy and pure neshama that was untouched and brought miracles to her, (ie: the water from the spring came up to her). Rivka's neshama was shining not only in her physical beauty but also in its expression who she was in all of her actions. Her beauty was coming from this incredible special light.

Today's class is dedicated to the refuah shlemah of 3 very special GEM sisters. Esther bas Malka, Bayla Shoshana bas Zelda and Tzipora bas Golda.

Oct 30, 2019

Raize Guttman 10-27-19 (28 Tishrei 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 2 - Verses 13 - 15

Raize brilliantly ties in these verses to the power of loshen (speech). Our mouths and the words that come out them should be kept clean, holy and lofty so that we will be able to do great things with our mouths and so we can represent Hashem in this world.

Oct 7, 2019

Raize Guttman 10-06-19 (07 Tishrei 5780)

Yom Kippur shiur
Raize suggests beautiful and meaningful ways to approach teshuva.

Janet brought down something she learned from Rabbi Binyamin Marwick. People will often wish each other, especially at this time of year to have happiness. However, happiness is not the Jewish way, Simcha is the Jewish way. Here is the distinction. The word happy comes from an old English word, “hap” which means luck or chance. Ie in the words: happenstance, happening. We Jews don’t believe in luck or chance, so we don’t view happiness in the same way. We approach happiness with simcha. Simcha, is the contraction of two words “sham” (there) and “moach” (mind). Simcha has to do with placing one's thoughts. In other words, when you have simcha, you have control. You put your mind in a frame of mind to be b’simcha. Let us learn from this valuable insight and focus on simcha as we approach the holidays.

Sep 15, 2019

Raize Guttman 09-15-19 (15 Elul 5779)

Elul shiur
We are now 2 weeks before Rosh Hashanah. This should make us excited and it also is good & normal if we have a bit of trepidation, Yiras Shamayim. As David Ha Melech tells us in Tehillim, these are awesome days – days of elevation and feeling so close to Hashem - Days of tremendous rejoicing and Days of Awe.

Rosh Hashanah is a brand-new start for us and the month of Elul is the hachuna (preparation). Elul is about Ani l’dodi v dodi li. It is all about love for Hashem, and before you can make Hashem the King of all the world, you have to love him and make a relationship with him. True love means appreciating the goodness. Everyone talks about Chesbon hanefesh (a spiritual accounting of the soul). By appreciating every thing that Hashem does for us, that is the cheshbon hanefesh, that is the hachuna we need to do during the month of Elul. Coming close to Hashem and loving him and being grateful.

We dedicate our learning today in celebration of the birthday of our dear GEM sister Janet. Yom Huledet Sameach Janet!

Sep 10, 2019

Raize Guttman 09-08-19 (08 Elul 5779)

Elul shiur
Very powerful shiur about the month of Elul:
The 5 Letters of Teshuvah as they apply to 5 steps to higher teshuvah.
Acronyms for Elul.

Sep 2, 2019

Raize Guttman 09-01-19 (01 Elul 5779)

Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 – Verse 13 - 14

Eliezer prays to Hashem that he find a shidduch for Yitzhak that will serve him water and then some for his camels. Meaning, he know the value of the middot of kindness in a shidduch. A girl who loves to do chesed and bestow kindness on others (not because it is convenient or easy) such a girl is worthy to enter into the home of Avraham.

Tzedakah and chesed are something that define a person and says a lot about who that person is. When a person looks past themselves and says can I do something for you; I can go out of my way for you – this is what we should be looking for in a shidduch as well as in the month of Elul.

The parsha is a source of the halacha of tzedakah. Raize mentions 7 laws of giving tzedakah that we learn from this parsha.

Aug 28, 2019

Raize Guttman 08-25-19 (24 Av 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 – Verse 10-12

We are in the middle of the story where Avraham sends Eliezer to find a wife for Yitzchak. The first thing Eliezer does is to daven for a shidduch for Yitzchak - saying Hashem, please arrange it for me. From this we learn an important lesson. Of course, Hashem is in control of everything, but especially with shidduchim it is true! It is clearly so supernatural how 2 people come together & we need to make sure to turn it over to Hashem and give him the whole control.

Raize also speaks about the coming month of Elul. Elul is the acronym for a few different verses that are found throughout Tanach, these verses all stand for and represent the 3 very special things that remove an evil decree and bring a person close to Hashem. Teshuva (repentance), Tefillah (prayer), & Tzedakah (charity), bring a person to a supernatural status or a different status than they were before. Therefore it is said with these 3 things, a person can annul an evil decree that was decreed upon them.

By applying the lesson in our Parsha Chayei Sarah with the preparation for the coming month of Elul, by doing tefillah more mindfully we always bring ourselves closer to Hashem. .

Raize Guttman 08-18-19 (17 Av 5779)

Shiva D'Nechemta - The 7 Weeks of Comfort
7 weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Each Shabbos until RH we read a Haftorah of comfort.
Raize speaks about 4 ways to get close to Hashem.

Aug 11, 2019

Raize Guttman 08-11-19 (10 Av 5779)

Tisha B'Av

Tisha B’av is the day of the year that we reach rock bottom. Our mourning starts on Shabbos b’ Tamuz. It escalates on Rosh Chodesh Av, it becomes more intense during the week of Tisha B’Av and it reaches its peak today on Tisha B’av itself. As we sit on the floor and cry in utter misery over our terrible situation that we are in, we get up midday as the Beis Hamikdash is burning and we begin to prepare for a beautiful future. Even though time is tarrying and the wait is stretching on, we hope, pray and believe with our whole hearts that Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple will come at any moment. May the time quickly come when we look back with the clarity of hindsight to see how all our suffering was but a prelude to happiness and goodness, with the coming of Moshiach. Amen!

Aug 4, 2019

Raize Guttman 08-04-19 (3 Av 5779)

The Nine Days

Story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa. Re-building the Holy Temple has to start with one person and maybe it is you that can take upon something and that can be the catalyst to rebuild it!

Raize Guttman 07-28-19 (25 Tamuz 5779)

The 3 weeks Bein Hametzarim

Our mourning increases. Raize mentions the list of things we should not do.

Yes, historically this is an unpleasant, bad time for the Jewish people and we just want it to pass quickly. But it is a pity to look at the 3 weeks only in this way, although it is a sad time, it is an opportune time. It is a time of introspection and getting close to Hashem. We should think about what we had. They say, we were born in the dungeon and we can't begin to understand what we are missing. By learning, talking, thinking, reading about the destruction of the Temple, we can feel like you are there.

Jul 25, 2019

Raize Guttman 07-21-19 (18 Tamuz 5779)

The Fast of Tammuz & How to mourn during the 3 weeks

Jul 15, 2019

Raize Guttman 07-14-19 (11 Tamuz 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 – Verses 6 - 7

Avraham is continuing to give instruction to Eliezer. He’s insistent that Yitzchak’s wife come from his own people and she will be brought to Yitzchak.

Jul 7, 2019

Raize Guttman 07-07-19 (04 Tamuz 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 – Verses 2 - 5

Avraham sends Eliezer to find a wife for Yitzchak. Eliezer speaks with Rivka’s father Besuel.

Jul 1, 2019

Raize Guttman 06-30-19 (27 Sivan 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 – Verse 1

Hashem blessed Avraham with everything (bakol). This leads us into the discussion of the 3 keys to happiness.

Jun 23, 2019

Raize Guttman 06-23-19 (20 Sivan 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 23 – Verses 17 – 20

Even though this verse is about Sarah's death, in actuality the last few lines of this verse are a summary of Sarah's life. Sarah's entire life was one of raising up the mundane. Taking physicality and uplifting it to spirituality. Jewish tradition teaches that while Sarah was alive there were three constant miracles in her home. The first miracle was that the candles Sarah lit on Friday night to welcome the Sabbath kept burning throughout the week until it was time to light them again. The second wonder was a blessing in Sarah’s dough — the bread she baked always stayed fresh. The third miracle in Sarah’s home was that Hashem's Clouds of Glory always rested above her tent. There was constantly a palpable presence of Hashem around her.

When Hashem wanted the Holy Temple built, the stipulations of how to build the sanctuary were modeled after Sarah's tent. Sarah’s home was used as a blueprint!

As Jewish women the locus for finding and celebrating the holy is not beyond the mundane realities of our lives, but actually in their very details: in our homes, in our kitchens, in our families. By emulating Sarah, we can bring spirituality into the physicality and turn every regular mundane day into a yom kaddosh.

We dedicate this class to Raize’s grandfather Avraham Yosef Shmuel Alter ben Tuvia, who’s yahrzeit is this week. A full circle of life continues as 22 years later Raize’s nephew (who is named after her grandfather) is a chatan and had his aufruf this past Shabbos and is getting married this Wednesday. May Raize’s grandfather Avraham Yosef Shmuel Alter ben Tuvia neshama have an Aliyah. May Hashem always bring success, blessings & nachas to her nephew Avraham and his kallah Batya.

Jun 16, 2019

Raize Guttman 06-16-19 (13 Sivan 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 23 - Verses 10 - 16

In this perek, we see the contrast between Ephron and Avraham. With Ephron we see such deception, thievery, conniving, selfish, & wicked behavior all under this guise of nobility and generosity. He put on a great show, but Avraham was not deceived. From Avraham we see what true nobility and greatness is. Avraham is a person who lives to fulfill the will of Hashem. No ulterior motives. He is not interested in kavod or money. His whole life was only to do the will of Hashem and to do what is right. Mamash, they are two diametrically opposed people.

We dedicate this class to our dedicated GEM Leader Necha Golda and her devoted husband Mendel Dubinsky in celebration of their birthdays this week. May we be blessed with our hearts deepest desires and merit to be able to see the hand of GD constantly in our lives.

Jun 3, 2019

Raize Guttman 06-02-19 (28 Iyyar 5779)

Shavuot shiur

We dedicate our learning today for the refuah shleimah of our dear GEM sister Janet and to Yosef Yisroel ben Zelda (Andrea's brother). May Hashem grant them both a complete and full recovery.

May 26, 2019

Raize Guttman 05-26-19 (21 Iyyar 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 23 - Verses 3 - 9
Middos of Yisod

We dedicate this class for the refuah shleimah of our dear GEM sister Janet and to Yosef Yisroel ben Zelda. May Hashem grant them both a complete and full recovery.

May 19, 2019

Raize Guttman 05-19-19 (14 Iyyar 5779)

Pesach Sheni
The Middos of Hod
Lag B'Omer

May 12, 2019

Raize Guttman 05-12-19 (07 Iyyar 5779)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 23 - Verse 2
The middos of Netzach

We dedicate this class for an ilyui neshama to Gershon Zavel ben Shamai zt"l (Andrea's beloved Uncle) who was niftar yesterday 6 Iyyar 5779

May 8, 2019

Raize Guttman 05-05-19 (30 Nissan 5779)

Rosh Chodesh Iyyar
Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 23 - Verse 1
Hashem loves me stories

Apr 28, 2019

Raize Guttman 04-28-19 (23 Nissan 5779)

As we are turned up a notch from the feelings that Hashem Loves Us and the amazing 8 days of Pesach, Raize speaks in this shiur about the first verse of our next parsha of study; Parsha Chayei Sarah and connects this to the counting of the Omer.

Love is based on chesed. In Judaism we don't have blind faith, as we don’t just believe because we are optimistic and hopeful and don’t want to think badly. Our belief comes from the moments of our history like we read about in the Haggadah with all the miracles. Time again Hashem has turned the world upside down for his beloved people. That is what our faith is based on.

We know the Eshet Chayil prayer is the eulogy that Avraham gave about his wife Sarah at her funeral. The one line in the prayer that describes her faith is Lo yichbe balayla neyra,(in the nighttime her candle never went out). Sarah went through many, many trials and tribulations in the course of her life, but her emunah remained intact. She possessed hishtavut (equanimity). Meaning, she accepted the good and bad of life equally knowing everything is from Hashem. None of us are perfect people and Sarah was not a perfect person, but she was perfect in her faith.

Apr 22, 2019

Raize Guttman 04-21-19 (16 Nissan 5779)

No class due to observance of Pesach

Apr 14, 2019

Raize Guttman 04-14-19 (9 Nissan 5779)

Pesach shiur

Judaism is about having a relationship with Hashem. All the mitzvah’s we have, all the customs we have, all we do is for the goal of having a relationship with Hashem. Some people go through the motions of Judaism and keep kosher and Shabbat, and keep all the mitzvahs but, they don’t really understand the WHY. They don’t understand that there is a goal in each thing we do, and everything we do is supposed to make us closer to this goal. During the Seder we pass over to the next generation that they should want to be Jews because of its depth and beauty and there is a purpose to every single thing we are doing as Jews. Therefore, the most important thing we have to pass over is a belief, love and the depth of the relationship we have with Hashem.

Raize speaks about the 15 Steps of the Seder and how each step takes us higher & higher, and closer & closer to this goal.

Apr 7, 2019

Raize Guttman 04-07-19 (2 Nissan 5779)

Pesach shiur

In today's class Raize takes us on a journey of visualization & imagination through ancient Goshen and Egypt, as she shows us Pesach from a different perspective. A valuable tool we can employ on the Seder night, so we are able to fulfill the mitzvah of seeing oneself actually going out of Mitzrayim. Pesach is the night to accomplish this tremendous hitchatshut התחדשות (renewal).

We dedicate this class to our dear Chaya Rivka bas Malka for a refuah schlemah. Also, may it be an ilyui neshama for Avraham ben Moshe & Sortel bas Ariyah Leib (Grandparents to Raize's friends) who requested in their will to write a Sefer Torah in their memory. Today it was finished and it is being brought into a Shul.

Mar 31, 2019

Raize Guttman 03-31-19 (24 Adar II, 5779)

Pesach shiur

Our entire existence represents Hashem in 3 ways - in our identity, through our resources and in our purpose/goals.

As we celebrate Pesach, remember this with everything you are doing. While cleaning, shopping, preparing, cooking and Pesach itself. Am zu yetzarti li, tehilasi yesapairu. We were created by Hakadosh Baruch Hu as this great and holy nation for the purpose of praising and thanking him. Each of us are part of Bnei Yisroel, the am hanivchar (chosen people), created in order to sing his praises and to be ohr lagoyim (a light unto the nations).

Mar 24, 2019

Raize Guttman 03-24-19 (17 Adar II, 5779)

Purim shiur continued.

Purim is the message & history of the Jewish people. A message for us in the past, present and for all future generations. The purpose of the world is Olam ha Tikkun (for the world to reach perfection), and we have been trying to reach it from the beginning of time. From the moment Hashem put Adam & Chava in Gan Eden, and yet they "blew it" on that very first day. Amalek aided to foil every great opportunity we've had to reach perfection in the world. The power of Amalek is immorality and lack of faith in Hashem, and so the way to bring Moshiach is by working on morality (tznius and privacy) and emunah. Nothing is happenstance! Nothing is by chance! Hashem is in charge and all is for our good.

Mar 17, 2019

Raize Guttman 03-17-19 (10 Adar II, 5779)

Parshat Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verses 20 – 24

We finish on such a high and complete Parsha Vayeira - Chazak Chazak v'nitchazek!!
These last 5 verses of the Parsha speak about genealogy. Rashi says about Verse 23, "Bethuel begot Rivka”, all of these last 5 verses of Parsha Vayeira were written only for these words. In Verse 20, "after these matters (after the Akeidah) a child is born" leads us into what Avraham focused on next for Yitzchak - finding him a wife. Our next Parsha Chayei Sarah is about Avraham finding this wife for Yitzchak - it is Rivka (daughter of Bethuel) who marries Yitzchak.


There are miracles and then there are miracles!
The Purim story is draped in masking the depths of the Universe. On the surface, the Megillat Esther is a seemingly simple tale yet it weaves the intricate story of Hashem's hand in everything and how He manages every single minute detail of the world and even the details of each of our lives.

This class is a must listen to!

Mar 10, 2019

Open Lecture 03-10-19 (03 Adar II, 5779)

Raize was not available to lecture today, as clocks were set back in the US, and we had a mixup on time for our conference call. For those of us who were on the conference call, we had an open class lecture.

We shared stories of Hashgacha Pratis, read 2 stores from The Torah Anytimes Newsletter of (Rabbi YY Rubinstein - My First Student) and (Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - Zeresh and Esther: Demolishing and Building). We finished our discussion with talk about a documentary on the life of the Klausenberger Rebbe, zt”l, who lost his wife and 11 children in the Holocaust yet went on to rebuild the dynasty of Sanz Chassidus after it was almost totally destroyed.

To read the stories we discussed on, go to:

Tune in next week when we will complete our studies of Parshat Vayeira and make a siyum / סיום‎ (completion of the unit of Torah study and corresponding celebration).

Mar 3, 2019

Raize Guttman 03-10-19 (26 Adar I, 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verses 13 - 19

We finish the story of Akeidas Yitzchak (The Binding of Isaac).

3 main ideas from the Akeidah:
1) If you love Hashem, you have to be willing to give up really what is most precious to you. Be able to sacrifice for Him.
2) A prophet is 100% clear of the truth of his prophecy. Our prophets talked with clarity from the mouth of Hashem.
3) Our forefathers knew there was such a great reward for sacrifices that we make in this world.

Feb 24, 2019

Raize Guttman 02-24-19 (19 Adar I, 5779)

Raize speaks about the astonishing life of her Grandmother - Risha Ruchel bas Rav Avraham Schlomo zt"l.

Raize gives over her Grandmother's experiences of the Holocaust. She was born on 18 Av in Poland. At age 11, the war broke out. She went from the Warsaw Ghetto, to Auschwitz (age of 13), to walking on the 5-month death march, to her liberation. She emerged from a nightmare and managed to put together the pieces of her life to create a beautiful family. B”H she had a special malach from shamayim watching over her, her life is one we can all learn from. 18 Adar I is her yahrzeit. May her neshama have an aliyah.

Feb 23, 2019

Raize Guttman 02-17-19 (12 Adar I, 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verses 11 & 12

The story of the Akeidah continues.

Avraham was the ultimate ba'al chesed. He was instinctively loving & compassionate. Yet by loving Hashem alone, Avraham would never have been able to pass his 10th & final test from Hashem - that of the Akeidah. Hashem designed this last trial to challenge Avraham's very essence and to force him to develop yiras Elokim (fear of Hashem). Avraham went beyond his natural self to see Hashem in a different light. Up to this point, Avraham is almost oblivious because he can only see the good, but he was not 100% in reality & not 100% true to Hashem. Hashem now says to him, "Yatah yadeh ti" ( עַתָּ֣ה יָדַ֗עְתִּי) "now I know". Now at this moment I see that you can see and and are a GD fearing man.

Feb 10, 2019

Raize Guttman 02-10-19 (05 Adar I, 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verses 7 - 10

Avraham says he is wearing the cloak of you my son. He has to change his deep-rooted characteristic of chesed and overpower it with Yitzhak's middos of gevurah.

The greatness of a person is to go against their nature. Someone who is so good, chesed is so easy for them. It is not to minimize the great deeds of them, only that shows that a person is using the nature Hashem gave them. The real GDliness of a person is going against what is easy for them. When it seems like this does not make sense, but this is what Hashem wants me to do right now, even if it goes against my nature. Greatness is a person who is transcending their natural abilities to do what Hashem is expecting of him.

Feb 3, 2019

Raize Guttman 02-03-19 (28 Sh'vat 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verse 6
Rosh Chodesh Adar
- Hashem Loves Me stories

We are getting deeper into the story of the binding of Yitzhak.

Avraham was going to do the will of Hashem and Yitzhak the will of his father. From this verse we learn that two people can have very different ways of looking at something, but when two people love each other, they can be united like one soul. The only desire of the soul is to do the will of Hashem.

In the month of Adar, your joy is elevated. That is why building the Mishkan and Adar coincide. It is about being one with Hashem.

2 ways to increase Simcha:
1. Do mitzvah’s with enthusiasm. Make a place for Hashem in your heart. I want to do your will.
2. Giving to other people.

Jan 27, 2019

Raize Guttman 01-27-19 (21 Sh'vat 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 - Verse 4 and 5

We learn on the 3rd day Avraham saw the place where he would do the Akeidah from afar. Hashem was giving Avraham the full opportunity for his brain to rule over the rest of his body.

Doing the Akeidah was made with Avraham's full consciousness. It was a decision.

Our learning today is in the merit of Nechla Rus bas Frumet (Raize's daughter in laws grandmother) , may Hashem grant her a refuah schlema.

Jan 20, 2019

Raize Guttman 01-20-19 (14 Sh'vat 5779)

Tu B'shvat shiur

Sh'vat 15 on the Jewish calendar; celebrated this year on Monday, January 21, 2019 is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. Commonly known as Tu Bishvat, this day marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Jan 15, 2019

Raize Guttman 01-13-19 (07 Sh'vat 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22- Verse 3

From this verse, Avraham teaches us about the middos of alacrity.

May our learning today be in merit of Perel bas Chana. May she have a refuah schlema. And to Yitzahk ben Pinchas zt"l (Raize's Grandfather), and Rebbetzin Rivka Ezrachi a”h. May they have a l'iluli neshama.

Jan 6, 2019

Raize Guttman 01-06-19 (29 Tevet 5779)

Parsha Vayeira - Chapter 22 – Verse 2 continued

Avraham understands that the akeidah is a command from Hashem in order to concretize his love for Him. The purpose of tests (good and bad) from Hashem are for us to see how much we love Him. That is the idea behind taking something from potential to the actual. From the spiritual to the physical. The more we realize how much we love Him, the better we can serve Him and the more reward He can give us.

With this 10th test, Hashem helped Avraham to reach the highest level in life; the pinnacle. Avraham loved Hashem with all of his heart, all of his soul and all of his might. B’chol levavecha u’ ve chol nafshecha, u’ve chol me’odecha.

Rosh Chodesh Shevat - Hashem Loves Me Stories

May our learning today be a z'hus to our GEM sister Perel bas Hannah. May she have a refuah schlema.