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.