Dec 29, 2020

Raize Guttman 12-27-20 (12 Tevet 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 

Raize Guttman 12-20-20 (05 Tevet 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 26-27

Yitzchak is about to give Yaakov 10 blessings.  These blessings correspond to the 10 utterances that Hashem created the world with.  This is a message to us that it is really in the merit of Yaakov and his future descendants (which is us, B’nai Yaakov)  that the whole world is continuing to  exist.  These utterances are alos parallel to the  Aseret ha-Dibrot (the 10 commandments), which teaches us that the only way we will merit these 10 blessings is if we uphold the 10 commandments.   The 10 commandments include the entire Torah’s 613 mitzvot.


Raize Guttman 12-13-20 (27 Kislev 5781)

Chanukah  Shiur

Dec 9, 2020

Raize Guttman 12-06-20 (20 Kislev 5781)

Chanukah shiur 

Chanukah is the time we celebrate the glory of the Jewish people, it is about the fact that every Jew that we have unbelievable power inside of him. Our job is to connect with Hashem in this world. Wishing each and every one of us a freilichen Chanukah!


Nov 29, 2020

Raize Guttman 11-29-20 (17 Kislev 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 23-25


Nov 22, 2020

Raize Guttman 11-22-20 (6 Kislev 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 14 -22

Raize Guttman 11-15-20 (29 Cheshvan 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27- Verses 4 -13

Nov 8, 2020

Raize Guttman 11-08-20 (21 Cheshvan 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 Verse 3 

 We are getting into the fascinating story when Yitzhak calls in Esav to bless him. We know that Rivka overhears and she quickly tells Yaakov to go and prepare food and take the brachas away from Esav. Raize also follows up on a question posed by our GEM sister Jennifer, "Why do great people like Yitzhak and Rivka deserve to have a wicked son like Esav?" In Verse 3, Yitzhak tells Esav to go and sharpen your tools, go hunt for me and bring back food. Make sure that everything is going to be 100% correctly in koshering this animal. Make sure that the animal that you take should be ownerless. Yitzahk is laying down the rules. It sounds like there is a hesitation on Yitzhak part, it seemed he trusted Esav, but on the the other hand, he keeps warning him that the animal should be 100% kosher. If Yitzhak is such a great tzadick, then why does he want the food to give him a blessing? It is about physicality, does not sound like the stature of a tzadik like Yitzahk. Esav was a rasha, but the Zohar says that no one in the entire world honored his father greater than him. His Kibud av (honor of his father) was in the food and Yitzhak could taste it.


Baruch Dayan Ha Emet. Our learning today is dedicated to 2 major Rabbinim who were niftar on this past Shabbos (20 Cheshvan), HaRav David Feinstein zt"l (Posek Hador; a Halachic genius) and HaRav Lord Ya’akov Zvi ben David Arieh zt"l (who inspired a new generation of Jewish leaders and deepened the conversation between Torah and the wisdom of the world). They are a huge loss for Klal Yisroel and to the World. May they continue to lead us and guide us to coming of Moshiach. And in memory of Zelda Bas Ariyeh Leib zt"l (Andrea's beloved Mother). May their neshamas have an aliyah. We also share this class in the merit of Avigdor Guttman's Birthday!

Nov 5, 2020

Raize Guttman 11-01-20 (14 Cheshvan 5781)

Parsha Toldot Chapter 26 - Verses 34 Chapter 27 Verses 1-2 A person is who they really want to be. Maybe they didn’t get there yet, but slowly slowly with baby steps you can get there. That really who you are in Hashem’s eye. If a man dies without suffering in this word, he has no atonement, and he will be judged with strict justice in the next world. So our Avos asked for something to overcome. ie: before Avraham there was no old age, so Avraham pleaded with Hashem that when people get old they should look old. Rashi mentions that Midrash says that there are 7 things that a person does not know and are concealed from them in their lifetime for their benefit.


Oct 31, 2020

Raize Guttman 10-25-20 (07 Cheshvan 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 26 - Verses 23-30 


Oct 20, 2020

Raize Guttman 10-18-20 (30 Tishrei 5781)

Rather than jump into our discussion of Chumash today, we are going to talk about how to take this very special time throughout the year ahead. First thing we need to take with us from Shemini Azeret is we start to pray for rain in the Amidah prayer–masheev ha’rua’ch u’moreed hagashem. The literal translation of the prayer is “I should make the wind blow, and bring down the rain." At a deeper level, it means  “return the spirituality, and bring down the physicality.” In other words, maximize the spiritual things and minimize the physical. 

Avraham was blessed b'kol. "in all"; Yitzhak was blessed m'kol; "from all"; and Yaakov was blessed kol, "all". And these patriarchs teach us about the 3 keys to happiness with the middos they possessed. Avraham gave with everything, Yitzhak grew from everything, and Yaakov was grateful for everything. 

On Sukkot it says that the greatest Simcha is the joy of the water drawing ceremony. What is so joyous about spilling water is the exact point of everything! Hashem says learn how to enjoy the most basic things of life. If you can find joy in spilling water, you can find the real happiness in life. Thank you Hashem for everything little thing!


10-11-20 (23 Tishrei 5781)

 No class due to Simchat Torah observance.

10-04-20 (16 Tishrei 5781)

 No class due to Sukkot observance.

09-27-20 (09 Tishrei 5781)

 No class due to Yom Kippur observance.

09-20-20 (02 Tishrei 5781)

 No Class due to Rosh Hashanah Observance.

Oct 17, 2020

Raize Guttman 09-13-20 (24 Elul 5780)

Raize discusses the upcoming Chaggim and how we should prepare.


Sep 6, 2020

Raize Guttman 09-06-20 (17 Elul 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 26 - Verses 13 - 22 
Preparation in Elul

These verses are some of the only places in the entire Torah where we learn about Yitzhak.  Yitzhak was living in Gerar and he was running a corporation, with lots of shepherds, sheep and cattle. He amassed much wealth and the people of Gerar were jealous of him.   So in order to "get back at him", the filled up the wells that Avraham had dug there.  Yitzhak did not like that so, he left to the outskirts of Gerar.  Once outside, Yitzhak and his shepherds  decided to go back to re-dig the wells. And after they did, once again the Philistines stopped them up.  So they decided to dig another well now in the outskirts of Gerar, where they found living streams of water. They called the well Esek (contention) because once again the Philistines made such a tumult. So they dug another well and called it Sitnah (from the word hatred) because the shepherds of Gerar argued over that well too.  Yitzhak finally takes his company and moves even farther away and he dug a third well.  He called it Rehovot  (from the word broad /wide).  Hashem has broadened our horizons.  He will help us be successful in this land.

There are 3 messages that we can take from these verse about the past, present and future. Listen to this fascinating shiur and see how Raize brilliantly threads the message all together with our upcoming chag Rosh Hashanah, where we coronate Hashem as the King.  

 K'tivah vachatima tovah!

Aug 30, 2020

Raize Guttman 08-30-20 (10 Elul 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 26 - Verses 6 - 12
Preparation in Elul

There was famine in the land, people were starving. That is why Yitzhak went down to Gerar in the first place. Yet, only after everyone knew that Rivka was his wife, did he decide that he was going to start working the field. Why ask the commentaries? Because Yitzhak knew that all blessing for a man comes through his wife. This is an important Jewish principle. Until it was known to everyone that Rivka was his wife he did nothing to bring the blessing onto himself.

And then it goes on to say that Yitzhak made calculations as to how much he was going to reap before he even started. Rashi says the purpose for this was so he could give miser. He wanted to give tithes immediately so he could help as many people as he could. One of the greatest ways to receive Hashem’s blessing is to give it away. This was the first thing on Yitzhak's mind, he wanted to give charity.

This leads us right into Elul. Before Rosh Hashanah, we want to have the most connected relationship with Hashem. The best way to build that relationship is by saying "I thank you Hashem", "I love you Hashem" and "I appreciate everything you do for me Hashem". Walk around for 30 days and keep thanking Hashem, and you will feel a real, strong relationship with Hashem. Remember ani le dodi ve dodi li, starts with Ani, with I, with you making the first step.


Mazal Tov to Raize on the birth of her grandaughter Yael Bracha!

Aug 23, 2020

Raize Guttman 08-23-20 (3 Elul 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 26 - Verse 4
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - making blessings"

Aug 16, 2020

Raize Guttman 08-16-20 (26 Av 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 26 - Verses 1 - 3
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - making blessings"

There is a famine in the land. Hashem tells Yitzchak not to go to Egypt as his father did but stay in Israel as holy people belong in Israel. Yitzchak having been bound as a sacrifice, is holy and cannot be around the immorality of Egypt. Hashem tells Yitzchak to dwell in this land of Israel, and He will be with him. We should think of oneself as a giyur (a convert) because we are temporary residents of this world. Don’t become so comfortable and settled in THIS world. DWELL in this world; we will LIVE in the next.

Raize Guttman 08-09-20 (19 Av 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 31 - 34
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - making blessings"

We come to the end of the story of Esav selling his birthright to Yaakov for a bowl of lentil soup. He wanted comfort and pleasure and he had to rationalize in his mind why giving his birthright was okay.

The last verse of this story says that he ate, drank and got up, and Esav scorned the birthright. And now we see the working of the Evil Inclination. Now he needs to justify what he did, so he justifies it by putting down that thing that he just gave up. He scorns it, he mocks it, as that is the only way he can live with himself.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:
1. A person should try to say 100 brachos a day. It saves him from 100 curses.
2. When you hear a bracha, you answer AMEN. Which mean means "I believe this to be true". Don't say AMEN too quickly or too late. Say each letter clearly. Don't say AMEN louder than the one who made the blessing. and don't say AMEN to your own blessing.
3. The blessing we say on all food except fruits and vegetables, pastries,(cake, cookies, crackers), wine and bread is the blessing of SHEHAKOL. This is how we say the blessing. It is highly commendable to say the holy Hebrew words and they are: Baruch Atah ADONOY, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, Shehakol Nehiye Bidvaro!
Translation: Hashem, You are the Source of All Blessing, Our G-d King of the World, That made everything come to be, with His word!

Aug 6, 2020

Raize Guttman 08-02-20 (12 Av 5780)

This time of "comfort"- Shabbat Nachamu & the 2nd part of Av
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - making blessings"

The first part of Av is known as Menacham Av, this is where we comfort our Father. The 2nd part of Av, he is comforting us.

Our class is dedicated to Ella Tal bas Rav Shlomo Zalman zt"l (Raize's best friend) , in memory of her yahrzeit today. May all our learning be in the merit of her neshama.

Jul 26, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-26-20 (5 Av 5780)

Tisha B'Av shiur
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - the laws of blessings"

Av is the fifth month in the Jewish calender. The name of “Menachem Av” is also used for the month. "Menachem Av,” means “the father who comforts. Hashem, our father has the ability to comfort the Jewish People for all the tragedies that we have suffered during this month. And we connect to Hashem with our tears.

The Laws of Tisha B'Av
On Erev Tisha B'Av , before it gets dark, one sits on the floor and eats a final meal before the fast called a seudas hamafsekes. This consists of bread, water and a cold hard boiled egg, or lentils. One dips his bread in ashes and says,"This is the Tisha B"av meal". The mood should resemble that of a person who just lost a relative and is waiting for the funeral to begin.
After sunset, one may not do the following.
* No eating or drinking
* No washing one's body
* No applying oils or creams
* No wearing leather shoes
* No marital relations
Additional prohibitions that are mourning related
* No studying Torah
* No extending greetings i.e. hello, good morning
* No working
* No sitting on a chair

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Chapter 6 - Laws of Brachos
1. A bracha is an opportunity to thank Hashem. One should make sure he knows the proper bracha to say before he begins.One should not be occupied with anything else when he says a bracha, and he should say the words slowly and with concentration.Saying the words out loud inspires one to have proper intention.
2.One may not say Hashem's name in vain. If one says the name of Hashem accidentally , he must immediately say .."Baruch shaim kevod malchuso liolam vaed"- may the glory of His Name, the Honor of His Kingdom be blessed forever and ever...

Jul 19, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-19-20 (29 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 29 - 30
Tisha B'Av
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont.

Yaakov is cooking a lentil stew, and Esav comes in exhausted and Esav (it says it twice). Rashi says he is so tired from killing. He wants the red stew. The Midrash says Yaakov tells Esav he made the lentils because their Grandfather Avraham died that day. Esav just want to Eat, drink and be merry. He just wants to be satiated and have poured that food down his throat.

There are always two paths in life, one leads us to kedusaha, and one makes us fall. The daily choices we make between comfort or growth will shape us into the people we become.

Raize discusses the laws of Tisha B'Av. She mentions that unlike mourning for a loved one, we increase our mourning until the actual destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and then we practically stop mourning altogether.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Cont. - Chapter 5 laws of holiness and appropriate behavior
1. In a bathroom, it is forbidden to think or speak anything that is connected to holiness. One may not say the name of Hashem , even G-d
2..One also may not speak words of holiness in front of nakedness, one's own or others. A man cannot say a blessing, prayer or any words of Torah or holiness in front of any part of a woman's body that is exposed and according to the laws of modesty must be covered.
We women should be extra careful never to be a stumbling block in front of men.

Laws of the 9 Days Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Av:
1. Postpone a lawsuit with a non Jew.
2. Decrease business if possible
3. We do not purchase any object of joy
4.No construction, painting , home decorating or planting for pleasure.
5.We don't eat meat or drink wine
6.We don't launder our clothing or wear any freshly laundered clothing
7.We don't weave, knit or embroider
8.We don't shower or go swimming

Raize Guttman 07-12-20 (20 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 27 - 28
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont. Halachot of going to the bathroom, and Asher Yatzar prayer.

Rashi says as long as Yaakov and Esav were small, it wasn’t so evident what they were all about, and nobody was able to pin point what was unique and special about them. They were mushed together, when they became 13, one turned to the Beis Midrash and the other turned to idol worship. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch says Yitzhak and Rivka did not channel their middos in the right way with their education, as they raised them the same, equal. They forgot a very important principle in education. In Proverbs, it says educate a child according to his way.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:
1. One should use the bathroom in a modest way and wipe oneself well.
2. Every time one uses the bathroom, even a tiny drop, one must wash their hands and say the blessing, "Asher yatzar" (can be found in the siddur by the morning blessings). One should say the blessing slowly and with concentration as it is a great way to thank Hashem for your health.

Jul 5, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-05-20 (13 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 24 - 26
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont. Halachot of dressing & conduct.
Tamuz 17 Fast

Rivka filled all the days of her pregnancy and she gave birth. We discuss the naming of of Esav and Yaakov and their very different natures. Esav was born asui (fully-made) / and a ba'al gaavah (follower of haughtiness/arrogance). Yaakov on the other hand had humility. All good things come from the middos of humility. Arrogance leads a person to a bad place. This is the difference bt Yaakov and Esav.

2 Halachot from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch cont.
1. One should be careful not to dress like the goyim. One should try to be different than them not only in in dress, but also in speech and actions. i.e. no foul language, speak in a refined manner. Act in a refined manner.
2. A married woman must cover her hair when she goes outside. It is especially commendable to keep hair covered even in one's own home and the Zohar writes that if one is scrupulous in this mitzvah, she will merit good children.

We are entering the period called The Three Weeks beginning this Thursday, July 9, 2020. It is the 17th of Tamuz and it is a fast day (from sunrise until nightfall). These are days of five tremendous tragedies. One should utilize this day for introspection and teshuva. The sadness and mourning should lead us to closeness to Hashem as we re-examine and improve our ways. We should try to work on loving each other unconditionally since the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred.
May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Holy Temple very soon!

Jun 28, 2020

Raize Guttman 06-28-20 (6 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 23
Halacha of Modei Ani, Al Netilat yadaiyim & we begin the laws of getting dressed

Shem spoke to Rivka with ruach ha kodesh & gave over the words of Hashem, it wasn’t one child inside her womb it is two. Rivka finally understood what is going on, and understood the big picture of the world, that great things were to be coming out of her. One child is going for wickedness and one is heading for perfection.

Laws of waking up in the morning

1. Place Hashem in front of me at all times. Always remember that Hashem is watching.
2. When you wake up in the morning, say Modeh Ani
Lefanecha, Melech Chai V'kayam, shehechezarta bi neshmasi b'chemla, Rabbah Emunasecha. This means-Thank You Hashem, the King who is Living and enduring, that You have given my soul back to me with compassion....How great is Your faithfulness.
3. You should be bold as a leopard -don't be embarrassed if people make fun of you.
You should be light as an eagle to close your eyes from sin, it should be quick and easy for you to move away from evil..
You should run like a deer to do what is good
You should be strong like a lion to do the will of Hashem.
4. You should get out of bed with alacrity.
Don't let the evil inclination make up excuses i.e. it is too cold, I am too tired...Get up the way you would if you heard that your money was at stake or the King was calling you.

Laws of washing hands
1.When you wake up , you are a new creation. You must wash your hands for two reasons.
a. like a kohein who washes his hands before he goes to serve Hashem in the Temple
b. there is an impure spirit that remains on the hands and needs to be removed
2. You must wash your hands 3 times alternately. Take the cup in your right hand, fill it up with water, put it in your left hand and pour once onto the right hand then switch. Do this 3 times. One should not walk more than 4 cubits without washing your hands.
3. You should not touch any openings of your body before washing...i.e. eyes, ears, nose...
4.One should then go to the bathroom and wash their hands again in the same manner. At this point one may say blessings so one can say the first three blessings in the siddur which are... Baruch netilas yadayim. Baruch Ata... asher yatzar..the blessing after going to the bathroom and Elokai neshama .... If one is planning to daven immediately you can wait to say these brachos when you say all the Shacharis prayers.
5. One must wash their hands after these things:
a.getting up from bed in the morning, even sleeping during the day for more than half an hour
b.using the bathroom
c.cutting one's own nails
d. shaving hair and giving or getting a haircut
e.touching shoes with hands
f.marital relations
g. removing lice
h. scratching head
i. if you touch covered parts of the body
j. leaving a cemetery ,escorting the dead or being in the same room as a dead person
k. letting blood

Laws of getting dressed
1.One should get dressed in a modest way and one's clothing should be modest. not too fancy and not dirty or lowly.
2. When putting on shoes One should put on the right shoe, then the left shoe, then tie the left shoe, then tie the right shoe.

Jun 21, 2020

Raize Guttman 06-21-20 (29 Sivan 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 22
Halacha of Modei Ani and Al Netilat yadaiyim

Esav and Yaakov were running and pushing to get out and what she could not understand, one running inside her for Torah and one running inside her for Idol worship. Rivka was so upset, she couldn't understand a child wanting both, she did not know that she had two children inside of her. The pain of her pregnancy was so great that she said, "why me!", "why did I daven for 20 years for this?"

The Midrash says, that the 12 tribes were all supposed to come from Rivka, but she lost it all because she complained and therefore, never had any more children. Our lesson, Never complain. What we think is terrible, is good from Hashem. Never be upset about a situation that Hashem puts us in.

Jun 14, 2020

Raize Guttman 06-14-20 (22 Sivan 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 19 - 21
Halacha of Modei Ani and Al Netilat yadaiyim

We now start Parsha Toldot learning about the next generations after Avraham. We would expect to hear up front that these are the children of Yitzchak. But it says Avraham gave birth to Yitzchak. It seems redundant. Rashi comments that this stated this way because the fools of the generation were saying that Avimelech was Yitzhak's father. So, Hashem made a miracle & at age 60 he changed Yitzchak's face making it identical to Avraham's. Hashem did this because the power of mockery is so strong that it can completely and totally destroy so much inspiration of avodas Hashem.

We learn the ages of Yitzhak and Rivka when the married, and that they had to pray to Hashem for 20 years because she was barren.

We start to learn some Jewish code of law from the Shulchan Aruch (the “set table”), written by Joseph Caro (1488-1575). the Shulchan Aruch is divided into four sections: Orah Hayim (laws relating to prayer, Shabbat and holiday observance, and other rituals of everyday life), Yoreh De’ah (laws of kashrut, tzedakah, conversion, and other ritual matters), Even ha’Ezer (laws relating to women and marriage), and Hoshen Mishpat (civil law, including sections on lending money, renting and buying homes, and worker-employer relations).

Within each of these four sections, laws on similar subjects are grouped together. Each section is divided into simanim (paragraphs), and those are further divided into se’ifim (sub-sections).

Today we briefly discuss the halachas of Modei Ani and Al Netilat Yadaiyim. For more information, please go to

Todays learning is dedicated ilui neshama for Kate Goodman/Kayla bat Shmuel (Jennifer Goodman's Grandmother). We also dedicate this class to our dear GEM sister Jennifer, upon her receiving an award for her 25 years of honorable federal service. May her dedication, commitment, loyalty & growth take her higher and higher as she follows in the footsteps of her beloved grandmother. We are all schlepping nachas & wish Jennifer continued success in everything she does!

Raize Guttman 06-07-20 (15 Sivan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 25 Verses 7 - 18

Avraham passes away at a ripe old age. Rashi says when Avraham was 100 he was like 70 and when he was 70 he was like a 5-year-old without sin. He was a perfect tzadik tomim. He had 10 tests. He went through so much and he withstood all of those tests.

Avraham is zoche to be buried next to his wife Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah. Yitzak and Yishmael come to bury him and Avraham’s life ends with this beautiful blessing. Hashem blesses Yitzchak and Yishmael did Tehshuvah. Avraham's life was one long Kiddush Hashem and he died with a happy heart.

Today we complete our study of Parsha Chayei Sarah. Chazak chazak v'nitchazek!

We dedicate our entire learning of Parsha Chayei Sarah to Raize's grandfather Avraham Yosef Shmuel Alter ben Tuvia. May his neshma have an aliyah.

May 31, 2020

Raize Guttman 05-31-20 (08 Sivan 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah
Chapter 24 - Verse 67 and Chapter 25 Verses 1 - 6.

From Ch 24, V. 67 we learn the Torah philosophy about love. First comes the commitment and then next comes the love. In a marriage the foundation has to be trust. Build a bayis filled with trust & emunah. When a person is considering marriage, even when he is not so in love, but look up to and admire the other person, and you are ready to make that commitment, then the feelings will come later.

Rashi says when Yitzhak brought Rivka into the tent of his mother, Sarah, she became Sarah his mother. This means, all the blessings that Sarah had returned to the tent. This verse is the source of the three key mitzvot that are meant to be the specific responsibility of Jewish women.

Family Purity: As long as Sarah lived, a [Divine] cloud hung over her tent; when she died, that cloud disappeared; but when Rivka came, it returned. This is reference to family purity, which is the euphemism used for the laws pertaining to marital relations. One of the primary concepts of family purity is that such matters should remain private (clouded).

Challah: As long as Sarah lived, there was a blessing on her dough (understood to mean that the dough stayed fresh all week). The mitzvah of “taking challah” (separating a part of the dough as sacred) is a woman’s mitzvah.

Candle Lighting: “...and the lamp used to burn from Erev Shabbat until the evening of the following Shabbat."

Chapter 25 Verses 1 - 6

Avraham takes Keturah as his wife at age 140. Keturah is Hagar. Just as Hashem told Avraham to send away Hagar, he told him again to marry her, as she did teshuva. Ketura had 6 more sons upon this remarriage, but all Avrahams possessions went to Yitzhak.

May 24, 2020

May 23, 2020

Raize Guttman 05-17-20 (23 Iyyar 5780)

Sefirat HaOmer - Yesod & Malchut

Yesod is truly understand what we are living for and what is the foundation of everything. And that it is making a kiddush Hashem with all our actions, especially in the private areas of our lives.
Malchut is truly internalizing all these ideas of the middos. Yearning for Hashem and to be close to Him. Malcut is living with Hashem and being his ambassadors in this world.

May 10, 2020

Raize Guttman 05-10-20 (16 Iyyar 5780)

Sefirat HaOmer - Hod

Hod is translated as splendor. To say something has a splendor, it means it has a special shine and beauty within. ie: When you look at a great tzadik, you will notice his face is shining. Other translations of Hod are to admit (to say the truth), and to thank (as an expression of gratitude). As Raize explained in the past, all the sephirot are built on the last. ie: the way chesed functions properly is through gevurah.

Hod is the framework for the middos of netzach,(we spoke about this middos last week). Hod is the way netzah (eternity) thrives, and the way to connect to your eternity is via your neshama. Every moment the neshama is inside of me, we should say "thank you Hashem, you are my G-D and G-D of my forefathers. I admit that you are the master of all souls, and in control of all deeds."

Hod is the deep appreciation for everything we have knowing that Hashem is its source. Our neshama is that great piece of eternity that is hidden inside of each of us!

May 3, 2020

Raize Guttman 05-03-20 (09 Iyyar 5780)

Sefirat HaOmer - Netzach

Raize continues our discussion.

Apr 26, 2020

Raize Guttman 04-26-20 (02 Iyyar 5780)

Sefirat HaOmer - Gevurah, Tiferet

Raize continues our discussion of Sefirat haOmer, focussing on Gevurah and Tiferet.

Today's learning is dedicated to the refuah shlemah for our beloved Rebbetzin Dinah Weinberg bas Esther

Apr 20, 2020

Raize Guttman 04-19-20 (25 Nisan 5780)

Sefirat HaOmer - Chesed

Raize gives a brief overview of Sefirat haOmer, and then discusses the middos of Chesed in detail.

Raize Guttman 04-12-20 (18 Nisan 5780)

No class due to observance of Pesach

Apr 5, 2020

Raize Guttman 04-05-20 (11 Nisan 5780)

Erev Pesach

In every generation we are required to see ourselves going out of Egypt. We can do this, because it is said that we were all there, we are gilgulim (reincarnations) of the people that were there. The Rabbinum say, all the souls that would ever be were there.

The 15th day of Nissan is a great propitious day for spiritual elevation and potential for redemption. The plan, the ability, the energy brought about the redemption from Mitzrayim.

This year we are experiencing a different kind of Pesach. At every home and at every Seder a person will have to put themselves individually out. Some people are totally alone. This Pesach, B'H, we will put all of our minds and hearts in all the right places. We are relinquishing control & strengthening our emunah. Hashem, if this is what you gave me than this is what I need. Let me accept and know you are the boss and you are in charge and it is for my good. Everyone will see himself as an individual and will be able to focus on his own Mitzrayim that he is in.

Raize speaks about the 3 parts of Pesach ( Erev Pesach, The Seder, the rest of the days of Pesach) and what we can do to personally prepare for each.

Apr 4, 2020

Raize Guttman 03-29-20 (04 Nisan 5780)

Insights on Pesach & Coronavirus

This world has been living for materialism, food, entertainment - physicality. People spend most of their lives distracted from their own spiritual growth. Now Hashem is giving us this tremendous message of Coronavirus, so we have time. We can clean for Pesach and really take time for growth and go from slavery to freedom. In this shiur, Raize suggests practical ideas of what we can do to support our own spiritual growth, our relationship with our nearest and dearest, and our relationship with Hashem.

Mar 22, 2020

Raize Guttman 03-22-20 (26 Adar 5780)

Insights on Exile & Coronavirus

Raize speaks about the 4 exiles since the Jewish people left Egypt. Babylon (423 BCE - 372 BCE), Persia/Media (372 BCE – 348 BCE), Greece (371 BCE - 140 BCE), Rome (69 CE - Present).

People are now all in isolation in their personal exiles. We should take this time and transfer our homes into mini sanctuaries filled with love, and the for the holy to dwell. And from there may we do our own introspection. Hisbodedus. How can I look at the world? How can I change myself? Let us feel in the most revealed way, that Hashem is here with us.

May be that light unto the nations and inspire the world for the better, may we merit that Hashem will take us out of this final galut and redeem us and gather us from the four corners of the earth to the Land of Israel, Amen!

This shiur is dedicated to for the refuah shlemah for Rebbetzin Dinah bas Esther and our GEM sister Devorah Miriam bas Sarah.

Mar 15, 2020

Raize Guttman 03-15-20 (19 Adar 5780)

Observations about Coronavirus from Torah perspective

Raize offers a Jewish perspective on the global pandemic. Besides presenting context and perspective, Raize also gives comfort, as only she can do!

Our learning today is for an alyias neshamah for Zlata Rivka bat Chaya Ruchel (cousin of Janet Hankin),and for Richa Ruchel bas Avraham Shlomo (Grandmother of Raize). As we are in these very uncertain and scary times with the Coronavirus, may Hashem give chizuk and health worldwide!

Mar 4, 2020

Raize Guttman 03-01-20 (05 Adar 5780)

Shabbos Zachor (the Sabbath of remembrance), is next Shabbat, which is the Shabbat immediately proceeding Purim. Our weekly Torah reading is supplemented with the Zachor ("Remember!") reading in which we are commanded to remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth. This is our once a year opportunity to get rid of the evil in our lives. The Nesivos Shalom says this is one of the holiest Shabbos of the year.

In today's shiur, Raize discusses why is it so important to read the Masechet Amalek (eradicating Amalek) and why we dedicate an entire Shabbos to it.

Our learning today is dedicated to Moshe Rabbeinu as his yahrzeit is observed on 7 Adar. Moshe, the greatest teacher to our people. Moshe Rabbeinu who continues to serve on high on behalf of us as he did during his lifetime on earth. There is no nobler enterprise than teaching others, and so we also acknowledge our very own beloved teacher in this world, Raize Guttman, who celebrates her birthday this week. Ad Meah V'esrim!!

Feb 23, 2020

Raize Guttman 02-23-20 (28 Sh'vat 5780)

Rosh Chodesh Adar and Parshat Terumah

Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B’simcha – When Adar begins, we increase in joy.

Purim celebrates our survival as Jews. However, that can’t be the only reason why the month of Adar is so joyous. We say in every generation our enemies rise up to destroy us. If it is not Haman, then it is Pharaoh, if not Pharaoh, then Hitler, if not him then its Antiochus. In every generation, evil is trying to destroy us and, in every generation, Hashem saves us. What is unique about this month is that we get rid of Amalek (which is the force of all evil in the world, and all evil in our lives). Amalek is that which pulls us down and away from achieving connection to Hashem and perfection of the world.

Feb 16, 2020

Aliza Taub 02-16-20 (21 Sh'vat 5780)

Aliza gives over a personal story of emunah and hashgacha pratit.

Feb 2, 2020

Raize Guttman 02-02-20 (07 Sh'vat 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verse 65

Eliezer tells Rivka that the man she sees in the field is Yitzhak (her betrothed), she then instinctually covers herself with a veil. In this verse, the Torah is teaching us the way of tzniut (modesty). Raize speaks about the 2 reasons WHY we cover something up (shame or value), and then talks about the 4 places in the Gemara/Talmud that say how beautiful modesty is. The beauty of modesty is referenced when speaking about the Tabernacle, a Torah Scholar, the Kohanim and with Women.

Sadly the word tzniut can get such a bad wrap. Sometimes just hearing the word, can turn people off. So many times we have to call it by other names ie: "the Dignity of a Jewish woman", or "the holiness of a Jewish woman" just so we can talk about it. But, Ladies, understand tzniut comes from how truly precious and special we really are. When we remember shame originated (in Adam & Chava), and how our bodies can work against us, we can better understand that we have to be careful. We need to cover ourselves properly so we deemphasize our physical bodies to emphasize the internal spiritual.

Our learning today is dedicated to Raize's son Ari and his kallah Elky who will celebrate their wedding tomorrow. May Hashem bless them with a wonderful, and long life together.

We also dedicate our learning to Liluy Nishmas precious Grandmother, Chaya bas Yaakov Yehudah (Andrea's Grandmother) who's Yahrzeit was on 6 Sh'vat. May her neshama have an aliyah.

Jan 26, 2020

Raize Guttman 01-26-20 (29 Tevet 5780)

Monday is Rosh Chodesh Shevat, so today in our class we give over some Hashem Loves Me stories.

*With apologies, please note that today we experienced some technical difficulties in connecting to and recording our class.

Jan 19, 2020

Raize Guttman 01-19-20 (22 Tevet 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 61-64

This week in our Parsha we see Rivka, her maidens and her entourage traveling from her homeland to Canaan. As she is passing on the road, she saw Yitzchak for the first time (davening in the field). “Rivka fell from the camel” (vatipol me-al hagamal) from seeing him for the first time. Raize addresses the question of what the Torah means when it speaks of Rivka “falling".

Also, the Torah mentions when Yitzhak lifted up his eyes, he only saw camels were coming. The Torah does not mention that he saw Rivka, his new wife and her entourage. Yitzhak was such a tzadik that he chose where to put his eyes, and chose what to see.

Jan 12, 2020

Raize Guttman 01-12-20 (15 Tevet 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 58-60

Laban (Rivka's brother) seemingly blesses Rivka by saying you should become this great nation and may your offspring inherit the gates of your enemies. Meaning, your offspring should be very successful, they should be on the upper hand, rather than the lower side.

However, these famous words said by Laban were not a blessing. Rashi says Laban was trying give Rivka a curse. When a person checks out a girl for marriage, you are supposed to check out the brothers of the girl. Often times, the children will turn out like her brothers. So in essence, he was actually cursing her. He is saying, so should you children be wicked like me!

Jan 5, 2020

Raize Guttman 01-05-20 (08 Tevet 5780)

Parsha Chayei Sarah - Chapter 24 - Verses 52-57

Eliezer falls to the ground to prostrate himself. And now he wants to go home to his master.

Rashi tells us from here we learn out when you hear good news, you have to thank Hashem. How often do things fly right over our heads? We give the gratitude we feel a quarter a second of thought and we are onto the next thing. We don’t truly take the time to thank Hashem. Thankfulness and gratitude is the way of life for a Jew.

Rivka withstood all of the illicit behavior that happened in her home growing up. From this we learn that the actions of our matriarchs and patriarchs in Torah are a sign for all our years in exile. Hashem knew that the Jewish people would go into exile and that the Jewish people would be exposed to such shmutz and filth and he gave our matriarch’s and patriarch’s special powers that they would be able to pass down to us.

They asked Rivka if she wanted to go and get married. We learn from this that before you marry a girl off, you have to ask her opinion. Even in the most Chassidish shidduchim you must ask the girl.