Dec 12, 2021

Dec 5, 2021

Raize Guttman 12-05-21 (01 Tevet 5782)

Zos Chanukah
Rosh Chodesh  Tevet

Nov 20, 2021

Raize Guttman 11-21-21 (17 Kislev 5782)

Parsha Vayetzei – Chapter 30 – Verse 1 - 2


Raize Guttman 11-14-21 (10 Kislev 5782)

Parsha Vayetzei – Chapter 30 – Verse 1

In this verse it says that Rachel was jealous of Leah, but how could the righteous Rachel be jealous?  Rashi says clearly, she was jealous of her good deeds.  Rachels said to herself it is only because Leah is more righteous of me, that I am not worthy of children.  I am not on such a high level; therefore, I don’t have any children.

Raize Guttman 11-07-21 (03 Kislev 5782)

Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 - Verse 35

Leah stopped having children, because she stopped asking Hashem for more.  She stopped asking, so she stopped getting.  This is a tremendous lesson for  us when it comes to prayer.  Life is  made  up of asking and thanking.  We should not do one without the other.  We are called thankful people, Yehudim, because we thank.

Our shiur  today is dedicated to our Jennifer Goodman in celebration of her birthday!

Nov 6, 2021

Raize Guttman 10-31-21 (25 Cheshvan 5782)

Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 - Verse 32 - 34

Leah does a chesbon (an accounting)She knew that there would be 12 tribes/ 12 sons.  She  knew that Yaakov would  have 4 wives & they would have 3 sons each.   However,  Leah did conceive 5 sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi,  Issachar, and Zebulun. Then she had a 6th son and then stopped. The Angel Gabriel took him up to Hashem and He named him Yehuda. In giving birth to Yehuda she got more than her share. She was overcome with gratitude.  Jews are called Yehudim because our essence is to thank.  Life is a gift and whatever we get it a gift.

Raize Guttman 10-24-21 (18 Cheshvan 5782)

Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 - Verse 26-31 

Yaakov asks Lavan why he tricked him? He answers that he did not trick him, it is the custom in his town. he does not give responsibility. There is not righteous person in the world, we all sin. But there are two things we can do after we sin. We can take responsibility and say you made a mistake. Or you can say it is not my fault, I did nothing wrong, and that is it. 

Rachel waited 7 full years for Yaakov and then realized Lavan made problems and gave him Leah. She thought Leah is going to be so humiliated, and she gave away her husband and did this tremendous act of tzedakah. Her act was  so beyond nature, so Hashem changed nature for her. She was barren but he made it possible for her to have children. 

A Yid is never stuck to the rules of this world. If we go out of our nature, Hashem will go out of his nature.


Oct 23, 2021

Raize Guttman 10-17-21 (11 Cheshvan 5782)

 Rachel Imenu's Yahrzeit shiur

Raize Guttman 10-10-21 (04 Cheshvan 5782)

 Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 - Verse 14-17

Raize Guttman 10-03-21 (27 Tishrei 5782)

 Info TBD

Raize Guttman 09-26-21 (20 Tishrei 5782)

 No Class due to Hoshanah Rabah observance

Raize Guttman 09-19-21 (13 Tishrei 5782)

The 3 keys to Happiness


Sep 12, 2021

09-12-21 (06 Tishrei 5782)

Aseret Yemay Teshuvah  (10 days of Repentance)

This is a special time to do teshuvah and Hashem helps us and comes toward us.
But as the expression goes, if you have diamonds and they ae on the floor, you have to bend down and pick them up!  Teshuvah is in the air this week, we should feel on a high - the HIGH holidays!

Teshuvah is one of the 613 mitzvot.  Teshuvah means "to return". The way to truly return is to nullify yourself.  Negate the fake you and understand who the real you is.  There is an ego in me and a soul in me.   I can really be me if I attach myself to Hashem.

09-05-21 (03 Tishrei 5782)

No class due to observance of Rosh Hashanah. 

Aug 24, 2021

Raize Guttman 08-22-21 (14 Elul 5781)

Vayeizei Chapter 29, Verse 12 - 13

In our verse, Yaakov tells Rachel that he is her fathers brother.  Raize discusses what this means.  

She then gives over a deep and meaningful lesson about Teshuvah, Tefillah, and  Tzedakah.    These 3 things that can abolish an evil decree.  

When you wage war against the enemy remember these 4 things.
  1. Ask Hashem for Help!
  2. Take Baby Steps
  3. Be consistent
  4. Do everything b'simcha
**This is a lecture is so valuable, we should listen to it, take it in and remember it's words time and again.

Raize Guttman 08-15-21 (07 Elul 5781)

Vayeitzei Chapter 29 , Verse 11

This is one of the most talked about verses in Torah.  It is where Yaakov sees Rachel and he gives her a kiss and then starts crying.  Raize's gives over fascinating lessons behind this.

Aug 10, 2021

Raize Guttman 08-08-21 (30 Av 5781)

Rosh Chodesh Elul
Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 - Verse 10

Yaakov flipped the stone off the well.  He had so much strength.  When the Torah comments on a physical attribute it is to show us that their physical matched their spiritual attribute.  Because Yaakov was strong, he gave us the ability to overcome. 

Elul is the preparation for the entire year.  To show Hashem who we are and can really be.   If we want to make any kind of change, or make growth, make Hashem’s will your will.  If this is what Hashem wants for me, then this is what I want.  Complaining is the opposite of acceptance.  

Raize Guttman 08-01-21 (23 Av 5781)

Parsha Vayeitzei Chapter 29 – Verse 1 - 9

Yaakov came to the well, and behold Rachel came with the sheep.Hashem made the shidduch between them. The Zohar says this is the source in the Torah that Hashem is the one who brings people together and he creates the circumstances of how a shidduch actually takes place. 

Our learning today is in the merit of Miri Guttman (Raize's daughter) and her chossen on the celebration of their wedding!!  Mazal Tov!!

Raize Guttman 07-25-21 (16 Av 5781)

2nd  half of the month of Av
Mitzvah of Challah

The first part of Av is Menachem Av where we are comforting our father.And now, the roles reverse and Hashem is comforting us. We kick off the  2nd part of the month of Av with Shabbos Nachamu, the Shabbos after Tisha B’av. We read in the Haftorah this past Shabbos where it says, "be comforted, be comforted my nation."  In the Midrash it says that when Jeremiah came to the Jewish people, and said "be comforted my nation", & they all wanted to stone him.  They were so angry.  They said, we are still in gulus, and don’t have a holy Temple.

Jeremiah continued, it is not me that is comforting you, it is coming from your GD!  Hashem said, you are comforted because you are my nation, even during the tragedies and what you have to go through.  I will always be there for you.  You are not alone in all your pain.  You are mine, you belong to me.

Jul 18, 2021

Raize Guttman 07-18-21 (09 Av 5781)

 Tisha B'Av - Fast Day

The Jewish story is one continuous story that never gets interrupted.  Every generation adds it unique Sefer to a continuous book.  What is our role in continuing and enhancing that story, and bringing that powerful story to completion with geulah shaleimah.

Jews never believe that there is a breakdown, where there is not also an invitation for a new birth.  One door closes and another opens.

Raize Guttman 07-11-21 (02 Av 5781)

Rosh Chodesh Av
The Nine Days

When we enter the month of Av, we decrease our joy.  We never lose it, we open ourselves up to our compassion.  We have to connect to Hashem through our sadness we are feeling.   We don't view our history as a past, we live the same event today.

Our learning today is dedicated to Yisroel Nisson Sofer ben Moshe Noach zt'l (Judi Kirk's beloved zayde who's Yahrzeit is today).  May his neshama have an aliyah.

Raize Guttman 07-04-21 (24 Tamuz 5781)

Jun 28, 2021

Raize Guttman 06-27-21 (17 Tamuz 5781)

The fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples. The fast actually  five tragic events that occurred on this date. It is observed as a "minor fast day", with eating and drinking forbidden from dawn until sundown. 

Jun 20, 2021

Raize Guttman 06-20-21 (10 Tamuz 5781)

 Parsha Vayeitzei - Chapter 29 - Verses 1-5

Yaakov wakes up from his dream, his legs carry him away,  We learn when someone hears good news, it lifts his heart so much to the point that his heart carries his legs.

Yaakov comes across some men, and he calls these strangers his brothers.  We learn from this that when a person speaks to another person he should always try to speak with words of love and friendship.  A good words makes such a difference.

Our words are not meaningless. Words have power, that we don't see.  Death and life are in the hands of the tongue.  A good word can turn someone's life around.

Raize Guttman 06-13-21 (03 Tamuz 5781)

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verses 18-22

Yaakov had this amazing inspirational dream and he does 3 things
1) He makes a chafetz (a tangible object), something he can come back to. He takes a stone and makes it into a matzeivah (an altar, a monument). Later we will see that he does return to this place with his wives because he wants to feel that extra special feeling with Hashem.
2) He asks Hashem to keep him from sin and not to fall into the trap of materialism.  He asks Hashem to give him the basic necessities of life.
3) He makes a vow that he is going to give miser (tithe).  Whatever Hashem gives him, he is going to give back.  he wants to give, not take.  That way he will always be connected to Hashem and feel grateful.  And then he gives the place a name, and that makes it special for himself.  He names it Beth El - the house of Hashem.

Jun 7, 2021

Raize Guttman 06-06-21 (26 Sivan 5781)

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verse  17

Yaakov woke up and he was afraid.  He said, "how awesome is this place!"  This is the house of Hashem.  This is he holiest place in the world.  This is the gate to heaven.  Rashi explain that this Beis Hamikdash is parallel to the Beis Hamikdash in heaven.  On top of where this place stood is the spot where the future Beis Hashmikdash will be rebuilt.  They are parallel.  This is the gate to heaven and all of our prayers, from all over the world ascend to heaven through this gateway.  (At the Kotel, the prayers to straight upward.)

In the future, the 3rd Temple will come down from heaven whole.  It will be built with our tears, and our mitzvot.  We will hear the shofar blow and it will descend with fire right in this place.

Raize speaks about  her journey in Yiddisheit.

Raize Guttman 05-30-21 (19 Sivan 5781)

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verse 16

We had the incident of Yaakov who laid down on the holiest place in the world, the future land of the Beis Hamikdash.  He had a dream about a ladder, whose feet were on the ground, and whose top reached the heavens.  And of course it meant that Hashem was giving Yaakov prophecy.  In the last class we spoke about how Hashem appeared to him and promised him some very important things - he would have children like he dust of the earth, the land of Israel would belong ot him and to his children (not to Esav's children), Hashem promised is he going to protect him with a special protection of divine providence for his children B'nai Yaakov.  

After this dream he wakes up.  The symbol of the ladder, represents the journey of man.  The holiest place of spiritual growth is not at the beginning when you get all inspired, or at the end.  Hashem wants us to strive.  That is the goal.  The goal of spiritual life is the striving itself and not giving up.  Climbing the ladder, rung by rung.

We get reward for the work, not for the finished product!  Even if you fall, you reach a much higher level for all of teh work you put in before the fall.  No spiritual growth is worthless, we are in a different place every second.  We want to have a life of struggles and growth, and serving Hashem to the best of our ability.  That is what is beloved to Hashem.

May 29, 2021

Raize Guttman 05-23-21 (12 Sivan 5781)

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verse  13 - 15

Yaakov wakes up from his dream and he feels the presence of Hashem above him. Hashem tells him that he will give the land to him as an inheritance and I will protect you and always be with you. The special shmera (protection) of Hashgacha Pratis (divine supervision).

We Jews are the source of all blessing in the world. We should remember this comes from the kedusha (holiness) of Aharon, which came from his beautiful middos of having an ayin tova (see the good), bring people close. We ourselves can bring ourselves to the level of Kohanim if we work on this middos of ayin tova. Birchas Kohanim - we really say every morning in our blessings and it is also part of night time Shema. It is a beautiful blessing. 3 parts - material, spiritual and material and spiritual. 


Raize Guttman 05-16-21 (5 Sivan 5781)

No class due to Shavuot

May 6, 2021

Raize Guttman 05-02-21 (20 Iyar 5781)

L'ag B'Omer  -  (the 33rd day of the Omer) 

According to tradition, the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's students ceased on this day.  A completely different reason for the holiday concerns one of Rabbi Akiva’s later students, Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai. Rashbi's (acronym for his name) yom hilula (or Yahrzeit) is on this day.  Rashbi is responsible for the authorship of the Zohar, the chief work of the Kabbalah, which reveals the deep, mystical, inner  dimensions of Torah and Judaism.

L'ag  B'Omer is traditionally celebrated by lighting bon fires, and by thousands of Jews joining together in Meron, Israel at Rashbi's kever (tomb).  This year, Lag B'Omer 5781, 45 participants were crushed to death, and over 150 hurt at the Lag B’Omer event in Meron.

Klal Yisroel is mourning,  and  we are left with so many questions, yet, we are taught that a Yid does not ask "why did this happen"?  A Yid asks "for what did this happen"?  "For what did this happen"?  That is a message we must dig deeply now to  ask ourselves.

We at GEM Teletorah dedicate our learning today to those who lost their lives, may their neshamot have the highest aliyah.  May those who are injured have a refuah shlemah, and our deepest, heart felt concern and love goes out to the families and loved ones who have personally been affected by this tragedy.

Here is an alphabetical list of the 45 victims of the tragedy:
Ariel Ahdut, Rabbi Yisrael Alnakvah,  Avrohom Daniel Ambon, Rabbi Moshe Bergman, Rabbi Yonoson Chevroni Yedidyia Chiyuis, Eliahu Cohen, Simcha Bunim Diskind, Chen Doron,  Moshe Mordechai Elchad-Sharf, Yosef Dovid Elchad-Sharf, Yehoshua Englander Moshe Natan Englander Tzadik Mordcha Yoel ben Avrum Yakovm Mordechai Fekete, Yedida Asher Fogel, Elazar Gefner, Rabbi Shragi Gestetner, Rabbi Eliezar Mordechai Goldberg, Rabbi Yosef Greenbaum, Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi Joseph, Nachman Kirshbaum, Rabbi Shmuel Zvi Klagsbald, Menachem Knoblowitz, Yossi Kohn, Elazar Yitzchok Koltai, Rabbi David Krause,  Shlomo Zalman Leibowitz, Yosef Yehuda Levi, Moshe Levy, Yosef Mastorov, Rabbi Shimon Matlon, Yishai Me’ulam, Daniel (Donny) Morris, Chaim Rock, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Rubin, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Seller, Moshe Ben Shalom, Elkana Shila, Rabbi Chanoch Solod,  Dov Steinmetz, Yaakov Elchanan Strakovsky, Yosef Amram Tauber, Rabbi Ariel Tzadik, Rabbi Moshe Tzarfati, Rabbi Menachem Asher Zeckbach. 

Apr 25, 2021

Raize Guttman 04-25-21 (13 Iyar 5781)

Rabbi Akiva - During this time, 24,000 scholars passed away.  It is a time of mourning. They were not treating each other with proper respect. This comes with very important message and lesson about what holiness is what being Jewish means what, living a life of Torah is all about.  It's very much about the mitzvahs between man and his fellow man. If people do "everything" and they follow all the laws between man and Hashem, but they don't know how to treat another human being,  they kind of miss the point. 

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verse 12

Here Yaakov has a dream where he sees a ladder reaching to heaven upon which angels are ascending and descending. 

Sephirat haOmer - Hod

La'ag B'omer - Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai passed away.  He taught us all the deep hidden mysteries of Torah.  We light bon fires on his yahrzeit because he brought so much light into this world.  It is hod sheb'hod.  something deep, hidden and beautiful.  Our job this week is appreciation and recognize the good in everybody.

Pesach Sheini

Raize Guttman 04-18-21 (06 Iyar 5781)

Parshat Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verses 10 -11 

Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and went to Haran. Yaakov left Be’er Sheva because he was running from his brother Esav. Esav was seething bc Yaakov took away his birthright. And he arrived at the Makom (the place), and remained there all night, because the sun had set; and he took of the stones of the place, and put them beneath his head, and lay down in that place. 

Sephirat haOmer Chesed Gevuruah Tiferet Netzach


Apr 15, 2021

Raize Guttman 04-11-21 (30 Nissan 5781)

Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar
Sefirat ha Omer
Parsha Vayeitzei - Chapter 28 - Verse 10

Yaakov leaves Be'er Sheva and goes to Haran.  Rashi asks, why can't it just say that Yaakov went to Haran, why does the Torah say that he left Be'er Sheva.  He comments, that when you leave a place, it leaves an impression on you.

Apr 10, 2021

04-04-21 (23 Nissan 5781)

No class due to Chag Pesach.

03-28-21 (16 Nissan 5781)

No class due to Chag Pesach.

Feb 7, 2021

Raize Guttman 02-07-21 (25 Sh'vat 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 28 - Verses 5 - 9


 Todays learning is in the memory of Yaakov ben Benyamin Lazer zt"l (brother of Pearl and Mitzi) and Leah bas Yisroel Nisson Sofer zt"l (mother of Judi Kirk). May their neshamas have an aliyah. Also our learning is for the refuah shlema of Chaya Bracha bas Yehudit Nechama, Beninish Getzel ben Sarah Leah (Nephew of Judi Kirk), and Yehudit Pearl bas Miriam Leah (our dear Gem sister Judi who is having surgery this Friday).

Jan 31, 2021

Raize Guttman 01-31-21 (18 Sh'vat 5781)

 Parshat Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 45-46,    Chapter 28 - Verses 1-4

Rivka saw with Ruach ha Kodesh (divine inspiration) that both of her sons would be buried on the same day.   We see  one of the rare occasions in Torah where Rivka goes to her husband  Yitzhak and says she is disgusted with  her life.  She is talking about the wives of Esav who  have caused her much pain, and she does not  want her son Yaakov to marry one of these Canaanite women.  Yitzhak calls in Yaakov and gives him all the  blessings of Avraham and then tells him  to "marry a woman like his mother", a woman from the house of Bethuel.

Today's learning is in the merit of Rav Meshulan Dovid  Soleveitchik zt"l,  Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner zt"l, and Rabbi Dr. A. J. Twerski zt"l, who sadly were all petira this past week from Covid-19 in Eretz Yisroel.  May their neshamas have an aliyah.  Also, for the refuah shlemah of Tenokes bas Yehudit Nechama, and Beinish Getzel ben Sura Leah.  May we only share good news!

Raize Guttman 01-24-21 (11 Sh'vat 5781)

 Tu B'Shvat shiur - New Year for the Trees

Jan 17, 2021

Raize Guttman 01-17-21 (04 Shvat 5781)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 27 - Verses 41-45

Last week we spoke about the blessing that Yitzhak gave Esav, and now we see the ramifications of this blessing.  Esav hated Yaakov, and thought in his heart he would wait until his father dies and then he would kill  his brother.  This is the source/the root of all anti-Semitism in the world from then, until today.   Rashi says Rivka received this message with  ruach ha kodesh (divine prophecy).  She then tells Yaakov  to run to Laban's house "until your brother's anger subsides from YOU". We learn an important lesson here,  what is in your heart is reflected on someone else and how they will feel about you. Rivka is saying go run away and get away, stay there until you are not angry with him anymore. We have such unbelievable power to influence other people, just by how we think about them.   When you think negatively about someone, you can cause them to hate you and when you think positively or give them the benefit of the doubt, so that will come back to you  from them.