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.