Nov 20, 2022

Raize Guttman 11-20-22 (26 Mar Cheshvan 5783)

Parshat Vayishlach Ch 32 - V 26-29

Yaakov wrestled with  the angel all night, which is amazing as he is human fighting a spiritual being.  The Angel saw “that he was unable to defeat him”. He saw that Yaakov Avinu was so strong and so perfect that he could not affect him, but he could dislocate his hip.

In the morning, it seems the Angel is nervous and says,  "Let me go, for dawn is breaking".  Raize gives over that he was nervous, and had to go, because he had to sing for Hashem.

How did Yaakov get hurt when he was the victor?  Raize gives over 3 possible answers.  

The Angel changes Yaakov's name to Yisroel, which is derived from the word that means struggle and stand up and fight,

L'vado, Hebrew word in Torah that describes the sense of being alone.  Yaakov’s state of being alone was that he was totally independent in his own Divine Service and did not need any support from others, and in this way, he resembled Hashem who is totally independent & alone in every way. 

May we be zoche, to emulate Yaakov Avinu, in becoming ‘alone’, independent of others and  spiritually strong individuals.

Nov 13, 2022

Raize Guttman 11-13-22 (19 Mar Cheshvan 5783)

Parshat Vayishlach Ch 32 - V 24 - 26

Today we came to the line וַיִּוָּתֵ֥ר יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב לְבַדּ֑וֹ וַיֵּֽאָבֵ֥ק אִישׁ֙ עִמּ֔וֹ עַ֖ד עֲל֥וֹת הַשָּֽׁחַ   And Yaakov was alone!!!   It is such a powerful  transition in his story.  Yaakov is very occupied preparing for and then visiting Esav,  all the emotion and work that went into making this a success.  And then he crosses the Jabbok ford with his family and possessions when suddenly Torah says something that seems to be a break in the trajectory of this story,  it says " Yaakov was alone"!  ...and "a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn".       So much to learn over here about our own "aloneness".   What happens when we are alone, and the yetzer hara comes immediately to  wrestle with us?  When we don't see it coming, where do we go for our source of power?   What a powerful lesson from our Avos Yaakov.  He  wrestled (in the night) until the dawn (break of light).   Yaakov's story strengthens us and infuses within us a constant strength that no matter what, Hashem is our power! That no matter who, where or when we are weakened or attacked, that our source to overcome & persevere is Hashem and that BH!, the sun will always shine for us, Klal Yisroel. 

Raize also speaks about Chapter 4:1 of Pirkei Avos.  “Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from every person ... Who is strong? He who subdues his inclination ... Who is rich? He who is content with his lot ... Who is honored? He who honors others.” 

Our learning today is for the refuah shlema of Tzivia bas Chana.  And for the  iluy neshama of Zelda bas Aryeh Leib. 

Nov 9, 2022

Raize Guttman 11-06-22 (12 Mar Cheshvan 5783)

Parshat Vayishlach Ch 32 - V 23

A woman has the power to influence her husband and the environment around her. What is this power?  A woman can turn a righteous  man wicked and a wicked man righteous.  Women have binah yiserah. "Smart women build their homes".  This chochma (wisdom) is a different kind than men, they have binah, which is from boneh (to build).  She can build people up.  A woman has an intuition.  Hashem is in her voice.  

Raize Guttman 10-30-22 (05 Cheshvan 5783)

Parshat Vayishlach Ch 32 - V 18 -22

Yaakov had sent the present to Esav with a space between each flock and he and his family came up in the rear with his 11 children,.  Rashi asks what about Dinah and it makes no mention of her.  Yaakov put Dinah in a box, because he was afraid that if Esav put his eyes on Dinah, he would take her as a wife. Yaakov was punished for this, because had she married Esav, she could have turned him around and turned him into a tzadik.  This shows us the power of a woman.  She could have changed the face of history.

Raize Guttman 10-23-22 (28 Tishrei 5783)

Parshat Vayishlach Ch 32 - V 15-17

Welcome back from our beautiful Yontif.
Chodesh Mar Cheshvan Class.

We return to our study of Parsha Vayishlach.  We discussed that Yaakov is preparing to meet his brother, Esav.  He did this 3 ways,  The first is with tefelah. He davened and asked Hashem for heavenly assistance, which is a prerequisite for any situation.  Next he prepared war strategies.  He split his family into 2 camps and gave every member of his family a weapon to keep under their clothing.

Now we are up to the part where Yaakov is preparing to give a present to his brother, to get on his good side and make him feel good.  Today we talk about the gift and what he hoped to accomplish.  Yaakov teaches us that you have  to stop and reflect and choose to see the good in things.  We don't choose our circumstances in life, all we can choose is how we decide to see things.  Our reactions are the only thing in our control! Hinei tov meod (everything is for the good).

Raize Guttman 10-16-22 (21 Tishrei 5783)

 No Class due to observation of Sukkot.

Raize Guttman 10-09-22 (14 Tishrei 5783)

 No class due to observation of Sukkot.