Jun 29, 2023
Apr 30, 2023
Apr 25, 2023
Counting the Omer
Today is the 17th day of the Omer. The numerical value of 17 is tov (good). Tiferet shebe Tiferet. The compassion of compassion. This middos means harmony and perfect balance. Middot means measurement and a character trait. The goal is not to be extreme, but to find balance.
We now go from Pesach to Shavuot. It is like a connected Chol Hamoed. These days have the power to grow. These are the 49 days that the Jewish people left Egypt and went from the 49th level of impurity to the 49th level of purity. From the lowest to the highest.
If you focus on the positive, you don't have to be so busy getting focused on the negative.
Mar 26, 2023
Mar 13, 2023
Story of Raize's Grandmother
Mar 10, 2023
Mar 1, 2023
Unfortunately class was not recorded.
Rosh Chodesh Adar
When you enter the month of Adar, you increase your level of joy.
Parsha Vayishlach Ch. 34, V 1
Yaakov Avinu had one trial & tribulation after another. He did not have an easy life. He had story with Lavan, then Esav, now the story with Dinah. His name was changed to Yisrael, because he is a microcosm of the entire Jewish people and what we have gone through, are going through, and will have to go through as long as we are in galut. This is all part of our emunah, we have to trust that Hashem knows what he is doing. What looks "bad" is not "bad". Yes, things may be very painful, hurtful, challenging, but it is not bad, because everything Hashem does is good. We as humans define something we don't like as "bad". We don't understand, but that does not mean it is "bad". It is all part of Hashem's plan and picture.
Yaakov made it to Eretz Canaan, and he settled in Shechem. The governor, Hamor, named his son Shechem. Hamor held a party for a bunch of women. "Dinah went out", and Shechem seized the moment, violated her, and made her impure. We learn a tremendous lesson from this. In tehillim is says, "The honor of the daughter of a King is inside, and that is the way we hold onto our honor." Modesty inside and out.
Feb 5, 2023
Parshat Vayishlach Ch 33 V 18-20
Tu B'shvat is on the 15th (tu) of Shvat. It is the New Year and Yom Din (Day of Judgement) for the trees. As in all other points in the Jewish calendar, Tu B'Shvat offers a opportunity for insight into living and personal growth and getting closer in our relationship to Hashem. On Tu B'Shvat we make a Seder with fruit, and before enjoying it, we recite a bracha (a blessing). An apple is not just an apple; an apple is a blessing. Maybe I could believe that apples come from trees, but a blessing could only come from Hashem. The roots of the tree remind of our tzniut (modesty) as women. They are hidden deep in the earth, and are supporting the entire tree and allowing it to grow and thrive.
Parsha Vayishlach - Yaakov arrives "intact" from Padan Aram to the city of Shechem. Rav Pam from Torah Ha Das, comments he came "intact" because of the Torah that he learned in the Yeshiva of Shem & Ever. Torah was part of him, and this is what gave him the strength to stand up. He did not just learn Torah it was entrenched in his blood; it was him, it was not just a nice story. He internalized and inculcated it. He was Torah and so he remained intact. Chapter 33 ends with Yaakov buying part of field where he had pitched his tent
There is built a mizbeach (an altar). He called it the Gd of Israel, to thank Hashem because he was always with him and created so many miracles for him.
May our clinging to Torah be a shmira (a protection/a guard) for all of us!!
Unfortunately this shiur was not recorded.
Jan 22, 2023
Parshat Vayishlach Ch 33 V 15-16
Jan 15, 2023
Parshat Vayishlach Ch 33 V 12-14
Esav is being very magnanimous says, "let us go and I will travel along side of you." Yaakov replies, "My Master knows, the children are very tender, and all my cattle and sheep depend on me, let my Master pass before me" In other words, "you first".
Important message that we can get along with people but this does not mean that we have to be their best friend, if they are not going to be a good influence on us. Make sure it is good for you and your spirituality. Yaakov knew who Esav was and always who he would be. A nice interaction and that is where it ended. Don't get into sucked into relationships that are not good for us, even if a family member
Parshat Vayishlach Ch 33 V 8 - 11
The meeting between Yaakov and Esav, and the dialogue between the two. Esav says, "I have a lot," while Yaakov says "I have everything." This is the different philosophy between the Jew and the world out there.
Jan 1, 2023
Parshat Vayishlach Ch 33 V 1-7
Yaakov was coming to Esav and he saw his wives and children and he set them up in a specific order. In the back he put Yosef and Rachel. We understand from this that Yaakov loved them so much, that GD forbid something would happen to them.
Rashi says that Yosef said my mother is a beautiful woman, maybe that Rasha is going to put his eyes on her and I am going to stand in front of her and prevent him from looking at her.
Yosef was a small child, how could he block a grown woman? Yosef did what he could and Hashem did the rest. The commentaries say that he actually grew.
Amazing concept, in Judaism reality is supernatural, because we are supernatural. Don't let the yetzer hara tell you that you can't. Don't say I can't, say I will try my best.
No recording of shiur today.
A freilichen Chanukah!