Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tanya Shiur #5 (RBT)

This week's Tanya shiur from Rabbi Bentzion Twerski...


For times and dial-in info, click here.

Minhagim and Halacha: Shema

There are a few matters of note in this week's "Halacha Summary" email from the shul that I would like to mention (in accordance with what the Rebbe, shlit"a, has said on various occasions). The first is regarding the time by which Shema must be recited.

In the email, it says, "According to the Magen Avrohom, the day is reckoned from dawn until nightfall. According to the Vilna Gaon, the day is reckoned from sunrise until sunset. Hence, the deadline for Shema according to the Magen Avrohom is earlier than that of the Vilna Gaon. The custom is to follow the opinion of the Vilna Gaon which gives a later deadline. It is praiseworthy to daven with a minyan that reaches Shema before the deadline of the Magen Avrohom."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Video: Schapira Bris 5772

Once again, thank you to the chevra in Eretz Yisroel for all their efforts in sending in sechoira. Binyamin Klempner just sent over some video from the last week's bris. Yasher Koach and keep 'em coming! (Click "READ MORE" for video.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shabbos Chanukah

בספה"ק אמרי פנחס איתא: "שבת חנוכה הוא תענוג של משיח". והגם שכל שבת היא בחי' מעין עולם הבא, יש בשבת זו מעלה יתירה, וכדאיתא בספה"ק מגן אברהם: "ההתלהבות של זה השבת חנוכה הוא יותר גדולה מהתלהבות של כל השבתות של כל השנה". ובספה"ק מאיר עיני חכמים כתב שאורו של שבת חנוכה הוא דבר חדש לגמרי, וזהו לשוה"ק: כתב האלהי האריז"ל שידליק דוקא של חנוכה קודם ואחר כך נר של שבת ואינו רשאי להדליק של שבת קודם. כי שבת חנוכה מרמז על לעתיד יום שכולו שבת שיתחדש על ידינו כל הנבראים כולם כשנזכה אנחנו להיות מרכבה אליו יתברך שמו להתגלות יחודו ואחדותו יתברך שמו עמנו בכל הנבראים וכל העולמות בסוד חנ"ו כ"ה כמבואר בתיקונים, שהתגלות השבת הזה הוא דבר חדש שלא נתגלה מתחלת הבריאה והכל על ידינו בסוד חנ"ו כ"ה. ולכן דוקא ידליק נר חנוכה תחילה ואחר כך נר שבת שהתגלות השבת הזה הוא על ידי הדלקת נר חנוכה מקודם דוקא". ולכן, ידוע מצדיקים זי"ע (התפארת שלמה ועוד) שיש הרבה נשמות שאינם יכולים להתתקן אפילו על ידי השפעת נר חנוכה, ורק על ידי שניהם יחד, שבת וחנוכה, שהיא חידוש שמעולם לא נתגלה, יהיו ביכולתם להתתקן. 

Minhagim: Shabbos Chanukah

1. Ideally, the custom is to toivel in mikveh and daven Mincha before one kindles the menora.

2. The Rebbe recited the regular order of Tehilim as on all other nights.

3. During the seudos, the pizmon of "Ichlu Mashmanim" is sung.

4. Shalosh Seudos is not rushed in order to end Shabbos and rush to the menora, rather it is lengthened as on every other Shabbos of the year.

5. We make Havdala before lighting the menora. "Hamavdil" is sung as usual after Havdala, before lighting the menora.

The Rebbe's Schedule for Shabbos Mikeitz 5772

The Rebbe, shlit"a, will be "feering" Shabbos in Mishkan Shloima on Techeilas Mordechai in Ganei Geula (Yerushalayim). 
Kabolas Shabbos: 5 pm
Tish: 9 pm
Shacharis: 8:30 am
Mincha & Shalosh Seudos

Pictures: Schapira Bris in Yerushalayim

Thanks to Binyamin Klempner for sending us the following photos of the Rebbe, shlit"a, at the bris of his newest einikel: (Click "READ MORE".)

Chanuka Niggunim

Here are two niggunim for Chanukah from the Rebbe's zeide, Rebbe Bentzion of Bobov, hy"d: 

Mizmor Shir (from the album, Mu Ushiv) DOWNLOAD

Haneiros Hallalu (discovered recently) DOWNLOAD

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tanya Shiur #4 (RBT)

Last night's Tanya shiur from Rav Bentzion Twerski...


For times and dial-in info, click here.

Vach Nacht Story and Maamer

Last night, Reb Shulem Horowitz (Rav Bentzion's son-in-law) made a Vach Nacht and tonight is the Vach Nacht for Reb Shloime Schapira's new yingaleh in Eretz Yisroel. Seeing as how it is inyanei d'yoma, here is a story that the Rebbe Reb Motele used to tell on a Vach Nacht. It is printed in a sefer called Zechus Avos. There it is related that the heiliger Rizhiner used this story to help a woman in a difficult labor and Reb Motele held it as a segulah for the night before the bris. VIEW PDF

And while we're at it, here is a maamer from Reb Motele, said at a Vach Nacht seudah. VIEW PDF

20,000 Pageviews

Earlier today I noticed the blog hit the 20,000 pageview mark (since starting nearly a year ago).

Many thanks to all the subscribers and fans of Doleh Umashkeh (damesek) who turn to the blog as a resource in their avodas Hashem.

Thank you all!

If you know someone who would benefit from any of the content on this blog, please feel free to pass it along to them (with a link to the blog included). Once again, if you haven't done so already, enter your email address in the box on the top right of the blog and new posts will be sent straight to your inbox.

May we all continue to grow b'ruchniyus through the Torah of the Rebbe!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanuka Shiurim from the Rebbe

Here are three shiurim for Chanukah. The first two are from the tape series Experience the Essence of Yom Tov. The entire series can be purchased from the Beth Yehudah website or by calling the office. The third shiur was recorded at the shul in 5766 (2006).

Shiur 1 (Tape #15) DOWNLOAD

Shiur 2 (Tape #23) DOWNLOAD

Shiur 3 (from 5766) DOWNLOAD

Enjoy and have a freilichen, lechtigen Chanukah!

Info for the Schapira Bris

The Bris of the Rebbe's newest einikel will IY"H be this Thursday. Davening Shachris @ 8:00 at the Ganei Geulah Shteiblach, followed by the bris at 9:30. The seudah will follow at the Ulam Beis Yisroel (Ezras Torah).

Chanukah: A Time for Prayer

Rebbe Shloime Bobover (I)
That one should take advantage of the auspicious time of Chanukah lighting to daven for one's children, is aptly illustrated by the following story (as heard from Rav Bentzion Twerski):

Once, when the Rebbetzin Devorah Leah was a young child of five, she came in to the room where her saintly grandfather, the first Rebbe Shloimeh of Bobov, was lighting the Chanukah menorah.

"Zeide, why are you crying?"

"I'm davening that you should have a good husband."

The next night she came in and found her grandfather crying by the menorah again.

"Zeide, why are crying tonight?"

"I'm davening that you should have good children."

Such were the kavannos of the great tzadikim - always thinking of the future generations.

Pictures from Eretz Yisroel 5771

In lieu of photos from this year...

Minhagim: Chanuka Lighting (English edition)

Thank you to those who expressed an interest in an English translation of the minhagim. Here is a synopsis of what I posted previously.:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Maoz Tzur

The Divrei Chaim lit in this menorah for 14 years.
The nigun the Rebbe, shlit"a, uses for Maoz Tzur is the same one his father, Rebbe Yaakov Yisroel, would sing. Although the nigun is sung in today's Bobov, I heard from the Rebbe that it comes from earlier than the Kedushas Tzion, and possibly even back to the Sanz of the Divrei Chaim.

Vayeshev: Dreams

This past Shabbos, the Rebbe, shlit"a, said the following:
Targum Yonosan ben Uziel says that Yosef HaTzadik could have interpreted the dreams whichever way he wanted and that would have been the outcome.
That being the case, what did Yosef have against the Sar HaOifim?
The mefarshim say that each one knew the interpretation of his friend's dream. The Sar Hamashkim had a good reason for not telling the Sar Haoifim - he didn't want to make him feel depressed by hearing of his fate. But the Sar HaOfim, who knew that the Sar Hamashkim would be set free, and yet he saw his friend get up with a sour face and didn't tell him the good news to make him happy. For that, Yosef decided, he deserved to get the bad interpretation!
(Shkoyach to Burich Twerski who was with the Rebbe for Shabbos and to Reb Yankel Londoner for sending it my way.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Rebbe's Trip to Eretz Yisroel

To the Chevra in Eretz Yisroel...

Please, please stay in touch with each other as to when the Rebbe will be seeing people and doing things for the public. Think of who would like to be included and make sure they find out.

In the name of all the chevra who turn to this blog as the resource for Torah and news from the Rebbe...

To our brethren in Eretz Yisroel:

A call to arms!

Whenever there is an opportunity, grab your cameras, your voice-recorders, your pens and paper (I know some of you still have those laying around), smartphones, laptops and tablets - anything at all!

Please send pictures, audio or video recordings, comments, and anything else you can think of, to 

and I will post it here for all to benefit from.

Do not let your brethren in the Diaspora be left in the dark!

Chanukah with the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel, ztz"l

An excerpt from Reb Sheya's book, Generation to Generation:

"Some of my most cherished memories relate to the Yomim Tovim (holidays), and I was fortunate that the modern super-industrialized commercialism had not deprived me of these experiences.

Chanukah Holiday by Boris Dubrov

The joy of Chanukah actually began several days before the holidays. Father (Rebbe Yaakov Yisroel) would use a beeswax candle to light the wicks of the oil-burning menorah (candelabra), and since beeswax candles were unavailable commercially, he would make them himself, eight of them, one for each night. He would also make one extra candle to put away for use in the search for chometz (leavened bread) on the night before Passover.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chanukah: Humility and Insignificance

Written by the Rebbe, shlit"a, Rav Michel Twerski of Milwaukee (from "Turning Pages", 1984)

"Humility" is a much used and abused word. It is, without question, the premium virtue amongst the attributes of Jewish "Midos" (personality qualities). The Torah records as the greatest achievement of Moshe, his incomparable humility. It is, however, also frequently misapplied and interchanged with such concepts as "meekness", "worthlessness". and "insignificance." Humility is many things, but certainly none of the latter. At one time or another, we have all been confronted with our personal limitations and on our interdependence with others. We have been able to say to ourselves, "You don't have to swallow the whole world - rule it - own it - or desire it. Live and let live!" "Be content with your portion in life - rejoice with your own blessings." "Don't be envious or jealous of others." These expressions are statements of humility. They represent a recognition of limits, of building happiness from within, and living with others in a world big enough for  everyone. "Insignificance" on the other hand says to us, "You are worthless and unimportant! Neither you nor your deeds make any difference whatever." "Insignificance" assumes that man is a cosmic accident, and that he is nothing more than a microscopic speck upon the canvas of eternity.

Chanukah: Responding to the Challenge

The words of Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel Twerski, ztz"l (from "Turning Pages")

During the weeks between the High Holidays and the festive time of Chanukah, we find ourselves treated by inspiring and very interesting Torah readings in the Sabbath Service. These portions deal with the very beginnings of our people, and deal with the lives of the spiritual giants of our early history: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Matriarchs, the Twelve Tribes - all are part of the unfolding story of spiritual commitment, determination, and courage.

Minhagim: Chanuka Lighting (Hebrew)

Above is a photo of the Rebbe's menorah on Zos Chanukah (Day 8). One can learn many specific minhagim just from this one picture alone. Here is a PDF (in Hebrew) that I put together last year of many minhagim of the Rebbe's that are not specifically "rebbishe minhagim", rather they are also for the general population that wishes to follow his custom. DOWNLOAD or VIEW

Tanya Shiur #3 (RBT)

Last night's Tanya shiur, from Rav Benzion Twerski.


For times and dial-in info, click here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Video: The Tree Song

Thanks again to our iPhone cameraman, Ben Vineburg, for this clip from the most recent Melava Malka (Motzei Shabbos Vayeitzei 5772). In the clip, the Rebbe is singing his original "Tree Song", a famous ballad describing the longing of a young child to climb a tall tree and how he slowly forgot about his aspirations. At the end, the boy, now an old man, promises that while he may have been unable to fulfill his lifelong dream, his children can benefit from his experiences and maybe they themselves will one day reach the heavens.

The post includes audio of the complete song and full lyrics as well. Enjoy!

Tanya Shiur #2 (RBT)

As the title of the post so creatively describes, here is last night's Tanya shiur from Rav Bentzion Twerski, the second in the series.


Click here for information regarding how to hear the shiur live.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tanya Shiur #1 (from Rav Benzion)

Last Wednesday night, Rav Benzion started a Tanya shiur. Here it is for those who missed it. This way you can be up to date with the shiur which continues tonight. DOWNLOAD (17.5 MB)

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Tanya Shiur by Rav Benzion Twerski

The following notice was sent out to the shul's mailing list:

Join Rabbi Benzion Twerski
in a weekly class
on the classic Chassidic text,
Sefer Hatanya Authored by
Rebbe Shnuer Zalman of Lyadi
This is a text based class

Shabbos Parshas Toldos 5772 (part 2)

Letting Go of Reason

In shul after davening, the Rebbe continued the overall theme but from a different angle. (see part one here)

It is very difficult in today's age, a time when nearly everything can be subject to a microscope or telescope, and reason and logic reign supreme, to give up our self-driven need to understand why something must be the way it is. Faith is disdained, considered foolish and dangerous. Adhering to a law that does not lend itself to dissection by science is frowned upon and viewed as archaic, unnecessary and entirely unthinkable to any sensible human being. In such a setting, even those committed to a Torah way of life may, and often do, find it challenging to give up their own opinions, understanding and way of thinking, in deference to the supra-logical nature of Hashem's Torah.

Shabbos Parshas Toldos 5772 (part 1)

Emulate, Not Imitate
At tish, the Rebbe told over how he once met a couple who, after stating the fact that they had done an "exhaustive research of Judaism", related that they decided to pick the mitzvos and ideals that "spoke to them". Essentially, they picked and chose what of Torah they valued and left the rest.

"And what do you hope from your children when they grow up?" asked the Rebbe.

"We would be pleased if they would follow suit and value the same things that we do."

"Well, " the Rebbe responded. "Forgive me for being the first to guarantee that they will do exactly as you did. You picked and chose what made sense to you, they will pick and choose what will make sense to them, and those two things are surely to be vastly different from each other. Children pick up which attitudes drive our decisions and actions. "How" we do something is much more important than the "what". That they know what speaks to you doesn't really matter; you are transmitting to them a "how" that cannot possibly sustain the ideals of Yiddishkeit through the next generation."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Rebbe's Hallel (audio)

Below is a short snippet from the Rebbe's Hallel from Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5772.

Not Being By Being

Dear Readers,

Please accept my apologies to those of you who asked me to shed some light on the latest "Rebbe Quotes" post. Here is a little background as to what that quote was referring to. (The Rebbe spoke about this about six years ago on a Shabbos afternoon shiur.)

Every neshamah longs to reconnect with Hashem, its Source. At times, and hopefully those times are often, a person can experience an intense yearning to return to whence it came, to be enveloped in G-dly light and ultimately to melt back into Hashem, completely one with the Creator.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rebbe Quotes: Not Being By Being

"If I cannot not be by not being,
then I will not be by being."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rebbe Quotes: Approach to Learning

"If I could - if it weren't embarrassing - I would kiss every letter. I would take the Torah and I would hug it and I would dance with it every second. Your approach [when you sit down to learn] should be: 'I'm absorbing Elokus (G-dliness). I'm drinking in ratzon haborei (the Will of the Creator). It's becoming part of the cells of my mind. It's becoming part of every cell in my body.' If we sat down with that kind of an attitude our learning would be different. It would be with more of a geshmak, it would be with a hislahavus, it would be with a simcha! Who could compare to us when we are sitting and learning, finding out more information about [Hashem's Will]. Not only at the time are we absorbing Elokus and we are absorbing the Chochmas Hashem and the Ratzon Hashem, and its becoming part of everything that nurtures us, but its also informing us about the many different ways in which we can serve the Hakadosh Baruch Hu - even in commonplace, everyday things."

--direct quote from the Rebbe, shlit"a (from the "Most Important Shiur 4/4")

Rebbe Quotes: Preparation For Learning Torah

"If we have an hour to learn, after all of our preparations maybe we will only have a half-hour to learn. But at least for that half-hour we'll be learning Torah. It takes time to make yourself a k'li (vessel) for Torah."

-- the Rebbe, shlit"a (from "The Most Important Shiur 4/4")

Most Important Shiur 4/4

We have arrived at the fourth of what the Rebbe called "the most important shiurim I have given". See here for the first, second and third, in this mini-series.

Unlike the first three, this shiur was given after Succos. Hence, it does not have any connection to the Yomim Tovim and is solely devoted to avodah in the "rest-of-the-year" kind of way.

A seemingly simple question was posed: "What is the proper way to learn Gemara?" and in the Rebbe's inimitable and endearing style, he used this basic query to jump-start a shiur about the fundamentals of personal avodah in general, as well as the some principles about limud haTorah specifically.

The Rebbe dispels many of the common attitudes we have about learning Torah and replaces them with a rich, exciting and attainable approach to the most basic and fundamental mitzvah we have been given: learning Torah. We are meant to spend as much time as we possibly can fulfilling the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. It takes precedence over pretty much anything else. Yet, many, if not all, of the ideas contained in this shiur are lost on most people.

Additional note: It was this shiur which prompted the Rebbe to exclaim that these were the most important shiurim. Also, the Rebbe speaks about the need to recalculate our approach to learning often, and here we finally have an entire 30 minutes exclusively on that topic.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Most Important Shiur 3/4

Living in the moment...

It's a theme the Rebbe speaks about often. Here, in the third of the four most important shiurim the Rebbe has ever given, the Rebbe once again describes being present to the moment we are engaged in, only this time with so much urgency in his voice and many additional pieces to the puzzle. This particularly honest and candid shiur in is a must-listen for all.

"Being in the moment means much more than not worrying about the past and not worrying about the future. It means being able to transform the present into a time of positive, constructive and even joyful celebration."


Behold! New pictures from Sukkos 5772 of the Rebbe, Rabbi Michel Twerski, shlit"a!
All photography courtesy of the esteemed Yochanan Jones of Milwaukee. Yasher koach!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yahrtzeit: The Maor Einayim (Cheshvan 11)

Today is the yahrtzeit of the Maor Einayim, Rebbe Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, the founder of Chernobyler Chassidus and thereby the forefather of all of its various offshoots, including Cherkass and Hornosteipel.

Go to the TWERSKI AUDIO tab above and look for two shiurim from the Rebbe about the life and teachings of the Maor Einayim.

The Maor Einayim himself says (in Yismach Lev, Shabbos - click for PDF, the main part is the paragraph starting ובדורות האחרונים) that learning the words of a tzadik is like being there at the kever and connecting with the tzadik in a very profound way. For those of us who are not in Chernobyl physically, we can still be there by learning from the holy sefer and we can then daven as if we are there.

Zechuso yagen aleinu v'al kol Yisroel!

Exact Location of Reb Motele's Kever Identified

Jews still living in Hornosteipel remember exactly where the kever was until the entire cemetery was razed by the Communists after WWII. The well-known organization Ohalei Tzadikim erected a new matzeiva on the spot. Click here for a full account with pictures (in Hebrew).

Many thanks to Melech Pasikov for bringing this to our attention. Below is a newspaper clipping that he sent in regarding this exciting, historic find.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Most Important Shiur 2/4

As mentioned previously here, the Rebbe labeled four specific shiurim as the most important shiurim he has given (his own words). They are each on a different topic, not connected to the others, and each contains many themes and practical applications for implementing the lessons taught. While much of these shiurim is devoted to explaining various themes of the Yomim Tovim, they avodah that the Rebbe speak about are clearly for all-year around and always timely.

These shiurim have been posted upon the express request of the Rebbe, shlit"a.

In Touch with Infinity

Refoel Pride of Mishpacha Magazine has written a wonderful article on Rav Shloime Twerski, ztz"l, of Denver to commemorate thirty years since his passing. Here it is as a PDF.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Most Important Shiur 1/4

...and we're back!

After an awesome and very busy Yom Tov and then some unfortunate computer trouble, we are finally back in the saddle and ready to continue bringing you the latest from the Rebbe, shlit"a.

After the Rebbe's surgery, he wasn't able to give his regular weekday morning shiur. It was not until after Yom Kippur that he started it up again.

There were three exceptional shiurim given between Yom Kippur and Sukkos, of which, along with the first shiur following Sukkos, the Rebbe said, "Those four shiurim were the most important ones I've given."

Video: Motzei Shabbos Noach 5772

Once again, thanks to Ben Vineburg for posting this video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rav Sheya visits Rachmistrivka in Yerushalayim

Two pictures from Rav Sheya's visit with the Rachmistrivker Rebbe in Yerushalayim:

Thanks to Reb Chaim Shmeel of Beitar for the pictures.

Video: Elul 22 5771 and Havdala Bereishis 5772

Here are some YouTube links:

Havdala Motzei Shabbos Bereishis 5772
Singing on Elul 22 5771 (Reb Motele's yahrtzeit)

Thanks to Ben Vineburg for posting these.
Yasher Koach!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gmar Chasima Tova

G'mar Chasima Tova to everyone,
a git gebentched yuhr,
and have an easy fast!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Realistic is Relative (Kol Nidrei 5767)

Often times, in a moment of inspiration and clarity, we vow to better ourselves. When the moment fades and we find ourselves basically back where we started, we can barely imagine how foolish we were to have thought that we could sustain such a high and actually hold to the levels we aspired and committed to. So we get depressed thinking that we are failures, unable to solidify what we believed were genuine feelings of conviction and clarity.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shabbos Shuva Drasha at WITS 5772 (audio)

I haven't written up the Rebbe's Shabbos Shuva Drasha yet because I don't think I "chapped" fully yet. Thankfully, the Rebbe spoke today at WITS as he does every Aseres Y'mei Teshuvah and he repeated most of what he said on Shabbos. Here is a recording from WITS. (I shaved off the beginning introductions to make the file size smaller.) DOWNLOAD

After the drasha, a few of the bochurim took advantage of the opportunity to receive their "Erev Yom Kippur Berachos" from the Rebbe.

Yom Kippur with the Rebbe, ztz"l

Below is another excerpt from Generation to Generation describing Yom Kippur with the Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Yisroel, ztz"l.

The day before Yom Kippur, at the morning meal, Father would sing the ‘portion of the Selichot (prayer for forgiveness) services for that day. The melody penetrated every crevice in one’s soul, and brought one to a profound state of atonement.

A Lesson in Exchange

Here is an excerpt from Reb Sheya's book, Generation to Generation:

Before Yom Kippur, there is a traditional ritual of "kapporos," or "exchange." Essentially, the person seeking forgiveness is given to understand that in his defying Divine will by committing transgressions, he has forfeited his right to life. However, he is permitted to offer an "exchange" for his life by having a chicken slaughtered in his stead. The apparent rationale for this is that rather than the concept of capital punishment being a total abstraction, the penitent sees his penalty carried out in actuality on a lower form of life, and this should help him recognize the gravity of his transgression. The chicken is then given away to the needy.

One of the disciples of Rebbe Elimelich came to the Master before Yom Kippur, asking for a more profound understanding of the “kapporos” ritual. “I cannot help you," Rebbe Elimelich said, ”but if you will go to the inn in the nearby village, the innkeeper may be able to instruct you in the concept of ‘exchange.’