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, August 31, 2011

Elul is Do-It-Yourself Month

Last week's Drops of Rain was very apropos for Elul. The piece revolved around the necessity to know if one is for real or not. The only way to know for sure is to be tested. While the whole piece is very important, available in its entirety here, it is specifically the last paragraph that spoke directly to the avodah of Elul:

"The month of Elul is upon us; in the blink of an eye we will be standing before the King of Kings on Rosh Hashanah. We never ask Hashem for nisyonos; we would much rather our faith and commitment not be tested. But we need not wait to be up against a wall to find out if we really mean it. We can and must ask ourselves if we are for real. If we were to be tested, how far would our current convictions take us, and how can we recommit to the values and creed of authentic Jewish living? Would that we could stand in front the Master of the World over the upcoming Days of Awe and be able to say with absolute assurance, to ourselves, our loved ones and the Almighty, 'I am for real.'"

In conjunction with the above idea, we bring to your attention something that the Rebbe said a number of years ago. Integrity means what the Gemara refers to as tocho k'varo, that one's inside should be like his outside. In other words, what he portrays outwardly, in his actions and behavior, must reflect where is at on the inside. The holy texts (Maor Einayim and Pele Yoetz among them) are replete with the idea that when we daven, we must "connect" our hearts and our lips, that the words that we speak should be coming from our authentic selves and not just "from the lips out". There are many such instances when our pnimiyus might not be in line with our chitzoniyus.

Divrei Elokim Chaim: Maamer From the Rebbe For the Month of Elul

Since there is no Medrash Shiur today, here is a maamer written (in loshon hakodesh) by the Rebbe, shlit"a, in 5765 (2005) about the avodah of the month of Elul. It was typed from the k'sav yad by the Rebbe's son, Reb Yaakov Moshe Twerski, shyichyeh. An exclusive opportunity for readers of Doleh Umashkeh as this is the first time such a maamer has been made available. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elul Emails: Introduction

Sounding the Shofar by Elena Flerova
By request of Rabbi Bentzion Twerski, shlit"a, and with the encouragement of the Rebbe, shlit"a, we will be sending out a daily email during the month of Elul with a short d'var Torah, halacha or story about the most awesome days that are upon us. We often talk about the need to begin prepare for a Yom Tov thirty days prior to the Yom Tov, and this way one can have a constant (well, at least daily) reminder of the responsibility and the z'chus (merit) that we have been given. Just mentioning the myriad of mitzvos and experiences that fill Elul and Tishrei to the brim is enough to elicit a full scale of emotions: nostalgia, trepidation, excitement, yearning, joy, sadness, the list is endless. Here are some of the powerful tasks and opportunities that we have been given by the Master of the Universe over the next two months:

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Road of Elul

In 5768, the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke to the chaburah in Yerushalayim by telephone and said a truly awesome vort regarding the preparation for Elul. It is one of my personal all-time favorites, and when I repeated it to the Rebbe this past Shabbos (of course, he claimed to have no recollection of ever saying it, as usual), he was duly impressed and said that it was "an excellent vort".

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Purging Evil From Oneself

This morning the Rebbe spoke about the pasuk ובערת הרע מקרבך, saying that the pasuk is referring to purging evil from oneself. He then went on, using potentially damaging thoughts as an example, to enumerate some very practical, specific steps and components necessary to be rid of the evil and fill the void with kedushah. For those familiar with Innate Health, there are some very useful mashalim in this shiur as well.

If that's all not enough of a reason to hear this shiur, the Rebbe concluded by saying, "Now that is a real chassidishe vort!" How doesn't have 13 minutes for a "real chassidishe vort"? DOWNLOAD

Friday, August 26, 2011

Drops of Rain: Re'eh 5771

This week's Drops of Rain is entitled, "Do You Know if You Are for Real?" It is a hybrid from a shiur the Rebbe gave in 5765 together with one of morning shiurim from this past week. Enjoy and a gitten Shabbos!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Kiruv, Rebuke and Tefila" and The Rebbe/Chassid Dynamic (audio)

In this morning's shiur, the Rebbe spoke about the three responses we must have to fellow Jews who are not yet Torah observant. The discussion turned towards the nature of the Rebbe/Chassid relationship and ended with a particularly moving story from the Belzer Rav whose yahrtzeit is today.

Rav Aaron Rokeach of Belz in Marienbad


In relation to Drops of Rain: A Styrofoam Cup, a Paper Clip and a Rubber Band, the Rebbe, shlit"a, added the following practical advice for anyone involved in bettering their material situation.

“I told a young man who was starting a new job as an attorney that he should be vigilant because the only way to be successful in these large legal firms is to give them what they own your soul. A little while later, he came to see me and said, “I was thinking about what you said before. How can I be vigilant about this new job?”

"He is the Rebbe's Son!"

Last night by Melava Malka, the Rebbe, shlit"a, told of the esteem in which the Satmar Rebbe held the Rebbe Reb Motele.

The Satmar Rebbe was once in Chicago and he took the opportunity to bring a kvittel to the Rebbe Reb Leibele. Upon learning the Satmar Rebbe's plan, his gabbai expressed his bewilderment that his Rebbe felt a need to go to Reb Leibele "as a Rebbe". The Satmar Rebbe replied, "Reb Leibele is no "rebbisheh einikel". He is "the Rebbe's son!"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Drops of Rain: Eikev 5771

This week's Drops of Rain is entitled, A Styrofoam Cup, a Paper Clip and a Rubber Band.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Medrash Eikev 5771: Love and Avodah

This week's Medrash Shiur was about ahavas Hashem. It was phenomenal! The Rebbe referenced a maamer in the Baal Hatanya's siddur about the differences between the first and second parshiyos of Shema. Why does "b'chol m'odecha" appear in the first parsha but not the second? And why doesn't the first parsha talk about avodah at all, unlike the second? The Rebbe went on to explain the yesodos of loving Hashem and keeping His mitzvos.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2 Shiurim: "Connective Speech" and "Why Do We Daven?"

The Rebbe was talking about making the Master of the World a more significant and intrinsic presence in our lives. He said, "We should be talking to the Ribono Shel Olam constantly, about everything. We should be carrying an ongoing discourse with the Ribono Shel Olam."

"All day?" asked one of the chassidim, next to certain of the reply.

The Rebbe, in his inimitable way, didn't let anyone down. "All day!" he answered, with the utmost certainty.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yahrtzeit: Reb Meir Nosson (Av 15)

On the 15th of Av was the yahrtzeit of Reb Meir Nosson, son of the Divrei Chaim and the father of the first Rebbe of Bobov, Reb Shloime. As we are told, the hashpaos of a yahrtzeit extend for three days so it is still relevant. In my humble opinion, this is not to be missed!

The Rebbe's Havdala (audio)

By popular request, here is a recording of the Rebbe, shlit"a, making Havdala. Starting with G-t Fin Avrohom, Havdala and then the traditional piyut, "Hamavdil", customarily sung every Motzei Shabbos following Havdala. DOWNLOAD

Rebbe Quotes: Shabbos

"On Shabbos, [you are] immortal!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

15th of Av - A Time to Start Building

This morning after davening the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke about the 15th of Av, one of the happiest days in the year. The Mishna (Taanis 26b) tells how the young girls of Yerushalayim would go out to the vineyards and eligible young men would meet them there in hopes of finding prospective brides. The girls would say, “Young man, lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty but set your eyes on [good] family. ‘Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised'.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Three Brothers About Their Father

This past week I wrote up some anecdotes and teachings of the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel, zy"a, instead of Drops of Rain. This short compilation received glowing haskama from the Rebbe, shlit"a. It includes some of the posts from last week, along with selections from what Reb Sheya, Reb Aharon and the Rebbe said at last year's "Azkarah". It is available HERE as a PDF.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

From One Room To Another

Reb Yaakov Yisroel, ztz"l, told the Rebbe, shlit”a, that one morning when he woke up and while still laying in bed, he saw, standing in front of the bed, his father [Reb Leibele], the Zeide, Reb Motele and another man, whom he did not recognize. They just stood there. Finally, [Reb Leibele] said, “Don’t worry. It will be like going from one room to the next.” With that they faded away.

Reb Yaakov Yisroel said that at that time he did not yet know he was sick but was convinced that his time was approaching. Shortly thereafter he became ill, went to the hospital, and that’s when he was diagnosed with the liver cancer that ultimately brought him to Gan Eden.

The Rebbe concluded, “Divrei emes nikarin.” True words are recognizable as such.

(Thanks to Ely Weisz for pointing out some missing details to this story.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Motzei Tisha B'Av Yahrtzeit Seudah in Yerushalayim

As every year, the einiklech and chevra in Eretz Yisroel got together at Reb Mordechai's house to make a seudah for the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel's yahrtzeit. Yankel (Reb Bentzion's) made a siyum on Bava Kama by the seudah.
Eliezer Kwass spoke about his and other Milwaukeans' connection with the Rebbe, ztz"l, and Twerski family.

Yud Menachem Av 5771 Highlights (with pictures and audio)

Last night, the Rebbe davened Maariv from the amud. He broke his fast at the home of his son, Rav Bentzion, with a fleishigeh seduah at which the Rebbe made a siyum on Masechtas Rosh Hashanah (l'ilui nishmas his father, ztz"l). Afterward the Rebbe sang Reb Sheya's "A Freilichen Tisha B'Av" and his own Lev Tahor.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baruch Menachem Tzion

This nigun was composed by the Rebbe, shlit"a, the words written by Reb Sheya, shlit"a. The clip below was recorded on Motzei Tisha B'Av, 5765.

DOWNLOAD approx. 6 minutes, <1 MB

A Freilichen Tisha B'Av!

Here are two recordings of "A Freilichen Tisha B'Av", composed by Reb Sheya (Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.). There is no music - just singing - but you may want to wait till after Tisha B'Av to listen anyways.

The Rebbe, shlit"a, singing: DOWNLOAD 6.5 min., 6.21 MB 

Reb Sheya, shlit"a, singing: DOWNLOAD 4 .5 min., <1 MB

Medrash Shiur for 9th of Av 5771

Here is last week's Medrash Shiur (from 08/03), the day recording.
Thanks to Aryeh Leib Devorkin for sending the recording while I was out of town.

39 minutes, 17.7 MB

The Rebbe's Eicha

In lieu of a more current recording, here is the Rebbe, shlit"a, reading Eicha in 5765. At about 24 minutes on the time index, the Rebbe is saying the pesukim in the third perek that begin with "kuf" - "Koli shamatah, al taalem aznecha..."

DOWNLOAD "THE REBBE'S EICHA" (42 minutes, 9.8 MB)

Bobover Rebbe's Kinah

As in many kehillos, after we say all the kinnos, the Rebbe, shlit"a, says the Bobover Rebbe's kinah for the Holocaust.

From 5766:

From this year (5771):

The kinah sung to an appropriate Tisha B'Av Nigun from Bobov:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Send a Kvittel to Reb Yaakov Yisroel, zy"a

Anyone who wants to send a kvittel (written petition for a tzadik to daven on one's behalf) to the kever of the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel on his yahrtzeit (or any other time) may email his name and the name of his mother, along with the same for his spouse and names of his children, and include a short written request. This should all be done in Hebrew if possible, but any language is acceptable. If you wish to include a pidyon (monetary donation customarily given with a kvittel) for tzedaka, please indicate that desire in your email. Kvittelach are never turned away because of lack of funds!

זכותו יגן עלינו ועל כל ישראל אמן
May the merit of the tzadik protect us and all of Klal Yisroel!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"I Love Yidden!"

In addition to the previous vertlach in preparation of the upcoming yahrtzeit of the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel, here is a tidbit about his exceptional ahavas Yisroel.

Last year (5770), Reb Aharon Twerski, shlit"a, said that Reb Yaakov Yisroel's "ahavas Yisroel was indescribable. If ten portions of ahavas Yisroel were sent down to the world, my father took nine." Reb Aharon described how when the Rebbe, ztz"l, came to Milwaukee there was a certain Rav who "really had it in for my father, [but] my father never responded with any hate. They turned out to be the closest of friends because my father could only show people love. The fact that somebody else hated him, that was [the other person's] problem."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

V'Haarev Na

I noticed in the weekly summary that the CBJ Halacha Program is currently dealing with the halachos of Birchas HaTorah. It mentions there the malchokes about saying "V'haarev na" with or without a "vav" and whether or not to answer "amen". Seemingly, the two should go together. If one holds that v'haarev is a continuation of the first berachah, then one should not answer amen and the nusach should be "haarev na" without a "vav". If we hold that v'haarev is its own berachah then we would say amen to the first berachah but then the next berachah shouldn't begin with the a "vav" (normally used to connect one thing to the next).

Words of Rebbe Yaakov Yisroel Twerski, ztz"l

In honor of the upcoming yahrtzeit of the Rebbe's father on the 10th of Av, here a few kernels of his divrei Torah. After Shabbos, Reb Yaakov Yisroel would write down what he had said on Shabbos, and he had amassed quite a large quantity of hand-written maamarim. The unfortunate story is well-known. Somehow, the Rebbe's hundreds of kisvei yad were left behind in the old house during a move. By the time the Rebbe came back to retrieve them, all the boxes of papers had been destroyed by the new owners of the house. He never spoke about the incident.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seder Hayom (6): Renewing Faith

In the First Thoughts post we mentioned that one of the main things we should be focusing on is the kabbalas ol malchus shomayim. See Seder Hayom (3): First Thoughts, from the Cherkasser and Reb Motele that a person should think about the fact that he was recreated in the morning for the sole purpose of revealing Hashem in every thing that we do, through acting in accordance with His will.

In another maamer in Pele Yoetz (Shelach, Reishis), Reb Motele, zy”a, quotes the Zohar Hakadosh (Behar, 108a) that one must accept the yoke of Heaven as does an ox when the yoke is placed upon it. Reb Motele explains, “Just like an ox cannot turn away from the yoke, not to the right nor the left, so too must a person accept upon himself the yoke of Heaven not to turn right or left from the will of Hashem.”