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).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

RBT's Tanya Shiurim AVAILABLE

Unfortunately, the blog has gone into hibernation for the time being. The good news is... can still benefit from Rav Benzion's weekly Tanya shiur (which started again after a couple months off) by going to the following link:

As an aside, I appreciate greatly those who emailed and expressed interest in the blog's "techiyas hameisim". As of now, I am not able to devote the requisite time to new content and upkeep, but b'ezras Hashem, I hope to start up again at some time in the future.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Igeres Hateshuva #1 (RBT)

In honor of the Yom Tov season, Rav Benzion has suspended the regular order of Tanya and is teaching the third chelek which deals with the process of Teshuva according to Chassidus:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tanya Shiur #32 (RBT)

(18:01 min. - 4.12 MB)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rebbe Quotes: The Way Back Home

"The way back home is in the consistence of the relationship and feeling empowered by it."

Tanya Shiur #31 (RBT)

(22:49 min. - 5.2 MB)

For previous shiurim, click here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tanya Shiur #30 (RBT)

(34:22 min. - 5.9 MB)

VIDEO: Yosis Alayich

For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip of the Rebbe, shlit"a, dancing at the recent Silverman-Twerski wedding in Milwaukee. Somehow, no matter how much physical pain and discomfort the Rebbe experiences, when it comes to hakafos on Simchas Torah or dancing mitzva tantz at a chasunah, he seems to forget it all and display supernatural energy and strength. May the Rebbe always have the ability to dance as he does in this video! (Click "READ MORE" to go to the video.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Is this the last time we have changed?
Whenever the city lays a sidewalk, the name of the city is imprinted in the new slabs of cement, along with the year in which they were poured. Between the Rebbe's house and the shul there are some new slabs that have recently replaced the old, crumbling ones, and hence, have been stamped "City of Milwaukee 2012". The rest of the sidewalk slabs each boast the year in which they were poured and set. Some read 2001, others 1997, and some go back to the 80's or before.

We are not concrete. People are meant to grow, to change, never to remain the same. But if we take a penetrating, honest look at ourselves, when was the last time we really changed? Five years? Ten years? Perhaps longer?

Pictures: Switzerland Wedding 5772

The Rebbe, shlit"a, returned last week from a two week stay in Switzerland. He went for the chasunah of his grandson (son of Rav Efraim from Chicago) and stayed on an extra week to rest a bit. Twelve years ago, the Rebbe composed his famous "Ilu Finu" nigun in the same mountains where he spent the last week. In any event, the chasunah was mamish something spectacular, as I heard from a number of those present. Thanks to Ely Weisz of Chicago who was there and sent me the above picture along with the following:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tanya Shiur #29 (RBT)

33:55 min. - 8.2 MB

For previous shiurim, visit the TANYA page.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tanya Shiur #28 (RBT)

(Running time: 31:22 min. - Size 7.21 MB)

FYI: The next two classes will only be available by phone, not at the house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Contemplating Our Legacy

The Medrash clearly states that contact with a corpse is not what renders one a tamei meis, nor is the water of the Para Aduma what restores one's state of purity, rather it is a Divine decree that does both. That being the case, the question is why? In addition, assuming tumah is negative, how can fulfilling a great mitzvah such as caring for a meis mitzvah result in tumas meis? In this shiur, the Rebbe starts out with these two questions. The second half is about the contemplation that should result from visiting with death. What is our legacy going to be? Most people let life make demands on them and get swept away without ever pausing for long enough to get in the driver seat of their own legacy. While pinpointing our unique mission specifically can be a lifelong endeavor, the Rebbe offered a few general yet extremely insightful and fundamental guidelines for creating a "Jewish legacy."

Seeking the High Ground - Part II (audio)

The recording of the Rebbe's second session in the "Seeking the High Ground" series is now available. This session was about the principle of Thought; the Rebbe explained it simply, in his own inimitable style, and in terms consistent with classic Torah outlook. What is reality? Where does that reality come from? In what ways can I influence my life? These are some of the questions that were dealt with along the way to understanding Thought. The interplay between Chochma and Binah also featured prominently in this session.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tanya Shiur #27 (RBT)

(Running time: 43:30 - Size: 7.46 MB)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rebbe Quotes: Heaven's Way of Judgement

When Heaven judges a person, not only the person is judged, but everybody who is affected by that person. In a human court, they have to enforce the law against the individual who committed the crime regardless of the circumstances. A human court ignores the fact that he has a wife and children who rely on him; they'll lock him up nonetheless. But in Heaven, they look at the whole picture. If they carry out the sentence against the guilty individual others will be effected, and in truth, no one is an individual.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rebbe's Baal Teshuvah

Reaching out to someone in a bad place can sometimes cost you your own well-being and integrity. Whether it's in kiruv, counseling or just listening to a friend's fears and worries, one has to know to what extent he is willing to put himself at risk. In this shiur, the Rebbe, shlit"a, speaks about this question, and in the process, recounts two stories, one from the Baal Hatanya and one from the Rebbe Reb Motele.

Rebbetzin Devorah Leah's Yahrtzeit

Today (Sivan 29) is the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe's mother, Rebbetzin Devorah Leah, a"h. The Rebbe and his brothers, Reb Sheya and Reb Aron, along with a minyan of the chevra went out to her kever to recite Tehilim and write kevitlach. The taking of pictures ensued:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Personal Learning and Following the Leader

אל תעלו כי אין ה' בקרבכם וכו' - במדבר יד, מב
ויעפלו לעלות אל ראש ההר וארון ברית ה' ומשה לא משו מקרב המחנה - שם מד

"Do not ascend for Hashem is not in your midst..." (Bamidbar 14:42)
"And they defiantly ascended to the mountain top, [but] the Ark of Hashem's Covenant and Moshe did not move from the camp." (ibid. 14:44)

The Rebbe, shlit"a, asked: If Moshe already assured Klal Yisroel that Hashem was not in their midst and would not come to their aid in their forced ascent to Eretz Yisroel, isn't it obvious that the Aron and Moshe Rabeinu did not go with them?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Two Niggunim to Learn

Recently, the Rebbe heard two niggunim that he would like the chevra to learn. I posted them on my other blog, Milwaukee Niggunim. (I hope to post there more often...) Here are links to those two so they can be added to the shul's repertoire:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tanya Shiur #26 (RBT)

Handwritten Tanya

(Running time: 38:21 min. - Size: 6.58 MB)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seeking the High Ground - Part II

Torah Strategies for Acquiring a Healthy Disposition

The Torah perspective on Innate Health from the Rebbe, HaRav Michel Twerski, shlit"a.
Tuesday, June 26 - 7:00 p.m. (Central)
Congregation Beth Jehudah, Milwaukee
 Call (605) 475-4000, access code 1001046#

A recording will be posted following the shiur.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reintroducing the Medrash Shiur

The Rebbe's Weekly Medrash Shiur is back!

Thursdays at 2:15 pm (Central)

Milwaukee - At the Rebbe's home (for men).

Eretz Yisroel - The shiur will be Skyped to one location in Yerushalayim. Call Reb Yankel Twerski in Eretz Yisroel to join that chaburah.

Kol Halashon - In the U.S., call 718-395-2440. In Eretz Yisroel, call 03-617-1111, or 052-718-1818, or 052-999-9777. The shiur will be recorded there. To hear the shiur live, call the above numbers, press * when prompted, and wait for the Rebbe's name.

For previous shiurim in the Medrash series, click here.

Thought and Innate Health

"Thought is like a river..."
DOLEH UMASHKEH EXCLUSIVE: Here is a great opportunity to hear the Rebbe speak about concepts in Chassidus, as well as about Innate Health!

This shiur was given the morning after the Rebbe gave his "Seeking the High Ground" session. (See here for that.)

The topic of thought is frequently discussed throughout all the classic Chassidic works. Sometimes it is mentioned specifically in reference to tefilah or learning as machshavos zaros, "strange" or "foreign" thoughts. In other instances, it is spoken about more universally, as the Baal Shem Hakadosh said, "One is where his thoughts are." Also, the whole concept of hamtakas hadinim b'shorshan, sweetening or rectifying harsh judgement, is dependent on how we view our relationship to our thoughts.

Rebbe Quotes: What to Do for a Living

"Never do what you love for a living because you'll end up compromising on what you love."
-- heard from the Rebbe, shlit"a, in the name of his brother, Rav Shloime Twerski, ztz"l, of Denver

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Rebbe's Tehilim

This Tehilim belonged to the Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel of Milwaukee, zy"a. It is a rarity today as it was printed on the holy press of the famous Slavita printers.

The Rebbe, yblcht"a, said that his father, zy"a, said Tehilim very often, and one can clearly see the use that this Tehilim sustained over the years. The Rebbe himself uses this Tehilim when he goes to his father's tziyun to daven.

Men, Women, Time, Space (audio)

Last week the Rebbe gave a couple of shiurim in the morning that I thought were simply AWESOME! Please pardon my enthusiasm.

The topics revolved around how men and women are built differently and how, if they stick to the way they were hardwired by Hashem, they can actualize their unique potential to the fullest. The particular contribution of men flourishes mostly in the realm of "time", while the unique genius of women comes out and thrives specifically in regards to "space".

This is a wonderful shiur for both men and women as it sheds light on each one's abilities. It helps crystallize individual purpose at the same time as it puts the other side of the coin into perspective, allowing each one to be appreciated as an equally essential component to healthy families and avodas Hashem.

Rebbe Quotes: Time

"Time is a very precious entity, and we take it for granted as though it were some absolutely unlimited commodity. When we are wasteful we have cause to look back upon the fact that we've wasted opportunities."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tanya Shiur #25 (RBT)

(Running time: 31:27 min. - Size: 5.42 MB)

Previous shiurim are available on the TANYA page.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Seeking the High Ground - Part I (Audio)

The recording from last night's session, SEEKING THE HIGH GROUND, is now available. It was indeed "an unprecedented opportunity to hear the Torah perspective on Innate Health."

In this introductory shiur, the Rebbe clarified many misconceptions about Innate Health within Judaism and the Torah world. He also laid down some vital guidelines regarding the roots the Three Principles have in Torah. He explained the necessity for actively seeking this understanding, how it can boost and bolster our observance of Torah and Mitzvos, and the importance of "choosing life" - living full, enriching, calm lives.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tanya Shiur #24 (RBT)

(Running time: 25:54 min. - Size 4.5 MB)

Personalizing Shemonah Esrei

In this shiur from after Shacharis, the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke about the difference between davening Shemoneh Esrei and other forms of prayer. While one should be connecting to Hashem through prayer all day long as a child to a parent, the way one davens Shemoneh Esrei must reflect an understanding that it is an audience with the King.

"Shemoneh Esrei is an echo of Rosh Hashana; the rest of the day is an echo of Yom Kippur."

Tanya Shiur #23 (RBT)

(Running time: 31:11 - Size: 5.35 MB)

All previous shiurim in this series are available by clicking the TANYA tab.

New Book on Gerim in Chassidus

Bnei Avraham Ahuvecha: Gerim in Chassidic Thought 

Click book cover to enlarge.
Received via e-mail from Dov ben Avraham:
"I am pleased to announce the release of a book that will enthusiastically be sought after by Jews who were not born Jewish, and those on the path to becoming Jewish. The Hornsteipler Rebbe of Milwaukee contributed material to this book and wrote following words in his haskama (approbation):
'I am delighted to recommend the book as a meaningful contribution to the growing body of Torah information available to the Chareidi world. Indeed, the project is intriguing both for its timeliness and for its superb scholarship.'

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Korbanos and New Chapters

Thursday morning (05-31-2012) the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke about the teshuva that the korbanos represent and how we can harness that avodah in our own times when we no longer can bring a physical korban.

Also in this shiur: the objective of mikva, using our imagination in Divine service, how to combat the feeling of emptiness that is the root to all aveiros. (Click "READ MORE" for audio.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seeking the High Ground

Torah Strategies for Acquiring a Healthy Disposition

An unprecedented opportunity
to hear the Torah perspective on Innate Health from
HaRav Michel Twerski, shlit"a

Monday, June 4, 7:00 p.m.
Congregation Beth Jehudah, Milwaukee

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Achdus in Avodah

Image from here.
 At Neilas Hachag, the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke about making a point of seeing every single person as a potential teacher. Everyone has something they do well that we can learn from. Maybe they excel in a midah that we have difficulty with. Whatever it is, one must exert himself and give special attention to finding something - even the smallest thing - that he can learn from the other person. Achdus is a prerequisite to Kabalas Hatorah, as we see that Klal Yisroel camped as one - ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר - and Chazal say כאיש אחד בלב אחד, as one person with one heart. But, the Rebbe said, the key to such unity is the ability to see good in our fellow. The word "vayichan", which literally means "and he camped", can also be understood to mean "and he made favorable", from the word "chein" - חן. We must find the grace and favor in each other. Viewing every person as someone to learn from and seeing their maalos is what creates real unity amongst people. 

The Rebbe then urged everyone to become part of a chabura. Learning Torah with others - not just a chavrusa, but with groups - is a different Torah. The Rebbe also emphasized davening as a chaburah. The idea is to take create that unity and then use it for more meaningful and impactful Avodas Hashem.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

LIVE Shiur For Shavuos

 Thursday at 2:25 pm (Milwaukee time) the Rebbe will be delivering a preparation shiur for Shavuos.

(Audio only)

This was a review of the Rebbe's Shabbos afternoon shiur.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yahrtzeit: Reb Zisha Tolmitcher (Sivan 2)

The becher of Reb Zisha Tolitcher, zy"a.
The 2nd of Sivan, is the yahrtzeit of Rav Meshulam Zisha Yitzchok, known as Reb Zisha Tolmitcher, ztz"l. He was a great-grandson of the first Reb Zisha of Anipoli and the father of the Rebbe Reb Motele of Hornosteiple.

"He was considered one of the tzadikim of his generation, even though he did not have chassidim of his own. When he would travel to Hornosteipel to visit his son, thousands of chassidim would stream to him." (Midor El Dor, page 75)

To read more about him, as well as about the Minchas Elazar whose yahrtzeit is the same day, go to LAST YEAR'S POST.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Preparation Shiur For Shavuos

In preparation of the first Kabbalas HaTorah on Har Sinai, Hashem told Moshe: וקדשתם היום ומחר - v'kidashtem hayom umachar - "And you shall hallow them today and tomorrow." There are various interpretations found in the Medrashim regarding the nature of this particular sanctification. This past Shabbos, the Rebbe, shlit"a, spoke about five of these approaches, what they represent in avodas Hashem and how they apply to each and every one of us as we get ourselves ready for Shavuos. Here are my notes from the first two:

Don't Forget To Take With The Bikurim

Written by the Rebbe, HaRav Michel Twerski, shlit"a, in 1989/5749
(Turning Pages, pgs. 113-114)

I would suspect no one needs to be reminded that the holiday of Shavuos commemorates the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. A few of us might need to be reminded that Shavuos is also the holiday of "bikurim", which revolves around the agriculture of Israel and the bringing of the first fruits to Jerusalem for presentation to the Kohanim in the Bais Hamikdosh. According to the Talmudic descriptions of the merriment surrounding the transporting and offering of the bikurim, Shavuos was one of the most festive and celebratory events of the Jewish religious calendar. A word on the significance of this unique joy will hopefully enable all of us to better prepare for the forthcoming Shavuos holiday.

Station Identification


Stop what you are doing.


Who are you?

For what purpose have you been placed in this world with a G-dly soul and such awesome, sublime potential?

Where do you stand?

What station are you tuned in to?

Shavuos: Choosing To Be Chosen

Written by the Rebbe, Harav Michel Twerski, shlit"a, in 1987/5747
(Turning Pages, pgs. 109-110)

The following paragraph may read like a paid commercial, but it is intended to be a serious exercise, and I would urge that we deal with it candidly.

Do we feel put upon by our religion? Are there times that we resent having been “chosen" by G-d to bear the responsibility of Torah and its demanding disciplines? Do we sometimes find ourselves thinking, feeling, or actually saying what Tevye expounds in Fiddler, “Dear G-d, I know we’re the chosen people, but every once in a while, couldn’t you choose somebody else?" Is Jewish "guilt" getting to us? Can we discern part of us saying, "Oy! S'iz shver tzu zein a yid (Oy, it's hard to be a Jew)"?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tanya Shiur #22 (RBT)

(Running time: 39:28 - Size: 6.77 MB)


For previous shiurim and info about the live tele-shiur, see the TANYA page.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

40,000 Pageviews

Mazel Tov! We have just passed 40,000 page-views since the blog's inception 17 months ago and we are continuing to grow. Thank you all for your readership and interest. A special "thank you" to all those who take the time to comment and email. They are very much appreciated. I hope you gain from the Rebbe's insight and direction as much as I do from writing.

Don't forget! You can join the chevra and start receiving free and fresh updates when there are new posts. Just leave your email address in the field below and follow the prompts.

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 Do you enjoy the blog? Spread the word!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Behar and B'chukosai Links

For last year's posts,

Lag Baomer Tish 5772

The Rebbe, shlit"a, on Lag Baomer 5772. Photo courtesy of Yochanan Jones (Milwaukee).
Last Thursday, the Rebbe, shlit"a, conducted a tish in honor of Lag Baomer. The oilam sang Bar Yochai and Amar Rebbe Akiva, in addition to many other leibedige niggunim, and reminisced about the elevated levels of kedushah and excitement felt in Meron on Lag Baomer.

Then the Rebbe spoke. The full recoding is about 20 minutes long. It is very worthwhile. The Rebbe speaks about the goal, so to speak, or the purpose of the pnimiyus, the secrets of Torah - to allow for one to be deal in chayei sha'ah, the material need of this world, and be consumed with holy fire, connected to Hashem, the neshama of everything.

Below is a paraphrased tidbit - the full recording and more pictures (from Yochanan Jones) are in the extended article.

In times when Klal Yisroel was less effected by the storm-winds of this world and its temptations we could get by with "pshat," "remez" and "drush." But in times such as ours, when we are attacked by such extraordinarily powerful and pernicious forces, storms that blow away every holy structure, we are increasingly dependent on the knowledge that there's a foundation, a "yesod," which is the "sod" - the secrets of Torah. This foundation, the Sodos Hatorah, is what holds up the structure of Klal Yisroel, and in it lies vast treasures, inordinate power of kedusha. We may not all find ourselves comfortable with studying this material - because it is, after all is said and done, very esoteric and  very challenging - however, just the mere fact that we know that we have that kind of strength - a virtual arsenal of atomic energy - at our disposal, allows us to withstand all of these very noxious, destructive elements in our personal universe. It is in Toras Hasod that Klal Yisroel recognizes that we have the necessary ammunition to withstand the assault on our values and our way of life. The singing and dancing, the celebration and joy in R' Shimon bar Yochai is our recognition of what it is that will take through the ends of days and into the days of Moshiach.

Tanya Shiur #21 (RBT)

(Running time: 36 min. - Size: 6.17 MB)


For previous shiurim and info about the live tele-shiur, see the TANYA page.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tanya Shiur #20 (RBT)

(Running time: 31 min. - Size: 5.4 MB )

For previous shiurim and info about the live tele-shiur, see the TANYA page.