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, March 28, 2012

Tanya Shiur #17 (RBT)

(Running time: 43 min. - Size: 7.6 MB)

For previous shiurim, go to the TANYA page.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rebbe Quotes: A Picture of Servitude

"What does servitude look like?

My Favorite Shiur (Part 1/3)

While this shiur is for any time during the year, the Rebbe spoke about it now as it specifically relates to Pesach and offers a path to many of the themes of the upcoming Yom Tov.

We all know that Hashem is the source of all things, that He is good and that He loves us. We understand that we must follow His Torah and mitzvos, that He sees and knows all and that there is nothing more enriching than connecting with Him.

Knowing, however, is a far cry from integrating. Our heads and hearts act as total strangers in the majority of instances, completely out-of-sync. Each one is operating on its own without anything connecting them. That third gear which allows the brain and our real-time, actualized self to run congruently is the elusive missing link, holding up the works in every area of life. What if we could take those things that we know to be true about Hashem and the nature of His world, and really live with that understanding? In other words, what if we would actualize in practice what we already know intellectually?

Well, for starters, we would be awesome.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Calling Up A Kohen Twice

In the shul's Halacha Summary for this coming week, it says the following:

"If there is no Levi in shul, the Cohen who received the first portion is called again for the second portion."

While this does seem to be the prevalent custom, the Rebbe shlit"a has said that this practice "has no pshat", and it is better for that Kohen to stand outside (where he can hear the laining), and they should call up three Yisraelim instead. The Minchas Elazar held the same way (as brought in the Munkatcher Siddur).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tanya Shiur #16 (RBT)

Inside the Ohel of the Baal Hatanya in Haditch.
Chapter 13 - Part 2 (Running time: 31:28 min. - Size: 5.5 MB)
Vetzivah Hakohen (PDF) quoted in the shiur

All previous shiurim are on the TANYA page.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vayikra: Hashem Wants YOU!

אדם כי יקריב מכם קרבן לה' - ויקרא א, ב
אדם למה נאמר, מה אדם הראשון לא הקריב מן הגזל, שהכל היה שלו, אף אתם לא תקריבו מן הגזל - רש"י בשם ויקרא רבה

When a person from among you will bring an offering to Hashem. (Vayikra 1:2). Just as Adam brought from that which belonged to him, similarly, when you bring a korban it must belong to you and not be something stolen. (Rashi)

The concept of מצוה הבאה מעבירה, that you can not perform a mitzvah with something that you acquired by unethical means, is a rule applicable universally across all of Torah. The question is begged, why did the Torah need to single this out with the mitzvah of korbanos?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pekudei Posts

See below in the "You may also like" for last year's posts for Parshas Pekudei.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of My Customers

A chosid once came to his Rebbe for a berachah regarding his parnasah, but was disappointed when the Rebbe was barely responsive. A short while later, another chasid went in to the Rebbe and was there for a long time, speaking about similar topics as the first chasid, and indeed received the Rebbe's blessing for his success.

Finally, unable to restrain himself, the first chasid approached the Rebbe and asked, "Rebbe, I don't understand. What's the difference between my friend and I? When I asked for a berachah, the Rebbe for the most part ignored me, but for my friend, the Rebbe gave him time and blessings."

Berich Sh'mei

In the "Halacha Summary" going out for next week, the first point brought up is:

"The Sefer Torah should be removed from the Aron Kodesh immediately after the congregation has recited the verses “Vay’hi binso’a” etc. This is because the paragraph Berish Sh’mei should be recited after the Sefer Torah has been taken out of the Aron Kodesh."

I just wanted to mention that while this is the custom according to some (See Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4, Siman 70, Section 9), the Baal Hatanya (in his siddur) and the Minchas Elazar (in Darchei Chaim V'Shalom) both hold that Berich Sh'mei should be recited while the Sefer Torah is still in the Aron Kodesh. This is the prevalent custom among chassidim.

Tanya Shiur #15 (RBT)

Chapter 13 (Running time: 51 min. - Size: 8.8 MB)
Pri Haartez (PDF) quoted in the shiur

All previous shiurim can be found on the TANYA page.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thirty Days Before Pesach

The Jewish 911 - Emergency Help Line

Written by the Rebbe, Rav Michel Twerski, shlit"a, for Pesach 1991/5751
From Turning Pages (pg. 92-93)

America's cities have, in recent years, introduced a telephone crisis line "911" whose function it is to summon the appropriate communal agency to respond to any emergency called into its switchboard. A quick "911" call, thus brings out forthwith the fire department, rescue squad, police, CIA. federal agents, one of the above, or all of the above. The logic is obvious. It is designed to simplify matters so that but one short telephone number need be committed to memory, in order to call for help.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hashem, Where Are You? (audio)

Photo from this morning's shiur.
This past Shabbos, the Rebbe and Rav Benzion both went down to Chicago to celebrate the kiddush for Rav Efraim's new maidaleh. This morning by the shiur, the Rebbe said over what he said at Shalosh Seudos.

Hafladig isn't the word to describe this shiur. Everyone has, at some time or another, asked Moshe Rabeinu's question, "Hashem, where is Your honor?" The circumstances of one's life do not always facilitate the perception of Hashem's love. Sometimes we feel abandoned or alone. As convinced as we are about our faith, there isn't anyone who can say they haven't had to grapple with the seeming lack of Hashem's Presence in the cards they've been dealt. In this shiur, the Rebbe speaks about these questions, and more importantly, he offers a perspective on present challenges and past mistakes that offers great chizuk and even the ability to be joyous in the face of adversity and tribulation.

Videos: The Rebbe's Purim Drashos 5772

I hope everyone had a freilichen and productive Purim. Once again, Purim in Milwaukee was gevaldig! The Rebbe feered a short tish immediately after the Megilah at night at which he introduced a new nigun l'kavod Purim. During the day, after everyone's individual seudos, the chevra all gathered together at the home of Rav Benzion where the Rebbe feered a L'chaim Tish and said Torah twice. At the conclusion of the tish, everyone met up again at shul for nearly an hour of dancing before the Rosh Kollel led Maariv in his classic, "Vizhnitzer" nusach.

Click READ MORE for the videos of the Rebbe saying Torah, courtesy of Tzuriel Kastel.

New Nigun Purim 5772

Photo: Breaking the fast after the Megilah 5772
On his recent trip to California, the Rebbe composed this new nigun.

Kedushas Tzion's Lo Seivoshi Nigun (Part 2)

(See here for the main part of this article.)

Famous  picture of the Kedushas Tzion on a wagon.
Below is a clip of the mitzvah tantz from the second Rachmistrivker chasunah. The Rebbe is dancing to the same nigun as in the previously posted video. In this clip you can hear another part which is similar to the way its sung in Bobov but still not the same. If it takes a long time to buffer, you can change the quality to 240p.

Hat tip: Avrohom Moshe Reiss.

Video: T'Kah B'Shofar in Chaim Berlin

Rav Yitzchak Hutner, ztz"l, on Purim
 The Rebbe's T'kah B'shofar, as sung in Yeshivas Chaim Berlin on Purim 5772:

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Bombshell at AJOP"

The following is a quote from Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein on regarding Rav Benzion's "Bombshell at AJOP":

At some point I hope to summarize one of the sessions that I delivered, entitled “The Top Ten Reasons Why Frum People Are Unhappy With Their Yiddishkeit.” I pulled no punches, but deserve little credit for candor. I live on the West Coast, relatively out of the reach of those who detest candor and honesty. Truth be told, though, nothing I said held a candle to the breathtaking courage of Rabbi Benzion Twerski of Milwaukee, who spoke to 600 people, roughly evenly divided between kiruv professionals and laypeople from the New York area who drove up to Stamford to try out some of what Rabbi Lowebraun put together for them. R' Twerski spoke after the two other scheduled speakers at this session, namely R' Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit”a, the Novominsker Rebbe, shlit”a, both members of the US Moetzes.

After close to a twenty minute lead-up to the centerpiece of his presentation, he spoke of the need to relate differently to the expectations of those to whom we reach out and offer membership in the community of the halachically observant. More importantly, he said we need to relate differently to a need in the lives of the tens of thousands of yeshiva-trained people who have left the Beis Medrash for the world of employment.

The transition came with a story, courtesy of Rabbi Berel Wein. A talmid told him that he was no longer learning in yeshiva. “But don’t worry. I’m not working, either.”

With that, you could sense that something momentous was about to happen..."

Click HERE to read the rest. To listen to the entire shiur, click HERE.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Noise and Purim

Written by the Rebbe, Rav Michel Twerski, shlit"a, for Purim 5751 (1991)

(from Turning Pages, 64-65)

White noise. Remember white noise? It's the specially crafted "noise" modem technology concocted to blot out the many undesirable sounds and noises which surround us constantly. Ostensibly, if one wishes to escape the cacophony of whirs, buzzes, clanks and rings of contemporary life, one invokes an electrical "sound box" to release a comforting stream of static noise (white noise) which, by focusing the attention of the listener exclusively to this soothing sound, blocks reception to all other noises extraneous to itself.