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).

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.

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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.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Acharei Mos and Kedoshim Links


Even though it is more for Parshas Shemini, the discussion the episode of Nadav and Avihu carries through to Acharei Mos as well. In the extended article, there are two links on the topic of Aharon's silence, along with three audio shiurim. In addition, there are links to previous posts from Parshas Kedoshim.

Kedoshim: Making Use of Self-Service

דבר אל כל עדת בני ישראל ואמרת אלהם קדושים תהיו כי קדוש אני ה' אלקיכם. איש אמו ואביו תיראו ואת שבתתי תשמרו אני ה' אלקיכם. אל תפנו אל האלילם ואלקי מסכה לא תעשו לכם אני ה' אלקיכם. - ויקרא יט, ב-ד

“Speak to the community of the Children of Israel and say to them: You should be holy because I, Hashem, your G-d, am holy. Every person shall revere his mother and father and you shall observe My Shabbosim – I am Hashem, your G-d. Do not turn to idols, and molded gods you shall not make for yourselves – I am Hashem, your G-d." (Vayikra 19:2-4)

The commentaries point out that each of these three verses ends with the proclamation, “I am Hashem, your G-d.” 

The Rebbe, shlit"a explained this observation by saying that the three pesukim are in ascending order of difficulty, as follows: