Friday, April 21, 2017

Shmini - Revealing Hashem's Glory

What is needed for 'Hashem's Glory to be revealed?' How are the barriers removed that stand between the Jewish people and Hashem? What is the purpose of the sacrifices in the Mishkan-tabernacle? How does one infuse one's mitzvah observance with Hashem's presence? What is the natural spiritual state of a Jew?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:41

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Asking Hashem for what I want vs. what I need

One of my favorite topics is the idea of bitachon - trust. I have been listening for years to the shiurim on this topic of my Rosh Yeshiva, R' Yechiel Perr. I recently got a book that he recommended as part of the shiur called "The Six Steps of Bitachon" by R' Chaim Goldberger. This book lays down a framework that can work for anyone. Among the steps is determining that the thing one is asking Hashem for is a 'need.' Then one goes about developing one's trust in Hashem that the need will be filled.

My question is this: Can I only get what I 'need' from Hashem? Can I ask Hashem for something I want?

I would like to believe that Hashem is like a loving parent. As a parent, of course I provide my children with their needs. But I also often provide them with their wants, even if they are not needs. This is part of the way I show love for them.

So can I trust Hashem that He will provide me with my wants?

Part of my personal challenge is that I often am propelled into action by need much more often than by want. "Urgent and Important" is a much greater motivator than "Important but not Urgent."

And I often feel like Hashem is constantly providing me with my needs, but I don't feel as much that He is providing my wants.

But it is often true that my relationship with Hashem is a reflection of my relationship with myself.

So, could it be that I only get what I 'need' from Hashem because I only give motivate myself with 'need?' What if I started doing the things I don't 'need' to do, but rather they are things I 'want' to do - things that are important, but not urgent. Maybe then I would be better able to receive from Hashem the things I 'want,' not just what I 'need.'

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pesach - Rose of the Valley

What is the difference between a Chavatzelet-rose and a Shoshana-rose? What is the parallel between our sojourn in Egypt and the many challenges we have faced as a nation? What is the parallel between the exodus and the final redemption? What is the idea of the song that we sang then and that we will sing in the future?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 20:44

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tzav - Finding Peace

What is the concept of the korbanos-sacrifices? How does the study of Torah assure the Jewish people that they need not fear the heaviness of the idea of the sacrifices? What is the concept of the Shelamim-Peace sacrifice? Why does the concept of Peace always come last? What is the depth of the importance of peace? How does peace relate to the concept of the korbanos-sacrifices?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 28:03

Friday, March 31, 2017

Vayikra - Servant Leadership

How is the average Israelite meant to approach the book of Leviticus which seems to contain mostly laws for Kohen-priests? What is the take home lesson for us when the midrash speaks about Moshe's special relationship with Hashem? What is the meaning of Hashem's reference to the Jewish people as 'His?' How can we relate to someone else's 'specialness' when we don't feel particularly special ourselves?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 27:03

Friday, March 24, 2017

Vayakhel-Pekudei - Nature and Nurture

Why is is it important for us to know the lineage of Betzalel - his father, his grandfather and his tribe? What is the reason for his greatness - his grandfather, his grandmother, his tribe or specifically Hashem filling him with inspiration? What does the midrash mean when it says that even the animals were filled with a spirit of wisdom in the creation of the mishkan-tabernacle? How can we learn from and contribute to the specialness of our family line and tribe?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 21:52

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ki Sisa - Choosing Greatness

What does it mean when the midrash says that 'Hashem reviews the material four times before teaching the Torah to the people of Israel?' What is the depth of the idea that those who have fear of Heaven merit to have offspring who embody Torah? What is the idea behind the book of generations that was shown to Adam and contains the names of every great person that would ever live? Why did Avraham see a vision of all of the ups and downs of the Jewish people throughout their history? Is greatness something that is chosen with free will or predetermined?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 28:27

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tetzaveh-Purim - Power of Prayer

What is the concept behind the special clothes of the Kohanim? What is the Torah referring to when it says 'this is the thing that you shall do to sanctify the Kohanim unto me?' Why did Mordechai return to his fasting, praying and sackcloth even after he saw that the tide was turning and the Jews were soon to be saved? How can we atone for our sins without the sacrifices of the Temple? What is the true power of prayer?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 22:53

Friday, March 3, 2017

Terumah - Shechinah Returning

What is the concept of the Mishkan-Tabernacle? How does it act as a continuation of the revelation at Mount Sinai? What is the depth of the concept of the Shechina leaving as a result of man's sins, and returning through the deeds of the righteous? How can we create a 'tabernacle' for our own revelations of Hashem in our lives?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 22:01

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mishpatim - Preparatory Angel

Why does Hashem inform the Jewish people of their future in the very midst of the revelation at Sinai? Is the angel who will lead them in the future a positive or negative force? What is the reassurance to Jacob that he can 'ascend the ladder' and that he will never fall, if the Jewish people could sin and fall? What is the significance of the angel's presence in the blessings and in times of trouble?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 25:11