Friday, June 29, 2012

You can do anything

Do you know that you have unlimited power inside of you?

Do you know that it is there, bubbling beneath the surface?

Do you know that you - yes you! - have the ability to change the world?

There's a voice that quickly snaps, "No, that's not true."

But underneath the harshness of its tone, there is a hint of something hopeful, perhaps wistful. Something inside of you believes that I might really be talking to you.

Because I am.

And it's true.

I'm reminded of a time that I spoke to an elderly woman. She had grown up in a world of resentment. In a world without God.

When she was young, a close family member had taken ill, and she was told to pray, and that God would heal. She prayed for a week, and the person died. But no one told her, and she kept praying for another week.

When they finally did tell her, she learned that God does not answer prayers, if He's there at all.

And that little girl went through life without God.

And even as the elderly woman told her story, and explained why she could not pray to this very day, I watched a tear form in the edge of her eye.

That same voice that tells us not to pray, because He's not listening, that same part of us that is cold and hardened, also wishes that we would somehow figure out how to break its macho facade.
That part of us that has us convinced that we can never burst out and use our potential, that has us believe that we are limited...

... it knows the truth. That its own 'truth' is a shabby, forlorn version of reality. That its covering up a diamond that is meant to shine out into the world with all its brilliance.

And that God is waiting to shine His light through that gem stone out onto the world. Not just for yourself, so that you can make a claim to its light. That would be the return of the false voice.

That light you have inside is meant to shine for everyone to see - for their sake. Because when they see it, they will realize that they also have a light to shine, and they will reflect it back at you.

And the most amazing thing happens when I'm shining my sun on you - just for you - and you are shining your star on me - just for me...

... because at that moment, there is no me, and there is no you. There's only the light that we're shining, which is the light of God.

Chukas - Waters of Desire

What is the concept of the well? When was the song of the well sung? Who sang the song? Why was there a song connected to the water? Why was it specifically the merit of Miriam that was the cause of the miracle of the well? What was underlying the sin of Moshe when he struck the rock? What is the general concept of water?

Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.

Running time: 36:05

Friday, June 22, 2012

Korach - Understanding the Tzaddik

What is the superficial view behind the rebellion of Korach? What is the special character of Aharon that is being challenged? How does this story parallel the story of Yosef and his brothers? What is the parallel to Amalek and the Jewish people? What is the concept of the staff of Aharon that flowers and blossoms, producing fruit? What does the cryptic medrash mean when it says that Aharon's staff swallowed the staffs of the other tribes, as it did to the staffs of Pharaoh's necromancers? How many staffs were there? What is the general concept of the staff? What is the connection between the staff and the tzaddik?

Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.

Running time: 30:11

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shelach vort 2 - Deeper truth

I had two thoughts this week on the parsha. The first was the official 'studio' recording podcast. This is the second which I presented in my parsha shiur this morning in Beis Medrash Ahavas Shalom.

Presented is the very beautiful and deep concept of R' Nachman, as expounded by R' Nosson, which is the concept of truth and true truth.

Click here to download the second version of the parsha podcast.

Runnning time: 17:47

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shelach - Spiritual resonance

What is the deeper idea behind the story of the spies? What was the great sin of the Jewish people in this story? Why does Hashem seem so angry with them, to the point that He is ready to destroy them? How does one access the power of spiritual resonance?

Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.

Running time: 22:56

Friday, June 8, 2012

Behaaloscha - Doing what you really want

Why does the command to light the Menorah in the sanctuary immediately follow the sacrifices of the Nesi'im of the tribes? What is the underlying concept of those sacrifices? What is the underlying concept of the lighting of the Menorah? What is the great praise of Aharon that he 'did as he was told?' What is the deeper connection between the Menorah and Shabbos? What is the secret of will which is found in Shabbos? How does one tap into his true will, to do what he truly wants, as opposed to what he 'feels' like doing?

Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.

Running time: 23:50