Sunday, March 4, 2018
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Kerisus and the first days of Elul
Talmud starts with the enumerating of major major sins
Why give a number? To explain to you that each one has to be atoned for separately, even if it was all one big "forgetting." In Elul, there is a tendency to think, "You know, let me just do a "general" Teshuvah, that should be good enough." The Talmud comes to teach us, "No, each separate action requires its own atonement, even if it was all one great forgetting."
Meilah-Tamid and Elul
Two kinds of Teshuvah
1) for using holy instruments for non-sacred purposes (Meilah)
2) to implement consistency and constant dedication (Tamid)
Niddah and Rosh Hashanah
7-day and 11-day cycles
Brachot and Rosh Hashanah
Kriat Shemah (accepting the yoke of G-d's kingship)
Shabbat and Yom Kippur
Teshuvah is a two-way process. We are knocking on G-d's door as poor people bereft of mitzvot. If both us and Hashem participate in the Teshuva process (Hashiveinu Hashem Elecha veNashuva), then both are pturim.
Eruvim and Sukkot
- Gemara discussion compares it to Sukkah.
- Aravah; mixing, shaking together the arbah minim
Pesachim and Cheshvan
Or L'Arbah Asar Bodkim et HaChametz L'Or HaNer.
This is the beginning of Avodat HaBerurim. We move from G-d as Creator to G-d as redeemer. We redeem the chametz through engaging in mitzvot (Ner Mitzvah Torah Or)
We go from "Or" (light, the first act of Creation) to "the 14th" (gematria of Yad). And mitzvot elevate the chametz back to the Or, the source of Creation.
My revered father, [the Rebbe Rashab,] once told a chassid at yechidus: “From the time the Holy One, blessed be He, told Avraham, ‘Go forth from your land,’5 and thereafter ‘Avram journeyed on, continuing to travel southward,’6 the mystical mission of beirurim began. [This term signifies the task of sifting materiality, and elevating the Divine sparks that are embedded within all permissible entities and activities, by using them with spiritual purpose.]
Shekalim and Cheshvan
Temple, elevating the physical (two halves - male and female - see Heh and Vav
Yoma and Cheshvan/Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Yahrzeit of Matisyahu Kohen Gadol
Sukkah and Kislev/Chanukah
8 days paralleling Sukkot; siyum is the story of Miriam bat Bilgah, at the time of Chanukah, who had assimilated and married a Greek guard, who kicked the altar.
Beitzah and Kislev/Chanukah
Egg that was born on Yom Tov is something that was concealed that is now revealed
Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah/Teveth
- Rosh Chodesh was mitzvah Greeks wanted to abolish. The calendar is the source of Jewish wisdom in the eyes of the nation.
- Machloket regarding Nissan and Tishrei reflects Machloket Yehudah and Yosef
Ta'anit and Teveth/Fast of Teveth
Ta'anit is all about fasting (connection is pretty obvious). (In the division of the Mishna, it also falls here)
Megillah and Teveth
Law of Blessing before the Torah / Torah Sh'Bichtav
Moed Katan and Yud Shvat (day of Siyum)
Mourning for the Friediker Rebbe
Chagigah and Tu B'Shvat
Trees singing (Chagigah 14b)
Yevamot (and Seder Nashim) and 22nd Shvat
Yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka (she was childless, although all Chabad Chassidim were her children
Ketubot and Adar/Purim
Ketubot starts by speaking about a young virgin that is to get married, like the beginning of Megilat Esther.
|12. She requites him with good and not with evil all the days of her life.||יבגְּמָלַ֣תְהוּ ט֣וֹב וְלֹא־רָ֑ע כֹּ֜֗ל יְמֵ֣י חַיֶּֽיהָ:|
Sefirot/Perek Shirah (Weeks):
10th day of the cycle of Netzach (Victory/Endurance), which is the 3rd day of the 23rd week of the year (Leviathan), Tiferet shebeGevurah shebeNetzach, Balance/Beauty within Might/Discipline within Victory/Endurance.
Mishna Berura: 313 & 314
There is not the vaguest shadow of doubt that, wherever our feet tread, it is all in order to cleanse and purify the world with words of Torah and tefilla (prayer). We, all of Israel, are emissaries of G‑d, each of us as Divine Providence has decreed for us. None of us is free from this sacred task placed on our shoulders.
Studying Talmud and related works, studying Chassidus, and actual avoda, are all imperative. Not only can there be no thought of one superseding or being superseded by the other, on the contrary, their relationship is symbiotic, mutually enriching: An ignorant person cannot be a chassid,1 so the study of Talmud and halacha is an absolute necessity. Who is a chassid? He who conducts himself with piety toward his Creator,2 so there must be the study of Chassidus, and the ultimate purpose of all study is, after all, actual avoda.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Samech stands for "Somech Noflim," "[Hashem] supports the fallen." Its shape is a circle, and stands for the different highs and lows of life. This is very much the theme of Purim. Not only did Hashem support us when we had fallen, but also the story itself comes "full circle," with Mordechai and the Jews (who were down) brought up, and Haman (who was up) brought down.
Ayin means "eye," as well as "well," "fountain," "spring." The eye is known as the "window to the soul," shedding light on a person's inner dimension. Similarly, a wellspring represents the revelation of the hidden, inner spiritual aspects of the earth, its deeper waters. (See Sixth Set of 22-days) This is also one of the themes of the month of Adar, revealing (Megilah) that which is hidden (Esther).
Both above themes, a) relying only on G-d for support, whether in a high or a low, and b) revealing the hidden spirituality with everything, can be found in the song of the Stars:
The Stars are saying, "You, only You, are God; You made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; the earth, and everything that is in it; the seas, and everything that is in them; and You preserve them all; and the host of heaven prostrate themselves to You." (Nehemiah 9:6)
Stars themselves also offer us a glimpse into the vastness of the universe. They grant us a better sense of our smallness and of G-d's greatness. The name Esther comes from the word for star. She is referred to in Psalm 22 as Ayelet HaShachar, the "Morning Star." The morning star is the very last one to shine before daybreak. Similarly, Esther is the last prophet(ess) before the coming of Mashiach and the final redemption.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
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