Length: 38 minutes
As the month of Shevat begins, we approach the new year for the trees. The entire month is also part of the period called Shovavim, the weeks from Parshas Shemos through Mishpatim. This is a time for teshuva and reflection, when we read about our transition from slaves in Mitzrayim to becoming free to serve Hashem. Just as the tree bears many different beautiful fruits, each one of us has unique spiritual abilities that need to be nurtured in order to blossom forth.
Length: 33 minutes
Tu B’Shevat (the 15th day of Shevat) is the new year for the trees- the day when the sap starts to rise in the trees in order to begin the formation of fruit. The significance of this day demonstrates that the very early stages are critical to the outcome. We should not view our lives as independent, isolated days, but rather as a cumulative growth process, building from the very beginning.
Length: 50 minutes
In the first aliyah (section) of Parshas Bo, Hashem tells Moshe that He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. The Seforno explains that Hashem took away Pharaoh’s ability to succumb to the physical pressures of the makkos, but left him with the possibility of recognizing Hashem’s greatness and doing real teshuva (repentance). This significant feature is indicative of the way that we must relate to Hashem-learning from experiences and really transforming, rather than simply responding to pressure.
Length: 53 minutes
In the second aliyah (section) of Parshas Bo, the plague of darkness is discussed. The Egyptians experienced a thick darkness, while the Jews had light even amongst the Mitzriyim. This separation is apparent throughout the Makkos, except for the final plague, Makkas Bechoros. Through Yetzias Mitzrayim, Bnei Yisroel are shifting to a distinct existence as a nation. They will no longer experience other-worldly occurrences in which light and darkness can serve together; rather, they will be part of the laws of nature, with entire units affected by the same elements.
Length: 57 minutes
In the third aliyah (section) of Parshas Bo¸ Hashem tells Moshe to request that the Jewish people ask their Egyptian friends for silver and gold utensils in order to keep His promise to Avraham that Bnei Yisroel will leave Mitzrayim with great wealth. It is not enough that they would later receive tremendous spoils on the shores of the Yam Suf, rather, they received vessels from the Egyptians because they respected and admired the Jewish people at this point. Hashem did not want Bnei Yisroel to leave as lowly slaves, but rather as people of stature, esteemed in the eyes of the Egyptians.
Length: 54 minutes
In the fourth aliyah (section) of Parshas Bo, Makkas Bechoros (the plague of the firstborn) is introduced to Pharaoh as the ultimate makkah which will lead the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim. The first mitzvah, Kiddush HaChodesh (sanctifying the month), is also included in this aliyah. Both of these matters are significant in the process of Yetzias Mitzrayim, when the Jewish people are singled out as Hashem’s chosen nation, taken above the limitations of nature and made into His partner.
Length: 52 minutes
In the fifth aliyah of Parshas Bo, we see the first part of the transition of the Jewish People from slavery to servitude of Hashem. When Moshe commands the elders of Bnei Yisroel to bring the korban pesach, he says mishchu u’kichu, if you have a sheep take it, and if you don’t have a sheep buy one. On a deeper level, we can understand this to mean mishchu, remove yourself from the servitude of Pharoh, u’kichu, and take for yourself servitude to Hashem. We have 613 mitzvos, 613 ways of serving Hashem as part of the fabric of our lives. We don’t stop our day to perform mitzvos, the obligations that we have are the way we live.
Length: 58 minutes
The seventh aliyah(section) of Parshas Bo includes two of the paragraphs that are inside of tefillin. These paragraphs discuss the sanctity of the firstborn, who were saved even though all of the Egyptian firstborns were killed. We explore the differences in the 2 paragraphs, as well as their significance. As the chosen nation, we have the special status as Hashem’s bechor (firstborn). The first has extra sanctity because it is similar to Hashem, who is the beginning of everything. With these 2 paragraphs in tefillin, we explain to our children who we are, and what our place is in the world.
Length: 59 minutes
A person can serve Hashem and pray to Him as an eved (servant) or as a sar (prince), either out of subordination or inspiration. Avraham Avinu inspired people to serve Hashem, and therefore he did not want to keep the people of Sedom as captives, forced to be subordinate. However, his children were punished for this with enslavement in Mitzrayim. We were freed from the Egyptians in order to be submissive to and completely reliant on Him, and we express this servitude with the juxtaposition of geulah (redemption) to tefillah-the Shemoneh Esrei prayer.
Length: 42 minutes
We continue our studies in the Gur Aryeh, the commentary of the Maharal on Rashi.
During the weeks of Shovavim (the 6 week period between Parshas Shemos through Parshas Mishpatim), there is a traditional consciousness developed for matters of kedusha (holiness) and purity specifically in the realm of relationships.
This coincides with the Parshiyos discussing the development of the Jewish nation from within Mitzrayim, a nation specifically debased in relationships. We will be featuring shiurim relating to these topics, including Shalom Bayis and Taharas Hamishpacha (family purity).
Length: 1 hour 13 minutes
When we view ourselves as two parts of a single whole, we define ourselves in terms of our relationship and responsibility to our spouse. In our times, there is excessive focus on self-actualization separated from relationship; therefore, it becomes much more difficult to see our primary role in that way. However, the true actualization of self and purpose of our existence comes from being there for others. There are three specific areas where this all-important relationship can be reinforced: ensuring our spouse is never lonely, giving proper time and attention, and being there for our children, who are living expressions of two halves forming a whole.
Length: 1 hour 9 minutes
The first section of the comprehensive review of family purity laws focuses on the laws pertaining to the process of ensuring that a woman is clean from blood. The discussion includes details about the hefsek taharah and the seven clean days.
Dvar Torah Chanukah 5778 Even as Chanukah celebrates the impressive Hasmonean victory over the Greek armies, we more prominently commemorate the miracle of the hidden flask of Menorah oil. And while the battlefield conjures up images of strength and bluster, Chanukah...read more
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Money and Contemporary Jewish Life – Part I NEW VIDEO
Money and Contemporary Jewish Life – Part II NEW VIDEO