DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY OF ISAAC GAMEL ז''ל BY HIS FAMILY

 

Featured Audio Shiurim
Length: 55 minutes

The prohibitions of immoral relations are included in Sefer Vayikra, which is also called Toras Kohanim. Although these prohibitions are not directly related to the Kohanim or the Beis Hamikdash, they deal with taharah (purity) and kedusha (sanctity). Just like the mikdash is a place for Hashem’s presence, proper relationships bring His presence among the Jewish people. Every zivug (match) is divinely arranged, as each one is a unique relationship that can bring the presence of Hashem. Although we are complicated beings with physicality and spirituality joined, when we focus on another person, we can emulate Hashem and bring His presence down to our midst.

Length: 55 minute

The 3rd aliyah of Parshas Acharei Mos tells us the intriguing avodah (service) on Yom Kippur of the sa’ir l’azazel-the goat sent off a cliff into the wilderness. We discover the stark differences between the lot of Yaakov and the fate of Se’ir-Esav. The service of Yom Kippur directs us to identify with the heavenly, angelic and transcendent connection with Hashem, as opposed to an underworld of sorcery, which is firmly rooted to the earth and physicality in general.

Length: 50 minutes

This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the gift of Eretz Yisroel in our time, which happened during the period when we prepare to accept the Torah. These two gifts are strongly connected, as the Torah was primarily given to be kept in Eretz Yisroel. As human beings, we have physical and spiritual components. Our job in keeping the Torah properly is to use the elements to bring the Torah down to Earth, and elevate the physical land based on our commitment to keeping the Torah properly.

Length: 53 minutes

In Parshas Acharei Mos, we learn that Eretz Yisroel is unable to tolerate arayos (immorality) and that it will expel people who involve themselves in such behaviors. Hashem’s hashgacha (divine providence) is directly upon Klal Yisroel living in Eretz Yisroel, and it is more potent there than any other place Jewish people live. When we say Shema, we are declaring our emunah in Hashem and in His direct hashgacha. In galus, Hashem turns His face away and acts as though He is not directly involved. As Bnei Yisroel we already believe in Hashem’s involvement, and when the geulah arrives the entire world will be aware of His presence.

Length: 41 minutes

The 5th aliyah of Parshas Acharei Mos introduces the different prohibitions of immoral relations. The possuk emphasizes that Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, and we should not act like the debased Egyptians. When Yosef went down to Mitzrayim, he sanctified Hashem’s name by withstanding the test of immorality. We are a people who conduct ourselves with kedusha, reaching outside of ourselves to give to others, rather than using relationships for self-fulfillment.

Length: 1 hour

When the Kohen Gadol goes into the Kodesh Hakedoshim on Yom Kippur as is described in Parshas Acharei Mos, he is demonstrating the ultimate form of closeness to Hashem. This deveikus can be achieved when a person works on himself in order to be more like Hashem. Every person can in essence reach this level of closeness because he was created B’tzelem Elokim, in the image of Hashem. People are able to use their own koach haddibur (power of speech) to be just like Hashem.

Length: 50 minutes

This shiur explores how the Aseres Hadibros are hidden in the Parsha, with a focus of Lo Sachmod (do not be jealous). This is alluded to within the fundamental commandments to love our fellow man. It is our job to make this mitzvah a part of us, reaching a point where we can truly rejoice in the success of another, and share life experiences that our fellow man is going through.

Length: 33 minutes

In the 2nd aliyah of Parshas Kedoshim, we learn the mitzva of V’ahavta L’reiacha Kamocha, loving our friend as ourselves. This concept is the greatest principle in the Torah, as is taught by Rabi Akiva. During this period of Sefiras Ha’omer we are building up to Matan Torah when Klal Yisroel stood under Har Sinai like one man with one heart. In order to achieve that ultimate unity, we need to separate ourselves from our physicality and connect to each other in a spiritual way by working to achieve a higher level of kedusha. The period of Sefirah is when the students of Rabi Akiva died because they did not give kavod
(honor) to each other. As long as they remained separate entities the Torah was not able to be sustained. We spend this period of time working on ourselves to truly give kavod to each other and become one in order to bring ourselves to a level of accepting the Torah.

Length: 48 minutes

In the 5th aliyah of Parshas Kedoshim, the avodah zarah of molech is discussed. This form of idol worship, when a child is offered to the god through fire, is the complete opposite of how we serve Hashem. This model of avodah (service) is similar to the way that Kayin served Hashem, offering a small token as if he were giving up something that belonged to him. Hevel showed the correct model of serving Hashem, offering from the best of the sheep with the knowledge and recognition that the entire world belongs to Hashem. It is only after we serve Him, through making brachos, that we receive the great benefits of the world, which He gives to us to enjoy.

Length: 1 hour

In Parshas Kedoshim we find the mitzvah of “Kedoshim Tihiyu“, we should be kadosh(holy) because Hashem is kadosh. In Parshas Bereishis there is an interesting parallel between the creation of Chava and the creation of man himself. Hashem created a helpmate for Adam in order for him to have someone to connect to, someone created from his very flesh that is similar to him. The creation of man in relation to Hashem serves the same purpose. People have a Tzelem Elokim, as we were created in the image of G-d. This similarity enables us to connect to Him and attach ourselves to His kedusha. Our other unique gift as human beings, the power of speech, allows us to use our connection to Hashem to uplift ourselves and our prayers.

Length: 40 minutes

We continue learning the Gur Aryeh, the Maharal’s commentary on Rashi.

Length: 40 minutes

We continue learning the Gur Aryeh, the Maharal’s commentary on Rashi.

Length: 1 hour 5 minutes

The Maharal poses the question of the purpose of doing mitzvos in order to help us gain an understanding. He first discusses the approaches of the Rambam and the Ramban, but concludes that these positions are incorrect. His answer will be discussed in further parts of the shiur.

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