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

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Length: 51 minutes
As we get close to Kabbalas Hatorah, we complete this series with one final, fundamental element of man that distinguishes him from animals. Man has a neshama, a piece of Hashem that transcends anything on this physical earth. When a person makes decisions objectively, guided by his neshama, he is connecting to Hashem’s Torah, and focusing on his real purpose. The nazir separates himself from pleasures in this world in order to be “neshama focused”. Although we are supposed to enjoy this world, we need to ensure that it does not distract us from our real purpose, and from allowing our neshama to give us eternal life.
Length: 52 minutes
The blessings and curses of Parshas Bechukosai are specifically read before Shavuos, when we re-commit ourselves to the Torah. Shavuos is the new year for the fruits of the tree, and also the time that we were returned to the immortal state of Adam before he sinned in Gan Eden. Adam’s curse was related to toiling and working the ground, transforming his toil to physical, when it had been purely spiritual in Gan Eden. As we approach the day of Matan Torah, we want our toil to return to the higher, more lofty work that Adam had in Gan Eden—toil in Torah, to refine us and make us better people.
Length: 54 minutes
We are instructed to remember the event of Maamad Har Sinai, when we received the Torah. It used to be that people relived this event every time they learned Torah-they felt as if Hashem was talking to them. Nowadays, we do not have such a strong sense of this. Specifically on the Yom Tov of Shavuos, it is important to relive Matan Torah, listening to the Aseres Hadibros as a community, standing as one, ready to hear the word of Hashem.
Length: 55 minutes
On Shavuos, we read Megillas Rus, the story of the ancestor of David Hamelech, Rus, who clung to her mother-in-law Naomi and joined the Jewish people. Our acceptance of the Torah at Har Sinai made our whole nation converts, and is a macro version of what any individual convert does before becoming a Jew. If someone wants to join the Jewish people for material benefits, we do not allow him to join. Rus wanted to come to the Jewish people out of pure, selfless, dedication to Naomi. When we act in a truly selfless manner, we gain true satisfaction and the key to eternity, and will be properly prepared for Kabbalas Hatorah.
Length: 33 minutes
On Shavuos, we are required to have a feast and to celebrate, in order to demonstrate our excitement and joy at receiving the Torah. This happiness is a prerequisite to receiving the Torah, just like our original joyous acceptance with the words “naaseh v’nishmah” (we will do and we will hear). If we do not show proper appreciation for this gift, certain mitzvos can be taken from us, like korbanos (offerings) and other mitzvos related to the Beis Hamikdash. As the time of re-accepting the Torah approaches, it is our job to embrace it with true joy and happiness.
Length: 47 minutes
Hashem spoke to Moshe in Midbar Sinai, a desert which is ownerless. We are taught that a person must make themselves ‘ownerless’ like a desert in order to be fully receptive to the Torah. In the desert, we were free of the two main obligations which usually demand our attention-the yoke of society and the yoke of nature. With these aspects taken care of, we were free to focus on the voice of Hashem-the third main draw that we have in the world. As we approach Kabbalas Hatorah, we try to reenact the original framework, focusing solely on the voice of Hashem without becoming distracted by society or the call of nature.
In this series, we explore Ethics of our Fathers in depth. We explore the rich lessons which will enhance our daily life, using the explanation of the Maharal and other commentaries.
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