May, 2009 Archives

25
May

Shavuot in Aish LA All night: …

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Shavuot in Aish LA All night: Hallel Fri night: David & Batsheva Sat morn Samson

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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25
May

Phone shiur tonight 8:30PM Da’…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Phone shiur tonight 8:30PM Da’at Tevunot call 218-486-1616 and then enter

ID 375711

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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25
May

What can I do each day before …

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

What can I do each day before Shavuot to prepare? Today: Review Yitro Ten Statements, study one chapter of Mikvaot for purity

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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25
May

Wondering what I would do to p…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Wondering what I would do to prepare .if I had arrived yesterday at Mt Sinai

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
May

The Creativity of Choice: Part 2

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Music of Halacha

It’s Your Choice

The teenager finished high school and is home, bored out of his mind. He has nothing to do. He spent a day or two pounding the pavements of the city looking for a job.

Unfortunately, he failed to find one. So, he spends his day sitting in his room and doing something on his computer. (His parents don’t want to ask.)

My perspective is that he is choosing not to work. He feels that it is not his choice because he cannot find a job. “I want to work,” he claims. “If you wanted to work, you would be out there everyday, looking for work,” I respond. “OK, maybe I don’t really want to work, but I want to make money.” To which I respond, “You would look for work if you wanted to make money. I believe that you want to have money without working for it. Your parents are giving you spending money so you have money. You are choosing to spend your day hiding from life in your room, rather than face the frustration of looking for work and then actually working.”

His parents are also making a choice: They are choosing to provide him with all his basic needs despite the fact that serves as a disincentive for him to go out and look for work. His parents are choosing to not ask him what he does on his computer all day.

We all constantly make choices. We don not necessarily articulate them as choices because we are not aware that we are making choices. Please note: I am not referring to Bechira Chofshit – Free Choice, which is an entirely different level of choice. We choose what to eat. We choose whether we want the immediate pleasure of a piece of cake rather than watch our waistlines and health. We choose to speak in anger. We choose to say destructive things. We choose to waste time. We constantly make choices. We won’t necessarily acknowledge them as choices, but we are always choosing.

The Shabbat laws insist that we understand that we are constantly making choices and that choosing is creative, or, in the context of Halacha, choosing is self-defining.

When I have a bowl of mixed peanuts and raisins before me and I prefer the peanuts and reach for one, Halacha says that I am choosing. The Shabbat laws teach that if someone puts a bowl of good old-fashioned chicken soup in front of me, and I see a large piece of chicken and want to select it from the soup, I am choosing. Halacha warns me that if I allow all my paperwork and books to pile up during the week waiting for Shabbat to organize everything, that not only am I choosing to use my Shabbat in a certain way, I am making a choice with each piece of paper I pick up and decide where to place it in my file cabinet. Halacha treats the decision where to place one piece of paper from a pile of papers as a choice, a creative act, that may be prohibited on Shabbat.

The Shabbat laws want us to understand and appreciate that we are constantly choosing. It wants that teenage boy and his parents to understand everything that they are doing as choices. When people understand that they are making choices, and that those choices are self-defining, they will rethink their actions and words.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
May

The Creativity of Choice

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Music of Halacha

I confront the same problem each week: Shabbat has begun and there are piles of books spread all over the desk, chairs and floor of my study. I need all the books in order to learn and to prepare my classes, columns and podcasts. However, things pile up. I may have used five or six sefarim to prepare an answer to What is the Reason and simply added them to the Reason pile on my floor. I still have my Purim books out, just next to my Parah books. Can I replace the piles of different books into their proper shelves? Perhaps not!

One of the 39 Categories of Thoughtful Creative Action on Shabbat is “Borer”, or Sorting. After the wheat was threshed, a mixed pile of waste matter remained on the threshing floor together with the grain kernels. There would often be pebbles and similar debris mixed in. The pebbles were too heavy to be separated by winnowing, and too small to be sifted out. They had to be sorted and removed by hand. This process is “Borer” or Sorting.

Any form of selecting from, or sorting of, a mixture or combination, may be Borer. This includes removing undesired objects or matter from a mixture or combination.

As I reach for each book and sort one from the other I am treading on Borer.

The Talmud, Shabbat 73b, clarifies the distinctions between Borer – Sorting, Zoreh – Winnowing and Merakaid – Sifting. They all deal with different forms of separation between what I desire and what I do not. I believe that each of these Melachot deals with a different aspect of decision-making and choice.

I hope to use the next series of The Music of Halacha, with a break for the laws of Passover, to focus on these three Melachot and the lessons they can teach us about making choices.

My basic premise is that Choice is actually considered a creative act. The physical action of sorting between what I want – Ochel – and what I do not want – Pesolet, and between good and bad is sufficiently creative to be considered one of the 39 categories of prohibited work on Shabbat.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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22
May

Have a Gut Shabbes! make sure …

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Have a Gut Shabbes! make sure you get our latest tips and essays.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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22
May

Parsha: Would I want to use fl…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Parsha: Would I want to use flag of an ancient ancestor?

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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22
May

Parsha: Would I like to have a…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Parsha: Would I like to have a fixed place in a community?

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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22
May

Parsha: Much stress on Lifting…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Parsha: Much stress on Lifting Heads and carrying shoulders: where we differ from animals

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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