Posts Tagged ‘Torah’

12
Aug

Yaacov Dovid Shulman Presents: Rav Kook: The Joy That Torah Gives Us

by admin in Spiritual Growth

The joy that the Torah gives us comes from the preponderance of light within the letters of the Torah, filled as they are with the life force of divine pleasure. These letters pervade the totality of our soul with the light of life and the joy of heaven.

This is a joy that flows from the letters themselves, which are already comprehended by the soul. But more than that, it flows from the glorious spiritual life force that constantly cascades from the supernal wellsprings.

That life force is much more exalted than the letters that are comprehended by the soul with which we can communicate. The light of those letters’ hidden joy is great, filled with a tranquility and wondrous pleasure, which nothing can equal.

Oros HaTorah 5:2

Yaacov Dovid Shulman’s Writings can be found at ravkook.net and jewishlights.blogspot.com

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12
Aug

Shofetim: Which Artist?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Spiritual Growth

Jan van Eyck was one of the first artists to portray himself in a godlike pose: He painted himself facing forward.

Portraiture before this point was done on profile to mimic the portraits of Roman emperors minted onto coins. Only divine figures were painted facing forward. Van Eyck’s full-frontal portrait is not only an expression of his ego, but also with the philosophy of Neo-Platonism. He believed that art was the closest approximation to the perfection that must exist in Heaven, and that artists were therefore the conduit of a reflection, a shadow of the divine on earth.

Along the bottom of his self-portrait is written: “Johannes van Eyck me fecit”, which is Latin for “Jan van Eyck made me.”

This week’s portion, Shofetim, deals with the transmission of the Oral Law (See Marathon Man) and its creative power and energy. We agree with the Neo-Platonists that artists are the shadow of the divine on earth. We disagree with them about which artists meet this definition. We believe that only the artist in applying Torah to every aspect of this world and life is truly an artist. It is they, the masters of the Oral Law, not the van Eycks or Durers, who are considered the reflection of the Divine.

This power is offered to all. We do not need to be born with the special gifts of van Eyck, just with the desire to enter the palace of Torah and explore its treasures.

Author Info:


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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11
Aug

Timeless Tee Shirts

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

If everyone else can wear a tee-shirt with their hero’s name emblazoned on it, why can’t I? It is not because I don’t have any pictures: their tee-shirts just have a name a number. Perhaps that’s it: What number could I put on a Ramchal tee-shirt? A Rashi shirt would be awesome, and he must have a, what is it, a higher or lower number than the Ramchal. Do the numbers go up or down?

The other heroes are honored for their sports skills. Fans thrill when Derek Jeter hits a home run. I don’t understand why they are able to enjoy a baseball star’s accomplishments. How does it affect them?

My hero’s accomplishments enrich my life. Rashi’s brilliance not only enlightens me, it stimulates ideas and a passionate love for Torah. The Ramchal’s homeruns continue to resonate in my life as his words push me to grow, learn more, and search for an attachment to God.

Rashi and the Ramchal are timeless. They are as alive for me today as they were when they walked this earth. Torah gives us a live connection that bridges the ages and places. I can sit with Rashi in France, and a few minutes later, find myself at the feet of the Ramchal in Padua.

I pray with the same words as Rashi and the Ramchal. I study the same weekly portion, according to the same schedule as did they a long time ago. My prayers rise above time and place just like my learning. They both offer an opportunity to live a timeless life, only possible, because the Creator Himself is Timeless.

Author Info: 


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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2
Jul

This Week On The Foundation Stone

by admin in Music of Halacha, Prayer, Relationships, Spiritual Growth

This Week On The Foundation Stone:

Haftarah: Chukat – Balk: Variations on a Theme

Table Talk: Chukat

Parah Adumah – Links to Essays and Podcasts

Table Talk: Balak

The Torah Connection: Rabbi Yaakov Shlomo Weinberg

Life Lessons: The Heileger Chana Chaya: Chukat: Are You Missing The Miracles? and Do It Anyway

The Music of Halacha: Telling it Like It Is – An Introduction to the Laws of Rebuke

Bentzion of Medziboz’s Stories of the Baal Shem Tov: The Well of the Baal Shem Tov

Keter Shem Tov: Chapter 145

Forms of Prayer: Using the Siddur As A Workbook

Author Info:

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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11
Jun

i-Awaken: Rabbi David Lapin: Behaaoltecha

by admin in Music of Halacha, Spiritual Growth

Parshat Beha’alotecha and Shelach 5769

© Rabbi David Lapin, 2009

Halacha synchronizes us and unites us in ways that chronology and geography cannot.

Two events are chronologically synchronized if they occur at the same moment irrespective of where in the world they occur. Halachick synchronicity is different. It is a fascinating idea different from the idea of chronological synchronicity.

Halachik synchronicity occurs when two events happen at the same moment of the day in their respective locations. So an event at sunrise in Vancouver is synchronized with an event that takes place at sunrise in Jerusalem even though there are ten hours between those two events. This is because time in halachah is a different idea from time in chronology.

Time in Halacha is a dimension of reality rather than a point on a time line. So for example, one of the dimensions of a “Lulav” is the time of Sucot. The same object in a different time is a palm branch and not a “Lulav.” In this case time defines the object. Similarly, bread during the year is not “Chameitz” (that is the halachik concept of “chameitz”) it changes its status from a kosher object to a non-kosher object just because of the added dimension of the time of Pesach. In fact flour that has been in contact with water for 17 minutes is kosher le’pesach and if it has been in contact with water for 19 minutes it is not. The dimension of time changes its status irrespective of its chemical properties.

The time for davening Shachris is from Neitz hachamah (sunrise) to a time four twelfths of a day later. When two people are davening shachris at Neitz they are part of the same nation davening at the same time even though their tefilos, due to geographical reasons, are many hours apart.

When Benei Yisrael celebrated their first Pesach in the desert we are told: “And they performed the avodah of Pesach in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the afternoon, in Midbar Sinai” (Bamidbar 9:5). They performed it in desert time, says the Meshech Chochma, not in Egypt time even though they were celebrating an event that happened in Egypt and there was a small difference in the times of noon and sunset between those two locations. This is because time is a dimension of a mitzvah and is determined according to the co-ordinates of the place of the mitzvah. It is for this reason that the whole world celebrated the creation of the sun on the day before Pesach this year, at different times. Even though chronologically we should all of celebrated it at sunrise time in Yerushalayim, we didn’t. We all celebrated it at sunrise t! ime in our own geographies. But halachiklly, we were all celebrating it at the same moment, at the moment of sunrise on the 14th day of Nissan: a difficult concept for the Western mind.

My son Moshe, independently of my thought but at the same moment I was developing it, used a similar idea to explain a Gemarra on Parshat Shelach (the parsha read this week in Israel).

“And all the congregation raised their voices; and the nation cried that night” (Bamidbar 14:1) The Gemarra says: “Hashem said, you are crying for no reason, I will set up this day (Tisha Be’av) as a day to cry for generations to come” (Sotah 35a). The Or Hachaim explains that the Gemarra sees this meaning from the different subjects of the sentence: The congregation raised their voices, but the nation cried.

My son explains that the idea of nation (as opposed to congregation “Eidah”) transcends time. You cannot be part of a congregation today that will meet tomorrow. But Am Yisrael that stood at Sinai, is the same Am (nation) as Am Yisrael today. It is separated neither by place nor by time. That is essential to the very idea of Am, nation. The congregation that raised its voice was a congregation of people living at that time. But the nation that cried cries every year on Tisha Be’Av. We cry simultaneously even if we are in different time zones, we cry simultaneously even if we are in different generations or different centuries. This is the nature of Halachik time. It is this idea of halachik time that creates a sense of unity among our people that transcends both time and place.

I, and many like me, frequently travel across time zones and my family is spread across vast time zones. I am often plagued by the sense of distance and separation that results in a deep, painful feeling of separateness and loneliness. But still I bless my children every Friday night at times that for some of them are not Friday night at all. Yet how comforting to know that in Halachik time, my berachot are synchronized with them. We make Kiddush at the same times, celebrate Shabbat and Yamim Tovim at the same time. Halacha synchronizes us and unites us as a family and as a people in ways that chronology and geography cannot. What magical wonder!

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26
May

Just posted Spiritual exercise…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Just posted Spiritual exercises for Shavuot http://bit.ly/AzJrW

Author Info:

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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26
May

Shavuot Exercises

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Torah Study:

If you are not participating in a program: Divide the night into two main parts:

1: A Celebration of your learning of the past year.

2: What you hope to learn between now and next Shavuot.

1: Make a list of the favorite things you learned this year. Spend the first half of the night reviewing and applying the practical lessons of your studies.

2. Are there books or areas of learning you would like to study? Bible, Prophets, Proverbs, Psalms, Midrash, Philosophy, Talmud or law? Choose two of the areas that most intrest you and study them for the rest of the night.

Relationships:

Preparations for Sinai included the purification of relationships between husbands and wives.

First Day: Have an honest and open evaluation of your relationship and what each can do to improve the marriage.

Second Day: Together, study the story of the Covenant of Sinai that appears at the end of Mishpatim: Exodus, Chapter 24.

Conversion:

All the laws of conversion are derived from the preparations for Sinai.

Day One: Consider and/or discuss whether, if offered the choice, you would choose to be part of the Covenant of Sinai.

Day Two: Consider and/or discuss which aspect of Torah would compel you to convert.

Teshuva

“Just as they left Rephidim in Teshuva, so they arrived at Sinai in Teshuva.” (Rashi, Exodus 19:2)

Day One: Ask two people you respect and trust to pinpoint two of your positive qualities and to suggest two areas you can improve.

Day Two: Review and discuss the Six Constant Mitzvot and how you can improve your incorporation of those commandments.

Prayer

Shavuot is more about relationship than laws.

Day One: Spend extra time reciting the blessings before Torah study.

Day Two: Spend extra time reciting “Ahavah Rabbah” the blessing immediately before the morning Shema.

Perform a Post Shavuot Evaluation, preferably with a partner, of what you gained from the Chag.

Author Info:

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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26
May

Hope to post Exercises for Sha…

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Hope to post Exercises for Shavuot later today: http://bit.ly/M7Fhq

Author Info:

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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26
May

Questions about Shema in last …

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

Questions about Shema in last night’s Daat Tevunot shiur: Follow up Monday 9PM 218-486-1616 ID 375711 http://bit.ly/WEADg

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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

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

Author Info:

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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