The Simple Truth
Nov20

The Simple Truth

Our Patriarch Jacob is referred to as “the perfect one.” He was so great that our nation took its name from him, Israel. He also fathered twelve sons who were each worthy enough to found his own “tribe of God.” But according to our modern definition of perfectionism, perhaps Jacob should have been nicknamed “the average one.” The Torah calls him “ish tam” (Genesis 25:27), which can be translated not only as complete or wholesome, but...

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The Pattern Of Our Lives
Nov13

The Pattern Of Our Lives

Do you often wonder when you will finally be able to catch your breath? Do you ever say to yourself, “I thought I was finally done with these issues”? Well, life isn’t so easy after all. But this is also nothing new; in fact, Abraham had some very difficult life issues of his own. Famine: There is a famine in Canaan. Abraham is forced to leave his land and go down to Egypt where his beautiful wife, Sarah, is abducted by Pharaoh...

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R’ Tauber – Chayei Sarah: Never Get Old!
Nov13

R’ Tauber – Chayei Sarah: Never Get Old!

Video & Audio: Rav Elchonon Tauber class #25 on being forever young and vibrant. Rabbi Tauber – Likutey Halachot, Class 25 – mp3 Download If you live in Los Angeles, consider attending the Tuesday night class on Likutey Halachot live with Rabbi Tauber, Chabad SOLA 1627 S. La Cienega starting @ 9 pm....

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R’ Tauber – VaYeira: Dance for Joy!
Nov13

R’ Tauber – VaYeira: Dance for Joy!

Video & Audio: Rav Elchonon Tauber class #25 on why we should wake up and dance for joy! Rabbi Tauber – Likutey Halachot, Class 25 – mp3 Download If you live in Los Angeles, consider attending the Tuesday night class on Likutey Halachot live with Rabbi Tauber, Chabad SOLA 1627 S. La Cienega starting @ 9 pm....

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Living “Here” & “Now”
Nov05

Living “Here” & “Now”

It was one of the greatest challenges of all time, the greatest sacrifice ever asked of a man: to offer up his own son. We often explain the difficulty of Abraham’s test according to the pain a loving father must endure in killing his beloved child; or because Abraham, being the worldwide leader of monotheistic religion, was being asked to do something that mimicked the lowliness of the pagan religions. But let us look deeper. God...

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All In Good Time
Oct29

All In Good Time

If I were to ask, “What is the secret cause of evil and sin?” what would you answer? Perhaps you would suggest lust, greed, or one of our many other base temptations. However, Reb Noson offers one basic catalyst: Time. Our Rabbis teach that the evil inclination is only influential “in its time” (Yerushalmi, Sotah 3.) Beginning with the first sin – the eating of the forbidden fruit – the great Tzaddikim erred only because they acted...

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Back to “Normal”
Oct23

Back to “Normal”

How was your Yom Tov? Mine was wonderful. First I experienced the awesome spiritual heights of being in Uman for Rosh HaShanah, then the solemn upliftedness of the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, and then eight joyous days together with my family in the sukkah. But the Sunday after was very difficult. Besides all the schlepping, like taking down the sukkah and cleaning up after Yom Tov, life was rapidly returning to “normal.”...

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The Promise of Victory
Sep11

The Promise of Victory

Are you happy with your life? Do you feel like you’ve always made the right choices and are proud of everything you’ve done? If you could turn back the clock, would you do everything the same way? Or maybe you wouldn’t mind getting a fresh start or at least a partial reset? Preparing for Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment, involves a great deal of introspection. (If you haven’t started yet, now may be a good time!) Naturally, as we...

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Battle Strategy
Sep04

Battle Strategy

Walking the streets of Israel, one of the most common expressions you’ll hear is “B’seder.” This is generally equivalent to the way we would say, “OK.” However, in Israel, this expression has taken on a panoply of different meanings. “Would you like to meet for coffee at 10?” “B’seder.” “How are you feeling today?” “B’seder.” “You cut my place in line – that’s NOT b’seder.” Sometimes someone will even say, “B’seder gamur,” which means...

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Why Do We Sin?
Aug27

Why Do We Sin?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Elul is upon us, and considering that we are seriously aspiring to engage in teshuvah (return to God), it may be high time to ask this fundamental question. You’re probably thinking the simple answer is that we sin because we just don’t care, or at least we lack sufficient interest to do what the Torah deems proper. Wrong! Shockingly, Reb Noson says that the majority of our wrongdoing actually comes...

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Striking It Rich!
Aug21

Striking It Rich!

Wealth is something that most people spend their days dreaming about. But how does one actually become wealthy? In 1999 the executive chairman of Google (then the CEO of Novell), Eric Schmidt, said in an interview with Forbes: “Lots of people who are smart and work hard and play by the rules don’t have a fraction of what I have.” Schmidt acknowledged that the scale of inequality generated by the new wealth “makes me uncomfortable.”...

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This Way to the Treasure
Aug14

This Way to the Treasure

A man once dreamed that there was a great treasure under a bridge in Vienna. He traveled to Vienna and stood near the bridge, trying to figure out what to do. He did not dare search for the treasure by day, because of the many people who were there. An officer passed by and asked, “What are you doing, standing here and contemplating?” The man decided that it would be best to tell the whole story and ask for help, hoping that [the...

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Time to Rebuild
Aug07

Time to Rebuild

If someone were to curse and totally demean you,wouldn’t it seem strange if they told you moments later how great they are going to make you? Well then, take a look at what’s going on: First, the prophet Amos informs us that God compares the Jews to Cushites, saying, “Are you not like the children of the Cushites to me, O children of Israel?” (Amos 9:7) Comparing us to Cushites wasn’t exactly a compliment. The Cushites...

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How We Can Bring Mashiach
Jul17

How We Can Bring Mashiach

  We think of Moses as being the ultimate prophet, someone who spoke “face to face” with God and stood between Heaven and earth. Therefore we assume that when he experienced a prophecy, its message and interpretation were obvious to him. Indeed, in this week’s parashah Moses states, “This is the word that God has commanded” (Numbers 30:2). Rashi explains that only Moses was able to say “this,” describing the vision that God had...

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Recapture the Flag!
Jul09

Recapture the Flag!

The Jewish people have never lacked enemies. Just as we are attacked today by terrorists, so too, in the days of Moses, our enemies constantly schemed and planned our destruction. However, in the days of Moses, our nation was one worthy of prophecy – ours was a nation that witnessed the Ten Plagues in Egypt and the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Because of our elevated spiritual status, our enemies were not brazen enough to...

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Searching for Answers
Jul03

Searching for Answers

We are in pain. We are in sorrow.  The Jewish People is connected – we are truly one. Because of this, we each personally feel the horrifying loss of our three dear and precious brothers. When describing this month of Tammuz, Rebbe Nachman teaches, “The first letters of ‘Zikhru Torat Moshe (remember Moshe’s Torah)’ (Malachi 3:22) spell TaMmuZ without the vav. This is because in the month of Tammuz we must elicit mindfulness in order...

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