Sacred Time – A New Beginning – Shavuot
Jun03

Sacred Time – A New Beginning – Shavuot

Sacred Time Sivan #2 A New Beginning It is customary to read the book of Ruth on Shavuos. Rav Nosson cites an explanation for this from the sages and then applies it to our personal service of G-d. When the Torah was given, the entire Jewish people were like converts. This was a very exciting time; it was the very beginning of our relationship with Hashem as keepers of His Torah. We read about Ruth since she left everything behind to...

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The Power Of Free Choice
May29

The Power Of Free Choice

After centuries of bondage, the poor Israelite slaves emerge victorious and triumphant over their Egyptian taskmasters. Making their way through the desert, they approach Mount Sinai and the ultimate purpose of Creation, where the lowest of the low rise to become God’s chosen people. Moses delivers God’s question to the Hebrews: “Will you accept the Torah and thereby become a treasure among the nations?” They answer, “All that God has...

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The Fountain Of Youth
May04

The Fountain Of Youth

Sefirat HaOmer (the counting of the Omer offering) is the counting period between the second night of Pesach and the day before Shavuot – a period of 49 days. Each night, we verbally count the days that have accumulated between these two holidays. [Count the Omer]   In the times of the Holy Temple, the counting started after an offering of barley meal was brought on the second night of Pesach. On a deeper level, barley...

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Day By Day
Apr24

Day By Day

So, do you feel free? Although our stomachs may be feeling like a gigantic matzah ball right now, spiritually our minds have soared to great heights. On Seder night, not only were our ancestors released from captivity, but our own souls were also redeemed. But the freedom we received was of the miraculous sort, and as great as miracles are, they have limited results. In Egypt we were on the lowest of spiritual levels – number 49 – and...

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Shavuot: Our Personal “Giving of the Torah”
May09

Shavuot: Our Personal “Giving of the Torah”

After many years of bitter bondage in Egypt, the poor Hebrew slaves emerge victorious and triumphant over their Egyptian slave masters. As they make their way through the desert, they approach Mount Sinai and the purpose of Creation, where the lowest of the low rise to become God’s chosen people. Moses delivers God’s question to the Hebrews: “Will you accept the Torah and thereby become a treasure among the nations?” They answer, “All...

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Chaim Kramer Video: Likutey Moharan on Shavuot Advanced
May07

Chaim Kramer Video: Likutey Moharan on Shavuot Advanced

Advanced Likutey Moharan Shiur given in Lakewood, NJ about Shavuot. Date: 5/5/2013  

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It’s All Good
May24

It’s All Good

“I am the Eternal-Lord, your God, Who took you out of Egypt, from the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). A non-Jew came to Hillel to convert, but wanted to do it in a curious way. “Teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.” Hillel replied, “What you find disagreeable, don’t do to a friend. The rest explains [what is disagreeable]. Go study [and know]” (Shabbat 31a). Rebbe Nachman teaches that if you know that everything you...

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Dvar Torah for Shavuot
Jun01

Dvar Torah for Shavuot

Dvar Torah for Shavuot Based on Sichot HaRan (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom) #51 On a Shavuot night over 200 years ago, Rebbe Nachman shared with his chassidim some thoughts about the purpose of life, how to not be distracted from that purpose and how to achieve it, or at least try to achieve it. He started out by saying: “This world has no purpose but to draw [oneself] towards the eternal goal.” That’s pretty straightforward. In fact, it...

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Behar/Shavuot
May12

Dvar Torah for Parshat Behar/Shavuot

Dvar Torah for Parshat Behar Based on Likutey Halakhot, Areiv 3:30 “God spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai, saying” (Leviticus 25:1). This week’s Torah-reading starts with a mention of Mount Sinai, and because we are preparing ourselves to receive anew the holy Torah given at Sinai, let’s talk about how we can get ready. Fill in the blank: The most necessary “thing” I need to be a better Jew is ____. If you said ratzon—interest, desire,...

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Emor
May05

Dvar Torah for Parshat Emor

Dvar Torah for Parshat Emor Based on Likutey Halakhot, Shavuot 1:1–3 “…you will bring an omer of the first of your harvest…and he will wave [it]…and you will count…from the day you bring the omer…” (Leviticus 23:10–11,15). The festival of Shavuot is also called Atzeret, which means assembly or gathering. An obvious meaning of the gathering referred to is the assembly of the Children of Israel at Mount...

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Dvar Torah for Shavuot

Based on Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #123 “A foolish people, unwise…” (Deuteronomy 32: 6). Onkelos translates: A nation that accepted the Torah, without exercising wisdom. A word of caution: What follows may sound extreme, especially to Judaism or Breslov newcomers. I’ve written some notes to myself, basically an entry into my spiritual diary, if I had one. I think they are instructive and hope they are like all of Rebbe Nachman’s...

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41st Day of the Omer (Monday, 10 May)

Week of Yesod, Sixth Day Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Yesod/Foundation What’s the foundation of the Foundation, eh? Good question. I’ve discovered that quiet itself is foundational (Zohar 3:115b). When I reach that inner-stillness I feel the strength to carry out my resolutions because that inner-quietness can overpower all the outer-noise. And that strength of my convictions gets carried by my words. I’m able to...

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38th Day of the Omer (Friday, 7 May)

Week of Yesod, Third Day Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Tiferet/Splendor You know what the most beautiful thing about Judaism is? Its people. First of all the tzaddikim. They are so refined and kind. They speak gently, never using an untoward word, even when they have to put us in our place. Their every move can teach us something. Even the ordinary folk, like me, are wonderful, despite our mistakes. We’re always...

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35th Day of the Omer (Tuesday, 4 May)

Major sefirah: Hod/Thanks-givng; minor sefirah: Malkhut/Royalty-Kingship Part of what tortured me when I was a slave to Pharaoh in Egypt was that I knew that there was something, some slavery, going on inside me as well. I don’t think my Egyptian taskmasters—former taskmasters, that is—had any such struggle. But I knew that a part of me, a part I couldn’t see, but that felt more real than my body, was being forced to do unsatisfying,...

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post-Shavuot thought

Shavuos night our “Rabbi Nachman’s Thursday Night Chaburah” met, but instead of continuing in Sichos HaRan (aka “Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom”), we talked about the Luchot, the two tablets on which were engraved the Ten Commandments. We compared the opinions of the Midrash (Shir HaShirim Rabah 5:14:1) and the holy Zohar (2:84a) concerning: the material from the Luchot were made (sanpironin/saphire,...

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Counting the Omer and Shavuot:

Through the joy we have on Purim, clapping our hands and dancing, we are able to fulfill the mitzvah of counting the Omer properly. Then we are ready to receive the Torah on Shavuot, both the revealed and the hidden Torah (10:8). Each day of the Omer period is associated with a different aspect of the Sefirot. And on that day everything which everyone in the whole world is talking about is purely an expression of the particular aspect...

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