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Torah Musings

Sermon: Parshas Vayeshev


A proposed correlation between the Parsha and Chanukah, whic starts tomorrow. 

From the menorah we learn that one can never be satisfied with where they stand, and even yesterday's advances should not be considered enough for today. Each day, a new flame must be added. 

The menorah teaches another lesson about growth, and that is that your personal and spiritual growth should be on display for all to see. For when others see growth in those close to them, they are inspired to grow as well. 

The parallel to the parsha is Yehuda's public teshuvah in the case of Tamar. 

* * * 

We gave the example of the Baal Shem Tov's neshama to demonstrate that self improvement without benefiting others in the process is not acceptable.

Listen to Rabbi Yossi Paltiel relate this story

Three Degrees of Close


Summary of Rabbi Shmuli's comments at the Fromovitz Chabad Center's Yud Tes Kislev celebration:

The essence of Chabad can be understood on a simple, a deeper and a deepest level. 

Simply: Love G-d, love Torah, love your fellow Jews. And they are all interrelated. Love G-d by loving His Torah and His Jews. Love the Torah by loving G-d and sharing her with fellow Jews. Love your fellow Jews by connecting them to the Torah and to G-d's love for them. 

Deeper: In Kabbalistic terminology, Chabad is about creating unifications. To unite the creation with the creator. Until all of creation is fully brought back into G-d's complete oneness, G-d feels incomplete, unsatisfied. Thus it becomes imperative to encourage fellow Jews and even every human being to serve G-d. 

Deepest: Rabbis of old said, "I set G-d before me (lit. across from me) constantly" is a recipe for behavioral success, as one is constantly conscious  of G-d's expectations and watchful eye. But G-d remains at a distance, so to speak. 

The Baal Shem Tov teaches it differently. "Shivisi - I have achieved equilibrium, calm, steadiness in my whole life," because, "Hashem linegdi samid - G-d is before me (lit. across from me) always." I am constantly reminded that G-d is in control and that everything that happens to me is exclusively from Him. Yet, G-d remains "across from me".

Then the Alter Rebbe brought G-d from across the way, into the heart of every person. You have two lives, says the Rebbe, the body's life and the divine life of the soul - a veritable piece of G-d. Another way to say this; the very life you live is G-d. 

The result; there is always a piece of you that only wants what G-d wants and loves what G-d wants. WhatsApp Image 2021-11-23 at 11.47.11 PM.jpeg 

The Rav's Stories: Anty Chicken

Rabbi Meir Bronsdorfer was once brought a chicken that was covered with ants and he ruled that it was treifa. When asked why he explained, “Why don’t we usually see ants on chickens, because they chase them away with their wings. This chicken obviously couldn’t use his wings…”


 Rabbinical leader of the Toldos Aharon Hassidic community, and later the Toldos Avraham Yitzchok community. Member of the Rabbinical Court of the Edah HaChareidis, in charge of Kashrut operations, especially matters of Shechita.


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