What is MUSIC really? And (on another subject entirely) did anything GOOD come from the golden calf?
God created the world with 10 utterances, He brought 10 plagues on Egypt, and then gave the Torah with 10 commandments. What is the connection? A deep look into reality, and how we can grasp the infinity of God.
A deep exploration of the sin of the golden calf allows us to understand what may well be the final test G-d will administer before the end of days. Sound dramatic enough?? In this week’s talk, we look at what the Talmud (Shabbos 89a) says triggered the sin, and what trait of ours was being tested at this most crucial moment in history.
Why did God command us to build the Mishkan, the holy tabernacle? On the one hand, we’re taught that it was a fixing for the sin of the golden calf. On the other hand, the command to build it comes before the incident with the golden calf — so it appears that God wanted us to build it anyway! So which is it?? In this week’s talk, we give an answer to this riddle by looking deeply into the blueprint of creation, and our purpose in this world, and how we can achieve it.
After the splitting of the Red Sea, we went without drinking water for three days. We asked, “Is G-d among us or not?” This was a different kind of doubt. We obviously believed in G-d, after all we just witnessed one of the greatest miracles ever. But then how could it be that now that we had a pressing need — G-d was seemingly not there for us? Put another way, imagine you haven’t met your soul mate and you desperately want to. You wonder if she even exists. That’s one kind of doubt. Now imagine you actually meet her, fall in love, and now mysteriously… she’s gone. You wonder if she’s ever coming back, or if she still cares at all. This form of doubt is perhaps even deeper and more painful, precisely because you know she does exists and you shared something meaningful together. This is the test we went through after the sea split. And this is what most of us experience when we doubt G-d. Not whether He exists, but whether He cares. In this week’s talk, we look into the roots of doubt, past lives, the snake in the garden of Eden, and why life is so confusing. And we give some deep answers and advice.
Getting out of Egypt is just the first step. Just because we’re not slaves doesn’t mean that we are free. The next more important step is getting the Egypt out of us! In this week’s talk, we learn fundamental consciousness based tools for owning our freedom.
The first mitzvah the Jewish people get as a nation is to sanctify time. This is very deep because when you think about it, all a person really has is time. Now that we are free, how are we going to use it? We explore this idea as it relates to connecting the heart and the mind, and two key Talmudic foundations — that Hashem prepares the healing before the punishment, and that people are led in the direction that they want to travel.
If I told you the person dressed in rags that just walked into the room was a mufti-millionaire — I guarantee you’ll treat him differently. You’ll imagine that he’s eccentric and most probably a genius. Maybe if you’re nice to him he’ll even give you money. Speech creates perception. Perception creates reality. We are now in the book of Shemos which means Names in English. It is also called the book of Redemption. In this week’s talk we discuss the connection between Naming things — i.e. defining your terms — and Redemption.
Was Noach holy? Yes! But then why is the flood blamed on him? Or put another way, if he was a Tzaddik, then why didn’t he pray for his generation to be spared? Did you know Noach gets reincarnated as Moshe, and that Moshe rectifies his soul? All this is discussed as we explore the role of the Tzaddik and the evolution of righteousness.
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Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
This may be my favorite Jewish book of all time. It’s a collection of first person accounts of people’s encounters with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. You’ll literally laugh, cry, be inspired beyond belief and want to be a better person.
The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet
From the very first Kabbalistic work, through the Talmud, through an impressive array of rabbinic literature, great minds have found the Aleph-Beis to be a gold mine of wisdom and guidance. This fascinating best-seller weaves these golden threads into a glorious tapestry, presenting hundreds of ideas and comments on the Aleph-Beis, including: the Aleph-Beis as the force of Creation, as a primer for Jewish living, and as a fountainhead of Torah insight and mystical meaning. The product of decades of learning, thinking, and teaching by the revered educator, lecturer, and community activist Rabbi Michael L. Munk. A treat not to be missed.