How Do I Ask for a Good Year?
In an amazing insight, Rabbi Wolfson brings that Rosh Hashana and Beit HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) have the same gematria, or numerical equivalent (861). This means that they share the same spiritual DNA — one in the dimension of time, the other in the dimension of space. In this week’s talk we delve deeply into the connections.
It’s time to start getting ready for the New Year! The question is how? A study of the zodiac sign of Elul (the Jewish month that precedes the New Year) contains within it a formula for success.
There is a fascinating dialectic contained within Rosh Hashana. On one hand, it’s the beginning of the new year. And yet Rosh Hashana actually occurs in the seventh month, (Nissan, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, is the first month — see Exodus 12:2.) This means that Rosh Hashana actually falls out in the middle of the year!
There is a deep secret contained in this. People reach the middle of their lives and think that meaningful change is impossible. Therefore, the Almighty put Rosh Hashana in the middle of the year to teach us that it’s never too late to begin again.
In the most obvious sense, Rosh Hashana is all about making God our king, for whom we have awesome respect and commit to following His instructions.
But there’s an even more primary step. The Kotzker Rebbe once observed that Read more…
If the world is literally made out of the fabric of beginnings and every moment is a new beginning — then what increased significance does Rosh Hashanah have? The answer is that it is the beginning of all beginnings. In this week’s talk, we discuss how we can use this awesome opportunity to shape our year. We also discuss the upper Garden of Eden, and the path we all travel together.
What is your most emotionally satisfying relationship? You and your family? You and your friends? You and your iPad? What about you and G-d? For many people thinking about G-d in these terms seems strange. And yet framing our relationship in this way is the secret to enlightenment. In this week’s talk, we learn great relationship advice from the Sages, and see how it applies to us and our Maker, too!
Bonus: Cool Wedding Link
The question is, not are we going to make mistakes, but what is our response once we’ve made them? In this week’s talk, we explore the duel nature of the month of Elul. It is both a month of newness (when the world was created) and a month of fixing mistakes. We look into the interconnectedness of these ideas, and give practical guidance for preparing to receive blessing for the coming year.
How should we pray, and what should we pray for? And what on earth does Esther and the Purim story have to do with the special prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? Give a listen — inspiration, stories, and teachings for the new year ahead!
The Zohar looks at the Spiritual Dynamics of Rosh Hashana and likens it to the epic drama of Yaakov disguising himself as Esav in order to get the Blessing from Yitzhak. That in itself is fascinating, but when we fold in Rashi’s understanding of the event and see how it all applies to us in a practical way as we prepare for Rosh Hashana, there is even more to think about. Highlights include an understanding of our innate goodness and advice for dealing with feelings of guilt.
Thanks to all for listening, for your beautiful emails, and may you be inscribed for a sweet and beautiful year!
Did you know that according to the Beis Yaakov (The second Ishbitzer Rebbe), deep down, every person believes they created themselves?
If Rosh Hashanah is all about making Hashem King, how can I succeed if I’ve carved out a realm separate from G-d?
Happy New Year!
Imagine an epic battle between Sea Monsters and a diver out to recover a precious gem. In a piece of Aggadata – the deeply encrypted transmissions of the Talmud – such a tale is related. What does it mean and how does it teach us to wage life’s battles better? Using the understanding of the Malbim we take a look in.
Imagine you buy a lottery ticket, never check to see if it won, and then never think about that lottery ticket again. Now imagine that ticket was a winner and was worth thirty million dollars. The question is, did you lose thirty million dollars or not? On the one hand, you most certainly did. But on the other hand, if you never knew you ever had it to begin with, you never had it to lose! In this week’s talk we discuss the spiritual dimensions to this question and explore the bottom line of life.
In explaining what goes on in these talks to someone at work, I surprised myself by saying that it’s a little like “couples therapy” between us and G-d. Toward that end, this week’s talk has lots of ideas relating to relating to G-d, especially in light of the New Year fast approaching. Eventually, we build to the idea of the importance of simplifying our lives so that we can better focus on what really matters.
We’ve entered the month of Elul which means that the new year with all it’s decrees and judgements are around the corner! It’s both exciting and a little scary, but Hashem is good so we don’t have to be afraid! Hashem gives us Elul, this last month of the year, to finish on a strong note. How do we do it? Well, that’s a big subject, but we begin the discussion in this week’s talk with a look at the importance of appreciating the present moment and also a look at false prophets.
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