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Jewish Holidays

Teshuvah That Builds, Not Breaks

August 30, 2019, by

Years ago, as a counselor at a Jewish summer camp, I watched a teenage camper leave a shiur in tears after hearing a well-meaning speaker describe the need to do teshuvah for mitzvot. The speaker challenged the campers, “Were your mitzvot performed with all their details correctly? Did you have the correct intentions in mind?” […]

Teshuva Teachers: Chofetz Chaim – A Teshuva of Piety and Faith

September 5, 2018, by

All disagreements in life result from poorly-defined expectations. The Chofetz Chaim discusses faith within halacha in the context of partnerships with non-Jews and Shabbos.  His discussion of the importance of Torah in his introduction to the Mishna Brurah. This shiur is sponsored by Chana Spivak in loving memory of her son, בנימין אליעזר. Download the […]

The Power and Structure of Selichot

September 1, 2018, by

According to the Levush Selichot are modeled after davening, we begin with Pesukei D’Zimra, then kaddish, then the thirteen middot and selichot (which parallel the amida), followed by Tachanun and full Kaddish. What are the halachic ramifications of this? The minhag is that the one who davens Selichot should daven the rest of the day […]

The Shofar – From Frustration to Fulfillment

August 20, 2018, by

As cognitively active beings, Man must make sense of his environment and if concepts cannot be grasped or things don’t add up, tension and frustration ensues.  For some, the challenge of confusion leads to a more concerted effort to arrive at a sensible conclusion. The mathematician’s difficulty with an equation results in rigorous mental gymnastics […]

Praying for a Better Future

August 14, 2018, by

At the start of Elul, rather than plunging ourselves into cheshbon ha’nefesh (accounting of one’s soul), many advise to begin by strengthening the core areas of our avodas Hashem.  Since we are involved in tefilah in this program, and since tefilah is certainly one of the core areas of our service to Hashem, we are reviewing four segments in particular, since they […]

The Meiri Uncovers the Function of Chodesh Elul

August 13, 2018, by

The preparation for Teshuva begins from Rosh Chodesh Elul. The function of Elul is not just to daven but to plead so we are ready when Rosh Hashana arrives. Is Elul merely a preparation for Rosh Hashana or does it carry its own importance? Shiur provided courtesy of Torah Anytime