“Man gives things names… subjectively, from his own point of view as a Nefesh, an individual, Chaya, who receives the acceptable or ejectable impression of the things about him… In these names he expresses the impression which his mind forms of things, and thereby he indicates their… place in his world, ranks them in the appropriate kind, species, etc. of things. All our knowledge of things is such a name-giving.”
— Rav S.R. Hirsch, Commentary on Bereshis 2:19
Love all that I [God] have placed by your side; feel that its existence is necessary for your existence, its welfare for your welfare; feel even that your existence, your welfare, your vocation is completed only by its existence.
— Rav SR Hirsch, Horeb, Ch. 16 “Love”
In this class, we learn the definition of love, and begin the search for how to achieve it.
“Not the thousands which you have amassed, or wasted for the sake of sensual pleasures and earthly ambitions, but the penny with which you have fed the hungry, clothed the naked and succored the unfortunate in their need, that penny will support you in the Hereafter before God’s Throne…
"These are the riches you should strive for: to enrich your mind with experience, your heart with love, your tongue with eloquence, and with strength your arm, so as to enable you to become a support and an inspiration and a comfort, a father and a helper in sickness, distress and danger, in despair and confusion.”
— Rav SR Hirsch, Horeb, Ch. 88 “Tzedakah and Gemiluth Chasadim, Alms and Charity”
“One single pure spark, loyally treasured in but one single Jewish heart, is sufficient for God to set aflame once more the whole spirit of Judaism. And if… one little crucible of oil, one heart which in a forgotten hidden corner… has faithfully remained untouched and undefiled, this one crucible is sufficient to become the salvation of the entire sanctuary when the right time and hour has come.
“Therefore, go and kindle your light at the festival of the Maccabees… In your own home there shall be a light for you and for your house… Our salvation has not issued from temples in the past, nor will it now — the deliverance will come from the home. How good are the sermons of your preachers, how well your cantors sing — this makes no difference. The important thing is how your children and babies prattle, whether the Jewish spirit shines in them, whether Jewish sap flows in their veins, whether the Jewish way of life is their education — on this depend victory and deliverance.”
– Judaism Eternal, Vol. II, Kislev pp. 22-28
Don’t miss this exciting class based on the teachings of Rav Shlomo Brevda, zt”l. Trace the evolving impact of Greek culture on the Jewish experience in the Bais HaMikdash, and the power of the Maccabees to rededicate hearts and minds to Torah and mitzvos.
You are miraculous. Your very existence is a miracle. “From a miraculous vessel, expect miracles.”
Rav Brevda on Chanuka Part I
“…to say ‘may God be Blessed through me” means that one’s work is no longer his own doing; at the same time, one is not trying to gain his own ends. His status may be ever so humble, his beginnings may well be ridiculed by others, but he has been assigned to his post by God, the Master of heaven and earth, the King of the universe. God knows a man’s strength, God’s spirit animates him and He has placed him within the particular context of his occupation so that he may perform His will there and then. Man is His worker, and consequently, he has God at his side always."
“The concept of berachah, blessing, is the theme underlying all of a Jew’s thinking. It is the idea which every Jew should convert into a reality, and the entire Torah exists only to teach us the way in which we can and should bless Hashem. Indeed, the word baruch, from which the noun berachah is derived, encompasses the entire mission of the life of the Jew.”
“Thou shalt open thy hand unto thy brother, to thy needy.’ With these words, God calls you to your loveliest, most God-like task, calls upon you to become a blessing with all He gives you, a blessing to those around you. … Everything sustains and is sustained, everything takes and gives and receives a thousandfold in giving — for it receives life instead of mere existence."
“It is not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have, how much or how little you utilize what has been lent to you for action in the service of God — that is it which makes you great or small."
Horeb: Taavah Covetousness, Ch. 13
“What you want is not to collect around yourself the greatest possible circle of possessions, but to make yourself a centre from which as large as possible a collection of works pleasing to God streams forth."
“Young men and young women of Israel! Let the consciousness of your mission penetrate you through and through! …Live in God’s creation as brothers and sisters of the greatest as of the smallest, all like you, you like all, called upon to be servants of the One and Only. …Then will the rolling thunder, the effulgent sun, the blade of grass that nods to you as you walk, the breeze that fans you as it passes, greet you and remind you of your task."