136: Tisha B'Av and Kedusha - אתה קדוש

What is there to look forward to on Tisha B’Av? Do you even know what you're missing? 

Here’s a whole new look (literally!) into the mysteries of the Kodesh HaKodashim, the Holy of Holies… and what that has to do with YOU and YOUR LIFE.

The pain of Tisha B’Av is the pain of losing sight of God’s love for us; the pain of rejection. On Tisha B’Av, our pain can lay the foundation for growing towards Hashem, for committing to becoming something greater. 

Growing in Kedusha is “work that is done quietly, silently, known to no one but oneself and God, on one’s own inner self.”


134: The Triad of Man, Earth & Rain

Discover the deeper drive motivating construction of the Tower of Babel, where the invention of fired bricks seems to be "a technology in search of a solution” (as they say in the venture capital biz).

What is more pleasing? Things in their natural state, or things that have been worked on by Man?
In the process of developing the raw materials of the world, we develop ourselves, too. Thinking humans have a tremendous ability to act upon the world and upon our selves.

Rain reminds us that for all our hard work (or rather, “sweat equity”), there is always an element we cannot control…  We start to understand why rain is so key a theme in tuning in to God’s absolute power.

131: “Mechalkel Chaim BeChessed: Why Praise Comes First — Shevach and Bakasha

Changing reality by aligning our will with Hashem’s. 

"One should open with praise of Hashem before asking for his needs" (Brachos 32).

“In truth, Sefer Tehillim has more zemiros than tefillah. The difference is as follows: when it comes to tefillah one must try to daven at an eis ratzon [an opportune time], whereas Tehillim has the power to create an eis ratzon.” 

— Rav Yitzchak Hutner, Pachad Yitzchak al SuccosMaamar 70

128: Gevuros: Aspiring to Yiras Shamayim Part 1

"In גבורות we contemplate the all-conquering omnipotence of God. Here, too, we learn that unshakable trust which enables us to withstand all the vicissitudes of life and even death itself, and which enables all those pervaded with the genuine fear of God to unlearn the fear of human power or natural force, and in its place to acquire the skill of passing calmly and serenely through all the trials that are part of daily living.” — Hirsch Siddur

Session 121: VeZocher Chasdei Avos - Part III - What is Chessed?

"What אהבה is in feelings, חסד is in deeds — love translated into action." —Rav S.R. Hirsch, Commentary on Bereshis 24:27. 

“חסד is both the highest degree of doing good which human beings can accomplish, and the highest expression for the love that God shows to human beings." — Rav S.R. Hirsch, Commentary on Shemos 34:7