Session 101: A Moment in Time / Rosh HaShana

We begin exploring how the halachos of Shmone Esrei all are expressions of the reality that we are speaking directly with Hashem, and define the elemental 3-part structure of the Tefilla (Shmone Esrei), and how it plays out in the Rosh Hashana prayers.

Time is the structure in our lives that allows us to think of our lives as having meaning, mission, purpose. Time allows us to think about our past, commit to our future, and make choices in the present.  אין עתה אלא תשובה.

The call of the Shofar "brings you through your innermost self to God." (— Rabbi S. R. Hirsch)

"The root of the root of the Shofar on Rosh Hashana is the selfsame breath which God blew into the nostrils of Adam at the creation of humanity." (— Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner)

Handout - Present, Past, Future

Session 90: Why is the Sky Blue? How to See Colors - וראיתם ועשיתם

How to make choices that express your true inner desires. How to give concrete expression to internal change and growth. Hashem appreciates small steps. When smallness is bigness; when tiny changes have profound impact. הכל צפוי והרשות נתונה.

Session 88: Change the World! The Importance of Seeing - וראיתם אותו - Part I

p.s.: Bonus Track! Learning from Ruth how to become a vehicle and a channel for holiness and blessing to the world. Yes, you can.

What is Tikkun Olam? Hint: It's not what they've been telling you.

"To change the messages which the world sends us is to change the world itself." (R' Reuvein Leuchter, Teshuva)

Session 78: Introduction to Third Parsha of Shema (Parshas Tzitzis)

You've been there, done that, paid the price, pulled yourself together again. And you want to make sure you never, never go there again.

How can use your God-given intellect and free will to ensure you make the right choices?

Make your choices when you're thinking straight, when you're not under the influence of passions beyond your control. And tie the fire of your emotions to something tangible, to remind you of your choices, and keep you going through the harder times.

Session 67: Teshuva: Returning to our Roots with All our Hearts and All our Souls

Real purity is not a return to the innocence of childhood. Real purity is born of the struggle to grow and learn from our mistakes. בכל לבבכם ובכל נפשכם — turning inspiration into resolve, and resolve into deed. 

"In tefillah, you gather the strength of dedication for life, allowing this life to become the fulfillment of the Divine will, the furthering of Divine purpose — a contribution to the success of that purpose which God has set for humanity and Israel ...realizing that this is the purpose of the gifts God grants as a result of your wishes and strivings." (—R' S.R. Hirsch, Horeb, pg. 475)

This class builds a new angle of the Avoda of Teshuva on Yom Kippur upon the foundation of recognizing our inherent imperfection and vulnerability introduced in the YAYOE session on Chai-18.