Rabbi Yossi's Blog

Welcome to Rabbi Yossi's Blog; where you can expect to find thoughts on current events, Torah learning and Jewish spirituality. And of course, some good Jewish humor.

Medicine and Morals - Lesson Six Promo

How Was Your Thanksgiving??

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving, one of the great traditions of our nation. It is a time of family togetherness, a time that for many is a warm and positive experience. The down side is that too often it makes us face the dysfunction and loss in our lives, and can leave us frustrated and angry as we realize that we are not able to relate to the American fantasy family.

My friends, I have some news for you. Dysfunction is normal! Functionality is not an automatic, expected and natural condition rather it is a result of self discipline and growth. Let us not blame or get frustrated with ourselves and others in our life for not being perfect. And let us give thanks for what is working and the blessings (that DO exist) in our lives.

This year, Thanksgiving coincides with the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev which is celebrated as the "Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism." It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the "inner soul" of Torah, the Chassidic teachings that has positively influenced all practice of Judaism today. Click here to learn more.

Through the study of the profound teachings of Chassidut we are empowered to overcome our dysfunction and to appreciate the perfection (that does exist) within our personal world. Goldie and I are humbled to be part of the continuity of the rich Chassidic tradition. And we invite you to join us for the study and celebration of Chassidic flavored life.

This Wednesday, December 1st we light the first Chanukah candle, please be sure to visit our upcoming events and read about all the local and regional Chanukah events. I hope to see you over Chanukah!

Medicine & Morals - Lesson Four Promo

Ice Skating on Chanukah and More!

There are a lot of exciting events taking place over the coming days and weeks.

· This Sunday at 9:00 am is the monthly tefillin club with a delicious breakfast prepared by Chef Russ;

· Monday night will be the pre-Hanukkah Boutique Shopping night (see below or click here for details).

· In only a few short weeks is Chanukah! There'll be a Jewish Women's Circle candle making event on the second night of Chanukah and

· a great Chanukah Wonderland for the entire family on Sunday, December 5th at the Ice Skating Rink on Historic Sutter Street in old-town Folsom.

This week's Torah portion tells us about the journey of Jacob from his hometown of Be'er Sheva to a faraway (spirtually and physically) Charan.

The story of Jacob's journey to Charan is the story of every soul's descent to the physical world.

The soul, too, leaves behind the spiritual idyll of Be'er Sheva (literally, "Well of the Seven") and journeys to Charan (literally, "Wrath"): a place of lies, deceptions, struggle and hardship; a place in which material concerns consume one's days and nights, sapping one's energy, confusing one's priorities, and all but obscuring the purpose for which one has come there in the first place.

Yet it is in Charan, in the employ of Laban the Deceiver, not in the Holy Land and its "tents of learning", that Jacob founds the nation of Israel. It is here that he marries and fathers eleven of the twelve sons who will become the twelve tribes of Israel. Had Jacob remained in the Holy Land, the life of this pious scholar who lived 3,500 years ago would have been of no significance to us today.

The soul, too, achieves its enduring significance only upon its descent into "Charan". Only as a physical being, invested within a physical body and inhabiting a physical environment, can it fulfill the purpose of its creation; to build "a dwelling for G-d in the physical world".

I look forward to seeing you at one or more of the upcoming events!

Medicine and Morals - Lesson Three Promo

Medicine and Morals - Lesson Two Promo

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