Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Beinoni

From Living Torah (Volume 53, Episode 211)

Tanya opens with a Talmudic passage: “Every Jew, before he is born, is administered an oath: ‘Be righteous, and be not wicked’” -- if it is not possible for you to achieve the level of the righteous, at least do not be wicked; be a ‘Beinoni - intermediate.’ This is followed by an extensive discussion defining the spiritual level and service of the Beinoni - that “he has never sinned, and never will sin…”

The level of Beinoni is so high that the great Chassid, Reb Hillel of Paritch proclaimed in wonder: “If only I could be a Beinoni!” How can every man, woman and child be expected to live up to this nearly impossible standard?

The answer: According to Jewish law, an oath is administered “according to the understanding of the court.” The Heavenly court knows from the outset that a Jew will face challenges, and even setbacks. But by maintaining constant joy and happiness in his service of G-d, he is able to achieve complete repentance. Then all his past misdeeds become counted as “merits,” and he is retroactively transformed into a Beinoni.

Also in this Episode:
* Selichos
* Giving and Receiving
* Rabbi Engineer, Part 2: Solid State

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rabbi Engineer, Part 1: The Brooklyn Navy Yard

From Living Torah (Volume 53, Episode 210)

Mr. Yaakov Hardof is an electrical engineer, and founder of Amperon Electronics and Soundsystems and Interconcept Incorporated. In 1957, he spent close to two hours with the Rebbe discussing... engineering!

Also in this Episode:
* Atonement
* Maamar
* The Chassidic Brotherhood: Lubavitch and Ger

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Month to Prepare

From Living Torah (Volume 53, Episode 209)

Throughout the month of Elul, the Jewish People has a collective task: to prepare itself to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year. Indeed, there is a Jewish custom to wear white on Rosh Hashanah Eve, to express the certainty that all will be inscribed in the Book of the Righteous. Clearly then, the preparation for this must also be with unity.

During Elul we increase in humble prayer; in particular we invoke the Thirteen Attributes of Divine Mercy. Every day throughout this month, these Thirteen Attributes shine forth, emanating from a source that supersedes any spiritual or physical multiplicity in creation.

We also increase in charity, the most tangible form of unity. The name of the month itself - “Elul” - forms an acronym for the verse: “Send gifts, one to another, and provide gifts to the poor.”

Also in this Episode:
* Nigun "Sholosh Tenuos"
* Commissioned Articles
* A Guarantee and a Miracle