Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recording of Lecture: You Get Out What You Put In

Dear Friends,

For those who were not able to attend the lecture, you can click here for the link. 

After accessing the link, hit the play button. If that doesn't work, then click download. After downloading the file you should be able to play it. 

Please note, before uploading the file, I scanned it for viruses using AVG Antivirus software. 

For additional material relating to Yom Kippur which I did not have time to cover in the lecture, please see my Elul post on repentance by clicking here.

Shana tova,


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Upcoming Lecture: You Get Out What You Put In

Dear Friends,

If you live near the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I want to invite you to a lecture I will be giving,
God willing, Tuesday, September 30th, at 8pm.

I will be speaking at Congregation Ohab Zedek (OZ). The topic will be on preparing for Yom Kippur and focus on five possible areas for us to strengthen. It will use my article How to Remove Your Number One Spiritual Stumbling Block as a springboard for further discussion.

The OZ is located on 118, West 95th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. There is a suggested donation to their learning program of $5.

If you can make it, I'd love to see you there. If you know people who may be interested in it, I'd appreciate it if you forwarded this post to them.

May we all be inscribed in the book of life, for a healthy and happy New Year,


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tishrei: Torah study

Dear Friends,

This is a post about the Jewish month of Tishrei, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Rosh Chodesh Tishrei, which is also Rosh Hashanah, begins next Wednesday night, the 24th of September, and lasts for two days.

From now until after Yom Kippur, we continue our focus on repentance and turning over a new leaf. The first reading for this month (see below) can be helpful in identifying areas of your life to repair and upgrade. Choose one suggestion from the reading and add it to your daily checklist (at least for the 10 Days of Repentance, which start with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur).

After Yom Kippur, the focus switches to the festival of Sukkot, the topic of the second reading.

After which are the festivals of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. On Simchat Torah we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle of the Five Books of Moses and begin a new cycle with the book of Genesis. Now is a great time to join this annual study of the Bible. There is tremendous spiritual power in learning the same portion studied by millions of Jews around the world. Next Simchat Torah, when you finish the Bible, your celebration of the holiday will be even more meaningful.

Spend time each week learning the weekly Torah portion – there are many excellent articles, translations and commentaries available. Preferably, each day, study 1/7th of the weekly portion (also known as an aliya) or study the whole portion on Shabbat.

If possible, study at least weekly with a partner, either the Bible or a different area of the Torah. To do so, contact your local synagogue, or go to http://www.partnersintorah.org/, who will pair you with a partner free of charge.

Torah study nourishes the soul as food nourishes the body. Study Torah every day of your life – even if only for a few minutes, e.g., reading a few pages from a book, an article, or listening to a lecture during your commute. Preferably, have a set inviolate time for Torah study.

The two most important areas of Torah to study are (A) teachings which inspire you and (B) Jewish law – so you know how to act. For suggested readings for both categories, see endnotes (3) and (5) at the end of the first reading for this month.

Readings for the month:

How to Live a Fulfilling Life: An Action Plan

Taking Refuge in a Sukkah of Faith

Have a Shana Tova,