Friday, May 31, 2013

Time Change for our chaburah to 12 pm NY time

Instead of 1:30 pm on Monday, our chaburah will be held at 12:00 pm this Monday, iyH

I am just reading a book called "Gems of Rabbi Nachman" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.  In it is a clear reminder of how important it is to speak to Hashem out loud (remember 5 minutes a day).

If you are finding this difficult, please email me so we can brainstorm and discuss the issues.

Here is an excerpt from what i just read(153): 

The Rebbe said, "my achievements come mainly through simplicity.  I spent much of my time simply conversing with G-d and reciting Tehillim...I have spoken with many great Tzadikim.  They all said they attained their high level through prustick/ absolute simplicity.  They would do the simplest things, secluding themselves and conversing with G-d.  This is how they attained what they did.  Happy are they."

How lucky we are to have this opportunity of life to serve Hashem with simplicity and strive to achieve a level of gadlus- deep, meaningful relationship with Hashem.

I hope this Shabbos/ parshas Shlach we are able to maintain our awareness of this underlying foundation; simplicity.

Good Shabbos, aviva rus

(outlines will IY'H be posted on Sunday with a reminder of phone number and time change- I just have to actually make an outline in order to post...)

"No one is ever given an obstacle he cannot overcome"

"Peace comes when there is truth"

"From the moment a person considers repentance, his prayers are accepted"

Rebbe Nachman

(thank you Reitza Sarah for loaning me the sefer!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Parshas Shlach - Good Shabbos!

In his shiur on parsha, Rav Cable, discusses how the sin of the meraglim was "essentially that they failed to properly balance bitachon (belief) and hishtadlus (effort)".

THAT is exactly what we are learning together.  How can we have total bitachon that it is all from Hashem and at the same time take the appropriate steps to achieve a relationship with Him?

There are two directions, both wrong, that one can go in, without learning the Torah we are learning together.  Either, one may say, "well Hashem is doing it all, so why should I do anything?"  Or, one may say, "Oh my, I have so much left to do", and forget that Hashem does the results!

The proper direction, and the one we are striving to discover within our own relationship to Hashem, creates balance between the two.  We are learning what true emunah is (Hashem is connecting with us every second to have a relationship with us!) and at the same time learning how to take the most important steps we can ever take, in order to show Hashem how much we want to experience a deep relationship with him (hisbodedus/hisbonenus)- to the point that we never feel lonely for we sense He is with us with every breath we take.

Remember that the high spiritual feeling is not the main point.  That is a gift from Hashem, when it fills us up.  Rather, the main point is the relationship, and the uncovering of who we really are (a pure neshama) as we strive to come closer and closer to Hashem.

Hint: Look at your thoughts, feelings, actions, and speech and see where western culture has infiltrated- i.e,  if when you are in a calm state, impure thoughts fill your mind, that is a clue that there is more work to do.

Finally, the Sifsei Tzadik (taken from Divrei Chaim blog) states that we "see best from the dark", meaning the most growth and closeness takes place when we have to push through darkness.  

Our job is to see the light in ourselves and others, so much so, that we become like Moshe Rabbeinu who told Hashem to wipe his name from the Torah if He does not forgive Bnai Yisrael."  He was willing to die if need be, so that the lights he saw in Klal Yisrael would not be extinguished!

If you see my light, and I see yours, so clearly, then our thoughts, speech, and actions, should surely coincide with complete kiddush Hashem and herald the geulah.

love, aviva rus

(sorry for the lengthy email - it's all things i wanted to say on the call, but ran out of time. ;)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bottom line: Deveikus to Hashem...

From knowing who we are, why we are here, and how to make our relationship with Hashem come alive.

Today, the 18th (chai!) of Sivan, we began our new chaburah. 

I was just thinking (and hoping) that the avodah we started today will breathe deeper "life" into our emunah and connection to Hashem.

Here are the phone numbers for the playback. (thank you Myra for being LIVE- and anyone else who was on- it makes a HUGE difference in the chaburah feeling)


+1 209-255-1099

Enter Access Code:


It expires in one week. 

Please email me with any questions at :

Our avodah this week: 

Speak out loud to Hashem in simple soft words for 5 minutes a day.

If you are having trouble speaking out loud, then your homework is to please notice what is holding you back and why.

Plus: read chapters 1 and 2 in Jewish Meditation
pages 128-138 In Forest Fields
and chapter 16 in Bilvavi 2 Yirah

IY'H I will post outlines of the reading on Sunday.

Our next chaburah meets  IY'H on Monday at 1:30, same phone number as below. 

Love, aviva rus

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good Shabbos!

Parsha Beha'aloscha:  

Moshe Rabbeinu tells his father in law (Yisro- also called Chovev/beloved) that "we (Bnei Yisrael) are journeying to the place Hashem tells us He will give to us, go with us".(10:29)  Moshe does not tell Yisro to take the "journey" with us, because that would entail asking him to convert, (as every moment that we exist is part of a journey to be close to Hashem).  Hence, Moshe was asking him simply to go with us. (Lazer Gurkow based on Rashi)

There is a difference in the words go with us and journey with us, and that got me thinking about what are we doing?

We (our chaburah) are on a JOURNEY together-BH!

It is one filled with hope for a deeper relationship with Hashem and the desire to BE all that Hashem knows we are.

Thank YOU for joining me on this journey.

Love, aviva rus

THIS MONDAY AT 12:00 NY TIME.... (future time will be on Mondays, at 1:30 NY time, iyH)


Let's begin our learning!!!! 

Call in number:

  • Dial-in Number:
  • 424-203-8405
  • Participant Access Code:
  • 535021
  • Playback Number:
  • 209-255-1099
  • Accesscode: 
  • 535021

Monday, May 20, 2013

Miracles DO Happen!

Every moment -really! 

Every breath- truly!

Another one just happened!! An amazing piece of news; 

Rav Itamar Schwartz will iyH be giving us a monthly shiur for every Rosh Chodesh!

I am so thankful to Hashem for this opportunity.

Now, as we continue to learn his seforim and others, we can have our questions ready to ask!!!!

We will iyH be resuming our learning together.  The first time we meet we will review Da es Atzmecha, Bilvavi 1 and Bilvavi 2 (half the sefer), and In Forest Fields (half the sefer).  

Our plan is to finish Bilvavi 2, In Forest Fields, and begin Jewish Meditation by  Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.

Here is the way the thirty minute chaburah will work iyH;
1. The first ten minutes we will learn Bilvavi 2.  
What is emunah on a deep level?

2.The second ten minutes will be In Forest Fields. 
How do we speak out loud to Hashem and make the emunah alive?

3. The third ten minutes will be Jewish Meditation.  
How do we quiet our thoughts so we can sense and listen to our neshama?

Stay tuned for numbers and, aviva rus

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


into your vision of how you see yourself when you are receiving the Torah.

That's our job this week before matan Torah.

LIVE your vision. 

We are starting sefer Bamidbar this week.  It is the fusion of individuals becoming a nation, each with our own shevet (tribe), task, and land in Eretz Yisrael.

How fitting then, that as individuals we are meeting shortly (5 DAYS!!!) to accept the Torah that will bind us together for eternity.

Our job is to know who we are and what our unique task is.  

Your vision is a big clue to YOU.

Good Shabbos!

aviva rus

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reminder and Good Shabbos!

Review on May 6th at 2 pm, IYH two days before the shiur by Rav Schwartz is ( i will iyH email each of you who are participating with the phone number for Rav Schwartz chaburah -May 8th at 12)

209-255-1000 (US)
61-1300-051-796 (Australia)
559-670-1000 (Canada)
972-76-599-0060 (Israel)
27-87-825-0150 (South Africa)
44-0-784-843-2913 (United Kingdom)

access code; 535021#

Parshas Behar:  

What happens when we have made the decision to see ourselves, others, and time with eyes of kedusha?

(This means knowing and internalizing who we really are= a pure neshama with the opportunity to do teshuva and move forward every minute and take advantage of the kedusha in the moment= 12 days left to receiving the Torah!!!)

The next step is the ultimate act of bitachon.  STOP all your work and BE with Hashem (shmittah year and Shabbos), total trust that He will provide, knowing clearly that all results are in His power alone and it is up to us to simply listen to Him and have a relationship with Him (more on that in future chaburah's iyH).

When we see the kedusha in every person and moment, and think, speak, feel, and act from that space, "My Sabbaths shall you observe and My sanctuary (mikdash) shall you revere- I am Hashem" (Vayikra 26:2)

Only then will the kedusha pervade our own mikdash/ our homes and spill over to fill up the mikdash of Hashem.

IYH, b'mheira b'yameinu...amen!!!!

love, aviva rus