Monday, December 28, 2015

The pinhole we mentioned on Motzai Shabbos...

from Daily Dose
No matter how much you distrust 
your own sincerity 
or question your motives, 
there is no trace of doubt 
that at your core 
lives a divine soul, pure and sincere.
You provide the actions and the deed
—just do what is good.
She needs no more than a 
through which to break out 
and fill those deeds with divine power.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our avodah together is IYH-fanning the flames...

Waking Up G‑d

A spark of G‑d slumbers within, as a flame hushed within the embers.
Will she awaken from ideas? 
They are only more dreams to sleep by.
Will she awaken from deep thoughts?
 She is smothered yet deeper within the ashes.
She will awaken when she sees her Beloved, 
the One Above with whom she is one.
And where will she see Him? 
Not in ideas, not in deep thoughts, 
but in a G‑dly deed that she will do, in an act of infinite beauty.
Then her flame will burn bright.

( words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman.) 

In 5648 (1887) my father was elected gabai (an official) of the Chevra Kadisha.1
 As was customary he was led on Simchat Torah in procession to the shul 
accompanied by a throng. 

At that time he said the maamar beginning "Ein H.B.H. ba bitrunya." 
The conclusion was: 

Even the great minds who are here must lay aside their intellects 
and not be ruled by their reason and knowledge, 
for they are susceptible to being misguided by their intellect 
to the point that their end may be a bitter one. 
The essential thing in these times of the "footsteps of Mashiach" 
is not to follow intellect and reason, 
but to fulfill Torah and mitzvot wholeheartedly, 
with simple faith in the G-d of Israel.

Compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe; Translated by Yitschak Meir Kagan    

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Exactly what we are learning...FUSION of our thoughts and feelings-

"This is the advantage we human beings have over the other mammals: 

Their brain and heart are on a single plane, but we stand erect, 
living in two planes at once.

We have a mind above, looking up to the stars, 
and from there all things begin. 
We have a heart below, 
pumping life into the mind’s vision and drawing it into the real world.

When their roles are lost, 
mind and heart become a marriage from hell. 
When they work in harmony, nothing can stand in their way."

From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.

Review of the idea of our "I"- ego- (from the Inner Redemption handbook)

Tevet 10
Fast day. Selichot (p. 356). Avinu malkeinu (p. 277).
Torah lessons:
Chumash: Vayigash, Shishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 55-59.
Tanya: Yet the vitality (p. 29)...of flesh and blood (p. 31).
From the Tzemach Tzedek's answer at yechidus: It is written, 
"Let the wicked leave his path and the man of sin his thoughts etc."1 
Aven (sin) is the same as on,2 meaning power and strength. 
Just as it is imperative that the "wicked leave his path," for without teshuva 
it is impossible to approach the Sacred,3 
so must the "man of strength," one with unshakeable confidence in his reasoning,
 "leave his thoughts." 
He is not to insist, "I say so. This is what I think;" 
every "I", ego, is a source of evil, a cause of divisiveness.

Yeshayahu 55:7.
In Hebrew spelling, but using a different vowel.
See Tanya Ch. 17, p. 73.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Information about what we are doing in our Motzai Shabbos chaburah, our avodah, and some bonus shiurim

 This week, we will IyH meet on our regular telephone conference line, on Tuesday and Thursday night at 930 pm NY  and Wednesday and Thursday morning at 630 am NY time (in addition to the motzai Shabbos chaburah). These four calls will be a maximum of ten minutes and will not be recorded- an opportunity to do our avodah together.

In our chaburah, we are learning 'Experiencing the Divine' by Rav Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, along with 'Getting to Know Your Feelings' and 'Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh' by Rav Itamar Schwartz.  

At present we are working on thoughts and how they effect our feelings- the moment of choice and how we can choose to sense Hashem in the moment by attaching our thoughts to Him and then, acting from that place of deveikus/attachment.

 We are also learning more about feelings and how they are in constant movement.  "Our emotions help us identify change..." They help us identify the movement (in our thoughts and in our hearts) that we are traveling (tahalich) from one moment to another.  We are using this information to learn how to use the da'as of the heart in order to sense Hashem in an even deeper way (IY'H).
 Below is a shiur given by Rabbi Schwartz for the women's chaburah-  how to speak to Hashem every minute (we have been discussing how to do this by beginning with gratitude - even for things we don't have yet that we want, then doing teshuva, then giving it all up to Hashem- telling Him that in truth we really only want to do His will).  If you would like to join his monthly women's group- please let me know.

As always, please see for phenomenal shiurim about the Tenth of Tevet. 

If you have any questions or would like a copy of any of our material, please email Shira at:

Love, aviva rus

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel lighting Chanukiah
Pictures truly do speak louder than words.

How badly do we want to serve Hashem?  What step are we going to take?

This Motzai Shabbos, we will IY'H speak about the miracles in our own lives that we have seen to date (this has been our homework for the past three weeks- noticing Hashem's hashgacha).  That part of the chaburah will not be recorded.  We will thank Hashem publicly (on the call) and then see how our learning ties into the candle lighting and the power of Chanukah.

Then, after Chanukah, IYH, we will be meeting to do our avodah 4 times a week.  Each of you only have to call in to two of those 5 minutes.  2 of the times will be at night (9:30 pm NY time) and 2 of the times will be in the morning (5 am NY time).  These calls will not be recorded as they are our actual avodah.

Please email me or Shira with any questions.