Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, brings together the physical and spiritual (corporal & ethereal) essence of the Jewish Heart, learning from Rav Tzadok HaKohen, Dovid HaMelech, and other spiritual greats. The equality, which is Knesset Yisrael, happens when the Jewish People are as one person with one heart, that is when the Shechina can rest within them. That’s called Malchus. The Tzur of Yisrael is it’s stubbornness, the validity or strength of Yisrael is it’s Chutzpah which is implanted within the Jewish heart by Hashem. Fine tune your Chutzpah to listen to the right side of your heart which is Hashem’s transmitter. With your heart, seek His face!
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, illuminates the meaning of the lighting of the Menorah in the Mishkan. The model of the Menorah teaches us many things about the role of the Jewish People and our seven shepherds in this world. The Menorah is so much more than symbolism. It holds the keys to understanding much about the workings of the universe. The seven branches of the Menorah, parallel the seven days of creation and the seven sefiros and many other references to the number seven in the Torah. The Beit HaMikdosh is the manifestation of the Shechina in this world. The Menorah is the representation of the Shechina in the Beit HaMikdosh. There were 7 platforms that held up the Aron HaKodesh. Rav. Haber takes us through the Noam Elimelech’s explanation of the language in Parshat Bahalosecha which describes the directions that Hashem gave Aaron regarding lighting the Menorah.
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, teaches us Rabbi Tzadok’s lesson about how the neshama yeseirah permeates through the 7 lower sefiros and how it is all connected to the Secret of Seven. He explains the nature of the neshama yeseirah and how it functions through the sefirot as a gift to us on Shabbos. It gives us extra abilities to experience the manifestation of Kedusha within our being.
Rabbi Haber tunes us in to the “unimaginable” realm of a gift that can’t be seen, felt or known (unless we were told about it)… The Neshama Yeseirah נשמה יתרה. It opens up our ability to connect with the Unfathomable Infinite. Shabbos is the Crown of the Neshama.
Rabbi Haber, shlit’a, explores with us the similarities between the chet of Adam HaRishon and the “mistakes” of other “potential Meshichim (משיחים)” throughout HIStory. Is wanting to be the closest to Hashem, and therefore like Him, a bad thing? Is trying to be too much like Him the wrong approach to the destruction of the contamination that we ingested because of our “desires/lusts (תאות)”? What happens to those of us who “dare” to come that close to Him without His permission? When we look into the mirror do we see the snake? We’re here but… The gematria of the Hebrew word for Meshiach משיח is the same as that for the Hebrew word for snake נחש (Nachash) = 358. Do we need to die in order to completely cleanse ourselves of the contamination of lust that we ingested? Watch and be transformed!
Rabbi Haber unveils 71 “pipes” of abundance that Hashem opened up for us when we reinfected ourselves with the זהום (contamination) of desire after our lengthy year-long Sinai experience. When we left Har Sinai, we started to revisit our yetzer ha’rah (evil inclination). The effect of living at Har Sinai wore off. The erev rav (mixed multitude) rabble-rousers began to agitate discontent among our People and we lost the effect of our encounter with the Infinite. We moaned, we complained: Where’s the beef? Where’s the herring? Where’s the onions? Where’s the garlic? Moshe Rabbeinu reacted by beseeching Hashem for help, “I’m not a nursemaid!” I only want to be the “pipeline” of spiritually! I don’t want to be their “mother.” We were reintroduced to תאבה (desire) when we left Mount Sinai.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, posits, based upon Rav Tzadok HaKohen, that “having a little bit of ‘Rah’ within us us not such a bad thing.” This Plan B that we (Adam) chose, could make us much better, in the long run, than had we gone with Plan A which was the Plan before Adam ingested the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. In other words, now that you’ve ingested the knowledge (tools) harness the beauty and exhilaration of the ride on the bucking bronco (which could also kill you) and make it bend to Hashem’s Will. “Some with chariots and some with horses, but we (the Jewish People) in the Name of Hashem call out.” If we do that… “Hashem save, may the King answer us on the day we call.” And then, shall a redeemer come to zion, and to those who repent from willful sin among Yaakov, the words of Hashem.”
Our work, now that we’ve exposed ourselves to good and evil, is to use the tools that we’ve acquired to build a Home for the Shechina here on this grungy, dirty earth. It may not be an easy job, and it make take 6000 years, but we, the Jewish People, have the antidote to the Zehumas HaNachash. We must harness it.
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, reveals questions and answers about how and when the “venom” of the nachash that was ingested by Adam was/will be neutralized within the framework of the stages of Jewish history. The secret is in the recombining the “soul” with the “body.” The laboratory is Shabbos.
Rabbi Haber composes a historical scenario taking us from the Sin of Adam, through Noach, Avraham Avinu, Yitzchak Avinu, Yaakov Avinu, the shevatim, Yetziat Mitzraim, Moshe and the rest of the Story of the Jewish People until the coming of Mashiach. He explains how after we ingested the Slime or poison of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, our function in the world is to eradicate and disgorge ourselves of that Slime & Grime to get back to the Holiness that was extant before the Sin when the Shechina could dwell amongst us. Individually, some of us may be able to get close. We’ve had many chances, as Rav Haber demonstrates. It’s a process that has taken over 3,500 years to complete. When the Mashiach finally arrives, the Second Luchos will be revealed to the Whole World Publicly when Hashem will be One and His Name will be One.
Rabbi Haber elaborates on how & why the Nachash enticed Chava and was able to seduce her. Now the נחש is within us as the יצר הרע. The first stone tablets (Ten Commandments) were not successful because they were given “publicly” פרהסיה with pomp and circumstance. But the second stone tablets were given “quietly” anxiously בחשאי. Plan A didn’t work. Most start-ups are a failure. The First Tablets were like Adam before the sin.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, delves into the method of analyzing ones character by inspecting the way one sees the world. Is it good or bad? Is it holy or perverse? The model for a rasha רשע (evil person) as described in the Gomorrah and by Rabbi Tzadik HaKohen, is the non-Jewish prophet, Bilam. This is a fascinating discussion that touches on many ideas of fundamental substance to Judaism. Who are we in the world? What is our role as a Jewish Nation? How do we fix the sin of Adam and those of our predecessors? Is there a difference between souls? How do different souls view the same thing? How do the Chruvim fit into this discussion? Why do we see what we see? Can we change what we see? Can we change who we are? Watch, learn, and be amazed!
We’re Left with Plan B-The Chruvim; Busha or Kedusha
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, enlightens us on the consequence of Am Yisrael’s disobediences to Hashem. Am Yisrael, the “First Born”, like Adam HaRishon and Reuven, being impulsive and attempting to second guess or substitute our will for the Will of the Creator leads us to our ongoing choices of not thinking of Him before we act and not waiting for the Ratzon of Hashem to play out. It has led us on our much longer path of returning to Gan Eden. It has resulted in our constant struggle to reach our Ultimate Destiny. We must uproot our ego in order to get there.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, makes the Chet (sin) of Adam understandable. In the context of history, the sin of Adam is the model for every sin that the Jewish People committed. Every one of our sins goes back to the first desire of Adam to “elevate” himself above what Hashem planned for Creation. The question is “whose in charge of me?” Do I make my own decisions about how I want Creation to be? Or, do I do it the way Hashem wants? The substance of ego is the “evil” that was ingested by Adam. It’s now within us. It will remain within us for the purpose of forcing us to recognize it and to overcome it. Are we for Hashem under all circumstances or are we for ourselves? Are we part of Hashem or are we separate? Ego is separation. Hashem is Unity. Our struggle is to remove the separation. Now that we have the amalgam of good and evil within us, when we water the good (the Garden that Hashem gave us), we could also be watering the evil (the weeds that we ingested). Our work in this world now is to struggle to water the good and kill the evil. May the Goodness of Hashem blossom and the weeds wither.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, through the words of Rav Tzadok HaKohen, explains that the Rah רע (bad or evil) that Adam ingested was by choice in order to make himself capable of being “an individual” separate from Hashem so that he could go to battle for Hashem. But that choice was fraught with danger as evil has a tendency to win over good. Therefore, he was excluded from Gan Eden to prevent him from becoming eternal. Shabbos comes to provide the Jewish People with the ability to reunify with Hashem and His Holy Name by reversing the פרודה divisions/separations that we’ve been given in the Holiness of the Seventh Day. Although we live in the world of separation פרוד but it all comes together if it all has One Purpose. The point of Shabbos is where we can contemplate on the disparate part of the world that was given to us and, in so doing, we unify the separation of the week that has past and make it Holy.
Rabbi Haber has been a leading force in Jewish Outreach for the past 25 years. A founding trustee of AJOP, the Association of Jewish Outreach Professionals, he was the founder and director of the Torah Center of Buffalo from 1980-1990 while serving as a community rabbi in Buffalo. From Buffalo he and his family traveled to Melbourne, Australia where as a project of Kollel Bais HaTalmud he founded the Australian Institute of Torah, a national outreach and adult education program. He directed that program from 1990-1995, at which time he was sought out as National Director of Jewish Education for the Orthodox Union in the United States where he created the Internationally acclaimed and highly successful "Pardes Project."
In addition to his duties at the OU, in 1996 he replaced Rabbi Berel Wein as the spiritual leader of Congregation Bais Torah in Monsey, NY. In keeping with the position of Congregation Bais Torah in the Monsey community, Rabbi Haber was involved in issues involving the greater Monsey community, and counseled hundreds of individuals in the surrounding area.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber is the founder and driving force behind TorahLab. Through TorahLab, Rabbi Haber is bringing together educational and media specialists to create dynamic learning experiences which will be accessible to adults of all backgrounds and levels. Rabbi Haber has published numerous articles and books and is a sought after international lecturer.
Rabbi Haber and his family are presently living in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he is the Rabbi of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun.
Incorporating 25 years of experience and research in the field of adult Jewish education, TorahLab provides lay leaders, professional educators, and students with state-of-the-art Jewish learning tools.
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