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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kedushas Shabbos Part 116 - To Turn Nega to Oneg

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, reveals in this shiur that man’s job is to turn נגע into ענג.  The “work” of the Jew on Shabbos is to take the Six Days of Creation (seeds which are the building blocks given to us by Hashem) and “make” them into a Creation of Kedusha.  Every hebrew letter that Hashem uses in Creation and Recreation has a hidden power that is equivalent to the hidden power (the Ohr HaGonuz-Hidden Light) that is within every Jew and is within the essence of Shabbos. The recurring theme in His Creation is that of using that hidden power to nurture those seeds and erect an “edifice” that lights up the world with Kedusha. Shabbos is the “laboratory” in which the Jew does this “work”.It all depends on where you put your Ayin ע (Eyes)!

Posted on 01/17 at 10:54 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beginnings Part 10 - Yitzchak: The Purpose of Klal Yisrael

Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, uncovers how Yitzchak Avinu, is the tzimtzum (constriction/reduction) of the energies of Avraham Avinu in order to focus on the singular-ism necessary for the Jewish People to effect the tikkun (correction) of the sins of Adam HaRishon and Cain and the land!  While Avraham Avinu was like the king of the world wherever he went, Yitzchak Avinu, who is the man of few words and whose silence is remarkable, had the same impact that Avraham had on steering the world toward its perfection through refining the Purpose of the Jewish People.

Posted on 01/10 at 07:17 PM • Permalink
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Kedushas Shabbos Part 114 - The Aching Footsteps of Mashiach: The Ox & The Donkey

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, delves further into the reasons for and the mechanism of the tikun (correction) of the sin of Adam HaRishon.  The connection of this tikun to the necessity of death is the foundation of the Final Redemption and a new Beginning for Creation when there will be no more war, contention, negativity, sickness or death.  This is the mechanism of the Unification of Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben Dovid.  Rav Haber shows the meaning of the symbolism of the Ox and the Donkey as they relate to Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben Dovid.

Posted on 01/10 at 06:56 PM • Permalink
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Kedushas Shabbos Part 113 - The Components of Mashiach

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, breaks open the secret of how the mixture or blending of the Malchus, Kingship of Yosef and Dovid was set up in the union of Boaz and Rus. The lineage of Dovid HaMelech: Yehuda & Tamar - the cradle of chutzpah - begot Peretz - the fence breaker/the trail blazer, Peretz begot Chetzron, Chetzron begot Rom, Rom begot Aminadov, Aminadov begot Nachshon - who walked into the water-also a trail blazer, Nachshon begot Salma, Salma begot Boaz, Boaz begot Ovayd, Ovayd begot Yishai, and Yishai begot Dovid - who also inherited traits from Peretz and Nachshon.  This is Dovid’s yichus, lineage which produced the character strength of the King of Israel.  Kingship is the ability to “break out of the fence.” A king must be able to take risks.  There is no kingship in mediocrity.

As between Yehuda & Tamar and Dovid, Melech HaMashiach, why do we need Boaz and Rus? Boaz, according to the Zohar, is called “Tzadik Yesod Olam”, The Righteous Foundation of the World.  This is also the label that the Zohar uses for Yosef. Noach was a Tzadik, Boaz was a Tzadik and Yosef was a Tzadik; all with the character trait of Yesod, foundation.

Boaz received the title of Tzadik Yesod Olam because and at the very moment that he was nokar es habris, meaning that he withheld his personal desire to marry Rus for the sake of doing the right thing in the granary when Rus offered herself to him as a wife. That is why he was compared to Yosef (vis a vis Yosef’s avoiding of the advances of the daughter of Potifar). And at that moment, Boaz combined the Kingship of Yosef with the Kingship of Dovid/Yehuda.

Palti ben Layish was even stronger in his ability to withhold his personal desires for the sake of someone else.  His “wife” Michal, was given to him by her father, King Shaul (who had taken her away from Dovid).  Palti ben Layish placed a two sided sword in the bed between himself and Michal so as not to usurp the wife of Dovid.

The midah of Yosef must come before the midah of Dovid.  What is the tikun for the Aretz?  To be able to reign over the gashmius before the gashmius reigns over you; to reign over your inclinations.The integration of the midah of Yosef into the midah of Dovid; the strength of the Redemption.

Posted on 01/10 at 12:17 AM • Permalink
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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Kedushas Shabbos Part 112 - Ohr HaGanuz: The Sprouting of Mashiach

Rav Haber, Shlit"a, helps us discover how the Hidden Light that Hashem made at the beginning of Creation will be revealed at the End of Days. First there will be an upheaval within the consciousness of the Jewish People to transform itself by struggling against our nature by humbling ourselves before Hashem. The secret of “empowerment” is to tame our negative impulses. This will bring the Malchus out of the filth and dirt of our averos, sins, and result in the Kingship of the Mashiach.

The Ohr HaGonuz, the Hidden Light, was made at the beginning of Creation. It will start to come back as the development of the days of Mashiach comes back.  Things will then start to become more clear.  The joining of Ruth to Boaz, as explained by Rav Haber, according to Rav Tzadok: It was “THEN” - אז that the seed of Mashiach was being planted.  Boaz was a product of Yehuda & Tamar. Ruth was a product of Lot and the daughters of Lot. Dovid was a product of Ruth and Boaz, as well as a product of Yehuda and Tamar & Lot and the daughters of Lot.  The story of Yehuda & Tamar was a parallel story to the story of the selling of Yosef into bondage into Egypt.  Yosef resisted the temptation of bat Potifar.  Yehuda was different.  The next step in Malchus Beis Dovid is Boaz & Ruth.  When Yehuda & Tamar come together, it’s darkness, it’s a mystery, it’s Ohr HaGanuz.  But the hidden Ohr, light is Malchus.  The Ohr of Dovid has to come from a tzemach, sprouting from the dirt. It’s got to be buried or hidden.  We’re waiting for the tikun to come to the point where the Ohr can be revealed.  We have had moments of clarity.  When Mashiach comes he’ll be wearing a begged, clothing with (Oz) אז written all over it. “אז ימלא שחוק פינו - Then laughter will fill our mouths.”

Posted on 01/06 at 07:08 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Beginnings Part 9 - Yishmael & Yitzchak: The Missing Blessing (Video)

Rabbi Haber teaches how there is an amazing parallelism between the story of Yishmael and the story of Yitzchak.  In this shiur, the Rav exposes the difficulties that Avraham, Sarah and Haggar had in the struggle to determine the destiny of the world.

The universalism of Yishmael (and Avraham) vs. the constricted approach of Yitzchak (and Sarah) to Hashem’s plan for the world is the background to the whole problem of the “Missing Blessing.” Hashem makes it clear, says the Rav, that there is “No Two State Solution” and that the yerusha of the Jewish People (the centerpiece of creation) must go through Yitzchak.
Hashem told Avraham to “Listen to your wife!” Sarah‘s vision was the correct one of completing the mission of correcting the chet of Adam HaRishon by starting with the “family” (the place where the tikun really must occur) rather than Avraham’s universal approach of trying to m’karev the whole world to the belief in Hashem. But, nevertheless, Yishmael will make G-d “known” to the world. However, Avraham was so confused about upon whom to confer the yerusha to which he was entrusted (that would fix Adam’s sin for the purpose of getting the whole world to believe in Hashem) that he never blessed either Yishmael or Yitzchak. The universalism approach of Mashiach ben Yosef vs the building of the eternal Beis HaMikdash (focusing on the family) of Mashiach ben Dovid is how the Rav sums up this story.

Posted on 01/03 at 11:10 PM • Permalink
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Kedushas Shabbos Part 111 - The Greatness of Hashem, Clothed in Hod V’Hadar (Video)

The sugya, chapter of Hod or glory and Hadar, majesty in the olamos, worlds and in the sefiros, emanations.  An “electrifying” journey into the workings of creation of the world and the development of Am Yisrael from the desert, the ephemeral existence of living above nature, to the Land the existence of Malchus, the dirty work of rectifying the sin of Adam HaRishon.

Rav Yaacov Haber explores Tehillim (Psalm) 104, the Malbim and the Alshich.  The judge should not be corrupt (be distorted). That is, don’t lift up (give special consideration to) the poor, & don’t acknowledge the station of the rich.  Hadar is the outer or external beauty of what everything has because of what it is.  Hod has to do with inner beauty, the very form of the human.

Moshe Rabeinu had Hod & Hadar and Yehoshua only had Hadar.  If Yehoshua had had both Hod & Hadar it would have been too much.  No one would have been able to stand before him.  What does that mean?  Yehoshua didn’t have an “inside”. If Yehoshua had had inner beauty he would not have been approachable.  Yehoshua brought things down to earth. He brought the nation into Eretz Yisrael.  In the the midbar, everything was from shamayim.  Everything was coming down.  So Moshe and Aaron were Netzach & Hod.  They were the agents of Hashem in the midbar experience, where everything was from Shamayim.  But, when we came into the Land, everything was acquired with struggle.  Everything is nice until you get to the “ground.” Malchus (being down to earth) is the hard part.  The leader of Klal Yisrael had to be “of the Land” and that’s called HadarHadar is Malchus. Malchus causes problems.  But it’s all about making the world a place for Hashem’s Presence to rest once again.

Posted on 01/03 at 10:38 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Kedushas Shabbos Part 110 - Distinction and Dissonance: The Path to Unity

Rav Haber takes us on a journey through the process of creation of the four worlds, atzila, briah, yetzira, and asiyah. By making distinctions, Hashem created malchus. In the symphony of creation everything plays its own piece.  The Conductor instructs the briah (creation).  The Rav relates the macrocosm of creation to the work that we as individuals do to acknowledge the Creator and to make our song to Him in our davening (prayer) and in the mitzvos that we do to put the pieces of the “puzzle” together and to bring the Mashiach. When Hakodosh Boruch Hu created the world, He created “mixtures.” Then He divided and made distinctions.  In distinction we get clarity. In mixture we have confusion.  As Mashiach comes, there’s more and more distinction.

Posted on 01/01 at 01:21 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kedushas Shabbos Part 109 - Erev Shabbos: A Time of Confusion and Conflict (Video)

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, illuminates erev Shabbos and explains why and how we’re obligated to make a tikkun habriah, correction of creation, at this time. Time being both personal and global. We’re in the era of “erev Shabbos” of creation.  Neither the personal erev Shabbos nor the global erev Shabbos is an easy time.  There is tension in the air.  The tikkun is more desperate on erev Shabbos.  Where there’s chessed (kindness) there’s rah (bad/evil).  If you’re a universalist you have to tolerate rah. The tikkun can only take place in the rah.  Where there’s rah there’s the potential for a tremendous amount of tov (good). It’s all about haficha (reversal).  As we see from Bilaam and the Purim story.  From the rah has to come the bracha.  The darkness is closer to Hashem because it’s deeper. On Shabbos, we need to find our own shortcomings and fix them. So, at the end of the story, meaning the end of days, which is the global Shabbos, or at the end of the week, which is our personal Shabbos, we can look back and see that the things in our life that we thought were bad are really good.

Posted on 12/30 at 02:25 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beginnings Part 8 - Avraham, His Wives & All Their Children (Video

Rabbi Haber discusses the lives of Avraham, his wives, children and their family dynamics.
The Jewish people are the “tweak” of the world.  That is, we are the people who must adjust and fix the nature of human exigencies on creation to align it with Hashem’s plan. Avraham is universal, many nations lay claim to Avraham.  Yitzchak was narrower, and Yaakov was narrower.  The 12 tribes were narrower still than the Avos.
The Jewish people of today are the result of all that tweaking. The point of the Jewish people’s function in Hashem’s plan is not that we should bring people to believe in G-D, (which is a good thing), but that we should make the world into a home (a resting place) for G-D’s presence.
Yishmael is not the evil person that we usually think he is, he was actually a tzadik who was not only a good person, but he got along with his brother, Yitzchak, they were friends.
The Rav further focuses on the dynamics of the relationship of Avraham Avinu with Sarah Imeinu and Hagar.

Posted on 12/27 at 01:51 PM • Permalink
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Kedushas Shabbos Part 108 - Yishmael the Pera Adam (Video)

Rabbi Haber teaches the value of Yishmael and Avraham’s confusion about why he was ordained to have Yitzchak with Sarah.  An unbelievable journey into the depths of the roots of the Jewish People in Avraham and Yitzchak and why, at the end of days, the separation of the energies of the world will be unified under Mashiach which will be the repair of the sin of Adam.

Avraham’s tension over how to be m’taken the sin of Adam was assuaged by the birth of Yitzchak .

Shabbos is our vehicle through which to rebuild unity of purpose in creation.  Distinction is truth and light, but separation is falsehood.  You must be able to see outside of yourself to know the truth! What is unity?

Posted on 12/27 at 01:42 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Kedushas Shabbos Part 107 - Lower is Higher; The Signs of Mashiach (Video)

Lower is Higher.
Yesod (essence/formation) is the ephemeral kingship.  The true kingship has no essence.  In order to be a King, one must have no personal honor. Jealousy is antithetical to true kingship.  A king can not be a prophet. Prophecy has everything to do with “me.” Kingship is all about giving up everything to be part of the “earth” part of creation.  You can’t be a king without people. A king must have roots in the “dirt” of the world and must live in the world. The competition between King Saul and King David goes all the way back to the competition between Yehuda and Yosef. There has to be a Yosef before there is a David.  There has to be a Mashiach ben Yosef before there is a Mashiach ben David.

Posted on 12/25 at 07:39 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kedushas Shabbos Part 106 - Adam was Created for the Honor of Shabbos (Video)

In this video, the Rav sensitively discusses the difference between the Jew and the Non-Jew. The workings of the Mashiach ben David and the Mashiach ben Yoseph is apparent today as it was in the time of Yoseph HaTzadik and Yehuda in Parashat Vayigash.  Both are Kings, but they each have a different purpose.  Yoseph was universal.  Yehuda was specifically for the Jewish People.  But, at the end of days, Mashiach ben Dovid will be the Universalist. It’s all about FIXING the sin of Adam and bringing the world back to the Garden of Eden. 

Posted on 12/23 at 12:41 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beginnings Part 7 - Lavan vs Klal Yisrael (Video)

Rabbi Haber, Shlita, propounds the intrigue that the Torah reveals concerning the shidduch (marriage match) between Yaakov and Leah & Rachel.  Who IS Lavan and why does he play such a prominent part in the genealogy of the Jewish People.  According to Chazal (our sages) he is a rasha (evil).  Hashem planned the destiny of Avraham’s family and Nachor’s (Avraham’s brother) family.  Rabbi Haber examines the story of Eliezer, the servant of Avraham who finds Rivkah as a wife for Rivkah.  And he compares this story of the story of Yaakov who finds (at the direction of his father Yitzchak) his wife from the same family as his father’s wife, Rivkah.

Posted on 12/20 at 03:30 PM • Permalink
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Kedushas Shabbos Part 105 - Dig it! Who Mirrors Creation (Video)

Rabbi Haber reveals the mechanism for changing nature through digging beyond the stars.  Yitzchak Avinu and Avraham Avinu, before him, were shown by Hashem the secret of changing nature through going very deeply into the world outside and beyond nature and accessing the roots of Creation in order to grow their own produce (the partnering with Hashem in Creation).  They were able to induce changes in nature through uprooting their environment with special prayers mirroring the Will of Hashem that they succeed in going above nature in order to fix the world which is suffering in a lower state of existence from the sin of Adam HaRishon. We, as their progeny, are also capable of changing nature for the same purpose. We do so whenever we take anything in Creation and elevating it through brachot and tefillot and by recognizing the G-Dliness within it.

Posted on 12/20 at 02:27 PM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov HaberRabbi 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.

Rabbi Haber can be contacted at yhaber@torahlab.org