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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Alexander the Great & Shimon HaTzadik; The Shell & The Fruit-Who are We? (Video)

Rabbi Haber expounds on the story of Chanukah and its meaning for Jews today.  He extrapolates from Rav Tzadok HaKohen to reveal the phenomenon of the divisions in Klal Yisrael in the time of the Chashmonaim and how it became the cause of the destruction of Bayit Shayni (the Second Temple).  He posits that Alexander the Great, who was a student of Aristotle, saw in Shimon HaTzadik, the essence of his search for meaning; the fruit, which he, as the shell, was destined to protect… Although we, as Jews, are not like them, we do not reject their contribution to Hashem’s Creation. And, in fact, we should search for ways to incorporate into our lives the treasures that they hold, while carefully insuring that we, and Torah, are not absorbed within Teva (nature/technology/beauty, etc.), but that Klal Yisrael must use the gashmius (materialism) in the world to raise it to Holiness.

Posted on 12/16 at 08:12 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