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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heart & Soul

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, explores the source of the neshama and it’s spiritual and physical manifestation within the Jew. Everything starts with the heart. When it (feeling) starts in the heart, it is then filtered through the brain.  The broken heart is the the Mishkan wherein the Shechina can rest.  But your heart has to be softened (or broken) enough to allow the Shechina to penetrate.  The Kotzker Rav said that “there is nothing more full than a broken heart.” If you survive a broken heart, you’ll be better for it because then your heart is a bigger place for the Shechina to rest. Tears דִמעָות are a product of the heart when it’s not filtered by the brain.  Babies cry because the brain is not developed. When Yaakov Avinu thought he was about to die, he was going to reveal the end of days to his children.  But, the Shechina left him.  He looked at his sons and thought that “something is not working here.” His sons said to him “just as your heart is one, so too, our hearts are one. To which Yaakov answered “ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד”. In this context, the Rav discusses the Upper Unity [Ychuda Ilaa] (Yaakov) and the Lower Unity [Ychuda Tataa ] (The Shevatim) and the Har Sinai Experience before [Ychuda Ilaa] and after the Chet HaEgel [Ychuda Tataa ]. And then he relates this phenomenon to “before the 3 upper Sefiros” and “after the 7 lower Sefiros (Malchut)”. By examining the divisions between the Upper Point and the Lower Point we can see the map of history playing out. Tying these separations together is OK. It’s Malchut (Kingship) which could even be on a higher level the the Upper Unity.  The Rav then brings it all back to Adam HaRishon before and after the Chet of the Etz HaDaas. Upper Unity is immediate.  Lower Unity can take a few thousand years (to tie everything together). The vessel of pray is your heart!  We must figure out how to activate the koach (Energy) of the heart. Bringing things together requires emotion.

Posted on 06/20 at 09:35 AM • 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