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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What’s the Focus? Me vs. World

Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, discusses the importance of juxtaposition of intentionality and action.  The action that we should focus on at the Pesach seder is the “Freedom to express myself.” Dovid HaMelech says if I articulate my innermost feelings then I’m thanking and praising Hashem.

“I” am the story of the exodus from Egypt and it must be articulated.

The Nefesh HaChaim wrote “7 Prakim” the explanation of the Volozhin philosophy as opposed to the Chassidic philosophy. He explains that there are 2 parts of every mitzvah.  The Kavana and the Maaseh.  The Ikar עקר (substance) is the Maaseh מעשה (action).

What is the purpose of doing mitzvahs?
Is it to make myself a better person or is it to bring the mitzvah for the Malchus Shamayim and make this world a better place?  Is it about me or about the world?

Posted on 03/14 at 11:34 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