Tools for Living: Shemos 5771
Journey into the Soul of the Weekly Torah Portion

The Book of Exodus: An 11 Part Journey

How is the ancient Torah — given over 3,300 years ago — personally relevant to our lives today? Discover how the stories and challenges of our ancestors serve as paradigms for the issues and questions we face today — relationships, social justice, self improvement and more.

Drawing from their journey and the Torah’s infinite wisdom, this course is designed by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, best selling author and director of the Meangful Life Center, to impart practical tools for living in the real world.


Shemot: The Secret of Communication
The central figure in this week’s Parshah—and in the entire torah—is a man of many paradoxes. Th e greatest communicator in history was a man of “no words.” Yet his words become immortalized and are remembered forever like no other mans’ words. The preeminent spokesperson that ever lived, a man who transmitted to us the most potent words ever uttered, had diffi culty speaking! Yet every word of his has been pored over and analyzed like no other, in the world’s most famous and most popular “best selling” book. This man was so mysterious that even his name is shrouded in obscurity: he is known by a name not given to him by his parents. In this lesson, we will learn the true power of words and the secret behind being a bona fide communicator.

 
Vaeira: A Pumping Passion and A Cooling Calm
The Ten Plagues are a fascinating phenomenon, whose deeper, psychological meaning and relevancy to our lives today can, at times, plague us. In this lesson we will analyze the first two plagues – Blood and Frogs – and discover how they truly are the first two steps in every man’s constant struggle to break away from the constraints of life and into the broad horizons of our abilities.

 
Bo: Hard Facts Made Easy (and Soft)
Did Pharaoh create the harsh nature of Egypt or fall victim to it? In this lesson, we will look into the king of Egypt’s hard heart to see what we can do to always keep ours soft.

 
Beshalach: Fast Forward Without Pause
When the Jews were trapped between the pursuing Egyptians behind them and the Red Sea ahead, there were different approaches to dealing with the challenges of moving forward to freedom. In this lesson, we will identify four philosophical approaches that humans have historically embraced to dealing with adversity – and how they are all wrong. We will in turn discover a fifth method – the true secret to conquering the obstacles of life and what it takes to split through any barrier that comes between our potential and our purpose.

 
Yitro: Yes or No
We all try to create transformative sensory experiences. By applying a profound Talmudic argument to decipher the Mount Sinai experience, we will relate reality in a whole new light, one that will transform our senses and change the way we see – and hear – things forever.

 
Mishpatim: Law & Order - Divine Division
The Torah’s laws are divided into two categories: “civil” and “religious.” Is there a connection between the two? And, if there is, what relevance do these laws hold for us, the people, living in a civil and democratic society in this day and age?

 
Terumah: Ark-e-type
The Holy Ark was the center of the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple. A classic argument between two great Torah scholars, Rashi and Ramban, contains the practical message of the Ark and how this Divine “box” can help us think outside of it.

 
Tetzaveh: The Kabbalah of Smell - Scented Candles: Of Scents and Essence
The Temple vessels seem to be ancient biblical items that hold little relevance for us today. But, perhaps with the right spice mixture we can reach an “altered” state… In this lesson, by inhaling the Divine perfumes of unity, fine wisps of holy smoke that tingle our very scents and essence, we shall come to discover – and illuminate – the sweet smell of true success.

 
Ki Tisa: Whole Halves - Becoming A Wholly One
The Half Shekel remedied the rift created by the Golden Calf. In this lesson, we will unlock the secret to unity and how we today can make complete anything that is broken.

 
Vayakhel: Assembly Line
The power of numbers; the beauty of many different people assembled together in one place. In this lesson, we will apply the assembly of yesterday to help us assemble our lives today.

 
Pekudei: Travelers Checks
The Book of Shemot culminates with Israel’s travels and journeys in the desert. This lesson will relate to us the lessons and experiences of the travels then so that we can learn from them to navigate our journeys now.