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Do something different

Thursday, 30 July, 2020 - 9:26 am

These past few months have been months of reflection. We've all learned a little bit more about ourselves. Our strengths, weaknesses, our limits and our unbelievable capacity to rise to the occasion.

We've also learned that certain things in life are much more important than other things. That things we used to value really ought to be much lower on the list than others.

I suspect that eventually "this too shall pass". We will either go back to an old world or the new world that is evolving will become our new reality. It is up to us to solidify it.

One of the most important lessons I've learned, is the value of time. I really do have the time for the things that are really important (e.g. exercise, spirituality, Torah study, my children, my spouse). I've always pushed other things in front because I convinced myself they were urgent and important.

I now know differently! How about you? 

Today is Tisha B'Av. The day we commemorate the destruction of both of the Temples (Bais Hamikdash) that stood in Jerusalem.

I would like to propose we all do something different.

As Jews, what has kept us as a people and preserved our uniqueness is the Torah. No explanation for that is needed. More than the Jews have kept the Torah, the Torah has kept the Jews.

So perhaps, do something different and increase in Torah study.

  1. Daily study of Chitas - Chumash (Torah portion), Tehillim (Psalms) and Tanya (foremost book of Chabad Chasidus). All this can be done with an online or print weekly publication that is chock full of other Torah learning as well.
  2. Daily study of Rambam - Maimonides. Also found in the above publication. Over a three year period one completes the entire magnum opus of Rambam covering every aspect of Jewish Law. - online or print 
  3. Embrace the study of the Rebbe's talks. Listen 20-30 minutes each week to synopsis of the teachings of the Rebbe, covering the major works of the Rebbe the 39 volumes of his edited talks. Over an 8 year period one will complete the entire works and get a glimpse into the Rebbe's revolutionary views of Torah teaching, history, philosophy, relationships and so on. Details and Podcasts here.

 The verse at the end of the Haftorah of this past Shabbos is "Zion will be redeemed with judgement and her captives through tzedakah". Our Sages understand the meaning of judgement here to be a reference to the study of the Torah, which is called judgement and tzedakah to be a reference to giving charity.

Today we commemorate not only the destruction but also that which has kept us; the Torah!

There is no time like the present to embrace Torah study.

Have a great Shabbos!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 


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