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A Hug Like No Other

Thursday, 26 July, 2012 - 6:34 pm

There are many compelling arguments to be made for studying Torah. One of the most inspiring presentations I have seen on the value of learning Torah is in the 5th chapter of Tanya. Of the primary achievements of Mitzvot are, that they make us more connected to G-d. By engaging in an act that is G-d’s will we connect ourselves to G-d. Furthermore while the Mitzvah is performed the individual’s Neshamah (soul) is “embraced” by the Divine Energy invested within the Mitzvah.

However, when it comes to studying Torah, in addition to being “embraced” by G-d as with any other Mitzvah, the person grasping the Torah concept also has the advantage of “embracing” G-d, Who is invested within the Torah. In other words, the person is entirely enveloped by G-d at the same time that he is entirely enveloping G-d (as He is invested within Torah). To be entirely enveloped, while simultaneously completely enveloping the other is a physical impossibility – conceivable only at an abstract level. While this is true of any intellectual “grasping of a concept” – where the person grasps the idea at the same time that his mind is wrapped up in it, in the context of Torah study, G-d is part of the equation.

On that lofty note… I am eager to present the schedule for Project Talmud Summer 2012. After a promising Project Talmud debut in 2011, we are excited to be welcoming a budding young scholar, Yosef Rivkin (who happens to be my youngest brother), back for Project Talmud 2012.

Sunday, August 12 – 9-11 AM - Breakfast and Beit Midrash Program @ Chabad Uptown: Chavruta – small group studying the Talmudic discussion on honoring parents (Kiddushin 31:b), followed by a lecture: Analyzing the Financial Obligations in Honoring Parents.

Dinner and Premier Video Screening – 8:00 PM @ Chabad Uptown: Faithful & Fortified III – The Rebbe’s Relationship with Five of Israel’s Prime Ministers.

Monday – Friday Morning 8-9 AM @ Chabad Uptown - Coffee and Cake – Halacha Class - Topic: The Laws of Blessings (on Food).

Monday-Thursday Evening – 6:15 -7:15 PM @ Chabad Metairie: Jewish Mysticism - Topic: A Treatise on Teshuva – Tanya explores themes of Teshuva from the perspectives of Halacha, Kabbala and Chassidus with a strong practical application.

Sunday, August 19 9-10:30 AM - Breakfast and Lecture @ Chabad Uptown: Topic: Abraham's Genes – An exploration of Abraham's Jewishness and the spiritual DNA he bequeathed to us.

Sunday Night August 19 8:00 PM @ Chabad Metairie: Closing Farbrengen in honor of Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Mazel Tov to my sister Devorah Leah and her husband Rabbi Meir Chaim Posner who will be celebrating the Upshernish of their son Mendel Monday morning at Chabad House.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

P.S. If G-d forbid we are still in exile on Saturday night, please see upcoming events for Tisha B’Av schedule.

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