Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Around the Jewish Year
10 Lectures

Item #: S977

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The chronology of the Jewish year, with its holy days and commemorations brings a pattern of stability and serenity to our lives. Travel with Rabbi Wein through the yearly calendar as the various special days and times of the year are explained and discussed. The flow of times and events in "Around the Jewish Year" will provide new insights into the purpose and richness of the life of a Jew.

Individual lectures:

Rosh Hashanah
Why do Jews wish each other a "sweet" year at Rosh Hashanah? What is it about sweetness that should characterize the Jewish New Year? Rabbi Wein, with his inimitable mix of depth and wit, explores the mystical concept explained by Reb Zadok that "time has personality" and the "personality" of Rosh Hashanah is sweetness.

The Ten Days of Repentance The ten days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and culminating on Yom Kippur comprise the most awesome period in the Jewish calendar. These days, in which we dedicate ourselves to repenting and returning to G-d, are essential for our development as human beings. The history of teshuva, Rabbi Wein asserts, is the history of humanity. Through an analysis of both Torah sources and present-day stories, Rabbi Wein demonstrates how teshuva not only builds us as individuals, but as a Jewish nation.

Yom Kippur In keeping with the introspective spirit of the Day of Atonement, Rabbi Wein delves into question that has perplexed the greatest of Jewish minds: why do we suffer through difficult times? Citing Torah sages and with stories of Jews who triumphed through the darkness of the Holocaust and Soviet Russia, Rabbi Wein sheds light on this difficult question and delivers an inspiring message about the power of teshuva.

Succos The holiday of Succos, following immediately after the solemnity and piety of the High Holy Days, is a holiday of happiness and contentment. Its unique mitzvos of dwelling in a succah and blessing the Four Species bring these feelings home to us. With a thorough analysis of the Laws surrounding the different mitzvos of Succos, Rabbi Wein shows us how we can maximize our joy on this glorious holiday.

Chanukah As a Jewish people, our task is to recognize G-d and thank Him for the miracles He performs for us. The holiday of Chanukah exemplifies this perhaps more than any other. But what happens if we lose the sense of wonder at G-d and His miracles? How can we properly acknowledge G-d if we have begun to take Him for granted? With an in-depth Halachic discussion, peppered with humorous personal stories, Rabbi Wein makes sure to keep our Chanukah meaningful and heightens our sense of the spiritual value of gratitude.

Purim The joyous day of Purim is the only Jewish holiday that will continue to be celebrated even after the Jews will taste the glory of the Messianic Age. Purim therefore teaches us lessons which deal not only with the past, but with the present and the future. Rabbi Wein retells the Purim story as we know it, but with new and meaningful nuances that will resonate for all times.

Pesach There is a dimension to Pesach which makes it unique on the Jewish calendar. For no other holiday have Jews adopted as many stringencies and new customs, adding their own flavor to the Yom Tov. Rabbi Wein explores the history and origins of the customs of kitinyos, matzah ashirah, and gebrokts, and explains why each of them reigns supreme amongst the Jewish people today.

The Days of the Omer Jews commemorate the forty-nine day period between Pesach and Shavous by counting each and every day. This important mitzvah teaches us how to make time count. With stories of tzaddikim who used their time wisely, Rabbi Wein illuminates ways we can implement this all-important skill into our own lives. Delving yet deeper, Rabbi Wein examines the meanings of the mystical concepts of the Sefiros, making these esoteric concepts accessible and showing how the period of mourning leads us to the ultimate goal of Shavous, a yom tov of happiness and unity.

Shavuos The Torah makes the Jewish people unique and eternal. Thousands of great civilizations throughout world history have disappeared from the face of the earth, but we Jews remain, kept alive by the Torah we received from G-d. With stories from the Talmud and the Book of Ruth, Rabbi Wein illustrates how love of the Torah brings the ultimate reward of eternity.

The Three Weeks The Three Weeks of Mourning, which commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples, have significance for every Jewish individual. With all the tragedy in our bloody history, our mourning should be endless, but the Talmudic Rabbis in their wisdom limited our mourning to these Three Weeks. Yet inevitably, as time passes, people become numbed to their own history. With both historical and Halachic analyses, Rabbi Wein awakens us to the true meaning of the Three Weeks.

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