The Chabad.org Blog

Announcing the New Rabbi Gordon App!

January 31, 2016 8:52 PM

Chabad.org’s app team released a new Android app tailor-made for the tens of thousands who turn to master teacher Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon for his daily classes in Chumash with Rashi, Tanya and Rambam. With simple tabs, where users can access each of the rabbi’s three daily classes, the app creates a seamless learning experience, with the rabbi’s daily videos in one place for easy viewing.

Rabbi Gordon's precise explanations and lucid delivery have brought the joy of Torah study to students around the world. His unique delivery style draws upon a great reservoir of personal experiences, Chassidic stories and anecdotes to make his classes come alive.

The Rabbi Gordon App is part of Chabad.org’s growing suite of Jewish Apps, and is being released with a prayerful wish for a complete and speedy recovery for Rabbi Gordon (Yehoshua Binyomin ben Miriam). May the merit of the thousands of hours of Torah study he enables plead before the heavenly throne on his behalf.

The Rabbi Gordon app can be accessed here: www.chabad.org/RabbiGordonApp

Read about the rich history and global reach of Rabbi Gordon’s classes.

Read an interview with Rabbi Gordon.

Focus on the Jewish Woman

January 31, 2016 4:32 PM

Dear Friend,

One of the many great delights in working with the Chabad.org/news team is learning about and covering, day in and day out, the extraordinary work of Chabad-Lubavitch shluchos around the world.

This past week, their work was highlighted once again at the Kinus Hashluchos, the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Women Emissaries, and I invite you to enjoy inspiring videos and photos and news stories from the event, as well as articles related to the anniversary of the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Not just chroniclers of the work of Chabad-Lubavitch women, our Chabad.org team members are active participants in this global work. Nowhere is this more evident than at TheJewishWoman.org, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as the world’s premier destination for Jewish women.

Stay tuned for more news about the 10th anniversary of TJW and how you can help celebrate. In the meantime, join me in thanking all the women at Chabad.org for the difference they make every day in the lives of Jewish people everywhere.

Yaakov Ort,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

P.S.: Are you a Jewish woman? Then now is a great time to sign up for the TJW weekly e‑mail and like their Facebook page.

Back to Sinai

January 24, 2016 11:28 PM

Dear Friend,

This is a dangerous confession: I rewrite the Daily Doses continuously.

Over 1,000 Daily Doses of Wisdom have accumulated since I started writing them in 1994. And whenever it’s their turn to reappear, they each get a review—and usually a rewrite.

Why? Because I look at something I wrote three years ago and say, “No, that’s not it!” And I edit, discard and rewrite until I say, “Yes!” And then, three years later, I look again and say, “No, no, no.” So I rewrite again.

Not that it was wrong the first time. Or the second. Or the third. They’re not my ideas—they’re Torah ideas. But, hey, if you’re alive, you can’t stand still. And if I’m moving forward, then the way I grasp an idea has to move with me.

That’s what it says about the divine voice we heard at Sinai: “There was a great voice that never stopped.” Every day, every moment, it’s speaking to us the same words with the same thunder and lightning—no difference. Torah doesn’t change—but you change, you grow, you are a new person each day. And so, every day, you look at all the Torah you ever learned and you say, “Wow. I never really understood this before!”

How about you? Do you revisit the things that you learned yesterday, or last year, or when you were younger? Or do you find yourself saying, “That? I learned that already!” Are you still at Sinai?

Tzvi Freeman,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

#Twitterdown #Moshiachnow

January 20, 2016 8:43 AM

Dear Friend,

Early Tuesday morning, Twitter went down. Shortly after service was restored, #twitterdown became a trending topic.

We’ve grown so accustomed to communicating with anyone, anywhere, anytime, that a temporary outage can feel like a major crisis. Talk about First World problems!

If you are old enough to vote, you surely remember a world without Twitter. If you’re old enough to run for president, you can remember a world without the Internet. And if you’re old enough to collect Social Security, you even remember a world without touch-tone phones.

The world is marching towards a reality that we never imagined. Today, Wednesday, is Yud Shevat, the day the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—formally assumed leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in 1951 and outlined his vision of a world transformed, from jungle to garden, from ignorance to enlightenment, from poverty to plenty.

In 1951, it was hard to imagine how information could be spread to the farthest corners of the globe, how enough food could be produced to sustain every single human being, and how each individual could have his or her say in the global discourse.

But the technology is now in place to do all that, and we’re just warming up. The Jewish dream of Moshiach is about to become a reality. Perhaps your mitzvah will be the one to push us all over the cusp. Go ahead and do it. #Moshiachnow

Menachem Posner,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

Registration Open for ‘The Infinity of One’ Video Course

A free five-part online study

January 19, 2016 4:58 PM

The Shema Yisrael prayer—“Hear O Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One”—is perhaps the best-known statement of faith in the Jewish liturgy. They were the last words of millions of Jews as they were massacred at the hands of the Greeks, burned at the stake in Spain and gassed in German extermination camps. The six words of the Hebrew text are the nexus of the Jewish prayer service, morning and night.

But why? What is it about these words, and the concept of divine unity that they proclaim, that encapsulates the essence of Jewish belief?

In a new five-part online course, “The Infinity of One,” Rabbi Yechezkel Kornfeld examines the traditional Jewish understanding of divine unity and man’s relationship with G‑d.

A master teacher with decades of experience as a rabbi in Seattle, Wash., Rabbi Kornfeld was profoundly influenced by the legendary chassidic teacher Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Kesselman of Kfar Chabad, Israel. He also studied at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), the rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University.

The five-week course includes video instruction, a wealth of supplementary readings, and quizzes to help monitor the students’ mastery of the material.

For more information and registration, visit the course page at Chabad.org/Infinity.

My Mezuzah Adventure

January 10, 2016 10:24 PM

Dear Friend,

We recently moved to a new apartment, so it was time to have our mezuzahs checked for any possible blemishes. I ended up taking them to a recommended scribe in Los Angeles—and I live in the San Fernando Valley, so if you’re familiar with the L.A. area, you know that schlepping “over the hill” to the city is quite a feat.

The day the mezuzahs were ready, L.A. was hit with an El Niño, causing torrential rain that flooded the streets. (I know, I know, we’re lucky we don’t have to deal with snow and ice, but this was a big deal for us Californians!)

So now not only did I have to go “over the hill,” I had to do so in El Niño weather! But I was determined to get my mezuzahs. Thankfully, all went well and I arrived home safely. As my husband affixed the mezuzahs to our doorposts, I felt the enormity of the mitzvah and my small “sacrifice” to make sure that it was done in the proper time.

When have you made the effort to do a mitzvah, even when it wasn’t easy? Let me know in the comments below!

Sasha Friedman,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

If Fire and Ice Can Make Peace . . .

January 3, 2016

Dear Friend,

Winter has made its appearance in this part of the world. My office window frames a breathtaking landscape of falling snowflakes, pounding rain, and tiny hailstones that ping sharply as they land.

This week’s Torah portion describes another hailstorm, which occurred in Egypt as the seventh of the Ten Plagues: “The L‑rd gave forth thunder. . . . And there was hail, and fire flaming within the hail . . .”

Fire and hail cannot normally coexist; their intrinsic natures are at odds. Ice (water) seeks to extinguish fire, and fire attempts to melt ice. Yet in this instance, our sages teach us, “to perform the will of their Maker, they made peace.”

What I find fascinating in this account is that the fire and ice each maintained their individuality; they didn’t lose their identities as they rose above their differences for the sake of a higher cause. Ice remained ice and fire remained fire.

No two snowflakes are alike, and the same is true of each of G‑d’s creations. There is immeasurable beauty in our uniquenesses, the specific characteristics that make us who we are.

Let’s dedicate our unique talents and capabilities to making the world a better place, working together so that the darkness of winter shines.

Rochel Chein,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

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