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Selections from Likkutei Sichos - Shemot

Insights into the Weekly Parshah by the Lubavitcher Rebbe

The Rebbe's Likkutei Sichos revolutionizes Torah study, Jewish life, and G-dly experience. Now, for the first time ever, a curated selection of the original Likkutei Sichos is available in English.

Likkutei Sichos, Volume 36, Shemot
When Jews who felt distress and challenge would turn to their Rebbe, the Rebbe imparted the inner strength, hope, and security that empowered them to overcome the obstacles they faced from within and without.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Shemot 2
Starting with the Tanach and the Talmud and continuing with the great ethical works of our heritage, the harmful aspects of lashon hara, malicious gossip, have been highlighted and emphasized over and over again. Attention has been called to the negative effect it has on our characters and the damage it causes to our relationships with others.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 6, Shemot 2
The very purpose of creation, why G‑d brought this world into being, and humanity’s role in bringing G‑d’s purpose to fruition.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Va'eira
Jewish history has had several watershed moments – events that served as turning points not only for our people, but for the spiritual history of the world. Among those, the most critical are the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, for these two events redefined the entire nature of our existence and shaped for eternity the direction of the future of our people and the world at large.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 26, Va'eira
Thetwo primary elements of the Seder: are thethe three matzos and the four cups of wine.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 36, Va'eira
There are times when we feel overwhelmed by the events around us. When ominous events of a large scale transpire, it is natural to sense our own intrinsic smallness and perhaps feel intimidated by the worrisome nature of what is occurring.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, Bo
Just as there are laws and patterns that govern material existence, there are laws and patterns that govern spiritual reality.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 6, Bo 2
To the world at large, the Rebbe is known primarily for his leadership of the Chabad Lubavitch community, the guidance he gave the Jewish people as a whole, and his insights into Divine service. Nevertheless, he also had a unique and distinctive approach to Talmudic study.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Bo 1
A discussion of the Plague of Darkness. During that plague, “absolute darkness pervaded the land of Egypt.” Nevertheless, “all the Children of Israel enjoyed light in their dwellings.”
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, Beshalach
A Jew’s Divine service must combine two opposite thrusts. His or her own work and labor are necessary. Simultaneously, however, it is demanded from him or her to rise above their personal self.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Beshallach 1
After the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, Moshe led the entire Jewish people in a song of celebration. Our Sages differ in their understanding of the way the people responded to Moshe’s initiative. Rabbi Akiva maintains that the people responded like a chorus, reciting “I will sing to G‑d” after every verse Moshe recited. Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Rabbi Yossi HaGalili, maintains that they repeated every verse after Moshe, and Rabbi Nechemiah maintains that the people were so inspired that they, too, were granted ruach hakodesh, the spirit of prophecy, and recited the song together with Moshe. Our Sages are providing us with a lesson in leadership.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 26, Beshallach 2
The journey of the Jews through the desert recounted in the Torah provides us with many fundamental lessons to apply in our own Divine service. Among the unique features of that journey was the manna that sustained our people throughout this 40-year trek. So central are the lessons we learn from the manna that it is customary in many communities to recite every day the passage describing its descent.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, Beshallach
There is a classic adage, “It took G‑d one moment to take the Jews out of Egypt, but 40 years to take Egypt out of the Jews.” That saying is certainly relevant when describing the scene as the Jews arrived at the Sea of Reeds, with their experience as slaves still fresh in their minds and the awareness of freedom yet to be internalized.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 16, Yisro 2
Sometimes a question is so obvious you wonder why it was not asked before. Take for example, the dialogue recorded shortly after the beginning of this week’s Torah reading: Yisro reproaches Moshe for having the entire Jewish people wait for his judgment on every matter. After consulting with G‑d, Moshe conceded and adopted his father-in-law’s suggestion to do what is practical and appointed judges to arbitrate the day-to-day disputes that arise between Jews. So what was he thinking originally? Why didn’t he recognize a difficulty that was so self-evident?
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 6, Yisro 2
The Giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai was not only a historical event. Every day, we relive that experience. This is reflected in our praise of G‑d as “the Giver of the Torah,” using the present tense, and highlighted by the mandate of our Sages to always view the Torah as “something new which we receive today.”
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 11, Yisro 1
Why is the Torah reading that describes the Giving of the Torah called Yisro? True, Yisro was Moshe’s father-in-law; he provided Moshe with valuable advice and was a sincere convert. However, when naming this Torah reading, it would seem natural to call it Moshe, or Sinai, or something else that somehow reflects the unique importance of this watershed moment in the world’s spiritual history.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 2, Mishpatim 2
The Torah begins describing the preparations for the Giving of the Torah in Parshas Yisro. The next Torah reading, Parshas Mishpatim, commences with the enumeration of the Torah’s civil laws. Afterwards, the Torah seemingly returns to a description of the preparations for the Giving of the Torah. Why does the Torah depart from the chronological order when relating these passages?
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, Mishpatim
At Sinai, the people “saw what is [usually] heard and heard what is [usually] seen.” The spiritual and the G‑dly, intangibles that can’t be seen and can be appreciated only through hearing – was able to be “seen,” accepted by the Jewish people with the certainty and concrete perception engendered by sight. They saw G‑dliness! What was usually seen – our material world – was then only heard; it felt distant, as it were, and could be conceived of only abstractly.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Mishpatim 1
Throughout our nation’s spiritual history, we find scholars who were masters of the Talmud and the Jewish legal tradition, yet wrote little, if anything, about ethics or philosophy and were not overly involved in our mystical tradition. Conversely, there have been others who focused primarily on Jewish mystical knowledge, making minimal, if any, written contributions to Jewish law and practice.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 11, Terumah 1
Our Sages point out that there were “three types of offerings (terumos) mentioned: the offering for the sockets that held the boards of the Sanctuary, the offering of the shekalim [the coins used to purchase the communal sacrifices,] and the offerings [of the materials with which] the Sanctuary [was constructed].” A deeper look into these three types of service.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 31, Terumah 2
G‑d commanded the Jews to build a Sanctuary for Him using boards made of cedar wood as walls. How would the Jews get enough cedarwood in the desert to fulfill this instruction?
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 11, Terumah 2
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 21, Tetzaveh 1
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 16, Tetzaveh 2
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 26, Tetzaveh 2
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, Ki Sissa
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 6, Ki Sissa 1
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 1, Ki Sissa
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 26, Vayakhel 2
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 16, Vayakhel 1
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 11, Pekudei 3
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 16, Pekudei 3

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