Season 2

New Season Starting
Tuesday, January 2 2024!

Hi!

These days, it seems like nothing has a shelf life longer than a week. Every day brings another superhero franchise, fashion trend, or dieting fad. News cycles shift by the hour, social media feeds and timelines by the second. With everything flickering, flashing, and constantly updating, it’s little wonder life sometimes feel so impermanent.

For me, there’s no better way to slow things down than to pull back, if only for short while, and try to see things from a more timeless perspective. Our own Jewish traditions are filled with so many breathtaking insights, and they won’t fade away into irrelevance in a few days. Connecting to our own heritage, and ultimately to a divine wisdom, makes the all very human things we do feel richer, more meaningful, and part of something longer lasting.

The Torah Studies program at  Chabad of The nyacks tries to make this happen every single week. Each class take a topic or idea in Jewish thought to explore, tease out, and bring into play with our own lives. Each one is built around texts that we’ll learn together so that you can see these ideas for yourself, argue over them, and apply them to life your own way. Below, you can see an outline of a few of the upcoming sessions, and I’d love if you could join me for what promises to be a fun, engaging, and deeply rewarding learning experience. They are open to everyone, of all abilities, so bring along a friend too!

Shalom, and have a great week,

Rabbi Chaim Zvi Ehrenreich

Tuesday, January 2 2024

When Pain Spells Gain

The Key to Unlocking Your Deepest Self

Challenges, suffering, and pain are unfortunately regular features of life. But is it really so unfortunate? The underwhelming name of the entire second book of the Torah and its opening parshah, “Names,” provides a different message: pain brings the biggest gain.

Tuesday, January 9 2024

The Elusive Fifth Element

Going the Extra Mile Makes All the Difference

Early Jewish thinkers taught that the entire world is made up of four elements. But then there’s an elusive fifth element that lies at the core of everything. The intricacies of Passover chametz law teach us that when it comes to our relationship with G‑d, it is this fifth element He seeks.

Tuesday, January 16 2024

The Secret of Jewish Survival

A Merger between Human Commitment and Divine Intervention

Many wonder what makes the Jewish nation keep on ticking like the Energizer bunny. Answers abound, but one thing is for sure: we remain committed to our faith, and G‑d keeps on providing the miracles to make it happen.

Tuesday, January 23 2024

Become a Jewish Influencer

It’s Not Just for Rabbis, Scholars, and Activists

For one fateful battle in the desert, an aging Moses did not personally lead the battle, opting to send his younger, stronger deputy instead. And for that, he was punished. Because when it comes to defending Judaism, everyone is on the front lines, no matter your age or stature.

Tuesday, January 30 2024

Out of Three, One

Unity and Love Within—Not Above—Division

The number “three” pops up frequently in Judaism, with G‑d, the Jews, and the Torah as the ultimate three-way partnership. There’s a reason for it: One gets a lot of airtime as the ultimate number of unity, but there’s something special when three brings one and two together.

Tuesday, February 6 2024

Jewish Prepping

Take the Time to Invest in Your Jewish Experiences

Some complain that Jewish experiences just “don’t talk to them.” A curious instance of recording the Torah before the Torah was even given teaches us that to maximize the experience, investing time and energy into preparation makes all the difference.

Tuesday, February 13 2024

If You Know Alef, Teach Alef

Lessons from an Upside-Down Cup Shaped the Wrong Way

The Temple Menorah had golden goblets fashioned on it. The funny thing is, they were all wrong: upside-down and too narrow at their base. But they broadcast an important message: pour out whatever you know, however narrow or small it may be.

Tuesday, February 20 2024

There’s No Such Thing as an Isolated Jew

You’re an Integral Part of the Community, Whether You Like It or Not

Some get exhausted at or intimidated by the prospect of actively participating in the Jewish community. But the laws concerning which garments the High Priest wore in the Temple teach us that the choice has already been made: you’re in! It’s time to embrace this wonderful reality.

Tuesday, February 27 2024

All Tied Up

If You Care, You Don’t Forget

That’s what your mother and your teacher probably told you, and surprise!–they were right. Judaism wishes to teach this to us with multiple mitzvot associated with tying knots, because when you’re all tied up with something, you’ll never forget it.

Tuesday, March 5 2024

The Ultimate ROI

Doing What’s Right Isn’t Always about Right Now

Any investor understands that it takes risk, effort, and a long time of seeing no return to really reap the benefits later. As we continue our millennia-long Exile and look at our Temple in ruins, think of all this time as an investment: amazing returns are coming our way.

Tuesday, March 12 2024

We Don’t Always Follow the Rules

When It Comes to Teaching Judaism, We Take an Unconventional Approach

“Slow and steady wins the race,” they said. And it’s usually true. But sometimes we can’t afford slow and steady. When teaching our children—or even ourselves—about Judaism, we must be bold and ambitious–above and beyond what would usually make sense.

Tuesday, March 19 2024

When Ordinary Is Extraordinary

Finding Meaning, Purpose, and Wonder in Everyday Moments

Jewish holidays are all on fixed dates. But curiously, when it comes to Purim, it seems that certain aspects of the holiday can be observed on a number of different days. This interesting fact tells us that not only are holidays uniquely special; any day can be unique if we look carefully.

Tuesday, March 26 2024

Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Every Moment Is Creation All Over Again

Popular conception imagines Creation as a one-time thing, millennia ago, and just running on autopilot ever since. Chasidic thought busts that myth, teaching that Creation is a dynamic event occurring each second anew. With that in mind, every day is truly a new opportunity.

Tuesday, April 2 2024

Don’t Be a Good Person

Be a G‑dly Person. It’s a Lot Harder–And Better

Religion can be attractive to many for one simple reason: it makes you a better person (hopefully). While not a bad argument, this isn’t the extent of Judaism’s majesty at all. The life of the hardworking and quick-to-die worker bee teaches us this valuable lesson.

Tuesday, April 9 2024

A Slice of Perfection

The First Feather in Your Cap Is Already Reason to Celebrate

To a perfectionist, it’s “all or nothing,” right? But for the pragmatist whom Judaism champions, partial perfection is already a remarkable achievement. The matzah ball soup on the last day of Passover teaches us why.

 

 

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF JEWISH INSPIRATION

 

Torah Studies is a program of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute