Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

There Are no Lightweights or Heavyweights … Only Half-Weights

Pikudei-Shekalim 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Everyone who is to be counted in the census must give a half-shekel according to the holy standard where a shekel […]

Shabbos … the Great Unifying Principle

Vayakhel 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Moshe gathered the entire assemblage of the Bnei Yisrael , and said unto them: ‘These are the words which HaShem has […]

Vayakhel – Revealing the Deep Greatness in All of Us

Parshas Vayakhel This week’s parsha deals with the construction of the Mishkan (tabernacle). The Mishkan / Bais Hamikdash was the source of light for the world. The construction of its windows was unusual. In the Bais Hamikdash, the window openings were built to be narrow on the inside and wide on the outside. This allowed […]

Turning Ourselves Upside Down and Inside Out

Ki Sisa 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Moshe turned away and began descending the mountain with the two Luchos HaEdus-Tablets of Testimony, in his hand. They were […]

Of Open-Book Enigmas and Whispered Secrets

Tetzaveh 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah:Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Make a  Choshen Mishpat-justice breastplate. It shall be of patterned brocade, like the ephod.  Make it out of gold; sky blue, dark […]

Thinking Inside THE Box(es)

Terumah 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood HaShem spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the children of Israel and have them lift an offering up to Me. Take […]

If you Really Want Unity, Stop Sleeping!

Yisro 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood … and Israel camped there opposite the mountain -Shemos 19:2  וַיִחַן[the singular form, the pasuk does not say that the Israelites camped there. […]

If You Can’t Stand the Light, Get Out of the Vision

Bo5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood And Moshe said [to Pharaoh] “HaShem said as follows: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and every firstborn in […]

Is The Ramban at the End of Bo the Most Quoted Ramban in Chumash

The Ramban at the end of Bo is a classic work on Jewish philosophy and probably the most quoted Ramban in Chumash. It’s well worth seeing inside. Art Scroll has come out with a translation of the Ramban with commentary, so if you won’t (or can’t) read it in Hebrew, consider picking up the English […]

The Natural, the Supernatural and the Counter-natural

VaEra 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Therefore say to the Bnei Yisrael-chidren of Israel, “I am HaShem. I will extricate you from the burdens of Egypt and free you […]

Fathers and Sons

Students of Torah literature know that serious scholarship begins (and often ends) with the commentaries of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, familiar to the Jewish world as Rashi. His synthesis of Talmudic law, allegory, and mysticism, together with the multifaceted brilliance of his insights and his economy of language, places Rashi in a class by himself. With […]

The Holiness of “Going like a Sheep”

Vayechi 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood The Elokim before whom my fathers , Avraham and Yitzchak, walked is the Elokim who has led me like a Shepherd from my […]

To Be Willing to Do More than Die… so That Others May Live

Vayigash 5774-An installment in the seriea From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood  Love HaShem your L-rd with all your heart, with all your soul and with your entire uttermost. -Devarim 6: 5 The second modifier […]

Darkest Before the Dawn

Miketz Shabbos Chanukah 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School -For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood And it came to pass at the end of two full years….   -Bereshis 41:1 He put an end to darkness…( […]

Dreaming but Not Sleeping

Vayeshev 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK  By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood  Soon thereafter the Egyptian king’s wine steward and the baker offended their master, who was the king of Egypt. -Bereshis 40:1  [Regarding] this […]

Opposites Attract…AND Repel

If I say to the girl “Tip your jug over and let me drink” and she responds, “Drink, and I will water your camels as well” she is the one whom You have verified [as the mate] for Your servant Yitzchak. [If I find such a girl] I will know that You have done lovingkindness […]

Of Angels and Men

VaYera 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School -For series introduction CLICK  By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood  And he [Avraham] lifted his eyes and saw, three strange men standing near him -Bereshis 18:2 The three “men” were angels -Rashi ibid […]

Don’t Just Choose Good. Sift the Evil Away From the Good

An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School -For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood  “But of the Tree of the Knowledge Joining Together of Good and Evil, do not eat of it; for on the day that you […]

You Don’t Desire? Then Yearn to Desire!

An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood For the Mitzvah that I am prescribing to you today is not beyond your grasp or remote from you…Rather it is something that is […]

Is Torah Everything…or is Everything Torah???

An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK   By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz You shall take of the first of every fruit of the ground, produced by the land that HaShem your L-rd is giving you. You must place it in […]

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