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Publisher's Foreword To The First Edition

Rosh HaShanah: The Significance of Being Alone

Rosh HaShanah: A Rebbe's Fear

The Sixth of Tishrei: Yahrzeit of Rebbitzin Chanah

Erev Yom Kippur: The Inside Story of Kreplach and Lekach

Sukkos: The Fruits of Togetherness

Sukkos: Turning a New Leaf the Symbolism of a Lulav

Shemini Atzeres Simchas Torah: Departing but not Separating

Bereishis: Making Light of the Creation

Noach: Looking at Yourself Through Others

Lech Lecha: Bringing and Being Brought Closer

7th of Cheshvan: Brave New World

Chayei Sarah, 19th of Kislev, Chanukah: Three Flashes of Light

The Ninth of Kislev: On Interconnectedness

The Nineteenth of Kislev: How the End is Wedged in the Beginning

Yud-Tes Kislev: Chassidus

Chanukah: Light a Lamp for a Friend in the Dark

Chanukah: Is it a Mitzvah to eat Latkes?

Chanukah: Light, not Might

Vayigash: Don't Just Sit There. Do Something!

The Tenth of Teves: Bearing Up, and Giving Birth

Vayechi: A Priest in G-d's Sanctuary

Shmos: Egyptian Heads and Jewish Heads

24th of Teves: The Passing of the Alter Rebbe

Va'eira: Blood and Frogs

Beshalach: Approaches to Life

At the Shluchos Convention 5749 (1989): The Women's Convention of Emissaries

Parshas Shekalim: Fire Insurance

Tetzaveh: The Essence of Moshe Rabbeinu

Purim: The Future of Purim

Purim: The Malady and its Cure

Purim: Living and Loving

Purim: The Dynamics of Revelation

Pesach: The Importance of Little Things

Sefiras HaOmer: Counting [on] the Omer

Sivan: As One Man

Shavuos: The Philosophy of Sleep

Shavuos: Receiving the Torah? No, Giving it!

Tidbits on Torah: A Treasure Beyond Compare

Behaalos'cha: The Lamplighters

Shlach / 28th of Sivan: The Rebbe's Arrival in the U.S.

Chukas: The Value of Life

The Twelfth of Tammuz: Neshamah Resolutions

The 17th of Tammuz: The Good Within

The Three Weeks: From Galus to Mashiach

Matos-Masei: Life's Journeys

The Nine Days: Curtailing, Joyfully

Vaes'chanan: Know Him in All Your Ways

Tu BeAv: On the Way Up

Eikev: Bread from Heaven

Eikev: The Reward for Keeping Mitzvos

Re'eh: Seeing Is Believing

Re'eh: The Laws of Kosher Animals

Re'eh: Living in Eretz Yisrael

Elul: Your Fellow Jew's Gashmiyus

Shoftim: A Spiritual Refuge

Nitzavim-Vayeilech: Taking a Stand on Moving Forward

Brief Themes: Random Thoughts Extracted from Shiurim

From HaYom Yom: Sample Readings from the Rebbe's Calendar

Through the Eyes of a Woman
A Chassidic Perspective on Living Torah

Sivan: As One Man

by Nechoma Greisman, Edited by Rabbi Moshe Miller

Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
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  Sefiras HaOmer: Counting [on] the OmerShavuos: The Philosophy of Sleep  

Hundreds of hours of audio lectures, on 9 CD-ROMs!

How do we prepare ourselves for Matan Torah, for the Giving of the Torah on Shavuos? The Rebbe often quotes the AriZal's interpretation of the verse in the Megillah: Hayamim ha-eleh nizkarim venaasim -- literally, "These days are remembered and done." However, the AriZal explains that every year when the holiday comes around (not only Purim, but any holiday or festival), the same spiritual energy that was first revealed on that date, is revealed again, every year. Moreover, we have to remember what happened then, and do something about it so that it will happen now as well. These days are here for us to do. We're not just going to sit and reminisce about the old days, drink and be merry, because of a date on our calendar. For Yidden, all of our holy days and celebrations are an opportunity to do something, to affect us and to change us and to make us and the world better.

So again, how does a Jew prepare for Matan Torah? The Rebbe explains that we must prepare for the Torah now in the same way that we prepared for the Torah then -- with naaseh venishma, we will do and then understand. This is the concept of kabbalas ol, acceptance of the yoke of Heaven: "Even if we do not yet understand, nevertheless we will obey. First we'll do it and then we'll worry about understanding."

This is a relevant and eternal lesson -- when Shavuos comes around we should remember that our first priority is learning how to do the mitzvos, learning how to behave. Obviously there are going to be some points that are not clear to us, but let's not wait until we understand everything from A to Z, because that might take a lifetime. Meanwhile the important thing is to do. Accordingly, one of our preparations should be to strengthen our learning of Halachah, how to observe the Torah, and then we should increase also our learning of the whys and wherefores, the things that will give us the joy and the insight. The truth is that a person has more pleasure in intellectual pursuits than in just learning technical things. Nevertheless, we should try to overcome the inclination to do that which is more pleasurable for us, by remembering that in Yiddishkeit it's not just an intellectual thing. The deed is primary.

A second way to prepare, the Rebbe explains, is to do what the Yidden did on Rosh Chodesh Sivan: The Torah relates that on Rosh Chodesh Sivan the Yidden arrived in the Sinai Desert and set up their camp. The expression the Torah uses for this is vayichan Yisrael -- "and Yisrael encamped." Everywhere else in the Torah this word is stated in the plural -- vayachanu, "they encamped," rather than vayichan, "he encamped." Rashi comments on this unusual form of the verb: This time, they were as one man with one heart. The use of the singular form indicates that they had reached a high level of unity and ahavas Yisrael. This was the second real preparation for the Giving of the Torah. It is a prerequisite.

To work, chevra!


  Sefiras HaOmer: Counting [on] the OmerShavuos: The Philosophy of Sleep  
     Sichos In English -> Books -> Women -> Through the Eyes of a Woman

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