Back From Vacation

Well, we are back from vacation and it is time to get prepared for the High Holy Days. We will be posting the schedule soon, so keep coming back. In the mean time, here is a picture of the Tawas Lake at sundown.

Tawas Lake

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House of Seven Beggars Synagogue Schedule for Shabbat Parshah Shoftim.

Back from Vacation!

Shabbat, August 26, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service, Parshah Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9). Haftorah: Isaiah 51:12 – 52:12.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9vAq4NVCx4

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SPECIAL NOTICE – August 13, 2017:

It is Vacation Time for the Rabbi!
There will be no Shabbat services for August 18/19 for Parshah Re’eh and no Kabbalat Shabbat service for August 25 Parshah Shoftim. We will return on Shabbat Shacharit and Musaf service on August 26.

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Composition of the Soul and Physical Matter

By Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim – 20 Kislev 5772

All souls are comprised of sparks. The sparks composing the soul in this transmigration are not all the same sparks that composed the soul in previous transmigrations. Based on what the soul is to learn and accomplish in the current transmigration determines the composition of sparks.

Sparks are like energy, it is the basis of the souls; just as matter is made up of energies (m-theory, string theory, superstring theory, etc.). Combinations of energies form protons, neutrons, electrons, isotopes, quarks, leptons, etc. Combinations of protons, neutrons, etc. form Elements. Combinations of elements form molecules. Continue to combine and we get to this corporal world as we know it.

The sparks were created by HaShem manifesting out of Ein Sof (B”H). The sparks are then combined to form the ruach, nefesh and neshomah resulting in the various attributes, and combining the various attributes composes the soul that exists in this transmigration. All this is contained within a vessel, or universe, which composes the physical self.

An element can be changed in and of itself through the process of decay, emission or fission; as inherent within the nature of the element. An element can also be changed by an external source or force; colliders and particle accelerators being the most obvious example. As an example, by simply passing an electrical current through water, you get hydrogen. However, all the components of the element continue to exist within the universe (or vessel) according the first law of thermodynamics.

So too, the soul can be changed by external sources: HaShem can cause a change. Study, knowledge and wisdom can cause a change. Interaction with others, or experiences we have, can cause a change. However, unlike matter and elements; which have no conscious awareness of internal change by decay, emission or fission, we are able to affect changes within ourselves. We, as conscious beings, can accomplish change intentionally by adding sparks, casting off sparks, and rectifying sparks. And, just as with the first law of thermodynamics, the sparks that are cast off, or sparks that are rectified and not incorporated into our being, are returned to the source (B”H).

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House of Seven Beggars Synagogue Schedule for the Week of August 6, 2017 – Parshah Eikev.

(All Times EST)
 
Friday, August 11, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabalat and Maariv Shabbat Service.
 
Shabbat, August 12, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service. Parshah Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25). Haftorah – Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3.

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From Sorrow to Joy in the Blink of an Eye

The day will come when HaShem will, in the blink of an eye, turn Tisha B’Av from the day of our greatest sorrow to the day of our greatest joy. We will no longer observe the day in sorrow, but with a great festival! May this day come soon and in our days.

What is the proof, you ask?

The Arizal writes that the numerical value of ‘Dimah–Tears’ is 120, which in Torah signifies full life. In truth, the letters only add up to 119, but when the word ‘Dimah’ as a whole is counted, it equals 120. The Shomer Emunim explains that for certain concepts the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In such cases, you also factor in the entire word to indicate a higher purpose that brings meaning to all the details.

Maimonides explains in his Laws of Mourning that the purpose of mourning and tears is repentance. Death only came into this world through sin, and it is through repentance that the world will be restored to its original state of eternal life, when “G-d will wipe away the tears from every face.”

Maimonides concludes his Laws of Fasts: “With the Redemption, all these days of mourning will be transformed into days of rejoicing, into days of good Moed.” Dimah plus 1, equals 120, which is the exact numerical value of Moed!

(From the shiur by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson on 20 Menachem Av, 5742 · August 9, 1982)

Tehillim (Psalms) 30: 6 For His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for a life-time;
weeping may tarry for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.

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The Lament At The River

The Lament At The River

By (bs”d): Aryel Nachman for Tisha B’Av 5768

Psalm 137:

137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

Why did we weep? Was it for our homes, our property, our shops and fields? No, these we missed. Was it for our family and friends who we would never see again? No, for they are with us in exile. Was it for the dead? No, for these we mourn.

We wept because we closed our ears to the warnings, and now they were open. We wept because we closed our eyes to the abominations, and now we see. We wept because HaShem sent to us His prophet with warnings, and we were foolish and brazen, and therefore, we inherited Gehenom of our own free will. We wept because strange gods now surrounded us and we long for the G-d of Yisrael.

137:2 Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.

The willow, like us, looks strong, but its roots in the land are shallow, and HaShem’s wind will uproot us at His will. The willow grows well by the waters, like us, when we are faithful and watered by the words of HaShem. The willow grows tall and then bends down humbly; like us when we are faithful, we bow down to HaShem. But now the willow reminds us of our brazenness and we are now bent low in a foreign land.

 The harp is an instrument of joy, and in this land there is no joy. The harp is an instrument of the Temple, and the Temple is no more, so we have hang up our harps. We hang up our harps in the willow’s branches so when the wind blows it will make the harp vibrate and remind us of what we had and to humble ourselves before HaShem. We hang our harps in the branches in hope that in His great mercy, He may look favorably on our repentance and return us to the land.

137:3 For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’

When we turn our backs on HaShem, He will hide his face from us. When HaShem hides his face, our enemy, like the jackal that smells the rotting carcass, follows the scent to devour the remains. They howl in delight.

137:4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

On the Rivers of Babylon – Jhbard Fogel 1920

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House of Seven Beggars Synagogue Schedule for the Week of July 30, 2017 – Shabbat Nachamu – Parshah Va’etchanan.

(all times EST)

Friday, August 4, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Service.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y7vQUbH_xw

Shabbat, August 5, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service. Shabbat Nachamu, Parshah Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11). Haftorah – Isaiah 40:1-26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwwl5YI5Kv4

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The Mitzvot – Just Tradition, Superstition, or More Than It Appears?

By Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim – 28 Sivan 5775
Why is it we Jews do what we do? Is it just tradition? Is it habit? Is it superstition (G-d forbid!). Just as the Torah has many levels, so to do the mitzvot have many levels. Let us just dip our hand in the waters of mitzvot and examine a few of these and try to derive the deeper meaning.
Many, including some of our own people, view these things as nothing more than superstition that should be cast aside. They do not see the deeper meaning inherent in the act. This is very unfortunate for them.
First, let us understand right versus left at its simplest level.
The right hand represents mercy. It also represents righteousness. It also represents strength. The left hand represents judgment. It also represents weakness.
Hence we have the Talmudic injunction One should push away with the left hand and draw close with the right hand”
In other words: One should push away with the left (push away with the weak hand an errant child, the sinner, etc.) and draw close with the right (draw close with strength and mercy the one who performs teshuvah, requests forgiveness, comes to study and learn, etc.).

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House of Seven Beggars Schedule for the Week of July 23, 2017 – Parshah Devarim:

(all times EST)
 
Friday, July 28, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabalat and Maariv Shabbat Service.
 
Shabbat, July 29, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service – Parshah Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22), Haftorah – Isaiah 1:1-27.

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