Living with The Times
The lectures listed below can be
purchased singularly as MP3 downloads. They are also available
on CD as part of the complete CD set:
with the Times"
The Book of Bereishis introduces us
to the Patriachs who are called the “Lights of the World.” No
one celebrates these “Lights” as does the Lubavitcher Rebbe and
nowhere are they understood as in the Sichos. Their personal
greatness is seen through the eyes of a man of greatness and
their impact on history through the view of an historic leader.
Through the Sichos on Bereishis, we gain new perspectives and
unique insights into the lives of the Mothers and Fathers of our
The Book of Bereishis also introduces G-dly souls to the world;
the emergence of Bnei Israel – those who will make for G-d a
dwelling place in this world.
Bereishis is about Who.
The Book of Shmos introduces the Mishkan, G-d’s dwelling place.
Constructed from earth’s resources – wood, gold, copper, wool
and other materials – it is the site, the physical location,
that is to be this place. Hence the world of mineral, plants and
animals becomes a fit place to be “G-d’s dwelling”.
Shmos is about Where.
The Book of Vayikra is about the sacrifices. Here a Jew brings a
piece of his world to the Mishkan, offers it up to the altar and
sees it rise to Heaven: the physical becomes G-dly. As Chassidus
explains, korban means “closeness”, bringing oneself and one’s
possessions to a closeness with G-d.
Vayikra is about How.
The Book of Bamidbar, in the desert, is also called “Sefer
Hapikudim” the book of countings. The two titles are related:
the Jews were first counted when they were drafted into G-d’s
Army. Then, when the people had reached a level of maturity and
were ready to fight G-d’s battles- bringing G-dliness to a place
of “snakes and scorpions in an awesome, desolate desert” – they
were counted. The counting gave each individual a significance
and a strength that enables every person to overcome the
darkness of the desert.
Bamidbar is about Where - making the world of golus
into a dwelling place for G-d Himself.
The Book of Devarim is unique in that it was said to the Jews
born in the desert – not the Jews who came out of Egypt. Devarim
is also the message with which Moshe Rabbeinu sends them into
The transition from desert to Holy Land is a combination of
opposites: this generation did not “see” what the older
generation saw, they “heard” about it. On the other hand, when
they came to the Promised Land, they “saw” what the older
generation only “heard” about.
Devarim is about When - Moshe Rabbeinu’s instruction
to us – the final generation of golus – as we enter geulah