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The Five Challenges of Life: Loss, Illness, Failure, Financial Stress & Uncertainty

How the Five Jewish Holidays Address the Five Most Painful Experiences of the Human Journey

57 min

Class Summary:

The five challenges of living: Loss, illness, moral Impurity, finances & uncertainty. How the five Jewish holidays address the five most painful experiences of the human condition


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  • Anonymous -2 years ago



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  • VV

    Vilbert Vallance -2 years ago

    Rabbi my beloved Rabbi

    Your insights make my very soul often dull and dry ...your voice and your words make my soul glad...therefore I'm.blessed ..I'm encouraged.....I'm even more aware of





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  • SF

    Steven Fink -4 years ago

    I am writing in 2020 at the time of the COVID-19 Plague...

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

    Thank You for your learning and giving me Chizzuk!  I am writing in 2020 at the time of the COVID-19 plague.

    The plague has killed many, and the retreat into our homes has torn asunder the "fabric of our society", isolating each of us and freightenig us.

    We each viscerally feel the "uncertainty of life"; it is all "out of our hands" -- just as you spoke about so movingly in your shiur.

    Your words inspire & re-invigorate.

    One more topic appears in this Parsha of Emor:  To be a Kiddush Hashem (Lev 22:32).

    You are a Kiddush Hashem.

    May HASHEM Bless You & Your Family.

    -- steve fink

    Los Angeles

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    • SA

      Shirley Anne -4 years ago

      I concur, Rabbi YY is Kiddush HaShem 😇 so thankful to be learning from him 👏

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      • Anonymous -4 months ago


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  • CW

    Chaya walkenfeld -6 years ago

    Pars has Emor fascinating lecture the parsha will never be the same to me again

    What a beautiful presentation! This is something I can listen to over and over again.

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  • A

    Anonymous -13 years ago

    Re: B”H
    [QUOTE]Questions and Exercises

    1.What is the underlying structure of the portion of Emor?

    Are we here just to watch a new drama of a TV serial? No! We have serious, high level classes! and once in a while we look through a curriculum! It’s there, crystal clear.

    What was the most painful experience in your life?

    Life itself is not just a big fun, but leaving one country and settling in another is very tough. (That’s why we need that special “Lech Lecha” request from Above…)

    And how did you deal with it? In very precise paced manner: letting one or two family members at a time escape Metzraim of Russia…

    2.Are you stressed about money? How you deal with it?

    Let’s do a little bit of “GUMZA L’TOVA” meditation: isn’t it greater stress when you have money? They appeal to you and all problems are boiling in your head, but when you don’t have money- you don’t have big TZOROS: no doubts with saving accounts, no troubles with gain and loss, no temptations of misuse, no battles and so on.

    Do your children feel your financial stress?

    Next stage of “GUMZA L’TOVA”: Where there is no pie- there is no complains. Money had never been highest of values they were raise on. Moreover they were happy that this particular control button doesn’t belong to me, and they are free to do whatever they want.

    How does it affect them?

    Being 15, my son made his first free choice: he got a job in order to pay for his Jewish private school. Now he is in Air Forces earning scholarship for college. My daughter has her own short- long way to the Holy Land…

    3.Do you have serenity, or constant inner turmoil?

    I have inner serenity with constant turmoil about details.

    Why? To avoid complacence.

    What is the best way to deal with it? Constant inner turmoil hit us only when we are lack of trust. Our inner demons like company of misery and ignorance. Everything is frightened in darkness, but a small light of Torah knowledge can expel most of turmoil. ( Proved by this class…)

    Key words to remember answers for 5 and 6.

    Birth V. Death: Passover navigates us to the original source of both.

    Existence V. Life: Shovuot and Torah brought spirituality in this world and now any existence gets its meaning

    Man’s Image V. G-d’s Image: On Rosh Hashanah man was created in the image of G-d and therefore he has no limits of renewal

    Man V. Angels: on Yom Kippur transcendence reveals that money is just means but not the ends

    House V. Hut: on Sukkot we surrender ourselves, because ultimately, without G-d we own nothing and hardly can control anything.

    Shabbath covers universal approach for all four major problems over which we don’t have control.

    7. What is spiritual “stoning?”

    It’s a stage of stagnation when a person’s heart become like a stone. SCARE!

    Why does cursing G-d result in spiritual “stoning”?

    It can hurt only endless microscopic part of G-d that is within that person.

    Looking for black spots on the sun with non- equipped eyes may bring blindness to the seeker…


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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 4, 2009
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  • 10 Iyyar 5769
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Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein In the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And in honor of their daughter Yetta Alta Shula,"Aliyah" Schottenstein

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