Mrs. Smiles - Vaeira: Existential Exodus Experience 5771/2010

57:46 minutes (9.92 MB)

The compilers of the Passover Haggadah expend much effort in discussing the plagues Hashem brought upon Mitzraim/Egypt, as is only appropriate in celebrating the exodus. At one point, they focus on two terms, the Egyptians declaration that the plague of lice is “the finger of God” and the contrasting perception Bnei Yisroel declare at the Reed Sea as “the mighty hand of God.”

Mrs. Smiles - Shemos: Acquiring Anonymity 5771/2010

52:46 minutes (9.06 MB)

Mrs. Smiles - Vayechi: Tenacity and Truth 5771/2010

55:04 minutes (9.46 MB)

The major theme of Parshat Vayechi is Yaakov's blessing his sons and the progenitors of the twelve tribes prior to his death. While Yaakov imparts his wisdoms and insight to each of his sons, we notice that his focus is not so much on blessings that imply prayers for success as on identifying a particular character trait for each son. Indeed, says Rabbi Reiss in Meirosh Tzurim, the source of all success is recognizing your particular abilities and character traits and then using them to achieve your goals. This understanding is an even greater requirement when pursuing spiritual goals.

Mrs, Smiles - Chanuka: Light of Clarity 5771/2010

49:53 minutes (8.57 MB)

Rav Schwadron, the Maggid of Yerushalayim, presents several questions in relation to the mitzvoth and celebration of Chanukah based on the Al Hanisim liturgy. Since the essence of the observance of Chanukah is giving praise and thanks to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, and we thank Hashem for our deliverance, it seems strange to thank Him for the war itself, in addition to the salvation and victory. It would seem logical to assume that gratitude for the war would be subsumed under the generalization of “deliverance”.