April 12, 2024


Mobilizing Jewish Outreach, Bringing A Person Closer To Wisdom: A Roundtable Discussion Of Rabbis Exploring Strengthening Jewish Commitment

Hosted by

Joel David Lesses
Mobilizing Jewish Outreach, Bringing A Person Closer To Wisdom: A Roundtable Discussion Of Rabbis Exploring Strengthening Jewish Commitment
Unraveling Religion
Mobilizing Jewish Outreach, Bringing A Person Closer To Wisdom: A Roundtable Discussion Of Rabbis Exploring Strengthening Jewish Commitment

Apr 12 2024 | 00:46:37


Show Notes

In this panel discussion with four Rabbis from America's West Coast to Israel, Joel guides an exploration of mobilizing Jewish outreach (i.e., or 'inreach' or 'in reach') how to, why, and what Jewish tradition teaches and offers from a wide range of teachings including Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson and the Baal Shem Tov.

This collection of dedicated and diverse Jewish voices guide the contemporary question 'how do we strengthen the spiritual health of our Jewish community?'

Discussion includes Passover and meditation, The Tanya, and Pirkei Avot (i.e., Ethics of Our Fathers).

By the very question of mobilization outreach, the necessity of examining one's own intentions and purity of action in humility and approaching others in friendship as vital to sharing love of Judaism.

The talk arrives at the place of true friendship as the means of transmitting the teaching of Judaism and Torah to others in the Jewish community and the vital realization that all people have significance and a role in the restoration of the World.  



Biography of Panelists:

Rabbi Heschel Greenberg is a preeminent Jewish thinker, scholar, and teacher. Rabbi Greenberg has brought the highest ideas to broad audiences. Across half a century, Rabbi Greenberg has elevated the way people live and feel by elevating the way they think. In a world of new media, where digital waves move oceans of information across continents, Rabbi Greenberg stands out as a voice of clarity. In the fathomless sea of information, often overwhelming and confusing, Rabbi Greenberg serves as a calming conveyer of eternal ideas—an expert lighthouse directing the ships of humanity through the possibilities of life by the light of the divine.

Rabbi Gedaliah Gurfein has been a teacher of Jewish wisdom for over 45 years. His experiences have included a range from traditional yeshivot to Pueblo Indians, Igbo Tribes, China, Netherlands, Mexico and, of course, Israel. Gedaliah has also been involved in the Israeli High-Tech industry since 1995. His classic work - free to the public - is www.thepeoplestalmud.com.

Rabbi Brian Yosef Schachter-Brooks is a Jewish spiritual teacher and musician. He has been teaching the practice of Presence (i.e., meditation, mindfulness) and Judaism since 2006, and founded Torah of Awakening in 2016. He is the author of Kabbalah for Beginners, published by Rockridge Press, and Integral Jewish Meditation – Three Portals of Presence for Spiritual Awakening. Rabbi Brian Yosef received s’miha (ordination) as Minister of Sacred Music (Reb Yosef Briah Zohar, Menatzeiakh, Ba’al Tefilah) from Reb Zalman z”l  (2012), Spiritual Teacher and Awakener of Souls  (Morei Rukhani uM’oreir N’shamot) from Shaykh Ibrahim Baba Farajaje (may his secret be sanctified) and Rabbi SaraLeya Schley (2012), certification as Teacher of Jewish Meditation (Moreh L’hitbodedut) from Dr. Rabbi Avram Davis (2004), and holds a Bachelor in Music from the Eastman School of Music (1991).

Rabbi Micha Odenheimer: 'Born in 1958 in Berkeley California, Micha Odenheimer has been a writer, journalist, Jewish teacher and social activist in Israel since making aliyah 31 years ago. Micha’s life and interests include fields rarely seen in combination. As a rabbi he has written dozens of essays on Judaism the Torah, and social justice, and has reported on trends in Judaism and the Jewish world. Micha has a special interest in Jewish mysticism and Hasidism.'

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: So I just wanted to welcome everybody to this most special installment of unraveling religion. I'm your host, Joel Lessees. I'm here with four very esteemed rabbis, and we are here today to talk about mobilizing jewish outreach. And just a little segue into today's topic. Unraveling religion is about a bridge to understanding the depth and beauty of what religions and specifically Judaism offer today. And I just wanted to say that in this talk, mobilizing jewish outreach, each of the rabbis, Rabbi Micha Odenheimer, Rabbi Brian Yosef, Sachtor Brooks, Rabbi Heschel Greenberg, Rabbi Gedalia Gerfan, bring their own unique voice. And I'm really looking forward to exploring today's topic. And I just wanted to start with Rabbi Micha Odenheimer and see sort of like, as a way of introduction, what is important for people to know about you? Rabbi Michael what is important as a rabbi? What is it that you do or want to convey to people? [00:01:07] Speaker B: I don't know. I'm passionate about both outward, in other words, about. I feel like there's a big fixing that has to be done between Jews and the world. We see that now in this last period, very, very much even, can make me despondent sometimes. But I feel like we have for a long time when we were in exile, and maybe we're still also somewhat in exile, but a little less then we weren't really able to give what we have to give to the world and say what we need to say to the world about what is it? What is it? How do we make a home for humanity that has justice and that is helps human beings move to the next, the next level, the next. I think we're still evolving. The human spirit, the human beings are still evolving. We have a long way to go, but we can do that in quantum leaps sometimes. And we really, really, we're at this point in history where we really need some quantum leaps and in wisdom and in spirit and in access to experience of spirituality and of God and of how to love each other. And that's what's important for me, is to be able to take that and to bring it out into the world, because we do, wherever we are, we're living in the world. We're living. We're human beings. And at the same time, that also means that we have to go inwards, because that's where the real struggle is. And so I'm also very interested in. On the one hand, my work is to work with the extreme poor in the global south. But I'm also very much involved and interested for many, many years, since when I was 20 years old, in Hasidism and Kabbalah and in jewish mysticism, because I think that's another, that's, that's, that's can give, that can help us give, give that push. I don't think we can change the outside without also changing the inside. I think it's, I think it's both. I think you have to do both, both at the same time. [00:03:29] Speaker A: And then, Rabbi Brian Yosef, I'm wondering maybe might you share what's, what's important for others to know about you and your work within the jewish community and the larger community? [00:03:39] Speaker C: Sure. Well, in, in response, partially to what Rabbi Miha was saying, I am involved in the last part that he talked about the kabbalah and the hasidut, and particularly with meditation. So my passion has been about trying to bring forth the treasures that are in our tradition spiritually, which are obscured normally in many, many ways. They're both obscured. For people who don't have the background to feel comfortable in a shul is know how to daven and so on. But even in the context, in the traditional world, or semi traditional, where people are comfortable with that and practice that, I still think that there's a tremendous lack of emphasis and understanding on how to use the spiritual technologies, I sometimes call them, in order to improve our quality of being in these bodies, on this planet. So nowadays, in particular, I feel, it seems to me we have also mental health crisis everywhere for many reasons. And there are different levels at which spiritual practice can work. I think that meditation shows us what the essence of spiritual practice is. It shows us the mechanics of what goes on in the mind and how consciousness works and how that can help us both heal in a real physiological way, but also help us to appreciate and participate in the mystical experiences that all of the religious traditions talk about and frame in different ways. So I want to help jewish people in particular, but also anyone who's interested to be able to access these spiritual technologies in a way that has a circular, a way of reinforcing in a circular way, both the individual who's practicing and also the jewish tradition that is nourished by people participating in it and being nourished by it in an authentic way. I would say it's not so much about knowing about me, but I just think that for some reason, which I can't explain, this has been my passion all of my life. So I feel like I have to do it just because that's what I've been given. Like, no one told me to do it, but at the same time, it's kind of the main thing I care about, and I don't know why I care about it. There are many, many things a person could care about, but because that's in my mind and heart to do it, then I feel kind of an obligation to do it because I see the need for it. So thank you. [00:06:58] Speaker A: Rabbi Brian Yosef. Rabbi Godalia, would you mind just sharing sort of, like, what's important for people to know about you? [00:07:04] Speaker D: It's a tricky kind of question. I mean, 40 years of therapy, I don't even know me, so I'm not sure what other people would get to know. You know, I could probably streamline by telling you better what you don't know about me, but I don't know. I mean, look, although I've been most of my adult life in the world of business and high tech and things like this, all throughout that, I always continued teaching because I think that teaching is an obligation. I once was very close to a gentleman named Rabbi Noach Weinberg, a blessed memory, the founder of Aisha Torah. And he used to say, you know, if you're in the yeshiva for two days, you can teach somebody who's in the yeshiva for one day. In other words, there's no point where you actually reach a certain level, and now you're qualified to teach. Teach, teaching, sharing. And as we know from the gemora that when you share from the heart, it enters the heart. So no matter what level, it could be some sort of super deep, you know, discourse on that the Shev Schmeisse is talking about, which no one even understands what that is. Or it could just be simply reading a Rabbi Samson reformatte, or whatever it is, as long as it's coming from an authentic place, from one person to another person, it helps the person who gives, and it also helps the person who receives. And I've been very much involved in, enjoy and be thankful to be a facilitator of seeing that happen on a significant scale through many years. [00:08:31] Speaker A: Rabbi Gadda, thank you. [00:08:32] Speaker D: Thank you. [00:08:33] Speaker A: And Rabbi Heschel Greenberg, I'm wondering, what might you offer to the audience about yourself? What would you like people to know about your teachings and what you offer? [00:08:44] Speaker E: I never really thought of that before, but since I'm the last one to speak, or one of the last, I was forced to think a little bit about what I'm here for. And I'm a teacher, essentially, I'm a Mohammed, and that's what I was trained to be, without any explicit order that you must be a teacher of Torah. But that's what is obvious from my whole upbringing. That's what I would do. And as a person who tries to be a hasid of the Rebbe, we have to bring the message. The primary message of this generation is that we are, as the rebbe would often put it, the last generation of Gaulos and the first generation of gullah. So I think my role is to help facilitate that awareness that we are living in end times, and that every one of us has a role in a mission that is unprecedented. In the past, every individual contributed to the progress of the journey towards the gullah, towards the redemption. But now we're already at that point, the rebbe would say that the gula is standing on the threshold, and we just have to grab it and bring it into our home. And that's what I see. My role is at least to try to give the message that we are in such pivotal times. Unprecedented was never a time like this before in history, and that every one of us has to learn how to internalize that message. And to the extent that that I can get one person to internalize the message, and I feel that I've accomplished something. [00:10:37] Speaker A: Rabbi Greenberg, thank you so much. And I just. I wanted to segue from sort of these. These offerings of introductions a little bit about each of you, to kind of looking at why we're here today, which is to. We're looking at, how do we mobilize jewish outreach? So what does that look like? How do we know what that is? Or what is that? Or how do we define it? Mobilizing jewish outreach, what does that mean to us? Or. Let me. Let me offer this. What would the Rebbe say about mobilizing jewish outreach in reach? [00:11:15] Speaker E: Our job is not to expose people to something outside of themselves, but to show them how it's already there in them, and they just have to reveal it. That's been the essence of the Rebbe's teachings. The way to reach people is to give them the tools and discover who they really are. I feel that the way to accomplish successfully so called outreach, which is really in reach, is to give people a sense of who they really are. You know, we're talking about going out of Egypt. What was wrong about being in Egypt? Because we had no identity. We were swallowed up ability to know who you are, that you have your own identity, and that's what happened at Yitzh Mitzrayim. And that's why all of the Judaism revolves around Yitzh Mitzrayim, because that's when we got our identity as a jewish people. [00:12:09] Speaker A: Thank you for that jewish inreach. What did the others feel on the panel, feel about this jewish in reach? [00:12:16] Speaker B: You know, if you're looking for an example of what's successful in the world today, it is Chabad. And Chabad is amazing. And I think one of the conclusions that I had about Chabad is that it's because. Why is Chabad successful? It's because the shlichim, the people who are out there, they're not professionals in the sense that there's no separation between their personal life and what they're doing. They are 100%, you know, being themselves and doing themselves and doing it as a couple and doing it as a home and modeling what it is to be a human being who's, you know, who's really energized by Judaism. And that's an amazing thing. You know, they'll say, you have to love every jew. I think a lot of people are. Some people might be turned on by that. Some people might be turned off by that. I personally, I believe that what's important is not to sort of be celebrating our jewishness over and above other people, but to show the depths of what Judaism has really to offer and to offer human beings, to offer the whole. To offer, of course, jews, but to also offer the world in the sense that we're all living. We are all living in the same world, and we have more or less a similar structure to our being. And what we really have is we have this incredible, deep, deep Torah that can bring great, great Chidushim great, great new insight both into way the world should work, where society should work, the way the economy should work, and also the way a human being can overcome the tremendous obstacles to happiness and sanity that exist in this world and actually learn to love himself, to learn to love others, and to learn to love God. And I think we've got the goods. But for me, the focus is on clarifying what those things are. What clarifying what these HIdduShIm are, how we can touch people deep. But my teacher was Rabbi Shlomo CarliBell, and I love him dearly. And he was an amazing person. And, you know, this is the bIg. This. Let me tell you something very deep. And I realized what deep is, is when you say something to somebody and they realize that even though they had never been conscious before, it's touching them in a place where they realize that it was already within them, that this insight was already within them. And I like to say that the are Gloria. So he went up to heaven, and he brought down and showed what was in heaven and told people about it, like someone coming back from Africa and describing the have the giraffes and the lions, but they didn't see them. And then the bal Shem tov came and showed how, in our own work, inside, we can actually feel these same processes and be part of these same processes. And in a way, I feel like that what Shlomo gave me, or what I felt he gave other people, was that even when people weren't even thinking about Avodad Hashem worshiping God the divine, to show that these same processes are deeply part of our soul and our experience, and to take human disappointment and human joy, and to suddenly put them in the context, in the context where we realize that they're all part of an. Of amazing process through which human beings are urgently and desperately and in a wonderful way, trying to find God and trying to find their place in the world. [00:16:24] Speaker A: Thank you so much, Rabbi Godalia, did you want to. I thought maybe you'd wanted to share something a little bit. [00:16:30] Speaker D: I mean, I love the comment on the difference between, excuse me, outreach and inreach. When I heard in reach, I thought, because that is within reach. Like, it's, you know, when something is out of reach, you can't really reach it, but whether it's within reach, then it's doable. So I thought that was really sweet. Anyway, I just. All I want to do is to add to what Mikha Rabb Mikha said. And also Rachel said, I think we're all on the same pixel, as you probably would have to say today. But there's a gamora, which you all know, talks about the baby when he's being. Or she's being formed in the mother's womb, sits there and learns Kola Torah. Kulu learns the entire Torah with an angel and has a candle that sits on the forehead that illuminates the vision to be able to see from one end of the world to the other, which is very similar to Adamarishanta, the first human being. So, in a way, we're a microcosm of that first human being. And I think, again, like Rabb Mikha said, it's really not about the Jews versus the non Jews. Or I teach a group of Mormons in Wichita, Kansas, and we always use the term gentiles and non gentiles. Cause I got sick of the Jews and the non Jews. But the point of it is that we're all ultimately coming from this one vessel called Adam, and we might occupy different positions in that statue, but if we do what we are, then that will hopefully affect and help other people to do what they are, rather than necessarily going out to them, but showing them and helping them understand who they are. And that's all the UMO, that's all the nations of the world as well. You know, I think the idea we use, I think we misuse this term of being a light unto the nations. The idea of light, if you really think about it, is the light doesn't have to move. The light just emanates, and it's emanating again. Coming to what Mikha said, and I agree, I've seen so many Chabad people. That's who they are. They are Tohokobaru. They are that light. They have embodied that light, and therefore that light shines out. And that's. I think there's no better way to do in reach than a, to go within our own selves. B, hopefully, the better we become as people, the more luminary we become for the people that are around us. [00:18:46] Speaker A: Rabbi Brian Yosef, did you want to offer some thoughts? [00:18:51] Speaker C: Yeah, I have had lots of thoughts in this. It's wonderful to hear everybody. The thing that's occurring to me right now is I remember back when I was in college, and I had a wonderful relationship with the Chabad rabbi there at University of Rochester, Rabbi Nehemia Vogel, if anybody knows him. And we used to. I was kind of like his outreach or inreach person for the Eastman School of Music, which was a different campus. And I would bring the jewish kids over for Shabbos on Friday nights, mostly. And he and I had a conversation once. We had lots of wonderful conversations. And I was so taken with not just his hasidic storytelling, which profoundly influenced, I think, the whole direction of my life, but even more, maybe the music, the way he sung negunim around the table, and how that created really a different kind of consciousness among all the kids that came to those Shabbos tables. And I said to him once, the idea, actually, it's about Pesach. So coming up, the idea that we should regard ourselves as if we personally came out of Egypt. And I said, that's such a perfect idea, because it's with that one sentence, it's really describing the whole function of ritual, that we're doing a ritual. We're acting something out in order to create an inner change or an inner reality, or to awaken a certain inner reality, to regard ourselves and to experience as we are, as though we are coming out of Egypt and to be. To awaken what that process means on an inner level. Does it really matter whether it happened historically or not? And his response was, oh, well, I mean, if it didn't, if you don't understand that it really happened, then that it loses all of its meaning. [00:20:57] Speaker E: It has. [00:20:58] Speaker C: It doesn't have any substance then. And I guess that's my. That was my mahloket with him and my makhlokit in general, with. With traditional religion. I consider myself to have what. [00:21:12] Speaker B: What I. [00:21:13] Speaker C: What some people call an integral point of view. And the. The catchphrase of integral is transcend and include. And what that means is that as we move forward in history, that we don't want to throw away our traditions, we want to integrate them, but we also can understand that we're. There's certain aspects that we're moving past. And so my main interest in outreach has been to speak to the people who are not inclined to subscribe to the traditional conceptual tenets of traditional religion. And the whole thrust of what I do is about recognizing that the transformations that we need for ourselves and the transformations that we need in the world have been supported by certain traditional conceptual structures in the past, but that they need not be. We don't need to throw away those structures. We should learn about them and understand them and know that they're part of our. Part of our tradition, but that they're. That they had a certain function. People start calling themselves atheists or they do not feel compelled to take seriously traditional belief systems. They shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. That spirituality is something that we can know empirically. It's not something we have. We don't have to believe in anything to get to it. We simply have to engage in the practices that awaken it and develop it. So that's kind of the perspective that I'm coming from. [00:22:56] Speaker A: And I'm reminded with the wide array of perspectives today that, you know, I attend regularly lunch and learns and Sunday lectures with Rabbi Heschel Greenberg in Buffalo. A lecture that he gave, sort of initiated the thought of developing this roundtable, which was sort of like that there is a significant gap with understanding what Judaism offers and Jews in general, but especially the upcoming jewish generation. And so one of the things that Rabbi Greenberg often stresses is the importance of jewish unity. Well, I find that very interesting. I'm wondering how jewish unity can you know, this in reach or this igniting this igniting of Judaism? How can we practically, what do we do practically, what is our charge practically, what does Torah instruct us to do and what is sort of our own, our own interpretations or common sense of that inform us to do practically for the mobilization of jewish in reach or igniting our jewish community, infusing it with greater Judaism? [00:24:04] Speaker B: I feel that on the one hand, you know, I just say what I've done in my life in terms of. In terms of this, is that I identified the question of human beings living in extreme poverty as a jewish question and have been trying to the best of my ability and strengths, with the help of many other people, to address that and to involve jews in that as Jews, and to use that as a platform for exposing both. Exposing secular Jews, like many Israelis, for example, to a jewish experience, so that they know that they're doing, you know, what I consider and what maybe they consider also one of the most important things that one can do, but they're doing it through a jewish platform and with jewish ideas and bringing those ideas to the fore. And the other thing that I've done that might seem the opposite of what we're talking about, but I don't think it is. I've been trying and hope to try more to actually change ultra orthodox and national religious attitudes towards non Jews, because I think that one of the things that sometimes occurs or is part of a culture, part of the culture of Judaism. So, for example, I went to Oman many times, and I hand out, I created these, you know, in rabbinic language, these pamphlets that take from many jewish sources, from Rabb Chaim Vital, who says, love you, love your fellow person as yourself. The Baal Shem Tov basically says that and many, many different kinds of sources in writing in a rabbinic language and giving it out. So in a way, you know, that's the other part of my in reach, is to try and help create a Tikkun in the most committed people, because I think then a fire can really burn. A fire can really burn. That will bring light to many people. But there are certain tickooning that have to be made there. [00:26:15] Speaker A: One of the things that I've learned about my spiritual journey is that it's often true that my own blind spots, what they revolve around, have become the areas of greatest, greatest expertise and contribution to others, are most informative when I tap into them and look at them and examine them and transmute them into a kind of wisdom that I can communicate to others. That's in me. [00:26:47] Speaker D: I think that this is a very important point, this point being raised about. And while I have been blessed, I guess, to have many teachers and many learnings which never shunned any human being, because that's a fundamental concept of there being one God. It's not like there's a bunch of gods and one's cranking out chinese people, one's cranking out Africans, the others cranking out Jews, and they're fighting for market share. It's just one God who creates all of us in different aspects and different functions. And if a kurdish borup wasn't interested in them, then he certainly wouldn't tell the jewish people to go out and do Tikkun olam right, or even sustain them, or sustain us. So then I think that the interesting question here is that sometimes, as a teacher once said, he said that same way that God brought wisdom down into the world, and only certain people took that wisdom and created science and so on. Rather than using science as a tool to become closer to God, so too, when God brought Shuva down into the world, it was all the non religious people who grabbed the teshuva, and they became Bali shuva, like myself. Whereas really, perhaps had that same power of Chuva that came into the world, gone into the rank and file of the Torah community. It might have had a tremendous, bigger impact than it had wherever it landed, because these guys are certainly the ones who have the knowledge and the equipment and the wherewithal. And I think that's one of the blessings of Chabad, per se, is because these are very serious Tamir Chachamim, who really do understand that Torah, really do have a lot of that flavor and feel for what it needs to get done. But, you know, we're talking. This is my. I have an expression I use. It's called my not at all humble opinion. In my not at all humble opinion, we're dealing here with such massive questions, it's hard to assume we can really even chip off answers. I mean, it's good to attack it or try it, but, you know, I was always raised better a good question than a bad answer. And these are very good questions, which you're being raised. Myself, I certainly don't know if I have any of the answers to the questions that you asked. I can just throw out the little tidbits that I picked up along the road. [00:28:59] Speaker E: Let me just add something about outreach or in reach to non Jews or to the general population of the world, in light of our understanding of where we are now. And what is our mission now it becomes much more clear what our relationship has to be with the rest of the world, as I'm sure everyone knows that the rebbe launched a campaign of Sheva mitzvahs, b'nai Noach, and it was considered to be, like, a revolutionary thing and helping the Jews themselves and done everything to bring them back to Torah. And the rebbe, of course, saw it very differently. He saw that we are living in a time that we have to bring the gullah and the gula. Redemption affects everyone. The whole world will be liberated, not just the jewish people. And the way to bring the world to Gullah is by reaching out to them with regard to the shavam mitzvahs, the seven Noah commandments. In fact, in the rambam that we just concluded a few weeks ago, the rambam prefaces the laws of bashiach with the laws of the Shev and mitzvahs. Banana, of course, we recognize we have tayoga mitzvahs. They have Sheba mitzvahs. We have our mission. They have their mission. But both missions are all under the one rubric of we're here to fulfill Hashem's plan for the world, which is coming to fruition in the times of Gaul. And we can't just say that only the jews are necessary for this. Every human being is necessary to do his or her part in making the world. The Dira betachtonem, the expression used in Tanya based on the medrash, that's God's purpose for creation, to have a dwelling place in this world, the dwelling place has to be in the entire world and has to affect the non Jews as well. [00:30:53] Speaker A: Thank you, Rabbi Heschel Greenberg. And if I could just offer my own. You know, I really do feel like, you know, Rabbi Gedalia, in a talk that we had, spoke of the teacher and the puzzle and the child drawing a map, and when he put himself together, the world fell into place. And I remember that very distinctly as a pointed offering and a pointed wisdom that you shared with me, Rabbi Gadia. And so one of the things that is most important to me to understand, especially me, on the margins of jewish community in many regards, I've struggled with this. I've meticulously tried to identify, why is this the case? And so there's no accident here, and I haven't made a mistake, and yet I find myself needing to work toward something which is very vital, which is. Is to enhance my jewish commitment, my jewish understanding, and my jewish identity and eventually observance. And Rabbi Greenberg and I have been working together for a long time in the process of conversion. I know that it's something that is constantly on my mind, and yet. [00:32:08] Speaker E: The. [00:32:08] Speaker A: Time is not yet. I know that because I'm in constant reflection about it. I think why I'm looking to this topic of mobilizing Jewish in reach or igniting the jewish spark in all of us is because eventually I know that when that is, when all those lights are ignited at the levels that are expected, then the transformation comes for everyone else. So the importance of the jewish nation will become most apparent when we have fulfilled within our community the full obligations which we are ascribed, which are given to us. And, you know, I'm just, I think that's why this topic is so important to me. And I'm just wondering what that might stimulate in others, in thought, how do we do this? How do we really, we've explored some ways, we've talked about different, different examples of how that happens. And I'm just wondering, what are, what are some they ways in which we can really begin to, or continue to ignite Judaism in others? [00:33:16] Speaker C: Well, to me, it's really about relationships with people. So just all the same skills we need to be in relationship with other beings, being able to see things from their point of view, being able to empathize and connect on whatever levels are appropriate with each individual that we meet, allows us to be responsive, to share what we have to offer. And so if you happen to be a person who has to share Judaism with people, then that's possible when you're available to them in relationship. I don't feel like I have any particular techniques. I just kind of throw stuff out there and see who's attracted and people are attracted. And I might also say that the people that are attracted are very, very different from who I thought would be. [00:34:19] Speaker E: Attractive. [00:34:23] Speaker C: Which is fine, but I'm always a little bit surprised by that, that it's not really people that I consider kind of similar to me, but people that are actually very different from me who seem to come and, you know, with some exception. But in general, that's the case. And so I feel like, I mean, in a real way, it's hashem is giving us what to do, and we just have to be responsive to that, where, what situations are we put in, what people come our way and just to be open hearted and willing to share what we have to offer, there's no lack of opportunity for that to happen, really. We don't have to manufacture it. I don't think. I don't feel that I have to. It's there to do. I just have to not be selfish and open up to it. [00:35:22] Speaker E: I once heard a communal jewish, communal leader say, there's good news and it's bad news. The good news is that you can do whatever you want to do, but the bad news is you're going to have to do it all anyhow. You could start wherever you want. There's no one method. I mean, the Rebbe emphasized mitzvah campaigns, putting on film with people. The rebbe emphasized Shirator giving classes of learning Judaism in depth. There's relationships, there's inviting people here, home for shabbos. There's so many different approaches, and they're all there. The question is, which do you begin with? It depends on the circumstances. It depends on the individual, but you have to do it all eventually. All of it is important. [00:36:06] Speaker A: Rabbi Godalia? [00:36:07] Speaker D: Well, I was thinking about a story I was once told about the Balsham Tov. Unfortunately, unless I see these things inside, I call them the blank line Rebbe story, which is basically, there's a story, there's a blank line you could put in the name of any Rebbe you wish. So I always try to source them, though, if I can. This one I have not been able to source, but I love it anyhow. And that was that, desecrating the Shabbat. And his reaction to it was that he came home and he started yelling himself, why was he desecrating Shabbat? Which, of course, was crazy, because that's the last thing that he would have done. But what it meant was that why did God put him in a situation where he saw something like that had to be not so much, per se, although for sure to help the poor person who doesn't know what Shabbat is. But it had to be something that was being a mirror, showing him inside himself. There's some sort of a blemish. And it brought back to mind a true story. My mister Rebbe for many, many years is still is Remorachai Sheinberger in the old city of Yerushalayim. He was the. The son in law of the Sulam. And when I was first starting with him in the seventies, there were the problems of the movie theaters opening in Jerusalem on Shabbat. And there was huge protests from the more orthodox worlds, let's say. And they were. They didn't get violent, but they were close to violent. And there were lots of screaming and so on. And so we came to our rabbi. And we said, rabbi, how should we respond to this? Should we be out there and part of these demonstrations? Or is it an alternative? And he said, well, let me tell you what I would do, please. So he said, I would go to the demonstrations and I would scream. When the owner of the movie theater came out, I would scream at the top of my lungs, shabbos. And we're like, what? That's exactly what they're doing. He said, no, no, no. That's not at all what they're doing. They're screaming Shabbos. But I would be screaming shabbos and say, okay, rabbi, we're completely. We were already confused. Now we're like, super confused. Like the highlight magazine when you were a kid. Find the difference in the pictures. I can't find any difference in the two pictures. So he said, no, when these people are yelling shabbos, what they're really saying is, I could. I'd kill you when I'm there yelling shabbos. What I'm saying is, if I could, I would want to take you home to my house and give you a wonderful chicken soup and let you see how beautiful Shabbos really is. Because if you really, really were touched by Shabbos, you wouldn't even dream of opening the movie theater on Shabbos. And so I think that there's a. That was a deep blow away lesson for me on this particular subject. And I'll just share with you another pivotal change in my world and my environment of whatever outreach work I have done. Again, I apologize. I heard the name of the Khazunish, but I haven't seen it inside. So I hope that's who it was. But it's Michigan Perk javas, which we all know, loosely translated, oh, shalom, Rodev. Shalom. Right. And love peace and run after peace and love, all creations and so on. And then the Mishnah ends on a very strange note, and then it says, and bring them close to. And you would have hoped it would have said God, you know, I mean, we have to. The mission also in Abbas is we have to do everything we can. But success is not in our hands. That's in God's hands. We are. He's the one running the world. But we have to do our part, of course. So wouldn't the Mishnah have been more efficient to, say, bring the person close to God? Because that's the bottom line. The king and I. So the explanation was, sometimes when you're in outreach or in, or within reach, it could be an extremely arrogant, egotistical position to be in without even knowing it or being willingly. It can be a very much I am holier than thou attitude. I am close to God and you're not, and I have now come to save your soul. And that's a horrible, horrible state of mind, God forbid, to be in. Especially let me take a look at the different sugars and the gore and Sota about the imperative of humility and humbleness and all of these other things and so on. But the, but the point of it is that if a person thinks that they're close to God, and now I'm saving this poor soul and bringing this person close to God, you've missed the whole point. But you can bring a person closer to wisdom, to Torah, and since Torah am Yisrael and God are all one, as we've been taught, so then, Mimaila, automatically that connection to God will occur. But the way it occurs is if I see something really interesting and I come over to you and I love you and I want to share with you this amazing thing. So I'm like, hey, look at this. Look what I just learned, you know, what do you think about this? I'm coming to you on an even level because how do I know? Maybe you are a reincarnation of the Arizona and you're like so far beyond anything I will ever accomplish, no matter how many times I go through Shas. So therefore I can't judge. Are you close to God or not to God? I don't have good eyesight. I can't see who's religious or not religious. I've met many people very religious. But then when I listen to their voice, it's the voice of Aesop, even though the hands are the hands of Yaakov. And I see many people who are dressed like Asaph, but then I hear their voice and it's the voice of Yaakov. So how do I know who's religious or not religious? I don't. But I do know that I can share Torah with them. And therefore, no matter who they are, they can become more of who they are, more of themselves. And people feel that and people know that you're talking to them on an even keel. So then, even if he's going through his difficult times now, x years later, it doesn't matter because you were never judging him to begin with and your friendship with ER might actually help him, as they say, get back on the Derek or get back in a way that's good for his nishama to come closer back to where he really belongs. So these are. These are things that we have to really think about. We have to really always, always ask ourselves, when I am doing these acts of Chesed, I was also taught this whole idea of the means that the Tov and the Ra, sorry, the good and the bad are mixed together. And therefore, sometimes we even have to do Shuva on our mitzvot. Which sounds crazy, right? Because, after all, mitzvahs are the name of the game, but they are the name of the game. The question is, what was our Kavana? What was our thought? What was our thinking? Was it inflating our ego? Was it making me feel I'm holier? Did it make me a notch better than the guy who's not really holding there, as they say? In other words, there's ra, the evil that could be found in my mitzvah. Just like there's going to be Tov good that could be found in the evil. And that's part of the borer. That's part of, like, the separating, taking out the Tov from the Ra so that the good is really pure good. That's very difficult. That's a long, long process, but it's an imperative process. Therefore, I think the people who want to go into outreach, step one is, before you go to anybody, you got to go to yourself. You got to go to the mirror. You got to really look inside yourself. Why do I do outreach? I mean, I love the fact that you felt compelled to do the meditations and therefore help. [00:43:33] Speaker E: Help. [00:43:34] Speaker D: Okay. What else can I do? That's definitely hearing a wonderful blessing of a calling. But all the things that we choose to do, we always have to question ourselves. If we're really coming from a holy and humble place, do we really love that other person, or are there other factors that maybe help us to love that person when maybe it needs to be re examined? How I try to teach and struggle. That step one has got to be about us. And from us, everything can be done. And without us, everything we do is just a sand castle waiting for the water to wash it away. [00:44:06] Speaker A: That makes clear sense to me. Rabbi Godalia, and I'm just wondering, is there any last offerings that you'd like to. Do you have time last? Rabbi Brian? [00:44:14] Speaker C: Well, I just. I just really wanted to say that it's been an honor. Thank you to Chavez and Hudson. [00:44:20] Speaker A: Rabbi Heschel, would you. Would you sort of close us out? [00:44:24] Speaker E: I'm not good at summations. My point I was trying to make, and I think it connected to what everyone else was saying. We have to give the world that awareness that they count, not just a difference, but the ultimate difference, and that we're living in a time where we're seeing crazy things happening in the world in the negative sense, but also in the positive sense. And we have to open ourselves up to that energy that's in the world today and make ourselves aware of what. Who we are and what's our purpose in this world. The Rebbe emphasized the importance of learning Torah in general, but in particular to learn the parts of Torah that deal with redemption, as the Torah has the power to change the way we think. So certainly Torah could affect the way we think and the message that I think we have to get through to everyone, especially to ourselves. As the Rebbe said in a very famous talk, it was a very painful talk, that the rebbe did everything in his power to get us to want Mashiach. And even though we cry out ad must I, how much longer do we have to stay in golos? We're doing it only because we're told to do it, and we're still in a golos pneumi. So the message is not out. If we have to talk about so called outreach, it's certainly applicable to ourselves. We have to reach and affect the. The outside within ourselves as the goals within ourselves. And to that extent, yes, we do outreach. We go within ourselves, and we uproot it and supplant it with a true understanding of who we are and what's our mission in this world. [00:46:20] Speaker A: Rabbi Miha, Rabbi Brian, Rabbi Gedaliah, Rabbi Heschel Greenberg. I just want to thank each of you for today's insights and explorations. I've learned much and am better for it. For each of your contributions, I want to thank you.

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