On Monday, I finished listening to an amazing shiur from Rabbi Michael Skobac, the Director of Education and Counselling for Jews for Judaism (Canada). The shiur, titled “THE FOREST BEYOND THE TREES: What is Judaism’s Bottom Line?” is available for streaming or downloading here.
As Jews, there are things we learn and things that our teachers view as “givens”. I remember going though my entire freshman year at Yeshiva University’s James Stiar School without being taught the importance of working on oneself (mussar, with a lower-case “m”). It wasn’t until my first night seder in a yeshiva in E’Y that I opened Mesillas Yesharim and realized there is a bigger picture than observing mitzvos. It wasn’t until I read about a started listening to shiurim on Bilvavi Miskhan Evneh by R Moshe Weinberger and learning the Bilvavi seforim that I understood the importance of building a relationship with our Creator. Unfortunately, I tend to over complicate things. Rabbi Skobac does not. In a clear, understandable way with examples that hit home, his shiur introduces the listeners to the real deal! The reason that Hashem created us and what the big picture is in life for each Jew. Some of the things discussed on the mp3 are based on teachings from the first chapter of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh vol I and this shuir not only opens up one’s soul to those teachings, but allows you to listen to a master educator. Regardless of your affilation or observance, listening to this shiur is an excellent use of 53 minutes.
R Skobac has also authored the following Jews for Judaism publications, available for viewing downloading here:
Missionary Impossible: Counter-Missionary Survival Guide
The Da Vinci Code: A Jewish Perspective