Category Archives: mp3 shiurim

The Netziv on gardening

Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner posted an amazing translation of a beautiful poem by Rav Kook zt’l a few weeks ago.  The poem was part of great shiur titled, “A groundbreaking approach to Geulah”, available to stream or download here

One of the sources Rabbi Torczyner shared in the shiur is a Netziv that I found quite meaningful.  It appearss below, courtesy of the source sheet (available at the link above):

R’ Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin to Bamidbar 24
That which grows in a garden is not like that which grows in a field; a field is planted with only one or two varieties, as opposed to gardens which have many kinds of seeds. Still, each garden has one central variety, and it’s only that small quantities of other varieties are planted around it. So, too, each Jew is filled with the mitzvot of Gd, but each has one special mitzvah in which he is extra careful, as is seen in the Mechilta, “One who performs a single mitzvah, faithfully, is worthy of Divine inspiration.” Regarding the mishnah that states, ”One who performs a single mitzvah receives goodness,” the Talmud Yerushalmi explains, “This refers to performing a mitzvah with exceptional care.”

We can spend years searching within ourselves to find that one mitzvah, but as explained in both Chassidus and Mussar, the mitzvah that is usually the most difficult for you, is the one that is the “centeral variety” within your garden.

Niggun Hashkata of the Aish Kodesh zt’l

On my commute this morning I re-listened to a shiur about the life of the Rav Kalonymus Kalman Shapira zt’l, the Rebbe of Piaseczna.  The shiur (#2 of a series), given by Rabbi Zvi Engel of Cong. Or Torah (Skokie, IL) is great, but what I realized is that he mentions that Herzog College published a biography of the Rebbe written by Dr. Ron Wacks (Wax).  They also had a yom iyun about the Rebbe and part of the event included Rabbi Dr. Tamir Granot singing of a niggun Hashkata (silencing the mind), composed by the Rebbe.  I believe the niggun was tracked down by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Leshem, as he teaches it in shiurim available here (thanks to Shmuel).  Allegedly there is a video online (somewhere) of Rav Granot singing the niggun.

After much searching, I did find this gem online.  The niggun can be downloaded here.

The lyrics come from Tehillim 86:11
הוֹרֵנִי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ אֲהַלֵּךְ בַּֽאֲמִתֶּךָ יַחֵד לְבָבִי לְיִרְאָה שְׁמֶֽךָ
Teach me Your way, O Lord; I shall walk in Your truth. Unify my heart to fear Your name.

For a great post and video about the Aish Kodesh’s technique of quieting the mind, check out this.

Best quote ever about internet filters

Rav Moshe Weinberger in this shiur, available for free, said the following:

“People would like to install Yiras Shamayim.  You can’t do that, you can’t install Yiras Shamyaim, that’s the only problem.  You can install a filter, but the person is the same person sitting down to the computer.”

He then expands this idea about the filter fixing the internet, not he person. Someone who has a teiyvas beheima (physical desire) for something isn’t going to be stopped by a filter. Rav Weinberger believes that we have to address the person, the pnemius of the person, Kedusha of a Jew and expose the greatness with each of us. Gevaldik!!

The entire shiur is available here.

Free shiur from Rav Moshe Weinberger has is offering a free shiur for a limited time.  I have heard half of it alreay and it’s amazing and, even more than usual, Rav Weinberger cuts to the heart of the matter on several topics in a clear and emesdik way.  The following was sent in an email:

Rav Weinberger – Almost Completely “Unfiltered!”

If you are ready to hear the truth, read on. And if you never, ever get another shiur (Heaven forbid!) or have never downloaded a shiur from this site, then this is the one to get – and it’s FREE!

The sparks were flying (literally, if you consider the nitzotzos of our neshamos) this past erev Shabbos during the Rav Kook shiur The Short Long Way and The Long Short Way, Especially In A Filtered World. Rav Weinberger used a Rav Kook essay that was not included in Oros HaTorah, to teach that there is a “short long” way and a “long short” way to reach a goal.

The “short long” way consists of shortcuts and superficial methodologies to quickly deal with the issue at hand. For example – I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow. It hurts and prevents me from lifting heavy objects due to the pain. The “short long” path (which I have taken for the past two months) is to take pain killers. This reduces the pain and allows my arm to function almost completely normally. However, the pain killers, while addressing the symptom, don’t solve the underlying problem.

The “long short” way (started last week) means adjusting the way I grip my power tools and bicycle handle bars, wearing an arm strap, some physical therapy and icing the muscle and elbow area frequently. While this path will likely take longer, it addresses the cause of the symptom.  

Back to the shiur…after a only a few minutes Rebbi began talking (“talking” is really much too tame a term, but I was not able to find a nice synonym for “yelling”) about filtering the Internet, filtering girls, in fact, filtering out the entire world; he mentioned the events of a few months ago in Ramat Beit Shemesh, addressed teenager inter-gender relationships and trying to maintain shalom bayis by merely buying your spouse some flowers on erev Shabbos.

This is not how we become Jews who “know” Hashem and each other. We will not become closer to Him if our teachers, parents [and leaders] intimidate us and threaten us with gehinnom. Rebbi advocates that we must teach our children, beginning with first grade in the right, loving way and connect them by example to the Ribbonoh shel Olam. That is the path.

A very close friend commented about the shiur: “I love Rebbi the way he is now, but this is the Rebbi I fell in love with.”

OK. I got it off my chest – but really… this is a MUST HEAR shiur. Tell your friends, and family members… remember, it’s free!

Have a good Shabbos.

Moshe C.

P.S. You do know about our $6.99 for FIFTY shiurim monthly plan, right?

Well, I biked the forest…

I have to thank all of my sponsors who donated over $2,000.00 for Chai Lifeline.  Seriously, you’re amazing!  What, feeling guilty that you didn’t sponsor me?  Don’t fret, you still have time by clicking here.

I have read that a common motto in exercise is, “Feel the pain”.  After Sunday’s bike ride with Chai Lifeline, I totally understand what this means.  “Biking the forest” pushed me to the limit.  Biking 54 miles last year on Lake Shore Drive was a piece of fat-free cake compared with Sunday’s 34 mile bike ride at Linne Woods.  I found the hills to be much more challenging than I expected and to say that I pushed myself, is not an exaggeration.  Of course, it was for a great cause and if I am a little sore and sunburned, then so be it.  It was TOTALLY worth it!

Our ride started at a picnic grove where Chai Lifeline had fruit, Granola Bars, and water waiting for us.  The trail we took went north for 10 miles to the beautiful Chicago Botanical Gardens, at which point, people could turn around and return to the picnic grove.  However, I wanted to get in my 34 miles, so once I got the the Botanical Gardens, I then went back 7 miles and returned to Gardens.  All along the way Chai Lifeline had volunteers stationed with nice cold bottles of water for everyone.  After refilling my water and catching my breath, I biked back to join the group.  For those that wanted, a nice brunch was served, sponsored by Bagel Country after the event.  I was simply happy to drink some water in the shade. 

When I got home I was greeted with hugs, high-fives, and a cold drink and something to eat.  Seeing how proud my wife and kids were of what I accomplished in memory of my father a”h, made it all worth it.  As I wrote above, this was quite a challenge, but it was also a opportunity to really push myself and see the effort pay off!  I am pleased that I not only biked the furthest of anyone on Sunday, but I also brought in the second highest amount of sponsorship this year.  To know that I was able to help Chai Lifeline with your support and encouragement is a great feeling and I am so glad you were able to help me.

For the first 3 hours of my 3.5 hour bike ride I listened to some amazing shiurim from Rav Reuven Leuchter, who is a very close student of Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt’l.  Two of the shiurim were about “Chinuch on Gadlus Ha’Adom” and the third was about the first few lines of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter’s Iggeres HaMussar (totally blew my mind how he he explains R Yisrael Salanter’s view of imagination/dimyon).  His understanding of Gadlus Ha’Adom (as being conscious that we are involved in a higher madrega of avodah than just mitzvah observance, but serving Hashem) fits so nicely with the concept of D’veykus (attachment to God) as brought down in the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh seforim.  The 30 minutes of my ride was spent listening to Yosef Karduner, Piamaneta, Diaspora, Yitzhak HaLevi, Even Sh’shiya, Bob Mould, and a Russian band called Selo N Ludy and their cover of Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life” (funniest thing ever).

Chai Lifeline is still excepting your sponsorship of my ride.  That’s right, you have until Thursday morning to still make a donation.  Any amount would be great.  I’ll be honest, for the past three years I have raised more for Chai Lifeline’s bike event in Chicago than anyone else.  This year I am only short $591.00 of keeping that record.

Please feel free to forward this page to anyone that can help.  Every little bit helps.
You can sponsor me by going here.  Seriously, this is for Chai Lifeline, they do great work.  Thanks!!!

Are you living a religious routine or a religious life?

Poster from here

I was listening to this discussion panel, titled “Igniting a Spiritual Passion” (black hat tip to R Mordechai Torczyner) today on my drive to work and I was struck by the following question:

Are you living a religious routine or a religious life?

Keep in mind that in the sefer זריעה ובניין בחינוך by Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt’l (translated and published as Planting & Building), the Mashgiach mentions that those children who don’t, “possess any internal vitality” or “individual initiative” will become “human robots”.  I ask you to think about the question above and how it relates to your own avodah.

The commuter’s dream come true

I recently switched jobs and my former 18 minute (each way) is now a drive of, no less, than 40 minutes each way daily.  It’s taken some getting use to, but I happen to enjoy listening to shiurim and also music (90% Jewish music and 10% non-Jewish).

Just last week, on, they reduced the price of shiurim credit to 99 cepts per credit and also started offering 50 downloads per month for only $6.99.  That’s right, you can download 50 shiurim a month for the low price of about 14 cents a shiur.  You can even roll-over unused credit to the next month.  This is incredible and for me, means I can actually learn more Torah from Rav Weinberger and also catch up on a bunch of shiurim series that I’ve been hold off on purchasing.

I even figured out that if I drive on the non-toll roads about 10 days out of the month, I will have actually saved the same money as I’m spending on the the monthly download fees.  Of course, this means that it will take a little longer to get to work those days, but that’s more time to listen to shiurim!!

Please spread the word about this great offer and go check out

Maybe the most imporant video/audio link posted this year

Last Monday, February 13th, the Rebbetzin’s Husband posted about an interesting panel discussion that Toronto’s YU Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron ran in conjuction with the Aish Thornhill Community Shul.  The program, titled, “On, of, and after the Derech”.  The event featured Dr. Rabbi Nosson Westreich, Rabbi Avram Rothman, and was moderated by Rabbi Morechai Torczyner.
The video can be seen here and the audio and is available here.