Nitzotzos: Thoughts to keep your spark aliveDec 02, 2022
Vayeitzei - Developing a Relationship With Hashem
In this shiur, delivered in Sharfmans, Rav Burg explains three dimensions of building a relationship with Hashem.
1. Avraham Avinu - Love - Digging Wells
2. Yitzchak Avinu - Fear - Maintaining the Structural Integrity of the Well
3. Yaakov Avinu - Truth - Unplugging the Well
Vayeitzei - Yearning for Mashiach
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explained why:
1. Yaakov was attracted to Rachel.
2. Lavan wanted Yaakov to marry Leah first.
3. How Lavan intended to uproot the entire Jewish Nation.
We live within the dialectical tension of being ok and yearning for more. On the one hand we need to be ok with our state of Golus so that we can survive. On the other hand we cannot become complacent and stop yearning for Mashiach.
Toldos - Educating Eisav
Toldos - Where Teffilah Comes From
Chanukah - Falling Upwards
In this shiur, delivered at the Lubat home in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Rav Burg explains the inner meaning behind the Machlokes between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel as to how we light the Menorah. Even though it appears at times that we are falling, in truth all movements are upwards. On Chanukah the truth of the darkness is revealed.
Chayei Sarah - The Blessings of an Integrity Life
Chayei Sarah - The Three Lives of Sarah Imeinu
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explores the three names of Sarah Imeinu, how each one of the names relates to a different Mitzvah. miracle and a particular Avodah of relating to the reality of the world.
Important note from Rav Burg: "In the beginning of the shiur I asked a question about how the return of the miracles consoled Yitzchak but neglected to answer the question. I apologize. The answer is that because Sarah Imeinu was able to discover Godliness on all three levels (disavowal, refinement and sublimation) her impact on this world transcended her death. Until Rivka came onto the scene, her impact was not felt and this was what Yitzchak was grieving. He could not understand how his mothers Avodah was somehow discontinued. When Rivka married Yitzchak she took on the countenance of Sarah Imeinu and in a certain sense, she became her. The miracles were once again brought back into reality and this is how Yitzchak was consoled. Through Rivka he understood how his mothers impact continued to be a part of this world."
Vayera - Are You A Bread Person Or A Salt Person (Achdus Event - Tomer Devorah and Sharfmans)
Vayera - What You Learn When Your Back Is Up Against The Wall
This shmooze, sponsored by Smilesforthekids.com and delivered in Mevaseret, addresses the Kiruv methodology of Avraham Avinu. Why does Avraham Avinu seemingly coerce people into acknowledging Hashem? Is that helpful? Does it create meaningful and lasting change?
In this shiur, based on a sicha from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Burg speaks about how sometimes we have to face the hard truth in order to unlock who we really are and what we really believe.
Lech Lecha - Be Fascinating
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explores the difference between the generation that built Migdal Bavel and Avraham Avinu. The juxtaposition of the two clearly indicates that the fundamental mission of the Jew is to be uniquely themselves. Only when we serve Hashem according to the unique nature of our soul can we say that we are truly serving Hashem. And when we do we are fascinating people.
Achdus Event - (Mevaseret and Aish Gesher) A Torah of Unity
Rav Burg addressed both Yeshivas in an opening shmooze on the topic of Rav Chanina ben Tradyon's tragic death.
As he is leaving this world, Rav Chanina ben Tradyon reveals the secret of Klal Yisrael's ultimate victory.
Noach - Finding an Inner Strength Amidst the Flood
This shiur, delivered in Yeshivat HaKotel for the newly formed Acheinu program, explores the nature of the world pre-flood and post-flood. Pre-flood the world received its Godliness from Hashem whereas post-flood the world discovered its Godliness from within. This change was brought about through two mechanisms: 1. the flood 2. the Teiva. The flood of life destroys all of our toxic systems and the Teiva is where we discover our inner strength.
Noach - Leaving the Teiva, Returning to the Vulnerability of Life
Noach would not leave the Teiva until the dove returned with an olive leaf in his mouth. But where would a dove get an olive leaf from? The Medrash provides us with two solutions: Gan Eden or Eretz Yisrael. What is the inner meaning of retrieving an olive leaf from these two places? In this shiur, Rav Burg explores how we can return to our lives after the flood of destruction. How do we know that it is safe to leave the Teiva? When we discover that our inner essence is untainted, the essential self that never participated in our lowest moments and even the essence of our lowest parts that did things we are not proud of, it gives us the feeling of safety to return to the vulnerabilities of life.
Noach - The Teiva as a model for the Jewish home
This shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, explores the specific dimensions and design of the Teiva as a model for what a Jewish home ought to look like.
Bereishis - Making Light Out of the Darkness
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explores the first several pesukim of Bereishis in an effort to understand these difficult times that we are living in.
Chizzuk in These Difficult Times (bonus: how to talk to your children about the war with Hamas)
At the end of the shiur Rav Burg provides a step by step guide as to how to talk with our children about the war with Hamas.
Hoshana Rabbah - To Live in a Pleasant World
1. What's the inner nature of Hoshana Rabbah such that it has the capacity to override the psak of Yom Kippur?
2. Why does the war of Gog and Magog take place on Hoshana Rabbah?
3. What's the connection between Dovid HaMelech (the Ushpizin of the night) and Hoshana Rabbah?
In this shiur Rav Burg explains how music represents the mergjng of the spiritual and the physical. Though they don't naturally go together, it is possible to synthesize the two. This is the meaning of the pleasantness of Torah and Olam Haba which are both called Noam.
Succos - Enjoy the Process
In this shiur Rav Burg explores the inner essence of the Esrog. In this world there is both process and achievement. In the physical world we only value achievement but in the spiritual world he process is the goal. When we value the process we can achieve complete Simcha.
Teshuva - It All Comes Down To Me
This shiur, delivered in Darchei Binah, explores the story of Rav Elazar ben Dudaya, a man who engaged in a completely hedonistic lifestyle but managed to do Teshuva and acquire his portion in the world to come in a moment. Only through taking personal responsibility for what we have done can we become the people we are destined to be.
Haazinu - Speaking With the Higher Self
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explains the difference between Dibur and Amira. Sometimes, when speaking to our lower self doesn't work, we need to speak with the higher self in a strong and direct manner in order to truly inspire.
Teshuva - Renewal of our Homes
Teshuva and Tzedaka
Rosh Hashanah - Reconciling Trembling With Joy
Teshuva - Building A New Relationship With Hashem
Teshuva - A Sanctuary in Space
In this short shiur, delivered to Mevaseret Alumni, Rav Bug explains why the Rabbeinu Yonah calls Teshuva a sanctuary. Teshuva is not just something we do but a place where we live. Only through Teshuva can we build a home for Hashem in this world.
Nitzavim - Make Good Choices
In this shiur, delivered in Sharfman's, Rav Burg explains why we need to be told by Moshe Rabbeinu not to choose death. How many of us choose a path that leads to death because of poor solutions that create further problems?
Ki Tavo - Collect Your Fruits
In this shiur, the inaugural shiur Sharfmans, Rav Burg explores the inner meaning of the seven species and why we must deliver them in a basket to the Kohen.
Elul - Meeting the King in the Field
The Alter Rebbe teaches us that the King comes out to the field to meet with us during Elul. What is the inner depth of this Mashal? Why does the King take this stroll? In this shiur, delivered at the first guest shiur in MMY, Rav Burg explains why Teshuva feels inorganic even though it is our most natural state of being.
Reeh - The Fate of the Many Lies in the Hands of the Individual
1. The fate of the many lies in the hands of the individual
2. The world will be a bracha or a klala depending on what we choose.
3. To be a human being means to be someone who exercises conscious free will. Choose your highest self.
4. Choice always happens in the now. If you want to know how you ended up at your destination simply look at the choices you made consistently over time.
Great Debates - Should a Rebbe Know What His Talmid is Doing on a Saturday Night
A Beautiful Story of Chesed
Finding the Sweetness in Torah
Tisha B'Av - Feeling Hashem's Pain
Tisha B'Av - The Five Stages of Destruction
Devarim - Choosing a Godly Life
Nine Days - Discovering The Simcha That Comes From Aveilus
Matos - Making His Ratzon Our Ratzon
Are we serving Hashem or serving ourselves? Do we learn Torah in order to pervert the Torah or to do Hashem's will in this world?
Matos Masei - Hard Enough to Survive and Complete the Journey (Staff Training With NCSY Next Step)
The shiur was followed by a Question and Answer with the advisors of NCSY Next Step.
Parshas Shelach - You Are Not Fallen, You're in Process
In this short shiur, delivered at the grand banquet of Mevaseret, Rav Burg addresses the Talmidim for the final time of the year. In this shiur he defines the difference between a Malach who is an Omed and a human being who is a Mehaleich. An Omed can be defined by his fall but a human being who is in process can never be defined by what he does.
Behaalosecha - Swimming Against the Stream of Life
In this shiur, the last of the year in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg addresses the inverted nuns that we find in this weeks Parsha. What are they doing in this week Parsha? Why a Nun? Why inverted? Why do we recite these pesukim at least three times a week? A Jew is called upon to swim upstream in life. To go against the current. And as we rebound for our state of Nefillah we climb higher than ever before, to a place that is even beyond our capacity to achieve.
Shavuos - To Be A Part Of God's Nation
Shavuos - Finding Hashem in the Torah
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explores the topic of seeing the sounds by Har Sinai. The Zohar HaKadosh takes this literally. The inner message of this teaching is that Yiddishkeit needs to be something visible and visceral. We cannot teach the menu of Shabbos without teaching the majesty of Shabbos. If we are going to be Hashem's loyal servants, when the mountain of Har Sinai is held over our heads and a deep hester panim has set in, we must be able to draw from the strength of our relationship with Hashem.
Shavuos - When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
When we know deeply that we matter, that our actions matter, we are capable of doing incredible things. The Medrash teaches us that had Boaz known that his actions were being recorded he would have served Rus a fleishigs seuda. This was not because Boaz wanted to look good for eternity but because he did not know that his actions mattered eternally.
Shavuos - To Be a Part of God's Nation
Shavuos - The Value of the Birchas HaTorah
In this shiur, delivered to the Nshei of Neve Shamir in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Rav Burg explores the concept of Chazal's explanation thatthe destruction of the Beis HaMidash was destroyed because of the fact that they did not make a Birchas HaTorah before davening. Could it be that they did not make a Birchas HaTorah before learning? Even if it did happen, is that something worthy of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash? Wasn't the Beis HaMikdash destroye because of the big three aveiros? Examining these questions and several more, Rav Burg addresses the topic of finding Hashem in the Torah and now allowing it to become an intellectual pursuit. Only through an authentic relationship with Hashem can we pass on our heritage to the next generation.
Shavuos - Essence of Polarities (followed by a Q&A with Rav and Rebbetzin Burg)
In this shiur, delivered in Aish HaTorah to the Chizzuk Mission led by Barrie Feld, Rav Burg addresses how the physical and spiritual can be fused with each other only from the perspective of the essence. This concept can be used to understand how men and women can find each other in relationships. At the end of the shiur there is a question and answer from Rav and Rebbetzin Burg.
NCSY Staff Training
In this shiur, delivered in the Jerusalem Gold Hotel in Yerushalayim to NCSY Summer advisors, Rav Burg addresses the topic of Chinuch and how it is an expression of our Avodas Hashem. The shiur was followed by a question and answer session about practical topics regarding dealing with NCSY'ers in the summer.
Bamidbar - Ask Not What Hashem Can Do For You But What You Can Do For Hashem
In a consumeristic culture we have lost sight of what our relationship with Hashem is all about. In this shiur Rav Burg explains how we tend to "sell" Judaism to our youth rather than teach them that they have obligations and reponsibilities to participate in our relationship with Hashem. Each of us has a unique Godly soul and we are meant to contribute to this world.
Dignity in Focus Challenge (Tomer Devorah Awards Dinner) - Rav and Rebbetzin Burg (shiur plus Q&A)
For several years Tomer Devorah runs a DIF (Dignity in Focus) challenge that culminates with a dinner for the winners. The dinner is highlighted by a short shiur from Rav and Rebbetzin Burg on the topic of dignity and is followed by a Q&A on the topic of dignity. Rav Burg spoke about dignity as a shemira and Rebbetzin Burg spoke about Tznius as creating space for another.
Behar - Restored to Factory Settings
In this shiur, delivered in Tomer Devorah, Rav Burg explores the Mitzvah of Shemitta. Why does the Torah indicate that Shemitta was to be kept immediately upon entering Eretz Yisrael when in fact it was only kept seven years later? What is the inner connection between Matan Torah and Har Sinai? Why does the Torah record the question of those Jews who wondered what they would eat after the Shemitta year rather just giving the answer as the Torah generally does? Rav Burg explains the difference between a scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality and how the Mitzvah of Shemitta restores us to our original settings on an even higher level.