Nitzotzos: Thoughts to keep your spark aliveDec 02, 2022
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.
Lag Ba’Omer and the Scent of Torah (full)
Lag Ba'omer & The Scent Of Torah - A Woman's Calling in Torah (Rav Aryeh Cohen and Rav Burg) Pt. 2
Lag Ba'omer & The Scent Of Torah - A Woman's Calling in Torah (Rav Aryeh Cohen and Rav Burg) Pt. 1
Emor - Loving Those Who Curse God
Lag Ba’Omer - True Achdus
Emor - Structured for Success (Dealing With Real Life After Sem)
Sefiras HaOmer - Redeeming Jews From the Fitieth Level of Tumah
Parshas Tazria/Metzorah - Tahor, Tahor
Pesach - Arrogance: Confronting the Essence of Pharaoh
Vayikra - The Essential Ingredient for Shalom Bayis - Humility
In this shiur, Rav Burg answers this question by examining the enlarged Beis in the word Bereishis and the small Aleph in the word Vayikra.
True humility means stepping up to the call of the mission for which we were created (to sustain the world) and stepping back to create space for another in our lives.
Vayikra - Bringing Out the Essence of the Animal Soul
Every single korban has salt in it but none are allowed to have yeast or honey (with the exception of the shtei halachem on Shavuos). The Rambam explains that the Torah did not allow honey or yeast because that is what the baalei avodah zarah used for their sacrifices. What does this mean for us? In this shiur (delivered at Stern College) Rav Burg explains the inner meaning of sacrifice and how through salting the korban we bring out the inner essence of the animal soul - the desire for Godliness.
Pesach - Mapping a Course to Freedom
As the beginning of Maggid, Ha Lachma Anya contains within it all of Maggid. And yet it is a section of the Haggadah that makes very little sense.
In contrast to the rest of the Haggadah it is written in Aramaic. Why?
Ha Lachma Anya does not seem to have anything to do with Maggid. Why is it placed there?
This is not the bread that our forefathers ate in Mitzrayim, it's the food that they ate when they left Mitzrayim?
The Magen Avraham says that we ought to say "This is "like" the food that they ate..." but the Mogen Avraham says lo hifsid if we say it according to our current girsa. Why doesn't the Magen Avraham mandate that we say "like"? Why does he allow the current girsa? He even makes it sound like it is correct and that we have lost nothing by saying the current girsa?
This is obviously not an invitation - that should have happened in Shul. At the very least before Kiddush so that the person being invited could have had the first cup of wine. The door is not even opened!
What's the difference between those who are hungry and those who are needy?
What does it mean to invite some to celebrate Pesach with us? They can't join us in the Korban Pesach, it's too late! They have to be included before the Korban was shechted.
What's the difference between now we are here and now we are slaves?
What's the connection between all three of these things?
In this shiur, delivered in Monsey, Rav Burg explains how we are still in Egypt and the process of leaving Mitzrayim is the story of our entire history. Ha Lachma Anya is a road map for how we leave Mitzrayim. 1 - We recognize our state of being in Mitzrayim. 2 - We realize that we are part of something larger than ourselves. We contribute to those who are in need. We recognize how we are needed in the world. 3 - We hold on to the hope and vision of redemption being both physical and essential.
Parshas Vayakel - Mirror Mirror
The washstand in the Mishkan was made of the hand mirrors that the women used in Mitzrayim to ensure the continuity of Klal Yisrael. Moshe Rabbeinu was reluctant to use these mirrors but Hashem said they were most precious to Him. What was the machlokes between Moshe and Hashem. Why were these mirrors so precious? In this shiur Rav Burg explains how the way we we look at things is what makes them last. It influences the way we act in this world. Only when the Kohanim washed their hands and feet in the kiyor made from these mirrors could they bring atonement to Klal Yisrael.
Parshas Tetzaveh - Pomegranate Jews: The Beauty of Imperfection
Purim - The Joy of Incompletion
Parshas Terumah - Holy Foolishness: Achieving the Impossible
Yaakov Avinu took with him the Atzei Shitim from Eretz Canaan to Mitzrayim in order the Klal Yisrael should have the wood in order to build the Mishkan and the Aron. Why did he not just instruct them to take the Atzei Shitim from Mitzrayim? Or better yet, just take them from the Midbar and not have to carry them throughout the desert?
In this shiur Rav Burg explores the part of us that is foolish. On the one hand we can fall into the foolishness of sin and on the other hand we can be so foolish as to believe in and achieve the impossible. A Jew must take the Atzei Shitim, tress of folly, from Eretz Yisrael so that they may have hope in Mitzrayim and build a dwelling place for Hashem down below.
Parshas Yisro - Excitement vs Inspiration
When Yisro joins Moshe Rabbeinu in the desert, Moshe relays all of the happenings that occurred to Klal Yisrael. This despite the fact that the passuk already tells us that Yisro had heard everything. Why did Moshe tell Yisro what he already knew? What was being added?
Rashi tells us that Yisro heard about the splitting of the sea and the war with Amalek. This is difficult to understand since the passuk tells us that Yisro heard everything that happened. Why do Chazal highlight these two events?
In this shiur Rav Burg explains that difference between excitement and inspiration. Excitement does not last but true inspiration which comes from relevant education lasts a life time.