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Letters For Our Time

Timeless messages in the correspondence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe; with Shaul Wertheimer.

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Sukkah Decorations

Decorating the Sukkah is a time-honored tradition for many, yet Chabad minhag is not to decorate the Sukkah. In this episode, I explore a letter and Farbrengen where the Rebbe offered insight into this unique custom. Based on: 7 Cheshvan 5715; Simchas Torah 5730.

14mins

2 Oct 2020

Rank #1

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Motzei Shabbos Selichos

What was bothering the Rebbe on Motzei Shabbos Selichos 1967? Hear the story of the yeshiva student who went to Toronto but felt like he didn't accomplish as much as he could have. Based on Igros Kodesh vol.24, p.396; Hiskashrus #1362, p.11.

9mins

8 Sep 2020

Rank #2

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The Tel Aviv Pharmacist

Do you ever feel like your efforts are in vain? That you are not successful? Hear what the Rebbe told a pharmacist in Tel Aviv. Based on Igros Kodesh vol.14, p.287; conversation with Rabbi Asher Federman (U.S. Virgin Islands).

4mins

28 Aug 2020

Rank #3

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Can Moshiach Come On Shabbos?

The gemora indicates that Moshiach can't come on Shabbos, but Rambam suggests that he can. So which one is it? Sources: Igros Kodesh vol.2, p.233; Rambam Hil. Nezirus 4:11; Eiruvin 43a.

6mins

19 Aug 2020

Rank #4

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Tisha B'Av Joy

In 1956, while embroiled in legal controversy with his shul, Baruch Litvin received an encouraging letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe with a Tisha  B'Av message. Based on Igros Kodesh vol.12, p.296-7; Detroit Jewish News 6-12-1959.

8mins

30 Jul 2020

Rank #5

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The Religious Soldier

Hear the story of Rabbi Shmuel Blizinsky celebrating Shabbat with fellow soldiers. Based on Here's My Story #391 (published by JEM); Igros Kodesh vol.4, p.479.

9mins

14 Jul 2020

Rank #6

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Skipping During Davening

Should one skip parts of the prayers (as stated in Shluchan Aruch) in order to pray the Amidah with the minyan?Based on Igros Kodesh vol.18, p.81; vol.1, p.229; vol.7, p.139; vol.15, p.170; Chassidishe Derher, Shevat 5779.

14mins

3 Jul 2020

Rank #7

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The Purpose of Shul

What is the purpose of a synagogue? What type of classes should a pulpit rabbi give? What did the Shelah HaKadosh learn from the travels of the Jews in the desert? Based on Igros Kodesh vol.17, p.171; Shelah HaKadosh, Torah She'Bichtav beha'alosecha; NY Times 1-20-1970.

8mins

12 Jun 2020

Rank #8

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13 Principles of Faith: To say or not to say?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe offers a number of explanations regarding why the Alter Rebbe did not include Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith in the Siddur. Join me as we explore the meaning and precision of prayer. Based on Igros Kodesh vol.12, p.18-20. Here are some of the sources discussed: https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/241019?editor=1

8mins

9 Jun 2020

Rank #9

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Dogs in Shul

Is a seeing eye dog allowed in shul? How important is it to daven with a minyan? Join me as I explore a fascinating halachic debate, featuring R. Moshe Feinstein, R. MM Kasher, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Sources: Igros Moshe O.C. vol.1, siman 45; Igros Kodesh vol.18, p.422 and 455; conversation with R. Shnayer Leiman (Flushing NY); and Rabbi Aaron Slonim (Binghamton NY).

13mins

14 May 2020

Rank #10