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In this excerpt from the first class of Miracle of Personal Growth, Rabbi Kelemen explains why it is so difficult for a person to change his character. In fact, it’s easier to change nature – to split the Red Sea, for example – than it is for one to go from being an angry person to being a patient person, or from being selfish to being altruistic. In order for a person to change, it would require a miracle! Baruch Hashem, we believe in miracles, and for the next 4 years, Rabbi Kelemen goes through Rav Yerucham Levovitz’s otherwise impenetrable classic, Da’as Chochma U’Mussar, line by line, and elucidates the practices needed to create a miracle – of personal change.
Something to share at your Seder…
Would you like to help bring the redemption of the Jewish people? It requires feeling the pain of your fellow Jew. But empathy is difficult to acquire. It’s not a part of the natural world. If Moshe was going to redeem the Jewish people, he had to perform miracles, but how was he going to rise above nature, to get to the supernatural ability to feel the pain of the Jews? Rav Yerucham Levovitz details how one can create miracle through empathy.
There are those who believe that everything G-d said to the Jews at Mount Sinai is contained in the 5 books of Moses. And that’s it! No oral Torah, no instructions passed from Rebbe to student, from father to son. If so, then how do you actually read the written Torah, which has no “vowels” or punctuation? If you want to follow the word of G-d, you’ll need to learn the Oral law; the Mishnah, the Gemara, the Midrash. Otherwise, you may end up boiling a calf in its mother’s milk! Rabbi Kelemen explains.
In this course on creating miracles, Rabbi Leib Kelemen has been explaining Rav Yerucham’s insight that in order to get a significant process to come down from Heaven, it must start with us taking action here on earth. And the scary part of all this, is that the Almighty has “programmed” you with the ability to see just what your purpose can be, but only if you get out of yourself enough to perceive it. The only way to do that is to dream big. And when you do, then you become an extension of Him; you become His finger, His eye, His mouth. Rabbi Kelemen explains how.
The middos (character traits) of the Gedolei Yisroel (the greats of the Jewish people) were most evident in their day-to-day activities among ordinary people. In this excerpt from his class, “Miracle of PersonalGrowth”, Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen illustrates this with an episode from the life of one of the founders of the mussar movement, Rabbi Yisroel Salanter.
There is a commandment from the Almighty to engage in natural efforts to make anything you think He wants done, to happen. The measure is to make the effort that a highly intelligent atheist would make. But there’s a Torah prohibition to undermine your belief that it’s all G-d. How to reconcile effort and faith?
In this excerpt from Miracle of Personal Growth, Rabbi Kelemen explains.
The Almighty performs all the mitzvahs. So how are we to understand a physical mitzvah like tefillin or shatnez? In this excerpt from Miracle of Personal Growth, Rabbi Kelemen explains
Video Excerpts of Rav Yerucham
In this 6 minute excerpt from “Miracle of Personal Growth”, Rabbi Kelemen teaches that Rav Yerucham tells us that a human being cannot live without honor, dignity. But when it is used to make oneself feel bigger and better than others, it’s an offense to the soul. Our Sages say, “Who is honored? One who runs from honor”. And, “Jealousy, lust and the pursuit of honor remove a person from the world”.
So why did Hashem plant that drive within us? How are we to reconcile this contradiction? And how is it connected to our fulfilling our purpose? WATCH!