Get ready for a short burst of Jewish wisdom! My name is Rabbi Yosef Edelstein ("Rabbi E" for short), and I have been a Jewish educator for many years. I share insights from Jewish sources that help can help us become better people (and Jews) in our daily lives. I grew up the son of two doctors, and while I didn't choose that path professionally, I do hope that these short episodes (from 3 to 8 minutes roughly) will administer a safe and powerful dose of "spiritual medicine," in a friendly and casual way!
Currently, I am the Director of MEOR DC, that brings Jewish inspiration to university campuses in the nation's capital. (Check out the MEOR DC Facebook and Instagram page.)
You can be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/rabbi.edelstein, or Instagram: https://instagram.com/rabbiedelstein or https://instagram.com/rabbiein3. You can also connect with me via MEOR DC, the organization I direct DC: https://www.facebook.com/MEORDC and www.meordconline.org.
Our Journeys are Spiritual!
We go on lots of journeys in this world--small and big, to the mountains and to the beach...and sometime to far-off lands. But we learn from this week's Torah portion, Massei, which describes the Jewish people traveling and encamping in the Sinai desert--that the true purpose of all the journeys that Hashem leads us on in our lifetimes (and He IS leading us) is spiritual: to serve G-d, wherever and however we are--battling our negative traits, and expressing our positive ones, to elevate ourselves and all of Creation!
Focusing on the...NEGATIVE!? The (POSITIVE) Goal of the "Three Weeks!"
Today is a fast day, the 17th of Tammuz, and it ushers in a period of sadness in the Jewish calendar year, culminating in the Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha b'Av)--the day on which both Temples were destroyed (not to mention other calamities). Is this about wallowing in the sufferings of the past? No, rather, we are truthfully acknowledging that the world is NOT where we want it to be, and coming to terms with how we Jewish people-chiefly through the transgression of sinat chinam (baseless hatred)--brought about the destruction of the Second Temple! In these three weeks, we mourn the dimming of that divine light in the world...so we can LONG for its return, and take personal responsibility to lead better and more righteous lives that will bring that about.
We are INTERCONNECTED: Lesson from the Canada Smoke!
There is much to learn from the disruptive effects of the Canadian wildfires on the lives of people (including me, Rabbi E) hundreds and thousands of miles away. One main lesson is that we are profoundly interconnected on a physical (and environmental) level. But Judaism teaches that we are SPIRITUALLY interconnected as well. Every good deed we do (or word we say) helps to create a purer, more illuminated and holy spiritual "atmosphere" throughout all of Creation! And the opposite, G-d forbid, is true as well: the negative and hurtful deeds we do (or words we say) create--as it were--a foul, light-blocking SMOKE that negatively affects all of Creation, reducing the spiritual light that G-d intends for us to bring into this world...and polluting the atmosphere for everyone. Let's try to make wise and good choices, and choose mitzvot and deeds/words of righteousness and kindness, so that we all can breathe better!
Shavuos: Celebrating THE PURPOSE OF LIFE!!
Is there a Jewish holiday that celebrates the very PURPOSE of existence? I'm glad you asked...The answer is YES. (And it begins in a few hours.) Shavuos, the time of the giving of the Torah. We Jewish people relive the awesome and utterly unique event of the Revelation at Mt. Sinai. Our entire nation was elevated to a level of prophecy, hearing the 10 Commandments directly from Hashem (or at least the first two--that's a discussion), and perceiving with absolute clarity that Hashem is the One and Only true Being, source and sustainer of all existence. AND author of the holy Torah, which He lovingly GAVE to us in order to instruct us on how to elevate ourselves and all of Creation...and connect it back to Him. "For the sake of the Torah, Hashem created the heavens and the earth." Yes, indeed, Shavuos celebrates the true PURPOSE of Jewish existence...and of all Creation. SO, get your cheesecake ready and enjoy this somewhat RAW and loose episode of Rabbi E in 3, recorded live in the Great Outdoors--though not in the Wilderness of Sinai! (Note: the custom to eat dairy foods on Shavuos has many beautiful ideas associated with it, some discussed in this episode, including that Torah is the quintessential nourishment for our souls, to keep them growing and glowing...just as mother's milk does for our young bodies.)
4 Days Until REVELATION! (Shavuos Prep, Part 2)
Shavuos is the most underappreciated Jewish holiday, for sure. It's even completely unknown to many Jewish people. TUNE IN to Rabbi E in 3, as we make the final countdown (or count up) to the festival of the giving of the Torah...the (national) Revelation at Mt. Sinai.
10 Days and Counting!! (Shavuos Prep, Part 1)
Shalom, everybody. Are you READY to GET READY for what is arguably the most important Jewish (holi)day in the Jewish calendar? It's 10 days from now...that's right...and it's the Jewish holiday you might never have even heard of (I didn't as a kid), or perhaps only have some vague idea about....But it's the holiday that really defines who we are as a Jewish people. We have 10 days to get ready for SHAVUOS: the holiday when we re-experience receiving the Torah at Mt Sinai, the day when we collectively as a nation heard Hashem utter the 10 Commandments. Pesach is the festival of our national LIBERATION, but SHAVUOS--the true culmination of the Exodus--is the holiday of REVELATION. So here'smy idea: let's get ready TOGETHER for this incredible holiday! Stay tuned for some more podcast episodes from me, Rabbi E, that I hope can help inspire us TOGETHER to prepare for this unbelievable (and unsung) Jewish festival.
Very intelligent, insightful and inspiring
Rabbi E provides wonder commentary on life, humanity, religion, and the Bible. He uses everyday language to help listeners learn from the Good Book. His teaching are concise and focused. A great man and wonderful scholar that we can ALL learn from!!
Nothing like it
There is really nothing like this. I love the energy and tempo of this podcast. Rabbi E keeps it entertaining with witty puns and play on words. It’s the perfect thing to tune into when I have a few minutes and want some meaningful Torah served in the fun Rabbi E fashion.
Nice dose of Jewish wisdom
One cannot help but appreciate how Rabbi E shapes his messages, packaging deep wisdom and scholarly rigor in a friendly, upbeat tone accessible to the masses. Can’t wait for future episodes.