B’ezrat HaShem, beginning the week of  22 Sept., Yiscah Smith, Jewish educator, spiritual mentor, & author, will be teaching “Getting to Know You.” In this shiur she will share the teachings of R. Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira, the Piaseczner Rebbe, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. His inspiring and progressive teachings discuss the divine nature of our body, emotions, thoughts and spirit, how we awaken to that divine nature within us, and how we can integrate these different expressions of the Jewish experience into one whole healthy being.

The shiur meets weekly for 10 weeks. Prior to each class the students will receive via email the PDF text for that week.  Following each class the students will receive a link to the audio recording. The classes will be held in person in Jerusalem and in the virtual classroom via the Cisco WebEx platform. Tuition is 100 USD or 350 NIS for the 10 classes. Please email Yiscah at for details on how to register.

May you all be blessed for a Shana Tova U’metukah.


Meditational thought on Rosh HaShana

“Time is not a train of cars hitched one to another, one year dragged along by the year preceding, the present hitched tightly to the past, the future enslaved to the present. Rather, every year arrives fresh from its Creator, a year that never was before and could never have been known before its arrival.
That is why we call Rosh Hashanah “the birthday of the world” in our prayers. The past has returned to its place, never to return. With the blowing of the shofar, the entirety of Creation is renewed. From this point on, even the past exists only by virtue of the present.”

Based on letters and talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing.

My Story – 40 Years in the Wilderness

My story is not simply a tale of personal triumph over inner demons.  Rather, I am telling my story in order to, with the help of God, inspire and help others who are mired in obstacles — people for whom achieving a life of authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness feels impossible.  I, like many individuals, was paralyzed by fear, shame, and low self-esteem for most of my life.  Like me, these individuals find themselves unable to make the leap of faith they need to honor their own inner truth.  Many people, deep inside, yearn to somehow catapult past their personal demons, the forces strangling, suffocating, and wringing the life out of them.  My demons were gender identity confusion and the passionate desire to live a spiritual life within the Jewish tradition that conflicted with it.

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