Chanukah Meditations

Chanukah Meditations:

G-d’s lamp is the person’s soul.  Proverbs 20, 27   –   נר ה’ נשמת אדם – משלי כ,כז

“Without miracles, we might come to believe that the laws of physics define reality.  Once we witness the inexplicable, we see that there is a higher reality.  And then we look back at physics and say, “This too is a miracle.”

The miracle of a small flask of oil burning for eight days was this sort of miracle.
Then there are those small miracles that occur everyday.  Those acts of synchronicity we call “coincidence,” because in them G-d prefers to remain anonymous.  But when we open our eyes and hearts, we see there is truly no place void of this wondrous, unlimited G-d.  These were the sort of miracles the Maccabees saw in their battles against the mighthy Greek army.”  Based on letters and talks of the Lubatvitcher Rebbe.  With permission from www.chabad.org

“The miracle of Chanukah teaches us that there is a light deep inside of us that cannot be extingusished.  It is HaShem’s light.”  Rav Sholom Brodt, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshvat Simchat Shlomo. www.shlomoyeshiva.org

To purchase a copy of Forty Years in the Wilderness….

Yiscah’s 40-year memoir details her joys and struggles with her own spirituality, gender identity, and commitment to living true to herself. The story she tells is one of a man, facing his truth, embracing the woman she was always meant to be, and returning to her faith with wholeness and authenticity. Her story must be told. It is important for everyone to hear and will hopefully inspire and empower many others who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to wholeness in their lives.

For those who are interested in purchasing a copy of the book:  You can order the hardcover or paperback edition, or download the e-Kindle version, through Amazon.com. The link is:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K8EVDIG

Yiscah Book FRONT Cover

 

REGISTRATION FOR “GETTING TO KNOW YOU BEIT”

Registration for Getting To Know You Beit is now underway.  If the first 12 classes was any indication of these teachings’ depth and profundity , while simultaneously being relevant and within each person’s grasp, then you don’t want to miss the next series of 12 classes.

In Getting To Know You Beit  we will continue to explore the teachings of R. Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira, the Piaseczner Rebbe, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. Looking at both his pre-war and wartime works we will examine what he thinks it means to be a Jew and a human being.  This next group of classes will focus on his understanding of the divine nature of our body, the physical world, and our spirit, how we awaken to that divine nature within us, and how we can integrate these components & expressions of the Jewish experience into one whole healthy being.

Getting To Know You Beit will meet for 12 classes.  The dates are  05 JAN – 23 MAR,  Monday evenings, 8:00pm West Coast time & 11:00pm East Coast time.  In Israel the dates are 06 JAN –  24 MARTuesday mornings, 6:00am.

Tuition is $120 per person for the 12 classes.   Prior to each class, that week’s text will be emailed to you, as with the WebEx link to participate in the virtual Beit Midrash.  Following each class the link to the audio recording will be sent to you as well, which is especially helpful for those who are unable to attend the class, or who live on the East Coast in the States, in Europe, and in Israel.

Please register as soon as you can via PayPal at:

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/make-online-payments 

Please ensure that the email you designate for payment is: yiscah.smith@gmail.com.

Toda v’Chanukah Sameach!

 

 

 

 

 

Teachings on Parshat Miketz & Chanukah

Blessings, so many brachot, for a bright, shining, illuminating Chanukah Sameach.
May HaShem bring each of you to experience the miracle of discovering the vile of pure olive oil untouched by any foreign influence within yourselves.  May you take that ohr ganuz, concealed light, and me’galeh, reveal it outward from the private domain to the public domain, pushing away all the thick darkness in the world.  Be true to yourselves always – Chanukah means no disguises as we show our real faces to each other.
Remember, chevra, “A little light banishes much darkness.”


The PDF text - Jewish Soul Food Beit6

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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