Podcast by Intown Jewish Academy
Overcoming Folly - Part 67 "Life Before the Snake" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 24, 2022) So what was life like before the snake pestered Adam and Eve? Imagine a world of idyllic beauty, a place of physical and spiritual perfection. A world where people intuitively know what's right and what's wrong. A world in which lines are clearly defined and the mission is clear. Welcome to the Garden of Eden. And then everything fell apart... In this unforgettable session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we look at what went wrong that fateful Day 6 of creation. We learn why the very psyche of human beings changed forever, and how you and I can get back to that pre-snake reality -- and even higher.
Chosen Nation Sorting through the Myths With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 27, 2022) Is it racist to make the claim that we're the “Chosen Nation”? What does that even mean in the first place? A closer look at the Chosen Land (spoiler: Israel) uncovers an edifying take on this much-abused idea. Far from privileged pretentiousness, to be chosen is a responsibility and a demand.
You Have It in You Remember: Your Soul Came First With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 20, 2022) “I can't do it, it's too hard, and I don't have what it takes!” Sound familiar? It turns out that the prophet Jeremiah said the same thing to G-d Himself. G-d's answer? A stirring string of verses opening the haftarah imparts the rousing message that your soul came before all the challenges you will ever face, so you have all the firepower you need.
Overcoming Folly - Part 66 "Holy Folly Batman" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 17, 2022) There's something to be said about behavior that falls neatly inside the range of what's considered "normal." After all, the rational and logical approach certainly has its advantages. But it also has its limitations. See, there's a modality of living that defies the normal and the rational. Not that the person acts irrationally. No, they act in a superrational manner, not allowing natural, logical limitations to get in the way. This way of living higher was championed by kings, prophets, and mystics. In this epic session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we study Jewish mysticism and discover how to live life a little higher than the norm. This, my friends, is "Holy Folly."
The Making of a Nation Determining the Precise Moment the Jewish Nation Was Born With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 13, 2022) Avraham was the first Jew, right? But wait. What about the events at Mount Sinai, when everyone received the Torah: Wasn't that the moment of nationhood? Come to think of it, were the Jewish people not born at the Exodus from Egypt? An enthralling roller-coaster ride through the literature explores this important question.
Overcoming Folly - Part 65 "American Idol" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 10, 2022) It was 2400 years ago, during the leadership of the prophet Nehemiah, that one of the most dramatic episodes in Jewish history took place. The Jewish people had just returned to the Holy Land after 70 years of exile in Babylonia, and they had one thing on their mind: slay the urge for idol worship. See, the destruction of the Holy Temple and all the calamities that befell the people were due to the sin of idolatry. And that nefarious urge, that heated desire, that fierce temptation, was still very much alive and well. So they fasted for three days, prayed fervently for G-d's mercy, and then -- incredibly -- the urge to worship idols vanished. Today, we may not get excited about the prospect of bowing down to little stone statues. But we have our own, subtle, forms of idolatry. We have our "American Idols." And while the worship may look different, the problem is oh so familiar... In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we explore modern forms of idolatry and discover the spiritual threat of convincing ourselves that other forces have control over our life and destiny.
“It's Not My Thing” Is Not an Excuse When the Hour Demands, Rise to the Occasion With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on July 6, 2022) We all have our comfort zones. You're forgiven for wanting to stay there. But remember this: If you do, you will never grow. Worse yet, when someone else needs you, they'll receive no answer. A curious plot twist in an ancient desert story with clouds of glory and heavenly mann calls us to get uncomfortable and be there for someone else—even if it's not “your thing.”
Different, Yet Equal “We're All the Same!” Is Tempting. It's Also Premature With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 29, 2022) Korach's rebellion that saw him yelling, “We're all equal, why do you, Moses, get the fancy title?!” can be mistaken for a romantic everyman's struggle. In a way, Korach really was on to something, but ultimately, he was mistaken. Walk the tightrope of “different but equal” through the lenses of our nation's first uprising of the proletariat.
Overcoming Folly - Part 64 "M$king M$ney" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 26, 2022) If you're looking for the "secret of wealth," the "five keys to becoming rich beyond your wildest dreams," or the "next can't-fail investment opportunity"... there are no shortage of sources promising all the above and more. Kabbalah has its own secret to attaining wealth. Jewish mystical wisdom teaches a path to material success -- and this path is paved with spiritual consciousness. Because the physical and metaphysical are much more intertwined than we might think... In this mind-expanding session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we discover the interplay between spirit and matter, and learn how money just might grow on trees -- if you have the right tree. :)
You Matter. Yes, Even You G-d Doesn't Only Pay Attention to Big Things and Important People With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 22, 2022) “Omnipresent” is a word thrown around as a name for G-d, which is a fancy way of saying, “He's everywhere and always paying attention.” It's a great name: G-d really is paying attention to everything He created, and He cares very much about what they do—including you.
Overcoming Folly - Part 63 "The Miracle of Teva" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 19, 2022) Mother Nature seems so... natural. And so different than the miraculous. We intuitively sense a great divide between phenomena that belong to nature and those that are of a supernatural order. But is that duality valid? According to the Jewish mystics, absolutely not! Nature and the supernatural are more alike than we'd imagine. In fact -- and this gets really paradoxical -- nature expresses the supernatural even more than a miracle. The line between them is thus blurred. In this EPIC session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we dive deep into the mysteries of the universe and chart the lines of nature and the supernatural. We learn what miracles teach us about our everyday lives, where an Israeli sandal company got its name, and how all of this can drastically change the way we show up for work.
Good Is Good, Better Is Better, and Best Is Best Why Jews Spend So Much on Their Religion With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 15, 2022) Jews do Judaism with grandeur. Thousands on an etrog, fine china for Shabbat dinner, and gilded synagogues that match the finest architecture anywhere. But why? Because we understand that when it comes to our relationship with G-d, only the best will do. Anything less may not be lacking, but it is wanting—and we'll have none of that.
Beyond Right - Lesson 6 Beyond Presumption of Innocence With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 14, 2022) While a presumption of innocence can protect defendants from liability, it is not quite a declaration of uprightness. Jewish law goes so far as to presume every person's core goodness. In this class we explore the sources of this positive perspective on human nature and its practical ramifications.
Overcoming Folly - Part 62 "Creation vs. Evolution" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 12, 2022) January 9, 2007. That date may not stand out to you, but it should. Because on that day, everything changed. Our lives today are radically shaped by what happened on that day. See, change can come in two forms. It can be iterative, or it can be revolutionary. Iterative change is gradual and progressive. Radical change happens all at once. It hits you upside the head. You never see it coming. But once it comes it packs a big punch. In this week's session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we trace the spiritual origins of radical and iterative change. We see how the universe is predicated on both systems, and how each plays an important role in our collective and personal loves. Plus, we discuss and debate the virtues of modern technology.
The Case against Passive Parenting You Can't Control the Result, but You Can Certainly Control the Process With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 8, 2022) In one the Bible's most rousing stories, a weeping childless woman makes a solemn vow to consecrate her son to G-d, should she be so blessed. The woman is Chanah, and the son the prophet Samuel. From what would appear to be a dubiously legal move, we learn that parents must do their utmost to guide their children along the proper path.
Beyond Right - Lesson 5 Beyond Lawful Ownership With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on June 7, 2022) Is the claim of ownership anything more than a subjective social agreement? A foundation of Chasidic thought is that material possessions contain spiritual energy that is specific to their owners. This perspective has legal and moral ramifications for how we relate to our possessions and the possessions of others.