Shmuel Reichman is an inspirational speaker, writer, and coach who has lectured internationally at shuls, conferences, and Jewish communities on topics of Jewish Thought and Jewish Medical Ethics. He is the founder and CEO of Self-Mastery Academy (www.shmuelreichman.com ), the transformative online course that is revolutionizing how we engage in self-development.
You can find more inspirational lectures, videos, and articles from Shmuel on his website:www.shmuelreichman.com
The question of leadership is both fascinating and fundamental to human society. In this week's Parsha, Parshas Shoftim, the Torah discusses the three categories of Jewish leadership: The Melech (king), the Sanhedrin (courts), and the Kohanim (priests). What is the Jewish approach to leadership, and how does it compare to other perspectives on leadership?
While this picture is extreme, I'm sure we can all relate. Sometimes things seem to fall apart in our lives, and we struggle to pick up the pieces. When we start that downhill slide, how do we stop the momentum? How do we pick ourselves up? To understand this, we need to develop an important theme connected to both this week's parsha, Parshas Re'eh, and the month of Elul as a whole.
The land of Israel is the home of the Jewish People, but it is also so much more than that. There are a number of mitzvos that can be performed only in Eretz Yisrael. The Beis Ha’Mikdash, the spiritual center of the universe, was located at the center of Eretz Yisrael. Hashem promised Avraham the land of Israel as a sign of their eternal covenant. Our question, then, is twofold. What is the underlying uniqueness of this special land, and why does the land of Eretz Yisrael possess this unique quality.
How can Moshe's words be included in the Torah? The fundamental nature of Torah is its Divine authorship. And regarding its connection to a get, why does Devarim’s status as a repeat sefer preclude its four lines of separation from being counted in determining the number of lines in a divorce document? In order to understand the deep nature of sefer Devarim and to answer these questions, we must develop an essential principle that underlies this entire discussion.
Lying, defamation, and lashon hara are clearly harmful and negative; their prohibition is not surprising. Why, though, is wasting words so severe that is warrants specific mention? It appears to be neither harmful nor evil, simply unnecessary. The question we must address then, is why are wasted words both so enjoyable and so spiritually harmful?
What is the meaning of the two blessings Pinchas received, and why did Pinchas deserve them specifically in response to his actions with Kozbi and Zimri? And, perhaps more basically, why was Pinchas’ act of murder even considered heroic? It appears to be violent and rash, perhaps even overly emotional. In this presentation we will try to explain the deep principles behind this episode.
Within the influence of Western culture, the intellect holds supreme status as the be-all and end-all of truth itself. Scientists, philosophers, and atheists often claim that Judaism is dogmatic and irrational, denying logic and reason. Is this so? What is the role and purpose of intellect within Judaism? Do we reject reason, embrace it, or perhaps take some sort of middle ground? The Vila Gain famously said, "where philosophy ends, Jewish wisdom begins." It seems, therefore, that Judaism does not reject reason and logic, but builds off of it, eventually even transcending it.
The nature of Korach's punishment is quite strange. Why does Moshe emphasize that Korach must be punished by something completely novel, and why is the ground swallowing them up the proper punishment for their crimes? In order to answer this question, we must delve into the depth behind Korach's argument to better understand where he went wrong.
Why was Moshe's prophecy different than any other prophet's? What made him unique? Why did the Rambam feel the need to create a separate ikar emunah (principle of faith) specifically for Moshe's prophecy?
Avraham argues with Hashem, using what he saw in the stars as his evidence. What does it mean that Avraham saw in the stars that he was not destined to have a child? And how can Avraham argue with Hashem about what will happen? If Hashem tells Avraham that he will have a child, how can Avraham even think of suggesting otherwise? And finally, what does it mean that Hashem took Avraham "above the stars"?
When Hashem tells Avraham to leave his home and embark on a journey, Avraham is told “lech lecha me'artzecha u'mimoladitcha...” (Breishit 12:1). This directive is conspicuously odd. Avraham is told where to leave from, but he is not told his destination. What kind of journey lacks a destination?
Why did Hashem specifically choose to destroy the world with a flood. Hashem could have chosen any form of destruction, and yet, He chose water. We naturally associate parshas Noach with the mabul and the teivah, but couldn't there have been another form of this story? What is the significance of water?
We begin this year’s Torah cycle by reading Parshas Bereishis. While many think that Adam Ha’Rishon alone was worthy of a fascinating creation story, every single one of us has our own unique creation story as well.
If you ask most people what Avraham contributed to the world, they will most probably tell you, "Monotheism". However, there is a deeper layer to this that most people do not know.
In this inspiring lecture we will reveal the secret gift that Avraham gave to the world.