From the micro to the macro, we seem to be confronting a new wave of worrisome and disconcerting – even depressing – turns of events. By tapping into a formula that is as old as Judaism itself, we can discover promise and opportunity within adversity. Indeed, the recognition that despair is often but an illusion while hope is a dynamic reality is what can transform life from a struggle for day-to-day survival into a journey of meaning and mission, adventure and purpose, joy and success.
Our Mandate: ZACHOR- REMEMBER!
Sixty-five years after the Holocaust, with few remaining to tell the story, many are wondering what exactly our children and grandchildren will “remember” – and does it really matter? This talk will make the case that the Jewish people are not a “People of History” as much as a “People of Memory.” While history is academic – separate and detached; memory is alive – intrinsic and personal. An authentic Jewish education does not portray our ancestors as individuals who once lived, but as people who live today!
The Courage to Change
In this political season, so much has been said about the word “Change”. Yet we as Jews have our own understanding of the word “change”. Our “change” is meant to bring us closer to being the person we are always meant to be. This takes courage, effort, faith and support. In this challenging talk, we will focus on this very simple prayer of serenity “L-rd, please grant me the serenity to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed; and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Faith and Suffering
How does one cope and have faith when a tragedy strikes? How are we to respond to the suffering of others? Can faith and suffering go hand in hand? How do we lead a “meaningful life” if life is filled with pain?
Journeys of Our Lives
Ever think of the “journeys” in your life that brought you to where you are today? King David writes in the Book of Psalms “The Footsteps of Man are Directed by G‑d”. This is true in the micro and the macro. The journeys of each of us as individuals and the journeys of all us as a Jewish people – are all part of a master plan. Where were we and where is it all leading?
Hear O Israel – The Art of Listening
The most famous of all prayers of our people is the prayer Shema Yisroel – Hear ‘O Israel. What does it mean to “hear”? This talk will focus on how the Torah is advising us how to strengthen our relationship with G‑d and with our family. In an age of advanced technology, especially in the arena of communication, have we perhaps lost the art of listening?
Climbing YOUR Mountain
The metaphor and symbolism of a mountain and mountain climbing is found throughout the Bible, most noted in the story of the Binding of Isaac which called for Abraham and Isaac to climb a mountain alone as well as the Revelation at Sinai on a mountain. Biblical metaphors are meant to teach us about our own lives and struggles. What are our own mountains? How we climb them? When do we reach the peak? Do we experience our own personal revelations?
The Legacy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe: The Infinite Value of the Individual Jew
In sharing a series of incredible personal encounters and stories from his 35 years as an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Southern California’s Conejo Valley, Rabbi Moshe Bryski vividly and dramatically demonstrates how the Rebbe’s repeated emphasis on the infinite value and preciousness of a single Jewish soul has served as the lynchpin in changing the course of countless lives (including staving off ultimate catastrophe for one distraught parent), and by extension, the entire state of World Jewry. Powerful, inspirational and motivational, this talk has a profound and impactful message to offer audiences at any (or no) prior level of association and involvement with Chabad.
Prophecies, Resurrection and Modern Day Miracles
Keying in on the moving and highly symbolic account of the Prophet Ezekiel’s visit to a valley filled with the remains of previous generations and his visions of the “dry bones” resurrected, this lecture will explore core issues of Jewish belief, the bond between generations and the phenomenon of supernatural events – past, present and future.
The Passion of Judaism
Does passion lead to practice – or vice versa?An analytical yet rousing study of the essential function of passion in Jewish observance and in the effective transmission of Jewish values and ideals from generation to generation. This talk will be peppered with humorous anecdotes and fresh insights.
Do You Believe in Angels?
All throughout the Biblical stories, Scriptural writings, Rabbinical teachings and liturgical prayers, references are made to G‑d’s angels, or Divine Messengers, commissioned to fulfill specific functions and tasks. This workshop will go beyond the abstract concept of the Holy Hosts, beckoning us to recognize the presence of angels in our own lives. A most inspirational and uplifting exercise.
Mastering Your Time
No, this is not a time management seminar. Rather it is a close up look at the very first Biblical Commandment to the Jewish People – Be A Master of Your Time. In an era where technology allows us to accomplish in minutes what would ordinarily take days, one needs to ask “where has all the free time gone”?
Who’s Minding the Spirit?
No matter how accomplished, happy, wealthy or talented we may be, at some point we all find ourselves seeking a deeper meaning in life. We have read the works of every kind of philosopher, psychologist and spiritualist imaginable. It is time we look within – within our hearts, our souls, our heritage – and unleash the spirit within.
The Hero In You
The definition of greatness and heroism by Judaism is quite different than the way society today looks at them. What makes a hero? Who are your and your children’s heroes? Most importantly, how can we rise from a life of mediocrity and find that hero within?
The Joy (and ‘Oy) of Being a Jew
The Jew has this unique ability to cry and laugh at the very same time. The lecture will glance at the past, present and future of our people – the lows and the highs, the crying and the laughter and the ‘oy veys and the joys.
Divine Providence – The Hand of G‑d in Your Life
One of the central teachings of Chassidism and the Kabbalah is the belief in Divine Providence. Quite often, we search for the “Burning Bush” revelation in our lives only to be let down when that “big moment” does not come. In this talk, Rabbi Bryski will focus on the “smaller” moments in life, the day to day occurrences, and show how our lives are permeated with Divine Providence, if we only opened our eyes to see.
The Quest for Truth
As the “People of The Book of Truth”, how do we connect to this anchor of truth, giving it proper expression in our lives and in our interactions with the world around us? Are we in danger of becoming the messengers who have forgotten their message? This dynamic talk will demonstrate that within the search for truth lies the very discovery thereof. In the midst of the greatest darkness is when we can kindle the most radiant lights of all.
Make “Your Story” a Masterpiece
Are they just stories or perhaps whispers of the soul? This talk explores the deeper meaning and power of our stories – from Biblical times on through the ages up until present day. Indeed, we each have “our own stories”; stories that speak to us, stories that send us messages from another time and place; stories that beckon us to create our special masterpieces in life ensuring that our own stories will be ones worth retelling some day.
The Power of Memories – Passing the Baton
So much of Judaism is focused on the word “Zachor” (to remember). Many of our rituals are about remembering. The lecture will focus on the importance of “remembrance” as an individual phenomenon as well as a national one. It has been said that those most in touch with where they come from have the healthiest sense of where they’re headed to.
Know From Where You Come… and Where You Are Going
Our sages tell us that a key to leading a good and upright life is: “Know from where you came… and know to where you are headed”. This talk views these two clauses as inter-related. If you know from where you come; from whom you come - then you will have a clear sense of direction as to where it is that you need to headed. Perhaps never before have the challenges, the implications and repercussions of this link been greater.
The Jewish Pathology: “You Can Run but You Can’t Hide!”
What is it about the Jew that would compel one who’s sworn off any interest or association with Torah observance to suddenly embrace it in the strangest of ways under the most perplexing of circumstances? Beyond glib and simplistic explanations like guilt, nostalgia and cultural pride, what is it within the Jewish “pathology” that causes this spiritual schizophrenia and why should it not be seen as hypocrisy? Through humor and inspirational stories, this lecture will examine the deep and awesome dynamics of Jewish soul and identity.
The Power of Personal Redemption
By understanding the essence of our mission in this world, and the transformative and illuminative powers of soul with which we’ve been endowed to fulfill it, we attain a practical perspective on how to overcome life’s great challenges and dilemmas. This talk will include mystical insights, inspiring stories and generous doses of humor.
“It’s a Wonderful Jewish Life” - An Optimistic Look at the Future of the Jewish People
A cursory glance at the state of World Jewry today can be cause for great concern, if not alarm. From existential threats to Israel to the bold reemergence of anti-Semitism in Europe to the distressing statistics regarding assimilation and drop-off among Jews in America, it’s easy to be overcome by a sense of gloom and doom as it relates to the future of the Jewish People. Drawing on profound Torah lessons, historical parallels and even a classic in American cinema, this talk makes the point that those who count Am Yisroel (or themselves) out are terribly misguided. While concern may be warranted, a sense of despair, hopelessness and powerlessness most certainly is not.
Healthy Relationships / Happy Lives
Sometimes the most complex problems can have the simplest solutions – and there is nothing simplistic about that! In no area of life is this more evident than in marriage and other essential relationships. This inspiring lecture – spiced with humor, stories and time-tested wisdom and insights – will demonstrate how even slight adjustments in our stances and perspectives can open new doors to happiness, harmony, satisfaction and gratification in the most important relationships of our lives.
Finding Your Personal “Tipping Point”
“The Tipping Point”is that subtle juncture where a certain idea, product or behavior suddenly catches on, or “tips,” and establishes a whole new reality on the ground. Like the one extra degree that separates hot water from its boiling point; the one extra burst of effort that separates the champion from the rest of the pack; the one extra bit of focus that separates excellence from mediocrity; sometimes all it takes is that little extra something to effect exponential change. As true in science, sports, economics and social trends, so is it true with regard to our day-to-day lives, whereby one small step forward can propel us to a whole new level of spiritual and emotional self-actualization. This lecture will offer inspiring and practical insights on how to discover and maximize your personal “Tipping Point.”
“Chosen”— for What?
Throughout the millennia, Jews have been leaders in the perpetuation of ethical monotheism, trendsetters in the advancement of civilization and innovators in virtually every arena of human achievement. Is it in spite of this – or because of this – that have they been so reviled and persecuted by the tyrants of history? This lecture will explore the underlying concept of the “Chosen People” – the privileges and responsibilities the distinction brings to bear – and why today’s world, perhaps more than ever before, needs to hear, and is indeed ready to hear, the vital message “G‑d’s Ambassadors to Humanity” have to share.
Seizing Life’s “Moments”
There are two dimensions to every human being: who we are and who (based upon our inner reservoirs of G‑d-given potential) we can become. Throughout our lives, we are presented with myriad opportunities to bring those two dimensions into closer sync with one another. Indeed, the key to living a happier, more meaningful, purposeful and impactful life lies in recognizing those auspicious “moments” when they present themselves and seizing them so that they illuminate our lives and that of those around us. This lecture will draw upon the inspiring examples of some of Judaism’s most heroic figures, as well as “ordinary” individuals, who did exactly that and made a monumental and everlasting difference.
“The Millennials: Reconnecting the ME Generation”
The current generation – often referred to as “The Millennials” – has been described as one of those most narcissistic in history. The “Look at ME” culture of Reality TV, Facebook and Twitter seems to be breeding an unrealistic sense of “entitlement,” wherein young folks expect a life of fame and fortune handed to them on a silver platter. Though people today are more “connected” (digitally) than ever before, they are ironically more “disconnected” (emotionally and spiritually) than ever before. Yet, the situation is far from hopeless. On the contrary; beyond pointing to silver linings, this lecture makes the case that this generation has the unique capacity to become the most connected, engaged and empathetic of all time! They have the tools; we need to show them how best to use them.