rav rafael
rav rafael

rav rafael

I am the rabbi of Beit Hashofar synagogue in south Seattle and co-founder of Riverton Mussar.

Thursday, 05 May 2011 21:01

part 4 - contemplation and visualization

meditation4Here we present more advanced meditative techniques.  These are not for beginners and only for those well established in Torah, Mitzvot and have a mentor  (21mins).

Thursday, 05 May 2011 20:48

part 3 - meditation techniques

meditation3Now the rebbetzin explores specific techniques of meditation, including understanding different states of thought and how to meditate on Scripture (36mins).

Thursday, 05 May 2011 20:42

part 2 - inner hitbodedut

meditation2On this page, rebbetzin malkah takes over the lecture and introduces us to the inward journey of hitbodedut  (14mins).

Thursday, 05 May 2011 15:57

part 1 - self seclusion and hitbodedut

meditation1Here is our introductory class to Jewish Meditation.  On this page, rav rafael gives an introduction to meditation and explores external self seclusion (25mins). 

Thursday, 23 December 2010 16:34

finding goshen

art-goshenWhen the ever-unfolding drama of the last chapters of Genesis comes to a climax, Joseph has drawn his father and entire family down to Egypt to weather the remainder of the famine.  This wasn’t exactly what Jacob had in mind after all the years he spent in Padan Aram with Laban, building his family. But, this seems to be the story of the Jewish people. Exile upon exile has befallen us since our departure from the Garden of Eden.

Thursday, 09 December 2010 13:33

dot calm


It seems like whenever I turn to one of the cable TV news channels I see “Breaking News” scrolling across the bottom with some detail I used to think I shouldn’t care about.  But now I sit and stare as the details slowly scroll across the screen.  It’s amazing what constitutes breaking news nowadays.  We see the same thing on Internet news sites. That special red box appears at the top of the page telling us what is breaking on the news scene.  But, over the last few years, I have found myself more and more desensitized when I see “BREAKING NEWS” plastered across the screen.

Friday, 26 November 2010 14:59

relational diligence

art-easychairJacob settled in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob: when Joseph was seventeen years old, being a shepherd, he was with his brothers with the flocks, and he was a lad, [and was] with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought evil tales about them to their father. And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was a son of his old age; and he made him a fine woolen coat. And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, so they hated him, and they could not speak with him peacefully. – Genesis 37:1-4

Thursday, 18 November 2010 14:39

having everything

art-flockAnd Jacob uttered a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and He will guard me on this way, upon which I am going, and He will give me bread to eat and a garment to wear; And if I return in peace to my father's house, and the Lord will be my God; Then this stone, which I have placed as a monument, shall be a house of God, and everything that You give me, I will surely tithe to You.” – Genesis 28:20-22

Monday, 02 January 2012 11:56

proper restraints

art-penniesA person's nature can be recognized through three things: his cup, his purse, and his anger. --Talmud, Eruvin 65b

Friday, 05 November 2010 15:02

leadership to live by

art-crown-of-patienceNow this man Moses was exceedingly humble, more so than any person on the face of the earth. (Num. 12:3)

This verse appears in the context one of Moses' most difficult trials, a rebellion of sorts by his brother and sister.  From Exodus through Deuteronomy we experience the revelation of Hashem through the story of a humble leader and the Children of Israel.  The Torah narrative points out explicitly the trait of humility that Moses possessed.  Why is this trait so important for spiritual leadership within communities?

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