Monday, August 19, 2019

Kabbalah's Influence on "What We Do"


Listen to tonight's class, "Kabbalah's Influence on 'What We Do'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Clash in "What We Do"

Listen to this morning's class here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Parashat VaEthanan: Applying Makeup on Shabbt


Listen to last night's class, "Applying Makeup on Shabbat," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Appropriate Clothing and Behavior for Tefilah


Listen to tonight's class, "Appropriate Clothing and Behavior for Tefilah," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Keriah on Yerushalayim and the Mikdash Today


Listen to yesterday's class, "Keriah on Yerushalayim and the Mikdash Today," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Parashat Devarim: The Nusah of Birkat Nahem


Listen to last night's class, on the nusah of Birkat Nahem,  here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

1) Read Yael Levine Katz's thorough article on this topic in Tehumin here.

2) Read R. JJ Schacter's analysis in YU's Torah to Go here.

3) Read R. Mordekhai Sevi HaLevi Sion's analysis in his new book BeShuvi LiYerushalayim here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Finding Your Place" with a Minyan


Listen to tonight's class, "Finding Your Place with a Minyan," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Land of Israel and "What We Do"


Listen to tonight's class, "The Land of Israel and 'What We Do'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Ideal Approach to Pesak Halakhah (2)


Listen to this morning's class, "The Ideal Approach to Pesak Halakhah (2)," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Parashot Matot-Masei: Tevilah and Aluminum Pans

Listen to last night's class, "Should You Dip Aluminum Pans?" here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

1) Listen to our class on "Tevilat Kelim" here.

2) Read R. Ovadia Yosef Toledano's teshuvah (Meshiv Mishpat 1.13) regarding a possible solution to practically dealing with his grandfather R. Ovadia Yosef's opinion on this issue here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

טורח ציבור - Not Being a Burden to Others


Listen to tonight's class, "טורח ציבור - Not Being a Burden to Others," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Kabbalists' Expansion of "What We Do"


Listen to tonight's class, "The Kabbalists' Expansion of 'What We Do'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Ideal Approach to Pesak Halakhah (1)


Listen to this morning's class, "The Ideal Approach to Pesak Halakhah (1)," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Friday Night Arbit at a 'Private Minyan'


Listen to tonight's class, on ברכה מעין שבע at a private minyan, here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Monday, July 22, 2019

R. Moshe Feinstein & "Preserving What We Do"


Listen to tonight's class, "R. Moshe Feinstein & 'Preserving What We Do'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Parashat Balak: Keriat Shema


Listen to last night's class, "Parashat Balak: Keriat Shema," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Praying with a Minyan


Listen to tonight's class, "Praying with a Minyan," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Have the "Times Changed" (2)?


Listen to last night's class, "Have the 'Times Changed'? (2)" here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

Listen to the "Have the 'Times Changed'? (1)" here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

R. Ovadia Yosef & "Changing What We Do"


Listen to this morning's class, "R. Ovadia Yosef & 'Chaning What We Do'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

1) Listen to our past classes, which served as the "backdrop" to this class - "2 Approaches to Pesak Halakhah," Part I and Part II.

2) We discussed the controversy surrounding R. Ovadia Yosef's approach to "leshem yihud." Read a past post about it here.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Parashat Hukat: Netilat Yadayim


Listen to last night's class, the first of our new Parashah & Halakhah series, here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Repeating the Amidah "Be-Kol Ram"



Listen to last night's class, "Repeating the Amidah 'Be-Kol Ram'," here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

Read Michael Leitman's "חזרת הש"ץ - ההלכה והמציאות ההיסטורית" here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Radak and the 'Superiority' of Peshat


Listen to last night's class, "Radak and the 'Superiority' of Peshat," here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

Listen to our related class, from last summer, "The Role of Peshat - Rashbam and HaRambam" here.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

"The Torah Handed Them to the Hakhamim"


Listen to this morning's class, "The Torah Handed Them to the Hakhamim," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Parashat Korah: Silence

Silence
Thoughts on Parashat Korah 2019
Click here to view as PDF
Silence is not merely negative; it is not the mere absence of speech. It is a positive, complete world in itself. Silence has greatness simply because it is. It is, and that is its greatness, its pure greatness. (Max Picard)[1]


And Korah, son of Yisshar, son of Kehat, took… (Bemidbar 16:1) – He attracted the Sanhedrin amongst them by fine words.[2]

Korah emerged on the scene with his mouth open and full of words. “You have too much” he exclaimed to Moshe and Aharon, “For all the community, they are holy, and in their midst is God, and why should you raise yourselves up over God’s assembly?” (16:3). Initially “falling on his face” in shock, Moshe then promised Korah and his followers that God would settle their claim in the morning (16:4). And, so it was. Instead of articulating a response to their protest, Moshe kept quiet, setting the stage for God’s punishment of the rebels.

In stark contrast to Moshe’s silent part in this controversy, the Hakhamim envisioned Korah as engaged in constant speech: “The whole night he went around to all the tribes and tried to win them over: “Do you really think that I care for myself alone? It is for all of you that I have a care!”[3] It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that he was dealt his death from a silencing mouth: “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households and every human being that was Korah’s, and all their belongings” (16:34).

Why didn’t Moshe issue a verbal response to Korah and his followers? Although God was in no need of help to serve up their punishment, a spoken rebuttal by Moshe could have provided clarity for the people of Am Yisrael who were undoubtedly shaken and confused by the sudden affront to their leaders.

I remember the first time that I learned to be attentive to silence. It was from my Talmud teacher in the ninth grade. Upon reaching the punchline of a brilliant interpretation of HaRambam’s opinion on a particular matter, R. Zelig Prag exclaimed: “The greatness of this approach is that more than taking into account the words that Rambam did write, it notices those that he did not!” Indeed, the great scholar and rabbi, Prof. Isadore Twersky z”l commented: “One must be attuned to the silences as well as to the sounds of Maimonides’ writing.”[4] It was, as well, this very trait that the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche noticed in Socrates, remarking that Socrates was not only “the wisest chatterer of all time,” but “equally great in silence.”[5]

While many of the situations that we encounter in life are best communicated with words, others are better expressed in silence. HaRambam wrote, for example, about how it is impossible for people to articulate God’s praise in words. Pointing to the pasuk “Silence is praise to Thee” (Tehillim 65:2), he posited that it is therefore “more becoming to be silent, and to be content with intellectual reflection” of God.[6] And the contemporary psychologist Benjamin Epstein similarly commented on our expressions of affection: “No matter how many times you repeat the words ‘I love you,’ no matter how hard you try to find the exact phrase to describe the emotion, you will inevitably come up short…while it definitely exists and can be deeply felt, no description can suffice.”[7]

As Korah and his followers assailed Moshe and Aharon with claims of “national holiness,” Moshe met their claims with silence. How could he possibly articulate words to defend a concept so abstract as kedushah? And so, as he listened to them babble on with a rational approach to God and sanctity, the contrast of his silence reminded all those assembled of matters that lie beyond the realm of speech.

Moshe’s silence transmits to us a lesson that extends beyond the specific errors of Korah and his followers. It teaches us that many of life’s most important realities transcend the application of words, and are perceived instead in the world of experience. While we may dream of an appropriate verbal expression of the depth of our connection to God and others, or the exact nature of our joy, pain and so many other emotions, Moshe’s wordless reaction taught about the “pure greatness” of silence.


[1] The World of Silence (Chicago, IL, 1952), pg. I.
[2] Commentary of Rashi to Bemidbar 16:1, s.v. va-yikah.
[3] Commentary of Rashi to Bemidbar 16:19, s.v. va-yakhel.
[4] Isadore Twersky, Introduction to the Code of Maimonides (New Haven, CT, 1980), pg. 235.
[5] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (Cambridge, UK, 2001), pg. 193.
[6] R. Moshe ben Maimon, Moreh Nevukhim 1:59.
[7] Benjamin Epstein, Living in the Presence: A Jewish Mindfulness Guide for Everyday Life (Jerusalem, IS, 2019), pg. 118.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

What is the Appropriate Clothing for Tefillah?


Listen to tonight's class, "What is the Appropriate Clothing for Tefillah?" here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Truths of Halakhah (3)


Listen to this morning's class, "The Truths of Halakhah (3)," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Avodah Zarah 44a-45b


Listen to our shiurim on Masekhet Avodah Zarah from this past week!

Listen to:   44a,     44b,     45a,     45b

Follow along with the text of the dapim here.

Parashat BeHa'alotekha: Leaders Who Enforce


Listen to Monday night's class on Parashat BeHa'alotekha, "Leaders Who Enforce," here.

Follow along with the sources here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Torah of Unity


Listen to this morning's class here.

Follow along with the sources here.


For further research:

1) Read R. Lamm's "The Unity Theme and its Implication for Moderns" here.

2) Read a past devar Torah on the theme of separation and unity here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Parashat Naso: Anonymity

Anonymity
Thoughts on Parashat Naso 2019
Click here to view as PDF
Following instruction of the three verses of birkat kohanim, God instructed Moshe:

And they [the kohanim] shall set My name over Bnei Yisrael, and I myself shall bless them. (Bemidbar 6:27)

The Hakhamim explained that the call to “set His name” over the people referred to speaking the “shem ha-mefurash” – the clandestine name of God whose utterance was confined to the four walls of the Mishkan.[1] Adhering to this tradition of secrecy, the Rabbis of the Talmud were careful in their transmittance of God’s sacred names, teaching them only on occasion and to their best and most trustworthy students.[2]

Concealment of a name is most appropriate for Sefer Bemidbar. Bemidbar continues the narrative begun in Sefer Shemot of Am Yisrael’s exit from Egypt and march to the Land of Israel. These two books, however, are actually so different from one another. As the title of Shemot suggests, the sefer presents the “names” and stories of several individuals. First teaching about the seventy people who descended into Egypt, Shemot then details the birth and growth of the nation’s future leader Moshe. Sefer Bemidbar, in contrast, is referred to by the Hakhamim as the “Humash of Counting,” and more widely known as the “Book of Numbers.” Generally neglecting the “names,” self-identities and the stories of individuals, Bemibar is the story of a nation. It tells about the trials and travails of a vast number of “nameless” people.

Forty years ago, the social critic Christopher Lasch commented: “Success in our society has to be ratified by publicity.” He wrote that “the tycoon who lives in personal obscurity” and “the empire builder who controls the destinies of nations from behind the scenes” are vanishing types.[3] Akiko Busch more recently realized, “It has become routine to assume that the rewards of life are public and that our lives can be measured by how we are seen rather than what we do.” Our society’s sustained obsession with social media and the ongoing legal debates regarding surveillance and cyber privacy represent the “public” and “exposed” lives that we now all lead. Indeed, Busch noted that the contemporary use of the word optics has less to do with the science of light (as it once did), and refers instead to how visual impressions of events and issues may be more important than the events and issues themselves.[4]

Reflecting upon the difference between exposure and “namelessness,” R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l wrote that Judaism demands anonymity from man. “He must do his job and then vanish.” R. Soloveitchik reflected upon the members of the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (the Men of the Great Assembly), who established many foundational laws and formulated our liturgy, the berakhot, and the recitations of kiddush and havdalah. Who were they? What were their personal stories? “We know next to nothing about them,” R. Soloveitchik remarked, “They did not seek to perpetuate their own names.” Striving diligently to bring the Jewish people together and formulate the Torah she-be’al peh, when these men finished their tasks they disappeared. The Anshei Knesset HaGedolah, like so many of the other individuals who make up the chain of our tradition, “came, did their duty, and then vanished.”[5]

Immediately prior to mention of birkat kohanim, Parashat Naso details the potential circumstances of individuals who may attempt to “stand out,” and establish a “name” for themselves. First predicting the tragic demise of the sotah, the wayward woman, the parashah then describes the ways of the nazir. Although the nazir’s choice to stand apart from the others by abstaining from acts of indulgence may seem positive, the Hakhamim emphasized the Torah’s critique of that decision.[6] The sotah and nazir, then, represent the opposite extremes of name-seeking individuals, and neither is seen positively.

Taking in the current state of our society at the end of his life, the late Oliver Sacks observed:
Everything is public now, potentially: one’s thoughts, one’s photos, one’s movements, one’s purchases. There is no privacy and apparently little desire for it in a world devoted to nonstop use of social media. Every minute, every second, has to be spent with one’s device clutched in one’s hand.
He lamented the fact that we are no longer able to concentrate and appreciate in our own way, silently. We have given up “the amenities and achievements of civilization,” Sacks wrote, forfeiting solitude and leisure and the sanction to be oneself.[7]

Reflecting the broader message of Sefer Bemidbar, Parashat Naso sets forth a perspective on life and accomplishment so relevant to us today. Learning from the mistakes of the sotah and nazir, we discover the detriments of over-exposure. The concealment of God’s name, in contrast, reminds us of the positive value of anonymity. Seeking genuine achievement calls for shielding ourselves from the limelight of fame and searching instead for truths that are determined on our own.


[1] See Commentary of Rashi to Bemidbar 6:27, s.v. ve-samu and to Shemot 20:21, s.v. bekhol.
[2] Kiddushin 71a.
[3] Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism (New York, NY, 1979), pg. 60.
[4] Akiko Busch, How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency (New York, NY, 2019), pg. 4-7.
[5] R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Blessings and Thanksgiving (New York, NY, 2019), pg. 141-3.
[6] See Commentary of Rashi to Bemidbar 6:11, s.v. me-asher.
[7] Oliver Sacks, Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales (New York, NY, 2019), pg. 254-5.

Avodah Zarah 42a-43b


Listen to our shiurim on Masekhet Avodah Zarah from this past week!

Listen to:   42a,     42b,     43a,     43b

Follow along with the text of the dapim here.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Avodah Zarah 40a-41b


Listen to our shiurim on Masekhet Avodah Zarah from this past week!

Listen to:   40a,    40b,    41a,    41b (1),    41b (2)

Follow along with the text of the dapim here.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Parashat BeHukotai: Intrinsic Motivation

Obedience
Thoughts on Parashat BeHukotai 2019
Click here to view as PDF
Parashat Behukotai begins with God’s condition to Am Yisrael. He told them that by following His laws – If you will walk by My statutes (26:3) – they would merit wealth, security and strength. Concluding these promises of prosperity, God told the nation:
I will walk among you; I will be a God to you and you will be a people to me. (26:12)
Paralleling His condition of our “walking by His statutes,” God foresaw “walking among us” – in the sense that we would feel His presence. Instead of mentioning this reality as the immediate result of following the missvot, which would then inspire the possibilities of material success, “I will walk among you” is mentioned as the final promise to the people who follow His will. It appears, then, that the promise of “I will walk among you” stands as the reward, independent of anything else.

Suppose, in theory, that a mixture of technological breakthroughs and human creativity bring the world to a state of utopia. Machines would produce stress-free universal wealth, psychology would vaccinate against mental disorders, and a perfected human intellect would raise us above all fights and competition. What would we then do all day? Philosopher Bernard Suits suggested that we would play games. Games, he explained, are played for their owns sake, irrespective of ulterior considerations.[1] R. Yisshak Hutner z”l accordingly explained the several biblical references of Torah as a “sha’ashua’a” – a “plaything” (Tehillim 119:92; Mishlei 8:30-1), as study of its words and concepts is likewise an intrinsically motivated activity.[2]

As members of a world and community which unabashedly value outcome above process, it is no small feat for us to identify and appreciate any of the intrinsic ideals that life has to offer. Indeed, the novelist KJ Dell’Antonia recently quoted a Senior high student who reflected upon her appreciation of extracurricular activities: “There is definitely this sense that you are putting work into activities so you can get some sort of payback – admission to a top college – and afterward, your work is done.” Dell’Antonia remarked:
Ironically, in placing so much value on activities that our children came to out of love or interest, we grown-ups replaced the intrinsic motivations we often claim to value with extrinsic ones. When you’ve been taught that every action has a purpose, it’s harder to find meaning in just doing something you enjoy, and much more difficult to persuade yourself to do it.
Our society has effectively commercialized the sports and activities which kids once did “just for fun,” and turned them into a means to an end.[3]

The simple activity of taking a walk, however, has withstood the winds of time as it continues to serve no function outside of itself. The noted author Erling Kagge mentioned this facet as a core dimension of his love of walking outside:
I remember that in school, they strived for objectiveness. Tasks had a beginning and an end, tests got graded, and behavior had a norm. To walk is about something else. You can reach your goal, only to continue walking the next day. A hike may last a lifetime. You can walk in one direction and end up at your starting point.[4]
The contemporary French philosopher Frederic Gros similarly contrasted the activity of walking to the world of “sport.” He began his book, A Philosophy of Walking, by succinctly stating that “walking is not a sport.” Whereas the sports of today are a matter of techniques and rules, scores and competition, “Putting one foot in front of the other is child’s play.”[5]

Rashi commented on God’s promise of “I will walk among you”:
I will stroll with you in the Garden of Eden, like one of you, and you will not tremble because of me….[6]
Harkening back to the original story of Adam and Hava who, following their sin, “heard the sound of God walking about in the garden” (Bereshit 3:8), Rashi taught that whereas God was then “walking alone,” following his statutes will earn us the role of “Divine walking buddies.” But what will be the purpose of that “walk”? Already granted the promise of material achievement and security, it appears that the ideal of His presence would not serve any extrinsic value, but rather the intrinsic value of “the walk” itself.

Internalizing the fundamental message of Parashat BeHukotai requires an uphill march against the pressures of our culture and society. In a world where “walking” remains the sole vestige of an independently valued activity, “walking with God” must represent for us the ideal of pursuing a life inspired by intrinsic motivations.



[1] Bernard Suits, The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia, 3rd ed. (Peterborough, Ont., 2014), pg. 182-95.
[2] R. Yisshak Hutner, Pahad Yisshak: Igerot UKetavim (Brooklyn, NY, 1991), no, 2. See, as well, R, Moshe Shapiro’s elaboration of this idea in UMessarah LeYehoshua (Jerusalem, IS, 2017), pg. 72. And cf. Yaakov Elman, “Pahad Yitzhak: A Joyful Song of Affirmation,” Hakirah 20 (Winter 2015), pg. 49.
[3] KJ Dell’Antonia, “How High School Ruined Leisure: Will kids still do what they like when it won’t help them get into college?” The New York Times, May 18, 2019.
[4] Erling Kagge, Walking: One Step at a Time (New York, NY, 2019), pg. 148.
[5] Frederic Gros, A Philosophy of Walking (London, UK, 2015), pg. 1-2.
[6] Commentary of Rashi to VaYikra 26:12, s.v. ve-hit’halakhti.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Parashat BeHar: Obedience

Obedience
Thoughts on Parashat BeHar 2019
Click here to view as PDF
And God spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai saying… (VaYikra 25:1)

In his well-known query of “What is the matter of shemittah doing next to Har Sinai?” Rashi drew attention to the curious connection between Har Sinai and the exposition of the laws of shemittah and yovel at the onset of Parashat BeHar. He answered that these specific missvot – which demand that we “rest the land” every seventh and fiftieth year – serve as a paradigm for the others, teaching that just as the general rules and finer points of shemittah and yovel were meticulously taught at Sinai so too were those of all the other missvot. [1] Absent from Rashi’s interpretation, however, is the reason why these two particular commandments were chosen to serve as the example, in place of any one of the other missvot ha-Torah.

Although it is clear that Am Yisrael freely accepted the Torah at Sinai with their expression of “Everything that God has spoken we shall do” (Shemot 19:9), the Hakhamim nonetheless described a facet of God’s compulsion at that time. The Rabbis famously taught that God “overturned the mountain above them” in His demand that they accept the Torah.[2]  R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l explained: “The reason for introducing an element of coercion into the great Sinai covenant, in contradistinction, prima facie, to the Biblical story, lies in the idea that covenantal man feels overpowered and defeated by God even when he appears to be a free agent of his own will.”[3]

It was perhaps a similar feeling of self-defeat that Avraham experienced at the highest point of his life – the Akedah. God then commanded him to overcome his intellectual and emotional instincts and obey the difficult call to sacrifice his son. Indeed, the very concept of hukim – the various missvot whose rationale remain difficult for human comprehension – present a comparable challenge for us. “Man, an intellectual being, ignores the logos and burdens himself with laws whose rational motif he cannot grasp. He withdraws from the rationalistic position,” R. Soloveitchik wrote, “In a word, withdrawal is required…whatever is most significant, whatever attracts man the most, must be given up.”[4]

R. Aharon Lichtenstein z”l cited C.S. Lewis to demonstrate the “value of obedience,” in this context:
The content of our obedience – the thing we are commanded to do – will always be something intrinsically good, something we out to do even if…God had not commanded it. But in addition to the content, the mere obeying is also intrinsically good, for, in obeying, a rational creature consciously enacts its creaturely role, reverses the act by which we fell, treads Adam’s dance backwards, and returns.[5]
R. Lichtenstein thus explained that to the extent that we fail in perceiving the reason of some missvot, the habit of obedience is ingrained all the more deeply.[6]

The Hakhamim described Am Yisrael’s standing at Har Sinai as the metaphysical remedy for the “poisonous infection” that resulted from Adam and Hava’s sin.[7] The Rabbis were perhaps reflecting upon the extreme difference between these two events: whereas the sin of eating from ess ha-da’at represented mankind’s betrayal of an absolute acceptance of God’s word, ma’amad Har Sinai was a national acceptance of His will. It is for this reason, as well, that the midrash likened Am Yisrael’s acceptance of Torah at Sinai to the “secret of the angels,” as their unwavering commitment at that time was akin to the angels’ constant obedience to God.[8]

The contemporary philosopher Aaron James used his beloved hobby of surfing as a means to demonstrate his thoughts on philosophy and the meaning of life. He touched on a point that is similar to our own, writing: “To surf is to acquiesce in a wave’s shifting moments, so as to go along with its flow.” James explained that as surfers greet the incoming waves, they must release their “need” for control and mastery of nature, accepting instead “a beautiful way of being effectual in relative powerlessness before a sublime ocean.” And he quoted Epictetus, the Stoic philosopher who was born a slave and later freed, and subsequently remarked: “Make the best of what is in our power and take the rest as it naturally happens.”[9]

God’s encounter with Am Yisrael at Har Sinai demanded that they relinquish their intuitive quest for control and replace it with an acceptance of His will and commands. Shemittah and yovel are the missvot that most epitomize this concept. While the agriculturists toil the ground on most years as they revel in the reality of “The earth He gave over to man” (Tehilim 115:16), all work comes to a halt on the seventh and fiftieth years as they bow to His word that “The land is mine” (VaYikra 25:23).

Shemittah and yovel, then, are the two missvot which most appropriately convey the ever-important lesson of Har Sinai – the lesson of obedience.


[1] Commentary of Rashi to VaYikra 25:1, s.v. be-har.
[2] Masekhet Shabbat 88a.
[3] R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, The Lonely Man of Faith (New Milford, CT, 2012), pg. 32 fn. 2.
[4] R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “Majesty and Humility,” in Confrontation and Other Essays (New Milford, CT, 2015), pg. 39.
[5] C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (London, UK, 1947), pg. 88.
[6] R. Aharon Lichtenstein, “Being Frum and Being Good,” in By His Light: Character and Values in the Service of God (New Milford, CT, 2016), pg. 97-8.
[7] Masekhet Shabbat 145b-146a.
[8] See Masekhet Shabbat 88a and MaHarsha’s Hidushei Agadot ad loc.
[9] Aaron James, Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning (New York, NY, 2017), pg. 66.

Avodah Zarah 38b-39b


Listen to our shiurim on Masekhet Avodah Zarah from this past week!

Listen to:    38b (2),    39a,    39b (1),    39b (2)

Follow along with the text of the dapim here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Parashat BeHar: "Take Two"

Listen to last night's class on Parashat BeHar, "Take Two," here.

Follow along with the sources here.