Tanya - A Tale of Two Souls #102: From 1997-2002, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson presented a weekly Tanya class in the Heichal Menachem Center in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY. The series included 150 classes, covering the first section of Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, which comprises 53 chapters. This class was recorded on the 16thof Iyar, 5760, May 21, 2000
Tanya - A Tale of Two Souls #103: From 1997-2002, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson presented a weekly Tanya class in the Heichal Menachem Center in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY. The series included 150 classes, covering the first section of Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, which comprises 53 chapters. This class was recorded on the 23rdof Iyar, 5760, May 28, 2000
Tanya - A Tale of Two Souls #101: From 1997-2002, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson presented a weekly Tanya class in the Heichal Menachem Center in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY. The series included 150 classes, covering the first section of Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, which comprises 53 chapters. This class was recorded on the 9th of Iyar, 5760, May 14, 2000
Tanya - A Tale of Two Souls #100: From 1997-2002, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson presented a weekly Tanya class in the Heichal Menachem Center in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY. The series included 150 classes, covering the first section of Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, which comprises 53 chapters. This class was recorded on the 2ndof Iyar, 5760, May 7, 2000
Let us examine the biblical terminology often called “First Fruits” or “Bikkurim.” This terminology is often confused with another ceremony called the Omer Wave-Sheaf offering, more accurately referred to in biblical parlance as Reisheet Katzir – Harvest of the First Cutting of the Grain. "First Fruits" is about the scriptural festival of Shavuot or Pentecost. The timing of the festival was understood from Leviticus 23:15-16 and based on two different points of view. 1. The House of the Pharisaic Separatists performed their wave sheaf offering of freshly cut barley on the 16th day of the first chodesh or month. The 16th came to be called Day 1 in the 50-day count of the Omer. Also, their counting of seven weeks of Sabbaths began during the Festival of Matza (Unleavened Bread). 2. The House of Tzadok performed their wave sheaf offering of freshly cut wheat on the 26th day of the first chodesh or month. The 26th came to be called Day 1 in the 50-day count of the Omer. Also, their counting of seven weeks of Sabbaths began at the end of the Festival of Matza (Unleavened Bread). These two conflicting counts are easily resolved in a study of the timeline of Yeshua's 3rd-day resurrection (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1) and 40th-day ascension (Acts 1:3). The chronology of both events is played out based on the following timelines: The 19th Day of the 1st Month ("Aviv" or "Nisan") after Yeshua's Sabbath resurrection to the 28th Day of the 2nd month is 40 days (Acts 1:3) The 26th Day of the 1st Month ("Aviv" or "Nisan" = Day 1 of the Omer) to the 28th Day of the 2nd month is the 33rd Day of the Omer (Acts 1:9 - Lag B'Omer). The 2nd Day of the 2nd Month ("Iyar") to the 15th Day of the 3rd month (Shavuot or Pentecost) is the morrow after 7 Sabbaths (Leviticus 23:15-16).We will take a look at all these details on this episode of Real Israel Talk Radio. Join us!Support the show
Parashat Behaalotecha begins with what appear as three unrelated topics, but which in truth share an important common theme. The first topic is the command to Aharon regarding the daily kindling of the Menorah. Rashi explains that Aharon regretted having not participated in the special gifts and sacrifices brought by the leaders of the other tribes to celebrate the inauguration of he Mishkan. G-d told Moshe to reassure Aharon that although he did not bring these gifts and offerings, he has the greater privilege of kindling the Menorah. The second subject discussed in this Parasha is the process of the Leviyim's consecration. The firstborn, who were spared from the plague that G-d delivered in Egypt upon the Egyptian firstborns, were to serve as the attendants in the Mishkan, but they forfeited this privilege as a result of the sin of the golden calf. They were substituted by the Leviyim, who did not worship the golden calf along with the rest of the nation. The Leviyim were now formally consecrated, offering special sacrifices to atone on behalf of Beneh Yisrael for the sin of the golden calf. The Torah then tells that when the time came for the offering of the Korban Pesach, there were some members of the nation who could not offer the sacrifice due to their status of impurity, as they had come in contact with a human corpse. They were given the opportunity to offer the Korban Pesach the next month, on the 14th of Iyar, a day known as "Pesach Sheni" ("The Second Pesach"), when those who could not offer the sacrifice on Pesach were able to make up the missed offering. These three subjects share the common theme of rectification, receiving a second chance. Aharon regretted not having brought special gifts and sacrifices during the Mishkan's inauguration like the other tribal leaders, and he was assured that his daily kindling of the Menorah was an even greater privilege. The nation committed a grievous sin by worshipping the golden calf, but even that failure was rectified, through the service of the Leviyim. Finally, those who were unable to bring the Korban Pesach were granted a second chance, and were invited to bring the sacrifice the next month. These three sections prepare us for what we read later in the Parasha – the distressing stories about Beneh Yisrael's complaints as they traveled through the wilderness. When we read these stories, we can become very discouraged, and feel as though our ancestors lost everything, that they had fallen to the point from which they could not recover. The first sections of this Parasha remind us that this isn't true, that rectification is always possible. As Rav Nahman of Breslav (1772-1810) famously taught, "If you believe that you can ruin, then believe that you can repair." I have sat many times with people who shared with me their angst and remorse over terrible mistakes that they made, and they doubted whether they should even bother continue observing the Misvot after what they've done. This is a familiar tool of the Yeser Ha'ra (evil inclination) – to thrust a person into depression as he thinks about his mistakes, so that he will decide to just give up. This is a very clever technique, as the person feels that giving up is the "righteous" thing to do, that he is supposed to beat himself up over his sins to the point where he falls into despair. We must remember that Hashem always invites us to rectify our mistakes, to repair the harm, to move forward and to advance. We should never feel it's too late; no matter what mistakes we have made in the past, we are always given the opportunity to correct them and earn Hashem's love and grace.
Study Guide Gittin 3 Today's daf is sponsored by Rebecca and Ezra Darshan in loving memory of her mother, Helene Isaacs, Chana bat Abraham David and Esther Rachel, on her 23rd yahrzeit. "My mother would have been so happy and proud to see so many women learning on such a high level. Torah learning was such an important part of her life." Today's daf is sponsored by Eric Sommer in honor of Rabbanit Michelle and his fellow morning daf learners. This week's siyum was a great reminder what an incredible achievement Hadran is. Rabbanit Michelle's vision and teaching style, along with the solidarity and dedication of the learners, creates a feeling of being part of something special. It's a privilege to be a part of it, one that I do not take for granted. In order to explain why one witness is sufficient according to Raba (li'shma), they explain that really there is not such a concern that the get wasn't written li'shma but the rabbis required it. Since that is the case, one witness will be enough, because if they require him to send the get with two witnesses, he may decide not to send the get at all and the wife will become an aguna. However, instead of helping the woman, this could actually create more problems as only one witness verified it and if the husband were to later come and claim it was not a valid get, it would be his word against the messenger's. The Gemara explains that this is not a concern as the declaration of the messenger needs to be said in front of two or three people and therefore this gives the witness more credibility and if the husband were to come later and raise doubts about the get, he would not be believed. The same question they asked Raba about one witness is now asked of Rava. They answer the same answer, raise the same difficulty and resolve the issue in a very similar manner. Why didn't Rava hold like Raba and why didn't Raba hold like Rava? Since according to Raba, the issue is li'shma, according to who does the Mishna correspond when it required the messenger to say both "it was written before me and it was signed before me?" It seems that both the writing and the signing needs to be li'shma and this doesn't fit with Rabbi Meir who requires the signing to be li'shma and Rabbi Elazar who requires the writing to be li'shma.
Study Guide Gittin 4 The Gemara continues to ascertain according to which tanna does the Mishna correspond, according to Raba's understanding, when it requires that both the writing and the signing of the get needs to be li'shma? The possibility of it being Rabbi Meir is rejected. However there is a possible way to explain the Mishna like Rabbi Elazar - while he may not require signatures, if they are there, they need to be done li'shma. However, the Gemara brings in a third opinion of Rabbi Yehuda who holds that both the writing and the signing need to be li'shma. If so, why didn't the Gemara simply bring Rabbi Yehuda at the beginning of the sugya? There are two tannaitic debates in the Mishna - one regarding towns on the border with Israel and another regarding whether one who brings a get from Israel abroad needs to say "before me it was written...signed." The Gemara first attempts to line up each of these opinions in the debate with the opinions of Raba and Rava but in the end concedes that it is not the case. After raising an additional question from the Mishna against Raba's opinion, they concede that Raba must hold that both are issues - making sure the get was done li'shma and that witnesses may not be around to verify the signatures. If so, what is the practical difference between Raba and Rava?
Study Guide Gittin 2 Gittin bookmark and checklist Masechet Gittin in sponsored by Elaine and Saul Schreiber in honor of their daughter-in-law, Daniela Schreiber. "Kol Hakavod on receiving your Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy! We are so proud of you!" This week's learning is dedicated in honor of Daniela Bellows Schreiber. "In honor of your completion of your Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Daniela, you inspire us every day, with your focus and determination. We know firsthand how lucky your clients will be to have you in their lives. Love, Your Mah Jong Friends" Today's daf is sponsored by Judi Felber in honor of Rabbanit Michelle. "Thank you for guiding me on the path of Daf Yomi (and life) for the past 2711 pages!" Today's daf is sponsored by Lynn Kaye, Joe Nadis and Maya Zanger-Nadis in honor of the shloshim of their grandma Marylin Kurtz Zanger. "Grandma always kept us in line, making sure we understood our intellectual and cultural heritage and quietly sneaking us sugar cereal when we came to visit. She passed away at 97 after being the head of the family for decades. Grandma, we love you and miss you." In what cases does a messenger delivering a divorce document from the husband to the wife need to say a declaration that it was written and signed before him? In general, this is needed if they are coming from abroad to Israel. Does this apply to cities on the border of Israel? What exactly are the borders? Is it necessary when bringing a get (divorce document) from Israel to abroad? Raba and Rava each offer different explanations for the reason that the messenger needs to make this declaration. Raba says the concern is that people abroad are not careful about making sure the get is written li'shma, specifically for this particular man and this particular woman. Rava says the concern is that we won't be able to verify the signatures later since the witnesses are from abroad. What is the practical difference between the two opinions? According to Raba that the messenger needs to testify that the get was written li'shma, why it is enough to have only his testimony, don't we generally need two witnesses to prove something in court? The answer given is that in prohibitions, one witness is enough.
For the text of the Hadran ceremony, click here. For more information about What is a Siyum, click here. Siyum Masechet Sotah is sponsored by Ilana Friedman for the continued refuah shleima of Chana Sarah bat Ettel Sima. "May your trajectory of recovery continue speedily. Sponsored for the continued refuah of Yitzchak Ben Esther. You have helped so many to facilitate their recovery, may HaShem repay you in kind and restore you to good health quickly." Rabbi Ilai bar Yivrechia makes a number of statements regarding the power of the prayer. King David and Habakuk were both able through their prayers to improve the situation of the nation/Torah scholars. He also talks about the importance of Torah scholars speaking Torah with each other and also not fighting against each other regarding halakha. Torah scholars who study even though they struggle to make ends meet, will get rewarded. The Mishna brings a number of statements describing the difficult historical-political situation in the periods following the destruction and the loss of great leaders. It also describes all sorts of takkanot the rabbis instituted regarding wedding ceremonies in the periods during and after the destruction of the Temple, and another takkana, not to learn Greek wisdom, which came about because of a particular incident. Are there situations where this is permitted? If so, what are they? After quoting another braita describing all that was lost since the death of many of the great rabbis of then, the masechet ends on a more optimistic note with two rabbis claiming that they have the characteristics that the braita had said no longer exist once a particular rabbis had died.
Today's daf is dedicated by Goody Weil "in honor of my amazing father, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, on his 90th birthday. May Hashem give him the strength to continue learning, guiding, thinking, and doing עד 120 שנה והלאה! Why did Yochanan the kohen gadol cancel the confession of the tithes? There were two issues - some were not giving the tithes to the levites and those that were giving tithes, would give to the kohanim instead of the levites, as was instituted by Ezra. He also canceled the orarim and the nokfim. What are these and why were they canceled? He also stopped people from using hammers to work on chol hamoed and people no longer needed to check if tithes had been taken from produce they bought from others. Why? Once there was no longer the Sanhedrin, they outlawed singing with drinking. What manner of singing is permitted and what manner is not? Once there were no longer early prophets, there was no longer the urim v'tumim. Who were the "early" prophets? When prophecies ended, the rabbis would use heavenly voices as a replacement. Different tannaim lament the destruction by describing all sorts of things that we no longer have since the destruction of the Temple. One of them is the 'shamir.' What is it and what was it used for?
Today's daf is sponsored by Ruth Leah Kahan, Jessica Shklar, and Emily Michelson in loving memory of their mother, Kadimah Michelson, Kadimah bat haRav Avraham Tzvi benZion, on her 5th yahrzeit. "We miss you." Fourty-two children were killed in the episode with Elisha and the children who cursed him. This is a later fulfillment of Balak's attempt to curse the Jews by bringing forty-two sacrifices. Elisha was punished for this as he got sick three times - once for this, once for pushing off Geichazi entirely and a third time at the time of his death. It is learned from Elisha and Yehushua ben Perachia and his student (Jesus of Nazarene) that one should not entirely push someone away. What happened between Elisha and Geichazi and between Yehushua ben Perachia and his student? In the egla arufa ceremony, if the murderer is found before the calf is killed or after, what is done with the calf? What if there are contradictory witnesses regarding whether or not that person is the murderer? The Mishna brings a list of statements with the following structure: When the number of X increased, the ritual of Y was nullified. When the number of murderers increased, they canceled the egla arufa ceremony. When the number of adulterers increased, they sotah water no longer worked. The Mishna brings a number of other changes as well. If the murderer is found after the calf has been killed, the murderer is still convicted to death as the atonement of the calf is only until such time that the murderer is found. One witness is believed regarding the murderer in order to stop the egla arufa ceremony. If so, there seems to be a problem with the cases in the Mishna regarding contradictory testimony. How is this resolved? The Gemara explains the connection between the murderers and adulterers increasing and the egla arufa and sotah ceremony being canceled. They add more statements with the same structure referring to the perversion of the court system and lack of trust in judges.
Study Guide Sotah 46 Today's daf is sponsored by Helen Danczak in loving memory of her mother, Lucille Fliegler. "We think of you often, always with a smile." The kohanim say the final line in the egla arufa ceremony relating to atonement. The Gemara compares details regarding the criteria for the animal used for the egla arufa ceremony to those used for the para aduma (red heifer) ceremony. Which elements are similar? Which are different? Which are derived one from the other? Why is the egla arufa ceremony performed by a stream? The Torah says it needs to be done near an 'eitan' stream. What is the meaning of 'eitan'? Some say it means strong and others say it means old. There are verses to prove each option. The animal is killed by breaking its neck from the back. This is derived from a gezeira shava from a bird sin offering where melika is performed by killing the bird from the back of its neck and the same root of araf appears there. One cannot plant or work the ground where the egla arufa ceremony is performed. However, there is a debate if this also means that it can't be performed in a place where the ground was worked/used for planting? The elders of the city wash their hands in the place where the calf was killed. Then they say the declaration that they were not responsible for the death. They could have been responsible if they had seen the person and not escorted them. They stress the importance of escorting people and derive it from verses in the beginning of the book of Shoftim. Other statements discuss the importance of escorting and advising one who does not have an escort to learn Torah as a means of protection. How far should one go when escorting another? On what does it depend? The story of the prophet Elisha in Melachim 2 2:43 when children called him names and were then killed by bears could have been avoided if the people of the city has escorted Elisha. The verses of the story are extrapolated.
Parshat Behar/Bechukotai –– On the Mount /By My Regulations Leviticus 25:1-27:34 Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 B'rit haChadasha: 1 Corinthians 7:21-24; Galatians 6:7-10; 1 John 1
Parshat Behar/Bechukotai –– On the Mount /By My Regulations Leviticus 25:1-27:34 Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 B'rit haChadasha: 1 Corinthians 7:21-24; Galatians 6:7-10; 1 John 1
A final statement of Rabbi Yochanan quoting Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov is regarding the rabbinic ordinance that one who is within four cubits of a dead person is considered impure as it is likely one may have put one's hand over the dead body without realizing. However, an exception is made in the courtyard of a burial cave as there is a separation between the courtyard and the burial area, assuming it is a certain minimum size. Beit Hillel holds that the size needed is only 4x4 handbreadths. However, this size needed depends on how one enters the courtyard of the cave - from above or from the side. The same types of drashot that were taught regarding the house and the vineyard are taught regarding the betrothal of a woman - what cases are included and which are excluded and where is it derived from the verses? From the order in the Torah of house, vineyard, wife, they derive that first one should build a house, then plant a vineyard and only after that, find a wife and get married. A verse from Proverbs 24:27 is brought to teach the same idea, however, there are several different ways to extrapolate that verse - perhaps referring to order of learning (Torah, then Mishna then Talmud) or learning that will then lead to good deeds. More details regarding the exemption from war for those just married are explained and connected to verses. The Mishna discusses the third speech that is given to the people before going out to war, sending home those who are soft-hearted. Who is considered soft-hearted? There are a number of different opinions. What are the practical differences between them? There were officers who stood in the front and in the back of the nation to ensure that no one try to run away from war, as running away is demoralizing and leads to defeat. Which type of war are these exemptions for? All wars? Just optional wars? There is a debate between Rabbi Yehuda and the tana kama and the Gemara explains the difference between them. The new chapter deals with the egla arufa ceremony. If one finds a dead body and they don't know who killed the person, judges from the central Sanhedrin (of 71 judges) come and measure to find the closest city. How many judges? Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon disagree about whether it is five or three. from where in the verses do they each derive their opinion? The body must be found on the ground and not buried under something or hanging from a tree or floating in the water. The ceremony must be performed in Hebrew - from where is this derived?
Study Guide Sotah 45 Today's daf is sponsored by Geri Goldstein Guedalia in honor of her daughter, Audrey Saipe Goldstein Levant, on her birthday. "I am so proud of you and I love doing the daf with you each morning." Today's daf is sponsored by Deborah Dickson in honor of Audrey Levant. "Wishing her a very happy birthday! Keep inspiring, striving and shtaygn ad 120." Is it possible one can derive from the verses that there are more than three or five judges who need to do the measure for the egla arufa ceremony? Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov has a different opinion that the kohen gadol and the king need to measure as well. Is it possible that he agrees with Rabbi Yehuda or Rabbi Shimon about the number of judges or is it possible that he holds that the whole Sanhedrin (all 71!) need to come? Rav Yosef brings a source to try to answer this question, but Abaye raises a difficulty with this proof. Since there is no law of egla arufa if the body is hidden, the Gemara compares a debate regarding the laws of shichikha (when one forgets sheaves in the field, they need to be left for the poor) to the laws of egla arufa regarding hidden items. Would the rabbis who holds that hidden items are not exempt from shichikha also hold the same thing as regards egla arufa? Rabbi Yirmiya asks a different question regarding laws of shichikha - does it apply to items that are not directly on the ground? Abaye was in the marketplace when someone asked him if there is a body on top of another, is the bottom one considered hidden even though it is under the same type of item (another body) and is the top one considered on the floor since it is on something of the same type which is on the floor? A braita lists more cases (different ways of having died) where the laws of egla arufa would not apply. Could there be a case where two cities bring an egla arufa? What do we do if the head is severed from the body and isn't found in the same place? Which part is moved and for what purpose? From which part of the body do we measure - there is a three-way debate. After the measuring, the elders of the closest city take a calf, bring it to a stream and break the back of its neck with a cleaver. They then recite a declaration (the one that needs to be in Hebrew) that they are not responsible for the death of this person.
Study Guide Sotah 43 Today's daf is sponsored by Elisheva Rappoport in loving memory of her beloved sister Raizel Zucker on her 3rd yahrzeit. "May the neshama of Tova Raizel bat Yosef Yitzchok have an Aliya." We learn from the verses regarding the war with the Midyan that the Ark went out to war with the nation. They extrapolate from the verses that Pinchas was descended from Yitro and from Joseph through his mother. How? Who is exempt from war? What type of house, vineyard, wife? At what stage? What do they do while the others are at war? Does it matter if they purchased it, or received it as a gift or inheritance? Which parts of the speech are said by whom? A contradiction between two tannaitic sources leads to a discussion about tree grafting and whether it is considered a new growth that will exempt one from going to war. The sages provide two different answers to resolve the contradiction. Several statement are brought in the name of Rabbi Yochanan in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov about laws that are affected not by reality but by the way it appears.
Today's daf is sponsored by Lenny Levin in loving memory of Carol Robinson. "Carol was a vivacious, caring presence in our lives, whether near or far. Her aura lingers despite her passing. Her example will continue to inspire us to face our continuing life challenges with hope and courage." There are two more statements about the dangers of flattery and then a statement about four types of people who are not able to greet the divine presence and among them, those who flatter. The new chapter deals with the speech that the designated kohen gives to the people before going out to war, which needs to be in Hebrew only. There are two parts to the speech - one is to list who is exempt from war and the other is to encourage those who are going not to be fearful because God is with them. The Mishna brings examples comparing gentile nations that relied on humans, such as Goliath, to Israel who relies on God. The kohen who makes this speech is appointed, as is derived from the verses. The kohen's speech begins with the words "Shema Yisrael," literally, hear me Israel. But it is understood to be referring to the salvation of the Jews being dependent on saying shema twice a day. A braita establishes that the kohen's speech split into two - part was said on the border of Israel and part just before beginning the war. The Gemara brings several drashot on the David and Goliath narrative. How did Goliath bring his own downfall? How was he trying to wear down the Jews? Why was he called "ish habeinayim"? The sages connect Orpah, Naomi's daughter-in-law, and Harafa, Goliath's mother, and claim they are the same person. How are the names extrapolated? The Amonites relied on Shovach who was also known as Shovach. Which was the real name and which was meant for extrapolating? Some other verses are brought in which there was a debate about how to extrapolate the verse, such as, if one is worried one should "yashchena" - does that means "yaschenu" distract oneself by thinking of other things or "yaschenu" talk it out.
Study Guide Sotah 41 Today's daf is sponsored in honor of Noa ben Shoshan and Ariel Katuf's marriage. The kohen gadol reads from the Torah on Yom Kippur. However, he skips from one section to another - how can this be done as one can only skip sections when reading from the Prophets, not from the Torah! Abaye resolves this as one can skip even Torah sections within the same topic as long as one can get to the other section within the time the translator reads the verse in Aramaic. The kohen reads the other section by heart as it is too far to get to and also it is not appropriate to roll a safer Torah in public. Why not use more than one sefer Torah? That is only permitted when it is different readers, but when just one person reads and he moves to another book, people will think the first one was missing section and thus, disqualified. What blessings does the kohen gadol say after he reads from the Torah? After he would read, people would bring their own personal sefer Torah and read from it. The king reads from the Torah at the hakhel ceremony once every seven years after the shmita year on the first day of Chol Hamoed Sukkot. One year King Agripas was reading and began crying when he got to the section saying that gentile kings cannot be king as he was presumed to have been descended from slaves as he was descended from Herod who was descended from a slave, according to the rabbis. The people told him not to be concerned and cried out, "You are our brother! You are our brother." The king reads a number of sections in the book of Devarim. A number of questions, some similar to what was asked about the kohen gadol's reading, are raised and resolved. Why did King Agripas stand while reading if the king is supposed to sit? It is known that a king who wants to relinquish the honor due to him cannot! Since this was for a mitzva, it is permitted. On account of the story of the Jews flattering Agripas, the Gemara launches into a series of statements regarding flattery.
Today's daf is sponsored by Lori Schuldiner Schor in loving memory of her father, on his 51st yahrzeit, and in celebration of her three grandchildren. "I honor the circle of life and the cycles of life. I celebrate the love of learning that flows organically through the generations of my family." Today's daf is sponsored in loving memory of Anita Dinerstein, by her children and grandchildren, on her shloshim. "May her love of Jewish learning and community continue to inspire us." There is a debate about whether or not one is allowed to say verses while the kohanim are saying birkhat kohanim - is it disrespectful to recite something while they are blessing or is it disrespectful not to recite verses? Is it permitted only in the Temple? Rabbi Avahu compares his modesty to Rabbi Abba from Acco who was more modest than he. Other stories are brought to show how modest Rabbi Avahu was. There are many different opinions about what the congregation should recite when the chazan says modim. Rav Papa chose to combine them all into the prayer that we say today. One should have awe of the congregation upon them. The rabbis bring three different sources for this, two from the blessings of the kohanim, although one of those is rejected. The kohanim take off their shoes before blessing the people in case their strap opens up and as they lean down to fix it, they miss their chance to bless the people and they are suspected by others as being a son of a divorcee who cannot recite the blessings. In the Temple, one doesn't answer amen. why? On account of that, the three blessings of the kohanim are said as one. The Mishna describes what Torah portions the kohen gadol would recite on Yom Kippur and what blessings would he recite. The Torah was passed from one person to another with a higher rank. Can one derive from there that the students can get treated with respect even if their rabbi is there? Abaye rejects this suggestion and brings an alternate explanation for the passing of the Torah from one to the other. Can one infer from the Mishna that the kohen gadol sat in the azara? And if so, how could that be if only kings of the house of David were allowed to sit in the azara?
When a sefer Torah is opened in shul, one is not allowed to speak, even to talk about halakha. Two different verses are suggested as possible derivations for this rule. A kohen must wash his hands before blessing the people - a verse is brought as proof. When Rabbi Elazar ben Shamoa was asked why he was rewarded with longevity, he answered that he was careful about three things - not making the shul a shortcut, not passing over people to get to his place in the beit midrash and not saying the priestly blessing without saying a brakha first. What is the brakha the kohanim say before blessing the people? What do they say before going up to say the blessing? What do they say after when they turn away from the people and toward the Ark? Other rules are listed regarding both the blessing of the kohanim and the Torah reading including waiting for each section to completely finish or all those to answer amen before continuing on to the next section. One who reads the haftorah, should first read from the Torah and the Torah must be fully rolled, before beginning the haftorah. How would they remove the Torah from shul - would it have to be removed before all the people? On what does that depend? What verses would the people recite when the kohanim would recite birkhat kohanim?
Pesach Sheini Class: This is a text-based Zoom class on a "sicha," an address of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, presented by the Rebbe on Sunday, 14 Iyar, Pesach Sheini, 5725, May 16, 1965, at the 10th annual convention of NsheiU'bnos Chabad, the women and girls of the Chabad movement. Rabbi YY Jacobson presented this class on Pesach Sheini 5783, May 4, 2023, in tribute to the 70th birthday ofMattel Labkowski.
Women's Class Pirkei Avos Chapter 4: This class waspresented on Tuesday, Parshas Emor, 11 Iyar, 5783, May 2, 2023, at Bais Medrash Ohr Chaim in Monsey, NY. In the fourth chapter of the Ethics of the Fathers, we read the following Mishna: Elisha the son of Avuya said: One who studies Torah as a child, to what is he compared? To ink written on fresh paper. And one who studies Torah as an old man, to what is he compared? To ink inscribed on erased paper. There are a few questions on this Mishnah. First, whats the novelty? This is self-evident. Second, I can understand encouraging parents to teach Torah to their children when they are young and their minds are fertile. But whats the point of the final clause in the Mishnah? If I am an elderly man or woman, and I never had the opportunity to study Torah, why would the Mishnah try to discourage me and make me give up before I even begin?! Finally, there is something else amiss here. Of the more than one thousand Rabbis cited in the Talmud, only one became a heretic. His name was Elisha ben Avuya. Due to this tragedy, his ideas and teachings are never quoted in the Mishnah. Save in this Mishnah. What happened suddenly? Why did this Mishnah decide to quote him? And why was this particular idea the one chosen to be conveyed to all generations in his name? He was, by all accounts, one of the outstanding Jewish sages of the second century, a contemporary of Rabbi Akiva, and the teacher of Rabbi Meir, the leading scholar of his generation. Elisha moved so far from Jewish tradition that his colleagues stopped referring to him by his name but rather called him Acher, the other, the outcast, the renegade. Only his student Rabbi Meir remained loyal to the man who had once been his master, sought out his company, and still believed that he might one day repent. Against this backdrop, we find a deeply moving scene in the Talmud. It is Shabbat, and Elisha ben Abuya is publicly desecrating the holy day by riding on a horse. Walking alongside him is Rabbi Meir. Heretic teacher and faithful disciple travel together along the road arguing and debating Jewish law. Rabbi Meir, the pious Jew, has become so immersed in the conversation that he has not noticed they are nearing the limits beyond which one may not walk on Shabbat. Acher, the apostate, realizes this and says: Meir, turn back. I have measured the distance we have walked by the paces of my horse, and we have reached the Shabbat limit. Beyond here, you are forbidden to walk. Meir replied: You too turn back. I cannot turn back, says Elisha. One day I was riding on my horse. It was Yom Kippur, which in that particular year fell on Shabbat. I was roaming behind the Holy of Holies, when I heard a heavenly voice saying: Turn back to me, O lost children, except for Acher... What is the message of this story? That G-d indeed does not forgive all humans who want to repent? That some must truly be condemned forever? This would contradict a fundamental idea in Judaism that nothing stands in the way of repentance. Furthermore, if G-d did not want Elisha to repent, why did He communicate with him at all? Why did the heavenly voice begin with words of love and encouragement Turn back to me, O lost children, and end with the fearful decree except for Acher? This class will analyze the tragic story of Acher, the mysterious call to him on Yom Kippur, and his misinterpretation of it. We will explore the moments before his death, and why he had only one student who remained with him even after his betrayal of his faith. It will teach us about the pain and destiny of our own lives, how to view our own brokenness and wounds, and those of the people around us.