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Praying for the sick and greeting the sick on Shabbos
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Shiur #11 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Permissibility of praying for the sick on shabbos. Appropriate language to be used when greeting a choleh. Recitation of psukim as preventive medicine versus as medication for extant ailments. Recitation to earn zechus of Talmud Torah, or as prayer,or recitation as an incantation. Citations: Gemara Shabbos 12a and 12b, found in the source packets on page 1, and Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim siman 287) found in the source packets on page 1, and Rambam Hilchos Shabbos (24:5) found in the source packets on page 1, and Teshuvos Tsits Eliezer(5th chelek, Ramat Rachel: siman 14) found in the source packets on page 2- 4 , Tsits Eliezer (14th chelek, siman 48) found in the source packets on pages 4-10, and Tsits Eliezer (17th chelek, siman 30) found in the source packets on pages 10-14.
Non-scientific medications and using Torah as a remedy
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Shiur #10 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Saying verses as incantations for refuah. Permissibility of chillul shabbos for refuah by writing notes to tsadikim, requesting their prayers on your behalf? Status of tefillas haTsadik - refuah tivis or refuah segulis. Citations: Tur (Yoreh De’ah, siman 179), found in the source packets on page 1, and Beis Yosef (Yoreh De’ah, siman 179), found in the source packets on pages 1-3, and Seder HaYom , found in the source packets on page 4, and Pesach HaDvir(2nd chelek, siman 220 and 306), found in the source packets on page 4, and Teshuvos uBacharta baChaim (siman 87), found in the source packets on pages 4-5, and Teshuvos Sho’el uMeishiv Tlisa’ah (1st chelek, siman 194), found in the source packets on page 5, and Teshuvos Yabia Omer (8th chelek – Orach Chaim, siman 37), found twice in the source packets on pages 5-6 and 7-9, and Rambam Pirush haMishnah (Yuma 83a), found in the source packets on page 6.
Using Torah as a medication or segulah
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Shiur #9 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Using scientific versus non-scientific natural medicines. Using divrei Torah as a means to attaining refuah. Discussion of darkei ha-emori. Chillul Shabbos and other transgressions violated by using (effective) non-scientific segulahs, in order to attain refuah. Brief discussion of some of the halachos of using kamayos. Citations: Teshuvos Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim 5th chelek, siman 43, found in the source packet on page 1, and Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (3rd chelek, 37th chapter), found in the source packet on page 1, and Mishnah Shabbos 67a, found in the source packet on pages 1-2 , and Teshuvos Tsits Eliezer (4th chelek, siman 4, 17), found in the source packet on pages 2-3, and Aruch HaShulchan (Orach Chaim, siman 301, #75-80), found in the source packet on pages 3-5.
Mishlei 1:9 and Torah’s protective quality
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Shiur #8 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Analysis of verse 1:9. Comparison of mitzvos to the body, and Torah to the mind and light. Apparent contradiction in gemaras regarding using Torah as a medicine or as a preventive measure, and several suggestions to explain this difficulty. Citations: Besides the commentaries on Mishlei presented in the source packet, the following sources are referenced in this shiur: Gemara Yerushalmi Shabbos, found in the source packet on page 1, and gemara Nedarim 50a with the Maharsha, found in the source packet on page 1, and gemara Eruvin 54a, found in the source packet on page 2, and the Maharsha to Eruvin 54a, found in the source packet on page 4, and Kedushas Levi, found in the source packet on page 4, and Maharal’s Sefer Tiferes Yisroel found in the source packet on pages 2-3.
Relationship of Yiras Shomayim to learning Torah
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Shiur #7 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Verses 1:6,7. Critical role of Yiras Shamayim in the enterprise of attaining chochmah. The consequences of learning with intent to do, and to avoid transgression. Actual effect that yiras shamayim can have on one’s mental capacity for chochmah. Citations: The relevant commentaries on Mishlei are presented in the source packet.
Hashem’s two warnings pre-Matan Torah
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Shiur #6 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Discussion of Mishlei verse 1:5. Polishing oneself to become an appropriate vessel to receive Torah. The Torah she-bich’sav is a mashal, where the intent is always beneath the surface. There is a surface meaning, but the intent is in its depth. This contrasts with Divrei Chachomim, where the only understanding is in the depth; there is no surface ‘mashal’ meaning or value. Hashem’s two warnings before Matan Torah, and the Rambam’s analysis of them (Hilchos Me’ilah 8:8); the requirement to delve into the reasons for mitzvos, and the risks that such an endeavor involve. Citations: Besides the commentaries on Mishlei presented in the source packet, the following sources are referenced in this shiur: Shemos verses 19:10-25, which are found in the source packet on pages 1-2, and the Rambam Hilchos Meilah 8:8, which is found in the source packet on pages 2-3.
The positive value of suffering
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Shiur #5 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Various understandings of the word ‘musar’ in Mishlei. Positive value of yisurim. Short discussion of “Vi-nishmartem mi-od li-nafshosaychem” in the Rambam. Discussion of aliyah la-Torah for the klalos of the tochachah. Citations: Besides the commentaries on Mishlei presented in the source packet, the following sources are referenced in this shiur: Mechilta D’Rabbi Yishmael (Yisro), found in the source packet on pages 1-2, and Gemara Megillah 31b, found in the source packet on page 2, and the Maharal’s Sefer Derech Chaim, found in the source packet on pages 3-4, and the Shlah HaKadosh, found on page 4.
The nature of low-intensity suffering
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Shiur #4 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Gemara Erchin 16b on ‘ad haychan tachlis shel yisurim.” Ramban: Minor inconveniences are not michapper on aveiros – that requires ‘real’ suffering. Opposite opinions of the Toras HaMincha, Maharsha, and Noda BiYehudah. The spiritual risks inherent in suffering – when it is too painful, a person kicks back. Ability of Torah learning to bring about the same result (teshuvah) as teshuvas ha-mishkal/self-inflicted suffering.. Citations: [Please note: Associated with this shiur are 2 sources packets, the first containing only the Ramban Toras Ha-adam Sha’ar Hagmul references. All the other citations are in the second packet.] This shiur continues to discuss the Ramban’s Toras Ha-Adam, found in the first source packet on pages 1-5, and the gemara in Erchin 16b, found in packet 2, on page 1, and the Maharsha (Chidushei Aggados Erchin 16b) found in packet 2, on page 1, and the Toras HaMincha (Parshas Devarim – Drasha 65) found in packet 2, on pages 1, 2, and the sefer Agra dPirka found in packet 2 on page 3, and the Teshuvos Noda Bi’Yehuda (Mahadura Kama Orach Chaim Siman 35) found in packet 2 on pages 3-4.
Bitachon and Ordeals
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Shiur #3 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: A review of the perspective of the Brisker Rav on the reward for having bitachon – needing Hashem even more. In contrast – the Ramban on yisurim shel ahavah being a punishment for aveiros beshogeg. The concept of nisayon – that the tested one becomes a flag-bearer for avodas Hashem and undergoes some strain in performing mitzvos, earning more reward. It is only a ‘test’ from the human’s perspective, not from Hashem’s. Citations: This shiur continues to discuss the Ramban’s Toras Ha-Adam, found in the source packet on pages 1-5.
The Significance of Suffering
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Shiur #2 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra: The significance of suffering - Insights into “yisurim shel ahavah.” Content Description: Sigufim – self-inflicted physical suffering, their relationship to one’s enterprise of Talmud Torah, and to one’s teshuvah. Being mortified on account of one’s sins, is an even greater catalyst for teshuvah than sigufim. Analysis of the idea that if things go wrong, there is an obligation to examine one’s ways, even though one cannot know whether or not this is a punishment. Insights into “yisurim shel ahavah.” Brisker Rav: the botayach b’Hashem’s reward is receiving (and needing) a greater connection to Hashem, which on the surface might make it appear that things have gotten more difficult. Suffering leads to closeness and dependence upon Hashem. Citations: Besides the commentaries on Mishlei presented in the source packet, the following sources are referenced in this shiur: Ramban’s Toras Ha-Adam, Sha’ar ha-Gmul, which is found in the source packet on pages 1-5, and Maharsha (Chidushei Aggados Gemara Brachos 5a) which is found in the source packet on page 5-6, and the Biur Halacha (Siman 571) which is found in the source packet on page 6.