Following are some recent developments in OU Torah that we thought people might appreciate hearing about:
The OU’s Nach Yomi has just started sefer Iyov (the book of Job). This sefer is taught by Rabbi Eric Levy, a renowned educator who has delivered shiurim for a number of sefarim in Nach Yomi and a number of parshiyos in The OU’s Shnayim Mikra.
While the Hebrew text and English translation are provided to accompany the shiur, The OU’s Nach Yomi also features The Nach Yomi Companion by Yours Truly. The Nach Yomi Companion is not a direct translation, it’s a paraphrase of the concepts into the vernacular. This is especially important for a sefer like Iyov, which is very philosophical and highly poetic, making it difficult to follow even in translation. The Nach Yomi Companion restates the ideas of each chapter (as interpreted by Chazal and meforshim) rather than the actual words. For example, here are the first ten verses of chapter six in straight translation:
Then Job answered and said: Oh that my vexation were but weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances altogether! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; therefore are my words broken. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof my spirit drinketh up; the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder? Can that which hath no savour be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the juice of mallows? My soul refuseth to touch them; they are as the sickness of my flesh. Oh that I might have my request, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to crush me; that He would let loose His hand, and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would exult in pain, though He spare not; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
and here is the Nach Yomi Companion paraphrase of that same section:
“You want angry?” Job says, “I’ll show you angry. I’m so upset, I can hardly think straight. I’ll agree with you on one point, though: all my afflictions DO come from G-d! I’ve got every reason to complain and you don’t know what you’re talking about. Right now, things I used to throw away because they were too disgusting to use have become my clothes and my food. You know what I’d really like? If G-d would just finish me off already. I know I haven’t done anything to deserve this punishment.”
So if you ever wanted to study sefer Iyov, and if you feel this could be a useful tool, there’s no time to start like the present!
OU Torah is proud to announce a new shiur, provided courtesy of our friends at VBM—The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Har Etzion. The new series, called The Weekly Mitzva, analyzes various mitzvos as they pertain to the weekly parsha. That’s not to limit the shiur to mitzvos from the parsha, as many weekly sedras (particularly in sefer Bereishis) do not have mitzvos. Nevertheless, you’ll find such shiurim on relevant topics as Teaching Torah to Others for parshas Toldos and Speaking Lashon HaKodesh for parshas Vayigash.
Something else special about this series is that it has not one but two maggidei shiur! The first batch come from the originator of the series, Rav Binyamin Tabory. In addition to his position as a Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion, Rav Tabory has served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot in Toronto, as founding rosh kollel of the Torah Mitzion Kollel in Cleveland, as rav of Kehillat Alei Tzion in London, and more. Additional shiurim feature Rav Yair Kahn, head of the Post College Students Program at Yeshivat Har Etzion, who has served as the latter presenter of the series.
Finally, OU Torah is pleased to inform you that Jewish Dietary Laws has returned from hiatus! In this series, Daniel Adler discusses ideas from Dayan Yishai HaKohein Grunfeld‘s classic work on, as the title says, the Jewish dietary laws, focusing on the underlying whys at least as much as on the whats. Adler has begun his shiurim on volume 2 of Dayan Grunfeld’s sefer, which focuses on produce in general and the produce of Israel in particular.
As of this writing, the first shiur on volume 1 has been posted: The Aim of the Laws Referring to Plants and Vegetables. Forthcoming shiurim will address such topics as terumah, maaser, orlah, chadash, kilayim, challah and more, so check back regularly!