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Jewish Holidays

Rabbi Akiva’s Students: Saints or Sinners?

April 17, 2018, by

Delivered at the OU Israel Center, April 17th, 2018 This shiur is sponsored by Helen Gross in loving memory of her Husband Alex Gross on his Yahrzeit The Gemara says Rebbi Akiva’s students died because “לא נהגו כבוד זה בזה”, they didn’t treat each other with respect: Why does the Gemara refer to them as […]

Lag BaOmer: A Chassidic Approach

April 17, 2018, by

What does the Gemara mean that Rabbi Akiva’s students “לא נהגו כבוד זה לזה” and that losing those 12,000 pairs of students caused the world to be desolate? How did Rabbi Akiva’s 5 new students act as a tikun for the 24,000 students who passed away? Download the mekorot here Recorded at OU Israel’s L’Ayla […]

Sefirat HaOmer: Counting to Connect

April 17, 2018, by

Counting is always for a purpose, what then, is/are the purpose(s) for the counting the Omer? An answer based on the pesukim in Parshat Emor and Re’eh. The four differences between Sefirah in Vayikra and Devarim. Download the mekorot here Recorded at OU Israel’s L’Ayla Rosh Chodesh Women’s Event

Sefirat Haomer: Is it Governed by Time?

April 3, 2018, by

The Rambam holds Sefirat HaOmer is biblical, even today when we don’t bring the Omer. Yet he deliberately placed it in korbanot which indicates counting depends on bringing the Omer. How is it biblical today? Why does the Ramban say women are obligated, Sefirah is the quintessential time-bound mitzvah!?! Download the Mekorot here Shiur provided […]

Sefirah: The Students of Rebbe Akiva

January 25, 2018, by

S’firah as a time of mourning “Rebbe Akiva had 24,000 students from Givas to Antipras. All of them died in one time period because they didn’t treat each other with kavod. That time period was between Pesach and Shavuos.” (Yevamos 62b) With these words, the Gemarah explains why S’firah, a joyful time when we prepare […]

Composing Vessels

May 16, 2017, by

What is the difference between the Zohar, composed by R’ Shimon Bar Yochai while hiding in the cave, and the other sefarim on the Chumash written beforehand?

The Students of Rabbi Akiva

May 11, 2017, by

Is it possible that all 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students committed the exact same sin? Why do we mourn over these students if they didn’t even learn from their rebbe’s most famous teaching?