Delivered at the OU Israel Center by Rabbi Shai Finkelstein

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Uniform Psak vs. Local Needs: The Prayer for Rain
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In general, halacha/law works best when universally applied. What about exceptions – do you create a separate policy or opt for unity? How do Chazal deal with davening for rain in places with different needs? Should it be based on the needs of the locale or should it be uniform for everyone? Download the mekorot […]
Akeidat Yitzchak in Chazal (Part 3)
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The reward Avraham received for passing the test of the Akeida. What did Hashem want? He wanted Avraham not to sacrifice Yitzchak but to be willing to sacrifice him. How does that relate to us? Watch part two here Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, September 13th, 2018 / 4 Tishrei […]
Akeidat Yitzchak in Chazal (Part 2)
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What is the connection between the covenant Avraham made with Avimelech (the previous parsha) and the Akeida? Why did Hashem react to this episode with the Akeida? What is the purpose of a ניסיון? Watch part one here Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, September 6th, 2018/26 Elul 5778
Akeidat Yitzchak in Chazal (Part 1)
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The Midrash brings that the Akeida came about because Yishmael bragged about his bris at age 13 to which Yitzchak responded that he would sacrifice his whole self if asked to. That means that Yitzchak caused Avraham to have to endure this trial (which caused Sarah to pass away). What were Yitzchak and Yishmael really […]
When History Repeats Itself
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When Reuven and Gad requested land on the East Bank, why did Moshe react the way that he did? What did Moshe detect in their choice of words? Delivered at the OU Israel Center, July 12th, 2018/29 Tammuz 5778
The Five Events That Occurred on the 17th of Tammuz
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One of the 5 events that occured on 17 Tammuz was the placing of an idol in the heichal by King Menashe. Menashe repented but in a different way than anyone else. How did Chazal view Menashe? What was the relationship between Menashe and his righteous father Chizkiyahu? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the […]