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Life-Long Ascent
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The purpose of life is to improve one’s middos. The belief in the possibility of improvement, coupled with laboring to its attainment, are a source of simchas ha-chaim. Even a non-believer may want to rise above the animal, to satisfy their physical needs in a way that is distinct from the way animals do. The […]
Staying Torah-True in a Wide-Open World
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Content Description: The gemara teaches us how to live in an open, free world, by using the form of the letter hey. Elaboration of the statement that “one who comes to sin is facilitated, whereas one who comes to elevate himself is assisted.” Two types of sin, and the change a person undergoes when immersed […]
Outmaneuvering the yetzer hara for effective Teshuvah
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Mishlei 4:12 Only declaring “I am not going to do to that again” with steeling oneself against temptation will not achieve lasting teshuvah. You need a novel approach in order to stay away. Also, you need siyata dishmaya. Discussion of Darkei Hateshuvah and sidestepping the yetzer hara. Importance of knowing one’s level of service of […]
Core identity and behavior choices
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Content Description: Just as a person’s biology determines many of his needs, so too does the neshomah define the fundamental needs of a Jew. When our behavior confounds our neshomah, we feel guilty and lost to our very core.  Application of this idea to learning Torah and the transmission of the Masorah. Discussion of the […]
The mechanism of how a person “agrees” to sin.
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Shiur #97 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: The value of using a parable when offering criticism is that it allows the listener to draw conclusions and judge himself. Discussion of the arrest of IMF head Dominique Straus-Kahn and his brutish pursuit of fulfilling his desires. Discussion […]
Jealousy, Zealotry, and Kiddush HaShem
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Shiur #96 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: The positive value and role of middos which seem to be negative. The link between jealousy and zealotry: critical awareness of disparity in one’s environment. Explanation of the episode of Avraham sending away Lot. The essence of Avraham’s message […]
Yiras shomayim and its effect on learning Torah and on relationships
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Shiur #95 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Mishlei verses 4:5-9. Insights into proper chavrusa relationships. Insights into the verse “Oz nidberu yirei Hashem…” Explanation of the gemara which states that “there is no kesubah without argument.” Channeling one’s visceral desires towards Torah and thereby exercising them. […]
The interplay of birth, death, Torah and middos
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Shiur #93 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Mishlei verses 4:1-4. Insight into the bracha of asher yatzar, a model of the way to show gratitude for that which we can’t properly appreciate. Discussion of the disintegration of pride at the moment of death. Various explanations of […]