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Jewish Time and Sweet Waters
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Significance of time demarcations in Torah.  The Pesach Seder, the Haggadah and Judaism’s radical concept of time.  Parallels within mourning forthe churban Bais HaMikdash: Living the ancient experience right now.  Discussionof becoming reborn in one’s conceptions and appreciations for life and Torah.  Insight into teshuva based on Hashem’s perspective of time. Insight intoAvshalom’s rebellion against Dovid HaMelech through the prism of […]
Yiras Shomayim and Ezer Ki-Negdo
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The goal of Torah remains always yiras shomayim.  Discussion of the Rambam’s statement that ahavas Hashem (not Torah) leads to yiras Hashem. Discussion of the arba’ah bonim of the Pesach Seder.  Nusach habrachos shifting from 2nd to 3rd person.  Looking for yiras shomayim in a potential shidduch;discussion of ezer ki-negdo.   The difficulties inherent in giving good advice.Warping of the ezer kinegdo concept in Korach’s marriage.   Explanation of casesw here Chazal talk of Hashem intending […]
Critique, Psychology and Perfection
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Every normal person has rationalizations for why they are justified in doing their aveiros.  Explanation of Chazal’s choice of the mother of Sisera as the source for the minhag to blow 100 blasts of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah.  Discussion of critiquing even one’s slightest faults.  The value of using a parable in giving critique. Dovid HaMelech and Nosson HaNovi.  Mussar groups and […]
The Value of Having a Cosmic Imagination
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Being concerned for the suffering Hashem experiences when we sin. Discussion of disrespecting a Rov by learning when he gives a drosha, and of learning Torah sheets during davening. Were we to have a cosmic imagination,we would see the effects of our deeds and it would change our lives. Discussion of the unity of Torah she-biksav and Torah she-bi-al peh.  Discussion of […]
Can We Relieve Hashem of Suffering?
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Examples of achieving sincere prayer only after one’s supporters give up hope.  Golus, manifest as distance from Hashem is a punishment for sin, but itself breeds only further distance and sin.  Sources indicating that golus is causing suffering to Hashem.  Observations regarding Chanah’s prayer. Discussion of the ultimate purpose of Nevi’im demanding improvement from Klal Yisroel. Citations: Aside from the commentaries on Mishlei, this […]
Structure Of Sefer Mishlei
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Structure of Mishlei as three mini-seforim, each corresponding to Chochmah, Binah and Da’as.  Each mini-sefer itself has the same three elements within it; elaboration upon these three concepts.  Discussion of the challenge of remaining consistent without fail.  Importance of being energized to seek out talmidei chachomim from whom to learn, and opportunities to do chessed. Tefillah as a korban.  Discussion of the link of Torah to tefillah. Citations: This shiur […]
Using One’s Talents in Service of Hashem
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Mishlei 3:9 and 8:18-21.  Discussion of the causation that Chazalascribe to Navos HaYizraeli for his own demise. Severity of not using one’s talents to serve Hashem maximally.  Spiritual reward in Olam HaBa contrasted with the best this world has to offer.   Citations: In addition to the Biur Hagra, this shiur references Yalkut ShimoniMelachim Alef, remez 221, Melachim Alef 21st chapter, Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer 17thchapter.
Getting the Most Out of Torah
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Occasional leisure versus living a life of hevel.  Identification of yetzer hara (alone) versus actually waging war against it.  Discussion of the qualities and attributes that Torah learning gives you directly (such as chochmah and binah), versus that which Torah learning facilitates you to acquire if you invest effort in the derivative opportunity, such as middos-improvement.  Discussion of Torah as a man’s beloved, and its […]
Can It Be Good to Hate?
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Discussion of the vexation we feel when we encounter Torah sources that demand that we hate evil and act with force for Hashem’s honor.  Discussion of our propensity to compartmentalize and “forget” moments of inspiration and elevation, such that they don’t affect the rest of our lives.  Hashem’s lesson to Eliyahu HaNovi.  Contrast of Elisha HaNovi and Shmuel HaNovi in their connection to the people. […]
The Mishnah: Purposely Puzzling or Profoundly Precise?
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Rav Hutner’s explanation of how Torah she-bi-al peh was preserved;written code needing a verbal “password.” Contrasting explanation relayed by theson of the Vilna Gaon and others; Chazal can “darshen” the text of the Mishnah.Discussion of drashos.  In addition to the commentaries on Mishlei, this shiur references theShlah HaKadosh, Klalei HaTalmud 10, klal 30.