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Tzedakah’s Power to Save
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Tzedakah’s power is just one of a myriad factors that goes into Hashem’s unknowable calculation of how to run His world with respect to you.   Tzedakah has the power to save, but other forces also affect the outcome. Analysis of mitzvas tzedakah and how ayin hara might take effect. Tzedaka after death. Citations: In […]
Taking Responsibility Locally and Cosmically
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Analysis of the blessing for those were serve the community. Discussion of ruling in halacha when unqualified, and abstaining from it when duly qualified.  Taking responsibility for each other.  Sfas Emes on Yisro’s joining the Jewish people.  The cosmic power of Klal Yisroel.  Closeness to Hashem is due to the responsibility we accepted at Mount Sinai.  Teshuva subsequent to sin has […]
Teshuvah from Causing Hurt Feelings
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Discussion of whether or not repentance from theft of money also requires asking forgiveness for the hurt feelings caused. Responsibility of a leader for his flock.  The problem of, and solution for, a leader being preoccupied with prestige. Citations: Aside from the commentaries on Mishlei, this shiur cites Gemara Yoma 87a, Rabbeinu Yonah Shaarei Teshuva Shaar daled, #18,19 and Shaar […]
The Mother’s Chinuch Influence
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Analysis of the nature of the educational influences a child experiences from his father and mother.  Acute Torah lessons versus osmosis and experience. Importance of a positive environment in terms of the opportunity to hear guidance and critique.  Rebellion against being told what to do by Hashem reflects the presence of an element of apikorus. […]
Insights into the Structure of Sefer Mishlei
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Structure of the verses in the 2nd section of Mishlei. Chochmah helps us identify the hevel of the world as a foreign value.  But it doesn’t address inertia and the yetzer to do wrong.  Waging war to overcome our lower selves is the realm of mussar. The third section of Mishlei is having the correct […]
The Religious Psychology of Sin
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Women’s relationship to ‘she-ti-hiyu ameilim baTorah’ and the life-orientation of the nation.  Selflessness and self-actualization. The dangers of personal or national veering from the straight path, even when permitted.  The perils of paying homage to our human side by showing unwillingness to remain on high plateaus of kedushah. Identification and evaluation of the nature of the […]
Degrees of Connection with Torah
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Increasing levels of connectedness with Torah.   The centrality of the wife in the definition of a Jewish home, irrespective of child-bearing.  Discussion of why true drush is always interesting.  The prerequisite for intimacy with Torah.Satiable and insatiable desires. Citations: This shiur cites the Biur HaGra on Mishlei.
The Growth of a Talmid
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Struggle is necessary to properly understand and remember Torah.Sometimes, the more clear the Rebbe, the less the talmid invests in struggling to understand, and the more he forgets. Discussion of the stages in a Talmid’s growth.  Yehoshua as the ideal talmid, redefining himself as a leader when called upon to do so.   We never know […]
Producing and Preserving Divrei Torah
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The importance of bringing into reality the potential for Torah creativity which exists within you.   Writing divrei Torah.  Writing chiddushim without knowing Shas, or without heavy investment of effort.   Forgetting divrei Torah. Working at learning and self-refinement as preparation for Torah.  Digital recording of Divrei Torah. Citations: Aside from the commentaries on Mishlei, this shiur also […]
Correcting Attitudes, Overcoming Ta’avah
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It is easier to repent the action-based sins of a life spent far from Torah,than to identify and correct the erroneous attitudes absorbed during that same period.  The concepts of ‘cistern’ and ‘well-springs’ in processing the world around you, and in learning Torah.  Torah-learning as the prescription for one overcome by lustful thoughts; Torah’s ability […]