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Rejoicing Over the Fall of the Wicked (Part 1)
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Discussion of two ways to interpret the Biur HaGra about the apparent attractiveness of the [a] middos, or [b] personality – of heretics. The reasons for Hashem’s brinksmanship in delaying the salvation at Yam Suf. -the transformative value (for the nation) of Nachshon jumping into the waters. -our needs bring us to reach out to […]
Surviving While Staying on the Straight and Narrow
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What is real temimus, and how does the tam survive in the world?  Practical differences between yesharim and temimim. Discussion of the notion of being fully ethical without religion. Discussion of the basic desire to want to be mechadesh in Torah and in life. Negative manifestations in society at large and in Jewish society. Brief […]
The Middah of Temimus
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Two perspectives within “na’aseh vi-nishma: “We might not get another chance like this!”  and “We trust Hashem that whatever is coming, is good.” Temimus is the result of the successful removal of orlas ha-peh just as taming of physical desire is the result of the successful (physical and conceptual) removal of orlas ha-guf. Discussion of […]
The Ways of the Righteous, the Ways of the Wicked
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Relationship of temimus to yashrus. The interplay of intellect and partiality, for both the Tzaddik and theRasha.  Analysis of aGemara which implies that Hashem favors the rich with riches because of their righteousness. Citations: In addition to the commentaries on Mishlei, this shiur references Gemara Bava Metziah 35a with Rashi.
Tznius: The Condition for Growing in Torah
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The importance of silently listening to one’s Rebbe teach. Drush on the meaning of the imagery of people having one mouth in contrast to two ears.  Wisdom is required to properly ask for guidance.  A warning about the value of answers and advice from gedolim when very terse “life advice” questions are posed to them. […]
Integrity Defines a Jew
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Callousness towards others’ feelings is a frequent cause of chillul Hashem. Rashiand Rebbeinu Yonah’s commentaries on zechiras Amalek. Analysis of the differences between lacking yiras shomayim in private, versus being a fraud in one’s essence: an emunah problem versus amiddos problem. Discussion of the blindness to monetary dishonesty amongst some “frum” Jews. The corruption of […]
Tzadik as Teacher and Peace Maker
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Focused observation is impossible when there is too much light; night is for perceiving. Insights into the themes of shacharis, mincha and maariv. The nature of the failure of a tsaddik versus that of a rasha. The fruit of a tzadik‘s production is Torah and that which stems therefrom, whereas the fruit of the rasha […]
The Wicked Man’s Perspectives: Short and Long Term
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Paradox in the general society of many children having adult knowledge and experiences, while many adults have the maturity and basic life goals of a child. Discussion of the responsibility of parents in the chinuch of their child beyond bar mitzvah age. Short term and long term perspectives of the wicked. The error and arrogance […]
The Right Kind of Worries
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Anxiety due to worldly events versus anxiety over the proper fulfillment of one’s spiritual responsibilities. Psychological obsession contrasted with a preoccupation with doing mitzvos correctly. Rambam’s perspective on those who cling to Hashem and are willing to forego working towards a natural means of sustenance.   Relation to the brachos of Barech Aleinu and Al HaTzadikim. […]
Fear of Hashem vs. All Other Fears
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Insights into our experience of Yiras Hashem versus other types of fear. Channeling earthly enjoyments towards spiritual ends, for oneg Shabbos, simchas Purim and the like. That, contrasted with the requirements for “simcha.” Self-actualization through becoming similar to Hashem. The pathway of Yiras Hashem leading to bitachon which leads to simcha. Discussion of making monetary calculations before deciding to have […]