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Insight into Tranquility
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Why was Torah given in the mid bar, in an atmosphere of brinksmanship, and with feelings of being harassed, and not in a calm environment?  A new definition of repose and tranquility.  Discussion of how “machovaso bi-olamo” is the path to true tranquility.  Misguided psychological definitions of tranquility can condemn one to never achieve it.  Two interpretations of “Kach he […]
Introduction to the Book of Job
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Job is a very unusual Book, unique in many ways. For starters, there is no consensus as to when Job lived – or even if he ever actually lived at all! The Talmud, in tractate Baba Basra (15a-b) relates a number of opinions. R. Yehoshua b. Levi says Job lived in Moses’ day; R. Yochanan […]
When Evil is Camouflaged as Good
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Discussion of the meaning of making a siyum.  Each achievement is a launching pad for new striving in controlling the yetzer hara, and in critical self-review and improvement.  Strategies of the yetzer hara to use good for evil and the elevated dangers involved. Vilna Gaon’s understanding of the episode of Naomi trying to convince Rus to return to Mo’av.  The conflicting and hard-to-identify […]
The Yetzer Hara, Yosef HaTzaddik, and Us
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Rashi’s explanation of Potiphar’s wife’s advances towards Yosef.  The ordeal of Yosef.   The limitless drive for power and the limited drive for satiation.The nature of the pursuit of money.  The yetzer hara’s manipulation even of middos that have positive and necessary qualities.  Mitzvah performance concretizes spirituality, but requires physicality which entails risk. Citations: Aside from the commentaries on Mishlei, this shiur […]