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Self Confidence and Confronting the Yetzer Hara
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Life is for renewing one’s will to fight the yetzer hara once again, despite previous failures. The importance of maintaining morale in the battle against the yetzer hara, and of celebrating victories. Brief discussion of the positive reward for abstaining from sin.  The importance of mechitzahs at simchas. Discussion of nivul peh and modern music. […]
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 […]
Song of Songs – Intro
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If you read the introduction to my book, The Nach Yomi Companion Volume I: Neviim – Prophets, then you saw how I was formerly daunted at the prospect of learning such Books as Job and some of the Later Prophets. Boy, was I off base! You know what’s hard? Shir HaShirim. Though we might be […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]