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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. […]
Chavakuk #4 (Chapter Two)
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Chavakuk questions why Hashem will remove Yehuda from the yoke of Ashur/Assyria only to place them in the yoke of Bavel, both evil kingdoms. God responds with a  general answer before He deals with Chavakuk’s specific question. Chavakuk, like Moshe, asks Hashem to let him understand Hashem’s ways so he can answer the people. Delivered […]
The Discipline of Kindness and Healing (Mishlei 18:12)
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Disciplining a child is a sign of love, not disciplining a child is a sign of indifference. How does one provide תוכחה, rebuke? Chazal say (with respect to raising children) that we bring close with the right hand and repel with the left (only when the dominant relationship is love will the tochacha be effective. […]
Chavakuk #3 (Chapter One)
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How does Chavakuk’s account of what Bavel will do to Bnei Yisrael align with that which happens later on? He describes Bavel’s main goal as expansion for the sake of expansion and the cruelty of the Kasdim (Chaldeans). Chavakuk understands that it has to happen because God set it up “מקדם” but asks why. Delivered […]
The Marriage of Yitzchak and Rivka and Mishlei 18:22
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“מצא אשה מצא טוב ויפק רצון מה” This pasuk is a restatement in the positive of the pasuk in Bereshit which says – לא טוב היות האדם לבדו, that it is not good for Man to be alone. The Gemara discusses the difference between this verse and the verse in Kohelet: ומוצא אני מר ממות […]
Chavakuk #2 (Chapter One)
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When Chavakuk prophesied, Bavel is on the rise but not yet a major power. He complains that even if Bnei Yisrael sinned, Bavel is much more wicked. He, like Yonah, is concerned for the dignity of Bnei Yisrael but takes a different approach. Delivered at the OU Israel Center, October 29th, 2018, 20 Marcheshvan 5779