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Psalms – Chapter 5
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David asks G-d to pay heed to his words and even his thoughts (when he is unable to express them) because David recognizes that there is no power besides G-d. David’s first act of the day, before he starts his business, is to pray to G-d, Whose favorable reply David anticipates. Why is David so […]
Psalms – Chapter 4
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According to the Radak, this Psalm, like the previous one, was composed by David as he was on the run from Avshalom. As he is on the run from those who have turned against him, David asks G-d to vindicate him, as He has done in the past. David acknowledges that his accusers are the […]
Psalms – Chapter 3
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This Psalm was composed by David while he was fleeing from his rebellious son Avshalom (Absalom), as described in II Samuel chapter 15. (While this incident occurred later in David’s life, the Psalms are not arranged in the order of their composition.) David acknowledges that he has many antagonists – his own son among them! […]
Psalms – Chapter 2
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The Talmud (Brachos 10b) says that Psalm 2 is a continuation of Psalm 1. David asks why people gather to plot pointlessly. They conspire against G-d and His anointed one (David himself). G-d will laugh at their efforts and when He responds to their attempts in anger, they will be terrified. G-d says that He […]
Psalms – Chapter 1
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In the first Psalm, David praises as fortunate those who do not walk in paths blazed for them by evil people, who do not stand in the route of sinners, and who do not sit in the company of scoffers. (Rashi comments that because they do not start out walking down this evil road, they […]
A Brief Introduction to Psalms
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If you were to ask which person in Tanach suffered the most, most people would probably answer Iyov, Job (that is, assuming they have sufficient background in Tanach to answer the question at all). In fact, one could say that David suffered more troubles than anyone else, in Tanach or out of it. Look at […]
Malachi – Chapter 3
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G-d says that He sends His messenger (an angel? Malachi himself?) to clear the way before Him. G-d will come to the Temple and the angel to punish the wicked will arrive. Who will be able to stand before this angel, who will be like a fire that refines silver by removing the defects? The […]
The relationship between opportunity, striving, and reality
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Shiur #64 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: The reasons for the complexity of Torah and the multiplicity of mitzvos. The importance of our very relationship to Torah, aside from our actual successful observance thereof. The sense of sadness that a person has in discovering how much Torah he might not succeed in learning or observing. Insight into the purpose of a siyum masechta. Aspirations for greatness, and the reality which strives to achieve that vision. Citations: This shiur references the following sources: Sefer Tiferes Yisroel of the Maharal of Prague, chapter 5, found in the source packets on page 1, and Sefer Shem Olam, first chelek, 19th chapter, found in the source packets on pages 1-2.
Malachi – Chapter 2
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Through Malachi, G-d charges the kohanim (priests) with accepting unfit sacrifices. If they do not listen, He will curse what otherwise would be blessed. In fact, He has already begun to do so! G-d will stop the grain from growing and G-d will toss the manure of their sacrifices in their faces. G-d reminds the […]
Malachi – Chapter 1
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This is the “burden” (i.e., the difficult prophecy) that G-d gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. (Some say Malachi was in fact Ezra. The name Malachi means “my messenger.” Malachi and Ezra lived at the same time and addressed many of the same issues.) G-d says that He loves Israel. If they should question […]