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Psalms – Chapter 37
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David says that we should “run our own race” and not compete with evil people. Don’t envy their wealth because they will be cut down like grass and then they’ll dry up. (Just like grass cannot continue to thrive when removed from the soil, people cannot long endure when they are disconnected from G-d, Who […]
Psalms – Chapter 36
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In this Psalm, David is called the “servant of G-d,” for whom He has wrought victory. Victory over whom? There are different opinions, but the Radak and others say that it refers to the temptation to sin, the Yetzer Hara. The Yetzer Hara puts thoughts of sin in a person’s heart and there is no […]
Psalms – Chapter 35
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David asks G-d to fight his enemies. He would like G-d to metaphorically take his armor and weapons and tell David, “I am your salvation.” David would like to see those who unjustly pursue him be ashamed of their hollow accusations and withdraw from him. They should disperse like chaff in the wind, pursued by […]
Psalms – Chapter 34
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This Psalm was composed when David was on the run from Avimelech (also known as Achish) in I Samuel 21. David feigned madness so that the king would dismiss him as a harmless eccentric, rather than imprison or execute him as an enemy combatant. David says that he will constantly bless G-d for His kindness, […]
Psalms – Chapter 33
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David tells the righteous to sing because of G-d; it is appropriate for them to do so. They should praise him with the kinor, which is a harp, and the neivel asor, which may be a ten-stringed instrument, or perhaps a wind instrument with ten holes. (“Asor” means “ten.”) There are other explanations; Rashi in […]
Analysis of the first two paragraphs of Krias Shema
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Shiur #66 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra. Content Description: Differences between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs of Krias Shema. The relationship between reward/punishment and the acceptance of mitzvos. How does the acceptance of G-d's sovereignty not already necessarily include the acceptance of His mitzvos? Our performance of mitzvos reflects beliefs; we don't emphasize declarations of belief. 1st paragraph is a declaration of Hashem as King over the whole universe, therefore we don't mention the special relationship of Jews to Him. 2nd paragraph emphasizes the special connection Jews have with Hashem. 2nd paragraph parallels the intimate connection we have when praying. Differences between ahavas Hashem and learning Torah related in the first paragraph versus the second paragraph. Citations: The following sources are referenced in this shiur: Talmud Yerushalmi Maseches Brachos 2:1, found in the source packets on page 1, and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 63:6, found in the source packets on page 1.
Psalms – Chapter 32
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This Psalm is introduced as a “maskil.” The Talmud in Pesachim (117a) says that it refers to a form of praise that David would communicate through a spokesperson or an interpreter. In this Psalm, David says that the fortunate and deserving person is the one whose sins have been forgiven and “buried” by his merits. […]
Psalms – Chapter 31
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This Psalm was composed by David while he was on the run from King Saul. In it, David says that G-d is his refuge. David hopes that, in return for his trust, G-d will not disappoint him. Even if David does not deserve salvation, he hopes that G-d will still provide it, since G-d is […]
Psalms – Chapter 30
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David composed this Psalm to be recited at the dedication of the Temple, in the days of Solomon. He praises G-d for raising him out of the depths and not letting David’s enemies triumph over him. When he was ill, David cried out to G-d, Who healed him. (According to Rashi, by forgiving David’s sin, […]
Psalms – Chapter 29
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Remember how Psalm 24 was the Psalm we recite when we return the Torah to the Ark except on Shabbos morning? Well, this Psalm is the one we recite when returning the Torah on Shabbos mornings. David tells the prominent people to prepare themselves for G-d. Honor and might rightfully belong to Him, so prepare […]