Beit Midrash

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1008 Lessons
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    Serving Hashem, Mitzvot and Repentance

    "Of All God's Miracles Large & Small..."

    Both Nature & Super-Natural Are Necessary

    The world runs both on the natural development of the individual, mankind and events, but also there are occasional significant turning points. Rav Kook analyzes the interplay of regular life with these "game-changers", and why both are necessary.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 24 5782
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    46 min
    Ein Aya

    Why Should We Only Say "Yasher Ko'ach" in Israel?

    Ein Aya Shabbat 5,1

    What's the Difference Between Torah in Israel or in America?!

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 12 5782
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    Various Subjects

    When is it permissible to eat “Non-Kosher” foods?

    Rabbi Stewart Weiss | Elul 5 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Tasting Meat Liquids

    When I cook for Shabbat, I like to taste the chicken soup and gravies to make sure they are properly spiced. Does that “make me fleishig”?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Elul 2 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Chazan Having Trouble Taking Three Steps Back

    As chazan, I was unable to take three steps back after my silent Shemoneh Esrei because someone was davening close behind me even when the gabbai signaled me to start chazarat hashatz. What should I have done at that point?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann
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    40 min
    Ein Aya

    Judaism: Approachable but Noble

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4,12

    The world is based upon evolution & constant improvement, learning from our mistakes. This central idea of Rav Kook's Orot HaTeshuva must be reconciled with the rabbinic teaching of "Hitkatnut HaDorot", or the 'Decline of Generations', how the more we are further removed from Sinai, the lower our level. Mankind is clearly advancing, having basically abolished slavery, & recognizing the wrong of chauvinism, racism, imperialism etc. so what do the rabbis mean? This class also deals with the apparent conflict between the direction today to make Judaism & rabbis approachable & relevant, with the importance of keeping their nobility & respect, & how (!) to keep the proper balance. The question of chumrot and leniencies is also addressed.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Av 21 5782
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    39 min
    Ein Aya

    Shabbat that Elevates Not Just the Secular but Even the Foreign

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4, 8

    It's common knowledge that Shabbat elevates the secular to be holy, but Rav Kook writes that the ideal Shabbat will elevate even concepts which are foreign to Judaism.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tamuz 14 5782
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    39 min
    Ein Aya

    When Should We Use Experience, Logic or Kabbala to Decide?

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4, 7

    Life is full of choices and decisions, and Rav Kook analyzes when we should utilize personal experience, logic and/or kabbalistic means, and in which order? Similarly, in learning Torah and deciding halacha, these factors interplay.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tamuz 7 5782
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    Kashrut

    Must I Immerse a Candy Dish?

    I have a gift business in which I sell glass candy bowls filled with candies, fruits, and nuts. Must I toivel these dishes before I fill them?

    Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff | Tamuz 7 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    How Much of a Tzedaka Preference to Relatives?

    I learned that one should prioritize giving tzedaka to relatives over others. I give a nice amount of tzedaka, almost exclusively out of the family (which also has a few poor people), which I feel is more altruistic. Can you explain this halacha and give some halachic guidelines?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Tamuz 7 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Finding a Fruit with Kedushat Shvi’it

    My wife shopped at a special kedushat shvi’it fruit distribution. A few hours later, I spotted on the walkway to our building (of seven apartments) a single fruit. I took it home and asked my wife, who said it made sense that it fell from her, but asked how we can know it is not from a neighbor who might have also bought. Do I have to put up a sign or ask neighbors (whom I trust) if it could be theirs? Is it more lenient because there is no ownership of kedushat shvi’it fruit?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Sivan 28 5782
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    36 min
    Ein Aya

    Should Jews Be Proud of Einstein, Freud & Bob Dylan?

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4, 6

    Many Jews have played disproportionally central roles in western science and culture, having 0.2% of the world's population winning 22% (!) of the Nobel Prizes. Instinctively, many of us are proud of our famous brothers, despite the fact that often their contributions are clearly "non-Jewishly" influenced, and sometimes even the antithesis of Judaism. On the other hand, Jewish pride is a clearly positive issue. Rav Kook has an innovative way of balancing the two, aided by the rabbinic disagreement regarding Joseph and Potiphar's wife.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Sivan 23 5782
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    Prayer

    Grand Opening!

    Why is Kaddish in Aramaic? Isn’t it prohibited to pray in Aramaic and Arabic? In which arm does a lefty hold the sefer Torah? Do I join everyone in reciting Berich She’mei when I am in the middle of pesukei dezimra?

    Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff | Sivan 21 5782
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    41 min
    Ein Aya

    The Importance of Work & Secular Knowledge in Elevating the World

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4, 5

    The western world generally relates to work and secular knowledge as a means to make money, as opposed to Judaism who sees the spiritual and redeeming aspect of these "mundane" topics. Rav Kook, as always, has a surprising and innovative view, especially important for a polarized Judaism which sees just learning Torah as the goal and other issues as a nuisance, as well as today's high standard of living, which brings many to think that work is only a necessity for the lacking.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Sivan 21 5782
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    Jewish Thought Study

    How Can We Know There Is a G-d?

    How can we know with certainty that there is a G-d?

    Rabbi Oriel Twito | Sivan 18 5782
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    38 min
    The spiritual view

    A Deeper Take on Shabbat: Why is This Allowed & That Prohibited?

    Ein Aya Shabbat 4, 4

    This important lecture helps answer the classic question we all ask: Why are certain things allowed on Shabbat and others forbidden? Rav Kook, based on Kabbalistic sources, explains that the 6 days of creation and the Mishkan- the 2 classic "constrictions" (Tzimtzum) of God, are the anti-thesis of Shabbat. Accordingly only and precisely those 39 types of labor which were done to construct the mishkan correspond to the 6 days of creation, from which we want to rise above on Shabbat, to get a taste of the original Shabbat which preceded creation, and the final Shabbat, when all of creation will be like Shabbat. This basic and beautiful idea is clarified here in a very understandable way

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Sivan 17 5782
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    The Reading of the Torah

    Taking out the Sefer Torah

    Which Keil erech apayim should I say? My wife is due to give birth shortly, and I am saying kaddish for my father. On the days that the Torah is read, should I l daven before the amud”, open the aron hakodesh, or do both? When do I recite Berich She’mei?

    Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff | Sivan 15 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Mistake in Beracha on Delayed Laying of Tefillin – part II

    After I fastened the tefillin shel yad, I realized that the beracha I had recited was not the one for tefillin but that I had instinctively said Yotzer Ohr. I continued davening with just the shel yad until the next semi-break, Yotzer Hame’orot, at which point I put on the shel rosh. Was that correct?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Sivan 8 5782
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    Kashrut

    The Milky Way or Does Chalav Yisrael Apply Today?

    I do not understand why some people keep chalav Yisrael today. Do they really think that someone is adding pig's milk? My friend quoted his rav that it is more important to keep chalav Yisrael today than it ever was before. How could this be?

    Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff | Sivan 2 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Mistake in Beracha on Delayed Laying of Tefillin – part I

    After I fastened the tefillin shel yad, I realized that the beracha I had recited was not the one for tefillin but that I had instinctively said Yotzer Ohr. I continued davening with just the shel yad until the next semi-break, Yotzer Hame’orot, at which point I put on the shel rosh and the hand wrappings. Was that correct, and what should I have recited when?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Iyar 29 5782
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