Beit Midrash

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4 Lessons
    34 min
    Ein Aya

    Sickness as a "Wake-Up Call"

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 242

    As a continuation of the class on "The Different Levels On Which G-d Runs the World", this class is on the different levels of sickness, whether ours or those around us. Just as fast-days are a self-induced weakness, which brings us to analyze our lives, priorities & actions, when God sends a sickness, it's not necessarily a punishment but rather a "wake-up call" to induce soul-searching. Life is comprised of such small incidents, some pleasant & others not, some direct & others less so, to keep us awake that we shouldn't live like robots, but rather utilize our Godly free-will to its utmost extent, keeping our lives meaningful & idealistic. Accordingly, even the "bad" messages are seen by Rav Kook as: The process of gradual good.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 21 5781
    33 min
    Additional Lessons

    Rav Kook on: "It's Best to be Normal People"

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 239

    We find various rabbis in rabbinic literature who built their spirituality through fasting and depriving themselves of physical pleasure. Rav Kook explains that this is like "shock treatment" or bitter medicine, which healthy people don't need. In Torat Eretz Yisrael, the Living Torah most applicable to the modern world, the approach of unity is to reveal the harmony between the physical and spiritual worlds. In Israel, where even the physical is spiritual and the atmosphere is Jewish, it's much more conducive to living a life of modern orthodoxy without the dangers of losing our proportions, priorities or getting influenced by western society. Accordingly Rav Kook explains the machloket between Rava & Abaye in Masechet Shabbat.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 2 5781
    33 min
    Subjects of Jewish Thougts

    So What’s the Goal of Life?!!

    We all know that if you don't have a goal, you can't score! We all have many goals, but is there one which encompasses and is the common denominator of them all? Such a definition will prevent us from feeling torn between the many goals and roles we have. One theory is that the goal of life is pleasure, which is the common denominator of all people. On the other hand, all those people also have an ideal for which they are willing to forego all of their pleasure, inferring that ideals supersede pleasure! The class suggests that these 2 theories are 1 and the same, for we all want pleasure, but ideals are not 3rd class (short-term) pleasure, nor 2nd class (long-term) pleasure, but rather 1st class, eternal pleasure.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 24 5780
    38 min
    Ein Aya

    The Two Stages of Life: Growing + Giving

    Ein Aya Shabat Chapter A Paragraph 56

    Rav Kook divides life into 2 basic stages: First developing one's talents and spirituality, and only afterwards can one concentrate on giving and altruism, for only then does he have what to contribute.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 10 5772
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