Beit Midrash

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203 Lessons
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    35 min
    Ein Aya

    When is Safek (Doubt) Not Amalek?! - When Unclarity Helps Clarify

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 297

    It's known that in Hassidut, they say that Amalek equals Doubt in Gematria (numerical value). Nevertheless, Rav Kook completes the picture by showing the other side of the coin, why Hashem created doubting for good and beneficial purposes.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Shvat 4 5782
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    29 min
    Ein Aya

    Jewish Feeling Isn't Just Emotion & Can be Eternal

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 296

    Rav Kook, as always, suggests an innovative approach to understanding some of the laws of tahara and tuma (often translated as "spiritual purity and impurity"), including Parah Adumah (the Red Heifer), as well as the Jewish approach to emotional religious experiences.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tevet 24 5782
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    40 min
    Ein Aya

    The Relationship Between Heart & Mind

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 295

    All masters of Jewish thought deal with the relationship between the intellect and the emotion in Judaism. Rav Kook's holistic approach suggests an innovative way of harmonizing the heart & the mind to live a full life of Torah.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Kislev 26 5782
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    40 min
    Ein Aya

    Why Heaven & Hell Aren't Mentioned More in the Torah?

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 294

    As reward and punishment for the mitzvot, the Torah mainly describes that we will receive rain, victory, peace etc., but very rarely mentions heaven and hell. Rav Kook, in his innovative way, offers an original, beautiful and meaningful explanation, in addition to discussing transitions between exile and redemption.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Kislev 22 5782
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    46 min
    Ein Aya

    Balancing Discipline & Pleasantness Today!

    Rav Kook already foresaw a century ago that democratic culture necessitates placing more stress in raising our children on pleasantness, rather than on discipline. This is an ideal in our evolving world, but also wise and beneficial. Discipline is always important but the balance changes over time.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | KIslev 22 5782
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    46 min
    Ein Aya

    Limiting Discipline of Our Children? Especially Today!

    Rav Kook already foresaw a century ago that democratic culture necessitates placing more stress in raising our children on pleasantness, rather than on discipline. This is an ideal in our evolving world, but also wise and beneficial. Discipline is always important but the balance changes over time.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Kislev 17 5782
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    48 min
    Ein Aya

    Be Wary of Foreign Influence

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 291

    Among the tannaim, R. Shimon Bar Yochai was most wary of Roman influence. His approach is especially important to modern orthodoxy who strives to take the good from the western world, and sometimes may "let down their guard".

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Kislev 6 5782
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    41 min
    Ein Aya

    Seize the Momentum- Don't Damper Progress!

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 290

    The nature is for each young generation to innovate new ideas in everything, including spirituality. The personal experience of meeting these new, often charismatic leaders from up close, helps verify their innovations and legitimacy, and enable the generation to decide if those new ideas' time has come. The older leaders of the previous generation play an important role here, where their conservatism and experience can be crucial but also may be destructive and hamper advancements (especially if egos come into play), and especially in today's generation of geula [=national and spiritual redemption], the greatest revolution in world history.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 22 5782
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    40 min
    Ein Aya

    Today's Rabbis: Not as Great but Better for Today

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 289

    Mankind and the world in general, is constantly undergoing evolution and improvement, trial and error, etc. On the other hand, this seemingly contradicts what our sages teach that the further we get from Mt. Sinai, our level drops lower & lower. Rav Kook, who's Orot HaTeshuva is based on the fact that constant improvement is natural & inevitable, deals here with this apparent difficulty, addressing the necessity of suiting the religious and national leadership with the complex level of each respective generation. Not to underrate their potential, but also not to overrate! A leader's/parent's goal is to give people the vision of their potential. This is a super-important class for rabbis, community leaders and lay-men alike.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 18 5782
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    43 min
    Ein Aya

    ”A Tzaddik Decrees & God Obeys"?!

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 288

    The concept of a Tzaddik (righteous) "decreeing" and God obeying, is in the Talmud & central to Hassidut, but very difficult to understand. There's nobody like Rav Kook to explain this in a rational, modern & spiritual way, how God interacts with Am Yisrael and our leadership, in the most beneficial way! Other important topics discussed here are the types of miracles that God suits to the needs of each generation; stringencies & leniencies. Rav Kook also deals here with his own take on "Rupture & Reconstruction" after modernism, the Haskala/Reform, the great European wars and wandering, the uprooting of Sefaradic Jews from their traditions, and how to patiently return the next generation to Torah, as well as faith in our rabbinic leadership.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Cheshvan 7 5782
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    40 min
    Ein Aya

    "Get Back to Where You Once Belonged" and Then Continue…

    Ein Aya, shabbat 2, 287

    The first thing to ascertain in a Jew or a time period where many Jews are far from Judaism, is how far he really is? The number of how many generations of doubt, or how long a person or family has been estranged from Torah is important to know in order to address his/her spiritual needs properly. If one has seen religious practice in his home and is now rebelling, his needs are different than if he just saw his grandfather or neighbor doing mitzvot and himself is oblivious to the topic. In any event, Teshuva must be a gradual process & not be a quick jump to extremes.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tishrei 29 5782
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    44 min
    Ein Aya

    "Doubt": The 'Key to Knowledge' or to Confusion

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 286

    As is the case regarding all strong powers in life, questioning and doubt are often called the "Key to knowledge", but as we know, they often can lead to confusion, as well. Rav Kook, explains how to reap the benefits of this topic without having it "boomerang" and be counterproductive. He also offers an innovative way of seeing "Yom Tov Sheini", the 2nd Day of Yom Tov outside of the Land of Israel.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tishrei 29 5782
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    39 min
    Ein Aya

    Responsibility for Teshuva Within Our Family: "Does Father Know Best?"

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 292

    Teshuva is usually seen from my personal point of view, but Rav Kook deals with the very common problem of taking responsibility to rebuke our children and even our wives/husbands, to purify the spiritual atmosphere of our homes. This issue is seldom dealt with, and the class deals with many practical suggestions and solutions how to politely rebuke without having it be counterproductive.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Tishrei 9 5782
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    Orot HaTshuva

    Rosh Hashana: Types of Teshuva

    In Orot HaTeshuva 11, Rav Kook describes two types of Teshuva - sudden Teshuva and gradual Teshuva

    Rabbi Shimon Cohen | Elul 26 5781
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    34 min
    Orot HaTshuva

    The Only Way to "Peace of Mind"- "The Strive for Perfection is Perfection"

    How can we ever "quiet" our God-given conscience, if we do sincerely strive for improvement, but can never achieve moral & spiritual perfection?! Sounds frustrating, until Rav Kook teaches us in Orot HaTeshuva that the strive for perfection is (!) as perfect as man can be, and that's all God asks. Although it's hard to understand how we can actually erase mistakes that were already done, the sources teach that even when our sages say that in particular cases, Teshuva doesn't help, they're just saying so as part of the test, where if despite that, if one doesn't "despair" & does Teshuva, it's a sign that he's really sincere, his thought of improvement has no ulterior motives & is accepted! It's a lot easier & more natural than we think.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 25 5781
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    Ein Aya

    "Doubt": The Key to Knowledge or to Confusion

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 286

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 286

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 18 5781
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    41 min
    Ein Aya

    Being Social Helps My Spirituality!-Rav Kook on Win-Win Rather Than Competition

    Ein Aya, shabbat 2, 285

    There is a stereotype, that religious people don't mingle and aren't active socially nor participants in communal materialistic pursuits, but rather seclude themselves and just learn Torah. This is a carry-over from other religions that see the physical as contradicting the spiritual, but Judaism, to the contrary, learns from Ya'akov Avinu who, according to the respective opinions, minted a new coin, or built marketplaces and bath-houses. In addition to emotional and intellectual experiences, Rav Kook adds that the Jewish way of getting close to God, is to be similar (!) to Him, in our giving, altruism, activism and dedication to Israel and our communities. The more we are involved and help the broader society, the more Godly we are.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Elul 11 5781
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    39 min
    Ein Aya

    Complete- Not at the Expense of Anything!

    Ein Aya Shabbat 2, 284

    We are accustomed to the problem that when we dedicate time or effort to one issue or person, it inevitably comes at the expense of others. Rav Kook utilizes the hassidic/kabbalistic way of seeing the world, & the midrash on Ya'akov being complete in health, in money, and in Torah to analyze and suggest how to harmonize life, in a way that can save us great anxiety in our daily and life decisions.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Av 10 5781
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    32 min
    Ein Aya

    Senses Aid Our Logic and Logic Aids Our Senses

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 282

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 282

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Av 4 5781
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    37 min
    Ein Aya

    Why Donate a Kiddush?! Life of Greatness With Israel or Life of Smallness Alone

    Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 283

    Rav Kook explains why our sages teach us the custom to donate a Kiddush, contribution etc. to the shul, community or to Israel, to commemorate & celebrate an individual simcha, milestone or recuperation. Most people are preoccupied with their small and immature self-centered concerns, but a more worthwhile, mature, satisfying & idealistic option is to live a life of greatness as part of Am Yisrael, the Chosen Nation, adding depth and meaning to an otherwise, small life.

    Rabbi Ari Shvat | Av 4 5781
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