Select Section WEEKLY Parasha Parshat Korach Language : french , SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

Select Section WEEKLY Parshat Korach language hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian, Machon Meir, CHABAD,The Jewish Woman,YOUTH/TEENS SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES
shiurim-tammuz
Select Section jewish holidays shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

Yeshiva Machon Meir Parsha Korach Rav Don bigon

Korah: la dispute ce n’est pas pour moi.

12.06.2014

Kora’h: le danger du pourquoi.Rav Ouri Banon

15.06.2014

Parasha Kora’h

14.06.2014
Commentaire de la parasha Korah, Rabbin Gabriel Farhi

Rav Yossef Tordjmann présente: Paracha Kora’h 15.06.2014

Korah – rav Ron CHAYA (Torah-Box.com)

Parachat Korah Rav TOUITOU

Hevrat Pinto Les leçons que l’on peut tirer des Explorateurs et de Korah

La Fausse Vision

Hevrat Pinto

Hevrat Pinto Combien est grande la puissance de la moquerie

Paracha Korah – Matière Sans Forme – rav Yossef BENTATA (Torah-Box.com)

Cours audio : paracha korah la révolte de Korah par le Rav Dov Roth-Lumbroso

Paracha korah – Tirer son épingle du jeu – http://www.mptorah.net

Paracha korah – Tirer son épingle du jeu – http://www.mptorah.net

Sefer 4 – Bamidbar – Paracha Korah 5773 – Rabbin Joseph Abittan

COUR DE TORAH SUR LA PARACHA KORAH PAR AVY ALLOUCHE, d´après les cours du rav Corda

La Paracha Korah

26.06.2008
Le Rav Mordochaï Bensoussan, ancien Grand-Rabbin de la région Nice-Côte d’Azur et actuel directeur du département francophone de l’institut Ariel, nous apporte ss commentaires sur la Parasha de la semaine, la Parasha Korah.

Cours audio : paracha kora’h : La Revolte de Korah par le Rav Dov Lumbroso-Roth

Paracha de la semaine Korah par le Rav Mendel Nisenbaum

Korah ou la vaine querelle

19.06.2007
Retrouvez l’interview d’un grand Rabbin qui revient sur la Paracha de la semaine. Cette semaine, le Rabbin Guedj commente la Paracha “Korah” 14/06/07

Paracha de la semaine Kora’h par Rav Yossef David Cohen

Paracha du livre de Bamidbar (Nombres)

La paracha de la semaine : Kora’h. Grand prêtre , un poste pour tous ?

Paracha Korah – Voir l’autre et se voir avec justesse – Mptorah.net Rav Bendrihem

La paracha de la semaine Le Rav Mordochaï Bensoussan

Chiourim.com – Institutions Bnei Torah

Rav Jeremy

Diffusons la Torah

Paracha de la semaine

Paracha …..Rosée de Miel

HEVRAT PINTO Paracha ….

Shiurum Rav TOUITOU

613 TV.

Rav Avraham Kadoch.
Rav Ouri Banon.

Rav Raphael Pinto Paracha ….

HEVRAT PINTO

Paracha ….. – http://www.mptorah.net

PARACHAT….

02.05.2012
TOUT SUR BRESLEV EN VIDEOS SUR http://www.nahmanmeouman.com

Limoud Torah Ron Chaya

Peiner, puis faire les Mitsvots avec joie, cela apporte en nous l’amour de D-ieu !

23.03.2014

Rav Ron Chaya et Leava vous présentent ” Peiner, puis faire les Mitsvots avec joie, cela apporte en nous l’amour de D-ieu ! “.

Pour visionner d’autres cours : http://www.leava.fr
Pour s’inscrire à la Newsletter du Rav Chaya :http://eepurl.com/lIlEH
Afin de poser votre question au Rav : http://www.leava.fr/questions-reponse…
Contact : contact@leava.fr

Conférence du Rav Yehouda Ben Ichay sur: Fraternité et Justice Sociale (1/2)

Conférence du Rav Yehouda Ben Ichay sur: Fraternité et Justice Sociale (2/2)

22.09.2011
http://www.chalom-jerusalem.com/frate…

Dans le cadre du séminaire annuel d’Eloul du Centre Yaïr-Manitou et du Centre Communautaire Francophone Emouna Cheléma , le Rav Yehouda Ben Ichay a donné une conférence sur un sujet d’actualité:
Fraternité et Justice Sociale
Le séminaire est dedie à la mémoire du président du Centre Yaïr Manitou, Mr Gérald Sananès qui l’avait preparé

Rav Ben Ichay רב בן ישי בצרפתית

michkenot yossef

Rav Jeremy  Diffusons la Torah

Dva’h Mal’hout Parachat ….

 19.03.2014

Etudes avec Yaacov Corda

Parachat … Rav TOUITOU

Cour de torah sur la Paracha ….par Avy Allouche, d´après les cours du Rav Corda

Rav Yossef Tordjmann présente: Paracha …..

02.03.2014
Cours dédié à la mémoire de Fortunée Messaouda bat Myriam, Esther bat Messaouda, Victor Haim ben Atou, Martine Aziza bat Yvonne Myriam, Reine bat Haki, Dina bat Diamanté, Gaston Haim Yehouda ben Rina, Moche Dov ben Haziza et Julie Zouira bat Kouika, ainsi que pour la guérison complète du bébé Odaya Haya bat Vicky Rivka Shila, Antoine ben Emile, Haim Mickael ben Rivka, Makhlouf ben Haya, David ben Rahel, Yehouda ben Rahel, Mike Meyer Haim ben Simha, Touna bat Esther, Esther bat Rahel, Chalom ben Avraham, Haya bat Rahel, Hamous ben Rahel, Eliyahou ben Chlomo, Moche ben Avraham et Bilha Braha bat Rahel.

chiourim Rabbanim

Rav Yaacov Corda

Chiourim.com – Institutions Bnei Torah

 

Paracha de la semaine Rav Yehouda Ben Ichay de la Communauté Emouna Cheléma à Jérusalem

5 minutes sur la paracha de cette semaine par le Rav Messod Touboul.

Rabbanim Torah Box

Institutions à la mémoire des Tzaddikim Rabbi Haïm et Rabbi Moche aaron Pinto Zatsal

Rav Raphael Pinto

PARACHA DE LA SEMAINE 5774

Torah-Box.com Rabbanim

PARACHA DE LA SEMAINE

Paracha de la semaine : Rabbanim …

hassidout

La paracha de la semaine … Rabbin Joseph Abittan

La paracha de la semaine … Rabbin Joseph Abittan

La paracha de la semaine … Machon Oran

Torahnet

KAATE MAR

Touche pas a SA Terre! -Paracha Behoukotai-12 Mai 2014

 

Parachat de la semaine …. Chalom Jerusalem….

Le Rav Yehouda Ben Ichay de la Communauté Emouna Chéléma à Jérusalem nous explique le commentaire du Rav Munk dans La Voix de la Thora sur le verset Vayikra XI, 42 de notre paracha: Chemini שמיני

Vous pouvez vous procurer en ligne les livres La Voix de la Torah du Rav Elie Munk par ce lien http://www.amazon.fr/gp/search?ie=UTF…

© Filmé et mis en ligne par Denis Kassel
Tél 052-886 55 25

Grand Rabbin Gilles Bernheim

04.03.2014

Grand Rabbin Gilles Bernheim / Parasha ….
Radio Shalom
4 mars 2014

1-frenchparacha

 

Logo Torah-Box

 

Dans la paracha Bamidbar, quand la Thora nous liste les descendants de Lévi, elle nous rappelle le décès tragique des deux vertueux fils de Aharon, Nadav et Avihou. Elle ajoute alors un détail qui ne nous avait pas été mentionné jusqu’ici : ils moururent sans laisser d’enfants [1].

La guemara en déduit que s’ils avaient eu des enfants, ils ne seraient pas morts [2].
Le ‘Hatam Sofer zatsal explique que Nadav et Avihou avaient atteint une telle proximité avec Hachem qu’ils avaient réalisé leur plein potentiel, et qu’il ne leur était plus utile de vivre dans ce bas monde. S’ils avaient eu des enfants, ils auraient continué de vivre pour les élever et subvenir à leurs besoins. Nous apprenons d’ici que même si une personne atteint la perfection absolue dans son service personnel d’Hachem, elle reste en vie pour aider ses enfants.

De plus, on peut déduire de ce principe du ‘Hatam Sofer qu’il existe deux niveaux dans la Avodat Hachem (le service Divin) – le premier est le développement de l’étude de la Thora, des midot (qualités) de la personne et de sa relation avec D. et le second correspond à sa responsabilité vis-à-vis de ses enfants. Dans Pitou’hé ‘Hotam, le ‘Hatam Sofer [3] ajoute qu’un grand tsadik peut rester en vie afin de guider ses disciples comme ses propres enfants, ce qui signifie que la deuxième étape de la Avoda ne se limite pas à l’aide apportée aux enfants, mais s’applique également à celle apportée à ses élèves. [4]

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Les horaires de votre ville ne sont pas indiqués dans l’image ? Cliquez-ici !

Cours de Torah

6 nouveaux cours de Torah sont disponibles depuis cette semaine sur Torah-Box.com :

Comment rester un Prince face aux Épreuves ? (de Rav David LEVY)
Téchouva (7/7) : les parents s’opposent… (de Rav Mordehai BITTON)
Issakhar & Zvouloun : un collelman peut-il se faire aider financièrement ? (de Rav Binyamin WATTENBERG)
Rabbi Méïr & Rabbi Chimon bar Yo’haï (de Rav Eliahou UZAN)
Bé’houkotaï : la Torah de nos pères (de Rav David SHOUSHANA)
La Emouna d’acier du Rav Naftali (de Rav Emmanuel MIMRAN)
36ème jour du ‘Omer : ‘Hessed chébaYessod 
Compte du Omer – Mercredi 21 Mai 2014
Soirée de Gala du Rav Benchetrit
Communauté – Mardi 20 Mai 2014

 

Vous êtes peu nombreux à le savoir, mais le Rav Yehia Benchetrit, en dehors des 200 conférences annuelles qu’il donne dont une vingtaine de Chabbath pleins, c’est aussi des milliers de livres offerts dans les écoles, plus de 200.000 cours distribués en MP3, une diffusion de la Torah dans les prisons… mais aussi des centaines d’envois de programme de suivi et de travail sur soi, qui sont offerts pour aider et accompagner des personnes dans les difficultés.   Regardez autour de vous le nombre de personnes de vos connaissances qui ont déjà pu profiter de ses enseignements.   Toutes ces activités nécessitent des moyens pour les perpétuer et les augmenter.   Soyez nos partenaires dans cette oeuvre extraordinaire qui touche chaque année des centaines de milliers de personnes dans le monde.   >> Réservez un billet pour le Gala par téléphone au 01 42 35 35 81 ou surwww.ravbenchetrit.com  

– Accès Vidéo : Gala Mekor Daat –

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Savoir accepter la voie de son mari
Pensée Juive ! – Mardi 20 Mai 2014

 

Durant de longues années, Madame N. ne cessa de parler durement à son époux et de le harceler.

Il était attiré par l’étude de la Halakha et elle n’était pas satisfaite…« Mon père approfondissait le Talmud » se plaisait-elle à répéter. « Regarde quel grand érudit il est devenu ! Il a terminé le Chass… C’est un enseignant qui traite de sujets profonds, il est réputé pour son charisme ! »

Il tenta de lui expliquer qu’il étudiait différemment, que le domaine de la Halakha le captivait beaucoup plus. Elle n’en démordait pas.

Finalement, il se rendit chez le Rav Chakh.

Le Rav Chakh invita les deux conjoints à le suivre.

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Mercredi 7 mai 2014, le grand-rabbin d’Israël, Harav Hagaon Itshak Yossef fils deMaran harav Ovadia Yossef zatsal a fait une intervention très remarquée dans l’enceinte prestigieuse de la yéchiva ‘Hazon Ovadia, qu’il dirigeait jusqu’à sa nomination en tant que grand-rabbin d’Israël.

Quelques jours après la reprise du cours normal des études dans les yéchivotes et l’ouverture de la session d’été (zman kayits), le Richon léTsion a donné une si’hathizouk, c’est-à-dire qu’il a prononcé des paroles de renforcement destinées auxba’houré yéchivot (étudiants dans les Instituts d’étude talmudique). En effet, lesba’houré yéchivot sont soumis depuis quelque temps en Israël à un feu nourri de critiques et en proie à toutes sortes de pressions, économiques et autres, allant même jusqu’à l’incarcération en prison militaire (!) pour tenter de leur faire abandonner les bancs de l’étude…

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Refoua Chelema : 202 malades, 3 guérisons 
Communauté – Lundi 19 Mai 2014

 

A ce jour, 202 personnes malades attendent nos prières.

Cliquez-ici pour ajouter un nom de malade que vous connaissez.

Guérisons

Barou’h Hachem, nous vous informons de la réfoua de :

  • Yehouda Chmouel ben Rahel Elisheva (Maladie non-précisée)
  • Sophie bat Rachel (Autre)
  • Myriam Esther bat Clara (Maladies cardiovasculaires)

pour qui il n’est plus nécessaire de prier.

Bikour ‘Holim

6 malades aimeraient recevoir de la visite. Ils se trouvent :

Contactez-les en cliquant-ici, et prenez la décision d’aller les renforcer, ne serait-ce que quelques minutes.

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Lag Baomer en Direct-Live depuis Meron !
Torah-Box & vous – Dimanche 18 Mai 2014

 

Depuis Samedi soir jusqu’à dimanche à 20h15 (heure française), des centaines de milliers de juifs vont prier et se réjouir sur la Tombe de Rabbi Chimon bar Yo’hai à Méron en Israel, le jour de Lag Baomer, pour l’un des plus grands évènements de l’année juive.

Ce jour, qui marque le 33ème dans le compte du ‘Omer, marque également la fin de l’épidémie qui frappa les 24.000 élèves de Rabbi Akiva.

Direct-Live sur Torah-Box !

Vous êtes sur iPhone ? cliquez-ici

L’équipe Torah-Box vous retransmet une vidéo en direct-live de Meron sur la Tombe de celui qui dévoila tous les enseignements mystiques de la Torah.

Au programme ce samedi soir suivi de dimanche :

Direct-live à Meron
Envoi de Brakhot (bénédictions) récitées depuis le tombeau
Vidéos : allumage par les grands rabbanim, danses, feux,…
Chiourim sur Lag Baomer & Rabbi Chimon

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Question au Rav : les 10 dernières réponses en ligne 
Etudes & Ethique Juive – Dimanche 18 Mai 2014

 

Découvrez les 10 dernières questions posées aux Rabbanim de notre service “Question au Rav”, qui permet à chacun de recevoir une réponse dans n’importe quel domaine du Judaïsme, en quelques jours.

Pour poser une question à un Rav, cliquez-ici

Les 10 dernières questions

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Perle de la semaine : Rav Menahem Ha-Meïri 
Nos Sages – Dimanche 18 Mai 2014

 

« On trouvera toujours ce que l’on cherche. Certains trouvent la vérité même dans le mensonge ; d’autres sont capables de trouver le mensonge même dans la vérité. »

Rav Menahem Ha-Meïri

Consulter les autres perles de nos rabbanim, cliquez-ici.

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L’équipe Torah-Box vous offre une compilation de 3h de musique non-stop pour animer Lag Baomer, ce 33ème jour du ‘Omèr qui marque la fin des coutumes de deuil.

Une compilation musicale à télécharger, graver sur CD et faire jouer sur votre chaîne hi-fi !
 

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Lag BaOmer : le feu céleste de la Mitsva
Lag Baomer – Vendredi 16 Mai 2014

 

Profanation d’une synagogue à Sfax (Tunisie)
Actualité – Jeudi 15 Mai 2014

 

Bé’houkotaï : conseil pour renforcer son Bita’hon
Bé’houkotaï – Jeudi 15 Mai 2014

Téfila – Mardi 20 Mai 2014

La clé pour l’exaucement des Téfilot (prières) est cette capacité à toujours remercier Hachem sincèrement pour tous les bienfaits qu’Il nous octroie, comme le psaume de David nous y invite “Venez dans Ses portiques avec remerciement“.

L’équipe Torah-Box vous y aide par le biais d’une très belle prière que vous devriez prononcer chaque jour afin de fixer au plus profond de vous ce sentiment de reconnaissance envers le Créateur qui maintient la vie à chaque instant. Il est certain qu’elle permettra d’adoucir les jugements sévères qui pèsent sur nous, Amen.

A imprimer et conserver à un endroit de passage journalier inévitable.

 

>> Téléchargez la Prière de Remerciements à Hachem

 

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49 jours séparent Pessa’h de Chavouot pendant lesquels nous comptons le ‘Omer. Outre la Mitsva de compter ces jours, Hachem manifeste chacun de ceux-ci un ‘comportement particulier’ dans le monde. Ainsi, il est propice d’améliorer chaque jour un élément de notre Avodat Hachem (service divin), en rapport avec ce comportement (également appelé Séfira ou Midda)

De plus, cette période est préparatoire au Don de la Torah qui se renouvelle chaque année à Chavouot, par notre niveau d’engagement et de préparation à l’Etude.

Torah-Box vous propose donc quotidiennement jusqu’à Chavouot, deux conseils pour profiter au mieux de la lumière spirituelle de ces jours.

36ème jour du ‘Omer
(Mardi 20 Mai 2014 au soir et Mercredi 21 Mai 2014 en journée)
Séfira : ‘Hessed chébaYessod (la Bonté dans le Fondement)

Conduites recommandées :

  • Si nous connaissons des hommes Juifs qui, pour quelque raison, n’ont pas été circoncis, les encourager et les aider à accomplir cette Mitsva fondamentale.
  • Favoriser des Chidoukhim, rencontres en vue de fonder des foyers Juifs qui vivront dans la pureté (asseyez-vous et réflechissez, demandez, appelez… faites mériter vos amis).

Préparation à Chavouot :

Nos Sages recommandent aux Juges de réfléchir longuement avant de trancher, connaissant les limites de l’esprit humain. Mais ce conseil nous concerne tous : avant de prendre une décision lourde de conséquence, nous habituer à craindre l’erreur de jugement. Soyez circonspect et réfléchi !

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Select Section WEEKLY Parasha Parshat Korach Language : russian, german, SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

 

 

Select Section WEEKLY Parshat Korach language hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian, Machon Meir, CHABAD,The Jewish Woman,YOUTH/TEENS SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES
shiurim-tammuz
Select Section jewish holidays shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

Rabbi Dov Bigon

Недельная глава Торы КОРАХ

18.06.2014
Суть Кораха – раскол и ссора, противоположно Торе, суть которой – мир. 3 аспекта в противодействии Кораха Торе, намеком указанные в 3 буквах его имени.
לקו”ש חלק ח’, קרח א
http://www.chabadkensington.com







Махон-Меир (Книга Берешит)

Махон-Меир (Книга Шмот)

Недельная глава Ваикра

Махон-Меир (Книга Бемидбар)

Махон-Меир (Книга Бемидбар)

Махон-Меир (Книга Дварим)

 

Недельная глава

Каждый день есть новое видео о Иудаизме
✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡
Просим всех кому нравится
наш канал ⇒ ПОДПИСАТЬСЯ

Недельная глава с Ашером Альтшулем. Глава…

12.03.2014

Ашер Альтшуль беседует о недельной главе Торы в cвете сегоднешней риальности.
http://www.orazion.org

Глава ….

29.03.2012 Rav Moshe Chaim Levin

http://www.chabadkensington.com

בית חבד לדוברי רוסית בארהק

Недельная глава 

Rav Moshe Chaim Levin

25.12.2012г. Недельная глава Торы

11.02.2013

Занятие по недельной главе Торы проходит в нашей общине регулярно. В сезоне 2012-2013 – по вторникам, 19:40 – 21:00.

Раввин общины, Йосеф Херсонский разработал формат этого занятия:
– Мини-урок (15-20 минут) помощника раввина
– Часовое занятие раввина, в котором участникам предлагается выбрать наиболее интересующие их темы из сюжета недельной главы. В начале занятия раввин делает общий обзор главы и предлагает участникам список тем, упомянутых в главе + пояснения, каким образом эта тема актуальна сегодня. Каждый участник озвучивает 3 наиболее интересующие его темы. Рейтинг интересующих тем формирует программу занятия.

Данное занятие провел полностью помощник раввина ввиду того, что раввин был в отъезде.

Каждый день есть новое видео о Иудаизме

 

КОЛЛЕЛЬ ПРИ ИЦХАК

Официальный сайт программы “Лимуд” под руководством рава Мойше Шапиро и рава Звулуна Шварцмана

The official website of the “Limmud” under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Shapiro and Rav Schwartzman Zebulun

Недельная глава  Rabbi Sergei Kruglyanitsa

Недельная глава Rabbi Svirsky

Недельная глава Rav Chaims Haulov

Недельная глава Торы

 

nerhashem channel

Parshat  Language : german

<a href=”%20″><img src=”http://static.podcastcms.de/images/Feed/Channel/13297/1/13297.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a>

<h1>Synagoge Sulzbach – 06.06.2014</h1>

<h1>Koscherer Käse made in Germany – 30.05.2014</h1>

<h1>Wohnen im Betsaal – 23.05.2014</h1>

<h1>Die jüdische Silberschmiede Wetzlar – 16.05.2014</h1>

<h1>Jiddisch in Deutschland – 09.05.2014</h1>
<h1></h1>

Kabbala Fankfurt

12.02.2014

Das goldene Kalb
Zitat 1
1 Als aber das Volk sah, dass Mose ausblieb und nicht wieder von dem Berge zurückkam, sammelte es sich gegen Aaron und sprach zu ihm: Auf, mach uns einen G-tt, der vor uns hergehe! Denn wir wissen nicht, was diesem Mann Mose widerfahren ist, der uns aus Ägyptenland geführt hat.
2 Aaron sprach zu ihnen: Reißt ab die goldenen Ohrringe an den Ohren eurer Frauen, eurer Söhne und eurer Töchter und bringt sie zu mir.
3 Da riss alles Volk sich die goldenen Ohrringe von den Ohren und brachte sie zu Aaron.
4 Und er nahm sie von ihren Händen und bildete das Gold in einer Form und machte ein gegossenes Kalb. Und sie sprachen: Das ist dein G-tt, Israel, der dich aus Ägyptenland geführt hat!
(2. Moses 32:1-4)

Zitat 2
19 Sie machten ein Kalb am Horeb und beteten das gegossene Bild an
20 und verwandelten die Herrlichkeit ihres G-ttes in das Bild eines Ochsen, der Gras frisst.
21 Sie vergaßen G-tt, ihren Heiland, der so große Dinge in Ägypten getan hatte,
22 Wunder im Lande Hams und schreckliche Taten am Schilfmeer.
23 Und er gedachte, sie zu vertilgen, wäre nicht Mose gewesen, sein Auserwählter; der trat vor ihm in die Bresche, seinen Grimm abzuwenden, dass er sie nicht verderbe.
(Psalmen 106:19-23)

Zitat 3
Wo keine Rinder sind, da ist die Krippe leer; aber die Kraft des Ochsen bringt reichen Ertrag.
(Sprüche 14:4)

Zitat 4
3 Ein Ochse kennt seinen Herrn und ein Esel die Krippe seines Herrn; aber Israel kennt’s nicht, und mein Volk versteht’s nicht.
(Jesaja 1:3)

Rabbanim Shiurim

Rav Joseph Pardes

Parachat PARSCHAT PARSCHAT KORACH 5774 Rav Lior Engelmann

Raw Frand zu Parschat Korach 5773

Nicht alles ist schwarz oder weiss

Wann immer zehn männliche Juden zum Gebet zusammenkommen, sind sie in der Lage, den Namen G-ttes öffentlich zu heiligen, indem sie etwa Kaddisch oder Keduscha aufsagen. Diese weithin bekannte Tatsache wird vom Vers abgeleitet, “WeNikdaschti betoch Benej Jisrael” [Wajikra 22:32]. Der Talmud [Berachot 21b, Megilah 23b] lehrt, dass dies mindestens zehn Juden erfordert. Der Talmud leitet dies von einer Gesejra Schawa (einem Wortvergleich) zwischen dem Wort “toch” (inmitten) in diesem Vers und dem Wort “toch” im Vers des Wochenabschnitts Korach ab: “Separiert Euch aus der Mitte (mi‘toch) dieser sündhaften Gemeinde [Bamidbar 16:21].” Doch um die Lektion abzuschliessen, muss man einen Schritt weitergehen und den Vers in Korach – “aus der Mitte dieser sündhaften Gemeinde (Ejdah)” – mit einen Vers im Wochenabschnitt “Schelach” verbinden, der von den zehn Kundschaftern handelt, die den verleumderischen Bericht über das Land Israel vorgelegt hatten und als “sündhafte Gemeinde” (la’Ejdah ha’ra’a hasot) [Bamidbar 14:27] bezeichnet wird. In anderen Worten: Ejdah bedeutet “zehn” und diese Ableitung kann auf den Vers in Korach übertragen werden, der keine Anzahl von Menschen spezifiziert.

[Dies ist die Ableitung im Babylonischen Talmud und sie ist zugegebenermassen etwas kompliziert. Tatsächlich beinhaltet der Jerusalemer Talmud (Talmud Jeruschalmi) eine andere Ableitung, die sich auf den Vers in Bereschit [42:5] beruft: “Und die Kinder Israels kamen inmitten (be‘toch) jener, die kamen.” Dies bezieht sich auf die Ankunft der zehn Brüder Josefs in Ägypten.]

Es ist sicherlich ironisch, dass sich das ganze Konzept der Heiligung von G-ttes Namen in Anwesenheit eines Minjan-Quorums von einer sündhaften Kombination aus Korach und den Kundschaftern in der Wildnis ableitet. Beide haben sich schwerwiegender Sünden schuldig gemacht.

Hier ist eine ähnliche Merkwürdigkeit:

Mosche wird von Korach herausgefordert: Warum hast du dieses Kastensystem errichtet, wo nur die Kohanim (Priester) ein Anrecht auf den
G-ttesdienst haben? In Reaktion auf Mosches Herausforderung, brachte Korach 250 Leute, die alle Ketoret (Räucherwerk) opferten – ein Job, der normalerweise den Kohanim vorbehalten war – und die Menschen wurden alle an Ort und Stelle innerlich verbrannt, was ein himmlisches Zeichen dafür war, dass ihre Herausforderung keine Grundlage hatte und dass Aharon der legitime Kohen war. Was war die Nachwirkung dieses Vorfalls? G-tt bat Mosche, die Pfannen einzuschmelzen, die sich in den Händen dieser 250 Gefolgsleute Korachs befanden, die versucht hatten, das Weihrauch zu opfern und eine Abdeckung für den Misbe‘ach (Altar) zu errichten – als Denkmal für das jüdische Volk.

Wenn wir dort gewesen wären und jemand gefragt hätte, was wir mit diesen Pfannen anstellen sollten – was hätten wir gesagt? Nach aller Wahrscheinlichkeit hätten wir laut gerufen: “Trejf!” (unkoscher). Dies sind die Pfannen sündhafter Menschen, die g-ttliche Bestrafung erhielten. Wir hätten gedacht, dass das eigentliche Werkzeug zur Durchführung ihrer Sünde strengstens zu jeglichem Gebrauch verboten sei. Es sollte begraben oder zerstört werden. Mit Sicherheit aber sollte es nicht zu heiligem Gebrauch erhoben und zu einem Teil des heiligen Altars gemacht werden. Was ist hier los?

Mein guter Freund, Rabbi Jakow Luban, hatte eine einfache Erklärung, die beide Schwierigkeiten adressiert: Wir, als menschliche Wesen, betrachten Dinge als schwarz oder weiss, rein oder unrein, koscher oder trejf. Sie sind entweder das Eine oder das Andere. Der Allmächtige jedoch, in seiner unendlichen Weisheit, sieht manchmal auch positive Motivationen in bösen Taten.

Korach forderte Mosches Führung heraus. Wie Raschi erklärt, gab es ein Element der Eifersucht und einen Versuch, Macht von Mosche und Aharon zu entreissen. Doch es gab in Korachs Kampagne auch ein positives Element, nämlich eine grössere Rolle im Dienst des Allmächtigen zu erwerben. Korach und seine Gefolgschaft empfanden sich selbst als heilig und sie wollten ihr ganzes, vermeintliches Potenzial der Heiligkeit ausschöpfen, indem sie am Tempeldienst teilnehmen würden. Der Talmud [Sotah 13b] bemängelt sogar indirekt Mosches Niederschlagung von Korach und seiner Gefolgsleute, als er ihnen sagte: “Raw lachem (zuviel für Euch)” [Bamidbar 16:7]. Die exakt selben Worte wurden auf Mosche “zurückgefeuert”, sozusagen, als er darum bat, in das Land Kena‘an einzutreten, nachdem Haschem seinen Tod noch vor dem Einzug in das Land bestimmt hatte. “Raw lach” [Dewarim 3:26] ist, was ihm gesagt wird. Dies impliziert, dass Korach innerhalb seines Schemas doch ein gewisses Verlangen hatte, Heiligkeit zu erreichen – was nicht völlig ignoriert werden sollte. Haschen erkannte diese Ambitionen an – und sie sind tatsächlich “heilig” und können als Grundlage zur Ableitung des erforderlichen Gebets-Quorums verwendet werden, um Dinge der Heiligkeit zu rezitieren.

Gleichermassen, als 250 Menschen ihr Leben riskierten, um Haschem näher zu kommen und an seinem Dienst teilzuhaben, war auch etwas Gutes an dieser Motivation dran. Es war eine inhärente Keduscha (Heiligkeit) in diesen Pfannen, womit sie den Versuch unternahmen, Teilnehmer am
G-ttesdienst zu werden. Diese Keduscha – in den Augen des Allmächtigen – konnte für eine angemessene Bedeckung des Altars eingebunden werden.

Auch im Fall der Meraglim (Kundschafter) – wie die Kommentare ausführlich erklären – gab es vielfältige Motivationen, die ihren Bericht dazu veranlassten, so zu werden, wie er geworden war. Es gab aber auch positive Absichten in dem, was sie sagten. Nach Meinung einiger, fühlten sie, dass das Volk nicht in der Lage sein würde, die hohen Standards von Erez Jisrael zu erfüllen. Nach Meinung anderer, wollten sie die idyllische Spiritualität beibehalten, die sie in der Wildnis hatten. Was auch immer der Grund war – es lag sicher nicht an einem totalen Ausfall ihres Glaubens an den Allmächtigen. Sie lagen falsch, aber sie waren keine vollkommen bösartigen Menschen.

Die Lehre ist, dass der Allmächtige Keduscha selbst im scheinbar Bösen der Gemeinde Korachs und im Rat der Kundschafter sieht. Selbst von diesen weniger als vollkommen tadellosen Individuen, gibt es Platz, eine Ableitung für die Idee der Heiligkeit innerhalb des jüdischen Volkes zu finden.

Die Lehre ist, dass Menschen sehr komplex sind. Sie tun Dinge aufgrund einer Vielzahl von Gründen und es können Licht und Dunkelheit in ihren Taten und Motivationen vermischt sein.
Der Satmarer Rebbe sagte einmal, dass sein Urgrossvater (der Jismach Mosche) seinem Grossvater (dem Jetew Lew) einmal erzählte, dass er, der Jismach Mosche, dreimal in dieser Welt gelebt hatte. In anderen Worten, durch die Institution von Gilgul Neschamot (Seelenwanderung) kam er zu drei verschiedenen Epochen auf diese Welt. Das erste Mal, da er auf dieser Welt war – wie er behauptete – war zur Zeit der Wildnis, als der Vorfall mit Korach geschah. Nachdem er das hörte, bat der Jetew Lew seinen Vater, ihm über die Ereignisse jener Zeit zu berichten. Der Jismach Mosche erzählte seinem Sohn, dass alle Vorsitzenden des Sanhedrin (des “Hohen Rats”) wie auch die Menschenmassen auf der Seite Korachs waren – und nur ein kleiner Teil des Volkes auf Seiten Mosches. Der Jetew Lew bedrängte daraufhin seinen Vater mit der Frage: “Auf wessen Seite warst du?” Er antwortete: “Ich war neutral“, woraufhin der Jetew Lew ihn fragte: “Wie konntest du dich enthalten? – Korach war ja gegen Mosche Rabbejnu und du standest an der Seitenlinie? Wie konnte das sein?”

Der Jetew Lew sagte seinem Sohn: “Ich sehe, dass du keine Ahnung hast, was Korach für ein grosser Mensch war. Wenn du dort gewesen wärst und gesehen hättest, wer Korach war (wie Raschi sagt, war Korach sehr klug und auch einer, der die Bundeslade trug), dann wärst du nicht so schockiert über meine Neutralität. Korach wollte Keduscha. Es gab ein Element des Guten in seinem Streit. Es war schwer, sich auf eine Seite festzulegen.

Dies ist die Lehre, die wir aus der Tatsache lernen, dass die Pfannen zur Bedeckung des Altars verwendet wurden. Menschliche Wesen sind sehr komplex. Die Dinge sind nicht immer schwarz und weiss, sondern häufig auch in Grautönen gehalten.

 

Rav Frand, Copyright © 2013 by Rav Frand und Project Genesis, Inc und Verein Lema’an Achai / Jüfo-Zentrum.

Weiterverteilung ist erlaubt, aber bitte verweisen Sie korrekt auf die Urheber und das Copyright von Autor, Project Genesis und Verein Lema’an Achai / Jüfo-Zentrum und auf learn@torah.org, sowie www.torah.org.

1-russianparasha

Iyar 21, 5774 · May 21, 2014
Sehr geehrte Leserschaft,

 

der Wochenabschnitt »Bamidbar« wird immer vor Schawuot gelesen. Die einfache Begründung dafür lautet, dass der Abschnitt davor (»Bechukotai«) sehr heftige Verwarnungen enthält; da man diese nicht direkt vor dem Feiertag Schawuot verlesen will, achtet man darauf, einen Abschnitt dazwischen einzufügen.Doch gibt es auch einen tieferen Zusammenhang zwischen der Lesung »Bamidbar« und Schawuot.Im Abschnitt Bamidbar geht es um eine umfangreiche Zählung des jüdischen Volkes. Es ist dies nicht die einzige Volkszählung in der Tora: Die erste fand nach dem Auszug aus Ägypten statt, die zweite nach dem Goldenen Kalb bzw. vor dem Bau des Heiligtums, und nun haben wir die dritte Zählung kurz nach der Fertigstellung des Heiligtums. – Warum eigentlich wurde so oft gezählt?

Ein häufig zitierter Kommentar besagt, dass G-tt das jüdische Volk als Ausdruck einer besonderen Liebe immer wieder zählte. Denn wenn einem etwas besonders wertvoll ist, holt man es immer wieder hervor, um es zu zählen.

Gut Schabbes

 

Der Themenschwerpunkt der Woche
von Avichaj Schäfer
BAMIDBAR

Numeri 1:1–4:20

In der Wüste Sinai trägt G-tt den zwölf Stämmen Israels auf, einen Zensus durchzuführen. 603.550 Männer im Alter von 20 bis 60 Jahren werden gezählt. Bei Aufbruch des Volkes zerlegen und transportieren die drei levitischen Clans das Heiligtum und bauen es in der Mitte des nächsten Lagers wieder auf.

GEDANKEN

Ist alles so, wie es sein sollte?

In dieser Woche beginnen wir mit einem neuen Buch: mit Numeri und mit dem Wochenabschnitt Bamidbar. Das ist eine seltsame Kombination, denn der Titel des Buches hat etwas mit Zählen zu tun, aber der Titel der ersten Parascha lautet „In der Wüste“.

BETRACHTUNGEN

Der “Aron Hakodesch”

Angesichts des in wenigen Tagen bevorstehenden Schawuot-Festes ist es passend, die folgenden Auszüge aus einem Brief des Lubawitscher Rebben zu zitieren. Es handelt sich um ein Schreiben an eine Gruppe von Freunden, die ihm einen wertvollen “Aron Hakodesch” zum Geschenk gemacht hatten.

von Dr. William Stern

LEITGEDANKEN

Num. 3:39

Unser Leitgedanke zu Bamidbar

GESCHICHTEN

Der Segen eines Zaddiks

Als er schon weit über neunzig Jahre alt war, erzählte Reb Gerschon Schwarz sel. A. von einem Ausflug zum Hof von Rabbi David Twerski, dem Tolner Rebben.

ESSAYS

Wenn Kinder nicht richtig lernen wollen

Es ist immer schwer für uns, wenn unsere Kinder auf einem bestimmten Gebiet Schwierigkeiten haben, besonders wenn es etwas ist, was uns wichtig ist.

von Sara Esther Crispe

PERSÖNLICHKEITEN

Von Mythen und Legenden

Es gibt ein ganze Menge Mythen und Legenden über den Baal Schem Tov. Sogar die fantastischsten, so sagt man, sind wahr – denn selbst wenn sie nicht wirklich geschehen sind, war der Baal Schem Tov in der Lage, sie geschehen zu lassen.

von Tzvi Freeman

 

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Comentario Parashat ….. – Rabino Pablo Gabe Kehilá de Córdoba

Centro Unión Israelita

Parashat …..Shavei Israel

Clase de Torá, sobre la parashá de la semana Behar. Brindada por el Rabino Nissán Ben Avraham, descendiente de chuetas que retornó al judaísmo y se desempeña hoy día como enviado de Shavei Israel en España. Para más información sobre las actividades de Shavei Israel http://www.shavei.org, blog para Bnei Anusim http://www.casa-anusim.org

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Comentario de la parashá de la semana por el Rabino David Tabachnik, director de los Institutos Ariel.

 

Parashat… Rav Rony Gurwicz

Parashat……….. – Shiur Rab David Perets

Parashat …….

 Rabino Alfredo Goldschmdit

Parasha …. segunda parte Rabino Moshe Abravanel

Rab Yacar: Tora HD (Periodismo Kosher)

PARASHAT…..

  20.06.2012

Mensaje del Rabino Itzjak Ginsburgh para la parashá …
GAL EINAI EN ESPAñOL http://www.dimensiones.org info@galeinai.org
http://www.galeinai.tv http://www.radio.galeinai.tv
Hay algo muy especial con respecto a los mandamientos, acerca del concepto de ordenar, mandar. Ordenar, en primer lugar implica reinado, ¿Quién da órdenes, quien manda? El rey, un rey ordena. Entonces, el hecho que toda la Torá sea un libro de preceptos, quiere decir que todo su propósito es el de revelar, manifestar el reino de Dios en la tierra, que Hashem Hu Hamelej, que Dios es el Rey, Él ordena y nosotros cumplimos, lo que Él ordena nosotros lo hacemos.

שיעור שבועי בשעה שהקדימו

Parshat …Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

21.03.2012
Video Mensaje Semanal del Rabino Itzjak Ginsburgh shlita
desde Israel
http://www.dimensiones.org

Parashat…  Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Parashat…  Rabino Alfredo Goldschmdit

Parasha Rabbanim, Rav Bracha

Parashat de la semana Rabino Moshe abravanel – A forma certa de estudar Torá

Parashat Rabino Iona Blicktein

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Parashá

The Jewish Woman Select Section WEEKLY Parasha Parshat Korach Language : english, hebrew SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Thoughts on Parashat DrishaInstitute

Esti Stahler Parshas Korach

Parshat Korach: Well Grounded

Parshat Korach: Chosen by G-d

Parshat Korach: Flowering Focus

Parshat Korach: Reasons for Rebellion

Parshat Korach: The Thread of Truth

Parshat Korach – Rachael’s Reflection – June 10, 2010

הרבנית אהובה ארד- פרשת ..

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – מכון ון ליר בירושלים

Rabanit Iris Odani Elyashiv Parshat Korach HEBREW

הרבנית אהובה ארד- פרשת קורח

פותחים שבוע בקולנוע תשס”ח,פרשת קרח.מרצה:שהרה בלאו

פרשת קורח: כך תיפטר מאויבים פוליטיים

פרשת קורח: כך תיפטר מאויבים פוליטיים

קורח ביקש להחליף את משה בהנהגת העם, רק בגלל שהם קרובי משפחה. לשמחתו של משה, מישהו העלים בשבילו את קורח ועדתו בדרך מקורית. הלוואי על ביבי?

אשת חיל

ערוץ וידאו לנשים חרידיות – שיעורי תורה לצפייה ולהורדה, שיחות וראיונון עם נשים מיוחדות בעלות מקצוע , טיפים חשובים ושימושיים לכל אחת, שווה להכנס ולהתרשם…

 

jwomanparasha

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S.E.M. Torah – Korach 5773By: Rav Yamin Goldsmith

Parshat Korach (English)

לקיחת אחריות/השפעה ושליחות By: Rav Michael Yammer

(Hebrew)

Rav Hendler’s Choir in Tikochin

22.08.2008
Rav Aryeh Hendler of Yeshivat Shaalvim, leading his chassidim in the singing of Lecha Dodi in the old shul in Tikochin, Poland, August 2008.

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – מכון ון ליר בירושלים·

Online Torah Study (OneShul.org)

Thoughts on Parashat  …

How is doing a voluntary mitzvah like wearing a snazzy outfit? Parshat …. Rabbi Ari Strulowitz

Parshat Vayikra opens the third book of Torah by outlining korban, burnt offerings. Rabbi Ari Strulowitz of Midwest NCSY, interprets the wording of the second verse: “a man from AMONG you brings a sacrifice.”
While some mitzvot are must-do’s but many others are voluntary, and so perhaps this sacrifice is a voluntary one. Why does this matter? Find out!

שיעור דבר מלכות לנשים, פרשת

אשת חיל אתר נשים http://lenashim.org/
שיעור דבר מלכות, פרשת ויקרא – מתוך שיחות קודש של הרבי מלך המשיח שליט”א,
מוסרת חיה ברכה שאול.

הרבנית אהובה ארד- פרשת

הצפייה לנשים בלבד!!

להזמנת שיעורים/הפרשות חלה/סעודת אמנים /נסיעות לקברות צדיקים בארץ ונסיעות לאומן-ניתן להיכנס לאתר הרשמי של הרבנית

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ובפייסבוק.

פרשה בשניים

13.10.2013
פרוייקט ייחודי של עין פרת – המדרשה באלון בשיתוף עם ynet יהדות, במסגרתו מסבים בכל שבוע שני אישים המלמדים במדרשת עין פרת באלון, סביב מחשבות אודות הפרשה, בזוויות שונות ומעניינות.
דרך נעימה ומרעננת להיכנס אל תוך השבת

A Mayanot Moment – Parashat  – Rebetzin Hendel

Questions and Answers for Today’s Jewish Woman

08.02.2009
Available on naaleh.com at: http://www.naaleh.com/viewclass/1773/&#8230;

In this Torah shiur (class) addressing with the
challenges of contemporary Jewish women, Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
answers real questions that have been sent in from Naaleh students all
over the world  This class discusses prayer, the challenges of blended families, women’s role in Judaism, dealing with chronic illness, and other relevant
topics of the day.  This Torah class is available online in streaming video and for download in mp3 and ipod video formats.

Parshat…. Naaleh.com

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Na’aleh offers unique features and services which together form a comprehensive learning program for the motivated Jewish adult:

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הרבנית אהובה ארד

הצפייה לנשים בלבד!!
שיעור על פרשת “בא” מפי הרבנית אהובה ארד שתחי’
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בואי והצטרפי אלינו למסע רוחני ומיוחד עם הרבה שמחה, אהבה ותפילה.
לכל קברות הצדיקים באוקראינה-
רבי נחמן מאומן, הבעל שם טוב הקדוש, רבי נתן, רבי לוי יצחק מברדיצ’ב, רבי אברהם בר ברוך,
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והכל במחירים הכל זולים בארץ!!אוכל כשר!! ותנאים מעולים!!
התקשרי עכשיו לברר על הנסיעה הקרובה ובעז”ה תראי ניסים וישועות!!

Rabbanit Iris Tomer Devorah: Mishneah Torah LaRambam Walking in His Ways HEBREW 2012 02 21

20.02.2014

Rabbanit Yehoshua Rabbanit Batia Yehoshua’s weekly shiur in Queens, NY.

Two minute Torah

11.03.2014

Good and Evil: Understanding our Choices

03.09.2013
Right and wrong, good and evil; they are all clear cut examples of choices. But as Rachael explains, life is not always a choice between two options.

Rachael’s Centre for Torah, Mussar and Ethics is a not for profit, charitable organization that focuses on sharing and applying Jewish wisdom from a woman’s perspective.
Dr. Rachael Turkienicz, our founder and executive director, has developed a unique approach to revealing these ancient truths in the context of a modern world. Rachael holds a Ph.D. in Talmudic and Midrashic Studies from Brandeis University. Currently she is a Professor at York University in both of its Education and Jewish Studies faculties. Rachael is an influential and needed woman’s voice within Judaism today.
Rachael’s Centre in Toronto and rachaelscentre.org are pluralistic, community based, unaffiliated and open to people of all backgrounds. The core of the Centre and its programmes is the wisdom of Jewish text presented through a female lens. Rachael’s Centre also offers programmes and courses on the interior moral and life systems of Mussar (Jewish ethics).

PARENTING: On Loan

On Loan
Iyar 20, 5774 · May 20, 2014

 

Children have a way of pushing buttons.

And when they push a certain button at a certain time with a certain degree of intensity, the result may be the desire to give that child the punishment he deserves.

A chassid once wrote to the Rebbe that he had a hard time restraining himself from hitting his child, even though that was not the way he wanted to raise him.

The Rebbe responded, “Imagine if this was your neighbor’s child. Would you ever consider lifting your hand to another’s child?”

In truth, our children are not our own. They were entrusted to our care as a loan, given to us by G‑d to raise and care for.

When Chanah, the mother of Samuel the prophet, was thanking G‑d for her child after many years of infertility, she said, “This is the child that I prayed for, for G‑d has given me what I asked for.” The Hebrew word for asked, sha’alah, can also mean “borrowed.”

Chana was cognizant that this precious son that she was to care for was not her own, but rather a loan that G‑d had entrusted to her.

Thoughtstream: Today, I will take care of my child carefully and lovingly, for G‑d has entrusted me with the most precious loan.

(Adapted from Torat Menachem 5744, vol. 1, p. 159.)

Popular Shabbaton & NCSY videos

Celebrate 60 years of NCSY at the historic Shabbaton this Spring. Sign up online at your regional website or go to http://www.ncsy.org

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A fantastic group of Young Adults from Chabad NDG in the heart of Montreal’s trendy Monkland Village went down to Crown Heights, New York for an incredible Shabbaton weekend. It was the best of both the physical and spiritual worlds. This is a 6 minute documentary of our journey, reflections and inspirations… hope you enjoy it!

Filmed by Rabbi Yisroel Bernath on Canon Powershot SD1400 IS
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MACHON MEIR YESHIVA JERUSALEM

06.04.2013
http://english.machonmeir.net/
Machon Meir is a Center for Jewish Studies that is located in the heart of Jerusalem, Israel in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe. It was established by Rabbi Dov Bigon shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Rabbi Bigon was a commander in the Israeli Defense Force that helped liberate Jerusalem and the Western Wall from the Jordanian Legion. After the war he began to contemplate the meaning of the Jewish Nation and decided to enroll himself in the Merkaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

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Machon Meir for over the last 35 years has been a place for all of Am Yisrael to come and learn more about their Jewish roots. It is a place to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the Nation of Israel and the importance of living in the Land of Israel. Since its inception it has grown to become more than just a center for Jewish learning. It now has expanded into a facility that has over 600 students with classes in Hebrew, English, Russian, French and Spanish. Its main student body is made up of Israelis, which is great for the student from abroad to be able to get a first hand feel of what the Israeli Religious culture is like. It also has thousands of Alumni who frequently visit Machon Meir and stay in personal contact with their Rabbis.
It has also opened up a Religious Zionist seminary for women speakers of Hebrew, Spanish and Russian called Machon Ora. If you would like to visit their website go to ttp://mora.machonmeir.net/heb/

Machon Meir is also the only place in Jerusalem which offers Kosher, Torani Ulpan classes for men only to learn Hebrew. These classes take place during the afternoon hours Sunday-Wednesday. If you would like to visit their website go to ttp://ulpan-ivrit.co.il/

Machon Meir has become known throughout Israel as the place to go to learn more and grow as a Jewish person and member of Am Yisrael. It has also become the landing point for many new immigrants from all the countries in the Diaspora because of its value on full integration into Israeli society and the encouragement to be a part of the Israeli Defense Force.

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כוכבית אתרוג

תלמוד תורה יסדת עוז תשעד
26.05.2014

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A fantastic group of Young Adults from Chabad NDG in the heart of Montreal’s trendy Monkland Village went down to Crown Heights, New York for an incredible Shabbaton weekend. It was the best of both the physical and spiritual worlds. This is a 6 minute documentary of our journey, reflections and inspirations… hope you enjoy it!

Filmed by Rabbi Yisroel Bernath on Canon Powershot SD1400 IS
Edited in iMovie for iPhone

Parshat Korach: Moses vs. Korach – A Showdown of Biblical Proportions

21.06.2009
http://www.g-dcast.com/korach
Download the Curriculum: http://www.g-dcast.com/korach-lesson-&#8230;

Ready for a rumble?
It’s Korach versus Moses
ONE NIGHT ONLY! At the TABERNACLE!
Who will prevail as the leader….who will face God’s fury?

This is Episode 38 of the weekly Torah cartoon from G-dcast.com. Each week, a different storyteller – some musical, some poetic, some just straight-up, tell the story of the current Torah portion…and then we animate it!





Kora’h: le danger du pourquoi.

15.06.2014
Rav Ouri Banon

La Paracha avec Boubach saison 2 !!

 

Une nouvelle émission de 613TV qui vous propose 15 minutes de Thora avec une parole de Thora sur la paracha,une loi de Chabbat et une merveilleuse histoire.
Ce pack vous est offert pour embellir votre table de Chabbat.

La paracha #34 : Kora’h

04.06.2013
Les Bné Israël et la discipline, ça fait deux et ça ne date pas d’hier. Cette semaine la terre s’ouvre sur les flammes de l’enfer (sans blague) et tout le monde part se coucher sans dîner.

Pour la guérison de Ra’hel bat Déborah
http://www.roseedemiel.fr/2013/06/04/&#8230;

Paracha …..Rosée de Miel

WEEKLY TORAH FOR KIDS: Parshat Korach


an 20, 5774 · June 18, 2014
I Know It Already


“Okay, dolphins,” the swimming coach said. “Hold on to the railing and kick your legs.” You could hear the fierce splashing as the boys kicked their legs in an effort to improve their front-crawl kicking technique.

Mr. Cohen felt it was important that the boys get extra swimming practice even though they already had a swimming lesson at school.

“Ben,” Adam said, “did you tell the instructor that we already know how to swim?”

Adam had been enjoying the splashing but was starting to feel that he was wasting his time in the shallow end with boys who didn’t even know how to swim.

“Yeah,” Ben said. “At school we swim in the deep end and now they aren’t even letting us swim in the shallow end!”

“We don’t even need those lessons,” Adam complained. “I understand that the other kids need this, but we finished with these exercises about two years ago.”

“You know what,” Ben said, “this must be how Korach felt.”

“Why do you say that?” asked Adam.

“Don’t you remember?” Ben said. “We learned in class how Korach felt that his generation was madder up of all powerful and holy people and they therefore didn’t need leaders and priests?”

“Yes,” Adam said, “I remember that. And he said that he understood that the Jewish people in later generations would need leaders and priests, but in his generation just they didn’t need them.”

“But,” Adam said, “I don’t remember what was wrong with his complaint. I mean, it makes a lot of sense to me. Take our situation: we don’t need these exercises, so why do we have to go through them, even though we don’t need them?”

“Well,” Ben said “the problem is that however perfect we think we are, we still need to be humble and accept leadership, even if we think we don’t need it. Leadership will help us develop more and more, in the right way.”

“Hmmm,” Adam said. “You mean to say that even if I knew the whole Torah, and I was a big scholar, I would still need to be humble and listen to what the rabbi says?”

“Yes,” said Ben, “or the swimming instructor…”

 

This Week’s Features

By Tzvi Freeman

Meet JKGT Finalist: Chaya Muchnik

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By Gershon Kranzler
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Machon Meir

Parshat Pekudei (10/03/10)  Machon MeirMachon Meir  ENGLISH  :MeirTV English

Rabbi Dov Bigon


For over 35 years, Machon Meir has become known throughout Israel as the place to get a deeper understanding what it truly means to be a member of the Jewish people. It has also become the landing point for many new immigrants from all over the world because of the institute’s encouragement of living in the Land of Israel. Machon Meir has also created a strategy to distribute Torah worldwide through their media channel, Arutz Meir. Since it began, Arutz Meir has debuted a range of television series and archived over 25,000 classes which are constantly being updated and viewed daily throughout the world in 5 different languages. With a variety of topics and discussions led by renowned Jewish scholars, our viewers will surely find a class that will create sparks of inspiration. Whether you are looking to connect to your Jewish heritage or you are simply seeking out answers, we exist to imbue the words of Torah and engage our viewers with real and meaningful

Paracha Pekoude (01/03/11)  Machon MeirMachon Meir MeirTvFrench

Rav Dov Bigon

  Machon MeirMachon Meir   MeirTvRussian

Rabbi Dov Bigon


“За чашкой чая”
Беседа в тёплой, неформальной обстановке о том,
как современный интеллигентный слушатель воспринимает нашу традицию.
В передаче мы попробуем получить ответы на непростые вопросы,
которые еврейский народ задаёт уже не первое тысячелетие.
Присоединяйтесь, приходите к нам на чашечку чая.
Не стесняйтесь, чувствуйте себя как дома!
Из цикла передач “За Чашкой Чая” 96-го канала из Иерусалима.
Наша Традиция на вашем языке!

  Machon MeirMachon Meir   ESPAÑOL MeirTvSpanish
Por más de 35 años, Machon Meir ha dado a conocer a través de Israel como el lugar para obtener una comprensión más profunda lo que realmente significa ser un miembro del pueblo judío. También se ha convertido en el punto de aterrizaje para muchos nuevos inmigrantes de todas partes del mundo, porque de aliento de la vida en la Tierra de Israel del instituto. Majón Meir también ha creado una estrategia para distribuir la Torá en todo el mundo a través de su canal de medios, Arutz Meir. Desde sus inicios, Arutz Meir ha estrenado una serie de series de televisión y archivado más de 25.000 clases que constantemente se están actualizando y ver todos los días en todo el mundo en 5 idiomas diferentes. Con una variedad de temas y discusiones dirigidas por renombrados eruditos judíos, nuestros televidentes seguramente encontrará una clase que va a crear chispas de inspiración.

Rav Dov Bigon

  Machon MeirMachon Meir   עברית    Rabbi Dov Bigon

הרב דב ביגון

 

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24JEWISH Rabbi Gordon Class: Daily Parshah Class

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24JEWISH Parshat Hashavuah, Rabbanim, rav Reuben Ebrahimoff , language english, SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

 

TORAH STUDIES: Parshat Korach

 

Sivan 20, 5774 · June 18, 2014
Korach

The Sidra of Korach concerns the revolt of Korach and his followers against the Priesthood of Aaron and his sons. But what exactly was Korach’s aim? On the one hand, he voiced protest against the whole institution of priesthood or at least against its carrying any special status. On the other, it is clear from the narrative that he was seeking the High Priesthood for himself. Can we make sense of his apparently contradictory aims? This is the central point of the Sicha’s inquiry. And as a result of its analysis we can understand two further difficulties: Why “Korach,” the name of an inciter to dissent, is eternalized by making it the name of one of the sections of the Torah, and why this one Sidra contains two such seemingly opposite themes: Korach’s revolt, and the conferring of the “twenty-four Gifts of Priesthood” on Aaron.

1. Themes and Oppositions

Each of the 53 Sidrot of the Five Books of Moses has a central theme: One that is carried through each of its verses, from first to last, and which is suggested in the name it bears.1 This connecting motif is so strong, that the thematic link between the first and last verses of a Sidra is stronger than that between the ending of one Sidra and the beginning of the next, even though it may continue what appears to be the same narrative. In fact, the very existence of a break between two Sidrot indicates that there is some discontinuity between them sometimes going so far as to point out an opposition: As we see in the ending of Behaalotecha, where Miriam was punished for her evil report against Moses; and the beginning of Shelach, where the spies about to be sent to Israel saw the punishment and did not take heed of it, ultimately to repeat the sin.2

On the face of it, this general rule seems hard to apply to the Sidra of Korach, which begins with the accusation of Korach and his followers against Aaron and the priesthood: And ends with G-d giving the “twenty-four Gifts of Priesthood.” The initial accusation and the ultimate validation seem to stand as opposites to one another; and yet it is not merely that the latter is the outcome of the former. Rather, we must search for a way in which the “Gifts of Priesthood” are an integral part of the story of Korach. For the Sidra is called by his name—and this is where the core of the Sidra lies.

But the search is beset by this problem: The insurrection of Korach was an opposition to the priesthood, as it stood in the hands of Aaron; while the “twenty-four Gifts” were, as Rashi says, a way of “writing and sealing and recording in the court” the gift of priesthood to him.

2. The Name of Korach

There is an additional difficulty. How came the Sidra to be called Korach in the first place? For, on the verse3 “The name of the wicked shall rot” the Talmud4 comments, “Their names shall decay for we do not mention (the wicked) by name.” If we should not mention the wicked by name in ordinary conversation, still less should a Sidra of the Torah benamed after one of them, for this is a way of perpetuating a name.

And there is no saving grace in Korach, for though, as Rashi tells us, his sons repented, he himself did not. In the name itself there is no hint of righteousness: It means a bald spot,5 and as the Midrash6 explains, it has the connotation of making divisions—creating a bald spot between two factions where previously there had been unity.

Rambam writes7 that the Torah “was given to make peace in the world.” How then should a portion of it be called by a name that suggests divisiveness?

3. Korach’s Claim

And finally, there is an apparent inconsistency in the very claim that Korach made. On the one hand it appears that he was set against the very institution of the priesthood, or at least its special status, for he said:8 “For all the congregation is holy, and the L-rd dwells in their midst; and why therefore do you elevate yourselves above the congregation of the L-rd?” On the other hand, it was apparent that Korach and his followers sought the priesthood for themselves, as Moses explicitly says to them.9

One explanation is that they did not want the status of the priesthood to be abolished, merely that they did not want it confined to Aaron. They wanted many High Priests; they sought to be included in that rank. And yet it is clear from Rashi’s commentary10 that Korach sought the High Priesthood for himself alone: He thought that he alone would be vindicated in the trial that the accusers were to undergo. If he had this ambition, why then did he say, “Why do you elevate yourselves?”—for he had reason to wish to see the priesthood elevated.

4. The Firmament Which Divides the Waters

The opening words of our Sidra, “And Korach took,” are translated in the Targum as “And Korach divided,” and in the book Noam Elimelech, Rabbi Elimelech of Liszensk compares Korach’s dissension to the firmament which G-d created on the second day to divide between the higher and lower waters.

What is the analogy? One difference between the priests and the rest of the children of Israel was that the priests were withdrawn from the affairs of the world and entirely taken up with their holy office. Especially the High Priest (against whom Korach’s accusation was primarily intended), of whom it is written11 that “he shall not depart from the Sanctuary.”

But despite this, he was not uninvolved with the rest of the people: On the contrary, he exercised his influence over them all, drawing them up to his own level of holiness. This was symbolized by the kindling of the seven branches of the Menorah.12 Aaron’s special attribute was “Great, or everlasting Love”—and he drew the people near to this service.

But Korach did not see this. He saw only the separation between priest and people. And viewed in this light, he saw that just as the priests had their special role, so too did the people, in enacting G-d’s will in the practical world, which was, indeed, the whole purpose of the Torah. Seen as separate entities, the people had at least as much right to honor and elevation as the priests.

And this removes the inconsistency from his claim. He sought the priesthood, but as an office entirely remote from the people. Hence his accusation, “Why do you elevate yourselves?” In his eyes, the two groups, utterly distinct, each had their special status.

In this way Korach was like the firmament: His aim was to divide the people, like the waters, and sever the connection between the Sanctuary and the ordinary world.

5. Division and Peace

On the second day of creation we find that G-d did not say: “And it was Good.” The Rabbis explain13 that this was because division (the firmament) was created on that day. It was not until the third day that this judgment was pronounced and repeated, once for the creation of that day, and once for the firmament,14 which was purified and its division healed.15 Thus we learn that in the Divine scheme, there has to be a division between the things of heaven and those of earth, but that its consummation is in their re-uniting. And just as on the third day, so too in the third millennium Torah was given to bring together heaven and earth, G-d descending and Israel ascending to union.16

The same applies to the children of Israel. Although there are those who are totally involved in holy service and “do not depart from the Sanctuary,” and those whose service is in the practical world (“In all your ways, know Him”17); the one must not be separate from the other, but the former must lead the latter, in the manner of Aaron, ever closer to G-d. This the man of the world, the businessman etc., reaches through setting regular times for study of Torah. And this study should be of such intense concentration, that he is, at that time, as one who never departs from the Sanctuary!

And just as the work of the second day was consummated on the third, so did G-d allow the division caused by Korach, so that it would reach its fulfillment in the “twenty-four Gifts of Priesthood.” For the priesthood was established as an everlasting covenant in a way that could not have happened had Korach not raised dissent about it previously. This is the connection between the beginning and the end of our Sidra. The dissension, although it seems on the face of it to be opposed to the covenant of priesthood, was in fact a precondition of it.

And this is why the name of Korach is perpetuated by standing as the name of the Sidra. Even though Korach represents division and Torah represents peace, the peace and union which Torah brings comes not merely in spite of, but through, the medium of division: That though there is a heaven and an earth, worship and service bring them together until G-d Himself dwells in our midst.

(Source: Likkutei Sichot, Vol. VIII pp. 114-9)

FOR FRIDAY NIGHT: Double Perception (Korach)

Sivan 21, 5774 · June 19, 2014
Double Perception

How do we perceive people? As a part of a structure–e.g., a family member, the staff of our college or work-place, the Jewish community, the police-force, parking meter attendants? Or do we see people as individuals?

Of course, everyone would like to say both. That would be wonderful, but it does not always work that way. We tend either to categorize a person by their role in a structure, or to look at them as a real individual. At that point the lines of the general structure dissolve, and we suddenly see the parking-meter attendant as a unique and very specific human being.

Some people are able to perceive both perspectives at the same time, in a remarkable way. Moses, leader of the Jewish people, had this quality. We see this in the layers of discussion which surround our Torah reading, the Parshah of Korach (Numbers 16-18).

Korach, an infamous Levite, was attempting to harm the Jewish people by attacking Moses and Aaron, so that he could have power for himself. The attempt was foiled, and Korach’s children became loyal supporters of Moses and their descendants served in the Temple in Jerusalem. Moses could see the danger posed by Korach and he called to G-d to help him. The large, visible events in the Torah depict the sudden physical destruction of Korach and his followers: the ground opened up and swallowed them. Rashi describes more subtle elements as well.

Earlier in the Torah, each Jewish male had given a half-shekel. The total sum of money provided for the daily offerings which were brought in the Sanctuary, in expression of a bond between the Jewish people and G-d. Korach, too, had given a half shekel. He, too, was therefore part of the general structure of the Jewish people, bringing a daily offering to G-d, in a way which empowered him. Yet now he was trying to misuse this power.

Moses could see Korach’s role in the daily offerings in two ways: as an anonymous member of the entire Jewish nation, and also as a particular (and in this case dangerous) individual. Moses asked G-d to disenfranchise Korach’s particular, individual source of power from the daily offerings.1 This was in order to weaken Korach and was part of the process of saving the Jewish people from Korach’s attack. It was as if Moses could see the lines of energy which Korach and each other individual person drew from the daily offerings.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe points out the importance of this ability of Moses to perceive the individual within his or her wider framework. Korach was a dangerous person, as are some others in our own time. However, most people are not: they are fundamentally good, although sometimes “difficult.” One’s parent is a person, an individual, as well as a parent; so too is the college lecturer, the boss and the parking meter attendant. At the same time they also have their wider role, and one needs to treat them accordingly. (Tip: don’t be too casual with the parking meter attendant)

This double perception, says the Rebbe, is the mark of Moses, and of all true leadership. It is also bequeathed to everyone who has a sense of responsibility in life. It enables us to see the role of the person in their general context, and at the same time to perceive that person as he or she really is, as a unique individual. Through this kind of double perception, and then acting carefully and responsibly, each one of us can help to make a better world.2

ONCE UPON A CHASID: The Exchange (Korach)

Sivan 21, 5774 · June 19, 2014
The Exchange

Thus, you too shall lift up the offering from the grain (‘terumah’) to G-d (18:28)

From the words “you too” we derive that a person’s agent can act in his stead; that “the agent of a person is as he himself.”

– The Talmud, Kedushin 41b

When his eldest son, DovBer, reached cheder age, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi approached one of his colleagues, a fellow disciple of their late Master, the Maggid of Mezeritch. In his characteristic singsong manner, Rabbi Schneur Zalman said:

“I have a mitzvahto fulfill – the commandment “you shall teach them (the words of Torah) to your children”.1You, too, have a mitzvah incumbent upon you – the duty to support your family. Let us make an exchange: I will provide you with the means to fulfill your mitzvah, and you will teach my son Torah.”

Rabbi Schneur Zalman then gave the young man a crash course in his approach to early childhood education: “One obviously starts with the Aleph-Bet. What is an Aleph? A dot above, a dot below, and a line in between – this is an Alef. And this is the very Alef of Torah: that the Yud above (G-d) and the Yud2below (the Jew) are bound by a line of faith.”

GARDEN OF TORAH: Korach’s Positive Import (Korach)

Korach’s Positive Import
Korach

 

Adapted from
Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VIII, p. 114ff;
Vol. XVIII, p. 187ff;
Sefer HaSichos 5748, p. 499ff;
Sefer HaSichos 5750, p. 526ff

What Korach Really Wanted

The name of this week’s Torah reading, Korach, provokes an obvious question: It is written:1 “The name of the wicked shall rot,” and on this basis, our Sages state2 that a person should not be named after a wicked man. Why then is an entire Torah reading named Korach? For with this title, Korach’s identity is perpetuated forever, since the Torah is eternal.

Among the explanations given is that Korach’s desire was, in essence, positive. Korach wanted to be a High Priest, to experience the absolute closeness with G-d that results from entry into the Holy of Holies. Indeed, when Moshe responded to Korach, he did not tell him this objective was unworthy. On the contrary, as Rashi relates,3Moshe said he shared the same desire; he also wanted to be a High Priest.

Moreover, at Mount Sinai, G-d told the Jewish people that they are “a kingdom of priests,”4 and our Rabbis interpret5 this to refer to the level attained by a High Priest. Every Jew has this potential within him.6

As such, Korach’s complaint was based on an essential truth:7 “The entire congregation is holy; G-d is in their midst.” Every member of the Jewish people has a spark of holiness. Korach and his followers wanted this spark to flourish. Indeed, they were willing to risk everything, even their lives, for such a heightened spiritual experience. Therefore, even after Moshe told them that bringing the incense offering would mean their deaths, they did not hesitate.8

Naming the Torah reading Korach highlights the potential for spiritual growth which each of us possesses, and the desire we should show to make this potential manifest.

Intent vs. Action

This explanation is, however, insufficient, for good intentions are not enough. It is primarily our actions and not our intent which G-d judges. Whatever Korach’s intentions may have been, he created a controversy which resulted in the death of thousands of people. It does not seem proper to immortalize this message as the name of one of our Torah readings.9

Moreover, the very name Korach is associated with division. The Hebrew root קרחmeans “division” or “split,” and our Sages10 associate Korach, not only in fact, but also in source, with these tendencies. Division runs in direct opposition to the purpose of the Torah, which “was given solely to bring peace to the world.”11 Why does a name synonymous with division serve as one of the names of the weekly Torah readings?

A More Comprehensive Oneness

The resolution of this question depends on the definition of unity. Absolute, elementary oneness is impossible in our material world. As Rashi comments:12 “The Holy One, blessed be He, has defined limits in His world. Can you turn morning into evening?” Every entity has its own distinct nature.

The concept of division need not, however, run contrary to our endeavors toward unity. On the contrary, unity is more complete when it encompasses divergent entities, each with a nature of its own.

This is the intent of the peace which the Torah was given to establish. Not that differences should not exist, but that they should merge in synergistic harmony. There is thus a place for Korach in the Torah for the Torah teaches that division can serve a positive purpose, and that diversity need not lead to strife.

Making Our Own Decisions

Nevertheless, G-d desires man to achieve this multi-faceted unity on his own initiative. He gives man the power and the responsibility to accomplish this goal, and the free choice to determine the direction of his efforts. This is also reflected in Korach’s conduct. He saw that after the sins of the Golden Calf and the spies, Moshe had prayed to G-d and had averted Heavenly decrees. Similarly, Korach felt that although G-d had granted Moshe and Aharon their positions, it might be possible through sincere prayer to effect a change and achieve his own spiritual ambitions.

He simply made the wrong choice. Rather than further unity by heightening the people’s connection with Moshe and Aharon, he took a different course. Instead, of seeing their potential harmony, he caused differences to clash.

Korach never realized his mistake. His children did, however, proclaiming:13 “Moshe is true, and his Torah is true.” They realized that the truth which Moshe taught is the means to bring about unity among our people, and enable every individual to fulfill his potential.

A Matter of Time

From a mystic perspective,14 it is explained that Korach’s desires reflected the spiritual heights to be reached in the Era of the Redemption. Then the Levites (Korach’s tribe) will be elevated to the station of priests,15 and the entire Jewish people will reach pinnacles of spiritual experience, for “I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh.”16

The rewards of that age cannot, however, be attained prematurely, but only as a result of our Divine service. It is only through our selfless devotion to the Torah of Moshe and the directives of “the extension of Moshe in every generation”17 the Torah leaders of our people that we can elevate ourselves and the world to the point that “the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d.”18

office

THE FREEMAN FILES: Tikun: Fixing Up

Tikun: Fixing Up
Sivan 21, 5774 · June 19, 2014
from the soon-to-be-released book, “Wisdom To Fix the Earth”

 

First, a story:

A Greco-Roman philosopher met up with a Jewish sage named Rabbi Hoshaya. “If circumcision is so special,” he asked the rabbi, “then why wasn’t the first human being created circumcised?”

As is common among rabbis accosted by philosophers with questions, Rabbi Hoshaya replied with another question.

“What about hair?” he asked.

That threw off the philosopher somewhat. “What does hair have to do with anything?” he asked.

“Well,” explained the rabbi, “I notice you cut your hair, so that must mean hair is bad. But then, you don’t cut your beard, so maybe that means hair is a good thing after all. I’m confused.”

“For that,” the philosopher raised his finger in reply, “I have an answer. The hair on my head grew in my youthful years of folly, so it must be trimmed. The hair of my beard grew in my older years of wisdom, so it stays.”

“Uh-huh, I see,” responded the rabbi. “So what about your eyes?”

“My eyes?”

All that G‑d created in this world, He created to be fixed up.

“Yes. When did you get them?”

“Well, I was born with them…”

“Along with your hands and feet in your “youthful years of folly,” right? So they must also be bad—even though you were created with them. But I don’t notice you cutting them off.”

“I can’t cut those off!” the philosopher protested. “I need them!”

“Oh, so really they’re all bad, just that you can’t get rid of them. Which means that the way human beings are created is not so good after all. Nothing is good—until it gains wisdom.”

“Okay, just where are we going with this?” asked the philosopher, obviously not used to debating Jewish-style.

“Listen,” said the rabbi. “Your answer to my question doesn’t work at all, for many reasons. But I can give you at least a partial answer to your question: Everything that was created in the six days of creation can use some fixing. Take mustard seed—you need to fix it up with a little vinegar, right? Lupine [a bitter Mediterranean legume] needs to fixed up with some sweetening. Or wheat—lots of fixing up needed there.”

“And even the human being,” concluded the rabbi, “could use some fixing up.”

As the creation narrative of Genesis signs off, “that G‑d created to do.” When He created the world, He left us some work to do, to fix it up.

—Midrash Rabba, Genesis 11:6

Simple Language

Tikun, people tell me, means repair. Academics, for their very important reasons, prefer rectification.

But that’s all nonsense. Simple language is always best. Tikun means fixing up.

Despite what they tell you, even if it’s not broken, it can still be fixed up.

What’s the difference? Ask a woman who just fixed up her hair just how broken it was when she started. No, the hair was not in need of repair. But it could still be fixed up. The same with Rabbi Hoshaya’s mustard seed example, or lupine, or wheat—or the human being. Despite what they tell you, even if it’s not broken, it can still be fixed up, higher and better.

That’s a very human activity, one that describes us well. We are the creature that finds materials in their raw, natural state, and with vision, ingenuity, creativity and wisdom fixes them up—up to a whole new level. We take sounds and make music, colors and create art, fields and create farms and gardens. Yes, often—far too often—we fix down instead of up. But our purpose in this universe—why we are here—is to fix it up. Very up.

Tikun and Purpose

Yes, we must admit, much of our world is fractured, fragmented and very messy. But it’s not broken. It’s been disassembled—purposely. The Creator made a world that was designed to fall apart—so that we could put all the scattered pieces together and create a better, more harmonious, self-sustaining world. Which is the most magnanimous gift He could provide us, the ultimate act of love. Effectively, He made us His partners in the creation of heaven and earth.

Now that changes everything.

It means that whatever business you’ve gotten yourself into, whatever chunk of this world has fallen into your lap, whatever sort of a person you are—it’s all with purpose. You are being led to the places that await your soul for their fix up.

It means we are not passive victims of a cruel, cold universe, but partners of its Creator, who breathes His power into us so that we may comb through the very fabric of which this cosmos is composed, coaxing out its warm, inner life.

We believe in the Creator, so we believe in His creation.

It means that this world is not some dark, ugly place from which to escape. It is a good world; so good that as great a mess as it’s become, it’s still worth investing everything we’ve got to fix it. We believe in the Creator, so we believe in His creation. As the Book of Genesis says, “G‑d saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good.”

And finally, tikun provides purpose to every struggle we endure, hope for every battle we fight, destiny for every uphill journey. The pain is worth it. We are going somewhere. We are fixing up G‑d’s creation. We are preparing it to become the ultimate world, beyond anything that could be imagined.

A Brief History of Tikun

This idea of tikun is innate to the Genesis narrative, and is hinted to in many ancient midrashim. The Kabbalists, unlike philosophers, always saw the human being as an active party in the improvement of the cosmos. But it wasn’t until Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, known as “the Ari,” the greatest of the kabbalists, that the idea of tikun came to the foreground.

The Ari came to Tzfat, Israel, then a major center of Jewish culture and learning, around 1569. He was there for less than three years, but in that time he revolutionized the way we think about everything.

For one thing, he spoke about the divine sparks invested in each thing and every event. Nothing in this world, he taught, is without a spark of the divine, and that spark is its very core essence of being. They fell, he said, from the World of Tohu, a world that was created to have such intense light that it exploded. The sparks of that explosion generated all the artifacts of this world.

Our mission is to peel away the outer shell and reveal the beauty it conceals.

The Ari compared these sparks to a fruit or nut captured within its shell. Our mission is to peel away the outer shell and reveal the beauty it conceals. That is how he explained not only all the mitzvahs of the Torah, but also all the needs and functions of the human being. The purpose of all we do lies in the redemption of those sparks.

Why did he call them “sparks?” He was not suggesting that we could open a thing and examine it under a microscope to discover there a fiery spark. Rather, just as sparks fly out from a furnace and continue to glow from the heat of the original fire, so each object and event contains some hint of its original purpose glowing within.

But there is a distinction: The sparks that fly out from a fire are only sparks as long as they continue to glow. With these divine sparks, the glow may have already extinguished, yet there is still hope that they can be reconnected and shine again. That is the case of those things that have no apparent divine purpose.

Tikun In Action

Let’s say, for example, it’s lunch time and you are hungry. You’re craving a chicken salad with a freshly-squeezed grapefruit-pineapple drink.

You are hungry for the food, but the feelings are not mutual.

Strange thing is, the feelings are not mutual. The lunch shows no signs of interest in you consuming it—not the grapefruit, not the pineapple, not the salad and certainly not the chicken.

But how could this be? You are a human being, and they are fruits, vegetables and poultry. If you are superior to them, they should be the ones chasing after you to consume them and lift them up to your superior level.

So the Ari explained that, yes, the human being is superior because he is capable of redeeming and reconnecting these divine sparks back to their origin. But the sparks themselves originate in a place far beyond the human soul. We get from them far more than they get from us—once we liberate them.

So now that you are in the cafeteria with your chicken salad and glass of juice, just how are you going to liberate those sparks?

Basically, by eating them as a human being. Which means eating just what you need, and eating with the purpose for which your Creator made you. As the Ari described, you focus your mind not on the food itself, but on the nourishing, divine spark it contains. You visualize how the goodness of the food is absorbed by your body and gives you life—life with which you will learn wisdom and do yet more good deeds. The coarse, extraneous elements—the shell—will be rejected and expelled.

Now that cafeteria table becomes an altar, your food a sacred offering.

The same with any activity, whether in thought, speech or action, in everyday needs, in business and in relations with your spouse—in every human activity, in every situation that comes your way, there is an inner divine spark held tightly within an outer, mundane shell. Our mission is to redeem one while rejecting the other. In the language of the Talmud, “The left hand pushes away, while the right hand draws close.”

In this liberation of these divine sparks, the soul itself is elevated, receiving and synthesizing the intense, unbounded fire from which those sparks originate. And from the challenge to redeem those sparks, to pull them out from their thick husk and reawaken them to their true purpose, from this the soul reaches yet higher, to discover its own deep roots, roots that reach to an essence-core beyond even the origin of those sparks.

Populist Tikun

As occurs with many a maverick luminary, the Ari’s teachings were poorly understood in his time. They were rapidly popularized—but their meaning was often twisted and distorted into the opposite of their intent.

Tikun, to the Baal Shem Tov, was the means by which the common man and woman could find life.

Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer—popularly known as the Baal Shem Tov (“Master of a Good Name”)—was a man with a vision of what the Ari had truly meant, and how it was to be implemented. Tikun, to the Baal Shem Tov, was much more than an esoteric teaching. It was the means by which the common man and woman could find life, happiness and meaning.

The Baal Shem Tov taught from the town of Medzhybizh, Podolia, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 18th century. He taught the seeker, the scholar, the simple farmer and the small child to serve their Creator with love and joy.

By his time, many scholars and rabbinic leaders were deeply immersed in the teachings of the Ari. But in their understanding, the way to fix the human body was by breaking it—by fasting and punishing it—and the way to teach the common people was by breaking their spirit, instilling in them a fear of hell.

To the Baal Shem Tov, tikun meant finding the good wherever it could be found and celebrating it. His disciples would wander from town to town, observing the good deeds of the simple folk, and telling them how much G‑d cherished them. Fixing could be done without breaking and throwing down the shell, but rather, by embracing and lifting up the fruit.

Wherever a soul travels in this world, the Baal Shem Tov taught, it is led there to find the sparks related to this soul, sparks that have been waiting since the time of Creation for this soul to arrive. Without realizing, this precious soul is purifying the world, with deeds, with words, and with thoughts.

Bringing Tikun Down To Earth

After the passing of the Baal Shem Tov, his heir, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritch, led a generation of teachers and leaders who spread these teachings throughout the Eastern European Jewish world. One of those teachers, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, developed a practical method for implementing the Baal Shem Tov’s call to serve G‑d with love and joy. He called it Chabad, which is an acronym for the Hebrew words Chochmah, Bina, Daat—meaning, Wisdom, Understanding and Knowing. These, he taught, were the key to the heart. It was through deep contemplation that a Jew could awaken love of G‑d in his or her heart.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman also provided the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings a strong basis in traditional Jewish law, known as halachah.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman brought tikun back into the context of our material world.

He pointed out, for example, that the Hebrew words for forbidden and permissible actually mean boundand unbound. When the halachah determines that an object or action is permissible, that tells us that the divine spark within it is unbound and ready to be redeemed through our actions. When it is forbidden, we know it is so bound up that no positive action can release it. It can only be redeemed by withstanding the challenge it presents, or through the sincere regret and return of someone who succumbed to its temptation.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman also brought tikun back into the context of our material world. When the kabbalists spoke of tikun, they were speaking of us creatures bringing greater light into a divine world far beyond our own. Rabbi Schneur Zalman, of course, did not reject that, but he connected it back to our world as well. What goes up, only goes up in order to come back down. He returned to the statements of the Talmudic sages that place our material world at the center of all things:

From the beginning of creation, G‑d’s presence was most felt in the lowest world.

—Midrash Rabbah, Shir HaShirim 5:1

Before G‑d created this world, He created worlds and destroyed them, created worlds and destroyed them. He said, “These I don’t like. These I don’t like.” Then He created this world. He said, “This one I like.”

—Midrash Rabbah, Kohelet 3:14

Since the time the world was created, G‑d desired that He should have a home among the lower beings.

—Midrash Tanchuma, Nasso 7:1

Rabbi Schneur Zalman took that further: The entire creation is only to fulfill G‑d’s desire to have a home—meaning, a place where His very essence of being can be expressed—in the lowest of all possible worlds.

Yes, it is a lowly world, far beneath the worlds of the angels, of souls and of infinite light. It is a coarse material world, where darkness thoroughly eclipses light and evil swallows alive all good so that the wicked rule and the righteous suffer. It is so lowly that it receives only enough divine energy so as to exist, but no more. It is the lowest of all possible worlds. And for that very reason, it is here that the Creator most desires to be found. Here lies the purpose of tikun.

How does it unfold? Rabbi Schneur Zalman explained: Each soul is sent to this world with its mission assigned. It is given a body, along with an interface with that body which will be its personality and character. And it is given a share of this world. Within all these lie the divine sparks to which this soul’s destiny is tied. The soul enters this world, does its job, leaves and returns until all its sparks are redeemed and reconnected with their origin.

Once all the souls have completed all their work, Rabbi Schneur Zalman concludes, then the world is complete. Now, the Infinite Light from above can come to rest within it. No longer will it appear as just a material world. Rather, it will become the most perfect lens through which we can perceive the beauty of the divine, far beyond anything that can be perceived in any higher world. Because the highest can only be expressed in the lowest.

Tikun Now

In the Russian shtetl, what did “creating a home for G‑d in this lowly world” mean? For one thing, it meant that the common, simple man or woman was not be disdained or ignored. They were to be embraced for their simplicity, which reflected the simplicity of G‑d’s true oneness. But the spiritual activities of Chabad were inner-directed, both within the chasid and within the shtetl. It was about reviewing and struggling to absorb the esoteric works of the Chabad rebbes followed by many hours each day in deep contemplation and prayer, in a labor of love to bring the divine knowledge from the mind into the heart, so that the ecstasy of the heart would overflow and transform the animal soul that pulsates within it. That was the lower world: that beast within the human heart. It had to be transformed, to become a divine beast.

For the Rebbe, fixing up the material world meant the whole big world.

But by the time the Rebbe took the steering wheel in his hands, the walls separating the Jew from the world had all come tumbling down. There was no more shtetl, no more ghetto. The whole world was open before us.

And so, for the Rebbe, fixing up the material world meant that entire, big and scary world out there, every last country of it. Only that for him, none of it was scary. It was all G‑d’s creation, His garden.

You could almost say that everything until now had been only a rehearsal, battle practice for the final victory. And now, the paratroopers were landing on foreign soil. Everywhere.

Now, redeeming the sparks lost in the darkest, most materialistic realms meant approaching a Jew in Times Square who barely knew he was Jewish, wrapping tefillin on his arm and head, followed by, “Say after me, ‘Hear O Israel, G‑d our G‑d, G‑d is One.’”

It meant teaching a little Jewish girl who attended public school far from any Jewish community to light a candle on Shabbat eve, a light that would eventually illuminate an entire household.

It meant searching out a Jew who had escaped the suburbs to meditate on an ashram and serving him a Passover meal somewhere up in the Himalayas.

Making a dwelling for G‑d in the furthest places entailed major risks and sacrifices. It meant sending innocent young couples out to every place a Jew may roam—whether that be Nigeria or Thailand, Katmandu or Las Vegas. What Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal Shem Tov and the Ari had taught suddenly meant here, now, down on this earth. Tikun had hit the hard, concrete pavement.

What were these young couples to do in these places, where, until now, no observant Jew had dared to tread?

They were to become part of the community—no one went on a round-trip ticket, everyone went to stay put until Moshiach comes. That’s the way tikun is done: Not from afar, but from within.

It was all about down-to-earth action.

They were to raise a chassidic family there, without any compromise, as pure as the shtetl. And they were to seek out their fellow Jews, wherever they may be, and invite them into their homes, embracing them with love and treating them with dignity regardless of their lifestyles, answering their questions and encouraging them to learn more.

It was all about down-to-earth action. There was a ten-point mitzvah campaign—to “just do it.”

“Don’t argue with a Jew,” the Rebbe told us. “It’s not about philosophy or theology. Find the mitzvah for which this Jew’s soul longs. One mitzvah will pull along another in its wake, and eventually the Jew will want to learn, ‘Why am I doing all this?’ Lives will be transformed.”

It wasn’t just those chassidic families. The Rebbe asked this of every Jew and every human being with whom he came in contact. The message, always: You have a job to do. The circumstances in which you find yourself, the community in which you live, your place of work and the skills and talents G‑d has given you—they are all screaming out to you to do your job. And what is that job? To turn this world on its head.

Tikun Transformed

The transformation left many older chassidim gasping in the dust. For over a century and a half, Chabad had been about theological contemplation and “labor of the heart.” Now, beginning in the 1940s, the Rebbe introduced something the likes of which had never been seen before: A worldwide organization dedicated to reaching out to every Jew and pulling them back in. Not that any of that contemplative, inner labor was ever left behind. It remains the curriculum of every Chabad student. It was simply extended outward, downward and into the world.

An outside observer would explain simply: These were urgent times. Six million had been lost, yet more in Russia, the rate of assimilation in the West was accelerating, and if you wouldn’t do something drastic fast to save world Jewry, there wouldn’t be any Jews left to save.

But if you stood at the Rebbe’s farbrengens—the gatherings at 770 Eastern Parkway, where students and chassidim would sit or stand for hours and listen to his talks, sing chassidic melodies, say l’chaim and listen some more—there you would pick up an entirely different story. The inside story.

“We are gathering the very last sparks, the most concealed and tightly held.”

“We are the last generation of this exile, the generation to greet Moshiach,” the Rebbe would say. “We are gathering the very last sparks, the most concealed and tightly held. We are making the final touches, polishing the buttons. These are the last preparations for a world as it was meant to be. And to do that, you cannot stay within the four walls of your yeshiva or your synagogue. To do that, you must go out into the world, with all your essence and being, and there be a beacon of light, a gatherer of sparks.”

Chabad is not two worlds. It is all one, and the only way it can be understood is as a single whole—albeit, working in two opposite directions: from the top-down and from the ground-up. Chabad is about bringing the highest light of the divine to every corner of G‑d’s world, and it is about discovering and redeeming the divine spark hidden within all that exists. At one time, that was achieved only spiritually. In our times, it became as literal as imaginable.

The Last Tikun

It’s strange, but what I am about to say was never stated explicitly, yet all who have been steeped in the Rebbe’s world have tacitly understood the same thing. It was implied, again and again, from so many different angles. At some point, it has to be stated loud and clear.

Certainly, every human being on this planet has his or her role to fulfill in its tikun. But the Maker of All Souls had deemed that a Jewish soul was meant to heal the world with the light of Torah. Yet, if so, why would He toss such a soul into a world where it would have no idea that there could be anything spiritual or meaningful to discover in the whole of Judaism?

It could only be that this is the exclusive means to recover those final, lost sparks.

It could only be that this is the exclusive means to recover those final, lost sparks. Like a homing pigeon sent on a journey to return with precious jewels, so the souls of Israel are scattered among the nations of the world, among every sort of ideology and idealism, lifestyle and compulsion, ashram and cult, rat-race and escapism. So deep must they plunge that it takes the army of a tzadik, a battalion fighting with all their guts, to pull them out of there, so they can bring those jewels back home.

Some sparks can be returned home with a simple mitzvah. Some can only be extracted by cracking a hard nut and tossing out a pile of trash. And some—those “tied down,” as Rabbi Schneur Zalman described them—only by putting every ounce of your strength into getting out of where they’ve pinned you down.

There is a teaching that says this—almost:

The only reason G‑d spread the Jewish People among the nations was so that they could gain converts. As the verse says (Judges 5:11), “I have planted you among the nations.” If a man plants seed, does he not expect to reap a hundred bushels of seed for every bushel planted?”

—Talmud Pesachim 87b

Asked Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, “Can we take this literally? How many converts have there been in history? Could we possibly be in exile from our land for 1800 years for this reason alone? If this were meant literally, the world should be filled with Jews by now!”

“Rather,” he answered, “the converts to which the Talmud refers are none other than the lost sparks. By spreading us out among the nations, we wrestle out those sparks from their place, on their own territory, so that their redemption is a real and lasting one.”1

Rabbi Schneur Zalman may have seen it, but how many others could have understood how far this would go, to what places we would have to go to rescue those sparks, how deep those souls would have to plunge to find them, and what extreme means would to be needed convince the homing pigeons to return home.

In 1967, the Rebbe spoke about how the souls had begun to return home. In the 1980s, he talked about the walls of the exile crumbling before us. In 1991, he said that all the sparks necessary had already been gathered, and there was no reason Moshiach had not yet come. He continued saying that in 1992, all the time continuing to teach us how more sparks were to be redeemed.

In our private lives, much work remains to be done. But the world is ready. It is we who must awaken a longing to come home.

If we would recognize what this world really is and who we really are, how high we could be and what a world we could be living in, how we are but silkworms trapped in the darkness of our cocoons, miners trapped in a cave so long that we have forgotten the light of day, a bright, glorious day that awaits us—we would be pounding our fists on heaven’s door, demanding to see the fruits of our labor, demanding it now and no later.

In the meantime, keep working. Work hard. For we are G‑d’s partners in the creation of heaven and earth.

FOOTNOTES
1. Torah Ohr, Breishit 6:1. This idea is elaborated at much greater length by his son, Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch, in Torat Chaim, Chayei Sarah 121b.

ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS: (Chapter 3)

Sivan 20, 5774 * June 18, 2014

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E T H I C S   O F   O U R   F A T H E R S
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Knowledge and Choice
——————–

All is foreseen, and freedom of choice is granted.

– Ethics of the Fathers, 3:15

*         *         *

Throughout the generations, many of our sages have expounded on these two cornerstones of Jewish faith: G-d’s all-encompassing and all-pervading knowledge, and the freedom of choice He granted to man. Much has also been written on the apparent contradiction between the two: if there are no limits to G-d’s knowledge, how can man have real choice in his life? If G-d “already” knows what I will do tomorrow, is not my freedom to choose anything more than an illusion?

Maimonides writes:

“Freedom of choice has been granted to every man…. This concept is a fundamental principle and a pillar of the Torah and its commandments. As it is written: `See, I have set before you life [and good, and death and evil]’ … to say: the choice is in your hands…. For were G-d to decree that a person be righteous or wicked, of if there were to exist something in the very essence of a person’s nature which would compel him toward a specific path, a specific conviction, a specific character trait or a specific deed…how could G-d command us through the prophets `do this’ and `do not do this,’ `improve your ways’ and `do not follow your wickedness’…? What place would the entire Torah have? And by what measure of justice would G-d punish the wicked and reward the righteous…?

“One may ask: `G-d, of course, knows all that will transpire. Now, before a particular deed was done, did G-d know whether the person will be righteous or wicked, or did He not know? If He knew that the person would be righteous, then it was not possible for that person not to be so. And if you say that He knew that the person would be righteous, but it was also possible that he might be wicked, than G-d’s knowledge was not complete!’ Know that the answer to this question `longer than the land is its measure and broader than the sea,’ and that many great foundations and lofty mountains hang upon it. But understand well what I am going to say. We have already explained in the second chapter of `The Laws of the Torah’s Foundations’ that G-d does not know with a `mind’ that is distinct from His being, as is the case with man whose being and mind are two distinct entities. Rather, He and His `mind’ are one and the same – a concept that is impossible for the human mind to fully comprehend. Thus, just as man cannot discover and grasp the truth of the Creator, as it is written `no man can perceive Me and live,’ so, too, man cannot discover and grasp the `mind’ of the Creator. In the words of the prophet, `My thoughts are not as your thoughts, nor are your ways as my My ways.’ Therefore, we lack the capacity to know the nature of G-d’s knowledge of all creations and all events. But this we know without doubt: that the deeds of man are in his hands, and G-d does not compel him to do anything….”

Rabbi Abraham ben Dovid (the “Raavad”), who wrote many glosses on Maimonides’ work, takes issue with the latter’s approach:

“The author did not act in the manner of the wise: one ought not begin something that one is incapable of concluding. He begins by posing a difficult question, then remains with the difficulty and reverts to faith. It would have been better for him to have left it as a matter of faith for the innocent, instead of making them aware [of the contradiction] and leaving their minds in doubt….”

Rabbi Abraham concludes by saying that “although there is no definitive answer to this,” he had best offer at least “something of an answer” to the issue raised by Maimonides. The gist of his answer is that G-d knows what man will choose, but that this knowledge has no effect on the nature of man’s choice. Rather, it is “like the predictions of the stargazers, who know, by some other means, what the behavior of an individual will be” but in no way determine it.

In his Tosfos Yom Tov commentary on our mishnah, Rabbi Yom Tov Lippman Heller elaborates on this theme, citing the answer offered by the Rabbi Shmuel Uceda in his work Midrash Shmuel:

“There is no contradiction in the first place. G-d’s knowledge of the future is the result of His observing the deed that the person is doing. Just as a person’s observation of the deeds of his fellow in no way compels his fellow’s actions, so, too, is it with G-d’s observation of one’s deeds. One cannot argue that because G-d knows the future actions of man He therefore compels them, since before Him there is no precedence and subsequence, as He is not governed by the laws of time…. There is no `future’ in G-d’s reality – the whole of time is `present’ to Him. So just as our knowledge of the present has no compelling effect, so, too, His knowledge is always in [His] `present’ and non-compelling….”

The Tosfos Yom Tov adds that “indeed, this is consistent with the conclusion of the Raavad, who compares G-d’s knowledge to that of a stargazer.”

Some Questions

In light of all the above, several things need to be clarified:

How would Maimonides respond to the Raavad’s argument? Indeed, why begin a philosophical discussion of an issue to which there is no philosophical answer?

On the other hand, the Midrash Shmuel’s contention that “there is no contradiction in the first place” appears to be well substantiated. G-d, as the Creator of time and space, obviously transcends them. From His vantage point, the whole of time is an open book. To say that He “already” knows the future “before” we mortals have reached that juncture in our journey through time, is to speak of His reality in terms that are appropriate only to ours. In His terms, His knowledge does not precede our deeds – on the contrary, it results of His seeing them transpire in our future (much like the Raavad’s hypothetical stargazer who can read the future).

So why does Maimonides not offer this answer? Is there a reason why he would consider it insufficient? Also, why does the Raavad, who does seem to offer this answer, refer to it as only “something of an answer” and concede “that there is no definitive answer” to Maimonides’ question? And if there is a flaw in this answer (as both Maimonides and the Raavad apparently felt), was the Midrash Shmuel, and the commentaries who quote him, unaware of it?

Another Kind of Knowledge

The key to all this lies in the lengthy “non-answer” expounded by Maimonides. Instead of merely saying that we cannot grasp the nature of G-d’s “mind,” Maimonides refers to what he wrote earlier in his work that G-d and “His mind” are one. Let us examine his detailed formulation of this point in chapter two of The Laws of the Torah’s Foundations:

“All existences aside of the Creator, from the highest [spiritual] form to a tiny gnat in the belly of the earth, all exist by virtue of His reality. So in knowing His own… reality, He knows everything….

“G-d is aware of His own reality and knows it as it is. He does not `know’ with a mind that is distinct from him, as we know. We and our minds are not one; but the Creator – He, His mind, and His life are one from every side and from every angle and in every manner of unity. For were He to…know with a `mind’ that is distinct of His being, there would exist several `gods’ – He, His mind, etc…. One must therefore conclude that He is the knower, the knowledge, and the mind all in one. This concept is beyond the capacity of the mouth to articulate, the ear to comprehend and the heart of man to truly know….

“Thus, He does not know the creations by perceiving them, as we know them, but rather, He knows then through His perception of Himself…. By knowing Himself He knows everything, since everything relates to Him for its very being.”

In other words, the very attribution of “knowledge”‘ to G-d is problematic. The possession of a “mind” and “knowledge,” in our sense of these terms, implies both imperfection and diversity. Imperfection, because something other than myself (i.e., the knowledge) gives me something that I lack on my own. Diversity, because the state of “knowing” presupposes a minimum of three components to my being as a knower: the “I” that is the possessor of the knowledge, the information I possess, and the tool by which I possess it – my mind. And if I know many things, the “parts” to compose my knowing self are multiplied accordingly. True, these components have fused into a single entity (the knowing I), but G-d is a pure singularity, not a composite entity.

Maimonides, therefore, states that if we are to ascribe to G-d the knowledge of all beings and all events, we must conclude that: (a) His knowledge of the countless facts that comprise our existence are, in truth, but a single knowing – His knowledge of self (since what we call “existence” is merely the expression of His infinite potential to create); and (b) He does not know Himself via a “mind” that is a distinct from Him, but that He, His knowledge and His “mind” are an utterly singular unit.

Chassidic teaching takes this a step further. The act of creation is, in essence, an act of Divine knowing. In choosing to “know” Himself as the source of the created existence, the Almighty grants it validity and being. So ultimately, every created entity is but the embodiment of G-d’s knowledge of it.

In the words of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi: “G-d’s…thought and knowledge of all created beings embrace, in actuality, each and every creation; for [this knowledge] itself is its very life and being and that which brings it into existence from nothingness into actuality.”

According to this, one obviously cannot describe G-d’s knowledge of the future – nor, for that matter, His knowledge of the past – as resulting from the facts and events of our existence. In fact, the very opposite is true: the facts and events of our existence result from G-d’s knowledge of them.

The Tzimtzum

But in addition to this singular, all-embracing, creating knowledge, there also exists another level of Divine knowledge.

In essence, G-d is wholly untouched by the deeds of man (“If you fail, how do you affect Him? If your sins are many, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? What can He possibly receive from you?” -Job 35:6-7). And yet, G-d chose to be “affected” by what we do: to take “pleasure” in our accomplishments and to be “angered” by our transgressions. He chose to give himself these “traits” in order to enable us to relate to Him in a way that is meaningful to us.

This phenomenon is known as the tzimtzum (“contraction”) – G-d is projecting Himself in ways that are “confining” to His infinite and feature-free essence, assuming definitive attributes by which to relate to us on our terms.

On this “post-tzimtzum” level, G-d knows us in a way that is comparable to the workings of the human mind – with a knowledge that results from what we do. At the same time, He also knows us with a higher “pre-tzimtzum” knowledge: a knowledge that is an inseparable part of His “seamless” self-knowledge, a knowledge that is not caused by but is the cause of its contents. Chassidic teaching refers to these two levels as G-d’s “higher knowledge” and His “lower knowledge.”

Knowing the Unknowable

We hear the poet exclaim the “sky for height, the breadth of the earth, and the deep–who can trace them out?” But In light of all the above, we can begin to understand various approaches of Maimonides, the Raavad and others to the issue of Divine knowledge and human choice.

G-d’s manifest effect upon our existence (as well as His “reaction” to our deeds) is confined to the interaction created by the tzimtzum-constriction and the “attributes” he assumes in His relationship to us. So on the most basic level, “there is no contradiction in the first place.” G-d’s “lower knowledge,” although unbounded by time, space or any other limits, otherwise resembles knowledge as we know it. It is the product of His observation of our existence (whether past, present or future), so there no reason why it should affect our freedom of choice.

Ultimately, however, G-d does not know things because they occur; He knows them by knowing Himself, and His knowledge of them is the source of their very existence.

However, this “higher knowledge” is part of the pre-tzimtzum reality and, as such, has no perceptible affect on our experience. (Indeed, any logical examination of G-d’s relationship to our existence must, by definition, be confined to the post-tzimtzum reality, since all created phenomena, including logic and its laws, are a product of the tzimtzum. Obviously, one cannot talk about “definitions” and “contradictions” when discussing the Creator of logic beyond the point at which He chooses to relate to His creation on its terms.) This is why the Midrash Shmuel and others feel that it is sufficient to deal with the issue of “Divine knowledge and human choice” on the level of “lower knowledge.”

Nevertheless, the Raavad considers the “stargazer” explanation as only “something of an answer” for it fails to resolve the “contradiction” as it pertains to the essence of G-d’s knowledge. The Raavad, therefore, feels that Maimonides ought not to have begun discussion of an issue that ultimately extends beyond the parameters of logic.

But Maimonides chooses specifically to address the higher level of Divine knowledge, the level at which “He and His mind are one” and the workings of “My thoughts” are in no way comparable to those of “your thoughts.” For man must believe and understand that the Almighty’s reality extends beyond what is rationally accessible to the human mind. Indeed, if the question of how G-d’s knowledge is to be reconciled with the freedom granted to man does not arise, this means that one’s perception of G-d’s knowledge is limited to its “lower” aspect, regarding which there is indeed no logical inconsistency. To grasp the truly super-logical nature of G-d’s “mind” is to understand that it, as His essence, is affected by nothing and is the ultimate effector of all.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Introductory reading to Ethics of the Fathers:

All Israel has a share in the World to Come, as is stated: “And your people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. They are the shoot of My planting, the work of My hands, in which I take pride.” (Sanhedrin, 11:1)

Chapter Three

1. Rabbi Akavia the son of Mahalalel would say: Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting. From where you came–from a putrid drop; where you are going–to a place of dust, maggots and worms; and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting–before the supreme king of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

2. Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the sovereignty; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. Rabbi Chanina son of Tradyon would say: Two who sit and no words of Torah pass between them, this is a session of scorners, as is stated, “And in a session of scorners he did not sit.” But two who sit and exchange words of Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated, “Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard; and it was inscribed before Him in a book of remembrance for those who fear G-d and give thought to His name.” From this, I know only concerning two individuals; how do I know that even a single individual who sits and occupies himself with the Torah, G-d designates reward for him? From the verse, “He sits alone in meditative stillness; indeed, he receives [reward] for it.”

3. Rabbi Shimon would say: Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten from the slaughter of the dead, as is stated, “Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent.” But three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at G-d’s table, as is stated, “And he said to me: `This is the table that is before G-d.’ ”

4. Rabbi Chanina the son of Chachina’i would say: One who stays awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his heart to idleness, has forfeited his life.

5. Rabbi Nechunia the son of Hakanah would say: One who accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah is exempted from the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares ; but one who casts off the yoke of Torah is saddled with the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares.

6. Rabbi Chalafta the son of Dosa of the village of Chanania would say: Ten who sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated: “The Almighty stands in the community of G-d.” And from where do we know that such is also the case with five? From the verse, “He established his band on earth.” And three? From the verse, “He renders judgment in the midst of judges.” And two? From the verse, “Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard.” And from where do we know that such is the case even with a single individual? From the verse, “Every place where I have My name mentioned, I shall come to you and bless you.”

7. Rabbi Elazar of Bartosa would say: Give Him what is His, for you, and whatever is yours, are His. As David says: “For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we have given to You.” Rabbi Yaakov would say: One who walks along a road and studies, and interrupts his studying to say, “How beautiful is this tree!,” “How beautiful is this ploughed field!”—the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life.

8. Rabbi Dusta’i the son of Rabbi Yannai would say in the name of Rabbi Meir: Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. As is stated, “Just be careful, and verily guard your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen.” One might think that this applies also to one who [has forgotten because] his studies proved too difficult for him; but the verse goes on to tell us “and lest they be removed from your heart, throughout the days of your life.” Hence, one does not forfeit his life unless he deliberately removes them from his heart.

9. Rabbi Chanina the son of Dosa would say: One whose fear of sin takes precedence to his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom takes precedence to his fear of sin, his wisdom does not endure.

10. He would also say: One whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure. He would also say: One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G-d. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G-d. Rabbi Dosa the son of Hurkinas would say: Morning sleep, noontime wine, children’s talk and sitting at the meeting places of the ignoramus, drive a person from the world.

11. Rabbi Elazar of Modi’in would say: One who profanes the kodoshim, degrades the Festivals, humiliates his friend in public, abrogates the covenant of our father Abraham, or who interprets the Torah contrary to its true intent—although he may possess Torah knowledge and good deeds, he has no share in the World to Come.

12. Rabbi Ishmael would say: Be yielding to a leader, affable to the black-haired, and receive every man with joy.

13. Rabbi Akivah would say: Jesting and frivolity accustom a person to promiscuity. Tradition is a safety fence to Torah, tithing a safety fence to wealth, vows a safety fence for abstinence; a safety fence for wisdom is silence.

14. He would also say: Beloved is man, for he was created in the image [of G-d]; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to him that he was created in the image, as it is says, “For in the image of G-d, He made man.” Beloved are Israel, for they are called children of G-d; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they are called children of G-d, as it is stated: “You are children of the L-rd your G-d.” Beloved are Israel, for they were given a precious article; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they were given a precious article, as it is stated: “I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it.”

15. All is foreseen, and freedom of choice is granted. The world is judged with goodness, but in accordance with the amount of man’s positive deeds.

16. He would also say: Everything is placed in pledge, and a net is spread over all the living. The store is open, the storekeeper extends credit, the account-book lies open, the hand writes, and all who wish to borrow may come and borrow. The collection-officers make their rounds every day and exact payment from man, with his knowledge and without his knowledge. Their case is well founded, the judgment is a judgment of truth, and ultimately, all is prepared for the feast.

17. Rabbi Eliezer the son of Azariah would say: If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of G-d; if there is no fear of G-d, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour.

He would also say: One whose wisdom is greater than his deeds, what is he comparable to? To a tree with many branches and few roots; comes a storm and uproots it, and turns it on its face. As is stated, “He shall be as a lone tree in a wasteland, and shall not see when good comes; he shall dwell parched in the desert, a salt land, uninhabited.” But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place. As is stated: “He shall be as a tree planted upon water, who spreads his roots by the river; who fears not when comes heat, whose leaf is ever lush; who worries not in a year of drought, and ceases not to yield fruit.”

18. Rabbi Eliezer [the son of] Chisma would say: the laws of kinin and the laws of menstrual periods—these, these are the meat of Halacha. The calculations of solar seasons and gematria are the condiments of wisdom.

Studied at the conclusion of each lesson of the Ethics:

Rabbi Chananiah the son of Akashiah would say: G-d desired to merit the people of Israel; therefore, He gave them Torah and Mitzvot in abundance. As is stated, “G-d desired, for sake of his righteousness, that Torah be magnified and made glorious.” (Makot, 3:16)

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