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Elie Wiesel, Mosheh, and Moving on from the Waters of Strife

A piece for Parshat Chukat in memory of Elie Wiesel. Great books capture something vital about what it is to be human. I feel a debt to an author when their work has given me a new way of thinking … Continue reading

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B’Zot Yavo Aharon El HaKodesh: Of Distance and Proximity, Passion and Complexity. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein: One Year On

Friday night derasha given at on May 6th 2016, Parshat Aharei Mot, and nearly a year since Rav Aharon Lichtenstein’s passing. Shabbat Shalom everybody בזאת יבא אהרון אל הקודש A plausible reading of the first verse of our parsha presents us … Continue reading

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Mosheh: The First 80 Years

The first two-thirds of Mosheh’s life all take place within the four chapters of Shemot. What were the experiences that affected the young Mosheh, and why does Hashem choose him as his agent of liberation? What does Mosheh do for … Continue reading

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Winter Torah in The UK

It’s been a wonderful semester of Talmud Torah at NYU. I have uploaded many of the shiurim here and a number are on the NYU Kollel site too. This coming week I am excited to present at Limmud UK. You can … Continue reading

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Three Hanukah Pieces

Lacking its own section of the Talmud or Biblical work I always struggled to find pieces to teach on Hanukah. So if you have found yourself in the same situation, here are three pieces spanning the range of Tanakh (Bible), Halakhah … Continue reading

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In The Beginning…#7 ‘And Yehuda recognised…’

Parshat Vayeshev begins the cycle of Yosef stories that go from Ch.37 until the end of Bereishit. The story of Yehuda and Tamar in ch.38 however appears to interrupt the flow, introducing a completely unconnected narrative. So what role does … Continue reading

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In The Beginning #…6 The Voice of Yaakov and The Hands of Eisav

A shiur covering Toldot, Vayetze and Vayishlach – trying to uncover the meta-themes of the stories of Yaakov and Eisav. Yitzchak faced a terrible choice. Selecting the tough, strong son who can ensure the family’s physical survival will come at … Continue reading

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In The Beginning… #5 Yitzchak’s Identity PtII – Repetition vs. Revolution (Toldot)

Our class last week focused on the sadder/darker side of Yitzchak’s personality. This week we track the single chapter of Bereishit devoted exclusively to Yitzchak as the active protagonist – ch.26 of Bereishit at the heart of Parshat Toldot. What is … Continue reading

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In The Beginning…#4 – Yitzchak’s Identity ptI – The Crisis

Yitzchak is an anomaly – one of the Avot, and the building blocks of the nation, but with far fewer stories where he is the active character than either his father or his son. In this first shiur on Yitzchak … Continue reading

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In The Beginning…#3 – Yishmael ben Avraham (Vayera)

If there is one constant theme of Bereishit it is that of multiple sibling rivalries in which the first born never wins. Yishmael, Avraham’s banished firstborn, is sometimes read in a purely negative light. But a more charitable reading is … Continue reading

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