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Machshava (Jewish Thought)

A Rabbinic View of Current Events

Ever wanted to know what our sages would say, and how they would react to current events in a Bible study today? To find out, we will be studying a wide range of material: stories, teachings, and discussions, some well-known and some fairly obscure, which will serve as frameworks for discussion about a wide range of pressing and very relevant issues. This current events Bible-study class is appropriate for all levels.

This class is dedicated to a Refuah Shelaima (full recovery) for Stella Frankl, Tzuriya Kochevet Bat Sarah.

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Advanced Hilchot Teshuva

The Rambam's Laws of Teshuva is based on the Talmud and (silently) refers to other positions endorsed by the Rishonim. We will look into some of these differences of opinion amongst the Rishonim and try to understand the Rambam's choices in laying out the Halachot the way he does. We will refer to the variety of Talmudic literature, and survey the other Rishonim on the topics in the Yad Hachazaka

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Analyzing Aggadah with Maharal

The Maharal of Prague created a lot more than just a Golem! He wrote several monumental works such as the Be'er HaGolah which establishes the parameters for the proper study of Aggadah, the enormous non-legalistic Rabbinic component of the Talmud. His approach reveals the profound depth of wisdom of the Rabbis, specifically within this somewhat neglected area. The shiur will study Maharal's analysis of 16 amazing Aggadot in Be'er 4, whose literal meaning poses serious questions to the logical mind and the Believer's faith.
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Blueprint of High Holiday Prayers Part 3

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipppur hold the key to the next year. What are we striving for? What are we praying for? How do the prayers our sages compose express those ideas? In the shiur we strive to understand the structure of the prayers to make the most out of our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur experiences.

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Chovot Halevavot: Duties of the Heart

Chovot Halevavot is the oldest systematic book on ethics that we have. It was written By Rabbeinu Bachya in the 11th century. For previous classes please click here.
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Chovot Halevavot: Duties of the Heart (Fall2014)

Chovot Halevavot is the oldest systematic book on ethics that we have. It was written By Rabbeinu Bachya in the 11th century. For previous classes please click here.
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Chovot Halevavot: Duties of the Heart (Spring 2014)

Chovot Halevavot is the oldest systematic book on ethics that we have. It was written By Rabbeinu Bachya in the 11th century. For previous classes please click here.
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Chovot Halevavot: Duties of the Heart (Summer 2014)

Chovot Halevavot is the oldest systematic book on ethics that we have. It was written By Rabbeinu Bachya in the 11th century. For previous classes please click here.
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Deepening the Experience of the High Holidays

In this class we will focus on a series of texts and topics that we will analyze in order to develop a deeper understanding of issues and concepts relevant to the period of Elul-Tishrei, thereby helping to enhance that religious experience.

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Does Judaism Believe in Fallen Angels? (Jan 3)

Bereishit chapter 6 tells the story of bnei ha'elohim (children of God) who become involved with bnot ha'adam (daughters of man), an action that seems to help bring about the deluge. Who are the evildoers in this episode and why does their behavior cause such divine anger? Are they angels and if so, does Judaism believe in fallen angels? Tuesday, January 3
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Ein Ayah: Rav Kook on Aggadot of Shabbat

In this course we will take an in-depth look at Ein Ayah, Rav Kook's commentary on the aggadot (anecdotal texts) of the Talmud. We will focus on the aggadot of Massechet Shabbat to gain a stronger understanding of the lessons one can learn from the stories in the text.   Torah learning on WebYeshiva.org in Spring Semester 2017 is dedicated in the memory of Yehezkel and Sarah Lemel z”l by their loving family.     יחזקאל בן אשר למל ושאשא יוכבד ז”ל ושרה מניה פייגע בת יום טוב וטשארנה רבקה ז”ל Click here to learn about their inspiring stories and passion for Torah education and Israel.      To find out more about dedication opportunities with WebYeshiva.org please contact office@webyeshiva.org.
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Emuna Part 1

This class will be using the text of the Slonimer Rebbe, ztz"l, and his sefer Netivot Shalom Volume Aleph. The Rebbe describes Emuna (faith in Judaism) as the Song of Life of a Jew. We will use his text as a springboard to discuss the many layered mitzva of believing in Hashem.
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Emuna Part 2

The Rebbe of Slonim describes Emuna as the Song of Life of a Jew. This class will be using the text of the Slonimer Rebbe, ztz"l, and his sefer Netivot Shalom Volume Aleph, as well as other holy teachings of a selection of rabbis. We will look at these texts as a springboard to discuss the many layered mitzva of believing in Hashem. Please note that this class requires a minimum of 7 paying students in order to proceed. If this number is not reached, the class may be discontinued.
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Emuna Part 3

The Rebbe of Slonim describes Emuna as the Song of Life of a Jew. This class will be using the text of the Slonimer Rebbe, ztz"l, and his sefer Netivot Shalom Volume Aleph, as well as other holy teachings of a selection of rabbis. We will look at these texts as a springboard to discuss the many layered mitzva of believing in Hashem. PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.

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Examples of Forgiveness in Tanach

This series of classes will look at the concept of forgiveness in Tanach by examining a series of incidents in which a person or group sin, repent in some way, and ask God for forgiveness. In particular, we will focus on the story of Yona, David's sin with Batsheva, the sin of the spies, the sin of the golden calf, and the incident of Yehuda and Tamar. A close examinination of how God reacts (or doesn't) to these incidents may provide insight into what repentance means and how we might achieve it.

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From the Mishna to the Machzor

We will aim to enrich the Yamim Noraim experience by studying the development of select t'fillot.  We will study relevant Mishnayot in Rosh Hashana and Yoma and then trace how our Machzor evolved based on the Mishnaic formula for the t'fillot.

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Gevurat Hashem of the Maharal of Prague Part 1

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. In this class we will be using his text Gevurat Hashem (The Book of Power).

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Gevurat Hashem of the Maharal of Prague Part 2

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. In this class we will be using his text Gevurat Hashem (The Book of Power).

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Gevurat Hashem of the Maharal of Prague Part 3

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. In this class we will be using his text Gevurat Hashem (The Book of Power).

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Great Jewish Thinkers: Maimonides

This shiur is dedicated in honor of the yahretzeit of Clarence Lewis, Yekutiel Kalman ben Yitzchak Isaac z"l, by his family.

Maimonides is considered one of the greatest philosophers in Jewish History. His work "The Laws of Repentance" summarizes all the procedures and essence of Teshuva. Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashana, is a period of reflection on the past year, repentance for our actions, and resolve for future growth. Rabbi Chaim Brovender, Rosh Yeshiva of WebYeshiva, will be examining Maimonides' teachings on repentance, and discussing 'Does Teshuva always work?"


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Great Personalities in Jewish History: Their Views on Repentance

In this course we will look at the medieval Rabbis (Rishonim) and their views on Teshuva (Repentance). We will look at different opinions and explanations amongst those who wrote books on teshuva, including the Meiri, Rabbeinu Yonah and Rav Chaim Vital.
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Guide to the Perplexed

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. Although it is a continuation from previous semesters, new students are encouraged to join.
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Guide to the Perplexed (Elul 2014)

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. Although it is a continuation from previous semesters, new students are encouraged to join. For previous classes please click here.
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Guide to the Perplexed (Fall 2014)

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. Although it is a continuation from previous semesters, new students are encouraged to join. For previous classes please click here.
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Guide to the Perplexed (Spring 2014)

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. Although it is a continuation from previous semesters, new students are encouraged to join. For previous classes please click here.
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Guide to the Perplexed (Summer 2014)

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. Although it is a continuation from previous semesters, new students are encouraged to join. This semester we will finally conculde the book. For previous classes please click here.
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Guide to the Perplexed: Part 2

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed.
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Halachic Man of Rav J.B. Soloveitchik Part 2

The essay "Ish HaHalakha" (Halakhic Man) is Rav Soloveitchik's most systematic statement of a philosophy of Halakha. The essay provides readers with insight into the ways in which a rich and ongoing attachment to Gemara and its commentaries as well as a commitment to halakhic practice creates a particular kind of religious experience, one that is profoundly cerebral but touched with emotion and love. This class will read the essay (in English translation) slowly and carefully, focusing on issues such as the nature of knowledge in general and religious knowledge in particular, the logical structure of halachic thinking, and the creative personality of the Jewish scholar (talmid chacham). PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.

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Halakhic Man

Explore the Rav's magnum opus with Rabbi Jeffrey Saks. "Halakhic man reflects two opposing selves; two disparate images are embodied within his soul and spirit." Who is this complex character and what does he tell us about the spirit and ideals of halakhic Judaism, and the philosophical worldview of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt"l?
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Halakhic Man of Rav J.B. Soloveitchik Part 1

The essay "Ish HaHalakha" (Halakhic Man) is Rav Soloveitchik's most systematic statement of a philosophy of Halakha. The essay provides readers with insight into the ways in which a rich and ongoing attachment to Gemara and its commentaries as well as a commitment to halakhic practice creates a particular kind of religious experience, one that is profoundly cerebral but touched with emotion and love.  This class will read the essay (in English translation) slowly and carefully, focusing on issues such as the nature of knowledge in general and religious knowledge in particular, the logical structure of halachic thinking, and the creative personality of the Jewish scholar (talmid chacham).
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Hilchot Teshuva

The Rambam has summarized the laws relating to repentence in the first five chapters of "The Laws of Repentence". We will study these laws and be especially concerned about the order, about the difference between the world of the Temple and our world today, and the question "does Teshuva always work?"

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Jews, Judaism, and Modernity Part 3

An overview of major topics in Modern Jewish history, including Emancipation and Enlightenment, and their impacts on Jewish life, culture, and observance; Zionism and the State; Modern anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. This ambitious agenda will be pursued through an encounter with primary sources, and with thinking about how our lives as contemporary, religious Jews is affected by the events of the past 250 years.

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Judaism and Statehood

Jewish philosophers were deeply concerned about the relationship between religion, government, society, and coercive power. And, there is a great deal of diversity in their thinking. We will trace Jewish images of religion-state relations in Jewish thought from the middle ages to the modern period.
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Letters of the Rambam

The Rambam was certainly an intellectual with elitist tendencies but he also expressed great sympathy and warmth to those in distress. His letters reveal this other side of Rambam's personality. In this class, we shall study Rambam's letters to Yemen, to forced converts to Islam, to a convert to Judaism named Ovadia as well as his letter regarding the resurrection controversy.
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Love and Fear: The Ethics of Rav Kook

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was one of the great religious thinkers of modern times and of modern Israel; he was a poet, a chief rabbi and decisor of Jewish law as well as a sensitive and creative Jewish mystic. His writing though is notoriously difficult for the uninitiated. This mini-course will make use of my own soon to be published translations and commentary to make Rav Kook's thought accessible to students at any level. Each class will include suggestions about the relationship of Rav Kook's ethical writings to other Jewish classics as well as practical exercises for bringing these teachings to life. May 19-June 30
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Maharal of Prague: Netiv HaTorah Part 1

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. We will be using his text Netiv HaTorah (Pathway of Torah) which outlines what the nature of Torah is and how it manifests itself in the world.
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Maharal of Prague: Netiv HaTorah Part 2

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. We will be using his text Nativ Torah (Pathway of Torah) which outlines what the nature of Torah is and how it manifests itself in the world. Please note that this class requires a minimum of 7 paying students in order to proceed. If this number is not reached, the class may be discontinued.
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Maharal of Prague: Netiv HaTorah Part 3

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. We will be using his text Nativ Torah (Pathway of Torah) which outlines what the nature of Torah is and how it manifests itself in the world. PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.

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Maharal on Teshuva: Back to the Future

Who and what are you returning to? That is the question and the answer will affect your future.
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Maharal’s Netiv HaTeshuva

The role of Repentance is fundamental in Maharal's intricate blended thought system of philosophy and Kabbalah. It is intimately connected to widely developed basic concepts in his written works such as the nature of Man, Creation, Providence and many more. We will explore some of these basic fundamentals and contextualize them within Maharal's overall system.
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Maharal’s Novel Insights on Aggadot Chazal

There are classic aggadot that are well known, and most people assume that their meaning is straightforward, but the Maharal challenges conventional views and with relentless parsing makes us see things his way, and we are the richer for it.

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Maimonides’ Foundations of Faith

Maimonides' wrote that whenever the aggadot in the Talmud seem far-fetched and beyond rational understanding, it is our duty to carefully analyse and immerse ourselves in them until we come to understand the concepts they come to teach us. This class will explore Maimonides' introduction to Perek Chelek, the eleventh chapter of the Talmudic tractate Sanhedrin, which deals with Olam HaBa (the World to Come), Midrash, and the Foundations of Faith.
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Mesilat Yesharim: Part 5

By studying Mesillat Yesharim we will be studying what it means to live as a Jew. Mesillat Yesharim is not only a classic because of its content, but it is one of the few books of Jewish thought that has been embraced by all the streams of Jewish practice, and has been endorsed by the Gaon of Vilna as well as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz whose lectures on Mesillat Yesharim have been published.
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Messilat Yesharim

By studying Mesillat Yesharim we will be studying what it means to live as a Jew. Mesillat Yesharim is not only a classic because of its content, but it is one of the few books of Jewish thought that has been embraced by all the streams of Jewish practice, and has been endorsed by the Gaon of Vilna as well as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz whose lectures on Mesillat Yesharim have been published.
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Messilat Yesharim Part 1

By studying Mesillat Yesharim we will be studying what it means to live as a Jew. Mesillat Yesharim is not only a classic because of its content, but it is one of the few books of Jewish thought that has been embraced by all the streams of Jewish practice, and has been endorsed by the Gaon of Vilna as well as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz whose lectures on Mesillat Yesharim have been published.

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Messilat Yesharim Part 2

By studying Mesillat Yesharim we will be studying what it means to live as a Jew. Mesillat Yesharim is not only a classic because of its content, but it is one of the few books of Jewish thought that has been embraced by all the streams of Jewish practice, and has been endorsed by the Gaon of Vilna as well as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz whose lectures on Mesillat Yesharim have been published.

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Messilat Yesharim: Part 4

By studying Mesillat Yesharim we will be studying what it means to live as a Jew. Mesillat Yesharim is not only a classic because of its content, but it is one of the few books of Jewish thought that has been embraced by all the streams of Jewish practice, and has been endorsed by the Gaon of Vilna as well as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz whose lectures on Mesillat Yesharim have been published.
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Messilat Yesharim: The Path of the Just

Messilat Yesharim, by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, is a Jewish philosophy work aimed at the perfection of character. In this course Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Brovender will be studying the text to apply these lessons into our daily lives. New students are encouraged to join this course although it is continued from a previous semester. To veiw the recorded classes, please click here.
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Messilat Yesharim: The Path of the Just (Fall 2014)

Messilat Yesharim, by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, is a Jewish philosophy work aimed at the perfection of character. In this course Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Brovender will be studying the text to apply these lessons into our daily lives and prepare for the high holidays. New students are encouraged to join this course although it is continued from a previous semester. To veiw the recorded classes, please click here.
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Messilat Yesharim: The Path of the Just (Summer 2015)

Messilat Yesharim, by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, is a Jewish philosophy work aimed at the perfection of character. In this course Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Brovender will be studying the text to apply these lessons into our daily lives. New students are encouraged to join this course although it is continued from a previous semester. To veiw the recorded classes, please click here.
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Midrashic Literature on Creation

The creation story is replete with the mystery that befits such a profound event. This was not lost on the Sages, as they contend with the creation that begins with darkness and light and culminates with Adam and Eve. We will look at Midrashim from Bereshith Rabba, Tanchuma, and Pirkei D'Rebbe Eliezer. Much of the time will be spent on the nature of justice and mercy and how it is learned from particular verses.

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Mini Series: Great Biblical Commentaries of the Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century witnessed creative rabbinic Bible commentaries in several parts of Europe. The Rav of Frankfort, R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch; the Rav of Dvinsk, R. Meir Simcha Hakohen; and the Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, R. Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin; all contributed important Bible commentaries on Chumash. In this course, we shall explore each thinker's signature contributions to the legal and narrative sections of the Torah. Join us for the first part of the course: R' Shimshon Raphael Hirsch. This course will be divided into three 3-week sessions, with each rabbinic personality being focused on separately. There will be a one week break between sessions. While this course is complimentary, there is a suggested donation of $10 for each session. This class is dedicated to a Refuah Shelaima (full recovery) for Stella Frankl, Tzuriya Kochevet Bat Sarah.
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Moreh Nevuchim Part 1

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.
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Moreh Nevuchim Part 10

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 11

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 2

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 3

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.
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Moreh Nevuchim Part 4

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 5

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.
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Moreh Nevuchim Part 6

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed.  It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 7

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 8

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed. It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Moreh Nevuchim Part 9

This class will study Maimonides' major philosophical work, The Guide for the Perplexed (Morech Nevuchim). It is considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy.

This class is dedicated to a Refuah Shelaima (full recovery) for Stella Frankl, Tzuriya Kochevet Bat Sarah.

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Neglected Chapters of Rambam’s Hilchot Teshuvah

While much attention is paid to Rambam's views of repentance, his Laws deal with many other central topics of Jewish faith, in his eyes relevant to full repentance. By analyzing his perspective of sins that are more serious or significant than others, his ideas about free will and pre-determination, and his view of the reward we are promised for mitzvot, we hope to come to a deeper understanding of how to improve our spiritual state and our relationship with God.

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Netivot Olam of the Maharal of Prague

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. We will be using his text Nativ Torah (Pathway of Torah) which outlines what the nature of Torah is and how it manifests itself in the world. PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.
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Not Just Words: Rethinking the High Holiday Prayers

The High Holidays, beginning with Selichot the week before Rosh HaShana and continuing through the end of Yom Kippur, introduce prayers that are largely restricted to those times of the year.  While the 13 Middot, the Attributes of Mercy, are said at other times, their central recitation is as part of Selichot.  The middle blessings of the Mussaf of Rosh haShana, Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot, tell us about how our Rabbis understood the various blowings of the Shofar, while the Avoda of Yom Kippur, the liturgical poem that recalls the High Priest's service, is central to our experience of that day. The course will study each of these three prayers, looking to understand how they can enrich and expand our experience of this vital season of the year.

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Philosophy of Rav Soloveitchik Part 1

This shiur will seek to plumb the Rov's central philosophical and popular presentations for the main ideas of his thought.  Taking his presentations to the World Zionist Organization, gathered in Hamesh Derashot, his renowned Teshuvah drashas, from Al haTeshuvah, and his extended presentations of the nature of the religious Jew, in Halachic Man, U-vikashtem mi-Sham, and Halachic MInd, we will strive to understand how the Rov understood the nature of Jewish religiosity, and how we can best translate that into personal and communal reality.
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Philosophy of Rav Soloveitchik Part 2

This semester, we hope to study three more of the Rov's yahrzeit shiurim, on the nature of public fast days, the fellowship created during the recitation of Birkat HaMazon, and the obligation to tell the story of the Exodus of Egypt. Throughout, as in this semester, we will be on the lookout for the recurring and major themes in the Rov's thought and halachic experience

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Philosophy of the Rabbis: Pirkei Avot

What did the Rabbis think about? How did they think? Join Rabbi Chaim Brovender to delve into the philosophy of the rabbis, as told in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of Our Fathers.   Torah learning on WebYeshiva.org in Spring Semester 2017 is dedicated in the memory of Yehezkel and Sarah Lemel z”l by their loving family.     יחזקאל בן אשר למל ושאשא יוכבד ז”ל ושרה מניה פייגע בת יום טוב וטשארנה רבקה ז”ל Click here to learn about their inspiring stories and passion for Torah education and Israel.    To find out more about dedication opportunities with WebYeshiva.org please contact office@webyeshiva.org.
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Pirkei Avot

Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Fathers) is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15).
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Pirkei Avot Chapter 1

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.   Â
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Pirkei Avot Chapter 2 Part 1

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.
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Pirkei Avot Chapter 2 Part 2

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.

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Pirkei Avot Chapter 3

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.
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Pirkei Avot Chapter 4 Part 1

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such  maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.

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Pirkei Avot Chapter 4 Part 2

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach a different chapter of Pirkei Avot each week, following the the six chapter order of Pirkei Avot.    

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Pirkei Avot Chapter 5

Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Fathers) is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach the fifth chapter of Pirkei Avot in depth.
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Pirkei Avot Chapter 5 Part 1

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach the sixth chapter of Pirkei Avot in depth.

This class is dedicated to a Refuah Shelaima (full recovery) for Stella Frankl, Tzuriya Kochevet Bat Sarah.

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Pirkei Avot Chapter 5 Part 2

Pirkei Avot ("The Ethics of Our Fathers") is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach the sixth chapter of Pirkei Avot in depth.

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Pirkei Avot Chapter 5 Part 3

Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Fathers) is one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. This beloved tractate of the Mishna composed of ethical maxims of the Rabbis is familiar for such maxims as "If I am only for myself, who am I?" (1:14) and "Say little and do much" (1:15). Rabbi Brovender will examine and teach the sixth chapter of Pirkei Avot in depth.

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Rambam’s Shmoneh Perakim Part 1

Rambam's introduction to Pirkei Avot explores the nature of personality development. What is the mechanism by which we can improve ourselves? Can human perfection be achieved?

This course has now been accredited to triled.com (Theological Research Institute). 

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Rambam’s Shmoneh Perakim Part 2

Rambam's introduction to Pirkei Avot explores the nature of personality development. What is the mechanism by which we can improve ourselves? Can human perfection be achieved?

This course has now been accreditd to triltd.com (Theological Research Institute)

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Rav Chaim of Volozhin’s Nefesh HaChaim

Rav Chaim of Volozhin, a student of the Vilna Gaon in the 19th century, wrote "Nefesh HaChaim". Nefesh HaChaim was written to inspire Jews to strengthen their observance of mitzvot and commitment to Torah. 
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Rav Kook’s Faith

What is the role of faith in the life of the Jew? How does faith (emunah) differ from belief? What challenges does modernity pose to emunah and what are the prospects for overcoming them? In this mini-series we will explore the writings of Rav Kook on these topics and gain an insight into the challenges people of faith and people who aspire to faith face and understand more about the teachings of one of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the modern era - Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt"l.
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Rav Kook: Orot Hateshuva

This shiur will analyze R. Kook's major work on repentance.  We will discuss the relationship betweenn an individual's personal teshuva and the cosmic process, the worth of penitent thoughts, the balance between joy and fear in repentance, and the significance of free will.

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Rav Soloveitchik on Prayer

A survey of Jewish prayer as discussed in Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's thought and religious philosophy. All are welcome to join.
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Reasons for the Commandments

The topic of ta'amei hamizvot raises a number of important theological questions. Do the mizvot have reasons or are they simply the Divine will? Should humans speculate as to what the reasons are? Can those reasons be situated in a historical context? If we do offer reasons, should we try to find symbolic import in every single halakhic detail? Can proposed reasons ever impact on halakhic rulings? This series will explore these issues with help from Rambam, Ramban, R, Hirsch, and others.

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Rosh Ha-Shana and Yom Kippur: Halacha and Thought

Don't be a robot! When it comes to the mitzvot of Rosh Ha-Shana and Yom Kippur think about what you are doing.
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Science and Philosophy of Maimonides

A History of Jewish Thought: 4 Chapters of Rambam's Yesodei HaTorah.
This shiur will examine the sources of Rambam's "science" chapters, and look at how Rambam's ideas and interpretation of verses differed from those who came later (and earlier) than him.
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Strange Customs of Rosh HaShanah

In this course we will discuss and try to understand the origins and meanings behind some of the seemingly strange traditions of Rosh HaShanah. We will include the symbolic foods, the problem of eating nuts, and the custom not to sleep on Rosh Hashanah.
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Strive for Truth: Michtav MeEliyahu

Rav Eliyahu Dessler zt"l (1892-1953) was one of the most original and profound teachers of Torah in the previous century. He served as mashgiach in the yeshivot of Gateshead in England and Ponovezh in Israel. His shiurim (recorded in the 5-volume work Michtav Me'Eliyahu by his students Rabbis Chaim Friedlander and Aryeh Carmel) cover all the areas which are of interest to the Jewish people. As an heir to the mussar tradition of Lithuania he is driven to bring his audience to a higher level of commitment to to serving Hashem.
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Symbols and Myths in Jewish Tradition: The High Holidays

Religion speaks of the point of meeting between God and human beings. Since God is infinite and we are finite, we need a language to speak of that which can not be spoken. We must distinguish between language which "tells" and symbolic language which "shows". By stirring associations from within and propelling us toward the incomprehensible, symbolic language shows us the way. Surprisingly, few are aware of the symbolic language that Jewish tradition employs to lead us toward God. In these shiurim we will explore together stories and rituals in the Torah connected with the Yamim Noraim such as Akeidat Yitzhak and the ritual of the scapegoat can be understood as projections of God’s "mind", so to speak We will discuss the fundamental assumption of Chasidut and Torat haNistar that we are all created in God’s image, each of us a letter in the Sefer Torah and as such we are vehicles for God’s revelation in the world. God shines through us. My goal is to convey deeper dimensions of the Torah where Divine and human processes are expressed through the stories and rituals. I believe that this is religiously meaningful in that it ultimately brings together the human and the Divine and frames our Avodat HaShem in a new light.

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Talmud Torah or Why are you Jews so Smart?

Why is study considered the central activity of Jewish spirituality? What is considered Talmud Torah, and what might not be? How much are we supposed to study? Why is Torah like both fire and water? Why can intense scholars be impatient? Why are teachers like parents? We will wrestle with these and other angels this semester.
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Telling the Story

At the Passover Seder we tell the story of our ancestors, how they came to be slaves in Egypt and were eventually freed by God. Join Rabbi Geller as he delves into the meaning behind the text in the Haggada in this two-part series.
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Teshuva & the Musar Movement

Who were the founders of the Musar Movement? What did they seek to accomplish? What were their views on teshuva (repentance). We will learn about the lives, ideas, and writings on repentance of Rabbi Yisrael Salant, Rabbi Yitzhak Blazer, Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam and Rabbi Simcha Zissel Broide (the Alter of Kelm).
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Teshuva and Self-Reflection in Pirkei Avot

Ideas for self-reflection and inspiration for Elul from Pirkei Avot. A textual analysis of a selection for mishnayot from Pirkei Avot especially chosen for the themes of teshuva and renewal of our relationship with God.

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Teshuva in the Thought of Rav Yitchak Hutner

For Jews, teshuva can be like the weather.  We talk about it all the time, make little headway on it, and yet always find something new to say. Given the voluminous literature on teshuvah pre-dating the 20th century, we might have thought that there was little more of interest to be said. Into this packed world stepped R. Yitzchak Hutner, z'l, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat R. Chaim Berlin.  Rav Hutner delivered talks which were later collected in volumes titled Pachad Yitzchak. By taking some of his discussions of repentance, we will see the originality and complexity of this subtle and nuanced thinker.

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The Blueprint of the High Holiday Prayers

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipppur hold the key to the next year. What are we striving for? What are we praying for? How do the prayers our sages compose express those ideas? In the shiur we strive to understand the structure of the prayers to make the most out of our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur experiences.
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The Gevurat Hashem of the Maharal of Prague Part 4

Along with the Golem, the Maharal of Prague was a seminal influence on Modern Chasidut, and the philosophy of Rav Kook. His novel approach to Jewish learning and his understanding of the nature of Torah, are as compelling as they are provocative. In this class we will be using his text Gevurat Hashem (The Book of Power).

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