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Special: Other Topics in Judaism

A History of Halacha in 100 Objects

In a blatant rip-off of the popular BBC series (History of the World in 100 Objects - www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld), Rabbi Jeffrey Saks will explore topics in Jewish law and lore through the prism of our material and physical objects - ritual items, tashmishei kedusha and mitzva, art, etc.  - to gain insight into halachic practice and Jewish culture. Each session will stand on its own as we travel around the  Jewish world and its history.
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A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop

A closer look at Rashi's commentary both methodologically and historically. Why is Rashi the most studied and famous Bible Commentator? We will discuss the Jewish-Christian Debate  as well as important values in Rashi's Bible Commentary. How much did Rashi really write and what, if anything, was added?  
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A-Ag-Agn-Agno-Agnon and Rebbe Nachman (January 5, 12, 19, 26, February 2 & 9, 2014)

Midrash Agnon – English study sessions with R. Jeffrey Saks on Agnon’s writings.

Exploring the connection between the Nobel laureate and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, along with other important influences on Agnon’s writing.

Live at Agnon House and online world-wide via WebYeshiva.org/Agnon – Sundays at 7:00pm Israel time. Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast via WebYeshiva.org. (Sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time"). The course will cost $45. To pay, please choose from the options below.



Choose One From the Options Below

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Agnon’s Days of Awe: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Agnon’s Stories, September 18 & 25

Agnon's Days of Awe with Rabbi Jeffrey Saks of WebYeshiva.org and co-sponsored by Lincoln Square Synagogue, NY.

Aside from S.Y. Agnon's best selling volume "Yamim Noraim" ("Days of Awe" - An anthology of Torah sources on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur) the Nobel laureate featured the High Holy Days in many of his most enigmatic tales. In this two-part series we will look at some of these short stories from a literary perspective, while unraveling the "intertexts" of classical Jewish sources from which Agnon drew, and explore the resonances between text and mastertext. 
Stories will be read in English translation, with references to the original Hebrew text - but Hebrew fluency is not required to participate.
 
Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast at WebYeshiva.org (sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time").
 
Sundays, September 18 and 25 at 5:30 pm (Jerusalem time).

      

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Agnon’s Eretz Yisrael

This 3-part mini-series brought to you by Agnon House, WebYeshiva.org and Lincoln Square Synagogue, NY
Join us as we explore a different Agnon story each week, unravelling the magic of the Land of Israel as depicted in Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's lyrical weaving of history and mystery into a modern midrash on the link between the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael in the modern world.
Sundays, March 4th, 11th & 18th, 2012 at 7:00 PM Israel Time
Join us live at Agnon House, 16 Klausner Street, Jerusalem
NIS40 each session or NIS100 for the entire series (student discount NIS50)
Register with Beit Agnon: 02-671-6498 or agnon-h@zahav.net.il
OR
Participate via simultaneous live, interactive video conference at www.WebYeshiva.org/Agnon - $18 registration required (Sessions recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time")
PLEASE NOTE: This class will take place at 7:00 PM Israel Time, so although the class will meet at 12:00PM US Eastern on March 4, the subsequent meetings will take place at 1:00 PM US Eastern (March 11 and March 18).  
 

   

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Agunot & Jewish Divorce

Through text-based study we will undergo a thoughtful exploration of many of the sources dealing with Jewish divorce in Jewish Law. Via unfiltered examination of the earliest Talmudic literature, continuing through the various periods of the responsa, up to modern-day Israel, an understanding will be reached of the halakhic legalities of jewish divorce, the untenable position of the victim of get-refusal "the agunah" and the possible solutions to the problem. In the final stages, special emphasis will be placed on prenuptial agreements for the prevention of get-refusal.

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Aramaic Grammar

Aramaic was the language of the Talmud. We will survey the principle elements of Aramaic grammar, concentrating on texts from the Babylonian Talmud. Language of instruction: English. This mini-course presumes that the participants can read elementary Hebrew. A link to source materials will be provided to all participants. Although the sources will be displayed on screen during class, participants are encouraged to print them on paper to facilitate taking notes during class. This 5-part series will run from January 8 through February 5. The course is free-of-charge with a suggested donation of $36. To make a donation please click here.
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Are We There Yet? The Rambam’s View of the Meaning of the Messianic Era (May 3)

We will use text selections from the Rambam's Mishne Torah (primarily Hilchot Melachim but also Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah) in order to understand his concept of the Messianic Era and also what it implies for the individual Jew and the entire Jewish people in the here and now.
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Ask Your Father,Keep the Torah of Your Mother-Minhag Structure

By tracing the halachic use of two verses, we will find out what makes a minhag (custom), and what its force is in the halachic system, and when minhagim continue or cease to obligate us.

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Beginner Guide to Jewish Prayer

Why do we pray what we pray? In this course we will take an in-depth look at the brachot of the Shmonah Esrei and how they relate to each other.
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Between Nostalgia and Nightmare: Agnon’s Stories of the Old World… and the New

Join us for a series on S.Y. Agnon, Nobel Prize Laureate for Modern Hebrew literature. We will enjoy Agnon's stories from a literary perspective, while unraveling the "intertexts" of classical Jewish sources from which Agnon builds his stories and explore the resonances between text and mastertext. Stories will be read in English translation, with references to the original Hebrew text - but Hebrew fluency is not required to participate.

Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast via WebYeshiva.org (sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time"). We recommend buying A Book That Was Lost: Thirty-Five Stories by S.Y. Agnon (The Toby Press). [Click here for Kindle edition]

Series 1 – The Old World
4 Sundays at 7:30 PM (Jerusalem time) / November 4, 11, 18 & 25
Each week we'll explore a different short story of the ancestral world of Eastern Europe, examining what Agnon's nostalgic treatment of the past is saying about our present.

Series 2 – The New World
4 Sundays at 7:30 PM (Jerusalem time) / December 30, January 6, 13 &20
Each week we'll enter the surrealistic realm of Agnon's collection of modern, nightmarish tales in his Sefer HaMa'asim (Book of Deeds) collection, which examine the breakdown of tradition and the shock of the modern world.

Participate at the Agnon House, 16 Klausner St., Talpiot, Jerusalem
Cost: 40 NIS per session (120 NIS for each 4-part series). Student discount: half price.
OR Participate online from anywhere in the world via the synchronous, interactive video conference at WebYeshiva.org/Agnon (registration required - cost: $10 per session or $36 for each series).
Agnon House
For more information contact:
office@WebYeshiva.org / Tel. 02.5671719
OR Agnon House / agnon-h@zahav.net.il / Tel. 02.6716498

Agnon's Stories of the World
1 Class $10.00 USD2 Classes $20.00 USD3 Classes $30.00 USD1 Full Series (4 classes) $36.00 USDFull Series + 1 Class $46.00 USDFull Series + 2 Classes $56.00 USDFull Series + 3 Classes $66.00 USD2 Full Series (8 Classes) $72.00 USD

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Blueprint of the Haggada Part 1

The Pesach Haggada is not just a series of stories and verses strung together - it contains a precise logic and order. Each element is there for a reason and plays a very specific role in the structure and flow of the Haggada.  In this class we will examine all of the particular aspects of the Haggada and try to answer the questions, "why is it there?" and "what does it mean?"  We will also look at the story of Yetziat Mitzraim, and by way of Midrash, attempt to uncover the "behind the scenes" story embedded in the pesukim.

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Blueprint of the Haggada Part 2

The Pesach Haggada is not just a series of stories and verses strung together - it contains a precise logic and order. Each element is there for a reason and plays a very specific role in the structure and flow of the Haggada. In this class we will examine all of the particular aspects of the Haggada and try to answer the questions, why is it there? and what does it mean; We will also look at the story of Yetziat Mitzraim, and by way of Midrash, attempt to uncover the behind the scenes story embedded in the pesukim.

WebYeshiva.org, in conjuction with The Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, is proud to offer sign language translation for the deaf and hard-of-hearing for this class, with translator, Mrs. Miriam Solomon. If you are interested in a sign language translation of any of our other shiurim, please contact our office to arrange: office@webyeshiva.org

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Blueprint of the High Holiday Prayers Part 1

Rosh Hashana 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 prayer

In other words, we are doing reverse engineering. Instead of explaining the davening, we are doing what davening was like before the siddur was composed. We are putting our thoughts together of what we want to pray , and then seeing how the words our sages put together fit those goals immaculately and more than we can possibly think of ourselves.

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Carlebach Yahrzeit Series: From The Heart (Nov 17)

Leah Golumb was a student and close friend of Reb Shlomo. She will speak about her experiences learning with him and his efforts to bring the world a step closer to redemption.
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Carlebach Yahrzeit Series: Teachings, Nigunim & Legacy (Nov 16)

Join Rabbi Shlomo Katz for an evening of learning, singing, and storytelling as he commemorates the Carlebach legacy.
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Cooking Through the Jewish Calendar

"They tried to kill us. They didn't succeed. Let's eat!" From Abraham to Esther, serving meals to guests has been one of the cornerstones of our heritage. Holidays and other occasions are celebrated around bountiful tables, and the Shabbat meals are the highlight of each week.

Join Chef Marc Gottlieb for a live one-hour class as he demonstrates various techniques and dishes for menus that connect with the seasons and holidays of the Jewish calendar.

Classes are given monthly. Each class is $15.

 

Cooking through Jewish Calendar  course requires a minimum of 12 paying students per class. If 12 students do not pay for Cooking through the Jewish Calendar course, all students who have paid will be eligible for a full refund.

 

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Days of Awe: Agnon’s Tales of the High Holy Days (Sept 25)

Prepare for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur with Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon’s tales of the Yamim Noraim.
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Elul: The Gates Are Open

Elul-The Gates Are Open....A full day of classes to prepare for the Yamim Noraim in partnership between Shir Hadash and WebYeshiva.org.   Thursday September 22 Broadcast live from Shir Hadash 3 Chopin Street, Lower level, Jerusalem   9:30 am Doors open   10:00-10:45 AM  Teshuva: Returning to God, Returning to Eretz Yisrael Sharona Margolin Halickman   11:00-11:45 AM  Soul Journey: Unpacking the Hidden theme of the Book of Jonah Rabbi Robert Rhodes   12:00-12:45 PM  Who wants Life? The powerful words of Elul and Tishrei Chaya Passow   1:00 PM Lunch   1:45-2:30 PM  Viduy: Confessing Sin and Confirming Achievement Rabbi Jeffrey Saks   2:45-3:30 PM Teshuva M'Ahava-Embracing our Humanity Rabbi Sam Shor   3:45-4:30 PM From Elul to Tishrei: An Ongoing Love Story Peta Pellach
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Forgiving Others and Being Forgiven

It is well known that there are three different aspects to Teshuva: between man and God (bein adam l'Makom), between man and man (bein adam l'chaveiro), and between man and self (bein adam l'atzmo). In some senses, it is "easier" to do teshuva for sins between man and God, for these sins, we are told, are atoned for at Yom Kippur. Sins committed between man and man, however, are not atoned for at Yom Kippur unless forgiveness is first granted by the offended party. As such, in this class we will look at some of the issues involved in doing teshuva bein adam l'chaveiro and how teshuva bein adam l'atzmo is a foundation for this.  Please note: this shiur is for women only.

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From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure

We will aim to enrich the Seder experience by carefully studying its structure and underlying symbolism. We will weave together study of the mishna and select sugyot in Pesachim with analysis of the Torah and Haggada text.

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From Slavery to Freedom: Selections from the Haggada, March 27-April 5

After so many years living as slaves, a position they could not leave freely, the Jewish People made the transition to freedom itself. In this course, explore the depths of the haggadah and discover how the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim, of leaving Egypt embodies that momentous journey every step of the way.
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Gender and Relationships in Torah

We will look study several Halachic sugyot which shed light on Chazal's attitudes towards gender and sexuality. We will specifically look at how contemporary Poskim relate to changing attitudes in this realm.
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Hagar’s Son: Jewish Life in Arab Lands from the Middle East to the Maghreb

In 1948 nearly 1 million Jews lived in Arab and Muslim lands, with indigenous communities stretching back millennia; today there are just over 7,000 Jews there.  We will begin by exploring our Sages' words about Ishmael and his offspring.  We will examine the Quranic roots of Antisemitism to understand how these continue to shape Arab and Muslim attitudes today. We will investigate this history by looking at four communities, including the oldest, the most populous, the most damaged, and one that still has a sizeable Jewish presence.

Mondays, November 7-December 5


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Hidden Heroes of the Haggada: The Role of Women in the Exodus

A study of Jewish women and their role in getting the Jewish People from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael. We will look at some of the midrashim that discuss how we all would have been lost without the Jewish women and their role in Egypt, the sin of the Golden Calf, and more.
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Historical Events that Fell on the Yamim Noraim

Bar Kokhba did it, Sandy Koufax did it, and you can too! Life tosses us curve balls but at the end of the day we can learn a lot about how events during the Yamim Noraim shape our future and deepen our faith, even in the face of hardship.
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Jewish Business Ethics Part 2

This class will investigate the fundamentals of Jewish Business Ethics and present the Jewish approach to resolving the ethical dilemmas in the modern marketplace. The following are some of the topics that will be discussed:

  • Basic principles and values of Jewish Business Ethics
  • Marketing -- projecting a positive image without misleading the consumer
  • Worker relations -- ethical practices for employers in hiring and firing, and for employees in presenting themselves and quitting.
  • Fair competition -- where to draw the line in competing for customers and for workers; permitted and forbidden comparisons with competing firms.
  • Privacy -- collecting customer information; surveillance of employees
  • While the course is not a halacha course per se, the main source for learning our ethical obligations in economic life will be specific laws. The basis for this methodology will itself be explained in the introductory lecture. Thus the course will involve the in-depth study of basic source material from the Talmud and later authorities. The source sheets are in Hebrew but during class I will translate them as I read them, so the course is definitely accessible to students with no background in Hebrew.

    We will try as much as possible to apply the principles we learn to real-life contemporary case studies, and in fact a number of lectures will begin from a contemporary case study, carefully chosen to present a truly ambiguous and challenging dilemma, and only afterwards will we examine the sources that bear on the case.

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    Jewish Business Ethics Part 4

    This class will investigate the fundamentals of Jewish Business Ethics and present the Jewish approach to resolving the ethical dilemmas in the modern marketplace. The following are some of the topics that will be discussed:
    Basic principles and values of Jewish Business Ethics
    Marketing -- projecting a positive image without misleading the consumer
    Worker relations -- ethical practices for employers in hiring and firing, and for employees in presenting themselves and quitting.
    Fair competition -- where to draw the line in competing for customers and for workers; permitted and forbidden comparisons with competing firms.
    Privacy -- collecting customer information; surveillance of employees

    While the course is not a halacha course per se, the main source for learning our ethical obligations in economic life will be specific laws. The basis for this methodology will itself be explained in the introductory lecture. Thus the course will involve the in-depth study of basic source material from the Talmud and later authorities. The source sheets are in Hebrew but during class I will translate them as I read them, so the course is definitely accessible to students with no background in Hebrew.

    We will try as much as possible to apply the principles we learn to real-life contemporary case studies, and in fact a number of lectures will begin from a contemporary case study, carefully chosen to present a truly ambiguous and challenging dilemma, and only afterwards will we examine the sources that bear on the case. PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.

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    Jews, Judaism, and Modernity Part 1

    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 are affected by the events of the past 250 years.

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    Keeping the Jewish Spirit Alive During the Holocaust (April 19)

    Join Rabbi Geller on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in discovering the brilliant innovations of Jews during the Holocaust which allowed them to maintain their Jewish spirit, to keep the holidays, laws and traditions, even under Nazi oppression.

    This shiur is dedicated to Rabbi Alexander Klein z"l, a pioneer in researching the topic of how Judaism survived the Holocaust.

    In memory of Regina Zuckerberg, of blessed memory.

     

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    Kriyat HaTorah Technique

    The Pesukim of the Torah are infused with meaning by virtue of their words and by virtue of the vocalization and cantillations (Ta’amei Ha’Mikra) of those words no less. How we read the words that are written dramatically affects their meaning as words and sentences.   This is a refresher course on the finer points of correct pronunciation as well as associated halachot for the Ba’al Kore. While the content of the course will be based/predicated upon the Ashkenazi table of te'amim and minhag of reading, in general it is 'nusach neutral' and will not be teaching the vocalization/cantillation of the notes themselves.  
    The objective of the course is to provide the regular Ba’al Kore with the tools to enhance his precision in proper textual reading, irrespective of nusach and minhag, by elucidating on the following three primary areas. We will:   (1)   Review the rules and interaction of the notes (Ta’amei HaMikra – the rules will be based on the Ashkenazi table of te’amim and minhag, however, they are fundamental in nature)   (2)   Review the rules of proper grammatical pronunciation in the biblical text (universal, irrespective of nusach and minhag)   (3)   Review the basic Halachot governing and guiding the Ba’al Kore with regards to his reading; his obligations, conduct, how to handle various situations with regards to the reading.
      Participants will receive one-on-one feedback from a master Ba'al Kore to improve precision and technique. May 29, June 5, June 19, June 26 The cost of this course is $50 USD.  
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    Learning and the Land: Caesarea (April 29)

    Explore the ancient city of Caesarea, from the Roman port to the modern golf course.

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    Learning and the Land: Mitzpe Ramon (May 11)

    Join Rabbi Geller in exploring the crater, spice routes and the Navatiansof Mitzpe Ramon.

     

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    Learning and the Land: Petach Tikva, Mother of the Settlements (Jan 1 & 8)

    Discover the rich history of Petach Tikva, known as the Mother of the Settlements; from its distinct landmarks, to the many personalities that made this city their home. We will virtually visit different sites, and discuss the history and stories behind them.

    Sundays, January 1 and 8

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    Love your Neighbor: Ahavat Yisrael Project for Women

    Gedolim agree that one of the most important areas to focus on in our troubled times is Ahavat Yisrael. It is the antidote to the sinat chinam that destroyed the Beit HaMikdash and sent us into exile.

    According to Chazal, just as the Redemption from Egypt happened in the merit of the righteous women, so too the Final Redemption will also occur through the efforts of the righteous women. Upon the encouragement of Rav Noach Weinberg, zt"l, women all around the world are getting together in groups to work to help save the Jewish people. Now through WebYeshiva you can help strengthen this worldwide movement by joining the group online, and committing to working on Ahavat Yisrael and sharing it with others.

    This is an interactive workshop at WebYeshiva, for women only.

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    Mamaloshen 2015: Yiddish for Beginners

    Yiddish means, literally, "Jewish". No wonder this was the language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews in many parts of the world. In this course we will learn the fundamentals of Yiddish: the alphabet, key verbs (and conjugation patterns), key nouns, important phrases and essential grammar. At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to read Yiddish texts, understanding a great part of it and being able to find in the dictionary unknown words.
     
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    Midrash Agnon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Join us for a 5-part series on S.Y Agnon, Nobel Prize Laureate for Modern Hebrew literature. We will enjoy Agnon's stories from a literary perspective, while unraveling the "intertexts" of classical Jewish sources from which Agnon builds his stories and explore the resonances between text and mastertext. Stories will be read in English translation, with references to the original Hebrew text - but Hebrew fluency is not required to participate.

    Agnon's writing explores an array of questions to sensitive readers - theological, cultural, spiritual - such as: the viability of Judaism in the Diaspora, the continuity of tradition in the face of modernity, the challenge and meaning of the return to Eretz Yisrael.

    Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast via WebYeshiva.org (sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time"). We recommend buying A Book That Was Lost: Thirty-Five Stories by S.Y. Agnon (The Toby Press), available for online purchase here.

    5 Sundays at 7:30 PM Jerusalem time, February 6-March 6, 2010

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    Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night

    Join us for a 3-part lecture series on S.Y. Agnon’s epic novel A Guest for the Night – a nostalgic tale of the old world on the eve of destruction. The work was considered “perhaps his greatest achievement” by the Nobel Committee.  
    Please note this course has a fee of $20.
    The class will meet December 4, 11, and 18, 2016, and will be broadcast live from Beit Agnon in Jerusalem.
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    Midrash Agnon: A Simple Story (Feb 12, 19, March 5)

    Join us for a 3-part lecture series on S.Y. Agnon’s novel A Simple Story – set in small town Jewish Galicia, a scene of bitter-sweet romance, revealing the profound psychological and social insights of the Nobel laureate’s finest fiction.  
    Please note this course has a fee of $20.
    The class will meet February 12, 19, and March 5, 2017, and will be broadcast live from Beit Agnon in Jerusalem.
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    Midrash Agnon: Forevermore (Ad Olam)

       A cloistered scholar works for twenty years attempting to unravel the secrets of an ancient    city, now reduced to dust and ashes. What sacrifice will he pay in the present in order to  recover the past? What does this allegory mean for today’s readers and contemporary Jewish  history?   This class will be held 4 Sundays at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM / October 25, November 1, 8, 15 To participate in the course live from Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem (Agnon House, 16 Klausner Street, Talpiot, Jerusalem 93388), call 02-6716498. To participate via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast here via WebYeshiva.org please fill out the form below. All sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time." Registration for this miniseries on WebYeshiva.org is $36
    For more information email office@webyeshiva.org      
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    Midrash Agnon: In the Heart of the Seas, Nov 27, Dec 4 & 11

    S.Y. Agnon's novella "In the Heart of the Seas" (Bilvav Yamim) is a legend of love for the Land of Israel as a group sets out from 19th century Buczacz on Aliya, accompanied by a mysterious and miraculous man of spirit. This midrashic and lyrical weaving of history and mystery will be explored in our 3-part mini-series on Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's novella with Rabbi Jeffrey Saks.

    Sundays, Novmber 27th, December 4th and 11th at 7:00 PM Jerusalem time.

    Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast via WebYeshiva.org. (Sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time").
    For more information email office@webyeshiva.org

    To register and participate live at the Agnon House:  02-6716498
    Agnon House, 16 Klausner Street, Talpiot, Jerusalem 93388
     
    The Hebrew text of the story appears in Agnon's volume Eilu veEilu. The English translation (by I.M. Lask) is available online at Google Books and for sale in various online retailers.

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    Midrash Agnon: Out of the Historic Catastrophe (May 15, 22, 29)

    As we head into the 50th anniversary of Agnon’s receiving the Nobel Prize, we will explore the themes he struck in his famous speech in Stockholm, working back to see how they reflected themes in his writings. Each week a different theme will be examined through the prism of a single short story.
    The cost of the course is $20.
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    Midrash Agnon: The Dramatized Ego

    A careful reading of different short stories by the Nobel laureate, exploring the complex connections between S.Y. Agnon the man, the author, and the narrator he created. Each week will examine a different story (new translations will be made available). With R. Jeffrey Saks – 5 Sundays in a row starting January 25, 2015 at 7:30pm Live at Beit Agnon and online everywhere from WebYeshiva.org/Agnon Cost: Live attendance at Agnon House: NIS35/session or NIS150 for 5-part series. Online registration: $35/course.
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    Midrash Agnon: The Old World and the New

    In S.Y. Agnon’s Nobel-winning stories we encounter the Jewish world in transition between the past and the present, tradition and modernity, and the Diaspora and Eretz Yisrael. What do his stories mean for today’s readers and contemporary Jewish history?   Each session explores a different short story (texts will be provided in English and Hebrew).   4 Sundays in a row February 14 – March 6, 2016 Live at Beit Agnon and online everywhere from WebYeshiva.org/Agnon   Cost: $36
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    Midrash and Aggada Part 2

    For many, both Midrash and Aggada are a black box when they try to figure out what their ultimate purpose is. Are Midrashim arbitrary expansions of Biblical narrative? What are these aggadot supposed to teach us? Why is a story more viscerally compelling than a systematic moral code? There is method to Midrash and Aggada, and this course will seek to uncover it.

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    Midrash and Aggada: Judgement to Mercy

    For many, both Midrash and Aggada are a black box when they try to figure out what their ultimate purpose is.  Are Midrashim arbitrary expansions of Biblical narrative  What are these aggadot supposed to teach us Why is a story more viscerally compelling than a systematic moral code  There is method to Midrash and Aggada, and this course will seek to uncover it. 

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    Midrash Esther Rabba

    The introduction to Midrash Esther Rabba known as the Petichta does not parse the narrative of Megillat Esther. Instead, it deals with the themes of the Megillah. Whereas the frivolity associated with Purim generally eclipses what would have been the darkest of moments in Jewish history, the midrash hits the themes of exile and oppression full on. In Midrash Esther Rabba, the meta-psycho-historical Jewish condition gets profound and explicit exposure as does the variant traumas of exile. The poetics of the Midrash are also breathtaking.

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    Mini Series: Forgiveness, September 8, 15 & 22

    It is well known that there are three different aspects to Teshuva: between man and God (bein adam l'Makom), between man and man (bein adam l'chaveiro), and between man and self (bein adam l'atzmo). In some senses, it is "easier" to do teshuva for sins between man and God, for these sins, we are told, are atoned for at Yom Kippur. Sins committed between man and man, however, are not atoned for at Yom Kippur unless forgiveness is first granted by the offended party. As such, in this class we will look at some of the issues involved in doing teshuva bein adam l'chaveiro and how teshuva bein adam l'atzmo is a foundation for this. 

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    Mini Series: Learning and the Land: Meron, Akko & Kibbutz Gesher Hayeshena, May 1

    This class is no longer in session. To access the archives, please see below.

    In this series, we will learn the history behind the ancient cities of Meron and Akko, and the special story of Kibbutz Gesher Hayeshena,where one of the first battles of the War of Independence in 1948 took place.

    This class took place on Sundays at 9.00pm Israel time / 2.00pm US Eastern time
    April 3rd & 10th
    May 1st


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    Mini Series: On Becoming a Baal Teshuva

    This class is no longer in session. To access the archives, please see below. Join Allison Josephs, founder of jewinthecity.com, as she shares the story of her journey of spiritual growth. Part 1: "Why I Did It," (experiencing an existential crisis in childhood pushed me to find purpose before it was too late). Part 2: "How I Did It" (how do you persevere when faced with obstacles preventing spiritual growth?). Part 3: "How I Kept It" (so many ba'alei teshuva revert to their old ways eventually - how do you make teshuva last?). The series will take place on Monday, May 23rd & 30th and June 6th. While this mini series is complimentary, there is a suggested donation of $10 for the session.
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    Mini Series: Who Are the Jews? May 3, 10, & 17

    This class is no longer in session. To access the archives, please see below.

    Join Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Cheif Rabbi of Poland, for an interesting and exciting class, offering a new perspective on who the Jewish People are and how the Jewish faith has survived.

    Who are the Jews?  Jews have been around nearly 4,000 years.  Many other groups have come and gone and Jews are still here.  What are the basics of belief and basic practices that have given the Jews the ability to transcend time and the fate of others?

    An examination of halacha and its role in Jewish survival.  What is halacha?  How is it practiced today?  How is it old and how is it new? How is it transmitted? Simply put the hows and whys of Jewish spiritual survival.

    May 3, 10 and 17 at 9:30PM Israel time/2:30PM US Eastern Time/8:30PM Poland Time


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    Mini-Series: Ruth & Eicha Rabba

    Both The Midrash of Eicha, The Book of Lamentations, and The Book of Ruth are poignant elucidations of two very poetic and evocative works in the Tanach. As much as they uncover gems in these heart affecting narratives, the sages reveal how they understand commitment, caring, suffering, sin, teshuva, destruction and rebuilding. They remind us that there is more to these stories than meets the eye. We're going to go deep, so please join us. This course will be divided into two 5-week sessions, with each Megilla being focused on separately. There will be a one week break between sessions. While this couse is complimentary, there is a suggested donation of $20 for each session.

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

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    No Magic: Scientific Reasoning in Torah (May 8-22)

    In the present day, many people read tanakh and come away with the impression that this is a book that has a problem with science.  Not only is it riddled with accounts of miraculous occurrences that fly in the face of our usual sense of what is possible, it also describes the very creation of the world in terms that are difficult to square with what astrophysicists and paleontologists argue is the most persuasive interpretation of known data. Can science and Torah both be right, or do we have to side with one interpretation and stick with it?  Jeremy England, who is an assistant professor in the physics department at MIT, became an observant Jew in adulthood, long after being trained to think as a scientist.  In this special three-part series, Prof. England will describe some of his own thoughts on the supposed tension between scientific reasoning and biblical religion.  Starting with a general discussion of what science is as a way of knowing and how this fits into his personal view of the world informed by Torah, the classes will then take up specific passages in chumash for close reading, focusing specifically on explicating the Torah's understanding of scientific reasoning and the role it can play in Avodat Hashem.
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    Notes on Megillat Esther, March 15 & 22

    Learn some fascinating ideas behind Megillat Esther. Gather some stories to share with your family and friends at your Purim Seuda.
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    Parshat Hashavua: Bechukotai – Devarim

    This shiur is dedicated Le-Iluy Nishmat Baruch Shraga z"l ben Shlomo Yehuda (Benjamin Schwartz)

    Learn the Parshat HaShavua (weekly Torah portion) using different classical meforshim (commentators) as well as others to convey an interesting and deep understanding of our times through the study of the weekly Torah parsha.

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    Pesach: Freedom for All, April 10

    Shir Hadash presents: Pesach: Freedom for All
     
    A full-day of classes to prepare for Pesach.
    Join us in person at Shir Hadash in Jerusalem, or online at WebYeshiva.org for live participation or recordings.
     
    3 Chopin Street in Jerusalem, Lower level
    Doors Open at 9:45 AM
     
    10:00-10:50   "Miriam, the (un)sung Hero of Pesach" with Peta Pellach
     
    11:00-11:50   "The First Redemption" with Dr Moshe Kuhr
     
    12:00-12:50   "Matza: The Bread of Slavery or the Bread of Freedom" with Sharona Halickman
     
    12:50 pm Lunch break and Mincha
     
    1:40-2:30   "Who Knows Four?" with Rabbi Ahron Adler
     
    2:40-3:30   "Haggadah Insights: Rebbe Nachman at the Seder" with Rabbi Chaim Brovender
     
    3:40-4:30   "What's Plaguing Each of Us?" with Rabbi Sam Shor
     
    4:40-5:30   "Freedom" with Rabbi Ian Pear
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    Prayers of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

    The Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayers have a unique structure and very specific layout, designed to enhance our holiday, bring us closer to teshuva (repentance) and closer to God. In this series we will look at the prayers and try to understand them in order to prepare for the upcoming High Holidays.
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    Purim: Behind the Mask, March 20

    Shir Hadash presents: Purim-Behind the Mask
    A full-day of classes to prepare for Purim
     
    Join us in person at Shir Hadash in Jerusalem, or online at WebYeshiva.org for live participation or recordings.
    Sun March 20,2016
     
    3 Chopin Street in Jerusalem, Lower level
     
    Doors Open at 9:45 AM
     
    10:00-10:50 -The Hidden Heroism of Hadassah (Esther)-with Peta Pellach
     
    11:00-11:50- Purim equals Giving. Have you ever thought about why? -with Rabbi Robert Rhodes
     
    12:00-12:50-The 'Real' Purim Story-Torah She'Baal Peh on Megilat Esther with Chaya Passow
     
    12:50 LUNCH & MINCHA 40 mins
     
    PM
    1:30-2:20pm-The Eretz Yisrael Component in the Purim Story" with Rabbi Ahron Adler
     
    2:30-3:20pm- Costumes, Clothing and Consciousness with Rabbi Chaim Brovender
     
    3:30-4:20pm-Purim-Ad D'Lo Yada-Embracing the Unknown- with Rabbi Sam Shor
     
    4:30-5:20pm-Purim-When Everything Changes- with Rabbi Ian Pear
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    Queen Esther: the Redeemer, March 20

    What qualified Esther to become the Redeemer of the Jewish People? To answer this questions, we will study the Maharal's thesis from Derech Chaim.
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    Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: Chanuka Lights

    Rabbi Brovender will be giving a shiur at WebYeshiva.org's Chanuka party - Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: Chanuka Lights - which will be broadcast live and online at WebYeshiva.org.

    Please register for the class in order to attend the live broadcast.

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    Rabbis and Revolution: How Traditional Judaism Deals with Change

    In this course we will examine some "revolutions" from throughout history and discuss how traditional Judaism responded to them. The course will cover such revolutions as the end of the Sanhedrin, Spanish Inquisition, invention of the printing press, Ba'al Shem Tov, French Revolution, Emancipation, Evolution, and the introduction of the internet. The starting point will be Rav Tzadok, who says that ideas come to the world at certain times and appear in both Jewish and Gentile culture in different but similar ways.
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    Rav Soloveitchik on the High Holidays (September 3, 10, 17)

    The holy days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur played a significant role in Rabbi Soloveitchik's halakhic and philosophical writings. A survey of some of these major themes in Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's thought and religious philosophy as seen through his essays.
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    Redemption & the Good Life (May 10)

    Join Rabbi Chaim Brovender and students from around the world to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day.
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    Remembering and Celebrating: Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut (May 1)

    Join Rabbi Brovender for a discussion about Israel's Memorial Day and Independence Day.

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    Responsa on the Holocaust Part 3

    This class will examine the unique and unusual topics in the gemara and in halacha that were pertinent during the dark and challenging times of the Holocaust. Examples include giving ones life to save another, and fulfilling mitzvot in times of extreme constraint. We will also study different historical cases that arose with regard to this topic up until the Holocaust.
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    Shimon Bar Yochai: Different than Other Tannaim? (May 6)

    Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, one of Rabbi Akiva's most prominent students, was attributed with authorship of the Zohar.
    Who was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and what made him different than the other Torah scholars of his time?

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    Shira Pransky Yahrtzeit Memorial Shiur

    This shiur will commemorate the first Yahrtzeit of Shira Pransky z''l with the traditional practice of learning mishnayot from throughout shas (the complete works of the Mishna) with each mishna beginning with a letter from the name of the departed soul. Rabbi Gabe Pransky will be presenting the mishnayot that he finds most interesting or appropriate from the selection of possibilities.
     
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    Siddur Part 1

    One way to make Daily tefila as meaningful as possible is to not only understand what we are praying, but why are these the things we pray for.  We will investigate the concepts behind the words and seek out meaning through various commentaries and sources.
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    Siddur Part 3

    One way to make Daily tefila as meaningful as possible is to not only understand what we are praying, but why are these the things we pray for. We will investigate the concepts behind the words and seek out meaning through various commentaries and sources. PLEASE NOTE: This class requires a minimum of 10 paying students in order to ensure its continuation this zman.

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    Simcha & Bitachon in the Festival of Sukkot

    Simcha: Many of us are familiar with the concept of 'Mitzva gedola lehiyot besimcha,' but what does simcha really mean? We will explore simcha and its connection to the festival of Sukkot.

     

    Bitachon: In this shiur, we will explore the concept of trust in G-d and its connection to the holiday of Sukkot.

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    Speech and Language in Jewish Thought and Law

    In this class we will look at some of the concepts and halachot related to speech in Judaism.  We will start from the earliest sources and learn how speech - what separates humans from animals - is viewed in the Torah.  We will look the power of speech in Judaism and try to understand why it holds such an important place in the Jewish mindset, and why it is so important for us to be aware of the words that come out of our mouth.  We will then examine a selection of laws of proper speech (shmirat halashon) and some mussari concepts related to shmirat halashon.  Time permitting, we will also look at some ideas about the sanctity and significance of the of the Hebrew language - lashon hakodesh.
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    Tehillim and Tefilla: The Psalms We Pray

    This course will focus on the Tehillim (psalms) that we use in our prayers. What is behind them? How do they affect our prayers?
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    Tehillim of the High Holidays

    How does prayer on Rosh Hashana “Remove the Evil Decree”? We spend much of the days of Rosh Hashana in prayer. Join this class to better understand the psalms we say on Rosh Hashana and make your holiday more meaningful.
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    Teshuvot of Hashkafic and Communal Significance

    She'elot ve'Teshuvot, responsa literature, is an area of rabbinic writing that often does not receive adequate attention. This body of literature greatly influences our halakhic practice and also contains much material of significance for Jewish thought. What does the Torah say about hunting for sport? Should observant Jews favor school prayer in American public schools? Do parents have a right to object to the marriage choices of their children? We shall explore these questions as well as other teshuvot of communal importance.

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    The Animal Kingdom in Jewish Thought: From Ants to Elephants (Nov 3, 10, Dec 1)

    Join Rabbi Natan Slifkin for a three-part mini series on the Animal Kingdom in Jewish Thought.

    Part 1: Lions, Leopards and Bears
    The symbolism of predatory animals in Jewish thought.

    Part 2: The Camel, The Hare and the Hyrax
    Enigmas with the laws of kosher and non-kosher animals.

    Part 3: Sacred Monsters: Mythical creatures of the Midrash.

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    The Chain of Tradition: The Meiri on Avot

    Can a chain of tradition truly last thousands of years without breaking? Who are the elders, prophets and Rabbis who passed the Torah from Moshe Rabbeinu through the Middle Ages unto today? From the mind of the 13th century Meiri,  we will study his introduction to Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, and how that chain looked from his eyes.
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    The Fifth Son

    The section of the four sons interrupts the Hagadda's telling and celebrating of the exodus from Egypt.  Our exploration will look at the reason for this section and what it reveals about the entire Haggadah.  The answer, of course, is that just like the 4+1 cups, there is also a fifth son.

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    The Jewish view of Nittel Nacht

    There are a number of Jewish legends and customs associated with Nittle Nacht, a rabbinical term for Christmas Eve. Join Rabbi Brovender for a special class to learn about the Jewish traditions of Nittle Nacht.

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    The Mishna Berura and its Sources

    A look at the various "kitzur" books of halakha from the 19th century. Including Kitzur Shulhan Arukh, Chaye Adam, Shulhan Arukh HaRav, Arukh HaShulhan, Kaf HaChayim, Ben Ish Chai as well as the Mishna Berurah by the Chofetz Chayim.
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    The Rabbis of the Haggada (April 2)

    Who were the Rabbis we read about every year on Passover? Join Rabbi Ross in exploring the Rabbis of the Haggada through understanding the sugiya in Berachot with Rabban Gamliel and Rav Eliezer ben Azaria (as well as Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva).
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    The Shulhan Arukh: Who wrote the book

    In this course we will discover who wrote the Shulhan Arukh and its commentaries. We will explore the history of the authors and the contexts in which the texts were composed and compiled.
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    Tisha B’Av 5776 (2016)

    Sunday, August 14 Shacharit (Morning Prayer Services) at Beit Knesset Shir Hadash 8:45 AM Israel time Chopin #3, Talbiya, Jerusalem. Click here for a map. This will not be broadcasted. ~~~   First Session   9:30 AM Israel time 7:30 AM London time 4:30 PM Melbourne time 2:30 AM US Eastern time 11:30 PM (Motzei Shabbat, August 13) US Pacific time   Explanatory Kinot Service with Rabbi Chaim Brovender  
    Join Rabbi Brovender as he explains the underlying themes of various Kinot to make them more meaningful. He will give historical background about the Kinot and their authors along with a deep examination of the text and ideas. Rabbi Brovender will show how the themes of the Kinot can resonate with us in modern times.
     
    Rabbi Brovender's lecture is dedicated in memory of Mr. Norman Ruback z"l  נחמן בן גדליה הכהן ז"ל.
      Growth from the Ashes with Rabbi Yehoshua Geller   Many of the Kinot said on Tisha B'Av are difficult to relate to without understanding their meaning or background. Rabbi Geller will read through some of the Kinot to give us some context and help us better understand and internalize their messages.   We will continue with a discussion of the Book of Eicha. Eicha tells the tragic story of the destruction of the First Temple. Eicha is not only a story of pain and suffering, but it also grants us insight into how we can take that pain and sadness and use it to grow and better ourselves and our relationships with God.   These lectures will be broadcasted live online from Beit Knesset Shir Hadash, Chopin #3, Talbiya, Jerusalem. A live audience is welcome to join in the synagogue. Click here for a map.  
    ~~~   Chatzot in Jerusalem is at approximately 12:44 PM Mincha (Afternoon Prayers) 1:20 PM Israel time at Beit Knesset Shir Hadash This will not be broadcasted.   ~~~   Second Session Please note that there will be no live, in-person audience for the second session. This class will be broadcasted live online only at WebYeshiva.org.   Humility on Tisha B'Av with Rabbi Avi Weinstein   8:00 PM Israel time 6:00 PM London time 3:00 AM (Wednesday, August 6) Melbourne time 12:00 PM US Central time 1:00 PM US Eastern time 10:00 AM US Pacific time   Anava, often translated as the desirable quality of humility, seems to have a different meaning in the well known Kamtza/Bar Kamtza story. Exploring the constructive and destructive dimensions of ענוה will enrich our understanding of a story that many know but few understand.   ~~~  
    For questions about how to log in please email support@webyeshiva.org or call 073-796-2230 (Israel) or 646-977-7978 (United States).     To make a donation, please click here:
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    Tisha B’av Kinot and Shiurim

    This shiur is dedicated in honor of the yahretzeit of Norman Ruback, Nachman ben Gedalia HaCohen z"l, by his family.

    All sessions are free. Registration is required.

    9:15 AM Israel time
    7:15 AM London time
    4:15 PM Melbourne time

    Explanatory Kinot Service with Rabbi Brovender
    Rabbi Brovender explained the themes of the various Kinot, with a close examination of the text and ideas. What was the historical background of the Kinot? Who are the authors of the Kinot? What themes in the Kinot resonate in modern times?

    11:45 PM Israel time
    9:45 AM London time
    6:45 PM Melbourne time

    From Churban to Geula with Rabbi Yehoshua Geller

    Rabbi Geller will discuss how the true purpose of the churban (destruction of the Temple) was not to punish us, but rather to correct us. Accordingly, the destruction ultimately represents a path to geula (redemption). In addition, Rabbi Geller will also discuss the custom of reciting Kiddush Levana, the sanctification of the moon, on motzaei Tisha B'av, and how this connects to the concept of geula. The shiur will draw from pesukim and midrashim from Eicha elaborating on this idea.

    10:30 AM New York time
    7:30 AM LA time
    5:30 PM Israel time
    3:30 PM London time

    Second Explanatory Kinot Service with Rabbi Brovender
    Rabbi Brovender explained the themes of the various Kinot, with a close examination of the text and ideas. What was the historical background of the Kinot? Who are the authors of the Kinot? What themes in the Kinot resonate in modern times?

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    Topics From the Seder Night

    Each week of this three-part series we will start with a different topic from the Passover Seder and journey through various sources and ideas related to the topic, concluding with a deeper understanding of that part of the seder. Topics will include karpas, the four cups, and Chad Gadya. Join us and then impress your fellow seder-goers with your knowledge.

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    Torah 101 – The Jewish Wedding

    Ever wish you knew more about your heritage but felt too shy to ask?
    Want to make Judaism relevant to your life but don’t know where to start?
    Torah 101 at WebYeshiva.org is a new way to introduce yourself to the rich heritage of Jewish learning at a level and pace that’s right for you. Designed for thinking adults who are interested in finding more meaning in their Judaism, Torah 101 at WebYeshiva.org uses advanced video-conferencing technology to enable you to learn with outstanding teachers from the ease and comfort of your own computer.

    Starting in our Fall Semester, we will explore some of the fundamental ideas and concepts surrounding the Jewish wedding ceremony. This course will explain the process of the Jewish wedding and the origins of its associated customs, as well as taking a look at the philosophical, Halachic and technical aspects of the Jewish wedding.

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    True Blue: The Story of Tekhelet, March 20-April 10

    True Blue: The Story of the Loss and Rediscovery of the Mitzvah of Tekhelet   Weaving together Torah, archaeology, chemistry, biology, halacha and history, this course delves into the many aspects of the beautiful mitzvah of Tekhelet, its loss and recent revival, as well as its significance and meaning both in ancient times and today. The exciting multimedia presentation, which includes an option for an at-home dyeing experiment, is given by the founders of Ptil Tekhelet, the leading authorities on the topic   This live, interactive course is meant to be an experience the entire family can enjoy together. To acquire the kit for the at-home dyeing experiment, please click here. The kit is highly recommended, although not required for participation in the class. The 4-part series will meet Sundays, at 11:00am EST, beginning March 20, 2016. It will also be recorded for later viewing. Please note that because of Daylight Savings time changes, the first week the class will meet at 5:00pm Israel time. The rest of the classes will take place at 6:00pm Israel time.    
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    Untold Story of a Survivor (May 4)

    Join Rabbi Yehoshua Geller, along with WebYeshiva.org and Jews from around the world, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, to tell the story of a survivor of the Holocaust.
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    Untold Story of a Survivor: Yom HaShoah 2015

    Join Rabbi Yehoshua Geller, along with WebYeshiva.org and Jews from around the world, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, to tell the story of a survivor of the Holocaust.
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    Weekends @ WebYeshiva: Teshuva

     

    Are you too busy to learn during the week?

    WebYeshiva is offering a new Sunday morning program starting in the Elul Zman.

    Specifically geared to those who lack time during the week to attend shiurim, Weekends@WebYeshiva is a way for you to take advantage of Torah learning during your weekend!

    The program will showcase WebYeshiva's finest teachers and feature different topics every week.

    You bring the coffee, we'll bring the Torah!

    There is no charge for this program.

    Sunday August 29th: Rabbi Jeffrey Saks will be discussing 'Teshuva of love, Teshuva of fear.'

    Sunday September 5th: Rabbi Chaim Brovender will discuss 'Elul:  Time for Teshuva.'

    Sunday September 12th: Rabbi Gidon Rothstein will teach 'The Hardest Step of Teshuva: Recognizing the Sin.'

     

     

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    What do the Rabbis Have to Say About It

    This shiur will look at classic Rabbinic texts, in the Midrash and Talmud, which engage, in often surprising ways, with contemporary questions: community and personal autonomy, sexuality, tradition and change, universalism and particularism, relative and absolute values, Jews and Gentiles, and more. 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. The class is appropriate for all levels.

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    What makes a prophet?

    Sure, we know Moshe Rabbenu was a prophet, we know Yeshayahu and Yirmiyahu were prophets, but what does that mean? We will start by analyzing the mitzvot related to prophecy - when we have to listen to them, when not - and move on to a discussion of the qualifications to be a prophet, the powers of a prophet, and the experiene of prophecy. Much of the course will focus on Rambam's discussions of the issue, but if time permits, we will also look into R. Kook's views as well.

     

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    When is Purim? March 13 & 20

    The mitzva of reading the megilla in a walled city falls the day after Purim everywhere else. Why is this? What is a walled city? When is Purim?
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    contact us TECH SUPPORT: U.S. 1-646-977-7978 · Israel 073-796-2230 · office@webyeshiva.org

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