• December 8, 2019
  • 10 5780, Kislev
  • פרשת וישלח

Honest Teshuvah

Honest Teshuvah

Commenting on the Gemara Yerushalmi (תלמוד ירושלמי (וילנא) מסכת תענית פרק ב) Resh Lakish says the people of Ninveh did teshuvah “fraudulently.” There it says: “אמר רבן שמעון בן לקיש תשובה של רמיות עשו אנשי נינוה.” What did Resh Lakish mean by “fraudulently?” Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores the meaning behind this accusation and what it means for us today when we are trying to do Teshuvah.

September 1, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Honest Teshuvah: Lesson
Class description

 

Hello Everyone,

I am writing to welcome you to the series of shiurim titled, “Honest Teshuva.” I realize that this title is presumptuous to a certain degree. It implies that I of all people can say that someone’s teshuvah is dishonest.

I certainly do not see myself as an arbiter of honesty or sincerity. I chose this title because I was drawn to study a remarkable passage from the Talmud Yerushalmi:

תלמוד ירושלמי מסכת תענית פרק ב

אמר רבן שמעון בן לקיש תשובה של רמיות עשו אנשי נינוה מה עשו רבי חונה בשם ר”ש בן חלפותא העמידו עגלים מבפנים ואימותיהם מבחוץ סייחים מבפנים ואימותיהם מבחוץ והוון אילין געיי מן הכא ואילין געיי מן הכא אמרין אין לית מתרחם עלינן לינן מרחמין עליהון…..ויתכסו שקים האדם והבהמה ויקראו אל אלהים בחזקה מהו בחזקה אר”ש בן חלפותא חציפא נצח לכשירא כל שכן לטובתו של עולם. [יונה ג ח] וישבו איש מדרכו הרעה ומן החמס אשר בכפיהם א”ר יוחנן מה שהיה בכף ידיהם החזירו מה שהיה בשידה תיבה ומגדל לא החזירו.

    The Yerushalmi says that the people of Nineveh swindled Hashem . Their teshuva was “.תשובה של רמיות” This statement made by Resh Lakish is astounding for many reasons. Can Hashem be fooled? Hashem sent the prophet Jonah with the message that Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days. But Nineveh was not destroyed. The Scripture says that Hashem saw that the people of Nineveh repented. Is Resh Lakish saying that  Hashem is naïve? And if the people of Nineveh were dishonest and somehow “fooled” Hashem then what is the lesson of the Book of Jonah? Why do we read this book at Minchah of Yom Kippur?

I hope to discuss these questions with you over the next few weeks. The month of Elul is the last month of the year. It is the month for teshuvah and I hope that when we study the story of Nineveh together we will find the way to teshuvah.

As always I welcome questions and suggestions. My e-mail address is fish9999@gmail.com Please feel free to write.

Thank you

Stuart Fischman

September 8, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Honest Teshuvah: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone. Welcome to our second shiur on the subject of “Honest Teshuvah.”

Last week we discussed the Yerushalmi which said that the teshuvah of the people in Nineveh was actually fraudulent- תשובה של רמיות. We discussed the text of ספר יונה in order to discover what led the   Yerushalmi to reach this startling conclusion.

Tomorrow we will discuss “honest” teshuvah as it is described in the works of the earliest sages, Rav Sadiah Gaon, Rabbeinu Bachya and the Rambam. We will see how teshuvah is described in their writings and if there is a “good enough” teshuvah.

I look forward to meeting with you tomorrow.

Shavua tov

Stuart Fischman

September 15, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Honest Teshuvah: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Rav Yehudah Amital zt”l was one of the two Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion (his partner was Rav Aharon ichtenstien zt”l). Rav Amital’s drashot for the month of Elul were collected in the book “.עת רצון” In his drashot Rav Amital emphasizes the need for honesty as an essential aprt of the teshuvah process. Honesty is required in our assessment of our behavior and in our prayers to Hashem.

In our meeting tomorrow we will study the first drasha in the collection. I hope that we will find Rav Amital’s words instructive as we prepare for the Selichot prayers and the new year.

Shavua tov

Stuart Fischman

September 22, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Honest Teshuvah: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Tonight is the first night of Selichot for Ashkenazim. Tomorrow is our final class on Teshuvah. We will study one and possibly two essays by  Rav Adin Even Yisrael (Steinsaltz). HaRav Adin is one of the most significant Jewish scholars of our time. The two essays are taken from a booklet published by Yeshivat Tekoa titled “אור פני מלך”

May we all have our teshuvah and prayers accepted in the coming new year.

Stuart Fischman

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.