• November 15, 2019
  • 17 5780, Cheshvan
  • פרשת וירא

Storytelling & Believability

Storytelling & Believability

In this course Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman will discuss a very sensitive topic: Are we meant to believe all the stories told about rabbis who made miracles (especially Chasidic masters)? A famous Chasidic Rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsk zt”l, is reported to have said, “If someone believes all of the stories told about the Baal Shem Tov then he is a fool. But if he does not believe any of them then he is a heretic.” The question about believing these stories, and their place in encouraging belief is a very old one. We will see that a thousand years ago two of the last גאוני בבל debated this point.

To explore the positions taken by the great halachic authorities towards magic please see Rabbi Fischman’s course “Magic: Is it Real?” There he teaches how the Rambam became the symbol for all those who sought to establish a “rationalist” version of Judaism while the Ramban personified the “mystical” approach to Judaism.

July 28, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Storytelling & Believability: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone

In the previous classes we discussed magic.

In the next two classes we will discuss  a somewhat sensitive subject. When we read stories, whether they are in the Tanach or the Gemarah, should we read them with that proverbial “grain of salt?” Should we believe them, or read them as allgory? If we accept them literally are we naive? If we don’t believe them are deficient in another area known as אמונת חכמים?

So today and next week we will see how various authorities of undoubted piety looked at some of these issues.

I look forward to meeting with you.

As always, please feel free to contact me at <fish9999@gmail.com>

Stuart Fischman

August 4, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Storytelling & Believability: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

In last week’s shiur we saw how the commentators to ,תנ”ך had different approaches to the stories and events portrayed there. Some commentators strove to avoid the “supernatural” while others accepted it.

Today we will see that there is a similar divergence of opinions with regard to the Midrashim of the Talmud and its stories about tzadikim. Different commentators have different approaches to understanding (0r even rejecting) these tales.

I look forward to studying this subject with you.

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.