Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do Mitzvot Have Comprehensible Reasons? Should We Care? (Part 2)

JP 7 – Reason for Mitzvot 2 How did Chazal’s explanation of reasons for mitzvot help combat Hellenistic intellectual attacks on Judaism? How did Chazal’s explanation of reasons for mitzvot help combat Christian dogmatic attacks on Judaism? How were these … Continue reading

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Do Mitzvot Have Comprehensible Reasons? Should We Care

JP 6 – Reason for Mitzvot Do Mitzvot have reasons that can be understood by Mankind? If so, should we delve into the reasons, or might they lead us astray? Should reasons for mitzvot affect halacha, or at least kavana? … Continue reading

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Jewish Philosophy 5: Is Torah in Heaven II

JP 5 – Not in Heaven 2 JP 5 sources – Not in Heaven Supplement Was God’s stated preference for R’ Eliezer’s position merely a test? If so, how would the Rabbis know when a ‘bat kol’ is reliable and … Continue reading

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Jewish Philosophy 4: Is Torah in Heaven?

JP 4 – Not in Heaven lo bashamayim sources What role does direct Divine Intervention play in Jewish Law? If the halachah should be X, and a voice from God says it’s Y, who do we follow? What right did … Continue reading

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Jewish Philosphy 3 – Elu v’Elu Applied: The ‘Incident’ of Dinah

JP 3 – Dinah What happened to Dinah in the Bible; was she raped, or was the relationship consensual? Can the disagreeing commentaries all be truth? If the relationship was consensual, why did Shimon and Levi react so violently? If … Continue reading

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Jewish Philosophy 2 – Elu v’Elu continued

JP 2 – Elu vElu 2 Are minority opinions in halacha bereft of truth, less truthful than majority opinions, or equally truthful as majority opinions?  In this class, we explore numerous different opinions on the subject over the pas millennium.

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Jewish philosophy 1 – Elu v’Elu – Plurality In Jewish law

JP 1 – Elu vElu Why do we study minority opinions which are not followed under Jewish law? Are minority opinions ‘truth’? Can there be more than one truth regarding a matter of law?  Regarding interpretation of a biblical verse? … Continue reading

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Battles of the Bible: Battles of Saul 4

Battles of the Bible 4 Saul vs. Amalek: What was Saul thinking in sparing the king and cattle of Amalek?  And why was he commanded to destroy Amalek in the first place (weren’t, say the Egyptians worse than Amalek?) Why … Continue reading

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Battles of the Bible 3: Saul’s Curious Campaign Against the Philistines

Battles Bible 3 Why did Saul lead such a small force against the Philistines, who were better armed and had superior numbers? Why did Saul abandon a heavily armored position for a much weaker one? Why did Shmuel make Saul … Continue reading

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Battles of the Bible: Wars of Saul 2

Battles of the Bible 2 What can we learn about Saul from the story of his search for donkeys which results in his coronation? Was Saul’s first campaign, against the Ammonites, a success or failure, and why is it textually … Continue reading

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