Audio Roundup Special: Mesoras HaRav Chumash

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This audio roundup special reviews the Mesoras HaRav Chumash debut event at YU. My continued thanks to all those involved in disseminating The Rav’s Torah—especially to R’Lustiger whose work on the Machzor continues to aid my Yamim Noraim prayers(and of course all the rest of his efforts to disseminate Torar Harav). The Chumash again allows us to get bite-sized insights from an incredible source. My inability to communicate The Rav’s uniqueness and greatness is a source of tremendous frustration reminiscent of my inability to explain the double slit experiment.

My 2 introductory thoughts:

R’ Chaim Volozhiner quote (found in the Rav machzor) that helps get me through the night (and twilight)

“Our purpose is to do, not necessarily to accomplish.”


The Artscroll Yom Kippur machzor has the following comment (I could not find the GRA’s statement in Aderet Eliyahu). “David replies with just two words: “I have sinned to HASHEM.” Nathan answers, “[If so] God has removed your sin and you will not die. ”The Vilna Gaon notes that according to the Masoretic text there is a space after David’s brief confession, even though it is in the middle of a sentence. This implies that David wanted to say more – he felt that he should go into more detail about his sin and the sincerity of his remorse – but was so overcome by remorse that he could not speak. He didn’t have to. Nathan broke in to tell him that he had been forgiven – because his confession, brief and incomplete though he thought it to be – was utterly sincere.”

Me-Do you think this thought coheres with the following insight from R’YBS:

“In response to this Divine verdict, R’Yehudah HaNasi cried, marveling at how some individuals merit the World to Come only after a lifetime of effort, while others acquire such reward after only brief effort. The Rav emphasized that the executioner not only earned a share in the World to Come, but achieved the same level as did R’Chananya in this regard.

“Why did R’Yehudah HaNasi have such an emotional reaction to the afterlife destiny of the executioner? The answer is that although prior to this incident R’Yehudah HaNasi had certainly understood the redemptive power of teshuvah, he had not previously appreciated the redemptive power of hirhur Tshuva, “awakening” of teshuvah. If teshuvah is indeed a multistep process, involving sin recognition, remorse, and resolve, how can an individual possibly be considered righteous after only a moment’s thought? Only through hirhur Tshuva, which is spontaneous, instinctive, and sudden. In one second, an individual can live the jarring experience of awakening from spiritual slumber.”

Me-Was the GRA channeling Kahnemann/Tversky? If so, is it an indictment of those who aren’t at the system II level?


About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

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