Audio Roundup Special: Torah in Motion Hebrew Series

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

by Joel Rich

רצח עם ברשות התורה: מחיית עמלק Retzach im b’reshut haTorah: mechiat Amalek (The People and the Book 2013)

There are two approaches usually taken to understanding the mitzvah of a mchiat to amalek – apologetics or there’s an ethical message. The Rambam held we ask amalek to surrender under the same terms as the 7 nations. If not, since they represent the antithesis of Avraham who did away with shevi, they must be destroyed.

אסתר צריכה עזרא, ועזרא צריך אסתר Esther tzricha Ezra v’Ezra tzarich Esther (The People and the Book 2013)

Knowing the historical context of Tanach can deepen our understanding of what Tanach is telling us. Megillat Esther reveals a transition from one strong leader {navi} to more diffuse leadership [Anshei Knesset Hagdolah] and the balance between being in galut and rebuilding israel.

שמש בגבעון דום: סוגי נסים במקרא Shemesh b’Givon dom: sugey nisim bamikrah (The People and the Book 2013)

Shiur parsing the miracle of shemesh bgivon dom based on comparisons to moshe and devora (nissim gluyim vs bderech hateva).

כיפה עליהם הר כגיגית ובעית בחירה החפשית Kipah aleyhem har k’gigit u’ba’ayat habechirah hachofsheet (The People and the Book 2013)

How can the torah be relevant to both angels and man?

לך לך בתקופת הגלובליזציה Lech-Lech btkufat haglobalizatzia (Hebrew Title)

Q. why does the torah sometimes focus on the physical benefits of eretz yisrael? A. our destiny is connecting heaven and earth (spiritual and physical).

?להיות בתיבת נח או לתקן עולם במלכות שד-י Lekhiot bteivat noakh or letaken olam bmalkut sh-d-y?

R Kook encourages us to view the entire jewish nation as brothers rather than to build our own subgroup’s lifeboat.

Rabbi Yehuda Gilad-דתי לשעבר: המצב בארץ Dati Leshea’var: Hamatzav Ba’Aretz

There’s a new stream of Judaism in Israel which isn’t fully dati or fully chiloni. Given our openness to western liberal thought, how do we make room for the inevitable questions/approaches (in a fully “Jewish”, not orthodox, country?)

Dr. Yuval Cherlow – ?לשם מה יש צורך בנבואה Leshem Mah yesh tzorech Benevuah? Eizeh Tafk…

The major role of the navi was to unpack why the facts on the ground differed from what people expected religiously (this role is called parshanut elokit). In addition, he reminded the people that HKBH expected tzedek umishpat.

Rabbi Itai Moryosef-How is Rav Kook Relevant for our Generation? (Hebrew)

R Kook believed that religion was integral to zionism (chilonim must eventually be religious as well). He felt the return to Israel would lead to a religious revival because of the language and the physical development.



Rabbi Dr. Martin Lockshin-Understanding Tanach: Pshat, Midrash and Halacha

Part 1

The series will deal with how mfarshim (and others) resolve the tension between pshat and medrash halacha on a pasuk when they differ.  The first example is the beginning of the jewish day (is night or day the beginning?)

Part 2

The source of aveilut/shiva for a spouse is different than for other relatives. How do the mfarshim reconcile interpreting “sheiro” in pshat v in the paskuk regarding the halacha of spousal mourning (is your spouse really a relative?)

Part 3

What is the meaning of “bamav” in defining who the cohain gadol can marry? (the nation or the cohanim) 

How do we understand the exclusion of “blemished” cohanim? Has the halachic attitude towards blemishes (and handicaps) evolved over time?

Part 4

What does zachor (as in yom hashabat) ask of us? (remember from the past or keep in mind that shabbat is coming up?)

How do we understand the differing interpretations of the rabbis and the karaites on “mimacharat hashabat”?

Part 5

Why zachar and shamor? We all know the halachic drasha but how did the commentators understand pshat?

Part 6

Rashbam understands (due to context) “totafot bein enecha” as a metaphor for consistency. When does context require non-literal interpretations? Ibn Ezra says almost never.

Part 7

More examples where pshat and medrash don’t necessarily align. Does the injured recovery get measured only by his walking stick (mishanto)? Is the invader’s (ba bmachteret) perceived intent to kill subject to interpretation based on circumstances?

Part 8

Did our attitude towards yiftach and his daughter (did he really sacrifice her) change over time? The medrash analyzes both halachic (could/did he need to be matir neder) and hashkafic (did pinchas and yiftach cause her death by not going to the other?) Interpretations include the possibility that maybe she just didn’t marry or she lived a cloistered life (Christian influences on commentators?)

Part 9

What is the focus of the pronouncement made by the elders in the case of the egla arufa (murderer or victim?) What is said by the zekeinim and what is said by the cohanim? Is the ceremony about purification, civic responsibility, bringing out witnesses and/or due process?

Part 10

Final example of understanding (and living) the tension between halachic drash and “simple” pshat. By what time must you pay a worker? Does he work during the day? night?



Yosef Lindell-Forgotten Synagogue Classics

Part 1

The Hertz chumash used frum and no-frum sources and took on biblical critics. He focused on morality.

Part 2

R Aryeh Kaplan was an out of the box thinker. The King James version (English) was the basis for all the English translations up through the 20th century. R Kaplan chose a more functional (colloquial) translation approach rather than a formal one (examples provided). Why didn’t more orthodox shuls use his chumash?

Part 3

More on examples of translations which try to maintain the poetic nature of the original text vs those that focus on the meanings of specific words.

Part 4

The Birnbaum siddur and machzor met the need for an “orthodox” prayer book which had a readable format and layout along with an understandable translation. It fit well with Dr Birnbaum’s vision as an educator to the masses.

Part 5

Siddurim were being used in the 1940s to define each movement’s hashkafa. It took the RCA sixteen years (1950s) to put out a siddur (de Sola Pool) and it never overtook the Birnbaum (due to the headstart and various complaints about the new siddur). In the 1980s they went to the artscroll version due to changing times. (they just added the tfilah for the medina and an introduction by Rabbi Saul Berman.) There was a plan in 2010 for a new version with artscroll but it morphed into a 2016 version with koren inclusive changes and commentary reflecting more modern sensibilities (go figure!!!)

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter