Audio Roundup Special: Yichud Hashem

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by Joel Rich

Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank- Yichud Hashem


 Shiur 1

There’s a constant mitzva of “leida”, to know HKBH is the only necessary existence. Leida may include knowing (TBD), believing, even loving (me-I suppose you know it when you feel it)


shiur 2

In addition to yedia there’s yichud hashem (“oneness”). His oneness is unlike any other oneness and implies non-corporeality; by definition emuna begins where yedia ends.


shiur 3

How do we understand anthropomorphism/dibra tora blashon bnai adam (eg yad hashem or vayichar) if HKBH is incorporeal? One answer is that in order to establish an absolute belief in something that we can’t really understand, we have to “humanize” HKBH through such imagery. Also makes it easier to establish a relationship with HKBH.


shiur 4

On the one hand we need to know that HKBH is incorporeal and we really can’t “know” him. On the other-hand we do express our praise /relationship with him in human terms.


shiur 5

If we had the ability, we would see everything as ruach pi hashem per bal hatanya. Perhaps ein od mlvado really means we don’t exist. The paradox is if God always existed, and doesn’t change, how can we? (all of a sudden) exist?


shiur 6

How can we actually exist if HKBH is everything/everywhere? The combination of gdula and gvura allow for tzimtzum which leaves room for our existence (maybe).


shiur 7

Halachic man focuses on improving this world rather than speculating how it exists.


shiur 8

The arizal used orot and keilim to denote ratzon and yecholet. The purpose of creation is focused on HKBH (being mgaleh his kavod). The creation of the world was to enable this end (it’s not about us, we just do tikunim.). The rationalist approach sees this world as the primary purpose of creation.


shiur 9

Discussion of the gra, nefesh hachaim and the baal hatanya on tzimtzum kpshuto – is it real or a figment of our imagination (do we exist)? How does this impact our avodah?


shiur 10

More on the baal hatanya/gra/nefesh hachayim’s takes on understand whether tzimtzum exists (our perspective vs that of HKBH). Halachic man doesn’t see the transcendent but connects to HKBH through halacha and uses kabala to understand what we can understand.


shiur 11

If you believe and live ein od milvado then kishuf can’t affect you (even if it exists). Tshuva/bchira can sometimes be suspended (at lease from HKBH’s viewpoint). (me-nothing is simple)


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.

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