Thursday Nights, 5782

These shiurim are being given on Thursday nights in Y.U. for the entire yeshiva. We hope to add each week’s shiur as the year progresses.

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See the table below the player for details about the shiurim in this series.

TrackTitleLength (mm:ss)Description
3Pesach, Connection Between Middos and Emunos V’de’os23:10Shabbos associated with both brias ha’olam and yetzias Mitzrayim. Ramban explains they’re related – the later is me’id on the former. Rambam explains they are two separate things. Rambam says mitzva of leil Pesach is to talk about the miracles Hashem did for us, and mitzva of eating matza & marror to remember the slavery. Why remember the bad times? Because it imparts anava; the good times bring the danger of arrogance, which results in forgetting Hashem. There is an interplay between middos and emunos v’de’os – there’s a direct progression from corrupt middos to corrupt emunos v’de’os, so to teach proper emunos on Pesach (and on Shabbos), we must also teach proper middos. Bad middos are ultimately rooted in physicality, and that interferes with coming as close to HKB”H as possible.
2Purim: The Power of Tefillah15:14Megillah, according to the Rambam, was designed as Hallel, and to emphasize that Hashem listens to the tefillah of tzibbur. Chazal saw how extraordinary the havtacha of “k’Hashem Elokeinu b’chol kor’einu eilav” is. We can bring the war in Ukraine to an end via our tefillah. We could solve the problem of Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Why don’t we? Either we are spiritually lethargic, or we are miketanei ha’emunah and don’t completely believe it. Esther certainly believed in koach haTefillah combined with teshuva, we have to hear the message in between the lines of the Megillah – “k’Hashem Elokeinu b’chol kor’einu eilav”.
1Self-Absorption & Teshuva34:14Ramban describes teshuva as including saying vidui on aveiros of ancestors, as well as following through to subsequent generations. Three perspectives / understandings of this:
1) A proper teshuva is one that will carry over l’doros and lead to the geulah ha’asida
2) Any cheit involves zilzul in mitzvos, and thus teshuva involves being properly machshiv mitzvos, to the extent that the sense of chashivus carries over to subsequent generations, since a miztvah, by definition, is l’doros
3) all cheit involves self-absorption. Teshuva can be self-centered as well, focused on being concerned about my own fate. Ramban mentions past and future generations because teshuva has to erase this self-absorption.
One cause of being down is being overly focused on oneself. For example re: COVID, it’s been understood from very early on that we have to calibrate our behavior based on its impact on others, not just on me. The decision process is not “do I need this precaution”, rather “will I be a link in a chain that gets a vulnerable person sick.” The mindset of cheit is self-absorption. This is not limited to the pandemic, but we focus on it because it effectively shines a spotlight on this area. Teshuva must involve moving away from self-absorption.