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The Sadducees and Pharisees Debate How to Make Judaism Appealing

How Bare May One Be When Approaching G-d?

1 hr 12 min

Class Summary:

The laws of burning Ketores (incense) on Yom Kippur, stirred a major debate between the Sadducees (Tzedukim,a group of Jews active in Judea during the Second Temple period, starting from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. They ultimately died out) and the Pharisees (Prushim – the Rabbinic Sages, the representatives of the Oral Tradition of Judaism). The Sadducees believed that the smoke should be created outside of the Holy of Holies; the Pharisees maintained that only once the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) entered the inner sanctum should he place the incense on the coal.
What was at stake in this argument? What is the path to generate a "refined aroma", a pleasant human experience? The Sadducees held we look for inspiration on the "outside," and then take that "inside," into the Torah. We acclimate Judaism to the outside trends. The Pharisees held that inspiration for a Jew is found by and in Torah. This class explores other ways of understanding this debate both historically and spiritually.

Please leave your comment below!

  • S

    shmuel -5 years ago

    I had been reading the Midrash says on this weeks parsha, acharei mos, and saw that he quotes Rav Hirsch in a footnote where he explains the Tzedoki "minhag" to put the incense on the coals before entering the Kodesh haKodashim as their mindset that they need not conform their will to the ratzon Hashem, I thought this could somehow be related to the story in the gemara of naaseh v'nishma, but did not see the direct link, until I read the rav's pshat based on the Rebbe ztz'l talk on why Torah was given in a barren desert, to represent our need to be completely open, and surrender all ego to the truth of the Divine. The connection is amazing. Thank you so much!

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  • ש

    שמואל -8 years ago

    יישר כח על השיעור. הרעיון השני המובא בשיעור ע"ד הקשר של בנ"י ישראל עם הקב"ה מהו מקורו? תודה.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • April 23, 2015
  • |
  • 4 Iyyar 5775
  • |
Dedicated in honor of Danielle Bat Ronit by her brother Yarden Chaim

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