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To Be Or Not To Be? Two Paths Diverged in Judaism

Reb Yehuda and Reb Shimon Debate Rome, Shabbos, Chametz, the Ego, and Moshiach

1 hr 46 min

Class Summary:

“I will terminate (v'hishbati) evil beasts from the land,” the Torah states in Bechokosei. The precise meaning of the Hebrew word hashbatah, rendered here as “terminate,” is debated by our sages.

According to Rabbi Judah, the term implies the utter cessation of a thing’s existence. Thus, Rabbi Judah understands the divine promise to “terminate evil beasts from the land” to mean that in the harmonious world of Moshiach all destructive creatures and forces will be “removed from the world.” Rabbi Shimon disagrees: in his opinion, hashbatah implies only the termination of a thing’s particular characteristics—in this case, the destructive nature of “evil beasts.” It is this feature of their being that G-d will eliminate, while they continue to exist in their new harmless and gainful cast.

The class explores that this is the root of several other debates between Rabbi Judah and Rabbi Shimon, concerning the elimination of Chametz, rest on Shabbos, Moshiach, the nature of the Roman Empire, and many other themes in Jewish law.

The class goes on to explore the debate on a physiological and spiritual level. How do we deal with children who are “wild animals?” How do we deal with our ego and arrogance? And how do we view the essential nature of the world?

Please leave your comment below!

  • Y

    Yaron -4 years ago

    Amazing shiur Rabbi!

    I did miss one aspect though: how do the 2 Tannas' viewpoints relate back to their views on the Roman Empire?

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    • SG

      Shmuel G. -4 years ago


      Rabbi shimon is looking at the intention of the romans therefore he saw thier core which was thier selfish motives. 

      Rabbi Yehuda is looking at the stark reality of thier actions which caused great benefit to the jewish people. 

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • P

    P.F. -4 years ago

    regarding your comment about davar shaino miskaven when there may be a bug getting trapped; that is actually not a davar sheino miskaven, but rather a safek psik reisha, which is a machlokes achronim. In some cases it may be mutar, but is not so simple. please consult your Local Orthodox Rabbi for further details. P.F.

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  • EM

    Emil Martin -7 years ago

    I am a huge fan of yours.
    I became your fan at first time when I read about your work.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • C

    Cirel -9 years ago

    Listened to your wonderful shiur this morning,

    Isn’t the korbon todah also with chometz? If yes, what is the explanation?

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • RYJ

      Rabbi YY Jacobson -9 years ago

      Yes, indeed. I failed to mention the Todah. I meant that among Karbanos of the Tzibur, the entire community, only the Shtei Halechem of Shavuos are chametz. The Todah is a private karban. What is more, according to Menachos 46b (and Tosefos ibid. 52b), the bread of the Todah is not defined as a Mincha at all.

      Now, as far as the explanation why the Todah? See a long maamar by the Miteler Rebbe, in his work Pirush Hamiles, pp. 94a-98b, where he explains this at length. The main point is that on the level of Hodaah, gratidute and submission, there is no problem of "chametz," particularly as we bring a Todah as a result of a miracle, which creates such a revelation that it does not allow for chametz and egotism. See also Likkutei Torah Tzav 13a quoting the Midrash that the Todah will not cease when Moshiach comes.

      For many sources in Chassidus where this concept is discussed, see this essay by Rabbi Eli Matasov: http://www.haoros.com/print...

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Class Bo/Bechokosei/Lag Baomer

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 10, 2015
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  • 21 Iyyar 5775
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Dedicated in the merit of Devorah Rochel bat Miriam Chava.
Dedicated in honor of the Upshernish of Mordechai HaCohen Cohen. 
Dedicated in honor of Danielle bat Ronit. by her brother Yarden Chaim.

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