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Basics of Emunah #4: Why So Many Restrictions? What Is Hell?

Understanding Reward and Punishment in Judaism

1 hr 26 min

Class Summary:

This class explores the reason for so many mitzvos and laws in Judaism and the meaning of reward and punishment, paradise and hell, in Torah.

You can send your questions in advance to [email protected], or submit written questions before or during the presentation. Anonymity of the questioners will be respected.

Please leave your comment below!

  • Y

    Yehoshua -2 years ago

    The thing about the shame, it is true. Read baal haturim commentary on the beginning of parashat vayera

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  • LH

    LAUREN HOFFER -3 years ago

    I wish the source sheets were also in english.

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  • DG

    Dan Grove -3 years ago



    I know it has been 4 years since this lecture but do you have the secular references?

    Thanks so much 

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    • Anonymous -3 years ago

      References to what?

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      • Anonymous -3 years ago

        sorry, I confused the shiruim

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  • Anonymous -4 years ago


    שלום הרב ג'יקובסון

    השיעורים שלך מדהימים. מאז ש'גיליתי' אותך, היהדות היא בעלת משמעות אדירה.

    השאלה היא על הפסוק "כי ה' אלוקיך אש אוכלה הוא א-ל קנא

    תודה רבה

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  • MZ

    meir zev -6 years ago

    Hashem says WOW, you're still here with the soup!  And then he'll add, and it (you) is still hot! 

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    • E

      Esti -3 years ago

      Which Shiur is this story in?

      im looking for it for a while 

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      • Anonymous -3 years ago

        The soup parable is at the end of this class.

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        • E

          Esti -3 years ago

          Thank you so much!

          i loved every one of these classes!

          aperantly there are many ppl that are scared of moshiach coming.

          i told them this metaphor, and they where all moved.

          all of them wanted to hear it from you, but they speak only Hebrew - so couldnt understand.

          is there a short video with only this question and answer, with hebrew subtitles?

          it could help many many ppl.

          i would love to get it if there is, so I could pass it on.


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  • Anonymous -6 years ago


    Our children just don't keep what do we do ?

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  • T

    Terry -6 years ago

    Basics of Emunah #4

    Rabbi Jacobson, I so appreciate the fact that you are not afraid to mention and to discuss difficult questions with which many of us have struggled.

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  • C

    chevy -7 years ago

    Like alot of the FFB population, I also come from the "be perfect or you'll burn" background which understandably caused me to have a skewed relationship with Hashem/Yiddishkeit. I am always on the lookout for Soforim/Shiurim or anything that i can get my hands on that discusses authentic Yiddishkeit/Emunah. As a result my perceptions about Hashem and Yiddishkeit has changed drasticly. However there still was some residue. When it came to Tzoros Yisroel I could not for the life of me imagine that its coming from a loving God. But you hit it right on the mark when you compared it to a good therapist that makes you do painful work so that you can get better..... Wow!

    Also, along with the "be perfect or youll burn" version of yiddishkeit comes that when Moshiach comes we will be embarrassed to face the previous Doros because of how bad this Dor is ....... You so beautifully and eloquently explained that it will be so different. Our Dor will be admired just for waiting all these years like the wife who waits for her husband with the soup! Even if the soup is cold! Wow! what a difference! it's like turning mud into gold!!! However, I dont recall you quoting a source for this. Is it your own vort?

    Also, you quote the Baal Shem Tov as saying that Gehenom is when we will be shown our life compared to our potential life. However it is not a contridiction to the grill version of Gehenom....
    it could be both are true.... In Gehenom they can have many forms of torture.... on could be what the BST says and one coud be the grill etc.....

    Thank You for bringing the Frum from Birth population closer to Hashem...!!!

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  • B

    boruch -8 years ago

    just want to ask you, we have a safer which is called reishis chachma which is full of this how the hell looks like, and there it looks like more as phisical revenge, how can you explain me that what he write there is just busah?

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    • Y

      yossel -8 years ago

      Let me ask you something: he and others speak of "gehinim of fire," and "gehinom of snow." they speak of all types of fires in gehinom. Here is my question: the body is in the earth. the soul is not physical. how can the soul feel snow or fire? Also, outside of this world all is spiritual. how can there be fire or snow in the spiritual words? these are material things?
      So perhaps we need to mature and expand our understanding of these concepts? Whatever it means it means. But one thing is clear: you don't understand the reishis coachman. Because it does not make sense literally.
      Once you understand that you don't understand at all what he says, we can get to the next step.

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      • Anonymous -6 years ago

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        • Anonymous -6 years ago

          R. Yy.. פרק ז, שער היחוד והאמונה...  הנשמה מתפעלת שינויים משינויי הגוף וצערו מהכות או קרירות או חמימות..  ☝️ you ask 'how can the soul feel snow or fire ..

          (I love your classes too!) 

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  • T

    ts -8 years ago

    The Mashal with the husband who is so happy with his wife, because she was still waiting for him with the soup, even after 2000 years - no matter if the soup is cold or this or that, but she's still there waiting. I loved the Mashal and it stuck in my mind.

    Then I recently came across a Pasuk in Tehillim, and saw that Dovid Hamelech had expressed this same idea long ago. (Psalms 139:18) - The end of the Pasuk reads - "Hekitzosi v'odi imach". According to Rashi's understanding (I believe it was Rashi) - it's saying that the end of days has come (the "Kaitz" has come), and we are still together, with your mitzvos, etc.. Same idea. But the dressed up Mashal still drives it home even more poignantly for me.

    Thank you Rabbi Jacobson.

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  • J

    Judy -8 years ago

    You made a comment about the evil of Mengele in your last shiur on Emunah. Just a footnote. Not to condone Mengele's actions, but to understand with faith that he was only an agent in Hashem's plans. Mengele saved my mothers life by forcibly pushing her to the'right,' when she wanted to run 'left' to be with her mother. My mother is B'H still here to verify this.

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    • M

      Mary_Linda -8 years ago

      And here's another mom's story:

      (that said, I'm glad you're with us!)

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  • DAS

    David, a Scientist -8 years ago

    Here are some facts about emptiness. I computed this myself but then found this on line as well..

    The amount of empty space (real nothing!) in every atom is 99.99999999996% or the emptiness is 100000000000000 (1 and 14 zeros) more than the matter which is mainly in the nucleus.
    Therefore the 7.1 billion people on this planet if the empty space would be removed from them would fit into one (yes one) sugar cube (2cm x2cm x2cm). . This planet completely with all that it is on it and in it (including the Earth through and through) would fit into one quarter of the carry on luggage allowed on airplanes if the emptiness is removed.

    Hevel Havolim Hacol Hevel!

    The reason we cannot see this or pass through it is because of the fact that our eyes cannot resolve anything remotely close to this size and when we touch something we are also touching with fingers made up of atoms which are subject to the strong electromagnetic forces between them..

    So here is a thought to meditate on.

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  • J

    Jacob -8 years ago

    I love the vort from baal shem on hell. this is the truth!

    i don't know what it has to do with shame. could you explain? does the baal shem use the word busha? also, where is the Torah printed?

    Here is how I wrote it up: I think that in hell you see the truth of G-d, yet you also see how your ego got in the way of you seeing His and your inherent truth.

    Hell is a process of seeing your ego. Meaning how throughout your life you kept bumping up against it and how it got in your way from living a moral and G-dly life.

    Think of a parent who didn’t get along with his child. It obv pained him during his life. Yet he didn’t see the option of getting along.

    One day he sees how it was his own ego that got in the way! So he went an entire life without having a good relationship, and it was he who was getting in the way. This can be very painful. In fact we can resist it and it could take time until we accept this truth.

    Another way of saying this. After our body dies we enter into the world of truth. Once we see the truth, we see all the damage we have done as a result of living without the knowledge of the truth.

    While the truth will never truly hurt you, the truth can ‘hurt’ in a healing way, it cleanses our soul of all the false ideas it collected which resulted in the pain you suffered, caused others to suffer and the absence of positive feelings and G-dliness.

    On a side note, here is a definition of reincarnation i thought of: reincarnation are the repetitive thoughts and feelings we have that come to us until we redeem them by seeing them for what they are -- a message from G-d to show us something we have yet seen.

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  • S

    shmuel -8 years ago

    Just a comment from your talk above, I'm from Virginia, and it's also a well-known Southern custom to eat watermelon (and canteloupe, etc.) with salt. :)

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  • C

    Chash -8 years ago

    Rabbi YY Jacobson so much hope and healing you are bringing to the world! With tears...

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  • TP

    THE Parsha -8 years ago

    I have one word for last night's shiur. "WOW!!"
    May Hashem Bless you

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The Emunah Series

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • January 7, 2016
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  • 26 Tevet 5776
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