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Basics of Emunah #21: Why Do We Learn Gemarah

Inspiring Teen-agers; Financial Stress; Family Fighting; Molestation; Does G-d Want Me to Learn All Day?

2 hr 14 min

Class Summary:

The Emunah Series with Rabbi YY Jacobson has resumed, and continues every Thursday evening (save holidays), at 20 Forshay Road, Monsey, NY, followed by Q and A. For Men, Women and Teenagers (separate seating). You can send questions in advance by email to [email protected] or submit written questions before or during the presentation. Anonymity of the questioners will be respected. Hot food will be served. No admission fee.

Please leave your comment below!

  • S

    Shimon -6 years ago

    Really enjoyed number 21 emunah series. I hope you speak more regarding letters on anxiety , parnassa etc.
     
    By the way it's extremely beneficial when you read the letters before your topics. It shows that we don't feel alone and many of us have the same problems and questions in life and that in of itself is chizuk. That we are not alone.
     
    Also in regarding this shiur and others you speak about how the chinuch system is too cookie cutter and how you get letters from both rebbeim and bochurim how they don't have any appreciation to torah and how the yeshivos just teach shor, bor and other t​opics that might be too abstract for many people. But T​orah has so much more tanach , hashkafa , halach a  and deep and beautiful limudim that more people might appreciate if exposed too.
     
    How can it be that our chinuch system is so bad and turning off so many young children from the beauty of what T​orah has to offer​?​
     
    It's not the children's fault that they dont appreciate the T​orah and going off​,​but rather it is ​our institutions of learning which are guilty​. ​Why would hashem have allowed such a system too develop?​ Nothing is by accident. Why does hashem want from all these lost Neshamos? If he doesn't give these children the sechel to fit in to this mold that our system has,​its a miracle if these children turn out frum!
     
    It Just doesn't seem fair. Even taking into account what you spoke about regarding what the rebbe answered the boy who wanted to be a gadol and the answer was if you develop what hashe m give you then you are complete. Buts seems thats asking to much from children and teens who are just seeing and experiencing what the yeshivos are preaching. We can't expect so young people to rise above what their rebbeim and rosh hayishivos are showing and preaching.
     
    I wonder if it was ever that much different in europe. Some of the big yeshivos would not except you unless you were very bright. Otherwise you would not be accepted. I guess this is what the bal shem tov wanted to create. But unfortunately does not really exist in litvish yeshivos as well as many chasidish. How can it be that so many ( rosh yeshivos , and chashuv people)are missing the boat.
     
    Wish more rosh yeshivos would have your foresight in chinuch.  Wish my children would have had such exposure. Your like a breath of fresh air that i always felt should exist but unfortunately is more the miut then the rov.
     
    Please continue to spread your foresight and would appreciate any input on why our children have to go through such a chinuch system that only works for the above average intelligence. 
     

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    ​I heard this story:
    Once during a trip to a large city, a the great German Rav, ​Rabbi Bomberger, visited the Rebbe Rashab in his hotel room. While in the room, the Rebbe was busy writing something on Halacha. Rabbi Bomberger asked if he could see what the Rebbe was writing, and asked to borrow it. The Rebbe Reshab explained that he did not have a copy, so it had to be taken care of,very carefully, and returned as is. During the Rebbe Reshab’s next visit to that city, once again Rabbi Bomberger visited him in his hotel room. When returning the writings, he expressed great appreciation for having read them. This time also the Rebbe Reshab was busy writing. Rabbi Bomberger asked if he could take a look at the writing, which was a continuation of his Maimor “Samach Vav”[or “Aiyen Bais”] rabbi Bomberger pulled back and exclaimed how this was too ‘way out’ for him to appreciate. After Rabbi Bomberger left, with the Rebbe Rayatz still in the room, the Rebbe Reshab told the Rebbe Rayatz that if Rabbi Bomberger knew the powerful Ruchniyus of the Gemorah, he would be afraid to read one word
    ​.​

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  • S

    shimon -6 years ago

    We all know that our Parnasa is determined by ​H​ashem. How do we explain the idea that if you are bright and go to a prestigious law school or medical school you pretty ​much know that you will be earning x amount of money. If you decide to learn in Kollel then you will struggle. I know that in each situation you may have exceptions to this rule but by and large the position or schooling one goes to determines how much one will earn. 
     
    I have learnt and spent a great deal of  time learning the C​hovas H​alevavos and he explains that it is not to difficult for Hashem to make you earn a lot or a little in anything one may go into. However by and large if one is very bright and goes to a very good college then we know he will earn and good living and someone who for instance teaches will earn Much less. I know that some who don​'​t go to college may become very rich regardless of education but by and large that does not happen.
     
    I thought the answer may well be that someone who is destined to earn a lot of Money ​H​ashem may make him very smart and that's why he was able to be a good lawyer doctor etc. and someone who is not destined to make a lot of money ​H​ashem puts in his head to Learn or teach etc.
     
    Is this a correct approach or is there some other explanation?
     
    May H​ashem​ grant you the health and strength to continue to be marbitz ​T​orah and save so many ​Jew ​from their doubts and give us all C​hizuk to the many questions that linger but sometimes are afraid to verbalize.
     

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  • PK

    Pinchus Krieger -6 years ago

    (בס"ד

    Pinchus Krieger

    37 Wilder Road

    Monsey, NY  10952

     

    March 12, ‘18

     

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson, שליט"א

    Thank you for your beautiful Shiur in the Emunah series #21.  I would like to comment regarding that Rebbe and boys who have difficulty understanding why they spend so many hours each day learning Gemara, which is really not relevant to their daily lives.

    I would like to share my thoughts with them.  Learning Gemara is building a foundation and teaching you how to live a Jewish life.  Let me give you a few examples-

     

    If you are to ask a teenage boy who goes either to Wesley Kosher, Rockland Kosher or Evergreen to buy a package of meat – What was involved in order to get that package of meat to the store, you might just get a blank stare.  Explain to them that you must first “shecht” the steer, bull or cow.  Suggest learning with them Mesechta Chulin.  Begin with the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.  Learn the Gemara related to the “Siman” or “Simanim”  in Shulchan Oruch.  Continue on, to the Rosh and Ran, throwing in a Maharsha and Maharam Schiff.  Then take a “Tur”and learn “Tur and Bais Yosef”.  Next continue to the Shulchan Oruch – Mechaber, Rama, Shach, Taz, until the Pri Megadim. 

    Repeat this procedure based  on the “Siman” or “Simanim” that you want to learn in Shulchan Oruch.

    After learning הלכות שחיטה  , do the same with הלכות טריפות  .  Then tell them that they are now ready for a field trip to a slaughter house.

    I remember going to a slaughter house in “Shuafat” in Yerushalayim in 1971.  Two gezunta Arabs led an animal by a rope tied around one foot, to a large open indoor area.  They tripped the animal with the rope, being careful that the animal was able to brace its fall and not break any bones.  Then they tied up all four feet of the animal and sat on it.  Another Arab held the animal’s head and the Shochet shechted the animal.  What a scene to remember!

    Fast forward to 1996, when I lived in Postville, Iowa.  I went numerous times to Rubashkin’s slaughter house, Agri Processors.   With Shalom Mordechai’s permission I took pictures.   That was before the days of PETA.

    Just watch the “Shochet” shecht the steer and immediately afterward checking with his hand that he cut through the קנה   and ושט  .  The blood gushing out like water from a fire hydrant that was just opened.  With your tall rubber boots, you walk through an inch or two of blood.

    Next, watch the בודק פנים   checking the lungs for סירכות  - adhesions, while the lung is still inside the steer.  Then the בודק חוץ   checking the lungs by inflating them.  Wow!  A scene to remember!  The Gemara has come to life!

    Then, return to the Bais Medrash and learn הלכות מליחה  .  I remember seeing an old Yerushalmi woman, koshering her chickens as they lie on a  זאלץ ברעטעל  ,  which either had holes in it or if not was set on an incline for the blood to drip down.

    Then, see if you can take the boys to a plant where they slaughter chickens or animals, to watch the salting process.

    This is a process of how meat gets to your supermarket.

    Next, learn with the boys the Gemara in Mesechta Chulin related to בשר וחלב  - Meat and Milk.  They will learn about how long should one wait to eat dairy after meat.   

    Ask them if they have any questions.  Sit with them in an informal way and just schmooze.  Learn with them about not eating meat and milk cooked together – חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא  .

    Then, ask them – imagine that you are living out of New York State.  Your next door non-Jewish neighbor stops by your house after buying some groceries, including a non Kosher fish.  You are in the middle of cooking a meat dish.  Your 3 year old takes the package of your neighbor’s fish and throws it into the pot of meat.  What’s the Halacha?  Discuss with them – if there is 60 times the amount of meat in the pot, then the meat dish is Kosher.  But what about the fish cooked with meat?   חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא  .

    Should you or are you allowed to eat the meat?

    עיין בפרי יצחק חלק ב' מאת ר' יצחק בלאזער סימן כה' בדין דג טמא שנפל לתוך יורה של בשר .        (See Exhibit A-the slaughtering of a steer; Exhibit B- The בודק פנים  checking the lungs of an animal while it is still inside the animal; Exhibit C-the בודק חוץ checking the lungs by inflating them, checking for סירכות - adhesions, which will determine if the animal is Glatt Kosher (smooth, no adhesions), stam Kosher due to an adhesion that did not render the animal Treif, or non Kosher.)

     

    Now, going to Mesachte Rosh Hashanah, Daf 20b.  I would like to note the Rov’s shiurim regarding מוליד הלבנה or the rebirth of the moon.  The Rov spent 5-6 hours on less than an Amud Gemarah and Rashi.  Any 17-18  year old boy that would listen to such shiurim would understand the cycle of the moon.  Theshiurim were just so beautiful, inspiring and alive!

    Sincerely,

    Pinchus Krieger

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    • CB

      Chaim Bochner -6 years ago

      Rabbi Keirger, that's the idea. How many Yeshivas, Kollelim, etc, do this? Why are we SO lethargic?

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    when will it be available for download?

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  • M

    Mendel -6 years ago

    While the vastly different emails at first seem to be at best tangential to an Emunah series, however, to the extent the series deals with understanding and appreciating Judaism, our relationship with Hashem, and our mission in life, a predicate issue and part of the equation must by necessity deal with who we are, the relevance and beauty of Torah, and that our purpose (and thereby fulfillment of our mission) is to grow from exactly where we are at (every day) and the confidence that we have the inherent ability to meet the challenge.   

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    DOWNLOAD

    CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO DOWNLOAD 

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    I'm trying to download this Shiur & something is wrong pls fix it

    Thank You

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  • PK

    Pinchus Krieger -6 years ago

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson, שליט"א

    Thank you for your beautiful Shiur in the Emunah series #21.  I would like to comment regarding that Rebbe and boys who have difficulty understanding why they spend so many hours each day learning Gemara, which is really not relevant to their daily lives.

    I would like to share my thoughts with them.  Learning Gemara is building a foundation and teaching you how to live a Jewish life.  Let me give you a few examples-

     

    If you are to ask a teenage boy who goes either to Wesley Kosher, Rockland Kosher or Evergreen to buy a package of meat – What was involved in order to get that package of meat to the store, you might just get a blank stare.  Explain to them that you must first “shecht” the steer, bull or cow.  Suggest learning with them Mesechta Chulin.  Begin with the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.  Learn the Gemara related to the “Siman” or “Simanim”  in Shulchan Oruch.  Continue on, to the Rosh and Ran, throwing in a Maharsha and Maharam Schiff.  Then take a “Tur”and learn “Tur and Bais Yosef”.  Next continue to the Shulchan Oruch – Mechaber, Rama, Shach, Taz, until the Pri Megadim. 

    Repeat this procedure based  on the “Siman” or “Simanim” that you want to learn in Shulchan Oruch.

    After learning הלכות שחיטה  , do the same with הלכות טריפות  .  Then tell them that they are now ready for a field trip to a slaughter house.

    I remember going to a slaughter house in “Shuafat” in Yerushalayim in 1971.  Two gezunta Arabs led an animal by a rope tied around one foot, to a large open indoor area.  They tripped the animal with the rope, being careful that the animal was able to brace its fall and not break any bones.  Then they tied up all four feet of the animal and sat on it.  Another Arab held the animal’s head and the Shochet shechted the animal.  What a scene to remember!

    Fast forward to 1996, when I lived in Postville, Iowa.  I went numerous times to Rubashkin’s slaughter house, Agri Processors.   With Shalom Mordechai’s permission I took pictures.   That was before the days of PETA.

    Just watch the “Shochet” shecht the steer and immediately afterward checking with his hand that he cut through the קנה   and ושט  .  The blood gushing out like water from a fire hydrant that was just opened.  With your tall rubber boots, you walk through an inch or two of blood.

    Next, watch the בודק פנים   checking the lungs for סירכות  - adhesions, while the lung is still inside the steer.  Then the בודק חוץ   checking the lungs by inflating them.  Wow!  A scene to remember!  The Gemara has come to life!

    Then, return to the Bais Medrash and learn הלכות מליחה  .  I remember seeing an old Yerushalmi woman, koshering her chickens as they lie on a  זאלץ ברעטעל  ,  which either had holes in it or if not was set on an incline for the blood to drip down.

    Then, see if you can take the boys to a plant where they slaughter chickens or animals, to watch the salting process.

    This is a process of how meat gets to your supermarket.

    Next, learn with the boys the Gemara in Mesechta Chulin related to בשר וחלב  - Meat and Milk.  They will learn about how long should one wait to eat dairy after meat.   

    Ask them if they have any questions.  Sit with them in an informal way and just schmooze.  Learn with them about not eating meat and milk cooked together – חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא  .

    Then, ask them – imagine that you are living out of New York State.  Your next door non-Jewish neighbor stops by your house after buying some groceries, including a non Kosher fish.  You are in the middle of cooking a meat dish.  Your 3 year old takes the package of your neighbor’s fish and throws it into the pot of meat.  What’s the Halacha?  Discuss with them – if there is 60 times the amount of meat in the pot, then the meat dish is Kosher.  But what about the fish cooked with meat?   חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא  .

    Should you or are you allowed to eat the meat?

    עיין בפרי יצחק חלק ב' מאת ר' יצחק בלאזער סימן כה' בדין דג טמא שנפל לתוך יורה של בשר .        

     Now, going to Mesachte Rosh Hashanah, Daf 20b.  I would like to note the Rov’s shiurim regarding מוליד הלבנה  or the rebirth of the moon.  The Rov spent 5-6 hours on less than an Amud Gemarah and Rashi.  Any 17-18  year old boy that would listen to such shiurim would understand the cycle of the moon.  The shiurim were just so beautiful, inspiring and alive!

    Sincerely,

    Pinchus Krieger

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    can't download

    can't download

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    Uploading Shiuring

    I enjoy listening to your informative shiuring wehn they are uploaded. Is there any reason they take a long time to upload? I am awaiting to listen to your Emunah shiur.

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  • Z

    zchariahR -6 years ago

    there is a problem with downloading this file, please check

    there is a problem with downloading this file, please check

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  • E

    Elvis -6 years ago

    mp3 doesn't download :(

    mp3 doesn't download :(

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  • T

    Terry -6 years ago

    Basics of Emunah 21

    Rabbi Jacobson...hard to know where to start. I am sure that your words to all who have been abused are saving many lives and giving many hope that they can have a life that is fulfilling. Your words about no molds or idols in Yidishkeit is a message that if heard would keep many youngsters from leaving Judaism.  And it is a message that could keep Jews from fighting with Jews, something that is really hard to see.  It also could dispel the misconceptions that many non Jews have of Judaism...my prayer is that your words get heard and shared as widely as possible.

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    What can I say?

    That's the applause you get for such a shiur? A tour de force!  You brought all of your brilliance to bear to respond to these heart rending letters of these suffering Jews with love from a deep place in your heart, intellect and neshama.  I have no doubt that you saved lives tonight.

    Your advice to the caring Rebbe may be the instrument to saving even more lives through his implementation of your many wise ideas.  The one which resonated the most with me was that he spend 5 minutes with each student.  The reason for this is that i have a wonderful son who struggled valiantly in yeshiva.  No, he, Boruch Hashem, was not abused.  He was, however, ignored for most of his yeshiva career which made it even more difficult for him to feel successful. 

    I was never a mother that had crazy expectations of my children.  As long as they were working with the kochos they were given, i was satisfied and my children knew that.  All I wanted was for him to be happy with himself.  So, when  he was in 9th grade I spoke to his Rebbe and pleaded with him to give him 5 minutes each day to ask him one really simple question so that he would taste success.  I even offered to pay for the five minutes.  The Rebbe's response was that he had no time for that, since the metzuyonim in the class take up all of his time with their great questions.

    People are still not aware of how our children suffer.  Hashem should  help them all to be matzliach in spite of. and even because of their challenges.

     

     

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    • CB

      Chaim Bochner -6 years ago

      Rav Jacobson, Sheyichia,

       

      I generally don't comment on your shiurim because I feel they are so complete and well thought out, described, and articulated that there is nothing to add (Including this gem of a shiur)! I definitely should comment Yasher Koach to every single shiur and that I'm guilty of.

      I also included my FULL name because I've had it and frustrated. Your talk need to start creating a movement to change, yes, CHANGE how our jewish boxes are destructive but nothing is getting done about this on a broad level.

      I PERSONALLY am maskim and am fully cognizant of the work ahead, to head a change that ALL parents, and now as I hear from you, the rebbes, REALLY want!

      Please don't disregard me nor this message. I also suffered due to the lack of understanding in learning and it was NEVER addressed.

      Aderabah, please share my email address, [email protected],  so I can gather people interested. I cannot be the torah head on this because my Torah studies and understanding are limited. But with a real GODUL going along with me, I'd head this off! It might sound funny, but I know that the Rebbe (Lubavitch) always demanded from those that he felt CAN do this disregarding their cries that they are not HOLY enough...

      Please help. I'd love to be zoiche to start seeing happy children, bochrim, and jewry in totallity!

      Yasher Koach.

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The Emunah Series

Rabbi YY Jacobson

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