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Many of Our Greatest Mistakes Are Anything But That

Your Deepest Life Choices Are Unconscious

The Great Synagogue of Shklov (Belarus) Built in 1790, 17 years before this discourse was presented by the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, in Shklov, 1807.

Class Summary:

This class was presented on Wednesday Parshas Behar, 17 Iyar, 5779, May 22, 2019 at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY 

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  • HD

    h Dahan -4 years ago

    The Study you mentionned about the "Free Choice' can be found here https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html

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  • D

    Dov -4 years ago

    I was listening to your shiur( Many of our greatest Mistakes are anything but that) 

    Your discussion about Free choice. I just want to mention a Haora that I once learned in a Purim maamor from Tof shin Yud Gimmel . the famous hura fabrengen.( al kei koru purim al sheim ha pur)

    There it is suggested as you were saying that it seems you don't have free choice if you operating from your neshoma .But because in yidishkeit we say we have free choice we must say that your Etzem neshoma has free choice but will always choose to do Torah Mitzvas 

    Just thought I would mention it. 

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  • א

    אליהו -5 years ago


    איך הותר לו ליקח העיתון בשבת, הרי יש בו דין מוקצה?

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    • Anonymous -5 years ago

      לא זכיתי להבין דעת כת"ר, שהרי בשליח חב"ד עסקינן, ובאתריה דרב נהיגינן כרב, ופסק רבינו הזקן בשולחן ערוך הרב סימן שז סעיף כו שאין בו משום מוקצה, וכפסק התוספות בשבת קטז, ב. וממשיך שם בנוגע להבאה מחוץ לתחום ועוד, ע"ש באורך. 
      ויעויין במשנה ברורה שם שכן הסכימו האחרונים שאין בו משום מוקצה.
      ויעויין במגן אברהם בסימן שז, שלא ידע טעם לאסור, ואולי יש סברא לאסור משום מוקצה, כיון שלא היה דעתו עליו. ע"ש. וגם ע"ז פליג שו"ע הרב והמשנה ברורה.
      ובכל אופן, אפילו אם נימא שיש ענין לאסור משום מוקצה, הרי אין זה שייך כאן שהרי בפירוש דעתו היה עליו!! ובכל שבת ושבת רצה שהעיתון יגיע קודם כדי שיוכל להגיד ד"ת ממנו.

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  • Y

    Yosef -5 years ago

    מספרים שבעת אחת מהחתונות אצל רבינו הזקן, הנה הבדחן אמר ככה לרבינו:
    הרי אין חילוק גדול ביני וביניכם. דאס וואס איך ווייס, וויסט איר אויך. 
    וואס איר ווייסט נישט, ווייס איך אויך נישט.
    אלא מאי, געבליבן וואס איר ווייסט און איך ווייס נישט.
    והוסיף: ובמה נחשב הוא לגבי וואס איר ווייסט נישט?! לגבי הא"ס.
    וראיתי לאחרונה בס' אחד שזלגו עיניו דמעות.
    והוא נפלא ונורא.


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  • L

    Levi -5 years ago

    At the end of the shiur today you added a chidush regarding shikcha which really completely answered a question which I had. I didn't see how this mitzvah is all that different from any other mitzvah except that the CIRCUMSTANCES which brought about the obligation of leaving the bundle for the poor, was without your daas. But I think many mitzvas are a result of circumstances that are brought about without ones  own daas. 

    Now that you say that mitzvah itself is FULFILLED without daas at that moment of forgetting now I understand how its unique in this way. 
    Another point: according to this, the  mitzvah is really not a commandment at all. You cannot DO it if you want to and you also cannot NOT do it if you don't want to. Even if latter you do return and take back the bundle,  you could argue that its gezel from the poor. All other mitzvos are commands which you can obey or disobey, if you obey you create a connection. With shikcha it's a connection that is so deep that you can't create it nor can you destroy it. It's a gift. 
    If I recall, the rebbe once explained mitzvos beteilos le'asid lavo in s similar way. That there will no longer be 2 entities of commander and commandee. Similarly here you can say that commandment does not apply here. Only a deeper level of connection. 

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  • I

    isaac -5 years ago


    It happened many years ago in a village in the vicinity of Dvinsk. A pious but almost penniless Jew found himself in dire need of a large sum of money to make possible the wedding of his eldest daughter. The man had always, throughout his life, put his trust in God. Yet he also knew that blessings require human endeavor and one ought never to rely on an overt miracle.

    Almost by chance, but with what he took to be a divine omen, a man bumped into him and, after apologizing, said he was selling lottery tickets. Perhaps, he suggested, their meeting in unusual fashion had a purpose. The cost of the ticket was minor; the possible gain would solve all of the holy man’s problems. So he bought the ticket, took it home, and in synagogue prayed for a miracle.

    Not far away from the home of this Jew was another Jew who was his exact opposite. He was a thief, an unscrupulous businessman who regularly swindled others, and deeply in debt, he also decided to buy a lottery ticket to help him overcome his financial difficulties.

    Hearing the talk in town that the pious Jew bought a ticket, the thief had a daring idea. Since God would surely look with much more favor on the ticket of a holy man than his own, he decided to surreptitiously slip into the house of the pious Jew and substitute the ticket he had purchased for the one in the possession its righteous owner.

    You can probably guess what happened. The pious Jew was stunned to learn that God answered his prayers. “His” ticket was the winning one. The thief was devastated. He had by his own illegal efforts lost his fortune. But he was not willing to concede defeat. With unbelievable chutzpah, he demanded a rabbinic judgment which would undo the consequence of his theft.

    He admitted that he stole a ticket and for that ticket he would make repayment. But the winning ticket was his. Why should he be deprived of the winnings from something he himself purchased?

    The rabbi was Rabbi Meir Simcha, (1843-1926) a prominent leader of Orthodox Judaism in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. The rabbi awarded the proceeds to the innocent holder of the ticket. He condemned the thief not only for his crime but for being foolish enough to believe that it was the ticket which had the mazel rather than the person. God destined the winner; it was not the combination of numbers.

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  • M

    MOSHE -5 years ago

    Told the KOBE, JAPAN story to a litvish friend and he asked "since when can you take in the mail Shabbos?

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  • M

    Moshe -5 years ago

    There is a beautiful Alshich in Ki Seitzei who says, that the mitzvah of shichka happens, because Hashem wanted him to forget it in order to get it to the poor man. This was not a mistake; it was part of the plan. This grain is destined for this poor man.
    It is like the person who is supposed win the lottery. Not the numbers were the winners, but the person is supposed to win.

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  • RA

    Reb Aharon -5 years ago

    Quick Shir Summary

    W May 22 ‘19

    R Benjamin Bleich told story:  – happened near Dvinsk    Rogachover d 1930’s    Ohr Sameach (Meshech Chochmah) d 1920’s both in Dvinsk

    Poor Yid buys lottery tx fr a man he bumped into, town knew he bought it, 2nd man, unethical swindler steals the ticket and switches tix cuz he feels the first Yid who is a yirei shamayim has a better chance to win – poor yid’s tix won (ie the 2nd Yid’s original ticket) – took poor man to bais din – Ohr Sameach decided poor man keeps $ - H’ wanted the poor man to win, not the particular ticket


    YY’s trip to Kobe, Japan:  200 at seder, after Tokyo for Shabbos – YY gave Pirkei Avos shir – Japanese woman at shir seemed to have a lot of knowledge invites YY for Shabbos – she’s a geiyurus.   YY Years later YY writing parsha article for Algemeiner Journal (started in 1972 – it and NY times had 3 million readers) after Shavuous didn’t have time to write about parsha so wrote about story of Rus and this Jap woman gairus and all the details of Shabbos by her home ie kosher homemade food, milk their own cow, her husband w/beard and eidel children w/long curled payos and her mesiras nefesh  – next week at a sheva brochos a man complained to YY’s Ta  bad article, no relation to parsha

    10 – 15 yrs later YY in LA schachris, stopover to Australia to speak – Rav tells him story re guests for Shabbos meal – I gave over your Torah – Japanese family was there, woman said “people don’t treat us nicely” –Algemeiner Journal was late that week, went out to mailbox on Shabbos and found the paper, shared that article at the seudah – Japanese woman very happy to hear


    1971 scientist – man chooses in brain before they actually choose  - experiment re: decision making – electrodes in brain – decision unconsciously made before actual conscious decision


    Mizrachi & OHr Sameach:  re: shicha – mitzvah occurs moment one forgets,  not when the poor pick up the sheaves – proof fr when a man loses money & poor man takes/finds – mikayim the mitzvah of tzedeka


    RH:  Vilna Gaon – Lisker  Rav :  collector of tzedeka gives a man the chance to give tzedeka so he could receive a brocho fr his mitzvah


    Maggid:  Medrash Teh 79:  “He was lost and I found him “  - in Sodom


    Shlomo Maimon Russian philosopher, writer, apikoris hated frum – went Shabbos

    to maggid, writes 3 Torahs that he heard – 1.  Elisha sad cuz Eliyahu died, Yehoram was king doing avoda zaraah, king asked him a ?, couldn’t answer cuz sadness made him lose nevua, “bring me a singer”   minagaim hanagun – beyond consciousness


    Peah 76:  Reish Lakish re; tschuva /aveira


    Man at IBM made huge mistake lost much $ for company, want to resign, boss said we just invested a lot of $ in you, you can’t resign


    Haskacha vs bechira - Arizal


    Tschuva fr love joins my bad choice w/H’s choice

    Ultimate tschuva – when one knows one doesn’t’ have to do it

    Not a victim, even to your past

    Mistake can be a springboard to a different path

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Likkutei Torah Mizmor Shir Chanukas Habayis #10

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 22, 2019
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  • 17 Iyyar 5779
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