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Why Jews Love To Argue

Three Prophets Declare "Eicha:" Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah

53 min

Class Summary:

An intriguing Midrash states that three of the great Jewish personalities communicated their prophecies using an identical Hebrew term, eicha, which means ""how"" or ""alas." The three were Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

It is logical to assume that the Midrash is not making a random observation of three people using the same term. Rather, the Midrash is attempting to tell us that there exists a subtle link between the three messages of Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. It is this connection that compelled the three giants to choose the dramatic term "eicha" for their conversations with the people of Israel.

The class will show how these three messages are not only intertwined but actually evolve one from another, both historically and mystically.

Please leave your comment below!

  • BATB

    Been Around the Block -11 years ago

    Interesting, but...
    The rabbi doesn't want to be harsh. so allow me.  our educators may have mastered the art of this mitzvah; To worship ritual to the point that it no longer effects change.  The very educators and leaders that need to learn from the ritual will obsess whether a blessing should be made on the ritual and if yes with or without Hashem's name.   my harsh question is this: at which point does the sanhendrin or the local community leader get fired? in other words,  if the ritual had to be done approximately annually around a given city does halacha dictate that the clowns be fired?  if not, empty ritual and the only ones learning the lessons are the victims.  (and likely the only ones who merit studying at the yeshiva.net)


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  • HN

    Howard Newman -14 years ago

    The lesson
    Since Jacob lived 400 years before Sinai, what laws were he and Joseph studying?

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    • A

      Anonymous -11 years ago

      Re: The lesson
      The Talmud ststaes that the Avos studied the Torah and observed the Mitzvos even before it was given at Sinai.

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    • N

      Nissim -11 years ago

      Re: The lesson















      And he commanded them, saying, "So shall you say to my master to Esau, 'Thus said your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and I have tarried until now.

       

      ה. וַיְצַו אֹתָם לֵאמֹר כֹּה תֹאמְרוּן לַאדֹנִי לְעֵשָׂו כֹּה אָמַר עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב עִם לָבָן גַּרְתִּי וָאֵחַר עַד עָתָּה:

      I have sojourned: Heb. גַּרְתִּי. I did not become an officer or a dignitary, but a stranger (גֵּר) . It is not worthwhile for you to hate me on account of your father’s blessing, [with] which he blessed me (27:29):“You shall be a master over your brothers,” for it was not fulfilled in me (Tanchuma Buber Vayishlach 5). Another explanation: גַּרְתִּי has the numerical value of 613. That is to say: I lived with the wicked Laban, but I kept the 613 commandments, and I did not learn from his evil deeds.

       

      גרתי: לא נעשיתי שר וחשוב אלא גר, אינך כדאי לשנוא אותי על ברכות אביך שברכני (לעיל כז כט) הוה גביר לאחיך, שהרי לא נתקיימה בי. דבר אחר גרתי בגימטריא תרי"ג, כלומר עם לבן הרשע גרתי ותרי"ג מצות שמרתי ולא למדתי ממעשיו הרעים:





      Jacob kept the 613 commandments, He knew the Torah.

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  • Y

    Yoel -14 years ago

    Thank you
    SUPERB! Thank you once again. Your bringing the Rebbe's teaching into such palatable form reemphasizes in me deep feelings of Ashreinu.

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  • J

    Joe -14 years ago

    Beautiful
    If only all communities and Yeshivos would read this!!

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  • L

    LYG -14 years ago

    Beutiful
    This shiur was so interesting, inspiring, a little humourous, and so beutiful! Keep it up!

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  • I

    Isaac -14 years ago

    To Sima
    It is a cartoon, Sima. I do not think it is unbecoming. Its funny. It brings out a point of arguing. I guess everyone sees things differently.

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  • S

    sima -14 years ago

    the anti-semite, beg-nosed picture attached
    very unbecomig. find other pictures!!!

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  • A

    admin -14 years ago

    telconference
    Hello Malka,

    Thank you for contacting TheYeshiva.net. We apologize for any difficulties you experienced using the Yeshiva.Net. Please note that we have changed the number to better our services and have notified our users via email. The new number and access code is:

    Attendee Dial-in #: (712) 432-1001
    Attendee Access Code: 424666815#

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  • M

    malka -14 years ago

    teleconference
    Question - are you no longer broadcasting your shiur via teleconference? Please say you are, and that the past two weeks were just glitches!

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  • J

    Joe -14 years ago

    thanks
    thank you rabbi, and thank you Pressman family for making this extraordinary class available -- the highlight of the week for me and thousands more.
    The message of the class -- how people have to take a stand and stand up to the plate -- was deeply moving. It brought me to tears.

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  • N

    Nikole -14 years ago

    Perfect
    your shiur last night was really amazing and I have already forwarded it to a number of my relatives for whom this issue of "who has the right shita" is alarming. Putting our individualism into the context of infinity is perfect and beautiful (just like the Torah!)

    May HaShem continue to give you strength and access to abundant material means so you can continue to share the message and help us elevate this world.

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  • ML

    Meira Lerman -14 years ago

    Answers to Questions and Exercizes
    1. Do you know how to display leadership? How to take responsibility and see something through?
    As Scarecrow from “Wizard of Oz” used to say, “If only I had brain in my head, I would know how, but...!”
    First we have to see something through: what do we need leadership for?
    Is Maslow’s pyramid of essential human needs universal for all, or do we, as Jews, have something different that turned it upside down from time to time?

    What does self-realization and actualization of our potentials mean for us, for each individual?

    There are few stages in human condition, when person’s brain function, G-d forbid, is badly compromised, horrible words: decortication and deceribration. Without brain functioning all body systems and organs of a human being collapse. You can pinch, needle or pierce any part of the body, it doesn’t hurt. We can pinch, needle or pierce each other with words, tricks and dirty political games, we can even stab each other and don’t feel pain. Does it mean that Jewish nation, as one whole organism dropped into that horrible pre-terminal condition?

    What do we need a leader for?
    Do we look like our ancestors, who demanded to appoint them a king in order to have one more reason of similarity with others, to feel as other democrats, republicans or different “ists” of any kind feel?

    There is no mediocre approach for us! We had been chosen! So we have to work hard to have a leader that we really deserve. Finally, when we will do our job with looking for a leader, G-d will do his job: he will open our eyes, like he did it with Agar, when she “perceived a well of water”. The well was there all the time, but she couldn’t see.

    2. What is the most important cause today which you find people being passive about?

    Mass Media threat.

    We are very passive with the destruction that Media brings in our home, to our children. All those brain washing TV shows, video games with violence and sex , different kind of services that burst in our home through internet, hunt for our children. We can say something, we even can have some kind of device to protect our own children at home but it is not enough. Just like it was with drugs that had to be restricted with the State Law after awful abuse , sooner or later, we will see loss that Media brought into our home, “her majesty all-knows” statistic will figure out it for us and we will make new laws through the governments of the world, but it will be too late, this generation will be lost and if a mankind can survive somehow few millions of handicappers and suicides, for Jews the amount can be devastating in proportion of amount of our small population. Unfortunately, now, like Agar, who left her son along in a desert, we leave our children without education and other precautions in a desert of Mass Media threat. They commit suicide, they end up with drugs, perversive sex and nobody hear their cry…

    3. Are you guilty of passivity?

    Yes, I am.

    In which arena?
    Just like Agar…

    4. Are there people you don’t talk to?

    Unfortunately, yes, there are people I don’t talk to.

    Why?

    I cannot talk to people which language I don’t know.
    Do you think you should continue this way?
    Hey, is there any kind of chip that should be installed into the brain to become a polyglot?

    Let me know, I’m ready to serve as experimental material for such kind of research.

    Interesting thing: we had Babylonian Tower and we have Babylonian Talmud. First one brought destruction and separation with diversion of nations with languages, second brought harmony in our world of thoughts and knowledge with displaying diversion of opinions. In first case people were punished for their arrogance, in second their struggle for truth and G-dliness made them immortal.

    5. Should we strive on creating a homogeneous Jewish society or a diverse one?

    We should strive on creating homogeneity of diversity in Jewish society.

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  • Y

    YYJ -14 years ago

    To MMB
    The Maharal is in many places, I beleive I saw it mentioned a number of times in his book Netzach Yisroel.

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  • A

    Anonymous -14 years ago

    too much light on your cheeks

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  • E

    Elki -14 years ago

    Eilu V'Eilu
    Thanks for another exciting shiur.
    You shed new light on "Eilu V'eilu." Please tell me if I understood it the way you meant it.
    The overriding facet of each parshan adds another dimension to the words of Torah. So, chesed is part of the passuk, gevurah another view, etc.. All parts of the prism through which it is seen comprise the totality of the words, passuk, inyan.
    I always had one question, though. What do you do about facts? Can Bnei Yisrael have reached a stop in the midbar on two different dates, debated by rishonim?
    Thank you.

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  • YG

    Yochanan Gordon -14 years ago

    Gemara Kiddushin Lamed Amud Beis
    A couple of years ago I thought of he following explanation of the Gemara mentioned al pi Chassidus, The Gemara says Even a Father an His son or a Rebbe and his talmid who are sitting together and leaning at first they become mutual enemies but if they persevere and stick to it they will emerge best of friends. Interestingly, the difference between the words Oyev (enemy) and Ohev (Love) is the letter yud and Heh. The yud in Kabbalah and Chassidus represents Chochmah while the Heh represents Binah. When two people with opposing minds sit down to learn one with the other the initial intellectual capacity of Cochmah kicks in causing discord and divisveness. However at the end if they are patient and allow themselves to understan each other not only will they be able to tolerate each other but they will be best friends because Binah allows one to respect others as a result of their differences.

    Thank You for the Maharal. As a result of the Maharal I thought of an amazing diyuk in the Gemara. Why does the Gemara write Afilu (even) Av Ubeno? According to the Maharal who says that afgumentation in the context of learning is beautiful and a natural component of the makeup of a Jew it is geshmak: The only two relationships that demand fear and respect are that of a Father and Son Rebe and Talmid. If you were to see a Rebbe arguing with a Talmid or a father with a son you would probably think to yourself, my God how disrespectful! But according to the Maharal it is beautiful, The gemara says afilu av ubeno because that is the beauty that a son can learn with his father and engage in machlokes an guess what it is not at all disrespectful.

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  • M

    mmb -14 years ago

    Maharal
    That Maharal is exquisite. B"H Please write out/give us the source for this Maharal?

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  • R

    rabbi -14 years ago

    more
    The Danish physicist Neals Bohr famously said, “a triviality is a statement whose opposite is false. However, a great truth is a statement whose opposite may well be another great truth."

    If we apply this to our own experience, we can be utterly committed, passionate and convinced of something that is true for us and when confronted with someone whose truth is different, even opposite, both can be true, both can coexist. The ability to hold firmly to our own position and simultaneously hear and respect the view of the other is a great gift and the only real resolution to conflict, personal, national or global – hearing the story of the other. In Hebrew, the word emet (aleph, mem, bet) contains exactly the first, middle and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet, a balanced, three-legged stool, and symbolically spanning the entirety of spiritual and emotional experience, the beginning, middle and end of humanity.

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  • Y

    YYJ -14 years ago

    To Neshamah
    Ein Sof, infinite, includes infinite possibilities, infinite expressions, infinite pathways, yet they are all united, as each of them expresses another facet of an infinite reality. “These and these are the words of the living G-d,” the Talmud states and quoted in class. The more physical and finite the more limited the possibilities.

    Yes, there is a Divine state in which all individuality merges into a seamless whole in the source, here is complete oneness, but in the projection of the Ein Sof there is room for endless expressions. No two minds or two souls are identical.

    Yet the moment this trait is directed toward the world of the ego, here the diverse pathways become a source of conflict and a power struggle.

    See also this article:
    http://www.theyeshiva.net/A...

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  • N

    neshama -14 years ago

    The Maharal
    That Maharal is exquisite. B"H Please write out/give us the source for this Maharal?

    PS I always learned that the higher one goes, the closer to Hashem, one gets closer to UNITY, not diversity. What am I missing in your analogy?

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    • RB

      R. Benhava -11 years ago

      Re: The Maharal
      Many years I puzzled over The Holy One seemingly miffed at Babel BECAUSE the people assembled were 'of one mind'. Though midrashim tell of their other sins that brought about dispersal, the wording of ths verse bothered me. After studying the dynamics of Nazism, fascism, totalitrianism, etc. for two decades, the common element was the dissolution of the individual into a unified 'mass'.  I now believe that action, intention and purpose can be held in common, but this is a unity of DIVERSE souls, their essence of being is not diminished when integrated with others performing the will of The Holy One in UNITY.

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  • S

    SB -14 years ago

    Thank You Rabbi Jacobson for this great sheir!

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Parshas Devarim/Tisha B'Av

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • July 20, 2009
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  • 28 Tamuz 5769
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  • 4685 views

Dedicated by Ira Pressman In honor of his wife Hana, His children Alison Markowitz & David Pressman, Hana's Children, Mick, Yosef, Asher, Hesh, Este & Sara Lewis, and their grandchildren Noah & Jacob Markowitz and Eli Pressman. This class is also dedicated in honor of our cousins Esther and Zalman Lebovic and Family, by David and Eda Schottenstein

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