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The Curse and Blessing of Telling Jokes & Stories

How Does Gemarah Help Me as a Person? Why Would Purim Trump All Holidays? How Can a Death Penalty Be So Relative?

1 hr 27 min

Class Summary:

This class was presented on Thursday & Friday Parshas Terumah, 2 & 3 Adar, 5780, February 27 & 28, 2020, at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY 

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  • M

    Moshe -4 years ago

    He who avoids learning when he can, is cut off,

    Yet he who must work for a living is "yotzei" with Shema twice a day. Not only an instance of different rules for different people but extremely different penalties for transmission!

    Perhaps an answer lies in the ubiquitous answer of hierarchy and levels. It can be that the mitzvah of working for a living, of supporting a family trumps (no pun intended) the mitzvah of learning constantly. I.e. it is a higher mitzvah to earn a living than to learn so a worker fulfills the mitzvah of learning incumbent on all with a minimum that he can also do. And further, obviously, the mitzvah of learning upon one who need not work for a living, trumps wasting time on shtuss.

    So its a hierarchy and if you can't learn cuz you must work then work and learn a little. Hashem knows. But if you have the time to learn you'd better learn instead of lesser things.

    Notice Hashem told Adam as part of his punishment that he is to earn his bread by his sweat. Hashem didn't tell him that he must learn!

    A p.s. to yesterday: notice a newborn is totally innocent and not embarrassed if naked. As he grows and matures then he becomes, in stages, conscious, then self conscious (recognizes self in mirror) and then can be embarrassed by being naked. Adam and Chava started as newborn babies, then quickly matured after eating and did indeed become embarrassed.

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  • M

    Moshe -4 years ago

    The whole Torah is a moshel

    If the point of  communication is for the speaker (or communicatOR--can communicate without words also) to bring a  thought, a feeling, etc from inside his brain to the inside of the brain of the communicatEE then it is not only proper, but necesary at times to use a  moshel. A moshel then is just a  tool of communication to help get the point across. 

    The speaker doesn't need a moshel for himself lost in his own thoughts.  But if he wants another to get it.....

    Just as words are  tools to communicate thoughts, a moshel is a tool to communicate more clearly words and the point being made  to the recipient. 

    A speaker must both know the material well and know the audience.  What if there is  a  large variation in  the crowd? E.g. a chabad house  might have frum learned people and also first timers. 

    The Torah is  a moshel. There is something beyond us going up there both now (that we exist in time and creation) and even before the creation of  it all including time. How could Hashem Hashem possibly communicate even a fraction of that to us, mere creations? By definition it is impossible.  Like trying to  explain to  a bee why we  have a beehive to gather  honey to sweeten food. 

    So Torah is Hashem lowering Himself, humbling Himself, restricting Himself etc., using stories, examples, etc --all various forms of  mosholim--to convey that  which could not possibly be  communicated without it.

    So, to any speaker who dislikes using a moshel, perhaps, be like Hashem, mirror Him like we are supposed to  do, and get over it to better get the  point across. 

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Torah Or Purim Chayav Einish 5780 #1

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • February 28, 2020
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  • 3 Adar 5780
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Dedicated by Tobias Bichin, in memory of Rabbi Lipa Dubrawsky OB"M

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