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The Path to Greatness Leads Through Pettiness

How Bias Are We in Our Decisions?

1 hr 22 min

Class Summary:

The women's class was presented on Tuesday, Parshas Pinchas, 15 Tammuz, 5780, July 7, 2020, streaming live from Rabbi YY Jacobson's home in Monsey, NY

Please leave your comment below!

  • Anonymous -4 years ago

    Quarantine emotion

    Hi Rabbi

    You mention that if you can pin point your emotions then it's possible to deal with it. 

    In these difficult times I have been dealing with temporary depression (comes and goes), and am fully aware when it's effecting me, but how do I fight it off when it's taking over? 

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  • L

    liba -4 years ago

    Once again, thank you for a most insightful, magnificent shiur. What an eye-opening lesson!! Since watching this shiur I find myself with a heightened awareness as I decide anything! Unbelievable...

    Thank you so much as well for this week’s essay. It moved me deeply and inspired me tremendously, especially in regards to Tfilla...

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  • M

    Moshe -4 years ago

    Is 100% objectivity possible? Was it a bribe or something else?

    I would say that objectivity, like most things, can be measured on a sliding scale. Of course, an outright bribe will cause recusal. In Moshe 's case even a veiled stale compliment was enough for him to recuse and turn to the Boss. But such deferrals will not always be  possible. Not every jewish leader has such a hot  line. 

      Then there is the very subtle biases that all people have by virtue of their upbringing, circumstances   personality   etc. How would a beis din  of only men judge a case with a woman? 

      I would say that when a judge, or even anyone in a position of deciding a matter,  has absolutely nothing to  gain either way, and only had his own unique personal biases, we approach as much objectivity as we can get. 

      Notice many Supreme Court decisions are 5-4, or any other split. That means that there is  no one "right" legal conclusion but 2 (or more) possible outcomes.  Tge difference between  one outcome by one group and another is bias. It cannot be avoided totally.  

      When Moshe refused to decide the case of the daughters of Tzelofchad,  he immediately turned to Hashem. We are assuming here that it was because of the "bribe" of a compliment that their father sided with him 39 years earlier.

      Maybe not? Maybe he just didn't know the answer like when he turned to  Hashem also for the pesach sheni question. Maybe he couldn't figure out novel questions not explicitly dealt with in the Torah Hashem gave him? 

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  • B

    BD -4 years ago

    Jacuzzi/hot mikve?

    Nice idea.

    Neither was in Beis Hamikdosh

    But the stone/marble floors could be painful for any Cohen who had to serve barefoot, particularly the Cohen Godol on Yom Kippur who was 'on the run' from dawn to night...

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  • M

    Moshe -4 years ago

    The dust of the dust of a bribe

    Ok. The 5 sisters "bribed" Moshe with a veiled stale compliment.  He, being Moshe, considered himself bribed and so turned to Hashem for the answer. 

      But, later judges and legislators and rabbis and botei din of the yidden didn't have such a "hot line" to Hashem. How would they figure out the answers to  such questions, bribed with small or large bribes or  not? Moshe had not only to give over all the Torah he received from Hashem, but also the methodology of deriving new answers for new questions from the Torah.  (Not the 13 pronciples). 

       By considering himself bribed here, and relying on his personal "hot line" Moshe did not set up the way for future non-hot line leaders to answer.

       Also. The  pesach sheni question was also novel and Moshe also  turned to  Hashem for the answer. Was he bribed then too? 

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Pinchas Women's Class

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • July 7, 2020
  • |
  • 15 Tamuz 5780
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  • 2569 views

Dedicated by Liz and Dr. Michael Muschel in memory of his father, HaRav Nachum ben Meir, for the 5th yahrzeit, 18 Tamuz.
Born in Tarnov, Poland, escaping the Germans to Siberia, he ultimately arrived in the US and received semicha from the renowned  Reb Yisroel Gutsman. For more than 50 years Rabbi Muschel headed the ASHAR Yeshiva day school in Monsey, mentoring thousands of students, inspiring hundreds of families, instilling in his disciples love for Torah, Yiddishkeit, and Israel. A teacher to his very core, Rabbi Muschel continued to teach each Tuesday a Navi class for women until his final days.

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