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Yaakov Wagner

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Rabbi Yaakov Wagner teaches chassidus and gemara at Yeshivas Tiferes Bachurim in Morristown, New Jersey. He studied at Yeshiva Gedola Zichron Shmaryahu, Toronto; Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalyim; Lubavitch Yeshiva, Toronto; Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, Los Angeles, California and received Rabbinical Ordination at Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim, Brooklyn, NY.
Parsha Vayechi and the Tenth of Teves
Good or Difficult Times?
The portion of Vayechi contains two (seemingly) conflicting components: the seventeen best years of Yaakov’s life were in Egypt and yet the parsha begins with the narrative of his passing and leading to the subsequent subjugation. The resolution is connec...
Returning for Three Little Jars
Yaakov’s Mysterious Encounter
After Yaakov transfers his family and belongings across the stream, he returns alone to retrieve small jars. This backtracking led to his dangerous encounter with the ministering angel of Eisav. Learn the classic commentaries and the deeper message on thi...
The Mitzvah of Saying Vidui
Confessing Misdeeds on Yom Kippur
As part of doing Teshuvah on Yom Kippur, we confess our sins. Rabbi Yaakov Wagner thoroughly explains the viduy prayer based on traditional sources.
Contrasting Three of the Purim Mitzvahs
Levels of Simcha on Purim
This class deeply analyzes various passages where Maimonides describes the parameters for observing three of the special Purim mitzvahs: rejoicing at a feast, sending food gifts to friends, and giving monetary gifts to the poor. (Based on Likutei Sichos v...
Analyses of Talmud Tractate Kiddushin
The Value of a Debt
What is the real value of a promissory note? What happens if one hands over an IOU in order to effect a kiddushin (betrothal) transaction? Is the transfer of a debt equivalent to the transfer of funds for this purpose? What about for a pidyon haben (redee...
Interpreting "Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin" in Lighting the Chanukah Menorah
Why Do We Light One More Candle Each Night?
The school of Hillel says that the very best way (mehardin min hamehadrin) of lighting the menorah is to add one more candle each night. The Talmud gives two reasons for this approach: a) because of the dictum that we increase in matters of holiness and b...
Analyzing the Talmudic Source for Chanukah
Chanukah and the Nature of Rabbinical Commandments
How rabbinical commandments -- like lighting the Chanukah menorah -- derive their power from the Biblical injunction (Deuteronomy 17:11) "According to the law they [the Sages] instruct you... you shall not divert... either right or left."
A Textual Analysis of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah
Where is the Holy Ark?
A precise textual analysis of ch. 4, halacha 1 of Rambam's "Laws of the Chosen House" (Hilchos Beis HaBechira) considers the historical role of the Ark in the Temple as well as its location today. (Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 21)
Talmudic Interpretations of the Destruction of Chametz
Studies in Tractate Pesachim
A scholarly analysis of the Talmud's definition of the destruction of chametz before Pesach. Based on Pesachim 4b and the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafos.
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