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Free Will Video

The Choice Is Yours
Video | 1:13
Intermediate
The Choice Is Yours
A New Online Course on Freedom of Choice
Do we have freedom of choice, or is it merely an illusion? Belief in an omnipotent higher power would suggest that everything is predetermined. But how does that explain the human experience, in which our ability to make choices is a given? And how does it fit with the moral imperative, in both Judaism and in society at large, that people should be held accountable for their actions?
What Jews Believe: Free Choice
Jewish Theology, Lesson 5
If we are part of G-d’s plan, then why did He give us the choice to deviate from the plan? To what extent do our choices really affect our lives? This fifth in a six-part series on core Jewish beliefs examines the importance of free will and its effect on our lives.
The Secret of the Bagel
Is the hole a part of the bagel, or just its absence? Rabbi Infinity explores this Kabbalistic question in depth when he attempts to explain to his four-year-old granddaughter why he’s so good at explaining things.
Free Will
Video | 3:34
Free Will
Can we change the world or is our future predetermined?
Free Will vs. Fate
Whether something good or bad has been predestined, how does G‑d choose which person should be the one to bring it about?
Do We Really Have Free Will?
Free Choice, Determinism, and G-d's Knowledge
If G-d knows what we will choose, do we really have free choice? In this challenging 1-hour lecture, Rabbi New tackles this profound paradox.
Yes, We Can!
Video | 1:49
Yes, We Can!
The wagon driver asked Reb Leib, “Please! Can you help me? I’m trying to push my heavy wagon out of the mud.” Reb Leib responded, "I'm sorry, but I am not capable of lifting such a heavy load. I simply can not.”
A Matter of Choice
A Jew shares a relationship with G-d on two levels, that of the soul and that of the body. While the Tanya relates that the soul is “a veritable part of G-d above,” and its relationship to G-d is like that of a parent and child, the value of the body is often overlooked.
Predestination
Video | 9:06
Predestination
Reconciling free choice with the divine plan
When G-d made His covenant with Abraham, He decreed: “Your children will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years. But the nation that enslaves them, I will punish.”
Ten Levels of Freedom: Part 2
Video | 21:50
Freedom of Choice
Ten Levels of Freedom: Part 2
The first specific freedom we look at is the freedom that is the foundation for all other freedoms: freedom of choice.
Isifier Tutorial: Otherness
The wait is up! KabbalaLabs Inc. finally releases a consumer version of their unique Isifier, including a comprehensive video tutorial. Miri and Feivel begin their journey exploring the kabbalistic secrets of isificatedness.
It's Never Too Late
Growing Weekly: Parshat Bo
You Still Have a Choice
Growing Weekly: Parshat Lech-Lecha
Maimonides and Theodicy
Divine Providence, Free Will, and Suffering as a Philosophical Ailment
A wide ranging philosophical exploration of Maimonides' treatment of divine providence, free will and suffering. Ultimately, through contemplation of G-d man can transcend the spiritual ailment, which is the real source of suffering.
Chosen People
Video | 43:02
Chosen People
The Shavuot Offerings on a Weekday?!
In explaining why the sacrifices that a Jew was obligated to offer in the Temple in honor of Shavuos were not offered on the holyday itself but during the weekdays which follow, this class offers insight into the nature of G-d’s choice of the Children of Israel.
Give and Give Again
Video | 54:48
Give and Give Again
Parsha Re'eh
When giving charity, clearly one should give wholeheartedly and pleasantly. But how critical to the mitzvah of tzedakah is the manner in which it is given? Maimonides and Rashi offer differing views. This class analyzes their positions and reveals the essence of charity. (Likutei Sichos vol. 34, Sicha 2)
Fair Weights and Measures
Parsha Kedoshim
Why does Maimonides equate the commandment of keeping fair weights and measures to the commandment of believing in the Exodus? The answer leads to a better understanding of the Exodus as the foundation of all commandments and also the issue of free choice in the face of Divine decree. (Based on Likkutei Sichos, vol. 27, pp. 149)
Freewill vs. Predetermination
How to Study Torah - Balak
When King Balak hired the evil prophet Bilam to curse the Jews, G-d told Bilam, (Bamidbar 22:12) "Do not curse the nation for they are blessed." But when Balak sent more officers to ask Bilaam again, he told them, (22:19) "Stay here tonight, and I will know if G-d wants to say anything more to me." Why didn't Bilam answer that G-d had already told him not to go? Furthermore, why did G-d eventually allow Bilam to accept the task of cursing the Jews after having previously warned him not to?
Where is My Place in the Land?
How to Study Torah - Pinchas
Learn about the unusual procedure by which the Tribes of Israel were assigned to their portion in the Land. What does this teach us about providence, predetermination and fate?
Can You Change Your Fate?
How to Study Torah - Matot
Just before entering the Promised Land, two and a half of the Twelve Tribes ask for special permission to settle on the other side of the Jordan River. If they were meant to settle in that place, then why didn't G-d assign it to them to begin with? And if they were not meant to settle there, then why did G-d agree to their request?
Do I Have to Do What G-d Says?
Studying Rashi: Parshat Re'eh
In verse 12:17, the Torah says: "You cannot eat within your cities the tithe of your grain...or any of your vows that you will vow..." Rashi clarifies that it does not mean "you cannot" but rather "you are not allowed to." What is the difference between being able and being allowed to do something?
Why the World Was Created with Ten Utterances
Learning Pirkei Avot on Five Levels
The world was created with ten utterances. What does this come to teach us? Certainly, it could have been created with a single utterance. However, this is in order to make the wicked accountable for destroying a world that was created with ten utterances, and to reward the righteous for sustaining a world that was created with ten utterances. (Ethics of Our Fathers ch.5:1)
Creation and the Kabbalah of You
Why there’s so much human failure
Humans seemed hard-wired to fail. Why would G-d especially design His world to allow so much failure? To address this topic, we explore the teaching in Ethics of Our Fathers that the world was created with ten statements (ch.5:1).
A Culture of Freedom
Lesson 1: Why and When Choice Matters
The question of whether or not we have free choice has major implications - not only in how we view morality, but also in how we choose to live our lives. This lesson discusses some of these universal questions, revealing that there are perhaps some areas of life in which we have more control, and choice, than others.
Lesson 2: Choice in Jewish Philosophy
This lesson explores fundamental positions regarding the question of free choice vs. determinism among three distinguished classical Jewish scholars - the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, aka Maimonides), the Raavad (Rabbi Avraham ben David) and Rabbi Moshe ben Baruch Almosnino. Their positions are examined and challenged, especially in light of Chassidic thought.
Lesson 3: Choice in Jewish Mysticism
There’s more to reality than meets the eye. So maybe choice operates differently on different levels or dimensions of existence. Perhaps in our earthly reality, which is bound by time and space, choice exists, while in more transcendent realms of existence that are beyond time and and space, choice is irrelevant.
Lesson 4: Choice in the Human Experience
If free will does exist, how is it possible for a human being to do anything that contradicts G-d will? In this lesson we explore the seeming paradox between the experience of choice and its theological ramifications. If everything that happens is ultimately destined as part of the divine plan, do the choices we make really change the course of humanity and world history, or are we just fooling ourselves?
Your Cell Phone is Ringing!
It’s your spiritual cell phone ringing… It’s reaching out to you and asking, “Can you hear me now? I need you!” Will you answer the call?
The Single Reality of G-d
Monism in the thought of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Divine monism and creation: the paradox of otherness, human existence, and freedom of choice.
Articulating Mystery
Embracing tensions in Maimonides’ theology
Throughout Maimonides' writings there is a clear tension between his goal of communicating a clear theosophical vision and his affirmation that ultimately the human mind cannot full grasp the true nature of G-d.
The landscape of classic Jewish thought is painted with a finite set of themes and motifs...
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