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Rabbinical College of America

Torah Lectures from Morristown Yeshiva

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Lectures and classes delivered by faculty and visiting scholars at the yeshiva Tiferes Bachurim, part of the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ.

53:41
Contrasting Three of the Purim Mitzvahs
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 vol. 16, pp. 365-372)
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13:40
Meditation for the Public Fast of Esther
The meaning of the public fast (Fast of Esther) observed on the day before Purim.
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23:28
Parsha Tetzaveh
Moshe Rabbeinu's birthday and yahrzeit on the 7th of Adar always coincides with the reading of the Torah portion Tetzaveh, the one parshah where Moshe's name is glaringly omitted. Rabbi Dubinsky also speaks about the importance of following the daily study cycle of Rambam which had just been completed for the 30th time.
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19:46
Defining the Rabbinical Expression "Olam HaBah"
What is the "World to Come"? What are "The Days of Moshiach"? What is Gan Eden? Defining these terms according to the divergent opinions of Maimonides and Nachmanides.
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16:51
What makes a shirah (a song) holy? Understanding the Song at the Sea that Moses and the Children of Israel sang after the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea (From Likkutei Sichos - Beshalach).
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36:54
Analyses of Talmud Tractate Kiddushin
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 (redeeming the firstborn)?
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12:10
Parsha Vayechi
The Torah portion of Vayechi serves as a "bridge" between the book of B'reishis (Genesis) and the book of Sh'mos (Exodus.) The book of B'reishis relates the miraculous lives of our ancestors. The book of Sh'mos describes our descent into exile. It is the miraculous nature that we have inherited from our ancestors that gives us the power to survive exile. From Likutei Sichos, vol. 30, p.253
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16:32
Meditation for a Public Fast
There is an ancient custom that on a public fast day, the rabbi delivers a special sermon known as "divrei kivushin" (lit. "words that conquer the heart.")
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1:01:52
An Overview of Brit Milah
A mohel (expert in circumcision) gives an overview of some of the technical as well as symbolic aspects of circumcision.
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41:48
Interpreting "Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin" in Lighting the Chanukah Menorah
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) to make it readily obvious which night of Chanukah it is. Will there be a practical difference between these two reasons? A difference in rulings between Maimonides and Tosafos is considered.
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31:29
From Likutei Sichos - Vayeishev
In his commentary on Genesis 37:2, Rashi says that "Jacob dwelt" can also mean that "Jacob sought to dwell in tranquility." Is seeking tranquility and happiness an inherently valuable pursuit? Is it okay to ask G-d to help us accomplish our mission free from distractions? From Likutei Sichos, vol. 30, pp.176-183.
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57:49
Analyzing the Talmudic Source for Chanukah
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."
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23:19
From Likutei Sichos - Vayishlach
Jacob hid his daughter from the wicked Esau. But did Dinah actually have the power to make Esau repent? Based on the commentary of Rashi on the verse (Genesis 32:23) "And [Jacob] arose during that night, and he took his two wives and his two maidservants and his eleven children, and he crossed the ford of [the River] Jabbok." From Likutei Sichos, vol. 35, pp.150-155.
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43:29
A Textual Analysis of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah
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)
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59:26
Talmudic Interpretations of the Destruction of Chametz
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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1:35:43
An Advanced Class in Practical Halacha
This advanced class provides a highly technical but practical overview of how to follow the laws for kashering vessels for Passover and year round. Based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 451 and Yoreh Deia 121.
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31:46
The Rebbe's Public Letter to the Jewish People
Several times a year, the Rebbe would write a "michtav klali", a public letter addressed to "all sons and daughters of Israel wherever they may be." In this lecture, we review one of those letters, a Rosh Hashanah message from 1974
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21:53
Meditation for the Fast of Gedaliah
The day after Rosh Hashanah is a public fast day commemorating the assassination of Gedaliah ben Achikam, who was governor of the Land of Israel for a short period following the destruction of the First Temple. This day is also an especially propitious time for returning to G-d in teshuvah.
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59:28
Revealing the Jew’s Essence
Rabbi Ganz discusses how chassidus uncovers the inner reality of the Jew, and how this also explains the special rebbe-chassid relationship.
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57:53
The Mitzvah of Saying Vidui
As part of doing Teshuvah on Yom Kippur, we confess our sins. Rabbi Yaakov Wagner thoroughly explains the viduy prayer based on traditional sources.
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25:50
It’s not enough to fulfill the everyday mitzvahs to be a committed Jew, rather it’s equally crucial to study Torah each day as a central part of life.
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53:00
Returning for Three Little Jars
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 this episode.
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18:30
Parsha Vayechi and the Tenth of Teves
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 connected to the fast of Teves 10, and offers a timely message for our current exile.
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22:39
Why the focus on the king?
In Temple times the king would read from the Torah before the entire nation in the year of Hakhel. Why is this specifically the role of the king? This class explains the unique function of a Jewish king.
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1:02:11
Transcending the nature of the world to serve G-d
To have true success in our service of Hashem, we need strength that transcends nature, which we receive from the Tzaddik of the generation. Let’s endeavor to understand how this works. (A class in preparation for Gimmel Tammuz)
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