Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parashah Roundup: Yisro 5768

by Steve Brizel

Yisro and Moshe

  • R. Yaakov Medan analyzes how and when the Torah mentions the appointment of judges-before Matan Torah and after Kivros HaTaavah and R Jonathan Sacks explains how Yisro's suggestions, enabled Pshara to become a major element of Choshen Mishpat: link I, link II
  • R. Yissachar Frand discusses the advice that Moshe Rabbeinu received from Yisro and the importance of individuals both as members and leaders of society: link
  • R. Zev Leff underscores why Yisro's positive reaction to the splitting of the Red Sea and the war with Amalek was different than his contemporaries: link
  • R. Shlomo Riskin contrasts Amalek and Yisro and reminds us of the ultimately universal message of the Torah: link
  • R. Asher Brander shows how Yisro listened and changed his life: link
  • R. Berel Wein shows that Moshe's treatment of Yisro is how we should treat all "outsiders" and value their advice on a personal and communal level: link

  • Click here to read morePreparing for Divine Revelation and the Aseres HaDibros

  • The Netziv in HaEmek Davar (as prepared by R. Eliezer Kwass) and R Mayer Twersky emphasizes that the more one prepares for an encounter with the Divine, the more one appreciates it: link I, link
  • R. Shlomo Wolbe zt"l tells us why the Torah mentions that the Jewish People journeyed from Refidim to Sinai: link (RTF)

  • Bchira Chofshis and Matan Torah

  • R. Elyakim Krunbeim revisits the question of whether the Jewish People accepted the Torah out of their own free choice: link
  • Dr. Raphael Yarchi poses the question whether the Revelation at Sinai was aristocratic or democratic in nature: link

  • Matan Torah and Kabalas HaTorah-The Purpose of the Exodus

  • R. Herschel Schachter proves that Talmud Torah, Tefilah and Karbanos reflect a direct interaction with God and that the ability to be Lifnei HaShem in the performance of these Mitzvos was the true purpose of the Exodus: link
  • R. Efraim Buchwald argues that the acceptance of the Aseres HaDibros via the offering of the next generation as the guarantors of the Torah proves that Jewish education should be our foremost communal priority: link

  • Chosenness

  • R. Jonathan Blass, R. Chaim Eisen, R. Yaakov Feitman, R. Moshe Lichtenstein, R. Dr. Norman Lamm, Dr. Eitan Fiorino, M.D., PhD, R. Lawrence Kelemen, R. Shmuel Hain and R. Meir Soloveichik offer their views on this often misstated and misunderstood idea: link I (PDF), link II, link III

  • The Acceptance of the Yoke of Heaven and Mitzvos

  • R. Yosef Yitzchak Lifshitz shows us how a life of Torah and Mitzvos serve as a bridge between finite man and The Infinite God: link

  • The Indivisibility of the Decalogue

  • R. Yaakov Haber (formerly of RIETS and now a rebbe in a number of yeshivos and seminaries in Israel) underlines why one cannot accept some, but not all of the Aseres HaDibros: link

  • Dibros Rishonos and Dibros Shniyos

  • R. Yitzchak Etshalom demonstrates how the Dibros Rishonos and Dibros Shniyos necessarily complement each other: link

  • Matan Torah: The Marriage Between God and the Jewish People

  • R. Herschel Schachter proves that Kabalas HaTorah, an event from which we incorporate many aspects into the marriage ceremony, requires the Jewish People to emulate God's ways by leading a private life, except when necessary to perform and enhance certain mitzvos: link

  • Kabalas HaTorah, Talmud Torah and Derech Eretz

  • R. Mordechai Willig explores an old Machlokes and suggests that throughout Jewish history, learning Torah on a full time basis was always relegated for the few, as opposed to the majority of the Jewish people and that secular studies are for almost everyone: link

  • Divine Revelation at Sinai-a Singularly Unique Event- Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy

  • Although this Roundup generally refers the reader to web friendly and easily downloadable articles and Divrei Torah, due to the importance of this issue, I refer the reader with with access to the following Essays of :

    1) R. Dr. David Berger in Tradition of recent books by Dr. Menachem Kellner (Must a Jew Believe Anything?) (Summer 1999) and R. Irving Greenberg (For The Sake of Heaven) (Summer 2005), and R. Meir Soloveichik (March 2007) entitled “Of (Religious) Fences and Neighbors” (accessible only to those with access to Commentary's archives) as well as

    2) the essays of R. Dr. Marc B. Shapiro, "Maimonides' Thirteen Principles: The Last Word in Jewish Theology" (link) and R. Yitzchak Blau's article “Flexibility with a Firm Foundation: On Maintaining Jewish Dogma” (link); and

    3) the discussions on this blog and elsewhere re “Expanding the Palace of the King-Orthodoxy and Feminism" by Dr Tamar Ross and the critique of Dr. Aryeh Frimer that touched on this issue.

  • Shabbos

  • R Yaakov Haber (TorahLab) , based on the Nesivos Shalom, suggests that we try harder to use Shabbos of having God permeate our lives: link
  • R Yosef Yitzchak Lifshitz explores the meaning of Melacha: link

  • Kibud Av Vaem

  • R. Avigdor Nevenzal explores the halachic and ethical dimensions of honoring one's parents: link

  • Lo Sachmod

  • R. Michael Rosensweig shows why the prohibitions of coveting people and property are part of the Aseres HaDibros: link

  • Remembering The Revelation at Sinai

  • R. Aharon Lichtenstein emphasizes how one remembers the Revelation of Sinai: link

  • Krias HaTorah and the Aseres HaDibros

  • R. Mordecai Kornfeld discusses the halachic basis of the minhag of standing for the reading of the Aseres HaDibros: link

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