Shiurim

Other shiurim not yet uploaded to this site.  At present, hard copy available upon request:

a) The Exodus from Egypt through the Eyes of Rav Kook
b) Life on the Fringe: Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk  and the Mitzvah of Tzizit
c) Chametz and Matzah – What’s the Obsession?
d) Rock and Roll – with Ya’akov Avinu!
e) Chanukah: Why 8 Nights?
f) Korach, Unmasked (also appears as “Unlikely Shidduch”? in the blog archive)
g) “This is the Thanks I Get?” (Why is there no mitzvah of Hallel on Purim?)
h) Tekiat Shofar: The Breath of Life
i) Nothing But the Truth: An Intro to Jewish Business Ethics (in the wake of the Madoff scandal)
j) The Spiritual Roots of Antisemitism (“The Birthright – for a Bowl of Soup?)
k) “Tricks Turkeys and Trees: What’s a Jew to Do?” (Chukat Hagoyim)
l) Love is All You Need (also in article form in the blog archive)
m) Extraterrestrial Life: Alien to Judaism
n) “Leaving it All Behind” (Parshat Mishpatim, hatred and antagonism from a Torah perspective)
o) The Light of Chanukah PT II: Al Hanisim
p) “How the Mighty Have Fallen”-  Comparing and contrasting Noah and Moshe Rabeinu
q) More than Words: Moving Beyond the Letter of Jewish Law – sources on Lifnim Mishurat Hadin
r) V’Samachta B’Chagecha – Why We Rejoice on Sukkot
s) Waste Not – Torah & Bal Tashchit
t) Cloning Around – What does the Torah say?
u) The Jewish Home: BluePrint for a Rebuilt Jerusalem
v) It’s a Dog’s Life: Jewish Perspectives on Owning a Pet (sources based on R. Chaim Jachter)
w) Of Smokers and Risk Takers
x) The Right to Die?

PDF/Word Document Shiurim – Torah at the Click of a Mouse

Is there room for the individual in a religion of rules? – taught at Winnipeg’s Herzlia Congregation in June 2010

Rebel with a cause! 

  • This is a shiur I delivered in various contexts, most recently at a Seuda Shlishit at Congregation Etz Chaim in Kew Garden Hills, New York, during a Scholar In Residence Shabbaton.  It deals with the role of questioning and critical thinking in the process of Redemption from Mizraim
Beyond the Bricks and Mortar, Mapping out Your Own Personal Exodus
  • Presented at “The Great Passover Adventure” pre-Pesach Yom Iyun of the Community Kollel of Kansas City on March 14, 2010 at the Overland Park Sheraton.  This shiur – an original piece merging the Ramban with the Sefat Emet, will also be presented at a pre-Pesach women’s Melave Malka in Seattle’s Seward Park neighborhood on Saturday night, March 20th

What’s Wrong With Chametz What’s Right with Matzah ?

  • Presented in March, 2010, at Congregation BIAV in Overland Park, Kansas.  This shiur, based on the article by Rav Alex Israel of Yeshivat Har Etzion, examines four different approaches at to why Chametz should be averted and Matzah embraced during Pesach and on the altar of the Beit Hamikdash

Song at the Sea An Appropriate Response?
  • This shiur, delivered in numerous forums over the last three years, examines the interface between our satisfaction that justice is served — and the imperative not to rejoice in the fall of our enemy

Is There a Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael ?
  • A thorough examination of the classic sources on this crucial issue

The light of Chanukah – Reflections on the Jewish Struggle with Greek Culture
  • Based on a classic piece by Rav Mordechai Friedlander

Little White Lies Are they Kosher ?
  • I think the title speaks for itself.  Presented at the Kosher Subway series in Overland Park, Ks

Why Dairy Foods on Shavuot ?
  • Halacha and Hashkafa meet in this indepth study of the custom of consuming dairy foods on the Festival of our receipt of the Torah

Let them Eat Meat
  • Torah Perspectives on Vegetarianism.  Ironically, presented at the Kosher Subway series in Overland Park, Ks

Tradition and Innovation
  • The hidden meaning behind Ya’akov’s blessing of Yosef’s Ephraim and Menashe.   Presented in the framework of the KC Kollel’s “Home Beis”, based on a shiur by Rav Mordechai Willig

Pe’or Paranoia or Profound Insight ?
  • Focusing on the Jewish sin at Ba’al Peor, this shiur is based on a classic piece by the Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, R. Chaim Shmuelevitz, in his Sichot Mussar

Sefirat Ha’Omer and Self-Coronation
  • Built on the shiur of R. Shimshon Dovid Pincus, we examine the spiritual process of counting the Omer from Pesach to Shavuot

Jacob’s Shabbat Boundary
  • Do boundaries prevent or pave the way for impacting on others?

Stringin’ the Blues
  • A deeper look at the Mitzvah of Techelet.  Inspired by Rav Nebenzhal’s writings.

Kashrut Kwest
  • The place taken by “Chukim” or a-rational laws in Judaism. Do they earn us respect or ridicule – and how do WE view them?

Gratitude Attitude
  • The basics of “Hakarat Hatov” from a Torah perspective.  Moshe is contrasted with Pharoah through the Book of Shmot.  Rav Nebenzhal-inspired.  This shiur has been delivered to Hebrew school teachers, a Thanksgiving Day Brunch, and in many other different forums.

With a Wave of His Hand
  • This shiur explores the concept of Miracles in Judaism.  Was the splitting of the Red Sea a high or low point in Jewish history? Presented at “Home Beis” and other forums in the Kansas City and Seattle area

Conquering the Gimmies – Thou Shalt Not Covet
  • A fresh look at the tenth of the Aseret HaDibrot. Presented in Seattle in Feb. 2010 in memory of Dr. Joseph Geffen

Aharon’s Menorah

  • Defining Jewish education and its goals. Presented in numerous forums, including WebYeshiva’s “Judaism and Personality Development” class in the spring of 2009, and at Blake St. Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne, Shabbat, Parshat B’ha’alotcha, June, 2009

The Spies: A Lesson in Values Clarification
  • Presented at the KC Kollel’s “Home Beis” program in the spring of 2009.  Based on Rav Nebenzhal’s flagship article.

Bargaining with Terrorists
  • Researched and presented at Congregation BIAV in Overland Park, Kansas, in memory of the father of Dr. Bill Rosenberg – Jan. 2009. Presented again at the Blake St. Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne, in June, 2009

The Last Laugh– A Torah Perspective on Humor
  • This shiur was given at Congregation BIAV in Overland Park Kansas on New Year’s Day, 2008 and in Melbourne, Australia for the Blake Street Congregation, in June 2009 and another version of this shiur, with additional sources Torah-Humor Additional Sources was given at Etz Chaim Congregation, Kew Garden Hills, in March 2011 and at Herzlia Congregation in Winnipeg in June 2011

Moshe – Anatomy of a Leader
  • This shiur was given in memory of my wife’s father, Dr. Joseph Geffen, at our home in Seward Park, Seattle in January 2010

How the Mighty Have Fallen
  • Noach’s status as an “Ish Tzaddik” takes a real turn for the worse after he tastes of his vineyard.   This shiur contrasts the approach of Noach with that of Moshe and suggests a surprising approach to personal spiritual development

One Man’s Journey
  • Presented at “Home Beis” by the Community Kollel of Kansas City in the fall of 2008.  Based on Rav Nebenzhal’s “Avraham Ha’ivri”

Pikuach Nefesh The Gift of Life

  • Presented at the Seattle Hadassah fundaiser of the same name on April 27/10 I was a member of a panel of experts in the fields of live and deceased transplant surgery as well as a kidney donor.  Traces the basic sources on whether or not it is forbidden, allowed, or obligatory to donate organs in halacha

Halachic sources on the obligation to pay taxes can be found here: Tax Evasion & Jewish Law – based largely on Rav Herschel Shachter’s teachings; presented at Etiz Chaim in Kew Garden Hills, NY in March 2011

Rebbe Akiva’s Students– Where Did They Go Wrong and How Can We Fix It?

  • Presented in various forums over the years, most recently on Lag Ba’Omer 5770 for the women of Seward Park.  The shiur traces the sources that attribute the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students to a lack of mutual respect – and tackles the thorny questions that need to be asked

I delivered the shiur Torah Perspectives on Land for Peace as part of a Shabbaton on Parshat Korach 5771, in Winnipeg’s Herzlia congregation 

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