Understanding the Practice and Meaning of Halakha
Teacher Title Abstract
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Understanding the Practice and Meaning of Halakha - Introduction The plan of this course is to examine each week another area of halakha, and attempt to understand its meaning and significance.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick The Time of Day I would like to first discuss the Jewish clock, the way time exists within Halakha. If it is true that Halakha creates a system in which one's entire life is affected, the fact that time has a different meaning for the halakhic individual may be the most pervasive invasion of halakha into one's existence of all.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Shabbat - Part 1
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Shabbat - Part 2 Last time, we advanced two versions of the meaning of the cessation (shabbat) of creating on Shabbat. The first saw our rest as commemorating God's rest on the seventh day; the second as affirming God's creative activity on the six days. Both suggestions were found wanting, not completely accounting for the place Shabbat occupies in Jewish life. Today I would like to suggest a third variation on the theme, one that will affirm creativity as the highest value, and, at the same time, make Shabbat, the day of rest, the culmination and goal of the days of the week.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick "Remember the Shabbat Day to Sanctify It" [Shabbat - Part 3]
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Shiur #6: Kavod and Oneg (Shabbat part 4)
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Kashrut
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Kashrut - Part 2: What Is and What Isn’t We shall discuss today a few of the different categories of non-kosher foods, and try and understand their significance, beyond the introductory point made last week that kashrut as a whole is an exercise in discrimination, separation, and self-restraint.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Chanuka
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Jewish Table Etiquette Everybody eats, every day. It is true that there are occasional special meals, banquets, and feasts; but basically eating is viewed as an essential, and therefore not particularly meaningful, act. It is universal to all living things, and, from the usual religious point of view, too hopelessly bound up with the body, with physical impulses and mundane desires, to have significant spiritual potential.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Blessings In the last lecture, after learning about all the prohibited foods, we finally got ready to sit down and eat. We are ready to share our food with others in a community of generosity, thereby sanctifying the process of eating.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Prayer We have spent four shiurim eating. Now it is time to pray. Actually, from the halakhic point of view, that order of things is totally wrong. There is a specific prohibition on eating in the morning before praying.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Standing Before God In the last session, we saw how prayer is the form that service of God takes. When one turns to God to fulfill all of one's needs, showing total dependence on Him, one enters, at the very same time, both the service of God and human freedom.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Arvut Today's shiur has a somewhat different framework than usual, as we shall be discussing not a particular halakhic practice but rather a halakhic concept, one which underlies many mitzvot, and, to a certain extent, serves as the foundation for one of the most central of all institutions of Judaism, that of the unity of the Jewish people.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Tzedaka and Chesed In a previous shiur, we began to discuss intersocial relations by concentrating on the concept of arvut - mutual responsibility. Today we shall address the broader topic more directly.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick This Land is My Land Tu Bishvat is the 15th day of the month of Shvat (Tu is the sound of the Hebrew letters "tet" and "vav," which together have the numerical value of 15). According to the Mishna (Rosh HaShana 1,1), this date is the new year of the trees.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Signs In this shiur we will concentrate on the mitzva of tefillin, and the mitzva of tzitzit, mitzvot which might be described as "signs." We will try to understand both the purpose of "signs," and the particular nature of these mitzvot.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Daily Blessings - Birkat HaTorah There are all sorts of berakhot (the plural of berakha) formulated for different occasions. Today, I wish to examine those berakhot that have become part of the daily routine of the halakha-observing Jew.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Daily Blessings - Part 2 Last week, we began the topic of daily blessings, but only managed to actually discuss one (actually two, possibly three, depending how one counts - as we shall see, the count has importance) - the blessing over the Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Synagogue and Community Every Jewish community contains a synagogue. In fact, this is a halakhic and legal civic obligation. As part of Jewish tax laws, there is a list of necessities that must be provided for in a Jewish community. In this list, we find, "The inhabitants of a city may compel each other to build a synagogue" (Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 150:1).
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Purim: A Holiday in Disguise Purim, as a religious holiday, is both the easiest, and, in some respects, the hardest holiday to understand.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Pesach Part 1 - Matza (and Marror) It is time to take a look at Pesach. This week we will examine the first night of Pesach, the seder night; next time we will discuss the prohibition of chametz, leavened bread.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Pesach Part 2 - Chametz The prohibition on eating chametz (leavened bread) on Pesach (Passover) is different from all other prohibitions in the Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Death and Mourning The period between Pesach and Shavuot is, by custom, a period of national mourning. Tradition connects this period to the death of the students of R. Akiva, which was the period of the Bar Kochba revolt and the unprecedented Roman repression which followed.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick The Difference Between Shabbat and Festival Earlier in this series, we discussed the prohibitions of Shabbat at length. It may be worthwhile reviewing that discussion, since I wish today to try and understand the difference between the prohibition of labor on Shabbat and the corresponding prohibition on festival days (Yomtov) - the first and last days of Pesach, or Shavuot, for example.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Sukkot There are two distinct mitzvot associated with Sukkot, with no immediately apparent connection between them: The obligation to live in a sukka, a temporary booth with a roof made of branches or other material of vegetable origin; and an obligation to "take" four special species (and shake them) - the etrog (a citron fruit), the lulav (a palm branch), the hadas (myrtle branch)...
שיעורי טקסט Rav Ezra Bick Conclusion This series has come to an end. I did not exactly plan that there would be twenty-six shiurim, but that is, at least for the foreseeable future, the end of the series.