Rav Yair Kahn

Rav Yair Kahn [YHE '77] head of the Overseas Students Program, has been a Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion since 1987. He teaches an Israeli shiur, one into which the Overseas students integrate comfortably. Rav Kahn has been the coordinator of the Virtual Beit Midrash Gemara Iyun Shiur for several years. Originally from NY, Rav Kahn studied at Chaim Berlin, Yeshiva University, and Yeshivat Har Etzion. Rav Kahn is also the editor of the Shiurei Hagrid series published by the Toras Horav Foundation and Mossad Harav Kook.

Teacher Title Abstract Course
Rav Yair Kahn Zion Shall Be Redeemed with Justice “You shall appoint shoftim (judges) and shotrim (policemen) in all your gates” (16:18). 'Gates' is a reference to gates of cities. Therefore, the term 'all your gates' is an allusion to cities in Eretz Yisrael. From here we get the impression that the mitzva to appoint shoftim is exclusive to Eretz Yisrael. The Ramban initially agrees with this interpretation, however adds an important modification. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Speech of the Torah Parashat Ki Tetzei begins with a section known as “eshet yifat toar,” which deals with a warrior who wants to marry a captive woman. The Torah permits this woman, but only according to very specific guidelines, through which the woman is converted to Judaism. This section raises very serious philosophic and legal questions. Does this treatment of captives correspond to the Torah’s moral code? Should a vanquished woman be forced to marry her captor against her will? What legal validity does a forced conversion and marriage have? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Covenant of Moav The section of berakhot and kelalot – the list of blessings Yisrael will receive if they abide by the Torah and the curses they will receive if they do not, found in chapter 28 – concludes with the pasuk, “These are the terms of the covenant that Hashem commanded to Moshe to make with Bnei Yisrael in the land of Moav, aside from the covenant which he made with them at Chorev” (28:69). This pasuk connects the covenant of Chorev (Sinai), documented in Parashat Bechukotai (Vayikra 26), with the parallel section found in our parasha. Our study of the covenant of Moav will therefore begin with a brief review of the Sinai covenant. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn This Nation Will Rise Up Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Testimony for Bnei Yisrael Most of this week's parasha is comprised of a shira – a song or poem. This is a rare biblical phenomenon, which can be identified by its distinctive layout in the Torah scroll. Most of the Bible is broken into subsections either by a space or by beginning a new line, and the words within that subsection are written from the beginning of the line until the end. Shira, on the other hand is written in one of two formats. In Shirat Ha’azinu, each line is broken into two segments, and as a result, the shira looks like two columns. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Pekudei - Let Us Sanctify His Name in the World In light of this year's division of Vayakhel-Pekudei, read together as a double parasha on non-leap years, what is the relationship between the Mishkan and the priestly garments? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Ki Tisa - From the Egel to the Second Luchot Unlike the sin of the spies, the sin of the golden calf was largely forgiven. What was the reason for this change in God's approach to our sins, and how can we apply this dichotomy to other points in the history of the people of Israel? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Vayakhel, More Than Repetition Aside from a few subtle distinctions, much of the Torah's description of the Mishkan's construction in Parashat Vayakhel seems to constitute an exact repetition of Parashat Teruma. What is the reason for this apparent repetition, and what can the two parallel accounts tell us about different ways of relating to religious life? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Vayikra, Not Leviticus It is difficult to understand how the book of Vayikra, known as Torat Kohanim, fits into the broader context of the Torah's narrative. What purpose does Vayikra serve at this juncture in the Torah, and how do its lessons apply to Kohanim and non-Kohanim alike? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Tazria, The Lessons of Tum'a The laws of tum'a detailed in Parashat Tazria and Metzora are strategically placed in the book of Vayikra between the episode of Nadav and Avihu and the commandment of the Yom Kippur service. What can this unusual placement teach us about the proper balance of emotions that a person must display when approaching God? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Metzora - The Purification Process What is the thematic connection between Tazria and Metzora, and how does this connection manifest itself in the specific types of tum'a discussed in these parshiyot? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Shemini - For On This Day Hashem Will Appear Before You What is the connection between Aharon's pivotal role in the sin of the golden calf and his appointment by God to the position of Kohen Gadol?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Metzora - The Purification Process What is the thematic connection between Tazria and Metzora, and how does this connection manifest itself in the specific types of tum'a discussed in these parshiyot?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Bamidbar - Not Just Numbers Why does Sefer Bamidbar open with the census of the people of Israel, and why do Chazal seem to view the census as reflective of the very essence of the book?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Naso - Bridging Vision and Reality How do the three prominent halakhic passages of Parashat Naso fit in with the overall narrative structure of Sefer Bamidbar?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Korach - The Entire Nation is Holy Despite Korach's rebellious intentions, he had a legitimate complaint. How can we answer Korach's charge that "the entire nation is holy"?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Balak - I Will Bless Those Who Bless You What is the deeper meaning of Bil'am's narrative arc, and how is this connected to the role of blessings and curses in the Torah?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Pinchas, The Second Census Why were the people of Israel commanded to battle Midian twice, and what does this teach us about the evolution of Israel's national identity?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Matot, The Inauguration Parshat Matot contains numerous, seemingly superfluous details surrounding the battle with Midian and the two and a half tribes who settled east of the Jordan. How do these details contribute to the theme of Israel becoming a cohesive whole prior to the nation's entry into the land?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Masei - The Long and Winding Road What novel idea is the Torah conveying through the seemingly superfluous list of journeys in Parashat Masei?
Rav Yair Kahn Parshat Ekev, For Your Eyes Only Throughout Sefer Devarim, and particularly in Parashat Ekev, an emphasis on what the "eyes" of the people of Israel had seen in Egypt and in the wilderness appears numerous times. What is the meaning of this phrase and how can its message be applied to future generations?

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