Avodat Hashem – Foundations of Divine Service (3)
Teacher Title Abstract
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #31: Torah Study (5) "The Day That You Stood Before The Lord Your God In Chorev” We are commanded to remember and to pass on the story of Har Sinai and God's appearance there. How can a generation who was not present at Har Sinai remember and pass on a memory of something they did not witness themselves? We will attempt to explain this mitzva according to the two goals of the Har Sinai experience - intellectual study and passing on the spiritual experience. In order to deepen this point, in this shiur we will delve into the mitzva of Hakhel, which presents this duality.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur 32: Torah Study (6) "The Day That You Stood Before The Lord Your God in Chorev" (Part II) In the previous shiur we discussed the mitzva of Hakhel as the mitzva which perpetuates the assembly at Mount Sinai. In this shiur we will discuss the other mitzva in this category - the reading of the Torah. Although the reading of the Torah is intended to teach us the mitzvot, it is also an everyday reminder of the assembly at Mount Sinai. As will be developed in the class, there is a strong connection between the reading of the Torah to the mitzva of Hakhel, as well as between the cycle of Torah learning and the agricultural cycle.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #33: Torah Study (7) Torah Study and Derekh Eretz (Part I) In the Gemara in Berakhot, Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai have different approaches to the relationship between Torah and a worldly occupation. Rabbi Yishmael says that everything should be done in its proper time, while Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai says that one must study Torah and the work will get done itself. In this shiur we will discuss these contradictions and the different explanations that have been offered, among them the Keren Or's opinion about different groups in the nation of Israel.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #34: Torah Study (8) Torah Study and Derekh Eretz (Part II) Continuing last shiur, this shiur will discuss the disagreement between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai about combining Torah study with a worldly occupation. We will raise a number of approaches to combining between the two, through different explanations of the Rishonim. Should non-Torah matters be kept to the bare minimum, or is there room to engage in other matters even if this comes instead of learning Torah?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #35: Torah Study (9) Torah Study and Derekh Eretz (Part III) In the previous shiurim, we discussed the opinions of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and Rabbi Yishmael about the relationship between learning Torah and engaging in a worldly occupation, and the different ways to explain their opinions. In this shiur we will look at Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's opinion, which emphasizes that it is allowed to engage in more than just the bare minimum of matters of this world.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #36: Torah Study (10) The Crown of Torah According to our Rabbis, there are three crowns which can rest upon the nation of Israel - the crown of royalty, the crown of priesthood and the crown of Torah. In this shiur we will deepen our understanding of the idea of the crown, we will explore the roles of the king and the priest, and we will see how the crown of Torah is greater than the other two crowns.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #37: Torah Study (11) The Crown of Torah and the Crown of a Good Name In this shiur, we will continue to discuss the connection between the crown of Torah and the crowns of priesthood and royalty, through a fourth crown - the crown of a good name. We will survey the various ways to explain this idea of the crown of a god name, and we will see how each of the explanations sheds light on the unique nature of the crown of Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #38: Torah Study (12) Great is the Study of Torah In the Mishna in Pe'a we learn about the mitzvot for which a man enjoys the fruits in this world, while the principal remains for him in the World-to-Come. There it says that the study of the Torah is equal to them all. In this shiur we will discuss this phrase and its practical application. Additionally, in light of the Gemara in Kiddushin which states that study is greater, for it leads to practice, we will discuss the relationship between study and practice, and the importance of living one's practical life through Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #39: Torah Study (12) Great is the Study of Torah (Part II) Continuing last shiur, in this shiur we will continue to discuss the relationship between Torah study and fulfillment of the mitzvot. We will see how study impacts the character and quality of the action. In addition, we will explain the disagreement about whether Torah study or fulfillment of the mitzvot is primary by discussing what type of relationship between the two we are seeking: does the study improve the practice, or does the study draw its strength from the practice.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #40: Torah Study for its Own Sake In this shiur we will begin discussing the matter of Torah for its own sake, with the Rishonim who explain that it is for the sake of fulfilling it. It seems that there are some Rishonim who judge the learning according to how it is put into practice. Also, from the words of the Tosafot, it seems that there is also a spiritual side to studying Torah for its own sake, which indirectly affects the practical fulfillment of mitzvot. The implication of this is the demand to study a range of topics, not only topics which can be implemented in practice.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #41: Torah Study for its Own Sake (Part II) We will discuss the Rambam's view about the importance of studying Torah from love. Additionally, we will analyze Rabbi Chayyim of Volozhin's opinion of Torah study for its own sake - for the sake of the Torah. Does the author of the "Nefesh Ha-Chayyim" eliminate the idea of closeness to God from Torah study?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #42: The Written Law and the Oral Law What is the Oral Law? We will look at the two types of the Oral Law according to the Rambam, at the Ramchal's approach about the connection between the Oral Law and the Written Law, and we will try to understand why, according to Rabbi Yochanan, "God made a covenant with Israel only for the sake of that which was transmitted orally."
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #43: Know the God of Your Father – Between Knowledge and Love Part 1 In this shiur, we will begin our discussion of the practical actions involved in the service of God, on the basis of our knowledge of Him, following the order set by the Rambam in his Mishneh Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #44: Know the God of Your Father – Between Knowledge and Love Part 2 In this shiur, we continue our discussion of the mitzvot in Sefer Ahava. These mitzvot are intended to surround a person with a broad range of activities that stand man before God and nurture his love of God and devotion to Him throughout the day. The daily rituals of Shema, prayer, and blessings build a regular encounter with God. At the same time, the other part of Sefer Ahava envelops the person with a connection to God from various perspectives, through circumcision,tzitzit, tefilin, and mezuza.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #45: The Difference Between the Passage of Shema and the Passage of Vehaya Im Shamoa – Part I In this shiur, we will compare the passages of Shema and Vehaya im Shamoa, which appear, at first glance, to convey virtually the same thing. To whom are these passages addressed, and how does this account for the differences between them?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #46: The Difference Between the Passage of Shema and the Passage of Vehaya Im Shamoa – Part II In this shiur, we will discuss the first two passages of Keriat Shema in the context in which they appear in the Torah - as the framework for the part of Moshe's speech in Sefer Devarim that emphasizes the first two of the Ten Commandments and the challenges that the people will face in observing them.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #47: The Yoke of Mitzvot The Mitzva of Tefillin - Part I In this shiur, we begin our study of the mitzvot of tefillin and mezuza. What is the symbolism of the tefillin, and how is this reflected in its halachot?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #48: The Yoke of Mitzvot The Mitzva of Tefillin (Part II) In two of the Torah passages that mention tefillin, the mitzva is mentioned in the context of entry into Eretz Yisrael, and Chazal indeed note that there is a connection between the two. In this shiur, we will explain this connection based on the ideas of R. Kook.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #49: The Yoke of Mitzvot The Mitzva of Tefillin – Part III In this shiur, we continue our discussion of the mitzva of tefillin, focusing on its ability to appropriately temper feelings of closeness to God and on its status as the "majesty" of the Jewish People.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #50: The Tefillin of Israel and God's Tefillin The Mitzva of Tefillin (Part IV) The gemara describes that God "wears" tefillin. What is the meaning and significance of this idea?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #51: The Mitzva of Mezuza (Part I) In this shiur, we begin our study of the mitzva of mezuza, focusing on the protective qualities attributed to it by Chazal.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #52: The Mitzva of Mezuza (Part II) In this shiur, we will examine the nature of the protection offered by the mitzva of mezuza based on its status as a symbol of the home being a house of God.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #53: The Mitzva of Tzitzit (Part I) In this shiur, we will begin our study of the mitzva of tzitzit, focusing on the verses that describe the mitzva, as well as the significance of "seeing" the tzitzit.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #54: The Mitzva of Tzitzit (Part II) In this shiur, we continue our exploration of the mitzva of tzitzit, focusing on the similar language used in the story of the spies and in the passage commanding tzitzit. How does seeing the tzitzit cause us to use our sight properly?
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #55: The Mitzva of Tzitzit (Part III) In this shiur, we will discuss hos the third paragraph of Shema fits in to the themes of Shema, and we will consider the difference between a "tefillin"-Jew and a "tztzit" - Jew.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #56: Mentioning the Exodus from Egypt In this shiur, we continue our discussion of the Keriat Shema, focusing on the question of why we mention the exodus from Egypt in the context of Shema.
שיעורי טקסט Harav Baruch Gigi Shiur #57: Concluding Shiur In the concluding shiur of this series, we will summarize what we have learned about the role of the servant of God, as well as his approach to his daily service.

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