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 Vayakhel - More than Repetition Parashat Vayakhel describes the actual building of the Mishkan and its vessels, and much of the sedra is therefore almost an exact repetition of parashat Teruma. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Bamidbar: Not Just Numbers Even a superficial glance at Parashat Bamidbar reveals a basic difficulty. The counting and recounting of the people seems superfluous and trivial. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Naso: Your Camp that I Dwell Within As we noted in last week's shiur, Sefer Bamidbar opens with the establishment of "machane Yisrael" (the Israelite camp) in the wilderness, in preparation for their epic journey towards Eretz Yisrael. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Beha'alotekha: The Three Books of Bamidbar According to Rebbi, the parasha of "Va-yehi binsoa" is the dividing point of Sefer Bamidbar. In fact, Rebbi goes even farther, considering the sections of Bamidbar before and after this parasha as distinct books. A quick overview of Bamidbar is sufficient to reveal the sharp contrast that underlies Rebbi's position. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Shelach: Lack of Confidence, Lack of Faith Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Korach: The Entire Nation is Holy The story of Korach's rebellion is a fascinating drama, full of passion and intrigue. Although the Torah is grudgingly silent regarding the background and details of these events, Chazal, utilizing various nuances and hints in the biblical texts, managed to weave together a tale that reflects both human realities and philosophical dilemmas. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Chukat: The Emergence of the Second Generation Yisrael arrived, the entire congregation, at the wilderness of Zin in the first month [of the fortieth year] ... (Bamidbar 20:1) Here we are finally introduced to the second generation, who will succeed where their predecessors had failed. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Balak: I Will Bless Those Who Bless You The main part of Parashat Balak can be divided into two sections; the narrative and the prophetic. The prophetic section must be studied thoroughly in order to interpret its messages and decipher its codes. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Second Census How are we to explain the mysterious gap which separates the beginning of the verse, "And it was following the plague," from the conclusion introducing the divine command to count the people? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Matot-Masei: The Inauguration Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Noach: The Brotherhood of Man Parashat Noach begins with the story of the Flood and continues with the episode of the Tower of Bavel, which led to the dispersion of mankind. The mishna in Sanhedrin (10:1) compares the two, stating that the members of both generation are denied a portion in the World to Come. Nevertheless, our Sages noted a sharp contrast between these two stories. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Lekh Lekha: Who Was Avraham? Although the documentation of events in the life of Avraham is relatively detailed, we are nonetheless confronted with a number of basic questions: Who actually was Avraham? Why was he chosen? What is the nature of the legacy that he passed on to the entire Jewish nation? How should this affect our lives? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayera: Avraham Established the Morning Prayer This week we will concentrate on Avraham’s religious commitment and devotion. Of course, the most obvious example is the akeida, in which Avraham, in a profound act of faith, is asked to sacrifice not only his son, but his moral teachings as well. I prefer, however, a less obvious and probably less known example. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Chayei Sara: This is Hashem's Doing The singular fondness for "the conversations of the servant" is a result of it being a simple human story. It lacks great nature confounding miracles. However, it contains a breathtaking human and religious drama, a drama in which man encounters Hashem within the natural order. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Toldot: Birthrights and Blessings Why was it necessary to trick Yitzchak? Why couldn’t Rivka simply have spoken to her husband? But the problem that bothers one most is - how can fooling one’s elderly blind father be considered ethically acceptable behavior? On the other hand, if it’s not ethical, do ends justify the means? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayetze - Arami Oved Avi In this lesson, we will examine the relationship between Lavan and Yaakov, in light of the overall picture of the relationship between the family of Nachor and the family of Avraham. As we shall see, there is a significant disconnect between them. We will try to explain the reason for this disconnect, and see how much is related to theological differences, as expressed by Lavan, as well as Bil’am. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayishlach: Coming Home In the story of Jacob and his return flight from Haran, we find many repetitions. Thus, for example, leaving Haran is described twice, with changes of the city's name from Luz to Bet El and from Yaakov to Yisrael. These and other changes can be interpreted on the local level, but we will try to explain them in light of the two reasons for Jacob's departure - and therefore return – his flight from Esau, on the one hand, and the search for an appropriate wife, on the other. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayeshev: Toldot Yaakov Yaakov manages to survive various external threats - Lavan, Esav and Shekhem. But instead of a serene and tranquil life, his entire family is shaken to its very foundations by a series of dramatic and tragic events. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Afraid to Hope In this week’s parasha, the spotlight is on Yosef and his brothers. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayigash: Tzafnat Pa’aneach – Prince of Egypt The story of Yosef and his brothers is more than fascinating family drama. Based on the principle of maaseh avot siman la-banim (the actions of the fathers are a sign for the children), it had a profound impact on the way in which Yaakov’s family developed into Kenesset Yisrael. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Vayechi: Clouds of Galut Our Sages said, “shivim panim la-Torah” - in other words, the Torah lends itself to multiple interpretations and should be understood at various levels in order to be properly appreciated. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Ha-Chodesh Ha-Zeh Lakhem Rosh Chodashim The closing segment of Parashat Bo begins with the section: “Ha-chodesh ha-zeh lakhem rosh chodoshim” (12:1). In his commentary on the first pasuk in the Torah, Rashi quotes the famous question of R. Yitzchak - why didn’t the Torah begin with this parasha? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Parashat Mishpatim: The Covenant at Sinai Immediately after the Torah documents ma’amad Har Sinai and the aseret ha-dibbrot, there is a lengthy legal section containing various “mishpatim.” Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Let Us Sanctify His Name in the World Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Not Leviticus Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading

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