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 The Lesson of Tum'a The portions of Tazria and Metzora, which are read together during a normal year, form a unit, the main topic of which is tum’a (ritual impurity), and the tum’a of tzara’at in particular. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Purification Process Tazria and Metzora are usually combined, but on a leap year, Tazria and Metzora are ordinarily read separately in order to accommodate the additional weeks. Do the two parshiot form one unit, which is sometimes divided to accommodate for an elongated year, or are they two independent units, which must at times be read together in order to complete the yearly cycle of the Torah? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Death of Aaron's Sons, and the Priestly Service on Yom Kippur Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Yom Kippur Service The Yom Kippur service is unique in many ways: the offering of the ketoret (incense) in the Holy of Holies, the Kohen Gadol’s entry to the Holy of Holies, the sin offerings, the white garments, and more. What is the meaning of this unique service? Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Be Holy, For I Hashem am Holy Bnei Yisrael arrived at Har Sinai in the third month (Sivan) of the first year (Shemot 19:1) and they set up camp nearby the mountain. During this period, many dramatic events occurred – Ma’amad Har Sinai, cheit ha-egel, the second luchot, building the Mishkan, and the tragic deaths of Nadav and Avihu. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Megadef Episode Parashat Emor includes the parasha of moadim, which (as we noted in the shiur on Parashat Vayikra) deals with the sanctity of time. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Bridging Vision and Reality Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn You Shall Dwell in the Land in Security On the third month of the first year after leaving Egypt, Bnei Yisrael arrived at Sinai (Shemot 19:1). On the following day, Moshe ascended the mountain and Hashem called to Moshe from Har Sinai (ibid. 19:3). From that day until the first month of the second year, when the Mishkan was built, Moshe received the divine word from Har Sinai. However, once the Mishkan was assembled, Hashem called to Moshe from the within the Mishkan as it is written: “And Hashem called unto Moshe and spoke unto him out of the tent of meeting” (Vayikra 1:1). The mention of Har Sinai at the beginning of this week’s parasha, towards the end of sefer Vayikra, is therefore puzzling. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Torah’s Response to Calamity Parashat Bechukotai begins with a section of berakhot and kelalot, blessings and curses. It details some of the benefits Yisrael will receive if they adhere to the terms of the covenant, but also describes the terrible calamities and tragedies that will befall Bnei Yisrael if, chalila, they ignore those terms. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Long and Winding Road Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Moshe's Interpretation of the Torah The first section, known as the historical speech, reviews various events that occurred during the forty years in the wildernessץ However, when comparing Moshe's version, with the Torah's original description, we are confronted with a number of troubling discrepancies. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn Remembering Sinai For both the Rambam and R. Yehuda Halevy, ma'amad Har Sinai is critical; it is crucial that the collective experience of ma'amad Har Sinai be transmitted as a living tradition from generation to generation. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn For Your Eyes Only? Throughout Sefer Devarim, Moshe stresses the fact that the nation about to enter Canaan saw Hashem’s miracles with their own eyes. Already in the first chapter, Moshe tells the people not to fear the powerful Canaanites, for Hashem will go to battle on their behalf just like He did in Egypt "before your eyes" (1:30). Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn The Chosen Place In the Torah, there is no explicit mention of Yerushalayim as the location of the eternal location of the temple. Instead, the Torah refers to "the place that Hashem will choose". At the beginning of our parasha, the Torah prohibits bringing sacrifices on any altar other than the one located at the place that Hashem will choose. The end of the parasha discusses the three regalim; the festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot when Yisrael are obligated to appear at the Temple in the place that Hashem will choose. All told, the phrase 'the place which Hashem will choose' appears in parashat Re'eh sixteen different times. Therefore, if we were to isolate a single theme of parashat Re'eh, it would no doubt be "the place that Hashem will choose," which ultimately refers to Yerushalayim. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
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 Revelation and Repentance Selichot and the Yom Kippur Service
Rav Yair Kahn Yosef the Hebrew Sichot Roshei Yeshiva
Rav Yair Kahn Moshe and the Giving of the Torah Immediately prior to the Asseret Ha-dibbrot (Ten Commandments), an enigmatic dialogue is recorded (19:21-25). Hashem orders Moshe to warn the nation not to attempt to catch a glimpse of Hashem. Standing at Sinai
Rav Yair Kahn The Ten Days of Repentance The Day of Repentance
Rav Yair Kahn Moshe: National Leader and Divine Representative The Exodus and Moshe
Rav Yair Kahn The Recitation of Hallel on Chanuka When we open Hilkhot Chanuka, we find, surprisingly enough, a presentation of all the halakhot of Hallel. If we had chosen a framework for these halakhot, we would have likely selected Hilkhot Tefilla, or perhaps we would have preferred Hilkhot Yom Tov. But the Rambam chose specifically Hilkhot Chanuka, which is quite puzzling. The Meaning of Chanuka

Pages