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 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
Rav Yair Kahn Kohanim and Benei Aharon Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
Rav Yair Kahn For on this Day Hashem will Appear Before You After the seven days of the Mishkan’s inauguration, the eighth day has finally arrived, and with it the promise of divine revelation. In order to appreciate the significance of this event, it must be viewed from a broader historical perspective. Parshat HaShavua - The Weekly Torah Reading
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

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