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.
|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|