Videos

We have a number of playlists availing for viewing, including classes from Rabbi Siskind, Dr England, and Rabbi Grossman. Playlists of the Rambam shiurim (English and Hebrew) as well as the Q&As are available too. HaRav Bar Hayim also has shiurim on hebrew pronunciation, hilchot basar v’chalav, and birkat haHama. Visit our channel to see the full collection of videos

A number of our YouTube videos have been taken down over controversy. For convenience, they have been reuploaded to Rumble. Click here to visit our channel.

We have also collected a number of videos from around the internet in which HaRav Bar Hayim speaks. Visit the playlist here.

  1. ‘Who or what is Machon Shilo?’ – 12 part interview from vosiznas
  2. Guest shiur in the USA – 9 parts
  3. Interview on The Ari Louis Show
  4. Arutz 7 interview on reforming the pollical system
  5. Interview with R Asher (audio only)
  6. HaRav Bar Hayim responding to R Shlomo Aviner
  7. Debate on vengeance between haRav Bar Hayim and Jonathan Rosenblum (link)

Documents

Teshuvot

Click here to view all Rav Bar Hayim’s teshuvot in English, and here to view the Rav’s Hebrew teshuvot

Nusach tefillah

Al haNissim for the 5th of Iyar and Yom Yerushalayim (click)

Rahem for Tisha B’Av (click)

Updated piyutim and zemirot (click)

Kinah for the expulsion of Gush Katif (click)

Tefilot for Rosh haShanah (click)

Halachic writings

Guide to the three weeks (click)

Birkat Levana (click)

Birkat haHama and brachot on on the heavenly bodies (click)

Lulav on Shabbat (click)

Praying for Rain: in Eress Yisrael and in Galuth (click)

Purim Appeal (click)

קונטרס תגובה מאת הגר’ש דבליצקי ותשובת הרב דוד בר חיים (הקלד)

יום תקומת ישראל ו’פורים משולש’ (הקלד)

ראש השנה: יום אחד או יומיים? (הקלד)

אולפן חדת – מתי לברך ברכת החמה? (הקלד)

Hashkafic writings

Striving for a Healthy Jewish Spirituality: Qabala, Sexuality, and Geula (click)

HaRav David Bar-Hayim & His Torah – An Introduction (click)

“Are We In Galuth? – The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah (click)

On Matza, Soccer Balls and Red Wine (click)

Understanding Kabbalah – Sefiroth: Ten in One? (click)

Hanuka – Getting the Point (click)

Hewing Tablets: Shavuoth & The Geulah (click)

Tora and the Size of a Kezayith: As Real As It Gets (click​)

Purim and the New Reform Judaism (click)

A Question for all Jews (click)

A Brief Letter Regarding Breslev Hasiduth (click)

Rebbe Nahman of Breslev: an Honest Appraisal (click)

A Nation Adrift (click)

Towards an Authentic Jewish Spirituality (click)

Towards a new Jewish Spirituality (click)


The Ghetto Rabbis (click)

The Gilad Shalit Deal – 1: Tora-Based? (click)

The Gilad Shalit Deal – 2: Galuth-Mode Judaism vs. G’ula-Mode Judaism (or: Why Rabbi ‘Ovadhya Yoseph Is Dead Wrong… Again) (click)

The Gilad Shalit Deal – 3: Learning from Avraham Avinu (click)

יום תקומת ישראל – מעשה ובינת לב (הקלד)

חנוכה זו – על שום מה? (הקלד)

ברק בן-עמוס ז”ל: השומר אחי אנוכי? (הקלד)

הרב הנזיר על זהות מחבר הזוהר (הקלד)

אולפן חדת – הגיון לבי (הקלד)

Psakim

פסק הלכה בענין מנהג אי-אכילת קטניות בפסח (הקלד)

Sourcesheets

Hagim and Moadim

The Purim Paradigm – The Vision and Daring to Innovate (click)

What is Parshat Shekalim (click)

Is Korban Pesah feasible? (click)

The roadmap from kitniyot to korban pesah (click)

Kitniyot: the origins of the minhag (click)

Is shmura matzah an obligation? (click)

Instituting new Torah readings for festivals not listed in the mishnah (click)

Saying halel on 5th Iyar and Yom Yerushalayim (click)

The Four Fasts: Halacha or Minhag? (click)

Rosh haShanah: 1 day or 2? (click)

Shophar on Shabbat? (click)

Hanukah: Why do we celebrate? (click)

When to light ner hanukah (click)

Rabbi Avi Grossman in Harish: Preparing for Leil HaSeder with Korban Pesach (click)

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim in Efrat: Kitniyot and Passover: A Custom Based on Error (click)

Tefilah and Brachot

סמיכת גאולה לתפלה (click)

The bracha of מחיה המתים in the morning (click)

Birkath haHama (click)

Halacha

Saying a bracha in the mikveh while unclothed (click)

When to bless on immersion in a mikveh (click)

Defining sunset (click)

Full teshuva of Maharam Alshaker on Bein haShmashot (click)

Permitted marital relations (click)

What to do between eating meat and dairy (click)

Peirushei Mikra

Did the nevi’im oppose korbanot? (click)

King, Amalek, Mikdash – three connected mitzvot (click)

Why did Moshe Rabbeinu kill the Egyptian? (click)

The sons  of Eli haCohen: why people go bad (click)

Who wrote sefer Malachi? (click)

Other

Land for Peace and yishuv eretz yisrael (click)

Why were the 2 temples destroyed? (click)

Essence of Torah sh’Baal Pe – מהותה של תורה שבעל פה (click)

Audio shiurim

Below find a complete archive of Rav Bar Hayim’s audio shiurim. Over 1,000 hours of Torah!

Hebrew

ארבעת הצומות ומעמדם ההלכתי בימינו

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הקדמה לתורה שבעל פה

התלמוד הבבלי חולק – אבל לא באופן גלוי אלא בדרך של התחמקות – על המשנה באופן שיטתי. לא כן הירושלמי, שסוטה מדרכה של המשנה מעט מאוד. הגר””א אומר שלא תמיד הבבלי הוא נכון. הבדל נוסף בין שני התלמידים הוא שהדרך של הבבלי מפותלת ומסובכת הרבה יותר, בעוד שהלשון של הירושלמי פשוט. אם כן, מדוע ישיבות מעדיפות להתמקד בבבלי? מסיבות היסטוריות בלבד. הרומאים והביזאנטים הצליחו לקבור את תורת ארץ ישראל לדורות רבים. אבל אין הגיון לתת להם לפסוק הלכה.

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פסיקת הלכה על פי הירושלמי

הדוגמה של נטלת לולב בשבת. הבעיה ללכת על פי מנהג אבותינו

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עצמאותה של התורה בישראל

רב דתי-לאומי מסויים טוען שעקירת ישובים היא שאלת מדינית ולא דתית. הוא לא הסביר את הבסיס לקביעה זו. רב אחר טוען שאנו מחוייבים לפעול בהתאם לדעת הרוב. מה עומד מאחורי עמדות מסוג זה? “”ולא-תיקח שוחד – כי השוחד יעוור עיני חכמים, ויסלף דברי צדיקים”” (דברים טז, יט). מימון מוסדות תורניים הנשלט בידי פוליטיקאים – ולא כפי ששופטים למשל מתוקצבים מטעם המדינה – מייצר תלות של רבנים רבים     בפוליטיקאים ובעסקנים ומעוות את שיקול דעתם של תופשי תורה. פרעה מלך מצרים ידע גם הוא שכדי   לשלוט שלטון ללא מיצרים חייב השליט לשלוט בהכנסותיהם של אנשי הדת, כפי שכותב מקיאבלי. הנביא חבקוק כבר עמד על קלקול שורת הדין בשל מינוי ומימון צידיקים בידי רשעים. המסקנה: התנתקות מן הממסד הרבני והתורני בארץ ישראל וייסודן של קהילות ובתי דין עצמאיים, דבר שיאפשר חיים יהודיים של אמת.

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שמיעת מוזיקה בשלושת השבועות ובכל ימות השנה

האם מותר לשמוע מוזיקה? האם טעם האוסרים הוא מפני החורבן או מסיבות אחרות? האם קיים הבדל בין שלושת השבועות ושאר ימות השנה? מה דינם של תשעה הימים בתחילת חודש אב?

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כיצד מחנכים תלמידי חכמים?

ברוב הישיבות מלמדים את התלמיד לשאול ולחשוב כל עוד מדובר בלימוד הגמרא.

כאשר מלמדים אותו הלכה כדי להיות ‘רב’ — פתאום אין שאלות ורצוי לא לחשוב. כך נוצר נתק בין התלמוד לבין לימוד ההלכה — וזהו סם המוות ללימוד התורה. ויש לכך השלכה על היכולת להעמיד בית דין גדול של חכמים בעלי חזון.

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הזימון כמת מצוה

רוב הציבור אינו יודע כיצד יש לברך ברכת המזון כאשר יש שלושה אנשים ומעלה. מה שעושים כיום אינו זימון באמת. האם עובדה זו קשורה בגלות הארוכה ואי-ידיעת העברית?

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תפילת שמונה עשרה

האם יש נוסח מסוים שתיקנו החכמים הראשונים שחייב אדם לומר, או האם התקנה הייתה אחרית, דהיינו שחייב אדם להתפלל שמונה עשרה ברכות בסדר מסוים ובכל ברכה להזכיר נושאים מסוימים, אבל מעבר לכך רשאי אדם להוסיף ולשנות כרצונו

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תורת ארץ ישראל

? מה מאפיין את הורת ארץ ישראל

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יום ירושלים

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> Halacha

Berakhot

Making Blessings During a Meal

Do you make a blessing before or after eating fruit during a meal?  What’s the rule for dessert?  And what is considered a “meal”?  Rashi versus Tosaphoth.

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Birkath HaMazon – Blessing After Meals

An analysis of the liturgy of Birkath HaMazon.

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The True Way to Make a Zimun

When at least three religious Jews eat together, one of them typically says the first paragraph of the Blessings recited after eating. From that point on, it’s every man for himself. This is not what the Sages had in mind, and is in fact not a Zimun at all.

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Women and Zimun

Women are required to say Birkath HaMazon.  So why can’t they join a zimun with men?  Some rishonim say they can, though it may not have been common practice.  Nowadays Rav Moshe Feinstein permits mixed seating, based on the fact that men and women ate the korban Pesah together.  When women eat by themselves, they are required to make a zimun.

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Birkoth haShaahar – Classic Shiurim

Editor’s Note:  These shiurim are earlier versions of those on the page, “Birkoth haShaahar.”  Listen here to review the material and to strengthen your memory and comprehension of the concepts.

If you make these brachot as many people do today, you’re missing what the Talmud had in mind.

Part One:  Rav Bar Hayyim explains the purpose and meaning of each bracha.

Part Two:  You can – and should – make these brachot before washing your hands.  That’s clear from the Rambam and the Talmud.  Should you make the brachot all at once, or as you do each action to which each bracha refers?  Rav Bar Hayyim explains why some people say these brachot at shul.  Should you say the blessing on the rooster even if you haven’t heard it crow?

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Birkoth haShaahar

Part 1 – When to Say Birkoth ha Shaahar

Part 2 – Explanation of the Blessings

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Birkath HaTora

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Blessing the New Moon

When should you bless the new moon?  Rav Bar Hayyim dissects the arguments.  Here, the Shulhan Aruch does not follow his own method for deciding halacha.  A line-by-line explanation of the blessing of the new moon.  The difference between the bracha in Eress Yisrael and Babylonia.  Do women say the bracha?  Does a blind person?

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Blessing of the Sun (Birkath Hama)

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Which Berakhah Do You Say on Rain?

While rain is unremarkable in many countries, in the Land of Israel it is always a reason to thank HASHEM. Many Jews, however  are not even aware that there is a berakha for rain.  Why did God place us in a land where rain is precious?

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Which Blessing Do You Say on Rain?

Part One:  The Babylonian Talmud lists three possible blessings, the Jerusalem Talmud only one.  What explains the difference?  Geography.  The halaha varies with location.  Differences in attitudes toward rain in Israel, Iraq, and England.  Why people stopped saying the blessing – and why you should say it.

Parts Two and Three:  While rain is unremarkable in many countries, in the Land of Israel it is always a reason to thank HASHEM.  Many Jews, however  are not even aware that there is a berakha for rain.  Why did God place us in a land where rain is precious?

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Which Berakhah Do You Say on Rain?

While rain is unremarkable in many countries, in the Land of Israel it is always a reason to thank HASHEM. Many Jews, however  are not even aware that there is a berakha for rain.  Why did God place us in a land where rain is precious?

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Emerging from the Halakhic Ice Age: Bracha for Rain in Israel

A Shiur given in Ramat Beit Shemesh regarding the berakhah for rain in Israel.  Wed. (31/10/12, 17 Heshwan) at Mosdot HaRav Aharon Soloveichik

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Asking for Rain – Intellectual Honesty

Should we wait until December?  Both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud say no, yet we eschew their logic in favor of minhagh.  Other examples of how Jews sacrifice truth for custom and convenience.

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Tzitzit

What Makes Your Ssissth Kosher?

Part 1:  Find out how many strings you need and of which color. The Sifray says to sew the ssissth directly on the tallith – in contrast to present practice of making a hole. Two holes are better than one. Techelet was not discovered, it was here all along.

Part 2:  Three different answers regarding the number of blue strings. Rashi and Tosafot agree on an approach, but they fail to prove their case.

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The Truth About Tekheleth

Is tekheleth optional or required?  Where to find it.  You might be “blue” to learn that you’re wearing the wrong tekheleth – from a fish that doesn’t meet Talmudic requirements.  How to tell if your blue is true.  Even if you’re not sure it’s the right color, it’s better to wear it.

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How to Don a Tallith

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An Unmarried Man May Wear Ssissith

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A Mourner May Wear Ssissith

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Tefillin

When You Must Check Your Tephillin

Perhaps never.  So says the Rambam, drawing on Hazal.  As long as the housing is whole, you don’t need to check them.  From this we can learn an approach to the Torah quite different from the neurosis which is prevalent today.

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Tefillin: One Bracha or Two?

Part 1a-b: Hear the debate about whether the mitsvah of tefillin -required for prayer- needs one blessing or two. Learn how Rashi disagrees with Rabbeinu Tam and about the minhag of Babylon versus Erets Yisrael.

Part 2: Learn how the Talmud HaBavli distorts the mishna to produce the desired halacha (according to the Gra).  Understand how to predict what each Rav will say by learning where he’s from.

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Shema

Is Saying the Shema an Obligation from the Torah?

Part 1:  Rashi’s explanation of the Babylonian debate is inconsistent.

Part 2:  The two Talmuds answer differently.

Part 3:  The Rif says you can’t pray an extra Musaph prayer. Do you need to stand or lie down when you say the Shema, depending on the time of day?

Part 4:  The Gra says that the Talmud twists the mishnah to conform to a particular rabbi’s school of thought. But it’s not done arbitrarily. Why rabbis disagree on the identification of the 613

Part 5:  A review with questions and answers. The original practice, according to the Jerusalem Talmud, was to say the evening Shema at your bedside, not before the amidah.

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How Late Can You Say the Evening Shema?

Part 1: You can fulfill the commandment until sunrise.  The Rambam disagrees.

Part 2: An analysis of the difference between the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds.  The logic behind the Rambam’s ruling.

Part 3: If you forget to say it by the deadline, do you get extra time to fulfill the commandment?  The Rambam rules according to the Jerusalem Talmud.

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Tefilla

Morning Psalms – Pesuque Dezimra

Why do we say psukei dezimra?  The answer is revealed by Moshe Rabbeinu.  Is it obligatory?  Which psalms are we supposed to say?

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Without a Minyan

If you come late to shul, can you say barhu and kedusha?  Rashi argues with Rabbeinu Tam.  There are opinions that you need 7, 6, 5, 3, or 1 other people to answer you.

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The Purpose of Congregational Prayer – Tefillah Besibbur

Part 1:  Congregational prayer is not the recitation of private prayer with ten other people.  Rav Moshe Feinstein confirms that the Rambam sees the “”repetition of the amidah”” as the main public prayer.  He does not say there is any value in saying silent prayer with ten people.  There are two separate obligations – to pray silently and to participate in the public prayer.

Parts 2-3:  Hayyei Adam, quoted by the Mishnah Berurah, says that the main point of congregational prayer is not only to hear kadish, kedushah and baruchu.  Is there a special obligation to hear kedushah?  The Rambam describes the requirements for participants in the repetition of the amidah.

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When to Start Praying for Rain

The Babylonian Talmud gives two opinions.  The most logical one agrees with the Jerusalem Talmud.  However, most people don’t follow it.  Plus:  You don’t have to mention the wind, only the rain.  The rationale for making the change at musaph.

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Prayer: a Ritual of Connecting with Hashem

Many of us, if we were honest, would agree that synagogue prayer is not as it should be.  This problem is not new.  The gemara discusses it.

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Haye Sara: Should You Pray in Nature?

Rabbe Nachman advocates it, but wait until you hear what the Talmud says.

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Praying in the Field

The advantage of praying outdoors.  If you pray in the field, are you brazen?  Rashi explains.

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How to Mean What You Pray

Part 1: A Personalized Shemonah Esray: Praying from the HeartYou should change the words you daven every time. If you read the tefilla like a letter, you’re not really davening. Hear the sources.

Part 2: The Aim of Davening with a MinyanThe focus of davening with a minyan is not your private prayer. It’s the repetition of the Amidah. The proof is in the Rambam and the Ari. A guideline for how to customize the shemonah esray.

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Nusah Tefilla – how you should pray from your heart

This is Part 3 of a series of lectures, part 3 is divided into two sessions due to it’s length. This article refers to sessions 1 and 2 of part 3 in the series. We are attempting to find copies of parts 1 and 2, they were lost some time ago previous to the building of this new website.

Part 1a: Learn about a personalized shemonah esray and how you should pray from your heart. Hear why you should change the words you daven every time. Understand why if you read the tefilla (prayer) like a letter, you’re not really praying.

Part 1b: The focus of davening with a minyan is not your private prayer; it’s the repetition of the Amidah. Hear the proof in the writings of the Rambam and the Ari. Learn the guidelines for customizing your shemonah esray.

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The Authentic Version of the Sh’mone ‘Esre

Did Hazal claim that the Men of the Great Assembly enacted one fixed nusah?  The Sages make no such claim, but numerous indications to the opposite exist in the Talmud and related sources. And even if, as certain Qabbalists have dubiously claimed, such a nusah once existed, we certainly cannot know  today what that nusah was. It is clear that the Sh’mone ‘Esre was instituted in Eress Yisrael by the K’nesseth HaG’dhola, and that the nusah of Eress Yisrael more closely reflects the original liturgy as said by the Tannaim.

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What is the Proper Nusach Tefillah?

Is there such a thing?

Tephillah-MT-1.mp3

Tephillah-Nusah-part2.mp3

Which Prayers You Must Pray

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What’s the Time for Saying the Evening Prayer?

Part 1: The time for the evning prayer is different than the time for saying the Shema. The Jerusalem Talmud describes saying the evening Shema at bedtime, in contrast to the Babylonian Talmud which prescribes saying it before the evening prayer.

Two common mistakes when bringing in Shabbat early – saying the Shema too soon and saying the brachot of the Shema too early. Why rabbis didn’t stop the community from doing the wrong thing.

Part 2: “There is no fixed time for the evening prayer.” Hear what this statement really means. Also:  There is an opinion by which you eat your Shabbath meal at 11:30 at night. The advantage of saying the evening Shema at home – the minhag of Eress Yisrael, endorsed by Rav Hie Gaon and the Rosh.  The Gra rules to pray at home rather than with a evening minyan that says Shema too early.

Part 3: Why the Babylonian Talmud does not always follow the mishnah. It’s still light when the stars come out. Must you refrain from eating before saying the Shema?

OH-235-ZemanArvith-1-unedited.mp3

OH-235-ZemanArvith-2-unedited.mp3

OH-235-ZemanArvith-3-unedited.mp3

Joining Geulah with Tefilla at Aravith

Part 1: Hear why almost no one in a minyan succeeds in joining geulah with tefilla at Aravith (the evening prayers). Learn the (partial) solution of the Ramban and the Gra and how to avoid a hefsek (break) in your prayer.

Part 2: Learn why Jews living in Exile say 18 verses after Haskevanu. Hear why the Rambam says to join geulah with tefilla (prayer) at arvith, but then he says you can daven them separately. Understand a frequently made mistake when bringing in Shabbat early.

OH236-SemikhuthGeulaLetephilla-Arvith1D.mp3

OH236%20Geula-Tephilla%20ArvithD2.pdf files/OH236-SemikhuthGeulaLetephilla-Arvith2D.mp3

Netillat yadayim

Unknown Laws of Hand Washing

New Version of the Classic Shiur

2015-09-01–Hulin%20106b-107a-Riph%20Brakhoth%20Ntilath%20Yadayim.mp3

Hand Washing Before Prayer

Netillath%20Yadayim-x3-morning-tephilla.mp3

Talmud torah

They Censored Our Talmud

Part One:  The gemara we have today – the Vilna edition – was printed by a non-Jew who did it for the money. No rabbinic council approved it. The drive of Christian censors to control Jewish minds still influences halachic decisions today.

Part Two:  Why do some rabbis prefer a censored text to a corrected version? The answer: misplaced respect. But think: Did your forefathers really want you to read what the Pope wanted?

censored%20talmud%201D.mp3

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Can You Say Hashem’s Name?

You can mention Hashem’s name when studying.  Here’s the proof.

shemhashem.mp3

Understanding the Oral Torah

How do we know that Moshe received an oral set of commandments in addition to the written Torah?  What do the terms “misswah,” “mishnah,” “talmud” and “kabbalah” really mean?  They have a fundamental and primary meaning, different from what we associate with those terms today.

For the continuation of this shiur, go to Understanding of Torah as the Evolution of Science.

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Why are Hazal Authoritative? (Updated 15 Adar Bet)

What produces Halakhic authority?  Was it the acceptance of the Jewish nation that created Hazal’s authority, or was it the other way around:  recognizing Hazal as the experts in Tora, the Jewish nation naturally accepted their guidance?  What of more recent Halakhic works such as Rambam’s Mishne Tora or Shulhan Arukh:  are they authoritative, and if so, why?

(Parts 1-3: old. Parts 4-5: new)

Why%20Hazal%20are%20Authoritative-1aD.mp3

Why%20Hazal%20are%20Authoritative-1bD.mp3

Why%20Hazal%20are%20Authoritative-2-Haggadha-Halakha-EY.mp3

Why%20Listen%20to%20Hazal–01.mp3

Why%20Listen%20to%20Hazal–02.mp3

Written Tora or Oral Tora?

Which came first – the written Tora or the oral one?

TorathEY-2-Tora-Baa-Pe-1-unedited.mp3

The Kollel System

What is the correct balance of work and Tora study for the average Jew?The Kollel system is a relatively new institution in the Jewish world. When and why was the Kollel system put in place?What of the future?

TalmudTora+DE-unedited.mp3

The Talmudh of Darkness

A rav from Eress Yisrael is quoted in the Babylonian Talmudh as referring to the Torah of Babylon as “darkness.” What distinguishes the Torah of Eress Yisrael? What does the word “Talmudh” mean? A new series, drawing on the Babylonian tractate of Sanhedrein, plumbs this subject in depth:

2013-10-15-Sanhedrin-Bavli-24a-Mahashakhim–part01.mp3

2013-10-22-Sanhedrin-Bavli-24a-Mahashakim–part02.mp3

2013-10-29–Sanhedrin-Bavli-24a-Mahashakim–part03.mp3

Torath%20EY-R.Zera.mp3

Rabbinic Paralysis: Why Rabbis Won’t Take Responsibility

During a student’s first years in yeshiva he learns to think creatively and ask probing questions. However, when he embarks on his rabbinical studies, the rules change. Suddenly all that is a thing of the past. Now he is taught not to think, for his opinion is not important; he is now taught that he must simply accept. This approach, a far cry from the methodology of the Talmud, produces “rabbis” incapable of analyzing primary sources and reaching an independent conclusion. One tragic example is child abuse within the observant community.

Rabbinical%20Paralysis-1.mp3

Rabbinical%20Paralysis-2.mp3

The Rambam’s Laws of Learning Torah

Talmudh-20Torah-01-VN520021.WMA

Misc.

Meat and Milk series

How long must you wait after eating meat before eating milk products?  Learn the origin and application of the laws.  Does the issue depend on food stuck between your teeth or on digestive time?

(Parts 1-3: old. Parts 4-5: new)

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MeatandMilk-SummationD.mp3

MilkandMeatSummation2D.mp3

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Hulin-2012-08-12-104b-105a–part02.mp3

Do Not Follow Only the Rambam

“Rambamists” follow only the Rambam. Hear the drawbacks of this approach. It is reminiscent of Karatism.

Rambamism-Karaitism-01.mp3

Rambamism-Karaitism-02.mp3

A mistake in the Shulhan Aruh

The stated halaha is based on a misquotation of the Jerusalem Talmud, so the stated halaha is the opposite of what it should be. Not everything that the Shulhan Aruh says is correct. Intellecutal honesty requires that we acknowledge mistakes.

Yer-Pea-Shqalim-Ssdaqa-Tora.mp3

> Chagim

Pesah

Do Not Sell Your Chametz at Pesach

Hear why a fictitious sale – in which you don’t really mean to sell your chametz – doesn’t work. Learn why you shouldn’t buy chametz that has been “sold” during Pesah or why you should not sell your chametz.

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Eating Before the Passover Seder

What is permissible?

2016-05-03–Bavli%20Yer%20Psahim%2010–01.mp3

Do Not Lean on Seder Night

ShortShiur-Tora-20SBPe-Haseba.WMA

The Connection Between Leaning on Sedher Night and Moving Bones to Build an Emergency Room

Errant Jewish thinking prompts some Seder participants to imitate paupers rather than kings, just as it prevents the construction of a hospital emergency room for the sake of ancient pagan graves that can be respectfully relocated.

Lel-HaSedher-Barzilai-Bones-part-1.mp3

Lel-HaSedher-Barzilai-Bones-part-2.mp3

The Mystery of the Third Massa

Most people believe that one must have three massoth on the Seder plate. This is not so. Hazal speak of two, as do many Halakhic authorities such as the Rambam and the Gra. More surprising is the fact that it is entirely unclear what purpose the third massa serves. Discover the reason behind this practice. Plus: The secret to baking your own massa.

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3%20Massoth%20or%202–Baking%20Massa%20-%202.mp3

Understanding the Pesach Haggadah

Part 1: Understand the Haggadah and what is essential and what you can skip (especially if you have young children). Proof from the haggadah that Jewish sovereignty is a Torah concept. We first mention freedom from slavery (political oppression) and then from idolatry (spiritual oppression); learn which is more important.

Part 2: Understand who’s arguing and what are they are arguing about. Learn the difference between haggadoth in Israel versus haggadoth of the Exile. Hear how did they began the Haggadah in Israel–surprisingly with idolatory first–and why many Haggadoth don’t finish the drasha of arami ovad avi

UnderstandingtheHagadha1D.mp3

UnderstandingtheHagadha2D.mp3

The Species of Grain Used for Massa

In this shiur, Rav Bar Hayim examines the types of grain that are permissible for baking massa and a discussion on qitniyoth, both based on the original sources.

Uploaded/2013_Yer_Bavli_Psahim_35a_Chap02hal04to5_Minim_Qittniyoth.mp3

Baking Ones Own Massa

A shiur on the Gemara regarding baking ones own massa for Pesah.

Uploaded/2013_Psahim_Yer_Bavli_46a_chap03_02_massa_baking.mp3

Massa Shmura

Must your massa be shmura?

Massa%20Shmura–01-01-64–05-04-2011–yb.mp3

Massa%20Shmura–01-01-64–05-04-2011.doc

Is Qorban Pesah Feasible?

Learn why the Rambam holds that it is a mitsvah today to bring a Pesah sacrifice on Har Habayit. Hear how the Hatam Sofer debunks the most common myths and obstacles. Understand how to renew smicha. korban pesach

QorbanPesahD.mp3

QorbanPesahFeasibleD.pdf

Israel National Radio Interview on Eating Qitniyoth

Rav Bar Hayyim explains his groundbreaking ruling on the air. The prohibition was based on a misconception.

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A New Explanation for Eschewing Qitniyoth

A new system for rotating crops may explain why Jews adopted the custom of avoiding qitniyoth during Pesach. Plus: Israeli Jews visiting abroad must observe two days of the festivals, while Jews residing abroad observe only one day of the festivals when visiting Israel.

Pesah-Freedom-Qitniyoth-Natonal%20Vision-YB.mp3

The Prohibition Against Qitniyoth on Pesah: Anatomy of an Error

An historical analysis of this incomprehensible and deleterious custom which is entirely without basis in the Mishna or Talmud and which was opposed by many Pos’qim. A possible connection to sectarian/Karaite views?

Qitniyoth-Hashqapha.mp3

The Road Map from Qitniyoth to Qorban Pesah

The original shiur that started the rebellion. Hear what some commentators say about the minhag of Askenazi Jews to refrain from qitniyoth (kitniyot) on Pesah. Learn that the Tur calls this minhag “unnecessary” and why Rabbeinu Yoruham calls it “foolish, idiotic.” Discover the halakhic basis for a minhag and when it is binding.

RoadmapQitniyothPesahD.mp3

Roadmap-Qitniyoth%20editedD.mp3

RoadmapQitniyothPesahHeb-5766D.pdf

The Real Story of Qitniyoth (kitniyot)

Part 1: Hear the argument for not eating rice on Pesah and discover the real reason for the minhag of not eating qitniyoth (kitniyot). Hint: it’s not that people confused it with rice. The qitniyoth minhag really is Karaite. Why some eschew hummus on Pesah.

Part 2: Understand the real reason Jews stopped eating peanuts on Pesah. Now that you know qitniyoth  (kitniyot) is a fallacious minhag, can you eat them if everyone else is abstaining? Learn why the minhag is not binding in Erets Yisrael.

Qitniyoth-Real%20Story-Ephrath%201D.mp3

Qitniyoth-Real%20Story-EphrathD2.mp3

Machon%20Shilo%20Pesaq-Qitniyoth-2.pdf

Chol haMoed

Wearing T’philllin During Hol HaMo’edh (the Intermediate Days of the Festival)

Both Talmudhim indicate that one is to wear T’philllin during Hol HaMo’edh.The Rif, Rambam, Rosh and Tur all agree that the misswah applies even during Succoth and Pesah. The Shulhan Arukh says otherwise, contrary to his own rule of thumb. He was influenced by the Zohar. A classic and telling example of the influence of Qabbala on Halakhic practice.

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Yom haAtzmaut & Yom Yerushalayim

Celebrating the Evening of Yom Yerushalayim

A brief explanation of when to say Hallel and whether the special day should cause us to cancel plans for learning.

YomYerusheveningd.mp3

Do We Say Hallel on the 3rd of Iyyar?

When the observance of Yom Haasmauth is moved from the Fifth of Iyyar to prevent the desecration of the Sabbath, when do we say Hallel?  Learn when to say it and why.  Learn if a three-day Purim can offer guidance.

YomAssmauth-3rd%20iyar.mp3

Yom Yerushalyim Shiur

YomYerushalayim-Al%20HaNissim-TorathEY.mp3

YomYerushalayim-Al%20HaNissim-TorathEY%202.mp3

Yom ha’Assmauth & Yom Yerushalayim: Hallel & Al Hanissim

Part 1:  Should We Say Hallel?

Yes. That’s clear halachically. Hear the sources and an explanation of the nasi. So why do so many Jews refuse to say Hallel? Because they think that doing so wouldn’t fit their political point of view.

Part 2: Hallel is a Torah Misswah

The Hatam Sofer explains. The rationale behind the date of 5 Iyyar – for the first time in 2,000 years the Jews became sovereign in their own land. Why don’t we say Hallel for the Yom Kippur War?

Part 3: Should We Say Al Hanissim?

A reply to religious Jews who don’t say Hallel because they see the State as fighting them. Think twice before are giving up on the State. Why some Jews say Hallel without a bracha.

Hallel-Assmauth1D.mp3

Hallel-Assmauth2D.mp3

Hallel-Assmauth3D.mp3

Sefirat haOmer

The Misswah of Sefirath HaOmer: If You Skip a Day, Do You Make a Bracha?

If you forget to make the bracha one day, you can say it on subsequent days. Learn why. Why we don’t say shehiaynu. The purpose of counting the Omer in memory of the Temple. What to say after counting the Omer.”

SephirathHaOmer-Misswa-Zekher-5767D.mp3

S’phirath Ha’Omer – How Did the Students of Rabbi Aqiva Die?

If it strikes you as unreasonable that 24,000 Tora scholars should have died in a plague because they did not treat each respectfully, then this shiur is for you. What’s more, you are in good company: Rav Sharira Gaon, based on the authentic Talmudic text before him 1100 years ago, presents the matter very differently. Why some have the minhag not to do work after sunset during Sefirath HaOmer. Are the days of S’phirath Ha’Omer supposed to be a period of mourning lasting many weeks?          Sephirath HaOmer – Why Jews Chose to Ignore the Great Revolt. The difference in where Jews live often shapes how they think. Jews outside the Land of Israel preferred to believe that a character flaw, not Jewish nationalism, was the central event during S’phirath Ha’Omer. Should you not listen to music or make major purchases during this time?

Continuation of this subject matter with a close examination of the original texts (recorded in Nisan 5773)

SephirathOmerJeru1D.mp3

SephirathOmerJeru2D.mp3

Uploaded/Bar_Kokhba_Revolt.2013.mp3

Lag B’Omer – A Holiday With No Reason

Part 1: There is no source that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai died on Lag B’Omer (Ben Ish Hai). How the myth developed. The Hatam Sofer actually opposed celebrating Lab B’Omer. In fact, this day was a day of mourning and fasting. Here’s the real reason that the students of Rabbi Akiva died. Lag B’omer

Part 2: Rabbi Shimon Was On the Lam. Hear the gemara’s explanation why Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai went into a cave. It wasn’t to write the Zohar. More evidence of the true cause of death of Rabbi Akiva’s students. Why Jews started mourning during the counting of the omer.

LagBaOmer1D.mp3

LagBaOmer2D.mp

Shavuot

The Misswah of Sefirath HaOmer: If You Skip a Day, Do You Make a Bracha?

If you forget to make the bracha one day, you can say it on subsequent days. Learn why. Why we don’t say shehiaynu. The purpose of counting the Omer in memory of the Temple. What to say after counting the Omer.”

SephirathHaOmer-Misswa-Zekher-5767D.mp3

S’phirath Ha’Omer – How Did the Students of Rabbi Aqiva Die?

If it strikes you as unreasonable that 24,000 Tora scholars should have died in a plague because they did not treat each respectfully, then this shiur is for you. What’s more, you are in good company: Rav Sharira Gaon, based on the authentic Talmudic text before him 1100 years ago, presents the matter very differently. Why some have the minhag not to do work after sunset during Sefirath HaOmer. Are the days of S’phirath Ha’Omer supposed to be a period of mourning lasting many weeks?          Sephirath HaOmer – Why Jews Chose to Ignore the Great Revolt. The difference in where Jews live often shapes how they think. Jews outside the Land of Israel preferred to believe that a character flaw, not Jewish nationalism, was the central event during S’phirath Ha’Omer. Should you not listen to music or make major purchases during this time?

Continuation of this subject matter with a close examination of the original texts (recorded in Nisan 5773)

SephirathOmerJeru1D.mp3

SephirathOmerJeru2D.mp3

Uploaded/Bar_Kokhba_Revolt.2013.mp3

Lag B’Omer – A Holiday With No Reason

Part 1: There is no source that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai died on Lag B’Omer (Ben Ish Hai). How the myth developed. The Hatam Sofer actually opposed celebrating Lab B’Omer. In fact, this day was a day of mourning and fasting. Here’s the real reason that the students of Rabbi Akiva died. Lag B’omer

Part 2: Rabbi Shimon Was On the Lam. Hear the gemara’s explanation why Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai went into a cave. It wasn’t to write the Zohar. More evidence of the true cause of death of Rabbi Akiva’s students. Why Jews started mourning during the counting of the omer.

LagBaOmer1D.mp3

LagBaOmer2D.mp3

Rosh haShana

The Custom of Tashlikh is Designed to Appease the Devil

ShortShiur-No-20Tashlikh.WMA

How Many Shophar Blasts Must One Hear?

Rambam says nine. Then he states that we need to hear thirty. Rav Hai Goan discusses the inflated number of Shophar blasts and whether they are necessary. What is the essential misswa: blowing the Shophar before or during Musaph? Why do we require both?

Teqiath%20Shophar-MT-Shophar%20chap.3.mp3

Rosh HaShanna – Yom Trua – The Day of the Shofar

The shofar is clearly the mitzvah of the day. What is the secrect of this mitzvah according to the Yerushalmi and Bavli? The shofar is sounded to announce the coming of the king to review his troops.

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Do Not Blow the Shophar on Shabbath

Details of what makes a Shofar kosher, how it is to be blown, when and why.

Shophar-RH-shabath-year63-part01.WMA

Shophar-RH-Shabath-year63-part02.mp3

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Rosh HaShannah: One Day or Two?

Part 1: Jews even outside Eress Yisrael kept only one day.  So says Rashi.  Tosafoth disagree.  What makes the Jewish calendar different from the others?  The advantage of relying on witnesses – and not a fixed calender – for the new moon.

Part 2: The Rambam says to keep one day of Rosh Hodesh in Eress Yisrael, but two days of Rosh haShannah.  Why?

Part 3: Eress Yisrael kept one day for seven centuries, until outsiders forced them to change.  Here’s the proof.

Part 4: Does the fixed calendar change our practice or not?  The logic behind keeping two days in Eress Yisrael today.  How to decide between two major poskim.  Tefillin during the second day.

Part 5: On a different issue, the Rambam rules according to popular practice, though here he does not.

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Yom haKippurim

Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur: Same Purpose or Different?

Rosh HaShannah omits personal confession and repentence, focusing instead on nationhood and kingship. During the exile there was a shift in emphasis on Rosh HaShannah. Plus: The secret to writing a popular piyut.

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Widduy – Confessing Sins

The Rav taught this material several years ago and then again in תשע”א.  One shiur may contain tidbits lacking in the other. Moreover, listening to both shiurim may aid in review. (Part 1: old. Part 2: new)

Widduy.mp3 Widuy-YHK-year64–2011.mp3

Teshuva Personal and National – From Love and Fear

teshuva-personal-national-from-love-fear-p1.mp3 teshuva-personal-national-from-love-fear-p2.mp3

Sukkot

The Berakaha on Living in the Sukka

Sukka-Living-Berakaha-unedited.mp3

The Rationale for Waving the Lulav on Shabbath

The Mishnah gives Jews living in the land of Israel a unique opportunity to do a special misswah – shaking the lulav on Shabbath.

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Shake Your Lulav on Shabbat

At least if you live in Israel.  The Babylonian Talmud tells Jews here not to, because, “If we can’t do this misswah, you can’t, either.”  That reason, as the Nitziv explains it, is no reason to nullify a Torah misswah.”

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When to Thank G-d for Your Lulav

The Tur contradicts the Talmud and the Rambam. A rabbi of Rashi’s reveals the reason. Why you should follow the Talmud and say shehiyanu when you prepare to do the misswah.

NetillathLulav1D.mp3

Hannukah

Hannukah: A Lost Opportunity for G’ula

(Part 1: old. Part 2: new)

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When to Light the Hannukah Candles

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Why Hannukah?

Part 1: The Rambam explains the holiday, but many misunderstand him. His message differs from the Tur’s.

Part 2: Megillath Taanith provides reasons for celebration aside from oil. The Jews could have lit the menorah with impure oil.

Part 3: Why we say Hallel on Hannukah and not on Purim. The meaning of nes, often translated as “miracle.”

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The Story of the Macabees

How the revolt began. It was a civil war among the Jews. Why some Jews can’t relate to the Macabees and don’t read this story. Plus: Jews actually did radical surgery to look like Greeks.

Makabim-1.mp3

Hannukah interview on Israel National Radio with Rav Bar-Hayim

Zionists have adopted the essential message of Hannukah: Jews must fight for their rights, not to be passive, and not to give up. Would the Macabbees today be in jail?

BarHayim%20Interview-Hannukah-TamarY-5769%20D.mp3

Hannukah: beyond candles and sufganiyoth

Here’s the real reason we celebrate – and for eight days. Plus: The untold story of Hannukah is Jews fighting Jews.

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The Story of the Macabees

The miracle of the oil probably never happened. What the word “Macabee” means. The Macabees celebrated Succoth in Kislew, which explains why we celebrate Hannukah for eight days

Hannukah-The%20Facts-part1-unedited.mp3

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Purim

Purim – Who is Amaleq?

Purim-Who-is-Amaleq-unedited.mp3

Purim: Don’t Get Drunk

Does it make sense that the sages would suggest getting drunk on Purim? That is a strange suggestion indeed. Many rishonim debunk it outright. Being drunk is a sinful practice and is to be discouraged at all times.

Purim-dont-get-drunk.mp3

Fasts

The Four Fasts: An In-Depth Review of the Sources

Follow Rav Bar Hayim’s examination of passages in the Tanach, the Mishnah, the Gemara, and the Rambam to distill the halakic conclusion about whether we need to fast today.

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2016-06-21–Bavli%20RH%2018a-b–Zkharya.mp3

2016-06-27–Zkharya%20chaps%207-8–RH%2018a-b.mp3

Tisha B’Av: the Talmud Yerushalmi, the Rif and “Rahem”

Join Rav Bar-Hayim as he examines the tefilloth and piyutim we say during Tisha B’Av (and other days) through the eyes of the original halachic sources and Jewish history.  Here’s the latest version of this shiur:

2015-07-22–Rahem%20Nahem%209%20Av.mp3

Uploaded/Rahem_Nahem_9Av_year_65_2012_part01.mp3

Uploaded/Rahem_Nahem_9Av_year_65_2012_part02.mp3

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The Three Weeks and Tisha B’Av – the new humroth

The observance of these times has greatly changed since the middle ages.  Chazal never heard of the Three Weeks. See what has changed, why and a discussion about whether these humroth apply to us today.

Tisha-Bav-New-Humroth.mp3

Tisha B’Av and the 3 Weeks

Which type of mourning is the more severe – mourning for the Temple or for a family member? One may get engaged on Tisha B’Av. Hazal did not enact a mourning period of three weeks – why not? The obligation to honor the Sabbath overrides all customs connected to mourning the Hurban. Question: why do some rabbis prohibit getting a haircut or shaving before the Shabbath?  Summer rain in Israel: a curse?

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The Four Fasts and their Halakhic Status Today – Updated אלול תשע””ב 9-12

This issue is 2,500 years old. It arose in the time of Z’kharya the prophet when tens of thousands of Jews returned to the land of Israel and began to rebuild the Temple. The question: What should become of the fast days commemorating national calamities?

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Mourning for the Miqdash – What, When and for How Long?

An array of extreme and halahically problematic Ashkenazi mourning customs during the period known as ‘The Three Weeks’ developed during the European galuth. Are we obliged to follow these customs today? Hazal did not enact a mourning period of three weeks – why not?  The Gaon of Vilna, the Hakham Ssvi and the Ya’abess opposed the custom of not wearing Shabbath clothes on the Sabbath before 9 Av, even though this practice is quoted in the Shulhan ‘Arukh – this minhag has (thankfully) been dropped in Israel. Washing clothes and wearing laundered clothes during the week of 9 Av – have realities have changed?

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Taanith 18 – Running Shoes on Tisha B’Av, Washing hands etc

You can wear slippers on a fast day, but it’s hard to permit wearing non-leather running shoes Tisha B’Av or Yom Kippur. There is an exception if you’re sensitive. If a man sees semen in his sleep, is this a spiritual disaster? The Yerushalmi versus the Zohar. The basis for washing your hands normally on Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur.

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The Four Fasts: Halakha or Minhagh

Part 1: When don’t you fast? Rashi says when Jews are sovereign, Ramban says during Temple times. Are Jews sovereign today?

Part 2: Ramban says a majority can decide not to fast. How do you apply this rule? The Rambam provides a simpler psak.

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FourFastsD2.pdf

Jewish Unity Before Tisha B’Av – Israel National Radio interview

The purpose of the Jew in exile is different from the purpose of the Jew in the land of Israel. We need to stop focusing on our ethnic associations and reconstitute ourselves as a Jewish nation. There are some simple acts that we can do every day toward that aim.

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> Hashfaka

Torat Eretz Yisrael

The Eress Yisrael Roots of Ashkenazi Judaism

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The Gra Supports Torath Eress Yisrael: Four Examples

Example One:  Despite local Ashkenazi custom, the Gra rules to say boray nephashoth with the name of Hashem, following the Jerusalem Talmud and not the Bavli.

Example Two:  The father makes a bracha when his son reaches bar misswah.  He also makes a bracha in the repetition of the Amidah for Modim.

Example Three:  Do you make a bracha for reading the meghilla?  The Rama says no, but the Gra rules yes – deciding that the halacha here overrides minhag.  He also rules according to the Yerushalmi regarding a baal keri.

Example Four:  What’s the deadline for saying the morning shema?  Halacha after halacha, the Gra rules according to the Yerushalmi.  Why?  Plus:  The Bavli critiques itself as a book filled with doubts about the truth.

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Eretz Yisrael

The Centrality of Erets Yisrael in Judaism

Learn why all Jews–including you–must live in Erets Yisrael. Learn what the halacha says if your spouse doesn’t want to live here (it’s a reason for divorce). Hear whether you surrender land to save Jewish lives.

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The Commandment to Live in Israel

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Jewish Settlement and Habitation in the Land of Israel

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Living the Geulah Right Now

Living in Israel is geulah – even without the Temple. The Torah proves it. Does geulah require miralces? Plus: Israel is not ruled by the US.

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The Temple

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Was the Temple Destroyed Because of Hatred?

Some claim that it was, and that the way to rebuild it is to study the Halakhoth of Lashon HaRa.  This approach is spurious. What else did Hazal say about the reasons for the Temple’s destruction?

Why don’t we have the Temple today? Could the fact that we have not built it have something to do with it?

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The Third Bet Hamikdash – From Heaven or From Earth?

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Mysticism

Qaballa & Galuth

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Basics of Jewish Spirituality – Aruh HaShulhan

Part One: The struggle between the animal soul and the Godly soul. The difference between people and the angels. The real meaning of the Shema.

Part Two: How to come to know Hashem and love Hashem. How people try to deny that Hashem exists – and what motivates them.

Part Three: How to love and fear Hashem: lessons from King David. The difference between love and fear of a king versus love and fear of Hashem.

Part Four: When to cut yourself off from the community. The definition of a hasid.

Part Five: The true meaning of “Man does not live by bread alone.” Does this mean that you need luxuries? The exile was for our benefit.

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Evil Spirits and the Rambam

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The Superstitions of Graves

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Messiah

Habad and Jewish Messianism

Part One:  Though the term “messiah” is not mentioned in the Torah, the Rambam describes the attributes of the messiah, and the Rebbe doesn’t qualify.  Parallels between theology of some Chabad adherents and Christianity.

Part Two:  Why Jews are drawn to supernatural salvation – even though Hashem has saved us repeatedly through natural means.  Is a miracle worker the messiah?  Examples from the Torah.

Part Three:  How to relate to someone with strange ideas or who claims he is Hashem.  A sin greater than eating pork.  The halachic rationale behind destroying some yeshivoth to save others.  Habad uproots the Torah mishnah of sleeping in the sukkah.

Part Four:  Regarding a Jew who believes that a man is Hashem, or who prays to a man instead of Hashem, can you drink wine he has touched?  Must you burn tefillin, mezzuzoth, or even a Torah he has written?  Plus:  A Habad house may possibly be a place of idol worship.

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We Want the Messiah Now?

Before you decide that you want the messiah, consider what the messiah is – miracle-worker or a stunning warrior?  A look at Bar Kochbah.  Also:  Will G-d build the Temple – or will we?  The Talmud Bavli disagrees with the Yerushalmi – echoing the difference between a haredi and dati leumi perspective.

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The Days of the Messiah

Part One: Reality won’t be radically altered when the Messiah arrives. The Rambam describes the big difference between today and the days of Messiah – Jewish independence. If the Jewish people choose to live outside Eress Yisrael, we’re not worthy of the Messiah. A critique of religious Zionists who take a pollyanish view of current events.

Part Two: Here’s proof that the Messiah doesn’t have to revive the dead. He doesn’t have to perform miracles. And if you think otherwise, you’re a fool. So says the Rambam. However, there is a contradiction in the Rambam.

Part Three: The Raavad disagrees with the Rambam about the sort of leader we’re looking for. Their argument mirrors the difference between the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds.

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State

Yithro and the Jewish State

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Sanhedrin or Chief Rabbinate

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Beware of the Government

The mishnah warns us not to aspire to leadership or to be close to the authorities. The Rambam says this is essential for living according to the Torah.

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The Selection of the Jewish Nation’s Leadership

What qualities must the leader of the Jewish people possess? How is such a leader to be chosen and appointed?

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Jewish Torah Governance

Part One:  A survey of different types of governments – rule by the wealthy, by the people, and by G-d.  Which type of structure is Jewish?  Plus:  a critique of American democracy.

Part Two:  How a Jewish government could be structured today.  Are Jews required to have a king?  Two verses appear to conflict.  Bible critics argue it’s a contradiction.  It’s not.  The Nasseev reconciles them.  Plus: The role of a house of representatives.

Part Three:  The root of “”balance of power”” between the executive and the judiciary.  The Torah allows power to be inherited.  Is that an ideal – or a concession to public demand?

Part Four:  Ancient Jews argued for a separation between religion and state.  The proof is in the Torah.  Plus:  The origin of the Jewish term for president.

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Do Rabbinic Courts Follow Jewish Law?

Some decisions of Bathe Din (religious courts) are dubious, and a few actually contravene Halakha

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The Fallacy of Surrendering Land in Hopes of Peace

Part One: Why Is It Wrong?

Rav Ovadiah says that you should surrender land to save lives, but his Talmudic source discusses a threat to an individual, not a nation. A Scriptural example of a judge who ignores Rav Ovadiah’s edict. His logic doesn’t allow a Jewish state to exist. How to deal with Israel’s enemies. Why Torah sages couldn’t have set up the State of Israel.

Part Two: We Don’t Need the Land, Right?

The philosophy behind giving Israel to its enemies: King Solomon surrendered Jewish land, so we can’t we? Jews don’t need the land of Israel, merely for the world to leave us alone. Is a suicide bombing an act of war?

Part Three: The Misswah of Eress Yisrael

The Ramban explains the Torah misswah of settling and living in the land of Israel. Why a Jew who leaves Eress Yisrael is like an idol worshipper. A Jew can buy land in Eress Yisrael from a goy even on Shabbath.

Part Four: Observing the Misswah of Eress Yisrael

How to fulfill the misswah of settling the land of Israel without living here. Why the Rambam does not count it among the 613 misswoth. The reason that a great Torah scholar was wrong about establishing the state.

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Land%20for%20Peace%20IID.doc

Are You Living in a Jewish Community? Are You Sure?

Under Jewish law, there are requirements that each Jewish town is supposed to meet. In Israel, people depend on the state to fulfill them – and aren’t even aware when the state fails to do so.

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The Independence of the Torah

One national-religious rabbi claims that uprooting Jewish towns is a political issue, not a religious one.  He did not explain how he arrived at this conclusion. Another says that religious Jews must act in accordance with the decision of the majority.  What gives rise to such opinions?  “Neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous” (D’varim 16:19).  The control of the financing of Tora institutions wielded by politicians prevents Tora scholars from speaking the truth. Pharoah, like Machiavelli, knew that for a ruler to have unchallenged control of society he must control religious institutions and functionaries. The prophet Habaquq describes the pernicious effects of the evil appointing and funding the righteous. Conclusion: to disengage from the politically controlled religious Establishment which degrades Jewish life and to establish authentic communities and Batte Din.

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Governance of a Jewish State

Democratic society as currently understood in the (normless) West inevitably  leads to moral decay.  The benighted belief in essential human morality, despite all indications to the contrary, is the height of folly.  The Torah prescribes a society firmly rooted in the values and traditions of the Jewish people, a society directed by a clear moral compass.

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Must One Vote? Israeli Elections 2009

Tuesday, February 10th is Election Day in Israel. Some Rabbis say it is forbidden to vote, others say you must.  See how not voting gives strength to the enemies of the Jewish people. Find out why you must vote for a party that has a realistic chance of getting into the government. Vote to prevent further loss of Jewish lives by avoiding a government that will weaken our nation and its strategic position. By not voting or by throwing your vote to a party that can’t make the threshold for a seat in the Knesset, you in effect give your vote to the left.

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Should We Say the Prayer for the State of Israel?

The current prayer is insincere and unrealistic.  A suggestion for changing the language.

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Redefining Religious Zionism: a Critique of Mercaz HaRav

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Nation Versus Communities

What distinguishes a nation from a collection of communities?  In contrast to normal nations, the Jewish people does not know how to function as a collective whole.  We have not existed as a normative nation for generations.

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Nation Adrift

Despite success in liberating a large swath of its homeland in just six days in 1967, the Jewish people has failed to achieve its ultimate purpose, announced by the Creator before He transmitted the Torah to His people: “And you shall be for My purpose a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6).  How are we to achieve this?

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Annapolis: Can Israel Trust the Nations?

Learn why Jacob’s strategy delineates Olmert’s folly. Hear whether should you give your enemies a chance to repent in the pursuite of peace or trust them again if they’ve broken agreements. Understand the Rambam reply to the Mishnah that says to judge your fellow favorably.

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Misc.

What is Daath Torah?

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Shelo ‘Asani Isha – the Status of Women in Tora Judaism

In his book On Changes in Jewish Liturgy: Options and Limitations, HaRav Professor Daniel Sperber reviews some of the criticism levelled against the blessing recited by men thanking Hashem “for not creating me a woman” (Shelo ‘Asani Isha).

While agreeing that such a debate is legitimate, HaRav David Bar-Hayim demonstrates that many of the arguments often adduced in support of those who would have the b’rakha expunged from sidurim (prayer books) are not.

The Rav states that the issue needs to be addressed head-on, with intellectual honesty and rigour, not with disingenuous and apologetic claims. Tora Jews must be sincere, open-minded and willing to consider changing realities. That being said, the view that the b’rakha should be dropped must be rooted in a Tora-based imperative. Tora Jews are loyal to the spirit of the Tora, not the spirit of the times.

Should a man thank Hashem for not creating him a woman if he doesn’t honestly feel grateful for this fact? The Rav answers in the negative. A b’rakha uttered without sincere kawana is of no value.

Can a woman who wishes to wear a tallith or tefillin do so? The Rav answers in the affirmative, with one proviso: that her intention be to do Hashem’s will, not to make a point. A Jew performs a Misswa because it is Hashem’s Will; any other motivation is unacceptable.

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Mingling of Men and Women: an Issue of Social Norms

Does the Torah mandate separate seating on buses or at weddings?  Separate hours at supermarkets?  Clearly not.  Men and women sat mixed at the wedding of Rav Moshe Feinstein’s daughter.  A mehissa is, however, required during prayer.

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The Will To Move Ahead

Rabbi David Bar-Chaim, the head of the Shiloh Institute in Jerusalem is interviewed by Yishai Fleisher  regarding the current status of the Religious Zionist movement in Israel.  Interview topics include a definition of ‘Orthodox’ Judaism and how the term is recent, the difference between galut mode Judaism and redemption mode Judaism and how Religious Zionism combines the two ideas, and Yishai talks about how for him, events such as the Passover Seder should become events that are felt deep down rather than just acted out.  Rabbi Bar-Chaim and Yishai end their interview by talking about how that by moving to Israel, a Jew is able to take a ‘step-up’ in an observant sense and live a more pure Torah life.

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Vision and Purpose

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Perspectives on Secular Studies

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The Rambam’s Philosophy

Part One: Should you take the midrash literally? The Rambam defines the audience for his writings. See if you fit in.

Part Two: The Rambam debunks Western society. But he believed in some nonsensical Greek philosophy.

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Judaism Today

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Understanding Aggadoth – the Legends of the Gemara

Aggadoth are lessons of the Sages that do not pertain to Jewish law. It’s not possible to apply one rule to understand every aggadah. Each must be understood in its context.

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Understanding of Torah as the Evolution of Science

Of the scores of interpretations of a single verse, isn’t it possible that one of them is wrong?  And if so, why learn them?  HaRav Kook explains, comparing Torah learning to the evolution of science.

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Debate on What a Jew Must Believe

Part One: If a Jew doesn’t believe in ressurrection of the dead, is he a heretic? Did most of the religious soldiers who expelled Gush Katif Jews study the Torah and learn the wrong thing – or did they not study at all? The Gra said there was no contradiction between halaha and kabbala.

Part Two: Should you vote in Israeli elections? The Gra says there is no contradiction between the Zohar and the Talmud. An example of how faith can kill you. A proposal for a boycott on state-appointed rabbis.

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Why Jews are Different

Part One: Jews are a replacement for the first human being. Why Jews must look different.

Part Two: A non-Jew who strikes a Jew deserves death. Here’s why.

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Multiplicity of Misswoth

Rabbi Hananya ben Aqashya authored a famous mishnah explaining why Hashem gave the Jewish people so many misswoth.  Rambam’s explanation is problematic. The Maharal elucidates the matter in a profound manner.

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Shabtai Ben Dov

Sixty years ago Ben Dov saw that the State of Israel was in crisis and outlined a roadmap of change.  He knew that the dominant ideologies would be incapable of producing the leaders capable of guiding us out of the morass.  A true miracle, he writes, is that the geulah occurred despite the 1600-year-long irrational passivity of religious Jews which prevented them from doing anything to actualize it. The twisted aim of religious practice had become to perpetuate Judaism in exile at the expense of achieving the true objectives of the Torah. The achievement of the Zionist movement was to return the Jewish nation to its Land, allowing us to take stock, consider what needs to be done, and move forward.

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Interview with Voice of Israel Radio – ראיון בקול ישראל

In an exciting development indicative of the growing recognition HaRavDavid Bar-Hayim’s Torah is receiving, Reshet Moreshet of Voice of Israel Radio (Kol Yisrael)featured HaRav Bar-Hayim as a guest. In the following interview HaRav Bar-Hayim discusses Torath EretzYisrael and the reasoning behind Machon Shilo’s position that the primacy of the Talmud Yerushalmi mustbe restored. Please note that the interview was conducted in Hebrewבהתפתחות המצביעה על ההכרה ההולכת וגדלה של תורתו של הרב דוד בר חיים הרברואיין ע”י רשת מורשת של רדיו קול ישראל. בראיון דן הרב בשאלה מדוע יש להעמיד את תורת ארץ ישראל בכלל, והתלמודהירושלמי בפרט, במרכז השיח התורני.

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Two Kinds of Jews

Despite the ostensible multiplicity of outlooks in the Jewish world, there are, in essence, only two. Plus:  The unspoken but profound, underlying reason why religious Zionists failed to unite politically.

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Religious Zionism in Crisis

The Zionist pioneers were radical secularists.  Religious Zionists have consistently yearned to be accepted by them and their ideological descendants, even as the secularists have repelled them and tried to crush them.  Religiously, religious Zionists largely mimic Haredim.  They have failed to articulate a distinctive vision.

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Enemy

“Don’t Rejoice at Purim and Pesach?!

Proverbs 20:17 says not to rejoice at your enemies’ downfall. Is that in fact what it says?”

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Misplaced Mercy

Despite the claims of Christians and post-modernists, mercy is not Hashem’s main goal. Judaism is based on perfecting the world, and toward that end sometimes nastiness and even cruelty are permissible or necessary:

Brit milah is necessary to create a connection with Hashem.

Jews need not be vegetarians for fear of harming animals.

Even killing humans is sometimes permissible.

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The Justification of Murder: Moses’ Slaying of the Egyptian

What was the legal rationale for the murder?  Under what circumstances is a Jew permitted to kill a non-Jew?  The reason that our rabbis did not want us to emulate Moses’ action.

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Freeing Terrorists for Israeli Soldiers: Why It’s Wrong

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Prayer for the Wicked

Do you have an obligation to pray for your brother who falls ill?  Is he still “your brother” if he is a rebel who violates the Torah?  There is good reason to rejoice when an evil person dies.  It’s not always right to love.  Dysfunctional Jews don’t know how to hate their enemy.

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Prayer%20for%20the%20Evil.doc

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Breakdown of the Halakhic System: Targeting Civilian Areas During Wartime

Part One:  One right-wing rabbinic scholar claims we can’t decide whether bombing civilian areas is moral, so we should abide by international standards.

Part Two:  A recipe for stopping terror from Gaza.  Does the Torah permit it?

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War as a Misswa

When Jewish life is threatened by an enemy, we are commanded to fight and destroy our enemies even on Shabbath. This applies even outside the Land of Israel. In some cases this Halakha – codified by Rambam and Shulhan ‘Arukh – applies to Jewish property as well.

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Jewish Ethics and War: Urban Warfare and Civilians

It has been suggested that Israel must act in accordance with international practices, because we are incapable at this time of formulating Halakhic guidelines due to a lack of historical continuity in the process of Halakhic decision making regarding such issues. This position views Halakha as frozen and Rabbanim as helpless. Also: knowing the difference between good and evil. Are all cultures equally legitimate and acceptable?”

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Wayera: The Basis of Avraham’s Claim to Save Sodom

Avraham assumes that the city ought to be spared for the sake of the righteous living there.  This logic appears to contradict a law in Devarim.  What’s the difference between Sodom and a Jewish city with evildoers?

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> Series

When is Nightfall?

The answer to this question provides the key to many mitzvoth, such as how long to keep Shabbat, how long to fast, and when to light Hannukah candles. This series, rich with sources, enables you to avoid common halachic errors.

Here is the latest version of this shiur (תשע”ז):

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Here’s the original version of this shiur:

1. Hannukah


Many Jews light Hannukah candles at a time that halachically makes no sense. This secret is buried at the very end of this double-shiur.


Hannukah 1
You light Hannukah candles at sundown. But when exactly is that? The answer is not so simple.


Hannukah 2
There are only three ways of resolving this apparent contradiction in the Gemara.

2. Ending Your Fast

The time to end your fast, on every day except Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, is earlier than you may think. The proof is in P’sahim.

3. Rationale of Timing of Nightfall 

Here’s the reasoning behind the decision of when nightfall begins. Rav Bar Hayyim explains an apparent contradiction in the Rambam.

Are the Misswoth a Means or an End?

Some Jews believe that the purpose of life is to perform Misswoth. The truth is quite the opposite: the Misswoth were designed by HASHEM for living life properly. The Torah teaches us how to live our lives, as individuals and as a nation. The Misswoth do not exist for their own sake; they exist in order to produce a certain kind of person and society.

Talmudh – Sheviith

Talmudh Yerushalmi – Taaniyoth

Talmudh Bavli – Shabath

Here’s an opportunity to learn Talmudh according to the unique approach of HaRav Bar Hayyim.

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The Rambam’s Mishne Torah משנה תורה לרמב”ם

שיעור 21 – פרק ג, הלכה ו – א”א

שיעור 22 – פרק ג, הלכה י”ב – י”ז

שיעור 23 – פרק ג, הלכה י”ח – סוף

שיעור 24 – פרק ד, הלכה א – ב

שיעור 25 – פרק ד, הלכה ג – ו

שיעור 26 – פרק ד, הלכה ז – סוף

הלכות תפילה

שיעור 27 – פרק א, הלכה א-ב

שיעור 28 – פרק א, הלכה ג –

שיעור 29 – פרק א, המשך עד הלכה ו

שיעור 30 – פרק א, הלכה ז – ט

שיעור 31 – פרק א, הלכה י

שיעור 32 – פרק א, המשך

שיעור 33 – פרק א, הלכה ז

שיעור 34

שיעור 35

שיעור 36

שיעור 37

שיעור 38

שיעור 39

שיעור 40

שיעור 41

שיעור 42

שיעור 43

שיעור 44

שיעור 45

שיעור 46

שיעור 47

שיעור 48

שיעור 49

שיעור 50

שיעור 51

שיעור 52

שיעור 53

שיעור 54

שיעור 55

שיעור 56

שיעור 57

שיעור 58

שיעור 59

שיעור 60

שיעור 61

שיעור 62

שיעור 63

שיעור 64

שיעור 65

שיעור 66

שיעור 67

שיעור 68

שיעור 69

שיעור 70

שיעור 71

שיעור 72

שיעור 72א

שיעור 73

שיעור 74

שיעור 75

שיעור 76

שיעור 77

שיעור 78

שיעור 79

שיעור 80

שיעור 81

שיעור 82

שיעור 83

שיעור 84

שיעור 85

שיעור 86

שיעור 87

שיעור 88

שיעור 89

שיעור 90

שיעור 91

שיעור 92

שיעור 93

שיעור 94

שיעור 95

Talmudh – Brakhoth

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Psahim Bavli

התלמוד הבבלי – מסכת פסחים

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