Series on the Basics of Emunah
Basics of Emunah #35: Answering Questions of Bais Yaakov Girls
The Emunah Series: Rabbi YY Jacobson in a live zoom session with Project Light, a program of many Bais Yaakov Girls High Schools. The lecture, followed by Q and A, explored why should we embrace Torah with passion, how we know it's true, how to deal with various questions on faith, how to confront pain, and other questions from the Bais Yaakov Girls. The lecture took place on Wednesday evening, 29 Teves5781, January 13, 2021.
Basics of Emunah #34: What Does It Mean to Fear G-d?
The Emunah Series/Women's Yisro Class: This class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Yisro, 16Shevat, 5780, February 11, 2020 at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY
Basics of Emunah #33: What Does It Mean to Have Faith? Why Did Miriam Sing Her Own Song?
Women's Beshalach Class/The Emunah Series: This women's class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Beshalach, 9Shevat, 5780, February 4, 2020 at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY
Basics of Emunah #32: My Grandmother Believed and Moshe Did Not?!
Women's Vaeira Class/The Emunah Series : This women's class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Vaeira, 24Teves, 5780, January 21, 2020, at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY
Basics of Emunah #31: Is Judaism Rational or Irrational?
The Emunah Series/Women's Class Ki Seitzei: This women's class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Ki Seitzi, 10 Elul, 5779, September 10, 2019 at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY There is a strange Mishnah concerning a mitzvah in the portion of Ki Seitzei. Someone who says, Your mercy extends upon a nest of birds, is to be silenced Someone who says Modim Modim twice, Thank You G-d, Thank You G-d, is to be silenced. What is the juxtaposition between the two casesthe person who speaks of G-ds compassion to the birds, and the person who says Modim twice. Why does the Mishnah pair them together in a single sentence and dictates us to silence them both equally? The class presents a fabulous interpretation by Rabbi Yosef Chayim (1835-1909), the Ben Ish Chai, chief Rabbi of Baghdad. There is another enigmatic Mishnah in Ethics of the Fathers: Rebbi would say: Which is the right path for a person to choose for himself? Whatever is beautiful for the one who does it, and is also perceived as beautiful by other people. Both the question and answer are deeply problematic. How can the Mishnahthe primary body of the Jewish oral transition and lawwonder what is the right path for a person? For this, we were given the Torah! What is more, the Mishnah emphasizes that the person ought to choose the right path. Is this the Jewish approach? Since when did the Mishnah become so liberal as to allow each person to choose his or her path in life?! Even more strange is the author of this questionnone other than Rabbi Judah the Prince, who was the spiritual leader of the Jewish people during his day, and the editor of the Mishnahthe main body of Jewish law and tradition. His answer seems no less startling. Rebbi suggests to each person to choose a path that he considers beautiful, and that others consider beautiful. Really? What if what I think is beautiful contradicts the Torah? And what if what the street considered glorious undermines the moral system of Judaism? These questions were raised by the Lubavitcher Rebbe during his fabrengen on Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzora 5748 (May, 1988). I still remember the intensity of the Rebbes powerful questions on this Mishnahseemingly out of sync with what we often think of Judaism. And then the Rebbe presented one of the most beautiful and inspiring explanations. In my minds eye I can still see and hear the Rebbe share these moving insights, which reframed my perspective on Judaism.
Basics of Emunah #30: What Happens to Us After We Die? Afterlife, Paradise and Hell
The Emunah Series: This lecture was delivered at the National Jewish Retreat of JLI, in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. on Thursday, August 15, 2019 (14 Av, 5779).