Welcome to Hadar's online learning library, a collection of lectures and classes on a range of topics.
When Exodus Replaces Creation (Or Not)
Jeremy Tabick. Moses continues his narrative of the journey of the Exodus generation and the teachings of the Torah as he prioritizes them. The most dramatic expression of his understanding is the repeat of the Ten Commandments. His retelling dramatizes the remarkable dialectic of the universal and particular, which reflects the Torah’s vision that is at once distinctively focused on the people of Israel, but also is simultaneously addressed to all humanity.
Not the Vision, but the Journey
Jeremy Tabick.The second of our two parashiyot includes a roll call of all the stops and starts of the Israelites through the desert (Numbers 33). This list appears to offer no new information—no unreported events or overlooked stops. Furthermore, the whole desert trek apparently was an abject failure: The purpose was for the freed slaves to settle in the Land of Canaan, but the Exodus generation could not muster enough courage and energy to conquer it. What then is the purpose of reporting all the points along this journey to futility? Looking back at the high hopes of the Exodus generation, were it not better to draw a curtain of silence and oblivion over all the stops along the way that ended with nothing?
The Chain of Life
Jeremy Tabick. Out of respect for human nature and community consensus—neither of which change overnight—the covenant itself operates by upgrading the world one step at a time. Thus, the world will not be repaired in one lifetime. Each person committed to the covenant must be concerned to achieve as much as possible in their lifetime, then create (or educate) the next generation to carry forward the mission. A central part of individual covenantal consciousness is that: “I am determined that the chain of life not end with me."
Jeremy Tabick. The story of Balaam the prophet has many layers. On the surface, the parashah offers a scathing critique—really a satire—of the man who is regarded as a great seer by the Moabites. Yet if one cuts through this blatant put down, in fact Balaam is revealed as a true prophet—in touch with and receiving profound revelation directly from God. In this way, the Torah demonstrates that God cares deeply about and connects to non-Jews. This is a foreshadowing of a prophetic pluralism which will not become a substantial part of Jewish tradition until millennia later than the Bible—namely in our time.
Responsa Radio Episode 75: How Will We Return to Running Minyanim Virtually and In-Person?
My minyan will likely want to keep broadcasting on Zoom after the pandemic is over and we are back in person. As someone who doesn't use technology on Shabbat, what does that mean for me? Should I decline to lead or read Torah or have an aliyah knowing that it is being broadcast? Join Rabbi Ethan Tucker and Rabbi Avi Killip as they answer pressing halakhic questions sent in by members of the community.
Understanding the Mystifying
Yitz Greenberg. The red heifer rite is often held up as a prime example of a mitzvah without visible rhyme or reason, given to teach us to obey instructions simply because God said so. This ritual was, in fact, fully understood in biblical times. Furthermore, it is a fundamental principle of covenant that the commandments are given, not to train us to robotic conforming obedience in the service of God, but rather to improve people and their character traits. As such, they need to be explained rationally, and clarified in presentation, so that people will fully understand which improvements they should work on to become a better human being and partner with God, in living and applying the Torah to make a better world.
Love Yitz Greenberg.
Wish there was more content than once a week.
Any more Shai Held, Ethan tucker etc?
The best I could wish from my podcast feed during this Coronavirus- hours and hours of Shai Held lectures.
I love learning Torah with the Hadar faculty.