Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe สาธารณะ
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The Parsha Podcast by Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe was started in 2016 with the goal of making the weekly parsha accessible and useful. Every Sunday, the Parsha Podcast will feature an hour-long podcast outlining the story, narratives and major themes of that week’s parsha and offer a selection of valuable and interesting insights from it. Towards the end of most weeks, a second episode that focuses on one idea, theme, or comment on the parsha will be released. Please send comments or questions to rab ...
 
The Torah contains 613 Mitzvos, Commandments. Many of the Mitzvos are quite familiar to us, such as loving our fellow as ourselves and eating matzah on Passover, but many are more obscure and unfamiliar. The Mitzvah Podcast is a project to offer a snapshot of each mitzvah, in the order in which they appear in the Torah. Each episode will be dedicated to a single Mitzvah or a bunch of Mitzvos if they are closely related and offer an overview of said Mitzvah, together with anecdotes and vignet ...
 
The Ethics Podcast is dedicated to exploring the authoritative book of Jewish Ethics, the Book of Mishnah titled “Ethics of our Fathers”. This book, called “Pirkei Avos” in Hebrew, is nearly 2,000 years old, and it is a compendium of the ethical aphorisms of the great Sages of Jewish history circa 300 BCE – 200 CE. Each episode begins with a biographical sketch of the Mishnah’s author culled from the Mishnaic, Talmudic, and Midrashic Literature, and shares some of the timeless lessons and ap ...
 
This Jewish Life is Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe’s flagship podcast. Since its founding in January of 2013, This Jewish Life has featured a delightful potpourri of podcast episodes on a myriad of Jewish subjects. In its current incarnation, the podcast focuses on exploring the deeper elements of Jewish life and philosophy. In each episode our objective is to go a bit deeper into subjects that we may be familiar with, to plumb the depths and uncover the essence of the beauty and sublimity of Jewish lif ...
 
TORAH 101 is aptly described as “An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah”. If you are a person who wants to understand the foundations of Torah in a logical and cogent fashion, if you don’t want to subsist with the juvenile perception of Torah of your youth, if you want to wrestle with the deeper questions of theology, eschatology, theodicy, and Jewish philosophy, TORAH 101 is the podcast for you. We will delve into the weighty topics in Jewish philosophy: the divinity of Torah: the interrel ...
 
Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe started The Jewish History Podcast in 2016 with the goal of making Jewish History interesting and accessible. Over the course of the years, episodes have covered the vast expanse of Jewish history, from Abraham to Moses and Joshua, to great Sages in modern times, to Israeli wars. Each episode is dedicated to either a theme of Jewish history, a great personality of Jewish history, an era of Jewish history, or a transcendent event of our people’s history. We learn about our ...
 
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This week’s parsha marks a transition in the Book of Deuteronomy: it is no longer primarily about admonishment and rebuke and warnings, instead we read a bevy of mitzvos – some repetitions and some new ones that have hitherto not been mentioned. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please consider sponsoring a podcast by making …
 
A judge adjudicating matters of Torah law is God’s representative. When a judge renders a ruling, they must be very certain that they are faithfully representing God in the matter. This podcast discusses four distinct mitzvos regarding the imperative to judge righteously. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please consider spon…
 
In ancient times, our nation benefitted from the service of prophets. The primary responsibility of a prophet was to rebuke and admonish the people when they veered off course from the proper path that the Almighty has planned for them. But what now? Prophecy has been extinct for more than 2300 years. How do we know if the Almighty is displeased wi…
 
The Torah contains a lot of details regarding what the Almighty expects of us. A verse in our parsha purports to get to the bottom line of what – in one sentence – does God actually want of us. But after reading the verse we emerge with more questions than answers. While ostensibly touting simplicity and ease, the requirements seem anything but tha…
 
We pick up where we left off last week amid Moshe’s speech to the nation before his passing, and as in the previous few weeks, Parshas Eikev is jam packed with insights and timeless lessons. Moshe pivots between looking back on the conduct of the nation in the preceding 40 years and admonishing them for their misdeeds, and gazing forward to the con…
 
Moshe was very desirous of entering the Land. The Midrash reveals that he prayed 515 separate prayers to petition God to revoke His ban on Moshe entering the Land. But God said no. You may not enter the Land, though He allowed Moshe to visualize the Land from atop a mountain. The dialogue between Moshe and God is featured at the beginning of our Pa…
 
At the end of Moshe’s life, he gathers the entire nation for his parting message to the nation. The Midrash makes a remarkable contrast between Moshe’s beginning and end of his tenure: When God initially commanded Moshe to save his brethren from enslavement in Egypt, Moshe protested by saying that he is not a man of words. That was 40 years before …
 
5 weeks before his passing, Moses gives a three-parsha-long speech to the nation, which constitutes his last will and testament. He begins with a retrospective of the history of the nation over the past 40 years since the Exodus – subtly rebuking the nation, guiding them, admonishing them, ensuring that they don’t repeat their mistakes of yore. – –…
 
Our parsha contains the laws regarding a person who murders someone accidentally. We are told that the accidental murderer must flee to the city of refuge and remain there until the passing of the High Priest. Although we have neither a High Priest nor a Jewish court of laws that adjudicates as per the laws of the Torah, in this special Canada-reco…
 
In a Jewish court of law, capital crime cases are distinct from civil or monetary ones. In this Mitzvah we outlines some of the hurdles facing the court seeking a capital crime conviction. It turns out that although there are many commandments that contain a punishment of capital crime, in effect, executions are astonishingly rare under the Torah’s…
 
Over the course of the 40 years since the Exodus, the Nation was lead by Moshe and Aaron, the King and High Priest respectively. In our Parsha, successors are designated for both posts. Due to his valiant heroism of the end of last week’s portion, Pinchas is promoted to being a kohein. He would go on to become the High Priest and the patriarch of a…
 
What separates a wise person from someone who has to potential to be a wise person but has not actualized it? In the words of our Sages, such a person who has not cultivated their wisdom is a “Golem”, and there are seven key differences between a Golem and a wise person. In this very valuable Mishnah, we learn about how to debate productively, how …
 
For the three weeks spanning from the fast of the 17th of Tammuz until the fast of Tisha B’av (9th of Av), the Jewish nation practices collective mourning. This mourning is the result of a collection of calamitous things that has happened to our ancestors during these inauspicious times. What is the background of these days and what can we learn to…
 
Our parsha contains an attempted genocide. Bilaam, the prophet of the idolaters, a man of prodigious ability an skill, dedicates himself with tenacity and persistence to curse and destroy the people. Although his three attempts at cursing the nation backfire when he is compelled by God to bless the nation instead, the parsha ends with the implement…
 
In the final installment of the series of Tens, our Mishnah reveals to us the ten things that were created at twilight of Friday during the week of Genesis. What is the deeper meaning of twilight? What is unique about these seemingly random mix of things that were created then? In this very interesting Mishnah we learn about an ironclad principle o…
 
After the Jewish nation trounced the mighty kingdoms of Sichon and Og in last week’s parsha, the comparatively smaller and weaker kingdom of Moab resorted to unconventional warfare to attack the nation by hiring the prophet of the nations, a wily and devious character named Bilaam, to curse the Jews. It did not work out as planned. – – – – – – – – …
 
The red cow is the Torah’s most mysterious mitzvah. We are told to take a completely red cow and slaughter it, and burn it’s body together with a concoction of other ingredients, the ashes of which become the potion to purify people who have come into contact with dead people. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I can hereby comfort you that you are…
 
In Principle #8 of the 13 Principles of faith, we learned that the Torah is divine. In our exploration of that Principle, we probed many aspects of the idea of the Divinity of Torah, ranging from the history of Torah, to the components of Torah, to Oral Torah, to Rabbinic law, and culminating with the imperative of Torah study. The study of Princip…
 
In this week’s parsha, we read about a highly unusual mitzvah: The Red Heifer, when an entirely red cow is burned together with a motley concoction of ingredients, and the resultant ashes are used to sprinkle on people that came into contact with dead people in order to purify them from their spiritual contamination. We also learn about the passing…
 
Korach was a very talented man with a sterling pedigree. He was wise and clever and even had a degree of prophetic clairvoyance. Yet he blundered egregiously by launching a revolt on Moshe and Aaron. When we study what triggered this rebellion we find that Korach has a seemingly legitimate grievance. He believed – and honest assessors of the situat…
 
For 800+ years our nation had a Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was a special place. It contained the vessels described in Scripture, it was the site of annual, national pilgrimages, it is where the high priest did the Yom Kippur service each year, it was the epicenter of the nation and it’s rebuilding has been the national yearning of our people f…
 
In this week’s parsha, Moshe and Aaron’s first cousin, a man named Korach, launches a rebellion claiming that Moshe is guilty of nepotism in appointing his brother as High Priest. What ensued should give one serious pause before engaging in any similar sort of divisive activities. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please cons…
 
The final five verses of our Parsha contain the third paragraph of the Shema. In it, we are instructed to place tzitzis strings wrapped with a string of blue techeiles wool on the corner of our garments. Why? “And you shall see them and remember all the mitzvos of Hashem and you shall do them, and you will not deviate after your hearts and eyes.” B…
 
Fear of God and Faith in God are both laudable qualities worthy of great people. Both, of course, are mitzvos as well. Which one is loftier? At first glance, fear of God can only be built upon an edifice of faith and thus it would be a loftier level. But when we examine the issue critically, we find something very surprising. – – – – – – – – – – – …
 
We have a Heavenly Torah, but it is up to us fallible humans to adjudicate it. What do we do when there is uncertainty? How do we resolve doubts? The Torah provides us with several tools at our disposal for us to do just that. In this podcast, we examine two mitzvos related to the concept of majority rules. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –…
 
Aaron the High Priest held a critical leadership role in the nation. A partial list of his jobs: he offered sacrifices, he did the Yom Kippur services which included the annual trip to the Holy of Holies, and he blessed the people. But there was one job that he was excluded for: When the princes of the tribes brought their respective tributes to ma…
 
Why is our nation so obsessed with Torah? Why do we make such an emphasis on it? What benefits do we as individuals and does society at large accrue with Torah study? In this sweeping episode we explore this fundamental question. We begin with the big picture by outlining some of the critical benefits that the world receives when we study Torah and…
 
The Jewish nation has been encamped at Mount Sinai for nearly a year; in this week’s parsha they finally depart from the Mountain of God, and sadly leave gleefully as a child escaping school. This kick starts a series of missteps that carry harsh consequences. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please consider sponsoring a pod…
 
The Princes of the Tribes make several notable contributions at the inauguration of the Tabernacle: They contribute 12 oxen and 6 covered wagons to aid the Levites in the transportation of the Tabernacle and each Prince donates a tribute of 21 animals, a silver basin and bowl brimming with flour and oil, and a gold ladle full of incense. Why were t…
 
In the longest parsha in the Torah by verses, we continue to read about the Levite families and their responsibilities, we learn about the three tiers of the Nation’s encampment, the laws of a suspected adulteress, the laws of the Nazir, the Priestly blessings, and we read a very wordy account of the gifts of the tribal leaders during the weeks fol…
 
At first glance, Parshas Bamidbar seems like a snoozefest: it’s very technical, counting the people, assigning the tribes to their encampments, counting the Levites separately, designating the responsibilities of the Levites in the transportation of the Tabernacle and its vessels. But upon further examination, our Parsha guides us with the instruct…
 
The Book of Ruth – and its eponymous heroine – are true enigmas. The Book contains no new laws and its story, while inspirational and poignant, bears no easily discernible connection to the Festival of Shavuos, when it is read. The Book’s protagonist, Ruth, has a decidedly checkered pedigree, yet becomes the matriarch of the Davidic and Messianic d…
 
The Book of Ruth – and its eponymous heroine – are true enigmas. The Book contains no new laws and its story, while inspirational and poignant, bears no easily discernible connection to the Festival of Shavuos, when it is read. The Book’s protagonist, Ruth, has a decidedly checkered pedigree, yet becomes the matriarch of the Davidic and Messianic d…
 
Torah study in not just another discipline; it’s a relationship. Our Sages compare the relationship of the Jew to Torah as that of a husband and wife. It’s deep, intimate, and special. Just as husband and wife can unite to create something new, the objective of Torah study is to transform the person and create something new from this experience. In…
 
Shavuos is the day that marks the most significant event in the history of humankind: A nation coalesced around Mount Sinai to temporarily catapult into a state of prophecy, to hear God say the Ten Commandments, and to live to tell the tale. Shavuos is thus aptly named, “the Day of the Giving of the Torah”. In the Talmud we discover that the power …
 
This past week our nation underwent an unprecedented calamity. At our people’s largest annual festival, the celebration of Lag ba’Omer in Meron, a crowd crush resulted in the death of 45 of our brethren. How do we respond to such a tragedy? What is the way to process such a disaster. In this Parsha Podcast we look to this week’s double parsha of Be…
 
To serve as a witness in a Jewish court of law is no simple matter. Our Sages detail ten different people who are disqualified from offering testimony. In this mitzvah we scour that long list and learn about what it takes to testify in a Jewish court of law. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please consider sponsoring a podca…
 
This week’s double-Parsha closes out the Book of Leviticus. Parshas Behar begins at Mount Sinai, where the Almighty instructed Moshe to convey a series of laws to the Jewish people. The first is the mitzvah of Shemittah, the prohibition of engaging in any agricultural work every seven years. In two chapters in the Torah (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 2…
 
The most critical characteristic of a judge is impartiality. A judge who favors one of the litigants is disqualified to judge. This mitzvah shows us the extent that a judge go to avoid biases. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sponsorship: Please consider sponsoring a podcast by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educa…
 
Our parsha contains the first recorded instance of capital punishment in Jewish history. A disgruntled man, the son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man blasphemed and was executed as a result. What is the significance of this story? Why do we have the narrative about the blasphemer in middle of the Book of Leviticus, a Book dedicated almost e…
 
Ten is a very significant number in Jewish numerology and philosophy. The previous teachings in this chapter revolve around tens and the present Mishnah teaches that the Exodus was marked by a series of ten miracles for the Jews and ten plagues for the Egyptians whilst in Egypt and ten additional miracles for the Jews and ten additional plagues for…
 
Parshas Emor contains a staggering 56 mitzvos, nearly all of them relating to either to the Kohanim, the priests, or to the Festivals, and the parsha ends with a very unusual episode that happened at Sinai. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – This Parsha Podcast is dedicated in loving memory of Abe Hidary, Avraham Ben Miriam Z”L. May his so…
 
Lag BaOmer is the day that marks the Yahrtzeit/Hillula of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, one of the great Sages of the Mishnaic Era. In celebration and recognition of Rabbi Shimon’s accomplishments and stature, the custom is to make it a mini-holiday. But of course, Rabbi Shimon was not the only transcendental Sage of that time. His teacher was the great…
 
Our Nation has always had bad neighbors. The Midrash in our Parsha states that the Egyptians and the Canaanites, both nations that our people lived in close proximity to, are the most morally deficient of all the world’s nations. Moreover, the specific areas in those lands where the Jews resided contained that worst offenders of those nations. Evid…
 
For the Jewish people. Torah is not just a corpus of law, of an accounting of our past, or even the ancient heritage of our people. Torah and an obsession with Torah study have been the defining characteristics of our nation since its inception. Torah is what we stand for; it’s what we do; it’s who we are. Torah Study is the bedrock of our culture,…
 
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