Sermons and Rabbi's Blog Podcasts
Rabbi's Sermons, Shiurims & Classes
Parshat Hashavua 5777
Parshat Va'era (1/25/17) Were the Jews afflicted by the plagues in Egypt. Ibn Ezra vs. Rambam and an interesting methodological point by the Ibn Ezra.
Parshat Vayeishev (12/21/16) Who really sold Yosef?. Get ready for some surprising possibilities.
Parshat Vayishlach (12/14/16) Similarities and differences between Shimon and Levi. The Netziv on how worthy goals can be ruined by tainted means. How anger disqualifies even the noblest ideas.
Parshat Vayeitzei: (12/7/16) Who are the "brothers" that Yaakov is talking to. In this class we see what a versatile word "brothers" is in the Torah and learn Yaakov's strategy on relationships and education. Facebook video recording - It is cut off at the end. The audio is complete https://www.facebook.com/rabbi.gelman/videos/10154035016787694/
Parshat Toldot: (11/30/16) When is it appropriate to question the actions of our foremothers and forefathers? We will visit with Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin and Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner. Great stuff!
Parshat Vayeira: - (11/16/16) What Avraham Can Teach Us About Politics. What is our responsibility towards the "other" What does "Mipnei Darchei Shalom" mean? Are we only supposed to be good when we need to be...?
Parshat Lech L'Cha: (11/9/16) Did God Choose Us or Did We Choose God? How Did The Jewish People Come About? Did God Choose Us or Did We Choose God? Must we believe that God always "had in mind" to choose the children of Abraham or was another option possible?
Parshat Noach: (11/2/16) Will The World Last Forever & God's Plan To Keep The World Safe. Amazing sources (Midrash and Rambam) on the possibility of the world lasting forever. Does belief in the destruction of the eventual destruction of the world make you a heretic? Rav Hirsch on why God changed nature and separated the continents.
Parshat Hashavua - 5776
Parshat Shoftim (9/7/16) Power To The People: The (very) Limited Power of The King. Why is the power of the King as described in the Torah so circumscribed? A study of a chapter from Micah Goodman's fascinating study on the Book of Devarim to uncover the political revolution orchestrated my Moshe.
Parshat Re'eh (8/31/16) Can a mitzvah be removed from the Torah? Are we even allowed to consider such a thing? Charity as a case study. What does Rambam say about this? A fascinating insight from Rav Nachum Rabinovitch.
Parshat Masei (8/03/16) Why does the Torah record the itinerary of Bnei Yisrael? What moral lessons can we learn from it's inclusion? Is it more than just a list.
Parshat Emor (5/18/16) A discussion of the blasphemer and its placement in the book of Vayikra. Partly based on an article by Rav Amnon Bazak http://vbm.etzion.org.il/en/law-blasphemer
Parshat Acharei Mot (5/8/16) The RaLBaG offers and fascinating insight into human nature.
Why you know more about a shul you visited in Europe than you know about your own congregation. Parshat Shmini (3/30/16) A better understanding of the sin of Nadav and Avihu by comparing the inauguration of the Mishkan and the events of Har Sinai
Parshat Vayikra (3/13/16) Karbanot and Paganism. What does Vayikra change about the nature of Sacrifices?
Parshat Pikudei (3/9/16) God wished that his presence dwell with Bnei Yisrael via the Mishkan. Did it happen? By studying hints embedded into the text we will try to answer this question.
Parshat Vayakhel (3/2/16) Moving On? Bnei Yisrael post Golden Calf. This shiur uses Ramban 's commentary at the beginning of Vayakel in order to understand the status of Bnei Yisrael post Golden Calf.
Parshat Ki Tisa (2/24/16) Few Are Guilty, but all are responsible: Lessons From the half Shekel from R' Moshe Alshich and R' Abraham Joshua Heschel. Why a 1/2 Shekel and why teach the lesson of Jewish unity now?
Parshat Tetzaveh (2/17/16) Karban Tamid the Most Important Mitzvah In the Torah!
Parshat Mishpatim (2/3/16) Why Did the Jewish People give two different responses to revelation - "we will do" and "we will do and we will listen" ? Is one a more faithful answer? Did they change their mind?
Parshat Yitro (1/27/16) - This class analyzes We Moshe's superb rapport with his father in law and try to understand the foundation of their relationship.
Parshat Bo (1/13/16) - How could Moshe have agreed that he will never see Pharaoh again? What if God decided to send him back? We will study a remarkable Orach CHaim on this questions as well as look at other aspects of the feed between Moshe and Pharaoh.
Parshat Vaeira (1/6/16) - Topic: Trickery and the Exodus From Egypt Everyone in the Exodus story seems to engage in trickery...we will uncover and analyze this phenomenon.
Parshat Vayigash (12/16/15) - Yaakov and Yosef's Advance Planning. This class uses the teachings of the RALBAG to understand Yaakov and Yosef's strategy for the future. Interesting question. Why does God tell Yaakov not to be afraid to go down to Egypt? When did Yaakov ever express such fear? RALBAG offers an answer.
Parshat Toldot (11/11/15) - The similarities between events of Avraham and Yitzchak's life are clear. Both had trouble conceiving a child, both had problems with their wells, both claimed their wife was their sister, and the list goes on. Does this mean that Yitzchak was just a "place-holder" for Avraham, or is there more to the story? An article by Rav Amnon Bazak offers a fascinating approach. See also - Tosafot Hashalem - Parshat Toldot. Pg. א It is quoted in footnote 2 on pg 220 in Da'at Mikra - Bereishit Vol II.
Parshat Chayei Sara (11/4/15) - Using archaeological findings and an understanding of the Ancient Near East, we wil come to a better understanding of the transfer of Ma'arat HaMachpeila to Avraham. Example ?s - Why is there no "buy" or "sell" language in the story? Why did Ephron want Avraham to take the field as well? Why was there no written contract of the transfer? (Sources: Daat Mikra - Bereishit Vol. II, pg. 142. Parashat Derachim by Yitzchak Meitlis, pg.62-65)
Parshat VaYeira (10/28/15) - Why was only Sarah reprimanded for laughing when told she would have a baby, after all, Avraham laughed as well? Can the same word mean different things in the Torah? What if the word is used twice in the same story? See how the Torah text comments on itself (Rashi and Bchor Shor) and study two fassinating midrashim that shed light on God's reaction to Avraham and Sara.
Parshat Lech L'Cha (10/21015) - The Mysterious Life of Abraham. Why do we not know anything about Abraham's early years? 3 Midrashim on why God tests the righteous. (Based on Rav Dovid Tzvi Hoffman) Three Midrashim on why God tests the righteous. Each Midrash offers a different infsight into this question. (Midrash Rabbah 55:2 and Yafeh Toar commentary)
Parshat Noach (10/15/15) - God's Favor For Noach.
Parshat Hashavua - 5775 - 2014 / 2015
Parshat Tetzaveh (2/25/15) - God vs. Moshe - How To Lead The People.
Parshat Terumah (2/18/15) - Why a Mishkan, Why An Ark? Extending the Experience of Har Sinai
Parshat Mishpatim (2/11/15) - Who will God Really Avenge - Using Chiastic structure to uncover the meaning of the text.
Parshat Yitro (2/4/15) - Why did Yitro really come to back to Moshe? This class tracks the development of Yitro's personality.
Parshat B'Shalach (1/28/15) - Why did God really take Bnei Yisrael the long way?
Parshat Bo (1/21/15) - Explaining why God instructs MOshe to deceive Pharaoh. Was it justified. Was it war or diplomacy? In this class we rely on the approaches of Nechama Leibowitz and R. Elchanan Samet.
Parshat Va'eira (1/14/15) - A surprising twist in understanding why the Jewish People did not listen to Moshe's message of redemption.
Parshat Shmot (1/7/15) - An analysis of the structure of Pharaoh's master plan to subdue the Jews. Understadn Pharaoh's stretegy and the double plan he implemented.
Parshat Mikeitz (12/17/14) - "How is it that Yosef, after living many years in Egypt, having attained a high and influential position in the house of an important Egyptian official, did not send his father even one message to inform him (that he was alive) and comfort him? Egypt is only six days' travel from Chevron, and respect for his father would have justified even a year's journey!" This shiur will analyze this famous question of Ramban and the approach of Rav Yoel Bin-Nun.
Parshat Vayeishev (12/10/14) - A story within a story: Why does the story of Yehuda and Tamar interrupt the Joseph narrative? This shiur uses Midrash and textual clues to show the measure for measure aspect of Yehuda's life.
Parshat Vayishlach (12/3/14) - Understanding the flow of the story of the Yaakov's meeting with Esav. Why was Yaakov no longer afraid to meet Esav? Why was Esav no longer angry? Why does the story of Yaakov's fight with the angel separate between Yaakov preparation to meet Esav and the actual meeting?
Understanding the High Holiday Prayers: A Four Part Series with Rabbi Barry Gelman.
We spend so much time in synagogue on the High Holidays, yet the meaning and history of the prayers we say is elusive. Imagine how much more meaningful services would be if we understood what we were saying and why.
Pesach 5776 / 2015 - This Matzah that we eat for what reason? Making sense of the conflicting reasons for eating Matzah. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and MaHaRaL on the symbolism of Matzah. If Matzah is a symbol of slavery, why do we eat it to celebrate freedom? Based on a shiur by Rabbi Avraham Wolfson
Chanukah 5776 / 2015 - Remembrance or Replacement? Chanukah Lights and The Beit Hamikdash. This class studies a few sources connecting the Chanukah lights and the Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash.
Chanukah 5776 / 2015 - This shiur explores a trend found in the teaching of Shamai, Hillel and Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel. Their argument of how to light Chanukah candles as a window into understanding their world view. Based on a shiur by Rav Itamar Eldar.This shiur explores a trend found in the teaching of Shamai, Hillel and Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel. Their argument of how to light Chanukah candles as a window into understanding their world view. Based on a shiur by Rav Itamar Eldar.
December 25, 2015 - Morning of Learning - click the title to listen
December 25, 2014 - Morning of Learning.
Over forty people turned out for a wonderful morning of learning. Gerald and Beverly Fanarof sponsored the event "in honor of Beverly, Daniella ,Justine Fanarof& our beloved parents z”l.”
Three Shiurim were given:
Gideon Miller - Defending the Jews: Rashi's Playbook - no recording available
Gabrielle Gelman - Click here to listen to "The Framing of Benjamin"
Rabbi Barry Gelman - Click here to listen "Why Was Moses Montefoire Excomunicated?" Rabbi Chaim Hirschenson wanted to build a house of prayer on the Temple Mount to act as a U.N. of sorts. He analyzes the Halachot on ascending the Temple Mount while describing his captivating vision of what Israel could be - not just for the Jews.
Sermon: Every commandment we fulfill shows loyalty to God (Parshat Devarim)
I Have Laboured and Found - Shmini Atzeret 5776 / 2015
The Ingredients of Judaism - Parshat Ha’azinu - 5776 - Sept. 26, 2015
Parshat Vayekel (2/5/16) The IKEA Effect - Shabbat as a day of positive Cheshbon Hanefesh - Taking stock.
Lunch and Learn 1/25/17 - Were The Jews Afflicted by the Plagues in Egypt?
Lunch and Learn 12/7/16
Lunch and Learn 11/30/16
Lunch and Learn 11/16/16
The Syrian Refugee Crisis