The Hundred Years’ War: Winning our Lifelong Battle with our Yetzer Ra

Man’s lifelong struggle with their Yetzer Ra is the premier challenge that a person faces in their life. What are the best strategies and tactics to assure victory? In this podcast we examine several telling Talmudic passages that create a roadmap to success in our ultimate test.

A Soul, A Yetzer Ra and Their Lifelong Conflict

“Against your will you are formed; against your will you are born; against your will you live; against your will you die; and against your will you are destined to give an accounting and a reckoning before the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He” (Pirkei Avot 4:22). This Mishnah outlines the five junctures in our lives. We are formed and placed in utero; then we are born into the world; then we live our life; then we die; and finally we are resurrected to give an accounting for our actions. All these happen against our and only because the Almighty mandates it. During four of these five junctures we cannot make choices that affect our life and legacy. Only during our lifetime, when we have free choice to determine our destiny, can we do anything to improve or regress. By examining the transformations that occur during each of these five points in time we gain a greater understanding of our essential makeup and the purpose of the middle juncture – life. 

The Temple in Jerusalem and its Sacrifices in Jewish Life, Thought and Destiny

The Second Temple was destroyed 1,946 years ago by Titius and the Romans. Yet the Temple never left our collective consciousness. We invoke it in our prayers, mourn its destruction and hope and yearn for its return. Why do we need a Temple and what is the meaning behind sacrifices?

Bilaam the Brilliant but Homicidal and Genocidal Maniac: A Lecture on Parshas Balak

Bilaam was a prophet who “knew the knowledge of God” and rivaled Moses in prophecy. Yet he was a man of repugnant character who has the ignominy of being labeled as “Bilaam the wicked” and as the prototype of arrogance (Avos 5:18). Why did he merit such greatness? What is the meaning behind his bizarre interactions with his donkey? Why did God curtail his ability to curse the Jewish nation?

The Transmission of the Oral Torah without Mistakes

A fundamental principle of our religion is that the Torah that we have today is the same as the Torah given by God to Moses. Is this a dogmatic belief a leap of faith? How can we be assured that there was no corruption of the Oral Torah over the 1500 years that it was studied and transmitted without being formally written down? Is there a possibility that errors and deviations happened along the way? How is the transmission of the Oral Torah different than the game of broken telephone where the message gets progressively distorted the more people it has to filter through? In this lecture we outline rational approaches that make the necessary acceptance of the accurate transmission of the Oral Torah reasonable and logical.

Core Beliefs of Judaism with Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe – Torah Part 21

Nine Reasons why the Oral Torah was not Codified for 1500 Years

3300 years ago, over a period of 40 years, Moses gave the Jewish nation the Torah that he received from God. It consisted of a Written Torah and an Oral Torah together. For 1500 years the Oral Torah was maintained as such; faithfully and accurately transmitted exclusively orally from generation to generation. Beginning with the publication of the mishna in the end of the Second Century, the Sages began applying it to writing. Ultimately, most areas of Oral Torah were written down and formalized in canon. Why was the Torah given in this dual format and not simply written down entirely? In this lecture we present nine answers to that question.

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Core Beliefs of Judaism with Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe – Torah Part 20

A Biographical Sketch and A Character Analysis of Jacob and his Wives

Jacob is termed in Jewish literature as the “choicest of the forefathers”. What were his defining character traits? What were the dominant episodes and themes of his life? What does his journey teach us about Jewish history? We answer these questions and ponder the qualities of his illustrious wives and their collective eternal legacies in this final podcast on the three families of forebears of the Jewish people.

Oral Torah: An Introduction

In this first of a series on Oral Torah we begin with asking the very basic questions: What is the Oral Torah comprised of? How does the Oral Torah relate to the Written Torah? How can we be certain of its veracity?

Core Beliefs of Judaism with Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe – Torah Part 19

A Biographical Sketch and A Character Analysis of Isaac and Rebecca

The Torah is scant on details regarding the lives of Isaac and Rebecca. Their story does not include a great many anecdotes of their challenges nor does it highlight their accomplishments and greatness. To the contrary, the Torah seems to harshly criticise Isaac as in when it is said that he preferred Esau because he made him food. What is the meaning of the Torah’s portrayal of Isaac and Rebecca and what indeed are their lasting legacies?

Proofs of Divinity of Torah Part 7

In this 7th and final episode of our examination of the evidence to try and determine if the Torah is indeed the unadulterated word of God, we explore the interrelationship of the Written and Oral Torah and ask if such cohesion and precision can be the product of a human.

PART 1: http://rabbiwolbe.com/the-torah-as-a-divine-document-an-analysis-of-higher-bible-criticism-and-why-the-authorship-of-the-torah-matters/

PART 2: http://rabbiwolbe.com/a-traditional-jewish-response-to-higher-bible-criticism-part-2/

PART 3: http://rabbiwolbe.com/the-millions-of-eyewitness-testimonies-to-the-veracity-accuracy-and-historicity-of-the-torah/

PART 4: http://rabbiwolbe.com/why-shavuos-is-the-holiday-of-the-giving-of-the-torah/

PART 5: http://rabbiwolbe.com/overwhelming-evidence-to-the-divinity-of-the-torah-and-its-ramifications/

PART 6: http://rabbiwolbe.com/is-believing-in-the-supernatural-irrational-how-to-build-a-rational-life-philosophy/

Core Beliefs of Judaism with Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe – Torah Part 18