Rav Yitzchak Berkovits, founder and director of The Jerusalem Kollel (www.thejerusalemkollel.com), is a widely respected authority on Halachah and well known for his telephone tapes on Shmiras Halashon. He is well known as a teacher and lecturer throughout Jerusalem and was ordained at the Mirrer Yeshiva, Jerusalem.
Years of working under Rabbi Noach Weinberg zt"l in Aish Hatorah has lent Rav Berkowitz a perspective and understanding of his unique personality that not many were fortunate enough to have gained. Listen to a powerful hesped on one of the greatest men in Kiruv
Yaakov's life was one struggle after the next, with out a moment to breathe. Even at the end of his life, he was forced to die far from home in Egypt. Being that of all the three Patriarchs, he was considered to be the most complete, why was this treatment fair? An excellent class on the necessity for evil to combat good, and what we are meant to achieve by doing so.
Throughout the centuries, both simple people and great Torah sages have poured years and tears into the holy words of Tehillim - not only to reaffirm their belief, but also as a way of expressing their inner longings and sorrows. This masterfully presented overview of King David's deepest heartfelt sentiments sets the stage for understanding Hashem's mysterious ways, and for finding more meaning in our prayers by awakening those same yearnings within our own hearts.
A noticeable wonder from sefer Tehillim is to consider all the suffering King David had throughout his life, and that not one trace of anger is heard or felt from all his words. By examining his core personality midos, Rav Berkovits guides us on having similar reactions on our own burdens, frustrations, and joys in life. Hear how the words of Tehillim that you inhale can be then exhaled as grateful praise straight from the heart.
This lecture looks at the seminal works of Rashi, Tosfos, the Rif and Rambam. Hear the crux of where Ashkenazim and Sephardim diverge. And best of all, hear Rav Berkovits explain the function the rishonim played in developing Torah She’Baal Peh.
The Oral Law contains all the fundamental messages of our faith. So valuable in fact that people question why this vital information was not formalized in writing rather than trusting the oral transmission from teacher to pupil. This single session answers most questions asked about this highly misunderstood body of Jewish thought.
Rav Berkovits explains why the Oral Transmission, and why the sages use such far-fetched examples to argue their points. Also hear about the sudden shift after the first Temple that insured the survival of the Oral Torah.
After the period of the Gemara closed, the oral transmission continued being passed from teacher to student in a reliable way. Rav Berkovits looks at the period of the Geonim and Rishonim, and follows a few different threads of this chain in different countries. This analysis shows us how differences in law began to emerge, as well as the points when each transmission ended.
Rav Berkovits takes us to the point in time just before ours, the Achronim, and the disputes that arose in that era. His analysis of Chassidus and the opposition it faced leads into the enlightenment that swept Europe soon afterward. How did different communities deal with the mass defections that were taking place from traditional Judaism, and how did that affect certain key aspects of mesorah?
Rav Berkovits looks at the important subjects of how to choose a Rabbi. What is Kabbalah, and how does it affect Halacha? Often, newcomers to religious Judaism don't have customs to fall back on. How should one choose what to do? And no less important - when do we know we are ready to take on a more stringent approach? An excellent class on understanding individuality and how to fit ourselves into a comfortable niche.