Announcing – New Online Zoom Shiur on Maharal
Kol HaLashon is reportedly the largest provider of Torah recordings and electronically transmitted shiurim in Israel. It is shepherded and funded by Rabbi Meir Levine, for which he enjoys a reputation here for tzidkus and single-minded devotion to spreading as much Torah as possible. He is not the kind of person you want to say “no” to.
So when he called, I didn’t. He wanted a daily Maharal shiur in English; I negotiated it down to a weekly. I did tell him that I have not yet learned how to speak to a camera with no one at the other end. Which means that various people are now assembling a group of participants via Zoom.
The text will be Nesivos Olam, from the beginning. It will require some background in the thought and language of Chazal, but not advanced semicha. Certainly appropriate for both men and women.
As soon as we get past some of the techie stuff and find the group, we’ll be ready to begin. We are slated for Thursday evenings at 8:30, which translates into 10:30 AM on the US West Coast, 1:30 PM on the East Coast, and various other times in Europe.
If you are potentially interested in regular participation, please leave your name and email address as a comment. (They won’t be published.) And if you just want to drop in, here is the address: https://zoom.us/s/91602521418
I hope Antifa does not go after the Maharal’s statue. We better tell them that the Golem was not a slave and was a fictional story, not that that will help.
I once went with two co-workers to meet a professor at Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, to talk about atomization of molten metal. He showed us around the campus. One outdoor statue depicted Moshe Rabbeinu stepping on the golden calf. Irony! The prof also boasted that his campus had every type of tree native to Indiana. I noted that our backyard had every type of weed.
Germany has no statues in honor of their rulers from 1933-1945. One does not honor those who one believes are bad people. It bothered me that major highways could be named Jefferson Davis, or that when I visited Kentucky statehouse decades ago they had statues in honor of two people born inKentucky Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.
Maharil was I believe the last one who Fred to print a different type Of Shas Ashi and Rf on the side Tosafot in the back, wanted to change the way Gemarrah was being taught, actually printed a few mesechtot, problem was pagination had already become set and people wer referring to what had become quickly accepted pages-
Well as long as we are forcefully removing statues of undesireable people, let’s topple the statues of Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Carter, and Franklin Roosevelt as well. It is the only fair thing to do.
The true motivation of those who are violently and forcefully removing this country’s statues, is to erase its collective memory. It has long been noted by the Radical Leftists and other assorted Marxists that those who control the past, control the future. All this statue toppling has nothing to do with idealism, and everything to do with the absolute pursuit of raw power.
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: “One does not build monuments for tzaddikim. Their words commemorate them.” The Maharal and Vilna Gaon both have monuments in their honor(in the case of the Gaon, the original version of the monument was ironically without a head covering, and all 11 portraits were painted long after his death).
An article last week on Aish Hatorah(from Israel Hayom) titled “The Year of the Vilna Gaon”, described Lithuania’s embracing the legacy of the Vilna Gaon during the 300th anniversary of his birth, despite the pandemic; high-ranking Lithuanian officials observed social distancing during an April ceremony in his honor.
The article noted the efforts of the Lithuanian national broadcast company to bring the Vilna Gaon’s philosophy and wisdom to the public, and contrasts it with the popular folkloric image of the Maharal in Prague:
“The Lithuanians’ desire to show pride in a spiritual authority who was active in their capital city is worthy of praise, but it is a challenge. The Vilna Gaon’s work, his thinking, rulings, and innovations to the Talmud and the Kabbala are not immediately comprehensible to anyone who is not familiar with Jewish texts, and virtually inaccessible to anyone who does not read Hebrew. And without the content, the Vilna Gaon could be reduced to a folkloric figure, as happened with Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague, whom residents and visitors associate with the famous legend of the Golom.”
Dear Rabbi Adlerstein,
In the Fall of 1994 while getting trained on a neural programming system in Pittsburgh I had my first look at Mozilla and the World Wide Web. There were no colors or images. No columns. No audio or video. Just links. But I saw the future.
I recall coming back to Los Angeles and mentioning to you and a couple other of my LA rabbis of my “vision” where those who had chavrusas or shiurim but needed to leave their communities would someday be able to learn remotely. You used to do tech columns in Jewish Action so I knew you were likely to be interested. I don’t know if you remember the conversation. (Another mutual LA buddy of ours quipped that the Talmud was the oldest recorded hypertext. ) It’s enheartening to see that the technology, after a quarter century, is now ubiquitous and inexpensive.
10:30am on a workday is a logisitical difficulty. Will the shiurim be archived? Alas, I have no prediction for time shifting technology allowing for asynchronous shiur participation.
Will having good beer or scotch available during the shiur be a prerequisite for participation?
What do we want?
A time machine!
When do we want it?