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Machshavah Lab

Philosophy Podcasts

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be diverse. There will be shiurim on Jewish philosophy, Chumash methodology, aggadic midrashim, maybe even some non-Jewish philosophy as well. Merriam-Webster defines "laboratory" as a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study. I call this podcast "Machshavah Lab" because this is where we will conduct Torah "experiments" by exploring questions, texts, and ideas in an effort to develop our machshavah in a "hands on," exploratory, firsthand manner.

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be diverse. There will be shiurim on Jewish philosophy, Chumash methodology, aggadic midrashim, maybe even some non-Jewish philosophy as well. Merriam-Webster defines "laboratory" as a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study. I call this podcast "Machshavah Lab" because this is where we will conduct Torah "experiments" by exploring questions, texts, and ideas in an effort to develop our machshavah in a "hands on," exploratory, firsthand manner.

Location:

United States

Description:

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be diverse. There will be shiurim on Jewish philosophy, Chumash methodology, aggadic midrashim, maybe even some non-Jewish philosophy as well. Merriam-Webster defines "laboratory" as a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study. I call this podcast "Machshavah Lab" because this is where we will conduct Torah "experiments" by exploring questions, texts, and ideas in an effort to develop our machshavah in a "hands on," exploratory, firsthand manner.

Language:

English

Contact:

9177836827


Episodes

The Metaphysical Implications of Stubbing Your Toe

5/20/2022
This morning (5/20/22), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, I gave an experimental shiur about hashgachah. It would be great to give a shiur on how hashgachah pratis, reward and punishment, and Divine justice work. The problem is that these topics are WAY too broad and WAY too deep and WAY too beyond my knowledge level. However, there are many statements of Chazal which seem to presuppose that the average Jew WILL be able to frame the day to day events in their lives in the framework...

Duration:01:45:52

What is Kareis? Part 2 (Tosafos, Rambam, Ramban)

5/18/2022
This evening (5/18/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we began continued learning the Abravanel's hidden miniature treatise (in Parashas Shelach) on kareis, in which he surveys all the views of his predecessors and expresses his objections to them, and then presents his own view. After reviewing opinions #1-3, we then learned opinions #4-6, along with the Abravanel's objections to them, plus our objections to his objections. All we have left is the seventh opinion: that of the...

Duration:01:07:13

R' Yitzchak Kanpanton and R. Waldo Emerson on Emunas Chachamim

5/13/2022
This morning (5/13/22), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we had an experimental shiur on the topic of "emunas chachamim." First we defined the quality of emunas chachamim based on R' Yitzchak Kanpanton's methodology sefer. We then compared and contrasted his approach to some of the ideas written about by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his speech, "The American Scholar." Judging by the discussion we had, this exercise resulted in some nice methodology insights, which is what I hoped would...

Duration:01:23:21

What is Kareis? Part 1 (Saadia Gaon, Ibn Ezra, Rashi, Tosafos)

5/11/2022
This evening (5/11/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we began learning the Abravanel's hidden miniature treatise (in Parashas Shelach) on kareis, in which he surveys all the views of his predecessors and expresses his objections to them, and then presents his own view. Tonight we made it through the first three views: (1) Saadia Gaon and Ibn Ezra, (2) Rashi, and (3) Tosafos. We have three more views to go before we get to the Abravanel's! ---------- מקורות: אברנבאל - במדבר...

Duration:01:12:05

Why Do We Count the Omer? Three Explanations You (Probably) Haven't Heard (YBT Sunday Shiur)

5/8/2022
This morning (5/8/22), in my last YBT Sunday Shiur of the season, I shared three "new" (to me) explanations for why the Torah commands us to count the omer. I found all three explanations in a commentary which is not widely learned, which is why I'm fairly confident that these ideas will be new to others as well. In addition to understanding these taamei ha'mitzvos on a theoretical level, we will also attempt to find ways to make the ideas real to our minds, so as to maximize their impact on...

Duration:01:58:36

Three Insights into Shehecheyanu

5/6/2022
This morning (5/6/22), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we went over three insights I recently had into birkas ha'zman (i.e. shehecheyanu). The first is a basic but beautiful pshat from the Kuzari. The second is an insight I had over Pesach into the unique role played by the shehecheyanu we say at the end of kiddush at the seder. The third is an answer given by the Rav to the question: Why don't we say shehecheyanu on sefiras ha'omer? ---------- מקורות: ברכת שהחיינו רמב"ם – משנה...

Duration:01:21:36

A Fresh Look at the Shalosh Regalim: Mishpatim and Ki Sisa (Part 2)

5/4/2022
This evening (5/4/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we continued our analysis of the Torah's initial presentation of the shalosh regalim to Klal Yisrael. After attempting to infer whatever we could on our own, we enlisted the Ibn Ezra, the Ralbag, and the Abravanel for guidance - and they delivered! Although we didn't explain EVERYTHING, we at least came up with a working theory about the foundational themes of the shalosh regalim. We ended off with a "homework question." If you...

Duration:00:57:56

A Fresh Look at the Shalosh Regalim: Mishpatim and Ki Sisa (Part 1)

4/27/2022
This evening (4/27/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we began a minor project within a major project. The major project is to understand the mitzvos related to Shavuos as presented by Torah she'bi'Chsav. We were going to start with Emor and Re'eh, where those mitzvos are stated, but we figured it would make sense to begin with the Torah's first presentation of the shalosh regalim, which occurs in Mishpatim and Ki Sisa. That is our minor project. Tonight we read through the...

Duration:01:00:33

Etzba Elohim: The Finger of WHICH God?

4/15/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Etzba Elohim: The Finger of WHICH God? Most people assume that Egypt first acknowledged Hashem's involvement during the third plague, when Paroh's sorcerers said, "it is the finger of God!" But not everyone agrees. It all depends on who they were talking about when they said "God." ---------- The content on this podcast has been sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon. The total cost of maintaining my five podcasts in...

Duration:00:04:53

Tzfarde’a: The Plague That Lasted Forever

4/14/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Tzfarde'a: The Plague that Lasted Forever , which examines two minority opinions on tzfarde'a - that of the Abravanel and the Sforno, both of whom learn that tzfarde'a involved crocodiles (not frogs) and that the effects of the plague were designed to last forever. ---------- The content on this podcast has been sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon. The total cost of maintaining my five podcasts in 2021 amounted to...

Duration:00:05:03

Even If We Are All Wise, Understanding, Elders, Those Who Know Torah

4/13/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Even If We Are All Wise, Understanding, Elders, Those Who Know Torah , which attempts to elucidate the four levels (or five?) that are referenced in Avadim Hayinu, as explained by the Rashbatz. ---------- The content on this podcast has been sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon. The total cost of maintaining my five podcasts in 2021 amounted to over $2000 - all of which would have come out of my own pocket were it...

Duration:00:05:42

Chad Gadya: A New Song with an Ancient Theme

4/12/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Chad Gadya: A New Song with an Ancient Theme, in which I state my take on the main idea of this popular song. ---------- The content on this podcast has been sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon. The total cost of maintaining my five podcasts in 2021 amounted to over $2000 - all of which would have come out of my own pocket were it not for your generosity. Thank you for helping me make Torah ideas available and...

Duration:00:05:37

Baruch ha'Makom in the Haggadah

4/7/2022
Last week I gave an "NR" shiur on a pervasive FALSE explanation of what we mean when we call Hashem "Ha'Makom." (That shiur isn't available online, but if you want a link to the video, let me know and I'll send it to you.) This evening (4/7/22), in our tefilah shiur, we attempted to arrive at a TRUE understanding - one which is consistent with the yesodei ha'Torah, the Mesorah, and reason. I believe we succeeded. (I guess you'll tell me!) We then attempted to explain why we use this unusual...

Duration:01:16:03

R' Avraham ben ha'Rambam on the Mysterious Incident of Tziporah and Bris Milah (Shemos 4:24-26)

4/7/2022
This shiur was given in my Rambam Bekius chavurah, but it ended up being a Chumash Exploration, so I'm posting it here. This afternoon (4/7/22), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we had PLANNED to finish Hilchos korban Pesach. Instead, we took up a tangential question we raised yesterday: What's going on in the short episode involving Tziporah and Bris Milah? We were led here by the Rambam's halachos about the prohibition of an uncircumcised person to partake of the Korban Pesach, and we were...

Duration:00:55:22

Rambam on: What is Avodas Hashem? (Moreh ha'Nevuchim 3:51; Hilchos Deios 3:2-3)

4/6/2022
I gave this shiur as part of my Rambam Bekius chavurah, but it was sufficiently fundamental and "standalone" to warrant posting in Machshavah Lab as well. This afternoon (4/5/22), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we were GOING to finish Hilchos Korban Pesach Chapter 9, but Yosef asked a question which was far more important: What is avodas Hashem? Since this is Rambam Bekius, we focused on the Rambam's answer, as expressed in the two places where - to my knowledge - he articulates it the most...

Duration:01:00:34

Pesach Q&A 5782

4/1/2022
This morning (4/1/22), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we did a non-halachic Pesach Q&A. All the questions asked were thought-provoking, and our discussions covered a lot of ground as far as seder-prep goes. If you have more (non-halachic!) questions before Pesach, feel free to contact me! ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר זמנים, הלכות חמץ ומצה ז:ד הגדה של פסח ערוך השולחן: אורח חיים תנג:ד-ה רמב"ם - ספר המצוות, עשה קנז AlHaTorah Haggadah Material Maror as a...

Duration:01:19:45

The Superiority of Rabbinic Laws Over Torah Laws - Part 4: Answers

3/25/2022
This morning (3/25/22), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we concluded our series on the question, "How should we relate to Rabbinic laws vs. Torah laws?" After a quick review of the Ran's answer, we learned whatever we were able to learn from the Ran's three counterarguments to the question he raised, followed by the answer he cited in the name of Rabbeinu Yonah. We concluded the shiur with a summary of the three-part answer to our original question. Although there is undoubtedly...

Duration:01:14:04

Why Did Hashem Redeem Us From Egypt? Sforno's Counterintuitive Take (Part 1)

3/23/2022
This evening (3/23/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we took up a very basic question: Why did Hashem redeem us from Egypt? Most of us would answer, "Because He said He would in the Bris Bein ha'Besarim (Covenant Between the Parts)." But not Sforno! And even if we look at the pesukim without Sforno, the answer is not simply "because He said He would in the bris." In tonight's shiur we go through the facts, raise the questions and problems, and learn Sforno's overarching...

Duration:01:06:21

Purim 5782 – A Theory Connecting Purim to Yom ha’Kipurim Which is NOT Based on Specious Linguistics – Part 2 (An Answer)

3/17/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Purim 5782 – A Theory Connecting Purim to Yom ha’Kipurim Which is NOT Based on Specious Linguistics – Part 2 (An Answer) - which assumes you've either read or listened to Part 1. Let me know what you think! ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. ---------- The Torah content for the remainder of Adar II...

Duration:00:04:35

Purim 5782 – A Theory Connecting Purim to Yom ha’Kipurim Which is NOT Based on Specious Linguistics – Part 1 (Facts and Questions)

3/16/2022
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 1-page article I wrote entitled, Purim 5782 – A Theory Connecting Purim to Yom ha’Kipurim Which is NOT Based on Specious Linguistics – Part 1 (Facts and Questions) - a "half-dvar Torah" which I cranked out and uploaded 20 minutes before minchah on Taanis Esther. Enjoy, and please help me to figure out an answer to the question I left off with! ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free...

Duration:00:05:43