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Rambam Bekius

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss, and this is the podcast for my Rambam Bekius Chavurah at Yeshiva Bnei Torah (YBT). We typically meet four days a week for an hour and learn the writings of the Rambam on a bekius level (i.e. with the aim of covering ground rather than doing an in-depth analysis). Our focus is on the Mishneh Torah, but we will frequently delve into the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, the Peirush ha'Mishnayos, the Moreh ha'Nevuchim, and other writings from the Rambam when our learning takes us there. If you're interested in attaining fluency in the Rambam's Torah, then this is the podcast for you!

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss, and this is the podcast for my Rambam Bekius Chavurah at Yeshiva Bnei Torah (YBT). We typically meet four days a week for an hour and learn the writings of the Rambam on a bekius level (i.e. with the aim of covering ground rather than doing an in-depth analysis). Our focus is on the Mishneh Torah, but we will frequently delve into the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, the Peirush ha'Mishnayos, the Moreh ha'Nevuchim, and other writings from the Rambam when our learning takes us there. If you're interested in attaining fluency in the Rambam's Torah, then this is the podcast for you!

Location:

United States

Description:

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss, and this is the podcast for my Rambam Bekius Chavurah at Yeshiva Bnei Torah (YBT). We typically meet four days a week for an hour and learn the writings of the Rambam on a bekius level (i.e. with the aim of covering ground rather than doing an in-depth analysis). Our focus is on the Mishneh Torah, but we will frequently delve into the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, the Peirush ha'Mishnayos, the Moreh ha'Nevuchim, and other writings from the Rambam when our learning takes us there. If you're interested in attaining fluency in the Rambam's Torah, then this is the podcast for you!

Language:

English


Episodes

Rambam: On Being Paid for Torah - Part 5 (Various Letters + Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:8-11

10/14/2021
This afternoon (10/14/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we FINALLY found a satisfactory answer (or answers) to the question of how the Rambam could be supported by his brother while he learned Torah, thanks to R' Shelat's footnotes on several of the Rambam's letters - plus a halacha we missed in Hilchos Sanhedrin. The first letter we read also showcased the Rambam's human side, revealing the depths of his grief over the loss of his brother. After wrapping up this topic we returned to...

Duration:00:58:24

Rambam: On Being Paid for Torah - Part 4 (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10-11)

10/13/2021
This afternoon (10/13/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we devoted one more day to analyzing the Rambam's statements about being paid for Torah. We decided to pursue a tangent that came up about avodah zarah and Chazal's approach to non-prohibited superstitious practices. We then went back and attempted to understand the Rambam's statements about the relationship between work and benefiting from Torah. Although we didn't complete our foray into this topic, we decided that four days was...

Duration:00:54:17

Rambam: On Being Paid for Torah - Part 3 (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10-11)

10/12/2021
This afternoon (10/12/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we analyzed the Rambam's fivefold enumeration of why it's bad to treat Torah as a job. Although we didn't complete our analysis, we did come up with a unified approach which I'm happy with. Tomorrow (God willing) we'll take another stab at it, and continue our analysis with the Rambam's next paragraph. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות יסודי התורה ג:י רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר אהבה, הלכות תפילין ומזוזה וספר תורה...

Duration:00:56:48

Rambam: On Being Paid for Torah - Part 2 (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10-11)

10/11/2021
This afternoon (10/11/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we continued our exploration of the Rambam's view on the permissibility of being paid to learn, teach, or adjudicate Torah. We began with his (vehement) codification of his view in the Mishneh Torah. We then read and discussed the foonotes of R' Makbili (the editor of the critical edition of the Mishneh Torah we use), looking up some of the relevant primary sources he references and adding a few of our own. By now we have gathered the...

Duration:01:02:53

Rambam: On Being Paid for Torah - Part 1 (Avos 4:7)

10/7/2021
This afternoon (10/7/21) we took a brief detour from Hilchos Talmud Torah to read through the Rambam's famous diatribe against "profiting" from Torah, in his commentary to Avos 4:7 (or 4:5, depending on your edition). We began with the Aruch ha'Shulchan's concise summary of the heter that the world relies on, just so we can have a point of contrast, and then we read through the Rambam's lengthy remarks. Our goal was to finish the whole thing today (since aren't scheduled to meet again until...

Duration:00:53:52

Precedence and Payments in Talmud Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:4-7)

10/6/2021
This afternoon (10/6/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we finished the initial halachos about teaching Torah in Chapter 1. We covered three topics: (1) If botha father and son need a basic Torah education, who takes precedence? (2) What comes first: learning Torah or marriage? and (3) Is it permissible to pay or charge Torah teachers? Before we move on in Hilchos Talmud Torah, we're first going to learn through the Rambam's famous diatribe against "profiting" from Torah, in his commentary to...

Duration:00:54:33

Review and Sharpening of Yesterday's Questions (Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:1-3)

10/5/2021
This afternoon (10/5/21) we went over everything we did yesterday in an attempt to sharpen our questions and start to explore ways to answer them. I think we got as far as we can get for now. The next step is to read on, and to at least finish the next few halachos about the obligation to teach - if not the full first perek. Once we do that, we'll have a better shot at forming a comprehensive theory. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה א:א-ג lots of assorted...

Duration:00:40:51

Review and Sharpening of Yesterday's Questions (Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:1-3)

10/5/2021
This afternoon (10/5/21) we went over everything we did yesterday in an attempt to sharpen our questions and start to explore ways to answer them. I think we got as far as we can get for now. The next step is to read on, and to at least finish the next few halachos about the obligation to teach - if not the full first perek. Once we do that, we'll have a better shot at forming a comprehensive theory. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה א:א-ג lots of assorted...

Duration:00:44:38

Rambam Bekius (Re)Introduction

10/4/2021
Since today (10/4/21) was our first REAL session of Rambam Bekius in the 2021-2022 academic year (now that the moadim are over), I decided it would be a good idea to review what the Mishneh Torah is and what approach we will be taking in our Rambam Bekius chavurah. We reviewed the essential excerpts from the Rambam's statements about the purpose and scope of the Mishneh Torah and we gave a recap of our methodology. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, הקדמה רמב"ם - ספר המצוות,...

Duration:00:25:24

The Mitzvah of Talmud Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:1-3)

10/4/2021
This afternoon (10/4/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we began Hilchos Talmud Torah. As is our custom, we started by comparing the Rambam's formulation of the mitzvah in the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, the Reshimos at the beginning of the Mishneh Torah, the Koseres, and the first halachos. Not surprisingly, we already have a plateful of questions! Tomorrow we'll begin by reading the Torah she'bi'Chsav and then reviewing the opening halachos to see if we can make sense of the Rambam's...

Duration:00:29:44

On Publicizing One's Sins (Hilchos Teshuvah 2:5)

9/14/2021
This afternoon (9/14/21) we attempted to answer the questions we raised yesterday. Using a combination of our own minds and the sources provided by R' Qafih in his digest, we were able to arrive at a decent understanding of two ways to learn the Rambam. We had a nice tangential discussion about the tension between the notion that our sins are completely erased by teshuvah and the idea of "my sin is before me always." We ended off with a reexamination of the classic question, "What is...

Duration:01:13:09

On Publicizing One's Sins (Hilchos Teshuvah 2:5) Part 1 of 2

9/13/2021
This afternoon (9/13/21) we took up the question: Which sins should a person publicize his teshuvah on and which sins should he keep private? After reviewing the Rambam on the basic mitzvah of vidui, and going over a few "side ideas," we learned Hilchos Teshuvah 2:5, raising all the major questions and starting to develop an approach. Tomorrow we'll attempt to answer all of our unanswered questions. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות תשובה א:א; ב:ה רמב"ם - משנה תורה,...

Duration:00:56:41

Rambam on the Metaphor of Awakening (Questions)

9/6/2021
This afternoon (9/6/21) we had a special edition of Rambam Bekius in which we examined the three places where the Rambam utilizes the metaphor of "waking up." The three are (1) in Hilchos Teshuvah 3:4, when he explains the "message" of shofar, (2) in Hilchos Mezuzah 6:13, in his explanation of the purpose and importance of mezuzah, and (3) in Hilchos Avel 13:11-12 when he talks about how a person should react when a friend dies. In this session we raised a TON of questions. Will we think of...

Duration:00:52:46

Revenge and Bearing a Grudge (Hilchos Deios 7:7-8)

8/4/2021
This afternoon (8/4/21 at YBT), in our last Rambam Bekius chavurah of the 2020-2021 year, we completed Hilchos Deios. After reviewing the Rambam's treatment of nekimah (taking revenge) and netirah (bearing a grudge) in the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, we did the "hidden" source on revenge in the Sefer ha'Mitzvos, in the Rambam's discussion of the prohibition to curse a fellow Jew. We then read the halachos about nekimah and netirah in the Mishneh Torah, including the case in which nekimah and netirah...

Duration:00:59:18

Lashon ha'Ra Wrap-up (Hilchos Deios 7:5-6; Hilchos Tumas Tzaraas 16:10)

8/2/2021
This afternoon (8/2/21 at YBT), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we finished the topic of lashon ha'ra, explaining the last couple of halachos in Deios Chapter 7 and then attempting to understand as much as we could of the end of Tumas Tzaraas, where the Rambam discusses another dimension of the harm of lashon ha'ra. We concluded by reading the Sefer ha'Mitzvos on our two remaining mitzvos in Hilchos Deios: the prohibitions against taking revenge and bearing a grudge. We'll begin learning...

Duration:00:43:54

Avak Lashon ha'Ra + the Myth of "It's Public So It's Okay" (Hilchos Deios 7:4-5)

7/29/2021
This afternoon (7/29/21 at YBT) we focused on two topics: avak lashon ha'ra (the "dust" of lashon ha'ra, i.e. the four categories of partial lashon ha'ra, which is still prohibited) and the halachos about other forms of lashon ha'ra, including the wide misconception that "if it's public, then it's okay to talk about." ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות דעות ז:ד-ה ---------- This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Sol and Chummie Azose, in honor of the upcoming...

Duration:01:03:40

Refining Rechilus + the Harm of Lashon ha'Ra (Hilchos Deios 7:1-3)

7/28/2021
This afternoon (7/28/21 at YBT) we revisited the question we spent yesterday working on, namely, "What is rechilus?" Thanks to some non-Rambam sources, we were able to come up with a clear definition of rechilus according to the Rambam and explain how lashon ha'ra is a subcategory. We then analyzed the statements the Rambam cited about the harm of lashon ha'ra. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות דעות ז:א-ג ויקרא יט:טז עם פירוש רש"י, רלב"ג, תורה שלמה, ר"ש הירש ספר...

Duration:01:01:54

The Definition of Rechilus (Hilchos Deios 7:1-2)

7/27/2021
This afternoon (7/27/21 at YBT) we resumed our Rambam Bekius chavurah with the seventh and final perek of Hilchos Deios! Our plan is to finish by the end of next week so that we can start Hilchos Talmud Torah at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. Today we focused on the surprisingly-difficult-to-define activity of rechilus ("gossip mongering"). We did a pretty thorough job of exploring the possibilities, but didn't QUITE arrive at a final formulation. We're going to attempt to do...

Duration:01:00:41

Treatment of Widows and Orphans + Bein Adam l'Chaveiro (Hilchos Deios 6:10; Moreh 3:54)

6/17/2021
This afternoon (6/17/21 at YBT) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we concluded the sixth chapter of Hilchos Deios, which is about the treatment of widows and orphans. In the remaining time we took up a question that was raised yesterday: According to the Rambam, if yedias Hashem (knowledge of God) is the ultimate perfection, then where do mitzvos bein adam l'chaveiro (interpersonal commandments) fit in? We answered this question by reading - in bekius fashion - the final ideas in the Moreh...

Duration:00:58:17

The Mitzvah of Tochachah and She'Lo le'Halbin Panim (Hilchos Deios 6:6-9)

6/16/2021
This afternoon (6/16/21 at YBT) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we continued on in the sixth chapter of Hilchos Deios with the mitzvos of tochachah (rebuke) and she'lo le'halbin panim (not to embarrass). In addition to learning what the Rambam wrote, we also mused about the current state of the mitzvah of tochachah in Klal Yisroel today. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר המדע, הלכות דעות ו:ו-ט רמב"ם - ספר המצוות, עשה רה; לא תעשה שג ---------- Bekius Disclaimer: Note that this is...

Duration:00:59:46