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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 the Menorah (Part 2)

12/1/2021
This afternoon (12/1/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we continued learning through the halachos of the Menorah in the Mishneh Torah. When we finished with those, we began learning through R' Avraham ben ha'Rambam's commentary on Shemos 25:31-39, with the very helpful footnotes in Moshe Maimon's new edition. I can't say we understood everything, but I definitely feel like I have a better grasp of the Menorah than I did two days ago. Note: I don't recommend listening to today's shiur or...

Duration:00:56:11

Rambam on the Menorah (Part 1)

11/30/2021
This afternoon (11/30/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we decided to spend the rest of the week taking up assorted Chanukah-related topics in the writings of the Rambam. We began with the Rambam's presentation of the events of Chanukah and its founding, just for the sake of review. We didn't exactly break new ground, but review is always good. We then started learning the halachos pertaining to the Menorah in Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah. That proved to be confusing, and the diagram...

Duration:00:57:54

How to Convert to Judaism According to the Rambam (Hilchos Issurei Biah 13-14)

11/23/2021
This afternoon (11/23/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we took a break from Hilchos Talmud Torah. Seeing as how my 21st geriversary is coming up this Thursday, we decided to review the Rambam's halachos about converting to Judaism. Since we only spent one session on this topic, we didn't have time to go through ALL the halachos, but at least we covered the halachos about the conversion process itself - in addition to taking a detour to the topic of milah for non-Jews. This was definitely...

Duration:00:58:08

Bitul Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:13)

11/22/2021
This afternoon (11/22/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we began by reviewing and finishing up the halachos we did last week on learning at night. After that, we learned the last couple halachos in the perek about acquiring the Crown of Torah. The major question we faced was: What does this have to do with acquiring the Crown of Torah? These halachos sound like they belong in the first perek, or at least earlier in this perek. We didn't answer all our questions, and we'll see whether we...

Duration:01:00:01

Learning at Night (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:13)

11/18/2021
This afternoon (11/18/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we analyzed the halacha about learning at night. I think we did a decent job, even though we didn't answer all our questions. It should be noted that the shiur was cut short because we had a long pre-shiur discussion about striking the right life/work/learning balance and guarding against burnout. You can hear traces of that topic in the shiur itself. Next week we plan to continue with the next halacha, unless we find answers for our...

Duration:00:42:47

Tying Up Loose Ends in Hilchos Talmud Torah: Women Learning, Seneca and Philosophy, Shul vs. Beis Midrash

11/17/2021
This afternoon (11/17/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we tied up a bunch of loose ends from a bunch of different topics in Hilchos Talmud Torah Chaptesr 1-3. We began by reading excerpts from R' Yehuda Henkin's psak about women learning Torah she'baal Peh and Talmud, which shed some light on our analysis of that topic in the Rambam. We then read an excerpt from Seneca's Letter #53 which poetically depicted the type of devotion one have in order to merit the Crown of Torah. Next, we...

Duration:00:51:07

Rambam on Beis Ha'Kneses (Hilchos Tefilah 8:1-3; 11:1-13)

11/16/2021
This afternoon (11/16/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we ACTUALLY DID BEKIUS! Our goal was to get an overview of what a Beis ha'Kneses is, in an effort to understand the Rambam's Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:12 about the virtue of learning Torah in a Beis ha'Kneses. We didn't end up circling back to that halacha, but we'll give it one more try tomorrow. ---------- מקורות: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, "Blessings and Thanksgiving: Reflections on the Siddur and Synagogue" (based on the Rav's...

Duration:01:00:46

The Perks of Learning Loudly but Modestly in Shul (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:12c)

11/15/2021
This afternoon (11/15/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we attempted to understand the Rambam's three directives: (1) learn in shul and you won't quickly forget, as per the special divine covenant, (2) learn with modesty and you'll become wise, and (3) learn audibly and you won't quickly forget. But first, at the beginning of the shiur, I shared a new Rambam tool I happened upon: the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society. This led to me going on one of my anti-"bad Mishneh Torah" (a.k.a....

Duration:01:00:36

Killing Your Coddled Self for Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:12)

11/11/2021
This afternoon (11/11/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we analyzed every single component of Halacha 12a-b. We came up with a unified theory for 12a, answering all five (or six?) of our questions in the process and explaining how a coddled learner's learning will suffer. We also did a decent job explaining the components of 12b, about "killing yourself" in your learning and learning "in anger." ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה א:י; ג:יב רמב"ם - משנה...

Duration:00:54:04

How to Balance Torah with Work and Pleasure (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:8-12)

11/10/2021
This afternoon (11/10/21), in our Rambam Bekius chavurah, we covered a number of topics, all of which revolved around achieving the proper balance between Torah, work, and pleasure, spending the most time trying to understand the nuances of how a person ought to relate to work. Even though we spent a week on halachos 10-11 in October, we went through them again in hopes that learning them in context would make a difference. Turns out that it did. The last topic had to do with the Rambam's...

Duration:00:58:08

Big Torah, Big Business, and Big Ego (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:6-9)

11/9/2021
This afternoon (11/9/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we continued learning the Rambam's guidelines for how to acquire the Crown of Torah. We began with a general question on this entire section: Why do WE need to know this? I understand why this is necessary for someone who aspires to obtain the Crown of Torah, but what about ordinary people who are content to fulfill the mitzvah of talmud Torah on a basic level? After answering that question and taking up one more point in yesterday's...

Duration:00:58:06

Prioritizing the Crown of Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:6-7)

11/8/2021
This afternoon (11/8/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we continued learning the Rambam's guidelines for how to acquire the Crown of Torah. We began by refining some of the loose ends from last week, then moved on to the next couple of clauses. The central topic of today had to do with prioritizing the Crown of Torah over all other pursuits. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה א:י; ג:ו-ז דונש אבן לברט רמב"ם - פירוש המשניות: הקדמה; אבות ב:יד רמב"ם - משנה...

Duration:00:57:30

The Price of the Crown of Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:6)

11/4/2021
This afternoon (11/4/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we began our investigation of how to acquire the Crown of Torah, beginning with the question, "What is the Crown of Torah?" After looking at all the sources in which the Rambam mentions "crown," we decided that we'd figure out what it is we are acquiring by learning how to acquire it. The Rambam quotes a series of Chazal's statements, which we began analyzing one by one. Looks like we'll have our work cut out for us over the next couple...

Duration:01:03:14

Rambam on Lishmah and she'Lo Lishmah: Some Answers (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:5 + Intro to Chelek)

11/3/2021
This afternoon (11/3/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we set out to answer the questions we raised last time. While we didn't answer every single part of every question, we definitely gained significant clarity in our understanding of the subject - and we even picked up some practical tips on how to facilitate the transition from she'lo lishmah to lishmah! This is yet another confirmation that the Rambam was right when he said: "If your thoughts fool you into thinking that you have...

Duration:00:58:53

Rambam on Lishmah and she'Lo Lishmah: Some Questions (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:5 + Intro to Chelek)

11/1/2021
This afternoon (11/1/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we began with the first mention of lishmah and she'lo lishmah in the Mishneh Torah. The context in which the Rambam presented it was unusual, to say the least, and raised a bunch of questions which we were able to mostly answer. We then read through the Rambam's primary discourse on lishmah and she'lo lishmah in his Introduction to Perek Chelek, raising some major questions. Our task next time will be to answer those questions to the...

Duration:00:59:35

Torah Study and the Purpose of Man (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:4 + Intro to the Mishnah)

10/28/2021
This afternoon (10/28/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we covered two topics, one minor and one major. The minor topic was leftover from yesterday: What happens when you're confronted with a choice between kibud av v'eim and another mitzvah? Likewise, what happens when you're confronted with a choice between Talmud Torah and another mitzvah? The major topic was: What is the meaning of, "Torah study is equal to all the mitzvos"? The second topic led us to the Rambam's beautiful exposition on...

Duration:00:58:40

Heavy Is the Crown of Torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:1-4)

10/27/2021
This afternoon (10/27/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we began learning what is sure to be an exciting perek, since it contains the principles necessary to master Torah. Today we focused on two topics: the Crown of Torah, and the precedence of talmud over action. We didn't quite get the full pshat in either of them, but we definitely walked away with what to think about. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה ג:א-ד רמב"ם - פירוש המשניות, אבות ד:יז רמב"ם -...

Duration:00:54:40

Early Childhood Metaphysical Education (Moreh ha'Nevuchim 1:35)

10/26/2021
This afternoon (10/26/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we began by tying up some loose ends from yesterday's learning of Hilchos Talmud Torah Chapter 2, regarding the historical context of the educational system described therein. After that we took up the topic of early childhood METAPHYSICAL education, which the Rambam doesn't discuss in the Mishneh Torah. We learned through the chapter in the Moreh ha'Nevuchim in which he outlines which foundational ideas he deems necessary to teach even...

Duration:00:53:36

Early Childhood Literacy Education (Hilchos Talmud Torah Chapter 2)

10/25/2021
This afternoon (10/25/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we started AND finished the chapter about tinokos shel beis rabban (early childhood education). We answered some of the questions we raised but not others, and felt that we were missing some important historical context. I'm going to try to find more info in that area for tomorrow's shiur. ---------- מקורות: רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר המדע, הלכות תלמוד תורה פרק ב רמב"ם - משנה תורה, ספר שופטים, הלכות מלכים ומלחמות ז:טו ---------- This...

Duration:00:58:47

Rambam: On Women Learning Torah - Part 2 (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:13)

10/21/2021
Rambam: On Women Learning Torah - Part 2 (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:13) This afternoon (10/21/21) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we continued in our attempt to understand the Rambam's shitah on teaching Torah to women. I say "attempt" because the tasked proved to be quite difficult. I can't say we really arrived at a firm understanding. Unless you REALLY want to be thorough, I might even recommend skipping this one. The only real big move we had was our realization that the Rambam's definition...

Duration:00:54:16