Weekly Essay

  • Parashat Vayera  —  5760

  • Vayera Structure  —  1987, Presented at the Yigal Alon Histadrut Center

  • Overview of Vayera  —  5758 Theme
    Development of דין goes hand-in-hand with הכנסת אורחים, and with a parasha that stresses the relativity of Justice. The relationship of אהבה and יראה, and of poetry and science.
    Astonishing that without the combination, invariably either the accepted mechanical definitions end up defining the acceptable patterns; or the accepted patterns end up defining the acceptable definitions! Consider the rejection by science of the validity of emergent patterns—such as life, consciousness, or fundamental patterns such as existence—as requiring any new level of definitions. Having limited the acceptable area of inquiry we now delegitimatize the very existence of patterns not explicable in those terms. But this is no different than the religious rejection of patterns like evolution not explicable in terms of their mechanics, i.e. creationism. Yet the original rejection on both sides of the fence of mechanical ad hoc explanations (avoda zara rain gods on one end, or epicycles on the other, were originally driven by the perception of a pattern demanding more universal explanations.
    The difference between the “personal” and the “individual” as the difference between the dangerous יראה and the post-אהבה
    The entire issue revolves around הכנסת אורחים. סדום must degenerate (as must any cult) because it is the same as the בקרוביה of שרה: if the paradigm is self-defined, then it can no longer be creative and limits itself. The development of a post-אהבה level of יראה is only possible by maintaining הכנסת אורחים. This takes the place of the simple הליכה of the individual אוהב and becomes the אשל.
    Two levels of בעיטה: denial and rejection; the meaning of לו איחל, לא איחל

  • Vayera for Executives  —  5761, Executive Learning Group Theme
    Beyond the simple construction of laughter, the parasha is a study of alternative realities that appear as bad jokes. Laughter as the vehicle of restructured reality allowing the potential of 70 alternative realities, a functioning Sanhedrin, individual freedom, and most importantly, the relationship of דין to the world of process and complex feedback. מלאכים are central here in translating elements of abstract הנהגה into reality, which is why they take on the form of אישים (thus there may not be as great a difference between the approach of the מורה and the רמב"ן as first appears). This is where we address at last the loss of לוט and begin the return of רות.

  • Vayera for Executives II  —  5762, Executive Learning Group

  • Vayera - Transitions  —  5762 Theme
    The transition to יראה and its implications for the personality of אברהם אבינו. How it leads to עבודה מתוך אהבה and never changes into דין per se. Self discovery only possible in דין, and without it the result is ישמעאל with his ידו בכל ויד כל בו and his desperate need to define some עבודה which culminates in the sickness of Islam with its contradictions between Heaven and Earthly foci. For עבודה too is the result of דין, though it is impelled by אהבה. Without it, there is nothing to achieve that has not already been achieved, nothing unique, nothing absolutely individual: אתה גבור-ממית ומחיה.

  • Vayera - Developments  —  5763 Theme
    From לך לך to לך לך: from philosophy to personal involvement; from the development of life to the defintion of the context of life; from science as the logistic discovery of common roots to the definitions of the context for existence; from existential stasis to a dynamic and living world in brit; from חסד to דין...
    From OH Shiur: Relating the Haftara to the parasha through understanding פתח וקמץ and the relationships that form ברית or שכינה; cults or movements;הכנסת אורחים as the Roads and the door as the place of meeting. לידה; זקנה; יום הדין ודין; עקידה ומיתה אחרי לידה ניסית; הצלה ברגע האחרון

  • Advanced Vayera  —  "Advanced FrameWorks" Series presented to Kollel Fellows, 1995


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