Torah Thinking

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August 17, 2018  

Teshuva: The True Meaning of Repentance

Shiur given 8/12/2018

Rabbi Mendel Kessin

In Israel


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Derech Hashem / The Way of God #78 | Man’s Free Will & Nahama D’Kisufa

Why did man need to be first placed in an environment where he would need to be tested and make the right choice using his free will? If the goal is the infinite, eternal bliss of Olam Haba why didnt Hashem place Mankind there from the beginning.

Given 7/7/18

By Rabbi Mendel Kessin

July 8, 2018  

Derech Hashem / The Way of God #77 | Man’s Free Will

Given 6/23/18

By Rabbi Mendel Kessin

June 24, 2018  
June 17, 2018  

21st Century #33 | The 4 Messiahs at the End of Time

Given 6/15/2018

By Rabbi Mendel Kessin


Derech Hashem / The Way of God #76 | An Overview of the Concept of the Hashgacha / Supervision & Interaction Between Hashem & Creation

Given 6/8/18

By Rabbi Mendel Kessin


  • Focus of second section of Derech Hashem: Hashgacha
  • Framework
    • Purpose
      • Determines all that exists
    • Situation
    • Free will
    • Actions
    • Response of Hashem
  • Occurrences in the world are the responses of Hashem to the acts of man
  • Hashem takes into account ALL variables. Pretty much infinite
  • Ramchal talks about the responses in a general way, as the specifics of each situation are infinite
  • Everything that exists only exists due to a purpose, it's situation included.
  • Hashem sustains all creations including those that are spiritual.
  • Each individual entity advances the purpose of creation.
  • A key to proper Tefillah / prayer is to contemplate this for a few minutes before you start.
  • The Hashgacha to Man is different than that to other creations due to his having free will and being a true cause.
  • This results in 2 major types of hashgacha
    • That of beings without free will and are completely acted upon
    • That of beings with free will who can act upon
  • The Hashgacha of man has 3 subdivisions.
    • Midah kneged Midah (din) mishpat
    • A partial suspension of din to give us a chance (rachamim)
    • A complete suspension of din to fulfill His desire (yichud)
  • Hashem can look at someone in 2 ways
    • On his own
    • As a contributor to the community
  • One of the greatest activities a person can be involved with is zikui harabbim
  • The Hashgacha on a person can be a response to thought (which is the cause of feelings) and action.
  • When approaching Hashem in Tefillah it's always better to do so with an attitude of Him providing for us from love for unknown reasons, as opposed to presenting what we perceive to be our merits.
  • A Jews purpose is to do the Tikun. The purpose of a goy is to assist the Jews in doing the Tikun. They thereby get Olam Habah
  • A goy can also get Olam Haba by doing the 7 Mitzvos of bnei Noach.

Derech Hashem / The Way of God #75 | The Components of Creation in Detail, Part 6

Given 6/2/2018
By Rabbi Mendel Kessin

Transcendental forces as the cause of reality.

  • Transcendental forces are controlled by malachim (isarusa d’leilah - influence from above).
  • Nature & Miracles.
  • Anyone with free will can influence their transcendental counterpart (Isarusa d’ltatah)
  • God can decree that there be an influence from the transcendental force to a creation despite their free will.
  • Those with free will can also influence other things and even other people with free will and, in turn, anything those people influence.
  • About the unconscious stream of thought, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • People can also instruct malachim to deviate

Haoras and hester Panim / Divine illumination and concealment

  • Reward and punishment
  • Hashem can influence the malach by shining illumination and increasing His presence
  • Concealing His presence from that malach, allowing the Satan to enter and apply zohama
  • Hashem may give someone success to someone to allow him to consume his entire reward in olam hazeh
  • Hashem is on the side of all people - even goyim - to make sure they get olam habah. Only people evil to the extreme are subject to ibud - annihilation
  • While olam habah must be achieved through earning it, Hashem does give assistance solely as a kindness even if it is undeserved
June 3, 2018  

21st Century #32 | The 4th Error of President Donald Trump

Given 6/2/2018
By Rabbi Mendel Kessin


The Proposed Israel - Palestinian Peace Deal