On Monday night, 14 Tevet, Kollel students of our Beit Midrash on Rehov Ido HaNavi (the Prayer Hall), came to hear the words of the Living God from Moreinu HaRav Eliezer Berland shlit”a.
Here is a summary of the shiur, some forty minutes of holy fire:
The Rav shlit”a began the shiur discussing the weekly Torah portions and the theft of Yosef’s goblet, and how Yosef said to his brothers that the reason that they stole the cup was in order to reveal Yosef’s identity in Egypt, as is brought in Midrashim.
Afterwards, he spoke about the weekly Torah portion, Vayechi, and Yaakov’s curse of Shimon and Levi. He explained the well-known question of the Ramban that the reason for them not to kill the men of Shechem was because they already took onto themselves the Mitzvot and wanted to convert.
Later on, he discussed the concubine of Givah, citing the Gemara in Gittin on this topic, “A person should never cast excessive fear in his home.” He emphasized the important of domestic tranquility and how much a person needs to maintain a pleasant atmosphere in his home. While discussing this, the Rav shlit”a mentioned that next week “Shovavim Tat” begins, and that everyone should undertake a Taanit Dibur [a “fast” from talking] at least once a week.
After these words, he returned to discussing Shimon and Levi and the dispute between the Rambam and the Ramban regarding the question of why the men of Shechem were liable to death. From subject to subject, he started discussing other disputes of the Rambam and Ramban, that these were the disputes between Yosef and his brothers. Likewise, he dealt with the question of whether the prohibition of eating a limb from a living animal applies to fowl. He brought the dispute between the Kreiti Pleiti and Radbaz regarding the opinion of the Rambam on whether or not fowl is considered meat as it pertains to the law of the wayward and rebellious son [one of the conditions of being declared as such is to eat “meat”]. Afterward, he again spoke about Shimon and Levi, and said that Dinah was basically the first hostage. He said that also King David was a hostage of the Philistines, and brought the complete story of how Avishai flew into the air through using a holy name and saved David at the last moment.
Towards the end of the shiur, the Rav shlit”a spoke about the holiness of Tzeruyah [David’s sister, the mother of Yoav and Avishai], who was like a Tzur (a rock), and merited to bring into the world such holy sons who could fly in the air. In support of his words, he brought the words of Midrash Rabbah which speaks about the holiness of man, and that if a child is conceived in holiness, he will be sharp and quick-witted.