Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein

About Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein

Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein received Rabbinic Ordination from both the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Yeshiva University. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Talmud at Hebrew University. He teaches Advanced Poskim, Talmud, Midrash and Advanced Midrash.

Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein

Introduction To Eight More Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

Our course this time around will focus on an in-depth study of a section of the Tractate Rosh Hashanah (16b-18a) which deals with the question of the divine judgment of human beings and the world. Much of this material is particularly relevant to the Yamim Noraim but it deals with major religious issues as well. […]

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What Is The Reward For Oberving the Commandments – Kiddushin 39b – Eight Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

When Bad Things Happen To Good People – Kiddushin 39b Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein The Conservative Yeshiva Sources View the English text for Kiddushin 39b View the Hebrew text for Kiddushin 39b Guide Questions and Issues Section #1 Make note of the language of the mishnah. What is the mishnah promising? What do you think the […]

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Kiddushin 39b English

Lesson 1 – What is the reward for observing the commandments? – Kiddushin 39b Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein The Conservative Yeshiva To view the Hebrew text, click here. MISHNAH. 1. HE WHO PERFORMS ONE PRECEPT IS WELL REWARDED, HIS DAYS ARE PROLONGED, AND HE INHERITS THE LAND, BUT HE WHO DOES NOT PERFORM ONE PRECEPT, GOOD IS […]

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Introduction To Eight Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

Welcome to the course “Eight Theologically Provocative Sugyot in the Talmud”. In this course we will tackle some knotty theological questions as they found in the Babylonian sugya (argument). The manner of discourse will be Talmudic. The rabbis go about their discussions of theological questions in a “Talmudic way”, which is different from our modern […]

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Can There Be Conversion Without Circumcision? – What Does It Take to Become a Jew?

What Does It Take to Become a Jew? – The Conversion Controversy in Modern Jewish Law – Lesson 8 Can There Be Conversion Without Circumcision? + PDF In previous lessons, we have largely dealt with the mindset of the potential convert and with the range of possibilities in determining what constitutes accept the obligations necessary […]

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Baba Kamma – Chapter 6

The Babylonian Talmud has been the foundation of Jewish life since its completion some 1500 years ago. It is the source of Jewish practice and, perhaps more importantly, it is central to shaping the Jewish thought process, the manner in which we approach, think about and solve problems. It is the core of our study program at the Conservative Yeshiva. This course will study the material studied this year in the Conservative Yeshiva Beit Midrash.

Our study course this semester will be the 6th chapter of the tractate Baba Kamma, which deals with an owner's responsibility and liability for the damage caused by his animal. This course will seek to provide a window into how the sages think and analyze problems, deriving their answers from the tradition. This course aims to provide students with some basic Talmudic skills, some inspiring debate, and an appetite for more.

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Baba Kamma- Chapter 8

The Babylonian Talmud has been the foundation of Jewish life since its completion some 1500 years ago. It is the source of Jewish practice and, perhaps more importantly, it is central to shaping the Jewish thought process, the manner in which we approach, think about and solve problems. It is the core of our study program at the Conservative Yeshiva.

This course will study the material studied this year in the Conservative Yeshiva Beit Midrash. Our study course this semester will be the 8th chapter of the tractate Baba Kamma, which deals with the liability to provide compensation to someone whom we have injured, pained or humiliated. This course will seek to provide a window into how the sages think and analyze problems, deriving their answers from the tradition. This course aims to provide students with some basic Talmudic skills, some inspiring debate, and an appetite for more.

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Eight Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

It is a popular assumption that the Talmud is a book filled exclusively with legal dialectic and debate. Truth be told, the Talmud contains much more non- legal material than legal material and the same rabbis who vigorously debate legal issues, are equally energetic in their discussions about what makes up their theological universe.

This course will focus on a number of these debates. Among the topics to be discussed: Why do the righteous suffer; Is there reward for service to God; Did Israel really accept the Torah of their own free will; Are the dead really resurrected; Who makes Jewish law – God or man?

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Eight More Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

It is a popular assumption that the Talmud is a book filled exclusively with legal dialectic and debate. Truth be told, the Talmud contains much more non- legal material than legal material and the same rabbis who vigorously debate legal issues, are equally energetic in their discussions about what makes up their theological universe. This course will focus on a number of these debates. Among the topics to be discussed: When Is Man Judged; Are We Really Inscribed in a Book of Life; Is God Really Merciful; What Human Qualities Are Rewarded; What Divine Qualities are We Intended to Emulate; What Is Teshuva Good For; Why Be a Part of a Religious Community.

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Talmud with the Conservative Yeshiva

This year Conservative Yeshiva students in Jerusalem will be learning Tractate Berachot. This online course offers both new students and alumni an opportunity to study the same material that we will be studying in Jerusalem. We will learn together selected sugyot dealing with topics like the reading of Shema, the recitation of the Amidah, the structure and recitation of blessings as well as theological problems like the question of why bad things happen to good people.

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Ten Bible Stories You Thought You Knew – Introduction to Rabbinic Midrash

The sages of the Rabbinic period shaped the way the Jewish tradition looks at the Bible. Their manner of interpretation is known as midrash. This course seeks to provide the student with the tools: textual, historical, religious and literary to explore the rabbinic interpretation of Scripture. This will be accomplished through the examination of how the rabbinic sages interpreted key stories in the Bible. The text reading will be examined both in Hebrew and in English translation.
1. Introduction: What is Midrash? Its historical, religious, literary background
2. Cain and Abel
3. What makes Abraham so special?
4. The Sin of Sodom and Gemorrah
5. The Binding of Isaac
6. Jacob and the Ladder
7. What caused the trouble with Amalek?
8. The Making of the Heroes of Purim – Mordechai and Esther
9. Moses at the Burning Bush
10. Israel at the Sea

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What Does It Take to Become a Jew? – The Conversion Controversy in Modern Jewish Law

Conversion (Giyyur in Hebrew) has become one of the most volatile issues in modern Jewish life. People are often unaware that most of the issues under discussion have their roots in serious legal (halachic) debates. This course will examine some of the major concerns which underscore these legal controversies. Among the topics that will be discussed will be: the basic legal components of conversion; conversion for ulterior motives; acceptance of the Torah; must a person become an observant Jew to convert; can a conversion be annulled; the concept of “zera Yisrael – (Jewish blood), the conversion of a minor. In this course we will examine the foundation sources in the tradition for each debate and then the modern opinions which underlie the passionate deliberations found in modern Jewish life.

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