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My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be div ...
 
A thrilling spy story, a children's adventure, a charming portrait of early twentieth century life in London and the countryside and a heart warming family tale are all combined in this classic of children's literature The Railway Children by E Nesbit. The book has remained on the list of the best-loved children's books ever since it was first published as a serial story in The London Magazine in 1905. Later, it was published in book form and won acclaim from critics and readers across the w ...
 
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This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Sol and Chummie Azose, in honor of the upcoming 81st birthday of the Rosh ha'Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Chait, and the 91st birthday of Sol's father, Hazzan Isaac Azose. If you're interested in sponsoring a day's or a week's worth of Torah content, you can contact me at rabbischneeweiss@gmail.com. Synopsi…
 
Tonight (7/28/21 at YBT) we learned the opening sentences of Darchei ha'Talmud - the very first methodology sefer, written by R' Yitzchak Kanpanton (1360 - 1463 CE). Our intent was to gain insight into methodology in general, beginning with the author's explanation of the Gemara's answer to the question: "How does one become wise?" ---------- This …
 
This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Sol and Chummie Azose, in honor of the upcoming 81st birthday of the Rosh ha'Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Chait, and the 91st birthday of Sol's father, Hazzan Isaac Azose. If you're interested in sponsoring a day's or a week's worth of Torah content, you can contact me at rabbischneeweiss@gmail.com. Synopsi…
 
This week, Ashley M. Jones and JoAnn Balingit talk about where poetry lives in the face of loss and grief, and how that intimate place can be shared. Balingit’s intimate approach to poetry has had to consider a wider audience during her tenure as poet laureate of Delaware. For example, when Balingit received a request from the Philippine embassy to…
 
This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Sol and Chummie Azose, in honor of the upcoming 81st birthday of the Rosh ha'Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Chait, and the 91st birthday of Sol's father, Hazzan Isaac Azose. If you're interested in sponsoring a day's or a week's worth of Torah content, you can contact me at rabbischneeweiss@gmail.com. Synopsi…
 
This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Sol and Chummie Azose, in honor of the upcoming 81st birthday of the Rosh ha'Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Chait, and the 91st birthday of Sol's father, Hazzan Isaac Azose. If you're interested in sponsoring a day's or a week's worth of Torah content, you can contact me at rabbischneeweiss@gmail.com. Synopsi…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and told me, "No thanks needed!" so I'm not going to thank them. Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page dvar Torah I wrote entitled, Declaring Hashem's Oneness in Love. This article was my attempt to understand a gem from the Abudirham's commenta…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and told me, "No thanks needed!" so I'm not going to thank them. Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article entitled, Musings on the Inadequacy of Internet Research. This article was inspired by a humbling personal encounter I had with a mode…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and told me, "No thanks needed!" so I'm not going to thank them. Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article entitled, Bodily Posture as a Sensory Anchor for Kavanah in Tefilah. If you've ever had your mind wander while davening shemoneh esrei…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and told me, "No thanks needed!" so I'm not going to thank them. Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article entitled, My Experience Fasting for 48 Hours on the 9th and 10th of Av. The operative phrase here is "my experience," for whatever tha…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and told me, "No thanks needed!" so I'm not going to thank them. Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article entitled, The Tenth of Av, Seven Haftaros of Consolation, and Life After the Pain. Inspired by one of Tara Brach's mindfulness practic…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by the Reznik family in dedication to the loving memory of Silvia Tanzer (Sora Hesha bas Chaim Moshe) and Irving Tanzer (Yisroel ben Yechezkel). Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote for Tishah b'Av 5781, entitled An Approach to the Blasphemy in Eichah and Kinnos, in which I prese…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by the Reznik family in dedication to the loving memory of Silvia Tanzer (Sora Hesha bas Chaim Moshe) and Irving Tanzer (Yisroel ben Yechezkel). Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, Hunting for Treasure vs. Panning for Gold on the Beaches of Nome, in which I reflect on …
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by the Reznik family in dedication to the loving memory of Silvia Tanzer (Sora Hesha bas Chaim Moshe) and Irving Tanzer (Yisroel ben Yechezkel). Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, The Necessity of Metaphysical Trauma for National Teshuvah, in which we answer the titul…
 
This week, Ashley M. Jones speaks with one of the most important mentors in her life: poet and scholar Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley. They speak about protest and power, Weir-Soley’s mentor Audre Lorde, and the legacies they inhabit and continue as Black poets writing toward liberation. Weir-Soley met Audre Lorde as a student at Hunter College, and came…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by the Reznik family in dedication to the loving memory of Silvia Tanzer (Sora Hesha bas Chaim Moshe) and Irving Tanzer (Yisroel ben Yechezkel). Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, The Sin of Refusing to Look at Oneself, in which we analyze Yeshayahu's first prophecy a…
 
This week's Torah content is sponsored by the Reznik family in dedication to the loving memory of Silvia Tanzer (Sora Hesha bas Chaim Moshe) and Irving Tanzer (Yisroel ben Yechezkel). Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, The Induction of Metaphysical Trauma, which examines an idea from the Rav about how a Je…
 
Synopsis: This is a recording of the shiur I gave over Zoom on Tishah b'Av 5780 (8/14/20). The shiur focuses on a methodology for learning kinos as applied to Kinah #31, the theme of which is a comparison of the Exodus from Mitzrayim to the "Exodus" from Yerushalayim. Three other things to note: (1) the actual shiur ends at 1:43:00; from there unti…
 
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, Haftarah of Mattos / Masei: Divine Love as the Foundation of Rebuke, in which I attempt to explain Yirmiyahu's first prophecy in light of the Rambam's categorization of Torah doctrines, combined with an insight from an expert in childhood trauma. ---------- If you have qu…
 
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, Sameach b'Chelko as Unconditional Happiness, in which I compare an insight into happiness from Anthony de Mello to Ben Zoma's definition of wealth in Pirkei Avos, as explained by the classical commentaries. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would …
 
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, Feynman: On Definitional Neurosis, in which I analyze a methodological insight conveyed by Richard Feynman in one of his quips. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gm…
 
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled, Bruce Lee's Oak and the Success of Evil, which is about an insight I had into Mishlei and Tehilim based on a nuance in one of my favorite Bruce Lee quotations. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to cont…
 
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the one-page article I wrote entitled: The One-Page Article: A Summer 2021 Experiment, in which I state and explain my writing plans for the summer. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. ---------- If…
 
Ashley M. Jones is interested in the way that poetry can bring loved ones back to life. In this week’s episode, Jones sits down with Cathy Linh Che to talk about resurrections on the page. After fleeing Vietnam as refugees, Che’s parents worked as extras on the film Apocalypse Now. Jones and Che talk about the revisionist cinematic history of the f…
 
Tonight's Chumash shiur (given at YBT on 6/16/21) wasn't a shiur, but an exploration of the short but perplexing incident of the fiery serpents, as explained by the Sforno. We only had time to set up the area, and didn't really arrive at any definitive conclusions, but I think the steps we took are good, and can be further developed by those who th…
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in July 2016 entitled: Parashas Chukas: Overlooking Sacrilegious Speech. Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at …
 
One thing Ashley M. Jones knows to be absolutely true is that her work is made possible by the poetry and spirit of Lucille Clifton. This week, Jones speaks with Sidney Clifton, one of Lucille Clifton’s daughters. Sidney Clifton is the President of the Clifton House, a new endeavour to transform her childhood home in Baltimore into a gathering plac…
 
I was talking with a former high school student of mine about the philosophically inclined education she received in Midreshet Shalhevet (a"h). Like any good student, she continued to learn and develop after high school, and to eventually begin to question and critique what she had been taught in an effort to forge her own path. She sent me an essa…
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in June 2017 entitled: Parashas Korach: What Happened to Korach? Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. And if you're a fan of these "audiobook versions" of my divrei Torah and blog posts, please let me know, since this will encourage me to record more. …
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in June 2018 entitled: Parashas Shelach: The Torah's View of Temptation. Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. And if you're a fan of these "audiobook versions" of my divrei Torah and blog posts, please let me know, since this will encourage me to recor…
 
Tonight (6/2/20 at YBT) we took up the question: What does the Torah mean by "toeivah" (abomination)? The impetus for taking up this topic was Mishlei 20:10, which referred to unjust weights and measures as a "toeivah," and which we spent a couple of days working on. I mentioned that I came up with a theory for the Torah's use of "toeivah" years ag…
 
Ashley M. Jones says she has never met an Ashley she hasn’t liked. This week, the feeling was mutual. Jones caught up with Ashlee Haze, a force of a poet in every sense of the word. Haze’s poem, “temple,” is featured in this month’s issue of Poetry, along with a video of the poem, which you can check out on our website. Jones and Haze talk about th…
 
Tonight (5/26/21 at YBT), in lieu of our Chumash Methodology Shiur, we took a leaf from the playbook of Saadia Gaon by tackling a fundamental question in epistemology: "What are ideas?" This question, with its right and wrong answers, had surfaced numerous times in various discussions over the course of the year, and I kept on telling my talmidim, …
 
Tonight (5/25/20 at YBT), in lieu of our Tehilim shiur, we took up a topic inspired by our Rambam Bekius shiur last week, which focused on the virtue of silence. One of the statements cited by Chazal on silence was from Avos 3:13: "a fence for wisdom is silence." I found Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on this statement to be illuminating, but was disa…
 
In tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 5/19/21) we continued learning through the section of his book "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" (1975) entitled "Organized Despair." If you haven't seen Part 1, I suggest you do so before watching Part 2, since that's where I explain who Bruce Lee is to me, and how his teachings form the foundation o…
 
This week we visit the opera. Writer and musician Kevin Simmonds and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis discuss Black sound, Black church, and the future of opera. Davis has been making operas rooted in Black history for over thirty years. X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, premiered in 1986. Today you’ll hear from X, and his opera Amis…
 
In this week's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (5/7/21) I gave over a presentation that I've given every year in my hashkafah class in Shalhevet (a"h). The foundation of this presentation was a series of shiurim given by Rabbi Fox at Northwest Yeshiva High School a number of years ago in which he identified three schools of thought (or trends) in Jewish thi…
 
In tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 5/5/21) I undertook the daunting task of attempting to convey to my talmidim the impact that Bruce Lee has had on my personal derech. Although I've quoted Bruce Lee's teachings here and there over the course of the year, I've never really devoted time to explaining exactly how his teachings ha…
 
This week, we hear from one of the co-editors of the first historically comprehensive Native poetry anthology – yes the very first. It’s called When The Light of The World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. It was edited by Poet Laureate Joy Harjo with Jennifer Elise Foerster and LeAnne Howe. Organized…
 
In last week's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/30/21) we learned three answers to the question, "What is the theme of the Chag ha'Shavuos?" - that of the Ralbag, the Abravanel, and Rav Hirsch. In every machlokess there will be strengths and weaknesses to each side, and we attempted to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each of these three. We ended…
 
In tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 4/28/21) emerged from a machlokess Rishonim on how we should divide our learning time. Let's call it Rambam vs. Rabbeinu Tam, for simplicity's sake. Like it or not, most (if not all) of us have been raised in an educational model predominantly influenced by Rabbeinu Tam. Tonight's shiur is not…
 
In last week's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/23/21) we attempted to do something that, traditionally, we haven't been very good at: learning bekius (i.e. to cover ground). Since Parashas Kedoshim contains SO many fundamental mitzvos, I wanted to attempt to cover as many as possible, and in so doing, to demonstrate a paradigm for familiarizing oneself w…
 
Poetry can be a great connector. It can connect us to our bodies and our histories. For Ashley M. Jones, poetry is also a way to connect with faith. In today’s episode, Jones sits down with the poet Faisal Mohyuddin, whose poem “Allah Castles” appears in the May issue of Poetry, the first under Jones’s guest editorship. Mohyuddin and Jones explore …
 
In last night's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 4/21/21) we took up a the controversial but important topic identified by the title. Since I have neither the qualifications nor the desire to tackle such a weighty issue on my own, I decided to read and discuss Rabbi Marc Shapiro's essay יש חיוב להאמין שהזוהר נכתב על ידי רבי שמעון בר יוחאי…
 
This morning's Sunday shiur (4/18/20 at YBT) was inspired by a Richard Feynman anecdote in which he recounts crisis which caused him to abandon Judaism as a kid. I believe that many Jewish educators are setting their students up for a similar crisis - a crisis I refer to as "Midrashic Betrayal." In this shiur I provide an overview of my understandi…
 
Today's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/16/21) was about the role of humor in Torah study, as reflected in a statement by Chazal. This shiur is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of the topic, or even a full analysis of this Gemara. Rather, as the name of this series - "Machshavah Lab" - implies, this was just an exploratory introduction to the …
 
Tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 4/14/21) is a follow-up to our shiur on Shadal's Opposition to Philosophical Judaism (given at YBT on 4/9/21). At the end of that shiur I was asked, "What is Shadal's approach to Chumash?" I was disappointed that he didn't write a methodological introduction to his commentary on Chumash, but I wa…
 
This episode is an "audiobook style" reading of an article I wrote on August 4, 2015 entitled Mussar Without "Should"s and "Shouldn't"s. Click here to access the article on my blog. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. ---------- Patreon:…
 
Today's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/9/21) was intended to expand the horizons of my particular students, who (a) have been immersed in a largely Maimonidean Torah framework, and (b) have never been exposed to an anti-Maimonidean polemic. This shiur centered on Shadal's commentary on Devarim 6:5, about ahavas Hashem (love of God), which expressed a nu…
 
In today's Iyov class (4/7/20 at Lomdeha) we tackled one of the classic "spicy questions": Can God do the impossible? We examined four "no" answers: one based on logic, and the other three given by various meforshim (Rambam, Saadia Gaon, and the Sefer ha'Ikkarim). Some questions we left unanswered, but hopefully the lesson was sufficiently clear to…
 
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