The Adams Street Shul

Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard

This stimulating Shavuos conversation, led by Rabbi Michael Joel, takes Kedoshim 30b as its starting point.  The anomalies in the analogies given there are the springboard for exploring the relationship between the yetzer hara and the Torah.

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Only the first hour (i.e., half of the conversation) was recorded, but it is worthwhile on its own.  The second half developed ideas about the reasons for and against integrating the yetzer hara, and techniques for doing so.  Finally, Leviticus 2:11-12 and Kli Yakar provided the explicit connection to Shavuos:  The holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah is the only occasion that permits (indeed commands) the inclusion of leaven and honey (representing the yetzer hara) in the offering.

Here are images of page 1 and page 2 of the handout at the event, containing the sources being discussed.

And here is the video of the conversation:  

(66 minutes)