Nishmas. part I

This week’s shiur skips to Nishmas, under the assumption that davening in shul runs too quickly for slow and careful recitation, and it would be more practical to skip to around the point where we switch Chazanim and assume a more contemplative pace.Just some of the discussed subjects:

  • Who wrote Nishmas? The Peter connection and what it says about the content of Nishmas.
  • Why do we speak of Nishmas kol chai, veru’ach kol basar, but say nothing about the nefesh? (see previous three weeks’ shiurim for discussion of these three aspects of the soul.)
  • The symbology of Shabbos, tefillin and tzitzis according to the Maharal and R’ Samson Raphael Hirch.
  • The moral duty to praise Hashem, and the mention of those things for which we must say Birkhos haGomeil. Being saved in and of itself vs being saved by reexperiencing an aspect of yetzi’as Mitzrayim.
  • The need to thank Hashem for giving us challenges in measures that we can handle, and moreso, from which to grow.
  • The impossibility of expressing His praise and therefore of the need to praise Hashem implicitly through action and ontologically, since we embodying His Wisdom.

We concluded at the beginning of haKeil, and should pick up at that point.

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  1. Brother Bob says:

    Did you note the alternating nature of Nishmas?

    From a section talking about God to a section talking about man.

    From a literary/theological perspective very beautiful.

  2. micha says:

    I noted that the first part of Nishmas establishes the moral duty to praise and thank G-d. Whereas the second part deals with the dilemma of how can the finite possibly be equipped to appropriate praise the Infinite.

    Similar but different ideas.

  3. Brother Bob says:

    Beyond your point. Nishmas is a serious of paragraph which focus on either man praising God, alternating with actual praise of God.

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