Derashos haRan – Derashah #2
Thursday, March 16th – June 1st, 2023, at 8:00pm EDT
at Zelemele’s Kloiz
The chaburah at Zelmele’s Kloiz finished the Ran’s second derashah this past Thursday, June 1st, 2023, at our usual time 8pm Eastern Daylight Time.
The Yaaqov – Eisav conflict plays out three times:
- in the womb, until Yaaqov grabs Eisav’s ankle,
- in their lives, until Yaaqov wins a fight against Eisav’s angel and the two part ways, and
- throughout the course of the exile that has already been the majority of human history.
The earlier iterations teach us much about this exile, and they were set up to disagree even in the womb to indicate as much.
Meanwhile the Ran continued the theme he introduced in the first derashah about Maaseh Bereishis, and the interface between the spiritual world and our physical one.
- When it comes to prayer, requests and blessings are more effective when one is in physical or emotional contact with the intended recipient of Divine Beneficence. The person saying the prayer is a conduit of shefa, Divine Influence, down into this world. And this added kavanah connects that flow to the intended recipient.
- Prophecies about the future are not guaranteed to happen in-and-of-themselves. There are only two exceptions. More accepted among other rishonim is the reliability of positive prophecies given by a navi who has messages for the masses, and therefore has to gain their trust. So Hashem set up that sign — if a “navi” gives a positive prediction that doesn’t happen, he must be a false prophet. Whereas negative predictions cannot be guaranteed, as teshuvah by the recipient should be rewarded. But the exception the Ran focuses on is when the navi is told to perform a symbolic action making the message manifest. Because this already brought the spiritual into the physical world.
Here is the Derashos haRan playlist, scrolled forward to the second derashah.
We have been using Derashos haRan as a centerpiece a series of discussions to strengthen our own emunah. How do these ideas of Medieval Philosophy from our rishonim related to our own faith, values, and life-goals?
My annotated version of Sefaria’s copy of Derashos haRan, derashah 2 is available at https://aspaqlaria.aishdas.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2023/03/Derashos-haRan-derashah-2.pdf