Derashos haRan – Derashah #3

Began Thursday, June 8th, 2023, at 8:00pm EDT
at Zelemele’s Kloiz

The chaburah at Zelmele’s Kloiz started the Ran’s third derashah Thursday, June 8th, 2023. It is now ongoing at our usual time, 8pm Eastern Daylight Time.

In this derashah, the Ran discusses Moshe, Aharon, the nature of nevu’ah, Moshe’s special kind of nevu’ah, the urim vetumim, and the first mitzvos given to the Jewish People — counting months from Nissan and of Pesach.

There are currently three meetings up on YouTube. Here is the Derashos haRan playlist, scrolled forward to the beginning of the derashah:

Contact me for more info about how to join us at the kloiz. Click on WhatsApp or email.

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?

Chaburah 1: The Ran raises the distinction between “natural” prophecy and Moshe’s miraculous prophecy. From there we detoured into a general machloqes rishonim about whether nevu’ah is the reception of a message from Hashem, or the awareness of higher realities. Only the latter could be “natural”. A message from Hashem by definition requires Divine Intervention. For another formulation of the ideas in the detour, see the title post of the Aspaqlaria blog:

Chaburah 2: In this meeting, we saw the Ran raises the question of why Moshe had a speech impediment if a navi is supposed to be perfect — wealthy, healthy, wise and modest. We detoured into a discussion of these four kinds of discussion as understood by Ben Zoma (which the Ran specifically says does not apply here) and the Rambam. See the annotated PDF (below) for the mishnah and the quote from the closing chapter of the Guide to the Perplexed.

Chaburah 3: We continued the Ran’s discussion of why Moshe had a speech impediment. And how does Hashem’s answer — “who gave the human a mouth…” — address the question? The Ran’s discussion revolves around causing things by commission, and when do we say that something is caused by omission? And does the answer differ if we are speaking of human inaction or Hashem not Acting? (This then led to the speculation in the previous post, “Tish’a beAv – the Mo’eid of Divine Inaction“.)

My annotated version of Sefaria’s copy of Derashos haRan, derashah 3 is also available at

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