Sign up for VBM Courses today
The Kuzari
Teacher Title Abstract Course
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #01: Rabbi Yehuda Halevi and the Kuzari Rabbi Yehuda ben Shemuel Halevi was born in 1075 (and not in 1085, as is often claimed) in Toledo, Spain. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #02: The Philosopher in the Kuzari (Part I) The first character to present his views to the king of the Khazars is the philosopher. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #03: The Philosopher in the Kuzari (Part II) The previous lecture dealt with the philosopher's views regarding the definition of God, the Active Intellect, and prophecy. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #04: Rabbi Yehuda Halevi's Attitude Toward Philosophy (Part I) In the Kuzari, R. Yehuda Halevi attacks philosophy and the philosopher in two ways: 1) through the Khazar king’s comments to the philosopher; 2) through the Rabbi’s comments to the Khazar king. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #05: Rabbi Yehuda Halevi's Attitude Toward Philosophy (Part II) As we saw in the previous lecture, R. Yehuda Halevi does not utterly reject philosophy, nor does he consider it unnecessary; he rather limits it and defines its borders. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #06: Religion and Science According to Rabbi Yehuda Halevi In the previous lecture, we saw that according to R. Yehuda Halevi, philosophy is the science that can lead man to the highest human level, that is to say, the highest level that a person can reach by way of his intellect. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #07: Religion and Science According to Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (Part II) In the previous lecture, I examined R. Yehuda Halevi's conclusion that the revelation at Sinai is the sole means of bestowing certainty and establishing religious faith. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #08: Religion and Science According to Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (Part III) In the previous lecture, I attempted to precisely define R. Yehuda Halevi's understanding of the place allotted to the intellect in the framework of religious service. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #09: Summary of the issue of Religion and Science This lecture is an appendix to the previous lecture and does not deal directly with the thought of R. Yehuda Halevi. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #10: Rejection of Christianity In the next two lectures, we shall see how R. Yehuda Halevi rejects Christianity and Islam. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #11: Rejection of Islam The principles that we saw in R. Yehuda Halevi's rejection of Christianity appear again in his rejection of Islam, with even greater clarity and with the addition of another principle. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #12: The Unique Essence of Israel (Part I) In this lecture, we will begin to deal with one of the central and distinctive issues in R. Yehuda Halevi's thought – the unique essence of Israel. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #13: The Unique Essence of Israel (Part II) We saw in the previous lecture that the unique essence of the people of Israel revolves around two principles, one its cause and the other its consequence. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #14: The Unique Essence of Israel (Part III) We saw in the previous lecture that despite all the attempts to blur R. Yehuda Halevi's theory of "racial supremacy," his position on the issue is unequivocal and has important ramifications. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #15: Summary of the Unique Essence of Israel (Part IV) In this lecture, I will once again take a break from our examination of the thought of R. Yehuda Halevi, and try to compare it with other views. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #16: The Divine Influence (Part I) The first part of this lecture will seem like a summary, as most of what will be discussed here has already been clarified in earlier lectures. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #17: The Divine Influence (Part II) In the previous lecture, I cited a passage (I, 109) that summarizes the three attainments reached by a person who has become joined with the Divine influence. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #18: Eretz Yisrael The next link in the chain, as we shall see in this lecture, is connected to the place of the people of Israel, namely, Eretz Yisrael. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #19: The Mitzvot (Part I) Before we begin our discussion of this topic, let us survey the difficulties that stand before anyone trying to understand the role and significance of the mitzvot. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #20: The Mitzvot (Part II) We cannot discuss the issue of the reasons for the commandments without considering the distinction accepted by almost every medieval Jewish thinker between "rational" and "received" mitzvot. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #21: The Mitzvot (Part III) The main ramification of the distinction between rational and received laws relates to the reasons for the commandments. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #22: The Karaites and the Oral Law (I) The problems associated with the Karaite sect and the status of the Oral Law did not begin in the time of R. Yehuda Halevi. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #23: The Karaites and the Oral Law (II) In the previous lecture, I noted the common denominator between Karaism and philosophy. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #24: Rihal's Attitude Towards Asceticism and Seclusion in the Service of God In this lecture, I will relate to two issues that R. Yehuda Halevi raises with respect to the Divine service. The Kuzari
Rav Itamar Eldar Shiur #25: Religious Zeal and the Chasid (The Pious Man) In this lecture, I wish to deal with two additional issues connected to the picture that Rihal paints regarding – as he puts it - "one of our servants of God. The Kuzari

Pages