Partners for Life

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Partners for Life – Chassidic Perspectives on Marriage

A veteran student of  Rabbi Yosef  Dov Halevi Soloveitchik, Rabbi Hershel Reichman has been a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University for over thirty years. In addition to directing and inspiring hundreds of students in his Talmud class, he has also written five books, entitled Reshimos Shiurim, based on the notes of the Talmud classes of  Rabbi Soloveitchik. Additionally, Rabbi Herschel Reichman is a teacher of  Hasidism, and is particularly fond of the philosophy of the Shem Mishmuel. He is known for his love of Israel and political activism on its behalf.

Spiritual Elevation of Physical Reality (lesson 1/5): In this shiur on the Torah view of marriage based on the philosophy of  Chassidut, Rabbi Hershel Reichman describes marriage as a central theme in the Torah. The first story regarding people in the Torah is the narrative of Adam marrying Chava. The first mitzva given Man in the Torah is the mitzva to bear children, “pru u’revu”. Chassidut explains that this world is characterized by a confrontation between physicality and spirituality. The fundamental purpose of humanity is to discover the ‘holy sparks’ of the Divine in the physical reality. Marriage is the central arena for achieving this goal.

Time: 30:45

Marriage: Echoes of our Bond with Hashem (lesson 2/5): In this Torah shiur on the nature of marriage based on the Torah thought of the Chassidic masters, Rabbi Hershel Reichman explains how the three levels of a Jewish Marriage – Kiddushin, Chuppah, and Yichud, correlate to the three levels of holiness and connection between Man and G-d. The essence of marriage is experiencing these levels of holiness.

Time: 49:39

Marriage: The Eternal Structure (lesson 3/5): In this Torah shiur  on the true meaning of marriage, according to the Chassidic discourses of the Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Hershel Reichman describes marriage as the solution to the human problem called death, as children are both a physical and spiritual continuation of their parents. A marriage is a re-enactment of  Creation, and the primary vehicle for Chessed, which is the basic trait of  G-d’s creation.

Time: 47:16

Completing Creation (lesson 4/5): In this  shiur on the inner meanings of a Jewish marriage, according to the philosophy of  Chassidut, Rabbi Hershel Reichman explains the connection between the seven days of Creation and the seven days of celebration following a Jewish wedding, known as Sheva Brachot.  The Shem Mishmuel explains that marriage completes the human being’s creation.  The couple emerges from two individual identities to one collective identity.

Time: 56:15

The First Jewish Marriage (lesson 5/5): In this Torah class on the Chassidic outlook on marriage, Rabbi Hershel Reichman presents the marriage of Avraham and Sarah, the first Jewish marriage, as the prototype for all Jewish marriages. Avraham Avinu’s main trait was his intellect. Sarah’s main trait was strength of character. Thus, the wife primarily deals with the physical/emotional level, and the husband with the intellectual/Torah level.

Time: 56:18

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