Machshavah Lab

Machshavah Lab

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be diverse. There will be shiurim on Jewish philosophy, Chumash methodology, aggadic midrashim, maybe even some non-Jewish philosophy as well. Merriam-Webster defines "laboratory" as a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study. I call this podcast "Machshavah Lab" because this is where we will conduct Torah "experiments" by exploring questions, texts, and ideas in an effort to develop our machshavah in a "hands on," exploratory, firsthand manner.

Episodes

January 11, 2022 47 min

Note: I've uploaded this shiur to Machshavah Lab AND The Tefilah Podcast because it's relevant to both and I can spare the minutes this month.

This evening (1/11/22), in our tefilah shiur, we tackled a bunch of fundamental questions on tefilah, including but not limited to: (1) How "poetic" are the Torah's songs, David ha'Melech's Tehilim, and our tefilos, and what are the methodological implications? (2)...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (1/7/22), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we took up two very basic questions: (1) Who carried out the Plague of the Firstborn? (2) What is the purpose of the Korban Pesach? The average Jew who has attended Pesach sedarim would probably have ready answers to both of these questions. That's where Sforno comes in. His commentary on the events of the night of the 15th of Nisan flips our understanding...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (12/31/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we had a SURPRISE shiur on the parashah! (It was a "surprise" in the sense that I didn't prepare a shiur. This began as a Q&A and turned into a shiur.) The question was: "What's the deal with Hashem hardening Paroh's heart?" After showing off AlHaTorah's excellent "topics" feature and reading Neima Novetsky's s...

Share
Mark as Played

This evening (12/31/21), in our Thursday night hashkafah shiur (which is usually not recorded), we continued our multi-part series on the Rambam's shitah about hashgachah, using David Guttman's essay "Divine Providence - Goals, Hopes, and Fears, כי כל דרכיו משפט" as our guide. Tonight we focused on the difficult and abstract concepts of matter and form. First I gave my own overview, which showcased the presentation ...

Share
Mark as Played

In this morning's (12/26/21) YBT Sunday Shiur we examine four common expressions that are used in reference to the deceased: (1) "aliyah / l'iluyi nishmas" - may the soul have an elevation, (2) "zechus" - in merit of, (3) "zichrono li'vracha" - may their memory be for a blessing, (4) "karapah" - may this be an atonement for the deceased. As the title indicates, the scope of this shiur was...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (12/24/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we continued on the topic we began last week on the four ways that people relate to the Beis Midrash. After reviewing the two approaches we learned last time (Rashi and Rambam) we learned two more: the Meiri's explanation which focused on learning and Rabbeinu Yonah's interpretation which focused on doing mitzvos. We then attempted to analyze the ...

Share
Mark as Played
December 22, 2021 77 min

Tonight (12/22/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we set out to glean as many insights as we could from the three episodes recounted about Moshe Rabbeinu before the burning bush - all of which had to do with his intervention for the sake of justice and righteousness. We anchored our approach in the Abravanel, but ventured into other meforshim as well. The topic proved to be so rich that we didn't even get th...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (12/27/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we took up the mishnah in Pirkei Avos chapter 5 about the four categories of relating to the Beis Midrash (and yes, that phrasing was intentionally vague). We brought a few personal agendas to the table, which we acknowledged at the beginning of shiur. Our plan was to learn through several meforshim and see what insights we can come up with, and we ended up ...

Share
Mark as Played

This evening (12/16/21), in our Thursday night hashkafah shiur (which is usually not recorded), we continued our multi-part series on the Rambam's shitah about hashgachah, using David Guttman's essay "Divine Providence - Goals, Hopes, and Fears, כי כל דרכיו משפט" as our guide. After reviewing the view of the Atomists and Aristotle, we read through the summaries of the other two false views: that of the Asharites and...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (12/15/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we set out to understand the four pesukim (Bereishis 49:33 - 50:3) which describe the death and mummification of Yaakov Avinu. After learning a few approaches to the basic pshat and a nice little philosophical interpretation from Rav Hirsch, we moved to the famous midrash: "Yaakov Avinu didn't die." We explored a few different approaches but focused o...

Share
Mark as Played

This evening (12/9/21), in our Thursday night hashkafah shiur (which is usually not recorded), we began a multi-part series on the Rambam's shitah about hashgachah, as presented in the Moreh ha'Nevuchim Chelek 3. I have recently come to the realization that I'm due to reexamine the Rambam's view of hashgachah - mostly due to the evolution of my own views of hashgachah, which are a result of my learning and teaching ...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (12/8/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we set out to explore the extraordinarily weird conversation between Yaakov and Paroh which spans five pesukim (Bereishis 47:7-10). Our main difficulty was aptly expressed by the Radak: "I don't know why this account was written." We learned three types of commentaries: pshat, midrash, and philosophical. We may not have answered all the questions we ra...

Share
Mark as Played

FYI, this is being posted in my Machshavah Lab podcast because it's about a holiday and also in my Tefilah podcast because it's about tefilah. It's the same shiur, though.

This evening (12/2/21), in our tefilah shiur, we attempted to take a fresh look at Al ha'Nissim, and when we did, we discovered a major theme that had been hidden there the whole time. I'm not going to spoil the shiur except to say that once y...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (12/1/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we set out to explore a very, VERY weighty question: how to respond when something bad happens. Our investigation focused on two episodes: the incident of Yosef and Potiphar's wife in Vayeishev, and the response of Yosef's brothers to their predicament in Mikeitz. We began by looking at the seemingly divergent views in the commentaries as to whether Yosef ...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (11/19/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we continued our quest for practical guidelines on how to cultivate humility. After reviewing the sources and questions from last time, and resolving one apparent contradiction which came up, we delved into the Abravanel's ... interesting strategies for combatting arrogance. Today's session focused on two causes of haughtiness: beauty and physical st...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (11/17/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we had two objectives: the primary objective was to analyze the Torah's account of the “fifth matriarch” according to both drash and pshat (in that order) and discuss the methodological implications, and the secondary objective was to answer the question: “Would the Rambam advocate davening at her grave?” We spent the first two thirds of the shiur on the firs...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (11/12/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we began what I hope will be the first shiur in a (non-consecutive) series. Out of all the good middos, anavah (humility) is considered to be the greatest - but is anavah merely a natural result of our learning and our adherence to the Torah, or are there active steps we can take to cultivate it? In this shiur we will proceed on the latter assumption. We wil...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (11/10/21), in our aptly named "Chumash Exploration," we attempted to understand the puzzling neder (vow) that Yaakov Avinu took the morning after his dream. After raising a number of questions, we ended up focusing on three aspects of his neder: (1) its conditionality, which made it seem like he was in doubt about whether Hashem would keep HIS promises; (2) his decision to make a neder in the first place, in light ...

Share
Mark as Played

Tonight (11/3/21) we concluded our multi-part series of shiurim on "The Saga of Kayin." Don't be misled by the title: this may have been the conclusion of an epic, but the conclusion itself wasn't exactly epic, since I didn't have enough time to work EVERYTHING out. Still, the theory we proposed in Part 3 was successfully applied and supported, and we were satisfied with the ideas and insights we gained along th...

Share
Mark as Played

This morning (10/29/21), in our "Machshavah Lab" series for women, we had two objectives: (1) to examine the permissibility of Eliezer's actions in this week's parashah in light of the Torah prohibition of nichush (divination/omen-reading), and (2) to clarify on a theoretical level the distinction between permissible and prohibited ways of utilizing signs. We examined this topic in light of the Gemara which is the s...

Share
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    BOB SAGET’S HERE FOR YOU is a podcast that is like no other— For one, this podcast has guests who are friends of Bob’s, or just really interesting people who many of you know and love. Secondly, this podcast is unique because it goes inside Bob Saget’s mind, and then quickly filters out through his mouth. Bob has a way of calming people he has conversations with as well as being entertaining and often informative. Bob talks with his guests with genuine empathy and humor, while reaching his unusually diverse audience that he talks to as a friend, Bob is the dad with great advice, the irreverent funny guy who’s always there when you need a laugh, and the free-associative Bob who goes off on crazy tangents then returns to the subject at hand, as serious or as comedic as it may be, to wrap up each episode in a way only Bob can do. Because he really does believe, “He’s here for you."

    Dateline NBC

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    The Daily

    This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

    Connect

    © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.

    • Help
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • AdChoicesAd Choices