The Tefilah Podcast

The Tefilah Podcast

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss, and this is the hub for all of my shiurim (classes) on Tefilah (Prayer) and related topics, such as Tehilim (Psalms) and Berachos (Blessings)! The shiurim I upload here are given in a variety of formats with different lengths and intended for different audiences. The common theme which unites all of these shiurim is our focus on strengthening our relationship with Hashem through Avodah she'ba'Lev (Service of the Heart). If you have any questions feel free to email me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. Thanks for listening!

Episodes

February 14, 2024 64 mins

Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (2/14/24), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began a new perek, and was it a DOOZY of a perek! Lengthy, poetic, filled with cryptic words and phrases and the abrupt pivot-point of them all. Daunting as it was, we raised a bunch of good questions and mapped out several approaches which look like they have potential. We'll have to wait until next week to see whether we s...

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Length: 1 hour 8 minutes
Synopsis: Tonight  (2/7/24), in our Wednesday night Tehilim/Tefilah shiur, we continued our (unprepared) exploration of the berachos said at a bris milah, with a focus on the third berachah. We read through the commentaries of the Rambam (in one of his tshuvos), Rashi (on the Gemara), and the Abudarham, and while we weren't able to go TOO in-depth, we did walk away with some nice ideas and question...

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NOTE: I made a mistake in my translation of the response to the 2nd berachah, according to the Rambam. It should be: "just as YOU brought him into the covenant, so should you bring him to Torah, to chuppah, and to good deeds."

Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (1/31/24), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we had a last-minute change of plans. Since the bris milah of the first son of my frien...

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January 10, 2024 61 mins

Length: 1 hour
Synopsis: This evening (1/10/24), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we set out to answer our two most pressing Tehilim questions: (1) What is the main idea of the perek? (2) What is the purpose? Thanks to the commentary of R' Elia di Nola (a.k.a. Shiurei R' Ovadyah Sforno) we did just that! Even though it looked like this perek was more about David and Doeg, we ended up seeing how it can be applied ...

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Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (1/3/24), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began learning a new perek that I had never seen before. I was drawn to it because it promises to shed new light on the familiar themes of lashon ha'ra and trust in Hashem. Tonight we translated the perek, raised a bunch of questions, and began theorizing. Next week (בג"ה) we'll see if we can get the main idea!
...

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December 13, 2023 58 mins

Length: 58 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (12/13/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we reviewed what we did last time, took a couple of hesitant steps to explain the perek on our own, and then decided to let me Malbim "spoon-feed" us. We read through his commentary, then stepped back to analyze it, and BAM - we came up with a theory for the main idea and the purpose of the perek based on the Malbim's appr...

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Length of the article: 7 pages
Length of the audio: 20 minutes 36 seconds
Synopsis: This is the audio version of the 7-page article I published on rabbischneeweiss.substack.com/ on 12/10/23 (originally published on Kol ha'Seridim on 12/15/20), entitled: Asking for Miracles on Chanukah: Updated for 2023, in Light of the War with Hamas. Most versions of Al ha'Nissim include a request for Hashem to do miracles for us...

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December 6, 2023 63 mins

Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (12/6/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, continued working on our perek. After reviewing the translation, the questions, and the moves we made last time, we learned a bit of Tehilim methodology from Ibn Ezra, then introduced a critical fact we were missing last time which shifted the way we approached the perek. After reading through the Radak's commentary on the enti...

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November 29, 2023 61 mins

Length: 1 hour
Synopsis: This evening (11/29/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we took up Al Naharos Bavel. After an introductory "myth-busters" mini-shiur on the REAL minhag of Shir ha'Maalos (which most people do NOT follow) and a methodological interlude from William Hazlitt, we translated the perek, identified the pivot point, and began raising questions and problems - especially with regards to the ...

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November 22, 2023 61 mins

Length: 1 hour
Synopsis: This evening (11/22/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began reviewing the translations, questions, and approaches we took last time. We then learned through the Sforno's commentary and used his explanation of many of the phrases to develop our own approach. In the end, we answered nearly all of our questions AND came up with a solid theory for the main idea, and how to utilize this pere...

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November 15, 2023 61 mins

Length: 1 hour
Synopsis: This evening (11/15/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began relearning Tehilim 121, which I gave shiur on in May 2022. I found a new approach I wanted to share, but we spent all of tonight analyzing the perek on our own, which was really thought-provoking. Next time (בג"ה) we'll attempt to learn the perek according to the Sforno.
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מקורות:
תהלים פרק קכא
Robert A...

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Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (11/8/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we continued and completed (for now) our learning of this perek! After a review of the text and the questions, we figured out an approach to the main idea, found support in the meforshim, and then developed that main idea into an understanding of the purpose of the perek with a focus on how we can apply it to the situation in Israel...

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Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (11/2/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began a FRESH (read: unprepared) analysis of Tehilim 142, which our yeshiva has been saying in response to the current war with Hamas. We spent tonight reading, translating, and raising questions on the text. Next time (בג"ה) we'll try to answer these questions and figure out what this perek means.
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מקורות:...

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Length: 1 hour 9 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (10/25/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we learned Tehilim 130, which many of us have been saying in response to the current war between Israel and Hamas. With Hashem's help, we were able to engage in a complete analysis - from translation, to questions, to a comprehensive understanding. I now feel like I understand what I'm supposed to be feeling, thinking, an...

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Length: 1 hour 10 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (10/18/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began with a quick review of why we say Tehilim - what we're trying to get out of it, and how it works. Next, we reviewed the perek, our questions, and the basic pshat of the individual pesukim. After that, I introduced my theory of the main idea, much of which we developed the last time we learned this perek, but with som...

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Length: 33 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (10/11/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, I decided not to return to the perek we were learning before Yom ha'Kippurim and instead revisit a perek which (sadly) is relevant at the present time, when Israel is at war. Our shiur was cut short by the introductory topic we took up, but we still managed to read and translate the perek and raise most (if not all) of the key quest...

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Length: 25 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (10/11/23), prior to our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, I decided to take up a topic I felt I needed to address. Earlier today I had a VERY brief discussion with a fellow Jewish educator about how we've been handling our students' questions about horrific terrorist attacks on our people in Israel. I said that I don't have all the answers, but I knew I should begin with th...

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Length: 1 hour 2 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (9/20/23), in our Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we began working on a VERY difficult perek - one that was made more difficult by the fact that I wasn't able to prepare it ahead of time. I'm not gonna lie: unless you plan on participating in this shiur next time, or unless you REALLY love "breaking your teeth on Tehilim" as they say (now, as of last night), I&a...

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September 13, 2023 64 mins

Length: 1 hour 4 minutes
Synopsis: This evening (9/13/23), in our  Wednesday night Tehilim shiur, we continued our REDUX analysis of Tehilim 27 as explained by R' Elia di Nola. After reviewing our updated translation and the questions, we focused on the two main themes which R' Elia presents in his introduction and we attempted to unify the perek and justify the pivot. We managed to come up with a few good approaches....

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September 10, 2023 71 mins

Length: 1 hour 11 minutes
Synopsis: Last night (9/9/23), at 11:30pm - roughly an hour and a half before the first night of selichos for us Ashkenazim - I gave over one of my favorite short shiur write-ups from L'Mikdach u'l'Michroz b'Mishneh Torah le'ha'Ramba (a.k.a. The Kuntress). The shiur delves into the nature of selichos and how to reap their intended benefits.

Note: because I gave t...

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