Mekorot HaTorah (60 parts)

Mekorot HaTorah is a 60-part course given to the students of MMY, starting in 5774. It deals with some topics which can be found elsewhere on the website but is a more advanced course than the others and also includes many entirely new topics.

The Mekorot HaTorah course focuses on the origins of halacha and hashkafa and it raises and attempts to grapple with issues that are rarely dealt with, and analyzes the sources in depth. In particular, it examines the halachic process from Moshe to today. In what way is Torah from G-d, what is the structure of the Oral Law, the authority of Chazal and the nature of machloket. In a modern context, what are psak halacha, chumra, kullah and minhag and does hashkafa change any of this?

This course also focuses on how Torah developed in the context of other world events. What was Torah in the ancient world of paganism and prophecy? How did the Greeks really influence our thinking? How did the Roman exile and Christianity lead to the formation of the Talmud and Midrash. It examines the ‘rationalist vs. mystical’ philosophical debates in the Middle Ages, the origins and impact of kabbalah and the Zohar, messianism and the radical innovation of the Shulchan Aruch in a post-Renaissance world, and the impact of the Enlightenment on Jewish thought. Ultimately, how does all of this (and a lot more!) come together to produce the modern Jewish world, and where’s it all heading?

Click here for important notes about the shiurim and source sheets

Shiur 1: Sinai and the Torah Shebichtav  Sinai and the Torah Shebichtav

Shiur 2: Sinai and the Torah She Be’al Peh  Sinai and the Torah ShebalpehSinai and the Torah She Bal Peh

Shiur 3: The Imperative of Torah She Beal Peh  

Shiur 4: Why Torah She Beal Peh Must be Oral  

Shiur 5: Primordial Torah, G-d and Creation 

Shiur 6: Torah and the Avot  

Shiur 7: A Historical & Structural Overview of Torah She Beal Peh

Shiur 8: Received Explanations of Verses 
Shiur 9: Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai 

Shiur 10: Transmission of Torah and Mesorah in the First Temple – From Moshe to Ezra  
Shiur 11: Halacha and Nevua – The View of the Rambam  
Shiur 12: Halacha and Nevua – Continuing Revelation  
Shiur 13: Halacha and Nevua – The End of Nevuah 
Shiur 14: Rabbinic Law 
Shiur 15: Rabbinic Law and Lo Tassur – Shittat haRambam 
Shiur 16: The Scope of Rabbinic Law – Lo Tassur – Chinuch and Ramban 

Shiur 17: Rabbinic Authority, Hashkafa and Da’at Torah 
Shiur 18: The Limits on Rabbinic Law 
Shiur 19: The Nature of Drash 
Shiur 20: The 13 Middot of R. Yishmael 
Shiur 21: The Beginnings of Machloket
Shiur 22: Truth & The Paradox of Machloket – Part 1
Shiur 23: Truth & The Paradox of Machloket – Part 2
Shiur 24: Elu V’Elu & Machloket in Aggadata
Shiur 25: The 2nd Temple & Anshei Knesset HaGedolah
Shiur 26: Ktav Ivri & Ktav Ashuri
Shiur 27: The Missing Years + Extra Source Material
Shiur 28: Athens and Jerusalem
Shiur 29: Hillel and Shammai
Shiur 30: Second Temple Sects
Shiur 31: The Closing of the Canon of the Tanach
Shiur 32: Sefarim HaChitzonim
Shiur 33: Churban and the Aftermath
Shiur 34: The Crystalization of Oral Law
Shiur 35: Structure and Formation of the Mishna
Shiur 36: Structure and Formation of the Gemara
Shiur 37: The Yerushalmi & Other Works of Chazal
Shiur 38: The Sealing of Shas & the Authority of the Talmud
Shiur 39: The Savoraim & The Gaonim
Shiur 40: The Fixing of the Massoretic Text – Part 1
Shiur 41: The Fixing of the Massoretic Text – Part 2
Shiur 42: The Fixing of the Massoretic Text – Part 3
Shiur 43: How to Learn Aggadic Midrash – Part 1
Shiur 44: How to Learn Aggadic Midrash – Part 2
Shiur 45: How to Learn Aggadic Midrash – Part 3
Shiur 46: The Rishonim: Overview and The Rif
Shiur 47 & 48: The Rishonim: The Rambam & The Rosh
Shiur 49: Origins and Formation of the Shulchan Aruch
Shiur 50: Halachic Development Since the Shulchan Aruch
Shiur 51: What is Psak Halacha?
Shiur 52: What do the Poskim say about Poskot?
Shiur 53: Chumrah
Shiur 54: Kullah
Shiur 55: The Methodology of Psak
Shiur 56: Taamei Hamitzvot
Shiur 57: Halacha and Nishtane HaTeva
Shiur 58: Halacha, Science and Technological Change
Shiur 59: Halacha and Changes in Social and Spiritual Realities
Shiur 60: What is Authentic Halachic Change?
Shiur 61: The Future of Halacha