Q:It says אם למדת תורה הרבה אל תחזיק טובה לעצמך כי לכך נצרת – If you learned a lot of Torah you shouldn’t consider it that you did something great, because you were created for that purpose (Avos 2:8). But it also says, כי אם בזאת יתהלל המתהלל השכל וידוע אותי – that a person should yis’hallel, he should praise his achievements of knowing Hashem (Yermiyahu 9:23). Why is it yis’hallel? Isn’t this our obligation to do?
Q:How could we answer the claim of Arafat who says that the Jewish people are throwing him out of his homeland?
Q:Why do they allow secular library books in the major frum yeshivas? I want to avoid loshon hara so I won’t mention the names of the yeshivas.
Q:Generally we have the principle of siman tov; we like to give good simanim by means of our speech. So how come we say of this month that it’s Mar-Cheshvan, Bitter-Cheshvan?
Q:How do we explain בִּנְפֹל אוֹיִבְךָ אַל תִּשְׂמָח – In the downfall of your enemy you shouldn’t rejoice (Mishlei 24:17)?
Q:What should be our reaction to the great campaign against the State of Israel that's being conducted by the Reform Jews and all the Jewish liberal organizations like the UJA and the American Jewish Committee? And they even appeal to the United States Government, to the Congress, to stop giving support to Israel because they are mistreating the poor Palestinian Arabs.
Q:Why did Hashem allow the Arabs to attack us on Yom Kippur?
Q:If Sukkos is teaching us the spiritual lesson of Hashem’s Providence, that Hashem is watching over us and protecting us, how does that fit in with the idea that it’s Chag Ha’asif, the festival of gathering in the crops? Doesn’t that seem to be a material, a physical joy?
Q:Is there a connection between Yom Kippur and Sukkos?
Q:Should I go into Rosh Hashanah with simcha because it is yomtiv or with trepidation because it’s the Yom Hadin?
Q:If on Rosh Hashanah Hakodosh Boruch Hu decrees my parnasa for the upcoming year then why do I have to go out and work hard to make a living?
Q:In the time of the Gemara people suffered from mazikim and sheidim. Where are all those mazikim today?
Q:Why is it that in Europe, in the yeshivos and even among the balabatim, there was a real sensation of eimas ha’din, the fear of the upcoming judgement during Elul, while here in America we don’t see that type of feeling? Aren’t we frum just like they were in Europe?
Q:You said before that a Jew is so created that he naturally seeks the nearness of Hashem and finds pleasure in being close to Him. Then why is it that we see many people who when they perform a mitzvah or daven or whatever it is, they don't always feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment?
Q:The Rav has said that vacations aren’t really necessary. But aren’t diversions, such as eating out or going on vacation, useful as recreation to break up the humdrum of routine and give a person a renewed and refreshed outlook when returning to his responsibilities?
Q:Was the Beis Hamikdash destroyed because of sinas chinam, baseless hatred, among frum Jews?
Q:What could I do to avoid seeing all the pritzus, all the immorality, that is so prevalent on the streets in the summer months?
Q:We said at a previous lecture that a man should pray for health even when he has it; he should ask Hashem that he shouldn’t get sick. But doesn’t that contradict the idea of אל יפתח אדם פיו לשטן – not to open your mouth to the satan by speaking of misfortunes that could occur (Brachos 19a)?
Q:What did Rav Hillel mean when he said that the Am Yisroel will not see Moshiach come because שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה – we already ate up the days of Moshiach in the time of Chizkiyahu Hamelech (Sanhedrin 99a)?
Q:Should a rabbi speak about controversial matters to his congregation such as having big families, tznius, the truth about the State of Israel and things like that, if he’ll run the risk of being expelled from his position?
Q:Why do all religious people dress like they’re in mourning? Why should they all dress in black?
Q:You said before that it’s part of the plan of Hashem that all the goyim should hate us. But don’t we see that sometimes in history the goyim help Jews?
Q:What’s your opinion about affirmative action?
Q:What was Hashem’s purpose when He caused men to grow beards?
Q:Is it OK for someone to criticize somebody else for doing something wrong when the critic himself is weak in other areas?
Q:If it’s true that Hashem made this world for our enjoyment what is the meaning of some maamarei Chazal that say that a person should avoid pleasures, like כאילו כפאו שד, or the idea that you should not eat so much at the meal; you should always leave over or hold back from something?
Q:Can a person have a video machine in his home to show children educational video programs?
Q:Is the recent loss of the two gedolim, Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, zichronom livrocho, an omen?
Q:I’ll quote from Plato in order to preface my question: “At the sight of beauty, wings grow on the human soul.” So what is your real reason for knocking the great musicians and artists of this world, artists who were able to rise above themselves and create such beautiful works?
Q:The gemara says לעולם ירוץ אדם לקראת מלכי ישראל ולקראת מלכי עכו״ם, that a person should go out to see the kings and even the gentile kings (Brachos 19b, 58a). So when President Clinton is going to make a visit to the local frum community is it advisable that we should go see him?
Q:You said before that Pirkei Avos is very important to learn. So why don’t you teach Pirkei Avos here on Thursday nights instead of this lecture?
Q:What is the reason for the mitzvah of sefiras ha’omer?
Q:How do we explain the apparent contradiction that on one hand we benefit from all of the medical advancements that maintain and save lives but on the other hand Jews are not permitted to donate organs upon death for research in order to maintain and save lives?
Q:What does Hakodosh Boruch Hu want us to be – Chassidish, Litvish or what?
Q:Why didn’t the tremendous zchus of the tzaddikim in the time of the Holocaust save six million Jews? The kehillos in Europe and the Torah learning was its peak.
Q:What is the function of going to a kever of a Tzadik?
Q:I’ve heard fifteen different opinions of why Rabbi Akiva’s students were killed. One of them is that they had sinas chinam – which I don’t understand. That 24,000 of them all made the same mistake, that doesn’t go into my mind! Now, what’s your answer? Was it sinas chinam or something else? And was it all the 24,000? Every one of them?
Q:When Bnei Yisroel crossed the Yam Suf and the Egyptians were drowning so the Gemara relates that the malachim wanted to say shira but Hashem forbade them. He said, “Keep quiet!” because He was sad that His handiwork was drowning. How do we reconcile that with Hashem drowning them and us singing Az Yashir when they were drowning?
Q:What is one of the lessons that we can learn from the korban pesach?
Q:I think that if the people here saw with their own eyes, the plagues and Kriyas Yam Suf and all the nissim that Hashem did for us, they wouldn’t have to depend upon artificial and superficial enthusiasm when doing mitzvos. Don’t you think we deserve today an injection from Hashem of real sensory perception?
Q:Does ואהבת לרעך כמוך apply to non-Jews as well? And if not, does that mean it’s permissible to cheat them in business or to lie on our tax returns?
Q:What is something we can think about while we’re busy with the preparations for Pesach?
Q:What should a person think when looking at a bridge?
Q:I know a very religious man who works all day and then he spends his nights in the beis medrash learning and he doesn’t give a lot of time to his wife and children. And his wife and children complain about it. What do you think about that?
Q:Why should a Jewish woman attempt to look beautiful for her husband?
Q:Should we focus on pshuto shel mikra with our children and our young students instead of focusing on Rashi?
Q:The Rav spoke tonight about the lesson of Purim being the internalizing of how much Hashem loves us and our responsibility to love Him and to love the Am Yisroel. But isn’t it possible to say that the Simchas Purim is because of קיימו וקיבלו, that the Jewish Nation accepted the Torah again after the witnessing the neis of Purim?
Q:The last possuk in the Megillah (Esther 10:3) says about Mordechai that he was רצוי לרוב אחיו – that he was liked, appreciated, by most of the Jews. And Chazal say that it wasn’t everyone because he came too close to the malchus; people thought he became too karov to the malchus. And there’s a statement there from R’ Yosef (Megillah 16b) who says גדול תלמוד תורה מהצלת נפשות, that learning Torah is greater than saving lives. I don’t understand that. Maybe Rebbe can explain that to us?
Q:The Gemara (Megillah 11a) says that in the name Achashveirosh is a hint to the fact that he was ‘achiv shel rosh’, meaning that he was of the same mind as Nevuchadnetzar who wanted to destroy the Jewish people. If Achashveirosh hated the Yidden so much, why did Mordechai save his life?
Q:Why is the death of tzadikim considered a kaparah for the Jewish people?
Q:The Megillah says that the reason that Haman gave Achashveirosh for why the Jews had to be killed was “ואת דתי המלך אינם עושים – And the laws of the king they don’t follow” (Esther 3:8). And Rashi says that Haman was saying לתת מס לעבודת המלך – that the Jews are not paying their taxes. Is not paying taxes a logical reason for killing the Jews?
Q:How do we explain the existence of black and brown races? I mean as far as their origin.
Q:In this week’s parsha the Am Yisroel said “Naaseh v’nishma,” so it seems like they accepted the Torah willingly. So how do we understand the medrash that says Hashem held Har Sinai over the Jews like a barrel and threatened to drop it on them if they wouldn’t accept the Torah?
Q:Is there anything wrong with me davening to Hashem that He should give me a million dollars?
Q:How could you say that Jews should avoid doing military service in Israel if there are millions of Jews who need to be protected?
Q:Is it more of a mitzvah to say the whole seder hatefillah every morning or to say part of the davening and think more into the meaning of what I’m saying?
Q:Makkas Barad it says that הירא את דבר השם, the ones who feared Hashem, brought their animals inside before the hail began in order to save their property. But didn’t they all see what Moshe Rabeinu had been doing with the Makkos already for such a long time? How could there be anyone who wasn’t yarei es Hashem?
Q:On the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh, when we bless the new month before mussaf, we ask Hashem for a month of חיים שיש בהם יראת שמים – life that has in it fear of Hashem. And then a few lines after that we say, חיים שתהא בנו אהבת תורה ויראת שמים – a life that has in us fear of Hashem. Why is it repeated?
Q:The Rav said tonight that when someone gets sick or hurt, he shouldn’t blame Hashem, but he should look to blame himself for not taking care of himself properly. But shouldn’t we be looking back to see which sins we did to cause Hashem to punish us with the cold or the virus or whatever it is?
Q:There’s a frum boy who suffers from an inferiority complex. What should he do about it?
Q:How can somebody who lacks confidence in himself gain confidence in order to accomplish things?
Q:Why do we have so many boys and girls going off the derech?
Q:Should a little boy be prevented from playing with girls?
Q:Why should we give thanks to Hashem for the food that He gives us? He made us; of course He has to feed us.
Q:What preventive measures can we take with our children to avoid them falling into the hands of missionaries or other foolish things when they grow up?
Q:I’d like to know: It says that Yaakov loved Yosef more than his other children because he was of his old age. What about Binyamin? Binyamin was younger than Yosef.
Q:The chachomim say that one of the lessons that we learn from the story of Yosef and his brothers is that you shouldn’t show favoritism to one child over because that’s what caused the whole Golus Mitzrayim. Does that apply even if you want to give something to somebody’s else’s kids?
Q:We make a bracha asher yatzar thanking Hashem for the gift of being able to expel waste from our body. Why don’t we make the same bracha for sneezing or blowing the nose?
Q:If everything is for somebody’s benefit, how can you explain the fact that someone wanted an opportunity for spiritual progress but was prevented because of circumstances beyond his control? Somebody wanted, let’s say, to become a yeshivah man or a talmid chacham but certain circumstances didn’t let him. If everything is min hashomayim, how do you explain that?
Q:Considering the moral and social climate in New York City, should people move to Monsey?
Q:The Gemara says that from the story of Avraham Avinu in this week’s parsha we learn that גדולה הכנסת אורחים יותר מקבלת פני השכינה – it’s greater to entertain wayfarers more than to receive the presence of the Shechinah. How does that apply in real life?
Q:When there are differences between different groups among the Jewish People, how are we to know who is right?
Q:Is there a connection between Yom Kippur and Sukkos?
Q:Now that the judgment is coming, what can we do in order to find happiness as we approach the Day of Judgment?
Q:It states in Tehillim, אשרי העם יודעי תרועה – Praised is the nation that knows the shofar blowing (Tehillim 89:16). What is the meaning and significance of this quotation?
Q:The Rav said tonight that we should get busy before Rosh Hashanah remembering all the good that Hashem has given us since last Rosh Hashanah. But don’t we have to spend the little time time we have left thinking about our sins and our behavior over the past year and making resolutions for improving this coming year?
Q:How can we mourn on Tisha B’Av for the losses to our people that took place so long ago?
Q:How should I deal with people who are nasty or unpleasant? Should I be nice to them?
Q:How can a person not be depressed when he hears about so many people who are dying young?
Q:Is it wrong for a person to discover the gender of his child before the birth?
Q:Should I donate money to a kollel whose yungerleit go away to the country for the summer?
Q:You’re speaking tonight about the greatness of learning Torah and how important it is for a person’s perfection. But don’t you think that some people are better off making achievements in other areas? Maybe they didn’t have the opportunity when they were younger to learn how to learn and now it’s too late?
Q:What purpose is there in learning about parah adumah here in exile?
Q:You said before that according to the Torah law, life in its fullest sense actually begins only when a child is born. But when a pregnant woman, let’s say she’s in her fifth month, when she goes to a religious obstetrician and he examines her so he’ll turn around and say, “I actually feel life.” What does that mean when he says he feels life?
Q:You said that sometimes chassidim are so attached to their Rebbeh and it leads to fighting with other chassidim instead of being a ladder to climb closer to Hashem. But isn’t it true that even among the misnagdim that they also look up to and emulate the the roshei yeshiva?
Q:If Purim got its name על שם הפור, because of the lot that Haman cast, why isn’t it called Pur instead of the plural Purim?
Q:At the outset of the shiur the Rav said that we shouldn’t be distraught when tzaddikim are niftar from this world. But shouldn’t we be upset because we don’t have their guidance and also that we don’t have the protection they give us by just existing?
Q:You said that when we see people who are less fortunate than us so we should use that sight as an incentive to be happy with what we have. But how can we be happy when we pass by a person with a disability who cannot walk or some other crippling disability? Aren’t we hurting that person when he sees us, that we’re able to function in ways which he cannot?
Q:What is the da’as Torah on the whole mess that’s going on in Eretz Yisrael, that they’re busy with peace talks but meanwhile Yidden are getting killed every day? What do we have to think – what’s the daas Torah?
Q:Can the Rav comment on the two yeshiva boys who were put in jail in Israel?
Q:Someone told me that there were two nevi'im called Yeshayah. Is that true?
Q:How far should a person go to fulfill the mitzvah of hachnasas orchim?
Q:How do I deal with my husband’s mother who I would consider a difficult mother-in-law?
Q:What should I do if I want to marry a pretty girl because I’m concerned about what my friends will say?
Q:When we see how the present government in Israel has appointed a Minister of Religions and a Minister of Education who are so anti religious and they’re doing other things against frum Jews in Eretz Yisroel, trying to wipe out every vestige of Torah, could it be that Hashem will remain silent?
Q:My question is, what's the Jewish viewpoint on having a pet like a dog in the house?
Q:What should the role of the father be in the home?
Q:What should have been the proper reaction of the Jews in Tel-Aviv to the missile attacks this week?
Q:The Rabbi mentioned in his lecture tonight that we are expected to rejoice at the downfall of the wicked and that’s why we celebrate the punishment of the Mitzrim. If that’s really true, then why do we take drops of wine out of the cup of wine at the Seder?
Q:The Rav said earlier that even more important than being freed by Pharaoh in the middle of the night, was the Yetzias Mitzrayim that took place in the morning because that’s when the Am Yisroel left Egypt and finally escaped the gentile environment. So why do we have the Seder at night and not in the morning?
Q:What's your opinion of yeshiva people who ride motor bikes?
Q:You told us before a story about a Jewish woman in the Middle Ages who was dragged to her death by anti-semites who tied her to the back of a horse. Why does Hashem test His children so severely to the point of having a good woman killed like that?
Q:It says in the Gemara that when Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi passed away so anyone who was there at that time was rewarded with a special place in Olam Haboh. What was so special about being there when Rebbi passed away?
Q:If one has brothers who are not frum, should he have nothing to do with them?
Q:Why did Hashem create Medinas Yisroel?
Q:How should we understand the sins of the students of Rabbi Akiva that caused so many thousands of them to die?
Q:How obligated is a frum Jew to keep the civil laws and statues of the country where he lives?
Q:How much time should a yeshiva man give away to help others come closer to Torah and to yiddishkeit?
Q:What should we think about when we count sefiras haomer?
Q:Why do we say לשנה הבאה בירושלים on Pesach? Is it true? Where is our attempt?
Q:Many rabbonim say we should not discuss in public why the churban of Hitler happened. Why do you, Rabbi Miller, think it is important to discuss it?
Q:What can we learn from the verdict given to John Hinckley (who attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30 1981) of non-guilty by reason of insanity?
Q:How can one happily accept the nisayon of a large family living in a small house?
Q:At the end of the fourth part of the Shaarei Teshuva, Rabeinu Yonah brings a possuk, בחסד ואמת יכופר עוון and he explains there that by doing acts of kindliness or by learning Torah even a sin as terrible as chillul Hashem will be forgiven. I’m wondering what happens to that Torah that gave you a kaparah? Does it go lost forever? Let’s say you learned a hundred hours of Torah and now that cancels out a chillul Hashem that you caused. Is that hundred hours lost forever? Or do you still have it to your credit in the Next World?