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Audio Roundup CXXVI

 

by Joel Rich

MISSION STATEMENT
At Yeshiva University, our mission, Torah Umadda, is to bring wisdom to life through all that we teach, by all that we do and for all those we serve.

  • Our students learn and go forth, as both educated and ethical people, to share their own special talents with society.
  • Our faculty’s research, academic work and scholarly writings help bring wisdom to many of the most pressing social, political, medical, legal and human rights issues facing the world today.
  • Our University serves as a platform to bring Yeshiva’s collective wisdom to the world through our community outreach, publications, seminars and broad range of academic programs.

FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
We bring wisdom to life by combining the finest contemporary academic education with the timeless teachings of Torah. It is Yeshiva’s unique dual curriculum that teaches knowledge enlightened by values that helps our students gain the wisdom to make their lives both a secular and spiritual success.
FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
Yeshiva brings wisdom to life by not only teaching the knowledge and skills to be highly accomplished scholars and professionals but by teaching the ethical and moral values that will make them truly admirable people. It is our dual emphasis on professional excellence and personal ethics that gives our graduate students the wisdom to succeed in both their professions and their lives.

Question: How many (what percentage of) Roshei Yeshiva at YU subscribe to this mission statement? What are the implications of this percentage on the talmidim?


Excellent General Advice from R’ Aviner. Do not sign up for the “Committee to Find Blemishes Among Others,” but, rather, look for blemishes among yourself.

  • Rabbi Ari Zahtz -Parshas Mikeitz Why Didnt Yosef Contact His Father: link

    Understanding the whole Yosef and his brothers in Egypt thing according to a number of commentaries with special focus on why Yosef didn’t contact Yaakov earlier. If any of them completely resonated with me, I’d let you know J.

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig – The Line Between Piety and OCD: link

    Bottom line – be normal – no one is perfect and don’t paralyze yourself (or as we used to say in the cub scouts – DYB).

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn -Renting or Selling Homes to Non-Jews: link

    The whole rabbinic letter on renting was a big mistake, basic human decency needs to be observed.

  • HaRav Shlomo Amar – Halachic Issues of Areivut (hebrew): link

    R’Amar’s chiddush – areivut (joint responsibility) by mitzvot is on each individual mitzvah (not an overall state) so when a particular mitzvah devolves on an individual, the areivut also devolves (practical case – on yom tov sheni a ben eretz yisrael can’t be motzi a ben chutz l’aretz in Kiddush.

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner – Ovadia: An Introduction: link

    Introduction to a series. Who were Edom and why was there such bad blood??? The importance of Ovadiah’s prophecy.

  • Rav Asher Weiss – Tefillas Haderech: link

    When (situation and at what point of the situation) do yo say tfilat haderch? Analysis of the Rambam’s omission of it from his codification. R’Asher seems to think in his heart (but not as general psak l’maaseh) that it’s really not generally applicable today. Other details as well.

  • Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary -The Legacy of the Maccabees from 168 BCE to 1948 CE: link

    History of Maccabean dynasty and how Rabbis throughout the generations viewed them. Lessons in how to properly deal with outside forces.

  • Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig -Restoration and Rededication: Zechariah, Haftarah and Chanukah: link

    Lessons from Haftarah of Chanukah (in general haftarot are messages for the prophet’s generation and all future generations) – bringing back shechinah is the key – thus menorah is the main symbol (and they shouldn’t have taken malchut).

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon-Sichos Mussar- Trying Ones Best: link

    Mussar from Chanukah – be bnai aliya (do your best).

  • Mrs. Deena Rabinovich- Bewitched, Befuddled and Bemused: the Downfall of the House of Shaul: link

    Shaul’s issue (based on R’Steinsaltz – {I wonder if this was part of his Cherem issue} – he had too sudden a transition so when ruach hashem leaves, he flies back to ruach ra but David had innate ruach hashem. Then some parallels to Hasmonean times.

  • Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff – Have I Seen You Somewhere Before? Exploring Reincarnation: link

    This is not an Ikkar (phew!) but it’s a deep understanding! Each soul has a tafkid (job) and may take several tries, it’s also a great explanation (if you buy it) of why the righteous suffer.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Saying Tehillim for a Choleh: link

    R’Aryeh tries to put a rationalist spin of saying tehillim for cholim (R’Aryeh – what % of tehillim sayers do you think see it that way?)

  • Rav Asher Weiss – Mitzvah Lekayeim Divrey Hameis: link

    What is the halachic force of mitzvah lishmoa divrei hameit (It’s a “mitzvah” to hear (“carry out”) the words (commands) of the dead person.) Is it truly a mitzvah, a rabbinic enactment or “just” mussar (ratzon) hatorah? [like good advice from the torah shouldn’t be treated as binding?]. Is it considered as a completed transfer (Kinyan)?, does beit din enforce?, does it apply to only monetary or other issues as well? An actual case cited.

  • Rabbi H Schachter – Halacha and Modern Family Talk: link

    Covered a lot of ground. Started with Kaddish being really effective only by direct descendants (me – the medrash makes this somewhat clear). Modern people shouldn’t get “heebie jeebies” if a grandchild says Kaddish for a grandparent if the grandchild’s parents are both alive (just ask permission).
    Hareini Kapparat mishkavo – unclear how the child is an atonement for a parent?
    “Strictly speaking” no purpose in adopted child or non-descendant saying Kaddish. Gemara does talk of volunteering for mourning but it only makes any sense for Shiva and Shloshim, not 11 months since that’s all “lo taaseh” and it doesn’t make sense to volunteer not to do something. Even volunteers should only be partial day (i.e. don’t not learn for Shiva).
    Artificial insemination with husband’s sperm – there was debate as to “father” status (R’HS doesn’t express an opinion). What if artificial insemination by other Jewish man sperm – mamzeirut? R’Moshe said no.
    Maharal/Golum story is a buba meisa.
    Unasked question – why did the practice of childless couples divorcing “disappear”?
    What about 2 men adopting or single mom using AID? No – not clear your doing a child a favor.
    General issue is will child likely turn out “normal”.
    Singles shouldn’t be so picky.
    In the case of divorce, R’Moshe and R’Henkin were (my words) mchadeish continued child support on father (past age 6). R’Henkin – Government rules for tikkun apply to 2 Jews as well.
    Child abuse – no mesirah issue.
    Where to bury wife of 2 husbands (zeh acher zeh) – it’s all minhag, usually by one who she had kids with.

  • Rav Asher Weiss – Priorities in Honoring: link

    See here for some extensive mkoret on the issue of respect for grandparents (link). The obvious question is: If we say a child must serve Av first because both he and Aim must serve Av, why don’t we say grandfather comes first, since father is required to respect grandfather and so is son. Some say yes – if they are in the same room we would say that.
    R’AW’s approach is that it isn’t a rule in global importance (i.e. kavod Av a greater mitzvah than Aim) but rather relative comparisons. Example – whose lost object do you return first – your father’s or his rebbis?
    He then discusses a number of examples of paired comparisons (by tzedaka, lost objects….)
    One interesting example – why does wife give first priority to husband if both have a law of kavod for her parents? (me – Vyesh lchalek). Listen for R’AW pasken vs. R’MF!

  • Rabbi Adam Mintz – Modern Jewish History: link

    Where does modern Jewish history begin? It depends on your theory of history! Spinoza might be considered the first secular Jew in that he rejected religion but not God.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -The Power of Chazal to Uproot Torah Law: link

    When the Rabbis are Oker (uproot) a torah commandment does it go away completely or just get pushed off? A number of implications discussed (e.g. if you blew shofar on first day of Rosh Hashana which was also Shabbat – would you get a torahmitzva?)

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon -IBC Topics Shiur – Hilchos Beis HaKnesses: link

    Defining Beit Knesset and Beit Hamedrash, as well as halachic implications of those statuses (e.g. eating, weddings….)

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    Gil Student

    Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

     
    The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
     

    10 Responses

    1. mycroft says:

      “Started with Kaddish being really effective only by direct descendants (me – the medrash makes this somewhat clear). ”
      From Joel Wowolewsky http://www.lookstein.org/articles/mourning_adoptive.htm

      “Rabbi Soloveitchik insisted that there is a kiyyum of the mitzvah of avelut even when there is no halakhic obligation to mourn the specific individual. He drew this conclusion from the ruling that “Where there is a case of a deceased who has left no mourners to be com­forted, ten worthy men should assemble at his placeall seven days of the mourning period and the rest of the people should gather about them [to comfort them]. And if the ten cannot stay on a regular basis, others from the community may replace them.”[10]”

      “Strictly speaking” no purpose in adopted child or non-descendant saying Kaddish. Gemara does talk of volunteering for mourning but it only makes any sense for Shiva and Shloshim, not 11 months since that’s all “lo taaseh”

      Potential contrast with Wowolewsky”
      “It was for this reason that the Rav regularly advised children to mourn the adopted parents who had raised them. If there was no hiyyuv [obligation] ha-mitzvah, there was none-the-less a kiyyum ha-mitzvah.[11]…There is no objection for the adopted child saying Kaddish for his or her adopted parent, as one can say Kaddish for any person whose memory one wishes to honor”

    2. mycroft says:

      “General issue is will child likely turn out “normal”.”

      One can never predict the future.
      Nevuah was taken away from neviiim and givin to ktanim and shotim.

    3. joel rich says:

      Nycroft
      I think that’s why R’HS kept saying strictly speaking-not that one shouldn’t do it for other reasons.
      On the normal iiuc he was saying “in general” is enough to not allow it even though a specific counterexample could occur.
      KT

    4. mycroft says:

      “Nycroft
      I think that’s why R’HS kept saying strictly speaking-not that one shouldn’t do it for other reasons.”
      RHS ““Strictly speaking” no purpose” appears to be different than Wowolewsky’s RYBS
      “If there was no hiyyuv [obligation] ha-mitzvah, there was none-the-less a kiyyum ha-mitzvah.[11]…”

      “On the normal iiuc he was saying “in general” is enough to not allow it even though a specific counterexample could occur”

      RHS “Started with Kaddish being really effective only by direct descendants ” certainly different emphasis than Wowolewsky’s RYBS ” as one can say Kaddish for any person whose memory one wishes to honor”

    5. MLD says:

      For one Rosh yeshiva who does, see Rav Ozer Glickman, On the Sanctity of Secular Studies, talk given to the Schottenstein Honors Program. Dr. Cwillich taped it as we listened.

    6. David Tzohar says:

      R’JR-Is Tora Vamadda a mission? If so to whom are these missionaries preaching? IMHO the hashkafot of TVM along with classic R’ShR Hirsch Torah Im Derech Eretz,are at best flawed attempts at reconciling halacha and esp. emuna with the existential state of the Jew in modern Western Europe and the Americas.Two radically different hashkafot dealt with this dilemma. Franz Rosenzweig (the Star of Redemption) on the level of the individual and of course Harav Kook ZTZL on the level of the Nation.
      As a concept, Yeshiva- University remains to me a Sha’atnez where the techeilet is ganuz and battel klapei halavan.
      I hope that I didn’t just go against the dictum of MOR R’Aviner.I am trying to look past the (external) blemishes to understand their inner cause.

    7. joel rich says:

      R’DT,
      Conceptually we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, IMHO TUM is our attempt to translate the Maimonidean approach into the 21st century. I’ll be the first to admit it’s a difficult challenge, and I’m not sure YU has it right, but it reminds me of the definition of democracy as being the worst political approach except for all others.
      KT

    8. Steve Brizel says:

      RJR wrote in part:

      “Question: How many (what percentage of) Roshei Yeshiva at YU subscribe to this mission statement? What are the implications of this percentage on the talmidim?”

      RJR-I think that your query needs to be qualified and reevaluated, especially in light of the never ending discussion within YU as to what TuM means and whether there is content to the term TuM or whether it is a nice advertising slogan without any real content.

      I think that I could ask your question as to any of the development and evolution of any and all of the major trends in Hashkafa and Machshavah in Jewish history -IOW, when did the trend stop being a supplement to the core values of Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, and evolve by means of intellectual and sociological areteriosclerosis so far from its origin that it tended to rationalize non compliance with and supplant the core values.TuM,whether in its present or past mission statements such as synthesis, like all of its predecessors is not immune to this critique.

      I would ask the same question to the faculty of any of YU’s affiliated graduate schools and I suspect that their answer would not be that different than any of the RY, except for the fact that their emphasis would be on what is the mission of the graduate school in question, while the RY would emphasize that their goal is to produce college educated Bnei Torah who graduate equipped to live as Torah educated and observant Jews and who are prepared to prove that their POV has depth and profundity in a world that either is indifferent or hostile to Torah and Mitzvos.

      The notion that a RY should view any secular subject as having the ssme inherent Kedushah as Talmud Torah or being a Cheftza Shel Talmud Torah strikes me as a proposition that cannot be logically supported simply because no secular subject, even with the great intellectual firepower that is required in order to master it, has the inherent Kedusha as Torah or the requirement that we treat with the same level of reverence that we do either for R”L a dropped Sefer Torah or Sefer of Torah learning.

    9. joel rich says:

      interesting points-of course I don’t agree with the strawman of “the same inherent kedusha”- my question was more focused on the cognitive dissonance issue on (btw i agree it can come from the secular side as well)
      KT

    10. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

      “I’m not sure YU has it right, but it reminds me of the definition of democracy as being the worst political approach except for all others.”

      Bingo.

     
     

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