by Joel Rich
Münchausen syndrome is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves
Question: Would the description somewhat fit a community whose implementation of its vision results in large pockets of poverty which it then seeks to ameliorate to an extent with chesed institutions?
Question: When davening in a minyan that starts before misheyakir (the earliest time for putting on talit and tfillin [T&T]) there are generally two approaches if misheyakir is reached after Baruch Sheamar and before Yishtabach: (i) just daven without T&T and then put on T&T with brachot at misheyakir; (ii) put on T&T when you start davening and make brachot at misheyakir after moving the T&T slightly. What do you see as the advantage of either approach? Would your answer change if you know the Shatz does (ii) quickly and immediately continues on?
I’m told there’s private garbage disposal in Teaneck. Here an analysis concerning the permissibility of putting out garbage erev Shabbat for Shabbat collection in both public and private carting situations.
One should complete a regular will and a living will at age 50 [me – IMHO should do regular will as soon as you have kids].
Unless 99% of people would, or would not, undergo a particular treatment, we allow the patient to decide whether to undergo the treatment. It’s generally up to the next of kin to decide if the patient isn’t capable of deciding but the decision should be what the patient would want, not what the next of kin thinks is best.
If you’re at all unsure, it’s best to pray for mercy from HKB”H, not for death or for miracles.
Some rules on visiting the ill and some brief discussion of brain death (ask the same Rabbi as you ask all your other questions) and metzitza bpeh (sounded like R’M Shapiro asking – my summary of answer- it’s not assur, it’s stupid).
Sounds to me like R’HS holds that any passive methods of withholding care are OK if the circumstances warrant (vs.R’MF and R’SZA on not withholding nourishment and oxygen requirements).
Another data dump including:
*Differing opinions on status of Avot (Bnai Noach or Jewish)
*General approach is to assume avot/shvatim acted appropriately unless the Torah tells us differently (e.g. it tells us Yaakov was wrong for favoring Joseph).
*At least one commentary felt that the mental gymnastics used to halachically explain the protagonists’ actions in Breishit were not reflecting well on us!
*Shchiach hezeikah (dangerous situations) – how do we define this in terms of the probability of danger? R’HS assumes similar to miyut hamatzui (material minority) but R’Elchanan thinks it’s higher – [me – R’HS assumes a universal theory of materiality? Especially interesting given that it seems Kehilat Yaakov was the first to try to quantify?]
*Affirms my version of the R’YBS naming story (my comment to an earlier R’Gil post) on R’Chaim holding in practice mother/father priorities in naming (but R’HS let his wife do all the names).
*Interesting take on “burning” Tamar – it may have meant a scarlet letter!
*Dmut Dyokno Shel Aviv (fathers image) [you know I love this one] means his father inspired him to live up to his potential (both spiritual and material!). We should all do this.
*Practice of holding Kiddush cup in palm is from the Shlah based on “Kaf Paroh”
*No great answer on why Yoseif was “wrong” to ask to be remembered by the wine steward.
*Worthwhile just to hear R’HS answer why we don’t prostelitize???
*Famous Mesech Chochmah and why Avraham and Yitzchak did outreach but not Yaakov (I’ve always understood this Mesech Chochmah as reverse engineering unless he means Yaakov knew this prophetically).
*Life is meant to be full of challenge.
A bit off the beaten track – R’HS quotes John Donne and a psych text (he was given the latter)!
I was struck by the connections R’HS made between the psych text and halacha and couldn’t help but think that poskim would be well served with the latest outside knowledge (cue the Rambam).
Main take away here was that the safety of taking these drugs is in question and it’s not recommended to go outside the “norm”.
Of particular interest to me – R’HS believes HKB”H does give some people tests they can’t overcome and that they are then in the category of Shoteh!
I was always taught that HKB”H does not do this – it took me a while to decide what I was taught did not cohere with my observations.
First speaker – philosophy of TSB”P – it’s given over to the “chochmei hamesorah” to determine. There are different approaches (e.g. Rambam, Baalei Tosfot). Halacha does evolve as we better understand sources and texts and things like difference between amoraim and saboraim (sounded like some acceptance of quasi academic issues).
Second speaker – The major purpose of learning is halachic determination. An individual’s philosophy of halacha is only arrived at after years. You can’t simply look at Rama – halacha is immutable but responsive to local conditions and times. You must start from basic principles and have a process (sounded a little liberal!).
Some Q&A on #1 – Not so clear but sounded like questioners were a bit more conservative.
History of the forgery of the Bsamim Rosh and conjecture of why it was done (get some new ideas accepted) and why R’OY included it as a source (Cannon/Rabbinic tradition).
Comparison of what to do on Friday night if you don’t have enough money for Chanukah oil and Shabbat candles vs. if you don’t have enough for Chanukah candles during the week.
Mussar – the miracle of the oil informs on the “miracle” of the military victory – it’s all from HKB”H. The Greek’s separated holiness from wisdom, we see them as inextricably intertwined (all wisdom).
Preset systems that run on Shabbat have two basic issues: 1) Mashmia Kol = making noise; 2) Ziluta d’Shabbat = “not shabbosdic”. How much noise is noise for making this a prohibition?
R’Moshe didn’t like Shabbas clocks, R’Sobolofsky thinks moving clock settings on Shabbos is a Torah prohibition. Others look at it as a subset of grama (indirect causation).
R’Sobolofsky thinks “Shabbos lamps” are a big problem (of zilzul).
Then extensive review of eino mitkaven (don’t intend a certain result) and psik reisha (result will certainly occur) implications.
Yahrtzeit drasha for R’Rosensweig’s mother. Analysis of the status of excess menorah oil on same day as well as after Chanukah (seems unusual to be so strict).
Chanukah is “special” because of what Yivanim tried to do to our Torah mesorah, we respond by making the lessons of Chanukah enduring and keeping the impact in front of us always.
R’SRH – why if you stop while learning to admire a tree, are you liable for your life? Using the word stop implies you see learning as a separate world rather than one integrated existence.
Upcoming and current medical halachic issues include:
*Artificial insemination donor – ben brit or non ben brit sperm preferred?
*Posthumous conception – who is the father? Does the new child inherit?
*Surrogate motherhood – shifting sands on who is the mother? (I’m not sure it’s so simple to say the psak one got will hold even if the halachic pendulum swings in another direction well after your psak).
*Advisability of using new genetic tests where we’re not sure if the “deviation” has any significance.
*Animals hosting human fetus.
*One parent (DNA techniques) children?
*New MRI technology – persistent vegetative folks may not be so “brain dead”
Memorial for Rabbi Jung. Deals with how we answer the question could Moshe Rabbeinu have invented the printing press or does knowledge in the natural sphere evolve? (IMHO tougher question is medical treatments, if Chazal could have developed them wouldn’t they have been required to?)
Do we care about non-Jewish contractors working on our homes on Shabbat since no one does their own general contracting so it’s “known” that these are on a per job rather than hourly basis? Still can be a “not shabbosdic” issue.
R’Weiss published his first book of sh”ut! While libo omer lo (his halachic heart tells him) he should make a shehechiyanu, he wore a new garment because it’s not accepted to make shechiyanu on a new book.
Then a review of the different types of shehechiyanu and focus on the Chanukah shechiyanu (e.g. if you said it can you say it again later to be motzi someone?)
Plato vs. Aristotle seems similar to the philosophical debate over emunah (faith) as reflected in the rationalist (use intellect to perceive HKB”H) vs. mystic (it’s way above us) tradition. But really, it’s not that big a difference – all agree we should accept mesorah (tradition) first either for practical or philosophical reasons (me – no matter how rational one is, there’s always a leap of faith at the end).
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