Audio Roundup

 

by Joel Rich

Jewish Jurisprudence contains a number of methods of “commercial” dispute resolution (whose initial source is unclear) when an unambiguous verdict is unattainable (Steve Wagner stop rolling your eyes right now!). Of particular interest to me are shuda d’dayna (judicial roll your own – poker, not weed, analogy) and kol d’alim gvar (might [height?] makes right) which are applicable in differing specific factual circumstances. The differences in how the Rishonim understand these concepts is breathtaking – IIUC shuda runs from the judge should do his best to mirror his best guess at equity, to HKB”H doesn’t care what the result is and the judge can do whatever he wants and feel good about it . Similarly IIUC kol runs from its judges absenting themselves (and the litigants can arm wrestle till the cows come home) to a one time reflection of a court action based on assuming the “right” person will win. So let’s start with an easy question. When HKB”H commanded the nations in dinim (courts), did he give them direction in dispute resolution or just say you figure it out?


You may have noticed the fiscal year has ended. So I’ve begun my annual “clean out the desk” frenzy in preparation for April 15th. One of the drawers has my records from “the troubles”, otherwise known as the rabbinical search. I’m curious how you would stack rank the following rabbinic competencies (yes, I know there’s overlap) in what you would prioritize in a mara d’atra (maybe just give me top 5 priorities):
1. Talmid Chochom
2. Pastoral skill
3. Experienced with practical psak
4. Public Speaker
5. Fundraiser
6. Management/administration skill (include staff)
7. Time manager
8. Work well with lay leadership
9. Involved with broader community
10. Consensus builder
11. Rodef Shalom
12. Visionary
13. Role model
14. Leader
15. Charismatic
16. Communicator
17. Teacher
18. Zionist
19. Baal mussar
20. Open to different approaches
21. Outreach expertise

  • Rav Asher Weiss-Vayigash- ” Halachic Parameters of Executive Leniency

    Absolutely fascinating topic(to me) – does a Beit Din and/or a king have the right to take into account outside circumstances in psak (e.g. impact on family). R’Weiss presents a number of possible precedents (me – they mostly sounded like authority flowing from King’s law vs. beit din’s law). Anyone aware of any more detailed analysis?
    Then comments on one of my favorite scenes. Pharaoh tries to make conversation with Yaakov (how old are you?) and gets an earful in return (I always think of Pharaoh thinking, hey, I don’t really care, I was just trying to be nice and make conversation). Lesson – Live all your years to the fullest?

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Chazara Shiur for Contemporary Halacha, Fall ’12

    Part I of practical halacha review (you know I love these) including:
    *technical details of mikveh
    *kiruv issues (non shomer Shabbat count for minyan? Invitations to non-Shabbat observant for Shabbat, giving food if you know recipient won’t make a bracha)
    *women’s issues (leadership, rabbinic, kaddish, bat mitzvah)
    *Yom tov rules (Shabbat mode ovens, yom tov sheini observance)
    *Yom Kippur and Sukkot related details (fasting, Sukkah, lulav, etrog)

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Chazara Shiur [part 2] for Contemporary Halacha, Fall ’12

    Excellent review of practical halacha shiurim. While these won’t make you a posik, they will help you know when to ask.
    Topics covered include:
    *blood donations
    *zmanim (you know the whole GRA/Tosfot thing)
    *Shabbat “kid” rules:
    - expressing milk
    - making oatmeal
    - using diapers
    - asking a non-Jew/doing an act in a non-normal manner
    - carrying a child
    - status of electricity/light bulbs/Shabbat clocks

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 248-1

    Rules concerning leaving on a sea cruise (cue Frankie Ford) within 3 days (is it Thursday or Wednesday?) of Shabbat. A number of possible reasons for this prohibition and implications for specific halachic circumstances. Most interesting point – general rule concerning not putting oneself in a situation where one will have to forgo a mitzvah.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 248-2

    More on sea cruises.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 248-3

    Similar rules for leaving 3 days before Shabbat for deserts, but more stringent?! Perhaps since here the only reason given y desert is chillul Shabbat concern.

  • Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -16-12-2012 Confidence as a Posek

    A long pep talk to budding rabbinical students concerning having self-confidence in their halachic psak abilities.

  • Rabbi Yehuda Balsam -Ba Bimchteres vs. Radeif

    Comparison of haba bamachteret (breaker in) and rodeif (pursuer) and do you have to disable someone who is threatening your life (rather than kill them), if you can.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon -Status of Grape Juice today – Can you make a hagefen on it

    “Back in the day” the dividing line between orthodox and conservative was making Kiddush on grape juice!? (oh, for the simpler days – BTW, it was the orthodox who didn’t). Issue is one of metziut (fact) – will our grape juice eventually ferment (I thought it was clear that it won’t???).

  • Teleconference – Vision and Data: Essential Building Blocks for Successful Synagogue Change

    A group actually gathered data about their synagogues to inform on their decisions rather than just using anecdotal data!! (chochmah bagoyin taamin). And they think they are better for it!

  • Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank -Rambam’s Principles of Faith

    Why was the Rambam the first to compile a list of required beliefs? In his time it was a topic of discussion which needed to be responded to.

  • Stephen Savitsky-Misconceptions About the Beth Din of America

    Beit Din of American is professional, timely and will yield results. They take on a mix of cases and assign dayanim based on their specialty.
    New conversion (GPS) process was important improvement (I assume some would disagree!). Prenups are important to combat agunot situations.

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan – Vayeishev

    Detailed discussion of Yoseif’s relationship with his brothers.
    Analysis of the lessons of the pit he was placed in:
    1) Sometimes your destiny is inevitable
    2) When you have trouble, it’s important to know HKB”H is with you
    3) Sometimes you’ve got to run away immediately (e.g. internet)

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan – Miketz

    More insights on Yoseif and the brothers. A key test is when you are doing something for heaven’s sake, how do you react if it doesn’t seem to be working?

  • Rabbi Daniel Hartstein -Burial In Eretz Yisroel: A Vertical View

    Sources, mostly pro, concerning burial in Eretz Yisrael. Anyone need an “Eretz Hachayim” price list, let me know .

  • Rabbi Yosef Carmel -The Tal Law, in light of Chazal, Halacha, the needs of the state of Israel and its impact on its future

    “Shilton” and “bitachon” appear for the first time in the time of David. The power of the government/King are primarily seen in:
    *”off with their head” death penalty
    *ability to take your money
    *printing money authority
    *ability to take wife without her consent
    Tal Law – Chareidi draft must come from an organic understanding of the importance of supporting the state.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb -The Hidden Messages of Asara B’Tevet

    10th of Tevet – Abudraham says we would fast if it fell out on Shabbat because of the use of the word “Itzumo”. Mussar – 1) it was the beginning of the end (all flows from that day); 2) importance of truly celebrating Shabbat; 3) it’s the yom hadin of geulah. I like (1) – you can’t build a house on a foundation of sand!

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series 2 Episode 12: Post-Traumatic Stress

    Post-traumatic stress disorder is the one psychological condition whose onset we really understand. We now have treatments based on cues to fear and virtual reality therapy has made progress.

  • Stephen Savitsky-Rebuilding the Lives of Sandy Victims

    Some discussion of the Orthodox Union’s hurricane relief efforts.

  • Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen-The Real Story of Christmas

    History of “Year-end holidays” from Pagan times until today.

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    About the author

    Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

     
    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.
     

    6 Responses

    1. mycroft says:

      My al regel achat first take.
      1. Role model
      2. Pastoral skill
      3. Experienced with practical psak
      4 Rodef Shalom
      5.. Consensus builder

    2. mycroft says:

      “New conversion (GPS) process was important improvement (I assume some would disagree!).”

      RJR -your post caused me to listen to the interview. A lot of at a minimum incomplete information. Vahavtam et hager being quoted in a manner to defend the “new procedures”-the new procedures have caused onaas hager and their descendants involving actions of at least half a century. For decades the BDA would certify as a matter of course geirus when Israel came into play-the certificate signed by the 3 RCA Rabbis in good standing was certified to the Israeli CR for decades. A few years ago when the RCA/BDA decided to acquiescence of the deligitimization of geirus performed by RCA members for decades it has thrown into question decades of practice where people did geirus with the understanding that it would be accepted worldwide and in fact was accepted worldwide. I have mixed feelings about the new procedures going forward-but certainly the deal to effectively deligitimize geirus done for decades is scandalous-the issue should not be kavod of Rav x or Rav y-the issue is onaas hager which has happened.

    3. joel rich says:

      R’Mycroft,
      Unfortunately it’s hard for me to tell what’s real and what’s not in this case. ISTM for some reason that it has become harder to have the grandfather clauses that would allow systems to change without the threat of retroactive delegitimization (similar issue – IVF – who is the mother , seems to be changing)

      What really bothered me was it seemed to be more the politics of assuaging nonlocal authorities rather than deciding on general geirus guidelines.

      KT

    4. mycroft says:

      Joel I will respond out of order

      “”What really bothered me was it seemed to be more the politics of assuaging nonlocal authorities rather than deciding on general geirus guidelines.”"
      IMO that is what is behind the deligitimization of geirus for at least half a century-the Americans ho had a strong hand decided to get acceptance for current Rabbis which meant agreeing to the new CR over the continued acceptance of geirus done for decades. What was especially sneaky about it-was when the agreement was announced they tried to ignore that issue pretending that it didn’t exist. It was handled like a labor negotiation where parties trade off one side for the other.

      “Unfortunately it’s hard for me to tell what’s real and what’s not in this case.”
      For the procedures in affect for decades-does anyone deny what I say to be accurate. That the Head of the BD would certify to the Israeli CR the certificates signed by 3 Rabbonim in good standing. The Israeli CR demanded such certification because they did not want to check out individual Rabbis.

      “ISTM for some reason that it has become harder to have the grandfather clauses that would allow systems to change without the threat of retroactive delegitimization (similar issue – IVF – who is the mother , seems to be changing)”

      This is different-here we have a chazakah which has been overturned-there was a chazakah for decades that these people had become Jewish they had married as Jews. A BD in good faith made them geirm-the gerim in good faith acted as such and now told that they are not Jews.

      KT

    5. joel rich says:

      R’ Mycroft,
      In the IVF case aiui, they were relying on rabbinical authority at the highest levels (not beit din) which now seems to be changing its mind.
      KT

    6. mycroft says:

      “joel rich on January 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      R’ Mycroft,
      In the IVF case aiui, they were relying on rabbinical authority at the highest levels (not beit din) which now seems to be changing its mind.
      KT

      Geirus is a maase bes din-relying on authorities of highest levels can be mistaken eg if one relies on a heter of RMF concerning divorce and RMF is mistaken one still would get a mamzer. It is similar to electricity a gadol is interpreting mezuit-no status change is done. A beis din did a status change with geirus.

     
     

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