by Joel Rich
Came across this footnote in a piece by R’ Aharon Lichtenstein – apparently he had the same reaction to R’ Moshe’s tshuva(and others) as I did- we discussed this conundrum a while back-why does everyone ignore horiyot priorities?
See Horayot 13a, where, on the one hand, technical factors of one’s formal status in the scale of yohasin is presented as a ground for priority, while, on the other hand, at bottom, personal spiritual qualities are assigned supremacy. Currently, the element of yohasin as a yardstick of triage is relatively neglected – whether because, as R. Moshe Feinstein held, its use is rather impractical in the modern reality, it was also no longer decisive, or for some other reason.
Rabbi Menachem Genack, head of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut department, told The Forward that while the OU once certified both glatt and non-glatt meat, in the 1970s “market conditions” caused the organization to limit its supervision only to the former.
Market Conditions? What a nice obfuscatory phrase!
The Saducees disappeared because they were temple based and had no escatological (world to come) vision so the destruction of the temple really killed them. R’Yochanan ben Zakkai kept some temple practices but after the failure of the Bar Kochva revolution real rabbinic Judaism (not temple based) took off as the cohesiveness factor for the displaced nation. BTW, R’YBZ probably didn’t ask for Yavneh!
Who must drink how much wine (Kiddush vs. other circumstances). Interposition rules.
What must/should the listeners to Kiddush do/have in front of them?
Which kinds of wine are ok, preferred?
Diluting wine with water rule, adding liquids besides water.
What to do if you have no wine – are other intoxicants or national beverages allowed? Why?
Kiddush bmakom seudah rules.
Review of psychological theories of causes of depression as well as current therapies. What to look for and what you can do.
Depression in halacha – what are the implications? What is the role of a pulpit rabbi and/or educator?(generally identify and refer).
The interplay of stress and bitachon and how to cope with yisurrin (tests?).
Practical tales and advice regarding how batei din function in divorce cases. It varies by court and by documents and arbitration agreements. Lots of specifics (mortgages, bank accounts, ketuva specifics, salaries). Make sure you know the rules if you are going into the system!
Understanding symptoms of depression and possible impacts – Jewish men at much higher risk than general population. You can save a life by identifying depression early and helping get treatment. Key is to give life meaning!!!
I keep looking for the algorithm but not finding it – here some basics on how much and to whom.
Gebrochts redux – explains why Lubavitch takes the “prohibition” so seriously. R’Moshe Goldkern holocaust/broken teeth story (could he eat soaked matzah?) – R’Oshry paskined OK but do hatarat nedarim (revocation of vows).
Lots of mussar – we’ve got to change our evil ways! (cue Santana)
Personal history stories – R’YBS, R’Belkin, R’Kotler et al.
Is our extra washing (at the Seder) for taharal/tuma (impurity) reasons, for a mitzvah or “just” for Hagada which is Talmud Torah (perfect for R’YBS)?
Our focus on beauty and materialism has very negative consequences (e.g. Shidduch Crisis). How one dresses impacts others’ expectations as well as their own – Flatbush has come a long way on Torah and tfilah but needs to come further on tzniut (me – not just for women).
Decisions on women’s issues have three key elements to consider – (i) srarah (authority); (ii) tzniut (modesty); (iii) traditional roles. Review of halachic sources including Rambam, R’Moshe Feinstein, Chofetz Chaim and R’YBS. Bottom line – decisions should be community based and recognize motivations and purposes of the parties involved.
National Geographic on Chasidim (Lubavitch) and rebels (very shallow IMHO).
Shaving during Chol HaMoed – review of opinions starting with original enactment and reasons, Rabbeinu Tam’s leniency (based on logic) as well as that of the Nodeh B’yehudah (and Chatam Sofer’s “understanding” of why he promulgated it – [me – based on C”S logic or real history?]) up through R’YBS and R’Moshe (who sounds more meta in limiting shaving which the logic would permit, perhaps – as a uniform?)
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