by Joel Rich
Could someone please find a plaintive yom kippur piyut and set it to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah? I’d appreciate it.
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From R’ Aviner (me interesting source-I’d go with a clear and logical mind –R’YBS)
Q: Should one seek a Rabbi’s advice in financial matters?
A: No. He does not understand this area more than anyone else (unless he studied it). See Sefer Ha-Tanya, letter #22.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Why Are Dozens of Jews From Brooklyn Sifting Through Garbage in Rochester?
Story of tfillin that ended up in trash and effort to find them. Probably not obligatory to search to this extent but R’Lebowitz thinks it was overall a Kiddush hashem. (I’m guessing no pollsters were engaged, but then again they’re not highly thought of right now anyway.)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 623-2
Neilah rules including such issues as petitional wording, standing, duchening, avinu malkeinv, and the final shofar blowing.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky -Maharal’s Unique Approach to Aggadah: Introducing His Thought
History of why the Maharal wrote on aggadah and his approach to its literal and metaphoric interpretation.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -שמל ורוח השבת – הרב יעקב אריאל
R’Ariel focuses on the meta results of allowing the use of electricity on Shabbat. He comes to the opposite conclusion of R’Rabinovitch and concludes that allowing it would ruin the Shabbat. Perhaps that’s why the Chazon Ish decided that it was a Torah prohibition.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-Derech HaLimud: When & how to generate a ‘bona fide’ Ma’aseh Mitzva, a Beracha on a Minhag?
Technical analysis concerning making a bracha on a minhag. Focus of the presentation is on the Brisker Rav, maaseh hamitzva(the act of the nitzvah), and specific applications.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter -Supporting & Praying For a Corrupt & Immoral Government
You must vote! Some government is better than none!
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 624-1
Yom Kippur maariv and havdalah rules. We use a flame lit before Yom Kippur and the reason for the flame then is for a different reason than after an ordinary Shabbat.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein Meets the Rebbe
Really not much on R’Lichtenstein. Some nice R’YBS stories and lots on what great work Lubavitch does.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Fifteen Minutes of Toras Rav Schachter – Eretz Hatzvi Siman 01
R’HS’s insights into kavanah (intent) by brachot. When is kavanah a kovea (establishing prerequisite) for the bracha if the words of the bracha are not conclusive?
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Benching with a Zimmun
Insights into shomea k’oneh (hearing is like saying) and amen as they relate to zimmun and tfila btzibur. How is one “joined” to a larger group?
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Mussar Schmooze
Tfilla related mussar—it really does work!
- Rabbi Ian Shaffer-Astrology and Superstition-Politz School shiur#
Talmudic and later sources on astrology and the like. Effectiveness may depend on how you relate to these “sciences,” but don’t be obsessive. (Me – hakol holchin acher hapeh. It’s all how you interpret it?!)
- Rabbi Daniel Stein-Can I have a Ride? Carpools and Midas Sodom
Practical applications of kofin al midat sdom (other gains and you really don’t lose). Is there a free rider exception? Does the application have to do with violating property rights or ability to monetize rights?
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-winter_zman
Winter zman is the best time to shteig with rdifus (work without break). Self-discipline is the key!
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 624-2
More on Havdalah and what type of candle must be used. Good practices for the day after Yom Kippur.
- Rabbi Elchanan Adler -Praying for a Choleh: Halachic Ways and Means
Prayer examples in the Torah and their common threads—they were by request to a great person. Is the role of the great person to pray for us or to teach us to pray? Issues with praying for oneself also discussed. Bikur cholim (visiting the sick) rules and prayers also discussed with specific focus on Shabbat and use of individuals’ names in prayer.
- Rabbi Yonatan Shai Freedman-The Halakhic Status of Scotch Aged in Sherry Casks
There’s what to rely on to be lenient but there are issues to be dealt with with scotch from sherry casks (e.g., maamad, ein mvatlin issur lchatchila). Meta issue of scotch worship is also worth considering.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Cleanliness or Godliness? Washing Hands After Using the Bathroom
The Satmar Rav had OCD as a youth! (Me – it was hashgacha pratit?) There are a number of reasons for handwashing in different circumstances (cleanliness, ritual impurity, ruach ra (bad mojo?), and preparation for avodah). Since the gemara never really calls for it, most say it’s a minhag so don’t really need a kli (utensil), but best to be more stringent than required.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein -Code & Reality # 8; Mincha…at all costs? Or maybe not?
There are issues with davening after a funeral at the cemetery. While they can be overcome (e.g., loeg larash, distractions, praying outside), sensitivity to the mourner may make it inappropriate. (My experience was the avel appreciated not having to worry about not making it home in time for a mincha minyan.)
- Rabbi Yona Reiss From the Dayan’s Desk – Cases and Analysis regarding Beth Din Jurisdiction
Introduction to rules concerning when Jews can use secular courts, with specific examples provided.
- Rabbi Chaim Brovender -Tzedek and Mishpat
Avraham understood HKB”H as the source of both tzedek and chesed. This formed the basis of his challenge to HKB”H and his ultimate understanding of HKB”H’s response.
- Rabbi Yonah Gross -The Tzava’a of Rav Yehuda HaChasid and Utilizing a Goral HaGro – Shulchan Aruch Shiur – Laws of Maintaining Jewish Uniqueness #5 – YD 179:3-4
R’Yehuda Hachasid’s tzavaah can be a bit confusing in application, CLOR! Then some examples of prohibited divination and Goral Hagra.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Sukkah 625-1 and 626-1
One should start sukkot preparations immediately after Yom Kippur. Provides some rules concerning building a sukkah partially under a tree.
- Rabbi Zvi Ralbag -JH 175-Geonic Period 3-Power of the Geonim
Were the yarchei kallah for the unlearned or for those who learned privately all year? How and when were the tshuvot hagaonim written? What was the role of the exilarch, how did it fit with the Roshei Yeshiva, and how was it funded?
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -Jewish Views of Christianity: From Recoil to Tolerance
Description of the separation process between bnai brit and non bnai brit over time and geography. Are non bnai brit to be viewed as idol worshipers on a halachic basis?
- Rabbi Aharon Adler -Rambam Sefer Mamitzvot: 613 Mitzvot?
Nature of Rambam’s list of 613 mitzvot discussed.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder -On Racisma>
Racism is deplorable. The confederate flag is embodiment of racism. No student should display it. The President-elect is a racist. (I think the kid was just caught in a paradigm shift)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Rav Amital and the “Human” Element of the Akeidah
R’Amital’s humanism as read into the akeidah story.
- Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen-בנים למקום
Mussar on being banim lamakom (HKB’H’s children) through Avraham’s example of chesed.
- Rabbi Yaakov Glasser -The 13 Foundations of Faith: Questioning and Answering Jewish Belief – Part 1
This is the second season of this class on Rambam’s essential beliefs. Focus here on the nature of Moshe’s revelation as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].