by Joel Rich
In Shiurim L’zecher Aba Mori Z”L, R’YBS posits (see page 230) that in a difference of opinion concerning a Halacha Moshe Misinai, if one side has a kabbalah (tradition) and the other doesn’t, the decision is always in favor of the side with the tradition. [Me – assumption being a tradition must be correct and not a transmission error?] Whey then would we not apply the same logic with a Gzeira Shava (unless you assume there was not one where there was a clear tradition of which cases were related with which words?)?
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Interesting fact—Roman case law (vs. statutory) was called responsa.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Chanuka Siman 673-2
Rules for use of the shamash as part of the Chanukah menorah.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder -KJ’s Dr. William Major Memorial Advanced Shiur in Talmud with Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder
Ongoing Talmud shiur here focusing on fish kashrut. Interesting question—when do Chazal focus on risk (e.g., eating treif) vs. reward (chas al mamonam—not wasting money).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Parshat Vayishlach: Yaakov’s Mistake
1. People can change—give them the chance
2. Each of us has our own abilities, don’t assume you’ll fail just because others did
3. Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by (Hat tip – CSNY).
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Jewish Music Unplugged: Understanding Popular Jewish Songs
I agree—music and lyrics have large impact throughout Jewish history (me – see Peat Hachulchan). Analysis of three popular songs: 1. Pischi li – message of Shiur Hashirim; 2. Gesher tzar meod—we all face challenges, real believers know HKB”H is in charge; 3. V’zakeivu lgdol banim—candle lighting prayer to dispel darkness.
- Rabbi Daniel Stein -Is Maariv Really Optional?
Understanding the nature of Tfilat maariv being “rshut” (optional). Perhaps this is based on Tfila being both kneged karbanot (aligned with sacrificial service) and kneged avot (established by the forefathers) and there’s no maariv avodah. This may also explain why there is still some benefit to prayer after “the zman’.Side point- I never fully understood wey we no longer have the ability to pray a tfilat nedavah (free will offering).
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank -Machshava 3: The view of Rambam and Gra on Secular Studies and Philosophy
Objections to the study of philosophy include practical result-oriented ones as well as purely hashkafic reasons. Rambam’s position examined.
- Rabbi Reuven Brand -Pearl Harbor, Herman Wouk and Chanuka: The American Jewish Experience
Herman Wouk’s life story related to balancing being a ger and toshav born in the USA. (hat tips R’YBS and Bruce Springsteen).
- Rabbi Yona Reiss -From the Dayan’s Desk – Cases and Analysis regarding Beth Din Jurisdiction part 3
Two theories of why beit din can send you to secular courts (arcaot) – agency or knas (penalty). Discussion of the theoretical implications of this differentiation.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -(9) Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner
A brief biography of R’Hutner’s . R’Rakeffet explains why you really don’t need Jewish Philosophy if you’ve been exposed to proper personalities.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss -From the Dayan’s Desk – Cases and Analysis regarding Beth Din Jurisdiction part 4
More applications of the theories of why Beit Din can send you to a secular court. Specific focus on secular statute of limitations and secular injunctive relief’s interplay with halacha as well as beit din’s ability to carry out its role.
- Rabbi Yosef Blau-Judaism and the Treatment of the Other
Is a ger a stranger, a resident, or a convert? It depends on the context! In general, we must find the right balance between kavdeihu (honor him/be kind) and chashdeihu (suspect/worry). Remember, we cause others to love HKB”H by example and how we interact with them.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Segulot and Palm Reading
A practical application difference between the Rambam (magic doesn’t work/practicing it will lead you astray) and others (it works, but is forbidden) may be whether “magical” practices with Jewish source (ask for a verse, simanim and mazal) are permitted.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Is The Entire City to Blame? Collective Punishment – Part 1
Part I discusses sources in Chazal against collective punishment (next shiur will have some in favor).
- Ms. Sara Gordon-Royal Repentance? Sin, Power and Corruption in the David Narratives
David’s interactions with Avigayil and Naval may be seen as a precursor to those with Bat Sheva and Uria.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Chanuka Siman 673-3
Hadlakah oseh (lighting makes the) mitzvah works so long as you lit properly (defined here) you’re ok. What happens after is not a problem!
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg -Vayishlach: The Ethics of Collective Punishment
Really a parsha shiur explaining Yaakov’s three prong preparation for meeting Esau and a bit about the destruction at Shechem (rules of war or over reaction by Simon & Levi?) Nice insight on why of the three avot only Yaakov/Yisrael names were able to be used on an ongoing basis (represents passive vs. assertive attributes).
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -Lech Lecha, Vayera, Chayei Sarah, Toledot, Vayetze – Constancy of Character and Defining Moments
Was the ultimate test for Avraham the akeidah or purchasing the machpela? Each of the avot were shaped by their experiences and we can learn from each of them. Abarbanel understands the ladder dream as being necessitated by Yaakov’s uncertainty as to whether he did the right thing by the blessings and/or the birthright purchase.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein -Code & Reality # 10- Counting Women for a Minyan…for SHUL Chanukah Candle Lighting
Discusses reasons for lighting the menorah in the synagogue. If it’s pirsumei nisa (publicize the miracle), who counts for the ten “persons” needed to accomplish this?
- Rabbi Ari Cutler -Yeshivot in Israel from the 1990’s till 2016- Yeshivat Shem Vever and Yeshivat Avraham and Yitzchak – What are the aspirations of OUR Yeshivot?
Balancing the cave experience (focus on self) vs. responsibility to others—this is a key issue for a positive post Yeshiva life experience.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Chanuka Siman 673-4
Rules on relighting the Chanukah menorah if your candles go out, especially erev Shabbat. Can you reuse cup or wicks and what do you do if you don’t have a menorah?
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Wednesday Night Mussar Vayishlach/2016: Back To The Lighthouse
Mussar to talmidim on regarding their Yeshiva years as a lighthouse for their future decisions (including shana beit).
- Asher Becker -Parshas Vayishlach- The Importance of Davening כותיקין and the Dangers of Money
Some thoughts on the Parsha.
- Rabbi Daniel Stein -Bal Tashchis: Fruit Trees, Leftovers, and Recycling
B’al Tashchit generally seems like a risk/reward calculation but for a possible sakanah (existential danger) issue. Is the concern for not being destructive or to maximize value? [Me – Pachim ketanim lesson is we are to maximize utility of given resources.]
- Rav Asher Weiss-Shelo K`derech Achila
Understanding how if Gid Hanesha has no taste, what is the eating prohibition? Can we differentiate derech achila, maaseh achila and hanaat achila?
- Rabbi Ari Ginsberg -Parshas Vayishlach – Defending the Ibn Ezra from Criticism
Why did the Torah list all the rulers descended from Esav? Did Ibn Ezra believe parts of the Torah were written well after Moshe’s time?No!
- Rabbi Joel Finkelstein -Paying Wages On Time
Is the ban against delaying a worker’s payment primarily religious or monetary in nature?
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Rav Amital on Chanukah / 2016
Chanukah as a start of a new era; the long historical perspective is key. Sincere women’s learning (without an agenda) is a pioneering effort today.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Chanuka Siman 673-5
Lighting one Chanukah candle from another is OK, but there may be issues when it’s no longer needed for the mitzvah.
- Rabbi Moshe Gordon-Practical Issues In “Advanced” Tzitzis making/purchasing
Lots of specifics on materials, size, and intent in making and wearing tzitzit.
- Rabbi Philip Moskowitz -Shylock’s Enduring Impact on Jewish Law and Thought: Marking the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death
R’Zevin’s piece on what a beit din would have found in Shylock’s case. I believe the concept of an individual not owning their own body predates R’Zevin. Also need more clarity on what are the practical implications of the deal “standing” or not.
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