by Joel Rich
Would you differentiate between the two concepts of anoos rachmana patrei (HKB”H does not attach liability to compelled actions) and afilu chashav laasot mitzvah vneenas . . . maaleh alav hakatur keilu asah (even if one thought to do a mitzvah and was compelled not to, HKB”H treats him as if he did it?) If so, how?
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Visiting a shul questions:
• Would your shul allow a guest to read his own Aliya?
• Would your shul allow a guest to say his own nussach of kaddish (not as shatz)?
• Would your shul (in galut) allow the shatz not to say baruch hashem l’olam in maariv?
• Would your shul allow a guest to say 13 middot aloud by Tachanun?
• Would the answer be different if requested before prayer (vs. just don’t do it)?
- Zev Eleff -European Foodways and Halakhic Folkways in American Judaism: The Case of Peanut Oil on Passover
History of how peanut oil went from the preferred Passover oil to being forbidden for Passover. (me – koach d’isura adif in practical terms?)
- Rabbi Isaac Rice-How to Learn Gedolim Stories
Gdolim stories allow us a greaert appreciation for the army we’re in. We need to find the right balance between the individual’s story and their Torah. Sometimes one should take these stories with a grain of salt. (Me – when there’s an obvious problem with the story, doesn’t that inform on the accuracy of other such stories?) Next time, more examples and perhaps a hagiography discussion. (Me – very important to understand your audience, remember Rich’s law of unintended consequences.)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 689-3 and 690-1
Relationship between bringing kids to megilla reading and the four verses we read aloud. Should you read along? From a kosher megilla? Sitting or standing? Missing a word rules also discussed.
- Mrs. Nechama Price-The Sister: A Closer Look at the Role of Miriam
Miriam was part of a cohesive high-powered leadership team (Moshe, Aron & Miriam) which worked together to accomplish great things. Nice pitch for GPATS.
- הרב אלישע וישליצקי -חיים ארוכים
Very worthwhile listening—nothing is coming to you! Don’t be a cafui btov (ingrate).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Yitro 5777 I – Olas HaGer, Aseres HaDibros, Leimor, Anochi
Parsha topics including:
• Did Har Sinai occur before or after the “conversion” of Klal Yisrael (and implications)
• There will be no questions of theodicy “at the end of times”
• Leaving Egypt is in a way more significant to us than creation
• What parts of Shma are Torah requirements?
• Is belief in HKB”H a mitzvah or a prerequisite to mitzvoth?
• The Nodah B’Yehuda vs. The Baal Shem Tov
• The Mishna Brurah was not the practice of European Yeshivot
• When can you study comparative religion?
• Understanding zachor and shamor
• Understanding Aseh Doche Lo Taaseh
• Understanding the Ten Commandments
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky -Q and A Session
• Picking the proper profession (it’s a very individual choice but it should be driven by prioritizing values)
• Society has made some improvements but in general it’s a wasteland
• You need to invest in Talmud Torah (gemara) but eventually full focus on Talmud may not be for everyone
• Prayer requires understanding of words and realization of need
• Secular campuses are not the place to be, especially given the usual level of preparedof our children
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Saying Baruch Hu U’varuch Shemo
Reasons some say Baruch hu Baruch Shmo all of the time, some of the time or not at all.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Are the Arayot Chukim or Mishpatim?
Perhaps the boundary line between chukim and mishpatim is fluid from generation to generation. The key is to understand when a law provides a value to be extrapolated to other situations and when it’s of limited force. (Me – easier said than done.)
- Rabbi Elan Mazer-What a diaspora Jew can do for the State of Israel
R’Kook on bringing galut strengths back into Eretz Yisrael.
- Rabbi Moshe Weinberger -Creating a Better Shul Experience
Give the customers what they want—davening, emunah, and learning. Rabbis must realize the world has changed!
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky -Yiras Shamayim
We need to balance yirah (fear/awe) and ahava (love). Tzniut (modesty) is busha (embarrassment) in front of HKB”H. What we really need to do is Shiviti Hashem (keep HKB”H in front of you at all times) and to change ourselves for the good through repeated positive actions.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Wearing a garment without tzizit
So why don’t blankets need tzitzit?14
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Yitro 5777 II – Torah MiSinai, Shor Sinai, Har Kegigis,
What do we mean by Torah M’sinai? The transmission of the written law and the oral law! Shabbat is like our wedding anniversary—many wedding traditions are based on events at Har Sinai. The Aron, etc. were hidden before the destruction of temple so Chachamim would get practice at psak without direct divine intervention. Other parsha thoughts as well.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Torah of HaRav Amital: Natural Morality
R’Amital on humanism and morality. The whole eating pig vs. cannibalism thing discussed. I appreciate that R’Taragin expands on his story concerning rejecting the boy who did chesed for the wrong reasons(now it makes more sense to me).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Super Shailos From The Big Game
How does halacha view gambling and taking gambling winnings and does it have what to say about who takes the winnings in unforeseen circumstances (e.g., overtime)? [Me – old debate over whether there is any circumstance in which halacha has no opinion].
R’Lebowitz also provides his thoughts on child discipline and the proper use of Super Bowl time. Can you daven in front of a TV that is muted? Are minyanim at sports events preferable to davening later alone?
- Rav Nissan Kaplan–BavaBasra-Chezkat_Habatim-01
Introduction to chazakah (presumed ownership) in mitaltilin (movables) and karka (Real Estate). Why are the presumptions presumed?
- Rabbi Menachem Genack-Bittul Issur Lechatchila
Technical discussion (part of a kashrut series) including ein mvatlin issur, who can’t use the product when a prohibition is violated and chazor v’niur et al.
- Rabbi Chaim Brovender-Darkness
What exactly was the plague of darkness and what was its purpose?
- Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky-Jews and Black Lives Matter
History of a century of black/Jewish relationships. See this series http://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162 for an in depth understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Gas Stoves on Yom Tov- Beitzah 22a
Do our gas ranges represent integral units with fuel or is the fuel an extrinsic element? Does grama (causation) depend on a technical definition or human perception?
- Rabbi Baruch Simon-Midreshes Yom Rishon: Cleaning Clothing on Shabbos
Very practical summary of halachot concerning cleaning clothes on shabbat—using water or serious shaking is prohibited. Spreading out wet clothes, especially near a heat source, is problematic. Tallit folding and milk expressing also discussed. Important discussion of defining hachana (preparation for after shabbat on shabbat).
- Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Yisro Does Halachah Allow Photographing People
Standard discussion of three dimensional and portrait representations
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 690-3
What if part of the physical megilla is missing? Rules concerning time lapses in megilla reading.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring גר קטן כפתרון הבעיות העכשוויות
R’Rabinovich’s position that conversion is always a zchut, how Israel differs from Ch”ul for this purpose and underage conversions.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 690-2
Reading megilla portions out of order, in another language and reading along rules.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Hilchos Niddah Review Shiur for Women 1 – How a Woman Becomes a Niddah
Review of contemporary rules of when one becomes a nidda. Since we don’t really know what hargasha is, stains and flows become a more complex issues.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -Ribis and Its Connection to Gezel
Maybe ribbit (interest) is a form of gzeila (stealing) since there’s a tzedaka element in not charging ribbit. Discussion is a lot more technical than that
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Kiddushin 38 – Matana Al Minas LiHachzir
Is money to a Cohen for pidyon habein (redeeming first born) a chov (monetary liability) or an existential Mitzvah?
Does matanah al mnat lhachzir (gift conditioned on return) work in cases across shas or is it case specific?
Introduction to arvut (co-responsibility).
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