by Joel Rich
Sacrifice Nothing. Achieve everything. Really? I’m curious who developed and approved this motto. It certainly is attractive to the current consumer oriented immediate gratification culture but does it have the added advantage of being the truth?
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“Bikeish Yaakov leishev b’shalva.” Yaakov wanted to sit in tranquility. Is the message of this medrasah that this is not a proper goal? Why then did Yaakov seek it?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Sukkah 640-3
Requirements for reading and hearing Parshat Zachor (pronunciation, women, minyan . . .)
- Rav Asher Weiss-Innovative Technology on Shabbat
Lachash (incantations), sefer yetzirah (book of creation), shem (name of HKB”H). Urim V’Tumim, manna as possible sources on whether BCI counts as a personal action! There will need to be a lot of heavy lifting here! (Me – will Machon Tzomet become the defacto approach or will even they need to go back to first principles as technology becomes more embedded in everyday life.)
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-Chinuch HaBonim
R’Twersky’s child raising tips–many of a very general nature. [Me – separate point of interest is how theories of child raising in secular society seem to be kashered into frum society with somewhat of a time lag.]. Some specifics on picking Yeshivot. Some interesting remarks on not living a certain lifestyle even if you can afford it (or telling grandparents to tone it down). I wonder how many pulpit Rabbic seriously address this issue.
- Rav Danny Wolf-Burials of Yaakov and Yosef – Pharonic or Abrahamic Rites?
At first glance, there were many similarities between Yaakov and Yosef’s burials and Egyptian practices. Upon closer scrutiny, however, we are not focused on the physical preservation of the body but on lessons concerning the existential past and future. (Evolving Jewish burial practices is an interesting issue–anyone know of an academic study on this topic?)
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-Perspectives on Tefilla
Prayer is really about realizing our complete dependence on HKB”H. Formal prayer text should help us understand what our priorities should be. We should be constantly in communication with HKB”H. (Amen.)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 685-1
Taanit Esther related rules including a number of ways it may differ from other fasts.
- Rav Asher Weiss-Beautifying the Mitzvos
Hiddur Mitzvah (beautification of mitzvah) can be defined in the object of the mitzvah and in act of the mitzvah. Concludes with some thoughts emunah, bitachon and prayer.
- Rabbi Yoni Levin -Ein Shliach lDvar Aveirah
Focus on cases where we say the sender is the guilty in the case on an agent committing a sin.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss -Chabura 9 should be: From the Dayan’s Desk 9: Adverse Possession and Jewish Law”
Interplay of dina dmalchuta(the law of the land) and Halacha in technical cases such as taxing ritual sales and adverse possession cases.
- Rabbi Eli Ozarowski -Halachic and Hashkafic Perspectives on Interaction Between Men and Women in Modern Society
Each community needs to set and review its own standard, but there is room for the position that habituation within the community should be factored into the process.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 685-2
Discussion of the proper time for reading Megilla. Did you know that the mechaber does not mention mishenichnas! Glad to hear someone else questions why walking to hear Megilla couldn’t be a time to learn (listening to a shiur!)
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Shemot- beit avotam
Parent/child and grandparent/child relationships in halacha–how close/similar they are considered may depend on the halachic issue at hand.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Can a Din D’Rabbanan Completely Eliminate a Mitzvah D’Oraysah?
Discussion of R’A Weiss chiddush that Rabbis can keep an act from fulfilling a Torah requirement if an earlier rabbinic enactment was designed as a midgar millta (preventive measure).
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Salad Preparation on Shabbat
Review of Shabbat salad preparation issues including borer (separating) and touché in (grinding). How to define psolet (waste) and what is considered fine chopping are key issues.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich- Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 686-1
Discusses prioritizing reading the Megilla, meit mitzvah and brit. When to read Megilla in a walled city also discussed.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Mind Controlled Drones: The Future of Electricity on Shabbat
Summary of earlier shiur in on electricity, BCI, and why we need to go back to first principles. (Me – how long will R’SZA’s approaches suffice?)
- Dr. Yael Ziegler -The Unique Traits of the House of Rachel
Descendants of Rachel have quiet strength of character as well as beauty/charisma which enables them to gain leadership in foreign lands and battle superficial/external focus in diaspora. Key is to use the abilities that HKB”H gives you! (Amen.)
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-Bitachon
Bitachon is important, always do the proper hish tadlut but remember it’s all from HKB”H (but that’s not a reason to be lazy).
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -(17) Non-Jews In A Jewish Cemetery
Discusses issues concerning counting non religious Jews for a minyan and burying “questionable” Jews in a Jewish cemetery.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -רות 4 – שיטת ר’ גורן בענין גרות בארץ ישראל מול גרות בחוץ לארץ
R’Goren gave conversion papers which said only valid in Israel–it’s based on the surrounding culture’s impact on a convert.
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky -Interview with Rabbi Pruzansky
Rabbi Pruzansky’s thoughts on orthodoxy, Zionism, the Chief Rabbinate and how he’s been misunderstood. (I thought R’YBS was in the running for chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and that he did not get the appointment but not that it was given out before he got to Israel.)
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Medical Ethics: Logotherapy and Judaism
Victor Frankl and logotherapy/man’s search for meaning purposely stayed away from religious attribution but it really is fundamentally religious (much like the 12-step program).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich- Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 686-2
Walled cities are generally not an issue for Purim outside of Israel but inside Israel they are so CLOR.
- Rabbi David Horwitz -Hilchos Korbanos and Hilchos Tefillah: Examples of Parallel Halachic Patterns
Parallels explored concerning “free will” (not mandated) sacrifices and prayers for the individual and the community.
- Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen -The Importance of Tefillah
One should focus on the meaning of words in prayer as well as God’s names to recognize HKB”H and also our own needs and our total dependence on HKB”H.
- Rabbi Larry Rothwachs-Because Rite Isn’t Always Right: Ritual Myths
• Wristwatch must be taken off before putting tfillin on
• Read must finish sentence if HKB”H’s name is said prior to an error
• One must point at the sefer Torah when it is raised
• Kaddish talking is better than kedusha talking
• One must check mezuzot when facing life challenges (nice screed on looking for the easy way out)
• Siyum must be on a Talmud tractate
• Magdil/Migdol is a printer’s error
• Mirrors must be covered in a house of mourning
• Z”L can’t be used for living (but don’t!)
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-Can Ahava and Yirah Coexist? Rambam, Maharal, and Rav Hutner
How do yirah (fear/awe) and ahavah (love) relate? Can you have one without the other? R’YBS explains how they can coexist.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Dina demalchuta Dina does it apply to another country if we live here? Business ethics and issues in a global economy and interconnected world
Nice summary of standard R’HS on Dina Dmalchuta including his partnership theory.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Purim 687-2 and 688-1
Can a megila ever be muktzeh? How do you handle situations where the megila must be read on a non standard day? What are the reading/hearing requirements for women? Kids?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Halacha and Modernity: Women Voting
Rabbinical positions on suffrage reflect three standard approaches to such “modern” issues–embrace modernity, reject it and/or something in the middle.
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