by Joel Rich
A number of years ago, we had a physical meeting (do people do that anymore?) of Hirhurim folks. Someone recently asked me about my statement there about how I speed up shiurim. I’m happy to say I eventually gave up the tape recorder method (effective, but very time consuming). [I still have one and blank tapes if anyone wants]. I now download the mp3s, (some sites don’t allow downloads, so I don’t use those sites) and then transfer them to my iPhone via iTunes. I then use Speedup Player (Pro) to speed them up.
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When you were first taught about tfila, were you taught to stand before Vayivarech David or Baruch Hashem L’olam?
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- Rav Asher Weiss-גרמא במלאכת שבת
Review of the basic Talmudic sources on grama (causation) and the three primary opinions on how these translate into psak/practice. (Me – compare R’Weiss’s opinion to the operative one at the Tzomet Institute
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-The Building Blocks of Authentic Modern Orthodoxy
M.O. is not about picking and choosing, it’s about being a ger v’toshav as per R’YBS (both part of the “real” world, but separate as well).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Sukkah 640-6 and 641-1
Rules for when watchmen need to have a sukkah. Rules concerning bracha on making a sukkah (not) and shechiyanu.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter -Is It Not Beneath God’s Dignity to Return His “Lost Children”?
Part one of two sessions concerning a zaken (elder) not doing a mitzvah if it’s beneath his dignity. Is it any elder/dignified person or only a Torah scholar? Does the zaken have the right to wave his waiver? How do we define “beneath his dignity?”
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Vayakhel/Pekudei: Work is a Value, Not a Concession
Parsha thoughts, including:
• True geulah (redemption) is spiritual in nature
• “kasher tzivah” means we do the mitzvah simply because HKB”H told us so
• Giving is part of the tshuva (repentance) process
• Looking in the mirror is part of the atonement process
• The Mishkan is an island in space, Shabbat is one in time
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Issues on Pesach
Are oats really one of the 5 grains? Do we generally use wheat because of taste or because we are more familiar with its chametz process? Some practical to do’s for those with health issues that preclude wheat. How much discomfort is required in order to fulfill a mitzvah?
- Rabbi Shlomo Amar-כלי המקדש בזמן הזה הלכה למעשה
Determining the kedusha status of the kotel and har habayit. Also some discussion of force majeure.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -The Jew Victorious 3 – Chizkiyahu and Sancheiriv
Chizkiah’s religious revolution resulted in HKB”H’s miraculous defeat of Assyria with its message that HKB”H can work miracles. When the young nation of Bavel sent messengers, Chizkiyahu showed them his treasures rather than praising HKB”H. This may have led Bavel to see Israel as just another political country rather than as a representative of HKB”H. This intrinsically led to the later treatment of Israel as just another state by Bavel.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Kiddushin #80 – Zachin LaAdam Shelo Befanav – Presently a Zechus, Zechus Gemurah Even Against His Will
Part of R’HS’s regular gemara shiur with a focus on eved knani and his ability to make acquisitions or be acquired. Interesting question (not really answered)—why don’t we say one can always be zoche for another subject to the latter’s choice later whether to accept or not?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Material for Begged of Tzitzis – Wool, Cotton, Mesh
Review of differences of opinion as to whether the Torah requirement for the beged (garment) of Tzitzit is wool only or are there other materials covered (and perhaps preferred). Mesh garments, not so much!
- Rabbi Uri Orlian -Rabbanut in Chutz La’aretz
Three main rabbinic roles: 1) psak, 2) chesed/social work, 3) teaching Torah. Details follow!
- Rabbi Yosef Blau -Sipur Yetzias Mitzrayim
Discussion of the interconnectedness of sippur yetziat mitzraim and other mitzvoth of Pesach.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -From The Rabbi’s Desk – I am 39 Years Old And My Tefillin Are Passul
Rules concerning when you have to get tfillin checked and whether atonement is needed if it turns out your tfillin are pasul (me – IMHO if you followed what halacha demands, no).
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -4th Halacha Lmaaseh – Gerut Part 1
Part I of a review of the rules of conversion. Focus here is on the three Torah requirements (mila, tvila, and karban) and possible interim status if all three are not done. Major discussion on when hatafat dam brit is required.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #12: Beit Din Procedural Rules part 1
Summons to beit din: who sends it, when, what’s contained in it, and what are the parameters of a possible response/siruv issue. Which beit din has jurisdiction (geographical and other issues)? Some discussion of zabla (each side picks one judge and they pick a third) issues as well
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Inyanim of Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim
Discussion of women’s chiyuv in Haggadah. Is there an element of pirsumei nisa (publicizing the miracle) involved? Is there a separate mitzvah of sippur plus one connected to the other mitzvoth of the night?
- Rabbi Effie Kleinberg -Snapshots: Medieval Jewry’s Confrontation with Christianity
Forced conversions, blood libels, crusader massacres; it’s not a pretty picture.
- Rabbi Michael Bleicher -Seder For Your Seder 5777 – Part 1
Discussion of seder themes including:
• Life has order
• We imbue the physical with a spiritual element
• Intense love or HKB”H
• Staying in shape for the future by zecher l’mikdash(Temple rememberance) practices
• Ahavat yisrael
• Faith across generations
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon -The beracha on Tevillas Niddah: how to solve the problem of ערוה
Discussion of different options for bracha making in the mikveh
- Dr. Norman Blumenthal-Practical Tips and Perspectives on Bikur Cholim
Chesed is very individual. You should orient the individual towards their next stage and encourage them to believe they have some control over their lives. We must encourage positive thinking. It’s ok to be emotional even as we are believers. Don’t pity the individual and remember how lonely one is with their individual suffering.
- Rabbi Avi Billet -Shul Decorum
Be a mentch when it comes to makom kavua, talking, loud davening, and general tircha. (Learning during chazarat hashatz – I’d look at S”A O”C M”B 124:19)
- Rabbi Yosef Bronstein -Rav Kook and Rav Soloveitchik on Constancy vs. Change
Rav Kook and Rav Soloveitchik looked at things differently, including how dramatic a change occurred between Bayit Rishon and Sheni, Zionism, and self-revelation.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -(21) When Is A Kohein Not A Kohein
Non Cohanim saying birchat Cohanim without a bracha—any limitations?
- Rabbi Yoni Levin -Spring Cleaning: Can I Throw out My Child’s Parsha Sheets? What About All of the Jewish Magazines and Newspapers?
Quoting mostly from a sefer that is mostly stringent on what is considered sheimot and how to handle them.
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump-Why are Matzos so Expensive?
Why is matzah so expensive? We’re very stringent on “guarding” it. (Me – actually, I believe the economist’s answer would be that matzah (and other pesach products) have a very short season and a good deal of price inelasticity—due to several factors).
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-Bava_Basra/002
What is the mechayeiv by hezek reiah (damage by looking)—is it being a mazik (damager) or shachein (responsibilities of neighbors)? Halachik implications of this question also discussed.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -R. M. Rosensweig Chametz Nukshe 3-26-17
It’s hard to pin down the definition of chametz nuksheh. Is it duration or drabannan? Is it really Chametz? Is it due to the process or the result? Message of perspective of staying away from anything like chametz.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Highlights of Hilchos Mikvaos
Lots of detail—mikveh vs. maayan, 40 saah, zochlin, shuavin, hashakah, zriah, and Hungarian stringencies!
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Can my child wash my hands for netilat yadayim
Mistitled or misloaded, but this shiur deals with hekdesh, pidyon maser sheni and kiddushin.
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks -A Guide for the Perplexed at the Seder Night: How Maimonides Can Help Us Understand the Exodus
Based on the Rambam, we see that mitzvoth help us develop emotional intelligence and that the opinions of Rav and Shmuel on what is to be included in the Hagadah are based on teaching ourselves and our children. We inspire the world with true freedom.
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