by Joel Rich
Not a maaseh shehaya but I’d appreciate your thoughts: Reuvain is a Modern Orthodox senior citizen. In his community, presumed social negiah restrictions are generally not observed (e.g., hello includes a social hug), although Reuvain is meticulous in his observance of them. He is in his office in a conference with two colleagues when Miriam, the wife of a third tier social friend, also well past childbearing age, comes to the office door and says with a tear in her eye, “Reuvain, I hate to do this to you.” Reuvain quickly asks his colleagues to excuse them, and Miriam blurts out, “David (her husband) just passed away,” and she begins to slump, crying. Reuvain quickly gets up and walks to her and hugs her to comfort her and keep her upright. As he does so, he realizes she did not make any request or action alluding to any need prior to his action, but she did seem to very much appreciate it. She also belonged to the portion of the community which did not presume a social negiah restriction. Was Reuvain’s action preferred, acceptable, or prohibited? If not preferred, what should he have done?
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When you see the abbreviation va’v apostrophe daled vav kuf: how do you read it? I was surprised at the Bar Ilan expansion.
Listened to right after Pesach, reminding me of “The Prisoner” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQwgOHyv4TEn, and making me think about them bones, them bones, them dry bones (we have already seen the fulfilment of this prophecy!) Anyway, this shiur is about the status of gelatin in terms of general kashrut as well as fleishig (meat) status. Current halachic opinions also discussed.
There should be no real tension on halachic issues when all sides are trying to do the dvar hashem (will of HKB”H). Issues discussed includes srarah, minhag and smicha. It’s important to understand the opinions of the Rambam, R’Moshe, and R’YBS on the application of srarah to women’s issues. The Talmud in Sotah regarding teaching (tiflut) can be dealt with but we need Gedolei Yisrael to determine the proper limitations as they have in the past. Protocols for Yoetzet and Kallah teachers discussed as well.
Deconstructing and psychoanalyzing R’YBS. (My layman’s reaction- I’m guessing
R’YBS wouldn’t agree to tools outside of halacha being used, but on the other hand, it’s almost like Brisker’s being hoisted on their own petard of separating the individual’s circumstances from his halachic output.)
Dawkins believed that kids deserve the truth and questions the Rabbi Gluck on whether the Torah’s description of creation might be non-literal? The Rabbi’s response was nothanks , we know about evolution, but science is wrong.
Who can halachically check for bugs? How does one actually check for them? Analysis focuses on the concepts of “lo nitna” (the Torah was given to humans, not angels) and “ein ladayan” (the judge can only go by what he sees). Some halachot are determined by reality (metziut) and others by horaah (halachic reality).
Is the requirement for Havdalah a rabbinic or Torah requirement? Are women included in this requirement? At what level? Practical applications include shalosh seudot timing, what to do with the wine at a shalosh seudot which is also a sheva brachot meal and the prohibition of work prior to havdalah.
We need to avoid bowling alone http://bowlingalone.com/ and live a purpose driven life. Nuff said.
L’Shem shamayim (for heaven’s sake) is not measured by motive, but by how close we are to what HKB”H wants. Our goal and commitment is to have an international brotherhood dedicated to acceptance of HKB”H’s rule. This is why peace is our first offer to those who are not currently on board.
Discusses different approaches of the commentaries to understanding the “sin” of Nadav V’Avihu and what actually happened when “Vayidom Aharon” (Aaron was silent).
Parenting and marriage are a serious and challenging commitment and responsibility. Raises some interesting questions concerning Yaakov’s actions in this regard.
More on R’Rabinovich vs. R’Fischer on conversion of minors—are such conversions based on it being a zchut (positive) for the child now or their eventual acceptance of mitzvot? How do we think about the probability of some percentage of converted children not really practicing when they reach the age of majority?
Quick summary of how to look at assisting others (especially children) in halachic violations. As a general rule, is it a separate violation (assisting), or as if you violated the specific prohibition that was done by the person? Is Shabbat different?
We’ve become too self-focused and need to maintain more of a balance. Be a giver! (I don’t think it’s accurate to say Narcissistic Personality Disorder was taken out of the DSM).
Insights from and on R’YBS.
Unity in a positive manner is key for us, especially for those of us in the trenches. Let the gedolim figure the high-level issues out, we should just love each other and Israel.
R’Tzadok understood both free will and hashgacha are 100% True—it depends which world you’re in (it’s complex).
Tisha b’av mussar on being mentchlich.
Is truth telling a boolean mitzvah or a mida (good ethical characteristic)? No employment applications discussed.
Chanukah history including Mattisyahu not being a Kohein Gadol in the usual sense. The Jews were not given a choice of living as Jews. The hahachot of war had been forgotten, since they hadn’t been applicable for some time.
More on Chanukah with some history based on the book of the Macabees et al. Did the oil miracle really take place? Was Chanukah really a makeup for sukkot? Why do chareidim not want to acknowledge true history, including the original focus of Chazal on the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty?
What is the connection between residence in the land of Israel and Jewish identity? There is a strong one, but those outside of Israel must stay connected with visible signs.
How do we understand Chassidim and the proper time for prayer? Mitnagdim are like government officers who need an appointment with the chief, Chassidim are like workers who come and go as they need.
Reform, Chatam Sofer (chadash assur), R’Hirsch (TIDE) and Conservative Judaism all responded to the question of what is the future of the Jewish people.
Why does one getting an aliyah stand (Kavod hatzibbur or reenactment)? Is standing preferred or required? When does the kahal stand for the Torah or its brachot? Why do we read along with the reader and must we see the words?
A technical discussion of halachot concerning premature babies, especially eight-month babies who were presumed by Chazal not to be viable. Specific applications discussed include mourning and pidyon habein. Other issues include Sabbath breast milk pumping and baby namings.
Continuation of R’Rabinovich vs. R’Fischer discussion on converting minors. Focus here is on appropriateness of shaat hadchak (emergency) measures for conversions.
First in a series on kavod av. The focus here is on the underlying philosophy (it’s not simply Boolean) and on the specific examples of calling parents by first names and waking a parent up.
Part of the regular Talmud shiur series—focus here on the halachic status of land being worshipped.
History of the appointment of the Reish Galuta (exilarch) and the appointment process interplay with the Gaonim and the Calif. The personal experience of individuals involved in the choice of Gaonim yielded bad blood and thus the Karaites. Similar results occurred throughout Jewish history when a Talmid Chacham was slighted.
The Jew can always come back, the important thing is to bring the living back to life (hat tip Kotzker).
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