by Joel Rich
This is a very interesting psychology class covering topics I’ve wondered about for years – Existentialism, Nihilism, and what people without belief find as meaning. I’d love to know what percentage of folks fit into the category of never thinking about it. link
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
From a review (WSJ) of a new movie (The Circle) “The Circle” director and screenwriter James Ponsoldt says “If you’re being watched, you’re not really free.”
“she-ein lecha ben chorin ela mi she-oseik b’talmud Torah, she-kol mi she-oseik b’Torah harei zeh misaleh – there is no free person other than one who is engaged(immersed?) in Torah study because anyone who is engaged in Torah becomes elevated (Avos 6:2).
and, of course,
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose-Kris Kristofferson
Keep your eye on three things, and you will not come to sin: Know what is above you: An Eye that sees, and an Ear that hears, and all your deeds are written in a book. (avot 2:2)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Rosh Chodesh 426-3
Which day do we say Kiddush Levana when Yom Kippur Tisha B’av, any fast, Yom Tov or Shabbat are in the mix? What should one’s posture be during the recitation? How long do you look at the moon? Which direction should you face when saying it?
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -(23) Reb Menashe Klein Differs With The Rav!
Is the weekday Torah reading tied to Shacharit or not? Why don’t Chasidim like to say Tachanun? Who can get an aliyah or count for a minyan?
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-LOnging for Eretz Yisrael in The Halachic Thought of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to enter eretz Yisrael to complete the destiny of the people and set up a Torah society. The key is to remember that even if one has to leave Israel, it still must always be their desired destination.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -בלת שבת מוקדמת 1
The whole when does the day end and how does that impact the time for mincha and maariv issue.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Yom Ha’atzmaut Sicha/2017- 3 Snapshots of Geula/Redemption
Some very moving thoughts on the long-term history of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
- Mrs. Chaya Sima Koenigsberg-The Murdered Eshet Chayil and the Medieval Reality of Mourning During Sefirah
History of sfirah restrictions as they evolved with a focus on the impact of the crusades. Specific analysis of the Rokeach’s loss of his wife and family. Interesting explanation of how this caused him to commit traditions to writing.
- Mrs. Michal Horowitz -“And Your Camp Shall be Holy,” Perspectives on Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut
Miriam’s song, R’Lichtenstein and R’YBS all informing on our relationship to Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut.
- Rabbi Mordechai Becher -Sinning to Save a Soul
Good analysis and reconciliation of Talmudic and psak sources on when we say to do a “smaller” sin to avoid a larger one. Specific focus on the application of those sources to “saving souls” endeavors.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Promoting Sheva Mitzvos to Non-Jews
Reasons given, pro and con, to teaching 7 mitzvot to non bnai brit.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Rosh Chodesh 426-4
More on Kiddush Levana including why we stand on toes and why we say aleinu. When are the earliest and latest times in the month to say it? (Me – what is the “inyan” of saying it on motzai shabbat that outweighs the usual “don’t pass over mitzvot” rule?)
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Kibbud Av V’Eim: Halachos and Hashkafos Part 2
The Talmud gives specific elements of kavod av but how far do elements of the more general requirement apply? Some specific applications discussed.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Hierarchy and Concentric Circles: the Multifaceted Nature of Kedushas Eretz Yisrael
Looking at kedusha of the beit mikdash, Yerushalayim and Israel. Lesson is that the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael comes from being the corporate home of the united Jewish people through the diversity of the tribes that make it up.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Can Diaspora Jews Partake in Israel’s Agricultural Mitzvos?
Can you “buy” a mitzvah in Eretz Yisrael from outside via agency? Maybe technically but it’s not the real ratzon hashem (my paraphrase of R’A Weiss’s reason?)
- Rabbi Meir Goldwicht -Halachos of Yom haAtzmaut
What are the halachic date parameters for Yom Haatzmaut in terms of Sabbath violations? Is it different outside of Israel? What are the precedents for pushing off celebrations?
- Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky -The Tefilla Lishlom Medinat Yisrael: History and Theology
History of the authorship of the prayer for the state along with a close reading of the text. The philosophy indicated by the prayer reflects a transition development – slowly, slowly!
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Eretz Yisrael in History and Halachah
Discusses Israel’s history from the creation of the world (flood, dateline, Abraham,) Other issues include Kedusha rishona and shniya and atchalta dgula. R’Chaim Ozer did not foresee a Jewish state (me – pircha to hard core daat Torah?)
- Rabbi Yosef Bronstein-Is There a Mitzvah to Actualize Prophecies?
Religious Zionist (and other ) approaches to projects of the state which advance the vision of the prophets.
- Rabbi Eliav Silverman-The Obligation of non-Jews in Kibud Av V’Em
Why did the Talmud use non bnai brit as paradigms of kavod av? Are they commanded under 7 mitzvot? If so, which one?
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman -The historic legacy of Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel
Approving biography of AJ Heschel and his interactions with other towering figures of his time. Some discussion of his involvement inter faith and civil rights issues.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 2017
Mussar from parshat kedoshim – Rashi on forbidden relationships and Ramban on not being a naval brshut hatorah (repulsive while not in technical violation).
- Rabbi Ari Kahn -The Laws of Shemita part 1, Pruzbol – Legal Fiction?
Is shmita today a Torah or rabbinic prohibition? Was Hillel uprooting or instituting Torah law through prosbul?
- Dr. Chana Tannenbaum -Witch of Endor
Differing approaches to understanding the Witch of Endor’s actions. She may have allowed Shaul to do tshuva.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Is a Judge Ever Allowed to Pervert the Justice?
Ends do not justify the means!
- Rabbi Shay Schachter -The Substitute After the Churban Beis Hamikdash: The Local Beis Haknesses
Explores Halachic implications of the parallels between the Beit Mikdash and Beit Haknesset. Then some strong words on house minyanim(not).
- Rabbi Zvi Ralbag -JH 182-the Geonim and the Exilarchy
More on the history of the later Gaonim.
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Yom Hazikaron and Yom Yerushalayim
Thoughts on Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmavt. Discussion includes topics such as Aliyah as a mitzvah as well as Hallel with and without a bracha.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Shabbos In Hawaii and other places over The International Dateline
Review of definitional issues regarding the halachic datelines as well as practical psak discussion.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Rosh Chodesh 428-1
Pesach as an indicator for days of the week when other holidays will fall out. Torah readings pre- and post-pesach as well as Rosh Hashana.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Rubenstein -Chumras (and OCD) in Avodas Hashem: Finding the Derech HaYashar
Mussar on not focusing on chumrot and knowing your place!
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Rav Amital’s Perspective of the 6 Day War 1/3
Antisemitism is really a rebellion against HKB”H, it’s intensified as we carry out our national mission.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].