Audio Roundup XXII

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by Joel Rich

  • Rav J B Soloveitchik – Al Hanisim Chanuka: link

    Fascinating broad discussion from 1971. Topics include the historical role of the individual vs. the group. The role of Chashmonaim as teachers. The pre-Macabeem period as the first example of religious persecution and the Greeks as missionaries for their culture. X theology as indirect cause of holocaust. Rebirth of Russian Jewry and the American Jewish support of Israel as compared to the holocaust.

    Ksheamda malchut yavan al amcha – the antidote to opposition is our unity towards our goal. There will always be opposition, but they won’t be successful.

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  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb – Bar and Bat Mitzvah Celebrations: link

    Is 13 meaningful by itself? Sources for age and hair standards.
    Issue of nature of Bar Mitzvah celebration (see last audio roundup) and thus the importance (or lack thereof) of bo bayom and nature of bat mitzvah celebration (very “meta”).
    Some sources on elaborate bar mitzvah celebrations (my take – function of the times – is the elaboration (and this applies imho to many “mitzvoth”) due to true simcha shel mitzvah or something else? (What could that possibly be??).

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – ‘Mumbai’ May We Say the Word?: link

    Not mentioning the names of idols? Interesting question – when does a pulpit Rabbi announce a position on a question which seems counter to common practice? When should “higher authorities” be consulted first?

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter – VaYishlach: link

    Discussion includes who (not) to honor at the shul dinner, does gid hanasheh remind us to do kavod av or to teach us ein mazal l’yisrael, when was the mitzvah of gid hanasheh really given, geirut/kabbalat ol mitzvoth, who was Devorah and kol yosheveha aleha implies all the Shevatim (not just majority of people) must be back.

  • Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff – R’ Hershel Schachter on Women’s Minyanim: link

    Tshuvot on womens’ tfila groups – R’Moshe Feinstein, R’Mashash and R’Hershel Schachter. Men and women are different but of equal stature in G-ds eyes (separate but equal?). Don’t talk down to feminists.

  • Rabbi Kenneth Brander – My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child: link

    Who is father in case of surrogate motherhood? Clearly sperm source! Who is mother – egg donor, surrogate, both, neither (1st 2 are most popular positions). Some suggest do geirut lchumarah due to doubt. Many halachik nafka mina’s – yerusha kavod av/eim.

  • Dr. Shira Weiss – History Tends to Repeat Itself: Contemporary Lessons of Chanukah: link

    Chanukah story, Megilat Ruth and Shir Hashirm all show need for both compassion and commitment to our vision.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb – Noach’s Challenges After the Flood: link

    Messages from HKB”H to Noach after the flood parallel those to Adam (i.e. a new creation story).

  • Rabbi I Oron – Halacha Refua: link

    Good discussion of definition death issues.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky – Hilchos Tzitzis Part 1: link

    Mitzvah Kiyumit (sort of). Discussion of machloket on necessity of tzemer/pishtim or duraita level.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Aspects of Rosh Chodesh: link

    Potpourri of related topics. Why lunar calendar? (i) message of Jewish history (wax & wane) (ii) implication of all from HKB”H (moon is reflected energy [reminds me R’YBS on zeh hakatan gadol yihiyeh]). Chiyuv of Simcha too!

  • Rabbi Taubes – Mourning: link

    Is Aninut (really meito mutual Lfanav) a duraita or drabannan ptur from mitzvoth-plus some implications. Issues of who it affects (e.g. Rabboinu Tam focus on husband) and when (is chevra kadisha = ketafim = no more aninut)?
    Listen to some of the Yutorah-Riets smicha shiurim on aveilut to get a true picture of the breadth of practice!

  • Rabbi A Bazak – Eliyahu: link 1, link 2

    Parallel language between har hacarmel and midbar/mishkan (but remember that was followed by Nadav & Avihu). Note it didn’t rain right away – again his theme of Eliyahv needing a “tikkun” for implying he was the “rainmaker”.
    Why did Eliyahu run away thereafter (almost Jonah-like)? Perhaps he expected Ahav to put his foot down with Jezebel and the people to really change. Saw it not happening and was myaesh? (Great mussar to aristarchs).

    Parallels and differences between Eliyahu, Moshe and Jonah. Bottom line – need to work with even partial Tshuva rather than curse the darkness.

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz – Contemporary Halacha Chazara Shiur II: link

    Detailed review of halacha l’maaseh shiurim including hechsher mitzvah haketuva bkra, kavannah in sukka, mitzvah haba baveira, piyutim and cohanim in med school.

  • Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch – The Butternut Squash Issue: Exploring Bishul Akum & Pas Akum: link

    Good review of the basics. Interesting discussion of some ou vs. star-k positions (potato chips, canned tuna, steamed veggies, “the Heineman bulb”) as well as in-house help issues. Each organization seems to have its own chumrot and kulot.

  • Rabbi Aza
    rya Berzon – The Talmid-Rebbi Relationship: Does It Apply To Women?
    : link

    Primarily a discussion of being makbil pnei rabo. Is it part of the mitzvah of limud torah or perhaps it replaces going to mikdash/being in front of shechina.

  • About Gil Student

    Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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