Audio Roundup XXV

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by Joel Rich

  • Rabbi Jesse Horn – Lion King vs. Shrek Personal vs. Communal Obligations: link

    What is your responsibility to Hashem, the community, your family and yourself. In the U.S. too much focus on self (IIUC that might also include one’s own learning!).

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  • R. Tzvi Sinesky – Brisk at a Crossroads Between Lomdus and Postmodernism: link (note – some blanks in recording)

    Nice description of Brisker methodology, we are all Briskers (right Rabbi Weider?). Includes analysis of conceptual underpinnings – scientific (in a nice way) approach, broader topics covered, focus on Rambam, focus on chakirah (not Kasha itself), and focus on primary sources (vs. achronim).

    Development of method over generations (e.g. R’Aharon Lichtenstein being more methodologically driven – “here’s what you need to look at in a sugya like this”). (me – would’ve been interesting to compare with history of the development of analytic/scientific method in general society)

    What if the Lomdus isn’t (gasp!) what the historical Rambam meant? (humph – you might as well ask what if Chazal were not always on the same page as each other hashkafically)? R’M Rosensweig would say beneath the surface (lluc meaning they might not have been self aware of why they came to a conclusion) they did mean it; Chazal and Rambam were all attuned to the internal logic of the Torah (and Ratzon Hashem). R’A Lichtenstein would say doesn’t matter – there is a Torat Emet and a Torat Chesed (IIUC – whatever Rambam thought his work is now a chettza shel torah – very postmodern).
    Closes with comparison to differing secular legal theories/ R’OYG – can you hear me [major Tom?]

  • Rabbi Heshy Kleinman – Making Sense of the Global Financial Meltdown and Turbulent Times: link

    If you like R’Pesach Krohn, IMHO you’ll like this shiur by the author of Praying with Fire. Very much of the “no coincidences” school (see last audio roundup). R’Elchanan Wasserman said the 1929 crash was mida k’neged mida (people “lost their faith” in HKB”H) so too with current conditions/Madoff. It’s not a punishment but a message to awaken. My take on this is similar to my take on reactions to the Gaza war:

    Permit me (Joel) to add my own thought that I shared with a few on assarah btevet concerning various responses to the current war in Gaza:

    While I think we can all fully support this initiative as well as the various tehillim and learning initiatives, it might be worthwhile to consider that today, as a fast day (the Tenth of Tevet), is a day already set aside as a day of serious introspection (i.e. fasting without meaningful introspection does not due the day justice). While my teachers always taught that we can not pretend to understand the way the master of the universe runs the world, they also taught that in an eit tzarah (time of trouble) we should each look at the totality of our priorities. That might mean a greater attention to prayer and/or political action and/or charity and/or Torah study and/or shmirat halashon….- we each need to define our own game plan in addition to community wide efforts.

    May we each “raise our games” to a higher level and pray that in the merit of our increased efforts the master of the universe protect us all, especially our brothers and sisters in Israel and speedily bring our physical and spiritual exile to an end.

  • Rabbi Aharon Kahn – Kevius and Not Giving Up: In Praise of Baal HaBatim: link

    Sounds like a pre asseret ymei tshuva mussar schmooze to guys just back from Israel who miss “the cave” (flack jacket on). They don’t know what msirut nefesh a real baal habayit has. Some really interesting self awareness comments on how Rabbis/Bnai Yeshiva sometimes look at themselves and where they can fall short (e.g. kavod av v’em). Kviut in learning is key.

  • Rabbi Menachem Nissel – Mussar Shmooze on Music: link

    Sounds like a shiur for shana alef boys? Reminded me a bit of “Reefer Madness”. Shem, Cham and Yafet as musical sources representing kdusha, tuma and Illusion of beauty, respectively. Today’s Jewish music isn’t really, and we need to wean ourselves away.

    I was almost sold until he said Diaspora Yeshiva Band weaned him away – DYB’s roots are clearly American rock with some blues and country mixed in.

  • Rav A. Weiss – Meineket Nachriah ViChalav Akum: link

    Timtum Halev – one of my favorite topics! Interesting related medrashim – Acher, Rebbi and Antoninus. Question: Is timtum part of Teva (so too bad if you ate it unknowingly) or related to issur (no halachik harm, no foul)?

    Chalav Yisrael – It all depends on whether the concern is taarovet tameh (i.e. Chosheh for Issur V’heter) or it’s a plain gzeirah (i.e. now it’s a cheftza shel issur). “Heterim” of non Kosher being more expensive, not available or just fear (chalav hacompanies) discussed (see also medicine shiur below).

  • Rabbi I Oron – Halacha and Refua (Hebrew): link

    Discussion of differing levels of illness and which violations (primarily regarding medicine) of Shabbat are allowed. Wrestle with question of how do you define a gzeirah’s nature and limits (or, as we say in the hood, when you get to be a baalei tosfot, you can decide!).

  • Rabbi Mayer Twersky – The Halachic Status of the Deaf-Mute: link

    Covers the basic sources and points out that while there are limudim in the gemara for katan; cherish and shoteh seem to be “assumed”. Rashi says we learn them from katan because they are lav bar daat.

    So, if cheresh now can have daat should halacha change? R’SZA – no, chazal somehow knew that even if a cheresh had what we think is daat, it’s not (we are mvatel our daat). R’Zalman Nechemya – there must have been a gzeirat hakatuv not recorded in the gemara. R’Twersky – it’s the ability to relate which they still don’t have. R’Katan – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (OK – I made this one up).

  • Mrs. Nechama Price – A Glimpse into Yosef – The Egyptian L
    : link

    Rebbetzin (just kidding JPJ) Nechama Price analyzes Tanach the way others analyze Talmud. Using a number of tools she teases out lessons from the Torah’s need to provide detail of Joseph’s purchasing all of Egypt’s land. Could be – Hashgacha’s treatment of Jews in Egypt compared to Egyptians, source of anti-Semitism, Joseph’s tendency to desire power, how a Jew in power should operate and/or how Joseph united Egypt.

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz – Contemporary Halacha Chazara Shiur: <a href=”,_treifos,_shechita,_Rubashkin”s)”>link

    Why do enzymes matter? Discussion of miyut hamatzui bdikot, when is glatt really glatt and can sfardim eat Ashkenazi shechita?

  • Rabbi Taubes – Areivus Mutual Responsibility Regarding Mitzvos: link

    Wide ranging discussion of source of concept of arvut and situations in which it applies.

  • Rabbi Taubes- Interrupting Kerias Shema: link

    Wide ranging discussion of when and for what can you interrupt Kriat Shma.

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian – Dilemmas in Redeeming Hostages: link

    Review of basic text references – differentiation of threat of death or not, public impact of impoverishment of community vs. individual. New idea – perhaps if individual has unlimited $ threshold to save himself, this can be extended through an “insurance” principle to community (i.e. if Reuvain bought captive insurance with no maximum, company would have to pay it, so to if one “buys” through a societal contribution (e.g. army service)…)

  • Rabbi Yona Reiss – Secular Law and Pre-Nuptial Agreements: link

    General discussion of how monetary agreement may be structured to deliver agreed upon results different from what halacha would have provided had there been no outside agreement.

  • Rabbi Jesse Horn – Development of Machloket: link

    Introductory discussion of how machloket in halacha developed – forgetfulness? Process breakdown?
    What was given at Sinai? Lo bashamayim he, elu V’elu, multiple truths…

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Dinei Malchus Yisroel: link

    Discussion of differing kinds of malcut (non-Jewish, Beit David….). Status of Jerusalem as city of malchut and some laws of malchut.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb – The New Covenant and the Rainbow: link

    Was there a rainbow before Noach’s time (some TUM here!)? Purpose of rainbow and why was rainbow picked as a sign of the Covenant.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb – The Status of an Electric Menorah on Chanukah: link

    General issue of whether electric lights equal fire as well as specific issues regarding Chanukah.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky – Burial in Eretz Yisroel: link

    Hashkafa and halacha of burial in Eretz Yisrael.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky – Chanukah An Aveil Saying: link

    Would one say hallel Shabbat morning of Chanukah if it were the last day of aveilut? To answer need to understand a number of issues regarding the chiyuv of hallel.

  • 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 has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five 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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