Audio Roundup LXXXIX

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by Joel Rich

Question: Why did Chazal have both positive and negative spins on Nadav V’avihu?
Hypothetical Question: You are a member of the Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah of Essex County. A community member comes to you with a check for $1 million and stipulates the funds should go to “Year in Israel” and kids.says distribute it however you think will make HKB”H the most happy. What parameters would you use to triage fund allocation assuming there is not enough to fund all the requests? (you know – the limited resources/unlimited demand/time/space continuum conundrum)

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder -Dinah D’malhuta Dinah: link

    Passionate presentation on the relationship between citizenship and dina dmalchuta (a citizen is a partner, DMD more for those situations where not a partner). Interesting insight into papal infallibility and Daas torah coming of age only when authority was questioned. R’Wieder doesn’t seem to get that micro halachic considerations outweigh meta halachic issues!!!

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein -Kashrut in Israel- just on the food?: link

    Does Kashrut supervision (focus on Israel but applicable in US) focus on food only? Depends on how you view certifier (e.g. rabbinate) – is it a certification or a religious leadership function? Differing meta approaches (but no one would likely certify a hechsher for non-nidah status on women at a house of the rising “pilegesh”)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Chadash: link

    R’Aryeh reviews the basics of chadash and yashan from Talmudic sources up through current times including the various approaches to ruling leniently. R’Aryeh IIUC thinks that the meikilim would lose on pure logic but won practically because of the practical difficulty in observance.
    Food for thought – 1) when do we say “yesh lvarer” (need to determine the facts vs. rely on presumption) in order to clarify presumptions such as rov and chazakah (and for which kinds)? 2) can’t just about every factual sfek sfeika be restated as a single safeik; 3) what if sfek sfeika still results in a probability greater than 50%; 4) if you only allow for changes lchumra but not l’kula when “historical” reasons change, doesn’t the system converge to chumra?

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Torah SBaal Peh: link

    R’YBS Yahrtzeit shiur – Yom Kippur is the day of receiving torah shbeal peh. Some discussion of tashmishei mitzvah vs. tashmishei kedusha and the importance R’YBS placed on transmitting oral law traditions.

  • Rav Weiss-Chole Bemitzvot: link

    Thought provoking discussion of when does “discomfort” (real agony?) or negative health implications give one a pass on a mitzvah.

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Choshen Mishpat Semester 2 shiur 4- Gezel Da’at: link

    Detailed analysis of Talmudic sources on gneivat data (creating false positive impression) with specific practical implications for college situations – and how careful we need to be with mitzvot where HKB”H judges our intent.

  • Rav Weiss-Koach Haumdenah: link

    Beginnings of great discussion and sources on force of umdnah (presumption) in capital and civil cases, how sure is a “sure” umdnah (are there differing levels?), are there those inherent in creation and are those recognized by chazal stronger? [me – why are rov and chazakah sometimes seemingly interchangeable].

  • Rabbi J B Soloveitchik -Sabbath and Human Situations: link

    Very, very philosophical discussion. Builds off of two creation stories to differentiate Jewish spiritual approach. Lots of I-Object vs. I-Subject, etc.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Lishmah and Kavanah By Kodshim: link

    Detailed analysis of “intent” by Kodshim and is there a one to one correspondence with “intent” by mitzvot in general. Important for discussion of negative intent (can one have intent not to be Yotzeh – e.g. not being mkadesh Shabbat on a torah level in amidah Friday night!)

  • Rabbi Ally Ehrman -Bishul Akum/ Halacha Vs. Kabbala: link

    R’OY vs. Or Ltzion on several issues including employing non ben brit in kitchen . Is the Ari Z”L always right?

  • Rabbi Menachem Genack -Krias Hatorah: link

    Issues of kriat hatorah in the thought of R’YBS including why do we read megilot before reading the torah (shouldn’t it be the opposite based on tadir), why stand for asseret hadibrot, need to hear bracha to be yotzeh, need for mevarech to open sefer torah, is it an individual or communal requirement? And how R’Chaim was like Matan torah!

  • Rav Weiss- Sefirat Haomer: link

    Discussion of nature of counting of omer today (Torah or Rabbinic) and implications (e.g. priority vis-à-vis other mitzvot). Did R’Yerucham hold that in time of Mikdash there were two separate brachot? (days/weeks)

  • Rabbi J B Soloveitchik – Asseres Hadibrot: link

    The role of asseret hadibrot as summary of categories principles covering all 613 mitzvot. Example anochi covers Jewish morality, prayer and kavod habriyot. Interesting analysis of implications of usage anochi vs. ani.

  • Rabbi Zev Cohen -Koach Shel Bais Din: link

    Is there a qualitative difference between a 3-0 / 2-1 vote?
    Beit Din must be pristine, formal process where goal is to see ratzon Hashem (God’s will) done. [me – what if God’s will is lfnim mshurat hadin (within the letter of the law)? Sol – don’t worry, we’ll still split the lottery winnings!]

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Haircuts and Shaving During Sefira: link

    Good presentation of shaving positions including R’YBS, Râ

  • 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.

    One comment

    1. guest 04/16/2010 03:11 AM
      “Question: Why did Chazal have both positive and negative spins on Nadav V’avihu?”
      How could you not? they are praised and they are chastised. not everything is either good or bad some are a mixture of both.
      Chazal have the same spins for Adam Harishon.
      jikl 04/16/2010 06:29 AM
      what does this mean R’AL #2 – any issues with publishing a book if it’s at best unclear whether the main source knew he would be quoted?
      joelrich 04/16/2010 07:26 AM in reply to guest
      so they had no mesorah?
      joelrich 04/16/2010 07:29 AM in reply to jikl
      R’ Aryeh iirc mentions Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach being the source for Ve’aleihu lo Yibol by the author who followed him around and asked questions, r’sza’s children asked him not to print for the reaon mentioned-he printed their letter in forward to book?
      David Tzohar 04/16/2010 09:35 AM
      IIRC the halacha is clear that the recipient is forbidden to change the designation of the donation.But who is the recipient? If it is the program as an institution the kids obviously have no say. If it is the kids as a group they must decide as a group on how to use the donation including the possibility of parcelling it out to the individual kids. I don’t exactly understand the use of the word “triage? in this context.
      Chag atzmaut sameiach
      joelrich 04/16/2010 10:31 AM in reply to David Tzohar
      The funds will go to students, the triage is how to select which students get, and how much do they each get (e.g give 20 students all expense paid scholarships or 100 students partial scholarships. then how do you triage (decide) amongst the 500 applicants – by need? ability? parents influence….
      guest 04/16/2010 11:56 AM
      best way to triage grants for being sent to learn is by giving a test, and let the most knowledgeable, with the hardest financial situations go and learn. IMO
      joelrich 04/16/2010 06:21 PM
      OK-but how do you balance those 2?

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