Audio Roundup CXI

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by Joel Rich

Avodah Zarah 31a posits “Formerly the ruling was that wine of Town X was forbidden….subsequently this was altered….What was the opinion held formerly and what was the later? At first the opinion was that a cuthim was not particular…subsequently they formed the opinion…they were particular.”
Question: Did the facts on the ground change or did the perception?

Interesting: Latest update of BI-CD has a psak from Beit Din Tzedek of Bnai Brak against copying (Msayeah, Avaryan…) The following were mitztaref to the beit din: R’Wosner, R’Elyashav, R’Karelitz!!!

Hidur Mitzvah (R’ Aviner)
Q: Is it preferable to buy a higher-quality Four Species or buy a regular set and give the additional money to Tzedakah?
A: Give the money to tzedakah. It is of greater importance (Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira in Rosh Devarcha, p. 194).

  • Rabbi Yona Reiss-Halakhot and Halikhot Pertaining to a Shliach Tzibur: link

    This shiur is a must listen for gabboim and anyone asked to lead services. Importance of shliach tzibbur in leading prayer and inspiring congregation.
    Discussion of requirements and priorities for Shatz. Why isn’t anyone mesarev (halacha requires first refusal, then maybe and then accept when offered)? R’Reiss gives two possible limud zchut(im) [explanations] (IMHO and I think his – pretty weak but hey it’s not only an MO vs. Charedi issue so likely limud zchut will get a pass!).
    Also discussed role of “yichus” in selection as well as who “owns” the amud (the tzibbur).
    BTW there is one cranky old man in West Orange who years ago related the second limud zchut (the gabbaim will think you really don’t want to daven) to his posek to see if he could dispense with the mesarev requirement, the response was “so educate the gabboim”.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Trying on Clothing Before Checking for Shatnes: link

    Can you try on a suit without checking for shaatnez first? Sounds like really not, but there are some “limud zchut’s” (don’t worry – it’s not including women covering their hair – see R’Broyde for that).
    Most interesting is the “cheap suit” it’s not a miyut hamatzui (significant enough % to warrant checking) – R’Aryeh – 1) wouldn’t that mean you wouldn’t have to check after buying as well? 2) Would HKB”H appreciate it if you checked anyway? 3) Would there be any “timtum” if it turned out one was wearing the 1/1000 cheap suit that was shaatnez?

  • Rabbi Yosef Nusbacher – Making Decisions: link

    4 step decision making process – assumedly to talmidim at Shaalvim – 1) Decide to decide (Rambam on the importance of our role as deciders – hmmm – how do we weigh this with daas torah?); 2) define yardsticks (me – priorities and weights); 3) be honest (me – self aware); 4) get help – friends, rabbeim, HKB”H (me – note conscious or subconscious omission of parents!!!???)

  • Rabbi Zev Reichman – Tanya: (8) Perek Beis- Why People’s Souls Differ and The Ikvasa D’meshicha: link

    Some very kabbalistic stuff on body and soul DNA, communication by souls (well I guess no stranger than Einstein’s spooky action at a distance) and some stories of extraordinary souls (me-so not everyone can be Moshe Rabbeinu?) and how it all fits together.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Osek b’Talmud Torah: link

    Understanding the interplay of “haosek bmitzvah patur bmitzvah” (if you’re involved in one mitzvah you are exempt from another mitzvah – me – another issue, what if you leave that mitzvah to do the other – do you get credit? Credit and debit?) with Talmud torah. My favorite explanation of why you leave Talmud torah (issue of only leaving Talmud torah if no one else can do the other mitzvah – what if this has a negative impact on your personal development? On others?) – the mitzvah is to learn any “spare minute” you have (me – story of Chazon Ish – someone who didn’t know him asked if he learns; response – when I have time).

  • Rabbi Eliyahu W. Ferrell -Go Away, Decay; Stay Away, Staleness: link

    A quick review of why preservatives need Kosher supervision.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Eating Food Warmed in an Oven on Shabbos: link

    A good review of some of the basic issues of heating up food on Shabbat. Duraita, Drabanan, mazid, shogeig and knas issues all discussed.
    If there is any lenient opinion, even though you don’t generally rely on it, you can rely on it if served food in other’s home.
    Worst case – let it cool off (me – excuse me, I feel dizzy and need some fresh air).

  • Rabbi Yonatan Kaganoff – Pas Yisroel: link

    Mostly defining “pat” in pat Yisrael/akum (e.g. does it retain form of bread? What about pat haba bkissnin?)

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner -Rav Kook’s Orot haTeshuvah: Teshuvah is not about sin: link

    From R’Kook’s Orot Hatshuva – viewing tshuva (repentance?) not as a correction of sin but as revealing ones perfection (tshuva = return to original state).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -What did Moshe recieve at Sinai?: link

    A short introduction to a topic R’HS discusses at length in his torah shebal peh series. Here focus on positions of gaonim (Moshe got all the facts) vs. Rambam (he got mostly methodology). Issue of rights of future generations to disagree (GRA – only watershed is closing of the Talmud [no reason given] – other than that anyone can argue with anyone else!)

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss-Rosh Hashana Shechal BeShabbos: link

    Another great question. If chazal set aside a torah mitzvah (e.g. shofar on Shabbat) but you do it anyway, do you get torah “credit” (and Rabbinic debit?). It’s a machloket! R’Weiss draws possible distinctions between this issue and whether you’d make shehechiyanu the next time you did it.
    Two interesting stories (hedyot/bor) (Chassidic and Misnagdic) where gedolim were “fools for HKB”H” (my question – would others draw inappropriate conclusions for their own practices in other cases from these examples where the “psak” is if you do it, you’re a fool, yet gedolim did it.)

  • Mrs Ilana Saks–Tehillim: The Root of Righteousness: link

    Review of first mizmor of Tehillim – understanding the metaphor of the Rasha and Tzadik, the tree, the branches and water.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -Chametz/Issurei Hana’ah Part 1: link

    Introduction to Tractate Pesachim. Starts with a list of a few hundred J sources to be reviewed. R’MR’s approach of analyzing how the prohibitions of chametz (eating, receiving benefit) fit in with the “normal” prohibitions of a similar nature.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha -Asking and Granting Mechila: link

    Is the requirement to ask for forgiveness or to be forgiven? The logic for each position and some halachic differences.

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Torah won’t be forgotten and the Voice of selichot: link

    Discussion of slichot relating to individuals and to the group – the impact of Jewish suffering over the generations and our keeping Torah alive through the generations.

  • Rav Ezra Bick-Love and Fear of God #02 – In the Service of God: link

    Further discussion of worship out of love (personal relationship) and worship out of fear.

  • 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.


    1. 1-AZ-31:B Your question goes to the status of the Cutim-Shomronim which changed during the period of the Talmud. In Demai Yerushalmi for instance there are varying opinions on whether they could be trusted to take ma’aser (halacha they are). It seems that here the Cutim in these villages were at first not trusted in the matter of yein nesach because of their proximity to pagan villagers but later this changed and they were trusted to be makpid.I think that this was factual and not due to perception (I couldn’t find mefarshim who relate to this, but I didn’t look that hard.)
      2-hidur mitzvah- I assume that R’Aviner aliba d’RASH means only when one cant do both give Tzedaka and buy a mehudar set since halacha psuka is that one must be mehudar beshlish the only place besides Channuka that hiddur is part of guf ha mitzvah.
      3-Osek b’talmud torah- As I wrote to you once pasku li avreich shetorato umanuto pattur megmilut chesed begufo. It depends on ramat hachiyuv.Ba’al bayit isn”t pattur since he is yotzei by kviat ittim letorah or even kriat shema.
      4-Interesting audios this week.
      5-Gmar chatima tovah to you and all the family.

    2. aryeh lebowitz

      1) wouldn’t that mean you wouldn’t have to check after buying as well? 2) Would HKB”H appreciate it if you checked anyway? 3) Would there be any “timtum” if it turned out one was wearing the 1/1000 cheap suit that was shaatnez?
      1 – yes, we do this all the time when we eat meat (they only check for those tereifos that are miut hamatzuy)
      2 – probably
      3 – I think timtum is limited to food

    3. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Re: asking chazan 3 times. I haven’t yet heard the shiur, but here’s my 2 cents as I see it:

      Firstly often the gabbai is frantic and doesn’t have time for games. Secondly often the gabbai is an important person and “ein mesarvin l’gadol.” But most importantly, the whole refuse thing is a cultural note of good manners. If your neighbor invited you for shabbos lunch, would you say “oh no really …” and then only say yes if he insisted twice, to be polite? Maybe in some cultures. But not in mine or (imho) yours! As R’HS replied to a questioner: the Talmud considered it more cultured to eat porridge with your fingers; that’s nice, but today use a spoon!

    4. R’DT,
      1.Hopefully my shaliach conveyed my GCT before the holiday rush 🙂
      2.I’d like to think it was factual as well
      3.I wonder often about text tshuvot – you may be right, but I sense he was more trying to convey a relative derech inlife


    5. R’AL,
      1. do you tell this to yor bala batim or let them check anyway due to lo plug (I only buy cheap suits 🙂
      2. which is why I am offering a new line of meat that has cow’s MRI’d prior to shechita 🙂
      3.sorry for using a loaded word like timtum, but there is a theory that even an “inadvertant” transgression impacts one’s soul – (which goes back to 2 in a way)

    6. R’SR,
      Maybe, but the underlying idea that people should understand that a shatz is a huge responsibility and thus an honor and burden (kavod comes from kaved) bestowed on them imho could use reinforcement.

    7. I do tell it to ba’alei batim. In fact, if you call the Williamsburg Shatnes lab and tell them the manufacturer of your suit they will tell you whether it needs to be checked.

    8. R’AL,
      Interesting, I’d love to know what control standards are in place to determine if manufacturers have changed suppliers (probably none, and it will show up after the fact) – would we allow such an approach in any manufactured foods? Which of course goes back to the miyut hamatzui or not issue by treifot- for a group that seems to accept nishtaneh hateva in certain situations, why would we assume that miyut hamatzui or not hasn’t changed?

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