by Joel Rich
Avodah Zarah 31a posits â€œFormerly the ruling was that wine of Town X was forbiddenâ€¦.subsequently this was alteredâ€¦.What was the opinion held formerly and what was the later? At first the opinion was that a cuthim was not particularâ€¦subsequently they formed the opinionâ€¦they were particular.â€
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, Avaryanâ€¦) The following were mitztaref to the beit din: Râ€™Wosner, Râ€™Elyashav, Râ€™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).
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 isnâ€™t anyone mesarev (halacha requires first refusal, then maybe and then accept when offered)? Râ€™Reiss gives two possible limud zchut(im) [explanations] (IMHO and I think his â€“ pretty weak but hey itâ€™s not only an MO vs. Charedi issue so likely limud zchut will get a pass!).
Also discussed role of â€œyichusâ€ in selection as well as who â€œownsâ€ 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 donâ€™t want to daven) to his posek to see if he could dispense with the mesarev requirement, the response was â€œso educate the gabboimâ€.
Can you try on a suit without checking for shaatnez first? Sounds like really not, but there are some â€œlimud zchutâ€™sâ€ (donâ€™t worry â€“ itâ€™s not including women covering their hair â€“ see Râ€™Broyde for that).
Most interesting is the â€œcheap suitâ€ itâ€™s not a miyut hamatzui (significant enough % to warrant checking) â€“ Râ€™Aryeh â€“ 1) wouldnâ€™t that mean you wouldnâ€™t have to check after buying as well? 2) Would HKBâ€H appreciate it if you checked anyway? 3) Would there be any â€œtimtumâ€ if it turned out one was wearing the 1/1000 cheap suit that was shaatnez?
4 step decision making process â€“ assumedly to talmidim at Shaalvim â€“ 1) Decide to decide (Rambam on the importance of our role as deciders â€“ hmmm â€“ how do we weigh this with daas torah?); 2) define yardsticks (me â€“ priorities and weights); 3) be honest (me â€“ self aware); 4) get help â€“ friends, rabbeim, HKBâ€H (me â€“ note conscious or subconscious omission of parents!!!???)
Some very kabbalistic stuff on body and soul DNA, communication by souls (well I guess no stranger than Einsteinâ€™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.
Understanding the interplay of â€œhaosek bmitzvah patur bmitzvahâ€ (if youâ€™re involved in one mitzvah you are exempt from another mitzvah â€“ me â€“ another issue, what if you leave that mitzvah to do the other â€“ 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 â€“ what if this has a negative impact on your personal development? On others?) â€“ the mitzvah is to learn any â€œspare minuteâ€ you have (me â€“ story of Chazon Ish â€“ someone who didnâ€™t know him asked if he learns; response â€“ when I have time).
A quick review of why preservatives need Kosher supervision.
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 donâ€™t generally rely on it, you can rely on it if served food in otherâ€™s home.
Worst case â€“ let it cool off (me â€“ excuse me, I feel dizzy and need some fresh air).
Mostly defining â€œpatâ€ in pat Yisrael/akum (e.g. does it retain form of bread? What about pat haba bkissnin?)
From Râ€™Kookâ€™s Orot Hatshuva â€“ viewing tshuva (repentance?) not as a correction of sin but as revealing ones perfection (tshuva = return to original state).
A short introduction to a topic Râ€™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 â€“ only watershed is closing of the Talmud [no reason given] â€“ other than that anyone can argue with anyone else!)
Another great question. If chazal set aside a torah mitzvah (e.g. shofar on Shabbat) but you do it anyway, do you get torah â€œcreditâ€ (and Rabbinic debit?). Itâ€™s a machloket! Râ€™Weiss draws possible distinctions between this issue and whether youâ€™d make shehechiyanu the next time you did it.
Two interesting stories (hedyot/bor) (Chassidic and Misnagdic) where gedolim were â€œfools for HKBâ€Hâ€ (my question â€“ would others draw inappropriate conclusions for their own practices in other cases from these examples where the â€œpsakâ€ is if you do it, youâ€™re a fool, yet gedolim did it.)
Review of first mizmor of Tehillim â€“ understanding the metaphor of the Rasha and Tzadik, the tree, the branches and water.
Introduction to Tractate Pesachim. Starts with a list of a few hundred J sources to be reviewed. Râ€™MRâ€™s approach of analyzing how the prohibitions of chametz (eating, receiving benefit) fit in with the â€œnormalâ€ prohibitions of a similar nature.
Is the requirement to ask for forgiveness or to be forgiven? The logic for each position and some halachic differences.
Discussion of slichot relating to individuals and to the group â€“ the impact of Jewish suffering over the generations and our keeping Torah alive through the generations.
Further discussion of worship out of love (personal relationship) and worship out of fear.