by Joel Rich
I was recently asked to sit on a “beit din” for a hatavat chalom (bad dream fix) [as Councilor K, who joined me on the beit din as one of the members of the moetzet gedolei hatorah of West Orange, remarked (or close to it), “Wouldn’t you know it, they find the one rationalist in the town for this!”] Question: Is a rationalist permitted to suggest to the dreamer that he could save himself the time and just interpret the dream positively himself? Should he disclose that he believes the beit din’s impact is through psychology, not Kabbalistic impact?
From R’ Aviner (link): Shul is not a Chasidic Rebbe’s court
Do not make a long “Mi She-beirach” to which no one listens. A blessing will come to someone who is strict to forgo a “Mi She-beirach.” Donate money when you receive an aliyah, and I promise you that the Master of the Universe will bless you even without the Gabbai’s announcement.
Discussion of halachic status of banks/corporation. IMHO the discussion of the positions of various poskim reflects the “lev Shel Torah” (halachic heart tells me) approach sometimes inherent in new halachic issues. Please listen and tell me what you think of the level of business understanding of the poskim.
Summary of “preferable” times to say Slichot: 1) Last 3 hours before morning; 2) after “midnight”; 3) morning; 4) evening (some say this may be worse than not saying).
Limud zchut on 4) IMHO a classic group risk/reward issue in a number of communities – better to have more people say it, even if some who would say it at the proper time now don’t. (What % is the proper trade off?)
Why do we say it first night at 2)? due to wording of 1st night’s slichot (I’m not sure this is really an answer. Just kicks the can down the road a bit).
A good detailed analysis of rules relating to every facet of sukkah construction and use. Includes some of my favorite sukkah topics – maamad, maamad d’maamad (the “no metal at all” rule), canvas walls, string bikini sukkah walls and mat schach (whose intent in making mats a kli is a major issue – apparently machloket achronim – would love maareh mkomo).
In a way (nothing about R’Koeningsberg personally) this shiur underlines why there is perception that halacha today revolves around finding possible problems based on minority views and then aggravating your parents about them ☺.
General introduction to deferred fast days – analysis of underlying “prohibition” of fasting on Shabbat – may be different depending on the differing nature of the fast.
Part I explaining Elisha ben Abuyah story – a history and analysis of Talmudic story and an explanation of Pardes (getting back to the garden?).
Sounds like one Shabbat shuva drasha for men and one for women. I’m curious – is this common in MO shuls in NY?
Explanation of need for eruv tavshilin and specific issues (e.g. can you rely on for non-food preparation, what foods to use…).
Great nugget – there’s a book that tells you for each food how much you need for various shiurim [of course a kzayit requires 3 average size olives – I kid you not!]
1) What are sources of requirement to ask for/give mechila (forgiveness)?
2) Are the request and the response independent requirements?
3) What is the role of mechila in repentance and/or atonement?
4) Are there cases where forgiveness need not be sought? Granted?
Followed by thoughts on forgiveness as a part of our humanity.
Discussion of sources on praying out loud vs. praying silently. Nice thought on silent prayer reflecting our realization of the limits of what we can articulate (me – like R’YBS on why we blow shofar at the end of Yom Kippur – we realize we haven’t articulated what we needed to).
Fascinating realistic philosophical history of the old Yishuv and how starting in the 1870’s it was “taken over” by Hungarian hard liners who hoped to fight the battle in Jerusalem started by the Chatam Sofer in Europe – my summary can’t do it justice but it’s definitely a worthwhile listen if you’re not ahistorical.
Historical/Intellectual biography – very broad and brilliant – not a meikil or a machmir but a visionary.
S”A discusses “Israeli” going outside of Israel and the 2nd day of Yom Tov but not vice versa. Discussion of various opinions on outsiders going to Israel on 2nd day – there are a number of gradations between full two days to pure only one day! Answer may be a function of intent to stay (and how long), public vs. private, which part of Israel (was it settled way back when).
Famous position of Chacham Tzvi of one day only when one visits Israel – why? The gzeirah of 2 days didn’t include these visitors so it would be baal tosif and bracha l’vatalah; 2) R’Shmuel Salant – in times of beit mikdash visitors never did this.
R’Chaim thought Chacham Tzvi was right! Some compromise and say 1-1/2 days (daven; don’t do mlacha on day 2).
Be part of the tzibur (community) and be needed by the community and you will get merit of the community when being judged by HKB”H.
Can the Zionist enterprise survive without being religious? Is there a possibility of a jewish “civil religion” in Israel?
What would R’Kook do(say?) Who knows but we can guess in a number of areas (e.g. shoah, politics, science).
R’Kook is not easy to understand (non-rationalist approach) especially given the background needed to understand his language. Orot were often journals “edited” by his students so there is already one filter.
Some “deep” philosophical mystical discussion – politics as an outgrowth of his mystical thought on unity.
Nice side point – people’s (even gedolim) thinking evolves over time.
A comparison of R’YBS and R’Kook (the Rav and Ha Rav) on Reish Lakish’s statement of repentance out of love turning sins into positives – similarity (reorientation & using energy for good) and then onto R’Kook’s “reunification with the cosmos” with stops at foreknowledge and freewill. (My 2¢ – Kant’s differentiation between how we look at something and the thing itself sounds like a reformulation of the Rambam’s we just aren’t capable of understanding.)