Audio Roundup CXV

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by Joel Rich

1) Why when Rosh Chodesh falls out on Shabbat why does mussaf refer (as it does on Yom Tov as well) to the sins causing the loss of the temple (ulfi shechatanu lfanesha anachnu v’avoteinu charvah ireinu v’shamem beit mikdashenu) but in the weekday Rosh Chodesh musaf there is no such allusion?
2) Is the Hebrew root of the word vayarak (as in vayarak et chanichav) the same as the root of v’harikoti (as in v’harikoti lachem bracha ad bli dai)?

Moonlighting as a Conjurer of Chemicals (me-compare to Ben Azzai-yvamot 63b -nafshi chashka btorah)
Sir Isaac Newton was a towering genius in the history of science, he knew he was a genius, and he didn’t like wasting his time. Born on Dec. 25, 1642, the great English physicist and mathematician rarely socialized or traveled far from home. He didn’t play sports or a musical instrument, gamble at whist or gambol on a horse. He dismissed poetry as “a kind of ingenious nonsense,” and the one time he attended an opera he fled at the third act. Newton was unmarried, had no known romantic liaisons and may well have died, at the age of 85, with his virginity intact. “I never knew him to take any recreation or pastime,” said his assistant, Humphrey Newton, “thinking all hours lost that were not spent on his studies.”

  • Dean Karen Bacon-Torah Umada: link

    An oldie but a goodie – and I wish Dr. B. would be recorded more often on TUM et al – she is, in my experience, a clear and practical thinker/doer – an all too rare combination.
    Here a discussion of the history, halacha and biological evidence regarding Ethiopian (“Falasha”) Jewry. Interesting comment regarding R’HS’s willingness to accept anthropological evidence.
    [me – If the historical chain of their tradition had been clearer would “we” have allowed them to keep their “pre-talmudic” form of Judaism???]

  • Rabbi H Schachter -Kashrus Issues of Bugs: link

    An information packed shiur. Some interesting tidbits – 1) Chatam Sofer sometimes seemed “arbitrary” in psak; 2) Chazal understood/dealt with probability (question – then why was it not until the Mishkonot Yaakov (talmid of R’Chaim Volozhin) so it was likely early 1800s) that miyut hamatzui seems to take on a number – 10%; not that long after probability theory was being developed in the secular world; 3) miyut hamatzui (material risk?) applied to bugs in water as well as fish issues. NYC water discussed in detail as well as can you eat something that had a miyut hamatzui but has been treated to reduce (but not eliminate) % below threshold.
    2 other fascinating statements – 1) R’HS holds the 10% threshold means probability that you’ll eat at least one bug in one meal/sitting (me – does this mean hecsher is based on “average serving” and you should take into account how much you eat at a sitting? 2) R’YSE says miyut hamatzui is 7% since that is % of animal lung blemishes in Israel shechitah and since gemara says lung blemishes are miyut hamatzu – [me – defining universe to be studied? So, if I found in lotus eater land that the cows were so content they had no blemishes, miyut hamatzui would be 0%???]

  • Rabbi H Schachter -Gemara Sotah Shiur #33: link

    A shiur that seems to raise more questions than it answers! Includes historical inaccuracies by Chazal, Takanot by Yochanan Cohain Gadol (by what authority?), changes in maaser in times of bayit sheni and how do we really know Kohanim are Kohanim, Leviim are Leviim and how does this impact us practically?

  • Rabbi H Schachter – Jewish Heritage Tour of Italy Part 2 of 12: link

    Another magical mystery tour – both in the physical and intellectual meaning. Organizing principal is Italian poskim (sforno, rama mi padua) – Topics include kashrut, get, tfillin, Napolean and Lubavitch, sturgeon, accuracy of chazal on history, the GRA wanting to go to medical school.

  • R’ Aharon Kahn – Sichas Mussar- Ein Hadavar Talui Elah Bi: link

    Mussar for YU talmidim for new zman (term) in this “unique institution” [me – can torah survive and prosper outside the “clean room” environment – I hope so!] Bottom line – understand your reality and deal with it; leave your cell phoning for outside the beit medrash.

  • Rabbi Hanan Balk – Kohelet XVIII: The Protective Power of Mitzvot and the Holocaust: link

    Some heroic (Jewish and non-Jewish) tails of the holocaust and some possible “explanations” [me – whatever gets you through the “night”] of the holocaust.

  • Rabbi Etan Moshe Berman -Yom Kippur: Why do we pretend to be angels?: link

    Why do we say Baruch Shem out loud on Yom Kippur? 1) We “took it” from angels and since we’re like angels on Yom Kippur we can say it [most popular]; 2) Yaakov said it when he realized all his sons were “frum” [it’s like Yhei shmei rabbah] – all year long we’re ambivalent about our status but or Yom Kippur we have self confidence after vidui when looking at these 2 answers:
    1) is more consistent with us trying to be like someone else (like we don’t eat pat palter during this period – raise our game a bit) vs. 2) is more about being the best we can be.

  • Rabbi Chaim Eisenstein -Parshat Noach – kidushin shel bnei noach vs. kidushin shel yisrael: link

    Discussion of kiddushin (marriage) and the impact of biah ( relations ) in completing the marriage process for bnai brit, and non bnai brit (holiness vs. utilitarian relationship).

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein – The Daily “annoyance”: link

    Regular prayer as an annoyance! The need to pray within specific time constraints gives us the “opportunity” to have spiritual tension 3 times a day! (Talk about making lemonade out of lemons J)
    Good point about being sensitive as a shliach tzibbur to the regular rhythms of the congregation (e.g. if you’re a slower/faster davener [me – one standard deviation] either modify your speed or don’t take the amud).

  • Rabbi Yosef Adler – Wraps, Ice cream Sandwiches and Pizza – What Bracha Do You Make?: link

    What bracha do you make on wraps, etc. It depends on a lot of things which not everyone agrees on (including how to reflect sociological changes in eating habits).

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon – MYP Topics Series for IBC – Hilchos Mezuzah 1: link

    Part I of a two part summary of R’Simon’s series on Mezuzot. Simple questions on interpreting “Al mezuzot betecha ubisharecha” – what is a mezuzah? What is a bayit (hint – not just a house)? And what is a shaar?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – Ten Minute Halacha – Shnayim Mikra: link

    Shnayim mikra v’echad targum – (weekly review of parshiyot) – time parameters (when start, conclude), what to use for targum?

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky – Eating In The Succah The first Night Of Succos and Hilchos Mitztaer: link

    General rule – Mitztaer patur min hasukah (if you have discomfort you are exempt from sitting in sukkah) is based on teishvu kein taduru (mitzvah of sukkah is like being in your dwelling). So then why all the fuss about making kiddush/hamotzi in the sukkah on the first night even if it’s raining? First night may be an additional obligation of eating. GRA posits if it’s raining the sukkah may not have a designation of sukkah at that time (now go read the S”A & M’B and you can understand all the permutations of comings and goings to be choshesh for all shitot).

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner – Yoel: Introduction: link

    First in series – Yoel is a prophet of punishment followed by repentance and comfort. Trying to figure out exactly who he was and when he lived is a challenge!

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – Ten Minute Halacha – Greetings Before Davening: link

    Not going to a neighbor’s home to say shalom before morning prayer. Halachic reality limits the application but the hashkafic point is to take care of real business (HKB”H) first.

  • Rabbi Eytan Feiner – Torah Perspective on Vegetarianism: link

    Veggies and halacha – some survey statistics on vegetarians in general population, then the usual suspects and issues on Judaism’s view of vegetarianism.

  • 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. I’m now told that R’HS holds you do go by the individual’s eating for miyut hamatzui and thus hechsher would have to posit how much a glutton might eat!

    2. The root of both vayarek and veharikoti is ריק בהפעיל במשמעות להוציא כל משהיה בתוך

    3. R’DT,

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