by Joel Rich
From R’ Aviner (or my hakol holeich acher hapeh (re dreams) file)
Q: We just got engaged, but a Rabbi we consulted said that based on our names we will end up hating each other.
A: There is no such thing. Get married and it will be good.
From R’Twersky (reviewed below) “concerning first allowance of Beis Yaakov by the Gedolim – “Not that they rachmana l’tzlan overruled the gemara in Sotah. No one said that we feel differently, we say differently. They said that they felt that the mesorah, when it gave the directive of the gemara in Sotah where Chazal opposed imposing learning upon girls who were not obligated in Talmud Torah that Chazal gave that directive at a time when emunah and ahavat torah and yirat shamayim were something that was imbibed in the home through osmosis where the tradition was so strong and so vibrant and in our time Chazal never gave such a direction”
IMHO the countless trees and ink (now electrons reconfigured on countless computer screens) debating the “issues of the day” outlining countless halachic sources could be replaced by a debate on the scope, force and application of the 5 words above “they said that they felt”
The recent Agunah NY Times article makes me wonder – what if the wife’s parents are very well to do and will get the top lawyer in the world and even though the husband didn’t do anything wrong they are going to do their best to leave him penniless and without visitation rights, can he use the Get as leverage? I don’t intend this to be for discussing the particulars of any agunah situation but rather for a hypothetical discussion of the limits of negotiation leverage usage.
Summary: Mesorah is eternal, listen to the chachmei hamesorah (lo tasur applies). So why do we sometimes see changes (e.g. Beis Yaakov)? [yes see changes was an intentional pun]
1) There are “intergenerational debates” amongst chachmei hamesorah where different opinions may prevail at different times – So it’s an internal dynamic within the mesorah not a real “change”
2) These are exceptions rather than the rule.
3) They must be authenticated by that generation’s chachmei hamesorah.
Who are these chachmei hamesorah? Individuals with extraordinary mastery of torah and a slavish devotion to torah which all adds up to halachic intuition. [me – I thought Moshe and Yehoshua got their jobs based on humility, not intellect?] Then R’Twersky addresses contemporary issues and how approach differs from above – basically changes in the past “wasn’t from outside!” (me – so if Jewish women just started to leave orthodoxy in droves, the system might react, but if they try to work within the system for dhange, it won’t because it’s viewed as change from the outside?)
YUTORAH put up the standalone clip of R’YBS famous description of his classroom as a symphony of generations – Priceless (enough said – I’m not in the mood to cry anymore today)
We basically don’t worry about any of the historical halachic preferences/concerns concerning picking a wedding date. (me – but why?) CLOR.
1) Going up to har habayit (gotta know the map)
2) Gross anatomy – use of lasers to explore body instead of touch (on Cohen/medical school issue)
3) Brain death issues – a lot and you know where R’Tendler stands
4) DNR’s – quality of life issue
5) Can’t donate body to science
6) Tatoo issues (allow for chemotherapy purposes)
7) Tcheilet – Why not? He ties like Rambam since he assumes if the Shulchan Aruch had discussed it, that’s how he would have held.
Including, but not limited to:
1) 3 things need chizuk – (i) Torah (that’s why we say chazak, chazak); (ii) Tfila (R’YBS – that’s why end with adon olam – to say “I want to begin again” (me – open up the gates of righteousness – see Diaspora Yeshiva Band); (iii) Parnasah (don’t just say tehilim – learn a trade)
2) Oleh doesn’t say chazak – hefsek issue
3) Poor of idol worshippers supported “only” mpnei darkei shalom, for other non-bnai brit it’s a mitzvah – “vhalachta bdrachav” (sounds modernish to me!)
4) Mitzvot bein adam l’chaveiro are based on reciprocity thus don’t include non-bnai brit
5) Mitzvah of respect for living is greater than for dead – so why do people stand when body brought in? (for someone they wouldn’t have stood for while alive) Answer – Respect for chevra kadisha who were doing mitzvah (me – usually not the case in funeral homes!!!) Similarly, no stand for kvatter…
6) R’YBS – “Habaim Mitzraima” – why present tense? Need to feel like you just arrived in galut – don’t get too comfortable! (not that anyone would accuse orthodoxy in the US of that)
7) Children should daven with parents so no generation gap (thus generally no junior cong – ouch! – I knew I was blowing that one – sorry boys)
8) Conflicting medrashim as to whether the shvatim married nachriyot
9) R’YBS didn’t like the “kheref ayin” song – we do live connected to past, present and future
10) Yosef was sandek for more than 1 great grandchild – but there’s a “Yiddish minhag(me -?)” not to have a repeat sandek? Grandparents are exempt (me – there’s more to sandek ketoret thing – e-mail me offline if you’re interested)
11) R’Hirsch on Yitzchak’s “error” in raising children (yes – error)
12) Bein adam l’chaveiro – may only depend on result (e.g. unknowingly drop coin and poor person picks it up – chaching)
Interesting history of the Brisker Derech and what was going on outside – halachic (ontological) categories become reality (but can you burn yourself on a kli sheini?) Spiritual/moral issues not on R’Chaim’s agenda.
Thesis – R’Chaim’s analysis was not really “conceptual” in terms of broad concepts but rather more local methodological.
R’Shimoh Shkop looked to more systematic conceptual/philosophical constructs, R’YBS over layed psychological/religious/emotional implications over R’Chaim’s base and added a social/human dimension.
The Chareidi version is more like the original R’Chaim, the Gush version builds a value/goals piece – (me – and RIETS???)
Defining simchat mereiut (forbidden “parties” for mourners) – differing opinions on what defines such a “party” and specific applications
Halachot involving names and nicknames (e.g. multiple names [e.g. Yitzchak Yosef] status). Implications for gittin etc. Usage of non-Jewish names. [me – A rose by any other name would smell as sweet?]
1st in a series focusing on lessons from various personalities in Megillat Esther. Here focus on Achashverosh as personification of yetzer hara (rvach shtut).
Review of contemporary halacha smicha shiurim. Way too much detail for me to summarize – topics included: Sukkah, illness of Yom Kippur (who can eat?, what?), children in halacha (baby wipes, mashing bananas)
I was struck by both a quote attributed to R’Sobolofsky “It’s very hard to get involved in these issues of mtziut” and a seeming tendency in certain situations (lluc) to say we know it’s permissible (or not) and we will work out the details supporting this position as we go. (oh that halachic process stuff – why don’t you just relax and take a chill pill?)
Where exactly does the Ramban stand on hishtadlut vs. hashgacha pratit? Unclear.
Chovot Halevavot views hishtadlut as a test, R’Dessler as an inverse function to emunah. (I’m reminded of “The Will Vincit Omnia” which was what I always thought of as the Brisker version of the Prioress’s bangle in Canterbury Tales “Amor Vincit Omnia” – Perhaps R’Dessler’s version was “Emunah Vincit Omnia”). BTW, I’ve heard R’YBS softened on this after his year of triple aveilut)
A detailed technical retelling of the Rav’s shiur concerning the halacha if you forgot to say hamelech hakadosh on the first night of Rosh Hashana.
Try not to come late to davening (really!) but if you do, what can (me – should?) you skip to catch up and what to catch up for (e.g. Kriat Shma? Amidah? Tfillat hatzibbur? Making Zman Kriat Shma? Making your regular minyan?)
BTW – I agree with R’Aryeh Ishei Yisrael is a great source for Tfila issues in general.
Covered here – R’Willig on zemanim (yes Dr. Bill – your favorite topic); R’Horowitz – International dateline (logic will only take you so far – a great “clearly” by the chazon Ish), R’Flug – Electricity (it really must be assur), Grama (who knew causation could be so hard to define?)
R’YBS/R’HS on using a bdieved as a l’chatchila on an ongoing basis (it’s not being dochek, it’s uprooting) – What sayeth you Manhattan Rabbis about elevators/amira l’akum?