by Joel Rich
Question: According to those who do not accept brain death as a definition of death, and thus would consider harvesting organs as murder, but accept those poskim who say nonetheless it is permitted to receive organs harvested using such methodology; would such an individual who refuses to accept such organs due to halachic/ethical considerations be considered as one who commits suicide? a kiddush hashem?
Pension and Investments: 1/10/2011
Sid Bowne resigned as chief investment officer of the (deleted by me – a significant amount) consolidated investment pool of Yeshiva University, (Me- R’ Moshe has an interesting tshuva on brothers putting away tzedaka funds for use by another brother when, in a few years, he gets married and wants to continue learning. Question: if the brother decides not to continue learning, do the brothers retroactively lose the mitzvah? can they redirect the money and keep the mitzvah? Etc. ?If one gives money to the YU endowment, do they get a mitzvah now or when the money is spent or a proportion of the mitzvah based on actual year disbursements from the trust (YU bashers, substitute aveirah for mitzvah :-))
M.O. in the U.S. has lost its vibrancy and appears apologetic and subject to a movement to the right. R’YBS recognized the dialectical nature of life (e.g. when emet and shalom come into conflict) and that when you choose to experience life this way (me – if you think this is what HKB”H wants of you) you pay a price (me – that’s worthwhile).
In early years in the U.S., modernity was a given so many (Rabbis) viewed it as an accommodation – a practical movement to keep people somewhat frum. Unfortunately, if this is your mindset, it’s from a position of weakness rather from an ideology of strength.
Most people are practical “lifestylists”, not ideologically driven. Now American chareidism lets you enjoy both the modern world and still claim ideological purity (me – but will this last?). Thus M.O. has to regain its MOjo (ok, that was me) as an ideology that produces the “best” avodat hashem (and to that I say Amen).
Lots of issues related to snow discussed here. (R’Zevin has an excellent essay on the topic.)
It’s used as a description of color.
How many people know that the black (or blue) stripes on their tallit is zeicher (reminder) of tcheilet [and if you wear tcheilet, a pure white tallit (based on Daniel related medrash) would make sense] Is snow muktzeh? Nice summary of muktzeh issues (probably no)
Shabbat – Ice cube production (not the rapper) – Must be OK per R’Moshe since everyone did it in Europe (hmmm – Joel’s dual mesorah theory?)
Shabbat Salting ok (it’s causation), shoveling OK if danger
Use of melted snow or snow itself for mikveh (if emergency), hand washing (no go in snow)
No reserving parking spots that you dug out! (me – obviously in many cities dina dmalchuta must be overriding this psak)
Interesting history of a convert in 17th century Amsterdam – especially given the different historical circumstances (remember we live in a medinah shel chesed in the U.S. which is unusual in our history)
50,000 foot review of 4 great figures battling haskalah – R’Sofer, R’Hirsch, R’Salanter and R’Hildisheimer
Persia was the first stable host to a Jewish exile and so there was a special challenge of how to relate to this exile. Daniel (and Esther) as “super Joseph’s” – role models (parallels from all their stories in Tunach).
Did you know the OU has a “cheese head” (go Packers!) R’Aryeh covers the major kashrut agencies approaches to defining hard cheese requiring a 6 hour wait (surprise – 3 agencies and 3 approaches). What is the status of melted cheese? Fresh parmesan cheese is an issue, all else CLOR!
I guess OU must have a fish head too! (Must come in handy on Rosh Hashanah!) Brief discussion of the “danger” of eating fish and meat together and do we treat it similarly to “regular” kashrut issues (e.g. batel bshishim)
Explanation of OU fish, OU dairy fish and OU Arthur Treacher’s fish and chips labels. (OK – I made up the last one). No discussion of the lamented (by me) demise of the OU DE label.
Review of different occasions requiring handwashing (e.g. wakening, eating…). Is it because of cleanliness or godliness? Discussion of Sheidim (spirits) as well.
Rabbi Josh Yuter – Statement of Priciples on Homosexuality
R’Josh Yuter has posted a series of podcasts on his YUTOPIA site. Here a discussion of the recent manifesto on mishkav zachor, he’s generally in favor (of the statement).
First in a series. Historical context of Yonah (also mentioned in Mlachim Bet). Symbolism of the name Yonah (Knesset Yisrael symbol) and message of the entire story relating to needing to find our way back to HKB”H. Yonah wanted to avoid prophecy so as not to cause punishment to the Jewish people, even if it meant giving up his life.
Then beginning of line by line analysis (e.g. he ran from “mlifnai Hashem” – away from the relationship)
Ein Simcha ela b’bassar (joyous occasions requires meat) – was this only at time of Temple sacrifices or today as well (subjective vs. objective requirement). Probably subjective so if you enjoy dairy more, go for it.
Next in series – R’Dessler views hishtadlut (effort) as an illusion – so why do more than buy a lottery ticket? 1) fool others so they still have free will; 2) so if you slip (and don’t have full bitachon) you won’t go off the derech [me – I didn’t get this] R’Bachaya and others (including me) – hishtadlut and hashgacha are a series circuit – HKB”H operates hasgacha primarily through nature (me – that’s why he created probability theory!)
Discussion of sports drinks and iced teas production techniques and ingredients. While flavor component may be less than 2% of the drink, it’s usually not batel (deemed immaterial) due to davar d’avida l’tama (flavor ingredients) and chanan (initial concentrated mix all becomes problematic) therefore no 1/60 rule. Many flavors have problematic wine and/or grape juice components. Insect extracts, dairy proteins and vitamins all can have their own issues. Bottom line – need hechsher.
Chizuk for the community (North Woodmere? – not clear why). Yissurin (painful events) are real – Chazal seem to have a dialectic approach – OTOH they show HKB”H’s love/care, OTOH R’Yochanan asked for neither them nor their reward.
HKB”H doesn’t give anyone anything they can’t handle so great yissurin implies an individual with great reserves.
R’MT’s take – they are precious only when HKB”H deems them absolutely necessary, (Tzedaka, etc. that we do are to avoid them being “absolutely necessary”).
One approach to prayer – sharing in other’s pain implies you’re really praying for yourself, not for the other who is in pain.
R’MT emphasizes the importance of both continuing to pray (all prayers count at some level) and continuing healthy cheshbon hanefosh (introspection).
[me – I suppose “we don’t really understand how HKB”H runs the world so just keep putting one foot in front of the other” is not particularly comforting and was one of the reasons pulpit rabbinate wasn’t for me]
Sounds like a Yeshiva in Israel Q&A.
1) He sees men wearing wedding rings as an outgrowth of the feminist equality movement.
2) Making aliyah – nice but it’s only a mitzvah kiyumit (no requirement but yes credit) (didn’t sound to me like a strong preference)
3) Classical music is ok, “modern” culture – no good
4) Secular college – forbidden – OTD and immorality issues
5) Intermarriage – attending is a chillul hashem, some allow some ongoing contact.
6) Kissing a woman on the cheek after shul as a casual greeting “Avoid at all costs”. Non linear relatives – there is room to discuss.
7) Handshake – avoid but room to discuss if its only a “greeting”
8) Adoption – “it’s difficult” (sounded like he didn’t want to discuss)
9) Copying CDs – differing opinions
10) His shul – minhag is women don’t say kaddish (no one stops them from whispering it)
11) Mamzeirut – Is it “fair”? No but maybe a deterrent to parents’ escapades?
12) TUM – only in service in Torah (me – not sure philosophically what this means)
13) Women – Time bound commandments exemption related to duty to raise children
1) Prayer – Understanding dynamic tension (and history) of fixed text vs. individual prayer. Remember you can inject the personal even now.
2) Study of psychology is the study of the soul and the world around us (TUM at its best). Just remember it’s not a mechanical science and you need to be aware of traps of academic biases.
3) Women’s roles – It’s not a power struggle, deal honestly with the issues.
A somewhat detailed analysis of responsibility of trustees and one who does damage. Issues include whether one needs to know true $ value as a trustee in order to be considered responsible? If one is a complete anus (beyond their control), do they still bear financial responsibility for damages?
Can you use an automatic coffee maker on Shabbat? It depends!
Issues of shvitat keilim (letting your property rest), hashmaat kol (noise) and Shabbat timers discussed (answer – probably yes).
No. Wide ranging discussion of rabbinic authority, judgment and need for public support/empowerment. Interesting sidebar comments on mixed seating at weddings (good). English halacha books (always stricter) and knowing when to ask questions and when not to (me – good luck with that one!).
Review of the range of force of prayer – Torah, Rabbinic or it’s like faith in HKB”H which, according to some, is so fundamental, it is a perquisite to mitzvot. Interesting position of the Kuzari – Tfilat Hatzibbur is a Torah mitzvah (me – a’la R’YBS?)