Audio Roundup CXXXVI

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by Joel Rich

There are 2 traditions as to where to put the comma in R’Tsei by V’ishei–

R’tsei, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu,
b’a-m’cha Yis-ra-eil v’li-t’fi-la-tam sh’ei.
V’ha-sheiv ha-a-vo-dah lid-vir bei-te-cha(comma here)
V’i-shei Yis-ra-eil (or comma here)ut’fi-la-tam b’a-ha-va t’ka-beil b’ra-tson.
U-t’hi l’ra-tson ta-mid a-vo-dat Yis-ra-eil a-me-cha.

The first implies prayer is that Ishei = sacrifices (be returned), the second is that the Ishei=souls (be offered) [yup, that’s right, it’s a bit complex]. Is there a problem with alternating between the two versions in one’s prayers?
What about the meaning in Ashrei of poteach et yadecha ….?(which iiuc is of great concern to chazal)


Intellect(From R’ Aviner)
Q: Why is it important to do everything based on intellect?
A: One should also base their actions on other strengths in one’s soul. But the intellect is the king, helping to prevent mistakes which occur on account of the other strengths (i.e. emotions). See Moreh Nevuchim 1:2 that the intellect is the “Image of G-d.”
My question – Does chassidut agree with this approach? Who would be the gadol hador – the one with the greatest intellect or the greatest attachment to HKB”H ?(assuming we don’t assume what iiuc the Rambam would say – that they are one in the same)


  • Rabbi Aryeh Klapper -Brain Death, Halakhah, and Ethics

    Shout out to Kol Hamevaser (I second it!) R’Klapper’s take on the brain death (BSD)/transplant issues. The “conventional wisdom” (of the opposing party) is that anti-BSD advocates are “physicalists” [no halachic changes due to change in “facts” – thus only exact continuation of chazal’s statements = nothing is really new] while BSD advocates are “ethicists” influenced by “outsiders”.
    R’Aryeh focuses on “sumac tfei” (who says your blood is redder?) as a moral imperative meaning you can’t make value judgments that your blood is redder. He also doesn’t like that people would pray for someone to be in an accident so they can have available organs.
    He then discusses “the people’s’” intuition that it’s ok to receive but not to donate organs – perhaps since donor card signer does not perceive an immediate need but when it’s them that’s in need , they see their life as more valuable (this sounds like a sociological, not halachic statement).
    He then present two approaches – one based on R’Broyde/R’SZA the other on his own based on the Sheiltot/Tzitz Eliezer which might support this intuition.
    Reminded me of the shiur of R’Ezra Schwarz on “Shabbat/Akum saving” halacha and how/why it changed over the years. Interesting approach, but I’m sure many would disagree (ahhh, for a TOE, my kingdom for a TOE).

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – By Way Of Introduction – Eim Habanim Semeicha

    The mother (Eretz Yisrael) is crying waiting for her children to come home to be happy and proud. If you’re not familiar with the life (and death) of R’Teichtal or the sefer, this is worth a listen.
    Especially please listen to R’Teichtal’s (and R’Lebowitz’s) impassioned pleas – (and for me cue Country Yossi and Kenny Rogers – “Promise me son not to do the things I’ve done”)

  • Rebbetzin Abby Lerner -A Gadol for All Seasons: The Teachings and Wisdom of the Sridei Eish

    Hat tip to R’Marc Shapiro! Review of the life and times of R’YY Weinberg (The Sridei Eish). A plea to imitate his approach to living in both worlds (secular and holy). Problem was(is) that it’s not easy not fitting in anywhere! (Now, if we could only have a large enough group following this approach!)

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks -Lifnei Iver: Enabling a Jew to Sin

    Lifnei Iver(placing a stumbling block) – Is the prohibition result oriented (only an issue if someone actually trips) or action oriented(placing it is the sin)? Is it between man and man or man and God? Or both!? Lots of implications. Followed by some good mussar on the importance of feeling responsibility for each other and being role models.
    Bonus review of R’Akiva Eiger’s tshuva on looking at total net effect before deciding something is lifnei iver (e.g. is it lifnei iver to invite someone to take some for Shabbat dinner knowing he won’t make a bracha on the food you serve but you know it will change his life?).

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn- The Impact of Leap Years on Yahrzeits

    Leap year is 13 months (surprise!) so how does that impact saying of Kaddish for an avel (usually 11 months) and Yahrtzeit? It doesn’t, since “currency” is months (interesting that so much is based on Chazal’s using the term Yud Beit Chodesh rather than Shanah as a description of the mourning period – or is it just a necessary evil due to our lunar with a hat tip to solar calendar?).
    Discussions on going to wedding on Yahrtzeit, Yom hatmitah (day of death) vs. Yom hakvurah (day of burial) for Yahitzeit date.

  • Rabbi Adam Mintz-The Western Diaspora: What Was the Nature of Judaism Outside of Babylonia?

    What was the Judaic practice of the western (e.g. Rome) exiles? Not a lot of records – R’Mintz hypotheses based on synagogue histories, Josephus and other external sources. Perhaps they were more biblical but not so much rabbinic Jews.

    Govt/King: Primary functions of king discussed as well as it is a primary mitzvah. Ends with mussar on importance of unity.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -I am a Real American: Patriotism From a Jewish Perspective

    “Intuitively” everyone knows we should vote (me – not so so simple – one could argue participation = assent to all deeds). Review of sources in Tanach and Chazal on our relationship to government (pros and cons and reinterpretations) – (me – it’s a dialectic!). Be careful not to minimize our direct relationship with HKB”H but must treat government with respect – remember the U.S. is a medinah shel chessed, but we also pray for complete and final redemption.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon- Niddah 38

    Part of his hilchot Nida series re: the seven clean days clothing, sheets and spots. Shout out at the beginning to some young talmidei chachamim.

  • Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler – Pekude: Moshe’s Bracha for the Mishkan

    Interesting lesson in repentance, especially between man and man.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Parsha Shiur – Ki Sisa 5771

    Another magic carpet ride. Mitzvah of remembering the eigel, Miriam – is it like amalek in frequency? First two aliyot are so long – since shevet levi wasn’t involved in chet haeigel, therefore they can be up there while it is being described. If there’s no Kohain in Shul, it’s generally best to give the first aliyah to a yisrael!(Per R’YBS practice)
    Beit Halevi on difference between 1st and 2nd luchot – 2nd (since knew we’d be in exile) had a separate oral law all our own.
    Tzniut as a lifestyle is important.
    Very detailed lamdut on who can/must bring machtzit hashekel. It was a minimum, Sanhedrin (much like a shul treasurer!) had to figure out budget and then estimate how many would actually pay up & when! Based on this actuarial calculation, sanhedren would decide actual amount.
    The Gaonim in Bavel didn’t like the “zecher l’machtzit hashekel” (giving $ in memory of the ½ shekel) custom (concern for misunderstanding – think it’s real machtzit shekel) but in Israel they did. So the whole using coins vs. bills may be overkill – better to give a big check!
    Is there a chiyuv karban pesach for those living outside eretz Yisrael?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Klapper-Is Present Halakhah Comprehensive?

    Halacha must speak to an integrated society in which we have a responsibility for outcome for the entire society.
    How is/should halacha be impacted by the openness to input of the society around us – should we adopt more “universalist” shitot in this venue?

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Shmooze About the Importance of Going into Chinuch

    Part of a Rebbi’s job is to be like Moshe – addressing not just transmittal of information but the entire range of life issues. You should have a passion to teach and don’t worry about the learning time of your own you have to give up (as Moshe did), HKB”H will give it back to you with siyata d’shmaya.

  • Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen -Sichas Mussar: Kavod Beis Hamedrash

    Excellent mussar for beit medrashites. Remember shiflut (humility) is important but act as if your kadosh – put sfarim back where you got them, don’t leave muktzeh items over Shabbat…And remember R’Dovid Lifschitz (The Suvalker) – Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’Smicha – ein smicha ela b’torah.

  • Rabbi Dov Schreier-VEGAN Restaurants – The PROBLEMS that can SPROUT UP

    Lot’s of possible issues in eating in a vegetarian restaurant without supervision – 1) oils; 2) bishul Akum; 3) veggie infestations. Then the usual “things have changed” and a description of issues and opinions on checking necessity, methods and cleaning [ok – but I still don’t think they had light boxes in Suvalk – yes, that’s where my family hails from]

  • Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff -The Evil Eye: What Is It and How Does It Affect Us

    Examples of ayin hara (evil eye) references in medrash and zohar. How it works and specific examples (but avoid red bendels).

  • Rabbi Moshe Chaim Sosevsky -Pesukei D’Zimra in Halacha and Hashkafa

    Review of Talmudic and letter sources on ashrei and other chapters included in psukei d’zimra. A number of questions on exactly which are included and what to do if you come late and should you make it up after tfila if you have to skip. Is the purpose simply praise before asking for your needs or is there more to it? (and some implications)

  • Rabbi Adam Mintz-The Editing of the Babylonian Talmud: How Did This Event Create the Framework for Jewish Law and Study?The Western Diaspora: What Was the Nature of Judaism Outside of Babylonia?

    Why was the Gemara written down? – traditional reasoning concerning persecution/concern for forgetting – is it accurate?
    R’Mintz feels it wasn’t written at time of Ravina/Rav Ashi – that was simply the point in time when no new opinions were allowed.
    The medrash speaks of oral law writing to keep us unique or due to the power of the angel of forgetfulness.
    At lease one opinion was the threat of other religions caused it to be written.
    R’Mintz believes Rashi merged the traditions (Bavel & “Europe” – see his prior shiur) and read with a fresh eye.

  • Rabbi Azarya Berzon -The Priority of Talmud Torah Over All Other Mitzvot (Rambam Talmud Torah 3:3)

    Understanding on a philosophical and practical level how Talmud torah and other mitzvot interact, especially if the other mitzvot can be done by others (me – general issue – what does the gemara mean when it says a mitzvah is shakul (equal) to all others).

  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

    12 comments

    1. WRT Seride Esh: “Problem was (is) that it’s not easy not fitting in anywhere!”

      Yes. Makes me remember the advice R’ Shelomoh Danziger gave me when I asked him about TIDE and community: lean to the right, find a nice place like Passaic with working Charedim, and do your thing. And that’s what I did. Although leaning less to the right recently.

    2. “Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – By Way Of Introduction – Eim Habanim Semeicha
      The mother (Eretz Yisrael) is crying waiting for her children to come home to be happy ”
      There are at least 2 different English translations of the book. Schindler’s which I have read is annotated-thus worthwhile even to a native Hebrew speaker.

      “Rabbi Adam Mintz-The Western Diaspora: What Was the Nature of Judaism Outside of Babylonia?
      What was the Judaic practice of the western (e.g. Rome) exiles?”
      Probably more influenced by minhagei EY and Rabbonim of Israel.

    3. r’yitznewton,
      lean to the right – in picking a community or in your own practice? what about schools? did he give a reason?
      KT

    4. Point of conjecture _if the Sredei Eish would have immigrated to the US,he would have fit in

      R’Danziger is a smart man.

    5. “And remember R’Dovid Lifschitz (The Suvalker) – Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’Smicha – ein smicha ela b’torah.”

      As long as he would advocate minimizing learning from the beginning of Av too…

    6. Now that R. Aviner has made a hero of a self confessed serial womanizer who may well be a rapist, I think that we need to stop regarding him as a posek.

    7. Moshe: As we slowly disqualify one by one any rabbi with whom we disagree strongly on a moral issue, we will eventually find no one we trust other than ourselves and the people too scared to say anything substantial. In other words, you are encouraging rabbis to stay silent on important issues.

      I think the Rubashkin defenders are committing a huge and disastrous error but I have no intention of ignoring the rabbis who defend him. They are acting on their conscious and I respect them for it, even if I think it is a huge and damaging mistake.

      Be more open-minded.

    8. You really dont get the magnitude of the hillul hashem that has occurred here or the political, social and ideological context of the events. It is very hard to follow these things from chu”l, so I understand why you see things your way.

    9. I can’t argue about my ignorance but remember that news cycles come and go.

    10. Moshe Shoshan-would you refrain from singing a Nigun based on a verse written or ascribed to Dovid HaMelech or Shlomoh HaMelech because of their moral failings?

    11. Moshe SHOSHAN-down boy!! There are many who agree with RAviner RTAU and others that the real Chillul Ha Shem is that a court convicted Nasi Yisrael on nothing more than hearsay, and “he said she said” evidence and after a 4 year long media blitz by the prosecution. Perhaps R Aviner is sensitive since he was accused of similar crimes a few years back. Although he was completely exonorated, you still hear people say “where there’s smoke…

    12. Moshe SHOSHAN-down boy!! There are many who agree with RAviner RTAU and others that the real Chillul Ha Shem is that a court convicted Nasi Yisrael on nothing more than hearsay, and “he said she said” evidence and after a 4 year long media blitz by the prosecution. Perhaps R Aviner is sensitive since he was accused of similar crimes a few years back. Although he was completely exonorated, you still hear people say “where there’s smoke…

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