by Joel Rich
LZ”N Gabriella Sarah Bat Kalman Zeev
Vayidom Yitzchak Yosef (lfi the pshat that aharon was silent immediately )
Absolutely classic R’HS! Orthodoxy is subservience to Torah Shebal peh as interpreted by the Chachamim (me – “chachmei hamesorah”) in each generation. Full stop!
* Orthodoxy means sometimes going against the tide.
* He marked the tests and knows who got an 8/100 – that’s not chachmei hamesorah.
* Emunat Chachamim probably means divine assistance and that they’re telling the truth. They entertain no political considerations (me- please count to 10 before you comment).
* Reform started within strict halacha but didn’t ask gedolim – look what happened.
* News Flash! If someone sneezes in NY, you don’t have to consult R’Elyashav.
* R’YBS assumed people would understand not to do things that “weren’t recommended” even if not assur.
* Great story about Agudah operations today vs. pre-war.
* Must follow local Rabbis and their Rabbis (depending on nature of issue); if issue is big, LOR shouldn’t decide, if he does, it’s not orthodoxy.
* Centrist Orthodoxy – do all mitzvot but are reasonable about it, live in the world, go to university, support Israel.
What isn’t Orthodox? Denier of any of 13 principles (except maybe 5th – really!). R’Marc Shapiro – was really nitpicking exceptions. Some analysis of conservative experience and where they got it wrong (can’t resuscitate opinions that Talmud rejected).
Who is entitled to an opinion? If a “leader” isn’t entitled to an opinion and goes off the ranch, what is the status of his followers? (probably not beyond the pale if they are sincere; yes if they are just doing it for convenience).
What about Mashiach issue with Chabad? Can’t rely on them if they view rebbi as HKB”H , probably ok if they just believe he will be/is Moshiach. If a miyut hamatzui believe the former, would have to check individuals before reliance on them for kashrut etc.(and don’t hire the latter as your Rabbi in any event!). [Hmmm, if 10% (7.5%?R’Gil knows actuaries like to quantify) of my town (another issue-what is the universe you look at) don’t believe in one of the “ikarim” (they are closet scientists or academics :-)), I can’t trust their kashrut without checking (and what of the mashgiach at the local food store?)] Passion/Intention don’t make something right. Love the sinner, not his positions.
The Kuzari disagreed with the philosophical proofs of Judaism. The historical proof is based on the theory that mass revelation can’t be falsified. Another “proof” is “it’s obvious”. (Me – my favorite, however, we call it the “clearly” proof.)
Once again I resonate to R’YBS’s frequency – the experiential “proof” – one “experiences” HKB”H; which implies I can’t convince you to believe I can only introduce you to a beautiful world. (Me – woe over those we have lost and are no longer found.; if I only knew how to set those souls on fire, if I only could perfect the Vulcan mind meld)
Shimshon leads to comments on geirut for marriage. Absolute power corrupts absolutely (ok – Lord Acton, but R’HS was channeling him). Laws of war and self sacrifice (per R’HS Roni Klein ZT”L acted correctly because of hilchot milchama else wise his action would not be permitted).
Suicide to avoid torture? Conversion and marriage in the rules in the time of Avraham? Can you choose not extend someone’s life?
Can “maot chitim” come from maaser? [no]. Prayer subtractions in Nissan. No eulogies, no fasting (with certain exceptions), no tzidduk hadin.
Probably can visit cemetery on Yahrtzeit (Yes!) in Nissan.
Glad R’Aryeh is also perplexed by the rubo d’chodesh k’kulo nature of Nissan.
Got to wonder (I know R’Aryeh has a young community) how “tough” rabbis are in reinforcing the no hesped rule (including this isn’t a hesped it’s a ….) and what is the trade off in HKB”H’s eyes? (making family feel good vs. ratzon chachamim).
Purim vs. Pesach? Nice riff based on Yom Tov simcha being lifnei hashem (cue R’YBS or the Rich family roller coaster dvar torah) and why Rava holds must drink on Purim since we are still slaves to Achashveirosh (no need for artificial stimulants in the Mikdash but we’re not back to the garden yet).
First in a series on the Chatam Sofer – perhaps the most important Rabbi in the last 200+ years. He really wasn’t a reactionary, his stringencies were against reform movement and he was lenient elsewhere. Bio includes R’Nosson Adler’s non-conformity and the lifelong rabbinically decreed estrangement of the CI from his father (I really don’t get this).
Interesting discussion of alignment of Rabbis and upper class to protect their children from “choppers” – IMHO this deserves a series of its own.
Netziv on Shiltot – first introduction. Originally two types of halachot – Daat = specific black and white; and Aish = needing more investigation. Aish can turn into daat over time through effort. Perhaps a third category which requires “siyata d’shmaya” (divine intervention? In halacha???) to move from aish to daat.
The aish to daat (R’Micha??) may be what Rambam refers to as hilchita gmeirei.
R’Aryeh – how can something be an ikkar (fundamental belief) now but not then? Are we saying we know better than Moseh Rabbeinu what is a “must” belief?
Q – How do we reconcile gemara that says all Tanach given at Sinai with one that says had we not sinned, the rest of Tanach wouldn’t have been given (me – maybe two tannaim disagreed?). A – It really means all Nach’s messages were encoded in Torah, by sinning we lost the secret decoder ring.
Then discussion of learning styles (the more the merrier) and importance of ameilut.
Can one individual be motzi a group of others in birchat hagomel? Are there special issues by birchat hagomel that make it different from other brachot in this regard? (e.g. need to give thanks in public). General discussion of yotze/motze/amen.
Highly technical discussion of halachic issues and results regarding davar sheino mitkaven, Psik reisha, nicha or lo nicha leih, patur, assur… in hilchot Shabbat as well as other halachic venues. One of my favorite questions: Is it a true halachic safeik (doubtful situation) if you don’t know some information, but the information is knowable?
First of two in series. Focus here on tie between birchat kohanim and avodah (both actual sacrificial service and our “replacement” = prayer).
A general introduction to the rules of eruv chatzeirot (actually tzurat hapetach) – R’Simon views modern large scale eruvin as dependent on kulot and suggests not using them for unmarried bnai Yeshiva.
Examples of kavod habriyot (respect for others) from even the worst of role models.
Practical applications of lo tichaneim in life and in the workplace. My summary – use common sense and learn from role models.
Analysis of the 30-day rule – Pesach only or other applications.
First in a series on Rambam’s Shmoneh Prakim (commentary on Pirkei Avot). Includes a brief history of the Rambam then analysis of his approach here (no footnotes, some “outside sources”) and his dedication to the truth. The relationship of pirkei avot to the soul and the perfection of self.
Is it a torah or rabbinic requirement? Some implications including the need of a bracha to allow post Shabbat mlacha.
General discussion of the 7 mitzvot for bnai noach (and a few more)and then more specific on their requirement to establish courts and what torah they may be taught
There’s a fine line between feeling regret concerning your sins and using the power of that regret towards repentance, and falling into ruinous depression (goal is former). Try not to ascribe specific events in your life to specific sins but always try to raise the level of your game.