Audio Roundup CXLIII

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by Joel Rich

From R’ Aviner
Hand-Made or Machine-Made Matzah
Q: According to Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook, which is preferable: hand-made or machine-made matzah?
A: Our Rabbi was particular to use machine-made matzah since it was decided by the halachic authorities that machine-made Matzah is kosher, and there is, in fact, greater care regarding the concern of Chametz than with hand-made Matzah (and once when our Rabbi was asked this question, he answered: In the same amount of time that we exert ourselves to make one hand-made matzah it is possible to make Reb Noson’s [our Rabbi’s brother-in-law], his and many other people’s matzah for the entire holiday). (me-question- how do we take into account the economics of a chumra/hiddur?)


Pat Palter and using ovens belonging to nonbnai brit to bake matzot are well known elements of Jewish life in old Europe. Is it the assumption that there was ongoing kashrut supervision and/or the ovens were kashered before use. If so, how did it work for chassidim who bake matzot on leil seder when it falls out on motzai shabbat? They did libbun and baked and had time for the seder on a timely basis? Any historical information rather than -” well they must have” would be appreciated.


  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Insights into the Rav part 1
    Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Insights into the Rav part 2
    Rabbi Hershel Schachter – Insights into the Rav part 3
    Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Minhagei Harav – Pesach

    You may say that I’m a dreamer [masochist] but [I hope] I’m not the only one. YUTORAH put up some of R’H Schachter’s 1993 talks/shiurim on R’YBS and they are a wonderful recapitulation of many of R’YBS’s key messages and traditions. So even if you are one who listened to the nightbird instead of the little songbird (and Kal Vachomer one who wasn’t guilty of such stupidity), it’s worth a listen (and a reminder that you are a link in the masorah chain no matter your age/stage – so get busy and always remember who has the red pen (hat tip – The Bid D)).
    From 1993 a number of R’HS reminisces about the Rav the first provides a great highlight reel. Includes importance of transmission of the mesorah as he received it, his clarity of thought, his dedication to understanding Klalim (overarching principles), his focus on basic rishonim and bringing clarity on the daf, his teaching methodology and his provision of the underpinnings of minhagim. Chiddush means a clear, simple understanding, not something out of left field. I really can’t do these justice – please listen to a number of classic stories.
    A number of his hespedim were to teach life lessons – e.g. the GRIZ and lev shel torah (halachic heart). Many misunderstood his shitot, they guessed explanations and didn’t ask.
    Kaddish priorities were “lottery” meaning that there are practices that aren’t “halachic” issues (e.g. what color shirt you should wear).
    Prof. Twersky told R’HS that when R’YBS got older he told R’YT that it was time to separate classes at Maimonides since R’YBS couldn’t supervise as well as he used to. Also, R’YT told R’HS that he thought he understood R’YBS positions on certain things and later realized he didn’t. R’YBS told a talmid that married women do have to cover their hair and not to ask questions about Rabbis whose wives don’t.
    Hashkafah (machshava) must be based on halacha. R’YBS was very focused on retaining minhagim and clarifying underlying reasons and approaches – how all rabbinic promulgations reflect on the Rabbis’ understanding of a torah requirement which is of great importance in understanding the torah. Two types of minhagim exist – those of Rabbis and those from people’s intuition.
    Specific examples of minhagim –how circumstances require review – yom haatzmaut, 3 weeks, simchat torah, Shabbat candles, taking challah, blowing shofar, trop errors and kriat hatorah.
    Many of his “strange” practices turn out to be pashut pshat in gemara or shulkhan aruch. Source of all holiness (Kedusha) are divrei torah.
    Discussion of his relationship with talmidim – classic symphony of generations.
    R’YBS underestimated his own impact and was driven to try to transmit the total package of tradition (halacha, hashkafa, maaseh rav…). He had so much to give he would be mkatzer at times so need to look at all his transmission (me – bingo! You can’t cherry pick a statement here or there, you must view the totality of his transmission).

  • Rebecca Winter – Women’s Beit Midrash: An Aggadic Perspective of Eliyahu Hanavi

    Review of medrashic material relating to Eliyahu, Achav and the drought. HKB”H was trying to get a message to Eliyahu – more compassion for the community (and not to be so black and white). While alive, medrash portrayed Eliyahu as zealous but not always in a positive way, after “death” it has him using these traits more positively.

  • Dr. Marc Shapiro -Twentieth Century Rabbinic Thinkers:R. Moses Sofer (Hatam Sofer) (Part 2)

    More on the history of Chatam Sofer. His primary relationship with R’Nosson Adler and their separation to go on his own. Also covers his marriages and various rabbinic positions. Includes some tidbits on R’Menashe Klein’s culinary tshuva (eat only “Jewish” foods), R’Nosson Adler and Chatam Sofer’s position on writing down TSB”P (only when necessary, not for ego) and Frankfurt vs. Prague politics.
    Next week – you won’t read in hagiography but there was opposition to him in Pressburg.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Sichas Mussar: Lashon Hara in the Internet Age

    Using “api tlat” (in front of 3) as a jumping off point to address challenge of modern communications’ tendency to reduce empathetic identification and connection between humans. (me – IMHO it’s a magnification of underlying personalities).

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -The Role of Humor and Laughter in Judaism

    Humor as a coping strategy, an opportunity to exhibit simchat hachayim (joie de vivre) and a healing technique. R’YBS on the imitato dei nature of the Talmudic story of HKB”H playing with Leviathan – we need some play time! [me – but make sure those nursery school kids get plenty of worksheets!! [not?!!!]] Some other Talmudic examples, an analysis of Purim humor and a call for understanding the dynamic tension inherent in our lives.

  • Rabbi Menachem Leibtag -An “outstreched hand” for “stressed out” nation: Who needed the “yad ha’chazaka”, and why was is so important?

    A close analysis of the text of “The Exodus” to understand HKB”H’s process of having Paroh force all the Jews out (would they all have left otherwise?) and to also build all the elements needed for a free people.

  • Rabbi Ian Shaffer -Sefer Melachim Aleph #19

    Part of a series (fairly introductory level?) here focused on the story of Eliyahu and the prophets of the baal at har hacarmel (one of my favorites – perhaps Eliyahu’s sarcasm resonated with me – hmmm, I wonder why).

  • Rabbi Ephraim Simon-Why I donated a kidney to a complete stranger

    Story of his own kidney donation as a model for kids and for adults – demonstrating ahavat chinam (baseless love) for your brothers.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter- So, New? – A Discussion of Yashan

    A brief review of the history of chadash outside of Israel and the strange (but generally accepted for the longest time) practice of ignoring it.

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan-Chiyuv Amen Yehey Shme Raba

    Some mussar on the importance of answering amein and amein, yhei shmei rabba. Then review of a number of halachic issues (e.g. answering to a minyan in a different room).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Metzora Chazaka with Mitzvos

    What is the basis of chazakot in mitzvot (e.g. one always gets hagbah)? Perhaps it’s like Karban atzim – if you stepped up when no one else would, you are rewarded. Or perhaps it’s the community’s to assign or may be due to darkei shalom.

  • Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky -Hashkafa Schmooze – Freedom

    R’YBS on avadim hayinu l’paroh vs. avdei paroh – implying that slavery didn’t define us. Note that many of us are slaves to our desires. High point of shiur (to me) – actuary made his list of professions (still need to be a ben torah).

  • Rabbi Shalom Rosner-Mitzvah 120: Par Helam Davar Shel Tzibbur

    Basics of mitzvah of par h’elem (when majority of kahal follows erroneous rulling of Sanhedrin) – me – see tractate Horiyot. Includes my favorite – only those who live in Israel are called kahal!

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner – Minchat Chinuch: Do mitzvos require kavvanah?

    Positive, neutral and negative intent – specific sources by matzah/shofar plus applications (technical Talmudic discussion).

  • Rabbi Ally Ehrman -Accepting Yom Tov While Still Shabbos – Part 1

    Can you accept Shabbat early when Friday is Yom Tov? (Or Yom Tov early when erev yom tov is Shabbat). May depend on whether early acceptance changes the day or does it change the status of the person.

  • 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.

    10 comments

    1. There was an entire discssion in Makor Rishon for Pesach of a letter from RAYK
      to his son RZYKook about waiting to receive in England his Manischewitz Matzos for Pesach.

    2. “Prof. Twersky told R’HS that when R’YBS got older he told R’YT that it was time to separate classes at Maimonides since R’YBS couldn’t supervise as well as he used to.”

      I am curious as to what Dr. Atarah Twersky states about this story-remeber she was Chairman of the Maimonides school committee for decades until a few years after her husbands ptirah. No indication that I am aware of that Maimonides ever changed. The Rav didn’t trust RYT or Dr AT? THey effectively were the religious authorities for Maimonides after the Rav stopped being actively engaged.

    3. R’M
      yes-this was the first i’d heard of this assertion as well.
      KT

    4. In the late 80’s, Prof. I. Twersky tried to separate the genders in Maimonides and enlisted RHS’ assistance. I have friends who were there at the time. Their biggest opponent was Dr. A. Twersky. I don’t know that this was machlokes on what the Rav said. It could have been about what was right for the school.

    5. “R’YBS told a talmid that married women do have to cover their hair”
      Others have had different responses-I heard one talmid of the Rav who never publicly spoke about this issue who was asked by someone while visiting another schul what was the Ravs heter about women not covering their hair-the Rabbi stated he had asked the Rav and the Rav told him there is no svara but could not assur anything that the gdolei lita permitted
      “and not to ask questions about Rabbis whose wives don’t.”
      especially for starters the Ravs wife, one of his sisters and one of his daughters didn’t cover their hair.

    6. “R’YBS underestimated his own impact”
      not willing to accept statement-first what is the Ravs impact-famous statement that later Talmidim would learn his Torah but not really trust him-question who if anyone follows the Rav-see C Waxmans “In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination)
      program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi Joseph
      B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more
      visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The
      Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311.”

      “and was driven to try to transmit the total package of tradition (halacha, hashkafa, maaseh rav…).”
      Agreed
      “He had so much to give he would be mkatzer at times so need to look at all his transmission (me – bingo!”
      Agreed and be especially wary of statements that are attributed to the Rav especially after his death that are inconsistent with what was known during his lifetime.

      “You can’t cherry pick a statement here or there, you must view the totality of his transmission). ”
      Agreed-especially halacha lemaaseh practices that he approved of in Maimonides and elsewhere in Boston should beat Chakirahs he may have discussed in shiur or certainly chakirahs he discussed with individuals privately

    7. “Prof. Twersky told R’HS that when R’YBS got older he told R’YT that it was time to separate classes at Maimonides since R’YBS couldn’t supervise as well as he used to”

      I haven’t heard the tape and unfortunately we can’t ask either RYT or RYBS about he supposedly said but simply I don’t understand what is claimed that RYBS told RHS. Why should RYBS’ reduced ability to supervise represent an argument for separating classes? Was the Rav ever chaperoning the mixed classes?

    8. “I don’t understand what is claimed that RYBS told RHS.”

      I meant to write “I don’t understand what is claimed that RYBS told RYT.”

    9. “an analysis of Purim humor ”

      talmeidei chachamim marbim shalom baolam

    10. “. Source of all holiness (Kedusha) are divrei torah.”

      ” transmit the total package of tradition (halacha, hashkafa, maaseh rav…).”

      Is all the package of Tradition divrei torah?

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