by Joel Rich
Since my last attempt at humor as an introduction to my R’Reisman roundup was primarily met by eye rolls and “he really is quirky”, I’ll simply clarify that the “dirty water” reference was to the River Charles – cue “The Standells”.
You can download these shiurim for a fee from Ishiur.
I need to start with this shiur even though it is the last chronologically as conspiracy theorists point out that when this CD is played backwards you can hear a voice saying “Paul is dead” and “the forgery is a forgery”. After all, would the real R’Reisman admit gdolei olam could be taken in by a forged Yerushalmi or that they would take alien song forms into the Jewish venue (cue – Lipa?).
Quite a few interesting cases. The shape of the menorah arms – who are you going to believe Rashi or archeologists? History of the bsamim rosh, the golem of Prague, the magid mesharim, the authorship of ana bkoach, Yerushalmi on Kodshim, Milli Vanilli (oops – I added that accidentally). Great minchat eluzar that the Yihi ratzon’s by tkiat shofar (which no one says) were actually inserted by notzrim!!
R’Reisman has quite a few questions concerning our mesorah and the whole space/time continuum! How can medrashim have historical figures darshaning psukim written by later figures? How can certain tehillim be written by Moshe yet refer to later events? What about the Talmud quoting pesukim that don’t exist? What is the deal with the whole zohar authorship/revelation thing? How could the 1985 Marty McFly continue to exist in 1955 if his action then kept his would be parents from meeting?
Best partial answer (“hat tip – Satmar Rav”) – all future Torah, Nach, etc. was given to Moshe and was passed to every gadol hador (hmmm – I wonder how they elected them?) [me – of course other possible answers led me to think of my complicated relationship with the Academy – despite many efforts including conversations with Dr. Elman, Rabbi’s Weider, Rosensweig (see audios 137), Glickman, etc. I haven’t yet found my comfort zone].
Other questions include the number of words actually in Miketz and why don’t we bury sheimos in klei cheres. He closes with mussar on the need for a rebbi and how mesorah can help address these issues. Also buy sfarim even if you don’t use them, they are a good chavruta! and will impress grandchildren. Also, don’t change practice unless you ask your rebbi!
Starts out with some dikduk then moves on to being at peace with oneself when dealing with difficult people using Elokai Netzor as a jumping off point. In reverse priority order: 1) it’s to your advantage to shake it off because if you get angry you’ll do something stupid things that will impact you; 2) look at the other person in a humorous manner – it will allow you to get past it; 3) learn to tune things out (la la la – I can’t hear you)
Discussion of the prohibitions of a) lo tikom; and b) lo titor (classic example – Reuvain asks Shimon to borrow an ax, and Shimon refuses. The next day Shimon asks Reuvain to borrow an ax. If Reuvain refuses because of tit-for-tat, it’s a). If Reuvain agrees but says I’m lending it to you even though you refused to lend it to me, it’s b).
Is b) a problem because of what was said or is it the feeling that’s prohibited? The majority seems to feel it’s a feeling thing (cue – The Who – Tommy can you feel me)
The Chofetz Chaim says it only applies if this happened after time passed but not for immediate response (but it’s a good middah not to respond). It may also only apply in a monetary related issue. It also doesn’t apply when the person of your dealing with is doing an aveirah.
Lessons – Try not to have tainot on others and understand your responsibility to others.
Primary message – look to the gedolim of each generation not just for psak but for inspiration. Some personal examples.
Side point on how HKB”H is cvayachol subservient to psak of beit din shel matah (earthly court).
Review of “dots” 1) Dagesh in letters, implies strength; 2) on top of letter implies something you wouldn’t have realized important; 3) Nekudot under letters – perhaps Kabbalistic). A circle implies oneness – lesson that we need to focus on our essential singular purpose – serving HKB”H (put shiviti Hashem on your computer screen).
I would describe this as an approach to Yizkor grounded more in philosophy then the likely actual history of the when and why of the development of Yizkor (back to that academy thing). Moving explanations including how the neshamot visit with us at Yizkor and their presence/memories can bloom in this world through our actions and our actions can be an atonement for them.
He mentions the gesher hachayim (who is the only one I found who says this and he doesn’t give a source) saying it’s better to give tzedaka before Yizkor. Then a list of specific ideas.
Then discussion of olam hazeh vs. olam haneshamot and how we are menachem the neshama as well; it still has connections to this world (IIRC R’Dessler views the strength of the connection negatively).
Edwin Starr – “War, what’s it good for? Absolutely nothing!” I’m sure R’Edwin would have rewritten his lyrics if he had a rebbi like R’Reisman! HKB”H uses war to initiate rapid change in many areas!
A brief history of Napoleon. One impact was cutting Ashkenazic Jews off from Yanover (Genoa) esrogim but a broader one was the emancipation. Chassidic leaders disagreed over whether it was better to favor Russia (Jews would be downtrodden and oppressed but less assimilation) or France (better off materially but more assimilation) me-is this a psik reisha?]. Questions whether Napoleon was altruistic in the emancipation – points to his attempt to reestablish Sanhedrin as an effort to set the stage for assimilation.
“A perfect snapshot about the challenge brought about by Napoleon, – Yiddin, Sanhedrin, Rabbonim, Shailas, all in a way that’s manipulated to bring about assimilation; same today”. So why is it that the Volozhin Yeshiva was shut down because of secular studies [me – if you accept this explanation] but today we have Yeshivot w/secular studies? If modernity is our goal, it’s poison; but if it’s to further our avodat hashem, it changes things (me – got it? If so, please explain it to me).
Revenge is a problem if done for personal reasons (which is human nature) not if for Kavod Shamayim (honor of heaven). Discussion of accepting reparations and impact plus what our current attitude should be towards descendants of our enemies (not good).
Interesting sociological side points – 1) R’Reisman’s shul saying Tehillim for Gilad Shalit and the Kahal’s tendency towards diminishing attention; 2) R’Reisman’s use of a Yankees/Red Sox analogy in order to make a point more relevant.
Examples of famous “stories” with halachic problems or lessons. See how many you know ; airplane/sandwich, judge/sukkah, Kiddush/Yom Kippur, Steipler/coat, Berditchiver/Miser.
Key is to use stories for inspiration (hmmm – I think we’ve been down this road before).
Importance of ending/leaving with a davar tov (good thought – e.g. dvar torah) – that’s the last impression you leave.
Importance of treating a beit Knesset with respect. Even though some exceptions allowed (since in galut it is a community center) must remember how we treat it informs on our tfilot.