Audio Roundup CXLV

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by Joel Rich

A word to the wise: The L-3 full body scanner at DFW picked up my heavy thread tcheillet! I got a pat down and an Oh, it must be those and a wave through. I broke out laughing thinking of my elementary school rabbeim who would have loved such a machine rather than the pat on the back how are you/ tzitzit check!

From the recent Tradition article:This vision of Jewish Ethics arises from combining the data points of individual halakhot, not from approaching ethics from an independent and autonomous human intuition and then fitting the halakhot into that intuitive ethical vision. Halakha informs the intuitive ethics, and is not shaped by it.

Question: See the Tzitz Eliezer and my rough translation and see how you think it coheres with the above statement:

שו”ת ציץ אליעזר חלק יח סימן א
ד) ולשון המשנה בהוריות שכתוב: האיש קודם לאשה “להחיות”, יש מקום נמי לפרש שהמדובר לא בפיקוח נפש ממש, אלא שהמדובר הוא באת מי להקדים יותר לתת לו מזון לחיותו, ומכיון שאין כאן פיקו”נ ממש לכן ראוי חכמים לקבוע בזה את ההלכה להקדים את האיש להאשה.
ונראה להביא הוכחה לכך שהמדובר לא בפיקו”נ ממש מדברי הירושלמי בהוריות שם בפ”ג ה”ד דאיתא: כסות אשת חבר וחיי עם הארץ כסות אשת חבר קודמת לחיי עם הארץ מפני כבודו של חבר עכ”ל. והדבר מאד תמוה דאיך יתכן דבר כזה שכסות אשת חבר תוקדם לפיקו”נ של עם הארץ? אלא ודאי שהמדובר לא בפיקו”נ ממש, אלא בלהחיותו למזונות. וזהו איפוא גם כונת המשנה וכנז’.
וכך מבאר באמת הפני משה בירושלמי שם וכותב, דנראה דש”ס ירושלמי מפרש שלהחיות דקתני היינו לפרנס אותו, דאילו להחיות היינו להצילו לפקח מעליו את הגל וכיוצא בזה היאך שייך לומר כסות אשת חבר קודם לפיקוח נפש עיין שם.
אמנם הש”ך ביו”ד סי’ רנ”א ס”ק ט”ז היטה בדבריו כוונת דברי הירושלמי בהיכא שישנו בע”ה פיקו”נ ממש, ואפ”ה כסות אשת חבר קודם כדיעו”ש, אבל הדבר מאד תמוה ומסתבר יותר כפירוש הפני משה כנ”ל (ולמעשה הסכים גם הש”ך שם דבזה”ז שאין ת”ח אפילו לענין ליטרא דדהבה, לא נוהג דין זה, ולא כסות אשת חבר ולא כסות ת”ח בעצמו קודם לחיי ע”ה יעו”ש).

And the language of the mishneh in Horiyot: “The man precedes the woman “to give life to”, it is possible to explain that the subject is not an actual life threatening situation but the subject is to whom to give precedence for food to keep them alive, and since there is no actual life threatening situation here, therefore it is appropriate for the wisemen to set the law to give the man precedence over the woman.

And it appears as a proof that the subject is not an actual life threatening situation from the Yerushalmi Horiyot 3:4: “Clothing of the wife of a chaver and the life of an am haaretz, the clothing of the wife of the chaver comes before the life of an am haaretz due to the honor of the chaver”. And the matter is very perplexing, how could it be something like this that the clothing of the wife of a chaver takes precedence over the life threatening situation of an am haaretz? But it must be that the topic is not an actual threat to life but rather food sustenance and this too is the intent of the misneh.
And thus explains the pnei moshe in the yerushaimi there…

Truthfully the Shach Y”D 251:16 tends towards the Yerushalmi’s intent as being a case where the am haaretz is in an actual life threatening situation and even so the clothing of the wife of a chaver takes precedence, but the matter is very perplexing and the explanation of the pnei moshe is more logical.

I agree with the reisha and certainly the seifa, not sure about the metziata (you know the whole R’ Chaim only take medicine when sick thing)


There must be a dedicated effort at developing kedushah, in the home, shuls, yeshivos and girls schools. The study of mussar and Chassidic writings should be a profound emotional rather than an intellectual experience. Parents and teachers must realize that they must model kedushah in their lives, because only this way will our young people adopt it in their lives.

Yes, I know I only quote the R’ Aviner’s I agree with!

Praying for the Sick
Q: I want to pray for a sick person but I do not know his mother’s name.
A: You can use his father’s name, his last name or even just his first name. Hashem knows.

Yom Ha-Shoah in Nisan
Q: How was Yom Ha-Shoah established on 27th of Nisan when it is forbidden to mourning during Nisan?
A: It is true that it would have been proper to establish it on another day, and the Chief Rabbinate established 10th of Tevet as remembrance day for the Holocaust. But after it has already been established, we should not seperate ourselves from the community.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Jewish Destiny, webpage

    A heavy duty philosophical discussion but the concluding sections are very powerful. Listen from minute 41 for my frequency resonation.
    How does man deal with finite awareness (we’re here today/gone tomorrow)? Orgiastic man and arrogant/tyrannical man are 2 responses (basically sha na na no na na live for today – with different strokes for different folks).
    Jewish response based on 1) metaphysical – relief from existential loneliness can only come from HKB”H; 2) man can never explore the entire universe (will always be a mystery; 3) man can never answer the why question of creation; 4) man can never set independent morals.
    Remember tcheilet/lavan lesson of tzitzit – lavan = clarity, tcheilet = unknown, transcendence, Man should not be too cocky/clever. The transformation of our lives from lavan to tcheilet can be in a blink of an eye and thus we always have insecurity about the future.
    Our response to this native insecurity is a prayerful consecrated life where HKB”H’s unseen presence reassures us. Each of us has a role (singular) in bringing about the final redemption. Our courageousness allows us to make the great sacrifice of anonymity/humility in historical terms (e.g. once Esther played her role we know nothing of her).

  • Rabbi Nachman Cohen -Guardians of the Tradition: Champions of Change

    Apparently the color of Reis Lakish’s tie may be important! (inside joke).
    Statement of Reish Lakish analyzed. 3 times torah might have been forgotten. Standard explanation 1) Ezra – written law codified/not forgotten; 2) Hillel – oral law not forgotten; 3) R’Chiya – Mishneh not forgotten.
    A different take. Sinai s. Oker harim (uproot mountains) is not photographic memory vs. brilliance. Rather both are brilliant but oker harim thinks outside the box/system. So what were the changes?
    Ezra’s creativity included learning torah requirements and prayer. Hillel was a creative rationalist who realized the story/Kabbalah approach wouldn’t work long term, the bat Kol…was for Shammai who took the message. R’Chiya should’ve been the gadol hador, but he worked to set up chinuch system for all which was a higher calling. Reish Lakish was a great example of turning aveirot to mitzvot.
    Bottom line – need tradition and change.

  • Rav Asher Weiss-Lifnei Iver, webpage

    Analysis of Lifnei Iver issues – specifics include non-bnai brit, children and meisit. Is Lifnei Iver result based or act based?

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -The “Survival of the Jew”

    Mussar on the eternality of the Jewish people – key is to set aside time for torah learning which is the only anchor for keeping mitzvot, emotional connection to HKB”H and also a mitzvah in its own. HKB”H is eternal, his torah is eternal and we can be as well by attaching ourselves to him/his torah.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Parsha Shiur – Kedoshim 5771

    Quite a number of areas covered. Sefer Hamitzvot was originally printed as part of Yad Hachazakah then separated for a while.
    Kavod Av only applies for 1) service; 2) not in conflict with other mitzvot or even minhagim; 3) from parents $. Must be “reasonable” request. News flash – it still applies today.
    Don’t lie – is from imitato dei, but sometimes may be in conflict with other midot (e.g. humility).
    Gra – if S”A is wrong, we must paskin against it.
    Starts with insights on the proper haftarah for kedoshim (our lack of desire to dump on Jerusalem).
    Even in times of Tannaim, it was rare to have 2 wives, while cherem of Rabbeinu Gershom has lapsed (re: polygamy) the practice is to continue the prohibitions. Karaites believed polygamy to be a torah prohibition.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Mitzva Ha’ba B’avera – Lulav Hagazul

    Highly technical analysis of lulav hagazul (can you complete the mitzvah of lulav with a stolen one?) and mitzvah haba v’aveirah [MHB] (a mitzvah performed through/with a sin).
    Is MHB a specific rule dealing with only lulav and/or sacrifices or is it applicable to all mitzvot? Is the issue one of ownership (e.g. monetary) or a separate problem (and stolen may be the same or different as borrowed depending on the answer).

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Megila Daf 7b – The obligation to become intoxicated

    “Ad d’le Yada” means until you are incoherent which is totally different from yom tov where this would be forbidden. It’s a matter of simcha – on Purim it’s an external one, on Yom Tov it’s a joy of self fulfillment (lfnei Hashem – I’ve written this up before).
    On Purim there is a sense of insecurity because there was no fundamental change in our status thus no Hallel.
    Money quote – “The Chachmei Hamesorah, the Perushim, were not too happy with the Macabean dynasty, they actually were resentful of Chanukah in order to somehow spite the Macabean Kings they have emphasized the importance of Purim”.
    Parallels to Purim story throughout Jewish history up to 1967. History of reading of megillah and celebrations.
    Takanah means there was actual rabbinic legislation, minhag means tradition with no clear source.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Kedoshim, Tattoos

    No- not “the plane boss, the plane” Lots of details – to be forbidden – do you need to use an implement? Must the tattoo be a letter? A recognizable form? Permanent?
    Can you write down a phone number on your skin? Must you remove any tattoos?

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon -IBC Selected Topics Shiur – Inyanei Eretz Yisroel

    Kedushat (holiness) of Eretz Yisrael vs. sheim (designation) of Eretz Yisrael). Mikdash vs. Jerusalem vs. rest of Eretz Yisrael. Rules of sfira based on Mikdash. Yom Haatzmaut/three oaths and responses.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Celebrating the Death of Osama bin Laden

    R’Aryeh analyzes “the usual suspects” (Talmudic sources) and the various attempts to reconcile their approaches to the death of evildoers. He reads a source differently then R’Gil (gasp!). Bottom line – high 5 in this case is probably ok (me – chukat hagoyim issue?)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Playing Ball on Shabbos

    Sources in Rishonim indicate it’s ok to play ball (R’Aryeh thinks it’s “clear” that they only meant rolling/catch). Yerushalmi indicates a city was wiped out due to something related to ball playing. Exercise/Muktzeh issues. Bottom line – not prohibited but shouldn’t do. Raise kids properly and they’ll know when it’s time to stop.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Shlissel Challah

    Early 1800 Chassidim is earliest reference for “key” challah. Lots of reasons given. R’HS thinks it’s Darkel Emori (copied from others). If you do it, do it to inspire shtought that all food from HKB”H, not for heebie jeebie reasons.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Rambam Hilchot Melachim

    Roles of the king. May be that he is appointed by Sanhedrin with people’s consent.
    The king is a uniter, the heart of Israel who feels for all the people. He represents holiness and kingship.
    He must be accessible to all the people or else he can’t represent the people. He must be courageous in justice and enhance the name of HKB”H through his battles (war as well). He must be a great spiritual teacher.
    Orthodox Rabbis will prevail against other streams if they excel in morality and intellectual knowledge of yahadut.

  • Rabbi Jeffrey Saks – The ‘Key’ to Yom HaAtzmaut

    Starts out with discussion of R’Kook and Degel Yerushalayim (Orthodox Zionist) relationship to Degel tzion (general Zionism) – can’t be indifferent = big tent Zionism (similar to R’YBS and covenant of faith vs. covenant of destiny). Shlissel (key) Challah reminds him of pirchei kohanim throwing key back to HKB”H.
    Then an emotional call for religious aliyah.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Bereishis

    The relationship between the Jewish people, Jerusalem and the mikdash is embedded in creation and requires our absolute, enduring commitment.
    The avot as recognition that HKB”H has the right to set conditions and require our complete loyalty. We recognize him not just as creator but as parent, teacher, authority and guide.

  • 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.


    1. The tzitzis story gives new meaning to u’re-item otam וראיתם אותם

    2. Risa,
      Or as my rabbeim would say, it doesn’t matter if check for them, there’s only one pair of eyes that count and he has x ray vision!

    3. RJR-True only the Eibisher (and maybe your wife or mother) knows what you tucked in your pants. But why make it difficult? The pshat of “ireitem oto” is obviously to wear the tzitzit out. And please, no yuhara issues! But I don’t understand, the security person thought that the ptil techelet was an electric wire or something. Or maybe he had a question why you have two ptilim (maybe he agrees with with us RAMBAMISTS

    4. R’DT,
      True but you know that my maternal family bears the name derived from Vital who explained the Ari Zal’s practice of wearing the talit katan tzitzit in based on internal reality vs,. the talit gadol being out (and you know I’m a kabalist at heart :-))

      That and dirsa dyankuta (or minhag yankuta)


    5. >The pshat of “ireitem oto” is obviously to wear the tzitzit out.

      All day? Are you looking down at the floor all day?

      The pshat is obviously when you see them then you’ll remember, i.e., when you put them on and take them off. This is especially obvious because wearing them is a reshus in the first place.

    6. TO Anonymous-It is reshut to wear a beged shel arba kanfot if you are

      e wearing one it is chova to tie tzizit including ptil techelet accordingto a recent shiur ginen by RHS in Teaneck recently it is better not to wear a talit at all than wear one without techelet

    7. RJR- I cant wait to hear more from the “Closet Cabbalist” Is there anything that really connects Wittels to Vital, or is it just the similar sound?

    8. R’DT,
      you’ll have to ask my sister-she’s the family tree expert 🙂

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