Audio Roundup CXLVII

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by Joel Rich

This feeling of accomplishment contributes to what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, which roughly translates to “well-being” or “flourishing,” a concept that Dr. Seligman has borrowed for the title of his new book, “Flourish.” He has also created his own acronym, Perma, for what he defines as the five crucial elements of well-being, each pursued for its own sake: positive emotion, engagement (the feeling of being lost in a task), relationships, meaning and accomplishment.
“Well-being cannot exist just in your own head,” he writes. “Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.”

Me-Compare this to R’Alpert’s definition of Jewish contentment based on יִשָּׂשכָר, חֲמֹר גָּרֶם–רֹבֵץ, בֵּין הַמִּשְׁפְּתָיִם. טו וַיַּרְא מְנֻחָה כִּי טוֹב, וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ כִּי נָעֵמָה; וַיֵּט שִׁכְמוֹ לִסְבֹּל, וַיְהִי לְמַס-עֹבֵד. Breishi 49:14 -15
14 Issachar is a large-boned ass, couching down between the sheep-folds. 15 For he saw a resting-place that it was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant under task-work
(anyone familiar with this drasha? Can you see the issue in 15 reisha vs. seifa?)


A recent Hirhurim discussion ( no pun intended) led me to the JOFA website where I found their mission statement:
The mission of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance is to expand the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and political opportunities for women within the framework of halakha. We advocate meaningful participation and equality for women in family life, synagogues, houses of learning and Jewish communal organizations to the full extent possible within halakha. Our commitment is rooted in the belief that fulfilling this mission will enrich and uplift individual and communal life for all Jews.
It occurred to me that the issue I was discussing with another poster might be based on the following chakira – IIUC the other poster was focused on :'(a)We advocate meaningful participation and equality for women ‘, I was focused on (b) ‘Our commitment is rooted in the belief that fulfilling this mission will enrich and uplift individual and communal life for all Jews.’ – If it were to be shown that (a) did not lead to (b) in at least a material subgroup of orthodoxy, what would the result be in practice for someone who saluted this mission statement?


  • Rabbi Dovid Miller -Yom haZikaron and Yom haAtzmaut 5771

    A combination of practical and kabbalistic insights on Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut. Some nice stories regarding R’SZA and R’Gustman and the importance of feeling part of “the family”.
    An interesting letter from R’Dessler in 1948 concerning obvious miracles. Bottom line – if you’re in Israel, you’re a player, if not, you’re a spectator. That’s why he’s coming back to YU for a bit (worth listening to the rumored reasons which he denies) to reconnect the talmidim to their feelings when they were “in-country”.

  • R’Steve Savitsky, R ‘ J Rosenbloom-The Challenges Facing The Haredi World in the Next Decade (page)

    R’Rosenbloom’s insight on living in Israel. There are now more American type institutions (is this a good thing?) and greater economic development.
    Integrating the chareidi community – it won’t be total but it is happening (me – willing or kicking/screaming) in Israel too.
    Economics will force further integration in and the IDF should continue special chareidi programs. In U.S. economics is issue since earnings usually correlate with secular education (low in chareid, community except for BT’s [like R’J Rosenbloom!])
    Big issue – haven’t created macro hashkafic responses to OTD type issues – is just learning enough?? Also causes adults at risk (but he’s an optimist!)

  • R’Steve Savitsky- Scholarship Committees and Lifestyle Decisions

    R’Paysach Raymond Yeshiva (anyone know where this is referred to in Igrot Moshe? – it’s my? Not discussed on the tape. Discussion of tuition/scholarship/camp/grandparents pesach trips priority issues – no easy answers.

  • Daniel Fridman -Words From the Wisest 1: Introduction to Sefer Mishlei

    An introduction to the study of Mishlei, focusing on the importance of wisdom to Shlomo and to us. The purpose of Mishlei is to inspire us to live a life of torah, as well as provide practical wisdom for society. Use of mashal throughout the book is to communicate complex messages.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Chayei Sarah

    Rashi 100=20=7 meant that while Sarah grew in wisom and intellect, she maintained her courageous youthful qualities in times of crisis.
    This two track approach (simultaneously exhibiting youth and age elements) is needed in learning and in prayer. Sometimes we need to suspend judgment and understand that covenantal destiny isn’t the normal cause and effect relationship but rather a promise of the future. We also need to understand the balance between our unique covenantal destiny and the requirement to be part of the universal brotherhood of man (and what HKB”H requires of us in this context).

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Emor Derasha – Keeping Balance in Avodas Hashem

    Mussar or balance in our lives (e.g. mitzvot between man and man with man & HKB”H) and staying level (my favorite example not quoted here – why Mar Ukva didn’t wait 24 hours between meat and milk as his father did, because he knew he wasn’t at his father’s level of righteousness).

  • Rav Binyamin Tabory-She’elot uTeshuvot 18-19 Century #21 – Rav Azriel Hildesheimer

    R’Hildesheimer was steeped in torah, mada and was a tzioni/non-separatist) (vs. R’Hirsch). Sh”ut here include giving an aliyah to a bar mitzvah boy who did not have a brit, the halachic status of those who withdraw from the community, allowing a non-religious kohain to duchen and performing a brit on the child of a Jewish father/non-Jewish mother.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Saying “L’chaim!”

    See here http://www.snopes.com/food/rituals/clink.asp for the history of glass clinking. R’Aryeh quotes a number of acharonim who give explanations for saying “l’chayim” (the idea of a celebration/drink is sourced to Rabbi Akiva). Interestingly, R’Aryeh quotes a reason for l’chayim/not fasting on the Yahrtzeit (the gemara states one should fast) and labels it as an after the fact justification, I’d expand that to the reasons given to saying l’chayim.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Different Inyanim in the End of Perek HaMeivi

    Discussion of some miscellaneous issues including Tevel. Major points – we can learn Duraita issues from drabannan pronouncements and understanding that rabbinic issues are a “cheftza shel torah” on a duraita level.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -By Way of Introduction: B’ikvei Hatzon and Rav Schachter’s View of Zionism

    Intro to Ikvei Hatzon – one follows in his rebbi’s path but doesn’t try to imitate every aspect for a number of reasons – primarily imitato dei = to be a unique individual. Mar Ukva (I’ve discussed above) as an example.
    Then detailed discussion of land for peace and atchalta d’geulah (the beginnings of redemption).

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig – Korban Pesach and Its Connection to Eretz Yisrael

    Lesson of transcendence of Eretz Yisrael based on Karban Pesach. A detailed analysis – main point is that Yetziat Mitzraim wasn’t a stand alone but a lead into matan (giving of the) torah and entering Eretz Yisrael then some examples of the difference between Kdushat Eretz Yisrael and Shem Eretz Yisrael (discussed before) all tied to Eretz Yisrael as the default corporate HQ for the Jewish people. Tied back to karban pesach as representative of all of us as a collective where each is responsible for the other due to our national identity so chovat guf is tied to land. Closes with centrality of Eretz Yisrael to our lives.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky – Chinuch for Issurim Causing a Child to Sin

    Discussion of the mitzvah of chinuch (training children) – Is it a process issue or are we just concerned with the child’s acts? Does it apply equally to positive and negative commandments? Active vs. passive parental involvement? What about to a child who will never be required to do mitzvot (e.g. shoteh – no intellect).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -The Mitzvah of Visiting Eretz Yisrael

    Starts with a review of the various (and many!) positions on the mitzvah status of living in Israel. There may be (Magen Avraham) a mitzvah of walking 4 amot in Eretz Yisrael! Perhaps this is based on the ability to do more mitzvot there and/or supporting the homeland’s economy!

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Shvuos and Bechukosai

    An analysis of the nature of shavuot/atzeret (similar in a way to shmini atzeret).
    Then a discussion of tshuva (repentance), hakarat hacheit(recognition of sin) – including insights on the unique nature of repentance.

  • Rabbi Efrem Goldberg – Behar: The Time Value of Money and Value of Time

    Touches on a lot of interesting subjects, any of which could be a shiur in and of themselves. Includes: Mah inyan shmitah etzel har Sinai, supporting others sooner rather than later, priorities in support, Rabbi Akiva vs. Bar Ptora, saving yourself with someone elses $, charging interest (it’s moral, but we are family so we don’t charge each other).

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb -Nicknames and other Examples of Ona’as Devarim

    A review of a number of halachot concerning Onaat dvarim = is it an issue of hurt of individual, ruining reputation….It can be something as simple as rolling your eyes (chatati, aviti, pashati). Common issue such as pricing without intent to buy and use of nicknames also discussed – could be issue even if someone waives his right not to be insulted.

  • R’Steve Savitsky-Fostering Achdus in The Orthodox World

    New magazine trying to represent all orthodox and be realistic (good luck with that!).

  • 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.

    17 comments

    1. Whenever I hear the call for achdus it is inevitably the speaker wants to people to adopt his view.

    2. ” We advocate meaningful participation and equality for women in family life, synagogues, houses of learning and Jewish communal organizations to the full extent possible within halakha. ”

      If JOFA really believes its mission statement “within halakha”-why is it controversial?

    3. “IDF should continue special chareidi programs.”
      Why should they? Why should there be any special programs eg Hesder?
      An example of a former Gush talmid who rose to a very high position in the IDF and was opposed to Hesder is I believe Gen Stern (retired)

    4. RJR- You make a good point. Experience has shown that that the struggle for gender equality, even within the halacha does not necessarily result in uplifting and enriching the community. Indeed it often results in bitter machloket and posturing on all sides.For instance Avi Weiss and the “Rabbah” controversy with RHS proclaiming that it is yehareg v’al ya’avor.

      Mycroft- Having had the experience of serving in the IDF before there was Hesder, I can tell you that it was very difficult for Dati soldiers and many kippot ended up being removed during their Army service. Two of my sons served in hesder and one in Nahal Haredi. They had a much more positive experience. Halevai that we should BH get to the point where religious soldiers can feel comfortable wherever they serve. We’ve still got a long way to go.

    5. R’ Mycroft,
      I’m not realy up on the real world status, but philosophically not everything that is permitted must or should be done.
      KT

    6. william gewirtz

      Yoreh Deah Chelek Sheni, siman 115, page 189 (tshuva was in 1969, published in 1973). Major political issue, Rabbi Raymon ztl needed air-cover that RMF ztl provided. The positive impact on the community was significant.

    7. well played Dr. Bill!
      KT

    8. aryeh lebowitz

      my favorite part of that teshuva is where Rav Moshe responds to the claim that it is a sha’as hadchak since the closest mikvah wasn’t within walking distance and people would have to wait a day or two when mikvah night is shabbos or yom tov. I always imagined that had Rav Moshe zt”l been a lesser man he would have rolled his eyes (considering that his wife couldn’t go to the mikvah for FIVE YEARS when he was in Russia)

    9. my favorite was the spelling of Elizabeth:-)
      KT

    10. “If JOFA really believes its mission statement “within halakha”-why is it controversial?”

      Controversial to whom? You can ask the same question about MO (which is committed to halacha); why is it controversial (in more RWO communities?

    11. “Joseph Kaplan on May 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm
      “If JOFA really believes its mission statement “within halakha”-why is it controversial?”

      Controversial to whom?”

      Certainly controversiak to at least some bloggers.

    12. “joel rich on May 27, 2011 at 8:28 am
      R’ Mycroft,
      I’m not realy up on the real world status, but philosophically not everything that is permitted must or should be done.
      KT”

      Agreed

    13. “Mycroft- Having had the experience of serving in the IDF before there was Hesder, I can tell you that it was very difficult for Dati soldiers and many kippot ended up being removed during their Army service. Two of my sons served in hesder and one in Nahal Haredi. They had a much more positive experience. Halevai that we should BH get to the point where religious soldiers can feel comfortable wherever they serve. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

      I don’t have data-but it appears to me that when I visit Israel that there are a lot of units where 10-20% are wearing kippot-clealy not hesder or religious nachal units.
      Even females can be interesting at tachananh merkazit in Jerusalem I saw a girl who was dressed pretty chareidi in appearance in an IDF uniform-a dress rather than the usual pants waiting for the bus to Bnei Brak!! I was going elsewhere.

    14. “Bottom line – if you’re in Israel, you’re a player, if not, you’re a spectator. ”

      Certainly, if in Israel you are a player in Israel.

    15. R’Mycroft,
      IIUC his point was Jewish history won’t be played out in washington heights (kal vachomer west orange)
      KT

    16. “joel rich on May 30, 2011 at 9:52 am
      R’Mycroft,
      IIUC his point was Jewish history won’t be played out in washington heights (kal vachomer west orange)
      KT”

      I have no idea where Jewish Histroy will be palyed out-I pray that it will continue to center in Israel-but there are no guarantees.
      Why noy West Orange or Washington Heights, or Davenport Iowa, or Liberal Kansas we have no idea what the future will be.

    17. “one follows in his rebbi’s path but doesn’t try to imitate every aspect for a number of reasons”

      How much can one differ from ones rebbe and still be considered to follow in his path.

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