by Joel Rich
“Serling fought furiously against censorship and ads, asking how you could write meaningful drama when it was interrupted every 15 minutes by “12 dancing rabbits with toilet paper?”
In one “Twilight Zone,” an inept screenwriter conjures up Shakespeare to help him. The Bard produces a dazzling screenplay but then storms out when the sponsor demands a lot of revisions. ”
OK, since you insist, I will comment for all those who couldn’t sleep after a twilight zone episode (especially the one where the real meaning of heaven and hell is exposed by a pool (billiard) shot).
2 contests are herewith announced: 1) write a more tongue in cheek line than the 12 rabbits; 2) write a screenplay summary starting with an inept Rabbi (instead of a screenwriter) and the Rambam instead of Shakespeare.
Re: Mishpacha. See the last sentence – I guess it depends on who “Us” is but if I were in chareidi leadership (surprise, I’m not), I’d be afraid, very afraid unless some education on how to deal with the “threats” of outside knowledge were provided.
“That makes a glimpse behind the scenes all the more surprising. At Mishpacha — which means “family” — more than half of the 250 employees are women, including reporters, graphic designers and the managing editor of the paper’s English edition. This, too, would have been unthinkable until recently.
The newspaper has set a new standard for its competitors, printing glossy supplements and human interest stories. Reporters have gently tackled previously untouched topics like child abuse and divorce. The paper’s agenda, which has included offering legitimacy for choosing to enter the workforce, has drawn the ire of some of the traditional Haredi papers it has eclipsed.
The issues published in the weekly paper “are the things people will be talking about around their Sabbath tables,” said managing editor Shoshana Friedman.
“It’s not a threat to us that our readers see what’s happening in the world,” she said. “I don’t think people gain anything from being kept in a little black box.””
Quite a bit of info in R’HS’s usual wide ranging/”it’s pashut” style. I understand the link may be available after some editing? Some points include:
* source of Kedusha is the torah “written” on the soul by angel before birth.
* same day burial can be countermanded by kavod hameit (more people will come).
* we stand for chevra kadisha at funeral not for dead [me – factually this is not what happens IMHO] * better to have aliyah of 4 sentences than 3! (but 4 may be = to 5)
* don’t move already buried – their soul gets frightened (exceptions – 1) danger of defilement; 2) to family plot; 3) to Israel)
* R’HS thinks better to give $ to Tzedaka than to bury in Israel (he totally lost me here – couldn’t you say this about any discretionary spending??? Why pick this particular use?)
* Shmirah is from mice, R’Moshe thinks not needed now (but most do anyway – kabbalistic – soul is lonely?) [me – chas al mamonam – couldn’t this resource go to Yeshivas as above??? (or to tuition for family?)] * could really use metal caskets
* burial on Yom Tov also due to mice (me – so why allow it today, shouldn’t concern of torah prohibited mlacha trump this concern??)
Excellent summary of the “Pas haba bkissnin” issues regarding hamotzi and birchat hamazon: 1) what is it, really?; 2) when do you have kviat seudah (it’s a real meal). (me – here’s an example of halacha recognizing changes in reality (how, what and when we eat).
R’MF vs. R’SZA on whether cake at end of a “non bread” meal is enough to require hamotzi.
Old rule – 2 pieces of pizza = hamotzi
– 1 piece of pizza = mezonot
New rule – always hamotzi (it’s no longer a snack)
Worthwhile to listen to whole thing for a clear understanding but as usual CLOR.
Follow up topic for R’Gottlieb (or anyone) – When do our measures go by the “average Yid” and when do we go by the specific individual in question?
Analysis of birchat hanehenin as a matir (gives permission) and as hodaah (Thanksgiving). A number of possible implications (including is a blessing required if you eat less than a shiur or something dangerous?).
Interesting insight from R’Asher Weiss on when can use logic to conclude that a certain practice must be followed – if it’s a din (e.g. monetary liability) then yes (as an ethical imperative) but a mitzvah can’t be “logicallyt inferred” since we’d still need a Tzivui (command).
Most interesting question (undiscussed) – which came first – R’YBS’s philosophy on this issue or his analysis of the two creation stories?
Here discussion of political philosophy (e.g. John Locke) and Adam I vs. II. Adam I is natural/biological/instinctive. A community only forms for Adam I where he can’t practically do something himself while there is an existential need community for Adam II.
Giving tochecha (remonstrating?). There may well be differences depending on whether the offense is between man and man or man and HKB”H – 1) does it have to be accepted for the giver to fulfill his reqirement?; 2) is it done in public?; 3) does monetary compensation come into play?; 4) what intention is needed?
Some issues will include: i) what if you know it won’t be accepted; (ii) what if the sinner is clear that he knows he is sinning?; (iii) do you need to show you care?
From 1983 – an interesting review of some early later sources on daas torah, emunat chachamim and lo tasur. Interesting because R’JJS was clearly conflicted based on his background.
BTW, Rabbinate started as a profession in the 15th century ashkenaz.
Avot 3:2 – worth it alone for the last 2 minutes – something like it’s easy to find a quote from chazal and harp on it (me – of course there is usually one that goes the other way, so don’t be so “it’s me and chazal against you!”)
1st half – Jewish involvement in local government to improve society and a brief history of tfila l’shlom hamedinah (the chu”l version for the local government).
2nd half – importance of even a single individual learning torah (and perhaps not disturbing their neighbor – though that’s not an absolute).
The S”A/Rama deal with responding to kedusha/saying shma with congregation that you aren’t part of (based on Rashba (being mkadeish sheim shamanim) /don’t look like not accepting heavenly yoke).
R’Moshe extends to 13 middot in Slichot (even though the reasons above don’t apply) because you would help the tzibbur to be answered.
Contemporary Poskim agree that if you are learning, you don’t have to interrupt, if you do, it’s very limited (i.e. not every amen).
More on Kinyanim (acts of acquisition) and banking transaction. Why and how vending machines may be permitted to be left on for Shabbat. Halachic status of products sales vs. services sales on Shabbat and services that cover chol and Shabbat.
Between those who believe every aggadah is literal, and those who believe none are, are those who know how to mine aggadot for what chazal intended? Some examples included.
How is halacha made? There are 5 time periods – Tanach, Mishnah, Gemara, Gaonim/Rishonim, Acharonim. Examples of tracing halacha through these periods from tanach to current psak (e.g. new metals, does a toaster need Tvila?)
Review of the basic Talmudic sources (and how later authorities attempt to reconcile them) on ransoming captives. Then a review of the R’Hutner/black September case and why war may be a different story (me – as may be life threatening captivity when compared to ransom captivity – but that’s a much longer story).
Good review of the basic issues of using warming drawers for reheating food on Shabbat – focus on mechzei kmavashel (looks like cooking) and gechalim (may adjust flame). Range of opinions presented – CLOR. [me – another example of some very basic differences of opinion in core halachic issues and, IMHO, the “last 20% is halachic heart” nature of halacha that needs to be better communicated to the public so as to avoid the “it’s all politics/personal bias” reaction].
A very good summary of the basic opinions (and sources) on chukat hagoyim and the implications for dressing. [Did you know the Borsalino avoids this issue because it was really designed for bnai Yeshiva as a combination source of shade/brain warming device?] Great quote from Chazon Ish by way of the Bnai Banim” assur l’hitavot l dmot” (it’s forbidden to have a great desire to be like them (mirror them) [me – you should be like Mike – to the extent he had a clear goal an extended all his resources to attain it] R’Gottlieb reveals that the dress/name/language medrash doesn’t exist (forms of it do) but the Meshech Chochmah says the idea of differentiation by dress goes back to Yaakov; others (includes Maharik) disagree on need to differentiate in this manner but we need to stay unique
Review of sources on defining death and R’Schwartz’s support of brain death based on R’Moshe. Also some Q&A including when [not] to initiate a ventilator.
Next in the series – Adam I vs. Adam II, dignity vs. redemption, community vs. individual, surging forward vs. retreating. Defining existential loneliness (me – to paraphrase the Supreme Court – I know it when I feel it).