Audio Roundup CLVII

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by Joel Rich

Fact or Fiction?

Retina reattachment surgery includes being put under deep sedation while a local block to the eye is administered. Deep sedation is then relaxed and the patient is then aware of the surgery/voices around him. Upon completion of the surgery (whose final outcome will likely only be known a number of weeks later) the surgeon asks the patient “Are you feeling any pain, Mr. X?” The patient replies – “only existential” . (Fact or Fiction?)
Bonus – Identify a source for this response in the writings of R’YBS.
Extra Bonus – Keep Yitzchak Yosef ben Avraham [per R’YBS custom] or Fruma (per everyone else) in your tfilot for a refuah shlaimah

Great quote from “Halachically Speaking” re: Al naros bavel – “The minhag seems to be that people are careful to say al naros bavel during the nine days, but do not say it the rest of the year. It is unclear what the basis for this custom is.” (after quoting poskim that we say it all year long – Zecher l’churban) [Hmmm – haven’t I mentioned this before?]

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter/Pre Health Vaad-Hilchos Refuah on Shabbos

    Review of various halachic categories of illness and how treat (or not) for Shabbat purposes.
    I always wonder how R’HS picks which issues to present the various historical opinions on and which to just state his opinion on.
    Some interesting (to me) tidbits:
    *pikuach nefesh is in the eye of the beholder (the choleh) unless it’s 1/1,000,000 (but you should ask someone who knows something – but if you can’t, everyone is safek pikuach nefesh in their own mind!)
    *Ramban says we permit drabbanan’s on Shabbat if pikuach nefesh somewhere in the future (and we hold this way)
    *Dr. can complete treatment even once not pikuach nefesh (S”A/Brisk vs. taz)
    *Meiri says even for danger to limb (vs. life) we violate duraita (S”A says no) sridei eish & R’A Soloveitchik says yes (RHS says no)
    *Mordechai says if may die from aggravation – it counts as pikuach nefesh!
    *Blind – R’HS says anything that decreases life expectancy is pikuach nefesh! [This needs some expansion – do we paskin by medical underwriting manual?]

  • Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -The Israeli Religious Scene

    R’Rakefet discussing current issues as a kickoff to his new book. Chareidi model has a positive in its intenseness, but the demographic issues are a real concern (me – I assume the response would be – we do what HKB”H commands and he’ll take care of it? [I don’t mean this cynically or sarcastically – If I’m wrong, I’d really like to know what the general response is])
    Sounds like some nice historical pictures in the book.

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein -Our local “small temple”- how small is is?

    The beit knesset is compared to the beit hamikdash, but how exact is the comparison in terms of the halachic applications (the old “caf hadimyon” issue – how like is like?). Differing opinions and implications examined.
    Mussar for Tisha B’av – it’s not even close. (As R’Asher Weiss says – all our Tzarot are one big Tzarah!)

  • Rav Asher Weiss -Mitvos Hayochid Vehatzibur

    Analysis of various mitzvot that seem incumbent on both individuals and community (or community leadership). Who does the mitzvah devolve upon, who may do it? (e.g. brit where no father available).
    Mussar for Tisha B’av – you gotta feel it. (me – but how do we make that happen?)

  • Rav Asher Weiss – Tvilos Keilim

    Is tvilat keilim by its nature a mitzvah or just a matir? (i.e. you do it only if you want to use the utensils)
    Kashrut organizations should ensure that hotels/restaurants are toveil keilim! (assuming Jewish ownership? What %?) Do converts have to toveil their keilim upon conversion?

  • Rabbi Eli Belizon – Zochin Adom Shelo Befonov

    Technical analysis of zochin l’adam (accept rights for someone else) – is it shlichut (agency) or a briah chadasha (unique concept commanded by HKB”H). Does it have to be 100% benefit for individual, how do you define benefit? [me – not discussed – but one of my favorite space/time continuum issues – what if it “works” and guy later says not interested (is the intermediate time indeterminate?) ]

  • Rabbi Shalom Rosner -Nitne Torah Vnischadsha Halacha

    Standard analysis of Rambam on we are commanded because of receipt of mitzvot at Sinai.
    1) why does Talmud learn some things from pre Sinai?
    2) were avot “commanded” and how do you explain counter examples?

  • Rav Aharon Kahn -Free choice and the effect of one’s upbringing and education

    Standard explanation of R’Dessler’s nkudat habechira (choice point J) and what we are responsible for vs. what those who impact us are responsible for. Examples of long-term impact of decisions (sending kids to “wrong yeshivas” that need a year in Israel to straighten them out, sending a certain kid to U of P [“what, are you crazy?”])

  • Rabbi Shmuel Marcus -Breakaway Shul

    R’Moshe’s tshuva concerning a breakaway shteibel – he rejects the breakawayers’ complaints and finds the reduced livelihood of the rebbi the controlling issue.

  • Rabbi Sharon Shalom -From a Shepherd in Ethiopia to a Rabbi in Kiryat Gat

    Interesting personal history of a return to Zion from Ethiopia.

  • Rabbi R. Weiss M.D.-Do not resuscitate (DNR): the Ethics of a ‘Slow Code’

    “Slow code” = purposefully ineffective response to cardiac arrest – sometimes due to insufficient staffing, sometimes to staff/family feeling it’s futile (Why? quality of life issues or not likely to succeed). Issues of gneivat daat (false impressions) and patient autonomy discussed.

  • Eileen Strauss-A Historical Perspective on the First and Second Temples

    Live from West Orange, it’s a historical review of bayit rishon and sheni times based on tanach, history of surrounding cultures and archeological evidence (i.e. it’s not R’Reisman’s Navi shiur). Focus on parallels of dramatic shifts in practice under Ezra and R’Yochanan ben Zakkai.

  • Rabbi Jeffrey Saks -Lonely Man of Faith (Part 9)

    Last for this season – focus on the shift to prayer community (man initiating the conversation) from prophetic community (HKB”H initiates). The kiyum of prayer (conversation with HKB”H) allows the lonely person of faith to deal with his finite awareness (cue either Elvis or Rogers & Hammerstein. You’ll never walk alone.)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Pre Tisha b”av Shiur – Recapturing the Lost Alefs

    The missing Alefs caused by Adam from A-onai, Adam and Emet were replaced by Avarham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Beit Mikdash is quintessence of these alefs. Nice thought – we don’t say slichot, we beg!

  • Mrs. Yael Leibowitz -Post-Exilic Judaism: Continuity and Innovation in Ezra-Nechemia

    Ezra & Nechemiah as examples of how we are rooted in the past but move forward under changing circumstances.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Speaking and Hefsek during Krias Shema

    Discussion of whether rules of hefsek (when you can interrupt) apply when you are saying krait shma outside of it’s “mitzvah time” (e.g. 9:15 a.m. Shabbat minyanim last week) – Is it an issue of the brachot or specifically to kriat shma.

  • 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. Shalom Rosenfeld

      “Only existential”

      RYBS bonus.
      — You mean the old Rambam/Ramban, is there a basic requirement to daven when it’s not *eis tzarah*.

    2. R’SR,
      I was going for the recognition of the definition of loneliness in the eve of his cancer surgery.

    3. Re: slow code
      I have not listened to the shiur yet, but as a physician, I have never witnessed or participated in what you (or the maggid shiur) are describing as a slow code – a purposely ineffective phony attempt to do a resuscitation. When I was a medical resident, we used the term “slow code” to refer to a less aggressive and briefer attempt to resuscitate someone who would be very unlikely to survive a longer resuscitation, or who would be very likely to suffer severe brain damage from a longer code. This would typically be done in people who were already severely ill or extremely frail. Sometimes it was done when we knew it was futile because the family insisted on it. Some may argue that a briefer and less aggressive code is not ethical or halachic, but there was nothing phony or “purposely ineffective” about it.

      Of course, perhaps there are doctors who use the term slow code differently.

    4. “*Blind – R’HS says anything that decreases life expectancy is pikuach nefesh!”

      Would have to be a decent percentage of decreasing life expectancy to be pikuach nefesh-overwise many mitzvot decrease life expectancy by minimal probabilities see eg fasting on Yom Kippur.

    5. “joel rich on August 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm
      I was going for the recognition of the definition of loneliness in the eve of his cancer surgery.
      The Ravs loneliness was not what normal people call lonely-it was an “existential” loneliness. Sadly the film referring to the Rav as lonely is misleading the Rav had many friends especially in the Boston area. Most of us would not have fellows coming to our room helping us put on tfillin etc during our hospital stay.

    6. r’ mycroft,
      which was aiui what r’ybs was articulating-that with all his family and friends, with the surgery,in the end, it was existentially just him and hkb”h.

    7. r’daniel,
      perhaps thats what he meant and i misunderstood.

    8. the shiur under my name was actually given by Rav Shmuel Brazil at my shul

    9. R’AL,
      I did notice it wasn’t your voice 🙂 (but at least then there was no other attribution)

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