by Joel Rich
Some people look for mussar sfarim for elul- I’d go with repeating this 100 times a day – A galach ken zein frum; uber a yid darf zein ehrlich
Those men who were the most opposed to the perverted messages being peddled by the Islamic Society were those who had been brought up by religious parents. One friend, who had been steeped in mainstream Islam as a child, used to tell me that the doctrine being preached at the Islamic Society was, in his view, so aberrant that it risked becoming toxic. He firmly believed that MI5 (British domestic intelligence) ought to be keeping an eye on these guys, and that was 10 years before 9/11. Those who had no exposure to Islam prior to the encounter with extremist recruiters seemed more likely to follow them.
Now there is a growing body of research explaining why that was. Caitlin Spaulding of Trinity University in Texas studied the religious experiences of 84 first-year university students in her home state. She found that the students tended to retain the core faith beliefs instilled in them during their childhood—and that this helped their transition to university life. They appeared to be more confident and better equipped to adapt to their new environment.
Deeper insights into radicalization may spring from developments in what’s called Relational Frame Theory, which is based on a body of empirical research pioneered by Steve Hayes of the University of Nevada. The theory focuses on the fact that people constantly derive assumptions and conclusions about things they were never directly taught. In our early years, the theory holds, we learn certain arbitrary ways to compare things to each other (relational framing), and it is through a web of such interlinking comparisons (relational networks) that we then start to make sense of the world around us.
So if one’s parents teach one about, say, Islam—and do so within the context of a relatively comfortable, happy and nurturing childhood—one is likely to derive an association between the wider concept of religion and the pleasant experiences of one’s earlier years. This would then make it harder to embrace an ideology based on hating people of different faiths.
Me-and if children are raised to believe that everyone who is not like them is treif?
Who said this:”because, faced with no evidence whatsoever (at the time) as to what the x really is, I chose a y that at least, with a generous dose of creativity, matches the theme of the passuk “?
A. Rabbi Akiva
D.R’ N Slifkin?
Interesting partial intellectual history of R’Eliezer Berkowitz. Focus on his approach to the need and possible process to update halacha for current realities (e.g. State of Israel). Worthwhile listening to just for R’EB’s definition of Daas Torah. His main theme was halacha must be understood and implemented based on its ethical standards. (IMHO it would be a fascinating exercise to map out where individual poskim fall out on a graph using what I would call micro and meta halachic axes.)
One of the more thought provoking shiurim I’ve listened to, R’ Jachter discusses a “kosher” film they watched and the issues involved in art in general – how to evaluate the message and the delivery. Of course the simple answer is everything is forbidden but how do those who do not see the world that way balance the inspirational/informational elements of art with the possible challenges. Do you need a Rav who has an appreciation of such elements to be a guide (me – this seems like an issue which will vary greatly by individual-how do you set up general rules?) Examples from the Talmud, discussion of individual autonomy and the notion of limits based on the time and place (anyone remember when you could only say :she is in the family way” on TV? When TV harchakot were greater than halachic ones?)
There are a number of possible mitzvot involved in making a loan! How much should you loan? Chofetz Chaim – Ahavat Chesed) – it must be greater than 20% (since that’s the amount for charity and here you get it back) and less than 100% – “Can’t be an obligation to give everything you got…that’s just unreasonable…it has to be what a reasonable person would do if he’s a generous reasonable person” [me – 1) and before the chofetz chaim it wasn’t defined?(oops that’s always my question on lashon hara); 2) can’t be? Sounds like clearly to me!]
Why don’t you have to give all your money to avoid being over the negative commandment not to withhold charity? 1) giving anything is enough not to violate it; 2) it’s only when the poor are in front of you that there’s an issue; 3) it’s a Shev v’al taaseh (passive) mitzvah which has a different definition of violation; 4) R’AW (kdarko b’kodesh) – HKB”H left it to chazal to limit, it’s clear there must be a limit. (me – math folks love that word, “clear” (or clearly) -we once spent a whole advanced calculus class debating whether something was “clear”)
“Maaser” Ksafin – is really tzedaka not maaser, nice mussar on making tzedaka a real priority.
Why does the pasuk use the terminology shoel (ask) – (what does HKB”H shoel?). It’s reflective that we have free will.
After the Talmud begins period of transition/explanation. We then see Q&A from the Gaonim and codes of various natures (he feels the mishna itself was codification – IIRC this is a machloket). Discussion of Rif and Rambam and Bahag.
Explaining how codes developed after calamities or movement. Rambam’s lack of sources was what kept him from acceptance(me-is this generally accepted in the B”M? Academia?) S”A had Tur and Bet Yosef with sources (but even he had controversy over his methodology – best 2 out of 3). [me – I’m guessing someone has written on where this rule was not followed and/or where it led to internal inconsistencies]
Tfilah – Duraita or Drabanan – Interesting insights as to why Rambam holds it a daily mitzvah when there is no clear time definition – perhaps any “major” mitzvah must be part of our routine. Then understanding different types of Kavanah (intent) in prayer.
Discussion of Shulchan Aruch and later commentaries and authorities.
*How specific areas got more (or less) focus [e.g. civil laws] due to circumstances
*How halacha splintered by community, and
*Approaches (e.g. defensive vs. deterministic) to halacha.
Discussion of source of 30 days of Elul tshuva process and some mussar as well.
Trying to explain praying to angels in light of the Rambam’s Ikkarim [e.g. it’s symbolic] or, maybe easier, just reject that Ikkar and you don’t have a problem.
R’HS discussion of makot and tangential issues. Is there a din of eidim zomimim in Issurim? Is a Kohein believed about his lineage based on himself (eid echad neeman?) Why don’t we follow the original rabbinic requirement of having 2 witnesses to prove his lineage? Practical halachic issues involving a Kohein who marries a divorcee. Identifying chilazon also mentioned.
While MO has “won” on the importance of the State of Israel and lost on the “women’s” issues (did you know that at one time the OU had women officers, now they have women only shiurim [do they have men only ones?] ) then discussion of approaches to secular studies – Israel chareidim (bubonic plague status), US chareidim (nebech it’s ok). USMO (holistic positive [me – parents yes, kids?]) – Discussion thereof.
R’Lebowitz analyzes halachot concerning marrow donation (there are procedures required over the prior week). Shabbat issues, once called can you refuse to donate (and when)? If Shabbat procedure must you stay near hospital (R’MF vs. R’SZA)? [me – must you ask if there is another equally likely match?].
Prayer in the cemetery – Issues include doresh l’meitim (praying to dead) and loeg larash (mocking the dead). Can you rely on the body of a tzaddik not being a source of tumah? (me – and who decides who qualifies?).
First in a series – here defining the difference between knowing and believing.