Audio Roundup

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by Joel Rich

IQuestion: In an ideal Jewish community in a democratic country in the galut, is there any value to keeping up with politics or should one rely on community leaders (Rabbis?) to tell them how to vote?

From R’ Aviner
Learning during Repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei
Q: Is it permissible to learn Torah during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, if there is a Minyan without me?
A: No. Mishnah Berurah (124:17. Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski says that learning Torah during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, it is a Mitzvah performed through a transgression. See Shut Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 4:19).
Me- Why does the olam paskin differently in practice?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Adhesive Tabs (Diapers and Shtark Marks) on Shabbos

    Rationalizations (oops, I meant halachic formulations) why most poskim allow adhesive diaper tabs to be used. What about post-its? Yellow stickies?
    Interesting issue why isn’t everything hachana (preparation) [e.g. putting soda back in fridge?] or borer (taking one sefer from many?) [me one of my rabbeim (I think) once told me there is a “normal practice” exception but it was hard to quantify].

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Chullin II – Gemara 105b-106a – more shades of gray

    Part of Talmud series. Starts with discussion of concept that no “blessing” in things counted (samui ayin issue) meaning that HKB”H doesn’t intervene in obvious ways (similarly “Sheidim” [spirits] leave no footprints). Philosophical question do the availability of methods to predict certain future outcomes with a high degree of probability mean you can’t pray for these items (similar to not praying the fire isn’t at your house since it’s already known by some whether it was there or not). To me this is related to R’HS saying that with current weather forecasts, if it’s for heavy rain, you don’t need to wait till 1 a.m. on first night of sukkot to make Kiddush.
    Sheidim were “done in” by science! [me see last week’s Theodoric of York] Question whether tanach and/or chazal believed in sheidim or just that people believed it.
    Interesting observation that in a number of places Talmud refers to a story but the story itself is not recorded until the time of the rishonim. [me another meta why question].
    Not doing business in prohibited foods exceptions 1) food was only rabbinically prohibited; 2) the food is not primary business purpose (e.g. raising horses for racing); 3) the food came to him by chance (e.g. caught treif fish) may be only for professionals; 4) chelev nevailah/treifah.
    Then a bunch on science/chazal bottom line they knew what science of their day knew [me those who carefully study all the Talmudic data and disagree was this based on their own mesorah?]

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Sotah Shiur#19

    Analysis of gemara sotah (ongoing). Starts with denouncing chanufah (false flattery). Overlaps Mashuach Milchama (MM) discussion here (which is why Iistened to it). The MM has half the rules of Kohain Gadol (KG) and half as plain Kohain which means Kedushat Kohain (holiness) not Shem Kohain (title). Same Minchat Chinuch question as last time (anointing oil hidden), mentions may not have asked urim u’tumim because it no longer had shem hashem in it or because they knew it wouldn’t answer. Also are those exempt from war required to or permitted to return home.
    Discussion of when MM gives speech to troops and some details story of R’YBS recanting a chiddush because his “rebbi” (R’Chaim Heller) told him it was wrong.
    Medrash Moshe was punished for refusing HKB”H’s initial invites (else he would have been Kohain rather than Aharon).
    Interesting point Tosfot in Sotah quotes Yerushalmi much more often than anyplace else! [me I wonder if the meta why question in this statement interested R’YBS].

    Difference of opinion on what elements of the sacrificial order the torah required be done only by the KG. [Rashi Yom Kippur Karban, par heleim davar, par hamashiach vs. tosfot only Yom Kippur kai bav].
    Closes with R’YBS on our ability to infuse time with sanctity based on determining date of rosh chodesh; thus all “time based” special days are zecher lyitziat mitzraim when we got this ability.

  • Rabbi Hanan Balk- I Suffer, Therefore I Am” : The Essential Role of the Tragic Experience in the Divine-Human Encounter

    A tish b’av shiur based on the thinking of R’YBS. Judaism finds meaning in suffering as a religious experience (me and everything else as well!). Perhaps this message resonates more as you age!

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Thoughts on Gilad Shalit’s Release

    Life is not black and white and some decisions are complex (me certainly the way I experience life, not sure this is true for all), and we should be thankful we weren’t the ones who had to make the decision. Analogy to someone whose father died leaving him a large inheritance he says baruch dayan emet (sad) and hatov vhameitiv (happy).
    This was also a moment of achdut (unity) in Israel and this immediate time period is not the time to voice loud opposition (especially since the Israeli public overwhelmingly backs it). This is especially true given that the orthodox community was (anecdotally) more opposed.
    As individuals we feel both emotions, we should know there is no moral equivalency with those we traded with and that we (me Israelis) are living out our historical destiny.

  • Rabbi Yaakov Werblowski -Steven Mermelstein- Efshar Limachar

    Some lomdus on whether if you can do a mitzvah another time but not now, it considered “E Efshar” (can’t be done which has certain halachic implications). Interplay with items such as “chaviva mitzvah bshata” (it’s preferable to have a mitzvah at its proper time).li>

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Teshuva on Safeik Issurim

    If you are contemplating whether you did a sin you may be psychologically more concerned/have a greater realization (me less rationalization) than for sin you know you did [me it becomes like it’s allowable].

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-First Night of Succos when it Rains

    Exactly as advertised!

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter- Simchas Beis Hashoeva shiur 2011

    A technical analysis of various karbanot including olot reiah, simchah, and shalmei chagiga. Discussion of aliyah l’regel and recognition that from a halachic viewpoint “corporate Jewry” is only those who live in Eretz Yisrael (important mussar).

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Laerev al Tanach Yadecha – Having Children beyond Pru Urvu

    Pru u’rvu (1 boy, 1 girl) vs. al tanach ( have more kids). Determining the parameters of al tanach is it a separate requirement or an extension/hiddur of pru u’rvu and how does this inform on “delaying” more kids?
    Then some nice mussar on delayed gratification (me but what will happen to economy if people start delaying gratification).

  • Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -והצנע לכת עם א’לקיך: יותר מאורך

    Primary sources on required “modesty” to allow saying of kriat shma. Implications that there is local culture component as well as the sensitivity of the beholder. Example – Rambam and women staying in home.
    Then issues of extreme sensitivity of Chasidei ashkenaz on mixing of sexes (hmmm see R’Eli Clark here and implications of R’Moshe’s subway shailah (he didn’t require separate subway cars??????????).
    Discussion of broad form of tzniut (privacy) keep your stellar righteousness to yourself!

  • Daniel Fridman -Yonah 1: Deathwish

    Sounds like a series? Analysis of a number of seeming problems in the opening of the story a number of traditional approaches to understanding them plus the possibility that Jonah was a prophet wanting pure justice and wanted to commit “suicide by HKB”H” rather than be part of the process of mercy [parallels to Eliyahu].

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-My community # 8- When did my Chumra become everyone’s business

    Personal chumrot should be private. A community Rabbi should not be perceived as distant in practice from the community (I heard the same thing years ago from R’HS/R’YBS else folks say, “sure, but that’s only for the Rabbi, we don’t have to do that”).

  • Rabbi Yosef Blau – Multiple Kedushot Ha-Yom of Yom HaKippurim: A Guide to Responding to a Complex World

    Understanding the holiness elements vs. the fast elements of Yom Kippur. Then reacting to change Yom Kippur sacrifice was lost with Churban, “replaced” by Itzumo shel yom (the day itself). Kohain gadol replaced by each of us.

    Remember we are part of a broader (Jewish and Non) world.

  • Rabbi Yona Reiss-The Role of Ribbis and Shtar Iska in the Modern Marketplace

    Review of theory and practice of loan/interest transactions for individuals and organization

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Displaying the Aseres Hadibros “>Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Displaying the Aseres Hadibros a>

    Some would say shouldn’t “post” the asseret hadibrot (10 Commandments) on shul walls since Magen Avraham says shouldn’t make them a “kuntrus” (book) based on the Talmudic exclusion of the Ten Commandments from prayer due to minim’s misinterpretation of the 10 being all that’s important. R’Asher Weiss disagrees.
    Fascinating discussion of how beautiful a shul can be. R’Aryeh is ok with very beautiful shuls.(Hmmmmm-Kach Mkublani mbeit avi abba-see Shekalim 15a-bottom of the page)

  • 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. “This was also a moment of achdut (unity) in Israel and this immediate time period is not the time to voice loud opposition (especially since the Israeli public overwhelmingly backs it). This is especially true given that the orthodox community was (anecdotally) more opposed”
      Would the Orthodox community have been more opposed if instead of a chiloni soldier the captive was a Chardal RY?

    2. Thanks for this great weekly roundup Joel.
      Just to let you know I have a problem accessing the links to RHS’ Simchat Beit Hashoevah shiur and RZS’ shiur on having children past per’u ur’vu.
      Good Shabbos

    3. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Re: rabbi being machmir.

      What’s your take (mibeis abba) on Ediyos 3:10:

      אמר רבן גמליאל, מימיהם של בית אבא, לא היו אופין פיתן גריצות אלא רקיקין. אמרו לו, מה נעשה להן לבית אביך, שהיו מחמירין על עצמן, ומקילין על כל ישראל להיות אופין את פיתן גריצות וחורי.

    4. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Re: Dayan emes / hatov vehameitiv.

      Has anyone argued the order could be reversed in our case?

    5. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Stories the Gemara references but doesn’t tell. I think you may just have to take them one by one. Rav Safra’s honoring the low price in the She’iltos (known by many as Rav Safra in the Artscroll Siddur p. 28); Shimon ben Shetach & the witches (a yeshiva-educated friend of mine hadn’t heard of this one, but Little-Medrish-Says-reading wife did); I dunno.

      That Ben Zoma called off the engagement with R’ Akiva’s daughter (Tosfos putting 2 and 2 together from different Gemaras), I think the effect is even more driven home by the reader when he has to put 2 and 2 together on his own. (I think the same is true sometimes when the piyut talks about Avraham, Yitzchak, Moshe, etc., and you have to work to figure out who they mean. Or just look at the brackets in the Artscroll.)

      The sad demise of Bruriah: a feminist Talmud scholar suggested that the Rishonim cooked that up as a cautionary tale. I prefer to believe that it sadly happened, but the Talmud wanted Bruriah remembered as a strong woman and only recorded stories of her as such.

    6. Shalom Rosenfeld

      The ideal Jewish community in galut:

      Well, the entire town can vote as individuals on questions of building a new mikvah or the like (series of cool Igros Moshe as Monsey makes it on the map. Funniest part is the guy who says “I only daven at the yeshiva” but then starts davening at the [expensive] new shul — today it’s vice versa.)

      If I’m entitled to my own opinion on whether the men’s mikva should be on the same campus as the women’s one, why not on where my tax dollars go?

    7. R’SR,
      Not at home, but was the harugei lud story in the gemara?

      Like any good actuary I think you can compose a reason for each

      but the acid test would be to see stories that are in the gemara that would have been excludable for the same reason.

      And you know I like a good TOE (e.g. the GRA on Chasurei Mechsara)

    8. R’SR
      wrt rabbis being machmir – I think it’s a difficult balance but I have often seen over the yearsthe “well of course, he’s the rabbi” thing in action but maybe that’s a function of MO-lite?

    9. R’SR,
      My Galut question was more on taking the time to read the papers or just showing up to vote at the general elections based on what your rav says. the benefit of the latter is that it saves bittul torah since you can use the tIMES READING TIME TO LEARN INSTEAD.

    10. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Bitul Torah?

      I’d argue that developing your own political judgement is a מצוה עוברת שאי אפשר ע״י אחרים. But then again, I’m a red-white-and-blue Litvak (sic).

    11. but it’s so much easier when you don’t have to think for yourself 🙂
      seriously I think it goes back to the worldview issue – I’m a ger vtoshav anochi imachem kind of guy but not everyone is.

    12. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Woops, that was Ben Azai earlier, not Ben Zoma. Sorry!

    13. Would the Orthodox community have been more opposed if instead of a chiloni soldier the captive was a Chardal RY?

      Hopefully they would have remembered to follow the example of the Maharam meRutenberg.

    14. “Shlomo on November 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm
      Would the Orthodox community have been more opposed if instead of a chiloni soldier the captive was a Chardal RY?

      Hopefully they would have remembered to follow the example of the Maharam meRutenberg.”

      Maybe yes or maybe not.

    15. Interesting issue why isn’t everything hachana (preparation) [e.g. putting soda back in fridge?] or borer (taking one sefer from many?) [me one of my rabbeim (I think) once told me there is a “normal practice” exception but it was hard to quantify].

      Putting soda back is OK because you might use it later on Shabbat and you want it to be cold then. Taking one sefer from many is OK as long as you take the sefer you want rather than the others, and it is for immediate use, both of which are generally the case.

      Where is the need for a special exception?

    16. What if you are leaving the house and know you aren’t coming back? how can you carry a key to shul for mincha/shalosh seudot/maariv?what if you have to push other sfarim aside?……

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