by Joel Rich
From what promises to be an excellent series:
PRINCIPLES OF FAITH
By Rav Joshua Amaru
“I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created; He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
I hope it is clear how far removed this rendition is from the Rambam’s actual first principle: For the Rambam, at least, the ideal is knowledge, not faith, as I have discussed in earlier shiurim. Furthermore, the emphasis of the first principle is not on God as the creator but as the first cause, which is not the same thing (for Aristotle, there is no creator since the world is eternal – more on this topic in subsequent shiurim). Finally, I have no idea what the last sentence means, that God alone has made, does make, and will make all things. It does not fit anything in the Rambam and implies that human activity is insignificant, which is certainly an un-Maimonidean thought. “
Me-Could the writer have been responding to the then currents in religion in the Christian world?
Follow up to my chalav Yisrael/chazon ish mention last week. The Chelkat Yaakov(Y”D 35) quotes a number of witnesses (at least one colorfully) who say the CI only meant it as part of a give and take, never lmaaseh. Please look here link and give me your honest opinion as to whether you think this is a likely understanding reading the whole tshuva.
Quite a few insights from R’YBS
*Chicken cooked in butter – benefit is permitted from the mixture (since only rabbinic prohibition)
*Waiting only into 6th hour between meat and milk (no)
*Dairy bread – marked as such after baking still OK (i.e. it’s not permanent rabbinic “traif” status at baking)
*Miyut hamatzui (non deminimis) – general discussion
*Dairy cake (same restrictions as dairy bread)
*Tuna – why it’s ok
*Defining “oleh al shulchan mlachim” – state dinner or even royal sleep in breakfast
*Milk in U.S. – Chazal didn’t include this type of situation in chalav akum
*Cheese – family practice must have been like Rabeinu Tam (ok to use non-ben brit as long as ingredients are kosher) but he wouldn’t publicize it!?
*Medicine on pesach – not a problem, doesn’t matter how it became not dog edible
*If someone comes to a poseik (R’YBS) for psak, there’s no need for the poseik to give a reason for the psak!
*When R’Moshe Soloveitchik was niftar, R’YBS had YU send his mother R’YBS’s check (apparently there was no insurance) and never told her it was his; that’s why he gave kashrut supervision.
Shouldn’t it be there would be no lasting disputes during Sanhedrin’s existence (their process would decide all disputes)?
Sanhedrin was a self perpetuating body but according to Chazon Ish there were times they didn’t have the full ability to be a “Court of all Israel” because they couldn’t meet and thus no finalization process. Rebbi and Rav Ashi (Mishneh and Gemara) convened all chachamim, thus mishneh and gemara took on universal final authority at their time (me – I thought R’HS say amoraim could’ve argued with tannaim?).
Now each Rabbi is “on his own” but must be within tradition and the minhag of psak halacha. Gives examples.
Only internal criticism works (me – see this and my comment at cross currents post – link).
Sociologists speak of grid and group – For a community, how hierarchal and how high are the walls? (hint – Orthodoxy (esp. RW) score very high) Because of strong boundary conditions, only critique that will have a chance to work is internal and subtle (e.g. quote others, blame outside forces, leave the criticism implicit) [me – now you can better appreciate R’J Rosenbloom).
Internet is changing everything! (Hmmm, where have I heard that before?)
The year in Israel doesn’t really cause students to flip out but it intensifies whatever trajectory they were already on. Of course, we have no statistics, maybe we’re afraid (hmmm – he must be channeling a tall actuary I know).
Compare Orthodox/OTD to what generally happens when any kids go off to college or go abroad (we’re not so unique).
Then discussion of edutainment (and its parallel in general society) in the one-year program and how it impacts programs (got to make them happy in 3 weeks or less!).
Increased competition, lack of teacher security discussed; perhaps the programs’ main goal is to keep them on the derech till they marry (quickly) [me – this causes its own problems from what I’ve read].
Don’t necessarily do what your father did – changing circumsances may require changing approaches. Pick your Rebbi based on the particular circumstance and need. Understand that the real world is nuanced – [me – good luck with that one! Anecdotally there seems to be a correlation between age and ability to see nuance]
R’YBS was very tough on his talmidim (me – till post 1967?). Started from basics – definitions, psukim, mishneh (me – very scientific method). Great believer in Occam’s razor (R’HS did not use this term). He did not use a chakira approach rather more a TOE (me) approach – all the gemaras had to fit together.
Tidbit – R’HS was originally a math major!
*lishma – learn in order to know, everything else will follow
*mussar – even this has to have mesorah, can’t make stuff up (hmmm – like self- help manuals liberally patterned after secular ones)
*Eilu V’eilu – only with “original type” disagreements, but others (e.g. what did R’Yehuda say ) there’s right and wrong)
*R’YBS on Yom tov sheini in Israel
*learn kitzur Shulchan aruch for a good summary of halacha
*be joyful in learning
First in a series – examines possible sources in tanach for the concept of ayin hara (evil eye). Generally seems to be related to desire for wealth, feeling wounded and begrudging others what they have.
Introduction to kashrut. Include:
*kashrut of birds (turkey issue) – need tradition
*fish (no tradition, just look!)
*kosher pig (not)
*zebu issues (well worth the listen)
*fish with worms (warning – you may not eat herring after listening)
*koshering – libbun vs. hagallah
*nat bar nat
*ben yomo, ben shanna
*fish & meat & health issues (listen to the Dr. in your own time)
Why does HKB”H give Nisyonot (tests)? 1) to grant reward; 2) to cause personal growth; 3) to serve as a model for others.
There is importance in one time great responses (e.g. sacrifice of Isaac) but also in daily consistency.
We learn midot (proper ethical characteristics) from the avot.
Seems to imply HKB”H never gives us a test that we can’t overcome (me – I’m not as sure of this as I once was) [yes, I know I’ve said it before]
Discussion of the interaction between talmud torah and other mitzvoth, especially kavod av. How do we understand the statement that talmud torah is greater than saving lives?
If we understand the essence of talmud torah is keeping mitzvoth, then being a “real” talmid chacham would be a greater priority than kavod av (or other mitzvoth) but otherwise not.
Worth listening if just for listening to R’AW trying to explain the Chasam Sofer not going to visit his dying mother.
Lots of commericials! Agudah is great, represents all (great description of different seating protocols in the various dining rooms at the convention).
Not enough anymore to fight conservative and reform, now “open orthodoxy” and fellow travelers. Apparently didn’t think too highly of R’N Slifkin’s post chareidism or R’Y Adlerstein (I think) advice on changing Rabbis.
Agudah’s value proposition (my term) – total subservience to Daas Torah is divinely ordained. The Agudah of R’Chaim Ozer is the same as R’A Kotler and of today and must be passed to the children.
Then some triumphalism followed by concern over outside threats.
Israeli scene is different – religious parties can’t unite even on basic religious issues (but they do talk to each other). It’s harder because there are tensions with secular (vs. U.S. where we ignore each other?).
1st in a series. Starts with the general prohibition (and why) of archaot (non-halachic courts) and then turns to the status of civil courts in Israel and why this might not be an issue with them.
People don’t really apprehend HKB”H’s existence in the way that the Rambam describes (surprise) understanding the relationship between man and HKB”H (awe and/or closeness) and man’s separate existence.
A review “inside” of the basic Talmudic sources on prohibited (and not) competition. R’Asher Weiss quoted on availability of new products and the overall public welfare as generally overriding concerns to allow more competition.