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by Joel Rich

Thought experiment:: The JFK(an imaginary kashrut organization) gives a hechsher on packaged frozen shlumkies as well as an industrial mix for the same made on the same machines. Industrial mix is used in stores to use in a shlumkies machine used only for making individual shlumkies . Assumedly no objections (maybe not) even though these individual shlumkies are prepared and sold in stores where there is no overall supervision. Now assume there is only an industrial nix made. If there are no stores under supervision, is it a problem for JFK to give supervision knowing the only place you can buy shlumkies are unsupervised stores which prepare them (which JFK would advise against buying in). If yes, how many supervised stores would you need to make it not a problem?

From AL Hadaf – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry : The Shulchan Aruch rules that this halacha no longer applies today since it is uncommon for Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael to own fields.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Kashrus of Scotch and Whiskey

    The metziut (practical facts) of whiskey making differ from case (pun) to case. Kashrut issues include use of wine or casks that had been used for wine. [I always wondered why liquor and beer seemed to have gotten a pass on formal Kashrut certification – I assumed it was such a staple (like bread and water) that it was necessary to be lenient] Does 1/6 bittul only work for wine in water or wine in anything? Does it make a difference for bittul purposes that the wine is added for taste?….
    In general R’Moshe was lenient and R’Teitz stringent, but one needs to know the particular circumstances for each strange brew(Paging Eric Clapton – Cue Cream).
    Two huge (probably only to me) issues raised: 1) When you can find out the facts, must you? (e.g. what if 90% of whiskeys didn’t use wine base, would you still have to check?) 2) On what basis did some later poskim say that ein mvatlin issur l’chatchila (you can’t purposely use a non-Kosher substance in your product even if it‘s less than1/60th) is subject to logical constraints (i.e. reason is concern you might put more than 1/60th in, so if that’s not an issue [e.g. it ruins the taste if you do], then it’s not a problem).

  • Rabbi Adam Mintz-Hazon Ish and the Development of “Charedi Halakhah” in Israel

    Starts with biography of the Chazon Ish (C.I.) – no Yeshiva pedigree, anti-Brisk learning style (respect for Rabbis more important than analysis) no kids [me – real food for thought how this affects philosophy], Aliyah at 55 “Tension” between Bnai Brak and Jerusalem.
    Then discussion of his shiurim (weights and measures) for various mitzvoth. His “innovation” was that even if there were an established practice (minhag) we ignore it unless there was a current horaaah (Rabbinical seal of approval). Then his relationship to State of Israel (camel story), army, national service. Not Zionist but tied to Israel society.

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan- Shmos Shmooze

    Not sure what inspired me to try one of R’Kaplan’s non-halachic shiurim, not sure I should have.
    The closer we try to get to the goyim, the more they dislike us, same is true for “frier yiddin”.
    Learning torah in adverse circumstances has a special hashgacha (heavenly assistance).
    The opposite of appreciation of good (makir tov) is to forget altogether.
    Miriam knew Moshe would be saved, she just wanted to see how, similarly fundraisers are really just going to see who will have honor of giving money.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik-Minui Sanhedrin part 1 (Boston: shiur 1)

    Ramban and Rambam on yerusha and yeshiva of Eretz Yisrael. Discussion of Temple (Mikdash) as completion of this process, dor hamabul and dor haflaga as political pradigms. Ends with discussion of David not building Beit Hamikdash.

  • Rav Mayer Twersky-Chinuch Habonim V’habanos

    Parenting advice – be a role model, make time for kids, let them feel your love, command respect rather than demand respect; it’s all about them. Nothing you didn’t know, but good reinforcement.5

  • Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig -What is the Meaning of Love in Tanakh?

    Usage of love in Tanach (nope – it’s not defined as never having to say you’re sorry!). In different sfarim it’s used differently and sometimes seems extrinsic and temporary, but real “love” is intrinsic and permanent.
    Who and how we love defines us.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה א

    Introduction to a series on R’YBS: Philosophical approach. Begins with a review of the prior series on Ramchal/Msilat Yesharim. Their philosophy is the world is basically a trap for us to elude, our total focus should be on the world to come. This stands in opposition to Ish Hahalacha (R’YBS) where cognitive man and religious man combined into Ish Hahalacha with an integral worldview (consider reading Majesty and Humility if you’re a visual learner).

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה 2

    Halachic man is transformative to this world – Halachic man focuses on how to relate to this world.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה 3

    Focus on the GRA/etrog story up his reward in the world to come giving and feeling good about it, which is totally the opposite of the Mislat Yesharinm

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה 4

    Halachic man is very sensitive to death (because of how he values doing mitzvoth in this world) and is very democratic (doesn’t need an intercessor with HKB”H).

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה 5

    Halacha defines reality (i.e. sunset defining halachic day). Brisker Derech/halacha is comparable to math – underlying theories /actualize in real word thus Brisker Derech has big push to conceptualizing gemaras that otherwise would seem very “balabatish”.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -איש ההלכה 6

    This world focus of Brisk is spiritual because it brings the conceptual paradigm into this world. Halacha develops your spiritual personality – transformation of physical into spiritual.

  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik -Parshas Shemos

    Why does Parshat Shmot begin with “Habaim Mitzrayima” (coming to Egypt) which is present tense? The Egyptians looked at them as outsiders/new arrivals and we did not totally integrate. Political and metaphysical implications of the universal connection with HKB”H of all men and the covenantal connection with the Jewish people.
    Includes discussion of Yocheved and Bat Paroh relationship with Moshe.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Hypnosis in Halacha

    Discussion of what hypnosis really is and halachic implications thereof. Various halachic concerns are reviewed but major issue seems more optics than anything else.

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Some were prepared and others were spontaneous

    Importance of daily commitment versus one time hoopla events.
    Haman and Amalek first to challenge the exclusivity and permanence of the covenant. Then some nice mussar on using your time wisely in Yeshiva (40+ years late for me ) and importance of seeing what you could be. Closes with importance of vulnerability in prayer.

  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.


    1. I think you accidentally posted a repeat…

    2. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Frozen shlumkies: kol heicha d’efshar lesaken, mesakninan lei. Anyhow the standard procedure today is if the product is kosher as packaged, you want a hechsher here have a hechsher. (If they’ll hechsher detergent that doesn’t need it, why not frozen shlumkies l’idach gisa?)

      Exceptions to ein mevatlin issur lechatchila: off the top of my head I think the earliest discussion would be that of kli shemishtamshin bo b’shefa.

      Did he mention RMF’s yuhara line? It’s priceless.

      I’ve heard RHS say “you can find out” may depend on how much work is involved. If the OU has to make one or two phone calls to a supplier, do so. If it means 200 phone calls involving several continents, crack open your shulchan aruch instead.

      Hypnosis — I assumed he mentioned R’ Moshe’s view on human dignity? Wouldn’t call that “optics” per se.

    3. Re: Love. What would Rebetzin Smadar do with pesukim such as these? Was there an intrinsic and permanent love going on in these cases??

      By Shechem and Dinah (Gen. 34:3):

      וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ בְּדִינָה בַּת יַעֲקֹב וַיֶּאֱהַב אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ וַיְדַבֵּר עַל לֵב הַנַּעֲרָ

      Similarly, by Amnon and Tamar (II Sam 13:11):

      וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי כֵן וּלְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בֶּן דָּוִד אָחוֹת יָפָה וּשְׁמָהּ תָּמָר וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ אַמְנוֹן בֶּן דָּוִד

    4. Something I posted somewhere else a while back on the subject:

      What is love? Is love by nature “good”? According to the pesukim, Shechem loved Dinah and Amnon loved Tamar; clearly love implies a strong emotion that is not necessarily good. On the other hand, love also implies a certain mode of behavior, which is good. I believe the Ramban interprets the pasuk ואהבת לריעך כמוך this way.

      Love has two meanings. Both are verbs, but one is a state of being and one is an action. The first would be a פועל עומד and the second a פועל יוצא. The first is an emotion, the second, while it may be caused by the first, is not.

      Emotions are selfish. What I like with my emotions is no different than what I like with my palate. I enjoy a girl, I enjoy a steak, what’s the difference? Love is no different. A man loves a woman because she makes him feel good; whole, special, complete, loved, safe, cared for, etc. etc. These are all selfish feelings. These are all reasons to explain how it makes me feel good. Selfish is not a bad word. It is simply a reality of human existence, or for that matter, all existence.

      So what’s the big deal with love? Why is it considered so “good”?

      It is because when I say I love you I am not simply referring to the first meaning, I am referring to the second as well. I am making a conscious commitment to love you – to give to you, care for you, and be there for you. This is not an emotion, it is a decision based on my values. My values might be my emotions, and my values might be the Torah, either way, this commitment is called love.

    5. “From AL Hadaf – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry : The Shulchan Aruch rules that this halacha no longer applies today since it is uncommon for Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael to own fields.”

      Where does it say that?

    6. R’ Avi,
      the footnote refers to:
      שולחן ערוך חושן משפט הלכות נזקי ממון סימן תט

      אין מגדלים בהמה דקה בישוב, וחזיר וכלב רע בכל מקום, ובו ד’ סעיפים.

      סעיף א
      {א} אין מגדלים בהמה דקה {ב} בארץ ישראל, מפני שדרכם לרעות בשדות של אחרים והיזקם מצוי; אבל מגדלים בסוריא ובמדברות שבארץ ישראל. א] והאידנא, שאין מצוי שיהיו לישראל בארץ ישראל שדות, נראה דשרי.

      Here is the biur hagra if you’d like to do more research
      ביאור הגר”א חושן משפט סימן תט ס”ק א

      [א] והאידנא כו’. דברי המחבר שזה לא תליא בא”י רק ביישוב ישראל וערש”י ותוס’ פ”א ד”ה מכי אתא כו’ ועבא”ע סי’ קמב ס”א:

      Thanks You for asking-let me know what you find!


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