by Joel Rich
I guess I was wrong about HKB”H not wanting us to seek data torah on shirt colors (seriously though how many frum Jews have this type of conversation outside (or inside?) tfila? Should they?:
“In 2006, the Pew Foundation reported that 26% of Americans said they had had a direct revelation from God. A few years earlier, Gallup reported that about the same number had heard a voice or vision as a result of prayer. Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” sets out to teach people how to know God as a best friend. It has sold more than 30 million copies, making it the best-selling hardback book in American history apart from the Bible.
Religious leaders teach people how to identify thoughts and images in their mind that they should treat as God’s communication to them. Looking at your closet and asking God whether he’d prefer the black shirt or the blue one is a way congregants practice this identification.”
From R’ Eli Turkel notes on TUM conference:
Rav Sherlo spoke on medical ethics (in addition to being a head of a Hesder Yeshiva he sits/sat on several government boards involving medical ethics)
1. Modern day questions – eg transplants, motherhood, internet, electricity, status of a chiloni etc
main problem is that there is no Mesorah and many of the teshuvot are far-fetched
me-imho the last point (though I have phrased it differently) is the real issue for orthodoxy (rationalist) going forward.
What would halacha say about a controversy affecting Jewish institutions similar to the healthcare mandate forcing Roman Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive coverage? Long technical discussion concerning applicability of lfnei iver (placing stumbling block in front of the blind).
Then presentation of the specifics of a high profile Agunah case. (R’DE over at the Daas Torah blog seems to have a different take).
Is getting refusal ever acceptable?
I once took up space from time to time in R’Paretsky’s shiur so when I saw there was a shiur from him on YUTORAH, I felt duty bound to listen to it. I often think of R’FP telling us in the long run he couldn’t see HKB”H allowing us to benefit more from cutting shiur to study for finals than from coming to shiur. Cue – Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption –
Red: There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that.
Then a discussion of birchat hatorah and their meaning.
R’Meir doesn’t have much recorded – I suppose it’s the family thing about agonizing over each word (his grandfather and great uncle apparently didn’t extend this to recording but perhaps this is his chiddush based on technological changes).
Anyway here an oldie on religious relativism, R’YBS’s famous article Confrontation and recognizing each religion is not reconcilable with the other, but we agree that there is a spiritual truth out there (vs. secularism). Some interesting Q&A.
Dealing with the sins of our forefathers throughout time. Minor sins were sometimes attributed to them, major not. Review of specific examples of sins and how commentators dealt with them. In the 19th and 20th century there was a shift as the Torah under attack, not forefathers so there was a tendency to admit there was sin but followed by, retribution with eventual perfection as a result. It’s a fine line between denying error (which can lead to missed lessons) and seeing error in all the wrong places.
Interesting example of mfarshim whose world view takes them to strange results (Kli Yakar had a bias against wealthy people and rereads Yaakov/Pachim Ketanim Medrash as a negative for Yaakov!).
Panel discussion. Inventory of negative impact on wives and children when agunah issues arise. R’HS describes prenup mechanism and the need. He also points out the importance of verifying the facts before taking public actions. Discussion of ORA’s efforts and importance of prenups.
Preference for pshara (compromise) over strict din (justice). When is it appropriate for a court to paskin a compromise? Applications to Israeli courts.
“Conflicting” sources! (Rabbi Akiva vs. R’Shimon Bar Yochai). Lag Baomer in Meiron – it’s complicated).
Put the simcha back in with brotherhood.
The seder meal – we don’t lean anymore (that was then, this is now?). Don’t overeat (afikomen reason) or drink (fall asleep reason). On looking like roasting issues – we’re generally lenient. Why do some eat eggs?
Continuation with examples of where the Beit Haleivi started a conceptualization and R’Chaim takes it to the next level. Examples of heter mechira and chametz.
Daas Torah as understood today (not). R’Rakeffet holds no deification of human beings!
History of hagadot with artistic examples (thus listening without seeing really misses something). Differing depictions (e.g. Rasha) over time are illuminating (purposeful pun).
Difference of opinion in Talmud as to the status of carrying of Yom Tov. Assuming it is only allowed due to “mitoch” (since we allow it for food preparation, we allow it for other reasons), how much tzorech (need) do we require to allow it?
Ties together a bunch of Haggadah issues tied to the Yoseph Hatzadik story. Lesson is there’s an alternative model of redemption which involves complexity and adversity, but it all ends up OK.
A discussion of the Kedusha of Shabbat and Pesach – a bit out of my league combining body and soul and our freedom from time.
The medrash on the Frogs as a metaphor for giving one’s life al Kiddush Hashem (martyrdom) and the opinion of R’Akiva on one frog vs. many as a metaphor for who sacrifices.