Audio Roundup

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by Joel Rich

From an earlier post: R’A Kotler told someone not to go to YU – If you see R’YBS, you’ll think he went to college and was a gadol, so I can do the same- R’YBS would have been a greater gadol if he hadn’t gone to college

Your thoughts?

From a recent WSJ – any thoughts relating to practices within orthodox community?
Many parents of 20-somethings worry that their offspring haven’t yet found a career path, gotten married or become financially independent.

These parents should chill out, experts say. Recent research into how the brain develops suggests that people are better equipped to make major life decisions in their late 20s than earlier in the decade. The brain, once thought to be fully grown after puberty, is still evolving into its adult shape well into a person’s third decade, pruning away unused connections and strengthening those that remain, scientists say.

“Until very recently, we had to make some pretty important life decisions about education and career paths, who to marry and whether to go into the military at a time when parts of our brains weren’t optimal yet,” says neuroscientist Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health, whose brain-imaging studies of thousands of young people have yielded many of the new insights. Postponing those decisions makes sense biologically, he says. “It’s a good thing that the 20s are becoming a time for self-discovery.”
Such findings are part of a new wave of research into “emerging adulthood,” the years roughly from 18 to 29, which psychologists, sociologists and neuroscientists increasingly see as a distinct life stage. The gap between adolescence and full adulthood is becoming ever wider as more young people willingly or because of economic necessity prolong their education and postpone traditional adult responsibilities. As recently as the 1960s, the average age of first marriage for women in the U.S. was 20, and men 22. Today, the average is 26 for women and 28 for men.

Even young adults who are financially dependent on their parents can practice independence in other ways. “My advice is, if your parents are currently doing things for you that you could do for yourself, take the controls. Say, ‘No. Mom, Let me get my own shampoo,’ ” says Jennifer Tanner, a developmental psychologist and co-chair of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, an academic organization.

  • Rabbi YY Rubinstein-Who Decides What Is Moral And What Is Not

    I’d appreciate it if you listen to this shiur you contact me off-line.
    The main point, if I understood correctly, is HKB”H decides what’s moral but gives it over to the gedolim to decide in each generation.
    Other interesting tidbits:
    *Tanur shel achnai – R’Eliezer was logically correct (but others voted against him anyway? Perhaps because they didn’t chop his logic?)
    *Kennedy killing – sounded like a conspiracy theorist!
    *Mordechai wouldn’t explain reasons for his rulings – idea was as a correction to lack of accepting Daat Torah so now the people had to listen to Daat Torah when it didn’t seem to make sense
    *The Bet Din Shel Maalah that judges you is made up of the gedolim of your generation

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb -The Power of Daf Yomi and The Beauty of Torah

    Daf also means a board (think Titanic) which we grab hold of! Advantages of Daf are consistency, unity, breadth of knowledge and (me) “the tyranny of the Daf” [must cover a daf every day no matter what (me – on average )]. Key is having Torah as a unifying factor within our lives. (me – I wonder what percentage of the folks of the Met life dais (and the field) feel daf yomi is a lchatchila bdieved [i.e. would be better for more variety in learning enterprises except not as much time will be spent learning]).

  • Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik-Israel at 40

    Genuine vs. spurious Daat Torah. Genuine is automatic and intuitive based on firm Torah knowledge. (My definition – Genuine Daat Torah is what I think is correct, spurious is anything else) Then a discussion of Yom Haatzmaut as an example – history of “bad” kings who were successful. Money quote: “So who is going to decide who is going to be the messenger – Kanoim or the Ribbon Shol Olam decides?”. Then R’AS’s political insights on resolution 242 and non-orthodox streams in Israel.

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Modern Confusion

    Cue The Temptaions – “Ball of Confusion” (Key line – Oh, great Googamooga) Rights are important (that’s the basis of a democracy) but they shouldn’t supercede duties. It’s a challenge when you extend everyone has an equal vote to that there is no moral authority (i.e. there is moral relativism).

  • Rabbi Shalom Hammer -Reeh: Speech to Nachal Brigade IDF

    Religious Zionism is about limud (learning) and assiyah (action) – talmidim going into active army service should exemplify this!

  • Rabbi Klapper-Darshinan Taama Dikra

    Beginning of 2 parter on darshinan taama d’kra (we take into account the “reason” behind a mitzvah in its application). Here – # of wives a king can take and returning collateral on a loan.

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Avodat Hashem 01

    1st in a series concerning the religious experience/avodat Hashem. Focus on importance of Torah learning as a vehicle to deal with the problem of how does mortal man connect with a transcendent God. (For intellectuals at least – IMHO)

  • Rav Kaplan-Gittin 2a

    Needed to remind myself that I can’t learn gemara biyun(depth) while driving. Bfanai nechtav/nechtam explained.

  • Shay Schachter -Standing for a Chassan, K’vater and Others Performing Mitzvos

    Why do we stand at brits, weddings, etc.? Is it for the people on their way to do a mitzvah? Maybe it’s only for “once in a while” mitzvot (me – but not really clear why and where one would differentiate).

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Hilchos Mezuzah Shuir #1

    First in a series on mezuzot. Where do they go, how strongly affixed? Many permutations on placements.

  • Rabbi Michoel Zylberman-Tefilas Tashlumin

    Are Tashlumin (make up prayers) like a true make up (i.e. like actually saying the missed prayer) or is it just a second of the prayer you are saying now as a penance (my word)? Different permutations and application of differing opinions.

  • Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg -What’s the Deal with… Gematria @ Camp Morasha

    Examples of gematria’s used throughout the ages including by Chazal in a halachic process. (me – one might understand that the gematriot are descriptive, not prescriptive).
    Some opposition based on open ended nature of possibilities but really should be within the realm of mesorah (tradition).
    Defense of the “close enough” rule (e.g. if you’re within one, it’s close enough!).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Kiddush at Home and at Shul

    Everyone knows there is a rule of “Kiddush b’makom seudah” (Kiddush needs to be made “in the place” where the meal is). Detail on how expansive of a definition “the place” you can use (e.g. can the Rabbi make Kiddush in the upstairs beit medrash [and eat a cookie] and the rest of the minyan then go downstairs and eat 20 minutes later when the main shul finishes?). Is it a rule in Kiddush or in the meal? Then some justifications of the seeming incongruous night time Kiddush in shul (maybe it’s a public declaration of Shabbat). (me – mimeticism lives!)

  • Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits – Jewish Obsession with the Holocaust

    We’re all survivors as a people. The message of the holocaust is not a universalist one (although tolerance is ok) but rather that we are different and Jewish destiny is the key.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Kiddush

    Should have been titled Tnai (conditional acceptance) since most of the shiur was on the general topic of tnaim (e.g. do we always need tnai kaful type, etc. conditions?). Then specific application to accepting Shabbat early by candles vs. acceptance by prayer and impact on saying Shehechiyanu (tnai doesn’t work in last 2).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -The Daytime Kiddush
    Daytime Shabbat Kiddush is really simply the Borei Pri Hagafen – maybe that’s why it’s called Kiddusha Rabbah (or maybe it’s a euphemism?) Is it parallel to nighttime Kiddush in terms of prohibition to eat before Kiddush? Lots of specifics including Chamar Medinah (local drink) issues. A number of examples where halachic logic indicates that our practices are incorrect, but we ignore the logic and keep the mimetic tradition. (me – at least for now!)
  • Rabbi Jesse Horn-Who goes off the Derech

    Try to connect to a happy “community” (school, shul…), then questions won’t bother you so much. Seemed to imply that most folks aren’t philosophical by nature. (cue – Captain Renault: “I’m shocked, shocked”)

  • Rabbi Michoel Zylberman -Seudas Shabbos During Tosefes Shabbos

    Is Tosefet (extended time) Shabbat actually Shabbat (on a rabbinic or Torah basis)? Could it be for some applications but not for others?

  • Shay Schachter -Wedding Invitation Pointers

    Some possible issues related to wedding invitations (me – other than cost and where to cut the list – didn’t we have those people to Shabbos lunch 15 years ago!?):
    1) Writing scriptural verses on something that will be thrown out. (me – so if you hold this as an issue, must they be put in sheimos?)
    2) Our block printing is close to Ktav Ashurit which is problematic. (rabbinic ordinance against writing in this font)
    3) Don’t write B”H (Baruch Hashem – according to some the “H” is an issue) but BS”D (Bsiyata D’shmaya) is OK [Doc G. Z”L used to sometimes call me Rich BS’D because of my penchant to write BS’D on everything I wrote].
    4) Why can you be invited to a wedding and not go and be frum, but we are so careful about a brit? (you must attend). (me – you just have to have “a sense of things”)

  • Rabbi Dani Rapp-Rabbis, Women and the Mikveh

    Discussion of various practices concerning mikveh for women converts. How does Beit Din (court) confirm dipping?

  • 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. ““Until very recently, we had to make some pretty important life decisions about education and career paths, who to marry and whether to go into the military at a time when parts of our brains weren’t optimal yet,” says neuroscientist Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health, whose brain-imaging studies of thousands of young people have yielded many of the new insights. Postponing those decisions makes sense biologically, he says. “It’s a good thing that the 20s are becoming a time for self-discovery.””
      Dr. Giedd was born in 1960, graduated college in 1982, Medical School 1986-not exactly someone who needed his 20s to find himself.

    2. I was wondering what the statistics are on those who marry by their early 20’s vs. those who don’t in terms of going otd vs. becoming baalei tshuva vs orthoprax etc (i.e. decisions we make early-how long and hard are the tails?)

    3. I think that someone who has aspirations to become a torah scholar shouldn’t postpone full time Torah study for study in a University ,be it YU or elsewhere. When I think of the path not taken I wonder where I would be today if instead of spending years 20-24 in the university I had entered a Yeshiva. On the other hand other life choices such as getting married I made relatively early, at age 20. Whether this had to do with the configuration of my brain or simply where I was and who I met I dont know.

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