Audio Roundup

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by Joel Rich

Question: How many folks do you think read this column partially or fully each week (I don’t think R’ Gil can track)

Question: What percentage of folks who read this blog (not this column) do you think comment on any topic?

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Emmes and Shalom

    Shalom (peace) vs. emet (truth) – how do we mediate between them if they seem to be in conflict? Those who say that when truth and peace seem to conflict, that it’s mutar (it’s permitted) to shade the truth for peace, may hold they are of equal value, thus it’s up to you to mediate by picking one over the other. Those who say it’s a mitzvah (required) to go with peace may hold shalom is the higher priority. Perhaps one might say “mdvar sheker tirchak” (one should distance oneself from untruth [but didn’t say forbidden]) might imply they don’t clash – shalom is an intended exception from “objective” truth (or what is truth?).

  • Professor Aaron Koller -A New Look at Yetziat Mitzrayim: What Ancient Egypt Can Teach Us About Pesach

    Looking for parallels in Seder story and Egyptian history. Lots of cultural references – I particularly found interesting the practice of weighing hearts after death (light implying sinless) and the language of Vayichaveid lev pharaoh (HKB”H made Pharaoh’s heart heavy).

  • Rav Asher Weiss – 4 Kosos

    4 cups of wine – symbolic or needed for halachic brachot reasons? Implications for using national drinks (chmar medinah) and whether one cup affects another halachically.

  • Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik -Moshe and Aaron – Emet and Chesed

    No one achieved Moshe’s level of perfection but Aaron was spokesperson to Pharaoh – each had their own strengths (Moshe = emet, Aharon = Shalom). Each situation requires its own analysis of which of the two takes precedence – examples include U.S./Israel politics, abortion, Rosenberg trial (that’s even before my conscious time!) and relations with non-orthodox.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Sanhedrin Shuir 04 – Emes or Shalom?

    Is the main purpose of beit din (court) decisions to result in emet or shalom? Some implications including for being a judge and/or decisor in your teacher’s town. Also, is kavod rav (respect for teacher) based on the individual or based on respecting the legal structure (and some implications thereof)?
    Echoes of R’HS – you wouldn’t ask agunah shailot from a Rabbi who specializes in U.N. sit-ins (or vice versa).

  • Rabbi Tsvi Selengut -Gebrokts

    Is the “prohibition” of gebrochst (wet matzah) due to a gzeirah (preventative), marit ayin (doesn’t look right) or real concern for chometz? History and current state.

  • Rabbi Leff – Nasso=Shalom & Emes

    Shalom mediates emet in each time and place. Humility is realizing you need to develop the abilities HKB”H gave you to the fullest extent.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -Lo Sachmod #2,Vehavta Lereiacha Kamocha #1

    Continuation of discussion concerning how HKB”H could command emotions. Example here – V’ahavta l’reecha kamocha (come on people now, smile on your brother – The Youngbloods). Some see the emotional state as attainable through certain activities, others say you don’t really need to love them all.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -,Vehavta Lereiacha Kamocha #2

    Continuation – V’ahavta applications such as picking the least painful death for convicted capital offenders.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Inyonei Pesach #2

    Matzah Ashira (made with ingredients other than water) and limitations based on lechem oni (Rambam says no matzah ashira the whole first day).
    Interesting sidepoint: R’Meir’s opinions weren’t accepted because he had fewer students than other Rabbis. He had fewer students because his style was to consider infinite halachic alternatives versus halacha l’maaseh (practical).
    Does a guest have to be koneh (take ownership) of matzah at Seder so it’s “his” for purpose of completing the mitzvah.
    Matzah lishma applications and how much do you really have to eat. Must matzah be on the table for hallel?
    Some thoughts on maror (what can use) and charoset (is it a mitzvah drabanan or due to danger?).
    Interrelationship of matzah, maror and karban Pesach as far as Rabbinic or Torah requirement.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Inyonei Pesach #3

    More on Pesach including:
    * burning chametz
    * Chazon Ish on definition of hefker (ownerless) – anyone has right to claim it
    * hefker, afra language covers all bases
    * what must you finish by Chatzot (afikomen? 4th cup? Nothing?)
    * Chezkat baduk (can you rely that someone has gotten rid of chametz?)

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan-Vayakhel Pkudei

    Our service of HKB”H is both chovah (required) and b’lev (desired). Making 100 brachot is to institutionalize thanks. Each of us has a chelek (portion) in Torah (whether we’re in learning or not). Very nice insight – why in bameh madlikin does it say kchas al hashemen and not chas al hashemen (put out candle to save oil on Shabbat)? Because you just think you’re saving money if you violate Shabbat to save $ but in reality you won’t.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Tefillin on Chol Hamoed

    Does lack of need for the Ot (sign?) of Tfillin or Yom Tov apply to chol hamoed? R’YBS – 4 indicators of Yom Tov- (i) mussaf; (ii) mitzvat hayom; (iii) karbanot; (iv) issur melacha – is 3-1/2 on Chol hamoed enough? All the opinions of Rishonin and compromises quoted – Israel vs. U.S. practices including practice to disagree.
    Urban legend re: it depends on whether you’re a worker.

  • Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank -What we should think about when doing a mitzva

    Thinking about reasons/messages of mitzvoth (and having them impact your actions) is integral to the proper fulfillment of (certain) mitzvoth.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Parsha Shiur – Tzav 5773

    Stops include:
    *Ramban on no absolute mathematical type proofs in Rabbinics thus we must respect older opinions (why he defended Ran vs. Baal Hamaor)
    *Approaches in listing Mitzvot – especially different horaat shaah (temporary) ones
    *Koh amar – not direct dictation, Zeh hadavar – direct dictation for future generations
    *1st part of S”A Y”D is all Torat Habayit of Rashba
    *Detail on Karbanot
    *Is a Karban Todah (Thanksgiving) ever mandatory?
    *Can people with different reasons for gomeil be motzeh each other (me – Chashukei Chemed says must be obvious that you’re giving thanks to start with)
    *Maachalot Assurot – defining Nizdamne (when it’s not intended result you can benefit)
    *Does asiyah lshma require dibur (actual statement)
    *Can Chazal make an enactment directly against a pasuk?
    *Why wear a kitel, why Shabbat hagadol called so?
    *Did Aharon rally not leave the beit mikdash for a week? (It was only during Karbanot or only at twilight and dawn to sunrise. This might be source of learning then)
    *Malachai – knew he was last prophet because the majority of Jews didn’t return from Bavel and HKB”H wasn’t happy (me – tears, many tears)

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder -The Status of Oats as a Grain in Halakhah

    Torah U’madah in defining the 5 species of grains. Interesting question – were Chazal and/or the Rishonim aware that there might be grains they were unaware of? How might we try to define what they thought grains were? 1) study of language (including others besides Hebrew); 2) archeology/historical botany – what could grow where; 3) characteristics (defining sirchon vs. chimutz) – then could test. Is gluten the true definition?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Asking Others To Do What You Believe is Forbidden

    Is lfnei iver a general prohibition or a specific one?

  • Rabbi Ari Ginsberg -Yahrtzeit Shiur – A Child v. The Gadol Hador

    Analysis of Miriam’s convincing Amram to reunite with Yocheved. Loss of children is painful but there may be something gained even out of tragedy.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Business Halacha #1

    Idea is to learn ethical and moral lessons from and to our business dealings and formulate our core principles. In intrapersonal dealings we focus on results. Lots on the interplay of doing “the right thing by others” and is there objective truth.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Business Halacha #3

    Collusion in auctions – is it gneivat daat (falso impression) or really stealing? – what about auctioning mitzvoth? Same issue on scholastic cheating – could also be monetary stealing! Discussion of intellectual property. Beginning of prohibited interest.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Business Halacha #4

    Prohibited interest – lots of specific examples of Torah and rabbinic prohibition.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Business Halacha #5

    Onaah (limits on “over charges”) – detailed discussion of different items and circumstances.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Business Halacha #6

    More on prohibited interest – Can you charge for loss caused by late payment?

  • 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. I read this every week, although I almost never comment on this or anything else. I appreciate the links and the reviews. Thank you.
      Or as you would say “KT”

    2. Both of those things can be tracked but tracking the amount of the page read (or rather scrolled) needs to be implemented because most page counters do not track it.

    3. I also read this every week, but very rarely comment on any blogs.
      Thank you very much.

    4. i read it every week, and I’ve been reading / subscribed to this site for almost a year and have never commented.

    5. actually i’ve commented like twice

    6. I read this every week and actually listen to some of the shiurim because of your review.

    7. Shalom Rosenfeld

      Chazal enacting against a pasuk — “The Taz’s klal” (though it appeared in rishonim).

      My brisker rebbe said “they don’t have the power to do so”; my Netziv/broder-Talmudic-thinker rebbe (as well as avi mori) said “they chose not to as it would be poor policy.”

    8. R’SR,
      A very Brisker chiluk 🙂
      Of course one would want to know why they didn’t have the power (was that halacha moshe misinai)?

      IMHO (and a great topic for a post) the issue of rabbinic authority becomes even more important today when: and society change so quickly that “natural” halachic evolution seems hard pressed tro keep up
      2.we are self aware about change and outside influences
      3.the questions have almost no sources in the talmud to look to for answers (e.g. PIGD/IVF)


    9. I read every week. This is my first comment.
      Thank you for the listing and the commentary

    10. Your contribution is the best thing on Hirhurim. I look forward to it every week. I seldom comment, though.

    11. SR and JR – the question is can chazal uproot a torah law – (not just a pasuk- although that is what you may have meant). see

      Y.D. Gilat, A Rabbinical Court May Decree the Abrogation of a Law of the Torah (Heb.), in ANNUAL OF BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY VII-VIII 117-32 (1970) (Heb. refers to works in Hebrew)

      also cristine hayes has written on – rabbinic contestations of authority.

      JR – thank you for the summaries and esp. including some unorthodox sources – much appreciated in expanding the possibilities of readings.

    12. I read this every week, and am buying a new ipod in no small measure to be able to keep all the audio shiurim on it. I comment intermittently on hirhurim, less than once a week on average.

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