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by Joel Rich

From a V-I-N comment – Any thoughts?
I hate to say this, but I am very distrustful of YU in general, although much of my community is a YU community. I think they are a “good old boys” club, and many, although not all, of the people who are in top and very visible positions look out for each other without being truthful. They are very concerned with how things look rather than how they really are. I suppose they’re not really too different from much of the Orthodox world in general, but they have proven to be a very disappointing institution as far as I’m concerned.


Sometimes I feel this way:

A subject in the prayer experiment recalled that she was watching TV when “God told me, ‘Vote for Bush.’ I said — I was having this argument with God. I said out loud, I said, ‘But I don’t like him.’ You know. And God said, ‘I didn’t ask you to like him.’ ”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/opinion/is-that-god-talking.html?_r=0


  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 285-1

    Shnayim mikra v’echad targum (SM) rules – using Onkelos and Rashi is best!

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 285-2

    SM must be finished by when? [and kriyat hatorah counts as one review?]

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 286-1

    Mussaf timing, eating before mussaf, mussaf vs. mincha priority.

  • Rav Ezra Bick -Aggadot Chelek 01- Resurrection: A Second Chance

    First in a series – the Talmud in Sanhedrin makes belief in an afterlife a principle of faith. Analysis starts here of why this is so important – based on the proof text brought in the Talmud. First up – belief in second chances.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -By Way Of Introduction – Rambam to Peirush Hamishnayos Part 1

    Introduction to the Rambam’s commentary on mishna – explaining the whole TSB”P transmittal thing. Explanation of who got what when and the different classification of oral law sub-categories. (BTW – I’d go straight from here to the Maharatz Chiyut – his essays are on target and written directly to the issues).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -The Halacha of When Someone Says One Thing and Means Another

    A technical dvar Torah on the issue of how we evaluate unarticulated intentions vs. what was actually said.

  • Rabbi Dr. Richard Weiss, Rabbi Dr Aaron Glatt -The Circle of Life: Considering the Ethical and Halakhic Parameters of Caring for Aging Parents

    Two Rabbi Drs. review some of the Talmudic and halachic sources on parent eldercare. Give them dignity, autonomy, and make them feel useful. Look at life from their viewpoint and always consult the local halachic authority who knows you (and you haven’t been sassing all these years!)
    (All I can add is: And you, of tender years,
    Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
    And so please help them with your youth,
    They seek the truth before they can die.)


  • Rabbi Beni Krohn, Rabbi Yitzchak Motechin, Rabbi Maccabee Avishur -Let’s Talk Tachlis: Panel Discussion on Finances in the Life of a Jewish Educator

    Panel discussion concerning going into Chinuch including total compensation, professional training and teaching secular courses and generally finding life balance.

  • Rabbi Daniel Stein -Hilchos Geirus Review 5773

    Now that the conversion wars have gone quiet, a good detailed practical review of hilchot geirut – Includes ulterior motive issues and what must a convert know/believe/accept.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Parsha Shiur – Bamidbar 5773

    *Humility is good!
    *Why wasn’t Torah given in Israel (tribal bragging rights?)
    *Respect for rebbi – sometimes requires your distance
    *Why no census – people aren’t commodities (channeling number 6 – “I am a man, not a number”)
    *Did tribes or people get equal value portions in Israel
    *Converts saying asher kidshanu – Rambam says yes holding like Yerushalmi vs. Bavli
    *Chizkiyah vs. Yishayah on not having kids even though prophetically knew they would sin: (i) it was just wrong; (ii) it was an incomplete prophecy (they would repent); (iii) can’t rely on prophecy in halacha
    *Status of parochet for other uses (e.g. chupah)
    *Levite jobs – were handed out (couldn’t select your own)
    *How long to learn any profession (or realize it’s not for you)

  • Dr Michael Shmidman- Matan Torah Maimonidies Halevi and Albo on the Scenario at Sinai 5-5-13

    Opinions on who heard what at Sinai as being reflective of the role of intellectual inquiry in Judaism (is philosophy at top or bottom?). It’s all good!

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Why is Torah compared to Wine, Water and Oil?

    Water flows to every nook and cranny, comes from heaven, so too Torah…….

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Bamidbar Paskening in the Presence of Ones Rav

    Defining the scope of not giving horaah (decision) bfnai rabbo (in front of one’s rebbi). Includes what distance, type of decision, type of rebbi, etc. Is the concern you might not get it right or it’s just chutzpah?
    Then discussion of requirement of looking something up before giving psak and why this requirement is eviscerated today.

  • Rabbi Moshe Sokol -Dr Moshe Sokol Romanticism and the Rav Elements of Romanticism in the Writings of Rav Soleveitchik 5-5-13

    While his primary influences were neo kantism and existentialism, he was also, at least partially, a romantic – at least in terms of (i) nostalgia; (ii) romantic heroising; (iii) centrality of subjectivity; (iv) importance of creativity; (v) romantic suffering; (vi) importance of emotion. Then examples.

  • Rabbi Adam Mintz-Sanhedrin 75: The Lovesick Man

    Talmudic story of desire for biah (or at least a look) or die story. Is it halacha, societal commentary or somewhere in between? R’Mintz thinks it’s a commentary on post temple rabbinic authority, but you can roll your own interpretation.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 287-1 and 288-1

    Rules of comforting mourners and visiting the ill on Shabbat. Not clear how we say “hamakom” to mourners coming into shul when we daven kabbalat Shabbat after shkiah (and thus is public mourning on Shabbat) but that seems to be the common practice. Then discussion of not fasting past chatzot.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 288-2

    Fasting on Shabbat for health or bad dream reasons. Do the bad dream reasons apply today?

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 288-3

    More specifics on bad dream fasting. You would say aneinu on Shabbat!

  • Rav Asher Weiss-Avid Shlichutayhu(h)

    Post real smicha (teacher to student). What authority do Rabbis have (shlichutayhu) – Is it rabbinic or torah in nature (R’Weiss thinks Torah). Is there a difference today between a beit din and an individual Rabbi’s psak?
    Fascinating (but not compelling to me) discussion of why all types of measures (e.g. treifot, zman kriat shma) were “frozen” in 2000 years of Torah.

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Chazara Shiur I- Contemporary Halacha Spring 2013: Erkaos, Yichud, Mezuza, Chol Hamoed, Shechita

    Archaot (secular courts) – why not go to them and implications of the various reasons. What are the issues with “mishpat ivri” and are there workarounds?
    Mezuzah – where are they needed, where are they placed?
    Chol hamoed – what can and can’t you do
    Yichud – who and how long?
    Pesach – kitniyot
    Shechitah – knife rules plus 5 possible issues in cutting

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -By Way of Introduction – Rambam to Peirush Hamishnayos Part 2

    Continuation on TSB”P – Understanding the organizing principles of sedarim and mesechtet. What is the job of Talmud? A bunch of things.
    Why did the Rambam write the peirush hamishnayot-a bunch of reasons!
    Interesting interpretation of chasvrei mechsera – everyone knew what was left out at the time.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 290-1

    100 blessings – how do you get there on Shabbat? Finding work/life (oops – sleep/learn) balance on Shabbat depending on your balance the rest of the week. Don’t sleep so you can go to a late movie!!

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 288-4_and_289-1

    When can Tzibbur cry out on Shabbat (e.g. famine) vs. usual rule or not. The Shabbat day Kiddush rules.

  • 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.

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