by Joel Rich
Question: A Rav in Passaic had some comments about pet ownership. Is anyone aware of any statistics of incidence of pet ownership in the jewish community as compared to the general community?
Statement: YU Class of ’73 had a 40th reunion. While I couldn’t attend due to the need to wash my hair, I am eager to see the responses to the survey questions (hint – my “accomplishment” was attaining my childhood dream of becoming an actuary)
Are 2 Tfillin one mitzvah or two? Issues based on this include: does one Tfillin impact the other for getting mitzvah credit? Two brachot or one?
Other issues include: Where to wear them? Is night time the right time? Wearing them on Shabbat? Yom Tov? Chol Hamoed? Women?
Who makes the bracha when someone puts them on you? Lots of good detail!
Status of child in “mixed” marriage: Tribe and nation (for non-Jews) follows father, religion by mother (over though there were other opinions in Talmud) because religion isn’t a matter of “mishpacha” – it’s of “goy” (gviah = (one) body).
Kohenet who lives with non-ben brit loses her status as Kohenet from a Kedusha standpoint even though she is still part of tribe of Levi.
Parochet status change due to change in use (they used to use it to cover shulchan).
10 tribes lost their status as Jews? (Navi says yes) – was this a horaat shaah (one timer) or could one lose status even today? Rambam applies same theory to Kutim (as a group). When the gemara says “dino k’nachri” for one who violates the majority of mitzvoth, is it rabbinic (to be strict) or Torah?
In the time of gaonim, if you converted to another religion, you (on a Torah basis) lost your Kedushat Yisrael (even as an individual).
Karaites are Jewish, just sinners (me – see this Economist article http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21578098-old-religious-argument-once-again-rears-its-angry-head-whos-jew). But wouldn’t they all be safek mamzer due to divorce and conversion? Might be sfek sfeika due to questionable original Jewishness (discussion re: Ethiopians).
Genetics – Dean Bacon on Ethiopian DNA and Cohain Y chromosome study – but this is just interesting information with no halachic impact.
AIH issue of fatherhood for cohain – does it transmit?
Was/Is the Lubavitcher Rebbi Mashiach? No – (the rest is commentary).
Starting with the question of whether Kriat Shma is duraita or drabannan and moving on to analysis including:
*which parts are drabannan or d’uraita
*how the brachot reflect the major topics of each paragraph
*saying amen to the brachot
*should you say with brachot alone prior to zman rather than with minyan after zman
*why an amora was smiling all day for having been “somaich geulah/tfilah” (hint – they didn’t have clocks)
Bittersweet sidepoint of R’YBS always on the losing team because he didn’t care about political correctness (me – I really empathize).
Shalosh seudot (third meal) – best to have bread; women are also subject to requirement of shalosh seudot.
We say U’va L’tzion at mincha on Shabbat because morning davening is long enough anyway! We say ani tfilati to show our essence is prayer (even though we eat a lot!). Learning between mincha and maariv on Shabbat is a minhag – you’d likely be wasting time otherwise [our shul allows a balance J]. What time is maariv?
What if you forgot to say atah chonantanu and you have no wine (and none coming). Repeat shmoheh esrai! Then some more on rules if you forgot ata chonantanu.
Why no u’va litzion on motzai Shabbat? There’s no geulah (redemption at night). Why no Vayihi Noam if a holiday next week? Maaseh yadeinu (our handiwork) doesn’t apply to the whole next week. Havdalah in the home vs. shul rules. How much wine should you spill?
What can you make Havdalah on?
What if you don’t have anything to make Havdalah on? It’s better to wait to get something (even tomorrow) than to eat. Say Havdalah sitting vs. standing? What do you hold in which hand?
Women’s rules, Besamim (incense) rules.
Mussar on importance of becoming an “Ish Emet” (man of truth).
Kudos to R’Lebowitz on his contributions to YUTORAH and his community (R’HS says R’AL and R’Kaminetsky don’t need him anymore!).
R’HS reviews the history of real and current smicha and the force of a beit din vs. an individual “mareh makom”.
Rules for besamim including blessings and exempting others…similar for candle.
Talmudic and post Talmudic sources on suicide to avoid idol worship and similarly asking (and acting on the request) to be killed to avoid the prohibition. How was first practical decision of this type made and how did that lock in future poskim.
Different kinyanim (e.g. kinyan peirot) and davar sholo ba l’olam
R’Kaplan reviews the sources in the Talmud of male headcovering (I have a tikkun leil Shavuot in detail on this). Given the sources – R’Kaplan goes into detail including what has to be covered, home vs. street, sleeping, swimming…..
Returning defective products is an issue of mekach taut (you wanted a horse and got a mule – not you paid for 12 eggs and got 11). Local practice usually rules (me – back to my old question – should a Jewish community always insist on halacha as local business practice or is halacha only a default but not preferred?).
Active vs. passive waivers (passive waiver usually not sufficient). All refunds must be cash (unless prior agreement). No time limit on discovering defects.
Analysis of tzitzit (and mezuzah) as a requirement on the individual vs. on the object. R’Weiss is not a fan of the new tcheilet (oh well, no one is perfect J).
Review of different understandings of the specifics of the rule of “haoseik bmitzvah patur mmitzvah” (if one is involved in a mitzvah, one is exempt from another mitzvah). Application for giving to Tzedaka collectors during davening.
S”A says not to say amein to bracha before shmoneh esrai, Rama says yes. Mishneh brurah gives way to satisfy both (me – what’s the philosophy of always doing this and where might it lead to). There’s a problem with the shatz not saying the whole bracha out loud.
Stops include, but not limited to:
*R’YBS on sending mraglim similar to meeting future wife before marriage.
*How could mraglim mess up? Maybe they wanted to continue their leadership or they liked living in a supernatural existence (e.g. eating maan).
*Yehoshua – targum Yonatan gives reason for adding yud because Moshe feared Yehoshua was too humble. (not a common problem today)
*Why learn 10 for a minyan from Mraglim? Maybe because they were the only ones who had been in eretz Yisrael.
*Rules of bamot (alters) outside of Israel.
*Rules for conversion – including sacrifices, tvila and mila!
*Rules of Chalah outside of eretz Yisrel.