Audio Roundup

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by Joel Rich

From R’ Aviner- All other things being equal?
Teacher or Doctor
Q: I have the ability to be a doctor or a teacher. I am in doubt. Which is preferable?
A: Teacher. A teacher is for the soul while a doctor is for the body.


From R’ Aviner: How come I used to get kicked out of shiur for this answer? (rhetorical question)
Q: I saw a quote in the name of the Meiri regarding the Temple Mt.: “The basic custom is to enter there according to what we heard”?
A: We need to add the word: “Not”. Shut Tzitz Eliezer 10:1.


  • הרב אשר וייס-סוכה דף ג.- כוח חכמים לעקור מצוה

    IMHO a must listen – How can the Rabbis say if you didn’t do a mitzvah in the way we state, you did not accomplish the mitzvah? Perhaps it means you did the mitzvah but get no credit because you didn’t follow HKB”H’s will. Does this mean no accomplishment even on a Torah basis? R’Weiss’s heart tells him this only applies to rabbinic siyags (preventative measures).
    On what authority can the Rabbis accomplish this? Perhaps we can reinterpret (a’la Chazon Ish – we can reformulate the words of Rishonim to reflect what we think they should’ve said [my take]) Tosfot to mean you didn’t get mitzvah on a Rabbinic basis [not what Tosfot words said] or more likely it’s masruha (HKB”H left it to Rabbis to define Torah accomplishments) based on lo tasur. (me – not sure if this was an asmachta or a real claim)

  • הרב אשר וייס שלוחו של אדם כמותו

    The concept of it’s better to do a mitzvah yourself than to have an agent do it is not a blanket one. Where it applies or doesn’t apply discussed. It certainly does apply when considering metaphysical (segulah) benefits.

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn-The Theory of Conservation of “The Elders”
    70 elders patterned after original elders, shotrim, those who originally went down to Egypt, 70 nations…Interesting approach as to why the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah were 120 (vs. 70) in number. [I thought there was a Babylonian parallel?]
  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 291-1

    Importance of third meal on Shabbat, when it’s eaten and what it is.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 291-2

    Splitting a meal to make third meal. Do you need wine, bread for shalosh seudot?

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan-Showers on Yom Tov

    Review of sources on taking hot/warm/cold shower on Shabbat and Yom Tov. His bottom line is not to allow.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-How To Teach High School Halacha

    Pick self-contained relevant topics which you can develop from Talmudic sources through poskim. Use an actual shailah, identify key issues and difference in applications. Try to tell a story, a little on the personaltity or the poskim and relate it to real life/real goals. R’Jachter (for clear source presentation) and R’Zylberstein (for great questions) are good sources.

  • Rabbi Allen Schwartz -Introduction to Tanach 2013 – 9 – Archaeology in the Ancient Near East

    Examples of looking at the contemporaneous word usages and practices to understand pshat in text and mitzvoth.

  • Rabbi Avishai David -Women at the Wall!

    Status of kotel and surrounding areas vis-à-vis prayer, women, mechitza and our relations with not yet religious brothers and sisters.

  • Rav Hershel Schachter-How Do We Decide? The Role of Mesorah and Consensus in Psak Halacha

    How do you know you’re worthy of giving psak? (me – if you have to ask, you’re not) A real poseik has halachic intuition and knows kol hatorah kulah and must be one of the chachmei hamesorah. Not all opinions are equal and not all sources are written with word by word clarity. Most of all you need humility (and “because I read it on the internet” doesn’t work).

  • Rav Michael Rosensweig – What Must a Jew Believe? Foundational Beliefs and Their Practical Implications

    Ikrei emvnah (principles of faith) are fundamental to our system and the Rambam’s are the default position given his stature in halacha and hashkafah and their broad acceptance (sounds like R’MR could’ve used more time to support his approach).

  • HaRav Asher Weiss Shlita – Chag Hashavuous-Staying Up All Night

    Oneg (enjoyment) is an individual thing (e.g. staying up all night learning, eating dairy, etc. can be your “enjoyment”). A religious Jew should be a happy one and we shouldn’t forget to smile.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Shavuos Mitzvah Talmud Torah Can We Make a Shavua to Learn

    The difference between a neder and a shvuah and why limud Torah really being two mitzvoth informs on whether this is a mitzvah that you can take an oath to do (are you already “sworn” since Sinai?).

  • Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -Pirkei Avot 5: Anshe Knesset ha-Gedola

    The cessation of prophecy required a change in focus on the oral law (significant increase).

  • Rabbi Yona Reiss -Shipwreck Cases and Halacha – US vs. Holmes

    Comparison with secular law cases. Can you throw someone out of a lifeboat, how do you decide who gets in?…can you use a lottery? Nice quick summary on priority setting and an attempt to explain why Horiyot priorities aren’t used in practice.

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Contemporary Halacha Chazara Shiur, Part 2: Inheritance,Tzedaka, RibbisContraception, Tzenius

    Another good quick summary of halachot. Starts with inheritance issues, then charity parameters, prohibited interest, contraception and prohibited gazing.

  • Rabbi H Schachter-Pesukei D’Zimra

    Proving the adage I heard from R’Mordechai Cohen quoting Nechama Lebowitz – if you have a question, put it in your pocket and eventually you may find an answer. I always wondered growing up why there was inconsistent font in my siddur – R’HS says they put “important (i.e. need to say) portions of psukei d’zimrah in a larger font.
    Then on to issues of the blessings and what to skip, what if you missed some, what is an impermissible hefsek (interposition). Standing for karbanot.
    Mussar on Ashrei – we should be yoshvei – define ourselves as tenants in shul/beit medrash. Nussach Ashkenaz did not say shir hamalot mimamakim.

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner -Business Ethics: Cancelling an Appointment

    Status of verbal commitments (e.g. appointment) in Jewish law – was there a kinyan (classic or locally accepted type), was there a loss or foregone income? What is local custom?

  • Dr. Michelle J. Levine -הסתכל בתורה וברא את העולם: The Nexus Between Creation & the Torah

    HKB”H nurtured Torah, now it nurtures us. It is blueprint for us as we model for the next generation.

  • Rav Asher Weiss-Kedushat Sefer Torah

    Sale of a posul Torah by Kotel or IDF so funds can be used elsewhere (e.g. buy new ones or tfillin)? Understanding the requirement to treat a Torah with respect – is it rabbinic or Torah? Can you sell in an auction or sell to someone who will simply display it?

  • 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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