Audio Roundup: R Reisman Special Edition

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by Joel Rich

Hat tip to Counselor K for providing the CD’s with his usual grace and aplomb. If he weren’t should a TUM guy, he’d either be the Gerrer Rebbi or a Supreme Court Justice or an international expert on fine mood altering substances (e.g. single malts, wine,..) The shiurim are available for$ at

  • J-53 – Reads to go into Chinuch

    R’Moshe’s tshuva concerning not asking a class “who done it?” nor finding a student “guilty” based on circumstantial evidence. R’Pam on mechanchim (teachers) needing to sacrifice their own learning/priorities and suggestion concerning avoiding burnout by teaching students, not material. This means mechanchim must be more Ohavei Yisrael (lovers of the Jewish people) vs. Ohavei Hashem!

  • J-54 – Lottery Fever

    R’Reisman differentiates between Chavot Yair lottery tshuva (had to rerun if one ticket left out even if the “ticketless” agreed to a settlement) and the Chofetz Chaim’s approach (I really didn’t get the differentiation). Real issue is how to understand the interface between random result (lottery) and HKB”H’s hashgacha. Goral (lottery) puts you into hashgacha pratit (specific intervention) vs. hashgacha klalit (generic supervision) – if you believe that a leaf can fall w/o HKB”H caring which leaf.

    General Hashkafa – “Wherever you go, there you are” – Buckaroo Banzai [i.e. HKB”H puts you where you are supposed to be, deal with it]. [me – if it hadn’t been for the Rambam, it would be easier for me to believe this unquestionably]

  • J-58 – Preparing for Battle

    There are many different lists of the “7 nations” in Nach; R’Reisman is looking for an overarching explanation.

    Do Leviim go to war? Differing opinions, R’Reisman is unsure as to why not if it’s a mitzvah.

    What are the parameters of eating treif when in battle? Is it hutra (100% permissible) of dchuya (only if no Kosher available)? Was it only in battle vs. 7 nations or forever? What about timtum haleiv (existential impact) of eating treif? Chatam Sofer in deaf tshuva said even if it’s “mitzvah”, don’t do it. Drashot Haran seems to disagree! [me too]. Interesting – quotes Abarbanel as siding with Chatam Sofer (usually don’t see Abarbanal quoted in halachic dispute.)

    Why was David not allowed to build beit mikdash if the wars he fought were commanded? (me – this wasn’t the only reason given IIRC).
    The answer to all (a’la R’Tzadok) is that the state of war is bdieved (not ideal) and we should pray for peace.

    Money quote relating to how “we” relate to war (which has been distant and sanitized) “to people who B”H have never experienced it”. I wonder if the irony of a chareidi rav (albeit American) saying this is lost on Israeli Chareidi listeners?

  • J-55 – You’re Right

    There are 2 kinds of viduy – one is related to repentance, the other is more like acceptance (tziduk hadin).

    Tricks – tell people they are right (viduy) and use viduy to make connections with others and remember viduy allows you to provide a description of who you are (the act was an aberration).

  • J-52 – Dealing with Crisis

    There’s a point where you have so much invested in a relationship that you can’t turn back. True “reim” (partners?) can know and help each other with shortcomings.

    Societal attitudes can make a difference to individuals (what is “acceptable”).

    Always be aware of HKB”H and his direct intervention in human affairs.

  • J-56 – Burial Plots

    Imponderables including why weren’t Aharon and Miriam buried in Eretz Yisrael?

    Unclear (meaning there are differing sources of opinions) on the importance of the place of burial and on visiting burial places and what to do there.

    R’Reisman reconciles the opinions by saying in a time of need you can go to the cemetery, but no formal davening, rather tehilim and ask for your needs (not from the dead but in their zchut(merit)). [me – a real philosophical conundrum] (Sounds like the High Holiday don’t let me catch you praying joke)

  • J-57 – Addiction

    Given new technology, all kinds of addictions are more accessible. Addiction is in the heart (emotional) not in the head (intellectual) so reasoning doesn’t often work. Once you begin it’s naaseh lo K’heter (it’s like it’s permissible).

  • J-64 – A Nation is Born

    The Tzibbur is more than the sum of its individual parts (me – the whole R’YBS on Tfilat Hatzibbur and being judged both as individual and member of community would fit in here).

    Call for unity (even though it’s ok to “express frustration with a government that doesn’t appreciate the Yeshiva world, doesn’t appreciate ovdei hashem”). [Me – It almost sounded like a pro-forma statement, I would love to hear an “unrecorded” discussion of what R’Reisman believes on this matter.]

  • J-59 – A Story or Two

    Examples where earlier generations actions (really approaches) were available for later generations to successfully follow. Worthwhile just to hear the Chazon Ish’s defense of change! No doubt the Satmer story included shows that you need to know when to hold em as well. (me – how many stories are there where following the past approach has worked vs. failed?).

  • J-60 – Walled Cities

    Why were walled cities (see Mishneh in Keilim) considered more kadosh (holy)? How is walled defined, especially as a city evolves over time? Maybe if you identify with the city’s culture.

    Lesson of going on the offensive against the yetzer hara (evil inclination) and using objective measures (e.g. Palti, sticking a sword in the bed).

  • J-61 – Kedashas Haguf, Your Holy Body

    We view our bodies as holy (Tashmishei Kedusha) much like the Klaf (parchment) of a Torah [me – R’YBS on Moshe as Safra Raba (great scribe) who wrote oral Torah on our hearts, therefore, bodies buried similar to sefer Torah].

  • J-62 – The Dread Marriage

    Acharei means a fundamental change (not necessarily close or far in time). Sometimes we need “shock treatment” early on for things that seem unlikely or far away (e.g. life after marriage). The Beit Hamikdash had 2 builders – David the conceptual and Shlomo, the physical. The conceptual (pnimi) comes first and is permanent even when the practical reality changes, so too with our homes.

  • J-65 – The American Angel

    Starts with Rambam/Ramban debate on whether idols (and their heavenly demigods) have any real power. Then on to what 70 nations represent and our role in diaspora to “fix” each of those powers.
    Excellent Mussar to us in the U.S. about warped tolerance which yields inward focus/materialism and concomitant misuse of time and resources.

    Most important note – R’Reisman feels Twilight Zone episodes always had a mussar haskeil (good ethical lesson). Rod Serling lives! (me – he shouldn’t have always been smoking, but this was before R’Moshe’s psak).

  • J-63 – Pesach Imponderables

    A bunch of questions without answers:

    1. How did Nachshon jump into the water on the last day of Yom Tov? Isn’t “washing clothes” a problem?
    2. Conflict mishna with Siddur as to number of plagues
    3. Conflicts with Siddur text – First borns – from mother only?
    4. Conflicts with Siddur text – Crying out at Yan Suf?
    5. Conflicts with Siddur text – When did/will first born do avodah instead of Kohain?

    When R’Reisman wore a younger man’s clothes he did experiments on size of an egg and temperature for koshering (phew – it all worked ok to understand different opinions!).

    Key Mussar – each repetition of learning should deepen our understanding, new insights also welcome.

  • J-66 – Fooling People

    Examples where fooling someone can work. Simple – 1) trick someone who isn’t sure if his change of place requires a new bracha (tell him he’s done eating, if he believes it, then no doubt he makes a new one); 2) touched tfillin before tallit; tell him scratch his head, then he has to wash; 3) don’t tell someone of loss of relative till after 30 days; 4) interposition of bandaid [note – some status is objective, some require knowledge/intent].

    More complex “trickery” questions: 1) R’Salanter getting people to eat on Yom Kippur when there was an epidemic; 2) Mitaseik on Shabbat (have your kid carry $ unknowingly to drugstore if you need medicine); 3) fooling others as to how much you contribute in order to increase Tzedaka.

    Ironic (to me) mussar on fooling yourself to “learn just 5 more minutes”. [Irony was that was exactly what I was doing at the time rather than going to check my e-mail!]

  • J-67 – Big Back Pocket

    Sometimes you need to put your complaints in your back pocket and get past things.

  • J-68 – A Nation Apart

    Sometimes you need to care what non-bnai brit think and sometimes not – we don’t need validation but we need to be concerned about creating a chillul Hashem.

    Interesting take on the “shelo asani” brachot – we’re thankful for the additional responsibility/mitzvot. [me – don’t try this explanation on just anyone]

  • J-_69_ – A Time to Eat Milchig

    Why no mention of conversion of all those in Tanach who the medrash tells us converted? (no answer given). [me – what about Sanhedrin?] If you’re unsure if 6 hours since eaten meat, you can eat dairy (safek drabanon l’kula, Nodeh B’yehuda says davar sheyesh matirin only applies by one time consumption, not time related issues).

    Then some Kashrut issues like cutting a pickle with a dairy knife and steam from a coffee maker.

  • 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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