by Joel Rich
Pretty wild test:
There is a Kotzker maaseh that a major talmid chachom was visiting the Rebbe. When he came to shul Shabbos morning the Rebbe gave him a kiddush cup and told him to make kiddush before davening. He initially protested but was ordered in front of the entire shul to make kiddush by the Rebbe himself. He took the cup and started in a shaky voice to say kiddush. The Rebbe knocked the cup out of his hand and said,”Don’t you know this is not the time for kiddush?”(daas torah blog)
- R. Shmuel Goldin and R. Asher Lopatin -debate about Open Orthodoxy
Lots of commericlas and the recording quality isn’t always great but interesting listening including:
* Agudah didn’t send a representative because Open Orthodoxy (OO) isn’t Orthodox.
* Rabbi Lopatin (R’L) – OO isn’t a movement, it’s an emphasis and more open to questions, open to the world, non-judgmental and more open to change (me – WADR, a crisper elevator speech is needed)
* Rabbi Goldin (R’G) – OO is pushing boundaries in problematic ways (recurring refrain)
* R’L – OO is inclusive and welcoming – have a bat mitzvah of a daughter of a same sex couple – it’s not an affirmation but a celebration (me – were there handouts saying such?)
* R’G – where are the boundaries? How can leaders make problematic statements about mesorah?
* R’L – Be inclusive and focus and embrace on what we believe in, not on what we don’t (leaders should espouse “essentials” – [me – TBD])
* R’G – RCA policy on OO is that there is a very strong concern that many OO proponents are espousing decisions/actions/positions that are moving towards not being in the Orthodox camp.
* R’L – YCT (it wasn’t always clear to me whether R’L was sometimes talking OO and other times YCT and whether this led to some lack of clarity) believes in respecting and learning from Reform and Conservative Rabbis in a limited way (e.g. homiletics and administration not Talmud). They are legitimate Rabbis with heretical ideas.
* R’G – They lead congregations but they are not true Rabbis (in the orthodox sense).
* R’G – Example where OO could be on the wrong side of a schism – partnership minyanim have halachic and mesorah issues and all orthodox won’t accept them (so why not take the other orthodox into consideration in your openness). Women’s roles is another example.
* R’L – YCT doesn’t have a partnership minyan but R’Sperber is head of bet medrash at Bar Ilan which is orthodox and he’s ok. R’Riskin allows women to say haftarot, it’s an interesting experiment.
* R’G – It creates legitimacy and pressure on others by following an individual opinion.
* R’L – let 1000 flowers bloom (my paraphrase)
* R’L – YCT Rabbi attending same sex marriage, mixed marriage…. No official policy, everyone needs to be comfortable.
* R’G – Can’t give credibility by attending
* R’L – Bottom line – YCT Rabbis are being accepted, organizations are reaching out, competition and pushback is good, why can’t we all get along?
Special guest appearance by R’Avi Weiss musing on YCT, Maharat’s, Raba’s and defining open orthodoxy. It’s all about non-judgmental! I have to admit I don’t get it. It sounds like no shame, no guilt is a goal. I might agree on shame (as in I’m not a good person) but certainly not on guilt (as in the act I’m doing is wrong).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-2
Salting vegetables on Shabbat – issue is it may seem either like forbidden pickling or a tikkun (like tanning). Details of when it’s OK and when it’s not.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-3
Salting vegetables is allowed only for immediate use. Crushing or dicing spices et al on Shabbat – how much of a shinui (change) is enough to make it permissible?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Asara B’Teves
History of Assarah B’Tevet and practices. Covers some of the same ground as R’Asher Weiss in the last edition of audio roundup.
- Rabbi Reuven Taragin -Q&A
A potpourri of topics including:
* Sridei Eish on mixed singing
* The Lubavitcher Rebbi as moshiach
* Monarchy as the model government
* Conversion for marriage
* Conservative and Reform movements
* When can/should you change a minhag
* R’Saul Lieberman
* Shabbat visiting/problems with foods being prepared
* R’Meir Kahane
* Limmud conference
* Death penalty in Israel
* Flossing on Shabbat
* R’N Slifkin
* Problems in Eretz Yisrael
- Rabbi Ari Cutler -The Relevance and Significance of the Rebbe Talmid Relationship in the 21st Century
Analysis of different roles the rebbi plays in a Rebbi/Talmid relationship.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz -what Halacha Expects When you are Expecting
Issues discussed include:
* is one permitted to be induced? (ok, if there’s a “good reason” [TBD])
* segulot (generally avoid except learning Torah)
* labor on Shabbat (try for shinui [non usual method] for any Shabbat violations needed)
* specifics of going to hospital
* Nidda rules
* nursing/expressing milk on Shabbat
My Question – is it permitted to assume a taxi driver/nurse/doctor is a non-ben brit based on rov (majority) or should you have to ask?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter -Confronting Halachik Conundrums
Lots of decisions in life are shikul hadaat (judgment), you can’t even say passive approach should be taken when there’s uncertainty. Then some end of life issues and a quick visit to trolleys and the doctrine of double effect.
- Rabbi Nissan Kaplan-Miketz
Nice musings on Miketz including:
* how much hishtadlut should Yosef had done
* sometimes you just have to run from tests (nisyonot)
* never daven in the negative
* the brothers thought they were right in the sale of Yosef but wrong about not feeling compassion
* A test for whether you’re really acting for heaven’s sake when it requires negative actions; if it’s not going your way, are you angry at those who aren’t “cooperating”?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Putting on One Tefillin and Not the Other
Chatzitzah (interposition issues) makes this must listening for toupee wearers but interesting discussion would be about wearing a toupee in the first place. Includes analysis of separate mitzvah/bracha status for arm and head tfillin.
- Rabbi Josh Strulowitz -Beit Din Gadol B’Chachma U’VeMinyan
Discussion of data points and theory as to when pronouncements of Chazal, and later authorities,can be overturned. I never fully got the “reacceptance by each generation” approach (how do you define a generation and why don’t you need to tell/ask the generation?).
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Introduction to Technology and Hilchos Shabbas
The whole incandescent light on Shabbat issue focusing on the Rambam and Raavad on whether it’s bishul or havarah. Detailed discussion and analysis of possible implications.
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Technology and Hilchos Shabbas 2: Haavarah and Incandescent Lights 1
Continuation including turning off lights and muktzeh implications. Is heated metal different from charcoal? Is there a halachic difference between Eish (fire) and Shalhevet (flame)? Are there different implications for different mitzvoth/aveirot?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-4
Chopping and dicing on Shabbat – various utensils and food stuff applications.
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Technology and Hilchos Shabbas 3: Haavarah and Incandescent Lights 2
Using electric lights for a mitzvah – consensus is battery operated fixture is better for mitzvah purposes (not sure why relying on battery reserve is better than relying on electric company). In Israel, where electricity is generated on Shabbat by Jews, is there an issue of using a light plugged in before Shabbat?
Then some discussion of “non-normal” (e.g. in the sun) cooking on Shabbat.
- Mrs. Ora Lee Kanner -Women’s Wisdom and Lessons for Today
3 key relationships – HKB”H, husband, kids (in that order).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-5
Chopping for immediate use on Shabbat.
- Rabbi Reuven Taragin -Are We Hellenists?
Are M.O. Hellenists? If we adopt the beauty of Yefet under our overarching avodat hashem, no. I would disagree with R’Taragin that the Chareidi community doesn’t need to worry about this, IMHO it’s more dangerous when you don’t realize there are outside influences impacting you.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-6
Introduction to lisha (kneading) – is adding water enough or do you need to mix? When is the issue Torah and when Rabbinic?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner -Medical Halachah: Issues in Dementia
Order of priorities – self, your kids, parents. Whose $ do you spend when?
How do you define a shoteh and are they bound by mitzvoth?
Key issue – who cares for the elderly? Where? How do you take into account the caregiver’s needs?
- Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Vayechi The Importance of Answering Yehi Shmei Rabbah
How and why we say Yhei Shmeih Rabbah as well as its relationship to Baruch Sheim Kavod Malchuto. Perhaps it’s in Aramaic (which is a diaspora language) to remind HKB”H it’s time to bring us all home (hard for me to write, I imagine HKB”H saying “I already sent you the airplane!).
Attempts to understand the Angels not speaking Aramaic statement in the Talmud.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-7
Kneading fine flour on Shabbat – what methods may be allowable. Some mustard rules too (must have been a favored topping sometime in Jewish history).
- Rabbi Dov Kahan-Chabura – bar metzra – various heterim
Very technical discussion of a specific case where neighbors were competing for a purchase of property. Interesting was how the beit din seemed to be looking for a “heter” to allow the original mover to prevail. In the end it turns out they didn’t believe the second claimant was being truthful about his motives and thus found against him even though he could have made a different claim and prevailed.
- R. Shlomo Zuckier- Where Does Holiness Come From R. J.B. Soleveitchik’s Approach to Kedusha 11-28-13
R’YBS on Kedush (holiness) being created by human activity..
- Rabbi Jonathan Bienenfeld -Spiritual Sanitation: Hand Washing in Jewish Law, Thought, and History
Review of the many situations when hand washing is halachically required and why (impurity, cleanliness, rededication).
- הלכות צבא #10, טרחה ומאמץ לעוסקים בפיקוח נפש, מאת הרב אביהוד שוורץ
Once you are required to violate Shabbat for pikuach hefesh (life endangerment) reasons, how broad is the waiver (e.g. can an army patrol turn on the A/C in their Jeep?). Differing opinions sounding a lot like they’re based on hutrah (there is no Shabbat prohibition) vs. dchuya (the prohibition exists but is deferred to extent necessary.
R’SZA on how much “suffering” you must undergo to alleviate someone else’s danger, if there’s a way to do it which violates Shabbat without your suffering.
Extrapolation from rules of tumat cohanim when a non-relative dies – there’s a big difference when you have an individual, personal responsibility and when you don’t.
Where does army duty fit in this formulation – personal or national responsibility?
- Rabbi Ari Ginsberg -Women Being Called to the Torah
When the Talmud says women could get Aliyah on Shabbat but for Kavod Tzibbur, is it focused on Shabbat only or weekdays as well? Perhaps:
1) Only on Shabbat would there be a chance to allow women aliyot since the basic 3 aliyot will have been appropriately give to men.
2) While Isha isn’t subject to mitzvah of Talmud Torah, since reading is also (as per R’YBS) a reenactment of har Sinai, there is a peripheral involvement which could allow her to get an Aliya (even though not connected to main reason for reading – Talmud Torah).
We don’t allow due to Kavod Tzibbur – defined as the assumption (or aspiration) that the community is functioning at full religious capability (so want more than just the peripheral attachment mentioned in (2)).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 321-8
More on mustard/liquid mixtures on Shabbat. Thick and thin mixtures discussed.
- Rabbi Jeffrey Saks -Kodesh & Chol (Part 8)
Final in the series summarizing R’YBS on Kedusha and Chol, infusing time and space with holiness and tshuva m’ahava as revamping the time/space continuum (my description).
- Ms. Rachel Leshaw -Heroines of the Exodus: Leaders Shrouded in Ambiguity
Analysis of the various commentaries on the story of the myaldot (midwives) who were they as indicated by a close reading of the text. My answers to the question as to why Chazal seemed to have a “universal conservation of characters” rule (e.g. why is Pinchas = Eliyahu, why was Yosef’s assistant = Menashe?) 1) maybe they had a mesorah? 2) much like the gemara trying to identify Iyov, these archtypes exist in every generation.
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