Audio Roundup: Reisman Special

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by Joel Rich

Thanks again to my chaver Counselor K for his persistence in obtaining these CD’s! Rabbi Reisman’s shiurim are available for purchase at:

  • J-72 – Dreaming of Jerusalem
    Why wasn’t Jerusalem’s location revealed earlier in Jewish history? To teach us the lesson that we need to dream of a more perfect future and a better community/atmosphere for us all. One example – spend more time in bet medrash even after you’ve begun working for a living.
  • J-73 – He’s peeking through the cracks
    HKB”H peeks through the cracks to watch over us even when times are hard. Analysis of last chapter of Yonah – Hashgacha Pratit (divine intervention) is there whether things (at least as they seem to us) are good or bad.
  • J-74 – Fools, halfwits and kooks
    I thought this was going to be about me, my friends and my sister’s family (as in Rav Kook), but it was about defining a peti (stunted intellectual growth) and shoteh (not halachically responsible?). Can one be a shoteh in one area or is it across the board? Mussar – we may be shotim for distractions (we foolishly allow ourselves to be distracted from what’s important). R’Reisman loves plane trips to Israel for the same reason I do (now that my kids are grown), uninterrupted learning time! I do get the impression that he doesn’t love ELAL or the Israeli government.
  • J-75 – Astronomy 201
    Explains why sunrise tables are not right for davening netz (sun light deflection varies based on atmospheric conditions and height above sea level). Continues with explanation why time zones mess up symmetry of latest sunrise, earliest sunset (is this any way to run a railroad? Actually, yes – it’s thanks to the railroads we have standard time).

    The majority of Gdolei Yisrael accepted Copernicus’s heliocentricism (which can be proven) at the time he propounded it (no mention of before that time).
    When we look at universe, it deepens our belief in HKB”H.

  • J-76 – Hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil
    R’Reisman returns to one of his favorite subjects (as a Rosh Yeshiva he does a lot of premarital counseling) Venus vs. Mars.

    Understand that when you get married it’s a new normal, so learn to overlook, understand and when to keep your mouth in the closed position.

  • J-77 – The longest day
    Do the sun and moon define day and night (prescriptive) or just mark it (descriptive).
    Is agadita a mashal (analogy) or must it have a physical reality as well? What is the halachic impact?
    What did the Rambam mean about the moon & sun & stars having personality? The lesson to us is that we need to sense spiritual winds (trends) and take advantage of them.
  • J-78 – Ten Great Heterim

    1. Eino mitkavein (not one’s intent), Lo niche lei (not desirable), even though psik reisha (result will occur) – it’s ok on Shabbat to overcome a drabannan (me – water meter operation is lo niche?? If the water company would shut off the water without one?)
    2. If you have a tzurat hapetach on a Brooklyn driveway, if the string breaks but the lechis are still there, it’s ok (if houses and other fences cover three sides).
    3. Chulent – if you took it off the fire without intent either way (to put it back or not) you can still return it.

    4. Muktzeh – Tiltul bgufo (move with your body) is ok.
    5. You can use scrabble letters to leave someone a message on Shabbat.
    6. *Amira l’akum (asking a non-ben brit) to do something on Shabbat:

    7. Shvut d’shvut when large loss, is ok.
    8. If he does for himself, it’s ok.
    9. If someone is ill, it’s ok.
    10. Opening containers on Shabbat – many allow if disposable (but then can you use a disposable cup for Kiddush?).
    11. A sin on Shabbat is “worse” than the rest of the week (maybe because neshama yeterah is involved) but a mitzvah is worth much more!
  • J-79 – World War I
    HKB”H allows war to bring faster change (that’s why Kinyan Milchama has halachic import). Then discussion of World War I, fallen empires and the Balfour declaration.
  • J-80 – He who hesitates is lost
    War is an all in kind of thing. The 35 (lamed hei) should have killed the shepherds! So too in our battle against the yetzer hara we must show resolve and commitment.
  • J-81 – Synonyms, Contranyms and Eponyms
    Some words in Hebrew (which is lashon hakodesh and thus even the word structure is imbued with holiness and meaning) have a one letter reversal (Keves vs. Kesev) but are also entangled meaning wise.

    So, too, contranyms (e.g. clip can mean separate but also put together). Life is like that too – you never know the ultimate outcome and who is really benefitting from an action and it’s also what you make of it (Bob Dylan – The wheel’s still in spin!).
    Other lessons from homonyms (treat daughter-in-law as if she was still fiancé) eponyms (free isn’t always good) and always gather for wisdom (Vaad) and have a friend you can tell when you’ve failed/done bad (Ra).

  • J-82 – Planning for Retirement
    Society has changed so we have more free time – use it wisely to learn (especially in retirement). Shout out to my friend Shlomie (hamechuna Sol) – a role model when he was working and now in his retirement! As I always say – time is our most valuable and perishable resource.
  • J-83 – Tzedakah Collections
    Thoughts on the proper attitude in giving tzedaka and on setting appropriate priorities. The poor and Yeshivot come first (somehow maaser sheini is equated with learning [no source stated]) and Yeshiva teachers don’t get paid enough or on time because of community’s misallocation of resources. Don’t choose charities based on social pressure!

    Great R’Pam story for aveilim – saying Kaddish is like sending regards to the deceased, learning mishnayot is like sending them a letter and supporting Torah learning is like sending a kugel (in my version setting aside more time for regular learning is like sending them a stream of annuity checks!).

  • J-84 – Selflessness of Gdolei Yisrael
    Stories of the Bach, Malbim and Aderet showing the selflessness of Gdolei Yisrael (actually in a way it’s selfishness since it increases their reward).
  • J-85 – Supernatural Creatures of Eretz Yisrael
    What’s the deal with the anakim (giants) tzirah (hornets) and big fruit which are prominently mentioned in the Torah that seem missing from Nach? The lesson is that the coach hatumah (negative powers) are counteracted by msirat nefesh and that’s the power of Eretz Yisrael.
  • J-86 – The Best Student Ever
    Yehoshua was the best student ever (Satmar Rav said all sifrei tanach were transmitted to him and this continued all the way down to Mordechal!?!?!). You really always need to be a student and have someone who you are a continuation of and who can give you the mesorah (tradition) and also advise and mussar).

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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