by Joel Rich
From a recent Kashrus article:
The principle of DIRTFT says that instead of solving the problem with new and improved koshering methods, just avoid the kovush problem totally. If the tank holds 1000 gallons of milk, a CLEAN pump should be attached to the outlet of the tank. The raw milk should be pumped out of the outlet through a hose that will go into the top of tank. If the capacity of the pump is 100 gallons per minute, then, in order to include a safety factor, the pump should be operating for 20 minutes. This way, every drop of milk has been removed from the tank and returned to it. The Halacha of Koivush only applies if the liquid was in the tank for 24 continuous hours, not when it was removed and returned into the same tank. We have now avoided the problem of Kovush. By using this method of avoidance, we also solve the problem of the farmer not having more than one tank and he has nowhere to pump the milk into to avoid Kovush. The same tank that the raw milk is stored in can be used to avoid Kovush problems totally.
Me – Does this guarantee that every drop of milk has been removed? Wouldn’t one have to understand how fluid dynamics apply to the particular tank?
- הלכות צבא #22, הבעלות על ממון צה”ל חלק א, מאת הרב אביהוד שורץ
Who “owns” army property for the purpose of selling Chometz? Quickly moves to one of my favorite issues in political science – is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Sources which could point to a corporate communal ownership which is more than just a pooling (partnership) of the citizen’s rights include:
* Nedarim (application of certain types of oaths)
* Selling a shul (who, if anyone, has the right to sell one)
* Ran on Dina Dmalchuta (why is the law of the land, the law?)
* Korban Tzibbur (communal sacrifices [vs partnership ones])
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz -Contemporary Issues Related to Avoda Zara
Excellent shiur on the varying opinions concerning avodat zarah status of Xtianity and implications for other religions. Interesting question – is no belief better than a false one?
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Understanding Ratzon Hashem: Respecting the Mesorah
RIETS is great and the Chag Hasmichah is a big kavod hatorah. The musmachim are links in the chain of the mesorah and getting hashrat shechina (divine guidance) in psak is done through Torah learning and knowing HKB”H (i.e. the more, the better).
- Professor Paul Bloom-PSYC 110: Introduction to Psychology– Lecture 11 – Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Emotions, Part I
Starts with some parent/child evolutionary psychology issues. Moves onto the prisoners’ dilemma, free riders and the best strategies for parties in such situations. This latter part is worth a listen if you’re not familiar with it as it applies in many areas of life (IMHO where the Israeli government went wrong in its relationship with the Chareidi community).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 336-2
Sitting, walking, washing or drinking on grass on Shabbat can involve violations (but spitting is OK).
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-Shaving
Discussion of using an electric shaver for cutting one’s beard and/or peyos – why did some allow shaving (e.g. Chofetz Chaim) but “we” shouldn’t. Differing opinions on which areas are included in which shaving prohibition (hard to follow without a picture).
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Maarit Ayin on Shabbos
Review of Talmudic and psak material concerning maarit ayin (how it looks?). How do the factors of Rabbinic vs. Torah prohibitions and the act in question taking place in a private vs. public venue play out in determining whether an act is forbidden due to maarit ayin.
- Dr. David Shyovitz -The Two Headed Man: Monstrosity, Humanity, and Halakhah
One of the more unique shiurim I’ve listened to, apparently back in the day strange births were considered a warning from HKB”H.
- Rav Asher Weiss-Pikuach Nefesh on Shabbas
Interesting possible applications of the rule of violating one Shabbat in order to keep many; including doing so for kids, fools, foetuses and avoiding apostacy.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter Can 13 – 20 Year Old Boys Daven Mussaf For The Amud?
Review of possible sources why machzit hashekel doesn’t apply to women and the implications of that status for who can be the Shatz (prayer leader) for Mussaf.
- Rabbi Jeffrey Saks -Lashon HaKodesh
Does the holiness of the Hebrew language mean that man is incapable of draining that holiness and thus secularizing the language?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – The Little Shabbos Goy: Asking Children to do Melacha on Shabbos
Issues to consider in determining parameters of when a child can be involved in what would be a Sabbath violation for an adult: (i) Chinuch (education); (ii) biblical requirement to not have children do Sabbath work and (iii) general rule not to directly involve a child in any halachic violations.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – The Shul Candyman: Feeding Kids Before Kiddush
Very similar analysis to the above but most interesting was why do we allow kids to drink the Kiddush wine in shul Friday night? (Me – the question is better than the answer!)
- Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Pekudai Wearing A Yarmulka or Other Head Coverings
All the usual sources on male headcovering.
- Ari Lamm -Megillat Esther and the Second Temple – An Archaeological and Literary Portrait
Looking at sources (Jewish and non-Jewish) outside the megila to figure out issues such as who the players were in the Purim story, when it took place and what messages were meant by the different texts.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Likeutei Inyonim #4
Some technical muktzeh issues; specifically something becoming muktzeh midday on Shabbat. Interesting insight into two uses by the Talmud of the phrase “Adam Chashuv Shani” (an important person is different) – sometimes it means that fact makes the specifics of a situation different, sometimes it means he needs to be more careful/stringent due to his actions’ impact on others.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz -Tefillas Haderech
Is Tfilat Haderech (wayfarers prayer) a ntilat rshut [request to allow a dangerous journey] or a prayer (keep me safe). Possible practical differences in application based on this dialectic.
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Pillar to Post #8 – Concluding Thoughts: Is The System Fair? To Men? To Women?
System is fair (it’s from HKB”H), it’s just that we lack enforcement. Interesting – Bet Din of America will suggest a husband give get in case where he wanted to go to beit din but she refused and went to civil court and got civil decree (me – choteh niscar?) and sometimes the payoff to a husband (reasonable $) may be viewed as severance pay.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon -Masechet Makot 7a: Does Halacha Favor Capital Punishment?
Discussion of the responsibility of Sanhedrin to ensure a society where murder is infrequent. Difference between capital murder and other capital crimes is that murder is between Man and Man, as well as Man and God.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -תפילה–קרבּנות
Is the saying of Karbanot (sacrifices) each morning just in order to fulfill the mitzvah of Talmud Torah or is it as if you had brought the sacrifices? Rabbeinu Yonah felt it was a Torah requirement.
Includes discussion of the yehi ratzon’s (when you say them before a Karban and when not) and when can you say psukim (verses) by heart (e.g. everyone knows them, you aren’t being motzei someone else).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Parsha Shiur – Vayikra 5774
Parsha potpourri – Lots regarding Karbanot (sacrifices) and Kohanim.
1) Shach says that when the Torah uses the phrase Bnei Yisrael, it sometimes excludes non-Jews, sometimes women and sometimes no one – you need a feel for when which is which!
2) “Imitation” mitzvot to avoid forgetting real mitzvot are only allowable if a bad result is not likely to be learned from the imitation act.
- Rabbi Peretz Hochbaum -Ad D’lo Yada
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Technology and Hilchos Shabbas 6: Typing on Computers 1
Looks at different “writing” that comes about through electronic media – pure input, screen appearance, saving to hard drive and printing. What is considered halachic writing? Very technical analysis. First in a series.
- Professor Paul Bloom-PSYC 110: Introduction to Psychology-Lecture 13 – Why Are People Different?: Differences
Two main individual elements are intelligence and personality. Discussion of possible definitions and tests for both of these. Differences in people are due to nature and nurture (mostly nature).
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Technology and Hilchos Shabbas 3: Haavarah and Incandescent Lights 2
Continuation of technical discussion of electric lights on Shabbat. Begins to look at LED’s and the like.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Vayikra Are Witnesses Obligaated to Testify in Beis Din
Technical interaction of Shvuat Haeydut and Shvuatt Bitui then some just on Shvuat Eidut (testimony).
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-one mitzvah sefer chareidim
Pick a mitzvah to excel at and get connected!
- Rabbi Arnie Wittenstein -The Study of Jewish History: Jewish Printing
History of printing of Shas. Particular emphasis on debunking the myth that copyright rules were to restrict knowledge from masses.li>
- Miriam Berger -Court Rulings: Ruth and Esther in Linguistic Dialogue
We compare works by looking at themes, phrases and rare words. Examples from Ruth and Esther – simple vs. complex natures with a focus on the political science question – what should power look like? (e.g. monarchy?)
- Professor Paul Bloom-PSYC 110: Introduction to Psychology-Lecture 14 – What Motivates Us: Sex
Explaining sex differences based on evolution (e.g. beauty reflects youth and health which signal likelihood of more surviving descendants).
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