by Joel Rich
From Rav Aviner:
Torah Learning for the Ascension of a Deceased Person
Q: Does it benefit the deceased if one says before a regularly-scheduled class that the learning is “Le-Ilui Nishmat…”?
A: No. Only if they add extra learning after mentioning the deceased (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski said the same. Derech Sichah Vol.1 p. 484).
If you look it up there he also says that the credit for the extra learning only goes to the deceased, not the learner. However a father always gets credit for a son’s learning. (We’ve discussed this issue before IIRC)
The Shulchan Aruch uses the word Yishtadel 4 times (3 in orach chaim and one in even haezer) and the phrase midat chassidut 3 times (all in choshen mishpat).
Are there other such phrases that are used and any pattern as to what circumstances the shulchan aruch uses them?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 338-1
What kind of broom may you use for Shabbat sweeping and how does that inform on sheitel brushing and floor sponging.
- Professor Bloom- psyc 110: Introduction to Psychology–Lecture 17 – A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part II; Some Mysteries: Sleep, Dreams, and Laughter
Things we do:
*Rely on first impressions
*Make-up our minds based on quick snippets of data
*Resolve cognitive dissonance
*Stereotype/profile (even unknowingly)
Then moves on to theories on why we dream, what we dream about . Why do we laugh? (unclear)
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Technology and Hilchos Shabbas 7: Typing on Computers 2
More on “erasing” HKB”H’s name from different screen technologies. Key is attempt to define the essence of “writing” based on Talmudic sources.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon -Accepting Upon Oneself New Stringencies (chumrot): To Do or Not to Do
Siyagim (certain stringencies) are important but need to balance them with the impact of your adopting them on others.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 337-3
More on Shabbat “noisemakers” including cuckoo and alarm clocks. Can you play games (ever?, on Shabbat?) and methods of saving fruits from rain on Shabbat.
- Mrs. Lisa Septimus -Introduction to Kallah Classes
Some basic philosophy of Taharat Hamishpacha – it’s about relationship building, potential life and may have medical benefits as well. Then some detail of Torah and Rabbinic day counting for mikveh purposes.
- Rabbi Moshe Weinberger-Finding New Sweetness in Old Wine
They tried to take our most precious possessions (being alive and being Jews) and then they returned it to us. The message is appreciate what you have.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 338-2
Knock, knock, knocking at heaven’s door? Noise making (keeping a beat) issues on Shabbat.
- Professor Bloom- psyc 110: Introduction to Psychology–Lecture 18 – What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part I (Guest Lecture by Professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema)
Defining deviance is a function of what’s considered normal by society (me – in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is in the circus). The DSM (manual) has moved towards more objective measures. Depression and bi-polar disorders are described and treatments outlined (they’re both genetic and experiental and treated by drugs and analysis).
- In Tribute to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, interview with YU’s Rav Dovid Miller,
Very brief look (in anticipation of his receipt of the Israel prize) at R’Aharon’s holistic personality and work and concerns.
- Rabbi Adam Mintz-Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbim: Bucharest, 1850
The Malbim’s commentary on Tanach was aimed at defending both the written and oral law against reformers. His anti-wealth and anti-liberal attitudes were based on negative personal experience.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh -Shabbos Shiur 44- Torah vs Tefilla and the Status of Bathrooms
Talmudic topic shiur including:
*Dress and stance for prayer
*Tfila l’chud and Talmud Torah l’chud (prayer and learning Torah each have its own time) – how to understand the trade-off, if any
*Practical Psak vs. Theoretical Talmud Torah trade-off
*Rules on when to eat and when to take a break (for physical or spiritual needs)
*Bathhouse vs. Bathroom Rules
- Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz-Ehrlichkeit in Business 31
Not exactly sure why this shiur is titled as it is. It’s mostly about moser, rodeif and minim.
- Rabbi Ari Cutler -5 approaches to solve whether “Shoalin vedorsheen” 30 days before or/and on Chag itself!?
Differing approaches to understanding the rule of studying holiday laws 30 days prior to the holiday – is it a requirement? Is it limited to Pesach and does it depend on who you are?
- Rabbi Elchanan Adler-Purim and the Concept of Aveirah Lishmah
Results in life are (me – often or always?) predetermined, but your intent will be the basis on which you are judged.
- הלכות צבא #23, הבעלות על ממון צה”ל חלק ב, מאת הרב אביהוד שורץ
Continuation of examination of halachic ownership of the army’s property. Applications include:
*is tvilat keilim needed
*are mezuzot needed? Whose responsibility/requirement is it to put them up?
*maakeh (safety precautions)
What about army property assigned to an indivisual (e.g. hat)? Is there a requirement to return a “lost” army object to the individual to whom it was assigned?
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon -Makkot 7b-8a: What exactly took place in the forest?
Our Shabbat afternoon chuburah is learning maakot so I thought I’d suspend my no gemara shiurim rule to see if I got any new insights into some gnarly issues like:
*why does the gemara (2nd perek) seem to move back and forth between logic and psukim to define shogeg?
*when are the tertiary results of an action halachically associated back to the doer?
*when is one doing a mitzvah held liable for unintended physical consequences of the mitzvah?
- Rav Asher Weiss-Shmini
Is there a requirement to stop a child from sinning or only not to assist him? Is the requirement rabbinic or Torah based?
R’Weiss believes that even though generally we hold “lo darshinan taama d’kra” (we don’t assume we know the reasons for clear Torah directives) we do apply such reasons for practical halachic purposes if they are propounded by the Rishonim.
Interesting history of rationalization (or not) of kids carrying for adults on Shabbat.
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks -Rabbinic Leadership in the 21st Century
Lessons in leadership:
*don’t idolize man
*believe in those you lead
*understand your peoples’ suffering
*educate your people
*be aware you make a difference
- Professor Bloom- psyc 110: Introduction to Psychology-Lecture 19 – What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part II
There’s sometimes a fine line differentiating mental illness from “normal” behavior but other times it’s obvious. Discusses schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, disassociative behaviors and psychopaths.
- Hillel Halkin and Rabbis Chaim Brovender and Jeffrey Saks -Book Review: “Letters to an American Jewish Friend”
Discussion with H. Halkin updating his classic book. Always remember that projections of current trends are usually wrong. Reviews some issues he was wrong about and others on which he was right. Still feels no long term hope for Jewry in the U.S. Israel is a test for Judaism – if we can’t show the world a better model, have we succeeded? Some vigorous debate!
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 338-4 and 339-1
Issues relating to making a utensil not usable on Shabbat. Then on to riding, swimming, dancing and clapping on Shabbat. Interesting retelling of rationalization of why we do clap and dance in seeming violation of the original rabbinic prohibition.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter -Purchasing a Burial Plot While Still Alive
Is buying or opening a grave a segulah for long life? Do we have to listen to R’Yehudah Hachasid?
- Rabbi Ephraim Greene -Songs of Shabbos- Ki Eshmarah Shabbos
“Ki Eshmera Shabbat” – translating and understanding the meaning of this Shabbat zemer.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz -Practices of Nissan
Maot chitim essentials – it’s outside of the regular context of charity. Focus is on local needs and immediacy of use, but do you have to worry about fulfilling the stringencies of the recipient?
Is it ok to take out Torah to read Parshat Nesiim, not as part of regular reading?
Rules of birchat Ilanot (blessings on trees).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Parsha Shiur – Shmini 5774
A little bit of this, a little bit of that:
*why wear a kittel at the Seder?
*why do we have duchening where we do in Shmoneh esrai?
Why didn’t Moshe tell Itamar and Elazar to be mtamei l’meit?
*Miluim (installation) details
*Kohein gadol vs. mashuach milchama
*Moshe represents written law, Aharon represents oral law
*lots of technical karbanot and kohanim issues
*simanim in animals – turkey, zebu, et al
- Artists Various-Michael Lawrence- Current Political Situation in Israel
Primarily training in pro-Israel advocacy for Shana Alef guys.
- Professor Bloom- psyc 110: Introduction to Psychology-Lecture 20 – The Good Life: Happiness
Positive psychology and happiness research summarized. Lots of hope for the future!
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Leaving Food Under a Bed
Don’t, but not a slam dunk
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].