by Joel Rich
The Torah seems to presuppose the existence of money (e.g., Avraham buying from Ephron). Does this mean humankind was “destined” to have a medium of exchange other than barter, or waiting for equivalent object of value?
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From R’ Aviner (IMHO there’s what to discuss-from a layman whose cpr/Heimlich training saved 2 lives, albeit one only temporarily):CPR Course
Q: What is preferable – a CPR course or learning Torah during that time?
A: Learning Torah, which resuscitates the soul. Learning Torah is equal to them all. Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote that while it is a Mitzvah to save people, there is no Mitzvah to study medicine (In his Teshuvah on whether or not it is permissible for a Cohain to study medicine. Shut Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 2:155).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 551-9
Week of Tisha B’av rules including drinking, beer, kids training for the fast and rules for those coming out of shloshim.
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky -The Torah State, Part III: Economics
Introduction to economics and the Torah’s (really Chazal’s) view on a modified free market. ISTM a lot presented as a slam dunk that is subject to halachic debate.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Making Sushi on Shabbos
Making sushi on Shabbat—not an issue of bishul, mimacheik, etc. The problems might be tochein or boneh. Orthodox Union policy is to say not to do but if the baal habayis says he really needs it, then do it. [Me – the sociology of sushi and the orthodox community will be a great Ph.D. thesis (as will foodies in general)].
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -אינטוציה כחלק מהותי של פסק הלכה
In general, psak Halacha isn’t about absolutes but probabilities. What if sources line up 99/1 or 70/30? What are the confounding factors? A number of examples to show need for intuition and sense of context. Delves into one of my favorite topics caf hadimayon or shivayon (does A is like B really mean it existentially?)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Sitting on the Same Bench as a Sefer
We’re generally stringent regarding sitting on a bench with a sefer torah. Other sefarim—not as much (but better not to). [Me – no issue of putting sefer on something you generally sit on!] Interesting quotes re: no difference between standing the sefer up or laying it down because we never saw that differentiation in prior poskim. I would’ve said it depends on how your average Yossi defines kavod or lack thereof!
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-Behaloscha
Parsha thoughts including: The Torah elevates you Aharon did any possible mitzvah to honor HKB”H. Wherever geographically Bnai Yisrael were, they were always with HKB”H, so too Bnai Yeshiva with their Yeshiva. Each generation requires its own leadership. Bnai Yeshiva should be involved with communal needs.
- Rav Asher Weiss-פדיון הבן בשטרות כסף
History and current psak concerning which financial instrument can be used for pidyon habein. How to think about commodity money, fiat money, notes of indebtness, checks, credit cards, bit coins, et al.
It’s best not to use a Cohain’s coins in a pidyon habein. Some interesting discussion of the existential category of money.
- Rabbi Uri Orlian -Financial Investments in Eretz Yisrael: Capital Gain or Olam Haba
What is the nature of the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael? Is it to live there? To buy property or a home? To build there? Interesting proofs and halachic differentiations.
- Rav Nissan Kaplan-ben_chutz_ask_ben_EY_todo_melacha_various_others
A number of halachic issues relating to asking someone to do something that you are halachically prohibited to do, including if you made early Shabbat, hold a later Shabbat or on the second day of Yam Tov for a ben chu”l. Quite a few opinions depending on your underlying theory of the case.
Then on to dairy on Shavuot, six hour cheese waiting issues and telling someone to sleep on Shabbat to stay up late learning (is it prohibited hachana[preparation]?).
- Ike Sultan -Demystifying the Halachic Process: How does a posek come up with his pesak?
Review of R’Bleich’s shiur with focus on differential between learning for psak vs. “pure” learning.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Tefillin Shiur Pesicha – The Mitzvah to Wear Tefillin Every Day?
What (or when and for how long) exactly is the Torah mitzvah to wear tfillin? What is the source of “once a day, every day” for mitzvoth that don’t have a specific time assigned? R’Asher Weiss thinks tfillin are parallel to Talmud Torah—something to be desired and to try your best to fulfill when you can (which,due to hesech hadaat issues, we define as wearing during prayer.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Davening From a Cellphone
There are benefits (e.g., readability, portability) and costs (e.g., distractions, how does it look?) to using smartphone for davening—best not to!
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 551-10
Bathing prohibitions and exceptions during three weeks, nine days and week of tisha b’av.
- Rabbi Dr. David Berger- Behaalotecha Eldad and Meidad 6-23-16
Understanding the “prophecy” of Eldad, Medad and the other 70 men with a specific focus on the Rambam’s definition of prophet.
- Rabbi Dani Rapp -Shelach: Not Naming After a Rasha
How do we reconcile the concept of not giving evildoers’ names to our children with seeming historical counter examples? Rules for exceptions posited.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 551-11 and 552-1
Shechiyanu rules during the 3 weeks. What must be avoided during the three weeks due to danger. Rules of the seudah hamafseket (the final meal before the fast).
- Rabbi Daniel Hartstein -Selling Wepons to the PLO & Calling Cards to the 9/11 Terrorists: A Personal Journey In Business Ethics
Thoughts on making the transition from the Yeshiva to the business world.
- Mr. Aaron Friedman-Can Modern Orthodox Rabbis be part of the Halachic Conversation? How that Question Affected the Battles over Machine Matzos in the Late 1850’s – 7-4-16
1800’s German Rabbis vs. others debate concerning machine matzan as paradigm for the debate over community reactions to modernity.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 552-2
Rules for foods (how many and what type) for seudah hamafseket. Where to eat the meal and how.
- Rabbi Dr Aaron Glatt-Zika: Is the Buzz More Than the Bite?
Excellent description of the current medical understanding of the Zika virus and halachic implications for travel (business and personal), birth control and abortion
- Rabbi Alan Haber -Isolation vs Integration: Political and Ideological Tensions in the Second Temple Period
There was an independent Jewish state through first temple times, after that we became a religious community under foreign domination until Macabim.
- Rabbi Etan Schnall-Shayla of the Week 1: Mezonos vs. HaMotzi – Egg Rolls, Pizza Rolls, Bagels
Discussion of pot haba b’kissnin rules.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Police Activity in Israel on Shabbat
How to halachically approach modern state issues—do we base it primarily on micro Halacha (e.g., returning from emergency call on Shabbat) or meta halachic (e.g., aspirational Torah state still needs police protection on shabbat). Considerations including specific examples of responsa, dealing with such issues discussed.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Do Electric Lights Make the Night Into Day?
Does the Sma’s position that having lights allows even tchilat din (beginning of decision) to be done at night apply to any other night-related halachic issues?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 552-3
The Seudah hamafseket is defined as the last meal before the fast but after mid-day. Should one eat a lot then? What to do if Shabbat is erev the fast?
- Rabbi Jeffrey Sakss-Rabbi Soloveitchik – Life and Thought
First in a series on The Lonely Man of Faith. Provides some biographical information on R’YBS and an introduction to the purpose of religion and the Lonely Man of Faith.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring -Do we Want Converts? The Medieval Example
Chazal and later poskim were not of one voice concerning converts. Review of sources and how each narrative reinterprets them. Attitudes may be a function of time and place impacting the perception of the sincerity of converts.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner -Introduction to Kabbalah 2b: Why are we here?
HKB”H created us in order to be a giver, we’re here in order to keep the world going and improve ourselves. Kabbalah is popular today because people are looking for meaning (without obligation) and magic is cool (and easy).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Taynis 552-4 and 553-1
What to do if you accepted a private fast for erev Tisha b’av? Can you continue to eat after the seudah hamafseket? Then a bunch of specifics concerning the seudah hamafseket, tfila, clothes, shoes and havdalah when Tisha b’av falls out on Motzai Shabbat
- Mrs. Lynn Kraft Mrs. Atara Turoff Mrs. Tami Drapkin -Top Ten Hotline Questions Answered
Topics include: Birth control, stains vs. flows, hargasha implications, Friday nights/motzai Shabbat/Yom Tov mikveh rules and alternatives and menopause transition rules.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].