by Joel Rich
by Joel Rich
It’s all about risk and reward.
Let’s start with E Kobre’s point(in a post about the beauty of mehudar) about time and resources spent on a mehudar 4 minim. Where is the trade off calculation for time and resources spent (by both layperson and Rabbis)on something more than kosher and the other uses of those resources (e.g tzedaka)?
I’m a strong supporter of the YU approach but if we had data we might actually have some sense of the trade off in secular college (and resources spent to kasher them) vs. otd et al.
These are hard decisions and need to include an understanding of community and individual risk aversion., we have an imperfect balance between the individual and the community in decision making, and many think they are experts based on no or anecdotal data some of it generations old.
HKB”H yiracheim on his people and bring the goel tzedek quickly
There have been a number of shiurim discussion Ashkenazim only duchening on Yom Tov at Musaf outside of Israel. The general thrust has been that all the reasons given don’t seem sufficient. Even those reasons don’t really explain why we only duchen at mussaf and not shacharit (except that we’re happier that we’re closer to the chulent).
It occurred to me that an insight from Rav Sobvertchk might help explain the extra simcha of mussaf and thus duchening. Why do we only say “yishmichu” at Shabbat mussaf? Because the other tfilot could be based both on karbanot and avot. Mussaf is only karbanot related so we are then totally lfnei hashem (in front of HKB”H) and this is true simcha.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 611-2 and 612-1
Knivat hayerek (preparing food on Yom Kippur for after) is not done anymore. Children can play with nuts on Yom Kippur. Discussion of prohibited amounts to eat.
- The Hart-Fuller Debates on Morality and Law
Helpful discussion of the positivist (the law is the law because the king says so) and naturalist (ethics are the goal) approaches to law. There are a number of in-between positions (both in legal theory and moral philosophy).
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 612-2
More detail on forbidden eating on Yom Kippur—differentiating between what is forbidden and what is punishable. What to do about medications?
- How Universal is Liberalism (Ronald Dworkin)
Is liberalism (various flavors defined) universal or parochial? How do we balance equality and liberty? Is governmental coercion sometimes a good thing?
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin -Hoshanah Rabbah 2016- Sukkot Pesach and The Varieties of Collective Experience
Relationship of pesach and sukkot tells us a lot about different types of unity. Pesach focuses more on inclusion, sukkot more on collectivism. Provides examples and definitions.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Is Abstaining In a Halachaik Dilemma Always the Right Choice?
Defining B’al Tosif and Tigra (don’t add or subtract to mitzvot) on both an individual and communal basis. Interesting position of the Mishna Brurah that it could be b’al tigra if you do a mitzvah in a less than lchatchila (preferred) method when you could’ve done it that way (so on the Excel spreadsheet you get a + and a -?) General rule is that passivity/chumrah isn’t always the right answer, one needs to do a risk/reward analysis (Okay, that’s how I’d say it).
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky -The Torah State, Part VI: “Law and Minority Rights”
Discussion of minority rights in a halachic state. What is required by halacha versus what is preferred? Focuses primarily on non bnai brit and women and making sure there’s no chillul Hashem.
- Joe Wolfson-Rav Hutner on Sukkot
Lessons from Sukkot from R’Hutner (not always the easiest to understand) on combining different approaches.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Mental Illness in Halacha and R. Asher Weiss on OCD
R’Asher Weiss on OCD—it’s a form of illness which needs to be dealt with in a careful way.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -After Gimmel Tamuz – Lubavitch Today
R’Rakeffet analyzes the current state of Lubavitch as well as R’A Soloveitchik’s position of Moshiach coming from the dead. Lubavitch does a lot of education and kiruv, in fact, they are the new Modern Orthodox (reaching out and including various subgroups)! In the Rebbi’s absence all functions have been institutionalized.
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump ,Rabbi Shay Schachter ,Rabbi Isaac Rice -Tikun Leil Hoshana Rabba @ BKNW
1. Significance of Hoshana Raba and why the Zohar appeared when it did (me – certainly could be true). Why do we throw aravot on top of aron kodesh? (I’m guessing not too many people would give this reason?)
2. Don’t think you know it all already, keep going to shiurim and listen intently (know anyone who listens to a lot of shiurim?)
3. One can connect through Yirah (awe), ahavah (love), or simcha (joy). Don’t look down on those who do it differently than you.
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -The Synagogue Experience a la Rashi and Tosafot
In Ashkenaz the Beit Knesset was viewed as an extension of and a portal to the beit mikdash. Examples given.
- Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter-Hidur Mitzvah
Must hiddur (beautification) of mitzvah be rooted in the act of the mitzvah? Must the hiddur be noticeable to others? How do we view hiddur in a continuing mitzvah (mitzvah hanim shechet)?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 612-3
Analyzes different measurements of quantity and time for establishing violations of drinking (especially on Yom Kippur) prohibitions.
- Rabbi Chaim Brovender -Chanoch
Some parsha thoughts including:
• Rashi usually brings multiple opinions for Agadah but a single psak opinion
• Einenu (he was not there) may mean he had no kids or no good ones
• Both Noach and Enosh had issues
• What was lost in the ten generations and when was it lost?
- Rabbi Reuven Brand -Teshuva Vaad: Rav Kook and the Search for Self
One needs to find one’s self
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -עם נבון וחכם: האמנם?
We need outside knowledge for internal and external relationship reasons. This knowledge can help us influence both non bnai brit and bnai brit.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 613-2
Rules for walking (or other conveyance) through water on Yom Kippur for mitzvah purposes; can you come back that way as well? What to do if you have a keri incident?
- Rabbi Dovid Cohen-Adding water to an electric urn on Yom Tov: introduction, basic operations, one coil vs. two coils, grama
Nice confluence of engineering knowledge and halacha. How your urn is wired and controlled make all the difference when considering whether you can add cold water on Yom Tov. Bonus explanation of latent heat.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Halacha Shiur #4 – ברכת כהנים בחוץ לארץ
Why don’t we (Ashkenazim) duchen [except for mussaf on Yom Tov]? Suspects include:
• No simcha (joy) [what about singles or mourners on Yom Tov?] • No real chazarat hashatz [no ten concentrating listeners] • Keeping spirit of takanat Ezra (ritual purity)
What was the source for not duchening or Shabbat, or Neilah?
Mandatory Gra story retold!
- Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter-Starting with Parshat Bereishit: Analyzing Rashi’s commentary on the Torah
Rashi insights including how fast he was accepted (e.g., as an alternative to Targum), how he honored his father and what his program was (pshat).
- Rabbi Ari Kahn-Living Vicariously
Thoughts on the relationship between Chava, Kayin and Hevel.
- Rabbi Daniel Stein-Keriyas HaTorah: Personal Obligation?
Proofs as to whether the requirement for Torah reading devolves on each individual or the community as a whole and is the purpose to learn Torah or for the Torah to be read (and associated practical applications)?
- Yishai Fleisher -Is America Still an “Ally”? With Amb. Michael Oren
Ambassador Oren talks about his growing up in West Orange, NJ and his experiences thereafter. Specific focus on differences in U.S. and Israeli culture (Jewish) as well as the PR challenges Israel faces. Also, Yehuda Glick speaks about Otnilel and R’Feuer provides some Torah insights.
- Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik-The Difference between Geshem and Gashem
R’YBS on Geshem –is it part of the sentence or an external addition?
- Rabbi Chaim Packer -Electricity in Hilchos Shabbos
Review of the positions on the nature of the prohibition of active use of electricity (distinct from the results of using it for a purpose—e.g., a clothes washing). R’Packer is a fan of R’Asher Weiss’s theory—Chazal knew it when they saw it!
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Shlomo Carlebach In Responsa Literature
R’Shlomo Carlebach’s life history (it’s not all positive). R’Menashe Klein says not to listen to any of his muscle due to his history. It’s important to get married young!
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Yom Kippur 613-1
Circumstances where one might need to wear shoes on Yom Kippur (rain). Additional stringencies related to marital relationships also discussed.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Kiddushin #21 – Chazarah #1
Review (technical) shiur on kiddushin issues including:
• Kinyan (acquisition) with arev (cosigner)
• Kinyah Issur (existential) vs. mammon ($)
• Nature of kiddushei kesef
• Delineation of Torah Shebiktav vs. b’aal peh [and] why it’s important
• Rambam as an anti-karaite
• Defining kesef (coinage) and shaveh kesef
- Rabbi Roy Feldman-Sefer Shmuel, #1
First, in a series on Sefer Shmuel. Here, the focus is on the story of Chanah.
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