Audio Roundup Special

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by Joel Rich

Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 1a – Does_Hashem_care_about_the_details
        HKB”H doesn’t “take revenge” against us when we sin, rather, our neshamot (souls) are intrinsically impacted by sins much the same way our bodies are impacted by good food or poison.  The Torah is a reality and a complete, practical guide to life.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 1b- What_Moshe_received_at_Sinai
        Moshe got all the principles and details of Torah at Sinai, allowing reconstruction of prior halachot and new applications as well.  Moshe had a special merit that he got to see all future drashot, etc., even if he didn’t understand them!
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 2- Is_there_one_absolue_truth    Our old favorite debate of concerning multiple truths (each finds his own) vs. there’s only one truth, nebech if you don’t find it!
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 3a- The_Nature_of_the_Torah_ShBaalPeh
        The purpose of Talmud Torah (torah shbeal peh) is to modify our attitudes, ideas and abstract concerns.  Torah shbeal peh sensitizes us to life.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 3b- Torah_ShBaalPeh_is_to_develop_attitude
        Torah shb’al peh is not just a collection of information but a work which sensitizes us to principles and helps us develop proper attitudes and awareness.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 3c- The_origins_of_Machlokes
        Unfortunately, this Shiur seems to cut off short of the end, but is the beginning of an explanation of machlokes—how different schools of thought developed.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 4- The_difference_between_Rishonim_and_Achron.
        Rishonim were all about mesorah and a derech halimud, so the derecho halimud is really part of the mesorah and can be used to clarify the mesorah.  (Me – sounded like a “clear mind” and applying principles of the mesorah trumps the factual mesorah.)
        By the time of the S”A , the direct mesorah ended.  The S”A decided to go by the majority of poskim, the Rama decided to go by the latest poskim and the Maharshal felt you still needed to go back to basics.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 5- Psak_Halacha
        Why is psak binding?  Is it kavod harav (respect for poseik), Shavei nafshei (you accept it), or a Torah rule that psak is binding?  Bindingness applies in cases where a practical, specific question was asked.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 6- How_to_decide_between_conflicting_psakiim
        The role of a community poseik has changed over the years (do we really have them in the US?  It’s more than just a synagogue Rabbi).  The definition of a Gadol is one who has total clarity and true chochma (wisdom).  There are different darchei limmud (approaches to learning).  Is one ever wrong?  This Shiur reviews some of the rules of psak (e.g., majority, your rav, Shach vs. Rama . . .) Also includes some interesting comments vs. tolerance in chinuch and community building.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 7 – Shaas_HaDchak_and_Chumra.
        If psak is emes (truth), how can you rely on a minority opinion bshaat hadchak (in times of real need)?  There’s’ a difference between a minority opinion and a singular opinion. (The latter is ignored for halachic purposes.)  How far back can you go to find a usable minority opinion?
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 8- Chumras_Tannaim_and_lo_sisgodedu
        One should follow the rules of psak, you’re a ksil (fool) if you’re always stringent due to indecision.  Shiur also pro
vides introduction to the question of whether lo titgodidu applies to minhagim.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 9- Minhagim
        The collective practice of the Jewish People compared to prophecy (i.e., it has halachic validity even if we don’t see the cognitive halachic process in play)  Minhagim come in many shapes and sizes (community, family, individual in error). Depending on the category, they may or may not be reversible.
        When they come into conflict with each other, the category is also important in determining which to follow.  Abnormal situations do not qualify for minhagim.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 10 – _Review_pt_1
        Review Shiur (seems to me there was some expansion of the original discussion)includes:  What did Moshe Rabbeinu get at Sinai?  History of the Mesorah through rishonim and psak methodologies of those who followed.  Horaah  (learning yourself or getting psak from someone who did) vs. Hachraah (you know there are different Shitot and you are picking one) and when an individual psak man changes psak process in general, and shaat hadchak situations.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 11- _Review_pt_2
        Review Shiur #2 discusses Lo Titgodidu parameters in detail with a special focus on minhagim.
Rav Berkovits- K’lalei Hora’ah 12 – Answers_to_the_test.
        Can you, as an individual, select someone from the past as your main halachic authority?

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

One comment

  1. About your summary of the first shiur on the list, let me repeat something I just posted on Avodah.

    I think the difference between calling an onesh a consequence and calling it a punishment (or even “corrective”) is whether one views sekhar va’onesh as a system that HQBH set up when He set up the universe or as a set of responses He has to our actions.

    “Chai gever al chata’av” implies one, our tefillos on yamim nora’im frequently imply the other.

    (And to continue from a later post, not yet on the web…)
    But both are simply simplified models of the incomprehensible Truth of how Hashem runs the universe. Since He is lemaalah min hazeman, we can’t talk about whether the decision was made in maaseh bereishis or in response to our action — both are ascribing times to a timeless Action (for want of a better word). We can only speak of a when for the effects of Divine Action, as they enter our timefull experience.

    There is also another issue… Sekhar mitzvos behai alma leiqa. Not everything in this world is sekhar va’onesh. Li nir’eh, everything in this world is to draw us to a state of being able to receive more of Hashem’s tov. Onesh, only when we have a chance of it getting us to choose more constructively. Which is why the mishnah talks about tzadiqim getting onesh in olam hazah to spare them in olam haba. Not because pain in olam hazeh pays off the accoun t early, but because a tzadiq will use the pain to draw closer to HQBH / to his ideal self. And similarly, resha’im who wouldn’t respond constructively to the challenge… Well, HQBH would share with them his Tov in the here-and-now rather than not at all.

    This takes us away from insisting that the universe must be set up so that every sin contains its own onesh as a consequence. (If we’re using the consequence model to look at things.)

    Instead, we can look at the universe as tending toward tov — the final equilibrium state of history. And therefore every step away from tov will as a consequence cause a pull back toward it. (Which could well be onesh, but in olam hazeh, it could be getting us connected back to the Meitiv in some other way.)

    (End of repeating myself for the new venue.)
    But in any case, I question the opening dichotomy. Yes, there are causes of Divine “Action” toward us other than reward and punishment, but “consequence” isn’t, to my mind, one of them.

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