by Joel Rich
I’d welcome some feedback on some Brisker thoughts. Brisker dialectics sometimes seem like Newtonian physics, which explains a lot, but not all, the data. I wonder if a more quantum mechanics, less Boolean approach might explain more (but be much more difficult to prove).
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Interesting example of psak reflecting human nature- Kohanim don’t leave duchen before kaddish because of the minhag of saying Yasher Koach (people won’t answer the required kaddish responses) So how is it decided when to draw a line in the sand and when to have workarounds?
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- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Art History, Women’s Beis Medrash, Car for Mechalel Shabbos
1.) There are differences in the prohibitions for men and women looking at erotic art but in general one should avoid hirhurim (not the blog).
2.) A bet medrash for women probably has the same kedusha (holiness) as one for men.
3.) Msayeah (assisting in a sin when the sinner could do it without you) is a rabbinic prohibition which doesn’t apply (according to some) if the sinner is purposely sinning. R’Moshe’s tshuva on renting a wedding hall to people who might say lashon hara (OK – mixed dancing) is an interesting application of the doctrine of double effect.(my term, not R’ Moshe or R’ Lebowitz’s)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz–How To Appropriately Handle Rabbinic Power
R’Lebowitz speaks to budding rabbis: 1.) Be humble. 2.) Don’t be arrogant. 3.) Be humble. 4.) Use your time wisely. 5.) Prioritize your family and spouse. 6.) Be there for all congregants. 7.) Look for positive criticism. 8.) Your main job is to inspire, you work for HKB”H. 9.) Be humble. 10.) Work on prayer. 11.) Be humble.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 442-1
How much chametz (especially in a mixture) may cause an issue of bal yeraeh on Pesach?
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-The Power of Innovation: Why We Learn the Bavli
The Yerushalmi was more focused on practical halacha, the Bavli or yegia batorah (arduous labor). The Bavli eventually won out due to age, community stability and koach hachidush (novel approaches) due to extra effort. [Me – whatever gets you through the night.]
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Sukkah 22 (שינון וטיול בסוכה)
Which activities must be done in the Sukkah vs. which might be vs. which can’t? Is learning in the sukkah always preferable? (Me – Is the answer existential or is it just a rule of thumb?)
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Being Courteous to Others When Under Tremendous Personal Stress
Gedolim stories offer us important lessons. Avraham and Yaakov teach us grace under pressure.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 442-2
This Shiur continues the analysis of b’al yeraeh with specific focus on taarovet (mixtures), nuksheh (hardened) and eino rauy l’achilat kelev (a dog wouldn’t eat it).
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Long Lost Friends – The Brachot of Shehecheyanu and Mechayei HaMetim
This Shiur analyzes the blessings made (or formerly made) when you see someone you hadn’t seen in a long time. Were the brachot keyed by happiness or just knowing that someone was alive? Given the instantaneous transfer of information today, do these brachot still apply?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Medical Ethics: Informing a Patient of a Terminal Diagnosis
General society’s approach to truth telling to patients has changed dramatically over the past century. Halacha generally isn’t into complete patient autonomy and honesty when it comes at a cost to the patient’s health.
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-Turning the Ordinary into Extraordinary
We can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by seeing all we do in the context of shem shamayim (heavenly purposes). Make sure it’s not all about you!
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring–נויים בתפלה – נחם 3
This Shiur continues an analysis of the positions of authorities on changing (or not) the text of Nacheim. How important is relevance of the prayer text vs. the fear of change?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 442-3
More on bal yerah applications for bandages and laundry which include chametz ingredients.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Standing When the Aron Kodesh is Open
Standing for the sefer torah is really only required when it is moving in the same domain as you are in. We are stringent to stand whenever the aron is open but it’s unclear how strong that practice is (when confronted with other priorities).
- Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO Beth Medrash Govoha, and Dr. Alan Kadish, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Touro-Parnassah: Dealing with the Challenge of Life After Kollel
Match the speaker with the position:
R’Kotler, Dr. Kadish, Dr. Pelcowitz:
Kollel is great, Kollel causes parnassah problems, Financial stress can have psychological implications.
- Rabbi Yonatan Shai Freedman-What is the Berakha on Granola Bars? (Why Is That Not A Simple Question?)
A nice presentation concerning why bnai yeshiva do not eat granola bars (also includes various halachic positions on bracha rishona and achrona.)[me-why avoid psak, just ask and follow???]
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach-442-4
What is the status for bal yeraeh purposes of chametz based glue or non edible items containing chametz? How do we treat medicines, cosmetics, or beer for bal yeraeh?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Mental Health: Week 5: Relaxation
Relaxation is good for you but is it consistent with Judaism? The Shiur covers four approaches: 1.) Make sure your relaxation has value. 2.) Relax in order to do good. 3.) Relaxation is part of being human. 4.) Shabbat and other times actually include a mitzvah to relax. [You might be interested in my Jewish theory of retirement.]
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Saying a Beracha on Medicine
This Shiur reviews the (two Talmudic) sources regarding brachot on medicines and how poskim try to reconcile them. General rule it’s complicated! Probably the only thing all agree on is if it’s something people eat anyway, it gets its own regular bracha. li>
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh -Sukkah 24 (זה א-לי ואנוהו)
Do you have to wake up someone sleeping in the house to go sleep in the sukkah when the rain stops? Is leaving the sukkah due to rain considered mitztaer (suffering) or something else? There are differing understandings of the rain/slap in the face metaphor on sukkot.
- Rav Asher Weiss-Gid Anoshe
Very technical discussion of issur achilah, issur hanaah and meilah.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach-442-5
There is a practice to scrape chametz off the walls! Also discussed—when do we join two half kzaitim for purposes of b’al yeraeh.
- Rabbi Daniel Hartstein-Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Purchasing With the Intent To Return
This Shiur is primarily a discussion of gneivat daat(misimpression) issues that come up in retail commerce including advertising and window shopping.
- Rabbi Michael Olshin-Davening to be able to Daven
There’s a nice prayer to say before you pray. It’s a good segula (me – to get you to focus).
- Rabbi Aaron Selevan-Halachic Responses to Scientific & Technological Change
All the usual suspects rounded up as to how to reconcile some of Chazal’s statements with modern science.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-The GRA, Thanksgiving and Pentecost
All the usual suspects rounded up on chukat hagoyim[practices of the other]. The specific applications discussed are Thanksgiving and flora in the Shul on Shavuot.
- R. J. Wieder- Vayishlach Whomever Says Reuven Sinned- 11-30-17
An analysis of Reuvain’s character, motivations, and why he lost the bchora (birthright).
- Rabbi Chaim Strauchler ,Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community: A Panel Discussion
Panel discussion concerning eating disorders with a focus on the special challenges and opportunities facing the orthodox community.
- Rabbi Dovid Heber-The Molad and Its Impact on Every Day of the Year
This Shiur discusses the lunar calendar and the International dateline in halacha. li>
- Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein-R. Kook on Changing Ancestral Customs (9 Kislev)
When a group has taken on a positive minhag (practice), can they change it? Does it depend on whether there is a loss involved if there is no change? Whether there was an original condition attached to the acceptance?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 442-6
More discussion of chametz which even a dog wouldn’t eat
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