by Joel Rich
Chumash Mesoras Harav – Sefer Devarim: Chumash with Commentary Based on the Teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Rabbi JB Soloveitchik. Learning through the final volume (Dvarim) is, of course, struck by his brilliance, poetic communication ability and the breadth of his sources. However what truly comes through is his holistic view of the world of Halacha and Hashkafa (philosophy). Perhaps best analogy is the difference between a native language speaker and one who learns a language later in life but never fully assimilates it. It’s a pleasure to be able to get a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a truly holistic Torah personality.
Please see the Mishna Berurah 188:32 where he quotes the Acharonim that if
during Seuda Shelishis someone davened maariv, he can no longer say retzei.
It seems that the same should apply erev shabbos, after one has davened
maariv, he can no longer say yaaleh veyovoh.
I wonder if he meant maariv literally or if one had intent and said atah chonentanu as havdalah – since in theory you can daven maariv after plag-would he say if you did that you don’t say retzeih if you ate later? BTW in theory, when we finish shalosh seudot after tzeit (maybe shkia?) shouldn’t tadir vsheino tadir say we daven before we bentch?
- Rabbi Asher Weiss-Q & A Session
2 reasons to listen- R’ Asher Weiss shows that a gadol can relate to what many in our communities call “the real world” and parents might hear what their kids are hearing (as might past and future talmidim)
Topics include how to be the best you can be and why the Torah presents great ones as having warts. (Insert goes first)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 467-2
What to do about wheat (or grain) on Pesach when there’s some doubt as to whether it got wet.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-Immigration Policy and Halacha
What do traditional Jewish sources teach us concerning the current immigration crises worldwide? We should be humane and responsible. [Me – so should those in a lifeboat but what about the opinion that one city can use the spring water for clothes washing at the expense of another’s drinking?]
- 6/16/18 Talking to your Children about Summer Camp (and Life) Dangers-Harav Yaakov Ephraim Forscheimer,Dr. Reuvain Shanik,Rabbi Aharon Sorscher, Mrs. Debbie Fox, LCSW,Rabbi YY Rubinstein,Dr. Hylton Lytman, MD,HaRav Dovid Cohen
What should you tell your kids about abuse and what should you do if (lo aleinu) you suspect your child was abused? (Me – is it really true most orthodox parents don’t talk to their kids about the facts of life??) R’Cohen’s psak is that mandatory reporting (before going to your rav) is unconstitutional.
- Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander-What is the Future of Modern Orthodoxy?
R’Riskin and R’Brander on M.O. (= engaging the outside world as it is today). Specific issues include women’s roles as decisors, the next generation, and the chief rabbinate (first). (I’m still waiting for someone to answer Doc Brown’s call, “something gotta be done about your kids,” [or who is watching the store while all the “adults” are getting fulfillment?])5
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Chullin Shiur#153 YIFH
Detailed discussion concerning the various “gifts” given to the Cohanim. Some interesting discussion concerning: the status of Cohanim today (is the need for myuchasim [certified] for certain purposes only Rabbinic?); partnership status vis-à-vis gifts; when can we use legal fictions and the need for Hesder Yeshivot.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Life in the Heights XI: Overview of mezuza issues
Lots of discussion of mezuzah specifics including: where they are needed and where not? (e.g., synagogue, beit medrash; various sized and shaped rooms); what if you are not moving in right away?; when can you take them off? When must they be checked?
- Morah Stacey Goldman-Rival Wives in Navi
Primarily a review of the medrash that Pninah had a positive motivation for her seemingly negative interactions with Chana.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Korach Davening for Someone’s Downfall and the Berachah of VeLaMalshinim
How do we reconcile conflicting sources concerning praying for the punishment of rshaim (evil ones)? It depends on how directly you were impacted and how bad the rasha is
- R. Dov Halperin -Tearing on Shabbos. Paper, envelopes, plastic bag of cutlery etc
Good discussion of the mlacha of Korea (tearing). How do we differentiate from tikkun mana? How do we define tearing for a constructive use?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 467-3
Can grain that is attached to the ground but fully grown become chameitz? What about other moisture concerns including dried fruits that are treated with flour?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-מנהג עדה מול ניתוח בסוגיא
If one cooked on Shabbat (including hachzarah and shihiah, purposefully or accidentally), can (and when can) that food be eaten or used after Shabbat?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-מנהג עדה מול ניתוח בסוגיא
The Nodeh B’Yehuda exemplifies the tension between mimetics and going back to basic sources. In the end, it’s going to be based on the poseik’s halachic intuition. Interesting conjecture that chassidim called their nusach “sfard” (rather than redacted ashkenaz) so as not to be accused of Reform/maskillic tendencies (me – so much for “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!)
- Rabbi Yisroel Reisman-Tadir
Is tadir (more frequent) an issue of chashivut (importance) or seder (order)? Is it simply a matter of quantity or does consistency play a role as well? (Me – an interesting psychological/heuristic issue as well [does saying v’ten tal umatar 100 times in one day work?])
- Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Hilchot Tefilin: Are Your Retzuot Kosher, Covering The Shel Yad
Length, width, and common issues with tfillin retzuot (straps).
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Magic
Judaism rejects the idea that there is magic that can overpower HKB”H’s will, but there are those who believe there is “magic” under HKB”H’s process and others who say it doesn’t exist.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-KJ’s Dr. William Major Memorial Advanced Shiur in Talmud
Detailed daf shiur with a fascinating example of tosfot treating local practice as “a text” needing to be reconciled with other seemingly contradictory Talmudic texts.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 467-4
Any items that are sometimes prepared with flour can be a Pesach chameitz issue. If you find grain in a cooked concoction it usually is a problem.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Berachos #125 51b-52a – Mayim Acharonim, Tadir uMekudash
Brachot topics including mayim achronim, tadir vs. mkudash; ein maavirin al hamitzvot; beit hillel vs. beit shamai; when we listen to a bat kol; and the order of havdalah/birchat hamazon and kiddush/birchat hayayin.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-The Opportunity and Challenge of America: Rav Moshe Feinstein’s Approach
R’Moshe recognized that the U.S. is malchut shel chesed and this came through in his tshuvot. He also recognized (as should we) the risks and rewards of living in an open society (and one which views leisure so positively).
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump-Non-Jewish Cemeteries – The Definition of Adam
Analysis of the various opinions as to what extent do the corpses of non bnai brit transmit ritual impurity.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-The Halachic Methodology of Rabbi Shlomo Goren
R’Goren’s approach to psak recognized a qualitative difference between Eretz Yisrael and Chu”l (↓) and the importance of unity within the state (which requires flexibility in psak). These priorities also led him to look to the Yerushalmi and Tanach as sources. Examples provided.
- Rabbi Yonatan Shai Freedman-The halakhot of mixing fish with meat or dairy
How seriously should/do we take the “prohibitions” of mixing meat and fish? Is there a sound basis for not mixing milk and fish?
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Introduction to Perek Chelek: 1 – What is the Ultimate Good and What is the Proper Catalyst for Serving God
It’s OK to think about reward but really we need to serve HKB”H because the emet is the emet (the truth is the truth) and the reward will come of its own. [Me – it’s all about the relationship.]
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Bankruptcy in Halacha
Is paying off a debt a Mitzvah/Torah requirement? What if no one comes to collect? Is there a concept of implicit yeush (giving up hope)? Perhaps bankruptcy could work in halacha as “minhag hasochrim” (standard market practice)?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 467-6
What do you do if you find an open piece of wheat in your chicken or matzah on Pesach?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Shlomo and David – Rabbi Shlomo Goren and David Ben Gurion
An extension of the prior halachically focused shiur on how both R’Goren and PM Ben Gurion realized that keeping the Jewish people as one people (especially within Israel) would require compromise on all sides.
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman-Final Thoughts on Jewish Denominationalism
Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Jews for Jesus, Chabad, Sfardim, and Open Orthodox—do you know where you’re going to? (HT – Gerry Goffin.)
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Agnon’s El HaRofeh as Commentary on Yaakov and Esav
There are parallels between an Agnon story and the Yaakov/Esav story. We’re not always perfect and sometimes we need bad people who have some redeeming characteristic.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Berachos #127 52b – Hadran Alach Maseches Berachos, Mayim Acharonim, Mitzvot in Aninus, Cherev, Dreaming About Eretz Yisrael
Topics include: One who is informed that they became an onein in the middle of some action (e.g., eating); hand washing as a mitzvah or a matir; mayim rishonim emtzaim and achronim; kiddush bmakom seudah and hatavat chalom.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].