Audio Roundup 2018:40

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by Joel Rich

In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts.
Emergence plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. For instance, the phenomenon of life as studied in biology is an emergent property of chemistry, and psychological phenomena emerge from the neurobiological phenomena of living things.
Question-Is Halacha an emergent system which we sometimes teach as the sum of the parts?

Life After Faith- a book

This is why I have now stopped reading books by non-believers trying to understand why lshitatam anyone should feel bound by an ethical system:

“My version of secularism places humanity at the center of value. It doesn’t not need a detour through some dim and remote transcendent.  Nor does it see vivid vindication of human worth in supposing, [whether] literally or metaphorically, that we are children or servants of God. My naturalism conceives us as both creators and loci of value, our work of creation prompted by the exigencies of the human predicament.  Out of that work, carried forward in the ethical project has come nothing less than an transformation of human existence, through the forging of connections among people and through the expansion of the possibilities of human lives.  As we reflect on that transformation, we may regret some, even many, of the details, but one can only affirm--and celebrate--the project itself, constitutive as it is of who we have become.  That, I suggest, is dignity of values enough.”<hr style=“border-top-width: 1px; border-top-color: black; border-top-style: solid;” /><ul><li><a href="">Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 486-1 and 487-1</a>

So what is the size of a kzait? What are the changes made in the shmoneh esrai for Yom Tov Maariv?

  • Rabbi Moshe Taragin-תורת המחשבה של ראשי ישיבת הר עציון -המייסדים

    This shiur discusses the personalities and approaches of R’Amital and R’Lichtenstein. This life requires a gibbor (hero) to realize that real life requires pshara (compromise). (Me – and a bigger one to live with it without rationalizing away one’s aspirations). We also need to treat our fellow man as a unique creation of HKB”H, not our cheftza shel mitzvah.

  • Rabbi Shmuel Feurst ,Rabbi Schneur Aisenstark,Dr. Leslie Klein,Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky,Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Klein-8/25/18 Chinuch Habanos – Today’s Pressing Shaalos
    Seminary in Israel, Going to College, How much to Teach? A heated debate – Is the old or new model correct? And much more…

    Some interesting conflicting views on the cost/benefit analysis of sending our young women to seminaries in Israel, women’s roles in our community (mother vs. career vs. job) and how successful the U.S. orthodox community is. (Me – I heard the words of the Eim Habanim Smeicha concerning German Jewry ringing in my ears so loudly I couldn’t make out the comments on our “success”.)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From the Rabbi’s Desk – Stem Cell Donation on Erev Yom Kippur
    Life-saving procedures involving a donor where timing is of the essence—how do we evaluate the impact of other halachic values? Is the analysis any different when the issue is not one of life and death? (Me – resolving the conflicting priorities provides a test case of what hierarchy of priorities really are.)
  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Microphone for Mitzvos – Weddings, Shofar, Megillah, Berachos

    You know it ain’t easy (HT – John Lennon) to extrapolate Talmudic paradigms (e.g., kol havarah, bat kol) into modern forms (microphones). So, how does halacha determine the implications of the answer to the question, “Is it real or is it Memorex?” (for those old enough to remember something called recording tape). [Me- R’Asher Weiss seems to have an overarching halachic approach to how we perceive things rather than their actual mechanics.] 

  • Elazar Muskin-The Rav: A Nuanced Approach to Religious Zionism

    Brief bio of R’YBS and his move from Agudah to Mizrachi.

  • Esther Wein-Kohelet: What Constitutes a Flourishing Life?
    Our goal is to reveal kavod Hashem in this world.
  • Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Ramban – Ta’amei HaMitzvos (Ki Teitzei)

    The purpose of mitzvot is to give us a better life and improve us. Shiluach Hakan as an example.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 487-2

    More on shmoneh esrai and maariv for Yom Tov. What if it’s also Shabbat? What happens when you make mistakes in the prayer additions? What about vayichulu, meyain sheva and kiddush in shul?

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Ki Seitzei Tzitzis Strings: How Long and What if They Tear

    What’s the actual meaning of the words gdilim, anaf, and tzitzit? Then some detail on knots, strings, and tears thereof.

  • Michal Horowitz-Incest, Harlotry, and a Moavite Princess-Dubious Lineage or Royal Ambitions?

    The stories of the matriarchs of David exhibit the consistent attitude of looking forward not backwards. What follows Churban is rebuilding!

  • Rabbi Ari Bergmann-The Dual Voice of the Oral Talmud

    A vision of the Talmud as an oral, evolving tradition built as a communal work. When was it actually written and how was this influenced by technology and surrounding cultures? Did the zohar develop in the same manner?

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Minhagim of Elul

    The different practices of shofar blowing in Elul may be a function of whether it is more related to Rosh Hashana or the month of Elul. Also some discussion of L’David Hashem Ori.

  • Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman-The Better Angels of our Nature: The Fallacy of Yeridas HaDoros (based on the teachings of Professor Yaakov Elman)

    Thinking that all of human existence is a downward spiral is a negative view not shared by R’Tzadok or R’Elman.

  • Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Kamma 3 (התראה)
    Continuation of the daily shiur – we know that there are avot and toldot in cases of tumah, Shabbat, and nzikin. Are there consistencies between the definitions in the different categories? How are they defined in case of Shabbat? Some interesting discussion of the definition of mazal with regard to people and animals.
  • Moshe Hauer-Rabbi Moshe Hauer on “Defining Our Values Through Torah.”

    Torah changes us and is our vision/definition. Parents are our role models as are our teachers.

  • Eliezer Breitowitz-Self-Reliance and Faith in G-d

    Emunah is philosophical, bitachon translates it into everyday life. Includes discussion of the position of the Chazon Ish (bitachon doesn’t mean HKB”H will grant what we want, rather that he will do what’s best for us.) Then moves on to defining hishtadlut and how much of it is actually required (but of course there is a range of opinions).

  • Lori Palatnik-What Me Worry? How Can I Worry if I have Emunah?

    Inspirational talk mostly about being in the moment and attaining yishuv hadaat (peace of mind?)

  • Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Domicile as a Criterion for Kaddish

    More on who has priority for kaddish—it’s all minhag (or, as R’ARR quotes R’HS quoting the Nodeh B’yehudah—flip a coin—that’s how the original priorities were set).

  • Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Avodah Zarah 1: What is the Theme of Masechet Avodah Zara? 1

    In his new RY position, R’Ziring gives an introduction to the details of Torah Shbeal Peh and life in a gap year Yeshiva.. why does the tractate of Avodah Zara not describe idol worship (found in Talmud Sanhedrin)?. stay tuned

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Pesach 487-3 and 488-1
    Rules regarding prayers for Pesach—including saying hallel at night, interaction with Shabbat prayers and why we start with Ha-el in shacharit on Yom Tov.
  • Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Introduction to Aggadata 1: Balancing Legal and Aggadic Texts

    First in a series. Agadah and halacha don’t really conflict. Agadah provides a spiritual/emotional/philosophical context for halacha and that’s why they are interwoven in the Talmud. Even the placement of an Agadah in a particular mesechta can be meaningful.


  • Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen-Yiras Shomayim – Our Career, Our Honors Program, An Iluy in Avodas Hashem

    Opening elul mussar to YU guys.

  • Rabbi Elchanan Adler-Managing the Machzor: An Introduction to the Piyut of Yamim Noraim

    Nice quick summary of who wrote piyutim and why. Also delves into some of the literary aspects of piyutim as well as some of the objections to the enterprise.

  • Ari Bergmann-Diversifying Your Learning Portfolio
    Using a number of different approaches combining text and context (i.e., not just the standard Yeshivish approach) can unlock the deeper meaning of the torah shbeal peh.
  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Pesichah to Bava Kamma – Tashlumei Mammon, Milveh HaKesuvah BaTorah, Kenas, Kapparah

    Introductory shiur to Nizikin. R’HS provides some basic constructs (and their implications) such as mamon vs knas vs kapparah and monetary obligations placed by the Torah vs those placed by ourselves.

  • Rabbanit Iris Odani Elyashiv-כל עם ישראל יש להם חלק בתורה

    Discussion of a number of sources to give seminary young ladies insights into our (and their) roles in Elul.

  • Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Avodah Zarah 2: What is the Theme of Masechet Avodah Zarah? 2

    Why is mesechta Avodah Zara placed where it is? Does it relate to the mesechta of Sanhedrin (since one must know what avodah zarah is in order to judge it)? Perhaps the message is why we are unique and how we stay so.

  • Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Kamma 4 (תלושה ומחוברת)

    What is the mechayev for payment(s) for damages. Is it singular or multiple in nature? Interesting discussion of mazal (astrological predisposition?) as it applies to humans and animals.

  • Rabbi Shaya Cohen-The Dangers of Hishtadlus

    We need to do our own hishtadlut (efforts), but it’s dangerous because we may actually begin to believe that the results are up to us!

  • Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

    About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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