by Joel Rich
I recently was in a Shul in Aretz where they said the haftara from a Chumash yet the baal korei read it for the oleh. Apparently this is standard practice in this Shul – has anyone seen this in the US?
A Father’s Story – Stephen M. Flatow. Steve has written a poignant book interweaving his family history with their fight to achieve justice for his daughter Alisa’s murder and against Iranian terror.
Steve’s life is a fulfilment of Rav Soloveitchik’s famous dictum—we don’t ask why HKB”H allowed something to happen to us but rather what does he expect us to do in relation to that event.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Brachot Ha’zimun
Detailed discussion of issues related to birchat hamazon zimun. The main thrust is that it (as is also true of Tfilat hatzibur) doesn’t work based on shomea koneh, but rather is a din in chaburah (a public). There are a number of examples where 3 is the minimum size for a public!
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-V’tein Tal U’Matar For An American Visiting Israel in November
Why do we start saying v’tein tal u’matar at maariv but mashiv haruach at musaf? What should a non-Israeli do if he’s in Israel between Sukkot and December 5th as far as saying it upon return? What about if he is the Shatz? (Me – just be stringent and stay in Israel!)
- Rabbi Yisroel Reisman-Some People Are More Alive Than Others
Lessons from Ezekiel including the need for msirat nefesh (sacrifice) and unity.
- Rabbi Dr. Motti Klein,Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox-The Many Levels of Traumatization
Discussion concerning the definition of trauma and what should be our appropriate balanced response. Provides specific child and young adult related therapies for use in traumatic situations.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-From The Dayans Desk #44 – Ona’ah & Mekach Taut Part 2
Continuation of the discussion concerning overcharging (onaah) vs. mekach taut (invalid sale). If a transaction qualifies as a mekach taut the key questions include: Is the defect an essential one? Should the buyer have checked into this type of defect? Was the seller aware of the defect?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Bayamim HaHeim Bazman Hazeh: The Historical Context of the Chanukah Miracle
History of Chanukah and lessons then and today.
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Survey of Shas Sugyas: Af Hein Hayu B’Oso Ha’Neis
Lomdus in “Af hein” (they, too, were in the miracle) being able to create a Chanukah obligation for women. Is the women’s obligation a new one or an extension of the men’s obligation? Is it due to them being a catalyst in the miracle or a beneficiary? Does the concept apply to Torah mitzvot, or only rabbinic? How does it apply to other mitzvot, if at all?
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-Pele Yoetz: The amazing power of Tefilla; the centrality of Derech Eretz
Prayer is very important!
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Hilchot Tefilah: Minyan – I’ll do my best!
R’Moshe held that minyan attendance is a chiyuv (requirement).
- Rabbi David Genish-Halacha vs Kabbalah – How & When?
When Talmud and Kabalah clash, we follow the Talmud. If they can be made not to clash, we reconcile them.
- Rabbi Ari Federgrun-Kabbalas Shabbos: Lechu Neraninah
Line by line analysis of l’chu nraninah.
- Rabbi Reuven Brand-Back to Basics: Shabbat lights and Havdalah
The who, why, and when of Shabbat candles and Havdalah.
- Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen-Thanksgiving for Bachurei Yeshivah
What lessons can we learn from Thanksgiving observations?
- Rabbi Alex Hecht-20th Century Controversies: Draft Exemptions
Basic review of the concepts of milchemet mitzvah (obligatory war) and reshut (voluntary war) and the possible exemptions from these rules for scholars. How do these rules apply today (Israel focus).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Adding L’kaparas Pesha in Rosh Chodesh Mussaf During a Leap Year
Why do we add U’lkaparat pasha (atonement for sin) to the list of 12 requests in rosh chodesh prayer during a leap year? The reasons given may impact the question of till when in the year do we continue to add it.
- Rav Asher Weiss-Gid Anoshe
Examples where we learn halacha from Tanach and aggadic sources. R’Weiss holds that we don’t have any residue of Bnai Noach rules once we received the Torah.
- Rabbi Igal Cohen-?האם מותר להדליק סיגריה ליד חברים
Fire safety is important! When are you responsible for damages caused by your fire? When are you responsible if you gave someone a match to light a fire? When are you responsible for disturbing others? What is true emunah?
- Rabbi Elli Fischer-The Period of the Zugot
The time period of the zugot was a very creative one. Some personalities of that time period are discussed here.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Vayishlach 5779 – Eisav’s Potential, Killing Innocent Bystanders, Mitzvos of Reshaim, Zechus HaTzibbur, Gid HaNasheh
Way too many Parsha insights to list here. A sampling includes: Comparing Yishmael and Esav; Collateral damage; Esav’s midot; How much gaavah (haughtiness) should one have?; Relying on the merit of the community; Why the Beit Mikdash was built in Benjamin’s territory; Dvorah and unsung heroes; Why was it OK to kill Schecem?; and, When did Avraham start doing all the mitzvot?
- Rabbi Yehosua Pfeffer ,Rabbi Tzvi GartnerRabbi Shmuel Binyomin Honigwachs,Mr. Tuvya Stern-11/24/18 Bais Din Challenges Today Should batei din give reasons in decisions? Should there be appeals? Can they handle issues of corporate law? What are the advantages of bais din system?
Batei dinim (courts) today—How do they use other professionals? Are Toanim (lawyers?) a plus or a minus? Whey do so many “frum” Jews go to secular courts? How can batei dinim be improved? How do the Israeli and U.S. batei dinim differ?
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon=Parsha & Hashkafa for Vayishlach: What does Yaakov really accomplish by splitting his family into two?
R’Chaim Vitale sees Yaakov splitting his family into two camps as the paradigm for our current galut (Eisav and Yishmael). HKB”H won’t let them join forces to destroy usdue to our Sabbath observance.
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Can A Woman Be a Judge?
Sources from Talmud both ways as to whether a woman can be a judge. Tosfot resolves the different sources in different ways in different places in Shas.
- Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg=Halacha Topics – Hilchos Tefillin 1
Is tfillin two mitzvot or one? What is the impact of the answer on the brachot we make? Where are they worn? When? Which arm? What’s the deal with chatzitzah (interpositions)?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Are Galus Jews Prepared to Forgo Some of the Luxury?
Eir and Onan didn’t understand that beauty (materialism) isn’t the most important thing in life. Do those of us in galut understand that either? (Me – res ipsa loquitor).
- Rabbi Dani Schreiber-Berachos 45 – Zimun according to R. Soloveitchik
R’YBS on zimun and tfilat hatzibur not functioning through shomea k’oneh but through a group definition.
- Rabbi Avraham Shulman-The Role of Sports In the Life of a Ben Torah
While there are a number of possible negative elements in being caught up in sports (especially of the couch potato version), one can use sports for improving their physical and mental health (learning proper midot).
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayans Desk #45 Ona’ah & Mekach Taut #3
Continuation of discussion of mekach taut (invalid sale?)—is it an extension of Onaah (overcharge), tnai (conditional sale), or something else? Focus here is on kiddushei taut (invalid kiddushin).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Who Is A Jew
Discussion of all the usual suspects concerning conversion—kabbalat ol (accepting yoke of mitzvot), role of beit din, mikveh, converting children . . .
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – What is Appropriate and Effective for an Aliyas Neshama of a Relative
What to do to honor parents after their passing? I don’t mean to sound (fill in the blank), but it seems blindingly obvious that the answer is to up one’s game as an eved hashem, details TBD (with someone who will tell you the truth).
BTW, the original reason for candles brought to shul was to provide light for all!!! Interesting how such a practical chesed has morphed into pure ritual.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-The Fallibility of Great Jewish Leaders
Greatness is owning up to your mistakes.
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