by Joel Rich
Yuval Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
“Secular Israelis also tend to argue that the ultra-Orthodox way of life is unsustainable, especially as ultra-Orthodox families have seven children on average. Sooner or later, the state will not be able to support so many unemployed people, and the ultra-Orthodox will have to go to work. Yet it might be just the reverse. As robots and AI push humans out of the job market, the ultra-Orthodox Jews may come to be seen as the model for the future rather than as a fossil from the past. Not that everyone will become Orthodox Jews and go to yeshivas to study the Talmud. But in the lives of all people, the quest for meaning and community might eclipse the quest for a job.”
(me-Fascinating possible response to the economic instability of the chareidi model argument)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Eruvin 345-3
Defining reshut harabbim based on 600,000 people “passing through” and other related issues.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-The Complementary and Conflicting Flavors of Torat Eretz Yisrael-Panel Discussion with Yonoson Rosenblum
R’Taragin and R’Rosenblum discuss the religious Zionist and chareidi communities—definitions, strengths, and weaknesses.
- 5/11/19 Kibbud Av in Halacha
Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein,Rabbi Dr. Benzion Sortotzkin,Rabbi Yaakov Haber,Rabbi Avrohom Weinreb-Moving away from parents to Eretz Yisroel, When a child is Frummer, Chiyuvim of child to parent, and much more
The moderator has strong feelings about a broad definition of kibud av (don’t move far away). Special focus on making aliyah (IMHO the technical mitzvah definition misses the point).
Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba—a wise parent puts his children’s destiny before his own “needs.”
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-The Ethics of Targeted Assassinations
R’Aviner’s psak that targeted killings are ethical and required in the appropriate circumstances.
- Rav Asher Weiss – Maimonides Conference Session 1 Q&A
Q&A on measles vaccination—just do it!
- Rav Asher Weiss-Sefiras HaOmer
Sfira – duraita/drabannan, day/week, zecher lchurban? Two interesting (to me) points. 1.) Shatz should have in mind to be motzi with his bracha those who missed a day (me – but no one else or their bracha could be l’vatala?) 2.) If a question wasn’t dealt with by gemara and rishonim (e.g., a boy who becomes bar mitzvah mid-sfira, does he continue to make a bracha?), then the answer must be obvious (milta d’pshita).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Shehechiyanu and Mechayeh Hameisim on a Friend
Are the brachot on seeing someone (TBD) you haven’t seen in 30 days or 12 months (shechiyanu/mchayeh meitim) based on the same triggers(other than the time period)? (e.g., general happy to see vs. dead to me). If not, what are the implications? The minhag today seems to be not to say them with shem and malchut.
- Rabbi Shlomo Amar-אם פונדקאית בהלכה (Surrogate Motherhood)
Agricultural cases are interesting but not dispositive of who the “real” mother is . Listen here to find out who is.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Post Shacharit Torah: Kuzari #1 Introduction
First is a series of short shiurim on the R’Yehuda Halevi’s Kuzari. He was accepted (vs. the Rambam’s Moreh) because of his blending of rationality with tradition. He included elements of both universalism and particularism in the work.
- Rabbi Reuven Brand-Introduction of the Chovat Hatalmidim
Introduction to “Chovat Hatalmidim” which was written by the Piaseczner Rebbi pre-Holocaust for teens. It was frank in its recognition of challenges and dealt with education in its broadest sense.
- Rabbi Yosef Adler-Are Women Obligated in the Mitzvah of Sefirat Haomer
Is sfira a time bound mitzvah? Maybe not!; listen here for more detail.
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-The Sensitivities of Psak Halacha: When Shalom Bayis Clashes With the Torah
Examples of how halacha (including Tanach) takes shalom bayit into account when finalizing real life applications.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Leading Anti-Semites: Caliph Abd al-Mu’min and the Almohads, Part 1
First in a series on specific representation examples of historical anti-Semitism. Focus will be on what drove it and how Jews reacted to it. This installment ends at convert or die!
- Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Chaim-Yom HaZikaron
Thoughts on why Herzl was OK and how everyone was against us in the run up to the founding of the State.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Kedoshim 5779 – Preserving Our Innate Kedushah, Honoring Parents vs. Keeping Minhagim, Shechitas Kodshim, Mitzvot of Dayanim, Kilayim
Parsha topics including: Balancing altruism and self-care; not showing interest in idol worship; intent in karbanot; matnot aniyim; kavod av; psak; klayim; dan l’kaf zchut; superstition, tattoos . .
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Contemporary Applications of Hilchos Ribbis & Hetter Iska
There are unique elements and themes in the prohibition of ribbit (interest) and those themes will inform on the application details. Discussion of drabannan or duraita types of interest and specific halachot.
Heter Iska-Chazal established workarounds if, and only if, they meet the spirit and letter of the law and there is great need. Then discussion of specific heter iska applications.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-01 Question and Answer (Chaim 1)
More Q&A (first related to Shabbat) including: Moving lit candles, fire danger; opening potato chip bags; playing Scrabble or related putting together of letters; winding watches; why is Eretz Yisrael so important?; Tafasta mrubah lo tafasta; why all the messages from the Torah are not clear?; Sechita, mlabein and non-filament lights on Shabbat.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Checking Mezuzos for Misfortune, Damage with Diesel
Checking mezuzot is a halachic requirement and there are many sources/stories concerning their protective value but they’re not our first stop in case of challenging circumstances.
If an employee causes damage to the owner, he may be halachic ally liable, but it’s suggested the owner go beyond the letter of the law.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Checking Tzitzis Before Reciting a Beracha
Why isn’t chazakah enough to defeat a requirement to check tzitzit daily? Efshar l’varer (it’s easy to check) or they tear easily (me –or both). Practical applications today also discussed
- Rabbi Michoel Zylberman-Kedoshim: Excluding the Unvaccinated from Communal Institutions
Micro-halachic defense of the meta-halachic requirement to vaccinate.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Rabbis Jung and Schwab
More on R’J. Kamenetsky, The Jewish Center, and R’Belkin’s ascent to the presidency of YU.
R’Rakeffet takes issue with some of R’HS’s and R’MW’s statements on aliyah (reviewed in the special audio roundup on YU/Yom Haatzmaut).
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-CSS: Shul Security on Shabbat
Shabbat security issues including: Use of surveillance video, are guns considered muktzeh, and how do you determine if a situation is considered pikuach nefesh?
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-Transforming Mussar Into Halacha: Introducing the Thought of the Chofetz Chaim
The chofetz chaim’s work on shmirat halashon is really an extension of R’Y’ Salanter’s musar approach which included the halachicazation of mussar.
- Rabbi Reuven Taragin-What Parshat Emor says: The chiddush of Parshat Emor
Parshat Kdoshim is about acting holy, Emor is about infusing the world with kedusha (holiness). Lots of mussar for gap year(s) students.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Kedoshim Stealing In Order to Save One’s Life
Can you save your own life at the expense of another’s property? (probably yes). If yes, do you have to compensate him? (probably yes)
- Rabbi Yehuda Balsam-Counting Sefira Early – Kavanah and T’nai
Some “razzle dazzle” (HT – R’Sobolofsky) lomdus concerning mitzvot levels of kavanah, tnai (condition) shlichat (agency), baalut, negative kavaanah et al.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-How to deal with the loss of one’s Rebby Muvhak
How do we define rebbi muvhak? Who taught you your basic approach to learning)? R’YBS points out we only miss the person once they are gone. We need to reflect on who we lost, learn his Torah and continue his legacy.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Saying Ketores (from a Klaf)
There’s a minhag (lots of segulot!) to say the ketoret (how often?) from a klaf, it’s just unclear why one is allowed to violate the halacha of not writing partial excerpts on a klaf!
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Racism, and Racial Diversity in the Workplace
How do halacha and the Canadian legal community look at racism and diversity? Listen here to find out.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-2 Question and Answer (Chaim 2)
A number of topics including: Borei nfashot; Eilu V’eilu; When is chumrah appropriate; mocheik and kotev; Shalom aleichem and paying for work on Shabbat.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].