by Joel Rich
What is daat? When we say a cheresh, shoteh or katan doesn’t have it, it seems like intellectual acuity. Some commentaries link daat to bechira (choice – as in eitz hadaat tov v’ra). Is it possible to have intellect without choice or choice without intellect?
I’d be interested in approximate statistics from communal Rabbis in the daat torah community – How many questions (per 100 family units with marriageable age children) do they get from working parents (fathers) whose children are in the shidduch process of the nature of “what is the appropriate trade off of my working more hours (at the cost of my timing) /delaying retiring (at the cost of my learning) in order that my son/son-in-law be able to continue full time earning for x years?” (What are the statistics on the answers)
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Makeup, Food Coloring & Photogray Lenses on Shabbos
This shiur commends itself on two levels – it deals with some common Shabbat tzoveah which a number of “amcha” seem unaware of and it raises some important meta-issues as well (worthy of their own discussion)
The practical Shabbat applications include: grey tint glasses, makeup/food coloring and hand wiping to clean one’s dirty hands.
The meta-issues include (1) R’Moshe’s chiddush that there’s permanent coloring, temporary coloring and (the chiddush) coloring that doesn’t rise to the level of coloring (2) R’H Schachter vs. R’Asher Weiss on whether knowing you’re setting a system in motion suffices to make you liable for the result of your normal daily living (e.g. triggering security cameras) (3) Can you follow mimetic tradition when technology changes? / Can you know enough to understand the technical rules of mlachot on Shabbat and apply them on other than a mimetic basis? (4) Should you always follow one poseik’s approach? If not how do you choose when to follow one and when the other and how do you ensure you’re following consistent theories?
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-NCSY KOLLEL Leil Iyun 5779- Torah Perspectives on the יצר הרע
It’s important to understand the nature of the yetzer hara (evil inclination) in order to defeat it. Practical tips are provided for dealing with desires for money, honor and sex. The ultimate answer is living a reflective life (me – (1) Kahneman/Tversky – we have limited reflective band width, where we deploy it is the key (2) The host society pulls strongly against basic Jewish values – are we passing the test as a community?)
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-History of Torah in America
Final chapter of R’Rakeffet’s new book gives an appropriate HT to R’Revel/YU in the development of US orthodoxy (ArtScroll doesn’t recognize it or the relationship with Torah V’daat)
The class of 1960 in R’YBS’s Shiur was the best ever and produced the leaders of all wings of modern orthodoxy.
R’YBS believed in monolithic halacha but multilithic hashkafa
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump-Meeting the Minds: Rambam’s Introduction to his Mishna Torah (Part 1)
The introduction to the Rambam – from matan torah to the writing down of the TSBP (oral law).
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-בישולי גויים
Focus on the different standards for ashkenazim and sfardim for bishul akum. May a sfardi eat from an ashkenazi hechsher?
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-עין הרע
his shiur deals with defining ayin hara and how it works. The best way to deal with it is to live a tzanua (humble) lifestyle and focus on keeping halacha (before chasing segulot)
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-סוד החלומות
There are all kinds of different dreams which may, or may not, be of halachic and hashkafic significance.
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-Emuna in the Eyes of Rav Tzadok
How one views events impacts them and others around them. True emunah is realizing we’re all the same.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Using a Doctor of an Opposite Gender
Rambam’s position (it’s a torah prohibition) of negiah (touching) shelo k’derech chiba (non-emotional) is generally not accepted. We do get on rush hour trains and professional relationships are probably OK.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Horayot 12 (שיטת הרמב”ם)
Continuing Horiyot Shiur – the Rambam’s position on who brings the par heeleim is it the Tzibbur or the Beit Din? Is a karban chatat brought due to one’s lack of focus or the impact of inadvertent sin?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Remaining Optimistic Throughout the Painful Cycle of Life
Life is full of joys and tragedies. We don’t understand how HKB”H runs the world but we should never give up!
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-NCSY KOLLEL Leil Iyun Kicking out of School for Juuling!?
Apparently MO high schools have an agreement that Juul in School=expulsion. Why and how this works in practice discussed. (me – whole discussion is subset of Kdoshim Tihiyu)
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-NCSY KOLLEL Leil Iyun What Are the odds? Gambling in Halacha
Review of the specifics of the halacha excluding gamblers from testifying. Any addictive behavior should be avoided.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Halachic Men Season V Episode IV: Rambam Codification, Citation and Classification
Discussion of the Rambam’s codification approach including authorial intent and classification system.
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-מאכלי חלב בשבועות
Why is Shavuot one day and why are there no Shavuot specific mitzvot? Perhaps to give us a message to focus on Torah right now. There are a number of reasons given for dairy meals on Shavuot, none particularly compelling.
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-השפעת שמו של האדם על חייו
Names can have an impact on us (as can many other things). Lots of detail on names – when picking, how to pick, which to avoid and why.
- Ezer Diena-בענין הלכה ואין מורין כן
The institution of halacha v’ein morin (That’s the law but we don’t teach it) is somewhat like a gzeirah. How do we understand the scope? Can it be taught in any public forum?
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-יראת שמיים
Yirat shamayim (fear/awe of heaven) is an important concept but chazal never really seem to define it (me-because it is a basic building block or because it’s subject to the Justice Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it test?”) R’Eliyahu defines it in terms of prayer, mitzvoth and talmud torah.
- Rabbi Dani Schreiber-Discussing Judaism’s Biggest Questions: Lab-Grown Meat – Part 3
Micro halachic development of theories concerning the status of meat grown from meat cells, especially from a cow that had been ritually slaughtered. (maamad, bitul et al) OU has telegraphed its answer – kosher/fleishig.
- Rabbi Asher Weiss-Reflection and Inspiration: Emunah Through Challenging Times
Thoughts on the three weeks – we need more Torah learning and unity.
- Rabbi Shimon Szimonowitz ,Dr. Chaim Waxman,Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin-07/27/19 Gedolim and Jewish Leaders Should we put them on a pedestal and deify them, or see them as human with the possibility of foibles and errors? Is infallibility a Jewish or Christian concept? A look back at the banned Sefer “The Making of a Godol”
Differing opinions concerning objective histories of gedolim.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-ארבעה חשבוים כמת
First in a series dealing with the medrash that 4 categories of people are “like dead”. Is it simply an observation concerning their social exclusion or are there halachic implications (hard or soft)?
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-Transgender Converts, Marijuana Cheese Cake, and Post-Mortem Fatherhood: Beth Din Issues in the Modern Age
Beit din dealing with modern challenges – it ain’t easy. Transgender and other challenging conversion situations need to be dealt with realistically and with sensitivity. Medical marijuana has been given a hechsher but should it be given to recreational marijuana as well?
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-מחללי שבת בפרהסיא תשע״ט
Public Sabbath desecration as a category has many implications for the desecrator’s status (counting for ritual purposes, giving honors…) but does it have the same meaning today as in Talmudic time.
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-NCSY KOLLEL Balancing personal and talmidims spiritual growth
While in general we don’t say sin so your to minimize the need to are limited exceptions. Counselors should perhaps rotate who goes to the early minyan and who davens with the campers. General challenge – be relevant but don’t validate bad behaviors.
- Rabbi Chaim Marcus-Why Can’t We Cry? – The Roots of Galus America
It’s all about our relationship (love) with HKB”H and developing a torah personality. This requires more than observing the letter of the law!
- Rabbi Meir Eliyahu-צער בעלי חיים יזדים
Is tzaar baalei chaim (cruelty to animals) a torah or rabbinic prohibition? What are the possible sources? What are the implications for our personal growth?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Horayot 13 (שבט אקרי קהל)
Penultimate Horiyot shiur – Shevet/kahal – how many shvatim make a kahal?
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-The Torah’s View of Homosexuality
Mishkav zachor (in action) cannot be legitimized no matter what the temper of the times. Sensitivity to sinners is always in order when the sinners are not rejecting the Torah’s authority.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-Avoiding Machlokes
We can improve our relationships with our fellow man.
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