by Joel Rich
Three important lessons (Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba v’imi morati and the R’YBS machzor) were reinforced in my Yom Kippur experience (1) HKBH owes us nothing, anything we get is chesed (2) Our efforts are up to us [and that’s what we’re judged on] the results are up to HKBH (3) In the end (sim shalom) we put the turbulence behind us and rest easy with all being in HKBH’s hands. Now if I could truly internalize all that…
If one eats sliced apple as part of the meal (e.g. waldorf salad), would you still make a bracha on apple slices dipped in honey after making hamotzi? Explain your answer please.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Halachos Of Kiddush
Very practical discussion of the laws of Kiddush (and underlying halachic theories including what to say and drink (and how much) and from what utensils.
- Rabbi David Yosef-תורת המנהגים וברכותיהם
Chibut aravot (beating willows on hoshana raba) – is it a minhag or takanah (enactment) and why is there no bracha? What’s the pattern with regard to a bracha on hallel and public chanukah menorah lighting? R’OY distinguishes two types of minhagim – those introduced by the Rabbis vs. those introduced by the people (and allowed by the Rabbis). [me-an interesting parallel to R’YBS’s approach to grounding minhag in halacha and in “folk wisdom”]
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Insights Into Parshas Bereishis: Tikkun Leil Hoshanah Rabbah Young Israel of Woodmere
R’HS’s potpourri on Bereshit including: HKBH’s kinyan (ownership) of all; Creation of time; Man in space; Plant/animal/human differences; Free will; Tree of Knowledge; Recognition of good (hakarat hatov); Hidur mitzvah and pru u’rvu.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A -Prophecies, Tatoos. Environmental Obligations
Q&A including: Prophecy; Tattoos; Teshuva; Environmentalism; Noahides; Elul plans; Anthropomorphism; Shulchan aruch; Praying for/to dead; Affairs in reform synagogue; Tanach/haskala and chametz issues.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-The Last Mitzvah in the Torah
Why is the Torah called a shira (song)? (1) It can’t be interpreted purely literally (2) There is more than one interpretation (eilu v’eilu) (3) It’s not purely intellectual.
The mitzvah to write your own Torah is a philosophical message as well.
- Rabbi Baruch Simon-Shiur at Einstein Shul on Assorted Topics Regarding Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed
Shabbat was originally meant for personal introspection, yom tov for coming together.
Assorted yom tov topics including: Gas burners, Electricity, Tfillin on chol hamoed, Milk pumps, When do you need to matir neder to change a minhag and davar haavud (opportunity cost)
- Rabbi Ari Wasserman-Parshas Bereishis – Havdalah – why do we look at our fingernails? both hands or only one? why use a candle with multiple wicks? And, much more
Discussion of halachot and minhagim related to ner (candle of) havdalah. What type of bracha is it and why are we so focused on our hands?
- Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef-פרשת האזינו תש”פ
A poseik must go back to the gemara; codes are not enough. Analysis of eating in the sukkah and the requirement of yaaleh v’yavo in birchat hamazon.
- Rabbi Ari Ginsberg-The Idiot Who is Patur
Why the bad rap for doing a “mitzvah” not required of you (sitting in sukkah when it’s raining)? Could be you’re contravening HKBH’s will or that it appears arrogant (mechzei kyuhara) or you’re adding mitzvoth (baal tosif) or showing a lack of knowledge of the basics.
- Rav Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar for Ki Tavo
Mussar to gap year students (applicable to all!): Pledge allegiance to the system (we all fall short from time to time); actively support the system ($ and time); be a role model for others and show respect for leadership.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Mitzvot Numeration and the Obligation of Living in Israel
Insights into the Rambam’s sefer hamitzvot, the Ramban’s life and his differences with the Rambam’s sefer hamitzvot. The Ramban’s view (positive) on the mitzvah of yishuv eretz yisrael is also discussed
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: דרכי האמורי, GMOs, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and more
Q&A including: Meaning of getting tzaraat (leprosy); Two days rosh hashana; Symbolism of b’eer (spring); Impact of our environment on our deeds and judgement; Development of languages (all from Hebrew); Shatnez; Chukat hagoyim (copying ways of non-ben brit; Chareidi dress code; B’al Tosif (adding mitzvot); Karbanot (Sacrifices) today; Dogs on Shabbat; GMOs Carlebach; Tunes from temple times; Alternative medicine, Nazis as Amalek (quoted in the name of R’Chaim Soloveitchik?!?!; Dancing and clapping on shabbat
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Bushul Akum, Tisha B’Av, Easter Island, and More
Q&A including Cheresh (deaf/mute); Bishul akum (cooking non-ben brit); Forfeiting ownership rights as a condition of entry; How to mourn the mikdash (temple); Visual benefit from issurei hanaah; Going into a temple; Teaching in a temple; Hashgacha on food served – does it extend to surrounding circumstances? (e.g. dress); Approving/informing other’s lesser sin to avoid greater sin (me-consequentialist or deontologist); Is credit for tzedaka dependent on the giver or takers status/intent; What is decreed in advance by it what isn’t; Paying Israeli taxes; Niece/nephew marriages; Need for relaxation bein hazmanim (between semesters) and human reincarnation as an animal.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-The Legitimacy of Learning in Kollel
While the technical halachic case for exempting all kollel students from the army is weak, the metacultural one (the army wants to de-frum everyone) is not.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Second day Yom Tov, Tefillin bags, Hair Covering and More
Q&A including: 2nd day yom tov for Ch”ul Jews in Israel; Allowing others to mistakenly think they are sinning; Sfardi kashrut for ashkenazim; Tashmishei kedusha; (chol hamoed; Following communal prayer forms; Dina dmalchuta; Mixed audiences; Tzniut; Mishna brurah/aruch hashulchan stories; Slichot time and priorities, Heicha kedusha (not) and tcheilet (he’s not sure why he doesn’t wear it)
- Rabbi Isaac Rice-Digital Water Meters on Shabbos
Technical discussion of new vs old technology water meters and the associated Shabbat issues (me-IMHO the technology cascade will force poskim to the R’Asher Weiss meta approach).
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Does the Son of a Chasidishe Rebbe Automatically Become a Rebbe Himself?
Quick review of halachic rules of inheritance of public positions.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz–Ten Minute Halacha – Isru Chag
What are the sources of isru chag and how do they inform of the nature of the day and its celebration.
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Is our milk kosher
Explanation of why our milk is kosher even though the production process mixes so many cows’ milk that it’s likely that more than miyut hamatzui or 1/60 comes from treif cows (hint-kashrut heuristics aren’t always 100% consistent)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – I Slept in One Little Sukkah and My Mom Got Scared
Can your mom’s anxiety (mitztaer) free you from sleeping in the sukkah? It depends on how you define mitztaer and what counts as kibud eim (respect for mom).
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Bereishis How the Rabbanan May Safeguard a Mitzvah from the Torah
The Rambam and Raavad on defining B’al tosif (not adding on to the mitzvot)
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Yom Kippur Q and A
Miscellaneous yom kippur questions plus mussar on becoming better people.
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-The Thought of Rav Soloveitchik on Bereishis
R’YBS on Bereshit including: HKB”H owns all, thus sinning is stealing from HKB”H; Man being creative/rebuilding; The light within each of us and developing your spiritual personality.
- Rabbi Asher Lopatin ,Rabbi David Rosenthal, Rabbi Ysoscher Katz-10/26/19 – Show 243 – Is Open Orthodoxy Orthodox
Open Orthodoxy (Yeshiva Chovivei Torah) examined – particularly philosophy and controversial statements of affiliated rabbis. Most interesting (to me) – perhaps it’s an outreach movement.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-Hashkafa for Shabbos: זכור ושמור בדיבור אחד
Shabbat hashkafa including zachor/shomer, male/female and dveikut (attachment) to HKB’H. These can be seen in zmirot and interpretation of verses.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Honesty in Business
R’Menashe Klein tshuva lends into a discussion of orthodox participation in Las Vegas tradeshows and how to be a ben torah in the business world. Other topics include attending functions in a sports stadium and interactions between individuals where one is in a place where it’s Shabbat and one is in a place where it isn’t.
- Rabbi Gedaliah Jaffe-Halachos and Ethics of Internet Shopping
One must consider both micro and meta-halachic issues in business dealings; the rest is commentary.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-טוב אשר לא תדור משתדור ולא תשלם 1
Part I – Should one involve oneself in taking oaths/vows (neder/ndavah)? Are they equivalent in this matter and is the calculation simply a practical (R’MR calls it technical/actuarial!) risk/reward issue or is there some deeper philosophical/fundamental issue?
What is clear (to me) is that where you choose to take risks and where not is very telling of your priorities and general risk sensitivity and time horizon (the ands are my adds)
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Bereishis 5780
Bereishit musings including: Creation (when and who); When does day start (possibly different definitions depending on purpose); Bein hashmashot as an inherently separate time zone (Ritva→Rogatchover→Avnei Nezer→R’YBS); Bracha made by mkayem (credited party) or oseh (doer) of mitzvah?; Contradictions in the mishna brura; which is more important midot (ethical characteristics) or yediot (knowledge); Golem; Working out details is more important than original creative thought; Nachash (snake) lesson (never feeling reliance on HKB”H is a bad thing.)
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-טוב אשר לא תדור משתדור ולא תשלם 2
Part II of detailed analysis of talmudic neder/nedava discussion. TBC
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