by Joel Rich
I heard a shiur that in some ways was one of the saddest I’ve heard and it applies to all streams of orthodoxy. Those who are able to retire who become a burden on their spouses are a reflection of our failure to properly prepare them by having them live a life connected to real limud Torah. Between learning Torah and doing acts of chesed , there still won’t be enough hours in the day in retirement.
Dare I say that perhaps the message should be that working hard during one’s active working lifetime is important but at the same time one needs to determine how much is enough throughout that time. So that they don’t lose the connection to limud Torah.
There’s a lot more to say about this and I know it’s complex.
From a blog on relations with non-orthodox:
We should instead become more involved with them while accepting them as they are. While the ultimate goal is to bring them closer to God, it should be done by example.
Perhaps we should stop looking at them as our “cheftza shel mitzvah” (object through which we carry out a mitzvah) and view them as Jewish human beings with a tzelem elokim who we interact with in a manner consistent with the will of HKB”H. If the result is we are mekarev them (as imho it would be if we act this way), great BUT that is not our ultimate goal (much as we don’t do mitzvot for reward, it’s an ancillary benefit)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Lechem Mishna and Covering the Challa
Lechem mishna – Does it have to be whole? What if you don’t have a whole roll? Does shape make a difference? How many rolls do you need? Are women bound to it? How do you cut? When do you bring it out? Covering reasons may have halachic implications.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Life After Death, Week 1: What is the Soul?
What is the role of the soul? It’s more than just to animate the body. There is a mind/body/soul connection in Judaism.
- Rabbi Ari Wasserman-Paying Taxes – is it required? Also in Israel? How strict do we need to be?
There’s a lot one can discuss concerning the halachot of paying taxes (Israel vs. ch”ul; type of tax; active vs. passive avoidance). The bottom line is pay them!
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-A Jewish man who appreciates fine art
Art was initially all religious, then secular art became popular. Rembrandt was particularly relevant to the Jews. Art communicates emotion but there can be halachic issues. A number of artists discussed.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Marriage and Torah: Doing Things Right
The chatan should say a dvar torah at the chatan’s tisch. One should pray with cavannah (intent), show up on time to daven and pay attention to chazarat hashatz (and don’t learn or talk at that time). Don’t drink a lot and know about kiddush b’makom seudah.
- Rabbi Avi Zakutinsky-Minhagim and Baalei Teshuva
What minhag should a b’al tshuva adopt? If he’s in a single minhag community, he should follow that minhag. Otherwise, Poskim’s positions include following: (1) the person who brought you back; (2) your family’s practice (if you know where they came from) (3) dealer’s choice 1)1) or (2
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Eruvin 366-7
Discussion of the status for eruv purpose of family members who are not financially dependent on the head of household. Who can make the bracha?
- Rabbi Alex Hecht-Relying on G-d: To What Extent?
How much hishtadlut/work is required/optimum? Remember it’s all from HKBH (Ein od mlvado).
- Rabbi Yosef Viener-Contemporary Halacha and Hashkafa: Faucet washing – Mid-Night Berachot
Asher yatzar rules including middle of the night wake up, mornings without any bodily evacuations and hand washing when one also wants to eat afterwards.
- Rabbi Etan Tokayer-Son’ei Matanos: Is Avraham a Good Example?
Avraham evolved into realizing it’s all from HKBH and thus did not want to accept gifts (which might look like it’s otherwise). There are other explanations to not accepting gifts as well.
- Rabbi Avi Zakutinsky-Causing Other’s To Sin in Halacha
Lfnei iver (placing a stumbling block), msayea (aid & abet) et al. If you instigate, even if he could’ve done it anyway, it may still be lfnei iver. R’SZA’s long term approach (sin in short run causes better long term result) discussed. [me – thought experiment – what if someone from YCT had come up with that idea]
- Rabbi Avi Zakutinsky=Kaddish and The Baal Teshuva
Can a new bal tshuva say kaddish for a previously deceased relative who he should have said kaddish for ten years ago? Can/should he say kaddish in the twelfth month for a non-religious parent?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Should a Doctor Wear Tefillin on Shabbos?
We keep tfillin on at a brit because they’re both ots. So is Shabbat. What are some other possible implications of various ots?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Walking Out or Talking During Kerias Hatorah
Is the prohibition of leaving when the sefer torah is out due to kavod (respect) or kriah (reading) rules? Should one be learning or talking while the torah is out? (generally no)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-סוד הברית במעבר בין אברם לאברהם
We need to find a middle ground in relating to the avot (in order to make them relevant to us?) We need to differentiate between cheit (sin) and taut (lack of optimal response). Avraham evolved from parshat lech l’cha to vayera; listen here for how.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Eruvin 366-8 and 367-1
When to make a bracha on the eruv. Can a husband include a wife and vice versa?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – A Questionable Conversion
Kabbalat mitzvot by converts requires definition as does the composition of the converting bet din. Eventual kiruv of non-ben brit spouse may be considered in one’s relationship with relatives.
- Rabbi Avi Zakutinsky-The Laws of Lighting Shabbos Candles
How many Shabbat candles to light? Why is it a woman’s mitzvah? What’s the proper procedure for lighting/blessing? Where should one light? (me – still not clear to me on chazal’s thinking on lifelong penalty for missing a light)
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Minchas Chinuch: Kiddush Hachodesh (part 1)
Is it real eidut (testimony) if we know it’s astronomically time for the new moon?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Shalom Aleichem
Three problems – angels don’t have free will; why tell them to leave; what does mimelech mean?
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-The Thought of Rav Soloveitchik on Lech Lecha
R’YBS on the primary role of family being transmission of the mesorah (vs biological). This can be seen through Avraham’s mission. The ben brit has a natural sensitivity to holiness (as in eretz yisrael)
- Rabbi Roy Feldman-Medical Ethics 1: Personal Autonomy and Elective Surgery
HKBH “owns” our bodies, we are trustees and this halacha determines our range of acceptable actions. Given the state of medical treatment, medical decisions can result in a complex risk/reward calculation where personal choice plays a role (but personal autonomy is not a goal in itself). Cosmetic surgery is used as an example.
- Rabbi Herschel Shachter, Rabbi Yaakov Zaideh,Simcha Shain-11/9/10 – Show 245 – Women’s Hatzolah Ezras Noshim
Is it good or is it putting women’s lives at risk?
The moderator seems to think ezrat nashim (women’s hatzalah) is a waste of resources and dangerous. Wouldn’t hatzalah allowing women EMT’s address his concerns? How did hatzalah itself get started? Communal resource allocation would be a great topic – is the lack of a central fund due to practical or philosophical considerations?
- Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal-The Impeachment Inquiry and the Perils of Jewish Success
Historical examples of Jews in government, allowances and roles.
- Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, Dr. Sara Markowitz-Mental Health and Halacha: Are they playing on the same team
Mental health should be viewed as similar to physical health. Examples of specific situations and halachic responses (R’Asher Weiss is prominent)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Eruvin 367-2
Rules concerning including someone or taking from them for the eruv without that individual’s knowledge.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Lech Lecha May One Daven for Someone Else’s Spiritual Well-Being?
If all is in heaven’s hands except the fear of heaven, can you pray for someone else to succeed in fear of heaven? Yes, although there are different explanations as to why.
- Rabbi Isaac Rice-Using Wi-Fi, Changing Seats in the Stadium, and Parking in a Private Lot: Questions from the Beis Din of Sedom
In which cases do we say zeh neheneh v’zeh lo chaser (I can use your resource if I gain and there’s no loss to you?) How does it relate to midat sdom? Specific examples discussed.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-עניני גירות
Does the order of tvila and mila make a difference in conversion cases? How is a fetus treated?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Giving Tzedaka to those who could Work
How do we define eligibility for charitable funds (as individuals and as a community)? Is charity viewed as purely financial support or a broader requirement (e.g. moral)? How much of the requirement is based on loving one’s brother vs imitating HKB”H. (This may impact how deserving the individual must be in order to receive charitable funds?)
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].
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