by Joel Rich
The results were absolutely frightening. We found that 27% of the over 400 who responded admitted to using their phones on Shabbos, either as a one-time thing or routinely. Let that sink in: One in every four Modern Orthodox high school students would admit to breaking Shabbos, a fundamental aspect of our collective Jewish identity.
(Me- I would wager that many would rationalize their actions as not breaking Shabbos on technical grounds)
In a recent piece R’Gil student wrote about R’C Pilaggi mentioning minhagim which were incorrect but the Rabbis were unable to stop them. What is the earliest example of such? (This is an issue I wonder about since we often seem to say that minhagim should continue since “obviously” earlier Rabbis approved them and the communities were all holy)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-The Halchos of Erev Shabbos
What level is the “requirement” to prepare for Shabbat? (There’s a general issue when we’re told “yishtadel” (try) or similar language.) Is it a separate mitzvah to taste Shabbat food on Friday or just a preparation for Shabbat? Other separate topics include: Going to the mikveh (apparently even non-chassidim in Israel); Covering Tables; Plastic cutlery to reduce tircha (bother); Friday travel and not eating too much Friday PM.
- Mrs. Michal Horowitz-Purity of the Mouth: Will Our Tefilos & Torah Reach the Kisei Ha’Kavod?
What to do if a group you’re in starts speaking lashon hara. Tribute to my B-I-L, Cantor Stuart Hecht Z”L, as an ish emet (man of truth)
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-Vacation Halachot: The Hotel Continental Breakfast, Other Hotel Kashrut Issues, Hotel Shabbat Issues, Posting Vacation Pictures on Social Media
There are a ton of kashrut and shabbat issue triggered by vacation travel but there are workarounds for many of them. It would be interesting to hear some discussion of how to evaluate the importance of a particular vacation plan versus the number of leniencies needed to make it happen.
Bonus discussion – Social media in general (me-hatznea [walk humbly with HKB”H] doesn’t seem to be social media’s mantra)
- Rabbi Aaron Leibtag-Granting and Asking For Forgiveness: Yosef and the Brothers
There are conflicting opinions as to whether Yoseif forgave his brothers. It is clear that one asking for forgiveness must admit being wrong in order to reestablish a close relationship.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Genetically Modified Foods in Halacha: Kilayim and Kashrut
How to analyze the halachic acceptability (klaim, playing God, kashrut) of GMO’s. Are we more concerned with the results or the process?
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-Religious Jews Joining a Secular Government and the Founding of the Mizrachi and Agudath Israel Parties
Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-Religious Jews Joining a Secular Government and the Founding of the Mizrachi and Agudath Israel Parties
A brief history of Religious (and not) Zionist thinkers and parties
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-Shabbat Davening Void of Annoyances 1
The choice of shaliach tzibbur is up to the community, even if one of the “candidates” is “a chiyuv” and one isn’t. Which is more important – saying kriat shma at the proper time or saying it with a minyan?
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-HaRav Amital and Modern Yiras Shamayim (2020) Part Two
R’Amital felt that the traditional fear and awe weren’t working as a path to HKB”H so we needed to try a more “human” approach based on loyalty and commitment. Be traditional but creative!
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-The Embalming of Yaakova>
We don’t embalm so why was Yaakov embalmed ? A spectrum of answers from there’s nothing wrong with it in general, to it was wrong, to guilty with explanation.
- Rabbi Dr. Avrohom Steinberg,Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, Dr. Alan Kadish,Dr. Louis Malcmacher -1/11/20 – Show 254 – Medical School in Halacha, Practicing Medicine on Shabbos
Can a Frum Jew become a doctor? Can a Kohein become a doctor? What are some of the many Halachik challenges they face?
Giving stitches on Shabbos, Working in a Hospital on Shabbos, and many more practical applications…..
Lots of Shabbat and other halachic issues for Doctors, even more for med students and even more for Cohanim/MD’s. But of course we need Jewish Doctors (me-and Hatzalah?)
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Vayechi Honoring an Older Brother
Is respecting one’s older brother a torah mitzvah? Is it based on respect for parents or an independent requirement? Does it apply only to first-born? To daughters?
- Rabbi Gedaliah Jaffe-Bribing my kid into a college, vus iz shlect?
What’s wrong (legal, halacha, hashkafa) with bribing your way into college? How is using influence different from bribery? When is it acceptable to give preferential treatment? (Me-what is cheating in baseball?)
- Rav Binyamin Tabory -Understanding Minhagim #9- Tefillin Part 3
Can someone else (especially a woman) put tfillin on you for mitzvah purposes? If yes, what bracha do you say? If burial is not the same day, does the mourner put on tfillin on the day of burial?
- Rabbi Etan Schnall-Preparing for Asara B’Tevet: Reflections on Anti-Semitism and Assimilation
We should be aware of our lack of the beit hamikdash throughout the year. Assarah bt’eivet helps us do this.
- Rav Jonathan Ziring-The Process of Pesak Halacha 10: Choosing Authorities: Mara D’Atra Classic and Modern
The concept of mara d’atra evolved from a geographic one to one of poskim picking one authority to rely on (e.g. what the S”A did with the big 3, what later authorities did with the S”A)
- Rav Dovid Gottlieb-Positive Mitzvot of Shabbat 06: Tosefet Shabbat (Part 1)
Tosefet Shabbat – how much should one add? when can you start adding? are women included? how do you actually accept shabbat early?
- Rav Dovid Gottlieb-Positive Mitzvot of Shabbat 06: Tosefet Shabbat (Part 2)
Can/does others’ early acceptance of Shabbat bind other family/community members? Once you’ve accepted Shabbat can you “take back” early acceptance?
- Rabbi Avishai David-Developing Proper Hashkafos in Avodas Hashem
Torah trumps malchut (Kingship). Reuvain didn’t really sin.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Ohr Hatorah Women’s Shabbos Shiur – Guidelines for Asking a Non-Jew to do Melacha
Intro to amira l’akum (asking a non-ben brit to do something for you on Shabbat) – why is there a prohibition? Key issue – are you asking for a rabbinic or torah prohibited activity to be done? Also discussed what if you don’t ask but you know an action is being done for you?
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Rabbi Rackman and YU
Some more YU history (R’Lander, R’Belkin included) with focus on R’Rackman, R’YBS (think hafkaat kiddushin) and the relationship of Torah and Mada.
- Rabbi Shalom Rosner-Electricity In Israel On Shabbat
How do you run a modern state (here focus on electric power) within halachic guidelines? There are certainly technical grounds for leniency but there are meta-issues at play.
- Rav Jonathan Ziring -The Process of Pesak Halacha 12: Halacha KeBatrai
There are a number of possible reasons for the rule of halacha k’batrai (the halacha follows the later authorities). Depending on the reason, the actual application may vary.
- Rabbi Yechezkel Hartman -Yihu L’Ratzon and the Ending of Shemone Esrei
Is yhi ratzon said before and/or after elokai ntzor? What difference does it make? (a lot)
Most people don’t know when the correct time is to take their three step forward at the end of the amida.
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-Shiluach Ha’Kein: Compassionate or Cruel? Option or Obligation?
Is the mitzvah of shiluach hakan rational or mystical (and what difference does it make)? [Paging Dr. Slifkin]
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Cruise Considerations: What You Need to Know (Part 3)
Summary of travel kashrut issues (and mashgiach issues). See my earlier comments on halachic tradeoffs for vacations.
- Rabbi Yehuda Balsam-Hamapil: To say or not to say?
Hamapil – Say it!
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-The Mitzva of Lo Tasur: The Scope and Magnitude of the Rabbanim
What is the scope and strength of lo tasur? Rambam/Ramban et al on relationship of rabbinic enactments and torah authority.
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-House Minyanim- Are There Any Issues, And If So What Are They
It’s very important to daven in a shul (is it because of the set aside nature of the building or the larger crowds?) but there can be reasons not to (but not as many as people seem to think).
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Is Wearing a Yarmulke Really A Requirement- Part 2
Can you say HKBH’s name (or make a bracha) without a head covering? (maybe yes) What age should a child start wearing one? How big should it be? Should girls cover their head when making a bracha?
- Rabbi Yehuda Susman-Shiur Clali: Halachic Attitude Toward Restitution of Property Confiscated by the Nazis- Rav Susman
What’s the halachic ownership status of objects taken by force by a government? Are they zuto shel yam (as if taken away by the sea)? [me – how do you determine whether there was general or specific yeush (abandoned hope) and does it make a difference?]
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].