by Joel Rich
Two interesting insights from my understanding or the Mishna Brurah O”C 551
90 – Torah learning is more important than voluntary fasting for a talmid chacham – it requires a careful balancing act (me-isn’t that true of life in general)
95 – If you’ll skip voluntary mikveh visits under time pressure or due to the cold, it shows your real relationship to the mikveh. (me – see 90 take a look and let me know your thoughts)
Follow up on R’Rimon and parsha sheets from R’Rimon – “Geniza for Parsha Sheets” – “From a purely halachic point of view, it is preferable to put parsha sheets in geniza: Nevertheless, meikar hadin, it seems that one can respectfully place parsha sheets in a garbage bag (preferably two) or in a recycling bin (in a bag) especially when it is unclear if there is even a rabbinic requirement (when none of the seven holy names appear in the text). Apart from that, nowadays there are so many sheets that if they were all put in geniza, it would be an affront to the other sacred writing in the geniza!” (me – very practical considerations – imi morati would love the deference to inanimate objects’ feelings.)
- Rav Asher Weiss-בגדר עני לענין מתנות לאביונים וצדקה
How do we define ani vs. evyon (levels of individual poverty) today and is there a difference for purposes of matanot l’evyonim, tzedaka or matnot aniyim? Common sense usually prevails in terms of eligibility (a function of time, place culture and person) and priorities. Thus, R’Weiss seems to hold an American living in a rented apartment should give to an Israeli collecting to buy an apartment for his soon to be married child!
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-Does Bitachon Mean Believing Everything Will Work Out Well? Chazon Ish, Nefesh HaChaim, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe
There’s a spectrum of definitions of bitachon running from if you have enough you’ll get a good (TBD?) result, to HKB”H is in charge but no results are guaranteed. Perhaps it’s a non-Boolean function depending on circumstances and participants.
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Halachos of Parshas Zachor
What to do if your choice is to hear parshat zachor or the megilla. What’s the reason for the mitzvah of zachor and what is the practical impact of knowing the reason? Are women bound by this mitzvah? What’s the deal with reading zachor with different pronunciations?
- Dr. Norman Blumenthal ,Rabbi Dr Aaron Glatt-Keeping Healthy, Keeping Calm
Practical advice (as of 3/3) on how to relate to and deal with the corona virus as individuals and as parents.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Rabbinic Authority and Chinuch
There are different ways to understand the underlying force of rabbinic authority and these will have implications for understanding how the mitzvah of chinuch can be binding on parents and/or children.
- Mrs. Aviva Feiner-Purim: The Beginning of Galus, The Beginning of Greatness
Esther was at a tipping point in Jewish history and is a beacon for future diasporas. Don’t get too comfortable and remember that the geulah will come.
- Rav Binyamin Tabory -Understanding Minhagim #17- Purim
Gedolim don’t get costumed or drunk on Purim. When Purim falls on Sunday there’s some question concerning the status of kriat hatorah on the prior Thursday (Taanit Esther). There’s a general question as to whether you can read the torah on a non-torah reading day (bracha l’vatala issue). Is reading along with the megilla reader appropriate? Other issues discussed include the “minhagim” of reading with one breath, missing work, mourning and shechiyanu.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Purim YCQ 2020
Purim issues including: Aninut; Aveilut; Weddings; Shomea k’oneh (a lot); Why no Hallel (different reasons and implications); and How this requirement may be different from “normal” minyan requirements.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-What if we could Upload the Torah to our Brain?
According to some, there are two separate mitzvot, one is to know all of torah, the other is to learn it. (me – no pain, no gain?)
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Stock-market, Cryogenic Freezing, Women’s Roles, and more
Q&A including: Corporations’ status in halacha; Isn’t playing the market gambling?; Heter iska; Shiluach hakan; women’s religion motivation; Genetic hybrids; Chanukah/Hasmoneans; Kabbalah/Zohar authorship; Cryogenics; Laws of war; and Jewish governmental authority’s source.
- Rabbi Aryeh LebowitzTen Minute Halacha – Coronavirus on Shabbos and Purim-
Follow the authorities’ directions with regard to the corona virus and utilize “minority” halachic opinions when necessary (e.g. parshat zachor) for mitzvah compliance.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Fulfilling the Mitzvah of Parshas Zachor without a Minyan
The history and current status of how to be yotzeih the mitzvah of zchirat amaleik
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Teruma 5780
Parsha topics including: What keilim did the beit mikdash sheini contain?; Tashmishei kedusha; Torah as a mechadeish; Thinking about tzedaka as a michayeiv; Kedushat hamikdash; Tcheilet; Tfillin inputs and the Lesson of the kerashim.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Tetzaveh 5780
Parsha topics including: Shemen hamischa; Kidushei Cehuna; Kavod cehuna; Tcheilet in the beit mikdash; Shaatnez in the parochet; Dchuya vs. hutrah; Bigdei kahuna; Mizbach hakoteret and the Urim v’tumim.
- Rabbi Yehuda Dovid Bleich,Rabbi Dr Aaron Glatt,Rabbi Yosef Dovid Korbman,Professor Josh Teplitsky -3/7/20 – Show 262 – Coronavirus: Should we be going to Shul, Purim mesibos; What the Halacha tells us to do.Can you travel to Eretz Yisroel? Kissing a Sefer Torah? Doing Bikkur Cholim? Shaking hands? Going to hear Parshas Zachor or hearing the Megillah in shul? Adam hamazek? And much more..
Corona virus – use your common sense and daven a lot! Can someone who spreads it be held financially liable? Some interesting Jewish history of plague sh”ut literature. (black plague etc.)
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-Borrowing Without Permission
Can you borrow something without permission? Basically no, it’s stealing, but for a mitzvah or if you really know they would allow it there may be exceptions. (there are a number of opinions)
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Hashgacha for Non-Kashrut Issues (1)
An example where pure halacha blends with policy is giving a kashrut OK to an establishment with questionable entertainment. Next class will examine a range of response on this issue.
- Rabbi Menachem Leibtag-R. M. Leibtag Was Darius the Son of Esther 3-8-2020
It’s important to read Tanach properly and understand the lessons that the aggadah was trying to teach us re: Esther/resettling Israel/rebuilding the beit hamikdash.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Gittin 44 (כתיבת שמות בגט)
Continuing Talmud series. Interesting discussion of the purpose of putting names in the get and the difference between a get and the sotah document.
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Common Purim Questions
Purim seudah related issues including: Timing (do it early); Sheva brachot (panim chadashot?); Family based preference; Need bread? Meat? and other related issues.
- Rabbi Zvi Romm-Rav Soloveitchik’s Insights to Megillas Esther
R’YBS on how Esther used Achashverosh’s paranoia to overcome his loyalty to Haman. She also combined cunning with childlike simplicity.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-The Custom of Costumes on Purim
The concept of Purim costumes is based on Purim related examples where the true intentions were “costumed”. Is this enough to allow cross-dressing and davening in costumes?
- Rav Jonathan Ziring -The Process of Pesak Halacha 20: Pesak – Applying the Theory to Reality
Does a poseik determine both philosophical halachic constructs as well as the reality to which they apply? If so, is it with the same authority?
- Rabbi Asher Weiss-Talmud Torah: The What and the How
Learning is good! Divrei chizuk to gap year students?
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-בענין דין כתבי הקדש ודין ספר תורה במגילת אסתר; דרשות על פורים מסליחות לתענית אסתר
Lomdus from R’YBS on megilla as a tool for a mitzvah and as kitvei kodesh
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Rabbinic Authority: From the Agudath haRabbanim to the Halakhic Commission
The history of the RCA halacha commission and the specific questions of mechitzas and microphones
- Rav Asher Weiss – Coronavirus in Halacha
Defining danger (sakana) is required in a number of circumstances (hagomeil, Shabbat…). Bottom line for corona virus – follow the rules set by the authorities!
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Reincarnations, Spying, Miracles, and more
Q&A including: Telling non-bnai brit to observe Noahide laws; Lo tchanein interpretations; Souls of bnai brit vs. non-bnai brit; Yaakov kissing Rachel (not for you!); Privacy rules; History of nusach ashkenaz vs sfard/ will it continue in messianic times? (yes); Chassidim vs mitnagdim; Melech sdomit; Reincarnation/world to come; Status of mitzvot outside Israel; Learning written Torah at night; Status of imahot/maid servants and; Things being too good?!
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Ki Tisa 5780
Ki Tisa parsha insights including: Parshat Parah d’uraita?; Why no parsha for other zechirot; Uneshalma parim – when do we say psukim if we can’t do the mitzvah?; Machtzit hashekel for cohanim/leviim; Washing before tfila/avodah; Shemen hamishka for kings, cohanim and keilim; 13 middot; Till what period in history were drashot made; and the Karnei hod
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-אמונה שבלב
Don’t expose yourself to challenges you can’t overcome and remember it’s important to maintain the conviction that Torah is emet. Realize that there are limits to where the intellect can get you and pray for understanding.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].