by Joel Rich
two corona points
1. introspection is always good. as R’YBS said don’t ask why but what (does HKBH expect of me). if the current situation gives us cause to focus, then use it.
- I’ve seen a lot of comments similar to : There have been various experts warning about the risks of a global pandemic, or even about the basic shortage of medical equipment and hospital beds in various countries, and the people in charge didn’t listen to them (which in turn is partly the fault of the general public for not caring enough).
WADR IMHO this is a bit too simple. If one were to go back 5 years and look at all the “warnings” about possible future events (e.g. meteor hitting earth) and total up the contingency costs of preparing for all of them, I’m guessing the cost would be greater than society could bear. Picking winners in retrospect doesn’t help, maybe formal risk analysis would.
R’ Gil had machine shmura this year and liked it. My response: welcome to the dark side It tastes even better in Yerushalayim. BTW on R’HS tshuva on one time exceptions from minhag he relies on the dagul mrvava – when i looked it up istm he is disagreeing with the shach. any clalei horaah on this issue?
- Rabbi Chesky Gewirtz-The Sources of Kitniyos and Gebrukts
Basic review of the “sources” for not eating kitniyot and/or gebrochts on Pesach. (Question: In Israel, where IIUC the majority of consumers eat kitniyot on Pesach, why would the manufacturers be considered to be mvatlim issur l’chatchila in terms of non-kitniyot eaters buying a product containing trace kitniyot?)
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-What to Do, What to Think and What to Remember: A Guide to Spiritual Success
Avot Chapter 2 Mishna 1 – Stick to the golden mean but realize that it’s not just about your perception of it. Think long term vs short term and be aware that what you do has real impact (you’re not just cosmic dust)
- Rav Y Eisenman- Rav Moshe Feinstein on non-Jewish Names
R’Moshe preferred giving children Jewish names but was intellectually honest and noted that even Tannaim had non-Jewish names. He provided some interesting explanations of that fact.
- Rav Binyamin Tabory -Understanding Minhagim #22- Sefirat HaOmer
Sfirat haomer issues including: Today’s status – duraita or zecher l’mikdash? (and why it matters); Laomer or Baomer; and Omer aveilut practices and time period.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Torah During Corona Virus #26- Kiddush Hashem, the Shoah and the Current Crisis
We must be ready to give up our lives for kiddush hashem but should also recognize opportunities in our lives (like covid) to be mkadeish sheim shamayim through our lives as individuals and as a community.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-A Torah View of Contemporary Events (Coronavirus and Pesach)
What’s the matter with the world today.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Sharing Negative Information Appropriately
Bad news on the doorstep? (HT – Don Mclean) always deliver it appropriately and only if there’s a purpose (not always an easy call
- Rav Binyamin Tabory -Understanding Minhagim #19- K’riat HaTorah Part 2
While standing for kriat hatora is not required, it may allow you to have a kiyum in both limud hatorah and kabalat hatora. Is the mitzvah of “kriat hatorah” kriah or shmia? When did the Gra do hagbah? Is parshat zachor really duraita as we do it?
- Rabbi Y Eisenman-Special Yahrtzeit in honor of Rabbi Solvoveitchik Zt”L
Well done bio of R’YBS plus a review of his opinions on shaving and showering on chol hamoed.
- Rabbi Yehuda Balsam-Matzah Brei, lasagna, pizza kugel etc. – What Bracha should I make?
Birchat hanehenin rules can be complex! The bracha on matza concoctions will vary based on the size and look of the pieces plus preparation methodology (e.g. boiled?)
- Rav Binyamin Tabory-She’elot uTeshuvot #09- Binyan Av – Harav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron zt”l
R. Bakshi-Doron bio plus analysis of his psakim concerning tfilat haderech and rejection of Judaism by a convert coming of age.
- Rav Binyamin Tabory – Understanding Minhagim #20-Pesach
Insights on: Saying the hagadah on Shabbat Hagadol; saying hallel is shul; wearing a kittel at the seder (who?) and zchira vs. sippur.
- Rav Binyamin Tabory – Understanding Minhagim #2-Pesach Part Two
Discussion includes yachatz, the number of matzot, lechem mishna and making a birchat hamitzva on matza during the rest of Pesach.
- Rabbi Chayim Soloveichik-aveilut of sefira
R’A Soloveitchik left a strong mesora concerning the aveilut of sfira. The takana was clearly about weddings, not music per se. Gatherings (simchat mereiut) are what’s problematic and thus baseball games out, recorded music is in.
- Dr. Shalom Holtz-The First Babylonian Exiles
Description of the first Jewish exile (artisans) to Bavel as seen through both the eyes of Jeremiah and of local documents. What was the extent of the integration and was it voluntary?
- Rabbi Moshe Walter-Falling On A Grenade
Starts with a general discussion of life saving priorities and then moves on to putting oneself in danger to save others. Most important question – how do the rules change in times of war?
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-Rav Soloveitchik on Shemini
R’YBS on Parshat Shmini including: Respect leadership but don’t put total faith in it; Mitzah observance should have emotional component but must be totally rooted in command; Even in tragic times our commitment to HKB”H must be without reservation; and Sin sometimes must be destroyed but perhaps a higher level is to elevate it.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Mordechai is Petachia: The Master of Understanding
A Mordechai’s medrash lessons : Chazal had a “conservation of personalities” rule of and it’s important to understand both languages and people.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Shemini 5780
Parsha topics including: Role of Cohain Gadol vis-à-vis karbanot; Karban tzibbur; Cohain Gadol/aveilut; Status of mashuach milohama; Kedushat Cohain Gadol vs. Shem Cohain Gadol; Duchening/covering hands; Kashrut (fish, zebu, turkey et all); Error in sefer torah – # of letters, and Non-kosher food business.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Hillel Hazaken: Do You Live an Entire Life of Excuses?
It’s important to learn from the lives of great ones. Lessons here include the importance of personal responsibility and the need to realize that being humble shouldn’t come at the cost of realizing you can make a difference.
- Rabbi Daniel Hartstein-Lessons From The Lev: It’s Time To Speak Up!
It’s not always just about not speaking lashon hara, but also the need to focus on speaking some nice words!
- Rabbi Yosef Greenwald-Pirkei Avos 1- Yehoshua & Talmidei R’ Akiva
The issue with the students of Rabbi Akiva was their failure as receivers of Torah (similar to Nadav and Avihu). They failed to learn from the example of Yehoshua.
- Rabbi Yaakov Harari-Introduction to Pirkei Avot
Good midot assist in torah learning which in turn increases midot. We begin avot with the mesorah to show that midot are from HKB”H as well, as is halacha.
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-Thoughts from Chazal: New Resolutions in Response to the Corona Crisis
It’s probably a good idea to take on good practices (neder) in times of trouble; both as individuals and as a community. Make them measurable and achievable.
- Rabbi Berel Wein-Antisemitism in the Modern World
19th and 20th Century antisemitism explored.
- Rabbi Eitan Bendavid -אשה פוסקת הלכה? Can Women Serve as Rabbis and Paskin Halacha
R’Bakshi Doron’s tshuvot show us a lot about him and his approach to psak. In his tshuva concerning women and psak he differentiates between samchut (authority) and hanhaga (activities) and draws a comparison to converts as judges.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Gittin 49 (ספר מקנה)
Ongoing Talmud Shiur. Primarily focusing on the concepts underlying sefer hamakneh. Then on to sleeping slaves
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-The Lomdus of Lo Sisgodedu
Lo titgodidu from the psukim to psak (re: separate courts)
- Rabbi Ari Shvat-Yom HaShoah (part 1)- Rav Kook on the Cause of and the Solution to Anti-Semitism
We provided the world with a conscience, they didn’t like it (but eventually they will)
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Shomea Koneh by Sefiras HaOmer
There’s a requirement on each individual to count the omer. Does shomea k’oneh work by sfira? Why do we stand?
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