Audio Roundup 2020:23

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by Joel Rich

The mishna brura is full of examples where the author suggests avoiding the issue rather than providing an answer by picking one authority’s approach over another. It’s an approach – not sure why it found so much favor ( as in a ben tora doesn’t eat granola bars because of the difficulty in determining the appropriate blessings). Thoughts?


Not commenting on the advice that was given on timing reopenings, but I’d just point out that from a risk/reward standpoint at this point in time, the Rabbis are probably wise to follow it in their own self-interest. Look at the overgeneralized decision matrix – either they hold tight or loosen, and either things get worse or they don’t. The risk that things get worse if they loosen has very bad consequences imho for them. This is true no matter whether the worsening is in any way related to their decision or not. In addition there is only gut feel as to how much any decision increases risk. Unfortunately we tend to evaluate decisions only in retrospect with the idea that “they should have known” even where that is patently untrue rather than on risk/reward principles (would you take a bet for getting $100 if someone rolled anything but double sixes in which case you pay $5? What about if instead of $5 you have to give him your house?


Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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