by Joel Rich
To a pulpit rabbi:
I strongly support a recent discussion concerning return to synagogue. I do have to say that there’s one point that I deeply disagree on. Maybe it’s a matter of nuance that cannot be communicated in trying times to the general public.
I don’t believe that flattening the curve has no halachic import. In fact as a community we are always making this kind of trade off. If not why wouldn’t we spend every dollar we have on improving public health. The answer per R’ Schachter and R’ Weiss is that’s the way the world operates.
Bottom line risk reward tradeoffs are often very difficult. Personally I’d prefer we be more open and honest about them and have public discussion but realize that may not be practical
If there is no halachic kiyum in a “virtual minyan” then the value imho is in any additional impetus to greater avodat hashem felt by the individuals – this can include feelings of community etc. today(when written) is avi mori’s yahrtzeit and personally i feel that pesach prep, learning etc. is what my avodah is today without saying kaddish. full stop.
- Rabbi Baruch Simon-The Positives Aspects of Shabbos in Halacha and Agadda
Make kiddush ASAP Friday night and it’s best to have one person be motzi others (except if you have a minhag otherwise). Making a separate bracha on desert – it’s complicated!
- Ask The Rabbi Panel with Rabbis Orlofsky, Gav and Feldheim-1
Q&A with all-star kiruv panel including: Theodicy; Standardized prayer and Women’s role in orthodoxy. (Me – I’m told my comments are cryptic – see Breishit Raba 8:9 and let me know what you think I’m referring to vis-à-vis this shiur)
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Preparing for Shavuos With Rav Asher Weiss
To acquire torah requires hard work, humility and teamwork.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-שמחת התורה and עמלות בתורה: a necessary duality
The Jewish idea of joy is hard work and associated accomplishment (in torah) (me-per R’N Alpert-see Yaakov’s blessing to Yissachar)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-עוסק במצוה פטור מן המצוה במצות תלמוד תורה
Haosek bmitzvah doesn’t apply to torah learning – gzeirat hakatuv or logical? (How could you “benefit” in this way from torah learning?)
- Rabbi Ari Perl-The Day the Kinot Died: How Bialik’s ‘City of Slaughter’ Changed the Course of Jewish History
The 1903 Kishinev’ pogrom’s impact on C.N. Bialik and his poems impacted the Jewish world (are these the sons of the Maccabees?- https://www.wzo.org.il/index.php?dir=site&page=articles&op=item&cs=3140&category=3032&language=eng
- Rabbi Yehoshua Katz-The Role of Joy in Torah Study: Halachic and Hashkafic Perspectives
Joy is inherent in torah learning. This shiur discusses how we experience this and how it’s expressed in halacha.
- Dr. Marc Shapiro-The Making of My Most Recent Book, A Thirty-Year Story-Part 1
Questions R’Shapiro asked including: R’Efraim Greenblatt (leaving your tfillin behind for a day or two so others can wear them, Kollel asking for single sex use of MO facilities); R’Mordechai Eliyahu (mixed nusach minyanim, calling a tenth man if he won’t get there till after the zman tfila)
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Forgetting Torah to Enable Creativity: Rav Hutner on Shevirat HaLuchot
Midrashim seem contradictory on the evaluation of the loss of Torah knowledge (e.g. breaking luchot, forgetting laws). Perhaps it is positive in that it allows for our participation/creativity.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Sefer HaMitzvos L’haRambam
I couldn’t find the earlier shiurim R’HS refers to in this series but he speaks here of some of the Rambam’s’ rules concerning what is included or excluded in his count of the mitzvot.
- Dr. Marc Shapiro-The Making of My Most Recent Book, A Thirty-Year Story-Part 2
Topics include: Moving oneself during davening; Maintaining separate community minhagim in Eretz Yisrael; Someone without formal smicha using the title of Rabbi; Saying gaal yisrael out loud: Informal minyanim-need mechitza? and Women/brachot issues.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Aveilut 15
Aveilut topics including: Wearing shoes; Husband/wife relations; Torah learning (mishnayot, aliyah, karbanot, sad topics); Greetings; Late comforting; Sit on what?; Atifat rosh and kfiat hamita (mystery why we don’t observe these two)
- Rav Binyamin Tabory -Understanding Minhagim #26,- Lo Ta’achilum
Is a parent who assists a child in violating Shabbat considered a mumar? Is eating non-kosher foods different (timtum haleiv) then other transgressions in terms of aiding a child to transgress?
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt-Driverless Cars Bring New Halachik Challenges
Short driverless car triage issues shiur.
- Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin-“What Could Have Been?”: Alternative History and the Torah’s Imagination
Where we are is where we are (and supposed to be). Use the present as a new beginning.
- Rachel Dratch,Yoni Goldstein,Rabbi Daniel Korobkin-What Will the Jewish Community Look Like Post-Pandemic? Schools, Shuls, Community
What positives can we take forward from Corona time for our community institutions (schools, shuls, general)?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Behind the Scenes View of Rav Hershel Schachter During Coronavirus
R’H Schachter as a humanist poseik; What’s it like to grow up in a gadol’s home; Torah learning is for everyone.
- Rav Jonathan Ziring -The Process of Pesak Halacha 27: Slippery Slope (2): Transparency
Is it better to be clear when a psak is more policy driven than technically driven or do you get better compliance with conflation?
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Genaivas Daas, Part 1
Gneivat daat can be defined as unjustified goodwill. Is it subsumed under gneivah, lo tonu, emet or something else?
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Are All Melakhot Permitted on Yom Tov for Food-making: An Introduction to Melechet Ochel Nefesh
Defining the allowance for ochel nefesh on yom tov – is Yom Tov mlacha primarily permitted or forbidden by the torah?
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Lo Tirzach: Prioritizing One Life Over Another
Nice summary of the consequentialist vs formalist (deontological) trends in halachic triage. Interesting proposition – the more at risk the more formal the approach.
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Rav Asher Weiss on Emunah: What is Spiritual Heroism (Gevurah)?
Emunah topics including: Naaseh v’nishma; shvirat hamidot and realizing that no matter how hard we work, the results are up to HKB”H
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Aveilut 16
Topics include: Tfillin wearing (chol hamoed, isru chag, day of burial, Rabbeinu Tam); Clothes (changing, washing, ironing, someone else wearing); Cutting (mustache, nails, baal simcha’s hair)
- Rabbi Daniel Grama-PreEmptive Strikes in Halacha
The Rambam allows preemptive wars for the nation not for the individual.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Introduction to Chamar Medinah
What qualifies as chmar medinah? (unclear) Can it be used for Kiddush (night, day) or Havdalah when wine is available?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Rabbis in the New World 1: Who Came?
Part I of a history of Jewish migrations caused by persecution, economics and social (e.g. Shabtai Tzvi) trends.
- Rabbi Ahron Ciment-What Was Elisha Ben Avuya Protesting?
Acher’s mistake was to be too focused on this world.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Tevilah on Eighth Day Due to Riots
Discussion of leniencies for women going to the mikveh on the eighth day in exigent circumstances.
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Individuality in Avodas Hashem
We’re all on the same wide road but each of us has to find our own path
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Kiddush Levana When Under a Curfew
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