by Joel Rich
Question someone I know got concerning a contribution: Do you want your donation to the shul to be לעילוי נשמת ………
Response: I’d go with anonymous and pray that hkbh directs his accountant to allocate it to where it’s most needed. As a matter fact maybe that should be The inscription
Talmud Chulin 13b “… amar R’Yochanan nochrim shebechutza laretz lav ovdei avodat kochavim hein ela minhag avoteihem by adeihem” [my translation – R’Yochanan said non-bnai brit outside of Israel aren’t (true) idol worshippers rather their ancestors’ practices are in their hands (me – habituation)]. I’m often accused of being too cryptic in my comments – can you guess why this insight saddened me in some current implications? [hint – Pogo – “we have met the enemy _ _ _ _”]
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Balancing אהבת ה׳ and יראת ה׳
How do ahava (love) and yirah (fear/awe) interact? Just like Shabbat shamor (prohibitions) and zachor (positive actions).
Money quote (before quoting Deot, Yesodei and Tshuva) The Rambam is a sefer halacha, not a mussar sefer, every once in a while the Rambam will stick in some appropriate word of mussar” (16:30). I guess this is “true” depending on your definitions but giving a chaburah which has finished yesodei and most of deot, it’s hard for me to characterize the Rambam as not giving mussar in the mishna torah.
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-HaTov v’ha-Meitiv and Mitzvos chavilos chavilos
Part of a series on birchot hanehenin. Here finishing up shinui makom and then moving onto wine and the rules of saying hatov v’hameitiv. (Me – how many folks know we’re supposed to remember harugei Betar to counteract wine’s effect?!)
Then on to some reasons and applications concerning not bundling mitzvot.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-The Churban Sugyos of Gittin #3
Bad individual traits, even if within the letter of the law, lead to a society of perverse judgments and evil laws.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-The Chatam Sofer’s Mark on History and Halacha
A bio of the Chatam Sofer plus a discussion of many of his more famous positions. I found these of particular interest: Going to minyan is more important than visiting your mother, chadash assur min hatorah and Rabbis only declare a fast if they think it will bring people to tshuva (I guess that’s part of why it’s not done now)
- Rabbi Dani Rapp-Understanding the Concept of Bashert
Do you have a bashert? There have been different opinions since Talmudic times! Me – which came first – the philosophic opinions or the definition of zivug rishon?
- Rav Asher Weiss-צום תשעה באב בזמן המגיפה
If you feel OK, and have no reason to think you’re not, then you should fast on Tisha B’av even in corona times.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Chamar Medina Part 1
Almost all authorities (except the Rambam) hold you can’t use chmar medinah if wine is available (TBD). There is no drink that meets the six criteria posited by various authorities for defining chmar medinah
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Gardens of Shir Hashirim- How do Gardens Function in the Relationship Between G-d and Man
Shir hashirim (as a metaphor) encompasses all of Jewish history and the challenges to our relationship with HKB”H. The three garden scenes parallel the Jewish people at revelation, destruction and rebuilding.
- Rabbi Tanchum Cohen-Prescription, Person, Prediction: The 3 Tests of a Navi | Halacha, Nevua, Machalokes #8
Part of a series, while in general a prophet can’t permanently contravene a commandment, a horaat shah (short term exceptions) is allowed (me – if he’s already a bona-fide navi)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Eating Before Havdalah
What are the rules about not eating and drinking before havdalah? What are the consequences if the rule is violated?
- Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman-Eichah
Eicha was written for the survivors of the churban to teach them how to deal with the loss.
- Rav Asher Weiss-סוגיית קמצא ובר קמצא
Kamtza/Bar Kamtza is about each of us focusing on our own responsibility.
Learning is central to our being.
The concept of a beit knesset (vs beit medrash) is post-churban. (Anshei Knesset Hagedola)
- Rabbi Larry Rothwachs-Open for Questions: The Six Most Important Takeaways from the COVID Crisis (Part 4)
Other lessons of covid times are that halacha is flexible enough to deal with any reality and we’re blessed with poskim who demonstrated this to us.
- ב חיים נבון | מדוע עם ישראל הוא עם של שבטים?
Why is there such a focus on tribes [shvatim] (made up of families) in the Torah? Perhaps it’s the required basis for nation building.
- Dr. Yael Ziegler | Eicha in Conversation Wih Tehillim 37
Mizmor 37 is an idyllic description of HKB”H running the world. Chapter 2 of Eicha seems to question this but Chapter 3 contains a transition to hope and simple faith.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-Tisha Bav for the Non Faster: The Son Versus Son in Law
Tshuva of the chatam sofer concerning whether someone who doesn’t fast on Tisha B’av (but observes other rules) can get an aliyah. (yes)
- Rabbi Jacob Bernstein-Rambam Yomi: Hilchot Deot Chapter 1
Review of chapter one of hilchot deot.
- Mrs. Michal Horowitz-A Dialogue Between Mortality & Infinity: What Gives Man The Right To Pray?
Prayer lessons from Moshe Rabbeinu. R’YBS on prayer needing a matir.
- Rabbi Dani Rapp-Understanding Hashgacha Pratis
There are a number of opinions concerning how much hashgacha pratit and how much hashgacha clalit there is in this world and for whom.
- Rabbi Asher Weiss,Rabbi Michael Yammer,Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky ,Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz ,Rabbi Yosef Nusbacher ,Rabbi Ari Waxman ,Rabbi Noam Koenigsberg -Perspectives on the Pandemic: Medical Triage, Danger, and the Power of the Yeshiva
Lots of Shaalvim specific chizuk. R’Weiss on the need to be prudent in Covid times plus some triage related discussions.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-The Gadol Not Enough People Know: Rav Kook zt”l
R’Kook and the Aderet are unappreciated gedolim (due to political considerations)
- Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff-Mourning in this “Happy Land”: Tisha B’Av and the American Jewish Experience
In the early days of the US Jewish Community (Pre-late 1800’s) the Reform movement viewed the US as a new Jerusalem and thus downplayed Tisha B’av. This began to change in the late 1800’s with mass immigration and improved communications. The Shoah, State of Israel and Jewish camping were additional factors in its growth.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-What We Lost: How Avodas Hashem Would be Different With a Mikdash
We don’t appreciate what we’re missing by not having the beit hamikdash. While we may have tfila stand in for the karbanot (yachid and tzibbur), it’s not the same. We’re also missing the role models (Sanhedrin, Cohain gadol) that we need.
- Rabbi Avishai David-Halachic and Philosophical Aspects from Rav Soloveichik Regarding 9 Av
R’YBS on Tisha B’av and aveilut including: Aveilut yeshana vs chadasha; Beit aveil vs. gavra aveil; Nihugei aveilut; Nacheim; Hesech hadaat and much more. Most notable to me – R’YBS was against singing lcha dodi to the tune of eli tzion (due to public aveilut)
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Why do we need a Beit Hamikdash?
On tisha b’av we’re mourning the loss of gilui shechina, central authority and national unity.
- Rabbi Ari Kahn-Give Me Yavne (and ….)
When we look at the R’Yochanan bei Zakkai stories regarding his Churban related role and decisions, we see uncertainty, destiny and the hope for rebuilding.
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg,Rebbetzin Yocheved Goldberg-How to explain to your children why good people are dying and other questions’
Theodicy for kids (and adults?)
- Rabbi Dani Rapp-Breaking the Law to Daven with a Minyan, During the Holocaust and COVID
When can/should you risk your life to daven with a minyan?
- Ari Wasserman,Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky,Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz,Rabbi Simon Jacobson-/1/20 -Show 283 – Mashiach – What’s it all about?
What are we davening for? Will our personal problems go away? What are the signs of Mashiach’s arrival? Are we seeing them now? Who will be Mashiach? Could it be someone who already passed away? What does it mean to “believe” in Mashiach? What does it mean Ikvisa D’mishicha?
We believe in moshiach; who and how, not so clear. 13 Ikkarim (principles of faith) are generally agreed to and no one wants to insult Lubavitch.
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