by Joel Rich
R’ Soloveitchik zt’l writes: “Interesting is that when G-d reveals Himself to Moshe and told him that he should prepare the people for kabalas haTorah, He told him ‘and you shall be unto Me a priestly kingdom and holy nation’, ‘ki li kol ha’aretz (Ex.19:5)’ – because the earth is Mine. What’s it got to do with the election of the Jewish people as the priestly nation? (The answer is that) It says I am electing you as a priestly nation, not only here at Mt. Sinai, not only the Promised Land where I will bring you, but wherever you will be, even on the moon or Mars, it doesn’t matter. Ki Li kol ha’aretz. The (entire) universe is Mine…
“I have said it many times. If I were permitted, I would add a 14th Ani Ma’amin – don’t get scared! What would the content of the 14th Ani Ma’amin be?
“Ani ma’amin be’emunah sh’leimah she’kol ha’Torah kulah y’cholah l’hiskayeim b’chol makom u’v’chol zman. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah can be kept in every place and in every time. If you don’t accept that Ani Maamin, what’s the use of the (other) thirteen? If the Ani Maamin is dependent upon geography and chronology, then when the Jews are scattered all over the world… You mean to the moon? Yes. If you want to know about Mars, I can tell you that Mars, too.” (The Rav Thinking Aloud on the Parsha, Bereishis, p.274-278)
From a book review:
You will not find here comparative analyses of the various approaches: “Torah Only” versus “Torah im Derech Eretz” versus “Torah Umadda.” This enhances the book because those arcane discussions have always been more the province of scholars in their ivory towers than that of actual wage earners out in the workforce.
Rabbi Lopiansky instead sets out a model elegant in its simplicity: The time spent in yeshivah is a period in which a young man takes on the role of Shevet Levi—“a stratum of undiluted and uncompromised spirituality with a minimum of interaction with the material world.” These years are “the stratum [that] becomes the core of our being.” The subsequent years in the work world are years in which one must find his role as one of the other shevatim—“to know our mission in life and to realize it.” Such missions must be solidly within the framework of osek b’yishuvo shel olam—“the constructive building and enhancement of the world.”
Certainly one model-One might argue that looking ahead while one is in Yeshiva would allow a stronger foundation for the subsequent years (e.g understanding real world trade-offs while studying theoretical paradigms, learning skills which will make one more effective in their ultimate mission). This differentiation has some very practical implications. (Besides the psychological considerations of possible feelings about having to leave the Yeshiva) Thoughts?
- Rav Aaron Lopiansky: What Tribes do you Contain Inside?
R’Lopiansky provides his insights on frum American life (materialistic) vs. Israeli (not as competitive) and the proper approach for one who has to leave full time learning (Me-It’s not your fault” – HT – Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting)
Most interesting to me – R’Bashevkin’s introducing into evidence of the clip of Colonel Jessup (You can’t handle the truth) as an argument for appreciating the chareidi way of life (me – the real question is are the perceived negatives of the chareidi system features (intrinsic) or bugs (can be disposed of without harming the system). Also R’Lopiansky’s musing that maybe HKB”H made the Yeshiva world dependent on others so that they would be forced to interact.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Issur Veheter 5 (87:10 – 88:2)
Gelatin from non-kosher sources – does total desiccation change the status? R’Chaim ozer said yes but over time the anti-gelatin forces prevailed. (Me – it was a kula shein rov hatzibbur yicholim laamod bo?)
- Aaron Parnes,Rabbi Yoel Kramer, R’ Shlomo Lewenstein & R’ Tzodek Katz, Yehuda Geberer-9/12/20 – Show 289 – Seminary in Eretz Yisrael – Is it Worth It?
Seminaries were unable to send representatives, there will be a follow-up. This session focused on the high cost of seminaries in Eretz Yisrael (sounded like charges of price gouging [and not paying teachers very well]) being an unwise investment for most families.
Also a history of the Beit Yaakov movement. Interesting is that the alta heim apparently wasn’t perfect. Also the redating of the Chofetz Chaim’s “haskama” might lead one to believe that Sarah Schenirer had started her Hirschian movement on her own! My- note to podcaster:
1. Interesting that no one mentioned falling in love with eretz yisrael
2.i would have waited till I could get seminary representatives
3. For those interested in an objective history of Beis Yaakov:
The latest at Lehrhaus Culture – Sarah Schenirer’s Bais Yaakov in its early years, a traditional or revolutionary one? Ilan Fuchs considers in his review of Naomi Seidman’s new book.
For those who prefer to listen rather than to read, the author presents her findings here:
4. 1911 vs 1921 is the difference between Sarah Schenirer’s going ahead with the gedolim’s blessing vs. retroactive koshering
- Rabbi Dr. Dvir Ginsberg-Intro to Free Will – Definitions, Saadya Gaon and Rambam on Foreknowledge
Determinism, compatibilism and freewill as seen by R’Sadya and the Rambam (part of a series) appropriately recording cuts off in the middle of Rambam’s explanation of justifying belief in both free will and fore knowledge!)
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-The SUKKOT of COVID19
Discussion of the minimum physical sukkah requirements in Covid times.
- Dr. Dov Zakheim-Ezra and Nechemiya
Nechemia’s history as a M.O. role model. A brief history plus a summary of the contemporary political issues.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Issur Veheter 4 (87:6-10)
Completion of some basar b’chalav chumrah cases. Primary discussion is of keivah issues (renter et al)
- Horav Shraga Kallus -What’s Going on in Safrus
Key is to have a reliable sofer! Do tfillin ever need to be checked? Are today’s inks and klaf more susceptible to problems? What chumra’s are appropriate in safrut?
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Various Issues that Arrive During the Week of Selichos
Triaging selichot time slots. Can you say them by yourself? Must you say birchat hatorah first? Wear a talit? (whose?)
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Socially Distanced High Holidays 2: Yom Kippur
If you’re alone on Yom Kippur (me-really everyday), take it an opportunity for some real introspection and prayer.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Tekias Shofar for a Yachid
If you’re hearing shofar alone, what’s the best time and sequencing? Do you need 100 sounds? (no)
- Horav Shraga Kallus-Mini Series 1-Fingertips Or Shower -מים אחרונים
Having clean hands before birchat hamazon is a good idea in any event. Melach sdomit may or may not have implications today. A number of specifics covered including when, how much, which liquids, who, where….?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 5 (איסור מלאכה בערב פסח)
What is the holiday nature of erev Pesach? How does this relate to the minhag not to do work then?
Some interesting insights into why the Gemara sometimes says shma mina and then provides additional proofs (technical, more answers are better or the compilers compiled different Yeshivas’ answers). Also of interest – is alot really only partly day and neitz fully so (gamur) or is alot fully day and neitz just a safety belt.
- Rav Asher Weiss-שמחה בראש השנה ויום הכיפורים
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur have elements of simcha (joy) and yirah (fear/awe) but not of sadness. There are a number of different kinds of simcha in halacha.
- Rabbi Etan Schnall-The Flag, the National Anthem and Malchiyos: Practical Take-aways from the Rosh Hashana Tefilla
Malchiot reminds us to look at the big (eternal) picture and to yearn for the clarity of the beit hamikdash. (Me-representing the clarity of our relationship with HKB”H).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Kashrus of Exotic Honey
The two reasons given by the Talmud for the kashrut of bee honey (not a body product or yes a gzeirat hakatuv) will inform on the kashrut of all honeys (and what is a bee)
- Rabbi Yaakov B. Neuburger-When Rosh Hashana Falls out on Shabbos Rabbi Neuburger RH 29B Part 2 9-7-2020
Analysis of the Bavli and Yerushalmi’s reasons for not blowing shofar on Shabbat. Do you get credit if you did blow it on Shabbat? (pun intended)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Torah of HaRav Amital for Selichot – Discovering Powerlessness; G-d Davens Alongside Us: Depersonalization During Elull
The Shofar represents a simple primordial cry. Think who you daven for, improve HKBH’s standing in this world and remember HKB”H is with us
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-Insights into Teshuva
Do your best at tshuva and HKB”H will take care of the rest.
- Rabbi Yonason Sacks-Shofar and Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanna
Zichron truah may refer to the kiyum (internal accomplishment) of the mitzvah of shofar. In conjunction with tfila, we can then internalize the full message of the chag.
- Rabbi Dani Rapp-The Ten Lost Tribes, Where are They Now?
Will/did the ten tribes return? Data points include the Talmud, Eldad Hadani and the modern Ethiopian aliyah.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-Piskei Corona Contemporary issues in Halacha
How, when and where to pray by oneself (Yichidut). R’M Sternbuch says not to daven shmoneh esrai with a mask if there’s no immediate life endangerment (me-broad shoulders) Dress, posture and times of prayer covered as well as yizkor, zooming and shofar blowing.
- Horav Shraga Kallus – Shiur Title: Birkas Hamazon
Birchat hamazon needs to be taken seriously. Learn about the proper procedures here.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Aveilus for an Estranged Spouse
If a husband had intent (TBD) to divorce his wife, would they still sit shiva for each other? (probably not)
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Teshuva: It’s Not About What We Do and Say, It’s About Who We ARE
Halacha is a floor, not a ceiling, in our relationship with HKB”H. HKB”H told Moshe yaasu (they should do) the 13 middot (not say) – it’s about imitato dei, not segulot.
- Rabbi Aharon Kahn-Commtiment, Regret and Transformation in the Teshuvah Process
Rambam and Raavad agree on the existence of emunah and hasaga (innate vs. intellect) but disagree on whether we should try to understand even what we don’t (can’t?) understand (or at least know what we don’t know).
- Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg-Halacha Topics – Inyanei Rosh Hashana
Discussion of rules concerning forgetting to say hamelech hakadesh, sleeping on Rosh Hashana (not so terrible) and simanim.
- Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-מנהג ע”פ דיני עכו”ם ומנהג גרוע
Rama, Rashba et al on adopting local business law (explicitly or implicitly) in place of halacha
- Horav Shraga Kallus – Whipping The Person Behind You! -The Halochos Of Putting On A טלית
Discussion of various talit issues including: Brachot (when? text?) Atarah; Atifat yishmaelim; Kissing; Checking; Using for other purposes and more
- Horav Shraga Kallus – Zimun leBirkas Hamazon
Zimun details including: Duraita?; What text is included?; Microphone use?; When can you avoid it? (me – should you?) Travel rules and more
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].