by Joel Rich
ערוך השולחן יורה דעה סימן שלד סעיף לה – לז
איתא בברכות [י”ט א] בכ”ד מקומות ב”ד מנדין על כבוד הרב ע”ש והרמב”ם בפ”ו מת”ת חשבן וכן בש”ע ובטור בסי’ זה ואלו הן
[ט”ו] המביא רבים לידי חילול ד’ [והיינו שאדם גדול מבטיח שבוודאי יעשה ד’ כך וכך ואם אח”כ אינו כדבריו הוי חילול ד’ ולכן אסור לומר שבוודאי יהיה כך וכך] Thoughts on particular seeming counter-examples?
Question: How often, compared to other members, should a gabbai call his own number (or those of members of his family) for shatz and/or other kibbudim?
Japan’s tradition of naming eras reflects the ancient belief in the divine spirit of language. Kotodama (言霊; “word spirit”) is the idea that words have an almost magical power to alter physical reality. Me- Interesting parallel to how halacha and kabbala privilege dibbur
- Rabbi Chaim Eisenstein-Hilchos Yichud: Travelers and “Prutzim”
Yichud issues with care transportation: Issues such as day/night and types of people can impact permissibility.
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf-Hate the Rabbinate—Really?
When the mishna in avot referred to avoiding the rabbanut, it meant government authority. It was only in the 19th century that rabbanut was extended to the “professional” rabbinate.
- Rabbi Marc Spivak-Living a happy and satisfied life workshop #1
First in a series – what makes us happy (and what doesn’t). The series will look at both Jewish and secular sources.
- Rabbi Dr. Dvir Ginsberg-Introductions: The Introduction to Chovot HaLevavot
Introduction to the history of Chovot Halevavot. It was written in Arabic and was definitely a product of its times! Many skip the first two sections where he builds belief from intellect to Torah to mesorah. All this leads up to ahavat hashem (and our every action must lead to this end)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-חוג עבודת ה’ בישיבת הר עציון : חנוכה חשיבות תורה שבעל פה וכח של מסירות נפש
TSBP is a binding force for us. Chanukah was the first group msirat nefesh for HKB”H.
- Rabbi Larry Rothwachs-Taking in the View – The Extraordinary Landscape of Jewish Prayer
The structure of prayer parallels the physical layout of the beit hamikdash. Prayer also goes from universal to particular. We can anticipate, experience and reflect on kedusha in a public and private manner of prayer.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Chanukah 2020 YCQ
Chanukah related topics including: TSBP didn’t flourish in Bayit Rishon but did in Bayit Sheini; Force of drabanan and general TSBP; Government control of religion; Menorah construction material; Chochma yevanit vs. Torah; No machloket in mtziut; Temporary vs permanent beauty and much more.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Congealed Olive Oil for Ner Chanukah
Congealed oil is OK. Do we look for quality of light or remembrance of the Beit Mikdash in our choice of fuel for the Menorah?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-The Halachos of Lighting Chanukah Candles
Hilchot Chanukah including: Brachot; Women’s obligation; Where, when, what and how to light.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 26 (מוצא חמץ בביתו, מפרש ויוצא בשיירא)
Starts with heemida dvreihem – how do counter veiling pressures of duraita bal yereah and drabanan yom tov issues get resolved?
Moves on to why chametz of a goy requires a mechitza but that of hekdesh doesn’t.
Finishes up with travelers’ responsibilities related to their expected ETA’s and their chametz.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-It is Time for Extremes
“Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue” [HT – Barry Goldwater]
- Rabbi Ari Kahn-הפולמוס סביב הדלקת נרות חנוכה
History of the proper placement of the chanukah menorah. There’s a certain symmetry between the Rambam’s description of chanukah (reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty) and the reintroduction of lighting the menorah outside the home in the State of Israel.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Lighting Chanukah Candles During a Pandemic
A student quarantined in his dorm where no open flame is allowed – what to do for chanukah candle lighting? Best may be to zoom with parents.
- Rabbi Baruch Simon-Pesachim 5781 (48): The Machlokes R’ Moshe and R’ Dovid on Not Eating Mezonos at a Kiddush, and Divrai Hesped for R’ Dovid
(1) R Moshe on Shabbat Kiddush in shul – do you need mezonot? Do you make Kiddush again at home? (2) If you take a long flight over the dateline, do you daven shacharit twice? (3) Tribute to R’Dovid Feinstein
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-אפילו עני: The Rambam’s Understanding of Chanukah
The Rambam on how hilchot neirot chanukah demonstrate our central values.
- Dr. Shnayer Leiman-Yom Kippur and the Thought of Rav Yisrael Salanter
Various historical accounts concerning Yom Kippur/cholera and did R’ Salanter make Kiddush, ate less than a shiur, more than a shiur or none of the above. R’Leiman presents his learned opinion.
- Rabbi Avishai David-Inyanei Chanukah – Q & A
(1) Can you use a flashlight for Chanukah candles? (no, but…) (2) What’s the proper time to light candles if you know you’ll be home late? (3) Do you make Shechiyanu after the first night? (4) Q&A (e.g. gifts, leaving learning seder to light)
- Rav Asher Weiss-שו”ת בענייני חנוכה בעידן הקורונה
Perhaps the question of lighting at an outdoor minyanim should turn on why we light the menorah in shul? Possibilities include for : (1) Pirsumei; nisa (2) Pirsumei nisa of the kahal (me – R’YBS tfilat hatzibur?) (3) Visitors (4) Eino baki (5) Shaat gzeirah (couldn’t do at home) (6) Zecher lmikdash. R’Weiss says we only light in a place specifically, and only used regularly, for prayer. Zoom is better than nothing for candle lighting. Details included.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – A Yichud Date in the Basement
General rule – keep your promises! General discussion of yichud and exceptions. Cameras (with full range of motion) work! R’Moshe’s big kula (someone could knock is ok) and chumra (no cars!) discussed
- Rabbi Sammy Bergman-Do Robots Have Tzelem Elokim?
Differing possible definitions of tzelem elokim – what makes us different from animals or robots? See here (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/ ) for some related thoughts from modern philosophy on robots (and BTW Peter Singer et al think we aren’t different from animals)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Blowing Out Somebody Else’s Candles For Your Mitzvah
Can you put out someone else’s Chanukah candles and relight them for your own mitzvah? Probably not but it’s not as simple as it might seem. [Me – is it clear that the original lighter would get less of a mitzvah if someone actually did this without his knowledge? With it?]
- Rabbi Berel Wein, Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger,Dr Leslie Klein,Rabbi Yisroel Grossberg,Rabbi Moshe Elefant,Mr. Tom Gagliano, MSW-12/12/20 – Show 301 – Legalization of Marijuana
Is it different than alcohol? What does it do to motivation? Is addiciton a problem in Bais Yaakov? How should we educate our youth? What’s the underlying cause of addiction? and much more….
LOL – too bad they didn’t record the debate between me and someone (the years they go by too quickly it seems – HT Chad Mitchell trio) in Dr. Beukas’s 1969-70 debate class on legalizing marijuana – ein chadash tachat hashemesh indeed (me – important points (1) The plural of anecdotes is not data (2) Fake news – “I didn’t inhale” (3) Long vs. short term impact (pot vs. alcohol) argument – see how well it’s worked in encouraging current youth to keep Covid guidelines)
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-The Berachah on Lighting Chanukah Candles: Were We Indeed Commanded
Rambam vs Ramban on the force of rabbinic enactments. Is there a bracha on minhagim? What’s the deal with lighting menorah in shul (very late minhag) as a test case.
- Rabbi Dr. Dvir Ginsberg-Brisker Rav on Rambam – Hilchos Talmud Torah 1
Kavod rav is modeled on kavod av. Is the Rambam talking about rabo muvhak? Talmud Chacham?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 27 (שלושים יום, שואלים ודורשים)
The pesach travelers dilemma (bdika requirement if within 30 days) – is the issue one of putting oneself in a situation where there will eventually be a problem (a more general issue) or does the requirement for getting rid of chametz begin then? Nafka mina’s provided.
Then on to reconciling our gemara with the gemara in megilla concerning the preparatory period for pesach.
- Rabbi Chayim Soloveichik-Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh contrast and comparison the custom for ladies not to do melacha
Women’s minhagim not to do mlacha on rosh chodesh and Chanukah compared and contrasted. Message – You gotta know when to hold them, when to fold them (HT – Kenny Rogers) = sometimes you have to disengage and sometimes you need to influence others.
- Rabbi Larry Rothwachs-What the Siddur Can Teach us About the History, Faith and Spirit of the Jewish People
The siddur as a source of Jewish history and philosophy. Examples provided.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-How to Learn Chumash? Rashbam, Rav Hirsch, and Rav Lamm
Parshanim take different approaches (e.g. Rashi vs. Rashbam on “Pshat”) R’SRH – TSBC is cliff notes, TSBP gives detail. How do you deal with cases where halachic interpretation differs from plain “pshat”?
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Inyonei Chanukah 5781 Part 2 – Mehadrin, Where to Light, When to Light
Should multiple Chanukah lighters have in mind not to be yotzeih with others’ brachot (whole negative intent thing)? Why do we light in shul? Why and when do we make a bracha in Shul? Also discussed determining where and when to light in non-standard situations (dorms, travelers et al)
- Mordechai Djavaheri-The Socially Distanced Zimmun and Leaving Weddings Early (Zimmun #2)
There are a number of opinions concerning the making or breaking of a requirement to join a zimun. If you know them, you can avoid being part of one which is often a concern at smachot or communal type meals. It’s not good to leave if you have a zimun requirement. (me – if it’s not inconvenient you might consider trying to obligate yourself in one)
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].