by Joel Rich
On belief based on personal experience:
A pure rationalist would separate himself from his own experience and analyze starting with how many people there are, how many situations similar to his own,….. and determine based on the entire sample space (ex. one person has a dream that someone they know got sick, and they actually did. analysis-how many dreams were dreamt in the world, how many about friends, how many sick, how many did get sick…)
Me-How do we take this into account in our emunah process?
Understanding how certain practices change over time:
Imho this is a process which plays out historically without a clear algorithm. Only through the eyes of retrospection (e.g. the aruch hashulchan) is the result koshered (see hilchot aveilut as an example)
- Ari Wasserman,Rabbi Moshe Hauer,Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy,Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz,Reb Dovid Lichtenstein,Mr. Charlie Harary-1/2/21 – Show 304 – What halachically is a good (or bad) use of our time?
Someone I know often says, “Time is our most precious and perishable asset.” OTOH I’m not sure I can agree with Mick Jagger that, “Time is on my side, yes it is”. You can listen here to the various presentations or you can send me $4.95 (plus shipping and handling) for Joel’s magic elixir algorithm which will cure all your ills and give you the proper balance of learning, sleeping, relaxing, eating, etc. For an extra $1.05 you’ll also get the proper breakdown of learning time by subject including Tehillim and gedolim bios!
Seriously IMHO this our biggest avodah, figuring out how HKB”H wants us to spend our time, especially the marginal free minute. IMHO you need to think about this throughout life and to talk about it from time to time with others to ensure you take into account your blind spots (true of life in general).
For me, having a working basic knowledge of behavioral economics, social science, quantum physics, scientific method, legal theory, etc. will improve one’s talmud torah and avodat hashem. Just be sure you’re not trying to see everything as a nail because you have a hammer!
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 31 (מקדש באיסורי הנאה מדרבנן, מקדש בחמץ משש שעות)
Continues the analysis of being in mkadeish with issurei drabanan (is it a din in kiddushin or in issurei drabanan?) Interesting side issue – does an issur drabanan change the cheftza or the gavra?
Then on to clarifying exactly which case R’Giddil was talking about (time and type of chametz)
- Rav Asher Weiss-הסכם יששכר וזבולון
R’Weiss reviews the reward sharing rules in a Yissachar/Zevulun partnership. R’Weiss’s position is that it’s not a formal halachic partnership but rather a condition (tnai) and they both get full reward. This only applies by torah learning, not other mitzvot, and the learner doesn’t have to worry that he will lose by entering into such an agreement. Most important point (to me), we don’t really understand reward and punishment.
- Rabbi Larry Rothwachs-Morning, Afternoon, and Night – The Three Gateways of Prayer
Shacharit gives us the opportunity to inventory the gifts HKB”H gives us and how we use them in his service to make the world a better place. Mincha is an opportunity to realize that HKB”H is in charge of the world and all we do. Maariv is an opportunity to reflect on how we lived the day. All of these elements are interwoven in our lives.
- Rabbi Tanchum Cohen-Elevated Mountains: Learning Aggada Closely, with Maharal, Ramchal and Vilna Gaon
Har kgigit (Israel’s forced acceptance of mitzvot) medrash – what can we learn from it?
- Rabbi Daniel Stein-Wearing Tefillin All Day
Is night time zman tfillin? Is the concern for sleeping with tfillin on hesech hadaat (lack of concentration) or kalut rosh (lightheadedness) ? Why was shacharit picked for wearing tfillin? Is the mitzvah once a day or all day? Is wearing them at other times than shacharit considered yuhara(arrogance)?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Topics in Kashrus – Fish
Fish kashrut is based on simanim but there are a number of practical applications that need to be considered before eating salmon, tuna or swordfish.
- Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen-Don’t Socially Distance from Hashem
Learning is working! Tfila is important!
- Mrs. Michal Horowitz-Aging, Illness and End of Life Considerations: Hashkafic Perspectives
Everything in life, including aging, has a purpose in life. There are positive and negative life experiences that we experience with appropriate emotions which halacha validates
- Rabbi Reisman-vayichi alumni
Sometimes just the thought to perform a negative action requires atonement.
- Rabbi Yoni Levin-The Sanctity of Leviim: Washing the Kohanim’s Hands
Why do Leviim wash the Cohen’s hands? Who else might do it? What’s the deal with leaving to wash in the middle of chazarat hashatz?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Grandfather or Tzadik as Sandek?
Grandfather vs. talmid chacham as sandak – arguments both ways (me – not mentioned, only being sandak once [as in kohanim w/ketoret])
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – A Donation to the Wrong Ohr Torah!
Dvarim shebeleiv (unarticulated conditions) sometimes have halachic import, sometimes not. Listen here for some detail.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar for Parshat Vayechi: HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein About Specializing or Becoming a Jack of All Trades in Torah; The Value of External Incentives as Opposed to Internal Drive
In life in general we need to balance breadth and depth. We need to realize that we are dependent on each other and think about our internal vs. external motivations.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Topics in Kashrus – Milk
Why doesn’t R’Schachter drink milk and everyone else does? Why is a good grounding in probability and statistics helpful in understanding and explaining Chazal’s approach to rov, miyut…? (OK – I admit that last statement was me, not R’Lebowitz.) As R’Weiss points out, Chazal didn’t really deal in statistics (me – they did in heuristics)
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-שיחת ערב שבת פרשת ויחי: כשור לעול
Lessons of ox vs. mule – we can learn lessons from how they’re employed.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Vayechi 5781
Topics include: Chesed shel emet; Yosef’s oath to Yaakov; Yaakov’s blessing to Shvatim, Menashe and Efraim; Angels’ blessings – is there such a thing? When Eliyahu and Mashiach can come; Baruch sheim kvod; exaggerations of sins in Tanach; Splitting cities (including Yerushalayim) between shavitim; Church/State separation and need for atonement for bad intent (with man vs. with HKB”H)
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Rambam’s Complex View on Hashgacha part 2
Why does the study of basic philosophical questions (e.g. free will vs. hashgacha pratit) take so long? (Me – how about because if there were short, easy answers we wouldn’t be discussing them!)
Do we ever really answer them? Yes (me – see Rambam Yesodei Hatorah) and no (direct answers aren’t important but study can open our eyes and give direction to our lives). Then back to Rambam and hashgacha pratit.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Vayechi Parshas Vayechi When Plans to Do Something Bad Result in Something Good
Do bad intentions for an act not carried out require atonement? Maybe only between man and HKB”H. Between man and man maybe only results count.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Making Positive Commitments: What We Can Learn from Daf Yomi One Year Later
We should define ourselves by who we are, not who we are not. Commitment is important, so is positivity.
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Mitzvah L’Kayeim Divrei Ha’Meis: Honored the Wishes of the Deceased
Is fulfilling a dying man’s wishes a mitzvah or a kinyan? Does it apply across the board or only in monetary matters?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Shemitah: Otzar Beit Din, Part 1
First in a two part series focusing on how does otzar beit din operate (what are the technical halachic forces?) This was really a source review for part two
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 32 (איסור חמץ בערב פסח לפי רבי שמעון, הפת שעיפשה)
R’Shimon on achila and hanaah post chatzot. Then onto pat sheifsha and habodeik tzarich lvarech.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-Why do Mitzvos? Chasam Sofer’s Unique View on Ta’amei HaMitzvos
The chatam sofer was concerned that looking for the reasons for mitzvot could lead to inappropriate leniencies. We do all mitzvoth as a chok! He would consider it for stringencies however.
- Rabbi Reisman- Parshas Shemos – Avodah Zarah is Arayus – 2018 Why
did the Jews go from idol worship to idol worship? It was just an excuse to do whatever sins they wanted to do anyway.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Shemitah: Otzar Beit Din, Part 2 of 2
A presentation for a more general audience. Introduction to shmita and otzar beit din. What foods are covered? What halachic mechanisms are used? What farming processes are covered? Who gets paid and what are the pricing implications? Do the items retain kedusha?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Topics in Kashrus – Terumos and Maasros
Philosophy and practical application (in galut) of trumot and maasrot. It’s appropriate to buy Israeli produce, here’s how to handle the issues.
- Rabbi Avishai David-The work ethic from a Torah perspective; Halacha and Agada Part 1
Three approaches to reconciling Talmudic sources concerning Talmud Torah and studying secular studies (learning a craft)
- Rabbi Reuven Brand-Ephraim E. Urbach & Academic Jewish Studies
Covers R’E Urbach’s bio and his works in academic Talmud. The beis medrash can use parts of the academic tool kit to enhance its talmud torah.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Yeshiva Torah Vodaath: What’s in the Name?
A history of Yeshivas Torah Vdaas – daas wasn’t used to signify daas torah!
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