by Joel Rich
“There are leaders of the community who have blood on their hands, and it’s the blood of my mother and of many others,” Meshi-Zahav said.
Yehuda Meshi-Zahav -“I called everyone asking them to stop the party. I called my mother and asked her not to do it and spoke to other family members,” he said.
“I said it’s dangerous, don’t do it. But they live in a place where the atmosphere was different than in other places.”
Me-Rambam Deot 6:1
It is a natural tendency of man to be influenced in his ideas and conduct by his fellows and associates, and to follow the usage of the people of his state. Because thereof, it is necessary for man to be in the company of the righteous….. and to distance himself from the evil-doers …….. Likewise, if a man be in a state where evil customs prevail and where the people are not following the righteous ways, he should go to a place where the inhabitants are righteous and follow the way of the good. If all the states known to him, or of which intelligence reached him, be followers of a path which is not good, even as it is in our own times, or if he be unable to migrate to a state whose rules of conduct are good, either on account of military operations or on account of sickness, he should isolate himself and live in seclusion, even as it is said on the subject: “Let him sit alone and keep silence” (Lam. 3.28). And, if the inhabitants of his state be evildoers and sinners, who deny him the right of residence in the state unless he become assimilated with them, and follows their evil conduct, he should go forth and dwell in caves, or cliffs, or deserts, but not accustom himself in the way of the sinners………………….
“You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with,” a quote attributed most often to motivational speaker Jim Rohn.
Interesting article by R’ S. Brody in the upcoming Hakira concerning parents waiving their “right” to mourning after shloshim. My question, almost partially addressed in the article, is assuming such a waiver is effective, is it what HKB”H wants of us?
Such a waiver certainly would help the children avoid difficult issues, not just event related such as weddings, but every day issues as well. Assumedly they could still choose to observe the strictures they choose but from a strictly halachic basis will their reward (as a stand in for HKBH’s happiness) be as great? From a hashkafic viewpoint is the waiver sending the right message?
- Rav Asher Weiss-יהרג ואל יעבור בשעת הגזירה
Fascinating discussion of historical examples of yehareg val yaavor applications. Listen especially for the discussion of the Cantonists. Apparently daas torah wasn’t followed as assiduously as one might think.
My cousin Edith used to warn me to watch out for the choppers – it was a very sad time in Jewish history.
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg-Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Wills and Estates in Jewish Law (Part 2)
Sorry, no explanation of why the torah set up rules of inheritance that everyone tries to avoid. Shalom bayit and tzedaka need to be taken into account. Standard inheritance rules also outlined.
- Sharon Liberman Mintz-The Sassoon Treasures of Judaica
A history of the Sasoon family and their Judaica collection. Seeing is really necessary for this topic.
- Rabbi Avishai David-Resolution of disparate sources in the Rambam regarding financial benefit from the study and teaching of Torah (Part 6 of the Work Ethic series)
Perhaps the Rambam’s position is that seeking to be paid for talmud torah is a chillul Hashem but if you have other employment and the community seeks you out, that’s ok. (Me – I’m available at no charge )
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump-The Jewish Understanding of SOUL
Apparently there’s a Disney animated movie about souls which doesn’t capture the Jewish concept of souls (surprise?!) R’Trump explains souls and olam haba (me – what does it mean that the Rambam’s approach is more accepted? Based on what proofs? Are we capable of really understanding any of this?)
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Issurei Kehuna
Prohibited cohanic marriages discussed.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Rav Moshe’s Teshuvah to Rav Kelemer on Feminism
Thoughts on R’Kelemer and amira lakum applications.
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Separate Dishes For Meat & Dairy In Halacha
From requiring separate knives for cheese and meat came the practice of completely separate kitchen utensils. There’s a generally accepted chumra not to switch a utensil between dairy and meat. Possible exceptions discussed.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Understanding Ta’amei HaMikra
First in a series on tamei hamikra whose functions include music, accent/pronunciation and meaning/interpretation.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Rav Kelemer, Rav Elyashiv and Radio Advertising on Shabbos
Women have the same kedusha as men but different roles. Be leery of agendas.
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Rav Kook on Bitachon and Miracles
Normal emunah is that HKB”H will help us through our hishtadlut. Sometimes we are so low that we can’t see HKBH’s efforts this way.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Rav Yehuda Henkin and Habituation as A Factor In Halacha
R’Henkin recognized societal change within halacha. He would also take into account public policy issues.
- Rabbi Aharon Kahn-Some Personal Thoughts on the Shmoneh Esrei
Why are there so many physical details in how we pray? Because Chazal didn’t trust human emotions and we need to show our avdut.
- Ari Wasserman, Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz,Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt,Rabbi Yissochar Dov Krakowski-1/16/21 – Show 306 – Eating meat in Halacha & Hashkafa; is vegetarianism a treif hashkafa?
Vegetarianism may be ok, it depends why you take it on. How does a vegetarian deal with simchat yom tov or seudat mitzvah? Does fish or chicken count?
Also discussed: shechita in Europe, artificial meat and basar shenitaleim.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Blau-The Dual Role of Witnesses
Eidei birur and eidei kiyum explored. If we learn kiddushin from kesef, how does the eidut transfer?
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas VaEira Priorities in General Halachah, Medical Treatment, and Vaccine Distribution
Triage is very complex, there’s no agreement on the basic rules (is Horiyot talking about life or food?) and other factors (e.g. likelihood of survival) also count. (As we’ve discussed many times – modern poskim pretty much discount Horiyot priorities. I’m not sure I understand their micro-halachic reasons)
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Va’era 5781
Parsha topics including: Parallels between ir miklat and our galut (HKB”H brought us back to Israel so he doesn’t need to stay in galut); Moshe’s nevuah – was it always through an aspaklaria meirah? (no); Why did Moshe not have the answer for bnot tzlofchad; what to look for in a shidduch these days; Difference between the first 9 makot and the l0th; magic; Davening with outstretched arms (no); Cohain who killed and much more.
- Rabbi Aharon Herskovitz-האם אני חייב להקשיב להורים שלי כשאומרים לי איפה לגור?
Balancing kavod/morah (and tzaar) vs. talmud torah, eretz yisrael and marriage. It’s best to try and work it out.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Inyanei Aveilus
Quick review of some aveilut and aninut (really meito lfanav) issues. Mentions a number of aveilut practices which are no longer practiced but no real explanation why (except beds would break if turned over).
Also, discussed, when do we say miktzat hayom kkulo.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Chocolate Bombs on Shabbos
Making chocolate bombs on Shabbat (hot water melts chocolate outside and releases ingredients) could be a problem of bishul and/or molid.
- Rabbi Avishai David-Overview of the Rambam in Mishnah Avos & Hilchos Talmud Torah (Part 7 of the series)
Unpacking the Rambam’s position (in the Mishna Torah, Peirush Mishnayot…) on compensation for learning torah. Also understanding the Kesef Mishna and Rama on the same subject.
- Rabbi Daniel Stein-Emunah and Betuchon
Emuna needs to be challenging in order to allow bechira chofshit. We probably need a balance of cognitive and emotional emunah.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Who Is Fit To Lead Our People?
HKB”H picks leaders. The community needs to support leaders and take them seriously.
- Rabbi Pinny Sanders-Tu B’Shvat in Halacha
Discussion of agricultural gifts’ calendar and triggers.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-Parameters of Lo Sachmod in the Modern Age
What cases does lo tachmod apply to? (non-physical too?) How much pressure must be applied to be in violation? Is an act required?
- Rav Dovid Gottlieb -Parshat Vaera
(1) Did HKB”H really take away Pharaoh’s free will? (2) There’s no age retirement in Judaism (3) Merit of avot (4) Spiritual and physical freedom are intertwined (5) 4 cups of wine – hashkafic and halachic comments.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Torah for Tu Beshvat: Nature Appreciation and Religious Growth
Five ways nature teaches us about our relationship with HKB”H.
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Kashrus Issues With Having Only One Oven
Single oven basics including zeah, reach and covered cooking. Is it permissible to switch on an oven from fleishig to milchig?
- Rabbi Moshe Kurtz-Rav Moshe Shternbuch on Protests and Demonstrations [Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Series, Class #3]
Sometimes the purpose of a protest is to engender change, sometimes it’s to make the point that something is unacceptable to us.
A Shabbat protest must take into account the balance of the chillul Shabbat it might cause with the point it might make.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Latecomers Davening Mussaf Before Shacharis
If one hasn’t davened shacharit and they come in it at mussaf, which mida should they say? Issues include tadir, precedence in karbanot and tfila btzibur
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