by Joel Rich
I certainly am of the school of every spare moment, I just wonder what a study would reveal concerning the long term impact of this philosophy. How many are inspired to greater heights and how many are myaeish at some level.
I realize it’s a complex issue requiring its own analysis but I was struck (Baruch Shekivanti) by the AH”S Hilchot Talmud Torah (Y”D 246:17). My rough translation: “. . . It’s certainly incumbent on everyone to know laws of Orach Chaim, some Yoreh Deah, Choshen Mishpat and Even Haezer . . . but we saw if we tell them that, they won’t learn at all because all they want to do is learn a daf of gemara each day, if so, [we should] not dissuade them . . .”
[BTW R’Epstein died in 1908 daf yomi as we know it was proposed in the early 1920’s.]
ערוך השולחן יורה דעה סימן רמו סעיף יז
ובוודאי שעל כל איש לידע דיני אורח חיים ומקצת דינים מיו”ד וח”מ ואהע”ז המוכרחים לכל איש ע”ש בה’ ת”ת להגרש”ז ז”ל אמנם ראינו כי אם כה נאמר להם לא ילמדו כלל כי רצונם רק ללמוד דף גמ’ בכל יום ע”כ אין להניאם והלואי יעמדו בזה וכל ד”ת משיבת נפש ומביאה ליראת ד’ טהורה
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Pesach That Falls on Motzei Shabbos Seudas Shabbos on Erev Pesach:The Dilemma
Part I – There are a number of meal issues when erev pesach falls out on Shabbat (when can you eat chametz? matzah? Do you need motzi?). Stay tuned for part II will provide solutions!
- Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman-Introduction to the 14th Annual YU Student Medical Ethics Society Conference
YU is the best place to deal with eternal ethics and modern medical science.
- Dr. Avraham Steinberg-The Covid Pandemic and Halakhic Innovation
Everyone/community should do a cheshbon hanefesh (me – haven’t noticed a lot of that lately).
Good review of equipment, staff and vaccine triage rules (or lack thereof).
- Dr. Jill Horowitz,Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev,Dr. Alisa Minkin-14th Annual YU Student Medical Ethics Society Conference Q&A Session
1.) Line jumping (be reasonable) 2.) Theoretical Covid treatments (vaccine is better) 3.) Vaccine comparison (take what you can get) 4.) Natural vs. vaccine antibodies (pretty much the same) 5.) Post-vaccine rules (individual vs. public policy issues)
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Understanding the Issue of Kitniyos on Pesach
The history and force of the Pesach gzeira banning of kitniyot. A number of specific applications of the gzeira discussed. How much dchak (annoyance?) does it take to overcome a gzeira?
- Dr. Ronnie Perelis-How Crypto-Jews Celebrated the Holiday of Freedom in the Lands of Captivity
After the 1492 Spanish expulsion forced conversions continued in many places where the Jews settled. These conversos continued a number of interesting Jewish practices including the Passover ones detailed here.
- Dr. Malka Simkovich-An Introduction to the Apocrypha-5
A brief history of the Books of the Maccabees. Only I was an eye witness written to promote the monarchy. II was a theological work vs. Hellenism. Some interesting differences in their views of martyrdom.
- Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman-The Emotions of Seder Night
The seder is all about gratitude and so should we be. Gratitude letters are a good idea.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 47 (שאני אומר, שני שבילין)
What’s the mechanics of sheani omer—is it simply safeik drabanan?
Safeik cases of what fell, two paths and three pieces of meat discussed. Can we paskin what seem to be contradictory results.
- Dr. Rona Novick-Mental Housecleaning: A Pre-Pesach Guide
Mental health tips.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Yeshiva Torah Vodaath: R. Yosef Levitan, Torah Study & Observance; The Difficulties & Achievements of His Youth. Hungarian Jews in America After WWII. Shabbat In Tel Aviv 2021. Machon Gold Student’s Letter. Spread of Torah In Europe vs N. America
Growing up Jewish in the first half of the 20th century USA, Kiruv, Chumrot and Torah Vadaas.
- Rabbi Sammy Bergman-How Maimonides Attempted To Guide the Perplexed
The Rambam could be both forceful and compassionate. Who was his audience for the Moreh, why did he write it and what did he tackle? (here – focus on anthropomorphism.)
- Mrs. Michal Horowitz-The Aish Kodesh: Emunah in the Darkest Times
Tanaim had complete emunah, we’re not at their level but we should know it’s all from HKB”H. Also discussed—the Eish Kodesh’s holocaust drashot.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-Erev Pesach on Shabbat-From Chametz to the Nap
Shabbat erev pesach issues include: Taanit bchorim; Shalosh seudot (what and when); Hachana /seder preparations and; Getting rid of chametz.
- Rav Asher Weiss-מאה ברכות בכל יום
There are a number of sources given for saying 100 brachot a day, it’s probably rabbinic in nature. Issues include: Which brachot count?; Are women obligated?; and the Interplay of this goal with bracha sheina tzricha if you’re trying to get to 100.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Seuda Shelishis When Erev Pesach is on Shabbos
There’s no perfect answer to the shabbat/erev pesach shalosh seudot question. R’HS suggests egg matzah as an afternoon delight.
- Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei with Rav Dovid Gottlieb
Parsha points 1.) Mirrors and beauty—how do we view them? 2.) Everyone’s got talent, use it to accomplish your mission 3.) Could Btzalel really intuit what HKB”H told Moshe? 4.) Why hasn’t HKB”H given the mashkon (mishkan) back to us? 5.) Inviting non-frum Shabbat company.
- Rabbi Moshe Taub,Yochanan Donn,Keshet Starr,Rabbi Menachem Rosenfeld-3/13/21 – Show 314 – Governor Cuomo Scandal – How does the Torah view allegations
Rabbis shouldn’t counsel the opposite sex—refer them to professionals. One should seek objective opinions rather than believing all they hear. When should we believe reports of misbehavior? Do our media need to report on such stories if Rabbis are involved? No!! (everyone knows it?)[me-not very convincing to me that it would work[
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei Can One’s Hand Replace a Yarmulka as a Head Covering?
Sources concerning head coverings in general and when saying sheim hashem in particular. Generally a body part can’t be viewed as covering another part of the body (this goes for tachanun as well). Maybe OK in a shaat hadchak.
- Parshat Hashavua Vayakhel Pekudei 5781 Rav Wruble
Vayakhel—when did it happen and why were Shabbat and mishkan juxtaposed? How do we fix the chet haegel?
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Chumra, Women, Chad Gadya and more
Topics include: Understanding tumah; Mitzvot aseih shehazman grama and exceptions; Piyutim; Pictures on graves; Meitim yodim? At what level?; How does kol dalim gvar work?; Understanding angels; Chad gad ya’s meaning; Oat matzah OK?; Why two days Rosh Hashana in Yerushalayim?; Making tea on Shabbat; Why hair is ervah only for married women; Stock market trades on chol hamoed; and Gilgul.
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman-American Jewry, FDR, and the Refugee Crisis
There were many political forces in play internationally, domestically and within the Jewish community pre-WWII. What was President Roosevelt’s story? TBC
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Why Do I Have To Dress Yeshivish!!!!
The way you dress makes a statement about who you are and will be (who you will hang out with). The last few minutes of this shiur are priceless.[nuff said]
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – A Grape Juice Project
Quick review of stam yeinam definitions. At what point in the fermentation process does it become an issue? What is the status of a non-religious child? Important reminder that mvushal only works for Jewish made wine.
- Prof. Benny Brown discussing the Mussar Movement
History of R’Y Salanter and the mussar movement. It was driven by forces both internal and external to orthodoxy. It didn’t really survive but the sfarim still have impact.
- Dr. Beni Gesundheit-From the Mishna to the Seder Meal
First in a series tracing the development of the hagada from Tanach to Mishna and beyond. The Yerushalmi version saw mikdash as a lived experience, not so the Bavli. The evolution of an educational philosophy is also discussed.
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Stealing the Afikomen: The Controversy
Is stealing the afikomen a good lesson for our children? No. (but there may be some defenses for the practice.)
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Pesachim perek 1 shiur 49 (בקעה – ספק ביאה)
Understanding safeik biah in the context of an in depth analysis of how sfek sfeika works.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Rubenstein-Balancing and Integrating Avodah and Parnassa
Yosef and David related to the world differently—is the emphasis on tikkun atzmo or tikkun olam? We need to focus on Torah, tfilla and chessed. Work is bdieved (me – so is the writing down of the oral law?!)
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Introduction to Free Will and the Eitz ha-Da’as
Bchira chofshit is questioned now more than ever. Approach of the Ramban discussed. The yetzer hara is the result of ratzon/eitz hadaat.
- Dr. Malka Simkovich-An Introduction to the Apocrypha-6
Wisdom/literature really took off in bayit sheini/Hellenistic times. Wisdom is usually female, the Jewish version has it as part of/subservient to Torah. Not so the Greek.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Vayakhel Pedukei 5781 – Building the Mishkan, Meleches Machsheves
Parsha topics including: Sources for 39 mlachot; Hotzaah vs. other mlachot; Shabbat vs. binyan beit mikdash; Why the GRA didn’t say brachamav. Amira lgavoha/tzedaka; Chapter breaks (non-ben brit editors); Parnasa-lchatchila or bdieved?; Rosh chodesh/women (pick your charities wisely); Davening at beit mikdash; Btzalel reversing Moshe; Kruvim; Beit mikdash as mashkon; and Ending the galut not necessarily the same as full geulah.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].