by Joel Rich
Rabbi Soloveitchik on Transcending Death
IMHO while he specifically speaks of his father, it can be applicable to each of us as part of the eternal nation and the mesora chain
The Tzitz Eliezer (12:40) outlines (what I thought to be) normative psak in kavod sefer torah, that people should go to kiss the sefer torah and not vice versa. He calls upon the Rabbis to educate their communities who will be happy to follow. So why is this not done? (Me – more so in outside minyanim where the sefer is on the table and then is walked around back to the table?)
- Dr. Lew Abrams, ACSW, and Nathaniel Nagelblatt, LCSW on Let’s get real with Coach Menachem, Sunday, October 17th, 2021 Episode # 76
Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors
Q&A concerning addictions and those impacted.
- Rabbi Menachem Penner-Teacher or Tatty? The Rav on Avraham’s Path to Greatness
Lesson (R’YBS) from Avraham’s three disappointments—focus on your mission (your 4 amot) from HKBH, not what you would like your mission to be. [Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba vima—play the cards you’re dealt.]
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Sichas Mussar – It’s Time For the Difficult Conversation
The difficult conversation is with parents/in-laws who expect you to be a lawyer or MD (HT—Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson – “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys . . . let ‘em be Doctors or lawyers or such.” My chiddush—lafukei actuaries—what mother would want an actuary?)
There are advantages to being klei kodesh but in any event one must always be growing and contributing. (Anyone want to start listening and summarizing audios?)
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Paying Back Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud (double-fudged amount and condition) is not good—payback the entire amount. [Me – Very interesting question -what responsibility does a community rabbi have when he knows that ongoing mass insurance fraud is going on within the community which will likely eventually be discovered.? Or even if not ]
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra shiur 10 (אגדתא דף ד., מנהג המדינה, נפלה הכותל)
How could ben buta give good advice to the evil Herod?
Does hakol kminhag hamedina need rabbinic approval? Is it based on implicit acceptance?
How does the assumption that each owner paid half for the wall work?
- Rav Asher Weiss-מצוות מילה לתינוק חולה
Why is pikuach nefesh doche Shabbat and is brit mila a special case? If one were supposed to defer but didn’t, is his bracha a bracha lvatala?
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Why scientists will never be prophets: Looking at the world from two perspectives
There’s siba (reason-rainbow caused by physics of light) and sibat hasiba (reason for the reason-why did HKBH set that law of physics?) and that’s why science and religion are non-overlapping magisterium.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parsha Shiur- Lech Lecha
Parsha thoughts including: Centrality of Eretz Yisrael; Goy vs. mishpacha and defining Jewish identity; Jewish history is beyond derech hateva; Lessons from Avraham and war booty (war booty is gezel); How could Moshe marry a mitzrit? ; Does unshalma parim sfateinu extend to other mitzvot?; Mila requirements for Jews and converts; Why marry under the stars; and Bechira vs. yedia (Rambam vs. Ramban).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – The Beracha on Hafrashas Challah
Are there two mitzvot (hafrasha and ntina) or one involved in “chala”? Is the proper text of the bracha chala, truma, or a combination of both?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Keilim Used for Ma’aseh Shabbos
Utensils purposely used in maaseh Shabbat may be treif for that person, but there are plenty of leniencies for others.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Lech Lecha Shemittah from a Distance: Should One Obligate Oneself to Perform a Mitzvah?
Great example of not seeing the forest for the trees—best thing is to support the farmers observing shmita.
- Rabbi Chayim Soloveichik-General and personal gezerot after the time of Chazal
We don’t make new gzeirot but communities and individuals can put safeguards in when needed (me – so, in a way we really do).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Washing and Bentching Seven Times for a Shidduch
Bracha sheina tzricha prohibition may have exceptions for cause (e.g., to make your 100 brachot a day quota) but this one doesn’t make the cut (as R’Lebowitz gently lays out).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Mental Health and Halacha
Mental health concerns are as real as physical ones, the ability to lead a stable life may qualify as pikuach nefesh.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Lying for Bikur Cholim
There are different levels of sheker and for certain higher goals the sheker may be hutra or dchuya.
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf-Hillel and the Skull, Hamlet and the Skull
There is ultimate justice, proper burial is important, and HKBH decides all.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Great Rebbeim and Great Talmidim – Introduction to the Series
It’s very important for a rebbi to have talmidim and vice versa. Here are some how to tips. (Me-Remember—he with the most students wins—just ask the Rogatchover or Shammai).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Bava Basra Shiur #17- Collecting Tzedaka, Positions of Power, Forcing on Tzedaka
Topics include: Switching tzedaka for other mitzvah purposes; Role of Ravina and Rav Ashi; Srarah definition and application; Chinuch; and Kofin al hamitzvot.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-The Value of Every Good Deed in This Generation
Everything you do positively in these times is like a diamond—don’t compare yourself to the past or to others’ accomplishments.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Bava Basra Shiur #18- Ma’aris Ayin, Olas Re’iyah, Two Seudos
Topics include: Rava vs. Abaye—a vote was taken on each case/issue (me – by whom?); Can halacha change if people change (do we still frequently count our pocket change?); Gabbai tzedaka safeguards; Maarit ayin; Eruvei tchumin; Kdei achilat pras (how measure?); and Tzedaka issues.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra shiur 13 (
Zeh neheneh detail including do you pay for hana or chisaron?
What is the role of gilui daat in liability?
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Shmitah: The Status of the Various Products Found in Stores (Shishis, Nochri, Aravah, Otzar Beis Din, etc.)
Review of kedusha status of food products based on various approaches to shmita.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-סוגי מראית עין, מראית עין בדין דרבנן, חדרי חדרים בדין דרבנן
Maarit ayin sources—do they support a concern for rabbinic violations in private?
- Rav Asher Weiss-גדולה עבירה לשמה
Aveira Ishma—is it still applicable? Only for hatzalat kol yisrael? How has it been applied historically? Is it all about “the greater good”?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Stepping and Walking on Graves
Is dirt on top part of kever assur bhana? Standing on a grave may not be assur bhana but is it kavod hameit?
- Rabbi Uri Orlian-An Introduction to Voice Recognition in Halacha
Does voice recognition alone work for identification (hakol kol yaakov)? The Talmud seems ambiguous (yes for wife, no for meisit). TBC
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parsha Shiur- Vayeira
Insight including, but not limited to; Bikur cholim’s focus; Artificially grown meat;Middle path; Chinuch; Rabbis’ focus on small victories; Mitzvat aseih shehazman grama; Avraham’s understanding of the nevuah re: Yitzchak; Do mitzvot first and then ask for an explanation; Slaves have no yichus; “Miracles” aren’t yeish mayin; Visiting rebbi; and Blood circulation is definition of death—not breathing.
- Rabbi Uri Orlian-Voice Recognition in Halacha – Can a Phone Call Permit and Agunah
How to reconcile the seemingly contradictory Talmudic cases concerning voice recognition: Recognizing expected voice (vs. no prior indication); Contradictory indications (vs. neutral); or Issur vheter (vs. capital cases).
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-The Purpose of Mitzvos and the Demand for Sacrifice
Mitzvot are (generally) good for us but we do them always because we’re commanded.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].