Audio Roundup Special: Agudah Convention 2021

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by Joel Rich

Fighting for Orthodoxy in an UnOrthodox world

This session discusses fighting anti-chareidism in tradition and social media.  We should be treated the same as other groups (not singled out).  Of course we follow daas torah but it’s not top down (me sounds like a dynamic tension.)  Don’t defend the indefensible

Friday Keynote Session: Emunah; Making it Real – Rabbi Chaim Aryeh Zev Ginzberg

We’re living in pre-moshiach times

Gen X: How to listen so they will talk

Educational challenges include: materialism, transition to working world, OTD, parents’ role, new minyanim, bein hazmanim and having a rebbi.


There’s a need for self-confidence and connection, the lack of which can be at the root of a number of these challenges.

Making The Move: Living Out of Town

“Out of town” communities have pro and cons including lower costs, more diversity, more ability to have an impact and less choice and resources.  Of course consult daas torah (me – I’d say even to stay “in-town”)

Thursday Keynote Session: Unbreakable Mesorah Rabbi Shmuel Yehuda Levin

General introduction to the convention

Thursday Keynote Session: Unbreakable Mesorah Rabbi Yehoshua Perlow

Words of chizuk and mussar-have we lost our sensitivity to our kedusha (we should be meyuchad).  Food and music as two specific examples.

תדיר ופרסומי ניסא: קריאת התורה בחנוכה

What is the mein hameorah for the kriat hatora of Chanukah?

Q&A: “I’m Asking for a Friend…”

Topics include: Politics (they don’t define us), separate husband/wife vacations (no!), dealing with abuse (carefully but with zero tolerance), accountability for resources HKBH gives us, changing the system (too hard and it works as is), role of the shul and rav (key), and being nosei bol chaveiro (me-IMHO its not to think  how you would feel but rather how they feel)

Shidduchim: A Candid Conversation

Interesting statistics on percentages of unmarried by age bracket.  Give the communal growth, older boys marring younger girls means a surplus of girls in shidduchim.  What to do?

The Shocking Disconnect in Kashrus Today

There’s trouble in River City (HT-Meredith Wilson) with kashrut, especially when everyone’s trying to outdo each other) Awareness and mutual responsibility (peer pressure) are needed.

Smartphone vs Smart Living

Don’t be myaeish-we must do our best to battle the downsides of smart phones (which even our general society understands).  Same message as the kashrut session-we need more awareness and peer pressure.


Important point IMHO – if you don’t let your kids have one, you must provide alternate outlet.

Unbreakable Bonds of Marriage

Marriage is a mitzvah!  Here’s some advice on how to improve yours.

Thursday Keynote Session: Unbreakable Mesorah -Mr. Nechemiah Hoch

The agudah convention is the kinus of the gedolim.

From Burn-Out to On-Fire

We all need to access the Moshe within us and run away from evil like Yosef.

The Murder of Alta Fixsler: Coming to the U.S.?

Chayim aruchim does wonderful work in a world where physician assisted suicide and cost considerations are in conflict with halacha.  Again, awareness (in advance) of potential conflicts is important. Horror stories reviewed.

Emunah; Making it Real – Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin


M. Rubashkin’s personal story-nisyonot are from HKBH, emuna is about our relationship with HKBH

Our Orthodox Lives: Breaking the Stereotypes, Living Our Values

Real life nshei chayil success stories but find balance. (Me-Anecdotal evidence cuts both ways; I always wonder why leadership across the spectrum isn’t more interested in getting real data to determine if there are addressable issues)

Portraits of Gedolim That We Were Zoche to Know

Reminiscence of gedolim of years gone by.

When’s the Last Time You Davened? Insights into Tefillah That You Never Thought About

We need to realize the power of tfilah and not get caught up in habituation.  Keep in mind the objective of a relationship with HKB”H (and yearning for one) and humbly throwing our burden on him.  Each element of tefilla corresponds to part of the beit mikdash.

Complete Sunday Keynote Session: Brownies and Kiddush Clubs

There’s been a dramatic shift in how marijuana is viewed by the general and it has impacted our community as well.  We need to resist by giving greater meaning to our lives.


We have a mesora how to use wine and liquor properly so it’s different than marijuana.  (me-not the most convincing position).   Rabbis have cracked down on kiddush clubs.

Being Mekarev Myself: How Kiruv Helped My Family’s Yidishkeit

Kiruv professionals’ families grow from it.

Complete Motzoei Shabbat Keynote Session: Unbreakable

Topics include aguda’s many accomplishments, losses over the last year, moetzet’s leadership, lay leadership, R’ Moshe’s bemoaning lack of tzedakah and chinuch priority questions, Eretz Yisroel issues, keren shivit, divre chizuk, we can do it and just say no to TV’s and smart phones.

Challenges and Opportunities in a Progressive Political Environment

All politics is local (HT-Tip O’Neill).  Following daas torah (of course) we evaluate each issue and realize we have to work with legislators (right and left) who won’t always agree with us  (Me- eretz yisrael applications?).  The main thing is to get out the vote.

Pre-Thursday Keynote Session

Light chatter concerning the upcoming convention topics.

Agudah Live: Post-Thursday Keynote Session

Light chatter concerning the just discussed convention topics.

Daf Yomi: Seize the Opportunity — Retain it for LIFE

Tips for making the most out of your daf yomi investment (including how to remember what you learned)


About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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