by Joel Rich
Interesting explanation: Mduraita we don’t have to be mvarer(clarify) but can rely on chazaka or rov. It’s only drabanan to do so, so as not to appear as ignoring a possible issur. So if there’s not much bother, we should clarify. If it’s a bother, no one will suspect you of looking away from an issur (Shut arye dbei ilia O”C 6).
The mishna brura uses the phrase baal torah exactly twice. I’m thinking we are often too mdayeik in the language used by poskim.
- Rav Asher Weiss-במי שדילג על תיבה אחת בהלל אם יצא ידי חובתו
If you miss one word in hallel do you have to repeat it and say another bracha? Is it more like kriat shma and megilla (set, scriptural texts, therefore repeat) or tfila and birkat hamazon (no repeat)?
One can pray for miracles for the nation since it’s for kavod shamayim (not so for individual miracles).
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra 24 (מסים)
Community expense allocations—per head, income, asset, or perceived benefit based? Are we looking at a large partnership or a community as a distinct entity? (I would be interested in how the various opinions tracked what surrounding societies did.)
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf-Modern Orthodoxy in Crisis: Modes of Response How do we deal with fully universalistic thought (e.g., Greek and postmodern thought)? Some totally reject, others totally accept and others (me) take a nuanced view (which should always put continuity first). The Syrian Greeks took this last option away leading to the whole Chanukah story. Postmodernism seems to be doing the same by totally focusing on self (nothing is eternal).
We follow the Rambam’s model of positive but critical engagement.
Interesting is R’Lamm’s MO focus definition: Engagement with outside culture; Women’s roles; Jewish people; and Religious Zionism (me – interesting yard sticks—worth further discussion). Are there any North American orthodox thinkers who can engage American progressive culture?
[Me – want to cry? MO definition from a MO parishioner—MO means you pick and choose what you want to observe. I fear this is true for at least a miyut hamatzui. ] .
- Rabbi Ari Shvat (Chwat)-Why Heaven & Hell Aren’t Mentioned More in the Torah? Rav Kook’s Approach
R’Kook believed in the synthesis of intellect and emotion.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-The Book of Maccabees, Nes Pach HaShemen, and the Holiday of Adam HaRishona>
While the Book of the Maccabees is written in the genre of a continuation of Tanach, it wasn’t included in it, perhaps because it was too late or maybe not focused enough on the spiritual (vs. focus on power/zealots).
The festival of lights concept may date back to Adam, the message is HKBH is always with us.5
- Rabbi Baruch Simon-Inyanei Chanuka
The where, when and who of lighting the menorah. Specifics of when to light in wedding and hotel non-standard situations.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Tevilas Keilim for Chanukah Shaped Cookie Cutter
Differing opinions on whether a non-kli seudah requires tvila bli bracha and how much Jewish ownership in the supply chain is sufficient to obviate the need for tvila.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Bava Basra Shiur #33- Chinuch, Kim Lei, Amalek, Hasagas Gvul
Torah educational policies discussed (Yehoshua ben Gamla, # of teachers, students, travel etc.) [Me – interesting that zoning is the context]. Also discussed—arvut, laws of war and exceptions, hasagat gvul and labor law.
- PODCAST: In Praise of Peshara
Review of R’ZN Goldberg’s article on pshara. We favor it but can’t compel it. It’s not just split the difference but a nuanced yosher. Real world applications provided including pshara krova ldin.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Principles of Pirsum and Privacy: נר איש וביתו
Chanukah’s focus on bayit(the home) is the antithesis of Greek culture—remaining somewhat hidden is a key to kedusha. (Me – not a very popular concept today.)
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra 25 (פטור מס לתלמיד חכם)
Is a talmid chacham really completely protected by his learning or is it just a privilege not to be taxed for defense? Does this apply to other communal taxes? Individual ones?
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-AL Hanisim and Yaaleh VeYavo For Bracha Achrana and Birchas Hamazon on Chanukah
Is the addition of al hanisim a kiyum of shevach/hodaah or a din in tfila? It’s the least required addition to birchat hamazon (compared to the rosh chodesh/shabbat additions).
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Geirus #1 – Differences in Geirus After the Churban
First in a series—Focus here on whether karban and mumchim were makeiv in beit mikdash times.
- Rav Asher Weiss-במקום הדלקת נר חנוכה בזמן הזה
Where and when we light the menorah is a function of why we light (pirsum or also zichron). R’Weiss lights inside (minhag) and outside (logic).
- Rabbi Chaim Metzger-Artscroll Through the Ages – Tzenna uRenna
Tzena urenah was written for all those not fluent in hebrew and without a lot of time on their hands.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Feeding Animals with Human Food
Should we allow human food to be fed to animals? (Yes, no, maybe.) There are hashkafic issues to consider as well as micro-halachic ones.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Bava Basra Shiur #34- Hasagas Gvul, Bnei Noach
Competition issues for businesses, teachers and shuls. Why do amoraim die (for lack of kavod)?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Forgiving the Stolen Tzitzis
Stolen tzitzit—is wearing them a mitzvah haba baveira? What is the bracha status?
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parsha Shiur- Mikeitz
Parsha topics including: Dina dmalchuta; Gid hanasheh; Minhag vs. din; Areivut; Yosef’s brothers’ punishment; Third beit hamikdash; and Chanukah haftarah meaning.
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-The Nature of God’s Plan
How can HKBH have a plan yet individuals be held accountable? Why is HKBH sometimes reactive but sometimes directive? (You really didn’t expect a slam dunk answer?) If you know what HKBH wants, just do it!
- Ari Wasserman, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy,Rabbi Daniel Stein,Mrs. Elisheva Liss,Dr. David Pelcovitz, Rabbi Daniel Travis-12/04/21 – Shiur 348 – Why do some people lie, or cover up information, when being a shidduch reference? What happens when information is not disclosed and the couple gets married?
What has to be disclosed in shidduchim when and to whom?
- Dr. Malka Simkovich-Exploring the Earliest Sources about Chanuka
There are pre-mishnaic sources on the oil miracle as well as an ongoing debate as to whether to focus on the theology (oil) or practical (war) [see Maccabees I vs. II]. The final message is that this is s holiday for all Jews.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Chesed While Driving
Is helping someone whose car is broken down simply chesed or also prika or teenah? Is there tzaar baalei chaim related to people? What are the implications?
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-Can Tolerance be Bad-Taste?
Rabbis must sometimes make people feel uncomfortable! Toleration, outreach and/or reprimand must be applied judiciously in each case of deviation from the norm.
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Chanuka: Let Them Eat Meat (Agudat Yisrael)
Is there a chiyuv of simcha or yayin/basar on Chanukah? Analysis of the position of the mishna brura.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Achilat Peirot Sheviit: Is it a Mitzvah? (1)
Is there a mitzvah to eat peirot shviit and, if so, what is its nature? TBC
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Kriat Shema – Doing it Right!
Every word counts! In the first pasuk, which everyone agrees is duraita, the kavana of kabalat ol malchut shamayim is the maaseh mitzvah. Includes a review of shma. Fun fact—saying with trop and breaking up first pasuk into three sections of two words each is preferable, but only if you can pull it off with kavana.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Bava Basra Shiur #36- Rov and Karov, Stam Yaynam, Korban Oleh V’Yored
Thoughts on: Rov and chazaka; Birur and hanhaga; and Gzeirot. Also included—introduction to it hamiklat.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #78- Hallel on Chanukah
Perhaps there are two kinds of hallel—shira and commeration.
Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Chanukah and תורה שבעל פה
In Chashomonaic times the accepted psak was that oil could be tamei. This changed less than 100 years later and is an example of eilu veilu. That’s why Chanukah is the holiday of torah shbeal peh
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