by Joel Rich
My note to a utilitarian podcaster who interviewed a utilitarian and honestly questioned him on some obvious challenges to philosophical utilitarianism:
Just something to think about. Is it an example of confirmation bias to say that the challenges to utilitarianism can be overcome by use of practical application rather than saying that the challenges to deontology can be overcome by use of practical application?
Ms. Roquelin said she enjoys a rich and fulfilling life without children, and is now studying for a master’s degree in business administration to capitalize on her music career. “I have many more things to explore on my journey,” she said, “that do not involve raising other suffering human beings on an out-of-supplies planet.”
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parsha Shiur- Vayigash
Parsha topics including but not limited to: Yehuda’s nidiui; Haod avi chai (didn’t Yosef know?); Mitzvah for klal yisrael to be together; Why Yerushalayim split between two shvatim; Why Yosef needed permission to send agalot; Favoring Binyamin? Is HKBH still in galut after hakamat hamedina? Shimon marring Dina? Yishuv eretz yisrael; Need for continual halachic reevaluation; Kavod av; and Why Yosef exempted the priests.
TWO KEY POINTS: 1. ONE SHOULD NEVER FEEL COMFORTABLE IN GALUT 2. OUR LOVE FOR HKBH MUST EXCEED EVEN THAT FOR OUR FAMILIES.
- Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen-The Real Story of XMAS and New Years
No real scholar believes Jesus was born on 12/25 – there was a pagan festival on that date which was very bloody and which was coopted into Christianity. Include a f history of practices on 12/25 and 1/1. It was never very good for the Jews.
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-The Revolution of the Mussar Movement
History of the mussar movement. It eventually became very influential in all corners of the Yeshiva world.
- Rabbi Yechiel Morris-Abortion Panel Discussion: Halacha, the Supreme Court and the Texas Heartbeat Law
Review of the current status of Roe vs. Wade and various state challenges to it. Review of current technology and embryo viability impact. There are a number of halachic considerations, sensitivity is important.
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman-Augustine’s ‘slay then not’ and the low bar for religious tolerance
Augustine propounded the approach that diaspora Jews are the witnesses to Christianity’s truth and thus there was some minimalist tolerance of the Jews (but it was minimal – many examples provided.)
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Post Chanukah Takeaway: Thanking Hashem for the Ongoing Fight
We thank HKBH for allowing us to continue the battle of the chashmonaim with fierce determination.
- Rabbi Oran Zweiter-History of Responsa in America: First Teshuvah Sent to America
First North American question from Recife (Brazil) back to Salonika – whom to pray for rain when Bavel had a different rain season from your country.
- Rabbi Moshe Kurtz-Stealing from a Hotel Room and Honoring One’s Grandparents [2-Shiurim-in-1]
Can you take a bottle from the hotel room refrigerator and replace it later (halacha-no, it’s stealing; Practical – no, they prevent it). What is the nature of any halachic requirement to respect grandparents.
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra shiur 26 (חיוב צדקה)
How can we be kofin al tzedaka if matan scharan is written btzidam? How can HKBH tell us we can test him on tzedaka? Is tzedaka a debt? Is there a chiyuv on both the individual and tzibbur level?
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Jews & Numerology 1: When Are Lucky Numbers Ok?
Lucky numbers (me-like simanim) are ok as a psychological push but not as nichush.
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-R. Yona Reiss #79 Determining Jewish Status #3 Adoption
What evidence is practically accepted to prove Jewish identity? There are a number of halachic issues with adoption (e.g. who has neemanut concerning the adopted child’s identity?) Practical approaches discussed.
- Rabbi Philip Moskowitz-Rabbis on the Run: The Shach and the Chmielnicki Massacres
Tach vtat and Khmelnytsky were very bad for the Jews even though the real issue was the Polish landlords vs. the peasants. There was a westward movement and fertile soil for Chassidic tendencies.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-אכסניה בנר חנוכה
Achsani, wife and katan all show the attachment of ner chanukah to the bayit as the basic unit.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Chanukah: The Segue to Asara B’teves
We relate to mikdash past (zecher lmikdash), present (e.g. fast, ashes) and future (chadash). The lack of mikdash relates to deficiencies in Torah, avoda and gemilut chassadim.
- Rabbi Moshe Aberman-Development of Oral Law Literature
Rif attacked by baal hamaor, defended by Rambam and Raavad. Then onto the Rosh.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Perspectives on Men Women Relationships
Keep a certain sense of distance at all ages.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Raising Small Animals in Israel
Behaima daka in eretz yisrael could be a problem of gezel or yishuv eretz yisrael. So why is it OK now? (Me, find the heter)
- Agudah Convention 2020: Behind Closed Doors: A Rabbi’s Perspective
2020 chizuk – dealing with kids and friends
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Attending a Wedding on a Yahrtzeit
Should you move a wedding date because one of the parents has yahrtzeit? Probably not – detail provided.
- Rabbi Shalom Rosner-All about נקמה and how to conquer i
Revenge is not sweet – it’s all from HKBH. Tips on how to avoid feeling the need for it, try to focus and do your best.
- Morah Stacey Goldman-Prying open the Parsha Vayigash: Serach bat Asher
There are a number of Serach midrashim including her lineage and her interaction with Yaakov (Yosef is alive) and Moshe (where Yosef is buried). Did she ever die? (How do you understand gan eden?)
- Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Yosef HaTzadik, Speaking Hebrew and the Fast of Teveth
Why don’t the poskim bring down a mitzvah to learn hebrew? Maybe it was only pre matan Torah?? Note that the translation to targum was one of the causes of fasting!
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – A Bris on a Fast Day
Brit on a fast day- Who fasts? When to schedule the brit (zrizin v. brov am); Who doesn’t say slichot?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-“Rabbis & Responsa” – The Nursing Home Without a Minyan of Men Fasting on Asara B’Teves
Some history concerning the 10th of tevet and the intermediate status of fasting today. Usually we would need 10 fasters to lein but Monday or Thursday am 6 will do since there’s regular leining then anyway
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Hishtadlus and Bitachon
How are hashgacha and bechira balanced? We’ll never fully answer but commentaries can be found all along the spectrum. Hishtadlut may be viewed as intrinsic or as a minimum tax. Yisurim may be a punishment, a wakeup call, mazal (opportunity to assist in your mission?) or (maybe) random. TBC.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Vayigash Until When May One Recite the Daytime Shema
Zmanei kriat shma – when and are they duraita or drabanan? R’YBS on Two kiyumim in kriat shma – kabalat ol and talmud torah.
- Rabbi Dovid Cohen (cRc)-Hashgacha Practicum #7 (Boilers: Relevance, Firetube and watertube (startup, draining), Boiler setup (deaerator tank, draining condensate, pegimah sampling), Bishul Yisroel (creation, oversight))
Discussion of kashrut issues with various industrial boilers
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky-Ayin Hara – The Evil Eye
What is ayin hora? Modern explanations (including R’ YBS) revolve around focus on self (don’t define self by others’ approval) and others (don’t attract envy). How makpid should one be about it?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Bava Batra shiur 27 (מצות צדקה)
Is tzedaka for the ani (make his life better) or giver (he learns midot)? Is it about process or results? Nafka minas abound. My first thought was why not both? R’ Elchanan agrees!
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Legal Ethics: Jewish Families and Family Law Litigation
Halacha and Canadian law examined regarding pre-nups, alternative dispute resolution (arbitration) and mediation. Some advance planning can save a lot of problems later on.
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