by Joel Rich
From Yeshaya Leibowitz. My rough translation:
The opinion of the Rabbi concerning who to vote for in the election is completely equivalent to the opinion of the zucchini salesman in the machaneh yehuda shuk
Blog poster :And may Jews throughout the Golah come a bit closer to realizing that there is no place like home.
ME :And remember, we’re all coming home in some manner, the question as put by both Dirty Harry (Are you feeling lucky?) and by Rabbi Yehoshua : If they do not repent, they will not be redeemed?! Rather, the Holy One, may He be blessed, will appoint a king over them who decrees will be as harsh as those of Haman. And the Jewish people will repent. And in this way, [God] will bring them back to the right path.
Beth Din Arbitration In The 21st Century
Bet Din of America program:
R A Weiss discusses preferences for pshara and does it work today? (no! – because parties in the wrong view it as a chance to get something rather than nothing) (I’m not sure other panelists agree). There are cases where pshara is preferable (e.g. bet din is unsure of psak).
R H Schachter gave examples of cases – pshara doesn’t mean 50/50 or majority rule.
R Willig and R Reiss discussed R Schwartz z”l, the BDA procedure and causes, prenups good, toanim (bad) and use of American law (ok if properly done)
Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-צדקה: צעקת עניים, קופה, תמחוי, צרכי העיר
Introduction to tzedakah – do the cases in the gemara present it as a narrow construct between giver and receiver or a broader meta-concept (e.g. applications in lfnim mshurt hadin) and as a public good (similar to defense). Insights into kupa and tamchui (why they have different time triggers)
Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Hoping for Mashiach
Awaiting moshiach is a state of mind which should impact our words and deeds.
Rabbi Michael Taubes-Facing the (Instrumental) Music: A Jewish Perspective on Its Power and Message
Uses of music (and instruments) in Tanach – calming, mind opening and inspirational. What of the prohibitions on music found in the Talmud? We should use music positively.
Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Bal Shem Tov on Hashgacha
Putting together the various sources of information available (he didn’t write programmatic essays), it seems the Baal Shem Tov believed in the strong form of hashgacha pratit. Either you have to believe that the rishonim did too (against the standard understanding/language) or his time “was the right time” (?).
Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai-Medical Halakhah Chabburah: Allocating Ventolators In A Pandemic
A quick review of Chayei shaa vs. chayei olam and defining choleh lfaneinu based on their expected arrival at the hospital statistics. Does the vent “belong” to the person using it or to the community?
Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Erlichkeit (Sefer Hamitzvot Series E68 – Mitzvah 66)
The mitzvah of paying workers on time has details which are discussed here. Do you get the mitzvah of paying on time if you pay in advance? (me-I’d go with R A Weiss’s ratzon hatora on this one).
Rabbi Shay Schachter-Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine: Staying Within Our Boundaries
“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear” (HT-Buffalo Springfield). HKBH is in control but we must feel the burden (and not just for Jews). His take away – respect boundaries and live a life of tzniut (not on Facebook).
Rabbi Zev Smith-Challanging Shmea “Konah Questions”
Where does listening with intent (shomea koneh) fit in the spectrum between hirhur (kdibbur?) and actual dibbur. It’s the old kaf hadimayon question-existential equivalence or just “like, but not equal to”. A number of applications discussed (me – it’s not always easy to guess the results in advance).
Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-היקף דין צדקה: פדיון שבוים, פרנסת בני ביתו, וצדקה כצרכי העיר
Conceptualizing tzedaka as focused on rachamim or on the poor. How do items such as pidyon shvuyim or children (6-13) fit in? Are kupa and tamchui viewed as tzedka or taxes? How does the ability to enforce inform on officiants (gabbaim) serara status, number of officiants and lfnim mshurat hadin?
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman-Where is Eretz Yisrael in the Purim Story?
YU encourages everyone to make aliyah, but wherever you are, put yourself in the (Jewish people’s) story (me-and learn to shoot three pointers???)
Rabbi Zev Smith-Torah Training in Interpersonal Relationships
Torah (me-should) make the man. Many examples provided where halacha and hashkafa should make us into better people.
Rabbi Shay Schachter-Disposing of an Old Aron Kodesh That is No Longer in Use
Zakein veino lfi kvodo is an exception by lost objects (me-hashkafically why?), in general mitzvot are never beneath your dignity.
An aron kodsh must be buried when it is no longer to be used.
Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Babycare On Shabbat From A-Z
Interesting to compare R Kallus’s shiur with R Sobolofsky’s smicha shiurim on the topic of Shabbat/child issues. Topics include: baby wipes (big problem), rash treatment, diaper closures, carriages (opening and covering), wind up swings, food preparation baby monitors, baby sitters, and child doing mlacha for you. In most cases, work arounds suggested.
Rabbi Shay Schachter-“Rabbis & Responsa”: How Much Money Must I Contribute Toward Life Saving Efforts in Ukraine?
Why do you only have to spend 20% of your assets to do a positive mitavah, yet you mst give up 100% of our assets to avoid violating a prohibition? Is it aseih vs. lo taaseh? Active vs. passive? (Lo taamod would be a nakfa mina). Also covered R H Schacter (and R A Weiss) chiddush that the 100% rule only applies to one time opportunities, not ongoing ones.(Me – interesting that R HS seems not to have precedent source for this, given that he favored the MB over the Ah’S due to MB’s more solid sourcing)
Also not covered – how do you parcel out a perceived collective responsibility to individuals?
Rabbi Chaim Metzger-Substance Use and Abuse in Judaism: Media Addiction
“Nothing is good nor bad, only thinking makes it so” (HT – Will S)
Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Kibud Av V’Eim and Personal Autonomy: When Parents and Children Disagree About Important Life Decision
Do you have to listen to a parent if there’s no direct benefit (TBD, what about bizayon?) to them. Marriage and aliya as specific examples.
Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar for Pekudei: A Famous Argument Which Changed My Life; Three Forms of Cynicism cm
Geulah starts outside eretz yisrael and is an ongoing process. Cynicism is a bad mida.
Rav Asher Weiss- מלאכת בונה בשבת
Temporary binyan and ohel – the umbrella on Shabbat affair (me-interesting how this halacha evolved into a universal standard)
Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #88: Addressing Child Molestation Cases
There are many reasons why reporting serious miscreants (TBD) to the civil authorities is not mesira (e.g. mishpat hamelech; tikkun olam, rodef, public nuisance). The devil is in the details (how sure do you have to be?)
Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Pekudei
Parsha insights including: Two days of rosh chodesh (duraita?), Birchat hamazon – boneh brachamav?: Rambam’s minyan hamitzvot, Rosh chodesh as a woman’s holiday, Nasi: and the meaning of detail in pikudei.
Rabbi Moshe Taragin-בענין מצות משלוח מנות
The lessons of the relationship between mishloach manot and Purim seudah (vs. matanot levyonim).
Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Pekudei Decorative Bells on a Sefer Torah
Bells on sefer torah/parochet – is there a Shabbat problem of making music on shabbat or is it not music (and it’s even a mitzvah so people know to stand.)
Mrs. Michal Horowitz-Toras HaRav on Shabbos & Mikdash: The Miracle of Our Survival
R YBS on Shabbat being an island in time and mishkan being an island in space.
Reb Elya Ber Wachtfogel,Rabbi Hershel Schachter,Rabbi Dovid Cohen,Rabbi Meir Stambler,Rabbi Yisroel Silberstein ,Reb Mendel,Professor Jeffrey Veidlinger,Rabbi Pinchas Winston-3/5/22 – Shiur 361 – WAR in Russia and Ukraine: What is our obligation?
Not in depth discussion of: can you fight for your (current) country or must you run?; what priority must be given to Ukranian Jews in tzedakah?;History of Ukranian Jewry; Current situations; and Moshiach is coming.
Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Who wrote the Torah and When
All agree that “the torah” was compiled at end of Moshe Rabbeinu’s life, but there’s some difference of opinion as to when the pieces were received. Differences like these, or who wrote last eight pskukim, don’t rise to kfira. While Ibn Ezra may have believed that twelve or more psukim were written by others, and maybe much later, it’s questionable what his status is in halacha/hashkafa.
Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-עניני הגעלת כלים
Is chametz considered issura or heteira bala? Important implications for koshering for Pesach. A number of applications discussed.
Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Schwartz-Jewish Responses to Tragedy: Ukraine Edition Part 1: Scholarship and the Agunah
History of tach vtat (Khmelnytsky uprising/pogroms). What were the jewish responses (part 1)? There was an outpouring of scholarship to deal with agunot (some specifics discussed). We trust our Rabbis to lead and respond appropriately (me-sounds like the R’YBS Manhattan project analogy (implying there were higher priorities before this) TBC
Rabbi Sammy Bergman-Rejecting Determinism: How Free Is Our Will?
Pretty much the standard issues on free will vs. pre-determination. He’s pro-agency!
Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Pekudei Netilas Yadaim for Tefillah
Hand washing in the AM, is it or davening and/or ruach ra? Hand washing for kriat shema and davening, do they differ – when do you need water and or/kli and /or bracha?