by Joel Rich
Comment to a shiur: I would say the question of HKBH’s will should not only be asked when there’s an ethical dilemma but at every point. Of course, even if you ask the question there’s the issue a blind-spots and confusing your will with HKBH’s, but that can be dealt with separately. Especially with our host society it seems that often times HKBH’s will is confused with local standards. Thoughts?
I know it’s not a perfect analogy but if the explanation for Rabbi’s staying in galut is the captain of the ship, being the last one off (I’ve heard this in the name of R’YBS), then shouldn’t the captain exert maximum effort to get everyone into the lifeboats?
- Rabbi Nosson Rich-Are We Allowed to Dance and Sing the Night of Lag Baomer?
If we mark lag baomer as the end of aveilut, then the night should still be a time of aveilut (mitzvat hayom kkulo would end it in the morning). So how can there be hilulas at night? Many say there shouldn’t be but others view lag baomer as a special yomtov in itself. The practice in Eretz Yisrael is to allow, in US, it wasn’t but that seems to be changing (me-Perhaps a panel of gedolim and sociologists/behavorial scientists/anthropologists can explain the how, why and when of changing minhagim/minhagei psak, I couldn’t help but think of Gresham’s law.)
- Rabbi J Wieder-Abortion in Jewish Law and Roe V Wade in Jewish Discourse
Good summary of basic halachic positions on when life begins/is abortion murder or chavala? Keep in mind there are technical halachic issues and meta issues. What should orthodox Jewry’s position be on Roe vs. Wade? (it’s complicated)
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Kedoshim Lifnei Iver: Offering Something to Someone Which He Holds is Permissible
Talmudic sources (and poskim) on whether it’s forbidden or just a bad thing to give someone something that they hold is not permissible but you hold is. Does it make a difference if it’s something that would be obvious to the receiver? The opposite (receiver holds OK, giver not) seems clearly permitted (me-would a deontologist necessarily agree?)
- Ari Wasserman ,Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger,Mrs. Chani Juravel,Dr. David Lieberman,Rabbi Paysach Krohn-5/7/22 Shiur – 369 – What makes a successful marriage? What are common mistakes that should be avoided?
What are the most common problems in marriage and how should they be dealt with? (me-when should a pulpit rabbi/rosh yeshiva counsel? Is a frum therapist always the best choice?)
- Rabbi Moshe Shulman- How Midrash Works: The Biblical Foundation of Midrashim…
How did chazal “know” midrashim? Not necessarily mesora or made up, more likely applying later parallel Tanach stories to earlier ones. Examples provided (e.g. Gidon destroying father’s idols, applied to Avraham)
- Rabbi Zev Smith-How to put on Tallis/Tzitzis in Depth
The text of the bracha for tallit is based on atifa (wrapping) but there’s no clear source for a requirement for wrapping! Details on how to wrap, when to say bracha and possible hefsek concerns.
- Rabbi Yehuda Turetsky-Introducing the Thought of the Rogochover: A Fascinating and Unconventional Genius
Biography of the Rogatchover (Lubavitch roots, Dvinsk, long hair, atypical genius). He was very sharp, had a unique personality and responded to many questions. His oral presentations were very very clear, written not so much. He had some famous poskim (e.g. tfilat haderech and airplanes)). He was able to see broad themes across halacha and break down individual halachot into component parts.
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Our Responsibility to Humanity
Sources on favoring particularism of universalism. We need to be both ger vtoshav (in the right measure?)
- Rabbi Shimmy Steinmetz-Psychiatry: When Treatments Conflict With Halacha
Can an orthodox therapist counsel a non-Jew to pray to his god? It depends. Depression sometimes is pikuach nefesh.
- Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-מעלינן לך כנכסי בר מריון וכופין על מידת סדום
What can defeat a claim of kofin al midat sdom? Must you buy me out or I buy you out deals be symmetric? Is there a preference of buyout or goral and, if so, why? How do we deal with free rider problems?
- Rav Hershel Schachter-Rising Above the Bottom Line: Balancing Financial Gain & Being a Mensch
In a generation where monetary/commercial ethics are so low, we need to be extremely honest. Remember that one Jew’s chilul hashem reflects on all and that all parnasa is from HKBH.
- Rav Ahron Lopiansky-Spiritual Resilience In a Crazy World
Nisyonot are tests of what our true (emet) values are.
- Dr. Avi Schroeder,Mr. Guy Goldberg ,Dr. Jonathan Rosenblum ,Dr. Herman Weiss-An Inside View of Israel’s Biotechnology Sector
Dr Siegal-Israel medical/scientific ethical priorities include: sanctify of life, human dignity, autonomy, religious values (fertility), and great community good.
R Rimon – there are a number of different artificial meat systems being developed in Israel and no slam dunk halachic proofs. Working together (and trying to better the world), we’ll work it all out.
R Genack – OU’s kosher shechita is 40%. There are some cases (me-mostly aggadic?) which may be used to determine “meat” status for artificially produced meat, R A Weiss thinks duraita fleishiks, R H Schachter drabanan, and OU’s not giving hechsher to Impossible Pork was due to sensitivity to the consumer (me-really?!)
- Rabbi Menachem Genack ,Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon ,Dr. Gil Siegal-Bioethical and Halachic Perspectives on Biotechnology
Israel biotech examples: nano tech, defibrillator and microbiome.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Sleeping and Sefirah
Applications to sfirat haomer of: ktiva kdibur, shomea koneh, dozing/sleeping status for mitzvot, and hamapil (birchat hanehenin or hodaah?)
- Rabbi Shalom Rosner-R’ Rosner – Halachos & the Torah’s view of gambling
Practical applications of the exclusion of gamblers from testifying-is it due to asmachta lo kanya (on a rabbinic level) or no involvement in constructive efforts. Is asmachta a function of perceived control (skill, one-sidedness) or rational expectation of reward? Is exclusion from testimony based on whether people think someone is suspect or whether they are technically halachically suspect?
- Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-חלוקת השותפות ודין גוד או אגוד
You buy me out or I’ll buy you out-how is the price set and how do we ensure fairness in the case where one side can’t afford it? What other approaches might work?
- HaRav Asher Weiss-G’neivas Da’as
Is gneivat daat subsumed under gneiva or onaah? Is it duraita, drabanan or a good mida? Politeness and/or everyone does it may be an acceptable defense depending on local practice, especially if there’s no personal benefit. If the other individual interprets you in a positive manner on his own it may also be OK.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Emor
Topics include keeping katan from aveirot, sfek sfeika, sota as rshut or chova, kedusha rishona, kdushat divrei tora, kavod habriyot, malach/fetus medrash,kohain mochel kvodo, cohein gadol aveilut, simcha lfnei hashem, lefty cohein, lo tasur and mikrei kodesh.
- Daniel Israel-Halachic Perspectives on Xenotransplantation and Other Contemporary Transplant Dilemmas
What is the status of human transplants from cadavers? (Nivul hamet and hana issues), is pikuach nefesh/choleh/lfanav required?) Focus (pun intended) on corneas. History (and concerns) with non-human to human transplants.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Blood and Money: Conflict of Interest for Family Members
Conflicts of interest (relatives on both sides) in halacha and Canadian accountants/lawyers codes. There are societal and individual interests (parties/ consent might not suffice). Examples provided.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Child (Kattan) Making Tzitzis
Which elements of tzitzit making must be done by a Jewish male over thirteen (lchatchila or bdieved)? When can someone not in that category do it and if so, must it be with someone in that category standing by exhorting the doer to do it lshma? (I’ve always found that last concept complex).
- Morah Stacey Goldman-Prying open the Parsha Emor: who was Shlomit bat Dibri?
What does a name signal? Various medrashic takes on the root dalet beit reish.
- Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider-Rabbi Soloveitchik on Devekut
Dveykut means different things to different people (olam haba state, constant God-awareness). R YBS saw it in the context of vhalachta bdrachav – first surrender, then emulation, then partnership.
- Rav Asher Weiss-מצות אכילה ואיסור הפסד בפירות שביעית
Whether you think eating peirot shviit is a mitzvat asei or not, it’s certainly “an inyan” because anything that has kedusha has a connotation of positive destiny.
- Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig-גוד או אגוד: לדידיה שוה כך ושומת ב”ד
Is the reversible buyout option to ensure no bad buyout or as an alternative to keeping the joint ownership intact? Is its focus on symmetry or equitable compensation?
- Rabbi Reuven Brand-Rabbi Joseph. B. Soloveitchik Zt”l and the Holocaust
R YBS on holocaust lessons: do something, reflect honestly and admit we didn’t do enough, appreciate that we retained our identity and turn fate into destiny (ask what, not why).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Just Don’t Call Me Ben Avraham Avinu
A convert has a reason (due to mom not being Jewish) why he (she) doesn’t want to publicize geirut, can they use their father’s Hebrew name? There could be issues (srara, marry cohein) in certain circumstances but there’s room to be lenient.
- HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, Harav Dovid Cohen, Mara Nathan, Rabbi Yonah Reiss-5/14/22 Shiur – 730 – Roe v. Wade – What’s the Torah’s approach? It might be a lot different than you think
Examination of various halachic positions on abortion. Why do liberals support it (autonomy). What’s our obligation in the public square (me-risk/reward).
Most underrated point – R D Cohen on derech hapsak – is it to go back to Talmudic sources to try to understand underlying halacha or weigh later sources much more heavily?
- Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Schwartz-history of religious Zionism in America pt. 1 – William Blackwell
Reverend Blackwell was the first Christian Zionist in the US. His memorial document supporting the shivat tzion got some traction in the US and UK. The appropriateness of his support ($ or political) is a separate debate).
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