by Joel Rich
R’YBS-Man’s years are seventy years, and with strength, eighty years.: This verse may be extrapolated to mean the following. Some people live to be 70, but if they have the courage (“‘with strength!’), they will live to be 80. This courage manifests itself in being able to accept one’s age. It takes fortitude to carry on and continue to study tora , even though many human functions are negatively affected by age. If an old man ignores his pain and studies Torah, then old age will be a much more pleasant experience than that enjoyed by contemporary man
Would studying secular studies for a minimum number of hours violate a torah or rabbinic prohibition? If so, which? (Let’s start with the secular studies of math, science and English).
- Rabbi Menachem Genack-Does שומע כעונה work for וידוי
Can you be yotzei vidui through shomea koneh? Maybe for the viduy of the cohain gadol but not of tshuva (or kriat shma or birchat hamazon).
Beautiful insight from the Rav on hashkifa meaning to look deeply, thus hashkifa mmon kadshecha is looking deeply into the pure pintele yid of the Jewish soul.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Shabbas Shabbason and the Concept of Kedushah: The Special Legacy of Yom HaKippurim
The unique elements of the yom kippur torah reading narrative show the exponential kedusha of yom kippur (gavra, makom and zman). One day a year we are kulo lashem (transcendent) and this transforms the rest of the year as well.
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder.- Tshuva Drusha
Tshuva is both a mitzva and a matana (opportunity). We seek kapara for specific sins and tahara for bad midot. tfila and tshuva are completed with whatever HKBH gives you (eg if you can’t talk you can still be yotzei).
- Rabbi Asher Weiss-On Teshuva
The first step in tshuva is hakarat hacheit of which there are two kinds: specific situational sins of which one is aware of, and broader lifestyles which one rationalizes as proper (eg complete egalitarianism or materialism). MO in the US today must decide which wedding it is dancing at.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Should One Change the Text to”Oseh HaShalom” During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah?
History of oseh hashalom (and other asseret ymei tshuva insertions/changes). General rule – follow local practice unless you are the Gaon.
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-Rav Lopiansky Yesodei Hatorah: Nitzavim
Philosophy including: How could all future generations be bound at Sinai? , giving into the yetzer hara will only increase it, tshuva on thoughts as well as actions, is it better to have no desires or to have them and overcoming them, and making permanent changes (vs short term kabalot).
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Ta’amei HaMitzvos
Why look for taamei hamitzvot? Intellectual reasons (HKBH gave them so what can we learn from them), give meaning to our doing them and/or apologetics. In all cases, remember we do mitzvot because we are commanded and there may be many reasons for a mitzvah.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-The Aleinu in Halacha
Aleinu (like tachanun) doesn’t get the respect it deserves given its authorship and how ancient it is. Its placement is either as: end of davening, an inoculation prior to going out to the real world, thanks to HKBH for allowing us to pray, or kabbalistic. It represents both eidut and kabbalat ol.
Discussion includes when we skip and when we make sure to say, how to bow, whether to spit, why said by kiddush levana and brit, and proper kohanim procedures.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – The Mitzvah of Hakhel Part 1
Vayakhel – is it a mitzvah on the king and/or the people?
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Davening for Strangers: Understanding the Purpose of Tefillah
Prayer moved from a personal request for individual needs to a formal ritual. The gemara discusses placing personal requests in different parts of the formal prayer – what’s the algorithm for which types of personal requests should go where?
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Eating on Yom Kippur-Who, When and How
Is the requirement for eating on erev Yom Kippur reflective of a separate mitzvah/yom tov? Is it a day of tshuva? Is there a simcha of atonement? Viduy should be part of a commitment to do better!
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-The Need for Hashgacha, Policy Issues in Hashgacha, and Personal Neemanut (Kim Li)
Why do industrial food preparers need hashgacha rather than relying on the owners? (quite a few reasons!) Should a hechsher take into account non-kashruth issues? (paging Jezebel, Glatt Yacht …) How broad is the concept of ydia (I know my spouse wouldn’t lie to me) vs neemanut?
- Rabbi Menachem Penner-The Dynamic of Teshuva: What God Offers Us – and What We Must Do in Return
Yom kippur is for the rest of us who aren’t tzaddikim. It’s about the permanent relationship of rachamim of a mother and a child. It’s also about continual efforts to improve ourselves.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Erev Yom Kippur Sicha: Climb the Mountain
Tips to gap year students as to how to maximize their yom kippur experience at Yeshivat Har Etzion.
- Rabbi Elchanan Adler-The עבודת יום הכפורים of the כהן גדול
A walk through the avodat yom hakippurim.
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-The Lomdus Behind Asking Mechillah From One’s Friend
Does asking mechila three times actually clean up the mess or is that you’ve done all you can do? Who falls under the category of chaveiro and who doesn’t? (eg rabo)
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman-Jerusalem from Titus to Omar
How did Jewish Jerusalem fare under Christian, Zoroastrian and Muslim rule? It varied by ruler.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Inyanei Sukkos
Sukkot topics including: keva vs arai, maamad and maamad dmaad, mkabel tum, min ha asui, 4 minim tzarich eged, shmita etrogim and hakheil today (no problem with reenactment).
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parshas Veyeilech
Parsha topics including: Gematriot (don’t emphasize), composition of tora text (3), sefer haazara preserving the mesora, can midot hanidreshet make new dinim (Rambam vs. Geonim), various dinim (duraita or drabanan), hakhel today, microphone status in halacha, women making brachot on mitva aseh shehazman grama, hester panim, proper haftara, and unshlamai parim sfateinu only karbanot or broader approach?
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Ever Yom Kippur and Yom Hakippurim
Erev yom kippur topics including: eating as a mitzva, tvila, mechila, vidui and hatarat nedarim.
Yom Kipur topics: shehechiyanu (rshut or chiyuv), is it a day of simcha?, slichot (R YBS – should be in all YK tfilot), seder avodah, korim, break between mincha and neila (zecher lmikdash), mincha trop and haftara bracha, duchening and neila as a ribui tfila.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-ישיבה בסוכה בהלכה ובמחשבה
Sukka topics focused on teishvu kein tadura (eg mitztaer, sleeping ….)
- Rav Moshe Taragin -The Gates of Ne’ila – Harav Amital’s Revolutionary Idea
R Amital on neilah – it’s also about us opening the gate of our heart to let him in.
- Rav Asher Weiss- הלכות שביעית שיעור מא – ד’ מינים בשביעית
Which of the 4 minim are subject to kedushat shviit (depends on their usage today). Why R Weiss is OK with exporting shmita etrogim from eretz yisrael.
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Themes and Messages for Today from the Mitzvah of Hakhel
Who shows up for hakhel and what is its purpose? Is it about content, experience or torah as the center piece (similar to maamad har sinai). Is there a meta-vlaue of exposing children to torah?
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Is There a Mitzvah to Build a Sukkah?
Is there a separate mitzva to build a sukka? Do it right away after yom kippur or at least learn the halachot right away.
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-The Obligation to Seek Forgiveness Before Yom Kippur
Is mechila bein adam lchaveiro about results (drop charges), process (submission) or the need for achdus. Lashon hara and other special situations discussed.
- Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshat Ha’azinu – Pop Up Sukkas & Inflatable Sukkas
Pop up and inflatable sukkot could be a problem because of their inherent flimsiness.
- Rabbi Michael Broyde,Rabbi Eli Ozarowski-10/8/22 – Shiur 390 –The Kashrus scandal in the (non) Kosher Chinese Express in Manalapan Revisited | The court’s decision regarding YU | Transgender in Halacha
Follow up on Manalapan Chinese restaurant and YU LGBT stories. Especially interesting analysis of the complexities of the YU case
Also covered – How are transexuals (surgery and personal status) regarded by halacha?
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-The Beracha Of Leishev B’Sukkah
What triggers a bracha of leishev bsukka vs when do you accomplish the mitzva? Issues include hefsek and defining ikkar vs. tafeil.
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