by Joel Rich
From a book re: Dr. Jacob Katz:
He had learned from his training in history and in the sociology of knowledge that the critical variable involved in an analysis of a legal holding was not determining whether that decision had a precedent. Katz knew that the author of such a ruling frequently had a welter of rules and principles that were capable of providing guidance in a given case. Rather, the point was to focus on the contextual factors that led an author to select one precedent over another, or to indicate what the concerns were that caused that author to reformulate precedents in a novel way. In this instance, Katz emphasized the innovative argument Hirsch used to combine precedents and contemporary language to reconfigure the tradition.
Me-this resonated with my thoughts based on empirical observation. Yours?
Isiah Berlin’s nickname was Shaya. Noah Feldman has a gadol hador mind. Oy, what losses for the home team!
<a https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/download/bwu2x9/Headlines_1-7-23.mp3″> Rabbi Hershel Schachter,Rebbetzin Chana Henkin-1/7/23 – Shiur 402 – Women’s role in society – Has our Halachic attitude towards women shifted over the years? R HS says a tzniut lifestyle in all facets of life is an aspirational goal for everybody, especially for women and especially today. Children need to be our primary focus, secular college is a no-no, and the American yoetzet halacha program is a mistake (they get things wrong and prevent the local rabbi from getting a full picture of his congregants.) In general, we are lacking in yirat shamayim today.
Rabbanit Henkin has a different view. She describes the Israel yoetzet program and points out that they don’t do psak (Psak=something novel/not just knowing what is written (me-actual examples might be helpful to understand the distinction.))
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A: Davening, Mashiach, Honey, and more Q &A including: prayer is never wasted, why women can’t be witnesses, women’s personal prayer, mashiach/olam haba/tchiyat hameitim (me-why are people so fixated on this??), kashrut of honey, chupa, proof of Judaism’s approach, land division post-mashaich, and why HKBH cares about us.
Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Shovavim: The Unspoken Betrayal of Marriage MEN ONLY I think he was saying porno, even if not the addictive type, will ruin any marriage. You must get help.
Rabbi Osher Weiss-Parshat Vayechi: Yisachar & Zvulun Agreement R Weiss presents his unique take on Yissachar/Zvulun relationships. It’s a true shutfut and each partner gets 100% percent schar since it’s like they are a chavruta as Yissachar is able to learn without financial burdens on his equanimity. You can’t sell reward or punishment!
Rabbi Kivi Naiman-Wound Whisperers: Is It Permitted to Say Tehillim for the Sick? Tehilim for a refua shouldn’t be viewed as a lchisha (incantation) but as learning or as a prayer.
Rabbi Dov Winston-Modern Applications of Tevilas Keilim The hashkafa and halacha of tvilat keilim -practical applications.
Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Bishul Akum (2): The Gemara, Overview of Issues Bishul akum applications including defining concerns such as which non-Jews and where. How do we view post-talmudic development like factories, remote controls and video access?
Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Davening At A Bais Ovel Continuation of the discussion of women saying kaddish (in home vs. shul).
Then on to kaddish in a bet avel (best to have minyan where he died). We’d even give up shul minyan to have minyan in bet avel! Why don’t we say tachanun in a bet avel (and why don’t non-mourners have to say it later?)
Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #106: Teshuvot of HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz Yoreh Deah More RGD Schwartz tshuvot including: libun kal for pesach and year-round koshering; electric lights for chanukah; shabbat and havdala; achshivei issues for pesach medicine; eruv tavshilin validity for soup put up right before shabbat; and putting a tv on a timer for shabbat.
Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #105 – Teshuvot of HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz Orach Chaim part 2 Yoreh deah issues from R Gd Schwartz including: Post schechita/pre-death blood draining, alternatives to salting meat, treif ingredients in production of non-food kitchen items, gvinat akum production issues, koshering with heated chocolate, adding pagum before 24 hours to allow koshering and hatafat dam brit for one whose original mila was done by a non-Orthodox Jew.
Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshat Vayechi: Get The Most Out Of Your Shemone EsreiWe should be truly engaged in shemoneh esrei – focus before starting and then throughout the prayer focus on specific meaning. Either look in the siddur (especially for non-standard prayer days) or keep your eyes closed
Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-The Mitzvah of Chinuch in Halacha and Hashkafa Is the mitavah of chinuch on the parent or the child? The requirement is from the tora but the details are rabbinic. There are the specific (tzivui) and the general (ratzon hashem). The rest is commentary.
Professor and author Naomi Seidman “The Performance Culture of Orthodox Women.” Beit Yaakov had female stage productions as an important part of its DNA even with some early opposition. The full history is presented here. There’s still debate today but youngin’s do need a release.
Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-When Hillel Came From Bavel Three versions of the Hillel story (Tosefta, Bavli, Yerushalmi) show differing focus on mesora, lomdus and yichus.
Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar for Shemot: Intellectual Honesty as a Gateway for Moral Behavior; The Difference Between Courteous Behavior and Chesed; The High Can Never Stand Without the Low Intellectual honesty (and curious questioning) allows us to know ourselves and thus change (true for other relationships as well). Ingratitude means you don’t truly “know” yourself. Universal derech eretz comes before particularistic chesed.
Also covered – understanding the physics of the burning bush in the light of torah.
Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum-Meta-Physical Healing in Chazal First we need to understand that HKBH is the ultimate healer. Can you use magic or talmudic remedies? How can we improve our prayers?
Rabbi Baruch Simon-Bein Hasemesterim 5783: Hachana from Shabbos to Chol Introduction to the concepts of mitakein, torach and hachana on Shabbat. TBC
Rabbi Zev Smith-Visiting a Hospital on Shabbat Covers shabbat, medical treatment and patient support. The first step is to differentiate between meichash balma, ein bo and yeish bo sakana.
Sometimes it’s better for another Jew to do the mlacha for either the patient’s mental health or to avoid future errors. Practical applications discussed.
Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Vayechi Angelic Prayers: May One Daven To or Through Malachim? Mlachim (TBD) don’t have any independent power. We should pray directly to HKBH but maybe (me-kaf zchut?) they can assist the same way someone else praying for you can (me-but they have no free will?)
Rabbi Isaac Rice-Taking Food from a Shiva House There’s no clear source for the practice of not taking food from a shiva house and there’s a lot of waste caused by it. Ruach ra may play a part.
Rabbi Yoni Levin-Honoring the Deceased: Saying Kaddish and Other Forms of Respect Kavod av post-mita issues including: hareini kapparat/zichrono, kaddish, being the shatz and parent being mochel.
Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner -Bikkur Cholim: Removing 1/60 of Illness and the concept of Ben Gilo How do we understand the gemara that says a visit by a ben gilo takes away 1/60th of the patient’s illness? It can be both rational (prayer, companionship) and existential (just showing up). 1/60th is a decreasing series. Does the visitor actually get 1/60th of the disease/travail?
Rabbi Yitzchak Blau-Ta’amei Hamitzvot and Halakha Sometimes the tora gives reasons for mitzvot (sukka-lman yeidu). Sometimes chazal/poskim assue reasons for psak. (Rosh-ktivat sefer torah). Sometimes they learn overarching principles (Chinuch – shiluach hakan). Are there details of the mitzvot that indicate which way to go in serious reasons? (Me-IIRC R M Rosensweig has a theory on how this differs from lo darshinan taama dkra).
Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Bishul Akum: Employees and in a Jewish Home Should whose home the bishul takes place in make a difference in bishul akum? What about the relationship to the Jew (eg slave, servant or worker?)
Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Why Rav Moshe Was the Mofes HaDor and Posek HaDor Each generation must Paskin as it understands the halacha even against earlier authorities. R Moshe was humble but also understood that psak had to reflect an agenda based on the posek’s take on kol hatora kula.
Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner -Accidental Killing in Medicine – Must one go to an Ir Miklat Nowadays? The case of RaDonda Vaught, RN A nurse mistakenly administered a lethal injection. The shulchan aruch (Y”D 336) says that with such a case one must go into galut. Does that mean literally or simply an indication of the level of tshuva needed?
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Rambam’s Introduction to Perek 11 of Sanhedrin Part 18 – Arguments Between Accepted Seforim What’s the practical difference between the Rambam’s 13 and the Albo’s 3 principles of faith (who is a kofer)
The chovot halevavot and nefesh hachaim had different ideas about the focus on pure torah learning.
Rabbi Baruch Simon-The minhag to eat fish on Shabbos The magen avraham says to have fish at every shabbat meal. R Simon provides reasons and his own imprimatur.
Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner -Jewish Hospitals in America Jewish hospitals were originally founded to show that we could take care of our own with good care and to have places for Jewish physicians to practice. When these needs were not as crucial, the numbers of hospitals dwindled. Today there are few that are left are all about values.
Rabbi Zev Smith-Doing Melacha, Greeting, Before Davening Put HKBH’s needs (eg tfila) before your own. The rest is commentary. Specifics provided.
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