by Joel Rich
‘Historically Jews have fared poorly when subjected to the trial of wealth. When a Jew acquit excessive wealth, he becomes animal-like. While the nations of the world divert a portion of the wealth towards spiritual matters, towards culture, towards higher ideals, under similar circumstances the Jew takes on the trappings of a vulgar, cynical materialism. And Jeshurun became fat a rebelled (Deut. 32:15) is the characteristic reaction of the Jew to wealth. For some unknown reason a Jew cannot combine the dew of the heavens with the fatness of the earth (Gen. 27:28). Having on he cannot have the other.
On the other hand, when confronted with the trial of poverty or suffering, the Jewish people have fared very well. A Jew does not spill blood when he is hungry. When he is hungry, he senses the hunger of his fellow; when he is cold, he feels his brother’s discomfort. Derashot Harav, pp. 116-11
What can I add? Do you think it’s accurate?
To a maggid shiur:
Your recent class was on the topic of “reward” for sponsoring a shiur is on a topic that I find fascinating. In particular, it has always seemed to me that the dedication of already scheduled learning is certainly a charitable act to be encouraged. Of course, I am not God‘s accountant, but it doesn’t seem that the reward for learning Torah in that case would be transferable, except perhaps to the extent that more people attend due to the dedication. I have to wonder though do any local Rabbis point that out to sponsors?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Gittin 5783 shiur 35 (רפואות של הגמרא)
Outstanding summary of the rishonim’s view of chazal’s knowledge of pharmacology and medicine/science in general.
- Rabbi Ya’akov Trump-How the Torah Conveys Meta Ideas
The tora communicates values directly (kdoshim tihyu) through stories and though induction. TBC
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Should The Yeshivot Change The Style Of Learning?
Anyone can be a gadol batora (not necessarily an ilui) if they work hard enough.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Seals on Food Deliveries
When (and on what) do you need one or two seals to assure kashrut? What are considered mitigating circumstances to require one or no seals?
- Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner -Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) have a soul – and what difference does it make?
Lessons from the golem on AI-did it have a (human? animal?) soul? Is speech or creativity a defining characteristic of a human soul? Perhaps AI (Chatgpt) reflects channeling human souls?
- Rabbi Osher Weiss-פרשת יתרו: אחד כנגד זכור ואחד כנגד שמור
The ratzon hatora is that Shabbat not be violated but how far do you have to go before Shabbat to ensure that you won’t be in a position to have to violate Shabbat? Try, but there are many extenuating circumstances.
Cohanim shouldn’t be doctors due to tumat meit exposure!
- Rabbi Yona Reiss-From the Dayan’s Desk #108: Teshuvot of R Gedalia Dov Schwartz
More of R Schwartz’s tshuvot including reinternment (not encouraged) and mamzeirut (it’s complex).
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-The Connection Between the Mishkan and the Melachos of Shabbos
The 39 mlachot are defined (details as well) by what was done in the building of the mishkan. Specifics of mlecht machshevet and eino tzarich lgufa discussed.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Dina D’Malchusa Dina
Discussion of dina dmalchuta sources (eg parshat hamelech) and scope (eg application to ritual law (not); non jews (yes); two jews (maybe) etc. Democracies are really giant partnerships subject to partnership rules (including Israel). Also discussed – msira, kesef and standing of government property.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A- Time Travel, Math & Women of the Wall
Q&A including: Spinoza and Ramchal, kabala dangers and opportunities, Judaism’s focus on law, privacy halacha, hashgacha vs bechira, math as part of creation, higia lhoraa, Lot’s daughters, men and women are different, love independent of reason, time travel, and exchange rates in halacha.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Preparing for Shemonah Esrei
There are four types of preparation for prayer – place (makom), body (guf), bgadim (clothes) and machshava (thought). Specifics provided; the main thing is concentration.
- TRabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Magna Tiles on Shabbos
Large Magna tiles can be an issue of boneh on Shabbat.
- Rabbi Jonathan Muskat-The American Jewish Community – United or Divided? The 20th Century Attempt to Unite Conservative and Orthodox Judaism
History of late 1800s and early 1900s Jewish streams and their rabbinical and lay institutions. The opposition to the merger of RIETS and JTS came from their seeming goals, concerns over mixed seating, and an approach to aguna issues.
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Kibud Av v’Eim: Must Every Parental Instruction Be Obeyed?
How far (past a service requirement) is a child’s obligation to their parents? How do kavod and oneg interact in relation to this question? Is it a mitzva bein adam lmakom or chaveiro?
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-The Use of Shabbos Clocks, Alarm Clocks, Vacuum Cleaners & Silent Dishwashers on Shabbos
Is there a difference between setting up a system before Shabbat that will trigger a new action on Shabbat and starting an action before Shabbat which will continue on Shabbat? How do we apply principles of zilzul Shabbat and avsha milta? (me-and which community sub groups define “community practice”)
- Rabbi David Schlusselberg-Is My Yeshiva High School Student Jewish?
Must a ger katan formally opt in at bar mitzvah or is it sufficient to continue to live an Orthodox lifestyle?
- Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman-Q&A 8 Feb ’23
Q&A including: is there value in studying other orthodox hashkafot? (it may be limud tora), is there value to learning Jewish history?, bnai yeshiva should act in a refined way, take secular studies seriously, there’s machloket in halacha because of the involvement of human intellect, stories need to be taken with a grain of salt, book banning doesn’t work, and causes for increases in yeshiva attendance.
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Coffee – Need We Say More
Coffee issues including: bracha rishona, achrona, chmar medina and drinking before davening.li>
- Rabbi Isaac Rice-Kiddush and Seudah For Someone Who Is Gluten Free
How does one who must be on a gluten free diet deal with kiddush bmakom seudah? Expensive Molino flour, corn flour wine or whatever your normal meal would be?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Sorry Ma’am But Your Son Can’t Be Part of the Minyan
How do we define a bar daat for a minyan?
- Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshas Yisro: Does Your Doll Need A Nose Job?
Making, keeping or fixing any complete human figurine could be a torah prohibition. Some are lenient but it’s best to disfigure the figurine “a bit” (TBD)
- Rabbi Moshe Elefant,Rabbi Shloima Perl,Rabbi Beirach Steinfeld-2/11/23 – Shiur 407 – Kashrus in home establishments | How do you now if you’re really eating Kosher?
Where do you draw the line between not eating in your own house and eating anything that some random person says is kosher?
Interesting: 1. The OU doesn’t accept any other supervision on complex items (ie meat, wine) 2. It may not be so simple to accept the “hechsher” of a local rabbi (eg Chabad) on his own home’s food “commercial” preparation.
- Rabbi Shay Schachter-Celebrating One Aspect of Torah at the Expense of Another
Maybe the issue of people thinking that the asseret hadibrot is more important than the rest of the torah is no longer of concern but we should appreciate their significance in any event.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – V’yanuch Bah/Bo/Bam
There’s no clear source for modifying the shabbat amidot for ba, bo, bam shabbatot, but there are possible explanations why one might justify such modifications (grammatical and kabbalistic).
- Matan Friedman-Recent Krias Hatorah Mishaps
Torah reading issues including: showing the oleh the wrong place, calling up a yisrael when there is a cohen present, reading two psukim and the oleh makes a concluding bracha, baal korei with a different havara than the minyan, how many havarot for zachor and when to correct the baal korei (and what to do if there isn’t one).
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Beshalach May A Jew Ever Live in or Visit Egypt?
Did the mitzva of not returning to Egypt apply in the past? today? To whom?
- Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Kibud Av Va’em In A World That Has No Kavod
Practical applications of kavod and yira for parents. Bnai yeshiva should assimilate proper behavior into their beings.
- Rabbi Hillel Goldberg-When Questions Don’t Have Answers: Our Purpose in Life
You need to answer difficult questions yourself; sometimes the answers will be unexpected.
- Rabbi Etan Schnall-Earthquakes: History, Halacha and Hashkafa
Halacha (brachot) and hashkafa concerning earthquakes and other unusual events.
- Rabbi Jonah Steinmetz-The Shabbos Goy, The Shabbos Jew, and the Shabbos Apostate: Practical Cases with Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank
Discussion of benefitting from a prohibited mlacha done on Shabbat (by a Jew or non-Jew)/purposely or not/right after Shabbat or enough after that the action couldn’t been done after Shabbat). Does it make a difference if the benefit is only derived from seeing or hearing? If the action was done as part of ongoing corporate activity (eg a broadcast sport event)?
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].