by Joel Rich
Why the ‘He Gets Us.’ Jesus ads get Jews nervous
The billion-dollar Super Bowl ad blitz aims to unify all Americans under the banner of the cross – including me
My comment -it’s called galut for a reason
Daat Torah Blog
Biggest challenge today
This Shabbos I was in Beis Shemesh for a grandson’s bar mitzva. Got to speak with a \n expert on Chareidi society. What is the biggest challenge?.
It seems psychology has penetrated and caused great damage. Children have been raised by parents who have intervened at the slightest hint of a problem or potential problem. Theses children are now parents and teachers or other positions of authority and don’t understand how to deal with life’s problems and challenges
Me- Not just Chareidi?
- Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hachodesh Hazeh Lachem: The Significance of Time and Historical Time-Consciousness
Excellent mussar on grabbing each moment (don’t waste time), having a plan, and knowing where home is (Eretz Yisrael) even if you’re not there yet!
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Sichah – Listening to the Kol Demamah Dakah
We need a quiet time to reflect on our relationship with HKBH and others.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Tefilah BiTzibbur Priorities
Tfila btzibur is very important. How does one prioritize it versus other priorities such as vatikin, proper dress, tfilin?
- Matan Friedman-Thank You Hashem Swag Controversies
Can one take items with G’d/s name (eg US currency, sweatshirts, jewelry) into the bathroom?
- Rabbi Osher Weiss-Parshat Bo: Amira L’Nochri – Shabbos and Shvi’is
Is there a prohibition of amira lnochri besides regarding Shabbat? If so, is it only when there’s a concern of haarama?
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb-Bechirah Chofshis: Do We ALWAYS Have Free Will?
Bchira chofshit is a big issue today when many believe (at least philosophically) in pure physical determinism. How do we understand Pharoh’s free will? R Gottlieb likes R Dessler’s formulation of nekudat habechira.
- Agudas Yisrael-H3 Business Summit Toronto: Q&A with R. Shlomo Miller
Q&A with R Miller including: paying from maaser for a poor employee’s chatuna (not through payroll), “making” an employee work on chol hamoed as a davar haavud (is it really mlacha? Maybe you should get a non-Jew to do the actual mlacha), employee wants to travel to mincha which disrupts the workplace (let him listen by phone), poaching employees (no), rent as a percent of sales including chametz on pesach (Ok if it just sets the amount but not true partnership), paying employees on time (do so), investing in a company run by non-frum Jews (it’s complex), non-Jewish contractor coming into office on Shabbat (no-maarit ayin), hire frum first, severance pay (required only if local custom), and a number of amira lakum issues for real estate management.
- Rabbi Dov Winston-Practical Applications of Avodah Zarah
Some background on avoda zara and applications today to churches and mosques.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Sichat Mussar for Va’era: Ahavat Yisrael; Long-Term Vision; Courage as a Religious Trait
Geula can be a long process, ahavat yisrael is very important.
- Agudas Yisrael-H3 Business Summit Toronto: R. Michoel Frank – The Ins and Outs of Employee and Employer Obligations
There are three key issues in employer/employee disputes: how much of a commitment (words, kinyan, contract), what is the nature of the relationship (hourly contractor, salaried employee, product artisan) and what were the ramifications of the disputed action? (money, inconvenience, lost future income). Specific applications discussed.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-The Batei Din of Israel- Duties and Voids
Israel batei din deal with marriage, divorce, inheritance and conversion. Tzohar tries to make it a pleasant experience.
- Rav Asher Weiss-קידוש לבנהa>
Is the bracha of kiddush levna a chiyuv or mafsheret (if you see it, do it)? How much must one see (outline?) and for how long must one see it (length of bracha)?
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-Thought of the Ramban: The Exodus, The Purpose of Creation, and Divine Providence
HKBH performs miracles in order to remind us that in spite of his seeming absence (because nature seems so natural), he is the creator. That’s why we must have the mitzva of zchira on an ongoing basis. Our goal is to recognize that and spread HKBH’s glory.
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-Q&A- Circumcision, Lips & “Every Yid’s a Big Tzadik”
Q&A including; tinok shenishba, gedolim’s midot, explaining the death of a young sibling, handwashing, daat torah, yerushalayim and chevron, Jewish values, waking someone up vs interrupting their learning, mixed singing, chareidi values, ad hayom hazeh, yehareg val yaavor, name changes and much more.
- Rabbi Shmuel Reichman-The Sheish Zechiros: Understanding the Six Remembrances
The theme of the six zchirot is our connection to HKBH which is our purpose in life.
- Rabbi Yosef A. Cohen-Electronic Talking: electrolarynx, hearing aids and microphones
With microphones the issue is, is it my speech? With hearing aids the question is, am I hearing? What is the status of a cochlear implant? Positions of various poskim analyzed
- Dr Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz-Jews and Christians: A Tangled History (Part 1)
Don’t think that any religion is monolithic or unchanging. A look at the historical Jesus.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Bo How Far Must One Go for the Mitzvah of Kiddush Levanah?
Can we use measures given by other mitzvot (eg handwashing, sukka) to tell us how “far” we have to go to be mkadeish the levana?
- Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff-Is Stealing Sleep Really Considered Stealing?
Whether gezel sheina is real gezel (some think so) or not, it should still be taken seriously and avoided. If the person would want to be woken, you should wake them.
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Parshas Bo and Our Responsibility Towards Humanity
What is the purpose of our selection? There are both universalistic and particularistic sources (me-R YBS – ger vtoshav)
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-The Sun’s Path Around the Earth: Can Chazal be Wrong About Science? (2)
More on defending chazal’s take on science, perhaps their statements are metaphorical or they were ahead of their times.
- Kotzk Blog-415) The changing face of mysticism in the evolution of Chassidism
The first generation of chassidut was about complete mystical dveikut for a few charismatic special individuals. Over the next two generations it morphed into a institutionalized approach with mass, redefined dveikut (eg through mitzvot, meditation, intellect or prayer)
- Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf -Ashkenazim and Sefardim: The Goals of Talmud Study, special lecture
Ashkenaz and Sfard accepted talmud bavli but differed on the importance of coming to conclusions vs eilu veilu divrei elokim chayim.
- Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Bo Bentsching Rosh Chodesh and Shabbos Mevorchim – What’s It All About?a>
Tracing the history of our practices in “announcing” rosh chodesh (including our text). How much is a zecher of when rosh chodesh was al pi hariah?
- Yair Lichtman-The Halakhic Status of Lab-Grown Meat
How will halacha (duraita and drabanan) view lab grown meat (kashrut and fleishig status) sourced from kosher and non-kosher animals or embryos? Finding the proper paradigm isn’t simple (reminds me of the electricity debate).
- Rabbi Jonah Steinmetz-A Rabbi and a Priest Walk Into a Shul… Avodah Zarah in the Beis HaKnesses
Can you invite (or allow) a cross wearing priest into your shul? Is a cross considered avoda zorah or a toeva? Is a shul like your house for this purpose?
Can you plant a tree by your shul (due to analogous restriction by beit mikdash)?
- Rabbi Yechiel Morris-Reasons for and against burial in Israel
It’s better to be buried in Eretz Yisrael (first for tchiyat hameitim, less tzaar (rolling), kapara achieved and recognition of our ultimate destiny). Countervailing pressures might be lack of relatives’ visits, a yerushalmi gemara and cost. Better to come while you’re alive!
- Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst-Washing fruits and dishes on Shabbos (Hilchos Borer)
When is shabbat cleaning of dirt off of food or dishes a problem of borer and when not? Is the act of putting things away considered hachana?
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-History of the Mussar Movement
R Yisrael Salanter’s history and approach to mussar. How did his students take his message? Comparisons provided to R Dessler, nefesh hachayim and chassidic thought.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Common Nighttime Yichud Questions
Yichud mitigators include: petach patuach, baala bir, two men, and shomrim (eg children, relatives). Specific applications discussed.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].