by Joel Rich
Given that the kahal says the bracha for sfira/hallel after the shatz/rabbi, does your kahal answer Baruch hu Baruch shmo to the shatz/rabbi’s bracha?
I was going to write a letter to Jewish Action concerning the artificial intelligence section, but realized it would be long enough for an article, for which I have no credentials. I just wanted to share two thoughts for your consideration
There is certainly a permanent spiritual argument that artificial intelligence could never becoming a poseik. In short, it would not have siyata dshmaya. However, the arguments of not having shimush or a mesora seem to me to be more short-term practical arguments. They seem to be based on the fact that AI has no access to this data because it is not part of the written corpus. That is true, but the data is being transmitted from generation to generation somehow, and so, in theory, it could be transmitted to the AI as well.
It seems this is a subset of the great debate in the outside world concerning creativity, the hard problem of consciousness (and what it’s like to be a bat), the existence of free will, and can AI have consciousness without a body or be sentient. (The creativity issue is an interesting one, because from what I understand, alpha go revealed strategies which humans hadn’t discovered).
Perhaps the challenge is to either develop objective external measures which we can use to settle these debates (the Turing test seems to have fallen by the wayside) or to simply say these debates can’t be settled (non-overlapping magisteria or something like that).
It seems to me that at some point klal yisrael will paskin (similarly to Rabbi Google)
- Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik-Mishpat, Tzedek and Tzedaka
Tzedek is about righteousness, mishpat is about justice and they both flow from our tzelem elokim. Mishpat doesn’t concern itself with the hardship on the defendant or community, only the right of the plaintiff. Generosity is not a right.
- Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein-Yashrut
Yashar v tzaddik v chasid. HKBH tov is objective (me-euthypro)li>
- Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner -My Kidney Donation Story
Kidney donation involves a very small (but measurable) risk. This personal history is most revealing of how unique each case is emotionally. I would like to hear more about the preferred methodology of sub-contracting the decision to a rabbinic authority.
- Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-Finding Faith at the Seder: Living With Contradictions
Hagada contradictions: avdut v cheirut focus, ask questions but know we don’t always get answers, dayenu but always seek more, letter vs spirit of the law, and reflect geula but realize it’s incomplete.
- Rabbi Yoni Mandelstam-When Garbage Collection Takes Place after Biur Chametz
Leaving garbage in your garbage cans as hefker may not be sufficient for biur chametz. Put it in a public dumpster or pour bleach over it.
- Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner-Medical Ethics: Artificial Intelligence Technology and Medical Decisions
AI today is not transparent, how much should it be trusted halachically? hashkafically (and “real worldy”)? Will there be value to AI psak?
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-The History of Machlokes
R Wiederblank proposes 6 eras of disputes and resolutions: 1. From Moshe Rabbeinu’s death through the period of the zugot (Sanhedrin resolved all debates) 2. From zugot till Hillel and Shammai (4 unsettled issues) 3. from Hillel and Shammai’s death through the Churban (lots of open issues) 4. post churban (Raban Gamliel resolved open issues in favor of bet hillel) 5. tanaim and amoraim (some resolutions, many open issues) 6. post chatimat hashas (all open issues)
How was it decided that beit hillel was right and bet shamai was rejected? What exactly did ravina and rav ashi do and why was it authoritative? After that, there’s no central authority so all psak is local!
- Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz-The Exodus from Egypt: The Foundation of True Jewish Faith in God
The seder is about HKBH not just being the creator but also being personally involved with each individual and the community as a whole.
- Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Shabbat Hagadol: Important Halachot For Leil Haseder
Seder topics including: Start the seder right away, focus on teaching the kids simple emunah (HKBH”s involvement in everything we experience) wine vs grape juice (no light grape juice), don’t talk between rachatz and eating, magid(all are chayav/keep it interesting), heseiba (on something), shiurim, don’t talk between motzi and korech, and have a leader for hallel (it requires zimum).
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Concluding Shemonah Esrei Properly
The yhi ratzon (2?) at end of shmoneh esrai is very important (both in meaning and technical allowance to answer kiddush), each word of elokai netzor is very meaningful and allows for personal prayers, the imru amen is to the angels! How to do the three steps at the end and why they are important. What’s the deal with psukim with your name?
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-הלכות פסח
Defining the mitzvah of matza: which flour and liquid? Differing requirements between seder and non-seder matza, shmira from when and for what purpose? Which kzait are you yotzei with? Also discussed charoset (mitzvah or medicinal?) and maror (lettuce v horseradish – do not mix them!)
- Rabbi Mordechai Becher-Gateway’s Pesach Program 5778: Artificial Intelligence – Halacha and Philosophy
Does AI have free will/agency? Is there an issue of meddling with nature or should we be partners with HKBH in creation? (me- you might find this podcast of interest/scary… https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lex-fridman-podcast/id1434243584?i=1000606616193 )
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Mechirat Chametz Part 3
More on mechirat chametz as haarma. Focus on the evolution of the need to remove chametz from the house and whether there can be any contingencies in the sale.
- Rabbi Shmuel Skaist-Artificial Intelligence
What’s it like to be a bat? AI can’t be human because it lacks human sensors and it doesn’t have language/shared experiences. (me – since we can’t define free will or morality or consciousness it’s hard to know what free will is or isn’t.)
The story of Esther shows that we need to always be evaluating our interactions with society.
Me – how do we know we’re not chat Gpt-7? As Bob Dylan said, ”the wheel’s still in spin”
- Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter-Seeking Redemption on the Holiday of Redemption
The first days of Pesach are about HKBH, the last days about us needing to take the initiative. Also included memories of his father helping Jews.
- Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Mechirat Chametz Part 4
Since the sale of chometz must be real, some “unscrupulous” Jews offered the non-Jew more to buy other Jew’s chometz. Perhaps bet din can stop this by invoking ani hamihafeca. How do we measure the seller’s “sincerity” when selling of different types of “chometz” (eg bread vs animals to feed)? The sale process evolved from each individual doing a sale to the common practice today. Hashkafa of haaramot also discussed.
- Rabbi Osher Weiss-פסח: מצוות מרור
Any “lettuce” is good for maror, there may be a hiddur for having a taam mrirut. R’ Weiss uses chazeret (horseradish) as well out of respect for minhag.
- Kosher Wine for Pesach and All Year – Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz
Wine and grape juice issues including: yayin nesech v stam, mvushal temperatues, reconstituted grape juice status and what point do grapes become wine/grape juice?
- Rabbi Etan Schnall-The Haggada as a Framework for Teaching the Principles of Emuna
The seder is about emuna. The text reflects the thirteen ikarim.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Love and Seder – Ahavas Hashem at the Seder
Defining ahavas hashem (actions and emotions), how it might be measured/expressed (eg mesirat nefesh) and how to further develop it (eg talmud tora) further.
- מי היה הרב יוסף דוב הלוי סולובייצ’יק – יח’ ניסן – הרב פרופ’ ג’פרי וולף
Biography of R YBS (and R J Wolff’s relationship with him). Description of R YBS’s shiurim and his hashkafa (zionism, talmud torah as avodas hashem, ish halacha and transmission of tora to al Jews(not just scholars).
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-The Prohibition of Non-Jews Eating the Korban Pesach
R Yehuda ben bteira and the non-Jew who participated in the karban pesach – why was he liable for the death penalty?
- Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik-Hesped Shloshim for the Rav in Chicago
These hespedim were delivered in Chicago in 1993. Talmidim reflect on R YBS’s greatness and uniqueness. R A Soloveichik provides an intellectual hesped (he had previously delivered an emotional one). R Chaim, R Moshe, R YBS were all both anshei emuna and anshei halacha. R YBS was not iconoclastic but a true baal mesora.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת
Every minute counts and you can use each minute in a positive way when interacting with others.
- Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik-hilchos chosen mishpat 83 Part 1
Mislabeled actually about sippur/zchirat ytziat mitzrayim.
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig-Hashavas Aveidah-Halacha L’maase
If there’s a siman, don’t pick up a lost object (maybe you can pick it u to see if it has a siman). If you did pick it up (and thus made it likely the owner will not get it back) the Rambam says you can use it (was there yeiush?), most others say you must put it aside till Eliyahu comes.
Returning lost objects to those you are not commended to can be a kiddush hashem.
- Rabbi Ezra Cohen-Leaning While Praying and Praying by Proxy
Don’t lean when you’re saying shmone esrai (parallel) to avoda and you need eima. Don’t rely on others (rabbi, chazan() for your prayer )your relationship with KHBH is key).
- Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky-Q and A At Machon Yaakov (5772 Israel Trip)
Q and A including: Judaism as both an intellectual and emotional faith, why we need to learn gemara (it’s foundational), human reason interacting with tora, relative importance of doing mitzvot and feeling close to HKBH, why details of mitzvot are important, women’s roles, time allocation at different stages of life, mesora v science (live with it), understanding infinity and educating everyone to be a talmid chacham is not necessary today.
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon-Daf Yomi B’Iyun: Brachos 16: Accepting a stringency upon yourself vs. the trait of arrogance
Yuhura (arrogance) is determined based on community standards but if the community is doing something objectively wrong then it’s not yuhura to do the right thing.
- Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky-Baltimore Internet Asifa – Masking Use Of Technology
Apparently the internet asifa evidence two shvatim that didn’t seem unified – the emotional (heimish?) and the structured (yeshivish?). In any event, technology is causing tiruf and a loss of tzniut. We need red lines!
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].