by Joel Rich
Bitter gelechter – R Lebowitz’s unique experience of someone asking a question about second day yom tov observance (at all, and of their regular rabbi) (me-R Y Adler seemed to become mora datra of a large geographic swath that he didn’t sign up for.)
A recent article made the case that the shoa was sui generis in Jewish history. Would you agree or disagree? (more of interest to me – why?)
- Rabbi Jeremy Wieder-Sichah – Nig’ei Battim – Derosh veKabel Sakhar
Drosh vkabel schar from nigei batim: rules of chazaka, avoiding miserliness, and living a tznua life style.
- Rabbi Oran Zweiter-Zionists Before Zionism: 300 Rabbis Make Aliyah in the Middle Ages
Q.Why did rabbis make aliyah in the twelfth and the thirteenth century? A.Piety, economics and messianic trends. Unfortunately, their communities didn’t last.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Davening at Kivrei Tzadikim (2)
Do the dead know what’s going on with the living and can they intervene? If yes, should we pray to them or is that doresh lmeitim? TBC
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-What Does it Mean to Learn Torah Lo Lishma?
There are different kinds of lo lshma used in the gemara (love, fear of punishment, honor, demeaning use). Is there a difference for shelo lilshma regarding talmud torah vs other mitzvos? How do we reconcile differences in the gemara’s valuation of lo lishma?
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From the Rabbi’s Desk – Choose Which Long Life
Is shiluach hakan a chiyuv or rshut, when is it applicable and how does it rank vs kavod av? See here for detail: https://www.amazon.com/Shiluach-Hakan-Practical-Naftali-Weinberger/dp/1583302999
- Rav Asher Weiss-ברכת הגומל
Early Covid shiur – how closely do the rules for birchat hagomel track the korban todah? A number of applications discussed.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Recollections of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l- on His 8th yahrzeit
R Lichtenstein as an intellectual and experiential role model. Pick your role models carefully and don’t take the easy way out.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Davening at Kivrei Tzadikim (1)
How early in the day must one perform a mitzva to quality for zrizin makdimim? Before noon? Before kriat shma?
When should a brit be done on Rosh Hashana?
- Rabbi Binyomin Weiss,Rabbi Dr. Aharon Glatt,h Rabbi Yehuda Leib Weiner-4/22/23 – Shiur 416 – Organ Donation in Halacha Is it an obligation, a prohibition, or a choice?
Organ donation is a mitzvah of gemilat chesed but not a chiyuv (because people will feel guilty?) Organ cards can be a problem because they may be inconsistent with halacha. There’s a big difference between pre and post death donations (and how do you define death?) Details provided.
- Rabbi Reuven Brand-Man’s Search for Meaning: Spiritual Perspectives
Viktor Frankel’s logotherapy was based on his personal experience and a general approach. There are differences between daat (information vs wisdom, internalized vs factual). There was much spiritual heroism during the shoa).
- Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-What is Olam Haba?
There are a number of reasons not to discuss olam haba (we won’t understand it, we will undervalue it, it’s not our business and it will cause us an inferior service of HKBH). On the other hand, it is an ikkar of emuna and may incentivize us. TBC.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-When is a Second Hand Washing Required at a Meal?
Roles regarding ntilat yadaim (and associated brachot) redo’s when touching tamei and/or interruptions. Workarounds provided.
- Rabbi Moshe Taragin-Rav Lichtenstein and the Values of Humanism
R Lichtenstein saw a humanistic element in Judaism. HKBH gave us free will which gives us freedom, responsibilities and ability to create. We apply these through halacha and our general avodat hashem. Specific applications of humanistic values in halacha discussed.
- Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Series: 30th Yahrzeit of the Rav: Rav Aaron Rakeffet – Joseph and his Brothers in Relation to Theodore Herzl and Zionism
R YBS’s Zionism was a synthesis (given his family history) vs R Kook who was kula Zionism. Other topics include the Yosef and his brothers drasha (mizrachi = yosef, aguda = brothers), our obligation to the non-frum, and the importance of core secular curriculum and army service.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Hilchos Tzibbur and Shliach Tzibbur
Please send this link to anyone you know who davens for the amud. Includes when to start, how to say chazarat hashatz, modim et al. Covers a number of common errors
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Hilchos Birchas Kohanim
What is the nature of the chiyuv (on Cohanim and non-Cohanim) for brichat Cohanim? A number of practical issues discussed especially for travelers between chul and aretz (also implies some good reasons for making aliya!)
- Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander-Series: 30th Yahrzeit of the Rav: Rav Kenneth Brander (Memories of a Giant)
Memories of R YBS – a giant in intellect and emotion. We must carry forward his legacy.
- Rabbi Chaim Brovender-Series: 30th Yahrzeit of the Rav: Rav Chaim Brovender (The Rav on the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah)
Memories of R YBS. Key take away – be a chavruta, not a teacher.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Three Lessons in Bein Adam L’Chaveiro
Lessons include you are responsible for your midot/hashkafot; always take the full picture into account, and deal with any pain you caused even if the action that caused it was righteous.
- Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon-In Preparation for Yom HaAtzmaut: Judicial Reform, Conversion Law, Discord In Am Yisrael – Are we At The Time of The Geulah
Geula must be “natural” because overt miracles are not internalized; Israel today is a natural miracle. Natural geula is in fits and starts; we must all work together to accomplish it.
- Erica Brown ,Dr. Shira Weiss ,Dr. Raphael Zarum ,Professor Jonathan Rynhold-The Impossible Dream: Celebrating Israel’s 75th with Insights from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
R Sacks was a passionate political Zionist who saw Israel as central to Jewish destiny but did not see the state in prophetic terms. Judaism is about building a civil society in total (separate from the formal state) We are not alone as a people and our destiny is to impact others. Includes an interesting take on esav sonei et Yaakov.
- Rabbi Jonathan Ziring-Davening at Kivrei Tzadikim (2)
If one accepts that just as certain places have physical characteristics they can have spiritual ones, then one could understand davening in the place of the meitim (but not to them).
- Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-
Chareidim must demonstrate hakarat hatov to the IDF. Yom hashoa date, history and hashkafa discussed.
Is it really al kiddush hashem if you had no choice? (me-that’s a landmine)
- Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst-Chometz Sh’evar Alav Ha’Pesach – In Depth and Practical Cases
What is the status of: chometz sheavar alav hapesach that one inadvertently acquired, supermarkets that sell their chametz before pesach but then continue to buy and sell during pesach?
- Rabbi Evan Hoffman-Martyrdom vs Vayechi Bahem
Yehareg val yaavor was halachically defined for martyrdom in the second century. Why?
- Rabbi Zev Smith-Stiches on Shabbat – When/How?
Are cosmetic stitches (i.e. no infection issue) on shabbat (Jew vs. non-Jew)? An issue of tofer? What is the permissibility of regular stitches, dissolving stitches, surgical vs staples v surgical glue and/or butterfly stitches.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky-Eretz Yisrael From Avraham Until Today-A Halachic Analysis
Lessons from mitzvot in eretz yisrael in different time periods: Avraham (kibud av vs Yishuv, eretz Yisrael kinyan of karka, Avot (Rambam – mitzvot only in aretz (Rambam), and bnai Yisrael entering and leaving the land as well as the churban (level of kedusha).
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Kivush Rabim: The Destiny of Eretz Yisrael and Klal Yisrael (Yom Ha’atzmaut 2023)
The various positions on adding geographically to eretz Yisrael (kibbush yachid vs rabbim) may be technically halachichic but they are reflective of a greater relationship (emanating from the avot) between the tzibbur.am israel, eretz Yisrael and Jewish destiny.
- Rabbi Zev Smith-The Dos and Donts of Duchaning
Who is the mitzvah of birchat cohanim on – Cohanim, yisraelim or both? Technically Cohanim are not required to bless unless they are called up but it is a mitzvah which should be specifically avoided. Situations discussed include mid-personal midah interruptions, aveilut, women and am shebisadot.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Can a Lefty Write a Sefer Torah, Mezuzah or Tefilin? (Stam)
There may be a kabbalistic reason for a pure lefty not to be a sofer. What’s the status of a letter in the sefer tora which is outlined but not filled in?
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