Audio Roundup Special: Dr Marc Shapiro

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by Joel Rich

 

Dr. Marc Shapiro -Class 182. Great Rabbinic Thinkers: Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein 

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro_-_rav_yechiel_michal_epstein-part_1.mp3

Part 1

The genealogy and geography of R YM Epstein (author of the aruch hashulchan). Major focus on the reliability of mkor baruch (his son’s book) as a historical source.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro_-_rav_yechiel_michal_epstein-part_2.mp3

Part 2

Discussion of the aruch hashulchan’s early rabbinic positions and early work – lomdus on sefer hayashar. The sefer had both chasidic and mitnagdic haskamot. Then on to his rabanut in Novordak and his good relations with the mussar yeshiva there.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-184-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-yechiel-michel-epstein-part-3

Part 3

The aruch hashulchan very much followed the Rambam (lomdus and scope) and also defended local practice. How did he differ from the misha brura and why was the MB more accepted? He wrote an essay, Kavod Hamelech, (to get past the censor?) praising the czar and defending the Jewish community against attacks.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-185-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-yechiel-michel-epstein-part-4

Part 4

More on the contents of Kavod Hamelech and possible self-censorship by the aruch hashulchan. Particular focus on whether msira is an issue with modern governments (democracies, autocrats?)

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-186-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-yechiel-michel-epstein-part-5

Part 5

Among gdolei lita, the aruch hashulchan was the preferred authority (vs mb) perhaps due to his being a poseik for a community. The MB eventually won out (various theories as to why discussed). Also discussed, the aruch hashulchan heatid and his relationship to the religious Zionist movement.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-187-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-yechiel-michel-epstein-part-6

Part 6

The aruch hashulchan did not leave (or write?) many responsa. There is a book of his correspondence some of which are discussed here (electricity on yom tov, mtitza bpeh, women’s status, and examples of limud zchut on then current practices.)

Dr. Marc Shapiro-Great Rabbinic Thinkers: Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin 

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro-rabbi_naftali_zvi_yehuda_berlin-part_1.mp3

Part 1

Biography of the netziv and some discussion of the volozhin yeshiva’s leadership struggles.

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro-rabbi_naftali_zvi_yehuda_berlin-part_2.mp3

Part 2

Starts with netziv winning out as rosh yeshiva in volozhin. Provides some details on the yeshiva’s curriculum, demographics and discipline policies. The shiurim of the netziv and R Chaim also discussed.

Begins discussing the netziv’s take on zionism.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-190-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rabbi-naftali-zvi-yehuda-berlin-part-3

Part 3

The netziv related to both the old and the new yeshuvim. Shivat Tzion illustrated his thoughts (positive) on Israel and its settling. Includes discussion of his heemek shaila (on the sheiltot) and the heemek davar includes on chumash.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro-rabbi_naftali_zvi_yehuda_berlin-part_4.mp3

Part 4

The netziv may have presaged RYBS on kol dodi dofek and as a non-messianic Zionist. He was tolearnt of various streams of orthodoxy and non-Jews, not of non-orthodox jews.

 

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-193-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rabbi-naftali-zvi-yehuda-berlin-part-5

Part 5

Analysis of the netziv  on: sinat chinam (bayit sheini), internal vs external sectarian differences, talmidei chachamim and their yetzer hara, censorship of his works (anti-chassidut), secular studies, and blaming ourselves for anti-semitism.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-193-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rabbi-naftali-zvi-yehuda-berlin-part-6

Part 6

Topics incude: heter mechira, monarchy as an option but not hachically required, selling of your zechut (mitzvah credits), and relative priority of tfila in volozhin.

 

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-194-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rabbi-naftali-zvi-yehuda-berlin-part-7

Part 7

Discussion of the real story of the closing of the volozhin yeshiva based on russian governments (more complex than the “official” version). Also covered, the netziv’s position on davening with non-Sabbath observant Jews (no).

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-195-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rabbi-naftali-zvi-yehuda-berlin-part-8

part 8

More from the netziv’s writings including: psak from sh”ut vs codes (sh”ut preferred), publishing psak post houmous (OK), taking out torah for a non-mandated reading (no), post-geirut with questionable acceptance of mitzvot (liberal allowance), TSBP post-churban (very different), avot (were not perfect), hating ignorant people (some yes, some no), drashot as chazal’s creating new halacha and the netziv’s wife (tora temima’s stories aren’t all true).

 

Dr. Marc Shapiro  – Great Rabbinic Thinkers: Rav Aharon Kotler

https://torahinmotion.org/system/files/podcast/shapiro-rabbi_aharon_kotler_-_part_1.mp3

Part 1

Biography of the young R A Kotler (R AK) including his last name change, being raised by his extended family, his non-frum sister, and how he was portrayed in making of a gadol (not 100% positively).

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-176-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-2

Part 2

R AK was unlike other European roshei yeshiva/fundraisers in that he was involved in aguda and politics. Also covered, R AK and Zionism.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-177-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-3

Part 3

Review of R AK’s positions concerning shechita on stunned animals and the heter mechira. In their 1937 convention the aguda came out against the establishment of the jewish state but by 1948 they were participating (vs R AK position). R AK told R G Schor that there was no need to leave Kletsk in 1939, there would be no war. The yeshiva then moved to Vilna when Germany and Russia split Poland.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-178-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-4

Part 4

Yeshivas (except Mir) decided not to take advantage of the Sugihara visas and stayed in Vilna. R AK stayed with his yeshiva until the end when there were limited visas and only leaders got them. He got to the US and led the vaad hatzala. There is some controversy about the vaad’s activities.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-179-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-5

Part 5

We can’t judge roshei yeshiva who finally left Europe without their yeshivot. R AK changed the chareidi yeshiva model by not allowing talmidim to go to college (eg at night) when he opened BMG (1943) and by nixing the original Tora Vadaat plan (to be like today’s Touro).

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-180-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-6

Part 6

R AK initiated the switch in focus from local rabbanim to roshei yeshiva and heighted daat torah(personal authority as determinative [eg vs synagogue council participation]). He was fervently against modern orthodoxy. He though highly of R Goren and did address an IDF chaplans group for him.

 

https://torahinmotion.org/tim-torah/class-181-great-rabbinic-thinkers-rav-aharon-kotler-part-7

Part 7

R AK topics including: chinuch atzmai involvement and anti-MO , anti-army/sherut leumi, and anti-Tanach study not bgova einayim. Also covered: R Abadi as an idiosyncratic posek for Lakewood who was eventually estranged from BMG; as well as R AK’s funeral (who was dissed?)

 

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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