Author Archives: Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

Audio Roundup 2018:37

by Joel Rich Assume that “surveys” show that the percentage of “top” (TBD) scientists who consider themselves religious is dramatically lower than that of a similar demographic of non-top scientists (and non-scientists). How would one go about explaining the causes of this differential theoretically and then testing the theory? The Rama in O”C 132:2 states that the “kaddish yatom” (mourners’ ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:36

by Joel Rich As part of my continuing search for understanding why an atheist might feel bound to ethics, I read an interesting book, “Finding Purpose in a Godless World; Why We Care Even if the Universe Doesn’t” (Ralph Lewis, MD). How can you not love a book that quotes Ozymandis, the introduction to the Stone Chumash, R’W Goldstein and ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:35

by Joel Rich More related to my theory on acculturation of western liberal values: I discussed this topic with my friend, Rabbi Kerry Olitzky from North Brunswick. Formerly a long-time director of Big Tent Judaism (originally the Jewish Outreach Institute), an agency that focuses on outreach to intermarried couples and families, as well as to the unengaged, Kerry has been ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:34

by Joel Rich I’ve posited that the main challenge to orthodoxy today is being acculturated by the surrounding post-modern society which believes there is no objective truth. I found listening to this discussion at the London School of Economics really eye opening as the participants (at least it seemed to me) struggled to discover meaning while analyzing post modernism. http://www.lse.ac.uk/website-archive/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=3892 ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:33

by Joel Rich Reuvain awakes in the middle of the night and, forgetting that it is Shabbat, blurts out, “I really want to sell my chametz.” Then, realizing that it’s Shabbat, he makes a mental note to take care of it after Shabbat. He then forgets about it until after Pesach has already started. However, Alexa heard his pronouncement, made ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:32

by Joel Rich The Rambam [codified in S”A E”H 22:7] states that, if a man’s business is such that he can’t avoid even only rabbinic yichud issues, he should yifneh l’mlacha acheret (find another line of work). We also know that many times rabbinic rules are set aside in the case of great loss [but see Pitchei Tshuva Y”D 157:4] ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:31

by Joel Rich Chumash Mesoras Harav – Sefer Devarim: Chumash with Commentary Based on the Teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Rabbi JB Soloveitchik. Learning through the final volume (Dvarim) is, of course, struck by his brilliance, poetic communication ability and the breadth of his sources. However what truly comes ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:30

by Joel Rich Scholarly Man of Faith – Studies in the Thought and Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Edited by Ephram Kanarfogel and Dov Schwartz. This book contains a series of essays on the thought of Rabbi Soloveitchik. Perhaps its essence is best captured in this line from the Introduction: “It is possible to suggest that the dynamism of ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:29

by Joel Rich Should advanced Talmud studies for women be a high priority goal for MO or an option?(i.e. do we push for it for all but those who resist or have it as an option for the motivated?) Why? What about for men? What is the state of play today? Memorial Day Musing—should we reflect the contemporary urban Memorial ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:28

by Joel Rich Is the debate between LWO (for lack of a better term) and Orthodoxy which is not LWO concerning how to deal with mishkav zachor couples more rooted in traditional sources or in western liberalisms focus on the care/harm axis vs. the tradition and sanctity axes. So as long as we’re talking about those axes and how much ...

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