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 2018:44

by Joel Rich Question: I’ve been thinking about the number of times the shulchan aruch(or M”B) says that it’s worth giving deference to a minority opinion.I’m wondering if this is the result of the algorithmic approach rather than going through the entire sugya to come to a conclusion? Do we see this same propensity in prior authorities who were not ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:42

by Joel Rich Two “M.O.” community members on different occasions recently articulated that M.O. means picking and choosing what one observes (e.g., the classic “I don’t hold of not putting on makeup on Shabbat”). Perhaps one of the first projects the new OU data guy can work on is figuring out what percentage of M.O. holds this view? In his ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:41

by Joel Rich Kim lei bdraba minei: Given the difference in the requirements for accepting testimony in capital and civil cases, could one be found not guilty for the death penalty for an act with capital implications but have to pay damages for the monetary damages from that act, or do we say lo palginon (we don’t split)? “Reb Aharon ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:40

by Joel Rich In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts. Emergence plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. For instance, the ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:39

by Joel Rich If you were in a situation where you could only pray with a minyan once that day (Shacharit or mincha—assume a non-Torah reading day), which would you choose? Would your answer be the same if it were an ongoing situation? Perhaps this explains our practice-in order to avoid chukat hagoyim? Matthew 6:1-4 New International Version (NIV) 1 ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:38

by Joel Rich According to my numerology, this is audio roundup #520, which my advanced mathematical skills lead me to believe means I’ve been doing this for ten years. Thanks to HKB”H–It’s been a great discipliner for me and I hope has not been silent raindrops fallin in the well. The gemara (Bava Metziah 83b) discusses what hours a worker ...

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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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