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 2021:28

by Joel Rich From David Brooks: Over the past few decades, social media, the meritocracy and celebrity culture have fused to form a modern culture that is almost pagan in its values. That is, it places tremendous emphasis on competitive display, personal achievement and the idea that physical beauty is an external sign of moral beauty and overall worth. From ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:27

by Joel Rich R’Dr. C. Soloveitchik – Collected Writings III If halakhah is to regulate the office no less than the home, it must come to grips with an alien reality and give it recognition in its thinking. Both modern Orthodox and most chareidi communities have no need for any work on ‘Hoshen Mishpat’ similar to the Mishnah Berurah on ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:26

by Joel Rich Lessons in mortality: אמר: נח נפשיה דרב וברכת מזונא לא גמרינן! . הרבה תורה למדתי, והרבה תורה לימדתי. הרבה תורה למדתי – ולא חסרתי מרבותי אפילו ככלב המלקק מן הים, הרבה תורה לימדתי – ולא חסרוני תלמידי אלא כמכחול בשפופרת. Many may know the source of proper dress for tfila : הִכּ֥וֹן לִקְרַאת־אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל But do you ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:25

by Joel Rich It occurred to me there’s a great juxtaposition in my tfila every morning. I start out with modeh ani focused on HKBH’s great compassion in giving me another day. A minute or two later I’m saying ma tovu focused or the beauty of klal yisrael. It’s between those two poles that one’s life dynamically oscillates. Despite his ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:24

by Joel Rich ערוך השולחן חושן משפט סימן תכז סעיף יא כמו שהזהירה התורה על נפשו וממונו של חבירו כמו כן הזהירתו על שמירת נפשו וממונו שאין להוציאם על דברים של מה בכך ואין לאדם להוציא ממונו רק על הכרחיותו כדרך האנשים המכובדים ועל צדקות וגמ”ח שהם מהדברים שאוכלין פירותיהן בעוה”ז והקרן קיימת לעוה”ב והשם יתברך יזכנו לעולם שכולו טוב ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:23

by Joel Rich Just finished R’Dr. C. Soloveitchik’s collected essays III concerning chasidei ashkenaz and the raavad. The sociology of the chasidei ashkenaz, their host communities (both Jewish and not) and the interaction with French baalei tosfot is fascinating. The creativity/originality/personality/boldness… of the raavad (and rabbeinu tam) is noteworthy (enough said) I guess a true Brisker would say it only ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:22

by Joel Rich From David Brooks on the USA: “That basic sense of peoplehood, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today.” Me- how would you respond on behalf of klal yisrael ? In the latest advance, researchers in the U.S. and China announced earlier this month that they made embryos that combined ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:20

by Joel Rich From Times of Israel- This is about the chareidi community but I’ve said it for years about orthodoxy in general (see prenup history, bat mitzvah..)Yet change requires one underlying condition: It must happen quietly. Assumptions shift unacknowledged, new practices are treated as old and commonplace. But of course as a people now is a good time for ...

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Audio Roundup 2021:19

by Joel Rich Reading Rabbi Wiederblank’s massive “Illuminating Jewish Thought: Explorations of Free Will, the Afterlife, and the Messianic Era” There’s a lot of discussion (in some philosophical circles) of whether determinism (which seems accepted) rules out free will. Do many real people think about such things? Mishna Shabbat 6:6 -Jewish women in Arab countries may go out veiled, with ...

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Audio Roundup Special: Rav Ezra Bick on Tefillah

by Joel Rich   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Zd9X9SwtQ&list=PLYW43ncrfYv8L_TNxh-Gbbt5Vox9VnWKC שיעור#1         When the gemara describes the order of the daily brachot it starts with hamapil at night, and yet it seems focused on light (and death)?  The messages are about the proper avodat hashem of both night (sleep preparing for next day) and day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluyXWQonH4&list=PLYW43ncrfYv8L_TNxh-Gbbt5Vox9VnWKC&index=2 שיעור#2         Birchat asher yatzar was an amalgam of texts from ...

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