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 2019:42

by Joel Rich What is daat? When we say a cheresh, shoteh or katan doesn’t have it, it seems like intellectual acuity. Some commentaries link daat to bechira (choice – as in eitz hadaat tov v’ra). Is it possible to have intellect without choice or choice without intellect? I’d be interested in approximate statistics from communal Rabbis in the daat ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:41

by Joel Rich According to the Pew Research Center, which has analyzed the ATU surveys, Americans age 60 and older sleep just over 8½ hours a day, on average. About seven hours are spent on leisure; three hours on chores and errands; a little more than one hour on eating; about one hour on personal activities, such as grooming and ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:40

by Joel Rich The Drashot Haran (Drasha #6) posits that while HKB”H set varying “gmul” (reward) for the 613 mitzvoth, he didn’t tell us which (me-positive ones) had greater reward in order that we not focus only on those mitzvoth but rather try to do all in hopes that we include the high value targets. It would be interesting to ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:39

by Joel Rich Clarke’s first law states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. If so, how did Chazal accept any medicinal treatments from non-halachic sources (since no one knew how these treatments actually worked [and in the end they didn’t]) A prominent MO pulpit Rabbi was talking about psak and going to more than one poseik . ...

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Audio Roundup: Sacred Time

by Joel Rich https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGv7jcGIM5DZonJmkDcatvw Sacred Time: A Journey through the Jewish Holidays with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik “The rhythms of the Jewish calendar are nothing less than the pulsating of the Jewish soul through the centuries.” This powerful idea is the centerpiece of a new YouTube series     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or_tlyb23LU Sacred Time Ep 1: Intro to Jewish Time R’YBS on time ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:31

by Joel Rich Moed Katan 5a – “Amar R’Shimon ben Pazi,” Remez l’tzion kvarot min hatorah, Talmud Lomar” and then responds with a quote from Yechezkel. Any thoughts on the asking for a Torah remez and responding with one from Nach? “Ben Torah for Life” – Rabbi Aaron Lopiansky This book is addressed to the “Yaakov’s” who have spent their ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:30

by Joel Rich Reality check on the resources we have available vs. yesteryear – The Minchat Chinuch in mitzvah 65 says “usefer hamitzvot l’harambam eino tachat yadi ke’it” (he didn’t have access to The Rambam’s sefer hamitzvot at that point.) Part of an occasional list of my all-time favorite movies fit for a Torah blog: Chariots of Fire (Not for ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:29

by Joel Rich Conscience – Pat Churchland Conscience is a brain construct rooted in our neural circuitry, not a theological entity thoughtfully parked in us by a divine being. It is not infallible, even when honestly consulted. It develops over time and is sensitive to approval and disapproval; it joins forces with reflection and imagination and can be twisted by ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:28

by Joel Rich Minhag is one of those Humpty Dumpty words ([like Chazakah?] “When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘It means just what I choose it to mean—neither more or less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:26

by Joel Rich Yuval Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century “Secular Israelis also tend to argue that the ultra-Orthodox way of life is unsustainable, especially as ultra-Orthodox families have seven children on average. Sooner or later, the state will not be able to support so many unemployed people, and the ultra-Orthodox will have to go to work. Yet it ...

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