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

by Joel Rich I’m struck by how the ability of technology to make information available (including Torah information) in our day might mirror the impact of literacy and publishing on earlier generations. Was there rabbinic reaction back then? ~ ~ ~ See this post for an issue that I’ve been trying to understand for years: link That the judiciary must ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup Special

by Joel Rich Worthwhile listening for those looking for outside context https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3Zx-qcNZf4&index=1&list=PLFFD1C791A86FB485 History 2D: Science, Magic, and Religion, Lecture 1, UCLA Introduction to the course. In prehistory, there were no boundaries between science (natural), religion (supernatural) and magic (bringing the supernatural to the natural world). At the start of the enlightenment, these were separated and science became the public language ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich I’m struck by how the ability of technology to make information available (including Torah information) in our day might mirror the impact of literacy and publishing on earlier generations. Was there rabbinic reaction back then? ~ ~ ~ See this post for an issue that I’ve been trying to understand for years: link That the judiciary must ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich From R’ Aviner-Does anyone else say this: “Al Naharot Bavel” Q: Should one say “Al Naharot Bavel” before the Birkat Ha-Mazon on weekdays? A: It is proper to do so, but is not obligatory since it is not found in the Gemara, Rambam or Shulchan Aruch, but in the Shelah (Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, would not ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich It always seemed to me that it would be best that other people saying kaddish should not attend a Shiva minyan (unless needed) so that the aveilem of that beit avel should be the only ones saying kaddish. Any thoughts or source? ~ ~ ~ From a letter to the editor :so of course the question is ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich There was a science fiction story I read as a youth with a similar theme to R’ Slifkin’s post http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2016/01/the-robot.html . The punch line was the “priests” served a deity which was really a nuclear reactor that provided energy for the community. They had long ago forgotten the science and just knew something about some of the ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup Special

by Joel Rich Genetic Engineering and Society,  Honors Collegium 70A, UCLA A few years old but some very interesting, very technical lessons on where we were (probably much more advanced now) in genetic engineering.  There was an interesting article in the 1/20 Wall Street Journal on individuals with eBay bought technology hacking plant genetics to produce blue flowers.  Very thought ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich Commentaries on S”A Y”D 277;1 discuss the practice of not leaving a sefer open when not using it (there are exceptions ). I’ve noticed in some shuls during krait hatorah the shatz leaves his siddur open at ashrei for his eventual return. I’m curious if this is a generally accepted practice (and of course why) ~ ~ ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich To a friend commenting on an OO promulgated position: While I disagree with the specific application(applier?), it is in essence similar to the “halachic intuition” used by gedolim when some overriding “sevara chitzona” tells them the result and then the argument chain is produced. The real problem imho in our age of autonomy is that everyone thinks ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich Recently had a depressing conversation concerning end of life issues and the assertion that most folks make crucial decisions based on emotion unbounded by Halacha. Any guesses as to the accuracy of this assertion (not just for end of life issues)? ~ ~ ~ Below is a review of the celebration for R’Lebowitz’s 5,000th shiur. The celebration ...

Read More »