Author Archives: Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich For those of you who remember our train (apparently trolley in the U.K.), ethical dilemmas (see link) a study was recently reported in “The Economist”: Dr. Bartels and Dr. Pizarro then correlated the results from the trolleyology with those from the personality tests. They found a strong link between utilitarian answers to moral dilemmas (push the fat ...

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Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich Coincidence? I was being maavir sedrah and read Dvarim 32:10 “Kishon eino” on which Rashi comments: As the apple of his eye: This is the black part of the eye from which the light comes forth. I thought to myself (I’ve been thinking a lot about sight lately), I wonder if there was a theory of light ...

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Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich I found the following thoughts on the Brisker method by R’David Bigman in the recent “Conversations” of great interest. “The advantage of this method is that Talmudic study becomes a fascinating philosophical discussion. But it has three significant drawbacks: The first disadvantage, which is recognized in the yeshiva world, is that sometimes its innovative insights simply do ...

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Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich From the WSJ: The truth is, as the sociologist of religion Peter Berger has long noted, that religion today is a choice, and we are all converts to one degree or another, choosing among a variety of religious experiences rather than having them given to us, as in days of old. Whether converts do that better than ...

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Audio Roundup

by Joel Rich From R’ Aviner Woman reciting Birkat Ha-Gomel Q: Can women recite Birkat Ha-Gomel? A: There are three possibilities: 1. She can recite the blessing in the Women’s Section when the Gabbai quiets everyone down. 2. She can recite the blessing when 10 men are around, i.e. like before or after a class. 3. She can choose not ...

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Audio Roundup CLVIV

by Joel Rich Some people look for mussar sfarim for elul- I’d go with repeating this 100 times a day – A galach ken zein frum; uber a yid darf zein ehrlich WSJ Those men who were the most opposed to the perverted messages being peddled by the Islamic Society were those who had been brought up by religious parents. ...

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Audio Roundup CLVIV

by Joel Rich Cemetery before Wedding (From R’ Aviner) Q: What is the source behind the custom of going to the cemetery before a wedding and inviting one’s relatives who have passed away? A: There is no source, but it is the custom of some people. Me-Ever wonder how customs like this start? “I don’t know how much God has ...

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Audio Roundup CLVIII

by Joel Rich R’Dovid Gottlieb (now of Ramat Shilo/RBS – formerly rabbi of Shomrei Emunah of Baltimore) was scholar in residence at Congregation AABJ&D in West Orange for Tisha B’av. His shiurim and kinot explanations were a hit with sneeches of all markings (thinkers and feelers). Kudos to the indefatigable adult education chairman Harold (the real actuary) Dershowitz for sealing ...

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Audio Roundup CLVII

by Joel Rich Fact or Fiction? Retina reattachment surgery includes being put under deep sedation while a local block to the eye is administered. Deep sedation is then relaxed and the patient is then aware of the surgery/voices around him. Upon completion of the surgery (whose final outcome will likely only be known a number of weeks later) the surgeon ...

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Audio Roundup CLVI

by Joel Rich From a recent study quoted in “The Economist” The human impulse to be kind to unknown individuals is not the biological aberration it might seem…. No need, then, for special mechanisms to explain generosity. An open hand to the stranger makes evolutionary as well as moral sense. Except, of course, that those two senses are probably, biologically ...

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