An 8-session series studying Medrash Aggada as a primary source rather than through secondary sources (e.g. quoted in Rashi). A brief history is provided. Medrash will generally deal with problems in the narrative (e.g. who sold Yosef?) and problems with words and phrases (e.g. Tov meod). Another approach to classification of Medrash differentiates between exegetical (interpreting every pasuk) and homiletical (big picture).
The shiur includes the class reviewing Medrashim and analysis (more being in the kitchen than getting a prepared meal).
Click here to read more
Discussion of the parameters of pru urvu. R’HS discusses whether one needs to keep having children. Individual circumstances play an important part in giving an eitzah hogenet. The requirement to support one’s children is also discussed.
Also discussion of yuchsin and when one doesn’t disclose that another is a mamzer and does this non-disclosure extend to gerim as well. (see here)
Interesting insights into why there are parallels between the Torah and “secular” history. The Torah is presenting God’s take on what people are talking about!
So why did I listen to this shiur?
1. Gil is the son of the great Harold S. Perl of MTA and YU basketball fame?
2. I’m trying to get in good with Gil Student, how many Gil’s are there?
3. R. Witkin Z”L called me the Hamek Davar for years imho because he was surprised that I owned a copy and studied it!
4. The intro to the Hamek Davar where he discusses why Breishit is called Sefer Hayesharim is my all time favorite.
5. Someone paid asked me to in the comments section of an earlier write up.
The shiur itself deals with how the Netziv who lived his whole life in Volozhin knew about things like fossils and current practices in Arab lands. The answer may be surprising to those whose bookshelves (or minds :-)) are not as broad as the Netziv’s.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Wieder, who IMHO is a real Talmid Chacham and mentsch, felt the need to defend his shiur as not being a course in academic Talmud. Pssst – the earlier generations were aware of layers and girsaot and utilized many tools in learning.
A very practical discussion of how donors are approached and segmented. Psychologic vs. halachic priorities in Tzedaka. Me-Why do people allow themselves to be manipulated?
OK, I admit it, I’m a big fan. This shiur, in English, once again demonstrates you can have gadlus, humanity and a dry sense of humor.
He reinforces that the increasing pace of change and new concepts in technology and institutions (even financial) demand a creative Ramban, or Rashba, to deal with issues where we don’t always find sources in Chazal, Rishonim or Poskim to deal with these issues.
Sometimes a posek must just use his best judgment (svarat halev, hargashat halev) and it’s hard to draw a clear line between logic, emotions, intuition and thoughts. The posek needs a lot of siyata d’shmaya.
He discusses some military shailot which demonstrated the need for macro thinking – there’s nothing in the sh”ut literature that deals with pikuach nefesh on a macro scale – an army can’t have kol hayashar beynav yaaseh!
The Big Sort. Is a discussion of polarization by locality and a new generation lack of desire to accept compromise – in the general population!
Then a response to Rabbi Herring’s defense of the RCA’s agreement with the chief rabbinate concerning conversions. Surprise – there are two sides to every story.
A clear discussion of why, where, when and what. Remember though – the true remembrance is living up to their ideals!
Second in a new series on the minchat chinuch (lst is not up yet). Interesting discussion on the taam of pru u’rvu – is it to have children, or to raise them, or both? Do the children need to be able to have children? An interesting conjecture by R’Nissan Alpert ZT”L as to whether there was a mitzvah of pru u’rvu in Soviet Russia.
An excellent discussion of specifics with regard to Tzedaka. How are income, offsetable expense and cash-like donations defined? How do you set priorities? How do you evaluate overhead? He quotes the aruch Hashulchan as stating that priorities imply an emphasis/direction but don’t imply that you can’t give to the other causes.
How do we balance the requirements of shalom, emet, tzedek and chesed? He quotes Niels Bohr’s theory of complimentarity; various approaches to describing reality appear contradictory, yet there is evidence that each is correct (e.g. light as a wave and a particle, Certs as a breath mint and a candy mint (ok, I added this one:-)). He refers to this as the circular strategy (the machol of tzaddikim) each approach is legitimate and reality can’t be described except in seemingly contradictory terms – similar to bein hashmashot according to Rav Soloveitchik having elements of both day and night.