Sunday, August 10, 2008

Audio Roundup VIII

by Joel Rich

  • R’ Y Barth - Halacha/Medina: link 1, link 2, link 3

    These 3 shiurim Hebrew are a must listen trilogy. An excellent analysis or pikuach nefesh on the levels of the individual, the group and at war. Defines what’s included and what are the parameters of action. Specific issues dealt with include autopsy, pidyon shvuyim and religious police officers. Interesting insight into the requirement of choloh ifaneinu and the possibility that the differing opinions of the Chatam Sofer and Chazon Ish may have been based on the differences in medical technology and communication in their times.

    The concept of hilchot milchamah flowing from hilchot mluchah is also discussed.

    I could not help but (1) wonder as to whether some differences of opinion flow from how much weight is given to the kahal and to the individual in psak which affects both (R’YBS points out we’re judged on both these metrics) (2) see the vision of the dry bones when listening to the discussion of how halacha interacts with the needs of a people in their homeland.

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  • Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank - Dried Out and Godless: An examination of the graphic metaphors used to depict the Jewish People in Galut: link

    Metaphors to help us feel the aveilut yeshana (as per R’YBS’s explanation). An interesting insight by R’ Shmulevitz to those boys who left Israel in 1973 but said they would pray – based on the need for Rachel Imeinu to be buried where she would see her children in pain (ok, I am crying).

  • Character and Ethics - Rabbi M Taragin: link 1, link 2

    1. Continuing series on ethical characteristics. The midda of Tzniut is broader than a fashion statement. (See Megilla 13b for detail).

    My comment (from the Rich family coat of arms.) “Thus sayeth the Lord: let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord who exercises mercy, justice and righteousness in the earth, for in these I delight, sayeth the Lord.

  • 2. Is there an ethic outside of Halacha or "Vasita hatov vhayashar?” Interesting that depending on how you state the issue or ask the question, you get differing visceral reactions from the same people. (My take – Rambam – say you’d like to eat treif but what can I do, but don’t say the same about murder; hamevin yavin.) Someone said “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder - Omeq Peshuto shel Miqra:The Relevance of Academic Bible to Talmud Torah: link

    Defining Academic bible study can be difficult. They key issue for us, especially with “new school/yeshivot” parshanut, is to ensure that the source’s yirah precedes its chochma (see Michlelet Herzog).

    Trivia question: How many people know that right after the opinion “Kol haomer David chatah eino ela tooh”, Rav says “Rabbi Dati M’david mihapech Vdaresh bzchuteh D’david”.

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder - They Did Not Change Their Language An Introduction to the Targum: link

    Discussion of source of Targum and explanation of the need for translation to often be an interpretation. If you know why Targum sometimes suddenly decides to be a commentary (and sometimes not), please e-mail me and then we’ll start the search for the holy grail.

  • Rabbi Hershel Shachter - OU Shliach Tzibbur Conference: link

    Should be required listening for anyone who wants to be a shatz. Includes many classic no no’s and the famous R’Zevin story as to how to get horses out of the mud with only an amud (guess the punchline).

    Some interesting side issues including recognition that contradictions in the Mishneh Brurah could be because the Chofetz Chaim was the general editor but others wrote portions and that women got aliyot in the time of the tanaim but then it was decided this was not kavod hatzibbur (me – doesn’t this imply time and place dependent?) Follow the minhag hamakom!

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Birth Control: link

    Interesting insights on the mitzvah of pru u’revu. He quotes modern poskim who oppose birth control based on the medrash that there are a certain number of souls that must be born prior to mashiach (building chorvot yerushalayim) so this retards to geuloh. In theory these poskim should also celebrate Yom Haatzmaut) if something which is part of the atchalta dgeula is so important.

  • Rabbi Ally Ehrman - Chassidic Rock: Music In Halacha: link

    Is it for entertainment or praise and thankfulness? Is it just to enjoy the music or meaningful? Is it for the sake of a mitzvah? Just listening – no, inspiring – OK. Rock concerts – bad, Chassidic song festivals of old – good.

    Discussion of general music prohibitions and some possible heterim for specific situations not included in takanot. FWIW IMHO - this is a classic case of halacha not being completely algorithm, that is if you reduce the issues to symbolic logic you’d be hard pressed to see why we are meikil here and machmir in so many other situations.

  • Rabbi Beinish Ginsburg - Haftorah of the Fast Days: link

    Tshuva lessons from the haftara from the fast days.

  • Sociological Trends - Dr. Schnall / Ba'al Tshuva - Rabbi Buckwold: link 1, link 2

    I wouldn’t listen to these unless you have a lot of time on your hands because the information is dated (apparently YUTORAH converted a bunch of old shiurim and put them up with a current date) but a few points of interest.

    1. Orthodoxy is underrepresented in surveys because they don’t respond (either because of primal association with the prohibition of census taking or distrust of surveyors).

    2. MO are more likely to respond so any “orthodox” responses are more likely reflective of their response.

    3. Kiruv stories of the already rich and famous make me think of commercials on TV. (see August 6 NY Times article on Kiruv of the wealthy as a time honored Jewish tradition)

    4. As my great grandmother A”H always said “the tide goes in, the tide goes out”

  • Dr. Joshua Bacon - Psycholinguistics and halacha: link

    For Dr. Beukas fans, there is even more to articulation than he made you memorize! Some halachik implications discussed toward the end.

  • Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik - Jewish Gentile Relationships: link

    An important discussion of ahavat habriyot and ahavat yisrael. Interesting question to me is how do you have the former at the same time you stress insularity.

  • Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch - Donate Or Do Not? Contemporary Issues In Tzedaka: link

    A nice companion piece to R’ Breitowitz’s – here less specifics but more fleshed out discussion of sources.

  • Rabbi Mayer Twersky - Why be religious?: link

    An entry level discussion of “The usual suspects” of intellectual and emotional reasons to believe. No one is a slam dunk, the combination makes you think.

  • Rabbi Ezra Bick - Tefilla: link

    Last in the series. Discusses meaning of Elokai Netzor. Mentions Rivash holds tachanun is said only as a minhag; perhaps this explains why many look (and allow) for any excuse not to say – me – given R’YBS’s approach that prayer is a chidush, why would one look for an excuse not to say tachanun?

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Marriage in Halacha:The Sheva Brachos: link

    Discussions of Laws of Sheva Brachot. Interesting insights as to evolution from requirements for them in “Bet Chatanim” to today’s practice as well as the Rambams understanding of Panim Chadashot being based on the requirement of that individual to be mvarech the Chatan and Kallah. Tosfot thinks it’s on everyone, the new person just induces the simcha yeseira which requires sheva brachot. One Nafka mind could be Shabbat which brings its own simcha.

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig - Derekh HaLimud: link 1, link 2

    Discussion of Derech halimud = How many for you? (not too many, not too few). Don’t get hung up on differences in methodology, must start with understanding the words! Interesting thoughts on mareh mkomot – perhaps short term help, long term hindrance – A man’s reach should always exceed his grasp.

    The decision as to what and how to study is a function of age, ability, status (e.g. yeshiva student) and is based on both axiological and pragmatic considerations. IIUC one must define time horizons and goals in order to maximize ROI. Worthwhile considering the upside (time saved) vs. the downside (probability you’re missing important nuances) of studying summary sfarim (e.g. Mishneh Brurah) vs. original sources (e.g. magen avraham) since every summary is an interpretation.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Minchas Chinuch Shiur: link

    If the offspring is a mamzer have you accomplished pru u’rvu? long discussion of mitzvah haba bavierah. The exact parameters of the maaseh and kiyum of this mitzvah remain unclear to me (shocking huh?)

  • Rabbi Yigal Sklarin - Jewish Reactions to Catastrophe throughout History: link

    Good discussion of classic sources on Kiddush hashem via suicide. In some cases more of a Kiddush hashem to survive! Some worthwhile to listen to holocaust related shailot.

  • Rabbi Kenneth Brander - The Role of Divine Intervention in the Halakhic Process: link

    A discussion of the traditional sources re: Lo Bashamayim he. The general rule is halacha is not in the heavens, the seeming exceptions are just that. Nitzchuni Banai can mean they eternalized me.

  • Rabbi Kenneth Brander - End of Life issues: Autopsy, Goses, Organ Donation: link

    Some thoughts on Rubashkin and being a Rabbi and a Kohain (2 unrelated topics:-) Then onto transplants (yes, but) autopsies (maybe but) and quality/quantity of life issues (shuda ddayana imho) Money quote from R’YBS – holiness is rooted in the mundane.

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