Fascinating discussion of the changes in Rabbinic authority in late 18th, early 19th century Europe. The erosion of government support and public opinion combined to undermine the orthodox rabbinate’s fiat power and brought about sweeping changes. “Political” halacha discussed as well.
Click here to read moreAl Tarbeh Sicha im ha'isha (don't talk a lot to women) implies some amount of societal measure. (me – define society – host?; my haarah - don't talk a lot period) Mixed seating at weddings was common but now R’ Schachter advises against due to difference in how isha participate (violent dancing implies sweating). Discusses handshaking, mixed seating at Shiurim. He seems to prefer limited interaction, no first names, minimal discussion at table (but don’t appear crazy). Interesting quote from the Chazon Ish – abstract halacha is comparatively easy compared to practical application. Bottom line – in times of extreme pritzut need counterweight.
Great discussion moving from Kapparot to bird Kashrut (lots of detail) to communal mesora differences to general Shechita and then to Kashrut of locusts!
Traditional explanations of why bad things happen to good people 1) don’t know who is really Tzaddik 2) all works out with olam haba 3) only those who can take it and improve are tested 4) Yissurin shel ahava (hardships of love).
He adds a quote from Robert Frost implying just desserts don’t necessarily equal what we get, we need some uncertainty – like on the one hand we’re not sure of the definition of a Yebbabah for shofar yet we are Yodei (knowers of) Truah – which Rashi interprets as Chibah (we know we have a close relationship – this is the goal).
History of the tosfot Yom Tov’s brush with death and commandment to his descendants to celebrate the day of his salvation. A little on sources on binding future generations (more would have been better imho).
Worthwhile listening. Piyut comes from the greek for song (hmmm – who would have done that? Chazal! Oh, never mind). Discusses authors and how the piyutim became part of prayer in some cases (Tikanta Shabbat). Issues of vocabulary and grammar mangling for poetic purposes as well as hefsek (interruptions) and bakashot (requests) at wrong points. Difficult allusions also an issue. R’YBS on responsive readings indicating davar shebikidusha.
Elul talk – wake up and get on the right train!
Tekiot d’Myushav = for individual; d’mumad = for community (quoting R’YBS or Iyov’s “sin” – caring for his family but not his community). Interesting alternative explanation of why Sisra’s mom was picked for 100 Kolot (hmmm – weren’t they blowing shofar before that – see next comment) = she realized her son had no spiritual clothes. Discussion of difference of opinion between R’Hai Gaon and Rambam on why we blow different sounds for Shofar (is it a conformed approach of various acceptable sounds or because of forgetting the correct sound?) Also, R’YBS on the specific sound requirements. Nice alternative spin on Sarah’s crying after the akeidah – concern that Yitzchak hadn’t lived up to his potential.
Every sin (in chumash) has a positive response to overcome and redirect (except mraglim).
Discussion of kids fasting, how much and when can you eat, medication. General Goal - Get close to HKB”H. Interesting point – Mishnoh Brurah only quoted achronim quoted in sefer pitchei tshuvah.
Discussion of common problem situations such as using someone else’s credit and repaying through them, buying house with mortgage for someone else…Heter Iska as well.
Mussar from Moshe Rabbeinu – be an anav, take small steps but always keep going, always make the effort, care for your community.
Thoughts on tshuva and a bio of the Brisker Rav. This is a weekly series.
Rabbi B Tabory - Yom Kippur Maariv: same link as above
Includes discussion of saying hashem hu haelokim etc. at conclusion of Neilah. After some standard explanations, a great one of why we say Whu rachum that night – did we really mean Lshana haba byerushalayim?
Explanation of the akeida as a Tikkun for the sin of Adam and Chava.
Discussion of video security cameras, the right to privacy and the cherem of rabbeinu Gershom concerning reading mail being a strengthening of an already existing prohibition.
Sitting around the dining room table with Michael Fragin and Esther Jungreis, Steve Savitsky speaks about the prohibitive costs of tuition and avenues to tkae to address the issue, as well as the great optimism for the future.
Challenges facing the modern orthodox community:
1. schools – try to get some public financing
2. homes – try to encourage “out of town”
3. disaffected youth – try to reach
4. kiruv – try to do
5. intermarriage – no
Tshuva – my take – to err is human (as created by God) to forgive is divine (if human’s do their part of the process).
Interesting Meshech Chachma stating that anywhere the pasuk says Ani hashem Elokeichem it implies adnut and thus for that mitzvah we say machshava eino mitztaref [good intentions equal act] (chatam sofer disagrees) – example sukkah, shofar. Bottom line – do, don’t just think.
Not sleeping in the sukkah excuses
1. Rama – blame it on the wives
2. Others – Mitztaer (without wives)
3. Still others – baby it’s cold outside.
Day napping may have fewer excuses.
Mussar – no mention of sealing etc. on Rosh Hashana because goal is to see your potential/possibilities. In this version the Netziv would have been a carpenter, not a shoemaker (hmmm – who were famous carpenters?)