Robust discussion of many issues regarding sunrise, sunset how swiftly flow the shitot! Alot, Netz, Vatikin, Bein hashmashot, sea level, mountains, your reality versus average perception, when is it a halachik hour and when not…. For those who like things black and white, search elsewhere(try www.myzmanim.com and ignore the edit settings). An interesting point of view – Elu V’ Elu doesn’t apply in historical or factual disagreements (e.g. if amoraim argue what tanna meant) only to “original” disagreements.
Click here to read moreWhy was Noach called tzaddik, tamim? The generations (flood, tower of babel) required different character traits to resist their sirens' call. So to in our lives we need dynamic balance (my term) recognizing shifting priorities and circumstances.
Beginning of what sounds to be an interesting series on the mishna in its own write – finding coherence in its arrangement, grammar and vision as a separate text. What are the organizing principles used by Rabi? (Oh well – maybe there is something more than what I was taught – it’s a mishmash so you will need a rebbi.)
First in a series on a frum approach to Jewish history (secular sources will be mentioned occasionally) based on the meticulous written history kept from days of Chazal on. Study history so we know what we should be like, see yeridat hadorot, see the big picture and understand history of halacha (maybe I misunderstood the last point since it seems popular current thinking seems to be that halacha exists outside of history).
Does the theory of evolution contradict the Torah? No
1. Kabbalistic sources re: pre-existing worlds
2. Scientific theories change
3. Clear that HKB”H built, not clear how
4. Much on this issue is esoteric
R’Feldman sees in traditional sources 3 theories for capital punishment
1. protection for society’s good
2. atonement for sinner’s own good
Also, discussion of Torah model for application in akum run societies.
Why? (1) finish all of Torah (2) prepare for weekly Torah reading. One difference between the theories would be Yom Tov Kriah. What qualifies as targum is discussed - e.g. R' Aryeh Kaplan's Living Torah? (I was troubled by his focus on Targum as more than a translation – while true, it’s unclear as to why only certain spots in Onkelos receive expanded treatment). Cute story on the Bach & Taz – asking the Bach’s daughter for an eleven letter word in tanach, getting it and the Bach saying she shines like the levana and the Taz asking to be Mikadesh the Levance. Depressing use of phrase “davening through” (well actually not the phrase, the reality it represents)
Discussion of psak based on halachik and kabbalistic sources (especially in opposition) with case study of tfillin on chol hamoed [me – subjectivity in the halachik process? Never mind].
Analysis of Yoav’s dual role as key player with David Hamelech to whom David owed hakarat hatov and threat to Shlomo’s monarchy (which would explain why David wouldn’t kill him, but instructed Shlomo not to let him die of old age).
Machloket as to who wrote last 8 psukim in Torah and what it means that Moshe wrote with a tear?
1. Cry over his death
2. wrote with tears (non-permanent)
3. wrote in coded form which Yehoshua unscrambled
4. cried because he couldn’t teach it to anyone (more than the calf wants to….)
From a presentation to a Rabbinical Group (RCA?). Focus on need for Rabbis to meet the need for spirituality being searched for by the generation. R’Kook, R’Tzadok and R’YBS recognized the need for the emotional/spiritual component. [Me – wonder what percentage of the population is truly seeking spirituality.]
Introduction to a series concerning the prohibition of discussing non-shabbat topics on Shabbat. Focus here on source gemara dealing with “partnerships” [hmmm – maybe we’ll find out if “nicht on shabbos gerecht” (excuse my transliteration as always) is really a mattir?!].
Introduction to a series on all of Tanach. Here focus on purpose and meaning of Tanach.
Biggest issue in Shoftim – everyone was only concerned about themselves! Interesting picture of Yiftach and his surroundings.