Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Audio Roundup XXIII

by Joel Rich


I’ve listened to a lot of great Chanukah shiurim over the years with a lot of great mussar, and I almost begin to understand the Deah V’dibbur/R' Schwab approach (link), (i.e. it's not so important to tell the historical truth as it is to have history make the point you want it to) but……… then I think of R’Y Sacks Chanukah Shiur on what’s the big deal, they could have used tamei oil since tuma hutra btzibbur, but the lesson is chinuch must be on a l’chatchila foundation (i.e. if you build a house or a life on a weak foundation, it will eventually come back to haunt you). Think about it and then listen to the next shiurim and see this page (link) (i.e. in this case has history been redefined to comport with current hashkafa). In general I don't mind story telling to make a point, it's when you start confusing historical truth with what you would like it to be that I get testy (e.g. call it a historical dramatization and I'm OK)

  • Rabbi Dr. Jacob Reiner - The Hasmonean Encounter: Hellenism vs. Judaism: link

    The Hellenists culture was the first time Judaism confronted an attractive alien culture (generally you were Hellenist or barbarian!) Many wanted to be associated with it, especially the leadership (Tzdukim). Very worthwhile listening for an academic/religious background of the entire time period.
    P.S. He’s Msupak on how to understand the medrash that all Kohanim gedolim who were evil would die upon entering Kodesh Kadashim.

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  • Rabbi Uri Orlian - Torah vs. Chachma Yevanis: link

    The Talmud records the Rabbis praying for the desire for idol worship to be removed but this also removed a sensitivity to spirituality. The Greeks had chochmah enoshit but we have elokit which is greater (clearer revelation). Real miracle was pushed away dilution of Torah.
    IMHO we don’t see chazal focused on a victory over chochmah Yevanit, and in fact the “secular” knowledge is not a challenge; the Greek body and idol worship yes – but don’t throw away the baby with the bath water!

  • The Torah in motion website (I’ve previously reviewed the free downloads) has some interesting looking shiurim. I will indicate the pay per view shiurim.
  • Can all Religions be True? Reflections of a Rabbi at Yale Divinity School - Rabbi Meir Soloveichik (Pay): link

    Interesting discussion of what R’Meir learned at Yale Divinity School. He doesn’t believe in multiple truths/religious relativism but does believe in a commonality based on seeking truth in a religious context. We have a shared desire for imitato dei and a shared enemy in secularism. Good discussion of R’YBS’S “Confrontation” and his guidelines.
    FWIW my experience in dealing with other denominational clergy in a business context (e.g. hospitals, business functions) has been that they feel they have more in common with me than some of their laity (I wish the same were true of Rabbis :-)).

  • Rabbi Z Cinamon -The Chiyuv of Talmud Torah: link

    To know, know, know him, is to love, love, love him, and I do (Me-Phil Spector before he went off the deep end) . Focus on sliding scale of mitzvah of Talmud Torah per the GRA (me – chazon Ish – I learn when I have time). Challenge is how to define what is “necessary” (me – much like my parents telling me – do your best – great philosophy but implementation requires continual calibration.

  • Mrs. Shayna Goldberg - Responses to Reproductive Challenges: Insights From the Avot and Emahot: link

    Worthwhile listening for all – lessons regarding infertility from the avot and imahot but, imho more importantly, lessons regarding adversity and sensitivity which need extreme reinforcement in a sometimes very callous world.

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz - Contemporary Halacha Chazara Shiur: link

    Great summary of detailed practical halachik shiurim. Discussion includes cohanim and cemeteries, lfnel iver (duraita, drabanan and implications for heterim), tuna and veal kashrut (no one wants to go on record that R’Moshe may have been wrong on mtziut), and miyut hamatzui – what does it actually mean (if I can artificially reduce incidence rate below 10%, do I still check? Is it 10% of one trial or 10% that I’ll eat one bug in one sitting? One day? One year?)

  • Rabbi Menachem Genack - The Contemporary Questions of Industrial Shechita: link

    Some general halachot of shechita followed by some fascinating discussion of the history of shechita pens in the U.S. and elsewhere (e.g. South America) and the politics in trying to get some others (poskim and companies) to realize that PETA may have some real issues that could be addressed to avoid a PR/chillul hashom nighmsare. Rubashkin and practical issues of balancing priorities also discussed.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - The Prohibition against Intermarriage: link

    Do you want to know the specific source(s) or the prohibition(s) of intermarriage? Here’s the place.

  • Eliyahu - Rabbi A Bazak: link

    Even though Ahav had 4 degrees of separation between him and execution of Navot, leaders can’t hide behind plausible deniability (me- nor should any of us)
    It does seem like in the end Ahav acknowledged his sins.

  • Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal - A Modern Orthodox Chanukah Reconsidered: link

    Uncle Harry and his Chanukah party. Lessons to be learned.

  • Rabbi Yossi Azose - Birkas HaChamah: Understanding a Unique and Rare Blessing: link

    Interesting discussion, mostly focused on why we really say this at the “wrong” time (you know – like 12/4 being the equinox).

  • Rabbi Mayer Twersky - Chanukah: A message for our Generation: link

    We are only stewards of money (resources), only real money that is ours is that which we use for mitzot (tzedakah), money is a means not an ends……

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