Friday, January 23, 2009

Audio Roundup XXVI

by Joel Rich

#26 sounds like a half year’s worth and a good time to get some feedback on the audio reviews (before I ask R’Gil for a 50% increase in my compensation).

Please e-mail me at with any feedback (positive or negative) and be sure to include constructive new suggestions (e.g. not “you are an X(*)^(%” but something like “try to be more succinct, you X(*)^(%” ”). R’Gil also tells me he can’t tell how many hits any post gets, so I’d also be interested in finding out whether this column is of value.

I won’t promise I’ll implement your suggestions, but I will consider them!

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein - Can we still have a good time when our soldiers are fighting in Gaza: link

    Discussion of responsibilities of "home front" in war vs. famine. Bottom line – we must feel the burden of the troubles but not give the enemy victory of changing our lives (me – IMHO this is crucial issue in galut – how do we pay more than lip service?).

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  • Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik - Korach Rebellion: link 1, link 2

    All rebellions prior to Korach were based on physical/lack of control/crowd oriented situations. Korach was a planned conspiracy rebellion.

    The rebellion was based on a philosophy. First was Kol haedah Kulam Kdoshim (all the people are holy) which was true but missed the point. While Knesset Yisrael has a collective Kdusha there is also individual Kdusha which is a function of the individual’s mission/dedication.

    Within the covenantal community (that’s us) we have disciples; not subjects. There is some anarchy since man is at best melech evyon (me-so why is primogeniture primary?) We have a voluntary non-institutional teacher/student relationship.

    Korach wanted a democratic decision making authority – in the sense that everyday intelligence and common sense would prevail. He didn’t realize that halacha is exoteric by nature requiring specialized study and training because it is based on conceptualization (me-sounds like he was describing Brisk) and a methodology all it’s own.

  • Dr. Shnayer Leiman - Torah from Heaven: Conventional and Unconventional Views (PAY): link

    Definitely worth the $3.99 Canadian. Discussion of manuscript of R’Yehuda Hachasid and Bet Din in Israel which required several passages to be excluded regarding later additions to the written “torah. This even though it was shown that earlier authorities quoted the questionable passages, R’Moshe held it must have been forged (as other quotes of it as well as Avot D’Rav Natan saying dots were added to sefer torah later to indicate lack of surety of the correct letters).

    What about Chazal saying took majority of 3 torah scrolls text?

    What did Rambam really mean in his Ikkarim about the Torah we have today? Perhaps that there was only one revelator but humans made transmission errors. R. Yaakov Weinberg of Baltimore says this (i.e. Rambam didn’t mean it literally).

    Example of HKB”H’s (me-ironic) sense of humor – R’Menashe Klein said that the aforementioned tshuva of Moshe must have been a forgery!!

    I’m relieved because when I pointed this issue out on Voz-Is-Neias during the Kugel controversy, I was called an Am Haaretz (I didn’t complain – he just got the wrong proof)

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Halachic Status of Grandchildren: link

    Good summary of the responsibility of grandchildren to grandparents and vice versa (and how this relates to the responsibility to parents). Should consider in tandem with nature of responsibility of Kavod Av V’eim (is it broad or narrow?). L”AD (Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba) while it’s clear that from a technical chiyuv perspective the responsibility to a parent outweighs the one to a grandparent, the parent should, as a role model, make it clear that their kavod is best served by being mchabed the grandparent first.

  • Rav Asher Weiss-The Miracle of Chanuka: link

    Did I mention I’m a big fan? (Yes). Did you know ein somchin al hanes is only mentioned once in the Bavli and (the concept) twice in Yerushalmi (maaseh nissim)? That Rashi understands the mishnah in avot that the “miracle” that no woman miscarried in the Bet Mikdash was because they never were given Kodshim because of this concern? That Rashi in Taanit (24b) says Bameh d’efshar L’hitrachek by nissim?

    R’AW’s money quote (to me since this is the mesorah I received from avi mori v’rabbi Zll”HH)-Ein Somchin al hanes l’hakel mealeinu et chovat hahishtadlut hativit”. (We don’t rely on miracles in order to lessen from ourselves the responsibility of natural (normal?) diligence).

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Tefillas Musaf: link

    Discussion of the unique nature of Tfilat Mussaf including issues regarding Tashlumin, Tfilat Ndavah, women’s chiyuv and age of male chiyuv.

  • Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff - A Y.U. Outlook as the world moves right: link 1, link 2

    Lots of ancillary benefits to listening (especially if you like to get the texture of history in an entertaining format). TUM = open to western culture and pro-zionism. TIDE vs. TUM also discussed.

    Nowadays everyone is a chosid (different uniforms)
    His bones to pick: 1) Lack of intellectual honesty (you can’t raise torah Jews on lies, you can’t take earlier acceptable opinions and say they can say it, we can’t 2) Male/female relationships (me – an extension of the famous R’Orlofsky tape – all boys are P_ _ S). 3) Lack of basic secular education for children. 4) Not to serve in IDF in milchemet mitzvah.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Yissachar and Zevulun: Kollel: link

    Good summary on Yissachar/Zevulun controversy – is the support K’Tzedaka or K’Partnership? (BTW, does it bother anyone that chazal were seemingly unclear as to the force of the chof hadimyon??). Implication for past vs. future shamayim schar. BTW, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that making it an agreement for the future makes it more a partnership/schar sharing arrangement – think bond vs. equity financing.

    However, it occurs to me (I’ve already patented and trademarked the idea) that rather than rely on one’s judgment of a particular learner’s future, one could pool a number of learners and strip out each future year of the pool (or sub-pool based on current estimates from a recognized learner rating agency) and market them as CDO’s (Collateralized Divine Obligations).

  • Dr. Arnold Lustiger - From Brisk to Boston: The Sermons of Rav Soloveitchik (PAY): link

    Discussion (and examples) of R’YBS as darshan par excellence! (me – Darshanut is a good example of multiple truths).

  • Dr. Shnayer Leiman-reedom of Expression within Judaism: The Making of a Gadol: A Review (PAY): link

    MOAG redux – through the vehicle of the “did R’Y salanter eat on Yom Kippur during the cholera epidemic?” Strength of MOAG is the breadth of sources, weakness is the lack of “professional” historical analysis.

  • Rabbi_Shmuel_Maybruch/Issues in Using the Secular Calendar: link

    Is it a problem to use a different (non-Torah) system of counting months (or years) or using foreign names of months? Probably not, but not so simple.

  • Rabbi Ally Ehrman - Hear-Say: link

    Discussion of halachik force of Shomea K’Oneh, Amen and Kavanah. Is it a bracha el’vatalah if one answers amein to someone else’s birchat hanehenin and then doesn’t eat?

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Names in a Get: link

    Technical gittin issues – duraita or drabannan, shtar rayah or shtar kinyan, language(s) written in, need for others to identify participants…..

  • Rabbi Allen Schwartz - Religious Zionism: link

    A passionate presentation of the philosophy of religious Zionism.

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein - When does the FAST really end??: link

    Truncated shiur on when “minor”” fasts end. Premise is we live in a time of Ratzu mitanim (see prior Audio Roundup) and thus can be less stringent (33 minutes after shkia?).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Repairing a Wasted Bracha Motzei Shabbos: link

    Interesting discussion of source (Talmud Yerushalmi) of saying Baruch Shem after a mis-made bracha. Is it a “make up” shevach or a “do over/jinx” undoing formula?

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Hilchos Yichud: link

    Most current issues are duraita in nature. Practical applications discussed include – 2 men and 1 woman, Baalah B’ir, Ishto Imo, Petach patuach, relatives, adoption, doctors, brothers and sisters, yichud room.

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