Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Audio Roundup XXVII

by Joel Rich

Coming Attractions: Next Issue – Your Comments and My Reaction!

  • RIETS Rabbinic Alumni - What the Rabbi Needs to Know about the Current Financial Crisis: link 1, link 2

  • A two part series on the Rabbinic role in the current financial crisis (not that they caused it or know exactly why it happened).
    Future Economic Prognosis – IMHO skip – your guess is just as good
    Legal Analysis – Set up network of professionals in all relevant disciplines to help out
    Smart Tzedaka – Teach ‘em how to fish rather than giving them fish (Charities such as Ezra, Paamonim, L’man achai)
    Some specific issues of interest :
    Click here to read moreTuition crisis – how to fund schools and how much should come from parents, grandparents, etc.
    Rabbi’s job security (me - & compensation) as an issue when advising individual and community.
    Shidduchim – what are reasonable financial expectations of the various parties (now and into the future), what about prior commitments that can’t be funded?

    Pressures on M.O. Kids – based on parents’ fantasies and communal expectations (me – what, you mean you really can’t have it all???).

    Bottom Line – Use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate and redefine priorities (e.g. dinner honorees, bountitude of smachot…)

    And on that bottom line, a note to avi mori v’rabbi ZLL’’HH (if the psak is that meitim yodim) – Thank you, hamevin yavin - not that you ever liked rock music but I think this would say it all :
    Now I understand
    What you tried to say to me
    How you suffered for your sanity
    How you tried to set them free
    They would not listen they're not listening still
    Perhaps they'll listen now (Perhaps they never will)

    (Don Mclean)

  • Rav JB Soloveitchik - Appointment of a King: link

    According to the Rambam in sefer hamitzvot the role of the king includes being a unifier of Jewish people. The king reflects the joys and sorrow of each member of the community.

    Especially worthwhile listening to the middle where R’YBS waxes poetic concerning Knesset Yisrael as the unity of diverse, sometimes antithetic talents and approaches (a metaphysical unit reminiscent of his description of Tefillat Hatzibbur - He had me at Hello!).

    Similarly his discussion of Eilu V’Eilu meaning seemingly mutually exclusive positions may both be right (me – think of quantum physics and/or a two dimensional world inhabitant contemplating a three dimensional world). This is true of leaders as well (e.g. GRA & BESHT). Other Kingly responsibilities – Mishpat (justice) (all should have access) and milchemet hashem (fight God’s battles).

    Orthodoxy will triumph if Rabbis are recognized as moral and ethical exemplars and well-rounded intellectual leaders (hmmmmm).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - An overview of Tevilas Keilim: link

    Wide ranging discussion of laws of tvilat keilim. One of my favorite issues – what was scope of takana (e.g. aluminum didn’t exist then). Do bottles (used to sell and store food) need tvila? What if emptied and reused? What if bottler was Jewish? What if electrical appliance would get ruined? One time usage?...................

    I sometimes get the impression when R’HS gives these shiurim he doesn’t always give his own psak but just states others (especially when his shita is a chiddush).

  • Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein - Q and A #3: link

    Interesting comment – does the “bookkeeping” approach to Maaser reduce the impact on an individual’s midot. (me – reminiscent of the – Does the viewing of your friend as a cheftza shel mitzvah (vehicle for your mitzvah) reduce the impact?)

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz - Moshe Rabbeinu, Infectious Diseases and Kidney Donations: link

    Does an individual have to (or permitted to) place themselves into safek sakanah (questionable danger) to save someone who is in vadai sakanah? (definite danger) Answer may depend on whether the vadai sakanah is to an individual, a kahal or all Klal Yisrael. (General Question - is there any situation that "The Torah" doesn't have a preference in - i.e. is there only one right decision per individual in a "permitted to" situation?)

    Some interesting thoughts on Yerushalmi’s quoted in poskim but not found in our version of Yerushalmi, as well as his contention that it’s really the Beit Yosef, not the Shulchan Aruch, which is the work that should be focused on for halachik purposes (based on comments in the introduction to Shulchan Aruch).

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig - The Gadlus of Moshe Rabeinu: link

    Moshe differed from other Neviim in that his nevuah was one with his Talmud Torah and leadership which was always L’eini Kol Yisrael.

  • Rabbi Tuli Polak - Beracha on Pizza: link

    Discussion of three positions regarding Pat haba b’kisnin and implications for brachot. Does change in societal habits since R’Moshes first pizza tshuva imply the psak should change? (Another paradigm shift - did the mitziut change, have we decided yet whether marijuana is addictive? (you remember the tshuva from R'MF on that one - no?)

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Hiring A Hit-Man: link

    Didn't sound like your average shiur topic but in the current economy….??? Actually a discussion of Ein shliach L’dvar aveira – does it mean the empowerer of the agent has no guilt? Guilt in the heavenly court? For the action or for enabling? For damages? For punishment? (oh, you mean just because one “gets away with it” there may still be a price to pay? How quaint!)

  • Rabbi David Fohrman - The Queen You Thought You Knew: The Hidden Heroism of Esther: link

    An interesting take on the megila based on the view that the king (I never could spell his name) valued Esther as a symbol of Mother Persia and that Mordechai saving shevet Yehuda was a quid pro quo (as a Binyamite) for Yehuda as a savior of Binyamin.

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Tefillas Maariv: link

    Discussion of status as Rshut and why different from shacharit and mincha and the halachik implications. Extremely interesting discussion of “shavyuha” – can an individual or group “take on” an obligation of a mitzvah in general or only if there are prior disagreements to their level of obligation.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Shnayim Mikra V'Echad Targum: link

    General discussion of source, purpose and practical applications of the tripartite review system.

  • Rabbi Hanan Balk - Kohelet 'Better Not to Have Been Born':Then Why Not Suicide?: link

    Edna St. Vincent Millay and Kohelet.! (I would have added “suicide is painless” (MASH)). Issues include general philosophy (man better off not being born?), burial issues, seeming exceptions in Tanach and Talmud, praying for death, and direct or indirect causation.

  • Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger - Intro to Jewish Thought Class (Conversion and Non Jewish Religion): link

    Interesting discussion on the Rambam’s position on the righteous of other nations having a share in the world to come (do they need to recognize Torah/Jewish God? If yes, then what about aborigines - they have no chance?).

  • Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky - An Old, Sweet Song: link

    Discussion of different types of Shabbat Zmirot including songs of praise, summaries of laws and acrostics. Some were written for popular tunes from other sources!!!! (Sloop John B. – Dror Yikra?)

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