Friday, February 27, 2009

Audio Roundup XXXI

by Joel Rich

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder - Sichos Mussar - The Moral Issues Surrounding a Get: link

    When learning laws of divorce, yibum, etc. one can tend to depersonalize these events. Need to realize real people, real hurt. Sign the prenup!

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Siddur Kiddushin: link

    Detailed discussion of halachot (laws) of marriage including erusin (engagement) and Nissuin (marriage). Marriage completed with the use of shaveh kesef (equivalent of money) {e.g. ring} which is only rabbinic – perhaps to show Karaites power of oral law. {Me – Question for historians – when did we first start using rings? When did host societies?} Differing opinions as to when marriage actually is formally completed. Who does get to pick the mesader kiddushin (officiating Rabbi)?

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  • Rabbi I Oron - Artificial Insemination (Hebrew): link

    Excellent introductory discussion of artificial insemination – opinions and sources concerning halachot related to process for acceptability, implications and husband and wife.

  • Rav Asher Weiss - Implications of the Current Economic Crisis: link

    Dina Dmalchuta Dina (DMD), Jews and bankruptcy rules – personal loans as well. Opinions including debts between two Jews.

    Bonus Discussion – Tzedaka priorities. He recommends diversification! Poor of your city first but, as with others in list, may need revisiting based on new circumstances (e.g. societal structure). Family first and personal preferences do play a big role (usual list is “suggestion”).

    Double Bonus – He doesn’t know why the meltdown happened but it does require searching our own soul's (not someone elses!).

    Triple Bonus – Famous Beer Hagolah on end results of those who cheat goyim. (It ain’t good!)

  • Rabbi Y Rimon - Tfila (Hebrew): link

    Discussion of earliest sidurim (prayer books) and geographical source of texts. Can you switch/which is best? Generally no/usually the nusach of whomever was asked the question!

    Discussed – How did first Chasidim have the authority to change to Nusach sfard? (Me – how did they have the “authority” to change a lot more than that? My answer – Yesh Breirah - I’ll leave the term and thought in a state of amorphitude☺)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - May We accept German Convert?: link

    Can you convert a German (and if done, is it effective)? Apparently the GRA is quoted as having a tradition that Germans are Amalek. Discussion of various medrashim that might support or deny. Issues of national identity vs. individual identity. Famous R’YBS (in whose name?) on any nation that wants to kill Jews qualifies.

    Most importantly – R’Aryeh provides an unsolicited testimonial to Hirhurim – the only blog he reads!

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig - Purim in Light of Ta'anis Esther: link

    Joy of Purim is in understanding message of Purim and of taanit Esther leading into it. (Hmm – drunken stupor might not be a kiyum mitzvah? What about a maaseh mitzvah?)

  • Rabbi Josh Blass - Hashkafic and Practical Tips for Dating: link

    Looks, $’s….? (some thoughts on how different communities value).
    Should speak to your parents, look at models (parents) because, date often follows pattern of parent of same sex (but there are exceptions- fortunately for my sons :-)).

    Variable # of dates to get to know someone. Think of what they’ll be like down the road. (Me – look for midot, midot, midot and pray with all you got.)

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Tosefet Shabbos: link

    Good practical discussion of tosefet Shabbat (accepting Shabbat early). Important retelling of R’YBS on “erev Shabbat Jew” – (Me – imho we still could work on this).

    Mentions different positions on a number of issues. Key item – Do we really literally turn Friday afternoon into Shabbat? Many halachik implications thereof.

  • Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller - Rebbetzin's Perspective: Balancing Life's Challenges: link

    Interesting Q&A series – a frum Dear Abby. Woman’s role is focused on emunah (faith) and elevation. Breadth of questions is interesting.

  • Rabbi Y Kahn - kriat hatorah: link

    Focus on whether it is a requirement on each individual or the community and some implications for the reader and listener.

  • Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch - Who Says I Have To Daven?: link

    Drabannan or Duraita and implications for required frequency for women. Seminaries should be clear on what is gotta have versus nice to have or generate lots of unnecessary feelings of inadequacy later in life (when IY”h kids have priority).

  • Rabbi Mordechai Willig - Relationships Between Observant Jews & Non-Observant Jews: link

    Discussion of halachik status of non-religious Jews – are they categorized as tinok shenishba (kidnapped as a baby) or as apikorsim (heretics) or both?

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Hilchos Tefillin: link

    Great discussion of practices regarding Tfillin – things most would think are a slam dunk are often big debate or compromise position (why don’t we wear them during mussaf?)

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon - Going Lifnim Mishuras Ha'din: link

    As a way of life, try to put Pshara (compromise) before din (strict justice). Be aware that everyone has imperfections. R’YBS – think of pshara as psak of Lfnim mshurat hadin (within the strict line of the law) {i.e. it doesn’t mean 50/50 – it means “as fair” as possible}.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Parshas Mishpatim: link

    After destruction of temple, why did only converts put aside money for sacrifices and not inadvertent sinners? Perhaps they had to do anything that would be l’ikuva (keep from taking affect) to the extent possible.

    Pitchei Tshuva – a woman can’t be a judge but if she “knows” she is kosher to paskin shailot.
    Abortion - scope and force of prohibition. Lack of clarity – what exactly did Moshe get at Sinai.

  • Dr E Reichman - Organ Transplants: link

    100,000 people on list in U.S., 5,000 die every year. Very much in favor of being on bone marrow list. Discusses live and cadaver transplantation. Long discussion on brain death. Quantifying whether participation in transplants is a must, can or forbidden requires up to the minute halachik and medical knowledge.

  • Rabbi Avraham Lubarsky - Introduction to Meditation: link

    Introduction to a series. IIUC focus is on how to move from intellectual to experiential.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Is it Forbidden to Cause Monetary Damage: link

    We all know that if you damage someone else’s property you have to pay, but is there a prohibition involved (or can you say I’ll damage and pay and that’s ok?).

    Of course not! Really? What is the prohibition? Choose from this list of possible suspects – Lo tigzol (don’t steal), baal tashchit (don’t waste), dracheha darchei noam (her ways are pleasant), Lfnei Iver (don’t place a stumbling block), hashavat aveida (returning lost objects) opposite of v'im lo tishmerenu (if you don’t take care/guard) implies one must or lo taamod al dam reacha (don’t stand idly by).

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - May a Child Give an Injection to a Parent?: link

    May a child give a parent an injection – gemara is unclear as to scope of concern, does giving permission make it ok?

  • Rabbi Elchanan Adler - Sichos Mussar - The Pursuit of Truth: link

    Yitro as a man seeking truth with all his might? What about us?

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Standing for Aseres Hadibros and Beis Din L'kiyum hadavar: link

    Witnesses – birur vs. kiyum (clarification vs. establishment)
    Contacts – Raya vs. kinyan (clarification vs. establishment)
    Court function – psak vs. stand in for Klal Yisrael
    R’YBS on how Moshe can be seen as part of court function (stand in) or alone (psak)

  • Rabbi Meir Goldwicht - How the sheliach Tzibbur Can Raise The Level of Kavanah in Tefilah: link

    Chanah as a model – prayer in context of asking for resources received to be used in service of HKB”H.

  • Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf - The Synagogue Experience a la Rashi and Tosafot: link

    R’YBS emphasized both halacha and the inner experience of the halacha. Discussion of the synagogue as either an extension of the temple or a separate entity as a place of prayer.

    Historically there was a real sense that shechina (heavenly presence) is in the synagogue – just like today?

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