Friday, May 15, 2009

Audio Roundup XLI

by Joel Rich

Reminder: TIM as a courtesy to Hirhurim readers is allowing their reviewed shiurim to be downloaded at no cost. Go to and enter coupon code 7508956 (NOTE THE NEW CODE) upon checkout.

  • Rabbi Dr. Yoel Finkelman - An Introduction to Artscroll: What Popular Literature Can Teach Us About Contemporary Orthodoxy (TIM): link

    Click here to read moreFascinating discussion of “popular” charedi literature and its interaction with modernity. Three trends:

    1. Coalescence – (me – koshering it through grafting traditional sources). Some examples:
    - Rambam and healthy eating (no history – people were happy to eat)
    - Mussar and parenting guides (no history – multigenerational families)
    - Marriage fulfillment (no history – of discussing romance)
    2. Filtering (me – koshering must include ability to exclude subversive material)
    Example: marriage fulfillment exclude discussion (always in popular genre) of “family relations”
    3. Monopolizing (me – narrowing focus)

    Bottom line: M.O. vs. Charedi in many ways more self perception than reality (imho a bit of an overstatement)

  • Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Elman - Communication or Excommunication: An Examination of Two Rabbinic Policies (TIM): link

    Similar to other shiur I reviewed – fascinating insights of impact on surrounding society (national and local) on religious philosophy/openness and reaction to dissent. (Yes – R’OYG - I know we don’t care what color tie Abaye wore!)

  • Rabbi Tzvi Blanchard -When the Patient says Yes and the Torah says No: Treating Value Conflicts in Psychotherapy (TIM): link

    Of course a torah no is no but life has lots of grey areas (e.g. individual autonomy vs. appropriate interpersonal relationships) and areas where there are disputes within halacha! Help people clarify where they want to go (10% have “non-torah” have destinations). Interesting discussion of whether you walk away in that 10% of cases or remain supportive.

  • Rabbi Francis Nataf - Religious Censorship in the Information Age (TIM): link

    Discussion of Rabbi J. Sacks, Rabbi N. Kaminetsky and Rabbi N. Slifkin – only the last didn’t give in. He feels there should’ve been a greater discussion of M.O. vs. Charedi position, engendered by this issue. Some good discussion here.

  • Rabbi Ephraim Kanarfogel - The Messianic Age in the Thought of Rishonei Ashkenaz: A Comparative Analysis: link

    Rambam = Rational = Shmuel = messianic times much like today but no foreign domination (plus all the candy you want?).

    Ashkenaz = mystical = messianic times bet mikdash will come down from heaven, etc.

    [Me-Something to think about-how does this approach comport with an individual's feeling of covenental destiny?]

  • Rabbi Ya'akov Elman - The Principle of 'First Darkness, Then Light' in Reb Zadok's View of Creation, the Exodus, and Human Life: link

    Later generation can know more than earlier once new approaches developed!

    The torah is a personal and group map/model of the world and helps us understand the universe and events; at the same time our experiences helps us understand the torah.

    We elevate the talents/sparks absorbed from the nations around us! (his kids must have all been married when he said this!)

    End of prophecy was real beginning of oral law. From failure (e.g. diaspora) comes success (e.g. redemption).

  • Rabbi Dr Irving Jacobs - Judiasm Besieged: link

    Judaism besieged –me- which time?? Here R’Jacobs discusses time period around O C.E. when many converted to Judaism but were not fully engaged (me - Avoda Zara deemed wrong but still looking for what’s right). “Proofs” from torah and counter arguments.

  • אגדות חלק #01, מאת הרב עזרא ביק - אהרון: link

    Begins a series on the last chapter in Sanhedrin – known for some pretty “wild” stuff. Here discusses why the concept of techiat hameitim (dead men rising) is so integral to our belief – opportunity for shleimut (completeness?).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Sotah Shiur 1: link

    Sounds like a new gemara shiur for adult ed. Sotah is a fascinating mesechta. Some interesting riffs of 1/6 (onaah), 1/5 (on a mitzvah), and 1/3 (additional add on for a mitzvah).

    I would have liked more on the statement that government/Bet Din has obligation to be sure that merchants don’t “charge too much money” for necessities.

    Also discussion of prayer in vernacular – early reform were technically correct on law but didn’t consult greater Rabbis (spirit vs. letter of law!)

  • Rabbi B Tabory - Yom Haatzmaut: link

    General discussion of issues regarding Yom Haatzmaut. Schechiyanu is more logical than hallel. Quotes R’YBS as saying 3 different things on Hallel (me-do we ever assume poskim’s thinking evolves?).

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Preparing for Kabalas HaTorah: link

    Dialectic – joy leading from physical freedom to kabalat hatorah yet tragedy of R’Akiva’s students.

    Torah is nikneit in 48 ways vs. 49 days of sfira – no matter how much we prepare, final step requires belief/hashgacha.

    Great mussar for YU students on how they spend their “off-time” from university informs on their true priorities [hmmm – and the rest of us? Rich’s rule – one’s marginal propensity to consume torah defines them! (or more simply – what you do in your first free minute defines you)].

  • Mrs. Miriam Birnbaum Kaganoff - Flying Mountains, Forced Covenants and Freedom of Choice:Perspectives on Matan Torah: link

    How do we understand the aggadah of kafa aleihm har kgigit (forced acceptance of torah)?? Some hashkafic and halachik possibilities – My favorite – makin oto ad sheomer rotzeh ani {we beat him until he does the right thing?} (question – is the deep down desire to do the right thing hard wired? If not, how does this work? If yes, can we empirically show it? How about water boarding?)

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