Thursday, July 02, 2009

Audio Roundup XLVIII

by Joel Rich

  • Rabbi Reuven Spolter - Korach - the Power and Danger of Community: link

    Korach latched on to popular current issues to further his personal agenda. The medrash about tchailet and mezuzot may be a literary device rather than a factual account (Rabbi Wieder can you hear me?).
    Difference (with textual support) between Edah, Kahal and Am. Edah is a faction with a self-serving agenda (no, I did not make this up and anyway, it disbanded), Kahal has a communal agenda and Am has a national identity – people, land and HKB”H.
    Shades of R’YBS – need more focus on larger concerns (we are each judged both as individuals and as members of Kahal Am).

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  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Davening at Kivrei Tzadikim: link

    Sources in Tanach and Talmud. Is it a mitzvah, a nice to do or avoid (Rambam)? Parallels with praying to angels or asking someone else to pray for you. Lots of possibility of misunderstanding basic philosophical issues (e.g. do angels have free will?).
    [Me – rationalist might argue that the value is increased intensity/focus of individual who is praying. Question: If meitim yodim would avi mori vrabbi Zll”HH wait for my request or be working on it before I knew I needed it?]

  • TIM - Dr. Nosson Westreich Prozac, Parents, Personality: A Torah Perspective on the Nature vs. Nurture Debate: link

    Nature vs. nurture in current scientific thought and as viewed by Chazal. We add a third component – the existential. It’s complicated but the bottom line is we’re born with certain predispositions but not bound by them (e.g. blood thirsty – become a mohel or shochet; boring – become an actuary).

  • Rabbi Judah Muschel - Stay Connected to Your Yeshiva: link

    Don’t fall back into old routines. Have a Seder. Don’t have a girlfriend. Don’t cut off old friends but don’t compromise your standards. Have concrete goals over the summer. Have a seder around Tfila time and a special place for learning. Have role models and be a walking Kiddush Hashem. But, you can have healthy outlets!

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan - mitzva-kibud av v-em: link

    If parent tells you not to smoke, not to take the bus or not to go to camp, do you have to listen? What if they’ll never know or it’s painful for you to follow their directive? Excellent tracing of sources from gemara to present day poskim (I was blessed with great parents – to me it was always yes but then again they employ(ed) the guide at the side approach).

  • Rabbi Moshe N. Reichman - Take Yeshiva With You: link

    Remember who you are!

  • Rav Moshe Taragin - Ben Azzai and Evaluating Mitzvot: link

    Brief Ben Azai history – was he ever married? [ me – fascinating that we might say that there could be an exemption, but then again why don’t we require marriage at bar mitzvah?] Then analysis of his statement about mitzvot – comparing running to a mitzvah and running away from aveirot, restatement of Rabi’s rule about mitzvot chamurot and kalot, the infectious nature of mitzvot and our attitude towards mitzvot.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - Case Studies in Geirus: link

    Not the front page issues but some interesting “real life” examples (“you make the call”).

  • Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg - Three Weeks 01 - When Do the Three Weeks Begin?: link

    Introduction to a series on the 3 weeks et al. Especially worthwhile for those who have been inundated with “here’s what you need to know” and not enough “here’s why it is like that”.

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss - Taamei Hamitzvos: link

    An interesting (Hebrew) discussion of tamel hamitzvot = the why of mitzvot (Is this the “why?” that true blue Briskers don’t find of interest?). Rambam says that mitzvot are only litzaref us – so don’t ask why certain # of animals in Karbanot (Maharal disagrees)
    R’AW – Perhaps sometimes we are looking at tachlit of the mitzvah or its hagdarah rather than taam (he reviews cases and gives examples).
    {me – is it “wrong” to wonder why karban oleh v’yored only applies in 3 cases. Does anyone know of a meta-reason/message from these?}

  • R’Reisman – It’s all Bashert

    Thanks to my good friend Councilor K, I get to listen to these pay to play CDs. This one struck me since R’Reisman reveals the great secret of “Bashert” – people prefer to believe everything happens because it’s bashert (comment – this may well be true, but it’s then also easy to see why Marx is quoted as saying “Religion is the opiate of the masses” – BTW, what he actually said is “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness”. I think R’Chaim would have agreed with the first sentence).

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon - Tefillas HaDerech (Part 1): link

    Practical survey of issues and sources including when to say, what types of trips, how define danger, how far (time or distance)…

  • Rav Binyamin Tabory - Onset of Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur: link

    Tosefet Yom Kippur, Shabbat and Tisha B'Av – how did the Rambam understand these?

  • Rabbi Tuli Polak - Boreh Nefashos Rabos: link

    Analysis of a seemingly simple bracha – its nature and the specific meaning of the words.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon - Kavod Sefer Torah (Part 1): link

    Beginning of a series - Compare to Talmid Chacham – is it fear (Mora) or respect (Kavod) and some practical differences.

  • Dr. Yael Ziegler - Eicha, Chapter 1: link

    A review of the lst chapter – take note of the use of the 1st and 3rd person, as well as the pervading sense of helplessness.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Halachot of the Three Weeks (simcha, construction, meat, wine and laundry) - Part 2: link

    3 weeks/9 days – building, eating meat, wine at havdalah, showering, clothes washing and the exact time period.

  • Rabbi Ally Ehrman - The Portion Of Women In Torah Study: link

    How to understand the importance of Nashim Tzidkaniyot’s role in enabling Talmud torah (formerly called separate but equal) and how it gets them into olam haba.

  • Rabbi Menachem Leibtag - How irreversible was the decree of Destruction Yechezkel vs Yirmiyahu – during the period of Tzidkiyahu: link

    You can’t learn Yechezkeil without history from Yirmiyahu. Interesting insights into understanding the cross impacts of Eretz Yisrael and Babylonian Jewry. [me – so how does that free will vs. predestination thing really work?]

  • Rabbi Hanan Balk -The Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: An Intellectual and Spiritual: link

    Summary of the “knocks” (Kol Dodi Dofek) and general take on R’YBS and Zionism. He thinks R’YBS was Chardal.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Yichos Kohanim Today: link

    More jokes than usual for R’Taubes (but you’ve likely heard these already!). How does our current “state of doubt” about who really is a Kohain impact birchat Kohanim (isn’t it safek brachot lhakhel?), avodah in future, aliyot and pidyon haben (story with the Vilna Gaon continually being podeh self until he met a Rappaport).

  • Rabbi Reuven Spolter - Chukat 5769 - Dealing with Tragedy in Jewish Life: link

    Interesting opening concerning remarriage (halachically but not legally) of Tzahal widows in order to retain benefits [me - similar issue in U.S. for Social Security]. In Israel not just an issue of gezel/dina dmalchuta [ I know, I know] but of disassociating the government from the people (not good!). Main topic – parsha teaches us that sometimes we must just accept the suffering of innocent (see Karl Marx above?).

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