How reconcile “we are like donkeys” reverence of predecessors with clear fact that later generations seem to be (are) doing more sophisticated analysis/thinking [me – I hope R’Klapper’s got an escape pod J].
1) Shev Shmeitzah (ktzot) – they thought so much more clearly and straight forwardly; they didn’t need our “pilpul”. We develop more because need to overcome “confusion” they didn’t have [me – so their superiority must be based on something other than pure intellect].
Click here for more2) Netziv – Hamek shailah was a commentary on a geonic work. Since time of Yehoshua there have been disagreements which would be resolved by intellect. There will be those who specialize in specific cases application (spiritual intuition) and others in abstract law. There will be times (e.g. Bavli) where can only rely on intellect/abstract. Geonim went back to more “intuitive” approach but then lost when went to Europe, etc. However, Rambam was more a throwback to gaonim (don't try to wrestle the Rambam into a similar approach to Rashi/Tosfot). Pure learning is very different from Psak! Torah is impacted by the Society it finds itself in!
(Help- I'm dizzy -When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said;
"Keep YOUR HEAD)
Thanks to David the B-I-L for pointing me here.
See R’Klapper! R’AW says many things were clearer to earlier generations but (or therefore) our classifications are sharper.
Source of mitzvot need kavanah? No one really asks mina lan which implies to R ‘AW that it’s simple logic (sevara pshuta) that it’s a torah requirement (no need for scriptural source).
One who is Tokea lashir (blows correct shofar sounds on Rosh Hashanah for music) is Yotzeh but no reward (it’s like intended to eat treif but “accidentally” ate Kosher), reward only for avodat hashem.
Today for the first time in history there are more mekubalim then lamdanim!
Big Chiddush – If you say kriat shma (similar for any “spoken” mitzvah) to accept yoke of heaven but not to do mitzvah, you get credit since that is intended result.
A review of the different strategies and sources for reconciling free will and predestination. Containing assertion (if I got the right one) that R’YD Bleich is the “smartest” RV at YU [me – how that would be an interesting competition – but first you have to define “smart”.]Explaining freewill and predestination coexisting – 1) We have free will but what we want is predetermined; 2) HKB”H doesn’t know what we want; 3) Rambam – we don’t understand HKB”H (explains philosophical issue of his time re: monotheism which caused this position); 4) HKB”H exists outside of time so he knows what we chose (he saw the movie). Alert the media – I’m with the Rambam on this one.
Practical – 1) We may be born with predilection towards certain results; 2) R’Dessler – Nekudat habechira (each of us has a point we’re at and that’s where we battle and have free will) implies free choice is only partial (big chiddush, but hey, it’s R’Dessler) – so reward and punishment only on Nekudat habechira; 3) R’YBS – it’s all in play (koneh olamo bshaah achat) – Fate vs. destiny, yiud vs. goral. Object vs. subject , nosei vs. nisa (hey – I’m good on the R’YBS Maareh Kohen fill ins – I suppose only graduates of “the count’s” shiur will get this reference ….) - it’s all up to you.
A detailed discussion of the rules of permitted food preparation on Yom Tov. The general rule of enjoying Yom Tov but only doing that which is truly needed. Lots of specific detail.
Review of halachot related to what to do concerning rain in the sukkah on the first night. (Let it rain, let it rain, let your love rain down on me!)
An introductory session concerning tshuva myirah and ahava (repentance from fear or love) in the thought of R’YBS and R’Kook. Breaking with the past vs. channeling it (hmmm – you mean like someone who could have learned with the little songbird (R’YBS) but instead listened to the night bird. (naaa – who could be that foolish???))
Repentance and drug counseling parallels. 1) interaction of physiology and psychology; 2) breaking cycles/behaviors; 3) substitute different gratification; 4) keep sin in front of you or not? (may depend on individual); 5) relapse doesn’t mean back to square 1.
Spiritual energy! Wings perhaps represent not bound by time and space. Overwhelming majority agree they have no free will (small % say yes). Specific examples and discussion from torah. Need to understand Kabbalah! Today suggest rely directly on HKB”H.
Analysis and review of rules on sukkah usage. R’SZA interesting chiddush, if you’re asleep you are exempt from mitzvot (so perhaps he mitzvah while actually sleeping in Sukkah, just falling asleep).
Overseas assignment – Rabbis handbook - Yamim Noraim. Practical Issues – 1) first responders identified; 2) physical security; 3) ushers to assure smooth running services; 4) make sure all memorial plaques work; 5) make sure no seats are broken; 6) washroom properly supplied (ask the questions!); 7) don’t leave shul sukka for last minute and have done by ben brit; 8) make sure kids are provided for; 9) seating committee (don’t ask!); 10) enough machzorim; 11) order of tfilot and tunes, etc. set in advance (chazanim, kohanim….); 12) check sifrei torah and shofrot; 13) clean physical plant to influence others; 14) prepare drasha well in advance; 15) invite guests; 16) encourage community and individual kabalot (action plans).
Understanding the meaning of vzot habracha – the oral law is a human achievement.
Interesting discussion of scope of king’s power based on Tanach and Talmud. Some parameters based on effectiveness, others on challenges (i.e. corruption). Maharatz Chiyutz quoted sounded like it was from poli sci class (extent that people yield power).
Sounded like some perceived “ends justify the means” or non-self-aware outside influence on rabbinic thinking!
Discussion of different types of yirat shamayim and ahavat shamayim, when to accentuate each and how to achieve them.
A bit too rushed (apparently shiur got a late start) of some underlying halachic sources related to resource allocation and individual vs. society needs.
The usual suspects include Talmudic sources on charity, redeeming captives, the demand for one of a group to be killed and the bottle of water in the desert and the two towns on the spring. Correctly identify all the sources and win a copy of the Senate Finance Committee legislation.