Thursday, November 19, 2009

Audio Roundup LXVIII

by Joel Rich
Question: If one has a choice between davening with a minyan of his own nusach which requires travel or with one of a different nusach next door, how does one evaluate how much extra effort (if any) must be extended to daven with the minyan of his own nusach?

  • Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter - Must Biblical Heroes Be Perfect?: link

    R’A Kotler and R’SR Hirsch as approaches to how we view the avot. R’AK – not even a wiff of any defect; R’SRH – they are lessons in overcoming defects.
    Interesting thoughts on how current culture might tend towards one over the other. Is R’SRH a slippery slope? Once we allow for imperfections do we make them too human (me – sounds like why brachot are in second and third person – dynamic tension). My usual response is – of course slopes are slippery, but that’s the world HKB”H chose to create (and he didn’t ask my opinion, just told me “deal with it”!)

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  • Rabbi A Klapper - May Childen Attend School on Shabbat?: link

    M.O. Halacha is more a question of self-awareness of change being dealt with by halacha. (i.e. everyone does it but MO are aware they do it). Here R’David Tzvi Hoffman deals with going to school in Germany on Shabbat. Interesting point on S.A./Rama (made by R’Sobolofsky elsewhere) that they only had love and war stories in their time. (me – nishtaneh hateva?)

  • Dr. M. Sandel - Justice-Mind Your Motive / The Supreme Principle of Morality: link

    Speaks pretty slowly for a smart guy talking to smart people. Anyway, now I understand (Herman’s Hermits sang about me but left out philosophy – “don’t know much about …”) what the Rav saw in Kant (no ben chorin except if mshubad to Torah) – I just don’t get why anyone would care about this morals business just based on reason.

  • Rabbi Menachem Leibtag - The Bible’s Villains Who Thought They Were Heroes: link

    Great point (because I agree) on reading Tanach without chazal first to see “both sides” of the story and better understand motivations and lessons (of course competing goods are the toughest).

  • Rabbi Beinish Ginsburg - Chofetz Chaim: Laws of Speech: link

    First in a series. Don’t talk Lashon Hara don’t, if you know you shouldn’t, then you won’t, guard your lips from speaking evil in your house, your school and shteibel. Don’t talk Lashon Hara don’t.
    Be a positive person!
    Chofetz Chaim wrote for those living amongst outside influences (Emet L’Yaakov – the difference between the Yeshiva of Shem V’ever and that of Avraham was regarding the outside world). [me – I assume this was an issue of emphasis not that Avraham’s beit medrash lacked anything!!]

  • Rabbi David Berger - Jacob/Israel, Esau/Edom, and the True Israel in the Jewish-Christian Debate: link

    Historical tracing of identification of Yaakov and Esau with Jews and Christians.

  • R. Jeffrey Saks and Dr. Yoel Finkelman - Koren/Sacks siddur: link

    Discussion of layout and content of new Sacks/Korein siddur (more MO orthodoxy focus).

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman - Feeding One's Animals First: link

    Source of requirement to feed animals before you eat? Which animals are covered? Drinking, tasting vs. eating? Who is the requirement on? What are the exceptions? Some mussar as well.

  • Rabbi Itiel Oron - Who Owns the Torah Scholars or Ordinary People: link

    Thought provoking analysis of the R’Gamliel vs. R’Yehoshua controversy as a battle to shape post churban Jewish history. Torat Bet Medrash (insular) vs. Torat Chaim (inclusive) [see above Avraham vs. Shem V’ever] - combination of both was result.

  • Rav Kalman Neuman - Society and Halakha #02 - Politics and Halakha: link

    Second in series. Does the Torah mandate (which would imply this was the best political system) monarchy? Or does it not have an opinion? Rambam – Monarchy = mitzvah, others – no. Note that Gideon was offered the opportunity but turned it down. [me – try to correlate opinions on the question of “the King knows best” with times they lived in and tell me the result]

  • Rav Michael Rosensweig - Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding: The Guidance of Daas Torah: link

    A number of years later but very similar to the earlier reviewed shiur. Here a little more focus on halacha as the singular component/bridge between man and HKB”H. More on the immutability of halacha yet reality does intrude (e.g. Torah wasn’t given to angels) and we apply ideal to real world (reality bites?).
    I was struck by this statement: “We shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that certain exposure to societies in which we live may actually contribute to and even enhance halachic debate(?) and greater realization of ideal halachic principles. The possibility of such encounters, rare though they are, not usually the ones we worry about, enables us to engage the modern world even as a lchatchia as long as we keep the guidelines clear."
    [me – rare?? ]

  • Rav Michael Rosensweig - The Hashkafic Framework of Social Change: link

    Mitnagdic view of Daat Torah was very different from Chassidic but now blurring. Exposure and surrender (complete) to torah yields total integration into the baal mesorah (thus Rambam requires all areas of halachic knowledge for smicha).
    Not infallible but a “powerful tool”. (BTW -There is a role for local pulpit rabbi.)

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Laws of Tefillin: link

    Another wide ranging discussion! Here regarding Tfillin and includes the brachot, why say baruch shem, the relative levels of holiness, wearing at night, time of misheyakir (paging Dr. Bill!), differing calligraphy (is it a psul for a Litvak to wear Ari’s ktav), which arm to wear on (3 opinions) if not a clear “righty”.
    Very moving tshuva from R’Moshe on saying bracha at night for those who “had to” put them on then (reflective of time, place and human condition).

  • Rabbi Avishai David - Sefer Yirmiyahu: Individual and General Hashgacha: link

    If you want to give yourself a headache, listen to the opinion of differing authorities on HKB”H’s intervention in human affairs – Hashgacha Klalit, Hashgacha pratit differing by individual and tzaddik. (Yes Virginia, Jewish philosophy is not monolithic but it’s understandable why the rov am doesn’t seem to know it)

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman - Sugya Chaburah - Bikkur Cholim: link

    Is it subsumed under general acts of chesed (vahavta lreiecha, imitato dei) or a specific requirement? It seems common sense but remember – the choleh is more than a “cheftzah shel mitzvah” (don’t get me started!) – your job is to give chizuk, practical help and prayer. Don’t be matriarch the choleh and focus on result. As Shakespeare said “All the World’s a stage and all men and women merely players, they have their exits and entrances…” (know when to come and leave!)

  • Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky - Hashkafa Schmooze - Modern Orthodoxy and the Yeshivishe Velt: link

    MO, charedi? Eilu V’eilu but be passionate in your avodat Hashem. He doesn’t like labels (yeah – but don’t you need to declare a major if you want to credibly work to improve it?)

  • Rav Binyamin Tabory - She'elot uTeshuvot #04 - Rav Shlomo Goren - Meishiv Milchama: link

    Physically and intellectually a brave man. Here the focus on military sh”ut – ethics of war.

  • Rabbi A Mintz - History of Rabbinic Prayer: link

    Jews in 70 CE knew beit mikdash wouldn’t be rebuilt (vs. bayit rishon) [me – he sounds awfully certain of this – not sure why].
    Yavneh and R’Yochanan Ben Zakkai (don’t read on if you don’t like academics) – truth is it was probably a refugee city (i.e. the story you know, it’s probably a story) which R’YBZ, in order to have Judaism continue, tried to make into a new Yerushalayim (e.g. blowing shofar on Shabbat). Since couldn’t have sacrifices, but wanted to maintain routine, prayer took it’s place (but still yearn for temple - tension between continuing on but missing what we had).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Parshas Vayaira Grandparents Talmud Torah and Chinuch: link

    What is the nature of the responsibility of a grandparent to teach (or pay for) their grandchild torah. How many generations downstream? Females? Can they be forced to? (Doesn’t address if they have input into hashkafa J)

  • Rabbi David Stein - Politics and Prophecy: link

    Reviews Rambam and Ran as differing approaches - Rambam as total integration of church and stat, Ran as viewing differeing streams of king and Sanhedrin – more flexible system.
    Relevance to today’s issues in Israel.

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