Thursday, December 10, 2009

Audio Roundup LXXI

by Joel Rich

Question: Does the tone of an halachic debate make a difference? (e.g. if one of the participants denigrates those who hold a differing view, should there be any price to pay either regarding the issue at hand or in a broader nature)?

Question: Last post I said :Timers to heat and in general (R’Schachter – if we had the tshuvot ha Rambam which was found in the 20th century - no!). Why does the fact that the tshuva was once was lost but now was found (through amazing grace?) mean that it is discounted for halachic purposes? (i.e. we don't really care what the historical Rambam thought?)

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  • Rabbi Ozer Glickman - Heter Meah Rabbanim: The Use and Abuse of Halakhah: link

    History of Takanat Rabbeinu Gershom (monogamy) and Heter Meah Rabbanim (exception to the first rule).
    Gemara already had concerns about polygamy. Reasons for takana 1) prevent husband from threatening to take another wife (vs. maltreatment of women/threat of divorce); 2) prevent domestic strife; 3) prevent men from accepting unaffordable economic burden.
    Did takana expire? Most say no, even if yes the acceptance in practice means no (“community standards”).
    Takana prohibiting divorce against woman’s will is seen by many as related to the monogamy rule.
    Heter meah rabbanim was a safety valve (e.g. woman in coma) and onerous (100 rabbis, 3 geographies and must have good reason).
    Current efforts at using it fall very short!
    R’OYG – any thoughts on the parallels if any, on timing of monogamy in the outside world?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - "Let's Roll": Downing a Passenger Plane to Save Lives: link

    Nice discussion of some of the basic sources on our diverting the arrow scenario. [Nit pick – R’Al – “very smart” - not by a long shot!]. Thanks for reminding me of what R’Glickman taught me long ago – ayen sham really means go look it up – the sheva ben bichri story is where the act of killing was done byadayim! (and BTW, why did they have a wise woman representing the city!?!?).
    It still troubles me that our primary case based system makes it so hard to identify the underlying halachic constructs to guide us in each of the permutations I outlined.
    R’Aryeh – I would add to your shiur the amazing kesef mishneh (ysodei 5:5) that may be sumac tfei is descriptive not prescriptive!!).

  • Rav Binyamin Tabory - She'elot uTeshuvot #06 - Rav Nissim - Yein HaTov: link

    Interesting tshuva on age as a disqualifier for judges (me – another one of those “so why do we ignore these issues?”)

  • Rabbi A Mintz - Twentieth-Century Philosophies of Prayer: link

    Orthodox responses to enlightenment as seen through understanding of prayer – includes R’Heschel and the Rav. Implication is that pre-enlightenment focus was on prayer as serving HKB”H, later on making sense of prayer through ourselves.

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig - The Beracha of Baruch Sheptarani: link

    Discussion of how to understand the bracha made by father of Bar Mitzvah boy (baruch sheptarani). Classic opinions of Lvush and Magen Avraham [father no longer punished for son and vice versa] and R’Willig based on zohar – it’s like siyum on father’s mitzvah to school son. Explains various practices based on this approach and the difference then between bar and bat mitzvah. [me – if your bar mitzvah invitation list is the same as wedding {as posited by R ‘Willig}, either keep your bar mitzvah list short of work very hard].

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein - Prayer in 2009 - Is it too fixated and static? The Halacha of a "Makom Kavua" in shul: link

    Interesting comparison of Bavli and Yerushalmi on “makom kavua” (set place of prayer). Yerushalmi seems to see this as an actual requirement and a specific place within shul; Bavli seems to see it more as a praiseworthy endeavor within the shul - perhaps it’s a difference of opinion as to whether to focus our prayer resources on kviut (settness) or avodah shebalev (service of the heart).
    While the halacha follows having a set time, place and text – we should strive for both.
    Quotes one of my favorite R’YBS aphorisms but extends it to the universe – Americans would rather have davened mincha than daven mincha (or as we say in our shop – don’t just “check the box”).

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Hilchos Milah: link

    Detailed review of hilchot mila including who the is chiyuv on and the priorities of chiyuv, woman as mohel, timing issues of every kind, kibbudim et al.
    He’s a metzitza b’kli rav.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Options for Helping Agunot: link

    Discussion of when can “force” get and what types of force are allowable in what circumstances. Lots of specifics and BTW, he’s a prenup rav!

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein - Maaser Kesafim - "for one and all" or just for some??: link

    A quick review of the possible levels (torah, rabbinic, etc.) of requirement tithing and possible implications.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Hilchos Geirus Series Convertng for Marriage: link

    Intro to conversion for marriage and other ulterior motives – worthwhile listening since everyone seems to have an opinion!

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Tefilas Arvis: link

    Insights on kinyan (acquisition) of davar shelo ba l’olam (not yet in existence) and it’s relationship to Yaakov and the bechora (sense of destiny) and his relationship to maariv being a reshut (galut is not a permanent condition).

  • Rav Kalman Neuman - Society and Halakha #05 - The King's Authority in Civil and Criminal Matters: link

    Further discussion of powers of King. Interesting quote “Let’s assume that through the bet din hagadol there is some kind of institution that does determine if the king is functioning properly” [me – assumption based on halachic heart?].
    Some possible sources of king’s powers.

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz - Permission to Deceive: Halachot of Lying: link

    Anochi Esav bchorecha – did Yaakov lie? Some medrashim say yes. Discussion of parametrers of “mdvar sheker tirchak” (distance yourself from lie). Is it narrow (e.g. only based on negative impact) or broad? Key point IMHO – in educating children - need to stay far away.

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig - Halacha Engages Modernity - Part 2: link

    Interesting take on Daas torah – R’Willig, as a self acknowledged non-historian, discusses his take on the breakdown of Rabbinic authority in the “alte heim” – Makes mention of the charismatic leadership philosophy of Chassidism and it’s spread to Roshei Yeshiva.
    Quotes R’YBS’s famous eulogy for R’Chaim Ozer which sounds very pro daat torah. Unlike others, R’Willig feels R’YBS never changed his mind, but must understand what he meant – unlike that opinion quoted in the name of the Chafetz Charm, that any “outside” influences would “ruin” Daat Torah. Requirements 1) complete mastery of halacha – broad and deep (to psak level); 2) recognition that no single source for everyone; and 3) it’s not majority rule (eilu v’eilu?)

  • Rabbi N Vilner - halacha refua: link

    Continuation of analysis focusing on the issue of whether metzitza is required due to danger or for nistar (hidden) reasons. Do we say nishtaneh hateva (nature changed) and that it is definitely not a danger or just a maybe.
    Summary of various positions and reasoning behind them.

  • Rabbi Jeffrey Saks - Lost and Found in Translation: Pedagogical Tradeoffs in Teaching Gemara in Translation: link

    Long discussion of Artscroll vs. Steinsaltz for educators – (me – a concise half hour summary for the general public would be worthwhile).
    Topics include a history of tzurat hadaf (the classic layout of the Talmud – which of course became classic a very short time ago if one considers the history of the oral law) and is it essential? (remember sometimes the medium is the message – and, at least for me, certain landmarks (e.g. tosfot – d.h. mei peirot) are unforgettable).
    Some differences in vocalization, translation but most importantly, in focus. In brief, Artscroll is an explication (i.e. you can just read it, no independent analysis need) whereas Sternsaltz is more a translation [i.e. we supply the words you the thought) [me – a bit of an overstatement but basically on target].
    Interesting analogy to the use of calculators as a crutch or as a tool.
    R’Steinsaltz has a theological basis (let me help you be amel btorah [work in torah]) vs.
    Artscroll’s sociological basis (let’s sit together and “learn”).

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz - Contemporary Halacha Review Shiur I (5770): link

    Mostly on zmanim! Since I know (wild?) Dr. Bill will be on the case, I’ll leave it to him to comment. Last portion on tkiat shofar – the maaseh is here but the kiyum is there!

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