by Joel Rich
תלמוד בבלי מסכת שבת דף סג עמוד ב
והתניא: ציץ כמין טס של זהב, ורוחב שתי אצבעות, ומוקף מאוזן לאוזן, וכתוב עליו בשתי שיטין: יו"ד ה"א למעלה וקודש למ"ד למטה. ואמר רבי אליעזר ברבי יוסי: אני ראיתיו בעיר רומי וכתוב קדש לה' בשיטה אחת!
So there are 2 explanations (at least ) given by rishonim for why R' Eliezer wasn't "accepted". 1. Mesora trumps archeological testimony 2. they don't argue, what he saw was bdieved kosher.
My question: Were these answers given (e.g. by Meiri) part of the mesora they received or lev shel torah reflecting their worldview's?
Rav Mayer Twersky - A Response to the Recent "Orthodox" Gay Forum: link
I'm guessing much will have been said by the time this review is posted but a few questions given that the transcript is also on the net:
Click here to read more1.Why did YUTORAH choose not to post this?
2.Is there a theological issue to R' MT's assertion that homosexuals are wired that way?
3.Do they represent a unique struggle to conform to the Torah's prohibition? If not, what are other examples and how do we treat them?
4.Is the logical result that the individual (or we) would not expect such an individual to conform to the Torah's law?
5. If the answer is yes, are we implying that HKB"H would give someone a nissayon that they are not capable of passing, or are the assertions incorrect (as a general rule)?
6.What would the R"Y say to individuals in this category? Can we provide better solutions than in the past?
I have some other questions but these should get us started. BTW, I'm not sure the Forum was the correct approach but the claims so far are not conclusive to me - I would want to hear the cost/benefit to the individuals and to orthodox society (which of course would require us to prioritize values). One other note iiuc R'MT referred to the Forum as being gay at YU, iiuc it was being gay in the orthodox world.
Rav Binyamin Tabory-She'elot uTeshuvot - Binyan Av - Harav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron: link
Continuation of Chief Rabbis sh”ut. Here focus on tfilat haderech – based on sakanah (danger) or “permission” (from HKB”H) to leave. [BTW, R’Tabory – R’HS quotes R’YBS Imaaseh aiui that you don’t say it if you feel no danger]
Other sh”ut on ger katan opt out issues – never really applies l’maaseh since l’chumrah we’d probably consider him Jewish anyway. [gotcha!]
Rambam did not have kabbalistic tradition, legend that he learned them late in life and had regrets about his earlier work is bogus.
Rationalists will try to reconcile rational truth with tradition with focus on former, kabbalists on latter.
Why much apostasy in 14th century Spain? Some say it was due to radical Maimonidian philosophy. Some say Zohar was written down after Maimonidies because Kabbalists wanted to combat his rational interpretations of creation, etc. with their own tradition.
Philosophers believed goal of life is to contemplate HKB”H – we don’t find this in Chazal. In a real way, Kabbalists are indebted to Rambam for forcing them to deal with this.
What is the source of the “halachic” power of the government of Israel? 1) Jewish Kingship; 2) Kingship in general; 3) Takanat Hakahal (community declarations); 4) Minhag [me - match the world view with the particular posek?]
Why does Tanach stop with Ezra? Zerubavel's return didn’t pan out because people didn’t do tshuva. Ezra was the beginning of rabbinic leadership.
Topics include: 1) kiruv tradeoffs; 2) anything to learn from other religions? 3) Amalek; 4) Dina D’malchuta and Israel; 5) people who feel there is too much viduy on Yom Kippur.
Can you count non-frum towards a minyan? Are some “types” of non-frumkeit worse than others? Does concern for long term implications of exclusion come into play?
My usual caveat on R’HS’s continuing tour of torahland.
Stops include (but unfortunately many without enough time to really get more than a glance): Hishtadlut, literal vs. metaphorical interpretation, Talmud using same words for different concepts, avot doing all the mitzvot, defining a gaon(fundraiser), tfilat haderech (R’YBS), can you volunteer to take someone else’s onesh?, defining emunah and why did Yosef give his brothers a hard time? (IIUC R’HS explained why he was permitted to give them a hard time, not that he had to??)
Interesting (to me) Yerushalmi learns the for a minyan from Joseph’s brothers (vs. Bavli from Mraglm)
1) Give thanks and ask for continuation of good (because could disappear); 2) Be thankful for the right to give thanks to HKB”H; 3) [me – most difficult] don’t make HKB”H a cheftzah shel mitzvah [i.e. really mean it!]
Stuck close to talmud’s interpretation of torah. Was anti-Rashbam/”pshat” commentary. Did a lot of travelling and used it in his commentary!
Everything you wanted to know about R’Willig’s approach to the halachic status of the results of microwave “cooking” – Is it halachic cooking for Shabbat and kashrut and what are the stringencies and leniencies that arise from his understanding. (hint – do you eat at a kosher Dunkin Donuts?)
History of rebuilding of bayit sheini through to Macabees, the stops and starts were a message to do tshuva and focus on the spiritual.
Current gedolim’s positions of various issues regarding Chanukah lighting. One interesting position – lighting is a “chovat habayit” thus you must buy a house!
Analysis of possible Shabbat issues surrounding artificial eyes (e.g. use of electricity, are you drawing?)
Why? When? How (standing)? Time or distance requirement. Some nice Rogatchover stories. Is fear a factor? (R’Aryeh – do the same poskim correlate saying (or not saying) tfilat haderech and bentching gomel?
Rambam history lesson at beginning of laws of Chanukah – why mention 200 yeas of sovereignty which included Herod? Independence allows religious renaissance (even today!)
Kashrut review with basic halachic parameters. (me – most won’t recognize basic halachot because we live in a society which can afford (seems to crave) more stringent options. Includes taam Kikar, ben yomo, microwaves, kl icheres, ovens countertops, sinks, dishwashers, davar charif, nat bar nat)
Discussion of respect for in-laws; how does it compare and contrast to respect for parent (same question for grandparents and older siblings) and what halachic differences flow from the answer.
Worthwhile summary of the semester's worth of shiurim including issues of:
1. Ok to be a Dr.? (surprisingly - yes, but need to be careful)
2.Can a kohain study medicine (surprisingly - yes, but need to be careful)
3.Can you treat your parents (surprisingly - yes, but need to be careful)
4.autopsies,brain death,organ donation,personal autonomy,dnr (surprisingly - yes, but need to be careful)
My favorite question (here and elsewhere) - if something is a dvar reshut (e.g. organ donation in certain circumstances) , what does HKB"H really want you to do , or is he indifferent?
Discussion of Yoshon outside of Eretz Yisrael - detailed Lomdus and why R' Belsky and R' Schachter allow OU to certify Chadash (they disagree as to why but come to the same conclusion)