by Joel Rich
Makes you think?
(KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.)
At the top of his game! IIUC he understands that halacha (Chazal) abhors a vacuum in priorities and thus sometimes sets them up based on “sevara bealma” (general logic?) rather than “atzumot” (strongly based?) IIRC R’YBS said the same by priorities for davening for amud!
It is “assur lehezacher” (forbidden to mention?) the priority rules of man vs. woman and his psak in practice for Shaarei Tzedek was the priority rules in Horiyot only apply for redeeming captives and for disbursement of charity; for medical rules it’s a question of who is in greater danger or whom do you have a better chance to save! [help!-not clear to me why Horiyot doesn’t apply]. Generally Chazal went by who had more mitzvot.
R’Moshe paskined if wife is in aveilut and husband would not go to wedding without her, she must go because aveilut of 12 months is only because of Kavod AV (respect for parent) and Kavod Baal (respect for husband) comes first. R’AW disagrees – since this law is found in hilchot aveilut, even though they patterned it based on kavod av, it’s a law of mourning and thus kavod rules for husband can’t uproot “the law”!!!
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Analysis of respect issue – quotes R’Asher Weiss theory above plus a number of other sources (kavod for grandparent is qualitatively different) then R’YBS (BTW it’s in Mpninei Harav in the parsha section) on grandparents key role in transmission of the mesorah/love thereof.
R’Eisenstein believes key in parenting is not to transmit cynicism or faults in Rabbis [me – true at younger ages for teachers in general; as they get older teach respect but intellectual honesty, else it’s ziyuf hatorah (falsifying torah)].
Saying birchat hagomel is either required or forbidden (due to inappropriate use of HKB’H’s name – me – how does this relate to bracha l’vatala).
Range of opinions and reasons on air travel (applicable elsewhere as well). If unsure, listen to someone else’s bracha and be yotzeh (me – always was curious if this relates to the shomea K’oneh issue by Kedusha – why, according to the literalist view, wouldn’t this be a problem of inappropriate use?)
More philosophy! What is our obligation to our “community(ies)” and how do we define community? (e.g. man, nation, people, …kipah type…..)
There are specific concerns when considering taking an additional restrictions including yuhara (appearing egotistical?) and restrictions which lead to leniencies. (me-Ahhh but it's so much easier!)
Discussion of how to analyze based on Trumat Hadeshen (it’s not a slam dunk).
Differing opinions on how many you need answering chazarat hashatz. Minhag Haolam is to focus on everything but the chazarat hashatz [ok – that was me] but as long as you focus on end of bracha, it sounds like you’re a tzaddik!
My evil twin points out that focus on technical rules of tfila, while important, will never address why people aren’t engaged (IIRC it was this lack of engagement which caused the Rambam to suggest doing away with chazarat hashatz).
People on allowances aren’t required to give Maaser, especially if their parents go without so their children can seek their destiny [more accurately – if their donors say no].
A detailed halachic analysis of the source of the exclusion from the judicial process of one who is nogea badavar (has a vested interest). Is it due to being a formal exclusion (similar to a relative) or a substantive exclusion (which would be subject to rebuttal) or a complete exclusion (cannot be even considered in this category).
Various halachic implications that flow from these theories are explored.
Use of Shalom (one of God’s names) in greetings.
Discussion of various categories of mumarim (renegades in the Artscroll translation) and their status in halacha [me – Is the question of which activities indicate a total rejection of Judaism (e.g. in time of Talmud – Sabbath observance) a sociological issue? Whose input would be sought to make this determination?]
Balancing Lashon Hara and Toelet concerns.
What is zechiya (we accept for him?) and how does it operate here (torah, Rabbinic or not what we usually call zechiya?) Retroactive implication of a ger katan who refuses to accept the conversion at age of mitzvot? [hmmm did EJF analyze this for their non-conforming re conversions?]
Preferences in how to handle greetings and gifts.
General approach to business lunches and after work drinking (quit your job if you have to do this!).
Rules of precedence for both hamotzi and zimun. Baruch Shekivanti on what to do if there is only a baalat habayit.
Review of R’Y Blau’s book on the message of Chazal through Aggadah. Some discussion of sources drawn on by R’Blau and the relationship of halacha and aggadah.
Chukat hagoyim – range of halachic opinions as to how related the activity must be to a specific non-Jewish source to be forbidden. Review of specific examples. Technical detail important but maintenance of torah centric lifestyle more so.
Continuation of theories on source of halachic force of Israeli government – Mishpal Halelech is broadest. Issues raised by this approach discussed. Another possibility – a grand partnership/pooling of rights and obligations. (R’HS)