by Joel Rich
Question: (Please ask your rebbi and/or psychology professor if you are in a Yeshiva or in a mada) The Talmud (Pesachim 11b) records a disagreement between R’Yehudah and the Chachamim in a case of a first born animal which needs blood letting. According to R’Yehudah, the Cohain is forbidden to let blood from the animal even in a place where no prohibited blemish would result since in his turmoil, if we allow any blood letting, he may come to make a prohibited blemish (accidentally?). The Chochamim say that the Cohain can let blood from a place where no prohibited blemish would occur, because if we don’t allow the blood letting at all, the Cohain will do it anyway (and perhaps in a prohibited place).
Please explain the underlying psychological and halachic issues in the debate (e.g. the disagreement is in their understanding of how most people [cohanim] would react in such a situation).
Click here to read moreFrom R' Aviner -Related to last weeks post on hilchita lmishicha -There is a similar question in the book "Ha-Techiya Ve-Ha-Pedut" (question #6) of Ha-Rav Sa'adia Gaon: how will I find my wife during the Resurrection of the Dead? Ha-Rav Sa'adia did not want to answer since it is forbidden to answer a halachic question before someone who is greater than him in wisdom. Since this is a question of the Resurrection of the Dead, Moshe Rabbenu will be there and it is therefore forbidden for me to answer. If there are questions that arise now - what can we do? We have to answer them. Questions that have to do with the future, however, we leave for Moshe Rabbenu and the other prophets. It therefore seems that the question in "Shut Matzav Ha-Yashar" cannot be answered, but this was before the Zohar, which contains an answer, was revealed. Regarding a Jewish servant, the verse says, "If he arrives by himself, he leaves by himself; if he is the husband of a woman, his wife leaves with him" (Shemot 21:3). This means that he will experience the Resurrection of the Dead with his wife – his first wife. There are commentators who explain that the meaning of the Zohar is that she will return to her true spouse, i.e. the most successful marriage (see note in Piskei Teshuvah). Thus, she will return to the marriage which was filled with the most love, fraternity, peace, and friendship.
Good summary of electricity issues – really ran out of time on gramma. Goes through issues for incandescent light bulbs (duraita, drabbanan, havarah (fire)?) R’A Kotler – even plain electricity is havarah (not explained), Chazon Ish – it’s boneh (really hard for me to understand basis for this). Others – molid (new creation – rabbinic prohibition) [me-example of what I responded to R’D Tzohar concerning why I think much is not black and white] BTW, I like best (not mentioned here) R’Asher Weiss’s libi omer li that electricity is makeh bpatish which he understands as any category that the Rabbis felt “is not shabbsodik”
Interesting dispatch from the front. He sees 3 categories of orthodox on campus – 1) off the Derech’s (never intellectual – always bad Rabbi/parent experience) low %; 2) lonely person of faith (even if larger group from Israel Yeshiva) many morph into category (3) – leaving the few who want it because it’s difficult); 3) ortho bourgeoisie – primary concern is what profession – really experience life much like their parents (This is the largest group) – “my boy was just like me” (see Cat Stevens – Cats in the Cradle – to be depressed about this)
Best to go to YU for community/learning but, if not, some tips. Interesting discussion on coming out.
Me – YU, as the only wheel in town, would be a great discussion topic (how does it singularity help and hurt)
Opening summary – “Mother tell your children not to do what I have done” – except instead of the usual Rosh Yeshiva story – I went to college, you shouldn’t; here it’s – I went to NYU, you shouldn’t.
Importance of YU. “I don’t know what torah umada is” Then defines how he sees it (torah as a lens, help society…)
Going to college in Israel (not) - Bar Ilan is much like us secular colleges with a “kollel” (me – R’Paretzky ZT”L once told us – Fellows (how did he know about actuaries?), I can’t believe HKB”H will allow you to be less successful for learning rather than cutting shiur to study for finals) (P.S. for those who think I’m too terse [not tense], the reference is to aliyah)
Money spent for YU is worth it and they’ll work with you.
(Me – note to self – think about 1) the proper balance between humor and content in presentations; 2) how self referential to be in a presentation)
Review of basic issues – actual name of HKB”H vs. kinui (nickname – e.g. Rachum), foreign language name, disgraceful treatment of material with name on it, temporary usage of material, burn vs. bury, burying with secular material, recycling. Each one has differing opinions – CLOR. What about tapes (yes, I still use that old technology). R’MF allows taping over! Is a computer disk the same? What about screens? There’s a machmir for everything!
Discussion of wedding invitations (use Rashi script!) Was rashi script really developed just to avoid possible problem of “mini sheimot” using that type of print!? (Please don’t confuse the issue with historical”facts”)
R’Weiss discusses the force of ein mavirin al hamitzvot (Duraita, Drabannan) and some practical examples (e.g. does one give up a drabannan (rabbinic) for a duraita (torah), or a mitzvah kala (“lighter”) for a chamurah (“heavier”) or an eino tadir (infrequent) for a tadir (frequent)?)
Entry level discussion of how the torah shebiktav and b’al peh were given – what did Moshe know and when did he know it?
Coffee pots used with flavored treif coffee– no (really no)
Delivering treif to boss (ben brit and non ben-brit), Non ben-brit may be a problem if part of your job, ben brit may be a problem of lifnei iver.
No regular use (e.g. office) of treif keilim (non Kosher utensils) even for cold
Lots of pots and pans and knives issues (sorry R’Chaim)
Stainless steel absorption issue should be reexamined by a rabbinical conference (yeah – that’s likely)
Examples where we seem to be choshesh to stringency (note however one particular chumrah role rabbeinu calls a “chumrah from outer space”). Also note his comment about people over age 60 (it’s really a bit younger) only needing one set of drinking glasses!
A moving eulogy for Michael Selesny on his tenth yahrtzeit and then some discussion of how to lead your life as a baal habayit – interesting evolution of taking money for learning from prohibition to required (a permanent eit laasot?? – I never really understood the concept)
Who knew how much we had in common – MTA, YU math major and great parents!?
Focus on R’AS’s hasmadah (dedication), chessed and emet (love the term – radical integrity). His gvurah after his stroke was memorable.
Rosh chodesh/sanhedrin/smicha/yaaleh v’yavo – how it all fits together.
Both animals and humans engage in food sharing. Some sociological reasons given (Mada) – 1) risk reduction reciprocity (me – some exclude freeloaders, others don’t – this would be a fruitful area for further study); 2) cooperative acquisition (need to encourage group hunters); 3) socialization [I think building ideological community is a subset (e.g. can’t eat somewhere non-kosher)]; 4) Giver’s reputation; 5) trust building.
Examples of these within Judaism. To be continued…..
R” Brovender’s educational philosophy – don’t reach gemara to little kids. Curriculum is for teachers who don’t know what to teach!?
Nice mosaic (pun intended) of slaves (ethical dilemma) building brick cities in Egypt, tied to the Tower of Babel and Kayin/Chanoch city. These cities represent man’s power vs. lfnei hashem [recognition of HKB”H’s power] (much like Egypt-Nile causing less perceived reliance on HKB”H than if needed rain). This was why the slaves who left Egypt were afraid, yet man’s power is fine as long as understand limits and build a caring society lfnei hashem (in Israel).
A discussion of how to interpret the source gemara of “Api tlata” – if said in front of 3, it’s ok. Who does this refer to and under what circumstances. Is lashon hara an issue of bad character or bad results or both? – and some possible differences based on this.
Me – is chavra chavra it lei (your friend has a friend) inherent in creation or can people learn not to babble? How has the internet magnified this observation?
Vsadita otam basid – learning torah, etching it and the role of RIETS mussmachim in the real center for the jewish future.
R’Meshulam Roth – Kol Mevaser, early years of the state includes questions on a cherem of going to Germany (no) Yom haatzmaut (hallel and/or shehechiyanu), unloading food truck on Shabbat (yes – if pikuach nefesh), use of holocaust killing artifacts (no) and burial in Jerusalem vs. other parts of Israel.
Defining Bishul (cooking) = preparing food to eat by flame (soft to hard?). Defining minimum heat needed and source of heat (another example of some differences in very basic definitions)
Focusing on the ever popular topic mosair (turning someone in to secular authorities). Review of historical status (very bad) and how, if at all, this change based on modern governments (range of opinions)
Discussion of Talmudic sources on when to give hochacha (rebuke) and how much – differing opinions. Remember 2 reasons 1) change someone’s behavior; 2) protest even if no change (me – impact on you? Others?)
Taking a shower on Yom tov. Historically no, what about now. A review of the lomdus including issues of shaveh lchol nefesh (something everyone does) Kol Gufo (washing whole body) and a gzeirah on heating up bathhouse water. May be allowed only for warm (not hot) water and if tzaar (“painful”). Bottom line – many poskim allow.
Discussion of shituf (partnership) and is it just of help by oaths or is it a palliative to idol worship definition.
First in a series. Discusses opening blessings and sources in the Talmud (Shelo asani’s vs. other). Originally said upon each event, now all in Shul – how did this happen?
(he said it, not me) halacha is sometimes top down and sometimes (often) bottom up – the latter is when people do and Rabbis later justify! Some sociological explanations for change from event based to saying in Shul. Why, once standardized and in Shul, there arose PC issues.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
by Joel Rich