by Joel Rich
1. Question from a young non-reader in Passaic: Why wasn’t Zeresh punished for her role in Haman’s plot? (my response to be provided in comments after I see others!)
2. Question from a old man in West Orange: Somebody (could it have been Sarah Schenirer or Janis Ian) said : "One of these days I'm gonna stop my listening
Gonna raise my head up high.
One of these days I'm gonna raise up my glistening wings and fly.
But that day will have to wait for a while.
Baby I'm only society's child.
When we're older things may change,
But for now this is the way, they must remain."
Those things changed- Why do we seem to think our society won't?
Click here to read moreRabbi Y Eisenman-The Day the Learning Stopped; The Closing of the Volozhiner Yeshiva: link
A 2 CD shiur by R’Eisenman of Passaic.
Some history and stories starting with the Vilna Gaon up through the founding an closure of the Volozhin Yeshiva.
R’Eisenman doubts the stories of the Netziv’s lack of ability as a youngster (since he married the Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter at 13 ½). [me – but I love that shoe story(not told here) and the response “where are the shoes?” to the fictional author of a poor sefer]
Discussion of the innovations of the Volozhin Yeshiva (centralized vs. local learning, need for fund raisers, lack of “curriculum”). Discussion of maskilim of all stripes – within and without of orthodoxy.
Netziv was personally open to secular knowledge and thus Yeshiva attracted some who were open (e.g. Bialik) and intellectual (as R’Chaim’s approach attracted them) but Netziv felt Yeshiva must be “Kulo torah” (all torah).
In the end R’Eisenman postulates it was the anarchy caused by the students in the R’Chaim Soloveitchik/R’Chaim Berlin succession debate that caused the Russian government to close it down!
[Me – is it coincidence that R’Chaim’s “scientific” approach to learning paralleled similar approach in the secular/scientific world?]
Wedding ceremony basics from beginning to end. R’Simon seems into the tzniut issues and also practical resolutions (me – if Kallah is always on the right whether facing the crowd or not, why don’t the men’s and women’s sides switch depending on the line-up under the chuppah?)
Is machloket an inherent part of the halachic system? Is it needed to sharpen thinking?
10 Commandments as representative of all of Torah and some implications. The King’s traveling sefer torah (worn as a check and balance on his power) was just the 10 Commandments [me - as R’YBS pointed out – HKB”H knew every man was fallible]
Good tracing of different opinions of Rambam and Rashba on whether one is yotzeh bdieved (ok after the fact) if they read from a torah with an error in it. Also, possible allowance if error is a different book of the torah.
If you find an error during reading do you make a concluding bracha and then take out another sefer (assuming you already read 3 sentences) or do you not make a concluding bracha, take out a new sefer and then read 3 sentences and make a concluding bracha?
What is a serious error? Not missing vowels. Maybe too much (or not enough) space between words (can a child read it?). Certain touching may be ok if it doesn’t change the form of the letters. When does a Torah lose its chezkat kashrut (3 errors?)
When do we say “stama Lshma” (“normal” intent is for the proper intent) and when not? What is the general rule and what is the exception? Discussion of why the mitnagdim were against the saying of “hineni muchan umzuman” (I am ready to complete the mitzvah).
The suvalker rav (full disclosure - my family comes from Suvalk and R’Dovid was a tenant). Some history of how his experiences as a “pulpit” rav impacted him. His legendary chesed for each and every individual (do you know the pre-war reputation North vs. South of love for individuals vs. people?) and his approach to protesting sinful situations even if he couldn’t change them are also explored.
Exactly as advertised but worth reemphasizing the need to focus on making others happy (me – always remember the Rambam here on Matanot L’evyonim vs. mishloach manot – or elsewhere on the happiness of the belly).
Is it Nolad (new item)? Probably not, since rain isn’t, but R’MF thinks it’s real muktzeh (no real use), others disagree. Snowman, snowballs may well be boneh (building). Probably best to have non-ben brit shovel on Shabbat. If danger, better to salt if possible if no ben brit available.
Beginning of a technical discussion of who can be counted in a zimmun.
Discussion of the nature of monetary debts (tashlumei mamon) as a torah imputed shibbud (obligation) or contractual obligations and some implications.
Review of his personal history and some tshuvot including chalav yisrael (unclear as to why a baal nefesh should be machmir according to the logic of his opinion) cheating on Regents (forbidden both be cause of Dina Dmalchuta Dina and Torah law – stealing), women learning (not mishnayot!) and artificial insemination (not forbidden – but he took a lot of heat)
Discussion of nature, source, application and underlying reason for mitzvah of remembering Amalek and some implications thereof.
Continuation of importance of community coming together as seen in Tfilla b and ha tzibbur, aliyah l’regel, minhag, karban todah….
The community that prays together, stays together (building trust, cooperation and reinforcing community hierarchy).
The eulogy is for kavod hameit (me – remember, it’s not about eulogizer, R’YBS taught – it’s who he was and how much we’ll miss the person). Why is it OK to exaggerate a bit and why have the deceased wishes sometimes been ignored? Perhaps he would have done more and we don’t usually know all he’s done anyway. General mussar on appreciating (while alive as well!).
Analysis of the nature of Purim – not really a yom tov but a yom chol which expresses the divine guidance (hashgacha) which was evidenced by the original events.
A review of classic authorities opinions on trying to understand taamei hamitzvot (reasons for mitzvot) and some of the possible pitfalls to be avoided if reasons are given.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
by Joel Rich