by Joel Rich
Question: Why did Chazal have both positive and negative spins on Nadav V’avihu?
Hypothetical Question: You are a member of the Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah of Essex County. A community member comes to you with a check for $1 million and stipulates the funds should go to “Year in Israel” and kids.says distribute it however you think will make HKB”H the most happy. What parameters would you use to triage fund allocation assuming there is not enough to fund all the requests? (you know – the limited resources/unlimited demand/time/space continuum conundrum)
Passionate presentation on the relationship between citizenship and dina dmalchuta (a citizen is a partner, DMD more for those situations where not a partner). Interesting insight into papal infallibility and Daas torah coming of age only when authority was questioned. R’Wieder doesn’t seem to get that micro halachic considerations outweigh meta halachic issues!!!
Does Kashrut supervision (focus on Israel but applicable in US) focus on food only? Depends on how you view certifier (e.g. rabbinate) – is it a certification or a religious leadership function? Differing meta approaches (but no one would likely certify a hechsher for non-nidah status on women at a house of the rising “pilegesh”)
R’Aryeh reviews the basics of chadash and yashan from Talmudic sources up through current times including the various approaches to ruling leniently. R’Aryeh IIUC thinks that the meikilim would lose on pure logic but won practically because of the practical difficulty in observance.
Food for thought – 1) when do we say “yesh lvarer” (need to determine the facts vs. rely on presumption) in order to clarify presumptions such as rov and chazakah (and for which kinds)? 2) can’t just about every factual sfek sfeika be restated as a single safeik; 3) what if sfek sfeika still results in a probability greater than 50%; 4) if you only allow for changes lchumra but not l’kula when “historical” reasons change, doesn’t the system converge to chumra?
R’YBS Yahrtzeit shiur – Yom Kippur is the day of receiving torah shbeal peh. Some discussion of tashmishei mitzvah vs. tashmishei kedusha and the importance R’YBS placed on transmitting oral law traditions.
Thought provoking discussion of when does “discomfort” (real agony?) or negative health implications give one a pass on a mitzvah.
Detailed analysis of Talmudic sources on gneivat data (creating false positive impression) with specific practical implications for college situations – and how careful we need to be with mitzvot where HKB”H judges our intent.
Beginnings of great discussion and sources on force of umdnah (presumption) in capital and civil cases, how sure is a “sure” umdnah (are there differing levels?), are there those inherent in creation and are those recognized by chazal stronger? [me – why are rov and chazakah sometimes seemingly interchangeable].
Very, very philosophical discussion. Builds off of two creation stories to differentiate Jewish spiritual approach. Lots of I-Object vs. I-Subject, etc.
Detailed analysis of “intent” by Kodshim and is there a one to one correspondence with “intent” by mitzvot in general. Important for discussion of negative intent (can one have intent not to be Yotzeh – e.g. not being mkadesh Shabbat on a torah level in amidah Friday night!)
R’OY vs. Or Ltzion on several issues including employing non ben brit in kitchen . Is the Ari Z”L always right?
Issues of kriat hatorah in the thought of R’YBS including why do we read megilot before reading the torah (shouldn’t it be the opposite based on tadir), why stand for asseret hadibrot, need to hear bracha to be yotzeh, need for mevarech to open sefer torah, is it an individual or communal requirement? And how R’Chaim was like Matan torah!
Discussion of nature of counting of omer today (Torah or Rabbinic) and implications (e.g. priority vis-à-vis other mitzvot). Did R’Yerucham hold that in time of Mikdash there were two separate brachot? (days/weeks)
The role of asseret hadibrot as summary of categories principles covering all 613 mitzvot. Example anochi covers Jewish morality, prayer and kavod habriyot. Interesting analysis of implications of usage anochi vs. ani.
Is there a qualitative difference between a 3-0 / 2-1 vote?
Beit Din must be pristine, formal process where goal is to see ratzon Hashem (God’s will) done. [me – what if God’s will is lfnim mshurat hadin (within the letter of the law)? Sol – don’t worry, we’ll still split the lottery winnings!]
Good presentation of shaving positions including R’YBS, R’AL, R’MF. (R’AL #2 – any issues with publishing a book if it’s at best unclear whether the main source knew he would be quoted?)
3 types of magic Kabbalah – theoretical (how the upper worlds operate), meditative (how to get your mind there), and practical (how to use it for fun and profit). This series land most written sources focus on theoretical. Discussion of origin (thoughts vs. formal writing). Lots of stuff on God, creation, existence, space/time continuum…
Forbidden – three weeks, sfira, all year? Function of purpose and type? [me - Why do the gedolim not suggest being machmir here?]
A story of renewal of faith in HKB”H’s promise as a lesson for all future generations
Is chametz’s prohibition a matter of the gavra (individual) or the cheftza (object). Yersushalmi vs. Bavli – surprise, we’re machmir for both opinions when it comes to the owner being in a different time zone than his chametz.
Chazal viewed divorce as a last resort. Discussion of R’Rackman and Shmuley Boteach! Get a prenup! Divorce must be “mentchlich”.
Rambam vs. Kabbalah on whether sfirah is a count up or count down depending on how you view the relationship between leaving Egypt and receipt of the torah.