by Joel Rich
No questions here today (Yom Hazikaron), since the questions I would have written are only allowed (AIUI from R’YBS) on Tisha B’av. Perhaps I’ll better understand the answers tomorrow (Yom Haatzmaut).
In any event, to the friends of my youth cut down in their youth, Eli and Chuck, and to the brothers and sisters I never knew, you have my eternal hakarat hatov for your ultimate sacrifices for the nation that dwells in Zion and more so for those of us not yet there (physically and/or spiritually).
Excellent discussion of dialectic between kiruv and chillul hashem/chanifa as weights in halachic decision making on a local/practical level. Includes aliyot, shatz, yahrtzeit, etc. R’B Rosensweig presents historical examples. R’M Rosensweig presents general halachic consensus and range for sinners in general and specific (e.g. mechalel Shabbat, inter-marry, L’teyavon, L’Hachis, Kohanim who “violate”Kehuna; arel…)
Detailed discussion of two primary Talmudic sources (Rosh Hashanah and Eiruvin) on returning home on Shabbat from missions of mercy. Can you abrogate rabbinic and/or torah prohibitions? Go beyond the tchum? Is it just you or others less involved as well?
Contemporary applications analyzed.
Question: Would Hatzalah be allowed to operate on Shabbat in a town with excellent first responder service? Could Hatzalah service be made mandatory on community members?
Is there a presumption that we should lean towards leniency given medrash of HKB”H consoling mamzerim?
Can you have a shliach (personal representative) do milah for you or is he getting the mitzvah? May depend on whether the mitzvah is the act or the result. Other issues include priah, metzitza, hatafat dam brit, women doing it and mila other than on the 8th day.
Judaism as a universalistic religion yet would have seemed historically it should be forbidden to save non-ben brit. So why did it change? Have to wait till next lecture to really find out.
How to understand suffering. A number of classical approaches. Pick the one that gets you through the night!
Discussion of mitzvah of writing a sefer torah with main focus on whether women have a requirement.
Analysis of the mitzvah to learn – Ladaat (simply to know torah) and Laasot (to do HKB”H’s will).
Nice mussar point from Kamtza/Bar Kamtza story – why was the blemish a small one in the eye or the lip – These are sources of personal friction – what we say and how we look at each other; antidote –Torah Shebeal peh (lip), torah shebiktav (eye-read).
Hashkafa impacts Halacha! (me – some would object it’s purely halacha). Differing hashkafic approaches to the founding of the state (messianic, HKB”H giving us opportunity, the devil did it and watchful passive waiting). Halachic precedents for Yom Haatzmaut.
First in series. Importance of Talmud torah as a (R’Chaim would say the best) vehicle to access the will of HKB”H (no matter how minute the point under consideration might be).
A presentation of OU Kashrut emphasizing the changes in food technology and the need for specialized knowledge, as well as the varying level of supervision needed depending on the type of food and preparation.
First in a series on Shechita. Format is learning through the chapter “Hakol Shochtim”. Highlights include (to me) that chazal’s approach to the kutim was a historical (i.e. factual) disagreement [did they ever have a proper conversion or not?] and was the shochet in Europe a communal position of authority.
First in a series. Here freewill vs. HKB”H foreknowledge (me – not same as predestined). Arguments in support of freewill and classic Jewish philosophical explanations of why no contradiction 1) HKB”H knows macro results not necessarily micro; 2) we don’t really know what HKB”H “knowing means; 3) HKB”H exists outside of time. Stay tuned for the foreknowledge side next week [me – don’t expect a final clean resolution, pick whatever gets you through the night]
Mostly a discussion related to halachic events of shoa.