by Joel Rich
Do you believe that every person (feel free to differentiate between sub-categories) is born with the same potential to provide HKB"H with nachas ruach (satisfaction) [i.e. we are all born with the same probability distribution function of satisfying HKB"H]?
Explain your answer in light of the bracha shelo asani isha and the gemara ein mazal lyisrael (we are not bound by astrological predispositions)
Tfilla btzibbur (10 physically there or 10 davening)? What if the minyan has different nusach than you? Mechitza as an individual vs.. shul requirement.
Women's issues-"Best is to have the traditional situation", "a lot is coming from without…even though many are sincere". Minhagim are what keeps us going, need guidance/mesorah. [me – in an age of individual empowerment one might conclude that it would be more effective to have peer like education/convincing rather than top down guidance].
R’Bick held "full chazarat hashatz" is only required in minyan kavua – R’Simon "insists" on heicha kedusha at chatan tish, unless need to stall (me - interesting that he prefers R’Bick’s "psak" which sounds permissive at best vs.. R’YBS for us on Tfilat hatzibbur – especially at time of greatest Thanksgiving to HKB"H).
Other topics – Women’s prayer, talit head covering, when to stand. Interesting comment on "missing Yerushalmi’s" which we hold like anyway
This may sound like I confused my paid job with my unpaid one, but I assure you I didn’t. Interesting insights into when do traditional carrot/stick motivators work (routine projects) and when not (non-routine). There is an intrinsic motivation in being in service to something larger than ourselves.
To maximize success need to give foot soldiers autonomy, mastery and purpose. (me - possible tie to the contentions that "the system" isn’t producing gedolim or that kedoshim tihiyu is subservient to micro-halacha?).
One of my favorite questions (of course, unanswered) when does a cause for doubt (reyuta) rise to the level of calling into question the prior status (chazakah).
If you know the eruv is down on Shabbat, do you tell? Sounds like you (or your posek) need a sociological MRI of your community to decide.
What to do if you are caught with your eruv is down.
Discussion of "machloket" – Korach vs.. lshem Shamayim (e.g. in learning). Defense of R’YBS and his approach vs.. his "ultra" detractors.
Two lessons from the Intrepid – 1) picking up astronauts – a 2 second computer glitch put the space capsule 200 miles away from the ship – the value of every second! 2) War in the Pacific – can only see in retrospect the plan of HKB"H (U.S. involvement in WWII).
No real source for putting notes into the kotel (me – other than minhag Yisrael). Can written prayer have kedusha (holiness)? Other examples of writing having possible halachic impact (e.g. counting the Omer) – but perhaps could differentiate. Some interesting Segula comments (R’Aryeh we’re on the same page – but can you take this away from folks without providing something else for them to hold on to??)
Introduction to Pirkei Avot – explanation of name and intent and some initial mishnayot.
Discussion of mitzvah of writing a sefer torah with main focus on whether women have a requirement.
Reasons which the converted don’t need and unconverted won’t believe anyway (at least until "was blind but now can see").
Discussion of his take on Yom Haatzmaut as well as how to relate to it. R’Kook and R’Soloveitchik on Jewish destiny.
His response on visiting mosques (davening in maarat hamachpela) and churches. Is there an issue with davening in an open space (i.e. the kotel) - no!. Blood and platelet donations (and how technology may have changed the facts today).
Torah study is immortal (continues in world to come) unlike other mitzvot.
Detailed analysis of brachot and practices by zecher l’mikdash K’hillel.
While the Cohain is required to teach/consult other cohanim when examining negaim (blemishes), the more general rule is not to revel personal information. Covers Sh"ut literature on shidduchim and medical information sharing (conflict between confidentiality and serving greater good).
"Beauty" of eretz yisrael and being part of our own (vs.. foreign) society. Considerations in making the decision – just do it (but have a plan to complete this "mitzvah rabbah").
Technical discussion based on R’YBS differentiation between kedushat hamakom (holiness in place of mikdash) and mitzvot tluyot baaretz. Nice mussar on the physical and spiritual pull of the land.
Need for individual creativity as part of our religious destiny. Each of us has to find the derech that speaks to us. Heavily based on the thought of R’YBS.
Jerusalem in the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam followed by a more detailed discussion of the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem in Jewish thought.
R’Kook on defining believers and non-believers in his generation (not what you might think). How should we relate to other Jews in our homeland?
Detailed analysis of sources differing opinions on shaving/cutting prohibitions.