Friday, May 14, 2010

Audio Roundup XCIII

by Joel Rich

Question: Reuvain and Shimon are in the desert. Reuvain has a jug of water. If they share the water, they will both die; if only one of them drinks, he will live. Shimon steals the water and refuses to return it. The only way for Reuvain to get it back is to kill Shimon. Is he forbidden, required or permitted to do so? (sources please ) 

Charlie Rose
I once heard that the Rambam described his rebbi’s (Ri Migash) mind as “a scary place”. Does anyone know where this was quoted from? I wonder if the word was scary or perhaps awesome?
In any event, the mind is a fascinating subject – Can the study of the chemical/biological makeup of the brain help us understand:       
*free will?       
*how to change midot?       
*if the making of psak is reproducible?       
*makin oto ad sheomer rotzeh ani? [we beat him (to give a get) until he agrees (and this is considered “free will”)]       
*how tan du (a woman would rather have a bad husband rather than none at all) is hard wired (Per R'YBS?)?       
*how to win friends and influence people?       
*Ma rabu maasecha hashem (how great is HKB”H’s creation)?       
*What is a thought?Anyway, feel free to listen or stay blissfully self-unaware. 

  • Rav Moshe Taragin -Talmud Torah - Torah and our Universe: link

    What does it mean that the torah predates creation and that HKB”H looked in the torah and created the world? Does that mean that the avot knew all wisdom? That all secular wisdom (e.g. nuclear physics) was known to Moshe?
    Also focus on Nefesh Hachayim on how torah makes the world go round.


  • Rav Binyamin Tabory -She'elot uTeshuvot - Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach - Minchat Shlomo: link

    R’Shlomo Zalman Auerbach – posek hador and sweetest individual in the dor. Many Tshuvot on electricity.
    1) what bracha (ot) do you make upon seeing moshiach?       
    2) defining boundaries of Yerushalayim for purposes of reading the megillah.       
    3) Yom tov sheni in eretz Yisrael if you own property but don’t reside there most ofthe year.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha - Kol Isha on Recorded Music: link

    Listening to recording of women singing – some permissive rulings.  CLOR

  • Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky -Hashkafa Schmooze - Derech Halimud: link

    Run away from anyone who says their derech halimud is the only way – Find the way that makes your soul sing (Brisk – you make my heart sing, you make everything groovy, but I want to know for sure)


  • Rabbi Lavi Greenspan -Seeing Light Beyond Darkness: link

    Lavi discusses his descent into blindness and the lessons he learned – the importance of torah and chesed. Full disclosure – my mother (and, during his life, my father Zll”hh) dotes on him.

  • Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman -Viahavta Lireiacha Kamocha: link

    “Love thy neighbor” is a sliding scale depending on how close you are to the individual (me - but if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with).Analysis of the mitzvah is the focus  – 1) our desire for their well being; 2) our abstaining from negative actions.

    It’s called a “Klal Gadol” – perhaps because other laws flow from it or because mitzvot between people are harder to qualify and thus need klal (general rule) rather than specifics.

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode One- introductory topic: link

    Updating Freud based on the biological basis of brain processing. Imaging of the brain identifies areas handling specific functions. The interaction of brain chemistry and memory and emotions is discussed. 

    Introduction to addiction as a disorder – triggered by social contexts. The diversity of brains between differing subsets (e.g. m vs. f, geographic…) is fascinating as is how the brain is changed by experience. (This is your brain on torah!)

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode Two -The Perceiving Brain – Sight and Visual Perception: link

    Visual perception process as a model for understanding the brain's processes. Fascinating discussion of the physical makeup of eye and the brain’s visual processing functions.
    Plasticity (ability to redistribute processing responsibilities) of brain varies by function and time!

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Halachos of the Business World: link

    Deal honestly with everyone (that means everyone) – sources and implications. Specifics in the business world re: kippa, davening, leaving early for Shabbat and avoiding arayot situations.

  • Rav Assaf Bednarsh -Theology  - Theodicy: link

    First set of alternative approaches to why the righteous suffer (whatever gets you through the night). 1) all punishment/suffering is for some sin (HKB”H must be cruel only to be kind {in the right measure – is the sticking point for many people}); 2) sometimes come from ahava (love) – the suffering is good for you and/or your generation and/or results in more spiritual focus.

  • Rabbi J Saks, Mrs. Mali Brofsky, R. Alex Israel, R. Yamin Goldsmith and R. Dani Goldstein; Dr. Yoel Finkelman, moderator-The Economics of Edutainment: Professionalism & Pedagogy in 'One Year' Israel Programs:

    Reactions to paper(s) which seemed to focus on possibility of a watering down of year in Israel curriculum’s and poor working conditions for year in Israel programs teachers.
    How do we meet intellectual, emotional and personal needs of students? How do we make teaching a profession perceived to be of value? Do program changes makes sense? Lots of interesting viewpoints.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -History of Torah sh'Baal Peh I: link

    Beginning of a series – focus here on defining different elements of TSBP (e.g. halacha moshe msinai)

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode Three - The Motor System: link

    The motor system – how we interact with the outside world – deciding to move, moving and reporting back. Think about deep blue beating Kasparov vs. making a program that can build a house of cards (why have we managed one but not close on the other). Parts of brain control different pathways. We “run” neural simulations of our own before any action (that’s why you can’t tickle yourself, there’s no surprise) and others’ actions as well. Fascinating insights into the plasticity (adaptability?) of the brain – especially right after injury and the need to change treatments based on this new insight. [me – couldn’t help but think about some of the talmud’s medicinal recommendations, and when and how they came to be ignored.]

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode Four - The Social Brain: link

    Social interaction/autism – how much is based on genetics? a lot!  [me – so perhaps that’s why most actuaries stare at their shoes and why extroverted actuaries stare at your shoes!]
    When we observe other’s actions, the same neurons fire in our brains as in theirs!
    Are tendencies to good and evil inborn (or in Talmudic terms – are these mazal?)

  • OF FAITH & FACTORIES: Kosher Supervision in the 21st Century with Rabbi Gershon Segal: link

    Better living (& food) through chemistry has kashrut implications. I’d love to know why dor Shlishi yavo b’kahal (becomes acceptable) when it comes to organisms grown on cultures.

  • Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman -Questions and Answers About The Alter: link

    Insights from R’Ruderman on Slabodka and its influence in the U.S. Things were very different in Slabodka – there wasn’t a focus on chumrah and/or being different in dress. The Alter wasn’t an extremist, knew you had to know what’s going on in the world around you and that every talmid is unique.

  • Rav Mordechai Gifter -Bein Hazmanim: link

    Mussar on bein hazmanim (inter-session) and the lessons of Rabbi Akiva not seeing his wife after being away for some time, returning and hearing she wanted him to continue learning (lesson is any break in learning sets you way back) [me – is this perceived to be true for everyone?]

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Kol Isha and the Requirement of Women to Cover their Hair: link

    Detailed discussion of sources and applications on women headcovering.

  • Rabbi A Mintz-Hasidic Prayer: link

    Anti-chassidic promulgations in Vilna included – no separate minyanim, no 2 chassidim sit together. Chassidim valued prayer over learning as a mode of religious expression, thus justified changes in nusach hatfila and times.

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series- a discussion of the developing brain: link

    The developing brain – Ability to learn language is the greatest at young ages, Why?  Why will a child learn sounds, etc. from a social interaction and not from a TV?  How can parents impact a brain’s development (oy – even though the panelists try, I can’t help but see the increase in invasive parenting (my term)).

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series,-a discussion of the Aging Brain: link

    “Memories, like the corners of my mind” – Turns out there are 2 separate systems – declarative (where were you when the lights went out?) and non-declarative (shooting foul shots), the former is much more subject to the ravages of age, the latter not (a lot still is genetic).Stay physically, socially and mentally active to combat the loss (mme-Lulai Toratcha as an antidote to al tashlicheinu leit zikna; R’YBS on the symphony of generations).

  • Charlie Rose Brain Series- a discussion of the Emotional Brain: link

    Emotional Brain – Addiction as a disease, understanding dopamine as a source of pleasure and how social/sight signals bring surge and wipe out ability to control:  50% of addiction is genetic (me –ein mazal l’yisrael?).

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