by Joel Rich
The Chavos Yair wrote that seems to be the first sh"ut on women saying kaddish. He lived in the 1600's. IIUC it's generally assumed that the saying of kaddish by yatom was in response to the crusades (100's of years earlier)
Any insights on the reason it took so long for the question to come up?
See the article labeled "Push Button Judaism" http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/hamodia/yissachar_zevulun.pdf - what need is this tit-for-tat approach filling and if there is at least a minority opinion that supports it, and the masses find it attractive, is it best not to hit it head on (or will the masses ignore these articles anyway)?
Halachic precedents to be considered when analyzing the implications for recognition of the miracles of milchemet hashichrur (War of Independence) and sheishet hayamim (6 Day War).
Analysis of several chukim (law without obvious reasons) – message here – be patient in trying to understand them.
Focus on embarrassment (avoidance thereof) – here based on issues regarding ketuba. My favorite mishna in bikkurim – why we stopped having each individual read the bikkurim text and appointed an official reader – to avoid embarrassment (or worse, cause them not to bring bikkurim) of the farmer.
Examples of how the torah is eternal but applications change as society/technology changes. Opened with one of my favorite insights on the difference between a shiur and a speech (BTW – it is from R’YBS). My paraphrase – Speech = I know everything, you know nothing, shut up and listen. Shiur = I know a little, you know a little, let’s see what we can figure out together.
Lessons from her grandfather’s life – it’s interesting how we can extract important lessons from all those around us.
A nice “glatt” (as in smooth) daf type shiur. I’m curious (is there an underlying pattern as to when we find that the different parts of the mishneh seem to be authored by different tanaim and the gemara gives two answers: 1) so what; 2) no, it’s really the same tanna, and I’ll re-explain it) [i.e. will the same amoraim consistently take a similar position, and why the need for a second answer]
Sponsored by Michael Poppers of Elizabeth (Hillside?). Discussion of origins of differing minhagim with a focus on the Arizal. Then a discussion of examples where Yekkes and sfardim share common minhagim. Not a lot of explanation of sources.
Dayan Weiss (Minchat Yitzchak’s) history and 3 shűt – 1) turning in speeders in Israel (ok); 2) gas meters you need to feed coins (don’t ask me, I didn’t resonate); 3) Hagomel on airplane travel? (not needed).
Chizuk to parents whose kids went OTD – HKB”H gave them to you to raise and accept that you did your best, perhaps these souls needed a tikkun. This is the generation’s test (wait – I thought we were feeling triumphal – see cross currents blog). We all should feel these parents' pain!
Halachically can you steal to save your life? Someone else’s? (yes – but pay for damages, yes – no charge). Review of sources and comparison to U.S. law.
Review of various statements of chazal focusing on how HKB”H desires our tireless efforts in torah study, noting its overwhelming nature. Also, note the ascetic lifestyle nature required that is not consistent with current society.
More possible explanations of theodicy (why do the righteous suffer).
Perhaps not everything is a direct result of a person’s actions!!! Bmazla talya milta (it’s the result of mazel = predisposition?) is a gemara but some reinterpret it to stay away from this challenge to “everything" is HKB”H’s direct intervention).
Some answer my question from 2 weeks ago by saying we may have varying predisposition and so may have objectively different results from the same efforts in this world (why? HKB”H is inscrutable!)
Rambam – HKB”H connects to us on an ongoing basis to the extent we connect to him – else it’s mechanistic. (What % of Jewish laity would think this is heracy!?)
How we lead our lives is greatly impacted by how we view this issue (I guess R’Assaf didn’t read my disposition of this question = past-assume all predestined, future – assume all up to you!)
Historical examples of now external changes have impacted halacha related to women.
1) Can a man say kriat shma in front of a woman whose hair is uncovered? (famous aruch hashulchan) - since it’s common now, we allow).
2) Can a man walk behind a woman to board a bus (trumat hadeshen – Talmudic times women did not go in the marketplace so prohibited then).
3) Beit Yaakov (famous chofetz chaim that in old days women learned from the home - thus now it’s ok since they don’t).
3) Women’s suffrage in State of Israel (no real sources quoted by poskim) – practically settled (who wants to give up power that turning out voters brings?).
Two good questions – 1) what society do we look at when we want to see what is “common” practice? 2) Are these changes reversible if society changes?
Is/was the shochet a position of srarah (communal authority)?
Why using a rotating pen wasn’t halachically needed but practically (Israeli poskim) required in U.S. (vs the ASPCA/R’YBS method) and how that caused all the problems.
Everything you need to know about sirchaot (adhesions) and how industrialization has caused havoc in the kosher meat industry. How checking for them today bears no relationship to Shulchen Aruch or Rama definitions.
Bonus discussion of Rubashkin issues and PETA.
Plain Kosher meat today is a problem because shochtim do their own thing (actually sounds like “do your thing” is pretty standard historically as well for shochtim).
Can you learn from an evil person? Sources provided that you can learn from an Apikorus as long as you don’t mention his name. R’A Soloveitchik said that doesn’t include biblical critics or those who are anti-chazal (i.e. can’t learn from them at all).
Do we look brit milah as removing negativity or increasing holiness? Plus implications.
A shortened version of a longer shiur presenting opinions on the comparison of the soul of a non-ben brit to a ben brit. Historical and contemporary sources quoted running the gamut.
Was Yerushalayim split amongst the tribes originally or not? Technical discussion of the differing opinions. Then hashkafa of Yerushalayim as a unifier – e.g. we all pray towards Yerushalayim and it is the source (when sanhedrin functions) of all halacha.
R’Tzavi Yehuda’s famous pre-1967 “premonition” of “our Chevron”. Understanding that HKB”H is in combat with Tzahal. Understanding that each of us is a shaliach (agent) in the U.S. to educate everyone around us.