by Joel Rich
HELP WANTED- "A friend" is looking for a psychologist/psychiatrist/counselor. OK truth is it's me, and to the disappointment of many who know me, it's not to help me figure out why I'm a few degrees off. Rather I want to discuss the sugyot of adam bahul al mamono ( a man gets confused over his money) and the differing impacts on halacha (i.e. sometimes we're matir and sometimes assur certain actions) in the light of current psychological understanding. Please email me at email@example.com)
You are visiting a friend early one afternoon and there is an early mincha there where they will not say tachanun due to a rebbi’s yahrtzeit. 1) Should you preferably go to a different minyan where they will say tachanun? 2) If you go to the rebbi’s minyan, should you say tachanun (if yes, do you do nfilat apaim or go into a corner? 3) If you don’t say tachanun there, do you say it later or not at all? 4) Is any of this permissive or all compelled?
Different understandings of “echad hamarbeh” (HKB”H measures effort not results) – [me – are interpretations based on the interpreters overall world view??] (Rich’s rule of symbiosis – our torah informs on us and we inform on our torah)
R’Aryeh wonders why no one says Al Naharot before Birchat Hamazon (I’ve asked that here before – someone will comment that it is said by many [but I know of only one person who does it regularly]). Source of Al Naharot and Shir Hamaalot is zecher l’churban, it’s not mentioned in S”A. (I suppose most of us don’t need to be reminded???)
Is being involved in helping set up shidduchim a mitzvah in itself or misayeah (assisting) others to do a mitzvah?
Rabbi Ehrenberg was a holocaust survivor – via the Kastner train. You must answer questions as a posek if asked. No yichud allowed (generally) even in extenuating circumstances (e.g. there’s a fine in society for a Ben Brit and non Ben Brit to be alone). Faxes on Shabbat? Washing in bathroom? (ok)
(Hebrew) Is Aleinu at end of tfila purposely (to remind us not to rely on idols when we go out to do business) or does it just have to be in tfilla. May make a difference for when we say sfira and do you need to say aleinu twice when we have mincha and maariv together?
(Hebrew) An analysis of lfnei Iver (placing a stumbling block) – why is the injunction not simply taken literally and what is scope and force. Is the issue advice which yields negative results or just negative advice (and some differentials)?
An analysis of the pre-history of Avraham and Sarah. Avraham and Nachor doing early version of yibbum – parallels to Ruth story and lessons of chessed – restore “name” in this world (of both Avraham’s brother and of HKB”H).
Comparison of development of Bianer and Bobover chassidut post WWII. The need for Chassidish Yeshivot to continue the Chassidish tradition narrowed the differences between chassidut and mitnagdut. It was also very much a function of the individual rebbi.
Discussion of need for smicha for determining geirut – is it a specific requirement of geirut or of smicha in general? Is smicha a license for psak or an ingredient required for beit din?
Discussion of halacha – R’Shaul Lieberman said the term halacha was based on a pre-existing term for land tax which implies a regular, fixed, permanent tax measured by boundaries. Philosophic discussion of minhag and halacha. Difference of opinions on force of minhag – can it establish a practice or is it only a proof that a rabbinic takana had originally established a practice. R’SL would’ve (maybe) said halacha “establishes boundaries” within which practice can be found/chosen.
Art as a bridge to helping students feel something beyond what they intellectually “see”. Analyzing art from both an art historians viewpoint, as well as a “naïve” viewpoint. See the significance of the moment!
Modern orthodoxy should be at the forefront of being able to view the results of the total human enterprise (including non bnai brit contributions and non narrow torah accomplishments.
Excellent review of YU smicha shiurim – here mikveh and mezuzah. Interesting how there’s an issue with all the approaches to mikveh construction and how we try to cover all bases (me - at a real $ cost. BTW there's an interesting article on chumrah in the recent Kol Mevasser which mentions this point).
Practical mezuzah issues (surprise – there are differing opinions!) on walk in closets, offices, schools and how decide which door post.
Yerushalayim should always be on our mind! (makes me think of R’YBS on zachor – not just remembering but bringing us to action). Some reflections on war and individual responsibilities.
Why did Boaz greet others with HKB”H’s name (a change in practice)? Either because people were forgetting HKB”H’s name or need to increase kavod habriyot (respect for people).
Lessons of chesed and need sometimes to be courageous to keep torah in proper way.
While the primary mitzvah of teaching torah is parent to child, R’YBS points out that the grandfather, being one generation closer to Sinai, has a special responsibility to transmit the mesorah/emunah.
Interesting – based on the primary sources (and the Gra) you would think we’d never move a sefer torah to another room or house yet practice has evolved differently – not clear where the aruch hashulchan got the “ok if use it 3 times” rule or where R’MF got the “ok, if it has an aron” rule (me – assumedly these are efforts at maintaining dignity while allowing the sefer to be transported).