by Joel Rich
With the 100th audioroundup I thought it appropriate to lead with this shiur which contains some positive and negative opinions concerning "celebrating" birthdays and yahrtzeits – bottom line use/view as a positive opportunity for introspection and future positive impact. (Kach Mkublani mbeit avi abba zll"hh)
1. True or False: A finite individual could never plumb the full breadth and depth of torah even if they learned 24/7 for their entire lives (alternative construct: Each and every individual’s torah knowledge could benefit from additional learning)
2. True or False: Yiftach b’doro K’shmuel b’doro (every generation’s leadership has the same status regardless of level of knowledge/accomplishment)
3. If 1) and 2) are true, why was there a horaat shah (emergency measure) [or whatever it was] to turn being paid for learning into a l’chatchila (or for that matter, to allow writing down of the oral law).
Is the issue with Lashon Hara one of developing a negative trait or of the negative result (Does R’DF see everything in halacha as binary? J).
Detailed discussion of a number of issues (saying something in front of 3 people , saying the truth, saying in front of the person, having a good reason for saying it).
The chofetz chaim is not universally accepted on each point.
One might get the impression that in going l’chumrah in many of the alternative understandings of some of the basics, we have developed a system which many (most?) seem not to be able to maintain adherence. Does this yield a cognitive dissonance and some strange results? (e.g. one does not see a non-violent hour where people agree to take on not hitting anyone for that time period, but we do see this for lashon hara.)
Where have all the souls gone, long time a passing? Olam haba or purgatory/gan eden or reincarnation.
What happens to bad boys? Physically burn, be forced to watch an eternal video of how stupid you were, karet (cease to exist).
What is tchiyat hameitim? Physical or spiritual?
“You gotta have heart” (any Mets fans out there?) There can be a dialectic between regularity of learning and the “joy/creativity” of learning. Enjoying can also aid in retention and learning should impact your personality (classic Brisker retort to mussar movement).
Becoming creative – Rambam – 1) have yishuv hadaat (self serenity?) 2) harchavat halev (broad view); me – e.g. knowledge base of analogies to draw on – IIRC the inventor of the M-16 drew on his aerospace background).
Mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar…). 5th century Hippocrates recognized these as medical but this was “lost” and these were ascribed to demons and the like (cue here to discussion of shoteh et al).
Now categorize as mood altering vs. thinking altering diseases. Some very compelling descriptions (me – having seen this up close and personal, I wonder if there is an element on anusim (exculpatory compulsionary forces) in halacha here.)
Interesting – schizophrenia in identical twins is 50% correlation (so partially genetic but something else as well). Grief is part of the human condition, depression isn’t (and should be treated) [me – if you could drug grief, why wouldn’t you?]
More interesting – psychotherapy has biological impact (me – explains why drugs and psychotherapy both work). Targeting specific therapies!
A little trashing of society and insurance as reflecting social stigmas.
Y-208 Importance of training oneself to control their thoughts – based on Lo tishneh – blvavecha (don’t hate your brother in your heart). (Remember R'YBS on the God given ability for the intellect to control the emotion)
Y-209 Examples of danger of mispronounciations and mispunctuations. Don’t rely on mpi hashmuah (stories or reports) of halacha - they are often misleading because you don't know all the circumstances or someone just makes it up . Be sure your listener understands your communications (me-e.g. Who do you mean when you say "The Rav")
Y-210 The mida of pushing yourself can have value.
Y-211 Koach hariah – (the power of what you see) – is tremendous, so look at role models not newspapers (except kosher ones)!
Should a son pressure parents for money if he knows it causes them pain? (Was the response to someone who wanted to be supported in learning?) No.
Who brings par he’elem davar (sacrifice brought when a majority of the nation sins based on following a faulty decision of the Sanhedrin) and when? When you paskin your head is on the block. More discussion of parameters of “relying” on beit din. Does a head nod count as a vote (or as a head fake)?
Is the mitzvah in the experience of torah or the knowledge accrued (Rambam vs. Tosafot)? Some application differences (part of a series).
R’Yisraeli – some history (me – the eretz chemdah sh”ut make fascinating reading from a sociological perspective – questions from around the world). Sh”ut covered –
1) Should Zionist youth groups in diaspora encourage aliyah (yes, but…)
2) Do women have a chiyuv (requirement) of being misameach (“joying”?) the newlyweds (no).
3) Microphone on Shabbat (yes)
4) Terrorists confrontation like Entebbe (yes)
Beit Shammai vs. Hillel, chassidut vs. GR”A – all the same debate – be strong and pull away from evil vs. spread the good and find HKB”H everywhere. We need to bring peace between these approaches.
Detailed summary with focus on what is the mitzvah (if any), acceptance of heavenly yoke (kabbalat ol) and the problematic language of the Rambam (R’HS – it’s a 30-day probation period to determine if the ger was serious!!!)
How often do you have to “check’in” to reaffirm no changes in Kashrut states or GAHP (Generally Accepted Halachic Practices)?
A basic review of the Talmudic sources and rishonim’s understanding of sources. Specific analysis of situation in Israel (can’t ignore government!). See here for a long recent discussion of the issue,We report, you decide! : link