Thursday, July 10, 2008

Audio Roundup V

by Joel Rich

Editor’s Note: I’ll only comment on ongoing series lectures when I find something of particular interest and please assume that I’ve always included CYLOR where appropriate.

  • Rabbi Ozer Glickman - Talmudic Jurisprudence: Does the Gemara Recover Law or Create It?: link

    As always, an engaging speaker. Here Rabbi Glickman discusses his (I suppose what he would say the traditional) approach to study of the Talmud which is not memorization of opinions but confrontation with the text. He deals with particular Sugyot and explains how it is clear that the Talmud was not asking for a factual ruling because it was asking on something that obviously had been done for many years. Rather the Talmud was looking for a theoretical basis, not a fact. He goes through how the Talmud first tries logic, then analogy, then apodictic and then precedent much like American law - lhavdil. Rabbi Glickman’s recent work with Cardozo School of law shows here. Earlier Basar V’Chalav Shiurim showed the actuarial side of R’Glickman. He also discusses his theory on harmonization/coherence as the goal of the Talmud.

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  • Leib Schapiro - Understanding the Role of a Rebbe: link

    A discussion of the Chassidic view of the role of a “rebbi”. Interesting how each mhalech sees itself as the continuation of the traditional approach and reinterprets seemingly inconvenient items.

  • Rav Ezra Bick - The Structure of Tefilla #08: Ahava Rabba: link

    Continuing series on prayer. In #8 he discusses the blessing of Ahava Rabba and the connection between HKB"H’s love and our receipt of the Torah. In #9 he reflects on the blessing of Gaal Yisrael and the meaning of redemption. Thus between the three blessings (including Yotzer Or) we have the three basic elements of Jewish Belief (at least according to many authorities!) HKB”H as creator, intervenor and redeemer.

  • Internal and External Lives - Rich and Costly Sitting Around the Dining Room Table with Yossi Prager, Steve Savitsky learns about Orthopraxy, Affluenza, the cost of living Jewishly and...: link

    In depth interviews with Yossi Prager, head of Avi Chai, and a Stern college student, Laura Shuman. Interesting discussions concerning the problems facing our communities especially in the areas of affluence and education. Saving the best for last, Mr. Savitsky was questioned as to whether there is a glass ceiling in Jewish organizations.

  • Rabbi Daniel Stein - Hilchos Ishus Review: link

    A review session on practical halachot of Ketuba and Kiddushin. Close to 2 hours of great technical information that will allow you to impress your friends and relatives at your next wedding.

  • Rabbi Mordechai Greenberg - Noseh Be-Ol Chaveiro: link

    Interesting discussion of our responsibility to our neighbors (both Yehudim and Nochrim) vs. our responsibility to ourselves. Seems contra to what I understand the current “hock” to be - which is that learning is always more important. Consult your halachik authority.

  • Rabbi Meir Lichtenstein - The Rav's Philosophy on the Land and State of Israel: link

    An interesting Shiur (in easy Hebrew) regarding Rabbi Soloveitchik’s version of religious Zionism. Includes an interesting discussion of the current state of the dati leumi communities in Israel and a comparison of Rabbi Kook’s approach and that of Rav Soloveitchik. AlUl, given Rav Soloveitchik’s background as totally grounded in “Brisk”, his approach to the State of Israel was purely in halachic terms which could be seen as a third way when compared to investing the state with special holiness or none whatsoever. The advantage of a synthesis between the two Rav’s (in my sister’s family the Rav is Rav Kook, in mine it’s Rav Soloveitchik) is an interesting thought.

  • Rabbi Daniel Hartstein - Speak Up Mr. Chazzan: link

    Discussions of when the Shatz should raise his voice, when not and when he can “roll his own” (metaphorically, of course). Includes the issue of Hashem Sfatai, as well Gaal Yisrael. He also quotes three opinions with regard to what to do during Modim, one which he rejects (saying in a low voice) the second which he says is the most common (moving ahead immediately in a loud voice) and third, which is accepted but not the most common, is to say the first three words aloud and then wait for the congregation to finish. The third approach, of course, is the approach of Rabbi Soloveitchik who requires the Kahal to hear every word from the Shatz. It does however remind me how often given congregational singing (and talking) it’s next to impossible for us in the crowd to truly hear every word from the Shatz. Also mentioned it also reminds me of the importance of focusing on the repetition rather than talking, reading blackberrys or even learning.

  • Rav Moshe Taragin - Character and Ethics #07: Judgmentalism and Tolerance: link

    In the seventh in the series, a discussion of tolerance both on an individual and group level. Interesting use of the term harshly religious. Rabbi Taragin interprets the righteous sitting in a circle equally distant from HKB"H in olam haba as implying in each of their approaches in the end were equally acceptable. (Of course, my approach is more equally acceptable than yours :-))

  • Rabbi Menachem Leibtag - Why Bad Things Happen to Good Kings: link

    IIUC his thesis is that prophets that primarily did miracles had to do this because of the weakness of their generation and the need to get people in the door. Once they are in, the real challenge is giving them guidance. The biggest challenge seemed to be trying to get the people to understand that even though they are physically bringing sacrifices, if they are not ethical, HKB”H is not happy. Hmmm, good thing that’s not a problem today!

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Entering the Ark: link

    Continuing his Chumash series he discusses Noah’s entering the Ark and the commentaries’ understanding of the specific circumstances and lessons to be learned. (See Bill Cosby for more detail) Very interesting question from the floor concerning naval design (could the Ark actually float), as well as Rabbi Gottlieb’s surprising admission that if someone gave him two tickets to Hawaii, he would go.

  • Rabbi Zev Cinamon - The Mitzvah Of Kevurah: Who and How: link

    Discussion of burial including the source of the requirement, how should it be done, who is required to do it and where should it be done? Also discussed are the practice burying men and women together, as well as women visiting the cemetery. Of particular interest to me was he mentions the common practice of Aveilim not being involved in the burial process and states that he was unable to find the source. I asked a shailah on this issue since it seemed from what I had learned it would be the highest level of respect for an avel to be involved.

  • Speech Lessons: Speak Well - Part I: link (follow directions)

    Speech Lessons: An Introductory Course in Loshon HaTov, in good speech. Part one of four in a new four part series of Torah Sessions with Rochi Lerner.

    A discussion of the problem of just focusing on Lashon Hara and the seemingly inevitable result that one will think of oneself as not being a good person. To just stop talking altogether is probably not the appropriate approach, given the fact that we see that man as a m daber is the highest level creator of this, we must focus on speaking Lashon Tov as outlined in the sources such as psalms. This is part of a lecture series.

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss - Balak 5767: link (follow directions there)

    A discussion of the messages of Billam and Ma tovu, in addition to some philosophical insights. Rabbi Weiss discusses the actual nature of Hezek Riah (based on the orientation of Bnai Yisrael’s tent openings in the midbar) as either actual damage or taking away the use of the property. Also you can find Rabbi Brander’s insights on the practical implications here - link Of particular importance is that past allowance of usage does not necessarily allow future use. In addition, one can be mochel. Perhaps a very basic question is – is this a law in Nizikin or Shechanim? He also discusses different changes in society which may have an impact on how this Halacha operates including the fact that in the past most people within very crowded circumstances and their yards were most likely used for private activities that are not standard today. Also discussion of what we would call air rights.

  • Rabbi Bloch's podcast on the Parsha: link

    Rabbi Bloch's podcast on the Parsha can be found here. He analyzes the connective tissue of the layout of the Parsha.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - May a Kohen Enter a Cemetery?: link

    A discussion of whether a Kohen can go to the graves of Tzadikim. A number of different seemingly conflicting Talmud statements and Medrashim are discussed. The bottom line seems that most authorities prohibit but there are a few that do allow.

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