Friday, March 13, 2009

Audio Roundup XXXIII

by Joel Rich

NEXT 3 SHIURIM are Pay to download: link (look under sages or author )

  • Dr. Kenneth Hart Green - Did Maimonides Hide What He Really Thought About Judaism?

    Did the Rambam purposely hide deeper intent? (Strauss) True philosophy requires some doubt (it’s not the opposite of faith). Rambam needed to keep his true agenda hidden because most common folk can’t handle the truth (calling Colonel Jessep) and can be dangerous even for some who seek the ultimate level (intellectual elite). [You are right Nosson Aryeh-I probably should’ve spent more time in the critical works section J]

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  • Panel - A Panel Discussion (The Rambam and the Transformation of Judaism)

    Why was Rambam not accepted as halachic authority (compared to Shulchan Aruch) Was it because of his philosophic position? Panel had differing takes – 1) No – Baalei Tosfot had a more tradition less Talmudic approach that was accepted and also maintained the sources/give and take methodology; 2) Yes – his thought was too controversial to become majority view and philosophy and halacha are not separable – What is the true esoteric message? R’Caro was a mystic based and Rambam was intellectual based.

    Would the Rambam have a panel discussion open to the average Joe? Probably not.
    How do you have a system where you try to “know” the essentially unknowable God? Some find it a problem, others see it as “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?” [my use of Browning quote to summarize discussion]

    I can’t help but note that I once (awaking from my then usual torpor) asked R’N. Alpert ZT”L why did God set up a system of mitzvoth/aveirot that one could never fully achieve (there’s no one who never sins…….)? His answer “avos, who says you can’t?” (and IIUC he meant it with every fiber of his being).

    The Rambam on Hashgacha Pratit – I can’t share it with the masses :-)

  • Dr. James A. Diamond - A Heretic's Teaching on Suffering: Elisha ben Abuyah's Lasting Legacy

    Interesting text based take on the relationship of Rabbi Meir’s philosophical approach to that of his teachers Rabbi Akiva and E Elisha ben Abuyah (and the mishnah in avot where he is mentioned). Me – Be honest – didn’t it ever bother you that Acher didn’t know what length of days meant?

  • Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein - Q and A: link

    Only a few questions this time. Discussion of learning Aggadita and R’YBS’s position on contemporary Amalek. His answer was focused on moral/ethical dimension. Remember R’Chaim lived at a time when it was only a theoretical issue. Also, can’t take a statement from 1950’s and use it now. Perhaps R’YBS got a little carried away in Kol Dodi Dofek?

    Also, long discussion of approaches to learning Mishnah.

  • Rabbi Moshe Weinberg - Adar, Achdus and Rav Kook: link

    Importance of achdut (unity); remember that unity doesn’t mean we are all the same (me – however remember exclusivist lecture)

  • Rabbi Daniel Stein - Hilchos Geirus Review: link

    If you want to be able to talk knowledgably about the issues (rather than posting “boiche” {belly} svarahs {opinions} on the geirut (conversion) controversies), this is a great summary of the various opinions (caution – do not try this at home).

  • Rabbi I Oron -halacha refua: link

    Artificial insemination – husband donor – what is child’s status in relation to the donor/father (e.g. inheritance, pru urvu…) answer differing opinions ranging from unrelated to same as if natural insemination to in-between (surprise!).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Medical Ethics-Organ Transplantation: link

    General background on both live and cadaver transplants and then R’HS’s position on a number of specifics.
    He says one would ask the same rav that one asks their kashrut questions to – (me – is that what happens in practice?)

  • Rabbi Mayer Twersky - Growth in Avodas Hashem: link

    Grow and don’t be afraid of religious growth. Develop consistency in your avodat hashem (service of HKB”H) and incorporate moments of spiritual clarity into your future by taking on reasonable kabbalot (resolutions)

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - The Mitzvah to Live in Eretz Yisrael: link

    Yishuv eretz Yisrael – all the sources on whether it’s a mitzvah. It is per R’HS!

  • Rabbi Michael Yammer - Was it permitted to shoot down the airplanes before they crashed into the Twin Towers?: link

    Tradeoffs – Could you shoot down second plane at WTC? R’Yammer mentions 3 real life cases (HKB”H save us from ever having to experience such situations). He focuses on can you kill (or allow to be killed) a smaller group to save a larger. Classic Talmudic sources discussed – was Sheva Ben Bichri not turned over because of chillul hashem, or who says his blood was lighter red (even than a larger group) or because it’s a chok (law regardless of logic). Focus on if smaller group is a known group vs. random selection by killer. No mention of famous “act of saving” explanation (can you divert a train from killing larger group even if smaller number killed).

  • Rabbi Y Rimon - Prayer: link

    What to do as an individual praying with a congregation with a different Nusach? He understands R’Moshe’s position as the ideal being one follows the congregation except for silent amida. If that’s tough, follow your own practice except kedusha (there’s a stricter standard for staying away from machloket (disagreement) vs. lo Titgodidu (don’t make different groups). R’Ovadia holds that ideally you would do all in your own including kedusha because everyone knows there are different practices so it’s not divisive. He feels its best is to do Kedusha and aleinu with congregation, rest in your own (perhaps general rule is not to be obviously different).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Purim Was Esther Obligated to Risk Her Life to Save the Jews: link

    Robust discussion of traditional sources on endangering oneself to save others.

  • Rabbi Mordechai Willig - Relationships Between Observant Jews & Non-Observant Jews (Part II): link

    Practical issues in dealing with not yet frum. Can they be counted for a minyan? Given an aliyah? Duchen? May they be invited for Shabbat even if they drive? Can you give them food even if you know they won’t make a bracha? If it’s a parent, is there halachic mourning? What if they touch your wine? This is part of a series, R’Willig is using a sefer (book) which is strict but he gives his own take. CLOR (there’s a lot of debate!)

  • Rabbi Michael Rosensweig - Moseir: link

    The Talmud in Gittin provides one of the basic sources for mesirah (turning over “evildoers” to the secular government) and R’Rosensweig details the opinions of the Rashba and Meiri which drive much of the current discussions.

  • Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff - Rav Meir Kahane: link

    An analysis of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s approach in U.S. and Israel. Wrong on some, right on others…see his book review in the spring issue of “Jewish Action”.

  • Daniel Fridman - Mordechai Learner or Earner: link

    Chazal tell us Mordechi was ratzui L’rov echav (beloved by the majority) because he should’ve gone back to learning. Theory here is parallel to Yosef, that we are in a “groundhog day” loop of temporary salvations, chazal were articulating ultimate desire/destiny.

  • Rav Weiss - Zchiras Maase Amolek: link

    Analysis of classical sources on women’s chiyuv on zchirat Amalek and krait hamegilla.
    One Lmaaseh issue – if they are not chayav to hear parchat zachor, is there an issue of taking out a torah “shelo itzorech” to have a special reading.

  • Dr. Rivkah Blau - Insights from Rav Soloveitchik on Purim and the Megillah: link

    Message for generations – at the end we were still a vdei d’achashverosh (servants to King Achashverosh) – even Mordechai and Esther. Many can be evil, and upheaval can impact Jews negatively, we all have a common fate and HKB”H will intervene when needed.

    Great psychological insights to each character.

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