Friday, April 03, 2009

Audio Roundup XXXVI

by Joel Rich

Anyone old enough to remember Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola (oops, I meant P-A-Y-O-L-A). Turns out this audio roundup has been a big money maker for me so I’ve decided to share the wealth by giving you all free access to the Torah-In-Motion (TIM) Shiurim I’ve been reviewing. OK – to tell the truth TIM as a courtesy to Hirhurim readers is allowing their shiurim to be downloaded at no cost. Go here link and enter coupon code 253340 upon checkout. Enjoy!

  • The Toronto SARS Experience: Ethical, Scientific & Jewish Perspectives (TIM)

    Factual contemporaneous discussion of the epidemic in Toronto with an introductory discussion of risk taking in halacha. How do you define “reasonable” risk (in the days before VAR and ERM - ha)?

    Interesting side comment. HKB”H doesn’t give us problems we can’t handle or else we lose our free will. Question – I used to believe this as a matter of faith – is believing this a requirement or can one believe that HKB”H might set one up for failure?

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  • The Future of Judaism (TIM)
    Rabbinic Authority vs. Worldly Wisdom (TIM)

    One student’s lament – all I hear is halachik minutiae and fear of the world.
    Charedi view is an issue of priorities – many are better off with simple faith, the educational system should give a good grounding in secular and later anyone can explore further (hmmm – in Israel?).

    M.O. must expose at right time but acknowledge that this doesn’t work for some/many? (trash TV?) And are they serious about halacha?

    No one really cares about theology.
    Is there a value in secular knowledge other than kiruv?
    Interesting debate concerning “legitimacy” of non-orthodox “rabbis”.
    Are we rationalist so that expertise is key or does “knowledge” of halacha make halachist closer to reality of any situation?

  • What authority does a Rabbi really have? (Listen to R’Marc Shapiro)

    Internet has changed the relationship of the Jew to halacha and Rabbis.
    Me – every approach has risks and rewards thus probably actuaries should be the final authorities.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon - Inyanei Pesach: link

    Blunt discussion of preferability of not selling chametz but getting rid of it! Shampoo, medicine, vitamins, ovens, countertops and seder times all discussed.

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Lost: What To Do About Shabbos If You Are Stranded on a Desert Island: link

    Call Gilligan?? Don’t get stuck on a desert island – but if you do and don’t know which day is Shabbat, there are a whole bunch of opinions as to what to do with regard to 1) Mlacha (forbidden labors); 2) Kiddush; 3) havdalah; 4) putting on tfillin; 5) prayers

  • Rabbi Tuli Polak - Berachos During the Meal: link

    Discussion of when you need a separate bracha (blessing) for a food item during a “bread meal” – (it depends! ☺)

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Starting Shabbos and YomTov: link

    Discussion of concepts of Tosefet Shabbat (adding onto Shabbat) and what does it mean to “make Shabbat early” – does it literally turn Friday into Shabbat and implications for prayer, Kiddush, meals and Yom Tov.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - The Timing of the Pesach Seder: link

    Pesach seder Mitzvot times. How early can you start may turn on nature of tosefet – do you actually turn Wednesday late PM into Thursday or is it just “accepting” for certain purposes? (Call R’Taubes?) Former may imply full kedushat hayom comes along as well although one could argue different mechayev for Matzah (other than Kedushat hayom).

    Finishing time – should try to get done before chatzot: {in priority order} (1st matzah bite, Afikoman, hallel, 4 kosot). Issues in this discussion include: Duraita, drabanan, consistency in related mitzvoth, l’chatchila?).

    Mussar – we are in control of our time (unlike slaves). Please use it wisely.

  • Rabbi Daniel Feldman - The Virtual Minyan-an Analysis of the Performance of Mitzvot through Electronic Media: link

    Electronically transmitted voices and sounds – do they have the same force as the original voice (no? yes? When it’s all you can do?)

  • Rav Hershel Schachter - Halachic Issues of the Tuition Crisis: link

    1) Can’t save through teachers pay (need good ones); 2) Large classes are educationally unacceptable; 3) need big families to make up for holocaust

    First priority is to help others find jobs. Help them budget. Big problem is “borderline” orthodox will pull kids from Yeshivas and put them in public schools. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for tuition break if needed (he never felt guilty).

    Scholarship committees shouldn’t require wives to work but no camps, Israel trips, expensive houses, clothes, cell phones, vacations……Parents should refuse these if offered by grandparents.

    Priorites - Aniyei ircha (poor of your city) is priority and ¾ of charity goes local if there is need. Ircha is defined by your relationship to the organization. R’HS says current financial mess fits this description and thus $ stay home. Special needs students must also be addressed.

    The part of tuition that goes to scholarships etc. can be counted against maaser ksafim. Remember that maaser is only if you can afford it (e.g. if you’re just making ends meet – only need give minimum amount).

    Parents should be allowed to see school’s financials.
    Need to cut back on luxurious weddings. Long range goal should be no tuition, total community support.
    He hasn’t really looked at charter school issue. You can have religious studies in Yeshiva in PM versus AM, if that’s what it takes for school to succeed.

    No clear description on allocation of your charity $ to various community needs.

  • Rav Mordechai Willig - Peru U'revu - How Many Children and When: link

    Review of sources. There is Rabbinic flexibility in how many and when depending on circumstances. General rule – it’s wife’s call on what she can handle. There is an element of personal decision making in halacha (wow!). R’HS says start right away, R’MW says at least one (who knows if HKB”H will bless you with children).

  • Rabbi Mordechai Willig - Hilchos Muktza: link

    General introductory review of laws of muktzeh.

  • Rabbi Y Rimon - Birchat Hashachar: link

    Halacha and Hashkafa of the opening brachot of the morning service. Includes physical renewal and broader issues.

  • Rabbi Y Kahn - kriat hatorah: link

    Interesting insights from R’YBS on why 3, 5 and 7 for weekday, Yom Tov and Shabbat. The Talmud mentions the shomrei hasaf (for both judges and aliyot), R’YBS ties it back to chazal commemorating martyred Jewish leaders who were advisors to king.

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn - Stringencies on pesach: link

    Explanation of “Yisrael Kedoshim Heim” and the taking on of extra chumrot on Pesach (personally I vote for being more machmir on the leaven in one’s heart).

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn - freewill: link

    R’Kahn defines chochma of the Rambam (based on R’YBS) as utilizing your freewill to HKB”H is with you. “Be like Moshe” meaning using your God given abilities to the max.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Reciting Pesukim by Heart: link

    Robust discussion of reason(s) for not quoting psukim by heart. Is it duraita or drabannan? Does it apply to Nach? Is it because of fear of misquote? Is its application limited (e.g. not by prayer? Only if being motzi others).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Inyanei Korbanos: link

    Kodshim and karbanot with a special guest appearance by R’A Berzon.

  • Rabbi Aaron Levine - Mortgage Scandal: link

    Why the current financial crisis should’ve been foreseen. What halacha requires in disclosure.
    Analysis of how lack of Yashrut (my term) caused the crisis, how keeping to halachik norms would’ve prevented it and short and long term solutions (IMHO somewhat academic).

  • Rabbi Aharon Kahn - Customs:Prayer-Pronunciation: link

    Some history and halacha regarding various forms of Hebrew pronunciation and the halachic implications thereof. Hint – sfardic and ashkenazic poskim are totally objective concerning which is “really” correct.

  • Rabbi Daniel Feldman - Zerizim Makdimim LiMitzvos and Birchas Hachama: link

    Is this a duraita or drabanan? Is it a hiddur mitzvah or concern for making hay while the sun shines? Is it intrinsic or extrinsic to the mitzvah at hand?

    The answer to all these questions is yes. Some “fuzzy logic” as to how to analyze the tradeoff between zrizin and brov am.

  • Rabbi Chaim Ilson - Mitzvas Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim in the Rambam: link

    Was R' Ilson in MTA in 1967? Discussion of gnut as a setup for shevach.

  • Mrs. Chani Newman - Bnai Yisrael's True Colors-The Avnei Hachoshen-For Women: link

    Discussion of meaning of the colors of the stones associated with each tribe (some interesting scientific wave length insights).

  • Rabbi E Bick - Ramban/Tzav: link

    Worthwhile discussion of the interplay between chovah (obligation), Eitzah Tova (good advice) and Derech Eretz (good manners?). If I can’t point to it in Shulchan Aruch, am I permitted to ignore it?

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