Friday, May 22, 2009

Audio Roundup XLII

by Joel Rich

  • Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks: After Modern Orthodoxy, Then What?: link

    Sometimes you hear someone articulate what for you is an inchoate ( imperfectly formed or formulated ) inner voice. In the attached audio link, you'll find a beautiful (IMHO) articulation of one of my favorite themes combining the Rav (among others) [our mutual covenant of destiny ] and Thomas Cahill (Gift of the Jews) and the concepts of cyclical (halachik) time {clock related} and historical {covenantal} time. While we may be good at the clock stuff (e.g. daily prayers) where do we stand in our role as members of a people who have a covenantal destiny (e.g. bringing the ultimate redemption)?

    Why did Jews stop recording history in any real way after churban? Perhaps we became cyclical and lost our historical/prophetic voice – Rabbis Hirsch, Kook and Soloveitchik all were moving back to covenantal/prophetic approach which hadn’t been seen in millennia (no wonder they were opposed ).

    His charge to us: build a modern (chochma) chesed society in Israel but listen to the music of time (The Rav called this – "God's psak through history ") and always ask – what does God want of me/us (as individuals and as members of a covenantal community) now?

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  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Tefilin and Krias Shema: link

    Anshei knesset Hagedola formalized (up to then every talmid chacham did his own thing) not only prayer but whole system of halacha (me – how did they relate to Sanhedrin?).

    Discussion of Mitzva of Zechirat Yetziat mitzrayim and kriat shma according to the Rambam; when can you interrupt kriat shma?

    Why did the gemara say we can’t call Avraham Avinu Avram (it was his slave name ☺)

  • Rabbi Eli Ozarowski - Business Ethics & Halacha - Part I: Introduction: link

    As R’Emanuel said "you never want a serious crisis go to waste!" or "the financial crisis and the jewish problem". An opportunity for glorification or demeaning of God – let’s go for the former and remember the beer hagola in choshen mishpat 348 about those who got wealthy on the letter of the law (taut Akum) not prospering in the long term.

  • Rabbi Eli Ozarowski - The Yad Binyamin Stimulus Package - Business Ethics&Halacha-Part_II:Genevas Daas: link

    Primary sources and specific examples of gneivat data (generating false positive impression).

  • Rabbi Hayyim Angel - Prophecy as Potential: the Consolations of Yeshayahu in Context: link

    Seeming inconsistencies in Yishayahu’s prophecies. Implication is that every generation (including our own ) can be time of biat hamashiach ( bita achishena- if we deserve it! Oy?!)

  • Rabbi Daniel Feldman - Lashon Hara L iToeles: link

    Is the primary concern about Lashon Hara the bad midot (attribute) or the damage to the individual? In the case where it must be spoken, is it that such speech is not Lashon Hara (me – hutra) or that it is, but the positive result outweighs the negative (me – dchuya).

    Specific examples discussed.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon - 05-Machlokes: Aveilus D'Oraisa O D'Rabbanan: link

    Part of his usually excellent practical halacha series. I listened to this one (I’ve listened to his previous series) to see if he discussed the issue of learning mitzvoth from pre-matan torah (IIRC the Rif learns aveilut as duraita from pre-matan torah).

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Acharei Mos/Kedoshim: link 1, link 2

    You should generally assume that any R’HS shiur is wide ranging, and I’ll only comment on what stood out to me.

    Secular knowledge has no inherent value (but some for torah applications) thus a non-posek will do just as well to have a rich father-in-law.

    Apparently read R’Holzer’s book.

    Kavod av – must be sipuk byado (me-reasonably doable) or no requirement.

    Ramban vs. Gra on centrality of eretz yisrael in mitzvot.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Sotah Shiur #2: link

    Discussion of hakhel, baal tosif and tigra, chalitza. Issue of allowance of women’s smicha on sacrifices and acid test of whether any kilkul (negative results) will come from rabbinic enactments .

  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz - Review2 Medical Halakhah reproduction transplants shabbos: link

    Good summaries of original shiurim on these topics but original shiurim are worth listening to if you want to be able to have an intelligent discussion (not that it stops most of us!).

  • Dr. Naomi Grunhaus - Sheep Being Led to the Slaughter: Jewish interpretation of the Suffering Servant in Yeshayahu 53: link

    If the slave is representative of the Jewish people, why does he suffer (for the goyim)? Differing commentaries – focus on the purpose of suffering – perhaps we need to be out in the world but exposure has problems. Similar issues to theodicy.

  • Rabbi M Taragin - Pirkei Avot #2: link

    One who forgests and torah "Kilu mitchayev bnafsho" – (it’s as if he is guilty of a capital crime). [Ah, that caf hadimyon again]. While many commentaries temper the force of this statement, we should still feel the pain of loss even if it’s beyond our control.

  • Mrs. Yael Leibowitz - Sin and Exile in Genesis - A Commentary on the Human Condition: link

    Pre Abrahamic stories – don’t ask why (R’YBS ? ) but what did HKB"H want us to get? Perhaps vision of alternative realities and why wouldn’t work (e.g. Tower of Babel – no creativity). Analysis of Adam/Chavah/Nachash – Tov V’ra as opposite polls and Nachash causing first self reflection. Interesting approach- causes one to analyze story details. (thank you Dr. Lainoff)

  • Dr. Shnayer Leiman - The Strange History of Lag B'Omer: link

    Discussion of sources of "celebration" – apparently the Chatam Sofer was unclear on this as well. Closes with a plea for continued re-analysis of torah learning as one matures (surprise – perhaps you didn’t learn everything you need to know in kindergarten). (me- so we acculturated some cool stuff-perhaps that is what gemara described as "vnahagu" - problem is imho when we pretend this kind of thing never happened and/or if you don't buy into it you're not frum )

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