Thursday, July 16, 2009

Audio Roundup L

by Joel Rich

(Mazal tov to Reb Joel on his fiftieth roundup! - Gil)

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - Dina D'Malchusa Dina: link

    Nice summary of many of the sources, implications and R’HS on why if you hold like the Ran (DMD does not apply in Israel) you need to understand all the halachic implications (e.g.Pidyon with “their” currency). Some interesting mention of the Maharatz Chiyut (I’m guessing Dr. Bruriah Hutner David (oops I meant Rebbitzin) would beg to disagree).

    Of particular interest to me was R’AL’S statement that he (as most of us?) was brought up to believe the torah has something to say about everything – just need to tease it out. [famous response of chatam sofer to the shach]. I’d say yes and no – yes we all develop at some level a “lev shel torah” that tells us what the torah says on every subject. But given that even “gedolim” come to differing conclusions…. What is the torah’s position on cloning? What color socks to wear? In this context, listen to the next shiur.

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  • Rabbi D Linzer - Values Independent of Jewish Tradition: link

    Is there an ethic outside of halacha? What are the “outside influences”? Are they internal or external to Torah?
    Does pure halacha define everything or are there other values the torah teaches? See Rashi vs. Ramban of Kdoshim tihiyu.
    Do taamei hamitzvot teach us anything? If yes, is there a danger of us rationalizing what we want to believe is the Torah ethic? Perhaps it is two levels – we do mitzvot because HKB”H told us to but learn values and also it helps us invest the act with meaning (vs. kabbala, ish hahalacha – just do it).
    Bottom line – we need common language and focus to discuss issues not black and white in halacha.

  • Rabbi N Kaplan - Lifnei Eiver: link

    Always interesting insights into the world of the Yeshiva – here what “bad boys” do - go to summer camp and sell points on their credit cards (I really didn’t get the latter, please help me out!).
    Brief explanation of Lfnei Iver (placing a stumbling block in front of the blind) and mesayeah (helping someone else to sin).
    Questions: If food isn’t Kosher for you (e.g. you don’t accept that hashgacha) but someone else accepts it, can you give it to him? Can you return it to the store? If you don’t open bottles on Shabbat can you ask someone else? What about carrying for you if you don’t hold from the eruv?
    R’MF – OK, if he has a rav to rely on; R’SZA – no, but if you hold really it’s acceptable to eat, etc., but you’re machmir (or minhag) then it’s OK. (Chazon Ish – if you know {with existential certainty???} he’s wrong, then no, even if he relies on his rav.)
    Worthwhile listening for his elu v’elu approach to the heter mchira (not).

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Parshas Chukas Balak Halachic Reliability of Doctors: link

    Healing the sick vs. keeping Shabbat – sources and details. Does the doctor’s credibility for Sabbath violations to save lives extend to other areas of halacha (e.g. source of blood for Nidda.)

  • Rabbi Yaakov Luban - The Vaad HaKashrus: Politicians or Professionals?: link

    Old school Vaads were Mom & Pop type shops; last 20 years have seen more professionalism.
    Need written policies on all issues (e.g. worms, simanim for delivery, mashgiach bio-breaks…) and all conversations need to be documented. The Orthodox Union has unique written protocols for each restaurant.
    Local Vaad’s can be old school, inertial and resistant to change – providers say, “why change rules on me” and Rabbi’s say, “changes are negative inference on past rabbis”. Orthodox Union’s standard response is the world changes and standards change. R’Belsky feels we should exceed S’A standards (e.g. reliance on nichnas vyotzeh) [ me – ein l’davar sof – why not require all cows to be MRI’d before milking?]
    Local Vaad should have national visit to audit. Acceptance or not of other hechsher isn’t political, there are complex issues. However “politics” (e.g. people involved, embarrassment, great loss…) all form a very delicate balance and there’s not a clear algorithim and thus best to have a number of Rabbi’s involved [me – this may be necessary but that lack of repeatable algorithm is why many suspect politics is key]

  • Rabbi Dov Schreier - The Mashgiach: Friend of the Staff, or Ruling with a Staff?: link

    Advice to a Mashgiach. Be part of the team if you want to get the cooperation of the group being supervised. Be on time (me – good general advice) and a host of very practical tips!

  • Dr. Yael Ziegler - Megillat Eicha Chapter 3 Part 1: link

    Third chapter. This chapter is focused on the (an) individual. No mention of the destruction of the Temple, etc. Focus is on every man’s suffering and lessons as to how religious man suffers.

  • Rabbi Ian Shaffer - Dreams: link

    A review of the various (seemingly contradictory) sources on how chazal viewed dreams. (Joe rationalist – 1) it affects those who worry about the effect; 2) they may tell you what you’re really thinking).

  • Rabbi Kenneth Brander - The Jewish Notion of a Sexual Ethic: link

    The torah’s take on sexuality (very positive within both a halachic and hashkafic manner). Lot’s of detail for rabbinic students.

  • Rabbi Yaakov Luban - The Vaad HaKashrus: How and Why?: link

    Vaad is much better (surprise J) because no machloket, you can hire professionals. Challenge is how to keep local rabbis involved and how set standards. Best is to choose mutually agreeable outside posek.

  • Mrs. Rena Spolter -Yirmiyahu Shiur 1 - Historical Background of Sefer Yirmiyahu: link

    General introduction to Tanach and ordering of the sfarim. Starts with Chizkiah and then onto exile.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - Geneivas Da'as: link

    Sources of the prohibition. Focus on the application to non bnai brit. Tzedaka from a non ben brit as well.

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss - Yerusha of Rabbonus: link

    Some yes (e.g. Chazan) some no (Rabbi – according to many). See medrash on why Yehoshua followed Moshe (rather than Moshe’s sons) – how do we understand Yehoshua’s being selected? (me – it seems a reflection of what we prioritize).

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein - Do you need to wait for the 10th man for Chazarat Hashatz?: link

    “Don’t you make us wait for you, minyan man” (ok, not the exact lyrics). For those of us who often end up in a minyan with exactly 10, do you have to wait till that tenth guy finishes to begin chazarat hashatz? (Don’t get me started on some people’s focus on self vs. the Tzibbur!). Differing opinions as to the essential meaning of chazart hashatz (R’YBS on the Tfila btzibbur vs. hatzibbur) and the halachic resultants.

  • The Aliya Conundrum: links I, II, III

    We instill values in our kids (religious Zionism, family….). We should respect their decisions (e.g. Aliyah) [duh??] . Some stories on how it works as well.#1 Religious/Zionist upbringing and then your kid wants to make aliyah! Here discussion of halachic issues when parent opposes child’s making aliyah – Yirah vs. kavod (IMHO there’s a lot more to be said – but remember my guide by the side preference).

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss - Yerusha of Rabbonus: link

    Discussion of whether rabbinic positions qualify as Srarah that are subject to “inheritance” – actually not Yerushah but son in place of father. Famous responsa (plural) of chatam sofer. Even those who say yes generally place limitations.
    Me – worth thinking about – Yehoshua got the nod, and not because he was the greatest gadol (at least according to the Medrash).

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Taking Pictures on Chol HaMoed: link

    Is taking a picture (please don’t take my Kodachrome away) a melacha? Is it Kotev, boneh, makeh bpatish.
    To me again a stark reminder of how the basic definitions of mlachot, at least at the boundaries (sometimes the essential) are unclear.
    Would’ve been a great jumping off point for a hashkafic discussion of the priority of fun (here – is it tzoroch hamoed [needed for the holiday] if any, in Judaism).

  • Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal - The 3 weeks - A Modern Orthodox Approach Revisited: link

    MO views 3 weeks as an interruption of summer fun because no real connection to current life. [me – please tell us what you really think!] All the threats to Israel are due to us being in a state of punishment. We need to do tshuva. Explanation of three weeks, etc. in this context.
    (Me – if you view it as mourning comparison a’la R’YBS one should go through the seeming exceptions in the comparison to shiva and shloshim – as R’YBS does in “Out of the Whirlwind”).

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Dairy Bread: link

    Review of primary explanations of issues. Problems R’AL has with English Muffins and various possible explanations. Why cake is ok. My least favorite story on why marking packages dairy became unacceptable (someone up the food chain had a wife who made a mistake).

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