Friday, July 10, 2009

Audio Roundup XLIX

by Joel Rich

Note 1:
To the young (to me) talmid chacham (no exaggeration) who contacted me off-line and to his chevra in little Jerusalem hard by Route 4: the Bid D emphasized Chaucer’s accuracy in Canterbury Tales (IIUC your parents paid for a secular education :-)). “Nowhere so busy a man as he than he, and yet he seemed busier than he was”. He also pointed out that while there were many who fit this description, we should strive to be mekayem – “if you want a job done, give it to a busy man”. The whole dual program thing is a true preparation for real life (even actuarial exams!) but even if real life is Klei Kodesh, the tools, ability, and desire to wring the potential out of every second is constant to the oved Hashem. (Of course for most of us some relaxation is an important component of maintaining an efficient wringer!)

We can generally process faster than one can talk (especially from those who don’t have R’Sacks approach of being all information all the time). A variable speed tape player (IIUC now they have MP3’s like that as well) and the understanding that the day is short…., can work wonders.

Commuting time, exercise, walking to shul or home…. There’s a lot of time in the day for many of us that can be converted into learning (keep a yellow sticky on the tape recorder to jot short notes for later transcription). Most important, remember echad hamarbeh…and know there is a loving, caring father in heaven!

Click here to read moreNote 2:
For anyone with connections to cross-currents blog – I haven’t received a response to my request for clarification as to why my last 2 comments have been rejected – perhaps because one links to Hirhurim and the other quoted Camus? Please ask them to respond.

Note 3:
An off-line respondent assumed my reference to Prof. Lambeau of Good Will Hunting, was due to his math prowess. Actually, it was for the scene where he dives to try to rescue Will’s math work – the realization that he was good enough to know that he would never be as good as Will.

Note 4
Sounds like certain "Rav's" have similar approaches!
Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner once asked Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook what he should do with his life. Our Rabbi asked him: "What do you want to do?" His dedicated student responded: "I want to do what the Rav wants me to do." Our Rabbi repeated: "But what do you want to do?" Once again, Rav Aviner answered that he wanted to do whatever the Rosh Yeshiva advised. Patiently, our Rabbi asked him a third time, with a tone that demanded a more introspective response. Finally, the student revealed his heart's true desire. "Then do it!" Rav Tzvi Yehudah said. This was our Rabbi's way: to educate each student according to his natural direction, according to his individual talent and leaning, to encourage creativity and the free healthy development of each person's potential (see Mishlei 22:6). (Torat Eretz Yisrael – The Teachings of Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohen Kook, pp. 205-206)

Note 5 (see prior audio roundup)
Q: Is it worthwhile to visit the Kivrei Tzaddikim (the graves of righteous people)?
A: It is preferable to give Tzedakah to the poor. (R' Aviner)

  • Rabbi Nissan Kaplan - Tefilas Haderech: link

    Planes, trains and automobiles.
    Covers a lot of territory – what situations do you say it? Should you say it in shma koleinu or samuch (close) to another bracha? When is it really “on the derech”? What if there are houses around the derech?
    Funny story involving his father and rationalizations. Interesting discussion of who holds from whose opinion. The opinions range from its not applicable in most situations these days to don’t leave home without it.
    I would have appreciated more discussion of why many were willing to use “reason” to change the plain application of this institution of chazal while in other cases they might say we can’t tinker based on changes in conditions.
    And, I cried a silent tear on listening to this quote at 8:15. “I heard from the Rabbonim in America, so he said in his beit medrash, he lived in Boston so when he moved to Boston in the beginning, so you know he would fly from NY to Boston a lot, he’s not alive anymore and so he would say Tfilas haderech the whole time. After he got used to that plane ride he stopped to say Tfilas haderech (snip) Nefesh Harav they bring it down there”.
    And much later “that Rav from Boston”. Perhaps that last quote was intentional (I can’t say it was with a upper case R), if not, HKB”H once again has shown me his ironic sense of humor.

  • Rabbi Asher Weiss - Toras Haminhog: link

    Excellent (Hebrew) shiur trying to classify seemingly different sources used by chazal and rishonim for force and scope of minhag.

    Especially dear to me was the statement “kol sugyah shel minhag avot lo barur” (whole force of family minhagim is unclear) as I’ve gotten into many debates over the years on this point.

    Seems term minhag may have a number of meanings which play into the issue (e.g. $ vs. bein adam/makom).

    Maharashdam tshuva on changing nusach of tfila – minhag must have basis of chizuk (strengthening). No problem changing even daily – same HKB”H!

    The Ari Zal (ever wonder why certain individuals get an automatic addition of Z”l or kadosh?) based on pasuk in Yechezkel explained nusschaot based on each shevet having its own gate and nusach and thus shouldn’t change (Yeah! - R’AW at end mentions this seems historically doubtful - another point I’ve debated over the years) so how could Chassidim change nusach? Maggid of Mezeritch – there was 13th gate during galut. R’AW gives an analogy to a sports stadium (he only went for siyum hashas!).

  • R’Reisman #175 Onkelos Translate the Torah (again this is only available on CD)

    Onkelos – from Sinai or time of Tannaim??? Some general rules (with lots of exceptions) of the style (e.g. anti-anthropomorphism) sorry R-Wieder – the holy grail of targumim will not be found here.

  • The Yad Binyamin Stimulus Package - Business Ethics & Halacha - Part IX: Business Kashrut with Rav Meir Orlian: link

    Focus on Kashrut – General rule – try to plan ahead to avoid problems (me – tip – call ahead for meetings where your hosts are getting kosher food for you – to confirm the source is acceptable and recipients know what to do with it {e.g., so they don’t heat and then serve on their own china}. Of course, you still can get stuck in a fancy treif restaurant eating with chopsticks for the first time because someone forgot plastic ware!) Good review of some basics, as well as mehadrin and yuhara!

  • Rabbi Eli Ozarowski - The Yad Binyamin Stimulus Package - Business Ethics & Halacha - Part X: Paying Workers on Time: link

    Details of Bal talin (paying wages on time). [I’ve never understood the “heterim” not to pay Yeshiva employees on time.] Some closing mussar (actually, very similar to a R’Reisman Shiur) on viewing adversity as an opportunity for spiritual response. R’YBS on how does HKB”H want me to respond, not why did he do it. Some focus on prayer (me – R’YBS on prayer coming from need).

  • Dr. Yael Ziegler - Eicha, Chapter 2: link

    Focus of Chapter 2 on destruction of temple (both directly and through allusion) also focus on leaders and theodicy. First allusion at end to tears – prayer = incremental towards return to HKB”H.

  • Rav Moshe Taragin - Phases of Life: link

    Sources for ages used in Mishna for various milestones. Are these inherent in creation or a function of time and place.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Learning Mishnayos in Memory of a niftar: link

    Certainly worthwhile to learn in memory of the deceased and there seems to be particular tie to mishnayot (anagram of nishama). Probably best to understand what you are learning!

    Can you double dip (learn mishna for 2 deceased)? What about Kaddish? A number of opinions. (Me – this is IIUC where the “as long as you say 1 kaddish a day, you’re covered” comes from – see Igrot Moshe on shamas saying kaddish for multiple clients) {me – Is anyone choshesh for R’YBS opinion of not learning in beit avel?}

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan - hilchos tefilin: link

    Specific details of what to look for in Tfillin (especially after use). New product alert – Rtzuot (straps) blackened throughout and or both sides – Apparently R’YSE would have worn but for impact on market. (Interesting how certain innovations are ok and others not.)

    I’m still looking for the first source using “there’s an inyan to …” and what halachic category this falls under.

    Also interesting explanation why men can use a mirror in our day, since it is not just used for riyah (looking) [e.g. used to make rooms look bigger].

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz - Kedushas Beis Haknesses: link

    Halachic and physical similarities between Beit Knesset and Beit Hamikdash. Interesting consistency between R’YBS and tshuvot bmareh habazak on how to allow part of the men’s section to be turned into Ezrat Nashim.

    I detect a pattern concerning men who daven in the Ezrat Nashim (of course when no nashim are about!) based on personal anecdotal evidence and R’AL’s observations. Care to guess?

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks - Bishul B'Shabbos: link

    The first in a series on mlachot on Shabbat. Here begins with the aseh of Shabbat. Opinions range from the Rashba that it applies to the 39 mlachot to the Rambam who extends it to laborious tasks to the Rambam who extends it to any Uvda dchol (week day activities) by requiring Shvita hanikerret (hmm – so there’s more to Shabbat then is blowing bubbles assur?).

  • Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Kana'im Pogin Bo and Vigilante Justice: link

    How do we understand Kannoim Pogin bo (zealots can take law into their own hands in certain cases). 1) It’s wrong but not punishable; 2) it’s allowed but not commanded; 3) it’s a mitzvah that bet din can’t enforce (extra-judicial). Are rodef (pursuer) and haba bamachteret (break in) the same din? R’A Weiss (libi omer li?) says no; one applies to pursued the other to onlookers (so perhaps pursued can kill, not just disable).

  • Rabbi Nissan Kaplan - mitzva kidush levana: link

    Detailed halachic discussion – what if clouds, seeing through window/glasses, how to stand, gotta dance?, boy becomes bar mitzvah mid-month[Interesting – where different groups draw the line of where does the ratzon hashem for detail end. Question – is this HKB’H’s will or our own will for certainty?]

  • Rabbi Chaim Eisenstein - Moed Kattan 00 (Hakdama): link

    Introduction to a series of shiurim. Is melacha on chol hamoed forbidden on a torah or rabbinic basis or is there a middle ground? What are the halachic ramifications of the categorization?

    Is melacha defined similar to Shabbat and yom tov or is it simply to avoid tircha (work/stress)? On a philosophical note, perhaps the definition of melacha is tied to nature of chol hamoed – is it to make it similar to yom tov (melechet machshevet R’YBS man as mini – creator ceasing from creation to denote HKB”H as true creator or to allow us to focus on the day (so avoid tircha/weekday distractions)).

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Halachot of the Three Weeks (Eruv Tisha B'Av and Tisha B'Av) - Part 3: link

    Last in the series covering erev & Tisha B’AV. Interesting current day differences among YU poskim on learning erev & Tisha B’AV and other items. So what exactly qualifies as shoes today? Does it matter whether chazal really meant leather or was that just the then current mtziut (facts)?
    Is it appropriate not to learn all year long due to chashash that maybe the calendar got messed up?

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