Thursday, November 26, 2009

Audio Roundup LXIX

by Joel Rich

Question: (PC Way) – What process do pulpit rabbis/organizations use in due diligence checks of kashrut certifiers? (What I really mean) why is triangle K seemingly not “accepted”?

With regard to an earlier question (link):
Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook
The Honor of Women
Our Rabbi gave classes for the yeshiva students at his house, and they set up an amplification system into the apartment next door so that the women could hear. There was sometimes a problem with the system and our Rabbi would wait until they fixed it. He would explain that for the honor of women he was obligated to delay so that they could also hear.
Click here to read moreWith all of our Rabbi's care regarding issues relating to modesty, our Rabbi was also strict about women's honor. Before Kiddush on Shabbat day, he would ask over and over: "Are all the women here? 'Women are obligated in Kiddush during the day' (Berachot 20b)."
Our Rabbi would instruct his married students that there was also an obligation to provide their wives with spiritual food. In contrast to the general thought that women are exempt from learning Torah, he would emphasize with a smile that this does not apply to learning about faith: "Is faith a time-bound, positive mitzvah?..."
When the Beit Midrash was in the dormitory building, the women's section was close to the entrance to the Beit Midrash. There was a sign: "Women are requested not to linger in the hallway after davening" [in order that women and men not intermingle]. When our Rabbi saw it, he asked that the note be taken down and rewritten in a more general manner: "The community is requested not to linger in the hallway after davening," in order not to offend the honor of the women.
Our Rabbi was extremely particular not to stare at women. Even when a woman came to him for a long conversation on important matters, he listened to her carefully and responded warmly – his sight was always to the side. The same was when he gave a class to women. He would stand for a woman who was a Torah scholar, but he would not directly look at her. (Ha-Rav Eliyahu Mali – Iturei Cohanim #176)

And follow on to another earlier question: What, if any, extra effort should be expended to daven mincha in a shul versus at an office minyan? What, if any, extra effort should be expended to daven mincha in a minyan that says full chazarat hashatz versus "heicha kedusha"?

Rabbi A Weiss - Kohanim going into Maarat Hamachpeiloh: link

Can Cohanim pray at the graves of the righteous? What about non-Cohanim?

There’s a medrash that the graves of the righteous don’t generate impurity, but we don’t hold that way. Kever Rachel may be different due to the physical structure of the building.

Don’t worry about how physically close you get to the grave, worry about how you pray; but it is ok to ask others (including those no longer alive) to pray for you [but not to pray to them].
  • Rav Kalman Neuman - Society and Halakha #03 - The Mitzva to Appoint a King Part 2: link

    Continuation of series, here focus on whether a) there is a mitzvah today to have a king, but it’s just not practical or b) is the mitzvah not applicable today for technical reasons?

  • Rabbi N Vilner - Mila: link

    Discussion of use of anesthetic (general? local?) during brit milah. Is there a requirement to experience pain? (What about women in childbirth?) Is there a positive element (if there is no requirement) to the nimol to experience pain? More general question of how to evaluate change from a halachic standpoint [me – assuming you accept that chazal may not have known all of the medical (etc.) information now known!]. Is “we never did it before” a reason not to?

  • Rabbi Mayer Lichtenstein - Foundations of Judaism as reflected in Conversions: link

    R’M Lichtenstein on what exactly we require of converts.

  • Rabbi A Mintz - Different Siddurim: link

    Comparing text of orthodox, conservative and reform siddurim. Issues such as sacrifices, return to Zion, Aleinu…

  • Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein - Q and A #2 5770: link

    Issues discussed include family focus, can you prove existence of HKB”H, hashgacha pratit, army vs. learning as a priority, allocating time to non-learning priorities.

  • Mrs. Shani Taragin - Haftarat Toldot: Malachi and Malachim: The Revival of Rhetoric: link

    Malachi – discussion of the message of the sefer with some detail. Bottom line – prophecy coming to an end, learn to swim (pray) for yourself, Cohanim must become religious leaders, hold onto your hats – here comes Rabbinic Judaism!

  • Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig - Halacha Engages Modernity: link

    Halacha covers a broad range but areas of hashkafa and aggada don’t have “psak”. (hmmm – I guess he didn’t get the memo)
    The main requirement to be a posek – fear of heaven [me – of course this is always the question – not who is a Jew but who is a posek?].
    There will be no unanimity of halachic opinion until biyat hamashiach.
    Modernity has yielded assimilation, splits within rabbinic opinion etc. Some secular studies makes sense.
    First in a series?

  • Rabbi Gil Student -Recent Books You Should Care About (Part 1): link

    First in a series. Discussion of new genre of halacha books – not “lists” but development of concepts. Even within this genre, differing styles. Worth listening to find a writer whose style you may like.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Conversions: link

    General Issues. Zohar says ger gets a new neshama. R’YBS and others said shelo asani nachri since Jews are only real goy (nation)!
    Kabbalat (acceptance) ol mitzvot is the essence of geirut (R’YBS and R’MF had Kabbala that when Rambam/S”A said it isn’t meakev (keep from being effective) it meant don’t need “drama” of doing it in mikvah).
    Geirut for marriage is ok b’dieved; can uproot retroactively if “clear” they didn’t mean it – how long? – some say 30 days – certainly less than 5 years!). Man - No brit, no geirut! (some disagreed if medical reason).
    Does bet din have to agree to geirut (are they “stand in” for shechina? Klal Yisrael?). Nafka Mina if misled bet din. Is bet din’s presence absolutely needed? Impact of conservative Rabbis in bet din? How does bet din “see” woman’s tvila? Do you ever have to tell a child they are converted – what if you didn’t.
    Kabalat ol mitzvot means at the level of orthodox community (e.g. historically didn’t focus on taharat hamishpacha).
    RCA decided on its own to upgrade geirut standards well in advance of Chief Rabbinate, situation in Israel is much worse! There was no pressure on the RCA!
    Lots of detail.

  • Rabbi N Vilner - Mila/Metzitza: link

    History of issues, opinions and controversy regarding metzitza. Bottom line – is it an intrinsic part of the mitzvah or just an issue of perceived danger? To be continued….

  • Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner - Second Hand Smoke: link

    Review of halachic issues regarding possible damages/prohibition of harm to others involved in second hand smoke [me- IMHO – issue is how society views it]

  • Rabbi Jeremy Wieder - Transmission of Biblical Texts - #2: link

    Which 2 sedrahs have no “breaks” (ptuchot or stumot)? Order of sfarim in Nach? Breaks in Nach not well preserved over time. What is the source of these breaks which always make sense (frum answer – when Moshe needed a break!). There’s only one difference in breaks between our sefer torah and temanim (me – pretty amazing). Psukim were broken up very early. To be continued.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky - Chalav Yisroel I (5770) / חלב ישראל: link

    Very clear analysis of issues surrounding Chalav Yisrael including thumbnail sketch of bitul, rov and min bmino. Summary – should be no issue of Torah level but chazal forbad due to kashrut concern of “derivative” of non-kosher animal.
    Debate – was it a “davar shebiminyan” which would require a greater bet din to modify? Pri Chadash - it only applies where there is a “realistic” concern of adulteration [me – Miyut hamertzui?]. Chatam Sofer – either it is davar shebiminyan or (worse) a communal neder (oath) [sounded like lo rainu (we never saw) rayah (is a proof {that it must be forbidden always})
    R’Moshe (and others) in certain cases (famous Shitah of Tosfot) we say “edut yidiyah blo reah” (it’s like witnesses if everyone knows) and in U.S. combination of government and dairy industry provides this (i.e. it’s all Chalav Yisrael) [me – it should be easily calculable what the additional outlay is for this “coverage” family who uses the stricter definition – an interesting issue of resource allocation]
    A young TC asked me if Rabbis hold like that Tosfot here, shouldn’t they also by a female being Tovel for geirut (i.e. just need to hear the splash). BTW – What level of supervision is ued for “Chalav Yisrael”?

  • Rabbi A Weiss - Gedolah Aveirah LiShmah: link

    Aveirah l’shma (me - see Horiyot for basic discussion)
    Cases of Esther and Yael – can we extrapolate that sin (even one of big 3) to save life is ok. And if yes, is it only if to save all of Israel (and requires beit din – perhaps as a horaat shah [temporary measure] and perhaps ruach hakodash [nodeh Byehuda], or for a “large” group (shvut Yaakov) or even a single individual (beit yitzchak) some “practical” applications in sh”ut literature [me – I’m not convinced that in every case that the terminology was used they meant a technical construct; sometimes seems like “libi omer li”]

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes - Parshat Chayei Sara Transactions via checks credit cards and internet: link

    Halacha wrestles to get modern banking system (checks, credit cards, internet purchases) into Kinyanic (yes, I just made that word up) constructs.

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