by Joel Rich
From Jpost: UTJ leaders Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and MK Moshe Gafni expressed optimism on their way out of talks in Kfar Hamaccabia in Ramat Gan Monday.
“It was a good talk. We were in the coalition with [Likud Beytenu] for four years, so we feel at home,” Gafni explained, adding that it’s hard to know what will happen as talks continue.
“We’re loyal coalition partners, who don’t make problems, which is why we expect Likud Beytenu to deal with issues that are hard for them in order to keep us,” Litzman added, in reference to issues of haredi enlistment.
How would you read this statement? My initial reaction was he was saying we are a single issue party and if you give us what we need on that issue, we won’t opine on anything else. I’d love to be wrong so I invite other explanations.
HMMMMM-the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe – that he spent many hours in the Louvre in Paris staring at a painting which stimulated many Chasidic ideas.
A must listen – you may not agree with everything said, but there’s IMHO some real world discussion.
*Being a Rav versus being a therapist – a Rav sometimes needs to approach the “client” who has a problem
*The difference between the therapist and client is quantitative not qualitative (we all have problems). Need to be able to see it from the client’s view and then separate (especially if you have the same issue!)
*Feminism – need to give proper respect but realize that halacha doesn’t view women as inferior (me – even if the right fielder can’t be the pitcher, we still might want to try to reduce his pain/not just say it’s his problem, get over it)
*Great Steipler quote (Yiddish) – “Nervousness isn’t frumkeit”
*Academic psychology doesn’t need to conflict with religion – though we should encourage finding meaning in life
*Mishkav Zachor – don’t act on it, IIUC it is treatable but in any event can’t act on it
*Internet pornography has become a huge issue – R’Twerski got a call from a major community (rabbinic) leader’s wife (you can guess about what)
*Best Mussar – look at HKB”H’s creation, stay away from anger – there are a lot of people who act frum but have no fear of HKB”H!!!! (me-or as R’ Shapiro would say – there is a lot of fear of halacha, not enough fear of HKB”H)
2-sided black straps – why you might want them? (they’ll stay black!). Why not? (tradition, insult to prior generations).
Got a good laugh at rebuttal consisting of how could you say it was done differently in the past without proof (like we never assume past fact based on our sharp minds) but I really appreciated R’Lebowitz’s candor: “Any new innovation in Judaism is always going to be viewed with a very healthy dose of cynicism….That’s good….The question is at what point do we start to accept things…that’s a question everyone can figure out” (me – at least everyone who posts on hirhurim).
A concise summary of the halachic history of chalav yisrael an R’Moshe’s heter. Question – people who only drink chalav yisrael – is it because they think R’Moshe got the mtziut wrong or the halacha wrong? What are the nafka mina’s?
Technical discussion of interaction of migo (accept my claim/statement since I could have made a stronger/better one) and haazah (brazen claim) – why does it seem sometimes we’ll accept, sometimes not? A number of answers.
Continuation of #1 with focus on approach of R’Elchanan as well as another possible explanation.
Don’t confuse philosophy with how to give comfort! (me-Amen)
Detailed analysis of Ramban’s approach to explaining how to understand (or really try to) why the righteous suffer. Ramban closes with an explanation why we keep trying to understand!
Interesting history of educational change in Russia in the 1800’s – M. vs. F., cheder vs. “real school”, individuals vs. universal. Key takeaways – 1) understand the difference between secularization (OTD) vs. modernization (religion assimilations modernity); 2) the process of modernization doesn’t change that much (i.e. MO in U.S. hasn’t been much different than the experience described here).
The meaning of l’emor (saying) in the asseret hadibrot – 1) famous Rashi – the Jewish people answered yes to the positive commandments and no (we will not do) to the negative; 2) it refers to the anochi; 3) it refers to the oral law; 4) it refers to future generations.
Rashi really goes back to argument in Talmud – did they say yes – we will not do; or no – we won’t – R’YBS (my summary) is it commanded because it’s ethical or ethical because it is commanded?
The 2 big challenges nowadays are arayot (sexual) and gezel (commercial) – so we need to be extra careful in those areas. R’HS gives examples in all areas (e.g. taxes, yichud) and areas to avoid but understand not forbidden.
I have always bristled a bit at the R’Kook/Sogatchover stories of avoiding using office workers/businessmen as eidim(witnesses). IMHO (and that of the IRS and most employers I know of) certain non-material personal uses of office supplies is non-taxable and expected . I know the gemara looks at certain professions with askance (shepherds) but I’d be interested in looking at all professions data (hameivin yavin) as a data basis.
Interesting comments on how one should practice in the business world.
R’Asher reviews the rules of Shalosh Seudot – differing opinions as to when each of the Shabbat meals can or must be eaten and what they must consist of. The big chiddush is the third meal since in the time of the Talmud the standard day had two meals.
Wills and inheritances. Why doesn’t Dina D’malchuta (law of the land) allow you to leave whatever you want to whomever you want? (i) it’s not applicable between two Jews and (ii) inheritance isn’t mamonot ($) – it’s issur “v’heter(ritual?).
R’HS reviews the default rules of inheritance and the various Talmudic “workarounds” for a tzavaah (will?). It gets hairier when you don’t want the sons to inherit. Topics include different types of property and loans, commands of the almost dead, and the like (lots of detail).
Smoking, skiing and cellphones – No, maybe yes. Drosh V’Kabeil Schar!
Rabbi Lavi Greenspan’s (full disclosure – was close to avi mori v’rabbi zll”hh and still calls imi morati Y”L) first hand life story – his illnesses and surgeries eventually leading to complete blindness.
My summary of his message – lulai toratcha shashuay, az avaditi, bonyi. HKB”H, family, Klal Yisrael and most of all Torah need to be our focus. Q&A as well.
The Rav’s biography – through snippets of his writings, a view of the vida dialectica.
Meaning of tu bshvat (philosophically) in Eretz Yisrael.
Understanding the details of hafkaat kidushin (annulment) – differing explanations of how it works and why one witness works in spouse’s death cases? When to use kidushei taut (mistaken marriage).
Most refrigerators are a problem for Shabbat use. Psik reisha, dvar sheino mitkavein, motor issues, fan issues, defrosting issues – very technical discussion. Sounds like according to R’Kaplan any system with a microprocessor (well, he just said new refrigerator) is a problem unless you insert another one to defeat it!!!!
Cases from the Beit Din files (always assume cetirus paribus):
1) Mom split estate and gave 7 pictures to each child – turns out one picture was worth big bucks. Decision turns on Mom’s likely intent.
2) Couple separated in preparation for divorce but husband dies suddenly without changing his will. His kids (from prior marriage) want all $. Our (U.S.) “minhag” is to ignore ketubah (hmmmm) so case result may well follow secular law.
3) After parent’s death, one child wants to be reimbursed for expenses of taking care of that parent. No! (but could have arranged for it pre-death).
4) Trust fund for organization whose mission disappeared and donor is in olam haemet – must guess donor’s original intent (secular law may get involved). [hey – at least we have a case where all agree original intent counts]
5) Can you (a male) apply for domestic partner benefits for a brother-in-law you are taking care of (wife died). Yes, if you’re not fibbing.
6) Civil marriage 11 weeks prior to religious wedding for purpose of getting health insurance. Best to avoid – chillul hashem (and you might change mind).
Discussion of the importance and halachic stature of governments and leaders, as well as appropriateness of public selecting (or agreeing to) leaders. One rule – the leaders can’t contravene Torah law (me – King had pretty broad powers, not always clear where that interaction is).li>
Why did Anshe’s Knesset Hagedolah need to establish set prayer? It was the end of era of prophecy and lack of mesorah/proper education of the generation.
But we have spontaneity within a fixed text!