by Joel Rich
IMHO this should be required reading for anyone in a position of leadership in our community :
This future-oriented mentality had practical effects. For decades, government invested heavily in long-range projects like railroads and canals.
Today, Americans have inverted this way of thinking. Instead of sacrificing the present for the sake of the future, Americans now sacrifice the future for the sake of the present.
Sometimes I feel like resigning, lulai toratcha:
After These Jewish Prayer Services, Things Come ‘To Life’ at Open Bar To Woo Worshippers, Synagogues Compete With Food and Booze; Hosting in the Hamptons.”
Shiur starts with categorizing the various types of “live” organ donations into the Radbaz’s 3 categories of what to do if you have the opportunity to save another by putting yourself in danger (obviously, level of danger is important) – required, permitted and forbidden. Then a bit about brain and cardiac death, compensation for organ donations and new vistas in non-vital donations (see the recent double arm transplant to an army vet – does anyone know anything about the donor?).
Bracha l’vatala (Blessing in vain) and bracha sheina tzricha (not needed Blessing) prohibitions. The latter is logical based on the “ratzon hatorah” (will of the Torah) and need for awe and trepidation when uttering HKB”H’s name. Discussion of applications and exceptions.
Risks an individual can or must take (same Radbaz categories as by organ donations) – do these sum up to same thing for saving “all of klal yisrael” (is the whole equal to or greater than the sum of its parts)? Mescech Chochma – yes, thus no difference in risks taken or not (from Medrash that only went back to Egypt when his enemies died and thus didn’t threaten Moshe, or a diyuk in the Rambam). Others strongly disagree and say there are cases where for an individual you can’t take a risk but for the Klal you should.
What about suicide missions?
Rules regarding recovering of items that had been covered on Shabbat – were they already fully cooked? Did they cool off?
Continuation – if you put bread, etc. in the oven before Shabbat what can or can’t you do with it? – Halacha depends on shogeig vs. mazid, need on Shabbat vs. not, sin for self but not others.
Rules for big fire for heating house for Shabbat (not so much applicable today).
Series of shofar calls to announce time left before Shabbat and when to stop work. Introduction to hatmanah (leaving fully enclosed). Do you have to undo halachically prohibited hatmanah?
Some leniencies on hatmanah – including wrapping so as not to get dirty.
R’Nussbacher’s version of the Count Potocki story has a different focus than when R’YBS told it over:
In any event, he then moves on to decision making tips – nothing controversial, but I think that today the R’Elchanan approach, that belief in HKB”H is simple/default position and it’s only yetzer hara that prevents it, really doesn’t resonate.
Another trip down free association lane, including but not limited to:
*Jews aren’t organized, that’s why mishna came down through R’Akiva who was a convert (I guess I must be a descendent of geirim?).
*Lifnim meshurat hadin – (beyond the letter of the law) is a hiddur (gilding the lily?) in the individual mitzvah rather than its own general one.
*Pshara (compromise?) is supposed to be arbitrator’s best attempt at fairness (me – vs. shuda d’dayana according to some who say that’s the judge’s whim).
*Mishna Brura didn’t even record practice in Radin; just what he thought it should’ve been!
*Asseret Hadibrot – (i) what was planned in presentation vs. what happened; (ii) standing to hear them; (iii) put them on parochet? (no, but we do)…
*Sof Horaah – they stopped oral learning and moved to writing which was considered categorically weaker.
*R’Kook “took over” heter mechira when he became town rabbi so of course it was proper for him to continue.
*Really shouldn’t have 2 dimensional pictures of people, certainly not of planets/sun.
First some thoughts on Tu Bshvat and practices. How many fruits to eat, bug issues, Shabbat Shira, message of manna and then revisit the fridge issues – maybe it’s not so clear that they are all Shabbat problems. Harold Z. – listen to the electricity part and the oral tradition of R’SZA.
Intent (Cavanah) in mitzvoth continued. Prayer is a different category of intent (i.e. not just intent to do a mitzvah). Intent for “reason” of mitzvah is different as well (e.g. Sukkah). Then general discussion of do mitzvot in general need intent? What about Talmud Torah? Then on to whether Dvarim Shebikidusha (e.g. Torah scroll) and Tashmishei Kedusha (e.s. teitzit) need intent.
Pretty down on contact sports, watching sports and sports culture. Some discussion of changed paradigm on wearing tzitzit when playing ball (used to be yes, perhaps for hashkafic reasons now not).
Me – so why did HKB”H create man with some need for leisure time?
Some general halachot on caring for elderly parents – every situation is different.
Rambam reviews Jewish and secular philosophical approaches to hashgacha pratit. Interesting insight into trends – Rishonim seemed more willing to limit hasgacha then recent thinkers.
Leaders must have impeccable character and must speak out for kavod hashem even if might not be popular – it will all work out!
Why didn’t the Jewish people believe Moshe and what was the kal vachomer that Pharaoh would not believe him either? Other mussar including controlling anger and the reason specific names (e.g. Amram) not mentioned at beginning of Shmot is that anyone could have been Moshe. (I think we’ve discussed this issue before.)
Hatmanah when not completely wrapped/just draped.
Warm food is enjoyable, so do it (unless you don’t enjoy it). Then onto submerging baby bottles on Shabbat to “take the chill out”. Some issues on covering pots with something made of material valuable on Shabbat.
Prohibitions on “drinking” with non Bnai Brit (anti-fraternization) . Is it limited by the type and drink? By place? By store ownership? [R’HS is stringent, the world isn’t].
Returning to hatmanah, breaking seals on the oven.
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