Avraham Shabsi Hakohen Friedman (Hebrew: אברהם שבתי הכהן, born March 22, 1959) better known by his stage name, Avraham Fried, is a popular musical entertainer in the Orthodox Jewish community. Connect with Rabbi Efrem Goldberg: Website: https://rabbiefremgoldberg.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/efrem.goldberg Twitter: http://twitter.com/rabbigoldberg Rabbi Efrem Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), a rapidly-growing congregation of over 800 families and over 1,000 children in Boca Raton, Florida. BRS is the largest Orthodox Synagogue in the Southeast United States. Rabbi Goldberg's warm and welcoming personality has helped attract people of diverse backgrounds and ages to feel part of the BRS community, reinforcing the BRS credo of 'Valuing Diversity and Celebrating Unity. Rabbi Philip Moskowitz serves as Associate Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS). His warm personality and dynamic, positive spirit make people of all backgrounds and ages feel a part of the BRS community. Rabbi Moskowitz officiates at life cycle events, provides pastoral counseling, and serves as halachic advisor and close confidante to hundreds of members. Beyond the engaging and relevant Shabbat morning sermons, delivered to multiple, diverse minyanim, and the numerous regular classes and shiurim in the Shul, Rabbi Moskowitz regularly teaches Torah in private homes, local day schools, and the community at large. Rabbi Josh Broide is the Director of the Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement (CJE), a Division of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. He is also the Founder and Director of the Boca Raton Jewish Experience (BRJE), a rapidly growing outreach and engagement program in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition he also works as the Outreach Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), one of the largest Modern Orthodox Synagogues in North America.
"The publication on Nov. 12, 2014 of the book I co-wrote with Prof. Barrie Wilson, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene, has caused a worldwide theological firestorm, including demonstrations in India. I was even the butt of one of Bill O'Reilly's attacks and have challenged him to an on-air debate. So far, he's demurred. I think the reason for all this negativity is that the proof for the historical marriage between Jesus of Nazareth and the woman known as Mary the Magdalene has become overwhelming. Even before our findings, everything -- everything -- pointed to a marriage, and nothing -- nothing -- argued for Jesus' celibacy. The only thing that continues to argue for Jesus' celibacy is 2000 years of theological bullying. This may come as a shock to most people, but the fact is that none of the four Gospels say that Jesus was celibate. The Gospels call Jesus "Rabbi" (Matthew 26:49, Mark 10:51, John 20:16). Rabbis, then as now, are married. If Jesus wasn't married, someone would have noticed." "If one looks at the Gospels without Attis-colored Pauline glasses, there are many, many hints that Jesus was married. Specifically, after the Crucifixion, the Gospels agree that it was Mary the Magdalene who went early Sunday morning to wash and anoint Jesus' crucified body (Mark 16:1). People have the quaint idea that ancient Jews in Jerusalem went around "anointing" each other. They didn't. What the Gospels are telling us is that Mary the Magdalene went to Jesus' tomb to prepare his body for burial. That's the Gospels, not me. Then and now, no woman would touch the naked body of a dead Rabbi, unless she was family. Jesus was whipped, beat and crucified. No woman would wash the blood and sweat off his private parts unless she was his wife." --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/antonio-myers4/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/antonio-myers4/support
In the Torah, sometimes God is shown to be a strict disciplinarian, and other times he is a compassionate God who expresses very human feelings. Scholars today understand that the traditions preserved in the Torah come from different sources, which explains their different perspectives. The ancient Rabbis also saw the differences in the text, but they were creative in their interpretations and said that God is neither all mercy nor all justice. God, like us, has different sides.
The knowledge that whatever will happen this year has already been determined during the Yamim Noraim makes it difficult for a person to pray with the same intensity now that he had been praying with then, during those days. The yetzer hara tries to convince a person that his prayers aren't really accomplishing anything anyway, so why should he put so much effort into them. We must know, prayer is always necessary at all times of year for many reasons. Firstly, we learn from Rashi in Bereshit that even though the ground was commanded by Hashem on the third day of Creation to produce the vegetation and fruit bearing trees, they did not actually sprout until Adam came and prayed for his food to come. The command of Hashem made the food ready, but the prayer is what actually brought it to Adam. The same is true with our blessings. It may have been determined during the Yamim Noraim that a person could make X amount of dollars this year, but that blessing is waiting for him by the lip of Shamayim . He needs to make his hishtadlut to bring it down, and prayer is a major part of that hishtadlut . Furthermore, we read in this week's Parasha, Noach, about the mabul . The sefer Emunat Itecha points out that the mabul began on the 17 th day of Cheshvan and, for sure, the decree for it to take place was sealed that year during the Yamim Noraim. Despite the fact that the decree was sealed, it says ויהי הגשם על הארץ – and Rashi writes that at the beginning, the rain was falling with רחמים– with mercy – and if the people would have made teshuva, it would have become rain of blessing instead of a mabul – the decree was still able to be changed. And this, says the Rabbi, is one of the reasons why we always read parashat Noach after the Yamim Noraim, to teach us that even though a decree may have been made for the negative, we should never despair from getting Hashem's mercy. He can change a נגע to ענג, He can change פשע to שפע, and he can change צרה to רצה. There are many ways in which decrees can play out and our prayers have a major impact on Hashem's decision on how He brings them about. Prayer is always necessary and those who utilize it become great individuals. Rav Chaim Palachi in his sefer Tochachat Chaim quotes from the Zohar HaKadosh that Hashem was upset that Noach did not pray for his generation, while He praised Avraham and Moshe for praying for theirs. The Rabbi added, it says by Noach, "ויחל נח איש אדמה"– and over there, the word ויחל means mundane – Noach became just a man of the earth because he didn't pray for his generation. While by Moshe Rabbenu it say ויחל משה – Moshe prayed for his People – and therefore, he was called an איש האלוקים – a man of Hashem. Prayer is not meant to just be a tool that we use to get things from Hashem. Prayer is a wondrous mitzvah which is meant to elevate us and bring us closer to Hashem. The Beit Tefila writes that in every word of the Amida , a person can find inspiration to gain more fear of Hashem, more love of Hashem and help himself be humbled before Hashem. There are numerous kavanot in every word which must be studied in order to utilize them properly. The sefer Yosef Ometz writes, it is obvious that a person should learn the meaning behind the words of the prayers before he learns anything else. A focused prayer, with true understanding of the words can elevate a person to another level. Every prayer is supposed to be a religious experience. When the Rabbis tell us prayers break decrees because the person on whom the decree was made has changed because of his prayer, it's meant literally. But it's conditional on the person's kavana . The fact that Hashem gives us a refuah shelema or parnasa or shidduchim or a child from our tefilot is an extra bonus to help get us to pray, but that is not the purpose of the prayer, it is just a side benefit. The purpose is to grow spiritually and become more connected and humbled in front of Hashem. This applies all year long, every single day and the more effort we put into our prayers, the better people we will become from it. Let us resolve to put more effort into understanding what we are saying and utilize the precious gift of tefila to become the people we are meant to become. Shabbat Shalom.
00:00 What was Reuben's cheshban in moving Yaakov's bed? What of kibud av? 4:14 Chazal say it's a mitzvah to marry one's niece, but genetically this can be dangerous... 6:55 During chet haegel, Moshe argues with HaShem against starting a nation. What does it mean for one to argue against HaShem? 11:47 There is an assumption that earlier rabbis are correct, what is the source for this? 15:17 Did the Avos keep the Torah before it was given, and how did it look? 0:21:34 what is the Rabbis opinion on wigs? 0:27:42 Some people are annoyed about having to start saying tachanun again. Can Rebbi share anything about the importance and beauty of it? 0:32:00 How can a Jew be a secular judge? 0:34:44 Believe on unbroken tradition, how can we justify the idea of machloket and differing opinions? 0:45:16 What is the Torah's view on Dinosaurs? 0:49:19 What is the difference between psychology and mussar? 0:52:02 Why is same Bracha chatima of psukei dezimra same as Baruch sheamar? 0:55:30 Why is taf pronounced as tzaf by askenazim? 0:59:50 What is the origin of rashi script? 1:01:40 Is there a remez for America in the Torah? 1:03:24 What is mans goal in striving for faith in G-d juxtaposed with logic? 1:07:15 How can we say that we will promise to G-d that we will praise him forever? 1:09:40 How do we learn halacha? Lets say I'm learning the mishnah berurah. How do i know if we paskin like it? How do i know which sefer we paskin like instead? Do i always have to double check with a rabbi? 1:15:15 What is the source for matrilineal descent? 1:17:50 Why does it seem that prayer doesn't work in bleak situations? 1:22:15 When we finish a sefer we say hadran halach, but most don't at Simchas Torah? 1:24:30 is it permissible to grow sprouts in a windowsill, in water? Comments? Feedback? Would you like to sponsor an episode? A series? We'd love to hear from you : email@example.com https://podcasts.ohr.edu/ Visit us @ ohr.edu !
This episode marks the second of a two-part series featuring interviews with Rabbis on the subjects of Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and the problems that arise when the two topics are conflated, either through misunderstanding or to serve political interests. Rabbi Brant Rosen founded the Tzedek congregation in Chicago. Like Rabbi Lynn, Rabbi Brant is also a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. You can find more information about his book “Wrestling in the Daylight”, and his other works and writings, on the post for this episode at LatitudeAdjustmentPod.com Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon
This episode marks the first of a two-part series featuring interviews with Rabbis on the subjects of Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and the problems that arise when the two topics are conflated, either through misunderstanding or to serve political interests. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb has the distinction of being one of the first female rabbis in the world, and her outspoken positions on Palestinian human rights have often placed her at odds with the political positions of the Israeli government and with its supporters. We'll hear about her experiences as leader in a religious community overwhelmingly dominated by men, her first encounters with Israel as a very young woman (including her argument with David Ben-Gurion as a teenager), and how her Jewish identity informs her advocacy for human rights. She's also a pretty amazing artist. Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon
Toward the end of the first century, the last New Testament book as we know it today was written by the Apostle John as he was living in exile on the island of Patmos. But that didn't mean that the 27 books were ready to go to the printer. Not exactly. First, there was no printer at that time, and secondly, it took another two hundred years for the New Testament church to decide what was the New Testament. You think that it's tough for folks to agree on things today? It was even worse then! An interesting fact is that no church council ever met and rendered an authoritative decree saying, "These books are in, and those are not!" Universal acceptance of these 27 books was a gradual thing as the Holy Spirit began to bear witness in the lives of godly men and women (mostly men, however, because the women weren't invited to church councils) that certain books bore biblical authority.
Several Etrogim are commonly sold on the market that we can identify with certainty as genuine, authentic Etrogim, and not the product of grafting. One such Etrog is known as the "Hazon Ish Etrog." The Hazon Ish (Rav Yeshaya Karelitz, 1878-1953) planted an Etrog tree and would use those Etrogim for the Misva. It can be presumed that if the Hazon Ish used the fruit of this tree for the Misva, this tree was authentic and not from a grafted plant. Therefore, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz (1913-2011), a student of the Hazon Ish, took a seed from a fruit of this tree and planted it outside his home. The Etrogim from this tree were regarded as definitively authentic, as they were the products of the Hazon Ish's Etrog tree. Subsequently, orchards of Etrogim were planted with the seeds of these fruits. Etrogim from these orchards are known as "Hazon Ish Etrogim" and are considered special due to their distinguished "ancestry" which allows us to be certain that they are authentic.The same can be said about Yemenite Etrogim. When the Jews of Yemen emigrated to Eretz Yisrael in the 1950s, they took Etrogim with them and planted them in Eretz Yisrael. The Yemenite Jews have a tradition confirming the authenticity of their Etrogim, and so Yemenite Etrogim are likewise considered special because of their definitive authentic status. Many Halachic authorities, including Hacham Ovadia Yosef, Hacham Bension Abba Shaul (Israel, 1923-1998) and the Brisker Rav (Rav Yitzhak Zev Soloveitchik, 1886-1959), praised these Etrogim because of their special status. Hacham Ovadia Yosef also praised Moroccan Etrogim, which were likewise known to be authentic, and which were used throughout the generations by many great Rabbis. Another type of Etrog which is known for its authenticity is the Yanover Etrogim, which come from Italy.Additionally, special preference should be given to the Etrogim of Eretz Yisrael. Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein (Nevarduk, 1829-1908), in his Aruch Ha'shulhan (Orah Haim 648), elaborates on the importance of using an Etrog grown in Eretz Yisrael when such an Etrog is available. He writes that it would be a grave affront to our land if one has the option of using an Etrog from Eretz Yisrael but chooses instead to use an Etrog grown outside the land. This point is made by many other Halachic authorities, as well.It must be emphasized that the special status of these groups of Etrogim is due solely to the fact that their authenticity can be assured. This certainly does not mean that every Hazon Ish Etrog or Yemenite Etrog is valid for use. There are many factors involved in determining the status of an Etrog, and thus regardless of which type of Etrog one purchases, it is advisable to show it to a competent Rabbi to confirm its validity. Furthermore, one should ensure to purchase his Etrog from a reliable source. Today, Arba Minim stands are set up like newspaper stands, and the people selling the Arba Minim are not experts or necessarily reliable. Just as one would not purchase jewels from some youngster selling them on the street, similarly, one should not purchase an Etrog – a precious commodity no less valuable than jewels – from just anyone who happens to be selling them.
Yom Kippur is the greatest day of the year, it is a gift from Hashem, a day in which we can rid ourselves from all the averot which have distanced us from Hashem and have taken away our feelings of spirituality. The mitzvah of the day is teshuva , admitting our sins, regretting them and accepting upon ourselves to stop them. We must believe that with the proper teshuva , our past misdeeds will become completely erased, as if we had never done them. We begin Yom Kippur with Kal Nidreh , which is a paragraph annulling our vows. One reason why we begin this awesome day with that tefila is that the Rabbis want to teach us a lesson about the power of teshuva . When it comes to a vow, if somebody violated his vow and only afterward went to a Rabbi to make hatarat nedarim and the Rabbi sees that there is a valid reason for the hatara , then retroactively, the vow is annulled and it is considered like the man never made the vow and therefore, his violation of the vow completely disappears because there was never a vow to begin with. This is the way that teshuva works as well. We can go back in time and make it like we never sinned. It doesn't take that much to do and the positive ramifications from it are endless – one act of teshuva can change the course of a person's entire life, as well as his future generations. Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein was told a story by a talmid chacham who today teaches Torah to the masses. He said he is one of over 5000 offspring of his great-great-grandfather Yaakov. And every one of those offspring are bnei Torah and yireh Hashem. Some of them are rabbis in communities in all different parts of the world. And it all came about in the zechut of one nice hello. And he explained: His great-great grandfather Yaakov grew up in a religious home but his father died when he was young and Yaakov got swept up in the enlightenment movement and was lured away from Torah and mitzvot. One morning, he woke up remembering it was the yahrzeit of his father and his conscience was eating away at him. His father had requested before he passed away that he always say Kaddish for him on his yahrzeit . At the present time, Yaakov had moved away from his hometown and didn't even know if there were any shuls in his neighborhood. He decided he was going to make an effort to search for a shul. So he searched for the entire day, walking around the city until he finally found one. He was very nervous to walk in, thinking that he would be judged by his appearance. He hoped to find a place in the back of the shul where he wouldn't be noticed. He would just say Kaddish and leave. When he walked in, he saw they were in the middle of the silent Amida of Mincha. He waited in the back of the shul until they ended the prayers, he said the Kaddish for his father and he quickly tried to leave. As he was making his way towards the door, the rabbi of the city Rav Yitzchak Dov HaLevi Bamberger caught up to him and gave him the warmest greeting. Instead of rebuking him for his dress, he told him how much he admired him for coming to shul to say Kaddish. Yaakov stood there with tears in his eyes. He had been feeling so guilty about leaving Torah and mitzvot, and now he felt so special from the Rabbi's uplifting words. He ended up speaking to the Rabbi and became re-energized to come back to religion. Two years after that Kaddish, Yaakov was standing under the chuppah, marrying a girl who aspired to reach great heights in religion as he did. They established a family together of bnei Torah – 13 children all going in the way of Hashem. And now, 150 years after that Kaddish, Yaakov has over 5000 offspring, all shomrei Torah and mitzvot. The power of one decision to come closer to Hashem has affected generations and generations of people. Everyone has greatness inside of them. With one decision to commit to becoming stronger in Torah and mitzvot, we can bring it out of ourselves and change the entire course of history. Let us utilize this awesome day of Yom Kippur to repent and recommit ourselves to Hashem. Gemar Chatima Tova.
Rav Shlomo Hoffman, zatzal , told, during the early days of Yeshivat Chevron, he was walking in the hallway during the Aseret Yameh Teshuva and the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yechezkel Sarna, saw him in a depressed state and asked him why he was so sad. The young Rabbi Hoffman replied, “It's the Aseret Yameh Teshuva and I'm thinking that my teshuva is not sincere enough because the Rambam says a complete teshuva is when Hashem can testify that the person will never go back to his sin again.” The Rosh Yeshiva told him, “Why are you being so strict? We hold like Rabbenu Yonah who says if you put yourself on the right path to stop doing the averah , that's true teshuva . And that you are doing. Be happy! On Aseret Yameh Teshuva , we are also supposed to be happy.” If somebody has, let's say, spoken lashon hara and feels bad and wants to change, he needs to do something that will put him on the right path to change, such as accepting to learn the halachot , or putting himself in a better environment. If we truly want to be better and take the steps necessary for improvement, Hashem will help us achieve it. Recently, a boy going into 8 th grade heard speeches from many Rabbis about the ill effects of smartphones and how they have destroyed people's lives. After hearing the speeches, the boy decided that he would never use one. A few days later, his mother took him and his siblings to a Walmart in New Jersey to buy school supplies. They all attend school in Brooklyn, but since they were in New Jersey for the summer, they went to a Walmart near them. This boy had forgotten his school supply list and he did not know exactly what he needed. His mother told him she had the list in an email and she would give him her phone to take into the store with him. The boy then told his mother about his kabbala not to use a smartphone and she understood and told him, “Okay, try to do your best to find what you think you need.” While they were in the store, one of his siblings picked up a loose-leaf off the shelf and a piece of paper came flying out onto the floor. They picked up the paper and were in amazement to see that it was the boy's yeshiva school supply list for his grade. Somebody else must have left it there, and it was waiting for him to be used. He felt like he got a smile, kavayachol , from Hashem, appreciating his efforts and giving him his school supply list without having to use the phone. Our spirituality is up to us. Of course, we are never in full control and there are times where mishaps can happen, but when Hashem sees how careful we are in doing His will, He protects us from sinning in those situations that are beyond our control. The sefer Vavei H'amudim told a story about a young man who experienced such an occurrence. The young man said, every morning he gets to shul early to make a coffee before he learns so he'll be more attentive during his learning. One day, he made the coffee and sat down in the coffee room to drink it. Before he took his first sip, a bee started buzzing right in front of his face. He put the cup down and started shooing the bee away. He then accidentally knocked his whole cup of coffee down and it spilled all over the floor. At first he was angry. Then he calmed himself down thinking it must have been for the best. After cleaning up the spill, he went back to the urn to get more hot water but nothing was coming out. He opened it to refill it and saw dozens of tiny bugs swimming around at the bottom of the urn. Most probably, there were some of those bugs in his coffee. He was always so careful to avoid eating foods that could potentially have bugs, and here, when the circumstances were beyond his control, Hashem sent the bee to save him from eating one. It's up to us to put ourselves on the right path and do our best to do what's proper and, if we do, Hashem will take care of the rest. Shabbat Shalom.
The Torah says about the mitzvah of teshuva , according to the Ramban,כי קרוב אליך הדבר מאד בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו – teshuva is very close to us, it's in our mouths and it's in our hearts. When it comes to sins between us and Hashem, this is understandable. But what about when it comes to sins between man and man? If someone took money from someone else but can't find him to return it, how will he achieve teshuva just with his heart and his mouth. Or what if he wronged another person who refuses to forgive him? How will he achieve teshuva with his heart and his mouth? When Rav Zalman of Volozhin was trying to find somebody who he insulted in his youth, he couldn't locate him and he began to cry, thinking that he wasn't going to get forgiven. The Vilna Gaon found out about it and told him, when a person does all that he can to fix a sin, Hashem will send him help from above to fix it, even if that sin is bein adam lechavero. The Chovot HaLevavot writes in the Shaar HaTeshuva , perek 10, if someone stole money but he honestly feels remorse and wants to pay it back, but he doesn't have the money to pay, Hashem will give him the money just so he could achieve teshuva . The Chovot HaLevavot writes as well, if a person wronged another but he has a real desire to make teshuva , Hashem will put feelings of mercy in the other person's heart to forgive him. As long as we have a real ratzon in our hearts, Hashem will help us make the teshuva we need to be forgiven. Rabbi Shmuel Travis told a personal story which took place about 20 years ago. An older man in his 90's named Mr. Leib prayed in his shul. Mr. Leib moved to his area, Rishon Letzion, 15 years prior and he prayed in his shul every day. One day, Mr. Leib asked the Rabbi if he could speak to him in private. He told the Rabbi he wasn't always religious and growing up in Russia was very difficult for him. He had gone into business selling leather with his brother, but the taxes were extremely high. They formed a corporation of ten people which exempted them from the taxes. But, under that corporation they did some shady things and one of the men there was extremely corrupt. The brothers had to fire him but, in an act of revenge, this man told the KGB about their shady practices. They were punished mercilessly for their crimes. They then took revenge on this man and told the KGB about what he did when he was with their company. They came down very hard on this man and took a lot of money away from him. Mr Leib then told the Rabbi, “I can't live with myself. I informed on another Jew in an act of revenge and I never got forgiveness from him. Please, Rabbi, I'll do whatever it takes, I just need to be forgiven. The Rabbi asked Mr. Leib if he knew anything about that man and his family now. Mr. Leib replied he had heard the man passed away over ten years ago. The Rabbi then said, technically, he could ask forgiveness by the man's grave with a minyan, but he would need to find the man's heirs to pay back the money for the loss that he caused him. Mr. Leib then began to cry and said he would do anything to get forgiven. The Rabbi told him he would discuss the matter with other Rabbis and that Mr. Leib should come back to him the following week on a Wednesday. That next week, Mr. Leib came back to the Rabbi on Tuesday and his face was glowing. He told the Rabbi he didn't need any rulings, his issue was solved and he explained. On Sunday night he felt feverish and he decided to go to the doctor on Monday morning. He prayed in the first minyan, as usual, and went right afterward to the doctor. The doctor's office was still closed as it was very early in the morning. Mr. Leib was waiting outside and saw another man waiting by the bus stop next door. They made conversation with each other. Turned out, this man was from the old neighborhood that Mr. Leib was from in Russia. Not only that, he discovered that this man's wife was the daughter of the man he was trying to get forgiveness from. He then went back with this man to his home and told his wife all that happened. She said she remembered the episode and exactly how much money the KGB took from her father. She then told him she had three siblings back in Russia, three brothers who were her father's heirs, and she gave him their contact information. Mr. Leib had a bank account in Russia with money that he was not able to bring over with him but was able to transfer it to people in Russia. It had just the amount he needed to make full restitution to those heirs. He contacted them and made the bank transfer, dividing up the money in three ways. Later on, they each sent him a receipt to show that he paid. Mr. Leib then went to the Rabbi and showed him the receipts. He said, “Here, this is my proof that I have received teshuva .” He asked the Rabbi that when the time came he wanted to be buried with those receipts. This man had a strong desire to make teshuva and he even shed tears to show it. Hashem gave him the siyata d'Shamaya he needed to find the people he was looking for. Teshuva is very close to us, it's in our hearts and our mouths. All we need is a strong desire to do it.
Does your time in God's word feel like it has become routine instead of wonderful? Understanding how Jewish disciples interacted with Rabbis and God's Word during biblical times can refresh your study of God's Word. Today my special guest author Lois Tverberg, shows us how a Jewish perspective brings inspirational insight to this divine discipline. […] The post The Shema appeared first on Treasured Ministries.
Last podcast of 5781.More stories of the travels of the Rabbis down to the sea, out to the desert, to meet monsters, to see those who died in the Desert, to hear God lament at Sinai, to hear the wailing of Korach and his community. Its quite a trip. Join us.This week's daf can be found in the following places:1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org3. Hebrew and Aramaic with many commentaries from Alhatorah.orgPlease be in touch with any comments, criticisms, or witticisms at firstname.lastname@example.org
parshat nitzavim (deuteronomy 30) Join Geoffrey Stern, Rabbi Adam Mintz and Theatre Director and Professor Michael Posnik in a live recording of Madlik Clubhouse as they explore the verse in Deuteronomy 30 that proclaims that the Torah is not in Heaven. We explore it in context and in the agada. We take a literary journey into the iconic story of the oven of akhnai. Sefaria source Sheet: www.sefaria.org/sheets/345182 Transcript: Geoffrey Stern 00:00 This week's parsha is nitzavim and you are listening to Madlik weekly disruptive Torah. And by disruptive, we mean Torah that hopefully makes you think about the Torah slightly differently, from a new angle, with a fresh pair of lenses, revisit old friends, as I often do, or meet new characters, new stories and react to them in a fresh way. And we record this clubhouse, and we post it as a podcast on all of your favorite podcasting platforms. So if you miss it, or if you want to share it with somebody, if you want to give us a few stars and a nice review, go check out Madlik. And so we want to get started, this is actually a very special week, because it's the last Shabbat, the last week of the year. So we have to finish dramatically. And today, I'd like to say this is the dramatic version of Madlik because we are going to be discussing a story in the Agadda, which is the material, I think I know it's been made into a play. But who knows, it could be even a movie coming to a theater near you, because it has so many turns to it. And so many different characters with character flaws and a storyline that is engaging. So, let us begin, we are reading from Deuteronomy 30. And the Torah says, speaking about the Torah, it says "It is not in the heavens that you should say, who amongst us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us that we may observe it. Neither is it beyond the sea that you should save Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us that we may observe it." So it seems to be a pretty straightforward sense of the Torah is here. You don't have to go far. What do you think Rabbi is the straightforward meaning of "Lo Bashamayim Hi", that the Torah our teaching our tradition is not in heaven, and it's not on the other side of the sea, Adam Mintz 02:36 Firs tof all Geoffrey, thank you so much. It's a great parsha to end the year with. I think what it means is that the best excuse you can give his Torah is too hard observance is too hard tradition are too hard. Tradition is for the Super religious, for the people who can appreciate all of this. The answer is absolutely not. It's not in heaven. It's not far away. It's in our hearts and inside our mouths, it's up to us. It's right there. For us. It's the word I like to use in this portion is it's accessible. And we have to remember the Torah is accessible. If Torah is accessible, then we can we can reach it also. Geoffrey Stern 03:21 I agree with you totally. And I would read translate the phrase "Lo Bashamayim hi" that it is not in heave as it's not in the sky. In other words, I think if you look at the two verses together, one says it's not up in the sky. And the other says it's not beyond the sea. It's very temporal. It's saying you don't have to go look anywhere else. You don't have to go on a trip, you don't have to go on an experience. You don't have to go find yourself a yogi. And I think in the Devarim Raba, it gives a bunch of explanations, but one says "it is not in heaven". They said to Moses, our teacher, but hey, you said to us it's not in heaven. It's not in the other side of the sea. But where is it? He said to them in the place that is close in your mouths in your hearts to do it. It is not far from you. It is close to you all." And I think that's exactly what you were saying. It's almost to say, you know, people searched the whole world to find something only to find. They had it all along. I think that even looking at it and thinking of heaven in terms of a sense of heaven and hell or heaven as the abode of God. The truth is if you look up this word in the five books of Moses, it typically means sky. So, so that we are going to launch a journey that began In the Talmud, where all of a sudden, this simple verse of saying, hey, it's not a pie in the sky, it's not up in the sky, it's right in your own hand, transformed and became something very dramatic. And I think it's a great example of what we were talking about in past weeks, how everything in the Torah, whether it's the activities that we're commanded to do, or the texts that we read, can take on a life of their own and be different things to different people as we move forward. So there is a famous story. And it is considered, I think, one of the most favorite stories and one of the most famous stories in the Aggadah, which is the the tradition of allegory and of myth and of stories in the Talmud, as opposed to strict laws. And it's known by the name of the oven that is the the subject matter. Its in Baba Mitziah 59b And it starts by talking about rabbis discussing a particular oven that was formed in the shape of a snake, you got to kind of think of yourself as forming a playdough snake and then making it into an oven. So there are lines or spaces in between, and the rabbi's are discussing something very technical as to whether it is kosher, or if it's "tahor", if it was pure or impure, and we don't need to get into the details. But we do need to know that one of the rabbi's whose name was Rabbi Eliezer he said to them that he believed that it was kosher. And the rest of the rabbi's said, No, we think it's impure. And so on that day, Rabbi Eliezer, who believed it was kosher gave all the possible answers in the world and the rabbi's did not accept his explanation. So this is one Rabbi named Rabbi Eliezer. He has a against a bunch of rabbis. And then he went on to say if the law is like me, he says, Let the carob tree prove it. And sure enough, a miracle happened and the carob tree was uprooted from its place 100 cubics. Some people save even 400 cubits. And the rabbi's answered him and said one does not say bring a proof from a carob tree. So Rabbi Eliezer said to them, if the Halacha is in accordance with me, let this stream prove it .... the aqueduct prove it. And all of a sudden, the water on the aqueduct started moving in the opposite direction. And they said to him, one does not cite a proof from a stream. Rabbi Eliezer started to get blue in the face, and he says if the halacha is in accordance with my opinion, let the walls of the study hall prove it. And sure enough, the walls of the study hall leaned inward and began to fall. Rabbi Yehoshua scolded the walls and said to him, if Torah scholars are discussing Torah with each other. What does it mean to you? What is your involvement? So the walls did actually not fall out of deference to Rabbi Yehoshua, but they didn't straighten up in deference to Rabbi Eliezer until today, they still remain leaning. Finally, Rabbi Eliezer came to the end of this thread, and he says, if the halacha is like me, if the law is with me, let heaven prove it. And a divine voice a "bat Kol", came down from heaven and said, Why are you arguing with Rabbi Eliezer, the halaqa is always according to him. At this point, Rabbi Yehoshua stood on his feet and said, "Torah Lo Bashamayim hi", the Torah is not in heaven. What is the relevance of the phrase "it is not in heaven"? He said, since the Torah was already given at Mount Sinai, we do not regard a "Bat Kol" a divine voice. And it says "Acharei Lerabim Lehatot", we go after the majority.... This is kind of like a Beatle song. There are many stops here. We could definitely stop here. But I'm going to go One more little insight before I stopped for our first discussion. The Gemora says Rabbi Nathan, one of the rabbis who had been arguing against Rabbi Eliezer happened to meet Elijah the Prophet on the street. And he said to him Elijah what was God doing when this discussion was happening? and Elijah the prophet said he smiled, and he said, "My children have defeated me. My children have defeated ME."Nitzchuni Bonai, Nitchuni Bonai". What a story and we're not even halfway through. Rabbi, Michael Posnik...., what do you think of this story? Adam Mintz 10:18 So I, Geoffrey I'm also interested by the last line that you added, "my children have defeated me"? Is that good or bad? I mean, are we supposed defeat God? Or is that a criticism? What's the end piece? But I'm gonna turn it over to Michael, because Michael is gonna give us a dramatic insight into the story. Michael Posnik 10:41 Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's the only place in all of our literature where God smiles or laughs. Geoffrey Stern 10:54 I hope that's not true. But Adam Mintz 10:56 I don't think that's true. But you know what, but it's good anyway, even if it's not true it's a good insight. Michael Posnik 11:03 if there's another one, then that would be nice to see that but so you asked if it was good or bad. Gods smiled or laughed. And I think he understood the picture and that he couldn't do anything about this. He gave the Torah and people have to address it according to their their needs. There's also a question here. I understand the oven as being really about the community and Rabbi Eliezer, because there seems to be a question about one of the stones or part of the oven was repaired. And because of the repair, the question was whether the odd stone or the odd stones that have been repaired, made that made the oven unclean, or unable to use it to kasher anything. And this to me, I read about as this community there are people in the community who are like the odd stones. Are are they to be counted in the minyan (quorum of 10 Jews), or not to be counted in the minyan and if they behave differently if they react differently? If they were kind of exiled. And the story unfortunately plays itself out. That Rabbi Akiva comes to Rabbi Eliezer who's now excommunicated, becomes into Herem, so he's out of the community, the community tosses him out. Geoffrey Stern 12:42 Well, let's not jump ahead too much. We don't want to give away the surprise ending! Michael Posnik 12:47 Well the surprise ending is a sad surprise. So those are just some thoughts that I think it is our responsibility to address the questions that come up in the Torah. I also wonder about the rabbi's need for power to hold the community together. And Rabbi Eliezer seems to be in the way to a kind of unified view in the community. These are massive questions that we're constantly dealing with, do we really go with the majority? Or is the minority view acceptable? This is today, this is in our world as well. So just some thoughts. nothing terribly dramatic, but just some thoughts. Geoffrey Stern 13:31 Let me let me focus a little bit you mentioned about God smiling, let's let's take a second to look at some of the words that are used here. The word for smile is "Chiyuch". And inside of that, I believe is is Chai, which is life, and certainly humor. And this has a lot of irony in the story. It has a lot of tragedy, and God is all there in the drama and in the smile. The other word that I love here is "nitzchuni Bonai" , which is typically translated as having "defeated me, "netzach" can be to to be victorious, but as Rabbi Riskin pointed out, "Netchak", can also mean eternal "netzach Yisrael" and so Rabbi Riskin translates this as my children have defeated me, "my children have eternalized me." And before I open that up to discussion, remember when Rabbi Eliezer asked the walls of the Beit midrash" to prove him right? If you remember that was the only instance where the rabbi's jumped in and said to the walls of the Beit Midrash of the study hall. Don't listen to him Don't go all the way because we are engaged in the discussion of Torah the word that they used is "Amar Lehem Talmidei Chachamim nitzachim ze et zeh", that we are discussing, we are battling over Torah one with with the other. Again, the word netzach. Here. So I think, at the most basic part of the story, as we kind of pause, right here is yes, you have all of those elements that you described, Michael, you have the question of the individual, you have a question of the authority of the community, you have the question of, are we looking for truth? Or are we looking for compromise. But certainly, the reason a story like this lives forever, is because God is smiling, and we are doing what he wants us to do. And ultimately, that might be why the Torah is no longer in heaven. It's kind of like a father or mother who teaches their child something, and then has the Glee of watching their child take it somewhere that maybe they hadn't even thought of. Adam Mintz 15:58 There's a lot there. You just said, I love the idea, Rabbi Riskin's famous idea that has been saying for many years, that my children have eternalized me, that arguing with the God is good, that shows that we're alive, that shows that we're thinking it's such an amazing idea, isn't it? "Nitzchuni Bonai.. they've defeated me, but they eternalize me by defeating ....it's the same word. Geoffrey Stern 16:27 Absolutely. So we could stay here for the rest of the day. And I actually always thought that the story, as I just told it, was the key to the amazement and the beauty of this story, but it goes on. So now the rabbi's said, Okay, what do we need to do against Rabbi Eliezer, so the first thing that they they did is they put all the ritually pure items that Rabbi Eliezer said, were pure, and they burn them in a fire. And I know all of the images that that brings up amongst us. And then they said, Let's reach a consensus. And let's ostrocize him and lets put him in herem, the word that they use to put him in herem is kind of interesting. And it's one that a play that Michael was involved picked up on, instead of they say cursing, they say blessing, but it's understood that they just didn't want to utter the words of Herem of ostrasizng a Jew. So they they basically ostracize him. And then they have to figure out how we going to convey the message to him that he is ostracized. And so now we have another giant of the Torah raise his hand. And Rabbi Akiva says, I am his beloved disciple, I will go lets an insanely person go and inform him in a callous and offensive manner. And he would thereby destroy the entire world. They're going to excommunicate someone who can move carob trees and water in different directions. So what did Rabi Akiva do? He wrapped himself in black, he sat for cubics away from Rabbi Eliezer as you would sit from someone who is excommunicated, and the details are all there, I invite you all to go read them. And it goes dramatically. He rent his garments. He removed his shoes. Rabbi Eliezer said What happened? Who died, he started to cry, he shedded tears. And all of a sudden things in the world started to get afflicted and destroyed just because Rabbi Eliezer himself started to cry. And then the anger was great that day. And he finally realized that he was being excommunicated. You could not sugarcoat this message. And then the story goes on to Rabbi Gamaliel, who was the head of the Sanhedrin and was involved with this decision. And like the prophet Jonah, he's on a boat, and the water, the water is raging, and the boats about to sink. And he says to himself, he says to God, it seems to me that this is only for the sake of Rabbi Eliezer ben Hercanus This must be for what happened to him and he stood on his feet and he said Master of the Universe. It is revealed and known before you that neither was it for my honor that I acted in ostracizing him, nor was it for the honor of the house of my father, rather for your honor, so that disputes will not proliferate in Israel, and as a response to sea calmed from its raising, and Ima Shalom, we get a woman in the story. This is the wife of Rabbi Eliezer. She knows that if Rabbi Eliezer ever put his head down on his arm and says the Tachanun Prayer where he cries out to God for that which has befallen him the world will be destroyed. And so she makes it her mission never to let him say the Tachnun prayer because, guess what her brother is Rabbi Gamliel. And sure enough she's successful until one day, maybe it was because she thought it was Rosh Chodesh the new moon when you don't say Tachnun, maybe it was because a poor ani came to the door, but her attention was swayed, he said Tachnun. And the next thing we know a shofar blew announcing the death of Rabbi Gamliel. And the story ends and she says, Why did this happen? EMA shalom said, this is the tradition that I received from the house of my father, all the gates of heaven are locked, except for the gates of 'Ona'at Devarim' verbal mistreatment. And that is the end of this story. And as far as I can tell, the only pragmatist the only player in this story that is guiltless is possibly the walls of the Beit Midrash that compromised and didn't fall down. But every everybody else is so much to blame. What are your thoughts? Michael Posnik 21:27 Geoffrey? It is truly a dramatic story. Because at the moment when God smiles or laughs, there's a lightness to the whole thing. And there's a sense of winning as it were, there's a sense of completion in the community. But that laughter turns to tremendous tragedy and grief and the death of the prince of the Sanhedrin and the murder, through Tachanun... through prayer. It is a devastating tale. And I know the translation at the very end, which he says through the one who has been verbally abused. I know there are many other translations... I read one that said that all the gates are closed except the gates for the broken heart. And this story, I think, is a broken heart. It's not about an oven. I mean, it's about an oven, which is somewhat ironic and strange. But there's broken hearts all the way through this. And those rabbis who won the day as it were over God, they grieve. I think that oven was probably never used to get it's it's quite a powerful, dramatic story. I always think that the comic mask and the dramatic mask tied together with one string. It's not two separate masks. It's one and this story's really indicative of it. The last thing I want to say is Rabbi Akiva having to do that work. It's so close to the holiday now. It's so close to Rosh Hashanna, when we all must go and do work. That's difficult to do on ourselves and forgiveness, things like that with other people. So it's very moving moment. Rabbi Akiva going in black, and having to having to give this message. Geoffrey, you read very dramatically, I have to say I would cast you in a minute. Geoffrey Stern 23:39 Was was this play ever performed? I know you sent me a script from a Daniel (Danny) Horowitz,. It's called a page of Talmud... was it ever performed? Michael Posnik 23:48 It was performed when Donny wrote it in Tel Aviv sometime in the 80s. I produced it at the 92nd Street y with the Talking Band. And it was done. About a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago. Yoni Oppenheim produced it downtown in the theater with a company of people. They did that one and Donny Horowitz also wrote the story of Kamtza bar Kamtza", which is also not a happy story. Needless to say but very powerful. Yeah, it was produced, and maybe other places too. I don't know. Geoffrey Stern 24:28 Amazing Adam Mintz 24:31 it is amazing. Michael, I want to just go back to your idea of putting together the comic with the dramatic. Is it an interesting interlude. The God is smiling, even though it's such a tragedy. Aren't you struck by that? Michael Posnik 24:49 That's why I went into the theater. Because ou never can resolve that. And the theater and all poetry and really good art does not let you resolve things like we try to do in real life? Like we tried to win the day with a halacha or whatever like the rabbi's. The world is resolvable. And so we are bound to live in, in the midst, in between those two amazing powers, we have to come out whole in some way. Well, that's our job. Geoffrey Stern 25:23 But to me, it's the question of when does that occur in this story, it occurs right before they break back to the present and start burning Reb eliezer's stuff, and before they excommunicate him, where he smiles, it's rather an amazing place. Because if you recall, they said two arguments. One is that the Torah is not in heaven. And 2, that we go Acharei L'Rabim L'hatot. that we go after the majority. And that's amazing. Because if you look at Exodus 23, which is what they quote, Exodus 23 says, You shall neither side with the mighty to do wrong, "Lo acharei l'rabim" . And if you look at Rashi, on that, he says they are Halachik interpretations of the sages that go against the wording of the text. Athis is the part of the story that I think most people take away, and they don't get into the Sturm und Drang afterwards, that he was smiling, because his children had taken the text in a direction, either not meant, not intended, or even in a whole new directiion. And if it had ended there, maybe it would have been a nice story. But I think the challenge becomes when they therefore want to burn his vessels, or in his books, quiet him and stop him. And you know, the good of the, the whole, for that sake, that becomes a little dangerous. And Michael, you shared a text with me, which is absolutely unbelievable. It's from the Brothers Karamazov. And it's chapter five, the Grand Inquisitor, and there it talks about a regular day in Spain, where the Grand Inquisitor was killing some Jews burning them at the stake. And then all of a sudden, people look to the church and there's an infant that had died, and a holy person comes and brings that child back to life. And then Grand Inquisitor knows who it is. So he locks him up in jail. And literally, it's a similar parallel story to ours where the Grand Inquisitor says, I know you are Jesus the Lord. And you can't come back, you can come and change the rules because we don't need you. For 1500 years we clerics have been changing the rules because man cannot live with the freedom that you gave. So it's fascinating in terms of those who are supposed to be listening to the words of the Spirit can change it, and that can be good, but then they can silence it. And that is bad. Michael Posnik 28:12 It's very interesting question also about the supernatural. All of the proofs that Rabbi Eliezer brings are supernatural and miraculous. And when the people asked Jesus to jump off the top of the synagogue, he refused, as he said, I don't want your faith to be in the supernatural. I want you to have faith because you have faith not because of something amazing... carob tree, or the water or the walls, or even a bat Kol. He wants people to believe so it's a very interesting conversation about how the super and how we live with quote the supernatural. And is there such a thing? And why do we keep longing for it? So the church, the Grand Inquisitor says, Yeah, we have them in the palm of our hand, you could have to but you didn't know you wanted them to be. You wanted them to be real mechen And not believe in something because of some kind of miraculous. Miracles aren't the whole thing. So in that sense, the rabbis saw one thing with the rabbis burning the stuff the burning the stuff is, is like the extra 500 people that were killed at the end of the Purim. Megillah. Adam Mintz 29:30 Wow, Michael, there's a lot of stuff here that you're that you're pulling together. I think, Geoffrey, I appreciate that you brought Michael in because I think you're right. You really have to catch the dramatic moment. There's the religious moment. But there's the dramatic moment in this story. And it could it be that the dramatic moment is even more powerful than the religious moment. Geoffrey Stern 29:52 So I totally agree. We only have a few more minutes, and I can't but ignore the parallels to The High Holidays that are coming upon us this sense of on'ah devarim you're right Michael It doesn't say onah devarim it doesn't say, depriving somebody throughwords it just says on the app. And those of you sensitive to the language know that on Yom Kippur, the key is onitem et naphshechem.. that we should make ourselves kind of suffer. So there is a balance here that the worst thing that one can do is use the same words and if Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur are about anything they're words, they can save, but they can also they can also hurt. The real takeaway for me is, I always thought of this story from where we started and where we ended, and I never asked myself why was the story told? And maybe that's because in the Vilma Talmud, this literally forms on one page. But if you turn the folio and see how this all began, the rabbi's were discussing this sense of humiliating somebody, they said on the previous folio, it is preferable for a person to engage in sex with a woman who is possibly married, then humiliate somebody else in public "yalbim pnei haveru b'rabim. Then it goes on to say that Rav Hisda says all the gates of heaven are to be locked except for the gates of prayer for victims of verbal mistreatment. And then it goes on to say that apropos of this statement, we learned a story about a tanor (an oven) about Rabbi eliezer. So it isn't about where the Torah comes from. It's not about how we can change the Torah as much as we love that kind of stuff on Madlik. It's not about anything except what they did to Rabbi Eliezer. About how after God smiled, they didn't know how to end the joke, and they had to become in the name of unity. They ostracized somebody, and as we head into the holidays, we have to know that yes, neilah is coming and the gates of prayer will be closed, but there's only one thing that can pierce those gates, and that is the cries of somebody who has been hurt and what that means is on the other side, that with words, we can provide solace and we can provide uplifting thoughts and support and maybe that will open up the gates too but this is an amazing pre Rosh Hashannah Pre yom kippur story, I believe. Adam Mintz 32:46 Amazing. Geoffrey, thank you so much. Thank you, Michael, for your insights today. Shabbat Shalom, everybody we say Shana Tova, when we see you next year, we'll be in 5782. But the Torah continues, we're coming to the end everybody. Join us as Vayelech next week. A short portion, but short and sweet and it's a wonderful portion Geoffrey Shabbat Shalom and shana tovah to everybody. Geoffrey Stern 33:10 Shanah Tova to you all.
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We have a special edition of Parashah Talk for Rosh Hashanah, whose conversation focuses mostly on the shofar and what it means to us to blow it and to listen to it. Because of the way Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall this year we will be back with a Yom Kippur edition in about two weeks. With best wishes for a Shanah Tovah U-m'tukah, a good and sweet year. May we all be inscribed for a year of blessing and Torah study!
Study Guide Beitzah 5 Today’s daf is sponsored anonymously for the yahrzeit of Shaul ben Kish, Shaul Hamelech and Gershon Chaim Alter ben Shaul George Rosenberg, Rhona Plunka’s father. An egg laid on the first day of Rosh Hashanah - is it permitted on the second day? Are two days of Rosh Hashanah one sanctity or two? Rav and Shmuel forbid the egg. To their understanding, because they kept instituted in the time of the Temple that they would not accept witnesses after the mincha offering was brought, two days of Rosh Hashanah became one long holiday – one sanctity. If so, an egg born on the first day would be forbidden on the second. Rabba disagrees and points out that after the ordinance of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, after the destruction, that witnesses will be received after mincha, it became a matter of doubt again and an egg born on the first day would be permitted on the second. The Gemara bring three more opinions - of Rav Yosef, Rabbi Ada and Rabbi Shalman, and Rava who all hold that despite the change of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, the egg is still forbidden. According to Rav Yosef, something determined by a vote of the Rabbis needs a new vote to repeal it and Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai changed the matter of setting the date but not the issue of the egg. From where does Rav Yosef prove this issue about repealing? Rav Ada and Rav Shalman forbid the egg because of concern the when the Temple will soon be built and we will return to the previous regulation that we do not accept witnesses from mincha, then again two days of Rosh Hashanah will be one sanctity and people will err and think that the egg is still allowed as it was the year before. Rava forbids because Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai only amended his regulation regarding determining the date but still the first regulation remains that they kept two days as was practiced in the time of the Temple. Raba stated that we rule like Rav in three cases regarding an egg and one of them is in the above case, that an egg laid on the first day of Rosh Hashana is forbidden on the second day.
Episode 55 is dedicated to Shane's grandma, Beverly. The guys are back after taking a week off so Shane and his family could travel to Florida for her funeral. Ready Slow listeners know how integral Beverly has been to many stories told on the podcast. Shane and Shean discuss open caskets, fake Rabbis, pre-planned funerals, cemetery drama, Florida nostalgia, Eternal Reoccurrence, and bitch ass lawyers in punk rock costumes. Shane would also like to extend his gratitude to everyone who reached out with prayers, condolences, thoughts, and memes to cheer him up. Requiesce In Pace Beverly
Greatest Hits: The High Holidays Episode 4: Death and Life: The Meaning of Yom Kippur According to the Rabbis Description: What is the link between afflicting one's soul on Yom Kippur and the day being the ultimate Shabbat? What do … Read the rest The post Death and Life: The Meaning of Yom Kippur According to the Rabbis – Episode 4 first appeared on Elmad Online Learning. Continue reading Death and Life: The Meaning of Yom Kippur According to the Rabbis – Episode 4 at Elmad Online Learning.
There is, thankfully, much greater awareness of mental illness today than there was in the past. This naturally leads to the question of how much mental health should affect halacha, or Jewish law. Is someone with an eating disorder permitted to eat on Yom Kippur - or perhaps the question should be, is that person is allowed to fast? If a person suffering from PTSD needs to smoke on Shabbat, is there room to be lenient? If the key question is how mental illness is related to sakanat nefashot - a danger to life - how can a determination like that be made that is both medically reasonable and halachically proper? Many rabbis, though well meaning, are simply not aware of how mental health concerns intersect with halacha. And when it comes to pastoral counseling and giving non-halachic advice, rabbis might be even more in the dark, and can unwittingly cause serious damage. Rav Yoni Rosensweig is at the forefront of bringing awareness of mental illness into the rabbinic community. He has written a book on the subject, and is starting an institute so that rabbis acquire the knowledge necessary in order to more appropriately confront these issues. In this episode of the Orthodox Conundrum, Scott speaks with Rav Yoni about these very pressing issues. Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108). Thanks to all of our Patreon subscribers, who have access to bonus JCH podcasts, merch, and more - we appreciate your help, and hope you really enjoy the extras! Visit the JCH Patreon site at https://www.patreon.com/jewishcoffeehouse. Check out https://jewishcoffeehouse.com/ for the Orthodox Conundrum and other great podcasts, and remember to subscribe to them on your favorite podcast provider. The site will also help you learn about creating your own podcast. Music: "Happy Rock" by bensound.com
Parshat Ki Teitzei - When was the last time you listened to the lyrics, poetry and sounds of the mitzvot? Join Geoffrey Stern, Rabbi Adam Mintz and special guest poet, Haim Nachman Bialik in a live recording of our weekly disruptive Torah on Clubhouse. We are told that there never was nor never will be a case of the Biblical Rebellious Son and that we are simply to be rewarded for its study. We explore how all of the commandments provide similar rewards for those willing to listen to their lyrical nature. Sefaria Source Sheet: www.sefaria.org/sheets/342083 Transcript: Geoffrey Stern Madlik is weekly disruptive Torah on clubhouse. But we record every week. And we then publish as a podcast. And we're available on all of the major podcast platforms. And you are welcome to give us a few stars and give us a review. And this week, I want to thank our faithful listener Bob, for doing just that giving us some stars, five stars, you can't get better than that, and a beautiful review. So thank you, Bob. And I invite all of you even if you've been on the clubhouse, to check out Madlik on your favorite podcast platform, and give us a review and a few stars and thank you for that. So this week, the name of the Parsha is Ki Teitzei and as Rabbi Adam said in the introduction, it has more commandments more Halachot and mitzvot than any other parsha. And I am only going to focus on one Halacha and it might be considered the most unique Halacha in the Torah and before I tell you why it's unique. Let me read it to you. It's called Ben sorer u'morer otherwise known as the Rebellious Son, and it goes as follows in Deuteronomy 21. "If a man has a wayward and defiant son, who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them, even after they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the public place of his community. They shall say to the elders of his town, this son of ours is disloyal and defiant. He does not heed us. He is a glutton and a drunkard, thereupon the men of his town shall stone him to death. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst, all Israel will hear and be afraid." Boy, that's a powerful one, especially this week when we are reading about the Taliban. It certainly brings parallel to a very fundamentalist strict notion of the law and how one keeps people observant. So why is this unique? It's unique because the Talmud in Sanhedrin says that there has never been, and there will never be a ben sorer u'morer; a rebellious son, it was given to us this halacha, this law, this practical injunction was given to us so that we made "darosh umekabel schar" we may expound and receive reward. So first of all, Rabbi, is this a mainstream opinion? Or is this a unique opinion? And what's at issue here? Adam Mintz So, first of all, it's a great topic. I mean, there's nothing like ben sorer u'morer. The idea that you have a wayward son, and that you put him to death, actually, before he commits any crime, because better he should die innocent than die guilty. That the first point which is amazing. But the second point is that it never happened. And the reason we studied isDrosh vekabel schar, which really I would translate to mean, let's learn a lesson from it. What lessons can you learn from how you handle a rebellious son? But it happens to be Geoffrey that if you go on in that Gemora, the opinion of Robbie Yochanan, who was a rabbi who lived in Israel in Tiberius, around the year 400, he says, quote, "ani rei'iti" I saw a wayward son in my life, "veyashavti al kivro". And I sat on his grave, meaning it did happen. And he was punished. So actually, there were two opinions. I don't know which opinion is more prevalent. But there were two opinions. One opinion is it never happened.... And one opinion is yes it happened, and I saw it with my own eyes, and I sat on his grave. And I thought we were going to talk about what are those two opinions. They're so different in their views? One opinion is that it never happened. The other opinion is I saw it and I sat on his grave, how do you come two such different opinions? Geoffrey Stern Well, and that also begs the question of what does it mean to "sit on his grave"? Did he sit on his grave and cry? So the question then becomes this that we say, "never happened and never will happen? Is that descriptive or is it prescriptive? Is it to say it never should happen. And it reminds me of the Mishnah actually in Makkot that literally talks about the death penalty in general. And you know, those of you who have read the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible know that it is full of Mot Yamut "Die you shall certainly die". But this is what the Mishnah says in Sanhedrin. "It says the Sanhedrin that executes someone once in seven years, is characterized as a destructive tribunal. Rabbi Eliezer b. Azaria says, once in 70 years, Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva say, if we had been members of the Sanhedrin, we would have conducted trials in a manner whereby no person would have ever been executed." So here too I don't know whether the Talmud that you quote, which is beautiful, about the rabbi who said he actually saw a ben sorer u'morer whether that is distinct from or an agreement with, because of the fact that he sat on his grave. And at least in my mind, I think he cried. Adam Mintz Good. I liked that a lot. Now, of course, the question of whether or not they ever actually carried out the death penalty is the same debate that we have in 2021. whether or not we're in favor of death penalties. And basically, what the rabbis say is that we don't want to actually carry out the death penalty. But we want you to think that if you violate Shabbat, you deserve to get the death penalty, we're not going to kill you. Because that's not what we do, because that is counterproductive to kill you. We want to try to rehabilitate you. But the idea is that we have the death penalty on the books. And maybe that's what Rabbi Yohanan says, I saw, I sat on his grave, I cried. It really happened. Or maybe it didn't really happen. The point is that we need to know that we need to rehabilitate those kinds of children. Geoffrey Stern So so far, we've really discussed, I would say, black and white, life or death. But in this parsha that you so aptly said, contains so many laws, many of the laws refer to personal status. And the one word that I think, puts shudders down, anyone who follows Jewish laws of identity is the word bastard or Mamzir. And that occurs in Deuteronomy 23. And basically, it says that someone who is a Mamzir, and that we'll describe in a second, cannot enter into the congregation, even to the 10th generation. And it is as close to a social death sentence as you can get. And just as you brought up the death penalty is something that reflects on a current discussion, it's a very heated area of debate, even till today, in Israel, this law of status where a child is born, and maybe the parents didn't get a proper divorce and had a child and the child is then called a Mamzir. Again, it is something that there are many, many people that look at and say, well, it's a law, it's on the books, and it has to be enforced. And of course, like anything that relates to power, there's the potential for it to be misused. And in the in the source papers that I shared with you, Rabbi, I had heard many years back and I think it was in a lecture by Rabbi Riskin, the colloquialism or the phrase Ain Mamzerim B'Yisrael" that there are no bastards in Israel. And what was meant by that was that any Rabbi worth his or her salt would find a way, some way, any way to make sure that this law was really in the same category as the rebellious son in the sense that it might be on the books, but it never was put into practice. Have you heard this notion of "Eyn Mazmzerim B'Yisrael" and even if you haven't, does that resonate with you in terms of Jewish learning? Adam Mintz Geoffrey, that I heard that phrase "Eyn Mazmzerim B'Yisrael" from the same source you did: Rabbi Riskin and when you asked me earlier this week, to find the source, so I was able to do something that we weren't able to do in the early Rabbi Riskin days. And that is I googled it to see where'd Rabbi Riskin come up with it. And, you know, he's very creative and very good Rabbi Riskin, but I couldn't find it anywhere. So I think that the explanation that you gave is really right on the mark, what Rabbi Riskin was telling us "Eyn Mazmzerim B'Yisrael" It's not a comment about sexual relations between man and woman and whether they got divorced or whether they didn't get divorced, or all of that. Nothing to do with any of that. What it has to do with is about the rabbis, Are the rabbis willing to be creative and courageous enough to always find a way to get people not to be called Mamzerim. I think that's a very, very important voice. And what Rabbi Riskin was saying was exactly like you said, if you're worth your salt, you can figure out how not to have someone be a Mamzer. And that's exactly the same idea. As if you're worth your salt, you're going to make sure that there's no such thing as a Ben Sorer u'morer and maybe Geoffrey, that even follows to the other opinion. "I saw a Ben Sorer u'morer" , and I sat on his grave, and I cried because I wasn't able or the rabbi's weren't able to get him out of that status. And that's a tragedy, because "Eyn Mazmzerim B'Yisrael", the rabbi's need to have the ability, the creativity, the courage to get these people out of that situation. Geoffrey Stern And I would like to interject a personal story an account that I have that puts some meat on this concept of if you are worth your salt. I have a friend a roommate from yeshiva came from a town. Norwich Connecticut, his father was the Orthodox Rabbi there. And about 15 years ago, he was living in Israel, he came to see me and I said, Well, what are you up to? He says, Well, I'm going to Norwich, Connecticut. And I'm going to make a marriage improper to disallow a marriage. And he explained to me, and this is just I think, interesting. So we can all understand how these things work. A student showed up to the yeshiva, and his parents had been remarried. And his mother's first marriage was in Norwich, Connecticut. And he had not gotten an orthodox divorce. So my friend Shmuel was going back to his hometown, and he found people who knew one of the witnesses for that first wedding. And he wanted to invalidate the marriage by invalidating the witness... And he would ask, Well, did he ever gamble? Did you ever see him playing cards, and he would find some way that would make the first marriage nullified. And again, you have to do what you have to do. And the Halacha is something that can be and seem very splitting of hairs, full of minutia and technical, but in a sense, what he was doing was full of humanity. And the challenge, of course, is there aren't enough rabbis who have the learning, who are dedicated to doing it for not only a student that shows up at the Yeshiva, but for any Jew. And that's and that's really the challenge. Adam Mintz Well, Rabbi Riskin would love that story. Because"Eyn Mazmzerim B'Yisrael", your friend had the courage to make sure that this child was not going to be called a Mamzir. Geoffrey Stern We could spend probably the rest of the half hour just talking about how maybe Judaism, or laws that seem more rigid or dated or even Taliban-like, have been nullified and changed. And that would be a perfectly good use of our time. But I want to take the discussion in a totally different direction. Because I am intrigued by the fact that the rabbis said that this Halacha of the rebellious son was there only for us to discuss and learn. And it seems to me that there's an aspect of what some consider the dry halakhah or the daily practice of the Jew, that we all need to listen to, that it is a language in and of itself, looking at the Halacha at Jewish observance, as a language more than even a religion or a code. And every Shabbat when I say my prayers, there's one verse that I say after the Shema, that I think of in this regard, and it says Ashrei Ha'Ish Shyishma l'mitzvotecha" "Happy is the person who listens to the commandments". And what I want to do for the balance is to explore not only capital punishment and not only questions of status and these earth-shattering laws, but potentially how every one of the Jewish traditions and customs can be looked at in a whole new way. And we're given a license by this kind of takeaway, throwaway comment of the rabbi's to look at the whole corpus of Jewish observance as a lyric as a language as something that we can smile to, dance to, struggle with, but interact with in the way that we do maybe with a poem. Adam Mintz Okay, great. Geoffrey Stern So I'm inviting a third player to our to our panel today. Unfortunately, he's not alive, but his name is Haim Nachman Bialik. And he was considered the national poet of Israel. He actually made Aliyah, lived in Israel, but he died in the 20s before the state. But what you might not know about him is that he started as a very observant Jew, he went to the Yeshiva in Velozhin. And he actually went there. So his grandfather would think that he was studying and then he went, and he became the great poet that he was. And he saw in the paper that they closed the Yeshiva in Velozhin, and so he had to rush home because he knew his grandfather would know that he wasn't at the Yeshiva so to speak. But he in his later days, when he was no longer observant, wrote a three-volume tome on the Aggadah. And the Aggadah is the legends of the Jews. The Aggadah is always contrasted to the halakhah. There's the law and there's the fable, there's the practice, and there's the narrative and the stories. So you would expect that someone like him, would really be a major fan of the legends of the Jews, and not so much for the Halacha. But he has an article that he wrote called the Halacha and Aggadah, and in the source feet, if you if you go to the podcast when it issues early in the week, you'll see the source sheet there. I have the full text in both English and Hebrew, and it's worth reading. It's very lyrical, but in it, he actually makes an argument that the Halacha is as much a song, a poem a lyric as anything else. So with your permission, I'm going to read a little bit and then I welcome all of us to to kind of discuss, he says "halakhah and Aggadah the law and the legends are two things which are really one two sides of a single shield. The relation between them is like that of speech to thought and emotion or the action and sensible form to speech. Halacha is the crystallization the ultimate and inevitable quintessence of the Aggadah legend. The legend is the content of Halacha. The legend is the plaintive voice of the heart's yearning as it wings its way to its Haven, Halacha is the resting place where for a moment the yearning is satisfied and stilled. As a dream seeks its fulfillment in interpretation, as will in action as thought in speech as fruit. So Aggadah in Halacha. But in the heart of the ruit, there lies hidden the seed from which a new flower will grow. The Halacha which is sublimated into a symbol and much Halacha there is, as we shall find becomes the mother of a new Aggadah, a new legend, which may be like it or unlike it, a living and healthy law is a legend that has been or will be. And the reverse is true. Also, the two are one in their beginning and their end." So it's really so lyrical. And I had to read it in his words because he is a poet. But here was a man who literally and we'll see he gives some concrete examples of how he saw the song in the minutiae of the law. Does this resonate with any of you in terms of the music in Jewish custom and activity? Adam Mintz I think what he's telling you is that Halacha means the way we live. The minute you describe the way we live, all of a sudden, that's a legend. All of a sudden, that's a story. That's the tradition. Everything in this week's parsha... all these 77 laws are part of the way we live. If it's the way we live, it's a legend. This week's parsha tells us if you get divorced, you have to write a get (divorce document) if you get married, you go through the formalities of a marriage ceremony of a Chuppah? Those aren't laws, those are legends. So it's the stories, how many stories have come out of those two laws? And he can't distinguish between the two? Is it a law? Is it a legend? Is it a legend? And is it a law. And the truth of the matter is that the law leads to the legend. And then the legend leads right back to the law. I feel exactly what he says. Geoffrey Stern So I was thinking of this, when a week or two ago, we discussed vegetarianism. And this whole concept of eating meat Basar Ta'aiva" (meat of desire), only on special occasions. And again I was struggling with the fact that so much in the Bible seems to lean towards vegetarianism. And I was wondering, where does it bear itself out? Where does it come through? And then I started thinking of all the laws that I've studied whether it's for Hanukkah, whether it's for Shabbat, of if you have limited resources, what do you spend it on? If it's on Shabbat? Do you use the money that you have for the candle for the wine for the meat? And it seemed to me that again, this was looking at the life of the Jew. And you really understood then, in ways that you and I never could, what Baser Ta'aiva" what the meat of desire... that moment of when every pintela Jew, every poor little peasant could feel something and it was that treat, not a part of everyday life. So to me that was an example of where the minutiae of the Halacha that might be dealing with something very monotone and trivial, actually bore within it, a whole weltanschauung of the Jewish people and their relationship, to poverty, to spirit to a little treat once in a while. And to me, it was the answer. I really felt that in my heart that no, our tradition has spoken about the place of eating meat at special times at Holy times. And it's spoken loud and clear, even if I don't find one piece of prose, or one piece of narrative that directly touches upon it. Adam Mintz I think that's a beautiful example. I mean, I think right off the mark, poetry and prose, narrative and law. What he's saying is, those are just words, really, they merge into one entity, and that's really Jewish life. Geoffrey Stern So I'll give one more example that he brings. And he talks about a law of carrying on Shabbat... you're not allowed to carry in a public domain. And it says, a man may not go out on the Shabbat with a sword or a bow or a shield or a club or a spear. Rab Eliezer says, they are ornaments, and therefore may be worn. But the sages say they are only a disgrace, as it is said, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Here we have, and this is Bialik. Here we have ideas about beauty and ugliness in dress-and whence are they taken? From the words of the sweet singer and the great seer. And in what connection? In connection with carrying on the Sabbath. So again, what he's saying is that in these minutia, if we listen to the commandments, .... and let's not neglect to say that there's no question that Judaism is an orthopraxy it's correct practice more than an orthodoxy correct belief. And so much of what we do is dictated by how we do it and what we do but in that seems to me to be just a beautiful song. And I think that's the flip side of saying that some laws are just written on the book. They're just for us to study. And actually, isn't that what we do on Madlik? Adam Mintz That's right. I mean, it's hard, though, Geoffrey to know how you distinguish between the different kinds of laws? Geoffrey Stern Well, absolutely. But I would argue that really, we should not relegate this to different laws, but that every law has this element within it. And that's, I think, what my big takeaway is. Bialik goes on to say, he says, "not all laws, Halachot are equal or are the same and unproductive. Another bears fruit and fruit that reproduces itself. one is like an empty vessel that is put away in a corner till it is wanted. Another is like a vessel that is uninterrupted use, always being emptied and filled again with something new." So I think what we do is we look through our narrative to find practices that have fallen into disuse, or misunderstood or taken in one direction. And we have the license to take it in a totally new direction. Lately, I've been very stiff. And I've been doing a lot of yoga. You know, many of the yoga teachers give you a thought to think about and give you a practice to aim for. And I just thought wouldn't it be magnificent to combine yoga and Tefilla, I want to call it yogafilla. The idea is to take the bowing that we do already in the tefilla. It's there, ... When we are thankful we say "modeem anachnu Lach" and we bend our knees and our knees are "berchayim", which is the same word for "bracha" to bless. So I'm just saying this is kind of little things that have come up in my past week, where I look at the Halacha, I look at the practice at the minhag. And I'm saying these are vessels that might have been emptied. But they're there for us to fill up. Adam Mintz I think that's right, first of all, tell you that I think there's a synagogue on the west side, Romamu where they have yoga on Saturday morning, followed by tefilla, so come to the west side. And you can do yoga and tefilla. But the idea is really exactly right. And I think that's the idea that the law, what you sometimes think of ..... you needed to relax. So you're doing yoga. And what Bialik would say is no follow the Halacha. Because even though the Halacha feels rigid, but actually the Halacha gives us the ability to play out that narrative, and to live our lives in a special way. Jessica, you asked to come up? Jessica Oh, I just wanted to quickly say that the Cantor from Romamu is here on Fire Island. And she's amazing. So that's all thanks. I Adam Mintz Send her our regards and tell her she got a shout out on Madlik this afternoon. Jessica I will do that. Thank you. Adam Mintz So Geoffrey, the ability and the choice of Bialik's poem this week, when the Parsha is so filled with laws. I think it's so special, and really gives us something to think about. We started today with ben sorer u'morer and whether or not that really happened. And we go from there to the question about generally, about what the role is of law within the halakhic system. And Bialik really gives us kind of a poetic view of what law is all about. And I think we can use that in ben sorer u'morer, and we can use it in so many other places. Geoffrey Stern I totally agree. And if you haven't sensed from the tone of my voice, I discovered Bialik recently, but it's so personal with me. He has a poem that he calls "Before the Book Closet". And it was written while the secular Jew was spending three years aggregating all of the Aggadot and it's coming back to the Beit Midrash, to the study hall. And he says "Do you still know me? I am so and so. Only you alone knew my youth. You were my garden, I learned to hide in your scrolls." And then at the end of the poem, he says, "and now after the change of time, so my wheel of life has brought me back and stood me once again before you hiders of the closet, and once more my hand turns among your scrolls and my eye gropes tired among verses." And so with me, I studied Torah in my youth. And when I study Torah at this stage in my life, it is revisiting my youth and I am trying to see if I have that relationship. But I would argue that all of us studied our texts when we were young. And we need to find ourselves and to see if we are recognized once again in those texts. And that is, I think, the invitation that the rabbi's give us about the ben sorer u'morer.. . And the last thing that I will say is, you know, Bialik, was a rebellious son. He was told by the head of the Velozhin Yeshiva as he left, just don't write anything bad about us. But the truth is, we are all also rebellious sons, even though the rebellious son doesn't exist and if we aren't, maybe we should be, but we have to rediscover ourselves and rediscover the mystery and the magic of our ancient texts. And with that, I bid you all Shabbat Shalom. Adam Mintz Shabbat Shalom, Geoffrey. That was an amazing discussion today and Bialik was beautiful as he always is, and ben sorer u'morer. Shabbat Shalom to everybody. Enjoy and we look forward to seeing everybody next week. Be well, Shabbat Shalom, Geoffrey Stern Shabbat Shalom.
During the month of Elul we are to prepare ourselves for the period of the High Holidays, which begins with Rosh Hashana, continues with Yom Kippur, and reaches its culmination on Hoshana Rabba, when the final judgment is rendered. It was on Rosh Chodesh Elul when Moshe ascended Mount Sinai to beseech the Almighty to forgive Benei Yisrael for the grave sin of the golden calf. Forty days later, on Yom Kippur, God announced His forgiveness. Thus, this forty-day period has traditionally been a time of forgiveness, when God is – if we are allowed to say such a thing – in a "forgiving mood." It behooves us to take advantage of this unique period and do what we can to earn atonement for the wrongs we committed during the year.It is proper to read works of Musar during the month of Elul. One recommended book is "Sha'arei Teshuva," the classic work by Rabbenu Yona (Spain, 1180-1263) describing the process of Teshuva. Other recommended works include Rabbenu Yona's famous letter about repentance known as "Iggeret Ha-Teshuva," and the Rambam's Hilchot Teshuva, which presents the various requirements of Teshuva. Another work, "Orchot Chayim," is divided into thirty sections, which many have the practice of studying on the thirty days of Elul. Some also have the practice to read "Tikunei Ha-Zohar," a collection of inspirational passages from the Zohar (the basic text of Kabbala). The Kabbalists taught that the reading of this work has the capacity to cleanse and purify one's soul even if he does not understand the material he reads.One must be particularly diligent during the month of Elul to recite each night "Keri'at Shema Al Ha'mita" before he goes to sleep. He should include the "Ana" prayer, petitioning God for forgiveness for whatever wrongs he may have committed over the course of that day.One of the Berachot in the Amida service is that of "Hashivenu," in which we ask God to help us perform Teshuva. During the month of Elul, it is proper to insert in this blessing the names of people who have strayed from the proper path of observance, before the concluding blessing "Baruch Ata Hashem Ha'rotzeh Be'tshuva."Many people have the custom to have their Tefillin and Mezuzot checked during the month of Elul. According to strict Halacha, a person is required to have his Mezuzot checked only twice in seven years, and Tefillin worn every day do not require checking at all. Nevertheless, there are those who make a point of having their Tefillin and Mezuzot checked during Elul.Although one must ensure to recite Birkat Ha'levana (the blessing over the moon) every month, the Rabbis admonish us to be particularly diligent with regard to Birkat Ha'levana for the month of Elul.In general, one must raise his level of observance during the month of Elul in preparation for the High Holidays, and in the merit of our efforts we should be deserving of a year of peace and happiness for ourselves, our families and our community, Amen.
In this show following the Yahrtzeit of Rav Kook we discuss stories of the founding father of modern religious Zionism and the love he had for the Land and his fellow Jew Israel Unplugged 16AUG2021 - PODCAST
Parashat Shoftim [Deuteronomy 16:9-21:9] with its miscellany of laws is a kind of prequel to Parashat Ki Tetze [Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19], which has the largest number of mitzvot [commandments] of any single parashah, well over 10% of the rabbinic total of 613. Shoftim, which means judges, focuses on the different kinds of leaders: judges, kings, clergy, and prophets. There are also rules for warfare, among other subjects. One feature which we did not address is the last occurrence in the Torah of the lex talion [the law of revenge, better known as ‘an eye for an eye']. In these parashiyot in particular, there is much to talk about: what laws meant in their original context, what they mean today, what they mean to us as individuals. If I say I am uncertain what it all means, after you listen, you will understand this reference! Shabbat Shalom!!
The pasuk says in Yeshaya כי לקחה מיד ה' כפליים בכל חטאתיה , which simply means the Jewish People paid double for its sins. The Rabbis asked how to reconcile this pasuk with another pasuk in Tehillim which says כי לא כחטאינו עשה לו ולא כעוונותינו גמל עלינו , which means Hashem in His infinite kindness does not even take a single payment for our sins, instead, He erases numerous sins from our record with small afflictions. How could the pasuk in Yeshaya speak of us receiving double the amount of our sins if in Tehillim it says we don't even pay once? I once heard an explanation that, in reality, it's like it says in Tehillim , Hashem takes far less from us than what we deserve, but if we fail to understand that whatever happens is coming to us from Hashem for our best, then it seems as though we are paying double. Afflictions become so much more painful and so much more difficult to handle if we do not view them as an expression of Hashem's love. Indeed, the pasuk in Yeshaya does not say that Hashem gives us twice the punishment, but rather it say ‘ כי לקחה מיד ה – we have taken twice the punishment – it appears to be double because of our flawed perspective. Yes, there are times that people have to experience hardships for their best, but how it affects them mentally is their choice. A man told me, his daughter was in shidduchim and although she wasn't that old, he and his wife were a nervous wreck over it. They were worried and stressed over it all the time, especially when they saw her friends getting engaged while she, so to speak, was on the sidelines. This went on for two years. Then, after learning more about emunah, they decided to take on a whole new approach. They said to themselves, So what if our daughter's not married yet. Hashem blessed us with such a wonderful and special girl, she's so smart, she has such good middot, she's respectful, she's always happy, she has a great job. What's the big deal if she gets married later than others? From that day on, instead of complaining or feeling worried, they began thanking Hashem for giving them such a great daughter. Every day they would thank Hashem for a different aspect of their daughter. As a side note, this girl became engaged within two months of that change in attitude. But the point of the story is not the yeshua , it's the decision made by this couple on how they were going to deal with the affliction they were going through. Yes, it's hard to have a daughter not married and it is most definitely considered a form of yissurin , but the way people go through it is up to them. They didn't have to take double for what was considered to be not even single. A woman told me, she grew up in a Reform background and had very little connection to Judaism. Baruch Hashem, her son became religious and helped influence her as well. A few years ago, she discovered the topic of emunah and has read books on the subject again and again. She has had a very hard life and currently lives alone and, at the time I spoke to her, she was suffering from a broken limb but she was speaking as if she was the happiest person in the world. She knows everything that's happening comes from Hashem for her best and that has become part of her very essence. She loves talking to Hashem, her life has become so much happier from the emunah that she has learned. For whatever reason, part of her tikkun in this world is to experience different hardships, but she is in charge of how to view them and, baruch Hashem, she's as happy as can be. With the proper perspective, everybody can rise above their challenges and enjoy the wonderful life that Hashem has given them.
The Torah is clear, in the book of Leviticus, that a wife found guilty of adultery shall be put to death with her adulterous lover. But what if the husband only suspects his wife of adultery? The book of Numbers offers a nifty bit of sorcery to address that question. The Rabbis, whose teachings are founded in Torah—but expand upon texts and offer a wide variety of interpretations—give reasons for why a husband may want to be more forgiving.
We welcome our friend and colleague, Sheila Katz, to the show. Sheila Katz is the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a network of 180,000 advocates across the U.S. and Israel advancing the rights of women, children, and families. Since her start as CEO, Sheila has overseen the founding of the “Rabbis for Repro” campaign, building a network of over 1,000 Rabbis and Jewish clergy promoting reproductive health, rights, and justice. Additionally, under Sheila's leadership, NCJW has made advancing anti-racism efforts at the national and local levels a priority, showing the intersectionality of racial justice in all of the organization's main advocacy issues. We talk about religious freedom, abortion access, and the rise of antisemitism in the United States.
Torah law forbids demanding "Ri'bit" – interest on loans – from another Jew. Although lending money to those in need of a loan constitutes a great Misva, this is true only of interest-free loans; lending on interest violates a Torah prohibition. The Torah forbids not only receiving interest, but paying interest, as well. Hence, even if a person is in desperate need of cash and agrees to pay a certain percentage of interest in order to secure a loan, one may not lend him on interest. The Talmud emphasizes the particular gravity of this transgression, warning that lending on interest can cause a person to lose his property, and is equivalent to the denial of the Almighty's existence. According to one view, this violation can also interfere with Tehiyat Ha'metim – the eventual resurrection of the dead. (Yore Deah 160:4)The issue of Ri'bit arises not only in the context of private, personal loans, but also in the framework of commercial transactions. Businesses very often charge a higher price for merchandise if the consumer pays in installments. In essence, this extra charge constitutes Ri'bit from the Rabbis. The seller gives the merchandise after receiving only partial payment, effectively granting a loan to the consumer by not demanding the outstanding amount. By charging extra for this "loan," the business transgresses the prohibition of Ri'bit.It is therefore imperative for every business to have copies of a document called a "Heter Iska" which circumvents this prohibition through a legal loophole of sorts. This document declares that the money is given not as a loan, but rather as a commercial investment, whereby the lender and borrower become partners and agree to evenly split the profits and losses earned or incurred with these funds. A stipulation is made that if the borrower incurs a loss with the money, he must nevertheless return the borrowed sum and an additional amount unless he is prepared to swear in Bet Din (the Rabbinical Court) that he incurred a loss. Since nobody wishes to make such an oath in court, the practical effect of this arrangement is that every borrower will have to repay the sum plus the additional "interest." This does not violate the prohibition of Ri'bit because he pays the additional amount not as interest on a loan, but rather as the lender's share of the profits made with the money he invested. Even if no profits are earned, the lender will nevertheless pay the extra amount in order to avoid having to make a formal oath in Bet Din.Thus, every businessman must have copies of this document and sign it whenever he lends money to a Jew or charges a Jew a higher amount when payment is rendered in installments.Summary: Receiving or paying interest for a loan given to another Jew constitutes a grave Torah violation; even if a borrower agrees to pay the lender interest, he may not do so. This applies as well to charging a higher price for merchandise when payment is rendered in installments. One who wishes to lend a Jew on interest or charge a higher price for delayed payment may do so only if he and the borrower sign a document called a "Heter Iska," which transforms the loan into a commercial investment.See the book- "Pure Money" by Dayan Cohen, pages 201-202.
This week I sit down with Rabbis Rachel and Marcus Rubinstein, the husband-and-wife team taking over the pulpit at Temple of Aaron. We talk about what brought them to St. Paul, adjusting to this new community, and we play a take on the Newlywed Game, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.
Efrat Bruck, MD, graduated from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and is now an anesthesiology resident at the Mount Sinai Hospital. Before medical school, she taught Judaic studies, Hebrew, and Biology to 1000 now-alumni of Be'er Hagolah Institutes, in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Bruck has worked as a content specialist for Khan Academy and created over 30 MCAT preparation videos on topics in molecular biology, DNA, and genetics that have also recently been translated into foreign languages. Her videos have been published on the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges) website, Khan Academy, and YouTube, accruing millions of views on the latter. Dr. Bruck has published research in Nature, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Bruck founded and leads the JOWMA PreMed Society that aims to advance Jewish women, from all backgrounds, in medicine. Dr. Bruck is a fierce advocate for premed students from insular and underrepresented backgrounds and strives to provide them with the resources and tools necessary to compete. (www.jowma.org/pre-med). She was among two out of 200 graduating MDs, PhDs, and MD/PhDs at Sinai's recent commencement to be awarded the Patricia Levinson Award for the Advancement and Inclusion of Women in Medicine. Dr. Bruck, along with her colleagues at JOWMA, is also currently in the process of constructing a cultural competency curriculum that will help healthcare professionals in New York City hospitals provide culturally sensitive medical care to Jewish populations across the entire spectrum of Orthodoxy. Dr. Bruck's experiences in education, acceptance to nearly 10 US MD programs, and service on the admissions committee of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have led her to have a highly successful track record helping premeds navigate the medical school application process. She is the founder and CEO of MDInspire, a medical school admissions consultancy that provides professional consulting for fees that are reasonable and a fraction of the standard costs. Dr. Bruck specializes in helping people weave their stories seamlessly through their application, building stellar personal statements and activities sections, interview preparation, and coaching students on how to study smarter, not harder. For more information, please visit: www.MDInspire.com. BlogPost: http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2021/07/from-bais-yaakov-to-md.html Instagram: drbruck_mdinspire Facebook: Efrat Bruck LinkedIn: Efrat Bruck, MD website: www.MDInspire.com YouTube: Efrat Bruck www.jowma.org/pre-med
There is a custom observed in our community that one who receives an Aliya to the Torah first recites, "Hashem Imachem" ("May God be with you"). The congregation then responds, "Yevarechecha Hashem" ("May Hashem bless you"), at which point the one receiving the Aliya proceeds to recite the Beracha over the Torah reading.The origin of this exchange ("Hashem Imachem" – "Yevarechecha Hashem") is the story told in Megilat Rut (2:4) of Boaz's arrival at his fields. He greeted his workers with the wish, "Hashem Imachem," and they responded, "Yevarechecha Hashem." Interestingly enough, it is still customary among Middle Easterners to greet one's fellow with the greeting, "May God be with you," to which the other responds, "May God bless you." The question, however, arises as to why it became customary to introduce the Beracha over the Torah reading with this exchange.One explanation is that the individual receiving an Aliya requires a special Beracha, because accepting upon oneself the yoke of Torah has the effect of weakening a person. A person called to the Torah extends the greeting of "Hashem Imachem" to the congregation so that they will respond by blessing him with special divine assistance, which he will need now that he proclaims his formal acceptance of the Torah. Others explain that at the time of Matan Torah, which we commemorate through the public Torah reading, Beneh Yisrael resembled converts, undergoing the formal process of joining the covenant with God. A person called to the Torah therefore recites with the congregation these passages from Megilat Rut, the book that tells the story of Rut's conversion to Judaism.We also follow the custom of introducing the declaration of "Barechu Et Hashem Ha'meborach," which one recites upon being called to the Torah, with the word "Rabbanan" ("Rabbis"). This word is recited as an expression of humble recognition that others are worthier of receiving the Aliya and reciting the Berachot over the Torah. As we know, Aliyot are not always given to the most distinguished members of the congregation, and it might come across as arrogant for a person to accept an Aliya in the presence of prominent Rabbis. It therefore became customary to introduce the Aliya by declaring, "Rabbanan," to humbly acknowledge the presence of distinguished personalities who are more deserving of an Aliya to the Torah.Some scholars have noted an interesting distinction between the procedure for an Aliya to the Torah, and the Zimun service before Birkat Hamazon. An Aliya to the Torah begins with "Barechu Et Hashem Ha'meborach," which includes the divine Name of "Havaya," whereas the Zimun service begins, "Nebarech Elokenu" – utilizing the divine Name of "Elokim." The reason is that Birkat Hamazon – particularly when recited with a Zimun – should be recited over a cup of wine, and the numerical value of the word "Kos" ("cup") is 86 – the same numerical value as the word "Elokim." Appropriately, then, we use this divine Name in the introduction to a Zimun. The public Torah reading commemorates the event of Matan Torah, which occurred in the 26th generation of the world. There were ten generations from Adam until Noah, and another ten until Abraham, for a total of twenty. Moshe lived in the sixth generation from Abraham (Yishak-Yaakob-Levi-Kehat-Amram-Moshe), or in the 26th generation from Adam. We therefore use the Name of "Havaya" – which has the numerical value of 26 – in the context of the Aliya to the Torah.It has been noted that the Berachot recited before and after the Torah reading ("Asher Bahar Banu Mi'kol Ha'amim" and "Asher Natan Lanu Torat Emet") have a combined total of forty words. This total alludes to the forty days that Moshe Rabbenu spent atop Mount Sinai receiving the Torah. It is also interesting to note that there are a total of 248 days throughout the year when we conduct a public Torah reading, corresponding to the Torah's 248 affirmative commands.Some have also observed that the Sages, in arranging the schedule of the public Torah reading, ensured to distribute the Aliyot equally between the Levite tribe (Kohanim and Leviyim) and the rest of the nation. If we look at the Aliyot of the weekly schedule of Torah reading, we will find that eight are given to the Kohanim and Leviyim, and eight are given to others. On Shabbat morning, the first two Aliyot are reserved for a Kohen and Levi, and the remaining five are allocated for others. At Minha on Shabbat, the Levite tribe receives another two Aliyot, for an interim total of four, and one is given to the rest, who thus far have six. On both Monday and Thursday, the Kohanim and Leviyim receive two Aliyot, thus adding another four to bring their total to eight, while the others receive one Aliya on each of these days – bringing their total to eight, as well.These insights underscore the importance of the traditional customs we observe. Even after viewing just a small glimpse of some of the profundity underlying our customs, we immediately recognize their significance and deep meaning. We must therefore cherish them and carefully observe them, and never belittle them or consider their observance unimportant.
Did you know that since the nations founding there has always been a congressional chaplain? It's true, and to be honest, I didn't know that until I read "When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers on Capitol Hill" written by C-SPAN Communications Director, Howard Mortman. Josh and Will talk with Howard's unprecedented examination of 160 years of Jewish prayers delivered in the literal and figurative center of American democracy. They discuss the journey, research, and stories of over 400 rabbis giving over 600 prayers since the Civil War days―who they are and what they say. Rabbis speak on a range of issues, to include one who has been in the news recently, Bill Cosby. This episode isn't uniquely focused on the Jewish community, nor does it attempt to further the "church and state debate". However, if you're interested in Congressional history, and how the prayer portion is, and always has been, the least offensive period during an open session, you'll want to listen/watch the whole episode. Guest Bio:Howard Mortman is communications director for C-SPAN, the public service providing television coverage of the U.S. Congress. A veteran of Washington, DC, media organizations, he has observed Congress from positions at MSNBC, National Journal's Hotline, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and New Media Strategies. Howard Mortman's first book was just published: "When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers on Capitol Hill." He graduated from the University of Maryland and has appeared on stage performing stand-up comedy at the DC Improv -- although the two aren't related.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/faithpolitics)
As a Jewish podcast, it's only natural we want to be BFFs with other Jewish podcasts. After all, we're a small corner of the podcast universe, and us Jewish podcasters need to stick together! On this episode, we welcome local rabbis Jen Gubitz and Jodie Gordon, co-hosts of the new podcast “OMfG: Jewish Wisdom for Unprecedented Times,” a project that came into being from text message exchanges of ideas, fears and humor during the darkest moments of the pandemic. Their new podcast—whose title means exactly what you think it does—is lovingly irreverent, rooting our human experiences today in the story of Jewish peoplehood throughout history. Join us for hot Torah takes on subversive female characters, overthinking what we would have worn at Mount Sinai, the realization that the pit from “Parks and Recreation” is the best metaphor for life, celebrating Judaism in all of its beauty and weirdness, the importance of swearing for clergy and, why, if you happen to notice someone pushing a stroller in which there is a Torah scroll wearing a onesie, you should try not to stare. Read “The Millennial Parsha: Balak” parody Torah mentioned by Miriam in the episode: www.jewishboston.com/read/the-mille…l-parsha-balak Produced by Miriam Anzovin and edited by Jesse Ulrich, with music by Ryan J. Sullivan.
Psalm 90-95 We are in the Wisdom Stream reading some of the psalms of Moses. We are using the New American Standard Bible this week. 7streamsmethod.com | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Stream | Donate Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis Lord Jesus, increase our faith and let us triumph in you. Thank you God. Amen. Psalm 90 - is likely one of the first Psalms ever written since it was written by Moses who was 400 years prior to David. There are numerous Rabbis that attribute Psalms 91-100 to Moses as well. 90 is about our eternal God and his attributes, His being the source behind all that is created. Moses is also musing that our lives are short and laborious so we best take stock of our lives and weigh them against the passage of time; "teach us Lord to number our days..." is a rather famous biblical verse we are wise to employ in our planning. Moses wisely asks that our temporary lives be assessed against our Eternal God so that our lives tally to amass some significance. We are not wise to launch out on our own. 91 - The best thing to say about Psalm 91 is "read it again." It has been the comfort to billions of believers, missionaries in peril, the lost and abandoned, the pilgrim going through the valley of the shadow of death. Better than commenting on it a length, we'll just repeat the first sentence: read Psalm 91 one again. It is the sterling Psalm of Trust in God. 92 - This is a wonderful Psalm reminding us to sing and worship and be thankful to God, to make music unto God. Those who worship Him will join Him eternally. And, on the converse, the opposite is also true. There is no end to the manifold blessings of making sure our lives are attached, secured and rooted in righteousness attributed to the Lord of Heaven. 93 & 94 are both about the majesty of God. The Lord He reigns. Nothing can drown Him out. He is greater and mightier, for His words are true and holy. Yes, there is wickedness among men for their deeds and lives are wicked. This is who they are in their stupidness. But they will all pass in a flash like a morning mist. The righteous can rely on the Lord to be their refuge, strength and stronghold. The wicked need not be feared or regarded for they will be destroyed. 95 - This is ecstatic in its reminding and urging us to Praise our God. To sing and rejoice and kneel before Him in worship. The earth is great and He is our God and we are His children resting in His Hand. There is warning to not rebel or be faithless like those in the wilderness who were turned away from the Promised Land. Let's remain faithful to our God.
It is forbidden for Kohanim to contract Tum'at Met – the status of impurity that results from contact with a human corpse. The Halachic authorities addressed the question of whether it would be permissible for a Kohen to volunteer for an emergency medical corps, such as Hatzalah. A person working as an emergency medical responder is likely to come in contact with a human corpse, Heaven forbid. In light of this likelihood, is it forbidden for a Kohen to volunteer for such services?The Shebet Halevi (Rav Shemuel Wosner, contemporary) rules that a Kohen may volunteer for Hatzalah, as long as he exercises caution and tries to avoid contact with a human corpse. If he tries to avoid Tum'at Met, then it is permissible to join emergency ambulance services, and it would in fact be considered a Misva for him to do so. Of course, in situations where a Kohen's involvement could save a life, then he is certainly allowed and required to intervene, even if this poses the risk of becoming Tameh. Just as one may violate Shabbat and eat and Yom Kippur when this is necessary for Piku'ah Nefesh (saving a life), similarly, a Kohen may come in contact with Tum'at Met for the purpose of saving a life.The Hatam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Sofer of Pressburg, 1762-1839) addressed the situation of a Jew who had passed away, and the coroner insisted on determining the precise cause of death. If the cause of death could not be definitively determined through an external inspection, then the coroner would order an autopsy. As it turned out, the only available physician who was capable of determining the cause of death was a Kohen. The Hatam Sofer ruled that the Kohen was allowed to – and in fact should – inspect the body in order to prevent the autopsy. This situation, the Hatam Sofer explained, was no different than that of a "Met Misva," where a Kohen is the only person available to bury a body, in which case he is allowed, and even required, to perform the burial. Here, too, the Kohen is needed to ensure the body's immediate burial and avoid disgrace, and therefore he should inspect the body, even though he would then become Tameh.These Halachot should remind us of the need for Kohanim to consult with Rabbis on all matters involving situations of possible contact with a corpse, to determine when it is forbidden, permissible, or even obligatory to come in contact with a corpse.Summary: It is permissible – and even a Misva – for a Kohen to serve on an emergency ambulance corps, provided that he exercise care to try and avoid contact with human corpses. If a body needs to be inspected to determine cause of death and thereby avoid an autopsy, and the only available doctor to perform the inspection is a Kohen, he is allowed and even urged to inspect the body, even though he would thus become Tameh.
There are times when a person wants something so badly that he's willing to do everything in his power to get it. Although we are encouraged to make hishtadlut , our Rabbis warned that too much hishtadlut is forbidden. To do the right amount of hishtadlut is an avodat Hashem which connects us to Hashem, while too much hishtadlut has the opposite effect. The idea is to do enough to create a situation in which getting what we want will no longer look like a miracle. Once our efforts have made that possible and getting what we want looks like it could come through the natural way of the world, then we have fulfilled our responsibility and then we look only to Hashem to send the blessing. We don't necessarily have to make the hishtadlut which will ultimately bring us what we want. As long as we do a hishtadlut that makes sense, Hashem will ensure to give us in the way He knows best. A man told me he had been married for some time and had not been blessed with a child. Immediately after he got the news that his wife had her second miscarriage, he went to see the Slonimer Rebbe. When he walked into the Rebbe's office, he burst out crying. The Rebbe was in the middle of preparing a shiur , but he stopped to give this man chizuk . The man told the Rebbe all of the hishtadlut that he had been making up until that point, including going to Gedolim for berachot . Then he said his wife wants him to go to a mekubal for a beracha , and he's asking the Rebbe if he should. The Rebbe told him, “It's clear to me that you have made all of the necessary hishtadlut to have a baby. Of course you should continue praying and continue getting treatments, but as far as rabbis are concerned, you have gotten an abundance of berachot from the greatest rabbis of our generation. You don't need to go now and search specifically for a mekubal . If Hashem wants to help you through a mekubal , then He'll send one to you.” The man accepted the words of the Rebbe. A week later, he went to a brit milah of a friend and he was given the honor of carrying the baby in. At that brit milah , there was a well-respected mekubal . It became apparent that this man did not have children and the mekubal pulled him over and told him certain things to take upon himself to be zoche to a child. Then, while he was carrying the baby in, the mekubal stopped him and said out loud, “ B'ezrat Hashem, this year you will have your own baby boy,” and told everyone present to answer Amen. Somebody from the crowd said in jest, “Maybe he'll have a girl?” The mekubal then repeated, “He will have a baby boy, b'ezrat Hashem and everybody answer Amen.” And again they did. About ten months later, this man was holding his own baby boy. Baruch Hashem, that ended up being the first of ten boys that this man and his wife had. He told me, “At the time of that miscarriage, I was imagining my life without ever having children. The agony and worry had set in. Then I saw how quickly things can change and how I went from thinking I'll never have children to baruch Hashem having a full home. Moreover, it appears now that my help was meant to come through the beracha of a mekubal , but like the Rebbe said, being that I already made enough hishtadlut , Hashem brought the mekubal to me.” Hishtadlut is necessary but overdoing it is not. The main hishtadlut is always our prayers and our good deeds.
Hello Colorado Rapids fans! This week on Holding The High Line, Pablo Mastroeni's number has been retired! Rabbi and Red relive the post-game ceremony and all things #Pablo25. Red talks about the hype video and Pablo's speech. Rabbi fondly remembers Mastroeni's time at the club and what he represented. We do Good Thing, Bad Thing, Big Thing to recap the 1-1 draw vs Seattle Sounders. We have details on the t-shirt we'll be dropping soon. Then we finish the show with a preview of Wednesday's Minnesota United game. Holding The High Line is an independent soccer podcast focused on the Colorado Rapids of MLS and a member of the Beautiful Game Network. If you like the show, please consider subscribing to us on your preferred podcatcher, giving us a review, and tell other Rapids fans about us. It helps a ton. Visit bgn.fm for a bunch of other great podcasts covering soccer in North America. We also have a newsletter. Visit our Substack page to read our content and sign up for our newsletter via email. Find us on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Blubrry, and many other podcatchers. See the full list of podcatchers with subscription links here. For full transcripts of every episode, check out our AudioBurst account. Our artwork was produced by CR54 Designs. Juanners does our music. We are brought to you by Ruffneck Scarves and Icarus FC. Ruffneckscarves.com is your one-stop-shop for official MLS, USL, and U.S. Soccer scarves as well as custom scarves for your group or team. Icarusfc.com is the place to go for high quality custom soccer kits for your youth or pub team. With an "any design you want, seriously" motto, they are breaking the mold of boring, expensive, template kits from the big brands. Have your team looking fly in 2020 like Andre Shinyashiki with bleached hair with custom scarves and kits from Ruffneck Scarves and Icarus FC. HTHL is on Patreon. If you like what we do and want to give us money, head on over to our page and become a Patreon Member. We have partnered up with the Denver Post to sustainably grow soccer journalism in Colorado. Listeners can get a three month trial of the Denver Post digital for 99¢/month. Go to denverpost.com/hthl to sign up. This will give you unlimited and full access to all of the Post's online content and will support local coverage of the Rapids. Each month after the trial is $11.99/month. There is a sports-content-only option for $6.99/month. Follow us on Twitter @rapids96podcast. You can also email the show at email@example.com. Follow our hosts individually on Twitter @LWOSMattPollardand @soccer_rabbi. Send us questions using the hashtag #AskHTHL.
Several generations ago, there was a Torah journal published in Halab (Aleppo, Syria) called "Ha'me'asef." On Rosh Hodesh Kislev (November 6), 1896, an article was published in the journal that had been written by one of the young Rabbis in the city, Rabbi Menahem Choueka. In the article he addressed the question of whether one should interrupt his recitation of Pesukeh De'zimra to join the congregation's recitation of "Kadosh Kadosh" in the Beracha of "Yoser" or in "U'ba Le'sion." Meaning, if he hears the congregation reciting the Kedusha in "Yoser" or "U'ba Le'sion" while he is reciting Pesukeh De'zimra, should he join in their recitation of Kedusha, or should he remain silent? It is clear that one interrupts Pesukeh De'zimra to join the congregation's recitation of Nakdishach, but it is questionable whether this extends to the other recitations of "Kadosh Kadosh." Rabbi Choueka concluded that we should not equate the different recitations of "Kadosh Kadosh," and thus one should not interrupt Pesukeh De'zimra for this recitation in "Yoser" or "U'ba Le'sion."At the time he wrote this article, Rabbi Choueka had not the faintest idea that this would spur a tempest that would rage among the Rabbinic community of the Middle East. Another Rabbi in Halab, Rabbi Shalom Hedaya, wrote a response opposing Rabbi Choueka's conclusion, and it was published in the journal two months later. Two other local Rabbis, Rabbi David Sit'hon and Rabbi Eliyahu Hamoui, agreed with Rabbi Hedaya's position. These two Rabbis decided to consult on the matter with Rabbi Yitzhak Abulafia of Damascus, but he sided with Rabbi Choueka. Rabbi Abulafia, in turn, brought the matter to his colleague in Damascus, Rabbi Yaakov Taraf, who agreed with his ruling. In nine lengthy letters, these Rabbis brought numerous proofs and counterproofs to their position. They also consulted with Rabbi Eliyahu Yiloz of Teverya, and Rabbi Rahamim Frankel of Hebron, both of whom sided with the ruling of Rabbi Choueka. The issue would eventually be brought before the Chief Rabbi in Eretz Yisrael, the Rishon Le'sion Rav Yaakob Eliashar, who also agreed with Rabbi Choueka's position. This controversy raged for four years, and is documented in great detail in the book Kedushat Eretz, which was recently published by the Sephardic Heritage Museum. The book is over 180 pages long, and is devoted entirely to this single halachic detail – whether one interrupts Pesukeh De'zimra to join in the congregation's recitation of "Kadosh Kadosh" in "Yoser" and "U'ba Le'sion."The significance of this episode extends far beyond mere historical intrigue. It is a testament to our ancestor's love of Torah, passionate commitment to halachic minutiae, and great reverence for Tefila. Most people today, even those who are committed to halachic observance, would not likely pay too much attention to this detail, and yet this question sparked a controversy that raged for four years and yielded dozens upon dozens of pages of scholarship. And, whereas many of us today do not think twice about engaging in idle chatter in the synagogue, interrupting the prayers for unnecessary and at times even inappropriate conversation, our ancestors in Halab were concerned about interrupting prayers to recite "Kadosh Kadosh." This is a very valuable piece of history that shows us that Aleppo Jewry was not just about nice songs and fine oriental cuisine. We have a rich, glorious tradition of remarkable Torah scholarship and passionate commitment to strict Halachic observance. This is the tradition and legacy that we have received and which we are obliged to preserve, perpetuate and transmit to the next generation.
Thanks to everyone who supports TMBH at patreon.com/thetmbhpodcast You're the reason we can all do this together! Discuss the episode here Music written and performed by Jeff Foote.
TRIGGER WARNING: This episode discusses many forms of abuse. Dr. Shoshannah Frydman, PhD, LCSW is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force. Dr. Frydman is a trauma informed therapist and advocate where she has worked in the field of domestic abuse and family violence within the Jewish community for close to 20 years. Dr. Frydman co-chairs the UJA Taskforce on Family Violence, a collaboration of community agencies and leaders that work collaboratively to best provide support and recourses to vulnerable populations effected by family violence. Dr. Frydman lectures regularly about intimate partner abuse, sexual abuse, trauma and culturally informed practice where she has published on this and related subjects. Shana has been honored by the Jewish Communal Service Association and the New York Board of Rabbis for her work in the field of domestic violence and commitment to the Jewish community. Episode powered by: AMR Pharmacy
Pinchas Goldschmidt has been the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Russia since 1993 serving at the Moscow Choral Synagogue. He also founded and heads the Moscow Rabbinical Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since 1989, and since 2011 serves as President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) which unites over seven hundred communal rabbis from Dublin to Khabarovsk. For entire BIO- click here Launching a Podcast? Click here!
Is there a problem with giving “semicha” to a woman? Can a woman be a shul or community rabbi? Can a shul with a woman rabbi call itself “orthodox”? What if she's called Rabbah, Maharat, etc. instead of being called “Rabbi”? What's the line between what's acceptable and what's not? Can a woman pasken shaylos? ***Guest Hosted by Ari Wasserman *** Author of "Making it Work", "Making it ALL Work" (for women) and 10 other Seforim, Maggid Shiur, Yerushalayim with Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz – Senior Lecturer at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach – 12:38 with Rabbi Mayer Twersky – Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchok Elchanan – 48:00 with Rebbitzen Miriam Kosman – Author, "Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaism" –1:05:31 with Rabbi Dovid Kaplan – Mashgiach Ruchani, Yeshivas Beis Yisrael – 1:35:35 מראי מקומות
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