Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Forks in the Road, with Shlomo Phillips

I only listened to the first few minutes of this shiur, so I cannot vouch for it, but it is based on my "Forks in the Road" essay - to be found at http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/forks.htm. Thanks to the Maggid Shiur for his kind words!

Special Places in Hell

There are special places in Hell waiting for some of the actors in this story:

Likewise, for actors in this story,


to which the backstory, from a reliable source, is that this innocent girl struggled through her school career with learning disabilities. When it came to getting accepted to high school she had a very hard time. Her parents had to beg to get her accepted. Finally one school agreed to accept this girl. A few weeks into school the principal called up this girls parents to inform them that she is being kicked out for various reasons. One of those reasons is that this girl ate in the pizza shop instead of taking home the pizza to eat it at home. You can imagine what her other infraction were all about. Her parents tried sticking up for her behalf but they were talking to the wall. Her parents were horrified and devastated. They begged the school to keep her until they find a different school that would accept her and keep her dignity. The school refused to listen. This broke this poor girl completely and her parents relate from there on it was downhill. She was out on the streets with no school and found friends who finally accepted her and saw her talents. Those friends weren't in the best shape either. However she was still in deep pain, and therefore she hooked up onto drugs which was like a bandage to her boo boo. She liked the way the drugs left her feeling and it became her new escape. Her parents tried everything in there power to ease her pain. She had just come home from rehab after being there for 2 years. Despite all of that she couldn't fight the demons of pain and she succumbed to drug overdose.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rashbi and Lag BaOmer Bonfires: Bava Kamma 61b

תלמוד בבלי מסכת בבא קמא דף סא/ב

משנה המדליק בתוך שלו עד כמה תעבור הדליקה רבי אלעזר בן עזריה אומר רואין אותו כאילו הוא באמצע בית כור ר"א אומר ט"ז אמות כדרך רשות הרבים רבי עקיבא אומר חמשים אמה ר"ש אומר שלם ישלם המבעיר את הבערה הכל לפי הדליקה: גמרא ולית ליה לר"ש שיעורא בדליקה והתנן לא יעמיד אדם תנור בתוך הבית אלא אם כן יש על גבו גובה ד' אמות היה מעמידו בעלייה עד שיהא תחתיו מעזיבה שלשה טפחים ובכירה טפח ואם הזיק משלם מה שהזיק ר' שמעון אומר לא נאמרו שיעורין הללו אלא שאם הזיק פטור מלשלם אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה הכל לפי גובה הדליקה אמר רב יוסף אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כר' שמעון וכן אמר רב נחמן אמר שמואל הלכה כר"ש

I am learning Bava Kamma b'iyun with my chevrusa, Reb Moshe Klein. He noted that the hadlokos for R' Shimon bar Yochai on Lag b'Omer could be very nicely connected with this Mishnah and Gemara. I spent some time last night and did not find anyone remark this obvious connection! Strange!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Video Shiur: Astronomical Halachic Repercussions: Parameters of Day and Night

Astronomical Halachic Repercussions:  
Parameters of Day and Night

Shiur on July 6, 2017 IDT Corporation (The Yeshiva of Newark), 
substituting for my friend Rabbi Avrohom Kivelevitz 
(who also came up with the title), 
on Zmanim of Alos HaShachar and Tzeis HaKokhavim. 
Thanks Ari Rosman for recording!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Honesty: The Smag

See the amazing Divrei Yonah below at bottom, courtesy of Rabbi Chaim Lando!

In light of current events, the following Smag* should be widely perused and disseminated. Perhaps ironically, I first heard it from Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon shlita (my translation):


Smag Aseh 74:

And I have already expounded to Galus Yerushalayim in Spain (Sefarad) and the other Galuyos under Christianity (Edom), that now that the Galus has lasted too long a Jew must separate himself from the frivolities (Hevlei) of the world and grasp the seal of Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu, which is Truth, and not lie, neither to Jews nor to non-Jews, nor to deceive them in any matter, and to sanctify ourselves even in that which is permissible to us, as it says (Tzefani'a 3:13): "The remnant of Israel will not commit foul deeds nor speak falsehoods, nor will there be found in their mouths treacherous tongues." And then, when Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu comes to redeem us the non-Jews will say that He is just in doing so, for we are men of truth and Toras Emes is in our mouths.

But if we conduct ourselves towards the non-Jews with deceit (Rama'us), then they will say: "See what Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu has done, that He has chosen as His portion thieves and cheats."

Furthermore, it is written (Hoshe'a 2:25): "And I will plant them in the earth." Why does a person plant a measure of grain in the earth? In order to cultivate several measures. So too Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu planted Yisroel in the various lands so that converts would join us. As long as we conduct ourselves amongst them with deceit who will cling to us? And, we find that Ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu was upset even by theft from evildoers, as it says(Bereishis 6:11): " And the land was filled with theft (Chamas)."

Further, I bring proof from the Yerushalmi Chapter Eilu Metzi'os (Halocho 5), where it says: "The elder rabbis (Rabbanan Savi'ai) bought a measure of grain from non-Jews and found within it a bundle of money. They returned it to them, and the non-Jews said: 'Blessed is the G-d of the Jews.'" Many similar stories of lost items that were returned to non-Jews because of Kiddush Hashem are related there.

(That's the same Yerushalmi cited in the review article in the immediately preceding blog post.)