• November 26, 2022
  • 2 5783, Kislev
  • פרשת תולדות

Semicha: Halachic Methodology

Semicha: Halachic Methodology

In this Semicha course Rabbi Dovid Fink will cover in-depth study of 5-6 halakhic sugyot, with a focus on the methodology of psak from the Gemara through contemporary Poskim.

The topics will be selected to round out new areas not previously covered, such as: Parameters of bediavad and lechatchila in halachah; stringencies and leniencies in decision making; safek, s’fek sfeika and uncertainty as a halachic category; birth control. Here the focus is on method as much as on the practical halachah. Over the course of the year there will be an opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of Rishonim, Achronim, and Poskim, in order to master the array of essential halachic works and learn their approach to the mechanism of determining  halachah le-maaseh.

September 4, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 1
Class description

Our first topic is the rule of בדיעבד – be-di-avad. Although it is prohibited to add a drop of milk to meat, the mixture is permitted as long as the ratio of milk to meat is less than 1:60. There are many other examples where actions are initially prohibited (לכתחילה), but after the fact (בדיעבד) the product is permitted. We will begin with examples that define the application of this principle in theoretical cases. Then we will see how to apply the rule in actual situations.

September 11, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 2
Class description

Topics we will begin to discuss in this session include: Kli ben yomo” and “kli she-eino ben yomo,” a non-Jew who cooks kosher food with his or her non-kosher utensils, and asking a non-Jew to cook kosher food in his or her non-kosher utensil.

September 18, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 3
Class description
In this session, standing and sitting for prayer and a non-Jew cooking food together with a small amount of a prohibited substance.
September 25, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 4
Class description

In this session we will cover the principles of לכתחילה and בדיעבד in cases of rabbinic instruction; divorce documents; Sefer Torah; and situations of pressure.

October 9, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 5
Class description

At the halfway point of this course, the first question on the midterm exam will deal with the principles of be-di-eved.

The link gives access to an advertisement that has been widely circulated in my neighborhood. It claims that only their willows are acceptable for Sukkot because only their willows grow on the bank of a river. Other willows that are artificially watered are acceptable only be-di-eved according to the advertisement.

If you want to answer this question now, feel free to send me your answer. If you send your answer to me before Sukkot, I will look at it and respond to your answer before Sukkot.

This is the question: Do you agree that only willows that grow on the bank of a river should be purchased for use on Sukkot?

 

October 30, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 6
Class description

Our next topic is חומרא וקולא, when to be strict and when to be lenient. We will start with the sources that support a strict approach to halacha. (Don’t worry, we will also study the sources supporting leniency.)

November 6, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 7
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

November 13, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 8
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

November 20, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 9
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

November 27, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 10
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

December 4, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 11
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

December 11, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 12
Class description

Our next topic is the role of the majority in making halachic decisions. Does the majority view obligate us? Or are we entitled to follow a minority view.

December 18, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 13
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

January 1, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 14
Class description

Our next topic is (הלכה כאחרון (=הלכתא כבתראי.

This means that we embrace a more recent authority who disagrees with a previous authority.

January 15, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 15
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

January 22, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 16
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

January 29, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 17
Class description

In this session we are continuing with the previous topic.

February 5, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 18
Class description

Our next topic is contraception. We will begin to cover the basic sources in the Gemara and move on to the views of modern poskim in future shiurim. Sources are available both in WORD format and pdf through the links.

February 12, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 19
Class description

CONTRACEPTION 2: Next Sunday (12 February) we will complete our survey of the Talmudic and medieval sources and begin looking at the views of the modern poskim.

February 19, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 20
Class description
February 26, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 21
Class description
March 5, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 22
Class description

KABBALA AND HALACHA: What is the role of kabbalistic (mystical) sources in halachic discourse? How are contradictions between kabbala and halacha resolved? Our next topic will cover the approaches of the leading poskim to these questions.

March 19, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 23
Class description
March 26, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 24
Class description
April 2, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 25
Class description
April 23, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 26
Class description

In today’s class I hope we will complete our survey of conflict between kabbalistic and halachic sources. At the end of the class, I plan to begin presenting bibliographic materials to enable participants to research and find sources on halachic issues. We will begin with an introduction to the Talmudic Encyclopedia, Pachad Yitschak, and Sdei Chemed. As promised, the links provide the internet addresses of the encycopediae I discussed in class.

May 7, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 27
Class description

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SOURCES: The links provide bibliographical material for researching halachic topics. These resources are organized in the order of the Shulchan Aruch. In class today, I will discuss the merits of each of these resources.

May 14, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 28
Class description
May 21, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 29
Class description
May 28, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semicha: Halachic Methodology: Lesson 30
Class description

In addition to being one of Rabbi Brovender's first students, Rabbi Dovid Fink is an outstanding expertᅠand teacher of Halacha. Rabbi Fink received his Rabbinic ordination from ITRI and the Mir and was awarded his Ph.D in Semitic Languages and Linguistics from Yale University. Rav Fink has taught thousands of students from all over the world for over 35 years.