• September 26, 2021
  • 20 5782, Tishri
  • פרשת בראשית

Rabbi Dovid Fink Interview: The Moadim Course

This Fall the Halacha Mastery Program will be launching two new courses: Kitchen & Shabbat taught by Rabbi David Brofsky and The Moadim with Rabbi Dovid Fink which will cover the various halachot of the Jewish holidays throughout the year.

WebYeshiva spoke with Rabbi Fink about why learning the major practical halachic points of the Moadim is important.

1. The Halacha Mastery Program is about teaching students how to make their own practical halachic decisions. Why do you think studying the sources for the practical mitzvot of the Moadim is valuable?

Torah observant Jews must make many halachic decisions each Yom Tov. For example:

  • If you are ill, which are the most important elements of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to follow?
  • How do we choose a kosher etrog and lulav?
  • When is the best time to light Chanukah candles and where is the best place?
  • What is the minimum requirement for hearing the Megilla on Purim?

A solid grasp of the underlying principles of halacha governing the Moadim will have broad application in many other areas of halacha.

2. There are many aspects to the Moadim and halacha. What will a course like this look like?

For each holiday we will study the primary sources and opinions of the leading poskim with an aim towards drawing practical conclusions. It’s all part of learning to make your own decisions.

3. What aspects of the Moadim do you think are most difficult to understand halachically?

When it comes to the holiday cycle, there are many things which Jews do which are not strictly halachic requirements but are treated as such. I think the most difficult aspect of the Moadim is distinguishing between obligatory halacha and common practices or minhagm, which is not always easy.

 

For more information about the Halacha Mastery Program please visit our program overview page.

 

Rabbi David Brofsky: Kitchen & Shabbat Course Interview

This fall WebYeshiva’s Halacha Mastery Program will again offer its popular Kitchen & Shabbat course, this year taught by Rabbi David Brofsky.

WebYeshiva spoke with Rabbi Brofsky about the course and his goals for the upcoming academic year.

1. The Halacha Mastery Program is about teaching students how to make their own practical halachic decisions. Why do you think that is important today?

I strongly believe that it is important for students to be sufficiently aware of the halachot in order to properly observe them, and in order to know when and what questions to ask. Those who invest enough time learning and gaining an understanding of halachic application and decision making will make many of their own practical halachic decisions. Those who reach this depth of understanding and mastery most often feel more connected and committed and halachic discourse and observance becomes a central part of their Avodat Hashem. Additionally, those who attain a mastery of halachic material are able to teach and help others and the Torah becomes a Torat Chesed (a Torah of kindness) because it enables them to share their learning with others as well.

2. There are many aspects to Hilchot Shabbat. Why is a course specifically dealing with the kitchen important?

The laws of Shabbat are numerous and complex. I believe that the halachot related to the kitchen, i.e., food preparation, cooking, and reheating, are so central to our weekly Shabbat experience that they deserve special attention and study.

 

3. What topics regarding kitchen and Shabbat do you think are most challenging to master?

While the laws and prohibitions of cooking and heating food for and on shabbat are among the larger topics, I think various aspects of other melachot related to food preparations are both complex and challenging. I look forward to studying them with the Halacha Mastery Program participants and arrive at clear, practical halachic guidelines.

4. What have you enjoyed most about teaching in the Halacha Mastery Program?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the various classes I have taught on WebYeshiva in general, and the Halacha Mastery Program in particular. I am continually amazed to see students from around the world, logging in at all hours of the day, to learn Torah. I am truly inspired by the participants’ motivation and thirst for Torah knowledge.

For more information about the Halacha Mastery Program please visit our program overview page.