Category Archives: Sources of Halacha

Sources of Halacha 10 – Halacha is like…

Rabbi Triebitz continues with his series on how halacha develops from the Talmud. He focusses on a passage in Berachos 4b, and the Rishonim. Why does the gemara record a minority opinion instead of just the majority opinion, and what does that mean for us.

One of the key sources for this shiur is Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 150

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


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Sources of Halacha 09 – Chazon Ish

Rabbi Meir Triebitz discusses the Chazon Ish and his understanding of the argument between the Magen Avraham and the Vilna Gaon regarding times of Shema and davening. Having established last week that none of the Rishonim or Acharonim argue on the Magen Avraham, yet the Vilna Gaon rejects his opinion based on a Yerushalmi in Pesachim, the Chazon Ish gives guidance regarding p’sak.

The Gaon is in siman 459:5 and can be found on hebrewbooks.org and the following several pages.

The Chazon Ish is in Orech Chaim 13, and the two letters at the end of that siman. He also discusses the length of a mil in Hilchos Pesach siman 123.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


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Sources of Halacha 08 – Times of Kerias Shema

There is a well known argument between the Magen Avraham and the Vilna Gaon (and Baal HaTanya) about the latest times for davening and Shema. What is less well known is the reasons behind their argument. The Magen Avraham counts the hours from dawn (Alos HaShachar) until nightfall (Tzeis HaKochavim) whereas the Gaon counts from sunrise (HaNetz haChama) until sunset (Shkiah).

Rabbi Triebitz learns the gemara, focussing on 2 Tosefosim on 3a and 3b. There is also a Gra on 459 and a Chazon Ish in Orech Chaim (links to follow).

Next week will be the final shiur in this current series.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 8

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Sources of Halacha 07 – Baruch Hashem Le-Olam

Rabbi Triebitz gave shiur about the minhag in Chutz la’Aretz of saying Baruch Hashem Le-Olam, Yiru Eineinu and half kaddish (the last one is also said in Israel) between the blessings of Shema and the Amida. He discusses a historical overview of the evolution of this minhag, based on Tosefot 4b ‘de-Amar Rabbi Yochanan’, Rosh and Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah (in the back of the Gemara).

It seems that this minhag arose in the time of the Gaonim, and seemingly contradicts the Talmud. Rabbi Triebitz discusses the authority of the Talmud, and how minhag interacts with Chazal.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


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Sources of Halacha 06 – Eating before Shema and Maariv

In this shiur Rabbi Meir Triebitz focusses on Tosefot Berachos 4b which discusses the prohibition of eating before saying Shema or davening Maariv.

Magen Avraham on Orech Chaim 235 says that this prohibition only applies to eating a meal, but having a snack is permitted.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (commentary on Mishna Berachos 1:1) claims that Tosefot prohibit any kind of eating before davening Maariv.

Rabbi Triebitz quotes Rabbi Elezer Moshe HaLevi Horowitz (printed in the end of the Talmud) who asks one of Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s questions and gives a different answer, which permits eating a snack before Maariv.

Rabbi Triebitz concludes with p’sak halacha l’maaseh based on Mahari Weil cited in Magen Avraham Orech Chaim 232:8

[Next week Rabbi Triebitz will speak about the minhag in Chutz la’Aretz of saying Baruch Hashem Le-Olam between the blessings of Shema and the Amida. Also the custom of saying a half kaddish in Israel. If you want to prepare for the shiur look at Tosefot 4b ‘de-Amar Rabbi Yochanan’, Rosh and Rabbeinu Yonah].

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 6

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Sources of Halacha 05 – Rambam and Vilna Gaon

Rabbi Triebitz moves on to the next part of the Talmud Berachos 2a, and Rabban Gamliel’s children. Do Chachamim agree with Rabban Gamliel, or disagree? Is there a Rabbinic prohibition to read Shema after midnight, or is the fence only l’chatichila?

Rambam Hilchos Kerias Shema 1:10 is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch. The Vilna Gaon in his commentary on Shulchan Aruch claims that the source of Rambam is the Yerushalmi. Rabbi Triebitz shows that this cannot be the case, and finds the real source of Rambam’s halacha.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 5

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Sources of Halacha 04 – Shulchan Aruch and Vilna Gaon

Rabbi Triebitz learns through the opinions of Rav Hai Gaon (in the Rosh) and Rabbeinu Yonah. He then looks at how Rav Yosef Karo learns the sources in the Beis Yosef (Orech Chaim 235). He then looks at the Shulchan Aruch (Orech Chaim 235) and the commentaries there.

Rav Triebitz discusses the commentary of the Vilna Gaon on Shulchan Aruch (ibid), which locates the source of the Shulchan Aruch in Chazal. He has a unique way of learning the sources that we have looked at so far.

Finally, there is a book of the customs and halachos of the Vilna Gaon called Maaseh Rav (in siman 65) which shows the Gaon’s opinion l’maaseh.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


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Sources of Halacha 03 – Majority Rule vs. Halacha

Rabbi Triebitz reviews the Talmud in Nida 9b whether one may rely on a minority opinion in an emergency situation or not. He learns through the Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 150:3) and presents challenges and answers to that position.

What is meant by the Talmud when it says ‘halacha’ as opposed to ‘minority and majority – the halacha is like the majority’?

Rabbi Triebitz then shows a new understanding of Rabbeinu Tam’s opinion about the earliest time for saying the evening Shema

He then explains and discusses the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam (Berachos 2a“) that one may recite the Shema after plag hamincha. This is a radical position, and requires explanation.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


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Sources of Halacha 02 – R”I and Rabbeinu Tam

Rabbi Triebitz reviews the position of the R”I discussed last week. He shows from the Talmud in Nida 9b whether one may rely on a minority opinion in an emergency situation or not.

He then explains and discusses the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam (Berachos 2a“>Berachos 2a) that one may recite the Shema after plag hamincha. This is a radical position, and requires explanation.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 2

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Sources of Halacha 01 – Rashi and Yerushalmi

This is the first shiur in a new series of shiurim in which Rabbi Meir Triebitz will trace the halacha from its sources in the Talmud to the p’sak of the contemporary poskim. He will explain methodology of p’sak, rules of p’sak, and the interplay of various sources, and their relative weights. The shiurim begin with the beginning of Shas (Berachos).

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz begins with the first Mishna and Rashi in Berachos 2a.

This leads to the Yerushalmi and is explained further by the Meiri.

The question being discussed is: Why do we (sometimes) read Shema (and daven Maariv) before dark, when the Mishna clearly states that the earliest time for Shema in the evening is after dark?

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 1

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