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.