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Shabbat Parashat Rosh Hashana 5781

Ask the Rabbi: Behind the Scenes with the Vebbe Rebbe

Rav Daniel Mann

“Behind the Scenes with the Vebbe Rebbe”

Dear friends,

Baruch Hashem, we, at Eretz Hemdah, have been zocheh that our piskei halacha find their way to thousands of people, including weekly through our parasha sheet, Hemdat Yamim, the OU’s Torah Tidbits, and other publications throughout the world. We have always had a double focus in sharing these responses to questions sent to us – to teach the actual topics at hand to the tzibbur; and to demonstrate how Halacha, its sources and logical underpinning, work to create balanced answers to practical questions. Baruch Hashem, we have received very good feedback over the (20) years we have been sharing, through our Ask the Rabbi/ Vebbe Rebbe column, approximately 1,000 she’eilot u’teshuvot out of the tens of thousands that we have sent out to people throughout the world.

We have recently come to the conclusion that in addition to spreading the written word with the masses, it would be worthwhile to broaden the experience for smaller, more select groups. We are launching a program, offering our readership and friends of Eretz Hemdah to form and/or join groups of up to approximately 10 people for Zoom group, focusing on exploring together the topics, skills, sensitivities, etc. of what goes into the “Vebbe Rebbe” p’sakim.

We envision there being different groups with different styles and levels, but let us present the basic idea around which we will work. A week before each session, a question of an upcoming (not yet published) article will be presented, giving participants time to think about the topic and/or research it as they like. A day before the “chabura,” I will share with you some of the basic sources (primarily in their original language) which will be at the basis of our answer. At the appointed time, I will lead a one-hour discussion taking us through the basic questions and sources toward the practical answer. Our hope is that, to the extent they so desire, participants will express their opinions and ask questions, making this an experience not merely of understanding the answer as presented, but working through the process together. In more advanced groups, participants may be asked to prepare sections of and sometimes even the whole topic to present to the group.

If you have possible interest in taking part in this venture, please contact us at info@eretzhemdah.org with the message that you wish to sign up for more information on the “Behind the Scenes with the Vebbe Rebbe” project. We will then send you a questionnaire to help us figure out what group (level, time, style) to put you into. We encourage our more “entrepreneurial” friends to organize the nucleus of a group from among friends with whom they would enjoy learning and discussing. Feel free to send any questions you have about the idea.

The presumed starting time for the first groups will be, iy"H, soon after the chagim of Tishrei 5781 haba’im aleinu l’tovah.


With wishes for good health and happiness, with Torah helping fuel the happiness,

Daniel Mann

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4 Av


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