Avodah Mailing List

Volume 02 : Number 105

Saturday, January 2 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 10:24:12 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Bizzuy Taalmedei Chachomim

In a message dated 12/31/98 9:32:50 PM EST, raffyd@juno.com writes:

> I must express my disappointment in the active members of the list, many
>  talmidei chachamim among them, for not coming out and protesting the
>  aforementioned remarks, which are a tremendous insult to the kavod of the
>  some of the greatest  talmidei chachamim of the last forty years

Better late then never! I was appaled at this suggestion when I read it.

While at it  (it is also Koveia Latzmoi) I would also take acception to the
mane calling directed at RYGB which also goes into the category of Bizzui
Taalmid Chochom.

Gut Shabbos V'kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 10:59:38 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Neshamah Kllolis in the "Toldos"

Discussing from a Chasidishe POV. Here are some of the sources in the "Toldos"
for the idea of Neshamah Kllolis.

Parshas Vayakheil (67 column 1):

"That is what it says "Vayakheil Moshe" who is a Tzaddik and is called Yesod
(based on the Possuk Tzadik Yeod Olom, YZ) "Es Kol Adas Bnei Yisroel" who
includes in himself the Bechinah of all people of his generation.....

Parshas V'eschanan (168 column 2):

Because Tzadik Yesod Olom and thru him is the passage of the Shefa to the
whole world which are the rest of the limbs of the body ... and in this vein
they (the Chazal, YZ) said "Kol Ho'olom Nizun *Bishvil* Chaninah Bnee" which
is the lane (of the Shefa, YZ).....

Parshas Ki Sovoi (193 column 3):

(in explaining the Mamar Chazal that) Shmuel Hakatan was worthy that the
Shchina rest upon in but his generation wasn't fit, because the sin of the
generation causes a small sin Beshogeig to the head of the generation, and
just like the sin of the generation reaches a little to the head of the
generation likewise with the Hirhur Tshuvoh of the head of the Dor the people
of the generation will repent in action since they are one unit.

Kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 11:40:22 -0500 (EST)
From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@IDT.NET>
Re: Avodah -- mostly on ChaBaD

> From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)
> Subject: Re: One People?
> He is not an authority because he didn't leave over any chassidim. There are
> people who willread his works, but there is really no place where one can go
> to see some one following his 'derech.' It doesn't exist.

====> PMJI -- Is this supposed to be a "beauty contest" or something?  The
only Chachamim whose works get studied are those who leave behind lots of
talmidim -- regardless of the intellectual quality of those works?? 

> >the Maharal, Toldos and the Mai Shiloch in Chassidus today?  Bottom
> 1. The maharal was big in Pershischa Chassidus. I assume that in Ger it is
> still learned.

===> Could you explain why this is the case?  Was it that the Rebbe
happened to be a fan of the MaHaRal?  I am not trying to sound humorous.
But, it seems that "real chassidim" only learn certain material based upon
what their Rebbe chooses (?) or whatever seems "fashionable" (?) or if the
author happened to have had (originally?) a "big following".  What seems
*absent* is the intellectual quality of the work.

> 2. The Toldos is Kodesh Kadushim. No one can call himself a chasid who haas
> not learned it. It is a direct source for the Toras HaBaal Shem Tov.

===> Why? Who are the current followers of the Toldos?

> 3. Mai Shiloach is learned by few people in the mainstream. There is a small
> Radzyner chassidus in eretz yisroel, which would learn that as it is their
> source. It would like the seforim of the Mittler Rebbe of Lubavitch. Very few
> outside of Lubavitch would learn them. In the same way few chassidim learn Mai
> HaShloach. (On the other hand Toldos like Tanya is a major classic that any
> Jew who wants to call himself a chasid should learn.)

===> What *defines* Toldos as a "major classic" as opposed to the works of
Mai Shiloach or is this another popoularity contest?

> I would agree that some of the hashkofos might not agree with what you have
> learned. I would STRONGLY suggest a small sefer that just came out called
> 'Derech HaChassidus.' It comes from some Alexander Chassidim, and even though
> it is strongly biased to Pershischa Chassidus, the ideas there are common in
> all chassidim. (i.e. non-Chabad.) What things specifically do you consider
> 'different' in hashkofos?

===> I think that the issue that has not been resolved is to clarify the
*basis* for stating that certain works are "definitive" in Chassidus -- as
a whole -- and others are not.


> Subject: lubavitch outreach strategies
> As for outreach strategies, at least my local chabad rabbi very clearly
> will tell folks chabad isn't the only game -- it is a derech which works
> for some people and which is appropriate for some people -- he does have
> strong feelings about facial hair and not trimming beards but not to the
> point of not allowing folks who do so to daven from the almud.

===> simple query: when people approach this fellow with quesitons
relating to "custom" -- does he try to determine what the family minhag
*may* have been?  For example, if the B"T is from a family that was DUTCH
(and had been so for many generations) would this guy tell them that they
can probably wait for 1+ hours?

> As for cholov Isroel vs. cholov stam (which those of us on other jewish
> lists have debated to death) -- show me one rav who will not argue
> that cholov Isroel with a bli neder is preferrable.

===> The issue is NOT whether C"Y is "preferable".  The point is that
there have been instances of distortion of the Halacha with people being
told by Lubavitch that C"S is TRAIF and that people who drink it are
WRONG.  To be polite, that is a LIE.  There is a *machlokes* about the
status of C"S and those who rely upon the p'sak of R. Moshe are NOT
drinking Traif.

> From: "David Eliezrie" <tzedek@sprynet.com>
> Subject: ChaBaD and Baalei Teshuva...
> As for minhagim and the Lubavithers letting one choose his derech.
> If you tap a baal teshuva on the shoulder and ask if he had path to
> Yiddiskiet led through a Chabad House, chances are the majority will tell
> you yes.  In fact I think it is safe to say that over fifty percent of the
> sudents (if not more) of students in Balie Tshuva Yeshivas started off in
> Chabad or spent time with a Schliach. If we were only interested in pushing
> people in our shitah this would not happen. Sadly we find that after having
> Mesiras Nefesh for someone who then goes on to a non Lubavitcher Yeshiva at
> times they come back with the kind of hatred for Chassidus that exists in
> certain Litvahser circles. Some years ago on Baal Teshuva Yeshiva became
> recognized for this and only when we told them that if they don't stop we
> would openly boycott them did they stop.

===> I would like to know where you received your stats... Maybe it is
because I was in contact with people who have been "mekurav" through NCSY
that I have a different perspective.  But, I can recognize the value of
any group engaged in kiruv without the sort of self-congrats that seems to
follow above.  In truth, how many B"T that are mekurav via ChaBaD actually
GO to non-ChaBaD Yeshivot?  If you could answer that, it would help to
understand how "exclusive" ChaBaD actually may be...

> As for Minhagim, and this is a differant discussion. Many people become
> Chassidim, when they do this they observe Chassidshe Minhagim, be they
> Sefardim, or Ashenazim. As for Chalov Yisroel and Reb Moshie, who was
> greatly respected in Lubaivitch, that issue is a Maklokes HaPoskim, Reb
> Zalmen Shimon Dvorkin-the Posek of Lubavitch-was cholek on him.

===> No, it is NOT a different discussion.  Minhag Avos is VERY important.
There is a MAJOR difference if a person carefully chooses to "become
chassidishe" and adopt chassidishe minhagim (and even then, I think that
there may be inyanim of neder involved) as opposed to a Tinok shenishba
who does not know any better.  This is a simple matter of imtellectual
honesty.  I would suggest that if Yeshivot "hate" ChaBaD (as cited above),
that this is a major piece of the puzzle.  Instead of the wimpy non-answer
above, there can be only one honest approach -- that when a B"T returns to
Torah, we encourage him/her to locate the minahgim from his family and
background as much as possible.  Only AFTER a person is truly "invested"
in shemirat hamitzvos is it proper to even CONSIDER advocating ChaBaD

As for C"Y, that is an example of ANOTHER non-answer.  A person becoming
frum is not (to the best of my knowledge) required to choose the Posek of
Lubavitch as his or her posek.  The HONEST and PROPER approach is to
explain that there IS a macholokes and that there are GREAT poskim who
state that one IS *permitted* to drink C"S *in this country* because of
the nature of the supervision involved.  And, that even if one chooses to
drink C"Y, it is ONLY as a chumra and that C"S does NOT render keilim as
non-kosher.  OTOH, there are poskim who disagree and feel that C"S *is*
treif.  And, that ChaBaD follows THOSE poskim.  which means that if the
B"T *chooses* to accept r. Moshe's p'sak, the ChaBaD person will NOT be
able to drink milk products and will have to be concerned aobut "kashrus"
issues...  *That* is an honest way to explain it.  The dishonest way is
what I have seen....


> Dovid Eliezrie
> ------------------------------
> From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
> Subject: Erev Rav
> > ===> But in that case, the indentification is made in terms of "Middos
> > Ra'os" and not simply in terms of Shemiras Hamitzvos. 
> > 
> True. But al achas kamma v'kamma that the non-Shomrei Mitzvos are Erev
> Ravniks.

===> I do not understand the Kal VaChomer here.  One who is not a shomer
mitzva can be a Tinok shenishba and need not have ANY of the middos ra'os

> > ===> Again, it could be that this applied to certain *personality types*
> > and not simply people who were not chassidim or adherents of a
> > particular Rebbe/shitta... 
> > 
> True again. That is only explicit in the Divrei Chaim.  

===> Yes. But he may simply be stating "the obvious" here.

> > ===> Again, is the crucial point defined in terms of shemiras hamitzvos
> > or in terms of certain very bad personality paradigms? 
> > 
> Both, viz. "V'da galusa revi'a de'dor d'resha'im, maleh nechashim
> v'akrabim, rama'im k'nechashim v'akrabim, d'akrin milei d'rabbanan
> v'dayanin l'shikra, alyhu itmar hayu tzareha l'rosh... b'ilein rish'aya
> erev rav, v'da b'sof galusa." (Tikkunei Zohar 61a).

===> Again, there is little description of Tinok Shenishba types -- rather
people who are in open rebellion ("d'akrin..").  Seems that the focus may
extend to those who REBEL agaisnt Torah in an overt and calculated

> > ===> Nope.  A Tziyoni is NOT necessariy possessed of the particular
> > middos ra'os that were described as being characterized by Amalek. 
> > Thus, the signs as stated seem to do nothing except encourage sin'as
> > chinom.... 
> > 
> Yes, but they fulfill - from the Eida Charedisnik's perspective -
> statements like that of the Tikkunei Zohar.

===> Only if you can show that the "tzioni" in particular is in that type
of rebellion -- otherwise, all the Eida is doing is circularly justifying
its sin'a.  At best, I can see this applied to those in meretz and hadash
who are doing their best to introduce non-frumkeit into the State under
the guise of "pluralism" and/or "freedom".



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Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 20:50:52 -0800
From: "Dovid Eliezrie" <tzedek@sprynet.com>

"I question the above assertion.  I think most Lubavitchers do "push
people into their Shittah".  I believe that the very essence of
Lubavitch Kiruv is to make some one a Lubavitcher first and frum second."

You seem to think that there is frumkiet and Lubavitch. In other words you
are mainstream frumkiet and if a guy becomes a Lubavitcher he is something
very different. When a guy goes to Or Sameach they make him into the
Litvasher Derech. The minhagim, most important the haskafa etc. is that

When I guy walks into my Chabad House I teach Yiddisihkiet. There is no
question that on Shabbos I may give over a Sicha of the Rebbe, or answer his
question with a Chassidesh perspective. And why shouldn't I, that is who I
am, that is the Shitah that I have found for myself and value.The fact is
that the ideas of Chassidus many times serve as a persons bridge to
Yiddiskiet and learning. If the person is drawn to the ideas that is
wonderful. If he finds his place somewhere else that is also fine.

As for the rest of the frum world-which is pursing this argument of erev rav
on this list-let it pick its bachurim and young couples and send them out to
the places we live in and let us see how well they do. Its davka the
Chassidus and teachings of the Rebbe that gives us the internal conviction
to do this. I don't see Meir, Telz Lakewood or anyone else doing anything of
the kind. Nor for that matter the MO world. I have been told more than once
by senior members of the RCA and the OU that they cannot find couples to go
to certain places where there is difficult chinuch etc.

Oh they will make a Colel in some large city. But I'm not talking about
living in LA or Cleveland in the midst of the Pizza Shops, mikves and Shuls
and maybe inviting a guy over to your house who has had a year hanging
around my Chabad Center and is now dabbling in the Frum world. It is a lot
easier after we did the hard work. Try moving to where there are no frum
people. Start a minyan in your house, move to a storefront and finally
establish something more permanent. Struggling day by day for parnassa.
Driving your kids miles to see another frum child.  And you worry that I
might make a person a Lubavitcher, I might teach him a perek Tanya or tell
him a story from the Rebbe Z"YA.  Then in your mind he is not a regular
frum Jew, but  a Lubavitcher. I don't want to burst your bubble by
Lubavitchers are frum Jews, all of them that I know do their best to keep
the halachas of Shulchon Aruch.

Dovid Eliezrie

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Date: Tue, 28 Aug 1956 01:34:46 +0000
From: David Riceman <driceman@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Re: Avodah V2 #103

citation from Elie Ginsparg:

I'm not suggesting one shouldn't think or question in other areas, but
when it comes to the definition of
morality (Ie what's right and wrong) I believe that it is axiomatic to
Judaism that Torah and Chazal define what is right and wrong regardless
what we might think.


How did Avraham Avinu have the authority to question God's intention to
destroy Sdom and Amora "Hashofet kol haaretz lo yaaseh mishpat?" You
need to distinguish between that and (i) kicking out one son and (ii)
sacrificing another.

David Riceman

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Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 14:37:31 -0500
From: "Noah Witty" <nwitty@ix.netcom.com>

Dear Mr. Davidovich:

I am not clear as to what my crime is with respect to what I intended to be
a clarifying statement respectful of gedolei Yisrael.  Kindly advise,

Good Shabbos.
Noach Witty

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Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 16:07:22 -0600 (CST)
From: Cheryl Maryles <C-Maryles@neiu.edu>
Re: Avodah V2 #103

On Tue, 28 Aug 1956, David Riceman wrote:
> Elie:
> How did Avraham Avinu have the authority to question God's intention to
> destroy Sdom and Amora "Hashofet kol haaretz lo yaaseh mishpat?" You
> need to distinguish between that and (i) kicking out one son and (ii)
> sacrificing another.
> David Riceman
The kicking out of the son and sacrificing were direct commands to
avraham, what's to question, you do it. It would seem that the purpose
that Hashem told avraham of his plan to destroy sodom was for him to daven
much like Hasem telling Moshe his plan to destroy k'lal yisroel. Avraham
must have understood this to be the reason Hashem was telling him this--I
have no sources for this because it's right before shabbos and I'm writing
off the top of my head, Bli neder I'l research over Shabbos
be well

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Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 23:02:12 +0000
From: David Riceman <driceman@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
taamei hamitzvoth again

I was mulling over Elie Ginsparg's post and decided I didn't
understand it.  Given his expressed reluctance to disagree with rishonim
and Chazal he certainly wasn't asserting that there is no lack of
rationality in God's definition of good and evil [henceforth Gdoge] (the
Ramban and the Meiri say that no one says that, the Rambam that it's a
machlokess amoraim and we pasken the other way - Rashi is ambiguous).
  If he was expressing his conviction that Gdoge is rational but
incomprehensible to all but Moshe (as the midrash says about Para Aduma)
he is still disagreeing with the Zohar, Saadiah, the Rambam, and others.
  If he was expressing his own lack of comprehension how could he be
criticising others, who may understand more than he?
  I await further clarification.

David Riceman

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