Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 104

Tuesday, June 29 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 08:37:14 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Testimony to Halacha

The mishna in eduyot(1:3) quotes 2 weavers as stating that the halacha that 
shmaya and avtalyon stated was different from the position of hillel and 
shammai and the rabbanan "kiymu et divreihem". While there's a lot of nice 
mussar on this, I wonder if there are other examples of this testimonial 
approach to halacha. I know of one in sotah quoting nchunya chofer sichin but 
are there others? Also what is the "force" of this testimony(ie without it 
would the halacha have been different?) And how likely is it  that hillel and 
shammai wouldn't have known what shmaya and avtalyon had said?

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich

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Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 10:03:42 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Boarding Schools

Dear Rich,
Is it your contention that the parents' primary role in transmitting torah is 
to find someone else to take that responsibility from them on a 24 hour a day 
basis(unless they would flounder) at the age when the child is just beginning 
to reach intellectual maturity? Why not start earlier with boarding school 
for tots - wouldn't this show even a greater dedication and mesirut nefesh by 
the parents?(apologies for my sarcasm - I just wonder whether the parents 
role in all this today is consistent with what it is supposed to be)  

Kol Tuv
Joel Rich<<

OR how about public school 
1) combined with afternoon and Sunday school
2) or leave it ALL up to the parents (v'shinantom levonecho?)

(I guess Reductio absurdum can go both ways <smile>)

Ins't it stated somewhere chamesh esrei ligmoro.?!

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 10:09:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan J. Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Re: Sheep Mentality

> Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 12:03:02 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@columbia.edu>
> Subject: Asking she'elot in cases of pikuach nefesh
RMF wrote:
> > pikuach nefesh.  Somehow, I get the impression that the people here 
> > are not the type that think independently.
> Harry Maryles also commented eloquently on the "Sheep" mentality. 
> Doesn't the frum world, and even this esteemed list at times, encourage a
> lot of this dependence on asking shailas?  And when the askers are women,
> who so far (although it is changing just a bit) are not in a position to
> have enough learning to have enough CONFIDENCE to think for themselves,
> it's even more so.  What an appalling story.  To be in a position to be
> assuming that you can never think for yourself, that you're always asking
> someone else's permission, to not have enough basic knowledge to
> understand a basic issue like pikuach nefesh....

It's quite deliberately inculcated in Hareidi women.  See Tamar El-Or's
study "Educated and Ignorant".  Hareidi women are educated *to become*
ignorant.  Over and over they are told that they cannot think for themselves,
they cannot decide questions for themselves, they must always ask their
husbands and rabbis for advice on what to do.

What's more, even though I assume it must be "daas Torah" since it's so
systematic, at least among Israel hareidim, it seems to go against much
Halachic thought and tradition.  Consider the laws of sakkanah in fasting
(OH 618): even if 100 doctors say "you aren't so sick" and you feel sick
and think that you must eat, YOU MUST EAT.  IOW, you have to think for 
yourself, particularly in sakanat nefashot, even more so in real pikuach
nefesh, no?  Consider also the story of the Chofetz Chaim, whose wife
ruled in the kitchen - *she* was the authority on kashrut, even though
Yoreh Deah is usually a rabbi's realm of expertise.

Seems to me a nice example of excessive stringency in one area leading
to excessive leniency in another: stringency in women's relationship
to Torah leads to leniency in pikuach nefesh - a truly dangerous, and
thus anti-Halachic (vachai bahem) situation.

(Freda: If you want to read El-Or's book, I think my mother has a copy.)

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Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 10:47:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@columbia.edu>
rebuilding burned temples; mamzer; Chillul haShem....

In v3n103, Saul Newman asked

> An OU shul and two reform temples were torched in sacramento. There
> are separate appeals for funds to support these institutions. Is it
> assur to pay to rebuild a non-Halachic institution; or to build
> lechatchila?  Does chillul hashem figure in the question ? ['they
> don't consider us Jews']

I read an article which indicated that a group of Methodists visiting the
city for a convention contributed $6,000 on the spot.  Seems to me if we
decide not to contribute we ought to keep a low profile about it... OR
specify that the funds go to seforim for the library....  The thing is,
the members of the burned-out temples are not going to start attending
Orthodox shuls if their place isn't rebuilt.

In the same issue, Moshe Feldman asks:

> Anybody have a suggestion how to make the concept of mamzer palatable?

Palatable to ourselves, to the rest of the world, or to the mamzerim
themselves?  Do you think it's POSSIBLE to make this palatable to anyone?
How about serious work on finding halachic ways to get people out of this

Freda Birnbaum, fbb6@columbia.edu
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"

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Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 15:57:44 +0200
From: OUAKNINE Salomon <salomon.ouaknine@etam.fr>
Agudath Israel of America


Is someone who knows the site of Agudath Israel of America ?
Can he tells to me ?

Thank you by advance.

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