# Avodah Mailing List

## Volume 03 : Number 181

### Sunday, August 22 1999

 < Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 00:21:19 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Subject:
Schlessingers Proof of Gods Existence-Laymans Description

```
Micah, on list and Avram Sacks off list both asked me for this.

Schlessinger wrote a book CONFIRMATION and CONFIRMABILITY
(which you can get in the library). Here is a very good summary
using QUALITATIVE  CONCEPTS (for those who know math,
filling in details are easy)

EXAMPLE 1:
==========
You keep on losing in a poker game. You come to the conclusion that
your opponent is cheating. What is the logic.

ANSWER TO EXAMPLE 1
======================
We make 3 numerical/qualitative observations

1a) IF your opponent was cheating then the probability that he
would be winning would be very HIGH

1b) If your opponent was not cheating then the probability
that your opponent would win would be LOW

1c) The probability that your opponent is cheating is INTERMEDIATE

NOTE: In the real world we might substitute numbers for HIGH, LOW
INTERMEDIATE (Say 99%, 1%, 5%).

Using a technical theorem (Bayes theorem) mathematicians assure us that
we can infer the following:

IF you observe a high rate of wins then you can be sure that that your
opponent is cheating.

EXAMPLE 2:
==========
The planet Uranus was observed wobbling in its orbit. Someone suggested
that
IF another planet was out there it could CAUSE the wobbling. So they
looked
in the sky to where this other planet should be, according to Newton's
laws,
and found it. This caused a sensation and was considered a PROOF of
Newtons laws.

The question is WHY does this prove Newton's laws

ANSWER TO EXAMPLE 2
=====================
IF Newton's laws were correct then the probability of finding the new
planet is HIGH

IF Newton's laws were not correct then the probability of finding a new
planet is EXTREMELY LOW

The probability that Newton's laws are true is INTERMEDIATE

Again, Bayes theorems now tells you you may "believe" in Newton's laws!!!

EXAMPLE 3: PROOF OF GODS EXISTENCE
===================================
IF God exists there is a HIGH (Certain) probabilityof finding INTELLIGENT
LIFE

IF God did not exist (Rachmana Litzlan) the probability of finding
INTELLIGENT
LIFE is VERY LOW

The probability of God's existing is MODERATELY LOW.

Again, Bayes theorems tells you you may "believe in God"

Just to give you the flavor/power of the above argument if an aetheist
concedes that

---there is a 1% chance of Gods existence
---there is a 95% of life existence (Given God)
---there is a 1 in a million chance of life evolving without God

then that Aetheist now has an 80 or 90% chance of finding God!! (I forget
the exact
numbers but it is something like this)

Of course you will ask "Interesting but have you proven anything"

The answer is yes and for further details either read Dr Schlessingers
book (or start
a thread on Avodah)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The above "lecture" was personally heard by me at a
Yavneh
convention when i was a teenager. It was given by Dr Schlesinger (who had
the
Chutpah to give probability Handouts on Shabbath to us--Yasher Coach to
him). Dr
Schlesinger is in the philosophy department of Chapel Hill (NC). I have
routinely
taught this to my class (and have gotten rid of the math)

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; ModeratoR Rashi is Simple;
http://www.shamash.org/rashi/
___________________________________________________________________
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 02:04:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Subject:
IJN Online Feature Stories (fwd)

```
Not 100% accurate, but approximates reality closely enough...

YGB

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: IJN Online Feature Stories (fwd)

> Interaction: Reform and Orthodox Jews confront and transcend stereotypes
> By FAYE RAPOPORT
> IJN Staff Writer e-mail: ijn@rmii.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
>
> KALISPELL, MONTANA -- Bet Harim, a Reform congregation in Kalispell, =
> helped make a western vacation possible for an Orthodox family from =
> Detroit, Chicago, New York and Seattle. The community provided a Torah =
> scroll, arranged accomodations at a conference center with space for an =
> Orthodox service and rounded up volunteers to complete a minyan.
>
> Rita Schreiber knew that planning a family trip to Glacier National Park =
> would be a challenge.
>
> What she didn't know was that her efforts would bring together not only =
> relatives from Detroit, Chicago, New York and Seattle, but also a =
> community of Reform Jews in Montana who would make her family's trip =
> possible.
>
> Schreiber, who lives near Detroit, is Orthodox. Any travel to the rural =
> West would require renting several vans and packing kosher food for the =
> entire trip.
>
> But food wasn't the only problem. Schreiber's son-in-law, Rabbi Yosef =
> Bechhofer of Congregation Bais Tefila in Chicago, would not be able to =
> take part unless the family could observe Shabbat during their travels. =
> This meant finding a community that could provide a minyan of 10 men, =
> complete with a Torah scroll and a mechitzah to separate men and women.
>
> Where would they be able to celebrate an Orthodox Shabbat in the middle =
> of Montana?
>
> "We contacted a lot of people," Schreiber told the Intermountain Jewish =
> News. "We looked through Jewish travel guides, contacted the Lubavitch =
> movement, talked to some communities in Canada. We talked to =
> Conservative and Reform congregations to see if maybe there was =
> something we could latch onto."
>
> They didn't have any luck -- until a break-through came in the form of a =
> suggestion from Rabbi Jack Isakson of Seattle. The rabbi thought that =
> Kalispell, a community just outside the west entrance of Glacier =
> National Park, might have a Torah.
>
> Rabbi Bechhofer phoned Mary Lerner, a member of Bet Harim, the Reform =
> congregation in Kalispell. Lerner was interested in helping the family =
> and said she would see what she could do.
>
> >From that moment, a massive community effort to host an Orthodox family =
> for a Shabbat in Kalispell took off.
>
> First, the question of forming a minyan was brought up at a Bet Harim =
> board meeting, but a quorum was not present to vote. A flurry of e-mails =
> began circulating among Bet Harim members and the Schreiber and =
> Bechhofer families.
>
> What exactly would be needed? How many men would be required? Was a =
> mechitzah necessary?
>
> One by one, Rabbi Bechhofer answered their questions. After counting =
> their own family members, it was determined that six additional men =
> would be needed to complete the minyan. Yes, to satisfy Orthodox =
> requirements, a mechitzah was necessary. The family would also need a =
> place to stay within walking distance of the service.
>
> David Yaakov, who handles rabbi relations for the congregation, did what =
> he could to help.
>
> "At first it was hard to get a commitment for a minyan, as the =
> congregation here is Reform at best," he told the IJN.
>
> According to Yaakov, some members of Bet Harim were offended by the =
> family's request. "A person from the community got all shook up and =
> started e-mailing everyone to boycott the Shabbat services in protest to =
> an all male minyan," Yaakov explained. He did not reveal the person's =
> name.
>
> The strategy backfired, as many members of the community felt the =
> reaction was uncalled for. "That was what made many people come, Baruch =
> Hashem!" Yaakov said.
>
> Bet Harim members also researched appropriate accommodations for the =
> event. They put the family in touch with the Deep Bay Center, a =
> conference center in Lakeside that included a space for the religious =
> service.
>
> It was uncertain to the last moment whether or not six men would show up =
> to complete the minyan, but Yaakov was convinced it would happen, so the =
> Schreibers and Bechhofers and their extended family decided to make the =
> trip.
>
> Rita Schreiber was thrilled that her vacation could go forward. =
> Realizing that the community was doing a great deal to accommodate her =
> family, she and Rabbi Bechhofer agreed that they would do what they =
> could in return.
>
> "My son-in-law ordered and had shipped to Kalispell 10 sidurrim that had =
> transliteration in them so people could follow along," Schreiber said. =
> "I made copies of the Torah section for the week. We thought we would be =
> lucky if we had 10-12 people attending, maybe eight or nine men and two =
> women.
>
> "Kosher food was an issue. We brought coolers and took food with us. All =
> the time we were in Glacier we had our own food, almost everything =
> except fresh fruit. We brought pots and tried to make it pretty simple."
>
> For the Shabbat celebration, Schreiber's sister drove a camper from =
> Seattle to Kalispell, bringing more kosher food. She picked up a cousin =
> in Spokane along the way.
>
> "We heard from people in Kalispell that they had planned a kiddush, and =
> I think out of deference to us they agreed that nothing should be meat =
> so maybe we could partake of the food," Schreiber said. "It turned out =
> we couldn't eat much of it, but it touched us so much that they went to =
> this trouble."
>
> The family arrived in Kalispell just before Shabbat. They had no idea =
> that
>
> through that Friday afternoon, David Yaakov continued to make calls in =
> the hope of securing six men for a minyan.
>
> When it came time to set up the room where the Shabbat service would be =
> held, the family tried to be sensitive to the concerns of the =
> non-Orthodox community, especially regarding the issue of dividing the =
> men from the women. They set up a long table with a cloth on it between =
> two sets of chairs.
>
> "We tried to do it in a way that would be the least unpleasant for those =
> not accustomed," Schreiber said, "so the women mainly wouldn't feel like =
> second class citizens."
>
> By all accounts, both sides were nervous before the event. The Kalispell =
> community was not sure what to expect, or how the tensions in their =
> congregation would play out on the day of the service.
>
> In the meantime, according to Schreiber, Rabbi Bechhofer was worried =
> about making this Shabbat a learning experience and something the =
> community would enjoy.
>
> "He was nervous it would be a bad experience for people, a negative =
> experience rather than a positive one if they were bored or didn't like =
> it," she said. "We were worried that people wouldn't come or would be =
> upset with us."
>
> Rabbi Bechhofer explained, "From my perspective as a rabbi, you are =
> conscious of playing a role, of wanting to come across in a way that =
> makes people understand that Judaism is a positive thing."
>
> Although the need for a minyan was born of his desire to take part in a =
> family vacation, he also saw the upcoming Shabbat as an opportunity.
>
> "We would not go anywhere if there was no minyan for Shabbos, but a =
> primary motive which I had all the time was, 'let's go and find =
> something we can do which is holy and uplifting and Jewish.'"
>
> David Yaakov's wife Sarah waited for the day with anticipation. Although =
> her husband couldn't attend, she was looking forward to participating in =
> an Orthodox Shabbat in Kalispell. The Yaakovs are observant and had =
> recently spent a year in Israel, but had returned because of the desire =
> to be near family.
>
> "I was a little nervous, not knowing who they were," she said.
>
> Her uncertainty stemmed partly from the fact that the Yaakovs are gerim, =
> or converted Jews. They participated in a non-Orthodox conversion in =
> America, and an Orthodox conversion in Israel had been interrupted by =
> their need to return to the States. "Always coming from a convert's =
> point of view, you never know how an Orthodox group might accept you," =
> she said.
>
> When Yaakov arrived just before Shabbat, her worries quickly evaporated. =
> "I had barely gotten out of my vehicle when one of the couples, from =
> Seattle, came to greet me. Right away they were asking where I would be =
> staying. They were incredibly warm and welcoming and down to earth.
>
> "I didn't know what to expect," she admitted. "Our whole community was =
> pretty nervous about meeting them and going out there, they really were. =
> Some of the women were pretty upset, and some were pretty nervous. Many =
> don't even know Orthodox people, but you get these ideas in your head."
>
> Finally, the designated time for the service had arrived. Hoping that =
> six men would appear to complete the minyan with perhaps a few guests, =
> the Schreibers and Bechhofers opened the door.
>
> They were surprised and touched by the crowd of about 40 people that =
> waited to enter. "All the chairs were filled," she said.
>
> Many of the women wore dresses or covered their heads in deference to =
> the visitors. Some attendees were from a Christian group, which has =
> adopted many Jewish customs. Descriptions of this unnamed group =
> differed, but Rabbi Bechhofer and his mother-in-law were not concerned =
> about their participation.
>
> "Everyone there was sincere," the rabbi said.
>
> Schrieber spoke to everyone present, expressing her family's =
> appreciation for the community's efforts on their behalf.
>
> "I welcomed people and told them how touched we were that they were so =
> kind, and they helped us out with this. I said I knew it was not the way =
> they would have chosen to have a minyan and it was such a mitzvah to =
> take in strangers like this and help us."
>
> The rabbi then helped bridge the gaps among the strangers assembled. =
> First, he explained that the mechitzah was required by Jewish law, =
> acknowledging the concerns of some of the women present.
>
> "His manner just put everyone at ease. He explained the whole service, =
> the prayers that were coming up, the Torah portion, and he put in some =
> rabbinical insight. It was just incredible," Yaakov said.
>
> "It was one of the most touching and moving services I can remember =
> being in. They explained what pages we were on, what book you were =
> using, they handled this community with kid gloves. Everyone I talked to =
> was so touched, so blessed and so glad they came. I think it broke down =
> a big wall between the Reform and the Orthodox."
>
> After the service, the group ate and talked, with the rabbi answering =
> questions and leading discussion.
>
> He said, "I think it was a very uplifting experience, the sense that you =
> are able to come together, people from disparate backgrounds and from =
> different elements and form a minyan, and daven together. It's a big =
> kiddush Hashem."
>
> Yaakov spent the day with the family, and some attended a Torah class, =
> or shiur, taught by the rabbi in the afternoon.
>
> "You see what you can accomplish even on a vacation when you put your =
> mind to it," he said.
>
> Schreiber agreed. "I thought it was a win-win situation for everybody. =
> We just felt like a million dollars that they made such an effort to do =
> this with us. I was glad to see my children and grandchildren =
> interacting in a respectful and normal way with people who aren't =
> religious."
>
> To the delight of the Kalispell community, the Schreiber and Bechhofer =
> families left all of the siddurs behind as a gift. They continued their =
> travels with a trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern =
> Idaho, a visit to Salt Lake City and a final stop in Denver before =
> returning home.
>
> All sides expressed interest in remaining in touch, and in fostering =
> their new relationship over e-mail and through visits in the future.
>
> "We would like to maintain contact," said the rabbi. "First of all, I =
> loved Montana, it's an amazing place. You don't realize how big sky =
> country is, the splendor and the majesty. I think we all felt we'd very =
> much like to keep up this connection."
>
> "It was one of the best Shabbosim of my life," Schreiber said. "I mean =
> that really, really from my heart."
>
> Yaakov said simply, "I was just blessed to my toes."
>
> TOP OF PAGE | CALENDAR | COVER PAGE | CLASSIFIEDS | CONGREGATION =
> DIRECTORY | FEATURE | LEGALS | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | NEWS | OBITUARIES =
> | OPINION | PERSONALS

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 12:59:15 +0300
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Chava-Tree of Knowledge DOES prove not to be Machmir

```
Russell Hendel writes:

> Carl was discussing the advisability of a Posayk being Machmir in
> halachah to achieve certain goals in adherents.
>
> I cited two stories to refute him but Carl (correctly) rejected one
> of these proofs
>
> It turns out my other proof is correct.
>
> Adam/Eve were prohibited from EATING from the tree of knowledge.
> under penalty of death
>
> But Adam prohibited Chava from TOUCHING the tree of knowledge

I don't have a Chumash in front of me, so I will take it as a given
that Adam told Chava that and that Chava did not make it up
herself.

> So the snake pushed Eve into the tree and asked why she didn't die.
>
> Eve then sinned.
>
> Doesn't this show that being MACHMIR can lead to rejection of Torah!!

This strikes me as an oversimplification. I am sure that for every
example in Jewish history of someone leaving Torah because of
someone being too machmir, there is an example of someone
leaving Torah because of someone who is too meikel. This doesn't
prove anything IMHO.

> In fact returning to Carl's infamous "7 nekiyiim chumra"

I took out the term "chumra" because people were imputing
connotations into it that weren't there. What I was saying (or trying
to say) was that under certain circumstances it would be
appropriate for a posek to give a fruhm couple that had been
nichshal and had relations during the shiva nekiyim extra
harchokos to prevent it from happening again in the future.

isn't that the
> point of Rabbi Akiva who allowed women to wear Jewelry/makeup during
> the 7 nekiyim "because otherwise the marriage might break up"

No. There is no halachic requirement for a woman to be
unattractive during the shiva nekiyim - that's not the point of them
either on the physical level of the chumra of R. Zeira, nor on the
more emotional level which says that this is a couple's time to
grow together on non-physical levels. There is nothing which says
that the woman has to make herself unattractive in order for that to
occur. R. Akiva was acknowledging that reality.

> Isn't that the point...that we have two things to worry about---keeping
> the
> marriage and preventing sin!!!
>
> But how can any Posayk be sure he is BLENDING things in the right way!!!!

Because he KNOWS the couple. That's why you are supposed to
choose a posek and stay with that posek, and not go shopping by
a different posek every month. Every time there is a review shiur in
Hilchos Nida during Shovovim, every magid shiur I have ever heard
has said in the first class, "choose A posek." That isn't just so that
you have a posek who is familiar with the colors of the woman's
bdika cloths (which are often shown anonymously anyway). It's so
that you have a posek who knows YOU and knows what you need.

In the example I cited, this isn't a couple who has never met this
posek before that walks in off the street and says, "gee, we had
relations during the shiva nekiyim, what should we do about it?"
and he answers "don't put any plates of food in front of each other
whether or not it's your favorite food or drink." This is a real couple
whom the posek KNOWS because he paskens their shailas
regularly, and therefore he is able to say to them, and they are able
to accept, that they should take on additional harchokos so that
they don't the same thing again in the future.

-- Carl

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461
mailto:csherer@netvision.net.il
mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 08:30:19 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Subject:
Re: IJN Online Feature Stories (fwd)

```
Very nice indeed!

KVCT

Yitzchok Zirkind

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 09:17:53 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Subject:
Apologies on DM/DM: A definitive solution by RDQ

```
My apologies for the hasty way I wrote my DaM DoM posting
last week.

If I had followed my usual practices I could have come up with
a definitive solution printed below. BOTTOM LINE: Even
according to Moshe's criteria (that you make a Baal Koray
go back for changes in meaning), you should NOT make a
Baal Koray go back for DaM / DoM since there is no change
of meaning. I give 3 proofs below: a) RDQ, b) Statistical
c) Mesorah-Silence

Furthermore I would argue that you should stop Baalay Kriah
and gabaaim from making them go back since there are at least
2 other issues here

---bothering the community--it is a nuisance to have to hear verses
over and over for no good reason

---causing anguish--it is an explicit Rambam (sales 10:15) that it is
a Biblical violation of the anguish prohibitions to make a person
appear that he doesn't know something (So if DaM DoM has no
change of meaning we should not make him go back)

Now for the proofs. I believe I have 3

1) The RDQ in MICHLOL under discussion of NOUNS, form
X(Kamatz)Y explicitly states that
--even words like TzR , RA (and DM) belong to this class
--these words have not one but TWO construct states
(one with PATACH and one with KAMATZ).
--there is no difference in meaning (certainly not a NOUN
ADJECTIVE difference (innocent blood/blood of innocent)

The examples RDQ gives there are well worth researching.
The include AV OV (Ayin Beth), TzaR, TzOR, RA, RO
etc. You cannot possibly make these into noun-adjective
distinctions.

The RDQ points out that even RA which frequently appears
with a PATACH or TzR is really a KAMATZ noun.

The RDQ also points out that sometimes the mesorah gives
a list of exceptions one way or the other

Finally--of all the examples that RDQ gives, RDQ explicitly
singles out DM as possibly being a PATACH noun to begin
with.

Thus it is clear that this has no radical change of meaning (like
noun adjective). Although the RDQ does not give this analogy
I would suggest that it is like the difference between CHIRIK
and TZARAY in HaaLiThA (in Ki Tisah)--two forms of the
same grammatical function (It happens).

2) Statistically DM occurs about 3-400 times in Tenach. Here are
the stats

---about 100 (25%-33%) the context is clearly COnSTRUCT and
the word is clearly PATACH
---about 65-75% the word is a stand alone and clearly Kamatz
---DM+NKI seems to cause problems but occurs only 18 times
This includes
--DoM+ NKI
--DaM +NKI
--+HaNaKi
--hyphenated/not hyphenated.

There is no text that has a clear demarcation based on meaning.
The Leningrad codex's punctuation seems to have entered the
KORAIN Tenach. The Mendelkorn 8th edition has some of
the variations Moshe mentioned.

3) If there had been a difference in meaning then either
--some Midrash would mention it (a la Minchath Shai)
--some mesorah would mention it
---someone (Rashi, Minchat Shai ) would mention it

I checked mesorahs in Leningrad and Aleppo. The mesorah gedolah
mentions
--the 3 DM+Hnaki
---the 3 hyphenated DM
It doesn't seem to care at all about the Kamatz-patach issue. In
fact there is one mesorah about "2 examples with a Kamatz" but
that mesorah is referring to the word ShaFacH not to DoM.

This is an argument based on silence (and is admissable as
supportive evidence). The whole function of the mesorah
and a major function of midrashim is to preserve the mesorah
If the mesorah said nothing it couldn't have been that important.

In summary based on the RDQ and the statistical evidence I would
conclude that although differences exist the word DM is **always*
construct and has its adjectival meaning (Blood of..) The clearest
proof of this is not from the usage of DM in Tnach but from the
usage of other 2 letter words (like AV=Cloud, TzaR, RA etc).
The clearest analogy to stop people from correcting baalay kriah
would be RA, ROH (I assume even Moshe would not correct
someone on this).

My apologies again for not checking RDQ, the Konkordance and
the mEsorah first. (BUT...I get this posting in just in time for
another DM in this weeks parshah).

Russell Hendel;  Phd ASA;
Moderator Rashi is Simple
http://www.shamash.org/rashi
___________________________________________________________________
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 10:32:08 EDT
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Bizuy T'Ch?

```
>>>My question is: does publicizing the fact of this friendship constitute
bizui of a talmid hakham?<<<

I haven't been following for a few days, so maybe I missed something - how
can there be bizuy in publicizing a friendship that a person was happily
engaged in?

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 11:35:09 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Subject:
Midgets criticizing Giants:Publication: KEEP IT QUIET, PLEASE

```
Mechy Frankel wrote in 3:179 -- <<< I don't believe it occurred to the
editor, that the godol's friendship (BTW I have nary a clue why anybody
thinks that these names ought not be mentioned under the circumstances,
but, in the interest of listful comity, will follow these precedents for
now) with a non-frum professor could be taken as a matter of bizoyon. >>>

You don't have a clue? Well, here, I'll give you one.

I have been trying to follow this thread. I have no idea who the people
involved are, and I would like to REMAIN ignorant of their identities.

Daniel Eidensohn quoted his son (in 3:179) as saying that <<< anyone who
is going somewhere in the Torah world has full access to the stories -
but it is kept as Torah Shebaal Peh. >>> Unfortunately, this is very
vague and has the unintended effect of labelling many people as going
nowhere. Also unfortunately, I think it is very accurate. I think the
intention is that the higher one gets in the Torah world, the more
exposure he gets to these stories, and a correspondingly appropriate
level of explanation of those stories.

He continued, <<< It is simply a question of to'eles. For someone who is
an outsider and is not immersed in learning - the raw stories are harmful
because they will be misunderstood. For the insiders - those who come in
contact with the big people - the stories are understood in context. >>>

Again, this unintentionally insults those of us who used to learn in
yeshiva, but have had to get a job, by labelling them as "outsiders". But
again, I believe it to accurately point out that these stories can indeed
be harmful without a steady stream of influence from one's teachers --
which is somewhat easier within the yeshiva walls than from outside.

My guess is that the "professor" involved is some person affiliated with
the Conservative or Reformed groups, and who is very knowledgeable in
Torah despite one or more critical aspects which puts him in the "other"
camp. "Our" gedolim have long argued against doing things which grant any
sort of credibility to those other groups. It sounds to me like one of
these gedolim developed a genuine friendship with one of those people,
but had to keep it private and quiet, to avoid granting the very
credibility which he publicly fought against.

People have individual tastes, and people are human as well. Even the
greatest of gedolim do have their weak points. But it would be a Chilul
Hashem to let those weak points be known publicly, whether one is a
gadol, or an ordinary shomer mitzvos. Why is it so difficult to
understand that a gadol would be embarrassed for the public to see his
dirty laundry?

My conclusion is that beside the privacy issues (which should have made
this whole thing a no-brainer, it seems) the stories about the
relationship between these two people should not be told unless the
context can also be told and explained and discussed in such a way that
it is not a bizayon to the people involved. I have hoped that a forum
such as Avodah might provide the environment where such things could be
explained, but I am starting to doubt this. Unlike R. Eidensohn's son,
who feels that <<< anyone who is going somewhere in the Torah world has
full access to the stories >>>, my experience is that it is *much* more
tightly controlled than that.

Let's compare this to another issue which this forum has discussed:
newspapers and the Netziv. I think that the laws of Lashon Hara require a
person to make a reasonable estimate about whether the audience will take
a certain piece of information as being derogatory or not. In the case of
"My Uncle, the Netziv", I think it just did not occur to the publishers
that a segment of the readership would contrue that to be derogatory; if
they had, they *might* have explained the context differently. But in the
case of this TUMJ business, it might not be possible to explain it in a
manner which can maintain the wall against granting credibility to the
anti-Torah factions.

Akiva Miller

___________________________________________________________________
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

```

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 13:45:12 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Midgets criticizing Giants:Publication: KEEP IT QUIET, PLEASE

```
In a message dated 8/22/99 11:36:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
kennethgmiller@juno.com writes:

<<
He continued, <<< It is simply a question of to'eles. For someone who is
an outsider and is not immersed in learning - the raw stories are harmful
because they will be misunderstood. For the insiders - those who come in
contact with the big people - the stories are understood in context. >>>

Again, this unintentionally insults those of us who used to learn in
yeshiva, but have had to get a job, by labelling them as "outsiders".

--------------------------
Without reopening an old thread, there are some  who believe that working for
a living is not bedieved and that learning continues for your whole life
"even" outside the kotlei bet hamedrash..
----------------------------------

People have individual tastes, and people are human as well. Even the
greatest of gedolim do have their weak points. But it would be a Chilul
Hashem to let those weak points be known publicly, whether one is a
gadol, or an ordinary shomer mitzvos. Why is it so difficult to
understand that a gadol would be embarrassed for the public to see his
dirty laundry?

---------------------------------
But the masses are led to believe that the gedolim have no weak points. This
was the point of my earlier question on role models.  Can we truly relate to
someone who has no weakpoints?  Also you assume that having a friendship with
someone from outside the confines of orthodoxy is dirty laundry, I can think
of a number of reasons for such a friendship. BTW you might want to look at
Kiddushin 100a re: a tzaddik ra and a rasha tov.

-------------------------------------

Let's compare this to another issue which this forum has discussed:
newspapers and the Netziv. I think that the laws of Lashon Hara require a
person to make a reasonable estimate about whether the audience will take
a certain piece of information as being derogatory or not. In the case of
"My Uncle, the Netziv", I think it just did not occur to the publishers
that a segment of the readership would contrue that to be derogatory; if
they had, they *might* have explained the context differently. But in the
case of this TUMJ business, it might not be possible to explain it in a
manner which can maintain the wall against granting credibility to the
anti-Torah factions.

--------------------------------------
Of course maybe that audience might rethink it's position on newspapers or
knowing what's going on in the world if they knew that the Netziv read
newspapers.

Akiva Miller
>>

KVCT
Joel Rich

```

Go to top.

```*********************

[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

```
 < Previous Next >