Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 138

Wednesday, November 17 1999

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:08:34 -0500
From: "Michael Poppers" <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Re: Simplicity

> THE TIME FOR TIKKUN HAS COME. ARE WE READY? ... We must-if we are to
spiritually and physically reorder our lives. Takanos are not a panacea.
they are an important start. And we must begin somewhere. <
Re the author's views, I can only say, "Hear! Hear!" and his description of
the current situation seems rather accurate.  It's another matter
altogether to predict the viability of such takanos, esp. when you consider
what has happened in many places to the concept of "minhag hamokom."  My
$0.02 (which echo my feelings re such touchy subjects as talking in shul)
are (a) that individual[ familie]s who are willing to fulfill the mandates
of such a takana in lieu of the takana itself should do so; (b) that they
(which, hopefully, includes a large portion of this list's readership)
should bring up the subject with other community members and w/ community
leaders; and [most importantly, in my book] (c) that our schools constantly
and consistently bring this subject up, in order that the *children* end up
educating the *parents* (and, sometimes, the *grandparents*!) to forego
unnecessarily-expensive simchas.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:13:29 EST
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: Tzelem Elokim

In a message dated 11/16/99 9:21:37 AM US Central Standard Time, 
gil.student@citicorp.com writes:

<< I can't define 
 intellect (and would appreciate someone posting a good definition) but I 
 think it refers more to an intellectual structure than to actual 
 intelligence.  Therefore, even someone who is incapable of intelligent 
 thought (not necessarily those with Downs Syndrome - that was only the 
 starting point of this discussion) can still have an intellect i.e. a 
 tzelem Elokim according to the Rambam (M"N 1:1).   >>

I agree that someone who is incapable of intelligent (i.e., rationalistic) 
thought can still have tzelem Elokim. I am less comfortable with the notion 
that "intellect" refers to the structure of thought more than actual 
intelligence. What's the difference? Anyhow, great intellectual 
sophistication is unnecessary to one's understanding of G-d's teachings, 
particularly the subtle ones that elude even the "smartest" among us unless 
they have knowing hearts. Teaching the heart -- that's the trick.  

After all, music, poetry, and art can reflect tzelem Elokim by expressing 
rationally inexpressible (and intellectually unknowable) insights on the 
Divine. You can't get these insights with book-learning alone. In fact, you 
can't get them at all without  talent and humility. Humility: That has been 
missing somewhat in our discussion of tzelem Elokim, Down's Syndrome, etc.

David Finch

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:16:21 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: ketubah and independence

In message , j e rosenbaum <jerosenb@hcs.harvard.edu> writes
>In R. Meiselman's book on women in Jewish law (Ktav, 1978 or so), he
>states that if a woman chooses in the ketubah not to be supported by 
>her husband, he must still pay for her clothing and possibly food, but
>unfortunately he doesn't footnote this.  
>Does anyone know where he gets his conclusion from?  Most people I've
>discussed this with at various points (including Micha Berger) recalled
>learning differently --- that independence meant independence, with no
>support for the wife.

Sounds to me like he is poskening like the Rosh and the Ri, and not like
the Ran.

The Ran says that onah is from the torah, and food and clothing is
d'rabbanan and Chazal made the takana of ma'aseh yadeha as against food
and clothing and therefore one who says ayni nizanis does not get food
or clothing.

The Rosh says that clothing and onah is min ha torah, while food is only
d'rabbanan, and hence the trade- off can only be with that which is
d'rabbanan, ie food, and hence the husband will still be obligated in

For a summary of these two positions see the Beis Shmuel on Even HaEzer
siman 69 s'if katan 1.

There also is a further machlokus between the Ran and others as to
whether or not, if a woman says ayni nizanis she can then change her
mind next week and say no she wants her husband to support her and to
take her ma'aseh yadeha.  The Ran says no, once the takana is batel, it
is batel.  The Ri says yes, it is up to her which alternative she wants
at whatever time.  The Rema brings both these opinions (Even HaEzer
Siman 69 si'if 4).

The Beis Shmuel sees the two items as related (si'if katan 3), ie that
if you hold that clothing is part of the takana, you can't change from
week to week, as it is not a weekly thing (ie the Ran's position)
whereas if you hold that you can change from week to week, then clothing
is not part of the takana, but rather d'orisa.
Therefore my best guess is that R' Meiselman is poskening like the Rosh
vis a vis clothing, and is (at least) m'supek like the Ri that she can
change from week to week.

I must say though, that while the Rema brings both shitas vis a vis
changing her mind, he only brings the Ran vis a vis clothing (the Beis
Shmuel notes this too) - so I would have assumed that we paskened like
the Ran, at least with regard to clothing. Also check out the Drisha
also on this siman, he has a whole list as to who hold what is d'orisa
and d'rabanan.  See also the discussion in the Beis Yosef on siman 80 on
the position of the Ran (and others) about changing her mind.


Kind Regards


Chana/Heather Luntz

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 08:35:14 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Kol Kevudah -

In message , Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il> writes
>> As those who have to use mobile phones know, their primary use is that
>> they prevent any possibility of an escape, you are always reachable,
>> wherever you are.  It will be interesting to see whether this ban is
>> adhered to.
>Given that most charedim *don't* follow the Eida, I doubt you'll see much of
>an impact.

Sorry, what I should have said was, it will be interesting to see
whether this ban is adhered to by those who would generally follow the
Eida or whether it will simply disappear.  What interested me about it
is that it may well lead to such families having fewer controls over the
movements of their women than other comparable families who do not
observe the ban (and I wondered whether this consequence had been fully
thought through).



Chana/Heather Luntz

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:29:36 -0500
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re: chabad messianic minyan [mail jewish 30-11]

RHM wrote:

>>4. There is a caterer here in Chicago that has a Mashiachist as it's 
Mashgiach Timidi.  Can one eat from this caterer?>>

I talked to a friend who has done some shechitah (out in Pennsylvania) and 
he told me that all of the shochtim for the various hashgochos work near 
each other and if one is sick a shochet from one of the other hashogochos 
is called in to replace him.  He specifically said that there is no way to 
know whether chicken is slaughtered by a Lubavitcher shochet or not.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:33:53 -0500
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re: Birthrights and their value

Daniel Israel wrote:

>>Those who are discussing the market value of the birthright, check the
Ramban.  The market value is zero if Esav dies before Yitzchak.>>

Which means that if there is 50/50 chance that Eisav will die first then 
the expected value of the birthright is 1/2 times the actual value of the 
birthright (it is a Bernoulli random variable).  Considering that Ya'akov 
was a tzadik and Eisav was a rasha you might assign a higher probability to 
Eisav's dying first which would raise the expected value of the birthright.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:49:57 -0500
Re: Bechora

----- Original Message -----
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 4:25 PM
Subject: Bechora

> > From: "Daniel B. Schwartz" <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
> > Subject: Re: Bechora
> >
> <<> > Yaakov  *gave*  Esav bread and soup.   The diyuk is that this was
> > the reason for the sale,  not the price.
> >
> >     Precisely what then was the consideration for the birthright?
> > Also how
> > do those exegetes reconcile their view with Esau's anguished cry of
> > "vayakveini zeh pa'amaiim?">>
> If memory serves me correctly  (, and Yankie Schachter will forgive me
> for relying on memory),  my recollection is that the price was
> unspecified. The anguished cry was because "talyuhu vezovin" : he was
> forced by his hunger to sell.  Although he presumably got a good price
> according to these meforshim,  the very fact that he sold it at all was
> under duress.

    And we all know the efficacy of contracts entered into under duress.
They are void Ab initio, regardless of the consideration. This merely adds
an additional wrinkle to the problem

> <<>     Perhaps he should have made an initial offer more in tune with
> > the value of the bechora.  The fact that he did not, raises a question
> of
> > exactly who desecrated what>>
> This is,  obviously,  not according to the above cited meforshim,  but
> according to those who say the nezid adashim was the price.  The bechora
> was infinitely valuable to Yaakov and virtually worthless to Esav.  How
> does one set a fair price on that?  In Esav's mind AT THE TIME he got a
> good deal.  He didn't complain until the second "vayakeveini"

    Perhaps I am painting with too broad a brush.  My second question had
more to do with Jacob's mindset than with the legalities of the transaction.
I am concerned by the fact that the only discrenable offer made for the
bechora was for so small a sum.  Even assuming the bechora was worthless to
Easu, he must have known it was very valuable to Jacob.  Yet at the same
time, Esau is presented with a Jacob who only offers a pot of lentil stew
for it.  Did Esau therefore conclude that the bechora meant little to Jacob
as well, and therefore the deal was done?  Did Jacob indeed intend precisely
this subterfuge?  Is it appropriate for one to use the bechora in such  a
fashion?  Or perhaps, while Jacob did appreciate the bechora's value, how
great was that appreciation?
> Gershon

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:22:37 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: "Kol Kavodah . . . "

In message , Jerry Schachter <schachte@netvision.net.il> writes
>Sorry for this throw in from left field; many of us are ignoring what our
>moderator has said about some of us who are quick to post without the
>sources at hand, but seeing this posuk misquoted, mistranslated (and
>misunderstood?) so many times is hard for me to take. The posuk appears in
>Tehillim 45:14 and reads: "Kol-k'vudah bas-melech pnima". The word "k'vudah"
>means "fortune" according to some parshanim (in modern Hebrew this has come
>to mean "baggage"), and "splendor" or "grace" according to others - not "honor".

How are you understanding the word "honour" in English? I would have
understood it as closely related to "grace" or "splendor" (particularly
grace, in its classical understanding).  The distinction (and the reason
I do not like using the word grace) is that grace is the more passive
feminine, while honour is the masculine equivalent. Thus Grace, as with
so many feminine words, has fallen into greater disuse than has honour,
and its main use, these days, is either linked to "graceful" (ie moves
with grace) or is strongly Xtian related.  Honour is closely linked to
splendor as well, as true splendor comes through honour (in traditional
English, honour is the attribute associated with a knight particularly
one who crusades, grace with the (feminine) Church, and splendour with
the glory of G-d).  The word honour also links with the muslim concept
of honour and dishonour, and I believe it would not be unfair to say
that that links directly to splendor.  However, I would have said that,
for modern English speakers, honour was the best choice of that lot.

How about glory, would that be better (glory has connotations of fame,
which is a concept readily understood in modern times)?

>This occurs with other well-worn p'sukim as well; may we please remember
>that we're dealing with Torah she-bi'Chtav and accord it the proper honor?

I think part of the problem is that any word in English that you choose
does not necessarily translate very well.  What I am not sure about is
what difference in meaning you derive from using the English words grace
or splendor rather than honour in this context.  Fortune possibly
different, in that it does have parnassa conotations, ie a woman finds
her parnassa within, but I am struggling to see the difference in
meaning *in modern English* if you substitute the other two.

>Yaakov Schachter

Kind Regards


Chana/Heather Luntz

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 20:02:58 -0500 (EST)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Rebbes as Poskim

My two pence:

It would appear, looking at the examples already cited, that being a Rebbe
doesn't include being a poseik. HOWEVER, being a Rebbe doesn't preclude being
one either. IOW, I would have phrased it that there were some Rebbeim who
were poskim -- but that was a 2nd role, they weren't doing so qua Rebbe.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 16-Nov-99: Shelishi, Vayetzei
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 69b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 20:06:26 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Yitzchak revisited

>>>I think with this approach we can understand why the idea of davening
for one's self is described davka by Yitzchak. Tefilah (which has replaced
Korbanos) is another way of totally subjugating yourself to H"KBH.<<<

 You can also deconstruct the episode and come to the opposite conclusion .  
It is Avraham who has succeeded in being mevatel himself (anochi afar v'efer) 
to the needs of others, and therefore prays on their behalf (Sdom, Avimelech) 
while his own needs remain unfufilled.  Yitzchak, however, is  blind both 
physically as well as emotionally to the world outside and is drawn to prayer 
only through being aware of his personal needs and wants.  


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 21:00:06 -0500 (EST)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Retardation, Emotional Disease, Free Will and Tzelem E-lokim

Gil Student <gil.student@citicorp.com> writes in v4n132 (as later corrected):
: According to the Targum, [Nefesh Chayah] is the ability to speak. Thus those
: who cannot speak do not have a tzelem E-lokim.

I would disagree with this conclusion. Aristotle writes of 3 souls (aspects
of souls): vegitative, animative, and cognitive. The lattermost is also
called the speaking soul -- exactly what the Targum is saying in Aramaic.
To put the same idea in a more "frum" way: medabeir is the antonym of domeim,
and domeim is the term used in hashkafah for inanimate objects.

I would therefore interpret the Targum to mean "that aspect of the soul that
gives man the unique ability to speak (amoung other things)".

:             They have the ability to communicate through sign language but so 
: can certain animals. For that matter, vocal communication has been studied in 
: dolphins.  Do they have a tzelem E-lokim?  I don't have any answers nor any 
: certainty about the preceding.

Given the previous, I find the speculation as to whether mutes have a nefesh
chayah to be moot. Melilah isn't being given as the defining feature, just the
most easily identifiable one.

BTW, it appears from a recent conversation on scj that many are unconvinced
that Koko et al actually use language when they sign. There is no indication
that they can learn syntax and grammar. They can do words -- not sentences.
that they can learn syntax and grammar. signs with certain objects, events
or emotions, but don't really put them together to describe thoughts or

The same may prove true of dolphins.

: The Alter of Slabodka says that the tezelem E-lokim is the ability to make 
: choices (bechirah chofshis - I also heard this from R. Shimon Romm in the
: name of R. Yerucham in the name of the Ramchal but can't find the Ramchal).

As I said, this isn't necessarily different than the Targum -- even if we
assume that nefesh chayah and tzelem E-lokim go hand-in-hand. The ability to
contruct and analyze thoughts as a series of tokens (so as to avoid including
apes, if this "out" holds) is a key part of being able to make decisions,
as well as giving voice (or hand) to those tokens to speak (or sign, or write).

: those who are incapable of making decisions due to mental incapacity don't
: have a bechirah and therefore are not betzelem E-lokim.

Does this mean that babies lack a tzelem E-lokim?

: Is it possible to say that they have a tzelem E-lokim which is hidden and/or 
: incapacitated.

I think we need to distinguish between having a tzelem E-lokim, and having the
"hardware" necessary for this tzelem to find expression in the mind. To use
the Chazon Ish's attitude toward people with Downs' and explanation thereof,
it would seem that the CI concluded the tzelem is there, and in an even more
refined form than for us. The "problem" is that such a tzelem doesn't get
placed into the kind of brain that would sully it as well as giving it an
easier task by better connecting it to the world. The TzE is there and then
some -- "just" not as well connected to the conscious mind.

I find this problem is more accute with my son Yoni (who has Asperger's Syndrome
along with elements of other such "birachos") than with Shua (who has Downs).
I'm sure part of it was that we adopted Yoni thinking he was a "healthy white
newborn" (as the cliche goes in the adoption game) and were shocked when we
had to reassess our dreams for him. We received Shua knowing he has Downs.
However, there's a more salient difference.

Someone with Downs has enough intellect to make decisions. For most Downs
people (PhD's aside -- thanks for that chizuk!) those decisions are on a
simpler than yours or mine. More centered on a level of "emunah peshutah",
for which many with Downs can be role models. However, it still fits within
"hakol biydey Shamayim chutz miyir'as Shamayim".

AS is in the same family as ADD and autism. It means (among other things,
but this is the philosophically touchy one) that Yoni has far less ability
to suppress impulses than you or I. At times he is literally incapable to
choose before acting. The yeitzer (harah or hatov -- he's often impulsively
generous) kicks in, and the action occurs before any decision making processes
are invoked.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 16-Nov-99: Shelishi, Vayetzei
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 69b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:27:17 -0500 (EST)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Kol Kevodah Bas Melech Penimah

(I know the subject line is wrong -- but I want the archiving software to
keep the topic all in one place. Changing subjects means that it will put it
into another group.)

In v4n129, Chana Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk> replies to me:
:> I'm not sure how to generalize from this to why women can't be dayanos or
:> serve as kohanos, liviyos or malkos, or hold sherarah in general.

: Whoa there.  I think in your eagerness to formulate an all encompassing
: theory...

It appears I'm not the only one running a bit too fast on this. My position
is an attempt to apply my understanding of RSRH's opinion. It's not an
eagerness to formulate a theory, but to apply a theory that RSRH considers
all encompassing.

FWIW, I also see merit in R Aharon Soloveitchik's description of gender
differences by tying it to his chakirah between chazakah and kibbush.
Chazakah is based on "l'avdah ulshamrah" -- owning something by developing
it. Kibbush is grasping it -- as in "piru urivu umil'u es ha'aretz
vikivshuha". According to RAS men have a stronger tendency toward kibbush
in relation to chazakah than women do.

But I wanted to analyze RSRH's shitah, as he ties it to halachah.

: Eidus and Dayanus are linked ...
: The laws relating to kehuna and leviya are something completely separate...
: Malkos is related to melech, v'lo malka, ie is derived from a completely
: independant Torah pasuk....

[Serarah omitted in deference to Chana's conclusion that the Rambam may
be a da'as yachid on this and we included malchus already anyway.]

I would agree that numerous mekoros exist. However, those are mekoros, not
ta'amim. The fact that so many reach the same conclusion -- leaving men in
all the positions that build the community -- does lend credance to RSRH's

: For example, read the Ramban on Shevuos 30a- u'perusho  [of the pasuk
: that Devorah judged the nation]...
: Bit different from the Rambam's position, no?

I thought I already established that the rishonim clearly address Devorah as
a problem that needs resolution. It is unclear whether the problem is an
illusion created by the culture Rishonim lived in, or whether they saw the
problems as real. Tosafos appear to provide at least two, possibly three,
answers that leave Devorah as a special case.

It's therefore unclear that the Ramban disagrees with the Rambam, or if he's
explaining how that special case worked. His "v'al al pi d'amrinin b'sifri"
actually argues for the latter understanding.

: But as indicated in my earlier post, "kol" in its purest sense is
: difficult to maintain.  Another example, if Rivka had believed "kol"
: kavuda, then she would a) not have been at a public well; b) not have
: talked to strange men; and c) certainly not have had the familiarity to
: have given Eliezer water in a public place, not to mention all that
: running back and forward to the camels...

You and I are going with different definitions of kevudah. (And that's not
our only translation difference, see below.) You're using the Rambam's,
I'm using RSRH's. To the latter, the d'rashah is about what kind of religiosity
a woman should ideally have -- not what kind of lifestyle. Therefore, there's
no reason for Rivka to be inside her home, talking only to men she knows, and
would have no problem extending strenuous chessed to a stranger. Similarly
your example of the Shunamite woman doesn't really apply to the kind of
"kol kevudah" I'm speaking about.

: How about Chana?  OK, Eli had a problem with her appearing to be drunk,
: but what about the fact that she davka chose to daven in the mishkan,
: rather than at home.  Is that not a violation of "kol"?

But what was she praying for? The ability to build a home -- exactly what
how RSRH defines "penimah"! Chana's religion, as well as Rivka and the
Shunamite womans', is clearly defined as home first, and then community.
There is also Sarah's tent, which Rivka then revived.

:                                      Since that cannot be the answer, we
: have to assume that kol is not meant the way you are taking it.

.... Or that kevudah isn't meant the way you are. "All of kevudah" can be
limited by limiting either word. While Hirsch and I squirm out of this one,
you're left with a kasha on the Rambam though -- as the imahos didn't live
in accordance with his understanding of the rule.

:> 3- Why then if the primary criterion for pitur "shehazman geramah"? Why
:>    wouldn't the "outsideness" of the mitzvas asei be sufficient cause for
:>    a p'tur? After all, reshus but mitzvah is the relationship to "outside"
:>    in general.

: Not sure. that is the same problem you have with the whole definition of
: shehazman geramah, when it has more exceptions than rules.

No it does not. RSRH explicitely shows that the combined rule of a- mitzvos
asei; b- shehazman geramah; c- that deal with "the outside" fits the
halachah exactly. As I said before, in many cases Hirsch had some leeway,
as the placement of a mitzvah he deems symbolic (osos) into the "inside" vs
"outside" categories depends on his symbology. Of course, that symbology also
has to explain the other features of the mitzvah -- remember that Hirsch's
ta'amei hamitzvos address the minute features of the mitzvah, not just the
large scale that the Moreh's or the Chinuch's studies of ta'amim do. So
the leeway isn't /that/ great.

I therefore feel this question remains open.

I think I'm also being unclear by my use of "inside" (with quotes) in an
attempt to stick closely to the word "penimah". By penimah RSRH means "home
first". In contrast to men who are OBLIGATED to build a community as well.
This would mean (my own conjecture based on RSRH's base idea) that while a
woman is permitted to build community as well, the lack of chiyuv is because
that's not where "kevudah" is found.

Depending on your position in the discussion about the reliability of Jastrow
you may find Gesenius's comment relevent. He refers to kevudah in Shoftim
18:21, and defines it as abundance or riches. He also tells you to see "kavod
I" where he says kavod means honor or abundance. Lehavdil Rashi in Shoftim
defines kevudah as "masa'os" -- anything that is too *kaveid* to run with. He
also gives old French, but that didn't help me personally much.

So giving Hirsch's spin to the "derashah" (really asmachta), all of a woman's
religious riches are in the home, not the community. That doesn't mean that's
where all of her religion or all of her life should be. Perhaps "riches" refers
here to chiyuvim -- we know the value of being a metzuvah vi'osah.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 16-Nov-99: Shelishi, Vayetzei
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 69b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:39:17 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: 770

I got two offlist responses to my question about what is going on in 770.
 Why is this not for public knowledge?


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:58:19 +0200 (IST)
From: Jerry Schachter <schachte@netvision.net.il>
Rebbes, etc.

In Avoda V4 #129, richard_wolpoe wrote:

>In the yeshiva world there are at least 3 distinct roles . . .
>I imagine the Chassidishe world has analogous roles.

In fact, the case in the (larger) Chassidic communities in
Galicia/Hungary/Romania was that there was a separate person in each of the
following positions (with some overlap where funding was limited or the
person was qualified):

Rav - paskin sheilos, set policy, supervise the shochet

Rebbe - conduct tisch, give berachos and advise

Rosh Yeshiva - same as in the "yeshiva world" (a gross misnomer if there
ever was one - see below)

Rosh haKohol - levy and collect the kahal tax, supervise the kahal
elections/appointments, represent the kahal before the authorities, enforce
kahal rules

The late Satmar Rebbe, for instance, was the Rav; the late Bobover Rav was
also Rebbe and Rosh Yeshiva (BTW the student popualtion of the Bobover
network in the late '30s was ~5,000). This is one reason why some towns in
those areas  have multiple Rebbes in New York.

Yaakov Schachter

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 11:09:14 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
RE: Avodah V4 #136

> 	I'm not sure I understand this.  I believe the Ramban is the one who
> points out that Korbonos are always mentioned with the Shem Havaya which
> signifies Rachamim.  Tefilo,  which substitutes for Korbonos,  is called
> Rachamim in the Gemara.  Please explain.
> Gershon
	I think the teretz is that it depends on how you look at it. From
H"KBH's perspective by accepting our Korbonos he is acting with middas
harachamim. However, from our perspective we our  being mvatel ourselves to
Hashem and recognizing we have no Mityzius except through Him and by doing
His will. 

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 14:25:56 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Roshei Yeshiva as Poskim

And R. Moshe had both roles, Rosh Yeshiva AND Poseik

Those who knew him as their Poseik referred to him afffectionately as "Reb 
Moshe", those that learned under him referred called him "The Rosh Yeshiva".

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Rebbes as Poskim  

My two pence:

It would appear, looking at the examples already cited, that being a Rebbe 
doesn't include being a poseik. HOWEVER, being a Rebbe doesn't preclude being 
one either. IOW, I would have phrased it that there were some Rebbeim who 
were poskim -- but that was a 2nd role, they weren't doing so qua Rebbe.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:24:43 -0800 (PST)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Response to R. Aaron Twersky Article in the JO

I've just read the lengthy article submitted by Micha.
Briefly, for those of you who missed it, or skipped
it, R. Twersky lamented the fact that Orthodox Jewish
society in general suffers from a form of cumulative
depression, which crosses all strata, taking it's toll
on the essential core of a Torah lifestyle, the
He blames two phenomema:

1. A lifestyle that requires:

a) The wealthy entrepenuers who can fulfil their
finacial obligations with ease but suffers the
consequence of insufficient iter-relationship with the
family, especially the Children due to the demands
from business on his time.

b) The succesful Professional types who's up to
$85,000.00 per anum income barely stretches to make
all financial obligations and therefore results (with
large families and High tuitions taking an inordinate
amount of his income). These professionals spend far
too many hours at their proffessions and away from
their families. 

c) The poor, who are far more in existence then
society is willing to admit.  These.people have low
self esteem and are often treated (often unfairly) by
society as pariahs, and lazy with the unwillingness to
do what's necessary to make a living.  The low sense
of of self often takes it's toll on the intra-personal
relationships in the Family.

2. Social Obligations.  The fact is that the Orthodox
population has increased  dramaticly in the last few
decades.  We seem to forever be going to Simchas
sometimes multiple simchas in one evening, resulting
in parents hardly ever being home for their children.

His Solution:  Takonos.

Blaming us as willing co-conspiritors for conspicuous
consumption, and therefore, unwilling to listen to
such Takanos, he suggests that the Gedolei Hador
should make Takanos which they were here to fore
unwilling to make, in order to solve the dual problems
of Social over extension and the finacial burdons
place on family income by the ever increasing cost of
family Simchas.  He blasts extravagant weddings, Bar
Mitzvas, Vorts, and L'Chaims.

The Takanos, I assume would be to limit all simchos to
a specific dollar amount.


These problems are far more serious and pervasive than
any simple Takana would solve. These probelms revolve
around an intricate combination of sociological and
psychological phenomena that are inherent to twentieth
century living. Among others, these consists of
cultural surroundings, technological advances,
economic conditions, and the sheer abundance and
availability of goods and services available to anyone
who has the money to pay for them. So as to make us
aware and desirous of these goods and services, we are
constantly being bombarded with unrelenting
advertising, sublimninal and otherwise, which tells us
that we are nothing without them.

Once you start limiting, by Takana, in one area based
on someone else's notion of what's an appropriate
amount,  then there is no end as to what can
ultimately be limited.  Why stop with weddings?  Let's
make a Takanah about clothes!  No one can spend more
than a predetermined limit on clothes per year.  How
about entertainment? How much can we spend on that?
(Should we spend anyhting?)  What about travel
expenses... let's limit that.  How many time a year am
I allowed to go to Israel?  Once? Twice? Maybe only
every other year? How many cars can I own?  What's my
dollar limit on a new car purchase?  Maybe we should
forbid new car purchases and only allow used car
purchases. Maybe we should all be made to take public
transportation all the time.

I've said it before: It's a slippery slope my friends.

Also, as I've indicated  before, the solution lies in
re-educating ourselves. 

Though I would never want legislation on it I do think
we can start with Bar/Bas Mitzvahs.

Any Bar Mitzvah that extends beyond the day of Shabbos
itself  is far too lavish no matter what one's income
is.  There is no need to make a Bar Mitzvah that looks
like a wedding.  A sit down kiddush after davening
should be the extent of it.  After kiddush, everyone
goes home to their own Shabbos Seudah. We need a sense
of proportion here.  A Bar Mitzvah is not a wedding.
Most of the time it is an imposition on the invitees,
who would rather be doing something else. One of my
good friends calls it "inflicting your Simcha on me".

Don't get me wrong. I've been to several weekend long
Bar Mitzvas that that have been very extravagant and
very enjoyable and often had guest Roshei Yeshiva or
Rosh Kollelim giving Shiurim and Talks.  They felt
like personal resort vacations.  But that's exactly
the point. They felt like vacations, not Bar Mitazvas.
And, to a lesser degree, so do any Bar Mitzvas that
are more than just a Shabbos Kiddush. They become more
party, and less Bar Mitzvah celebration.

That's my two (or three) cents. 

Once again I agree there is a problem.  I do not agree
with R. Twerski's proposed solution: Takanos.



Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

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 >