Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 329

Wednesday, January 26 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:36:47 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Peyos

In a message dated 1/26/00 4:50:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
wells@mail.biu.ac.il writes:

 Does MO decry distinctive peyos as well as wearing zizit outside one's
 pants as RW. Do not these symbols separate ourselves from the rest of the
 goyishe world. Do they not help prevent hisbollalus - not only into the
 goishe culture but also into secular Jewish values?

Decry? I think the first issue is whether there is a mitzvah/hiddur in the 
technical sense.  On a personal note, I doubt that wearing my tzitzit out 
would be particularly more effective than wearing my plain black kipa sruga 
(Do you really think the non-Jews we deal with differentiate on this basis?)
 We learn from the this Shabbos's Parshas Shevua that the Jewish people
 where 'chosen' to be Cohanim and 'Goy Kadosh'. And one of the reasons why
 they remained intact as a people despite their servitude, was that they
 did not give up in Egypt their distinctive dresses, names, and language.
In an earlier gilgul of this discussion it was pointed out that there is no 
such single medrash and that the text about distinctive dress is not found in 
the standard medrash.BTW with all this protection-how did they go down to the 
49th level of tuma?

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 01:02:45 -0800
From: "Michael Frankel" <mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com>

sheesh. what’s with this piling on of poor mendelssohn – a man who, except
for an unaccountable urge to waste his time philosophizing, would melt
indistinguishably into any young israel in the country.  The tragedy
of mendelssohn’s family and followers is that he was before his time,
and there was no intellectual social infrastructure able to maintain
his kind of frumkeit. i.e. no critical mass of peers for kids and followers.
 Which is not to claim that he serves as any kind of precursor for yu/mo/co/eo/?o
types today, other than the surface similarity of his full engagement
with the external culture.  From a current perspective he was far too
lightweight a figure and his philosophizing, insofar as anybody is still
aware of it, presently viewed only as a quaint period piece.  Our current
crop of TuM cosmic thinkers, whoever they might be, would probably be
either amused or bemused at the suggestion.  But in the end, if a man
is a shomeir mitzvos and believes in torah misinai and its obligatory
consequences, it is rather strained to assert that he doesn’t believe
in “bechirahs yisroel” per  RYGB’s bald assertion. Since  R. carmy’s
response was on the mark I had not planned to contribute to the discussion,
however, a number of the follow on remarks by a few posters are simply
so over the top with misinformation that I believe that a halachic vector
now needs to be invoked. Which I shall return to.  But first to address
some of the “facts”.

In RYGBs first response he cites the EJ as a source for his impressions.
 A later post cited R. Wein and Graetz and he owns up to an unwillingness
to waste his time by perusing the real thing. I must assume that these
are his sources for characterizing MM as a man who perpetrated such “epic
distortions”. First, with all due respect for the EJ as a source – and
I do have respect for it – we must also keep in mind that an encyclopedia
article is by nature of the format hardly, well, encyclopedic. I’ve just
looked at it  (snowed in in silver spring and we servants of the people
have been given the day off to catch up on our avodah reading) and –imho-
the EJ unfortunately didn’t expand sufficiently on the very points of
interest to RYGB – i.e. given that mendelssohn viewed revelation as uniquely
prescribing particularistic “laws” to israel, whereas the great metaphysical
truths of “religion” were open to any member of humanity with sufficient
noodles to reason them out, the EJ failed to explain the advantage of
specifically following jewish practices.  But it is inaccurate of RYGB
to infer from EJs silence that there were none– bi’qitzur, the benefit
li’fee MM was that the mitzvos and minhogim all had the wondrous characteristic
of re-inforcing the (universal) metaphysical truths of religion, i.e.
ritual as a specific against religious error.   goyim, absent such educational
reinforcement, in practice will almost invariably stray and not arrive
at true religion which the proper application of reason – open to them
in theory – ought lead them.  Now one may –should- criticize his concept
of  “taamei hamitzvos” as lacking a certain resonance, or depth - no
partnership with hqbh in tiqqun olomos by ma’aling nitzozos here - and
his 18th century faith in the powers of reason as charmingly naïve, 
but it is hardly more objectionable or off the reservation than those
offered, here and there, by other less controversial taamey hamitzvos
mongers or apologists.  E.g. albo and others who also demanded that revealed
religion must be tested against rationalism and rejected where it fails.
Indeed the rambam’s philosophies are at least as radical and, some might
find them a lot more troubling than MMs. But I emphasize that the issue
is not “agreeing” with Mendelssohn – I think little of much philosophizing
by much bigger names than that – but whether these thoughts somehow put
him well beyond the range of offerings by other unimpeachable authorities
– and they emphatically do not.  maybe what’s needed is a survey of some
classical jewish philosophers. anyone shocked by MM quotes would, I guarantee,
be in for a very rough ride.  though as someone very unfond of the whole
subject I’d rather not do it myself.  (Flash – just got the latest avodah
and see that RYGB has now acquired a few original quotes.  I’m afraid
that his method of simply providing some quotations with the expectation
that others will immediately be offended by their self-evident “drivel”
is not the sure fire rebuttal he imagines. unless you’re prepared to
trash other people whom I suspect you would not. see remarks above about
the range of classical opinions.  as well, the thought that, even in
principle, someone may have reached an “incorrect’ philosophical opinion
while championing shimiras hamitzvos somehow doesn’t quite seem to justify
the reference to rishus, worse than yeshu, and other hyperbolic though
apparently sincerely felt attitudes. talk about mysterious)
As for the restriction of revelation to “law” rather than “religion”
–(that’s pretty much what we do when we  refer to ma’mad har sinai as
receiving the torah , the “teaching/law”, I,e, not receiving das moshe
)- but in any event the two are really fused in mendelssohn – as they
are by us (but here also the point is not brought out in EJ).  However,
I must confess that most (non-scientific) philosophical ruminations give
me a headache so I’ll leave off this line of argument for now. 

RYGB cites Graetz as well.  I happen to own a copy  (the six volume HPC
1930 edition) and reviewed that as well.  Graetz does a very poor job
of explaining MM’s religious philosophy and you will not get much feeling
for his thought by using it. In fact you will actively acquire misinformation
such as Graetz' utterly unfounded implication that MM was distanced from
judaism until spun up by th echallenge of responding to Bonnet/Lavater.
Graetz suffers as well from an acute case of hero worship of MM whom
he views as the personification of all that is good, noble, and true
- a veritable moshe rabbeinu who has led the whole jewish people to the
promised land of the enlightenment.  Since he couples this over the top
admiration of MM with his usual highly offensive anti-rabbinic venom,
it is tempting to transfer the revulsion one feels reading Graetz to
the object of his admiration.  But that is Graetz speaking and not MM.

For his final “source” RYGB cites R. Wein.  I have not read R. Wein’s
volume - though I once listened to every single one of his “history”
tapes while driving back and forth to work over a period of some months
– they were hilarious and not just for the intended jokes – some of which
were pretty good, at least the first three times they  cropped up.  
Suffice it to say that R. Wein is no historian. 

Another posting asserts. <Many times he called for abolishing a halacha
when it did not agree with his logic. ... He argued this way although
if im not mistaken it is a chiyuv deoraisa to bury the dead immediately.
This is just one example out of many, but to find them all would require
me to research sources, but..>. 
Might I suggest that is precisely what you ought to do if you want to
start accusing people, quite inaccurately, of imaginary transgressions?
 I am not myself aware of these “many” instances and permit me to express
skepticism that you would ever find them. And I am not talking merely
about don li’khaf zichus (which BTW is appropriate for the one halakhic
instance in which he did diverge – the famous three day burial where
he apparently bought into the government’s medical concern that live
people might otherwise get buried, since the jews no longer took the
presumed precautions they practiced during talmudic times)  but rather
these claimed s’tiyos simply never existed.

The same posting took a swipe at the Biur, as in : < Also the Biur was
criticized for content also not just the fact that it was a translation>.
 Well, the biur was criticised ,notably by the nodah biyihuda – however
I also have a list somewhere of the people who bought a subscription
to the biur’s publication (which I’m too lazy to dig up just now) which
includes prominent and impeccably ortho rabbinic figures. You might also
check the JJ Schachter article on the voloshin yeshiva closing where
he has a lengthy footnote describing the Netziv’s habit of regularly
reading the Biur on the parashoh. I would think that might lead one to
consider that there may be more than one acceptable side to this story
and that people who liked the biur had al mah lismoch, and that its author/editor
may not have been the incarnation of evil (but see MM’s chait as compared
to yeshu below). 

Tobrr111@aol.com, writes casually <… from defending Mendelsohn (shem
reshaim yirkav)> risho’im? gottinyu.  evidently he is privy to information
I do not have,perhaps he will share it  - but only if he is sure it is
true – otherwise, for a non-roshoh we would have a little halakhic problem,
see below.

RYZ has weighed in with a public “moch’oh” against those who would “defend”
MM. He has followed up with the following: <There is a Kabala AFAIR from
the Bal Shem tov, that Oisoi Hoish willhave a Tikkun after "Nun Alofim
Yoivlois" and MM even then not. Kol Tuv Yitzchok Zirkind > qabboloh by
whom? and BTW do you believe in the truth of every story in, say, sh’ivochei
habesht? do you really want to weigh your “qabboloh” to allow youself
to motzi shem ra against undisputed by anybody facts - that he lived
his life as a shomeir mitzvos and effective mailitz yosher for jewish
communities who turned to him in trouble. MM and Yeshu? Is there any
sense of proportion left here?  

In light of these persistent and increasingly virulent attacks – offered
without much connection to the facts on the ground,   it is appropriate
to introduce a halakhic vector.  Thus I would commend to RYZ and the
other posters the Chofeitz Chaim, Kilal 8, where he discussed the issur
of speaking la’az of the dead.  In this, as well as some other recent
topical postings, I ‘m afraid we’re over the CC’s line. 

One last note.  RYGB has made a number of assertions along the lines
that to “dare” defend MM is to glorify him in some strands of the MO
or is somehow transmuted to  a “defense of his theology”.  This is inaccurate
(see opening paragraph) and repetitions do not make it any more true..
 What people are protesting here is a raw deal fueled by repetitious
canards whose factual basis seems to evaporate upon scrutiny. And such
protest need hardly be limited to the self identified MO. 

after that hit and run think that I'll bow out of this topic now.

Mechy Frankel				H: (301) 593-3949
michael.frankel@dtra.mil		W: (703) 325-1277

Michael Frankel
mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com - email
(202) 777-2641 ext. 1299 - voicemail/fax

To get your own FREE ZDNet onebox - FREE voicemail, email, and fax,
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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:17:14 GMT
From: "Michael Frankel" <mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com>
chasam sofer and kolel economics

Tobrr111@aol.com writes:
<Subject: Re: chasam sofer
R. akiva eigers daughter. While this is a well known, asa 
personal anecdote, the matisdorfer rav, who all know is a direct descendantfrom
the Chasam Sofer was my brothers mesader kidushin. When asked whydid
something in a certain manner he answered "vyel azoi paskent der zaidereb
akiva eiger." >
This post reminds of my opportunity to publically pester DDG, the dor
shivie, - and i remind avodah readers of our collective zichus at having
our very own direct descendent of the chasam sofer as a participating
listmember - whom i have been encouraging lizakkos es harabbim by summarizing
that economics article on kolel economics in israel vs the us.  it is
written in some impenetrably obscure language and needs someone of david's
professional skills to translate.  needless to add this is a lot more
fun then mendelssohn. 

Mechy Frankel
Michael Frankel
mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com - email
(202) 777-2641 ext. 1299 - voicemail/fax

To get your own FREE ZDNet onebox - FREE voicemail, email, and fax,
all in one place - sign up today at http://www.zdnetonebox.com

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:59:30 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Avodah V4 #327

> Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:02:49 -0500
> From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
> Subject: Re: Hatzolo 
<<Isn't that eivo by definition?>>
	I don't know;  is it?  I did not think so.  I have no sources here at
work;  maybe someone can help out. 


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:58:22 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Histaklus BaNashim

> Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:09:48 -0500
> From: "Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@SINAI-BALT.COM>
> Subject: Re: Histaklus BaNashim

<<fwiw, I heard from a LOR here that he thinks that to some extent the
reason why there seems to be so many more problems with marriages today,
is that 75-100 yrs ago who had the koach to even talk to their spouse at
end of the day...>>

	No talking=no fighting?  And this is your advice to the newlywed couple


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:03:52 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Chilul Hashem

In a message dated 1/26/00 11:25:28 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Tobrr111@aol.com writes:

> As the Gemorah says (I think in the name of 
>  either Rav or Rebbi I dont remember) that it is a Chilul Hashem if he 
>  pay his butcher right away even though it wouldn't be a chilul hashem for 
>  others. In todays day and age it seems obvious that chasidim and those who 
>  dress like "Yeshivaliet" have an added responsibility to act in an 
>  manner.

This statement of Rav and the general lesson is brought in Rambam Hil. 
Yesodei Hatorah 5:11

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:04:52 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Mendelssohn

On Tue, Jan 25, 2000 at 10:05:30PM +0000, Elazar M Teitz wrote:
:                                                       Chazal, who wrote,
: "v'amar mar Yisho kishef v'haisis v'hidiach es Yisroel"? And this, after
: stating that "zakaf lventa v'hishtachaveh lah."  Not exactly the deeds of
: a frum Jew.

Are you sure that refers to "Oso ha'Ish"? There are at least four figures the
censors considered close enough to their deity to make them cut the naarative
from our text. Living in four different generations. "Yeishu haNotzri"
was a contemporary of Shim'on ben Shetach" -- a century and a half before OhI.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 26-Jan-00: Revi'i, Yisro
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 105a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 14

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:03:42 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Death of parent not told to Chattan

> Date: Wed,  26 Jan 2000 11:28 +0200
> From: BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il
> Subject: Death of parent not told to Chattan

<<The family followed R. Baadani and all the guests were informed EXCEPT
the young couple. The wedding with all its dancing,  etc continued. I
checked the Gesher Hachaim and the Pnei Baruch  and am still confused.
How would you deal with such a situation?>>

	The tragedy or the two opinions from two rabbonim?  We learned Hilchos
Aveilus in shiur some months ago,  and without specific sources,  or
having seen either the G"H or the P"B,   the conclusion was quite clear
that there is no chiyuv to tell someone,  particularly if there are
extenuating circumstances as you describe.  What I would do with
conflicting psokim,  I am at a loss.

	Hashem yishmor from such she'elos.


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:08:51 EST
From: Tobrr111@aol.com
Re: Mesora from fathers and Grandfathers

In a message dated 1/26/00 10:48:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
owner-avodah@aishdas.org writes:

<< Did the fathers "make up" the mesorah?  Isn't mesorah by definition
 fathers from grandfathers lema'ala bakodesh until Sinai?
A vort from RYBS. The Rambam paskens that a son comes before a grandson with 
regard to teaching Torah. Asks RYBS - why is this so? The Gemorah in Kidushin 
30 says that "kol hamelamed es ben bno Torah maaleh alov hakasuv kiilu kibla 
mehar Sinai" so lechora it seems that there is something extra special about 
teaching grandchildren. Answers RYBS - there are 2 dinim in Torah 1) The 
Cheftsah of Torah 2) The Emunah and Mesorah of Torah. With regard to the 
cheftsah of Torah a son is first but with regard to teaching the Emunah and 
Mesorah of Torah a Grandfather has a benifit over the father - he was closer 
to maamad har sinai. And that is the meaning of the Gemorah in Kedushin that 
if you teach your grandson its Keilu kibla mehar sinai bec. the grandfather 
is closer to Sinai.
RYBS then asks if so why by sipur yetsias mitzrayim doesn't the Rambam 
mention anything about grandchildren, isn't sipur yetsias mitzrayim part of 
the Emuna and Mesora of Torah? He answers that on Pesach we are all Chayiv 
Leharos es atsmo kiilu HU yatsa mimitsrayim. So if we all visiulize ourselves 
as if we all were in mitsrayim there is no "maala" of a Grandfather over a 
father. we were all there.

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:03:07 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Re[2]: Tzitzis - Assimilation

Tad of geneivas da'as here, no?

But all men in Breuer's until very recently were expected/required to wear
hats throughout all prayer services.

Likely in the Hungary that R' Daniel Schwartz referred to earlier, the
situation was similar.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 10:21 AM
Subject: Re[2]: Tzitzis - Assimilation

> FWIWI in Kaj/Breuer's ONLY the Rav and dayannim etc. are allowed to wear
> tallis over their heads.
> I heard that R. Schwab gave R. Hershel Schachter resuhus to do so in
> to his being an outstanding Talmid Chochom.
> Rich Wolpoe
> ______________________________ Reply Separator
> On the issue of wearing tzitzit out, I recall when I was in highschool in
> Skokie, I returned home for winter vacation and had my tzitzit out in the
> yeshivish style.  My father z"l, who was a rather acomplished talmid
> chacham, yelled at me, stated that for a bochur or ba'alabus wearing
> out is a sign of ga'ava, and ordered me to put them back in my pants.
> he felt the same way about wearing a tallis over ones head and told me
> in Hungary only rabbanim and other klei kodesh did so when not davening
> the amud).  IIRC the Mishna Berura brings down both POVs.

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:09:20 EST
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: sanctions against child of a menudeh

In a message dated 1/26/00 4:13:37 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il writes:

<< Someone quoted the Rema in Yore Deah 334:6 as permitting the expulsion
 of children of a menudeh from school. Look what the TAZ writes quoting the
 Meharshal. Expulsion may be permitted only in the case of a young child and
 not chas vechalila of a child over the age of Bar Mitzva. >>

I don't want to sound like a Conservative Rabbi, God forbid, but it seems 
that this Halachik discussion needs to be placed in a historical framework. 
It is one thing for the Rama to permit the expulsion rfrom school of such a 
child. He functioned in a closed (relatively) Jewish society, where such an 
expulsion would truly be a deterrent for the wayward parents. Thus, the 
potential harm to one child can be weighed against the benefit to society of 
imposing such a sanction. In the open 21st Century society, these kinds of 
societal sanctions are not capable of the same level of deterrence. People 
have so many more options available to them, and someone who is engaged in 
such reprehensible activity is less inclined to be bothered by what society 
has to say about him.
Its kind of analogous to the different responses, at least up until recently, 
between Ashkenazic and Syrian communities towards intermarriage. Until 
recently, Sephardic communities were able to impose a wide degree of communal 
sanctions on those who intermarry, because of the more insular nature of 
their community. Ashkenazic poskim have had to fin more nuanced ways to deal 
with this problem, precisely because the exclusion didn't matter as much to 
the transgressor.


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:11:51 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Avodah V4 #328

> Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:41:14 -0500
> From: gil.student@citicorp.com
> Subject: Re: mechitzot

<<Does anyone know why the strands have to be crisscrossed?  Does lavud
not work 
if they are parallel?>>

	In Hilchos Mechitza in connection with eruvin,  the preference is for a
mechitzas shesi ve'erev over either one separately.


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:14:08 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Yissachar/Zevulun

On Wed, Jan 26, 2000 at 09:13:56AM -0500, Pawshas@aol.com wrote:
: Look further, regarding Pinchas. It seems clear that your Rashi refers Davka 
: to Rebbe's status, and what gave Rebbe that Gedulah position. Mah sheEin Kein 
: Pinchas was KG, Rebbe was Nasi (as well as an Ashir Muflag, but Rashi 
: Sanhedrin emphasizes Niseeus) and Moshe was Malchus.

I found the Rashi surprising. (Thanks for pointing me to it.) "Gadol haDor"
is used by the Gemara to refer to an "ashir muflag", as has been pointed out
here before. So, I found the quote as originally used pretty fitting, as
it assumes gedulah refers to fiscal greatness.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 26-Jan-00: Revi'i, Yisro
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 105a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 14

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:22:57 +0000
From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>

With respect to wearing tzitzis outside, what about the Bach in YD 367,
cited as well by the Shach , that the Maharshal permits wearing a talis
katan in a cemetery despite the prohibition of loeg larash, and the
reason is "kivan shatzitzis mechusim."  Apparently, these three gdolei
hadoros did not feel that tzitzis had to be worn visibly.
Sadya N. Targum
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:18:51 EST
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: Avodah V4 #326

In a message dated 1/26/00 10:10:28 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Tobrr111@aol.com writes:

<< The Orthodox world is following the lead of one of the 
 greatest gedolim ever, the Noda BYehuda (see my previous post for his 
 extremely harsh comments). Aside from the fact that he was a gadol the Nodah 
 BYehuda lived in Mendelsohns day and obviously knew him and his affect far 
 better than us. And as I pointed out the opposition was not bec. of his 
 translation. Shouldn't we as Orthodox Jews(when I joined the list it said it 
 was from an Orthodox perspective) try to understand the Nodah BYehudas 
 position?  >>

Of course, the Noda B'yehuda deserves and in faxct requires our utmost 
respect. All I am saying is that negative results don't necessarily mean that 
a person is posul, it means that what he said was wrong. This requires 
subtlety. We can say that Mendelssohn was wrong without saying that he was a 
Rasha, or on a lower madrega than Jesus, or should be dismissed out of hand. 


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:20:46 EST
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: Avodah V4 #326

In a message dated 1/26/00 10:18:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Tobrr111@aol.com writes:

<<  Also, being that the halacha of Moser is one 
 of the most serious in all of Shulchan Aruch, we have to be very careful 
 it doesn't lead to going to authorities when not necessary. >>

Even though many hold that in the U.S., which is considered a government 
friendly to Jews, those Halachos may not be applied as strictly.


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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 13:20:20 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Mendelssohn

I was wating for RMF to weigh in with his defense. Truth to tell, it is
totally shocking in its lack of the weightintess and erudition we have all
come to expect of RMF here. My dear RMF, to trash my sources (which, of
course, in both your and RSC's case implies that you are both superior in
your knowledge to the EJ, Graetz and R' Wein collectively, and that we must
therefore accept your opinions as definitiv, period - pretty bold on your
parts, no?), make innuendoes about some anonymous Rishonim that might shock
naive and innocent acolytes like myself, and then to piously protect MM
behind the veil of the Chofetz Chayim - this all doesn't quite make fro
reasoned debate, does it?

To date, both you and RSC have merely rejected the assertions that I have
made by rejecting the trio of secondary sources I have quoted out of hand,
and essentially glossing over the primary sources quoted. You have made
assertions, and assume that is enough.

Sorry, they are not.

Some individual comments follow.

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Frankel <mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Cc: <mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 3:02 AM
Subject: Mendelssohn

> sheesh. what's with this piling on of poor mendelssohn - a man who, except
> for an unaccountable urge to waste his time philosophizing, would melt
> indistinguishably into any young israel in the country.  The tragedy

Too bad then for the YI's. But I doubt that's right YI's are generally
militant, M would not have been.

> in "bechirahs yisroel" per  RYGB's bald assertion. Since  R. carmy's

I am not yet bald. Receding hairline, yes, but not bald.

> One last note.  RYGB has made a number of assertions along the lines
> that to "dare" defend MM is to glorify him in some strands of the MO
> or is somehow transmuted to  a "defense of his theology".  This is

Well now, it seems that you do agree that, in the final analysis, his
theology is indefensible. I think there is, then, light at the end of our
tunnel, B"H.

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

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Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:23:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Kenneth Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Tefila for a diagnostic examination

Carl Sherer writes:

<<< Baruch Yosef will be having an MRI IY"H on Thursday, January 27 between
12:30 and 2:00 P.M. Israel time (5:30-7:00 A.M. US Eastern time). Anyone who
can say some Tehilllim for him then will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. ...
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. >>>

Of course, Carl. Bli neder, I and many others will daven and say tehillim.
But I'd like to use this occasion to open a discussion about such
situations. Exactly what is it that we are davening *for*?

Of course, we all want Baruch Yosef to be healthy, along with all other ill
people. But such tefilos can be said at *any* time that a person is ill. I
have noticed that there are particular points in time during an illness that
elicit more tefilos than other times, such as when the patient undergoes
surgery, or undergoes some kind of diagnostic test (which is the case here).
Just as the situation is out of the ordinary, so too the tefilos should be
out of the ordinary.

When a patient has surgery, our tefilos are that HaShem should help the
surgeons fix whatever it is that they are trying to fix. This is not much
different than the standard tefilah for the patient to be healed.

But when someone goes for some kind of diagnostic procedure, be it an x-ray,
or an MRI, or even a yearly physical checkup, I suspect that our tefilos are
often misdirected. In such situations, it is often typical to hope that the
doctor will find nothing wrong, or that the doctor will find things to have
improved since the last exam.

But what if, lo aleinu, something IS wrong?

Do we want to doctor to not find it?

Rather, I suggest that when a patient goes for an exam, there are two very
different tefilos which should both be said. First, the usual prayer for his
continued health and/or improved health. The second prayer should be that
HaShem should help the exam to be accurate and complete, and that the
doctors should properly interpret the results of that exam, whatever those
results might be. Kol hamarbeh gore'a, and false positives can be as bad as
false negatives.

With many brachos for a refuah sh'leima for Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya,
and with tefilos that his doctors should have the chochmah, binah, v'daas to
understand and deal with his situation properly, along with all other cholei
Yisrael, I am,

Akiva Miller

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