Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 358

Thursday, February 10 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:10:45 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


What halachic right exactly did she, and then the library, have to do so?

I think you are approaching this from an American law perspective.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: Daniel B. Schwartz <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: publishing letters - issur?


> So a legal heir disposed of them nad put them in the public domain.
Wherein
> lies the problem?
>


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:22:35 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Genetics and Bechira


RYDK <David.Kaye@ramstein.af.mil> writes:
:    During the last several years, claims have been published in the
: scientific literature that specific genes control complex behaviors. ...
:              These claims have put neurophysiology and psychiatry on a
: collision course with religion and with our legal system. If man is
: "coerced" to behave in a socially, religiously, legally unacceptable manner,
: he cannot be held responsible for his behavior either by G-d or by society.

I don't understand why you need to reach this conclusion.

We have little idea how HKBH judges people, but we know that it is relative
to the person's potential. There is still free will, there are still decisions
to be made, not matter what proclivities are determined by genetics. And if
the challenge is greater for some people than for others, I assume that He
will mete out greater sechar for overcoming it, and less onesh if ch"v the
person fails.

Like the famous story of R' Zushia's fear on his deathbed. "I'm not afraid
that they'll ask me 'Zushia, why weren't you a Mosheh Rabbeinu?' ... what
I fear is the question 'Zushia, why weren't you Zushia?' What can I
answer?"

As for beis din, they don't take issues like tinok shenishba into account.
Aveiros are judged for what they are, not by context. They aren't boch'nei
kilayos valeiv. OTOH, B"D is as responsible to potential victims, and
to set standards for the community as they are to the individual being
judged. They wouldn't be serving their duty by acting berachamim based on
second-guessing what's in the person's mind.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Feb-00: Chamishi, Terumah
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 112b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 15:22:51 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Subject:
Re: "onu v'o'm'ru" in TaNaCh (was "Re: opinion of Rav Henkin z'tz'l' re ...")


In Avodah 4#356, HAinspan wrote:
> In the 2 places in Chumash (that I can think of) where forms
of "anu v'am'ru" occur, it doesn't mean "answered and said" but rather as I
think Artscroll translates it "said loudly" - Dev. 21:7 (egla arufa - who
could the ziknei ha'ir be answering to?) and Dev. 26:5 (bikkurim - "v'anisa
v'amarta").  The trope separates the two words in 21:7 (tipcha esnachta)
but joins them in 26:5 (kadma v'azla). <
The more references, the merrier.  Apropos the ta'amai hamikra (RW's eyes
may perk up at this :-), in your first ref. (which I also mentioned) and in
25:9, both words are denoted with mafsikim, but the mafsik on the second
verb is the stronger one, thus grouping them together -- I believe the 21:7
esnachta, which separates these two words from the remainder of the posuk,
is necessary because the "v'onu v'o'm'ru" continues for more than that one
posuk, which is not the case in 25:9, where "v'o'n'sah v'a'm'rah" is the
beginning of the 2nd half of the posuk; in your other ref. and the
chapter-27 ref.s, where the first word has a m'shorais, there are other
words either in between the two or between the two and the words that are
being spoken; in any case, the first of these words doesn't ever seem to
group with the previous phrase.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:25:31 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Shemini Atzeres and Parnasa


Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com> quotes me and asks:
: << BTW, I though parnasah wasn't decided until Shemini Atzeres, which is
: why we add "umorid hageshem" then.>>
: 
: 	If parnasa for the year waits until Chag, when we are nidonim al
: hamayim,  shouldn't it also wait for Pesach when we are nidonim on
: hatevuah,  or even Shevuos when we are nidonim on peiros ha'ilan? 

I forgot to cite an even clearer connection between S"A and yemei hadin --
liDovid Hashem Ori! S"A is the Atzeres of din, just as Shavuos is the
Atzeres of ge'ulah.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Feb-00: Chamishi, Terumah
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 112b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:40:09 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Mitzva HaBaa b'Aveira


Suppose there actually was a mitzva haba'ah ba'aveira that was actually
simultaneous with the aveira.

Either the aveira is the violation of an asei, in which case "ha'oseik
bimitzvah patus min hamitzvah". Or it's a lav, where "asei docheh lav"
would limit the applicability to a lav hanitok la'asei.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Feb-00: Chamishi, Terumah
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 112b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:42:05 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 03:02:24PM -0500, Daniel B. Schwartz wrote:
: So a legal heir disposed of them nad put them in the public domain.  Wherein
: lies the problem?

You're confusing legal permissability with halachic reshus. It's still in
violation of cheirem diRabbeinu Gershom.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Feb-00: Chamishi, Terumah
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 112b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:10:16 -0500
From: "Daniel B. Schwartz" <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


I am approching from a secualr perspective, but also from a logical one.
Logically, when I send a letter, I am transfering ownership of the letter
(i.e. the physical piece of paper) to the reciepient.  I can place
restrictive covenants on that transfer (i.e. state in the letter that it is
confidential).  Absent such  a retriction however, the recipient should have
unfettered rights to the letter.  So we now have a differnet question of
fact, did the subject letters contain any sort of restrictive language?
----- Original Message -----
From: Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: publishing letters - issur?


> What halachic right exactly did she, and then the library, have to do so?
>
> I think you are approaching this from an American law perspective.
>
> Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
> Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60659
> http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila    ygb@aishdas.org
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Daniel B. Schwartz <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
> To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
> Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 2:02 PM
> Subject: Re: publishing letters - issur?
>
>
> > So a legal heir disposed of them nad put them in the public domain.
> Wherein
> > lies the problem?
> >
>
>
>


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:22:17 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re[2]: publishing letters - issur?


Wouldn't the chereim of R. Gerhom pre-suppose a form of just such a restriction 
or tnai enforcing condfientiality?

As I posteda while ago, my wife (an attorney) and I (a p/t clergyman) do not 
discuss confidential issues with each other.

I used to have a friend perapre my taxes.  I certainly expected that he did not 
share this information with his spouse either.

Ok it's a breach of Netiquette to agree, nevertheless I think RYGB's vigilance 
on this matter is well-founded.

My question to RYGBis:
Would it be ok to say that acocrding to some privatged letters I read so-and-so 
held XYZ?  IOW to paraphrase w/o quoting? Or is this still ossur?

Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: publishing letters - issur? 
Author:  <avodah@aishdas.org> at tcpgate
Date:    2/10/2000 4:10 PM



I am approching from a secualr perspective, but also from a logical one. 
Logically, when I send a letter, I am transfering ownership of the letter (i.e. 
the physical piece of paper) to the reciepient.  I can place restrictive 
covenants on that transfer (i.e. state in the letter that it is confidential).  
Absent such  a retriction however, the recipient should have unfettered rights 
to the letter.  So we now have a differnet question of fact, did the subject 
letters contain any sort of restrictive language? 


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:29:00 -0500
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
Subject:
Gezel Akum, Seridei Esh and the Suppression of Historical Evidence


>I hope you have enough time to revise your essay and incorporate the concept
>of theft of intellectual property inherent in CDRG!

On the contrary, in the numerous teshuvot on the subject, not one
mentions this idea.  Which marks your interpretation as highly original
and, for that reason, of dubious normative authority.

>REC! Remember the Binyan Tziyon who forbids autopises because of gezel! (The
>Bigdei Shesh on BB discusses this a tad. I know the author and might
>persuade him to give you a copy.) Hope you get a chance to put that in your
>revision as well - there is gezel post mortem.

Actually, gezel post mortem is not relevant to the article.  Nor,
notwithstanding the Binyan Tziyyon, is it relevant here.  For one thing,
according to my vague recollection of the autopsy issue, most Aharonim
do not present gezel as a basis for the issur.  For another thing, the
overwhelming evidence goes the other way.  Third, even if one allows for
some kind of posthumous gezel with respect to one's body, this does not
prove that one has posthumous ownership over one's words, especially
when Halakhah does not recognize such ownership when one is still alive!

>Likewise - Marbim b'Simcha!

Ken yirbu!

>What kind of "shocking" revelation is this? Is there something here that I
>am missing?

Shocking, for some.  (Can you imagine these facts being included in an
essay about the Seride Esh published in, say, the Jewish Observer?
Yated?)  More importantly, it marks the Seridei Esh as different from
the stereotypical gadol.

>I have the original. I am still trying hard to find a chiddush. If you read
>my recent essay in Ha'Ma'ayan (this is actually the second self-promotional
>note in this post), then you know that R' Avrohom Elya Kaplan preceded him
>in this endeavor. This was nothing out of the ordinary in German Orthodox
>circles. Why should it be?

Agreed, agreed.  All the more reason that the article was not dishing
"dirt."

>I thought you made that point. I did not.

It looks like we misunderstood each other.

>So was RAEK, and R' Yaakov Kaminetsky bemoaned his early death, which did
>not allow his new derech to develop. But give me the page in the book where
>he note that the Hirschians were opposed.

For Hirsch's critique of wissenschaft, see his Collected Writings vol.
6.  Hirsch thought that RDZ Hoffman's book on Shemuel was kefirah.  This
is discussed in a number of places, including Ellenson's book on R.
Hildesheimer.  See also M. Breuer's article in the Sefer Yovel likhvod
RYGS. 

>> All true.  But one will not find a similar heter in the Minhat Yitzhak.

>Is there nothing between Bnei Akiva and the Eida Charedis?

I hope there is, because I need somplace between them.  But we both know
that there is not a single teshuvah from a 20th century Gadol (let alone
from earlier times) that mattirs kol ishah in a group setting.

>That one may even be an Agudist and favor mixed youth groups.

I think it proves that this was once true.  I do not know if it is true
today.  Here I think the points made by RR Wolpoe are highly relevant.

>Actually, what annoyed me the most, and, one of our fellow list members can
>attest to me calling hin shortly after RJJS's defense was published and
>shouting at him over the phone vehemently over this, is davka that the TuM
>journal presented a shallow portarait of the SE. For example, his Mussarist
>stance received nary a word. So, the TuM readership, who probably knew
>nothing about the SE before, came away knowing nothing more than that here
>was some obscure Gadol who was also a TuMnik. The SE was indeed complex, but
>you would not have known that from the letters.

So far as I know, the article was not meant to be a complete portrait,
and I am surprised that you were annoyed about it.  I think a complete
portrait can be found in M. Shapiro's recently published biography of
the Seridei Esh.  (For those in the NY area, it can be purchased at a
substantial discount at the YU sefarim sale.)  For a previous attempt at
a complete portrait, I recommend the piece by Dr. Judith Bleich
published in M. Sokol, ed., Engaging Modernity.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 23:28:43 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


On 10 Feb 00, at 16:10, Daniel B. Schwartz wrote:

> 
> I am approching from a secualr perspective, but also from a logical one.
> Logically, when I send a letter, I am transfering ownership of the letter
> (i.e. the physical piece of paper) to the reciepient.  I can place
> restrictive covenants on that transfer (i.e. state in the letter that it is
> confidential).  Absent such  a retriction however, the recipient should have
> unfettered rights to the letter.  

I think that halachaic logic is different from secular logic. Halachic 
logic creates a presumption that letters are confidential unless they 
state otherwise. Secular logic presumes that letters are only 
confidential if they state that they are confidential.

-- Carl M. Sherer


Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461
mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.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.


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 23:28:43 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Subject:
Re: Mitzva HaBaa b'Aveira


On 10 Feb 00, at 14:40, Micha Berger wrote:

> Suppose there actually was a mitzva haba'ah ba'aveira that was actually
> simultaneous with the aveira.
> 
> Either the aveira is the violation of an asei, in which case "ha'oseik
> bimitzvah patus min hamitzvah". Or it's a lav, where "asei docheh lav"
> would limit the applicability to a lav hanitok la'asei.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

The classic example of mitzva habaa b'aveira is lulav hagazul. At 
the same moment that I am koneh the lulav as a gazlan, I am also 
yotzei the mitzva of lulav by picking it up (mi'd'agbehei nafak bei). 
Gzeila is not a violation of an asei - gzeila is a lav. The asei of lulav 
is not docheh the lav of gezel. And I don't think we would consider 
gezel a lav hanitak l'asei, because it is still an aveira (unlike nosar 
in the korban Pesach where because it is a lav hanitak l'asei, as 
long as you burn the nosar the morning after Yom Tov, you have 
not committed an aveira by leaving over from the korban). Please 
explain.

-- Carl


Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461
mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.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: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 15:41:21 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Mitzva HaBaa b'Aveira


On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 11:28:43PM +0200, Carl M. Sherer wrote:
: The classic example of mitzva habaa b'aveira is lulav hagazul. At 
: the same moment that I am koneh the lulav as a gazlan, I am also 
: yotzei the mitzva of lulav by picking it up (mi'd'agbehei nafak bei). 

Actually, I didn't assume the two happened at the same moment. The person
picks up the lulav thereby stealing it, makes the berachah, and only then
tries to be yotzei the mitzvah.

: Gzeila is not a violation of an asei - gzeila is a lav. The asei of lulav 
: is not docheh the lav of gezel.

And my question was, why not? Until your email, I had assumed mitzvah
haba'ah ba'aveirah was time separated. There was also an implication
made by RYGB that MhBbA is an issue of cheftza -- does this mean that
asei docheh lav doesn't include things that pasul a cheftza?

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Feb-00: Chamishi, Terumah
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 112b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 17:01:27 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Subject:
Re: SE


>>>Actually, what annoyed me the most, and, one of our fellow list members can
attest to me calling hin shortly after RJJS's defense was published and
shouting at him over the phone vehemently over this, is davka that the TuM
journal presented a shallow portarait of the SE. <<<

Do you think the goal of the article (which collected a handful of letters) was to present a complete portratit?  

Do you think all reader's naively reach conclusions as to a complete portrait based on a handful of facts?

Either you discredit the author or you discredit his readers.   

-Chaim


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:05:45 PST
From: "aviva fee" <aviva613@hotmail.com>
Subject:
How does one send fruit basket to Israel? [Off topic question]


Hi,

I know this is off topic, but I am at a client and they asked me how does 
one send a fruit basket to Israel?

It seems that a close friend of the president of the company died.  The 
friendís family lives in Israel and they want to send a fruit basket.

I did not want to get into the halachic topic of sending fruit baskets to a 
mourner with them, since the people here are not religious or Jewish.

Given that, does anyone know of a # to call in Israel where they can deliver 
a fruit basket to a family in Ramat Gan?.

Thanks,

/af




______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com


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Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 00:08:34 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Subject:
Re: Mitzva HaBaa b'Aveira


On 10 Feb 00, at 15:41, Micha Berger wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 11:28:43PM +0200, Carl M. Sherer wrote:
> : The classic example of mitzva habaa b'aveira is lulav hagazul. At 
> : the same moment that I am koneh the lulav as a gazlan, I am also 
> : yotzei the mitzva of lulav by picking it up (mi'd'agbehei nafak bei). 
> 
> Actually, I didn't assume the two happened at the same moment. The person
> picks up the lulav thereby stealing it, makes the berachah, and only then
> tries to be yotzei the mitzvah.

He doesn't need the bracha to be yotzei. If anything, we play a 
trick to make sure he is NOT yotzei before making the bracha (e.g. 
holding the esrog upside down). But in the case posited in the 
Gemara, he picks up the lulav and is yotzei at the same time.

> : Gzeila is not a violation of an asei - gzeila is a lav. The asei of lulav 
> : is not docheh the lav of gezel.
> 
> And my question was, why not? 

Because an asei is only docheh a lo taasei when you cannot be 
mikayem the mitzva without being docheh the lo taasei. For 
example, yibum in the time of the Gemara. You cannot be 
mekayem the asei of yibum without being docheh the lo taasei of 
marrying your brother's wife.

But I can be mekayem the mitzva of lulav without being oiver on the 
aveira of gezel. I just take a different lulav.

Until your email, I had assumed mitzvah
> haba'ah ba'aveirah was time separated. There was also an implication
> made by RYGB that MhBbA is an issue of cheftza -- does this mean that
> asei docheh lav doesn't include things that pasul a cheftza?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the last question.

-- Carl

P.S. I am going home now IY"H so if I don't respond immediately to 
your next letter, you know why.


Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461
mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.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.


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 17:20:00 -0500
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
Subject:
Seride Esh, Meiri


>Remember, in Germany, initially, it was the
>"Frummies" who were against Austritts!

One should also note that Austritt was only implemented in Germany and
Hungary.  To my knowledge there were no Litvish rabbanim who advocated
Austritt and no communiteies that implemented it.  I believe the same is
true about Poland.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 17:43:50 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


In a message dated 2/10/00 4:30:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il writes:

> Halachic 
>  logic creates a presumption that letters are confidential unless they 
>  state otherwise. Secular logic presumes that letters are only 
>  confidential if they state that they are confidential.

Please see wording in Leket Hakemach and Beir Hagolah Y"D end of 334. (there 
is (in some cases) another issue of Bal Tagid).

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 17:25:33 -0500
From: "Daniel B. Schwartz" <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject:
Re: publishing letters - issur?


What is the rational basis for that presumption?  Especially in light of the
fact that mail changes hands many times before it is ultimately delivered.

----- Original Message -----
From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
To: Daniel B. Schwartz <SCHWARTZESQ@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>; <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 4:28 PM
Subject: Re: publishing letters - issur?


> On 10 Feb 00, at 16:10, Daniel B. Schwartz wrote:
>
> >
> > I am approching from a secualr perspective, but also from a logical one.
> > Logically, when I send a letter, I am transfering ownership of the
letter
> > (i.e. the physical piece of paper) to the reciepient.  I can place
> > restrictive covenants on that transfer (i.e. state in the letter that it
is
> > confidential).  Absent such  a retriction however, the recipient should
have
> > unfettered rights to the letter.
>
> I think that halachaic logic is different from secular logic. Halachic
> logic creates a presumption that letters are confidential unless they
> state otherwise. Secular logic presumes that letters are only
> confidential if they state that they are confidential.
>
> -- Carl M. Sherer
>
>
> Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
> Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
> Telephone 972-2-625-7751
> Fax 972-2-625-0461
> mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.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.


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 17:59:36 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Subject:
Seridei Eish and other gedolim


RRW:
>Q: What rav in Boston was amongst the founders of ZAI/USA in the 1930's?
>A: RYBS
> [etc. - gedolim in unexpected affiliations]
 
D.Finch:
>Were RYGB to write an essay on the SE, he would truly honor the SE's memory.
>And were RYGB to include excerpts of the SE letters in the essay, and then
>explain their context, then he would honor the SE's memory all the more.
 
RRW:
>And it appears to me that while RYBS did not  subscribe to Wissenshaft, he did
>oppose Austritt, which kinda puts him midway between the 2 schools.

R' Rakeffet, in one of his lectures on the Teachings of the Rav at Lincoln
Square Synagogue years ago, said (paraphrased) (7 Jun 93):

 The   Rav's  uncle   combined  traditional   Rambam  study   with
 Wissenschaft des  Judentums.   The  uncle,  Menachem Krakovsky [I
 think,   my notes  are somewhat  confusing on  this],  author  of
 "Avodat Hamelech", a book in this paradigm on the Rambam, had the
 young Joseph Dov  cross-check rare manuscripts in  Berlin on four
 occasions for this  book.   He seemed quite proud  of having been
 able to help his uncle, from a conversation in 1983.  This, among
 other  things,  indicates  the  Rav's  positive attitude  towards
 scholarship  in  the  scientific  study   of  Judaism,   if  done
 thoroughly  and properly.    He  also  approved of  the  critical
 edition of Baalei Tosafot.   On the other hand,  on some occasion
 in  the 1970's  he wanted  to look  something up  in the  Mishneh
 Torah.    When someone  handed  him a  copy  of  the new  Frankel
 edition, he said, "No, no,  I want a *real* Rambam."  He was used
 to the edition he had used while growing up.

And yet, for Wissenschaft that was not done properly (12 Jul 93):

 Today there is a big  argument between Wissenschaft des Judentums
 and Talmud Torah.    A professor once came to the  Rav and crowed
 that he'd found a manuscript  which destroys tradition:  a Gaonic
 manuscript which  prohibits a priest  from getting tumah  from an
 insect (Kohen asar al tum'at  sheretz),  which tradition does not
 agree with.   The Rav asked him,   what do you think of Professor
 Y----?   The man replied, he's an idiot, an amaaretz, etc.,  thus
 revealing his jealousy.   The Rav said, "so too,  this manuscript
 was written by an am haaretz" with a benevolent smile of victory.

You can't categorize the Rav's relationship with Wissenschaft des
Judentums with a pat phrase, any more than you can categorize RYW's
relationship with reform rabbis with a simple statement, or the Netziv's
relationship with secular studies with a pat statement about closing the
yeshiva.

IOW, Gedolim are complicated.  Nothing is gained from papering over
those aspects of their gadlus that we don't like - all it indicates
is that we don't understand gadlus - how gedolim incorporated all the
different aspects of their personalities, both those that we agree
with and those we disagree with.

Stipulated, perhaps the letters should not have been published,
perhaps not in that forum (although TuMJ has a mostly scholarly
audience; one gets it because one subscribes to Tradition, which
has a total circulation of less than 2000).  However, odds are,
it was published in TuMJ because that was the most appropriate
forum that would take it.  Should it have gone to JUDAISM or MODERN
JUDAISM, which might have taken it, but would have given it quite
a different spin from having appeared in an Orthodox journal?  How
about the CCAR Journal?  It's all well and good to talk about
hypothetical Journals of Kiruv Technique, but Dr. Shapiro lives in
the real world, and had only that choice of venues that really exists.

Now that they have been, though, smearing those who published them
accomplishes nothing.  As David Finch says, if you want something
constructive to come out of this, write an essay about the SE that
puts his relationship with R' Atlas into its proper context.  Then
we can all appreciate RYW's gadlus more, rather than seeing how 
some of today's rabbonim view this aspect of the SE's personality 
as a liability, something to be covered up.  This only serves to
diminish the SE's reputation - if the rabbis see this as a defect
in RYW, I should see it as a defect as well.  I'm not sure that's
what the critics want to do.

    Jonathan Baker        |  Knock knock. Who's there? Mischa. Mischa who?
    jjbaker@panix.com     |  Mishenichnas Adar I marbim besimcha ketanah.
  New web page, featuring Rambam Resources: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/


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