Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 445

Saturday, March 18 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 14:12:04 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Shmuel, Agag, Rachmanus

THE TANACH STUDY CENTER [www.tanach.org]
In Memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag

[I Shmuel chapter 15]

What was so terrible about Shaul's sin with Amalek?
Does he lose his kingdom simply because:
*  He 'gave-in' to the people's suggestion to offer korbanot to
God from the best sheep of their booty?
*  He preferred to kill Agag at a public ceremony instead of
killing him immediately during battle?
*  He didn't admit his guilt immediately, but made up excuses

I heard a very valuable explanation on this.

Shaul had wiped out Nov ir hakohanim.  He had exercised middas hadin, no one 
questions his "right" to execute mordim bemalchus....

However, Shaul subsequently takes rachmanus on Agag and the Tzon.

Mima Nafshach, If Shaul were consistently and sincerely a rachman what about 
Nov?  And if he is a stickler for middas hadin what about Agag?

We have, kol ha'meracheim  al ho'achzor sof lihyos achzar al ha'merachim - or 
something to that effect 

v'nahapoch hu, Shaul did this in reverse order.

Nevertheless, there is value to this. It is POSSIBLE that had Shaul been 
sincerely a rachman across the board, that he'd have a good rationale, that 
Shmuel and Hashem would have been ma'avir their middos


Once Shaul used Din to execute people, he could not fall back on that position 
anymore, i.e. his escape clause was botteil.

Good Purim
Rich Wolpoe   

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Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 14:19:02 -0500
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
Pruim humor alert

>FWIW R. Dr. E. Kanarfogel concurred that the chataf kamatz is due to it
being a 
>proper name

. . . abbreviated as cha'matz . . . which would then be presumably
prohibited for Pesach . . . 

-- Eric

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Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 14:42:56 -0500
From: Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil
Re: Mordechai and More

RRW writes:  <WIW R. Dr. E. Kanarfogel concurred that the chataf kamatz is
due to it being a proper name - and alluded to it being derived from
Mardoch, and therefore 
essential.  Richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>

please note that the fact that the chataf in mordochoi stems from morduq is
in fact just a particular example of what yeivin has described in his
category of "morphological chataf". as i stated this occurs when the shivoh
derives from a "u' or "o' vowel and there was a tendency to preserve the
original sound which is precisely the case of mordechai-morduq. i.e i would
not disagree at all with your consultant, or RDB, in this matter.  however
this is just one example of the broader catgory which has little to do with
proper names per se.
good shabbos
Mechy Frankel  

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Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 15:09:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Josh Hoexter <hoexter@wam.umd.edu>
Megillah - l'hashmid v'laharog ulabeid

There are different opinions as to which is the correct version. Therefore
there is a custom to say both. This was done in the beis medrash of the 
Chasam Sofer, and his megillah had both written (l'harog normally, and
v'l'harog between the lines; bifneihem normally and a lamed above 
it). [From a note by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Sefer HaMinhagim]. I have
seen some megillahs with a vov and some without; some with a beis and some 
with a lamed.

a freilichen purim
Josh Hoexter

> From: ainspan <ainspan@watson.ibm.com>
> Subject:  "l'hashmid v'laharog ulabeid"
> 	What's the source for the minhag of saying this phrase twice
> with and without vav (also "v'ish lo amad lifneihem" - bifneihem)?

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Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 16:47:18 +0000
From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>

In this ongoing discussion, hasn't anyone consulted its source (Sanhedrin
37a), where it is interjected in a discussion of the iyum of witnesses
and states, according to our girsa, *chayav* adam lomar, implying that it
is not intended as a source of privilege, and the words of Rashi, who
explains that it means that as  result of being considered as an "olam
maleh" one would see to it that that world should not be destroyed
because of an averah, and will therefore refrain from doing it?
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:

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Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 21:03:28 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Mishpat Ivri

In message , DFinchPC@aol.com writes
>Rav Hertzog does not, however, reject the idea that democratic expression 
>requires legislative solutions to certain legal problems. Such solutions 
>can't be had by extracting lessons from Gemorrah. 

I wasn't suggesting he was.  What Rav Hertzog was suggesting was that
the framework of halacha was wide enough, and had indeed been wide
enough historically, to encompass both judicial and, in the form of
takanot, legislative solutions to deal with specific social needs to
given legal problems.  He derives that *framework* by extracting lessons
from the Gemorrah as understood by the rishonim (but not, of course, the
particular legislative solutions themselves).

Thus the question IMHO that is being debated here is - does the halacha
have within it a framework to allow us to deal with issues raised by the
governance of a modern state or is it appropriate to just throw up one's
hands and say the halacha is useless in governing a modern state.  RET
quotes various gemorras would would indicate, on the face of it, the
latter position.  The position that I have been arguing, and that of Rav
Hertzog is, of course it does, and the last two thousand years provide
ample evidence of that ability.

>The issue of what model one 
>should follow to enact such expression into law is a very important one. 

This, of course, is a different issue - namely which structure out of
various models are best suited to Israel.

>Israel, alas, chose to imitate the British parliamentary system, which makes 
>sense in a caste-like society with homogeneity within each caste, but makes 
>no sense at all if legislation is to be made by a room full of Jews. Israel 
>would've been better off had it adopted a system designed to balance the 
>views of a contentious, competitive, heterodox, and non-feudal society -- 
>like that of the United States. Had Israel adopted the American 
>constitutional system with its three co-equal branches of government, it 
>might actually have succeeded in self-governance.

This is not exactly a topic for Avodah, but I am afraid I do not agree
with you.  As has been noted by students of democracy - the two models
British (parliamentary)and American (presidential, involving the balance
of powers you describe) have both been tried in many places around the
world.  It is noteworthy that the American model is far more prone to
breakdown (coup de etat) than the British model.  Somewhere upstairs in
my loft I have a copy of a article which documents this fact, and makes
the point that the US example is the only example following the American
model which has *not* suffered from a breakdown in democracy (such as
imposition of miltary rule of dictatorship) at any period in its
history.  In contrast, the British model is far more stable and robust,
and breakdown to the extent of imposition of miltary rule or
dictatorship is extremely rare.  This is not some freakish result
(although when you look at the statistics for the first time, it
certainly feels like it).  Balance of powers is much more likely to
result in gridlock in a deeply divided society.  Parliamentary
democracies tend to flip flop, rather than gridlock, which accommodates
division much more easily.

Perhaps the best example I know of that illustrates the contrast is the
what happened when the governments of the US and Australia each tried to
set up a National Heath Scheme.  In the US, Clinton came in on the
promise that he would do it, he put his wife in charge of doing it, but
what ultimately resulted was gridlock, and the whole idea was dropped.

In Australia, there were exactly the same pressures and pressure groups
arguing for and against such schemes.  But, because of the greater
manuverability of a parliamentary system, Labor was able to institute
such a scheme, over vociferous complaints, in 1974.  When the Liberal
Party (which in Australia is the conservative party) came to power in
1975, they promptly abolished it.  When Labor got back into power in
1983, they reinstituted a new and improved model, which then proved so
popular that when the Liberals got back in (I think around 1995), there
was no longer a sufficient constituency to abolish it.

But this last discussion is not really a topic for Avodah, except to the
extent that one model or the other can be argued to be more halachically
compatible (I suspect, on that question, the answer is still a
parliamentary model, because creating an artificially rigid system
within a system that already has its own checks and balances might well
prove unworkable at worst, and unnecessarily rigid, at best.  The
democratic part of a halachic system is supposed to be the flexible part
as there are certain core portions of halacha that are non negotiable,
creating its own check and balance on the overall system).
>David Finch

Shavuah tov


Chana/Heather Luntz

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