Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 054

Wednesday, November 29 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 21:09:18 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Nachala: Was Living in Gaza

>This argument does not explain why the Gazan settlers had the right to go
>there in the first place, just why they can't leave due to pressure.  With
>regard to why they went in the first place, I think Carl is on target--it
>wasn't considered dangerous then (certainly, that was my experience when I
>visited Gush Katif in 1984).

You are all ignoring the teshuvos by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and RMF 
forbidding abandonment of Jewish neighborhoods, even in Chu"l. The LR was 
mechaddesh a din if nachalah and RMF agreed with him. Presumably the LR was 
referring to Crown Heights and RMF to the Lower East Side. They held 
individuals may not sell their homes in a Jewish neighborhood to non-Jews.

Since we have many followers of RYBS here on the list, we must note, that, 
presumably, since he himself migrated from Roxbury to Brookline, that he 
may have disagreed with the LR and RMF.

Considering the state of CH and the LES in the '60's and '70's, it may well 
be apropos to compare Gaza to the danger level in those neighborhoods at 
that time. There was an essay in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary 
Society based on one of my shiurim on the topic several years ago. I might 
be able to dig it up and fax it, or send tapes out, but I do not think I 
have a computer file anywhere. I will check.

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 07:51:55 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Women's education: the views of RYBS and RSYW

On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 02:05:25PM -0600, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:
: >> I think R' Y. Weinberg defined it pretty well:

: > WADR, I do not how we can say that Avos, a mesecta of mishnayos , is
: > relegated to "mussar". It's part of Shas. It would seem to have more shem
: > TSB than tzeenah ureenah.

: He is defining TSBP as process.

As the halachic process in particular. We are really discussing three
things, not two: halachah, the process by which we got the halachah,
and the principles and ideals that we learn from the halachah and
that HKBH presumably designed the halachah to embody. To coin shorter
buzzwords: halachah, gemara, and mussar. Okay, only ba'alei mussar would
understand the word as broadly as I'm using it here, seeing it as not
only about behavior, but also that these behavioral goals underly the
halachah. But it's the best buzzword I can think of.

We still didn't address Tanach. For that matter, this triad makes an
interesting contrast to that of mikrah, mishnah and gemarah, particularly
since the majority of Tanach is about yesodei emunah and mussar. (Even
ignoring, for the moment, my opinion that even the halachic portions of
chumash are more about ta'amei hamitzvos than the din itself.)

Of halachah, we could possibly make a chiluk between halachah lima'aseh
and those that are not nogei'ah. I don't remember seeing indication that
RYW makes such a distinction, though.

I agree (just clarifying, since I might have altered the terms in the middle),
RYW does seem to limit the issur to the process alone, which he is calling
Torah sheBa'al Peh.

Pirkei Avos, OTOH, is mussar. The Tif'eres Yisrael opens his commentary by
telling us that "avos" is used in the same sense as "avos melachah". IOW,
its title says it is the principles and ideals that underly halachah. So,
at least to a ba'al mussar, it qualifies.

On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 08:32:30PM -0500, TROMBAEDU@aol.com wrote:
: Mussar as a concept is not a demotion. But Mussar as a category of Jewish 
: Literature does not have the same Halachick Status as Mishna....

Of course not. Mussar is mussar, and halachah is halachah.

: Either way, Steven Brizel's point is correct. Avos is part of the Talmud.

But it may not be part of gemara, as the term is used in in "shelish

Anyone who contrasts halachah with Torah sheBa'al Peh has to be using the
latter term in some idiosyncratic way. How much halachah is in Torah
sheBichsav, excluding even derashos?

On Tue, Nov 28, 2000, Steven Brizel <Zeliglaw@aol.com> wrote:
: The term mussar as used by RSWW and amplified by RYB is that Avos lacks the 
: TSBP aspect of process. perhaps. However, the Rishonim wrote peirushim on 
: Avos and the Rambam's peirush and Shemonah perakim seem more than the usual 
: exhortations found in the classical sifrei mussar.

IIUC, your problem is that the connotation of the term "sifrei mussar"
implies a later seifer with less imperative than we normally associate
with Shas. That just means our connotations could use some work. It
doesn't change the fact that Avos discusses things that are more
fundamental or behavioral guidelines lifnim mishuras hadin ("al tarbeh
sichah") than does the rest of mishnah.


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 15:35:01 +0200
From: "Daniel Schiffman" <schiffd@mail.biu.ac.il>
Women and Talmud Torah--Ben Azzai's shita

I agree with Rena's general point (that women who are serious about learning
should be permitted to learn), but I am afraid she has misquoted Ben Azzai's
view.  (Who is Rebbetzin DF?)
Ben Azzai says that Torah should be taught to a woman, so that if she
becomes a sota, drinks the bitter waters, and is not punished immediately,
she will know that this is just a temporary reprieve ("zchut Tola Lah").  A
reprieve is granted for the zchut of bringing sons to learn/waiting for her
husband to come back from the betmidrash (gemara sham).
Originally, I though the Rambam's distinction between T Shebichtav and TBSP
was based on this--that Ben Azzai had to be speaking about TBSP, since zchut
tola la is completely absent as a concept in Torah Shebichtav.
I don't know if this is correct, since the gemara in Nedarim (daf 36 or 37)
speaks about girls learning mikra, with the teamim. (IIRC, the GRA on SA
points out this Mareh Makom).


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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 08:37:43 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

At 07:59 PM 11/28/00 -0500, Steven Brizel <Zeliglaw@aol.com> wrote:
> Again, regardlesss of our own feeble opinions, it is clear that RSWW and RYBS
> differed on this issue. History and socilology will decide which approach was
> correct for which community. IOW, the derech of RYBS was appropriate for New
> York, Boston and the intellectual challenge that Torah was faced with in the
> 1950s through the 1970s on the issues of mechitza , interfaith relationships

Vehr zogt?

How can we be machri'a what was appropriate.

What are the benchmarks, the standards by which we measure "appropriateness"?

Indeed, the way you approach this is more of a classic "Hora'as Sha'ah" 
justification - I highly doubt RYBS held that this was the rationale to 
allow TSBP for women.

Rather, I think he held it is not actually forbidden, so why not?

And, RSYW held either that it is actually forbidden, or that if not, 
devastating results precluded the practice regardless.

I think that they both probably knew that it was not possible to gauge 
appropriateness objectively, so they extrapolated from their respective 
Da'as Torah.

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 16:56:36 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>

On 29 Nov 2000, at 8:37, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M wrote:

> Indeed, the way you approach this is more of a classic "Hora'as Sha'ah" 
> justification - I highly doubt RYBS held that this was the rationale to 
> allow TSBP for women.
> Rather, I think he held it is not actually forbidden, so why not?

I have been told (by Rabbi Mozeson, whose name came up earlier 
in this discussion) that RYBS held that not only is it not forbidden 
to teach women TSBP - that it is required to teach them. Rabbi 
Mozeson said it was based on a Gra in YD, but this was quite a 
number of years ago, and I do not remember all the details. Maybe 
one of the Passaic people on the list could ask him.

-- Carl


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: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 15:20:46 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
RE: Living in Gaza

On 28 Nov 2000, at 16:00, Feldman, Mark wrote:
> (RYBS would answer that there is a difference between (1) Am Yisrael risking
> lives to have a portion of Eretz Yisrael and (2) Am Yisrael taking further
> risks to retain additional parts of Eretz Yisrael.  Furthermore, settling EY
> one hundred years ago actually caused the saving of lives because people
> fleeing from Europe during the 1930's had a place to go.)

Isn't that really hindsight? According to RYBS's shita, would that 
have helped?

-- Carl


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: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 21:24:56 -0500
From: "S Klagsbrun" <s.klagsbrun@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Living in Gaza

From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
> Certainly, during the late 19th cent. and early 20th cent., people risked
> their lives to live in Eretz Yisrael and no one objected.

1. Many people risked thier own lives. Not children.

2. Yishuv EY, if a chiyuv today, can be done in Sanhedria or Har Nof.

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 09:50:09 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Living in Gaza

From: S Klagsbrun [mailto:s.klagsbrun@worldnet.att.net]
> 1. Many people risked thier own lives. Not children.

Regarding #1: If you believe like Minchas Chinuch that yishuv/kibbush EY is
like milchama, then you should be willing to risk *other* people's lives as
well (after all, in a milchama, a general sends other soldiers to the front
lines).  And, in fact, anyone who makes aliyah in the Dati Leumi camp knows
that he will have to send his boys to the army when they come of age.

> 2. Yishuv EY, if a chiyuv today, can be done in Sanhedria or Har Nof.

Regarding point #2: I answered this point (which was made by Micha) in my
response to Micha's post yesterday.  Basically, those who hold like Minchas
Chinuch (I don't) would argue to distinguish between performing a personal
mitzvah of yishuv haaretz, which you accomplish by living in Gallil, and the
communal mitzvah of kibbush or making sure that certain areas are under
Jewish *sovereignty*.  If Jews would leave Gaza, it would no longer be under
Jewish sovereignty.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 16:44:06 +0200
From: "Rabbi Y. H. Henkin" <henkin@surfree.net.il>
Living in dangerous locations

From Resp. Bnei Banim, III, no. 45 "Knisah LeSafek Sakanah VeEzrat
Yisrael MiYad Tzar":

Also, it is apparent that as long as it accords with the way of settling
the world (derech yishuvo shel olam) it is not forbidden. Proof of this,
following our approach, comes from the above-mentioned Eiruvin 45a and
other places in the Talmud which prove that a border city (ir hasmucha
lisfar) is a dangerous place, whether in the land of Israel or abroad;
nevertheless, we have not found any prohibition to live there, as we
also have not found it a prohibited to live in a metropolis (krach)
or an obligation to leave even though dwelling in a metropolis is
difficult and unhealthy, see Rashi in Ketuvot 110b "there is no [good]
air there." Rather, because the way of the world is to live in various
places, venishmartem is not applicable. If you do not say this, we would
be forbidden to populate deserts or drain swamps, etc., since there is
always danger involved. We would also have to abandon border cities,
and the border would then move closer and new cities would become
border cities [which we would have to abandon, in turn], and there
would be no end to this. Because of this reason of settling the world,
it is permitted to settle in Judea and Samaria even though it is more
dangerous there then in the inside of the country, and doing so would be
considered a good deed and a benefit to the populace (to'elet harabim)
even according to the majority of the Rishonim who disagree with the
Ramban on the issue of whether there is a commandment to conquer and
settle the Land of Israel, as I wrote in Bnei Banim, II, no. 42.

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 18:19:15 +0300
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@zahav.net.il>
Re: Avodah V6 #53

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
>:The "shortest" gevul is "Nahal Mitzraim" identified as Nachal El Arish...

> The shortest gevul is Ashkelon, see Gittin 2a, 6a.

Thank you for the opportunity to review the issue.

The sources Micha brings from Gittin deal with the question of differences
in the process of giving a Get between Eretz Yisrael and Eretz HaAmim.

For that purpose, the talmud lists 3 places: Rekem -- north eastern
border; Aco -- north western border and Ashkelon -- the south-western
border. The south-eastern point is not mentioned, and it assumed that
it refers to the Dead Sea.

The problem with these borders is that they don't refer to the borders
according to the promise to Avraham (just to mention Nahar Perat which
is nowhere near Rekem), but these borders are smaller even then the
borders of Olei Bavel.

Apparently (Rishonim), the "borders" here have nothing to do with Kedushat
HaAretz but rather with places where Jews actually lived in Eretz Yisrael,
and not just in small communities but where there were larger communities.

Therefore these sources have nothing to do with Gevulot HaAretz which
are defined as the Gevulot that Hashem promised Avraham and as it says
in the Torah "Nahal Mitzraim".

The only question is "where is Nahal Mitzraim".

The poskim give 2 possible answers: 1) the River Nile 2)Wadi El Arish.

Therefore, I repeat, the smallest border of Eretz Yisrael is still south
of Yamit and Gush Katif.

Thank you (and thank Rav Steinzaltz),
Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 10:34:56 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Re: Contact Lenses/Shabbos

From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" 
> Well, here is the shiur, thank you R' Gil for the URL, but I want to
> discuss it. I am disturbed by the footnote that indicates a premise
> that RSZA did not understand the technology. I think he understood the
> technology quite well, and I cannot understand the prohibition at all.

I agree.  In addition, I am bothered by R. Doniel Neustadt (RDN) writing:
:                          Contemporary poskim rule, however, that even
: non-absorbent materials may not be soaked in a cleaning solution. Even
: though the item does not become "soaked," it is nevertheless being
: "laundered," since a cleaning solution will remove [all or part of]
: a stain (6).

: 6) Oral ruling by Harav Y.S. Elyashiv, Harav S. Wosner and Harav N.
: Karelitz, quoted in Yeshurun, pg. 530. 

Why are RSZA and R. Neuwirth not considered "contemporary poskim?"  Do
RSZA's psakim become less relevant after his recent petirah?  Moreover, the
objection that RDN has to RSZA has nothing to do with whether he is alive.
RDN believes that RSZA misunderstood the metzius.

I do not like this type of undermining of authority and unfortunately I find
it quite prevalent in certain circles.

> I do [not] even understand what the issur is to launder here - are you not
> allowed to clean up a spill or pick up a dust speck on your plastic
> tablecloth?

RDN claimed:
: Contemporary poskim rule, however, [as above, I snipped the repeat. -mi]

Is it possible that he would differentiate between complete laundering and
just cleaning up specks here and there?  (I don't know why; after all when
it comes to regular clothing even spot cleaning is prohibited.)

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 10:35:01 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Yitzchak's response to Esav

In a message dated 11/29/00 7:16:58 AM Eastern Standard Time, ezsurf@idt.net 
> In reading this week's parsha, I am surprised by Yitzchak's reaction to
> Esav when Yitzchak realizes that it was not Esav who was blessed. First
> Yitzchak says that someone came and got the blessings. Next he says that
> your brother came with trickery and took the blessings. And finally he
> says I made your brother lord over you.  All of this seems only to be
> pouring salt into an open wound.  Why did Yitzchak respond in this way?
> In the end Esav got a bracha anyway!  Any thoughts or comments?

In Pshutoi Shel Mikra when Esov entered and Yitzchok knew that he Bentched 
Yaakov he said "Gam Boruch Yihyeh", Esov realising this asks "Borcheini Gam 
Oni" to which Yitzchok answred that it is too late Yaakov came "Vayikach 
to which Esov pleads "Haloi Otzalta Li Bracha" something you must have left 
over, to which Yitzchok responds "Hein Gvir Samtiv Lach" and as Rashi 
explains anything that I would give you would be his, ultimately he gave him 
MIshmanei Ho'oretz as Rashi points out this is "Italia Shel Yavan" as the L. 
Rebbe teitches in one of the Reshimos that Italia Shel Yavan was not yet 
Bmetzius then as it first came into being when Gavriel Noatz Kana Byam, (the 
Rebbe writes that he later found the same Pirush by Reb Heschel of Kraka).

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 08:23:34 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Fwd: Sfas Emes (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu), Parshas Toldos, 5631

I found the following on the S'fas Emes list. I started getting it two weeks
ago. As I don't recall subscribing, I can't offer subscription information


From: "Nathaniel H. Leff" <leffjud@idt.net>
Reply-To: leffjud@idt.net
Organization: Le'anius Da'ati/Yismach Lev
Subject: Sfas Emes (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu), Parshas Toldos, 5631


Sfas Emes, (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu), Toldos, 5631

Shalom Leiby,

The SE takes us back to the subject -- and the reality -- of 'Hester'.
That is, HaShem is really there. But He is hiding behind Nature and
Chitzoniyus (superficial appearances). Last week, in Parshas Chayei Sara,
the SE discussed Hester in the context of Zeman (Time); i.e., in viewing
History and current events. This week, the SE discusses Hester in more
general terms. He also focuses on the responsibility that Hester brings
with it for us: namely, the task of penetrating the Hester to be aware
of HaShem's Presence -- despite the Hester!

Where in Parshas Toldos does the SE find the issue of Hester? The SE
finds it Bereshis, 26, 18-22. Avraham Avinu had dug wells to give people
access to water. Chazal see these wells, not only as real-life wells but
also as a metaphor. A metaphor for what? A metaphor for Avraham Avinu's
activity in giving people access to HaShem, whose Presence is manifest
in the water of the wells.

After Avraham was Niftar (passed away), the Plishtim -- the original
Palestinians -- filled in the wells with earth. Again, viewing this
real-world experience in metaphoric terms, we see this action of the
Plishtim as blocking access to HaShem. Now came Yitzchok Avinu. He
removed the earth that the Plishtim had used to block access to the
water; i.e., they actively tried to negate HaShem's Presence. Thus,
the SE sees Yitzchok's removal of the earth to reach the water in the
wells as an act of penetrating the Hester to renew contact with HaShem!

You may wonder: why does the SE return so often to this theme of
revealing HaShem's Presence behind the Hester? I have the impression
that the SE experienced a crisis of faith almost every week. Thus, in
his constant reference to Hester, the SE is addressing his own personal
question of: where is HaShem? And out of his recurring crisis of faith,
the SE drew a crucial insight: that the purpose of Creation is to give
us this challenging task of penetrating the Hester, and thus to finding
HaShem in Nature (Ma'aseh Bereishis). That is, our key responsibility
is to make ourselves aware that all Existence comes from HaShem!

After Yitzchok Avinu encountered strife and hatred from the Plishtim
in the matter of the wells, he dug a new well, over which there was
no conflict. Accordingly, Yitzchok called that well 'Rechovos', a name
which connotes expansiveness and repose.

This name, Rechovos, evokes for the SE a Pasuk in Mishlei (1, 20):
'Chochmos BaChutz TaRona, BaRechovos Titein Kolah'. (ArtScroll:
'Wisdom sings out in the streets; it gives forth its voice in the
squares.') The message is clear: once we remove the outer shell which
hides it, an awareness of HaShem's Presence will expand and permeate
the world. The agent for this permeation is Torah She'beal'peh (the Oral
Law). By extending HaShem's accessibility in all of our activities, Torah
She'be'al peh enables us to experience HaShem's Presence more thoroughly
in our daily lives. Thus, the Pasuk in Mishlei is telling us that singing
and giving forth its voice (an allusion to Torah She'beal'peh!), Wisdom
expands its domain.

The SE continues. This specification of our role in life -- to expand
awareness of HaShem's Presence -- explains why/how Yitzchok misjudged
Esav HaRasha. The Pasuk (Bereishis, 24, 62) tells us: 'Vayeitzei
Yitzchok LaSuach BaSadeh'. (That is: Yitzchok went out to ( ArtScroll:
'supplicate'; R'Aryeh Kaplan: to 'medidate' in the field). As you see,
translation of the word 'La'Suach'is not obvious.

The SE reads this word as 'to speak'. Why did Yitzchok Avinu go out
'to speak' in the field? The SE answers: to expand awareness of HaShem
in the world. That is, the SE sees Yitzchok Avinu as being engaged in
Kiruv (outreach). But the Torah tells us (Bereishis, 25,27) that Esav too
was known to be an 'Ish Sadeh' (a person of the field). Thus, Yitzchok
Avinu misperceived his son Esav, viewing him as 'a chip off the block';
'like father like son'.

Finally, Esav played on his father's misperception. He did this by
asking Yitzchok Avinu questions that implied that he too was concerned
to extend awareness of HaShem's Presence. Thus, he asked his father:
how does one give Ma'aseir (tithe) from salt? How does one give Ma'aseir
from straw? The former question conveyed the impression that he (Esav)
wanted to extend our awareness of HaShem even to the inanimate world
(salt) ; and the latter, even to the relatively unimportant part of the
world (the chaff).

Comments? Questions? Reactions?

Three Suggested Take-Home Lessons From The SE (5631) on Parshas Toldos:

1. The sheer evil of the Plishtim, expending resources to block access
to HAsHem

2. The SE's novel interpretation of why Yitzchok favored Esav; i.e.,
Ish Sadeh


If I may interrupt for a moment, the SE isn't alone. For example, I found
the following on Hamaayan (editted by Shlomo Katz, distributed by Project

> Alternatively, one can explain as follows: Some parents teach their
> children only Torah, arguing that nothing else is of value. Other
> parents teach their children secular studies as well, and contend that
> the greatest kiddush Hashem / sanctification of G- d's Name results when
> one observes the Torah meticulously in the "outside" world. Of course,
> this second approach is the more dangerous one, for who can say whether
> the child will maintain the high standards necessary to sanctify G-d's
> Name. ... (Bar Pachtei)


3. The fact that Hester is not something that happens accidentally or
something that we bring upon ourselves. The SE is telling us that HaShem
built Hester into Creation -- to give us the challenge of seeing Him
despite the Hester!

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 08:24:51 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Ish Tam

Another bit of machshavah from Hama'ayan.


: "Yaakov was an ish tam / wholesome man." (25:27)
: The word "tam" literally means perfect or complete. R' Yechezkel Sarna z"l
: (Rosh Yeshiva of the Chevron Yeshiva) observes that there is a commandment
: in the Torah (Devarim 18:13), "Be tamim!" R' Sarna explains:
: One might brush-aside his inadvertent sins, saying, "It was an accident. I
: didn't mean it, so how much can it count?" However, just as one who breaks his
: wrist by accident is no longer perfect in a physical sense, so one who sins,
: even inadvertently, is no longer perfect in a spiritual sense. The mitzvah
: to be tamim instructs us that it is a blemish on one's soul if he lets his
: spiritual guard down even to a limited extent. (Daliot Yechezkel Vol. II,
: p. 24)

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 08:29:56 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Art and Tzimtzum

Another forwarded snippet, this time from Gush's list titled "In the
Footsteps of the Kuzari: An introduction to Jewish Philosophy" by
Prof. Shalom Rosenberg. Like the SE's comment, it also touches on
issues of "Torah and ..."


: The debate over the status of the arts is part of a larger argument about
: our understanding of reality. To use a kabbalistic phrase, we could say
: that the great debate is whether the concept of tzimtzum is to be taken
: literally or not. Phrased according to the interpretation at the center
: of the Hasidic revolution, is the world indeed "empty" of G-d's presence,
: and therefore G-d's word can be heard only through the study of Torah, or,
: as Chasidism teaches, the divine voice emanates from the world as well,
: even if this voice (in the words of Rabbi Nachman) is not a direct voice
: but an echo of the first divine voice heard at the creation of the world.

: One of Rabbi Kook's central ideas was the concept that indeed in all
: the world's phenomena there is a divine spark which we must uncover. The
: human ideal, according to this idea is not to confine oneself to the four
: cubits of Halakha, but to search for religious meaning in the various
: levels of human existence.

: The prophets taught us to look to the heavens and ask who created all
: this. Nature is G-d's creation, culture is man's. The connection with
: nature exists even if its status is problematic. The attitude toward
: human creativity is even more problematic. Often man's baser and more
: primitive drives find expression in art. Here we must remember again what
: we learned from Rabbi Kook, that human creativity must be respected. We
: must separate the baser drives from the artistic creation and search
: for the holy spark inside it.

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 10:45:19 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Kol y'mei chayecha

Micha Berger wrote:
>:> They both are miSinai. (By which I do NOT mean halachah liMosheh miSinna;
>:> one can be choleik on a derashah, but not on a HlMmS.) That doesn't mean
>:> RAbE knew of or held of both.
On Fri, Nov 24, 2000 at 10:03:41AM -0500, jjbaker@panix.com wrote:
>: And how do you *know* it's misinai, and not just a manmade drush?

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> If it's a de'Oraisa, it's miSinai. It may have been later /discovered/
> (like Moavi vilo Moavis, as per Rashi on Rus -- I wish I could find
> it again). But if it came from the Oraisa, and the Torah was only given
> once, at Sinai, one would think that's the only possible conclusion.

Not necessarily.  For instance, while Rambam calls it a "mitzvah" to
say Yetziat Mitzrayim in Shma based on Ben Zoma's drush, it's *not*
brought down in Shulchan Aruch (in OH 235, or 239, where you'd expect
it to be; in fact, the Ein Mishpat Ner Mitzva only references Rambam).

The Chinuch 419 says that the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are derabbanan,
and doesn't bring the drash about kol y'mei chayecha.

I don't understand how you call it "misinai".  If the 2nd and 3rd
paragraphs are d'rabbanan, how can a drash that gives a detail of
that derabbanan be d'oraisa?  How do you know that the drash is
d'oraisa?  It's just begging the question.

Or is this one of the types of drash that is by definition Sinaitic,
like gz"sh?

I'm asking a question of methodology, not challenging you.

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 17:45:15
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
RE: parts of psukim

Sadya N. Targum:
>> However, my question was not from the psukim of parshas bikkurim, but from 
>> bbi Elazar ben Azariah's quote of "l'maan tizkor." For this, neither 
>> swer suffices: it is not a pasuk first quoted in toto and then dissected, 
>> r will "v'gomer" help when it is the beginning of the pasuk which is 
>> ssing. The questions thus remain, unless we understand "kol pasuk 
>> chulay" differently.

On Mon, 27 Nov 2000 20:39:24, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> FWIW, the 4 or 6 zchiros in most siddurim quote only from "lmaan tizkor" 
> onwards, IOW a partial passuk.

WADR (and I certainly mean no offense to you and your valuable comments), it
is not worth very much. To the best of my knowledge, no posek ever went
over the text of the "zkhiros" before they were printed, and they were
inserted by printers only in very late siddurim. They have validity
according to qabbolo, but according to halokho there is no obligation to
mention the zkhiros in your davening, some not ever, and all certainly not
every day. And even according to qabbolo, it is unclear what the mequbbolim
themselves said. Even things quoted by the Ari's talmidim, like <"harei ani
m'kabeil..." quotes only v'ahavta lerai'acho kamocha> we do not know exactly
what words the Ari himself actually used. The talmidim bring that the Ari
said it is important to be meqabbel the mitzva of v'ohavto etc., and thatis
the way the mitzva is referred to. Would it make any sense to refer to this
mitzva by the whole pasuq, "lo tiqqom" etc., which contains two other
mitzvos of the 613? So even if the Ari used this formulation, which I am
willing to stipulate for the purpose of this discussion, it would be in the
context of referring to the mitzva as rishonim and aharonim do, not as
quoting the pasuq. And that's where I think most of us ended up before,
that the issur of kol posuq is only if it is being cited or said as a posuq.
Where you and I ended up on a related issue, R. Richard, was, I believe,
that changes in the old minhag have to be considered carefully to see
whether they are not overthrowing accepted pisqei halokho, or, if so, on
what basis. While each of us may have different ideas on what may be
considered an adequate basis, I do not think that any additions or changes
made by printers to the siddur in the last two hundred years can be brought
as proofs for anything, unless you show who the rabbonim were that had
considered and approved of those changes. As I mentioned a while ago in the
case of the Letteris tanakh, there are too many examples of stuff from
printers/publishers that were actually condemned by the poskim of the time
that ended up in popular use.

R. Sadya Targum's example, though, is very relevant, and I hope to discuss
it further shortly.

All the best,
Seth Mandel

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Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 17:47:54
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Maggid Meisharim and malachim who speak aramaic

On Tue, 28 Nov 2000 16:50:50, Daniel Schiffman wrote:
> IIRC, one of the reasons why we say kaddish in Aramaic is that malachim 
> cannot understand that language. If so, how do we explain the use of Aramaic 
> by the Maggid who appeared to Rav Yosef Karo (it seems to me like the 
> Aramaic of the Zohar?)

There are some aharonim who try to wiggle their way out of the
contradictions in this regard. Different rishonim take this statement in
different ways, including the possibility that it refers only to tefilla.
But I think the simplest solution here is evident. Does not every one agree
that if HQB'H were to send a mal'akh to someone who spoke Aramaic, that the
mal'akh would be perceived by the person as speaking Aramaic? The Mehabber
certainly would hear the advice of his maggid in the language to which he
was accustomed to hearing nistar, namely the Aramaic of the Zohar, and would
quote it in that way. As to what language the maggid or the mal'akh is
actually speaking from their point of view in each case, I think that the
maggid or the mal'akh would refuse to answer that question to all except
perhaps Moshe Rabbenu, on the grounds that it is not relevant to us; we just
need to hear the message in the way that HQB'H wishes us to hear it.

Kol tuv or kolla tuva,
Seth Mandel

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