Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 143

Friday, March 2 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 19:58:26 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: chelek Elokah mimaal

RMMS holds that "ein od milvado" means mamash "ein od", and not
"ein od eloha". Much like Gila Atwood's "pixels in G-d's imagination".
According to this, tzimtzum is the illusion that there are a multiplicity
of existances, including the possibility of us existing as individuals.
Bekitzur, panentheism. (No, not pantheism.)

IOW, the question asked about how our souls don't violate yichud haBorei
could be asked about the beri'ah in general.


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: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 11:51:03 +0100
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
7 Adar - tachanun

The shul were I daven in Brussels dis not say tachanun on 7 Adar though they
do not omit it on yahrzeits of admorim.
Is this common?

Eli Turkel

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Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 20:32:29 -0500
From: "Yitzchok Willroth" <willroth@jersey.net>
Re: Voss Iz Der Chilluk #3, MC vol. 1 p. 74

RYGB: The Piskei Teshuva OC 140 wants to be mechaddesh that an Odom Choshuv is
RYGB: yotzei the mitzvah of Mishlo'ach Manos if someone else sends him
RYGB: Mishlo'ach Manos and he accepts it...

MB: One could say that mishlo'ach manos is much like matanos le'evyonim -- the
MB: ikkar is to assist someone in making the se'udah.
MB: The PT, OTOH, seems more to indicate that the ikkar is to convert the
MB: se'udas Purim into a communal activity....

R' Doniel Neustadt brings both reasons for the mitzva of mishloach
manos in this week's Halacha Discussion column in the Yated Ne'eman.
He cites Terumas HaDeshen 111 as a source for the ikkur reason being
providing for the seuda. He cites R' Shlomo Alkavatz in Manos haLevi
as quoted in Teshuvos Chasam Sofer O.C. 196 as a source for the ikkur
reason being providing good will.

An interesting aside, also from R' Neustadt's column; the Beiur Halacha
695:4 based on the Ritva and Chayei Adam rules that someone who sends
common, inexpensive food items to a wealthy person does not fulfill the
mitzva since such items are meaningless and unappreciated by him.

In theory, if in such a situation the wealthy person accepted the gifts,
the Beiur Halacha would hold that the _sender_ was NOT yotzei the mitzva,
while, at the same time, the Piskei Teshuva would hold that the _receiver_


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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 14:53:23 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Voss Iz Der Chilluk #3, MC vol. 1 p. 74

On 1 Mar 01, at 19:46, Micha Berger wrote:
> Perhaps this is a machlokes on the basic purpose of "shalach manos", and
> how it relates to the se'udah.

There are some who hold that Shalach Manos ARE supposed to 
be the seudah. When I lived in Passaic, I had a chavrusa who held 
that way, and every year he would show up in the middle of Purim 
Seuda with a plate full of food! (I was the only one whom he so 
honored - I don't know who has the zchus now that I'm gone from 

> One could say that mishlo'ach manos is much like matanos le'evyonim -- the
> ikkar is to assist someone in making the se'udah.

What I just described was more than assistance. It was mamash a 
whole seuda!

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.


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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 08:44:28 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Subject: Voss Iz Der Chilluk #3, MC vol. 1 p. 74

The Brisker answer is quite simple and Michah already mentioned it. It's
the "famous" chakirah between the Trumas Hadeshen and Manos Lavi whether
mishloach manos is m'din seudah or to show rayus (friendship). Of course
I'm waiting for R' Chaim Brown to explain why this obvious answer is not
so obvious and can't be true. How about for extra extra credit (since
RYGB already posed an extra credit question) let's see how many other
nafka minas there are to this chakira. I have compiled a nice list over
the years.

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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 09:08:30 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Voss Iz Der Chilluk #3, MC vol. 1 p. 74

I was just thinking that the way RYGB quoted the PT it doesn't sound like he
hold mishloach manos is mdin rayus. The quote was 

"And, although the mitzvah of Mishlo'ach Manos is to give another person
not hano'oh, but food or drink, the PT claims that hano'oh achieved via
food and drink equals delivery of food and drink"

This is mashma that it is the actual delivery of food which is the mitzvah
not showing rayus. Therefore another answer might be in order

Another answer might be how do we view hano'oh?"

(I was informed ny first answer was really Telz so this answer I think is my
Brisker teretz)

One of the shiurim I heard from my Rebbi was to explain the Ritva's shita in
shas is that hannah is equivilant to actual kesef. In other words, one way
to look at hano'oh is that it causes gemiras daas and you are now m'chayuv
yourself or in the case of marriage agreeing to be married. The Ritva learns
hano'oh that we view it as actual kesef. (Disclaimer: any mistakes in this
sevara are mine)

So in our case of mishloach manos-one could ask what is hanooh
accomplishing? If it is just a gemiras daas idea so you wouldn't be yotzei
mishloach manos. However, if we view it as actual kesef then maybe we can
understand the PT. The PT could hold that the mitzvah is mdin seudah but you
only have to ensure the person has the ability to buy food. (Acc. to htis
actual kesef should work to-not sure if he holds that). Therefore, since
hano'oh is viewed as actual money, we look at it as if the Odom Chashuv gave
the person money and he now in theory has the ability to buy food for
himself. (As I'm writing this I realize it sounds dochuk). 

A third possible answer (Polish derech?) could be that "Odom eitz Hasadeh"
so any benefit you get from a person is as if it came from an eitz and
represent the peiros of an eitz. So the hanooh you get from the Odom Chashuv
is like fruits of a tree and you are really getting food.

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Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 21:44:47 -0500
From: Alan Davidson <perzvi@juno.com>
Nefesh Chaim

What can be said is of the Gra's Talmidim Reb Chaim VolizHin was the only
talmid not to sign the gezira (or whatever you wish to call it) against
the Chassidim.

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Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 22:31:40 -0500
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
RE: Gra and Ba'al Hatanya (was RE: 72 minutes)

From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
>:>I will just point out that they have more in common than just the old
>:>80-20 rule - it's more like the 98-2 rule. IOW they really concured
>:>about 98% of the time in face of a lot of standard minhaggim and

Moshe Shulman:
>: As to minhaggim (in general) I think you are correct, but hashkofa's
>: were MUCH different. The Gra's talmid R. Chaim Voluzner, wrote a sefer
>: to 'counter' Tanya (As The Solonomer wrote Yesod HaAvodah, to answer
>: R. Chaim.)
>I have never finished either the Tanya nor the Nefesh Hachayim.  Those
>who have comleted both have told me that they  differ in one and only
>one central nekudah - which I don't recall at the present moment.
>Now in the realm of their machlokes that nekudah is porbably extremely
>significant.  But in the big picture, it is probably a nit.

I once heard from my Rebbe that there were three points in Nefesh HaChayiom 
that he differed (erroniously) with the Baal Shem Tov. For that reason I 
have never completed the work.

[I'm sure those of us with Litvisher Rabbanim wouldn't have heard that
parenthetic remark in their shi'urim. -mi]

moshe shulman mshulman@NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh       http://www.chassidus.net
Chassidus shiur:                  chassidus-subscribe@chassidus.net
Chassidus discussion list:        chassidus-subscribe@egroups.com
Outreach Judaism                  http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254    Yahoo/MSN Messaging: mosheshulman

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Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 22:16:21 -0500
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
Re: Not All Chassidim Follow RT, and Re: Why Only 72 min....

From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
>In response to a recent post of R' M. Shulman's, I would like to point
>out that not all Chassidim follow RT and this is true both l'kula and
>Vizhnitz and Stolin are the two I can think of off-hand that are mapkid
>to daven mincha before sundown and are not machmir for 72 minutes,
>even for Motsai Shabbos.

Vizniz is interesting. They do hold 72 minutes at the end (at least all of 
them I know do, including when I have been in Monsey, and the shul I doven 
in quite often whose Rov is a VIznitzer.) They do have a custom to bring 
Shabbos in very early, which goes back to R. Mendel of Kosov, who was known 
to make Kiddush while the sun was still out. Stolin, as you know, was in 
the Lita.

From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
>Based on the recent posts claiming that the shitos RT for nightfall is
>really between 90 and 144 mins. after sundown (in NYC), I would like
>to ask why the near universal practice is to consider it a constant
>72 minutes.

Because 18 minutes as the time of a mil is explicitly stated in Shulchan 
Aruch. (see for example OH 459.2)

moshe shulman mshulman@NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh       http://www.chassidus.net
Chassidus shiur:                  chassidus-subscribe@chassidus.net
Chassidus discussion list:        chassidus-subscribe@egroups.com
Outreach Judaism                  http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254    Yahoo/MSN Messaging: mosheshulman

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Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 00:31:34 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
RTam and 72 minutes

I'm pleased that R' Moshe was induced by my critique to address the
shkiah question more seriously.  Instead of directly replying to his
critique of my position, I would like to address the issue raised by Rav
Seth Mandel and the summary of Rav M. Willig's position by Gil.  Does
the conventional cheshbon of 72 minutes after sunset for nightfall
according to Rabbenu Tam have any merit?  In principle, nightfall
according to the shita of R' Tam throughout the year should be based on
comparable darkness and star sightings (presumably near the western
horizon), with the standard conditions being determined by those
pertaining to the lattitude of Eretz Yisrael and Bavel (about 32 deg.)
after a time corresponding to a 4 mil walk (8,000 amot or about 4 km. at
a pace sustainable throughout the day) following sunset.  Leaving aside
the question, for now, about the clock-time equivalent of a mil,  one
could consult an astronomically accurate tabulation of values for a
given level of darkness or angle made by the center of the solar disk
below the horizon for all the days of the year and for all lattitudes.
For Israel (and Babylonia) there is not a great difference in the
duration of twilight (especially civil twilight - defined as ending with
the appearance of 2nd magnitude stars) throughout the year.  Civil
twilight (from sunset to star appearance) lasts between 24 (equinoxes)
and 28 (summer solstice) minutes.  Astronomical twilight (the
disappearance of any residual solar light) lasts from 82 to 101 minutes
(note that astronomical twilight is similar to a 4 mil = 90 minutes
model).  Twilight duration becomes more variable as one moves to higher
lattitudes in the northern hemisphere (a corresponding situation exists
in the southern hemisphere, the variability increases as one moves away
from the equator).  Since many Jewish communities are at 40 (NY, Rome,
and Barcelona), 50 (Paris, Mainz, Frankfort, Prague, and Krakow), and 60
(Petersburg) deg. N. latitude, the variability in twilight duration can
be considerable.  In fact, at 50 deg., astronomical twilight lasts
throughout the "night" for part of the summer, and the same is true for
4 months at 60 deg. latitude.  This being the case, what sense is there
in instituting a fixed time for nightfall following sunset, whether that
time be 72, 90, or 120 minutes?

Getting now to the basis for a 72 minute wait past sunset for motza'ei
shabbat to begin.   The basis would seem to be the Shulchan Aruch.  In
Orech Chaim 261:2 which follows R' Tams 4 mil shita from sunset to
nightfall, and OC 459:2 which defines the mil duration as 18 minutes (as
does the Remah in OC 261:2).   Despite Rav Mandel's protestation, this
view is in accord with T.B. Peshachim 94a.  There we find the view of
the Tanna, Rabbi Yehuda, that a person can walk 40 mil in a(n average -
12 hour) day AND (with a 'vav') 4 mil each at dawn and dusk.  He
concludes from this that the thickness of the raki'ah (the supposed path
taken by the sun in the twilight periods) is one tenth that of the
daytime solar path.   This position is contrasted to that of the Amora,
Rava, - among others, who uses a citation from Rabbi Yochanan (the
Amora) that a person walks 40 mil in a(n average) day, (including) 5 mil
each at dawn and dusk.  Rava concludes that the support (taken to be the
thickness) of the rakiah is one sixth that of the solar path distance.
Rava's daytime solar path takes 30 mil (40 - 2x5) which is 6 x  the 5
mil walking time at twilight.  The contrast between the view of Rabbi
Yehuda and Rava is, thus, two-fold.  The daytime solar path corresponds
to a 40 mil walk according to the former, and a 30 mil walk according to
Rava.  Twilight corresponds to a 4 mil walk according to the former and
a 5 mil walk according to Rava.  The Gemara in 94a rejects the views of
Rava, and all the Amoraim who base themselves on the statement
attributed to Rabbi Yochanan, in favor of Rabbi Yehuda.  Now, an average
day (or an equinoctal day - the 21st of March and September) is 12 hours
or 720 minutes, and twilight takes 1/10 of that, or 72 minutes
(corresponding to 18 minutes per mil).

R' Seth Mandel clearly prefers to understand the above Gemara as per
Rashi who considers the 40 mil of both Rabbi Yehuda and the Amoraim to
refer to the entire period of alot to tzet (the ratio of the twilight to
daylight periods according to Rabbi Yehuda is then 4/ [40 - (2 x 4)], or
1/8).  This rato (1/8) when multiplied by the length of the day in hours
is 12/8 or 1.5 hours or 90 minutes (corresponding to 22.5 minutes per
mil).  The Vilna Gaon in OC 459:2 and also 261:2 details his arguments
for the former way of learning Pesachim 94a.  I don't see, therefore, a
basis for simply dismissing it.  R' Seth mentions the 24 minute
calculation for the time of a mil.  That calculation is based on Rava
and the other Amoraim that there are 30 mil in a 12 hour - 720 minute
period, or 24 minutes per mil.  This view considers that there are 5
mils at twilight, or 120 minutes (2 hrs.).  However, we have seen that
Pesachim 94a  rejects this view.   Yet, Rav Mandel is not the only one
who raises it, the Rambam in his Mishna commentary to Pesachim 3:2 also
considers that a mil takes 24 minutes.  The Rambam also sides with the
Amora, Ulah, in Pesachim 93b, that Modiin is 15 mils from the temple
mount so that a person starting out at sunrise will reach the temple at
noon in time for the start of the Pascal sacrafice.   This, despite the
conclusion at 94a that Ulah's shita is refuted by the shita of Rabbi
Yehuda.  Perhaps, the statement in 93b, "Mar says it is 5 mil from alot
to netz" is taken as a decision in favor of Ulah and Rava.  Still, it is
strange to disregard a tiyuvta of the Gemara.  Moreover, the Rambam in
his Mishna commentary at the beginning of Berachot, mentions a 72 minute
interval between sunset and nightfall.

Gil's summary of the views of Rav Willig concludes that R' Tam disputes
the view that there are 72 minutes between sunset and nightfall (see
Tosfot, Pesachim 11b: Echad).  He shows that if the views of the Ramban,
Rashba, Re'ah, and Ritva are correct when they assume that pelag
hamincha is 1/6 mil before sunset according to R' Tam, then R' Tam must
hold that a mil is 22.5 minutes for consistency in the times.  However,
it is not at all clear that R' Tam follows the shita of the Magen
Avraham that the entire day from alot to tzet is divided into 12 in
order to get the sha'ot zemanyot.  Moreover, the idea of pelag hamincha
1/6 of a mil before sunset does not appear to be the basis for a 22.5
minute mil - rather the reverse.  Using a 22.5 minute mil and assuming
the Magen Avraham shita on including the dawn and dusk periods in
calculating sha'ot zemanyot, one arrives at the 1/6 mil calculation.
The Gaon totally rejects the Magen Avraham thesis as being unrealistic.
There are talmudic statements (for example, T. J. Berachot 4a) that the
equinoctal days are at the beginning of tekufat Nisan and Tishrei.  If
we count the day from alot to tzet, then the day is 14 or 15 hours long
at that time and the night is 10 or 9 hours.  In fact, a 12 hour day as
so defined may not occur at all.  An additional objection could be
raised that the Magen Avraham's sha'ot zemanyot do not lend themselves
to measurement in the times of the temple.  They used a form of sundial
to keep track of time of day, and that only works for the sunrise -
sunset time period.

To summarize.  The 72 minute shiur is based on the Shulchan Aruch, which
uses the 4 mil twilight shita of Rabbenu Tam, but is not necessarily in
agreement with all its ramifications.  This shiur should be dependent on
latitude and time of year.  The fact that it is rare to find someone who
actually observes this shita in all its ramifications is probably due to
the difficulty in calculating the variable times of twilight throughout
the year, and the fact that the calculation may "blow up" during part of
the summer at 50 or more degrees latitude due to the residual solar
illumination until the next morning.  If someone is serious about the
Rabbenu Tam shita, they should look at a tabulation of sunset and tzet
times that were calculated for a level of darkness corresponding to 72
and 90 minutes after sunset in Israel during the equinoxes.  I believe
that Yehuda (Leo) Levi has such tables in his Jewish Chrononomy.
Calculations of civil, nautical, and astronomical twilight as well as
sunrise -sunset times for any latitude and longitude are available from
the U.S. Naval Observatory on the internet.

Shabbat shalom,
Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 21:21:50 +0200
From: "S. Goldstein" <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
zman tzeis RT vs Gra

See Shach YD 266:11 for a discussion of both shitos.  It seems he concludes
he is machmir for both.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 02:43:17 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
hagohos needed on Chofetz Chaim like Ram"a on SA and Raava"d on Ramba"m?


In the wake of the discussion by R. M. Feldman and others re possible
room to differ with (with all due respect) the heiliger Chofetz Chaim
on some inyanim in halacha, esp. hilchos l"h - Perhaps someone should
write hagohos on the Chofetz Chaim (shemiras haloshon, esp.). After
all, the Chofetz Chaim is like Rav Yosef Caro or the Ramba"m in hilchos
l"h and perhaps a Ram"a or Raava"d is needed to make the CC complete -
a mapa for the CC.

If some poskim are choleik on the CC in other inyonim (e.g. in OC, the
MB), why are his posakim re hilchos l"h considered by some infallible
and the last word and unassailable? I say this with respect for the
holy Chofetz Chaim. However, the way of Torah is to question and argue
(when appropriate, if appropriate, by those on the proper level)(see
the famous R. Chaim Volozhin on the end of Avos 1:4, e.g.).

R. MF - comment?


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Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 08:04:46 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
re: Who can be a Dayan?

> If a psak is given by one who has real semicha, then violating that
> psak will violate the d'Oraisa of Lo Sasur Yemin O'Smol. This would apply
> to both an individual or a beis din. Anyone disagree with me on this?

I believe that that is the shita of the Chinuch; however, pashut pshat
in the pasuk is that the issur of lo tasur is a halacha in B"D - see
meforshim al asar, also it sounds from the Rambam that lo tasur is a din
in B"D even from his formulation in the koteret of Hil Mamrim, '1)la'asot
al pi haTorah sh'amru lanu B"D hagadol, 2) shelo yasuru *m'divreihem*'.

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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 01:21:22 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
'Mesorah' and sefer 'Masores siyog laTorah' (3v) by Rav Moshe Tzuriel

I was asked by a list member to elaborate on the above sefer which I 
mentioned in a recent post on Rav Moshe Tzuriel shlit"a. Since it may be of 
interest to others I will respond to it here, rather than privately.

(I am writing this from memory - I don't have the sefer with me here right 
now....) The sefer is on the 'mesorah' of the Torah. Mesorah here does not 
mean general  'tradition' - rather it is used in the sense that the baal 
haturim says numerous times commenting on specific words 'gimmel bimisora', 
'bais bimisora', etc...It deals with things of the following nature - how 
many gimmels are there in the Torah - how many shins - how many times is 
'Moshe' mentioned in the Torah - how many times is 'liMoshe' found in the 
Torah - how many large letter (rabbosi) are there in the Torah - how many 
small letters (ziaira) - how many times various words are mentioned in the 
Torah in various forms - e.g. how many times does it say mitrayim in the 
Torah - how many times 'bimitzrayim' - how many times 'bieretz mitzrayim' - 
how many times 'mitzraima' - etc., etc., etc. ....... It includes extensive 
introductory sections explaining the importance / significance of this limud 
/ area of Torah, which, unfortunately has been forgotten by many (if they 
ever knew it)......There is 'mesora kitana' and a 'mesora gedola' (and a 
'mesora rabbasi'?). The michabeir laments the fact that the most common 
'mikraos gedolos' type today omits the mesora - although the older 'Netter' 
mikraos gedolos includes it..... The mesora in the '(r. shlomo zalman) netter 
miqraos gedolos' appears in the form of (quite/very) small print at the 
bottom of columns of Torah text. It includes many specialized abbreviations 
and expressions which make it difficult for someone not familiar with it to 
understand it (fully, if at all). The sefer interprets and deciphers this 
sometimes  cryptic language in the mesora notes. Hopefully this cheilek of 
Torah will become more popular again (though I don't know if it was ever that 
popular - maybe it has been the domain of a limited group of advanced 
talmidei chachamim for many years...). The Minchas Shai is heavily involved 
in this area, the Roqeach was, etc., etc. I don't know if it has been 
discussed on here before.....


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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 08:45:18 +0200
From: "Rena Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
RE: R Weinreb and the views of Poskim re adoption, etc

>> Can you please expand on this. I thought the Lubavitcher rebbe
>> was completely opposed under all conditions to adoption.

> R Weinreb contrasted the views of R Bleich and the Rebbe Z"l on the issue of
> artificial insemination, not adoption.

Why was he opposed to adoption? Open adoption or closed? Was it only
the issue of maybe marrying a forbidden relative or a cohen/gioress for
example, or was it something else?


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Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 07:55:05 -0500
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
back to the books

  the rashi about not singing psuking other than with their trop is
Sanhedrin 101a s.v. "HG  hakore Shir HaShirim ..."  It's an afortiori
argument from Shir haShirim to the rest of scripture.

On Wed, Feb 28, 2001 at 10:07:13AM -0500, David Riceman wrote:
>: The Rambam says that "malach" is a Biblical term with multiple meanings.

Micha Berger wrote:
> Do you recall where?

Guide II:6
> The notion of da'as as having the form of something else copied in your
> head appears in other sifrei machshavah. I can't find it in Derech
> haChaim, but I recall seeing it there. From this notion arises the
> very kabbalistic idea of yichud hayodeia vihayadua (from which we can
> understand the two meanings of "yada'", knowledge and marital intimacy).

It's actually a commonplace in medieval philosophy (attributed to
Aristotle, but i don't know enough Greek philosophy to confirm that). 
See Guide I:68. H. Yesodei hatorah 2:10

> In the past I linked that yichud to the Rambam's shitah on chiyus in
> olam haba. Da'as of HKBH means having the tzurah of the d'mus of HKBH,
> which includes nitzchiyus.

yesodei haTorah 4:9

David Riceman

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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 09:22:27 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>

Rav Nebenzahl in this week' s  sicha says that Amalek is genetic. Just as
not every ohev sholom verodef sholom is a kohen,  so is not every soneh
Yisrael an Amaleki. And he says that if we don't even know nowadays mi hu
Yehudi,  we certainly don't know mi hu Amaleki.


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Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 13:57:23 -0000
From: "Leon Manel" <leonmanel@hotmail.com>
Purim Shiur

Shiur HaRav Soloveichik ZT"L on Inyana D'Megilas Esther

(Shiur Date: 1956, tape available from M. Nordlicht. Thanks to Arnold
Lustiger for providing the tape!)

The Rambam (Hilchos Megila 1:3) and the Rabbeinu Tam (Tosfos, Megila 4a,
Chayav Adam Likros quotes the Ree) disagree as to whether one recites the
blessing of Shehecheyanu prior to reading the Megila on the morning of
Purim. According to the Rambam we do not recite it because we already did
so at night. Rabbeinu Tam says that we do recite it again, because the
main obligation to read the Megila is by day, Ikar Kriyasa Bayom. Some
explain that Megila is a twofold Mitzva. A mitzvah Mdivrei Kabalah of
Hayamim Hayleh Nizkarim Vnaasim, these days [of Purim] are remembered and
practiced, which has a direct reference to the obligation to perform by
day, without mention of the [previous] night. According to the Divrei
Kabalah, which is also referred to as Divrei Nviim, the enactment was
specifically limited to the day. We read the Megila at night based on
a Takanah of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi, who says that we are obligated
to read the Megila at night and repeat it by day, based on the verse
(Psalms 22) Elokay Ekra Yomam Vlo Taaneh Vlayla Vlo Dumiah Li (Megila
4a). Thus the obligation to read at night is a Takanas Chazal. However
the main Mitzva is by day, therefore according to Rabbeinu Tam, we make
Shehecheyanu by day as well.

The Rav noted the following difficulty: whether Mikra Megila is a Takanas
Neviim or Takanas Chazal, in the final analysis we perform the same
Mitzva, of reading the Megila, twice. So why should we recite Shehecheyanu
again in the morning? The Rav answered based on the Gemara (Megila 14a)
that asks why don't we recite Hallel on Purim? The Gemara offers two
answers. The first is that we do not recite Hallel on a miracle that
occurred in Chutz L'aaretz. This answer is supplemented by the statement
we are still servants of Achashvayrosh, the redemption of Purim was not
complete. The second answer is that the reading of the Megila takes the
place of the recitation of Hallel. In other words, we do recite Hallel,
but it is a different form of Hallel from what we normally recite,
as the Purim Hallel assumes the form of Megila. The Rambam cites the
second answer, that reading the Megila is Hallel (Hilchos Chanukah 3:6).

There are two Kiyumim, fulfillments of Mitzva, in the reading of the
Megila: reading the Megila for its own sake, and Megila as a recitation
of Hallel. But this Hallel is unique from all other recitations of
Hallel that incorporate the standard format of Hallel from Tehillim
and is recited on Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah. On Purim the
recitation of Hallel must be done specifically through the format of the
Megila. When a Jew reads the Megila he has two Kiyumim, reading the Megila
and a special Kiyum of Hallel on Purim that is different from the Kiyum
of Hallel throughout the year. It is a different Cheftza of Hallel,
not a Hallel based on Hallel Hamitzri, but rather Shevach V'Hodaah
based on the text of the Megila. Since Hallel is only recited by day,
this Kiyum can only be fulfilled by day. Hence the requirement to recite
Shehecheyanu again by day when we fulfill this unique, once a year form
of Hallel. With the exception of Pesach night, we do not recite Hallel
at night (based on the verse Hashir Yihye Lachem Klayl Hiskadesh Chag
(Isaiah 30))(Psachim 95b). Therefore the night of Purim has only one
Kiyum: that of Mikra Megila, not Hallel. On Purim day there are 2 Kiyumim,
and the Shehecheyanu covers the unique Kiyum Mitzvah which we did not
fulfill the previous night, of Hallel through the Megila. So Shehecheyanu
is recited at night for Mikra Megila and by day for Mitzvas Hallel.

[The Rav asked why would we make Shehecheyanu on Hallel Purim when we
don't recite Shehecheyanu during the year when we say Hallel on the
various occasions? The Rav answered that the traditional Hallel Hamitzri
is recited a number of times throughout the year, hence we do not make
Shehecheyanu. However the unique Hallel of Megila comes only once a year,
therefore it is appropriate to recite Shehecheyanu over it.]

Why did Chazal institute this unique form of Hallel for Purim? If they
were already instituting some form of praise to Hashem for the miracle
of Purim, why not use the same format as was used for Chanukah, that of
Hallel Hamitzri? Why link the two Kiyumim into one act of reading the
Megila? For example on Pesach night we have a Mitzva of Sippur Yetzias
Mitzrayim and a separate Mitzva of reciting Hallel which are unique
and independent of each other. We don't say "Sippurah Zu Hillula", that
telling of the story of the exodus is the fulfillment of the Mitzva of
Hallel, rather we fulfill both Sippur and Hallel individually. Yet on
Purim these distinct Kiyumim of reading the Megila (telling the story)
and reciting Hallel were integrated and identified with a single Mitzva
act. Why?

The Rav explained that there are 2 forms of Hallel: Hallel Hamitzri
and Hallel D'Psukei D'Zimarah. The Gemara (Shabbos 118b) says that
one who completes Hallel daily is a blasphemer, Mcharef U'Mgadef. The
Gemara asks: this contradicts Rabbi Yossi who said "let my portion be
with those that complete Hallel daily"? The Gemara answers that Rabbi
Yossi was referring to reciting Hallel D'Psukei D'Zimarah, the last
6 chapters of Thillim starting with Tehilla L'David, which is viewed
favorably. Daily recitation of Hallel Hamitzri is viewed negatively and
should not be done, because recitation of Hallel Hamitzri was established
for a supernatural miracle, Lmaalah Mderech Hateva. Hashem is Meshaded,
He breaks the process of nature to perform the miracle. He suspends
for a limited time the natural order of Yom Vlayala Lo Yishbosu, Sibuv
U'Mesubav. The concepts expressed in Hallel Hamitzri of Hayam Raah
Vayanos refer to a supernatural miracle. What we call Hallel Hagadol
is also similar to Hallel Hamitzri, indeed parts of it are included
in our Hallel Hamitzri. We recite Hallel Hagadol Pesach night as well,
based on the same verse which we base the recitation of Hallel Hamitzri
on Pesach night, Hashir Yihye Lachem etc. Pesach night is symbolic of
the performance of supernatural miracles by Hashem. This is the essence
and fundamental idea of Hallel Hamitzri.

The Hallel of Psukei D'Zimrah focuses on a different theme. In this
Hallel no supernatural miracles are mentioned. We praise Hashem
specifically for His revelation through nature itself, without any
supernatural miracles. When man wakes and sees the sun in the east,
he should appreciate the wonders of nature and the basic laws that
Hashem planted in nature. One who can't recognize Hashem through the
medium of nature is a non-feeling person. After all, is the consistency
of nature any less of a miracle than the splitting of the sea? Are the
natural wonders performed by Hashem, [that we take for granted], listed
in Barchi Nafshi any less significant? Therefore we say Hallel D'Psukei
D'Zimra in praise of Hashem for nature itself.

Judaism did not wish to resort to supernatural miracles. When Hashem
established the laws of nature at the time of creation, He did not
want to have to break those laws. Chazal (source unknown) refer to
someone who attempted to change Maasay Breishis as Kamah Meguneh,
disgusting. When does Hashem resort to supernatural miracles, when the
natural processes no longer suffice. Chazal say that had Hashem Himself
not been involved through supernatural miracles, in the exodus process,
the Jews would have completely assimilated into Egyptian society. Chazal
describe the supernatural actions of Hashem with the parable of a
Kohen whose Teruma was lost in the middle of a cemetery (a Kohen is
normally forbidden to enter a cemetery). If he leaves the Teruma there
it will become defiled. If he enters the cemetery to retrieve it, he
will defile himself. (Shmos Rabah 16). Chazal's analogy is to Hashem's
choice of either remaining outside of Egypt with the ultimate loss of
Bnay Yisrael or to Kvayachol, defile himself and enter Egypt, for all
purposes a cemetery where there was no house without a dead body on the
night of Pesach, to rescue his Teruma, Bnay Yisrael. Hashem opted for the
latter but we see that Chazal viewed negatively the deterioration of the
situation of Bnay Yisrael in Mitzrayim to the point that it required
supernatural intervention. As it says Vayrayd Lhatzilo, and Hashem
descended to rescue the Jewish Nation, it was a degradation Kvayachol,
for Hashem to have to rescue Bnay Yisrael through supernatural means.

The Midrash is saying that had the Jews been on a higher level,
there would have been no need for all the miracles wrought on the
Egyptians. Hashem would have not needed the afflictions of blood,
frogs, etc. to free the Jews. After all, the creation and maintenance
of the universe, of nature, of human biology are significantly greater
events than causing the frogs to infest Egypt. For Hashem, the Makot
and the inherent suspension of the laws of nature they entailed was
a minimal event compared to what occurs in nature constantly. Had the
Jews been worthy, Hashem would have had no need to suspend nature. Had
He waited for the natural miracle process to unfold, they would have
assimilated. This is considered a condescension for Hashem, as it
says Vayrayd Lhatzilo. Was the drowning of 600 Egyptians at the Red
Sea remotely comparable to the maintenance of the nebulae throughout
the universe and the Yad Hashem everywhere? Of course not! However in
emergency situations, Hashem has to resort to extraordinary measures to
accomplish His will. But when Jews are deserving, they can accomplish
everything through the natural order, without miracles. That's why Chazal
said one who says Hallel Hamitzri every day, one who wants Judaism to
exist through the support of supernatural miracles, is a blasphemer. The
Gemara said that one who appreciates and praises Hashem through nature,
one who follows the statement of Rabbi Yossi that his portion should
be with those that complete Hallel of Psukei D'Zimrah daily, is acting
admirably and meritoriously.

The miracle of Purim is different from the other miracles (Pesach,
Shavuos, etc.) because whereas the other occasions are distinguished with
obvious supernatural miracles, Purim was a Nes Nistar, a hidden miracle,
a miracle through the natural process. Chanukah was an obvious miracle
from two perspectives, the victory of a tiny force over the armed might
of the Assyrian/Greek armies as well as the miracle of the oil that burned
for 8 days. The story of Purim does not have any supernatural occurrences.

Chazal interpret that Esther said Lamnatzyach Al Ayelas Hashachar Kayli
Kayli Lama Azavtani (Psalms 22). Esther continues Elokay Ekra Yomam Vlo
Taaneh Vlayla Vlo Dumiah Li. I have called to You by day but You have
not answered and at night I have not heard a sound. The next verse is
Vata Kadosh Yoshev Thilos Yisrael. [The Rav said that is why we recite
Vata Kadosh after the Megila at night, even when Purim is not Motzai
Shabbos.] When Esther appeared before Achashvayrosh even though everyone
knew that anyone who approaches the king without being called to appear
is to be put to death unless the king extends his scepter. She knew
that her chances were slim because she had not been called to appear
before the king for 30 days. Chazal say that Achashvayrosh did not
want to extend the scepter to her. Esther was doomed at that point, she
calls out Kayli Kayli Lama Azavtani. Esther exclaims, in Lamnatzayach
Al Ayeles Hashachar that she thought that she would bring salvation
to the Jews through supernatural miracles, similar to those performed
at the time of the Exodus, or in the time of Gideon. She imagined that
salvation would come through Hallel Hamitzri. When it did not appear,
she said Kayli Kayli Lama Azavtani. She called to Hashem expecting
visible miracles but there was no discernible response. But then she
understood that there was a Nes Nistar, a hidden salvation. She recited
Vata Kadosh Yoshev Thilos Yisrael. Kadosh means hidden, separated from
others. Kadosh can be positive and negative. For example, Hashem is
called Kadosh, separated from everything. A negative use of Kadosh
as separated is a prostitute, who is also called Kdaysha, as she is
separated from the rest of the people by her actions. Kdoshim Tihyu,
requires Havdala, separation. When Hashem conducts the world through
nature, He is Kadosh, hidden. When He rescued the Jews from Egypt, He
was visible to all, the Jews exclaimed Zeh Kayli V'Anvayhu. When Hashem
is hidden and man is perplexed by his inability to discern His plan,
He is called Kadosh. Where the concept of Vayered Hashem Beanan applies,
where Hashem is hidden from man, the concept of Kadosh applies. Esther
said I now understand Vata Kadosh Yoshev Thilos Yisrael, the salvation
will come through natural means. Our daily praises to Hashem of Hallel
D'Psukei D'Zimra are not for supernatural miracles but for the miracles
through nature that are shrouded in the obscuring cloud, Vayered Hashem
Beanan. Purim is the symbol of Jewish Salvation through ostensibly natural
means. For example, it seemed that Haman would conquer the world and his
plan would succeed. But Hashem works His plan in an unobtrusive way that
ultimately results in salvation for the Jews. That's why Chazal say that
Esther is called Ayelet Hashachar. The morning star does not rise at
once. When the Ayelet Hashachar is visible, it is difficult to discern
whether the black, night sky is brightening. Only after some time is it
clear that indeed the sky has brightened and the day is about to dawn.

Hallel Hamitzri was not instituted on Purim because Purim is the miracle
of Vata Kadosh, when Hashem is hidden and there are no supernatural
miracles. No supernatural afflictions befall Haman or Achashvayrosh. The
story of Purim describes how the Jews have to approach the king and
beg for mercy, to fast. But through all these things, in retrospect,
we see the hand of Hashem in everything, and though we may think
that He is far and removed from us, we must realize Vata Kadosh, He is
working His plan even though it might seem that He is separated from the
Jewish nation because the Jewish nation does not seek salvation through
supernatural miracles, through Hallel Hamitzri. The name of God, Shaday,
is not connected to the term Yoshev Thilos, as Shaday comes from the
root Shoded, Hashem breaks the laws of nature. Kadosh is Yoshev Thilos,
hidden from all. At such situations, where a Haman and an Achashvayrosh
can sit down to drink while the Jews are suffering, some might think that
there is no justice and there is no judge, Les Din V'Les Dayan. [Note
that this Shiur was given in 1956, when the US Secretary of State Dulles
was arming the Arabs against Israel] When a Dulles sits with Arabs and
plots against the Jews, just like V'Hamelech V'Haman Yashvu Lishtos, we
might despair and say Les Din V'Les Dayan. We can't! We are confident
in Vata Kadosh, we can't point to Him as Zeh Kayli Vanvayhu, but Vata
Kadosh Yoshev Thilos is always there. [The same applies to our current
situation Eretz Yisrael, B'Ezras Hashem].

We say Vata Kadosh Yoshev Thilos Yisrael Vkara Zeh El Zeh Vamar,
Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Hashem Tzvakos M'lo Chal Haaretz Kvodo. Tzvakos
comes from the root of an army camp, which is comprised of many small
details. Vayechulu Hashamayim Vhaaretz Vchal Tzvaam, heaven and earth and
all their details were completed. Hashem is revealed through small details
that we do not immediately appreciate. Only later, in retrospect do we
appreciate more fully what transpired, as we continue and explain, Kadish
Al Arah Ovad Gevurtay. When we ascribe the attribute of Kadosh to Hashem
we might be tempted to think that Hashem does not even bother to look
at this world. Our situation is so hopeless and Hashem is not interested
in helping us. His interest is limited to Asar Beis Shchintay, the place
of His Shechina. But we immediately say that is not true, Kadish Al Arah
Ovad Gvurtay, we don't see Him, but we know that whatever happens on this
world is not random, it is through Hashgachas Hashem, it is all part of
Hashem's master plan and direction and ultimately there will be Kadish
Lalam Ulalmay Almaya, He will be recognized as such forever and ever.

When we recite the Hagadah on Pesach night there is no need to say Vata
Kadosh. When we mention Dam, Tzfardaya, Kinim, we acknowledge the obvious
revelation of Hashem that took place in Egypt. Hashem was not Kadosh,
hidden, that night. Rather, He was visible as Zeh Kayli Vanvayhu, Kchol
Haosos Aher Asa Hashem Bmitzrayim Laynecha, as manifested through all
the miracles that Hashem performed before our eyes. However on Purim,
when we read the Megila, we read a story of a foolish, drunkard king
who is led astray by an evil adviser who ultimately bribes the king to
murder all the Jews. Haman and the king sit down to drink and the Jews
are desperate. One might proclaim at this juncture Les Din Vles Dayan,
the Jewish nation is in danger and Hashem is nowhere to be seen. But
the amazing turning point of the Megila is Balayla Hahu, on that night
when it appeared that Hashem was a Kadosh, hidden from the Jews. On that
long, bitter night, it appeared that there was no merit to be found for
the Jews and their destruction was imminent. The nation does not have a
single friend in the world, rather all the other nations heap calumny
upon her. On that long bitter night Mordechai pours out his heart and
attempts to approach the king and is rebuffed because he is dressed
inappropriately. Why does the king need to see this disheveled Jew? He
has 40 Arab nations as his friends. Les Din Vles Dayan. But this is the
turning point of the Megila. On that night Hashem, hidden in the place
of His Shechina, B'Asar Beis Shechintay, began to maneuver events, even
while Haman was still in control on the ground. [The Rav remarked that
this was similar to events in Eretz Yisrael where Arab regimes were given
aid despite their declared intentions to destroy Israel and Saudi Arabia
was being supplied with unnecessary tanks by a foolish administration,
in the mid 1950's. 50 years later we find ourselves in the same situation.
Eretz Yisrael was in the same situation as Mordechai relative to Haman's
decree and power.] When Mordechai attempted to protest the decree
of Haman, he was branded a disloyal officer of the king. After all,
if Mordechai was truly loyal to the king, he should be implementing
the decree of the king, not protesting it. [Similar accusations have
been registered against the Jews for protesting foolish administration
policies that put Eretz Yisrael in grave danger.] But on that dark and
bitter night, it was Vata Kadosh, we were far from Yoshev Thilos Yisrael,
from imagining that the day of destruction decreed by Haman would turn
into a day of celebration and victory over our enemies. Yet Hashem,
hidden above in His Bays Shechina, did not sleep, Kvayachol, and He
starts in an innocuous manner the process of salvation that results in
the hanging of Haman and Chamas Hamelech Shachacha, the quieting of the
anger of Hashem. Achashvayrosh's insomnia and his anger at Haman later
are insignificant here. In retrospect we see that these events in the
Megila refer to Hashem.

One who reads and understands the Megila fulfills Mikra Megila and the
Mitzva of Hallel. Chazal say (Megila 19a) that the Megila is called
a Sefer, book, and an Igeres, a letter. It is called a Sefer to teach
us that it must be sewn up with appropriate thread made from a kosher
animal, Bhayma Thora, similar to a Sefer Torah. If it was sewn together
with threads of flax it is not acceptable. Sefer means something
written on parchment. Sefer in Hebrew means something that exists for
many generations. Sados BaKesef Yiknu Uksov Basefer Vachasom, Lmaan
Yaamdu Yamim Rabim (Jeremiah 32:44). The prophet was commanded to use
a Sefer in order that it should last for generations as a verifiable
document. A Shtar R'ayah, a document for proof, is called a Sefer
because it is something that I might need many years from now to prove
something. Chazal say that the obligation of a king to write a Sefer Torah
requires that he write it on parchment, it is unacceptable to write it on
plain paper. Paper does not last, however parchment does. For example,
the Dead Sea Scrolls were written on parchment and have survived for
thousands of years. If a scribe makes a mistake in a letter on a Mezuza it
is Pasul, invalid, (Menachos 28a), because it has an aspect of permanence
and must be complete and accurate. However if one makes a mistake when
writing a letter it does not matter. An Igeres, a letter, is transient,
after its use it is thrown away. A Sefer is intended to be read by people
many years from now; we don't want it to contain any mistakes.

The greatness of Megilas Esther is that it is both an Igeres and a
Sefer. It is a letter that tells about a drunkard, foolish, weak King
who killed his queen on the advice of his minister and was led by his
wicked prime minister down a path to destroy the Jews. The same fool
later murdered his prime minister because he followed the advice of his
queen, Esther. This is a common story, where a foolish pliable leader is
convinced to adopt dangerous and misguided policies by conniving advisers
[no shortage of examples from the last century, including Nazi Germany and
the US administration relation to McCarthy]. Powerful leaders do not fall
prey to the advice of such malingerers. But the story and its details are
material for a letter, an Igeres, the story is read and disposed of like
one would read and dispose of a newspaper of magazine. It is news today
but of no relevance tomorrow or a year from now. For an Igeres, threads
of flax are sufficient to satisfy its limited required duration. However
the Megila is also a Sefer and a great book of the Jewish History that
contains a fundamental principle of Judaism, that Jews recite Hallel not
only on supernatural miracles as described in Hallel Hamitzri, but also on
natural invisible miracles as seen in retrospect in the story of Megilas
Esther. It is a Sefer of Balayla Hahu, of that dark sinister night, when
the Jews could find no help from heaven and no ally below. There was no
staff of Moshe that was used to perform miracles. No angel came forward
to help. At the time, it was not even obvious that Nadeda Shnas Hamelech,
that Hashem's, Kvayachol, sleep was disturbed. Similar to events in
Eretz Yisrael today and 55 years ago when the Nazis, Yimach Shemam,
came to power and decimated our people. Only later, after the fact,
was it obvious.

The Megila is a great Sefer that describes how Esther's first impression
was Kayli Kayli Lama Azavtani, that Hashem was not performing visible
miracles for the Jews, and in the end she exclaims Vata Kadosh, though
Hashem was hidden, the end result was the salvation of the Jews [though
a terrible price was exacted from our people]. It describes no less of
a miracle than other books of Tanach. Therefore it must be treated the
same as the other Sifrei Kodesh, and must be sewn with threads from a
Kosher animal.

We must understand the Megila. Without Taharas Hanefesh we can't
understand the Megila. Chazal explain that when the Megila says Divrei
Shalom Vemes, we learn that Megila require Shirtut [etching lines in
the parchment] similar to a Sefer Torah, Laamito Shel Torah. Rabbeinu
Tam says it means that the Megila has the same importance as a Sefer
Torah that contains Shema Yisrael (See Megila 16b, Tosfos Sotah 17b D'H
Kasva Igeres, Tosfos Gittin 6b D'H Amar Rabi Yitzckak). The story about a
drunkard king and the great Parsha of Shema Yisrael have a common Kedusha
and linkage. The Jews in Egypt did not say Shema Yisrael, because they
saw supernatural miracles, they exclaimed Ashira L'Hashem Ki Gao Ga'ah,
I will sing to Hashem for He is exalted. When do Jews say Shema? When they
perish for Kiddush Hashem, another manifestation of Balayla Hahu, when
all is bleak and hopeless, when they proclaim Kayli Kayli Lama Azavtani,
all is black and sinister. Rabbi Akiva was tortured with steel combs
ripping his flesh, yet at that time he saw Hashem and recited Shema. When
the Gemara (Megila 14a) asked why don't we recite Hallel on Purim, Rava
answered, what form of Hallel should we recite? Hallel Hamitzri? There
were no obvious supernatural miracles on Purim, so Hallel Hamitzri is
not appropriate. The greatness of Purim was through Balayla Hahu, Kayli
Kayli Lama Azavtani and the juxtaposition of Vata Kadosh. It appeared that
Hashem has no contact with the world and the world is controlled by the
Hamans, the Muftis, the Arabs [and the Arafats] of the world. However we
know that Hashem is Yoshev Thilos Yisrael, that is why the Jew recites Uva
Ltzion after reading the Megila because this is the central point of the
Megila. The main theme of Hallel is through the reading of the Megila,
a Sefer that revolves around the Yoshev Thilos Yisrael and the hidden,
natural miracle of salvation.

It is interesting that there is a Machlokes from where we start to read
the Megila (Megila 19a). One opinion is that we start from Balayla Hahu,
from the start of the salvation. Rabbi Yehuda says we start from the
story of the rise of Haman, Rabbi Yossi says M'ish Yehudi, because we
need to know who were Mordechai and Esther. Rabbi Mayer says from the
beginning. Why should we be interested in the story of a drunkard king and
his miserable queen? Why recite blessings and Shehecheyanu on this? The
answer is that every detail of the Megila is crucial to the story. Had
Achashvayrosh not been drunk, had the king not summoned Vashti, had
Vashti not been murdered, Esther would not have become queen. At the
time, the Jews did not understand the importance of the episode with
Vashti. Only afterwards was it clear that this was the master plan of
Hashem to rescue the Jews. The Jews realized in retrospect that the
miracle began from the moment the king became drunk that first time.

It is also important to read all the details because the story of the
Megila, that of near disaster and salvation through seemingly natural
means, has applied to the Jews throughout the generations. We call this
day Purim because of the lottery conducted by Haman, but why do we refer
to it in the plural? Why not Pur? The Rav explained that had the miracle
described in the Megila been a singular event, we would have called it
Pur. But since Haman's intention was attempted many times throughout the
millennia, the lesson of reciting Hallel for salvation through natural
means applies after those situations as well.

When Esther asked the Rabbis to canonize the Megila they were hesitant
(Megila 7a). Until they found a reference in the Torah based on the war
with Amalek. The Parsha of Amalek continues throughout all generations. We
must constantly review it. It is noteworthy that where Amalek is mentioned
we do not find supernatural miracles performed by Hashem for the Jewish
People. Hashem showed so many miracles in Egypt and at the Red Sea.
However when Amalek attacks, Moshe commands Joshua to select troops and
battle Amalek. Why didn't Hashem perform miracles with Amalek just like
He performed against the Egyptians? Miracles are performed against other
enemies of the Jewish People, but not Amalek. Jews must fight Amalek
on their own, in the natural realm. Victory over Amalek will only come
through Megilas Esther, natural victory that in retrospect will show
the hidden hand of Hashem.

Amalek is not battling the Jews. Rather they are battling Kvayachol
Hashem. Since they could do nothing against the God of the Jews they
instead went after the Jews (Hitler was the same) and tried to destroy
them, all because Mordechai Lo Yichra Vlo Yishtachave, Mordechai lives
differently. He has a different diet, calendar, education system. So they
attacked him and tried to destroy him. Paroh was interested in maintaining
the cheap slave labor of the Jewish People, his intentions were different
than Amalek, hence a different battle plan was used against him. Where the
adversary attacks the Jews, Hashem helps with supernatural miracles. But
when the adversary seeks to attack Hashem, then the Jews are on their
own. Haman was battling the God of Mordechai, which was the reason that
Mordechai will not bow before him. And if Mordechai will not bow, then
most likely the rest of his people will not bow before him either and
Haman decided to seek their destruction. Haman could have gotten the
Jews to do his bidding. But once he got involved with idolatry, then
all Jews resisted him. That's why he said their religion is different
from all others. He was not angry with the Jews, but rather he could not
tolerate their uniqueness of religion, their commitment to God and His
Torah and Mitzvos. In such a situation Hashem works through the motif
of Vata Kadosh, He allows the Jews to do battle through natural means
and helps them through natural events, but not through obvious miracles.

Throughout our many encounters with Amalek we have been overcome with
the emotions of Kayli Kayli Lama Azavtani. We have felt stranded and
separated from Hashem. The Jew waits through the long night. Chazal tell
us that the end of the night is bleaker than the beginning, because at
the end of night the light from the houses has been extinguished and
all are asleep. At the time of deepest despair the Ayelet Hashachar
rises and the sky and situation begin to brighten. The illumination is
unnoticeable at first until it is obvious to all in retrospect. At the
end of each encounter with Amalek we conclude Vata Kadosh Yoshev Thilos
Yisrael for the salvation provided by Hashem.
Copyright 2001, Josh Rapps and Israel Rivkin, Edison, NJ.
Permission to reprint this Shiur, with this notice, is granted. To
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