Avodah Mailing List

Volume 07 : Number 035

Friday, May 4 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 23:00:52 +0100
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Is there a role for AishDas?

Feldman, Mark <MFeldman@CM-P.COM> writes
>I do wish to pose the following question regarding the AishDas charter:  I
>think that many of the people who write on Avodah/Areivim are idealistic
>people who identify with the goals of the Charter.  But many more view
>Avodah/Areivim as an interesting forum to discuss Torah and current issues...
>Are there enough idealistic people on our list to truly get a HaOlim-type
>movement going? I have my doubts.

May I remind you, as a matter of history, that Avodah was set up as a
high level Torah discussion list and, mainly I believe because RYGB did
not feel able to keep running it, was it then run out of Aishdas.

I would be slightly concerned if, as an original subscriber (actually,
that is too active, I was defacto subscribed in the original mailing of
Avodah pre Aishdas and decided not to unsubscribe) that was deemed to
mean that I bought into the Aishdas Charter (which, unlike you, I have
never read nor sought out) by virtue of what I regarded as a change in
mechanics (ie the email address from which the list was posted).

What perhaps is a more appropriate question is whether there ought to be
a separate list run out of Aishdas that specifically relates to
particular Aishdas concerns - and whether there is sufficient interest
among the membership of the current lists (that, of course, would leave
us oldtimers free to get back to what we originally thought we were
getting if that was what we wanted to do)?


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Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 18:00:42 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Rav Avigdor Miller ZTK"L

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 03:49:12PM -0400, Stein, Aryeh E. wrote:
:                      ... and RTHW remembered one of the assignments that RAM
: gave them: on Chanuka, turn all the lights off, sit in front of the chanuka
: licht and think what the candles mean to you.  RTHW noted that this kind of
: action is certainly not usual nowadays...

Not outside of kiruv programs, at least.

And the same can be said of slower davening.

Not to mention the article whose URL we saw on Areivim suggesting we take
ideas from beginners' minyanim and use them in the main shul.

In short: we have people out there who found ways to inspire. These means
are working on the not-yet-frum (and not-yet-fully-frum), we should look
to see if we can use them for ourselves -- those who have been doing thise
long enough to become overly FFH (frum from habit).


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: Thu, 3 May 2001 17:56:36 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
Flood (redux from volume 3)

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Which is how the same liquid was simultaneously blood for an Egyptian
> and water for a Jew. The Egyptian experienced a sub-natural reality.
> I wonder if this would explain the lack of evidence of miracles. We're
> doing the measuring and the experimentation. We're clearly people who are
> on the level of natural -- in the version of existance that we experience,
> the most clear-cut miracle was the Six Day War.

> Perhaps, and I insist on the perhaps, this is a HUGE stretch, one can
> say that we don't find evidence of miracles because we are measuring
> the reality of the Egyptians at the Red Sea, not the Jews.

> It would also explain the flood. We aren't that far sub-natural either.

I'll re-iterate my theme on that volume....

The Dibra Torah belashon benei adam.

The Torah used 1500 BCE idiom to describe events that probably require
year 3000 CE understandings of physics, metaphysics, etc.

Illustration: If I said circa 1800 to a rational human being that "Time"
elapses differently relative to who where you are, how fast you are going,
I would probably be considered insane.

True we have a REMEZ to this in Tehillim 90:3, so some yechidim perhaps
had such as hassaga...But it took Einstein and schoen, it is beginning
to make sense how perspective influences elapsed time, because "Time"
is indeed relative, and such an idea is acceptable in 2001 CE by even
the average person.

Kabbalah addresses many of these concepts, but we as "keilimm" usually
don't get it because we are stuck in our pre-exsiting paradigms. And if
we wax Too literal or Too Rigid aakvk we become even more stuck.

AISI, Micha, what you have experienced is an epiphany of insight, but
this is far from the last one.

When the process is done, you will see that:
A) the Torah account of the Mabbul is accurate, just as it is written
B) it is nothing at all like any of us visualized, including such
"visual" gedolim as Cecille B. deMille or {yibadeil lechayim <smile>}
Steven Spielberg.
and therefore
C) until then scientists will continue to overlook the evidence - but -
they also overlook their own noses until they learned to invent mirrors
to see them from a new perspective.

And so it is that the Torah speaks the truth at all times, but literal
understandings of same can be deceiving and misleading. And so we
have Pardes to assist us and getting to a more complete and robust
understanding. But we don't always "chap" even that.

Frequently - as in the case of time's relativity - good Madda sheds
light on the Torah.
Frequently - as in the case of archaeological lack of evidence for the
Mabbul - incorrect insight will lead us to "bad" Madda.

Bottom Line Micha, I don't know if you have hit on the definitive answer,
but I think you are on the right track so chazzak va'amatz.

Shalom and Best Regards,
Richard Wolpoe

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Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 19:22:33 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Fwd: RAV -16: "The Lonely Man of Faith" Part 2

another segment in this series.
    Steve Brizel

			     by Rav Ronnie Ziegler
	     LECTURE #16: "The Lonely Man of Faith" (Continuation)
			Part 2 - Defining the Two Adams

Once Rav Soloveitchik finishes delineating the problem he wishes to
address (see lecture #15), he sets up the framework from which to
determine the answer. For the man of faith, he notes, self-knowledge
means "to understand one's place and role within the scheme of events
and things willed and approved by God" (p.8). Therefore, he turns to
an examination of the Bible's account of the creation of Adam and Eve,
which should reveal to us the essence and purpose of humanity.


The biblical narrative, as is well-known, contains two versions of
the story of man's creation. Biblical criticism attributes this to the
existence of two different documents which were subsequently interwoven
in the biblical text. Chazal and the Rishonim were aware of these same
discrepancies (see For Further Reference, #1), but offered different
solutions based on their vastly differing assumptions. Rav Soloveitchik
offers a strikingly original solution which flows naturally from his
general philosophic approach.

Since Jewish thought often takes the form of exegesis of canonical texts
(whether biblical or rabbinic), it is often the case, as Rav Jonathan
Sacks notes (reference #2), that new forms of Jewish philosophy entail
new ways of reading Jewish texts. In Rav Soloveitchik's case, this means
extending the Brisker method of "chakira" from halakha to Tanakh and
aggada. In keeping with this method, he highlights the differences between
Bereishit chapter 1 and chapter 2, offering a unique interpretation of
their significance.

   "[T]he answer [to the discrepancies] lies not in an alleged dual
   tradition but in dual man, not in an imaginary contradiction between
   two versions but in a real contradiction in the nature of man.
   The two accounts deal with two Adams, two men, two fathers of mankind,
   two types, two representatives of humanity, and it is no wonder that
   they are not identical."

Prior to examining the two Adams, a word about the Rav's methodology
is in order. (Permit me to quote here from lecture #3.) Much of Rav
Soloveitchik's thought can be described as "philosophic anthropology"
- the description of different ideal types of personalities. They are
"ideal" in the sense of being pure abstract types, not in the sense of
being the best types. In fact, the Rav repeatedly emphasizes that these
pure types do not exist in reality (LMF, p.72; Halakhic Man, footnote
1). We can compare them to certain chemical elements or subatomic
particles which can be isolated only under laboratory conditions, but
cannot be seen by themselves in nature.

Thus, due to human complexity, any specific real person will contain
within him a conglomeration of various types. However, the point of
separating an individual into his component parts is to demonstrate the
internal coherence of each position, and thereby to understand better the
nature of the complex hybrid produced by the coexistence of the various
types. For example, every person is expected to embody the positions
of both Adam I and Adam II, but in order to negotiate this dialectic
successfully, he must understand each component by itself.


With apologies to those who have read "The Lonely Man of Faith," I
would now like to present selections from the two biblical accounts,
and then the four major discrepancies which Rav Soloveitchik lists.
[Note that there are details of the stories which he does not deal with
here, but which he addresses elsewhere - see reference #3.]

I. Bereishit 1:27-28

   "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created
   He him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them and
   God said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and
   subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl
   of the heaven, and over all the beasts which crawl on the earth."

II. Bereishit 2:7-8, 2:15

   "And the eternal God formed the man of the dust of the ground and
   breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living
   soul. And the eternal God planted a garden eastward in Eden ... And
   the eternal God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to
   serve it and to keep it."

The discrepancies:

1. Regarding Adam I, the Torah states that he was created "in the image
of God" but mentions nothing about the creation of his body, while
regarding Adam II, the Torah says that he was fashioned from dust and
then God breathed life into him.

2. Adam I is told to "Fill the earth and subdue it," while Adam II is
charged to cultivate the garden.

3. In the first account, male and female are created concurrently,
while in the second account, Adam is created alone and Eve appears later.

4. The first account refers to God only by the name "E- lokim," while
the second account also uses the Tetragrammaton (the Shem Ha-meforash,
the four-letter sacred name).


The Rav's explanations of these discrepancies are spread throughout
chapters 1-6 of "The Lonely Man of Faith." I will present them here
briefly, and will then proceed to examine these chapters in more detail.

1. Chapters 1-2: Adam I's creation "in the image of God" refers to his
capacity and desire to imitate God by becoming a creator, particularly
in response to God's mandate to him to "subdue the earth." This is
expressed by man's practical intellect, i.e. his scientific ability
to comprehend the forces of nature and his technological ability to
bend them to his will. Adam II, on the other hand, does not have such a
grandiose self-image; he is humble, realizing that he was created from
the dust of the earth. He allows himself to be overpowered and defeated
by God. While Adam I maintains some distance from God, relating merely
to the divine endowment of creativity, Adam II has a "genuine living
experience" of God and is preoccupied with Him, as evidenced by the
metaphor of God breathing life into his nostrils.

2. Chapters 3 and 4.A: Told to subdue the earth, Adam I adopts an active,
dignified, and majestic posture. He is a conqueror in both intellectual
and practical terms. Intellectually, he is able to take the bewildering
array of natural phenomena and fashion scientific laws to explain their
functioning. This is a conquest of the human mind over nature, or of order
over chaos. Practically, he overcomes nature's threats to his existence
by draining swamps and discovering vaccines; he harnesses the forces of
nature to serve his own ends by splitting the atom and extracting fuel
from the earth; and he fashions devices such as the automobile, airplane
and spaceship to extend his hegemony. Adam II, on the other hand, is more
passive and receptive. His goal is not to exercise mastery but to serve -
God places him in the garden "to cultivate it and to keep it."

3. Chapters 3 and 4.B: Adam I is a social creature; male and female are
created together. His quest for dignity can be realized only within a
community, since dignity entails impressing others by means of one's
accomplishments. Furthermore, the quest for dignity requires the
cooperation of others, since one person alone cannot master a hostile
environment. Adam II, however, is created in solitude; loneliness is
inherent to his very being. In order to redeem himself from this situation
which God deems to be "not good" - meaning to forge an existential
community which will relieve him of his loneliness - he is required to
sacrifice part of himself.

4. Chapter 6: "E-lokim" denotes God as the source of cosmic dynamics,
while the Tetragrammaton indicates personal, intimate communion between
God and man. Adam I is satisfied by an impersonal encounter with the
former (the cosmic experience), while Adam II craves the latter (the
covenantal experience).


Adam I and Adam II seem to start at the same point: both are motivated
by their encounter with the cosmos, search for God, and both try to
realize their full human potential. But because of their different needs,
attitudes and goals, they approach these tasks in very different manners,
so that they end up in very different positions.

Adam I sees his main objective, the cultivation of his humanity, in the
attainment of dignity. "[B]y setting himself up as a dignified majestic
being capable of ruling his environment," he distinguishes himself from
and raises himself above the rest of nature.

   "Dignity is a social and behavioral category, expressing not an
   intrinsic existential quality, but a technique of living, a way of
   impressing society ... Hence, dignity is measured not by the inner
   worth of the in-depth-personality, but by the accomplishments of the
   surface-personality." (pp.25- 26)

Why is the conquest of nature dignified? Why does majesty make one more
fully "man?"

   "The brute's existence is an undignified one because it is a
   helpless one... Man of old who could not fight disease and succumbed
   in multitudes to yellow fever or any other plague with degrading
   helplessness could not lay claim to dignity. Only the man who builds
   hospitals, discovers therapeutic techniques and saves lives is blessed
   with dignity." (pp.16-17)

Hence, Adam I is completely utilitarian in motivation, and boldly
aggressive in approach. When he confronts the cosmos, he asks only "how,"
not "why" - he wants to know how the cosmos functions so that he can
master it. "The most characteristic representative of Adam the first is
the mathematical scientist" (p.18), who conceptualizes natural phenomena
into an abstract system of his own making. [It is interesting to note
that, in other works, the Rav presents the mathematical scientist as the
model for Halakhic Man!] He is concerned not only with the functionality
of his creation, but also with its order, balance, pleasantness and
beauty. This extends to his structuring of society: "[H]e legislates
for himself norms and laws because a dignified existence is an orderly
existence" (pp. 18-19).

All this should sound familiar: it echoes the approach of majestic man
in "Majesty and Humility." He espouses an ethic of victory, seeking to
master nature and to legislate orderly norms. And, as in "Majesty and
Humility," the Rav here emphasizes that,

   "Even this longing for vastness, no matter how adventurous and
   fantastic, is legitimate. Man reaching for the distant stars is acting
   in harmony with his nature which was created, willed, and directed
   by his Maker." (pp.19-20)

However, as in the former essay, the Rav will also inform us here that
this approach must be balanced by that of humble, covenantal man.


Adam II also seeks to fully realize his humanity, but he interprets this
in terms of attaining redemption. The Rav draws a series of contrasts
between dignity and redemption. While dignity is a social quality of
the surface personality, redemption is an existential state of the inner
personality. Redemption is attained by control over oneself, dignity by
control over one's surroundings; redemption expresses itself in surrender
to God, dignity in defiance of nature; redemption is characterized by
retreat, dignity by advance. The contrast between advance and retreat
should clue us in to the fact that the dialectical oscillation between
these two modes of living is a cathartic process (see lectures #6,
#7, etc.).

The redemptive surrender to God gives Adam II a sense of "axiological

   "The individual intuits his existence as something worthwhile,
   legitimate and adequate, anchored in something stable and
   unchangeable." (p.35)

Ultimately, this experience serves as a basis for him to enter into an
intimate relationship with God.

When confronting the cosmos, Adam II does not wish to master it or
mathematize it, but rather to encounter it directly in all of its pristine
splendor. This is the difference between what the Rav refers to as the
quantitative and qualitative approaches to reality (see reference #4).

   "[Adam II] studies [the universe] with the naivete, awe and
   admiration of the child who seeks the unusual and wonderful in every
   ordinary thing and event... He looks for the image of God not in the
   mathematical formula or the natural relational law but in every beam
   of light, in every bud and blossom, in the morning breeze and the
   stillness of a starlit evening." (p.23)

The cosmic encounter propels Adam II to ask WHY the world exists
(not HOW does it function), and to seek out God, whose presence he
senses behind all of creation. On the one hand, the natural religious
response to this awe- inspiring encounter is to recite a benediction,
praising and acknowledging God as the source of cosmic dynamics (p.51,
footnote 1). On the other hand, Adam II recognizes that encountering God
in nature is insufficient to attain redemption. There are two reasons
for this. Firstly, God is both hidden and revealed when one searches
for Him in nature. Secondly, the message of the Heavens is impersonal.

   "In short, the cosmic experience is antithetic and tantalizing.
   It exhausts itself in the awesome dichotomy of God's involvement in
   the drama of creation, and His exaltedness above and remoteness from
   this very drama. This dichotomy cancels the intimacy and immediacy
   from one's relationship with God and renders the personal approach
   to God complicated and difficult... Therefore, the man of faith,
   in order to redeem himself from his loneliness and misery, must meet
   God at a personal covenantal level, where he can be near Him and feel
   free in His presence." (pp.49-50)

It is the covenant, not the cosmic experience of God, which allows Adam
II to attain redemption. (See Reference #5.)

The differences between Adam I and Adam II carry over to the type of
community that each one forms. We will turn our attention to these two
communities in the next lecture.


1. TWO ACCOUNTS: The Rav (p.10) lists several places where Chazal and the
Rishonim take account of the discrepancies between Bereishit chapters 1
and 2 - Berakhot (61a), Ketubot (8a), Ramban (Bereishit 2:7), and Kuzari

2. JEWISH PHILOSOPHY AS EXEGESIS: Rav Jonathan Sacks, Tradition in an
Untraditional Age (London, 1990), p.40. See also the sources cited in
his footnote.

"Confrontation," "The Community," "Adam and Eve" (in Shiurei Harav).
There is also much material still in manuscript dealing with paradisical
man. As I noted in lecture #3, the Rav's habit was to examine a text
afresh each time he encountered it, learning something new from it each
time. This is well-known regarding his Talmud scholarship, and is no
less true of his study of Tanakh.

appears in many of the Rav's writings, and is especially important
in Halakhic Man and "Ma Dodekh Mi-dod." We discussed this distinction
briefly in lecture #14, in connection with the catharsis of the intellect.

5.A. COSMIC EXPERIENCE OF GOD: This is a major theme in the opening
chapters of "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham" (where it is referred to as the
"Bereishit experience" or the "natural ontological consciousness").
See especially Chapter 3 of UVM, pp.134-141, which significantly expands
the account in Chapter 6 of "The Lonely Man of Faith" of man's search
for God in the cosmos and its ultimate failure.

5.B. EXPERIENCE VS. PROOF: In the fascinating and highly significant
footnote at the end of chapter 6 of LMF (pp.51-52), the Rav takes pain
to distinguish between APPREHENDING God IN nature (the cosmic experience)
and COMPREHENDING God THROUGH nature (the cosmological proof). The former
is an experience, while the latter is an intellectual performance (whose
validity has been undermined by Hume and Kant). In a single stroke, the
Rav does away with all medieval proofs for the existence of God, but then
reinstates them when conceived as experiences and not as proofs. This
has major ramifications, and is a good example of his translation of
Maimonidean philosophy into more modern (generally existential) terms In
this manner, he saves many Maimonidean doctrines, which are dependent on
a defunct philosophical framework, from irrelevance. He makes the same
point in "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham" (pp. 127-132), where we will examine it
at greater length.

Copyright (c) 1999 Yeshivat Har Etzion All Rights Reserved

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Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 10:12:19 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
sun standing still

> The Maharal also uses this idea to argue that the sea never split in
> the Egyptian reality. "And the water was for them [for the Jews in
> particular] a wall, on their right and on their left." But the
> Egyptians lived in a universe where the water never turned into walls.
> The sun stood still for those who fought in the valley, but 
> for the rest
> of the world astronomy and time went on as usual. Etc...
> IMHO, this implies that Noah wasn't that great of a person, I guess the
> Maharal was in the "bidorosav -- lig'nai" camp. A greater human being
> wouldn't have needed the boat -- for regular people, global flooding
> doesn't occur. It requires people so evil as to be sub-natural.
> I wonder if this would explain the lack of evidence of miracles. We're
> doing the measuring and the experimentation. We're clearly 
> people who are
> on the level of natural -- in the version of existance that 
> we experience,
> the most clear-cut miracle was the Six Day War.
> Perhaps, and I insist on the perhaps, this is a HUGE stretch, one can
> say that we don't find evidence of miracles because we are measuring
> the reality of the Egyptians at the Red Sea, not the Jews.

I do not understand the Maharal. Is he saying that it only seemed to
happen but did not really happen, like in a dream.

The sun moves becauses of the earth's rotation. The sun can't physically
stand still in one part of the world and not somewhere else.
What can happen is that cloud cover or some other physical phenomena occurs
that makes it seem as if the sun is still there even after the sun has set.

It terms of evidence for miracles what kind of evidence would one want?
One wouldn't expect any physical evidence of the splitting of the sea.

The only one possible would be the walls of Jericho which already pose
an archaelogical puzzle.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 10:50:05 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Flood (redux from volume 3)

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 05:56:36PM -0400, Wolpoe, Richard wrote:
:> It would also explain the flood. We aren't that far sub-natural either.

: The Dibra Torah belashon benei adam.

IOW, I assert the Maharal, you assert here something that looks like the
Ralbag, and somehow you see the two as compatible. The Maharal opens with
two pages of tearing into that very shitah. But I clearly don't understand
what you're trying to say here, because the end of your post doesn't fit that.

Are you saying that the nissim of the Torah would have teva explanations
if science were "complete"?

Or, are you saying that the description one finds in the Torah is
exactly correct, but using the lashon of that era. In today's era,
the lashon would be that of modern science, but it would still
describe something that science will never be able to explain.

The Maharal isn't saying that nisim are only subjective, or, as another
asked, only a dream. He is saying that reality itself is subjective (as R'
Josh Backon noted offline, very Quantum Mechanical or relativistic).

It's not that the Mitzrim experienced something they thought was blood,
or only had a dream that the water turned to blood. Rather, the Mitzrim
and the Jews each experienced different realities.

(Alternatively, and this isn't the Maharal's idea but a personal twist
on it, there is one reality that has an extra dimension connected to the
madreigah of the person. Therefore different people experience different
things because they are looking at reality from different angles.)

Most of us are basically on the madreigah of teva, so the differences
in reality aren't significant.

BTW, the majority of that Maharal is about the laws of neis. It's really
worth looking at firsthand, rather than through my tinted glasses.


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, 4 May 2001 06:34:18 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Defining hishtadlus

>: Does hishtadlut *only* apply to physical actions?

> Hishtadlus is any activity -- be it po'al, dibbur or machshavah -- aimed
> at solving the problem biderech hateva.

so Prayer can serve *two* purposes:
1) an expression of bitachon -- thanking HKBH for something.
2) an expression of hishtadlut -- asking for something.

Learning, OTOH, would be a form of hishtadlut by increasing zechuyot.


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Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 10:37:39 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Defining hishtadlus

On Fri, May 04, 2001 at 06:34:18AM +0200, Akiva Atwood wrote:
:> Hishtadlus is any activity -- be it po'al, dibbur or machshavah -- aimed
:> at solving the problem biderech hateva.

: so Prayer can serve *two* purposes:
: 1) an expression of bitachon -- thanking HKBH for something.
: 2) an expression of hishtadlut -- asking for something.

Well, you can assert that, but there is no "so" there.

I would argue that since tefillah doesn't work biderech hateva, one only
expect it to work because one has *bitachon* in HKBH.

Tefillah is not, LAD, hishtadlus.

I think you're defining any yeshu'ah vi'a IdT as hishtadlus, and only IdE
is what REED calls bitachon. That doesn't fit REED's words on Vayishlach.

I am defining both IdT and IdE as bitachon, and only working within teva,
not relying on any "I", to be hishtadlus.


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: Thu, 3 May 2001 18:14:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Does the Torah include all of Maddah?

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Hafoch bah vihafoch bah, dihakol matzui bah"...

> It would seem to me that the mishnah is asserting that all of what one
> needs to learn is there. IOW, if learning mada (by which I mean philosophy
> and natural philosophy, as per the Rambam -- liberal arts aside) is part
> of the mitzvah of talmud Torah then the mishnah is saying that it's in
> the Torah.

> However, if one if choleik with the Rambam, then "everything you need
> to know" would include what? All of ethics?"

That would be my take. Essentially the Torah is a blueprint for man's
interaction with man, G-d, and the environment. Through an exhaustive
study of TSBP and TSBK one can can arrive at the pennultimate behavior
that G-d expect's of man in any and all situations. The study of Mada
is an area of R'shus that man may or may not avail himself of. To the
extent that he is M'kadish Shem Shomayim with it through Tikkun HaOlam,
is the extent that he is behaving in the the Torah ethical way. IOW the
study of science is external to the Torah. It's application is where
the Torah takes over.

So, for example the concept of Cloning... Is it mentioned in the
Torah? No, but the Torah's ethics informs us how to proceed with it
because "Hafoch bah vihafoch bah, dihakol matzui bah".

The fact that there are Refuos mentioned in TSBP does not mean that it
was intended as an exhaustive list of all cures. I believe that much of
what is quoted in the Gemmara was just Agav Urcha to the various Sugyos
that they are attached to. As I said in the past, I don't believe for
example, that anyone would ever be able to map the Human Genome through
even the most thorough study of TSBK and TSBP... not even the Vilna Gaon.


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Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 09:29:29 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: sinat chinam

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 11:30:47AM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
:> matnas hinam is not a gift of nothing rather it is a gift without
:> "cause/function"

: I am still confused. There is no such thing as hatred without a cause.

But there is hatred with a gratituitous cause.

If someone takes offense because of a lack of judgement likaf zechus, isn't
that chinam? Or someone who holds on to their anger, so that at this point
the only cause is last year's anger?

Along similar lines, I wondered about suicide -- does saying that the person
was probably insane eliminate the whole din? In psychiatric practice today,
being suicidal is definitionally insane.

But what if a person kills themselves for a reason, but the reason doesn't
warrant the reaction? For example, even bizeman hazah, would we be meikil
on someone who killed themselves to protest some war?

I am suggesting that lihalachah in both cases, blowing a reason out of
proportion is the same as not having a reason.


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, 4 May 2001 09:41:30 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ten Steps to Greatness

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 01:03:11PM -0400, Torah.Center.Webmaster@mx-a.awc.net
: Spend at least 30 seconds each day thinking about the WORLD TO COME -
: Olam Haba - and that we are in this world only as a preperation for the
: world to come.
: This is the purpose of life.

I am concerned about this. We tend to not to focus on olam haba too much
because it can quite easily lead to shimush es haRav al minas likabeil

: S T E P   T W O
: Spend a few seconds each day in a private place and say to Hashem "I
: You will be fulfilling a positive comandment from the Torah. This
: will kindle a fire in your heart and will have a powerful effect on
: your character. Your exteriority bestirs your interiority. Hashem is
: listening. He loves you much more than you love him.

I was thinking of something that would combine this idea with the idea
of davening more slowly. The problem with slowing down davening is that
most days we barely have time for tefillah as is.

But what about berachos? Not even benchin or the longer berachos: I'm
thinking of Asher Yatzar, birchos hanehenin, and birchos hamitzvah. Saying
them at half-speed will not affect most people's schedule. And yet it
means thinking about our relationship to HKBH throughout the day.

Perhaps investing the time to learn the first part of Nefesh haChaim II
Or the like would be a worthwhile.

Try it for three weeks. B"N I will. They say that it takes three weeks
to set a habit. I'll check back with the chevrah in three weeks, we can
share kavanos and experiences.

Berachos are an example of Avodah shebeleiv. If we can find similar
activities for Torah and G"Ch, we would have a nice set of hanhagos
that would have a clear hashpa'ah, and that do not require a geographic
kehillah to do so.

: S T E P   S E V E N
: Be aware of the principle - "Man was created in the image of Hashem."
: Once a day pick a face and think "I am seeing the image of Hashem." You
: will begin to understand the endless nobility of a face.

Another of my concerns is this tendency to define bein adam lachaveiro
in terms of bein adam laMakom. What is really concerning is the fact that
we clearly need this format. Sort of implies that the moreh derech
realizes that people are weak in bein adam lachaveiro, and it is only
by attaching it to laMakom that he is likely to be mashbi'ah.

The concern is that this will further cater to the idea. We're accomodating
the flaw rather than addressing it.

Also, ironically, this is the exact opposite of Hillel. Hillel saw kol
haTorah kulah, including bein adam laMakom in the basic principle of
bein adam lachaveiro. (How that's true is a different discussion.)


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

Go to top.


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