Avodah Mailing List

Volume 07 : Number 045

Wednesday, May 23 2001

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 16:46:19 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: Dor Revi'i on Megilat Rut

To be posted soon on the Dor Revi'i website

Megilat Rut: y'shaleim ha-Sheim et maskurteikh sh'leimah mei-im ha-Sheim 
Elokei Yisrael asher ba't la-hasot tahat k'naphav:  

It is written in the Midrah 
	R. Hasa says, "the Scripture writes 'that you came'" (asher ba't).

And many have already discussed this Midrash at length, but it appears to 
our master that one must first consider the verses in Exodus 19 (3-6)

    Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the people of
    Israel. You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore
    thee on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now, therefore,
    if you will obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My own
    possession among all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. and
    you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These
    are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.

Many questions arise:

    1. What is the significance of the repetitive mention of "the house
    of Jacob" and "the people of Israel"?

    2. What is the difference between "saying" (amirah) and "telling"

    3. The words "if you will obey" (shamo'a tishm'u) is encompassing,
    so what is it necessary to add "keep my covenant" (u-sh'martem briti)?

    4. How does "for all the earth is Mine" provide an explanation for
    "you will be my possession among all the nations"?

    5. What is signified by the repetitive mention of "a kingdom of
    priests" and "a holy nation"?

We know indeed that the Eternal commanded each one of us to observe
and to fulfill the Torah and the commandments according to our own
individual capacities. But the responsibility for the sins committed
by any individual was also placed upon all of us, because each man is
responsible for his friend. For if one man sins, He becomes angry at
the entire nation, and He holds them all responsible because they did
not reprove the sinner and cause him to repent of his sins. Anyone who
has the power to come to the aid of the Eternal by preventing another
from falling into sin, yet does nothing, has incurred a guilt that is
greater than he can bear. Thus, the Ramban cites the Talmud Yerushalmi
to show that the verse (Deuteronomy 27:26) "cursed be he who does not
confirm all the words of this law" refers to the covenant that the
Eternal made with us at Horeb, as it is written (Deuteronomy 29:12)
"that you may enter into the sworn covenant of the L-rd your G-d"
(l'ovr'kha bi'vrit ha-Sheim Elokekha u-v'alato).

And the reason why the nations refused to accept the Torah when G-d
offered it to them was that they did not want to be responsible for each
other. This is the opinion of the Sifri about the verse (Deuteronomy
33:2-4): "the Eternal came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them,
He shone forth from Mount Paran, he came from the ten thousands of
holy ones with flaming fire at his right hand. . . . Moshe commanded
us a law, an inheritance for the assembly of Ya'akov." According to
the Sifri, the Eternal went from one nation to the next offering to
give them the Torah, but they did not want it. And the reason that the
nations and the kingdoms did not want it was that they did not want
to be responsible for each other. And each nation had its own excuse.
The children of Eisav said that they were murderers and lust for blood,
while the Torah says "Thou shalt not kill." The children of Amon and Moab
argued that they were all adulterers, while the book of wisdom says "do
not commit adultery." And so the children of Yishmael answered that they
are thieves and predators, but the Torah raised her voice to say "Thou
shalt not steal." And in this way they all avoided accepting the Torah.

But this Midrash is amazing. Are these three prohibitions not among the
seven Noahide Laws that were already incumbent upon them? [See further
explanations of this Midrash in poroshat V'zot Ha-brakhah.] So how could
they have turned their back on these commandments? However, the answer
is what we have already explained. They would have accepted the Torah,
but they did not want to accept responsibility for each other, because
they knew that their compatriots were very uncontrollable -- thieves,
adulterers, and shedders of innocent blood -- so how could anyone accept
responsibility for the conduct of his friend?

This is the meaning of the verse there (Deuteronomy 33:3): "All those
consecrated to him are in Thy hand" (kol q'doshav b'yadekha). The Sifri
explains that this refers to the benefactors of Israel who stand up for
Israel and sacrifice themselves on their behalf, for if the people sin,
then the benefactors must forfeit their lives. That is why the Scripture
concludes: "Moshe commanded us a law, an inheritance of the assembly of
Ya'akov." For the children of Israel accepted the Torah as an inheritance
for the entire community as a whole, so that they would all be responsible
for each other. And we may say, therefore, that only for this reason
(i.e., to compel them to accept responsibility for each other) did the
Eternal have to place Israel beneath the mountain and raise it over
them like a barrel until they agreed to be responsible for one another.
For Israel had sincerely wanted to accept the Torah as they had already
said, "we will do and we will listen." (And in this way we can answer
the question of the Tosafot Shabbat 88a, d.m. she-kaphah aleihem, who
asked did they not all say as one "we will do and we will listen"?)

Although it is not an absolute proof, the point is at least mentioned in
the Talmud in tractate Megillah where the Sages deduce from the words
(Esther 9:27) "The Jews ordained, and took upon them" (qiy'mu v'qiblu
ha-yihudim) that they ordained now what they had previously took upon
themselves. For in the Scripture the word "qiy'mu" is written without a
"vav" (i.e., "qi-yam" singular) even though it is read as if it were
written with a "vav" (i.e., "qiy'mu" plural). This suggests that when
the Torah was given, each individual did indeed willingly accept the
Torah upon himself. But at the time of Esther, they all accepted the
Torah upon themselves collectively as a community whereas before they
accepted it willingly only as individuals.

It is well known that the responsibility for the actions of others
extends only to men but not to women, which is the settled halakhah.
(To determine whether men are responsible for the actions of women
would require an extended and complicated discussion.) And this well
explains the distinction between the two expressions ("tomar l'veit
ya'akov v'taggeid li-vnei yisrael"). First, "so shall you say unto the
house of Ya'akov," which the Sages understand to be a reference to
the women, who were not required to bear the yoke of responsibility
for each other's actions. A mild recitation was sufficient for them
if they willingly accepted the Torah, so there was no need to speak to
them sharply. But then "you should tell the children of Israel" refers
to the men to whom it was necessary to speak words as hard as sinews.
For even though they accepted the Torah willingly, and said together
in great joy, "we will do and we will listen," they, nevertheless, did
not want to be responsible for each other's conduct and did not want to
accept the guilt of the entire community on each of their own heads.
That is why Moshe was commanded to speak to them with a sharp tongue
and a commanding voice and why Moshe had to elaborate at length.

"Now therefore if you will obey My voice" which meant "if you will
accept the Torah." Additionally if you "will observe My covenant" which
means the covenant to be responsible for each other as it is written
(Deuteronomy 29:12) "that you may enter the sworn covenant of the L-rd thy
G-d." Only then "will you be My own possession among all the nations,"
and you will then be chosen from among all the nations even though "for
all the earth is Mine," that is even when all the nations of the world
will observe all these commandments which I have commanded them. Even
then, the children of Israel will be holy unto the Eternal -- His most
precious treasure, His most cherished heirloom -- because they entered
into the covenant together and accepted responsibility for one another.
And who is like the people of Israel, one nation in the world? United
as a single person -- friends. And Moshe continues to explain, "And you
will be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," for the duty of
a priest is to teach the people the ordinances of G-d and His laws and
to lead them on the upright path, as it is written (Deuteronomy 33:10):
"they shall teach Ya'akov Thy ordinances" (yoru mishpatekha l'ya'akov).
Similarly the people of Israel, because they accepted responsibility
for each other -- every man standing on guard for his friend so that
he should not sin, each man reproving his friend -- could be called a
nation of consisting entirely of priests. And as a result, all of Israel
together would become a holy nation, always sanctified unto the Eternal,
and they would never sin to G-d, because each man would help his friend
to maintain his vigiliance to fulfill the Torah and the commandments.

And behold in the days when the judges judged, and there was a famine
in the land -- not a famine of bread or water, but a famine of the word
of G-d -- Elimelekh, who, according to the Sages, was a judge placed
at the head of the people, separated himself and his house from the
people, and dwelt alone, by himself, without mingling with them or
reproving them. And the Eternal visited his guilt upon him, and he
and his sons died while they were living in a strange land. However,
Ruth the Moabitess understood the iniquity of her father-in-law and
his sons, and how great was their sin, because they had abandoned their
people in a time of distress and stood apart from their people and their
affliction. She sought to rectify this wrongdoing when she cast aside
the abominable idols and came under the refuge of the wings of the L-rd,
G-d of Israel. But this was insufficient in her eyes and she returned
with her mother-in-law to Beit Lehem seeking the welfare of her people
and to be with them in their distress and to share in their prosperity.

That is why she said, "your people is my people, and your G-d is my G-d."
In saying this, she meant that she was not just clinging to G-d alone,
to serve Him and to reverence Him, but also "your people is my people"
in the days of their glory and well-being, and in the days of their
sadness and heartbreak. It was on account of this that Boaz said to her
(Ruth 2:12): "May the L-rd recompense you for what you have done" because
you have clung to Him. But this was not enough, also "a full reward be
given you by the L-rd, G-d of Israel, under whose wings you have taken
refuge." By this Boaz meant that Ruth's return to and settlement in
Israel showed that she yearned for the people of Israel and longed for
their prosperity and well-being. And because the Eternal did not command
the women to seek the welfare of their people and because they were not
given responsibility for the conduct of their friends, Boaz specifically
prayed to the "G-d of Israel" that Ruth's reward be complete. He did
so, because the G-d of the universe will be called "the G-d of Israel"
forever, even in the time when "all the world is Mine" and all nations
will serve Him, because the children of Israel accepted responsibility
for each other and formed a single group, directed toward a single goal:
to love the Eternal and to reverence Him.

And these are the words of R. Hasa in the Midrash:
	The Scripture writes "that you came" (asher ba't).

For it is not just that she converted, but that she came into the nation
to dwell among the people as one of them. Because of this her reward
should be complete.

David Glasner

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 17:38:15 -0400
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Siege on Yerushalyim and Sefirah (connection)

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Alternatively, perhaps we can say that these two dates became ra'ui likach
> in the calendar, and therefore have a historic pattern of being yemei
> tzarah. So, we do mourn the later events, but it's no coincidence that they
> coincide with this earlier one.

My impression of the vort was along the lines of what you wrote above. Not
that there is any halachic nafka mina, but rather that these days are ra'ui

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 17:42:14 -0400
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
RE: Avodah V7 #44

From: Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com
> Doesn't it seem pashut that building momentum to do Mitzvos is a mitzvah?
> Doesn't the Rambam state that re: v'haya im shamoa the whole point of
> vnasati metar arctzechem is to further enable MORE Mitzvos?  isn't' that
> equally circular?

Look at the first Netziv on Bechukosai where he contrasts the schar a goy
gets for doing sheva mitzvos and the schar a jew gets.
Incidentally, he says before mattan torah the world was mekuyam thru the
goyim keeping sheva mitzvos bnei noach.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 02:09:49 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: SL

On 22 May 01, at 20:58, S. Goldstein wrote:
> For the record, the TE writes quite strongly against SL.

Mareh makom please.


-- 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.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:02:45 +0300
From: "S. Goldstein" <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Re: SL

>TE writes quite strongly against SL.
>Mareh makom please.
>-- Carl

In his 2-volume set Halacha u Medina which he often quotes in TE.

Shlomo Goldstein

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 19:57:29 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Agrippa

From: Joelirich@aol.com <Joelirich@aol.com>
> The mishna on 41a in sotah discusses the famous case of agrippa and
> "achinu atah" Rashi states his mother was Jewish. IIRC Agrippas was the
> son of aristoblus and bernice(herod's niece by his sister) so it can't
> be him. IIrc agrippa had a son also called agrippa and I assume this is
> Rashi's reference.

> 1. Does anyone know whether there is a mesora about this or is Rashi stating
> this simply based on the fact that the chachamim wouldn't have stood silent
> when the people said achinu atah unless there was some truth to it?

> 2.Is there any "historical" opinion on whether agrippa the second had a
> Jewish mother?

From my father:

On Agrippa see Daniel R.Schwartz, Agrippa I (1990), PP. 219-222.  He thinks
Agrippa I is meant.  I think that the question is whether the conversion of
the Idumeans was legitimate.  Schwartz thinks that there is a question
whether matrileal descent was in force in this period.

Louis Feldman

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 21:44:36 +0000
From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>
Re: Zman Yetziat Mitzrayim

> There are 2 main approaches to the time of YM, one goes strictly by the
> Tanach, and makes sure there are 480 years between YM and the building of
> BHM (according to the pasuk in Melachim I), and therefore places YM at circa
> 1450 BCE.
Sender: owner-avodah@aishdas.org
Precedence: bulk
Reply-To: avodah@aishdas.org

> The second approach, that is the main one among most researchers, is that YM
> was circa 1250 BCE. That is because they believe that the Pharaoh of Shi'bud
> Mitzrayim was Ramsees II,   

        If we consider the consequences of following not only Tanach but
Talmud as well, we get pretty close to the second approach.  Of course,
it requires positing that Bayis Sheni stood for only 420 years, as in
Yoma 9a, and not the almost 600 years claimed by historians. Since
according to Chazal's history YM was in 2448 or 2449 AM, and since 2001CE
= 5761AM, it means that YM was in either 1313 or 1312 BCE.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 12:24:49 +0300
From: "Amihai & Tamara Bannett" <atban@inter.net.il>
Re: Zman Yetziat Mitzrayim

From: Lisa Liel <lisa@starways.net>
> Archaeologically speaking, this fits as well.  Because the end of the Old
> Kingdom in Egypt happened roughly around the time that the Early Bronze Age
> ended in Canaan.  We know from archaeology that the cities destroyed by
> Bnei Yisrael (such as Ai) were in fact destroyed at the end of the Early
> Bronze Age, and were not rebuilt until the Iron Age.  No one suggests that
> Bnei Yisrael came into Canaan later than the beginning of the Iron Age, so
> the only time they could have destroyed these cities would have been at the
> end of the Early Bronze Age.
> Thutmose III and Ramesses II both lived in the Late Bronze Age, at a time
> when these cities had lain in ruins for centuries.  Neither of them can
> possibly be the Pharaoh of the Shi'abud.

The Iron age is also called the Israelite age, what Prof. Elitzur says is
that the Bronze (Canaanite) age did not end at the same time in all places.
It fits with sefer Shoftim. that bnei Israel were living in the hilly ares
of Yehudah and Shomron, and the Goyim were in the vallies and by the sea.
That's why where the Israelis lived it was already the Iron age, but where
the goyim were, it was still the Bronze age. There were even places where
they found Bronze age and Iron age archaeology together, just like it says
in the tanach, that BY were following the goyim in some places.

Another problem with dating YM in the early bronze age, is the time of 480
years to binyan BHM. It is much longer from the early bronze age. You could
bring Velikovsky's taana about changing all of the chronology, but it is
possible but not probable.

> At 10:33 PM 5/22/2001 +0300, Amihai & Tamara Bannett wrote:
>> There are many other subjects, like the possible mention of Bnei Israel
>> entering EY, in letter from the Canaanite kings to Pharaoh, in the letters
>> found at Tel El Amarnah.

> The Mari letters, as well.  These letters, dating from the Middle Bronze
> Age, speak of a tribe called the Banu-Yamina, who lived in the south of
> Eretz Yisrael.  A Syrian governor complains that he can't take a census of
> these people, because if he does, their related tribe the Rabbayanu, who
> live on the other side of the river, will attack them.  There are other
> such documents, most of which don't receive the attention they should.

What is their date?

>> This method was presented to me by Dr. Yoel  Elitzur, in the name of his
>> father, the late Prof. Yehudah Elitzur.

> It's interesting, what I've seen so far (it's taking me a while to get
> through it).  For those of you who don't have any problem reading about
> this in Hebrew, I cannot recommend Yehoshua Etzion's book "HaTanakh HaAvud"
> strongly enough....

There is an English website for this book:

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:22:07 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@blaze.net.au>
Lubavitch Tefillin campaign - potential problems

On 21 May 2001, at 14:36, Phyllostac@aol.com wrote:
> I think that additional causes for concern about the campaign to put
> tefillin on anyone (males presumably) who answers in the affirmative when
> asked 'Are you Jewish?' on the street of an American city (or NYC) are

> 1) Tefillin have special kedusha - they require a) a guf noki and
> also b) machshova nikia (forgive me if the expression is incorrect
> grammatically). If someone doesn't have these, they are not supposed to
> (perhaps not allowed is more accurate) wear them. Therefore, there could
> be problems when there is a push to put them on anyone who says they
> are Jewish off the street.....

Lat week, someone showned me a sefer called "Yelamed Do'as" by a
R' Yeshaye Binyomin Holzer of Kiryas Yoel - 5744 - which seems
to be aimed at many of the Chabad Mivtzaim (650 pages).

The author is obviously a TC with an agenda - and has about 14 pages
on the Tefilin subject alone. He brings rayos to all his points from
Shas and poskim (although I have no doubt that Chabadniks can also find
rayos farkert).

I''ll just note some of his 'headlines' on the problems he has with the
tefilin campaign:
Guf Noki, Nikoyon Hamachshovo, Sofek hirhur, Hesech hadaas, Bizu
Hatefilin, Lo Siso, Kavono V'emuna, Mul Erva (on the streets), Brocho
Levatolo, Yodayim nekiyos (the 'leigee' not having washed negel vasser
etc.) Blurias, and a few more points.

Some of his points seem quite strong - others less so (at least to me.)

And BTW the Al Hageula v'al Hatemurah by the SR z'l also has a page or
2 criticising this mivtza.

> 2) I thought of another concern - It is possible that some people who
> are actually not Yehudim lihalocho might answer affirmatively when asked
> 'Are you Jewish?' - e.g. their father may be Jewish but not their mother
> (who could be either a non-converted non-Jew or one without 'giyur
> kihalocho'). If tefillin would be put on them, would that not be a
> significant problem?


> Tangent - If a nochri puts on tefillin (ch"v [?]), what exact
> issur(im?) is he oveir and what would be the onesh (in a cse /time /
> under conditions when onshin were dispensed) ? Being that tefillin is /
> are an 'os' , it may not be a light matter ...

If the nochri doesn't have kavana to wear tfillin as an os, why is that
a problem? The Gemara says that a nochri who keeps Shabbos is
chayav misa, but that implies that he has to do it for the sake of
keeping Shabbos. If a nochri drinks a cup of wine (and is
technically making Kiddush by doing so in the day time), does that
mean he is chayav misa? If he doesn't turn on lights all of Shabbos
because he doesn't feel like it, is he chayav misa? If not, why are
tfillin any different?

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 08:50:16 +0300
From: "S. Goldstein" <goldstin@netvision.net.il>

RCarl wrote concerning non-religious Jews putting on tefillin:
> I think it unlikely that they had time to really
>have a machshava that was not n'kiya either.

RYGB wrote Nope.

Since the contention is that these people for this moment ARE clean of
thought, what is the contradiction?

Shlomo Goldstein

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 23:05:01 +0300
From: "Ira L. Jacobson" <laser@ieee.org>
Re: Mekatreig

It was written in Avodah V7 #43:
>Of course, an even more common example of the letter-shift in Hebrew is
>in the binyan hitpael, when the first letter of the shoresh is shin or
>tzadi (hishtalem, hitztalem, etc.).

This is a different phenomenon and is connected ith the sound of the 
letters.  Note that the "t" sound here becomes a tet rather than a tav.

Metathesis is exempliefied by kevess-kessev and adrikhal-ardikhal. These 
represent two forms that are both coexistent in the language.

There is no such form as heh tav shin lamed mem, for example.

                         Ira L. Jacobson

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 17:52:47 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Fwd (avraham@watson.ibm.com): Sfas-Emes, Sfas Emes, (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu ), Bemidbar, 5632

Sfas Emes
Dr. Nathan Leff

Let's work with the last paragraph on p. 1, the paragraph that begins:
R'Meir Omeir: 'Kohl HaOseik BaTorah Lishma...' (ArtScroll: 'Whoever
engages in Torah study for its own sake...').

Great debates have swirled around the question of: What, exactly, is
'Torah Lishma'? (See, e.g., R'Chayim Volozshin's Nefesh HaChayim). The
SE begins with a definition that -- at first sight -- looks simple,
but which -- after you think about it -- is not simple at all.

Torah Lishma, says the SE, is exactly what its Sheim (name) indicates. The
word 'Torah' means instruction. Hence, 'Torah Lishma' means: Learning to
provide instruction; that is, learning in order to know how to live one's
life. Note how far we have come from the mainline Pshat of: 'Torah for
its own sake'. And the SE immmediately adds new ingredients making for a
much richer dish. He quickly disposes of any notion that intellectuality
per 'se is part of the story. On the contrary, as the SE told us last
week (Bechukosai, 5632) our objective in learning Torah should not be
'Leida U'Le'Hasig' (i.e., to acquire knowledge and make intellectual
achievements). Rather, our goal in learning Torah should be to subordinate
our personal intellect, so that we can know and understand Retzon HaShem
(HaShem's will). (Lest you think that the SE is propogating a doctrine
of obscurantism, note that he completed his Chidushim on Shas before he
25 years old!)

This Parsha and the Sefer it begins are called: 'BeMidbar'; that is,
'in the desert'. Accordingly, the SE moves on to focus on the meaning
of this key word: Midbar (desert). First, he alludes to two Medrashim
which work with the word 'Midbar'. That is, these Medrashim resonate with
the word ' Midbar' in other contexts. Thus, these Medrashim can provide
additional information on the word 'Midbar' in the present context.

One Medrash (Medrash Raba, BeMidbar, 1,7) tells us that to progress
in the study of Torah, a person must deemphasize his ego. That is,
he must consider himself 'Hefkair' -- accessible to all claimants --
like the desert. A second Medrash (in Medrash Raba, 1, 2) cites the
Midbar as the place where Bnai Yisroel welcomed HaShem's presence.

The SE then gives us his own Non-P'shat on 'Midbar'. He starts by
noting that the Shoresh (root) DBR in Leshon HaKodesh also means: to
lead. (The SE is on firm etymological ground here. See, e.g., E.Klein's
Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of The Hebrew Language.) The SE
then proceeds to more allusive territory. If DBR means 'to lead', then
he finds it plausible to read MDBR as the passive form: i.e., 'to be led'.

Thus, Bnai Yisroel in the Midbar on their way to the Promised Land --
and we, as we traverse segments of life that resemble a Midbar, should
conduct themselves/ourselves as people who have given themselves over
totally to HaShem 's leadership. That is, we must try to be people whose
every action and every activity is done in accordance with HaShem's will.

This may sound extreme. But it follows directly from the SE's reading
of 'Midbar ' as 'being led'. The simile the SE offers is that we
view ourselves 'KaGarzen BeYad HeChotzev' (as the axe in the hand
of the wood-cutter'. This simile comes from Yesayahu, 10, 15.). The
paradox/challenge is that this subordination of our will to Retzon HaShem
itself requires a strong act of volition. You can see why the SE includes
Learning Torah -- i.e., submitting one's intellect to a sacred text --
in the process.

The SE concludes this paragraph by evoking another Pasuk in Yeshayahu (43,
7): ' Kohl HaNikra BiShemi, VeLichvodi Berasiv'. ('Everyone who is called
by My Name and whom I have created for My glory...') But STOP! The Pasuk
refers to 'Shemi'! That word rings a bell. Earlier in this Ma'amar, we
saw a word from the same root, when the SE was discussing 'Torah Lishma'!

So, with his artful crafting of this Ma'amar, it turns out that the
SE is telling us that Torah Lishma means: that we live our lives with
actions that redound to HaShem's glory!

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:08:46 +0300
From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
Re: Siege on Yerushalyim and Sefirah (connection)

From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
>Granted one minhag begins 2nd day Pesach but the "issurim" aren't really
>nikar till Isru Chag. (we still listen to music on Chol Hamoed ).

Source, please? AFAIK, those who count from 2nd day do, in fact, not
listen to music during CH.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:16:53 +0300
From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
Re: Avodah V7 #44

>the reasons given for the aveilus are consistantly talmidei R' Akiva and
>the Crusades.

Question: If there was a town of 100,00 people, and a plague began,
continuing until 50,000 were dead and then stopped, that would obviously
be reason for simcha. However, if it continued until all 100,000 died,
well, it's true that after the last person died, the plague would have
stopped, but it wouldn't be a sign of anything, and no reason for joy,
because the only reason it stopped is because there was no one left
to die! That being the case, what is the simcha of Lag B'Omer over the
fact that that was the day R' Akiva's talmidim stopped dying? The reason
they stopped dying was because there was none of them left (the five
were new whom he got afterwards)!


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 08:54:48 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: yiras Hashem/bringing Moshiach

From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
:> See the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah 9:2 that the only reason to hope for
:> the time of moshiach is because then we will have no external barriers
:> to learning Torah and keeping mitzvos. It seems a bit circular to me to
:> do mitzvos so that the moshiach will come and we can do mitzvos.

On Tue, May 22, 2001 at 02:58:00PM -0400, Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com wrote:
: hevai ratz achar mitzva kallah..
: shemitzva gorreres mitzva...
: sheshcar mitzva mitzva..

: Doesn't it seem pashut that building momentum to do Mitzvos is a mitzvah?
: Doesn't the Rambam state that re: v'haya im shamoa the whole point of
: vnasati metar arctzechem is to further enable MORE Mitzvos?  isn't' that
: equally circular?

I disagree, because one is talking about an effect, and the other is
talking about a goal.

An effect of mitzvos is that it makes the next mitzvah easier. There is
a "positive feedback loop" that can accelerate one's progress toward the goal
as one progresses.

But how can you define the value and tachlis of mitzvos in terms of mitzvos?
The value of the means is derived from the value of its effects -- both the
desired goal and other effects. Which means that you are saying that the
value of a mitzvah is less than or equal to the value of the next mitzvah.

However, this is an infinite regress (recursion) unless you have another
means of ending the chain and assigning value another way to the last

It reminds me of a discussion I had on soc.culture.jewish.moderated with
a former BT (not-yet-frum-again?). We were arguing whether it is possible
to define a meaningful morality while not invoking the notion of deity. I
said no.

His suggestion was that life is the ultimate value, that one can define moral
as something that further life, or perhaps sentient life. However, isn't life
(without a theology) only a set of chemical reactions? He replied that we
evolved to value life. I object that that is only saying that one is obeying
the neural wiring that one believes became more common because people with
that wiring are more likely to survive.

I too invoked the notion of circularity: You can't define the value of life
in terms of survival -- continuing life.

Add to this the idea that tzaddikim bemisasam keruyim chayim and you really
get a tight parallel.


PS: This is the same former BT who I referred to in the past. The product
of a kiruv system that taught him simple answers to things like tzadik
vira lo, creation, the mabul, origin of the Torah, etc... Life isn't
simple, and a smart guy realizes that the simple answers don't address
a complex reality.

Micha Berger                 Today is the 45th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org            6 weeks and 3 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org       Tifferes sheb'Malchus: What is the beauty of
(973) 916-0287                        unity (on all levels of relationship)?

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:20:50 +0300
From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
Re: halocha like beis Shammai in future?

>This Hassidic ideal is imho a warning NOT to denigrate LEARNING Beis Shammai
>in the context of lamdus, because on a spiritual level it is just as
>important as learning Beis Hillel
Why Chassidic? Are Litvaks mevazeh BS?!


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 08:46:38 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
Re: halocha like beis Shammai in future?

From:  Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com
> Since eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim Chayim
> therefore it is imperative to put effort into learning Beis Shammai's
> opinion EVEN if it is NOT lemaase in this world
> Because in the next world the LIMUD is what counts NOT the lemaase

Thanks for the interesting thought.

However, using that sevara, one might say that all disputed halochos
should be changed to be according to the losing side liosid lovo - why
only is this stated WRT beis Shammai and beis Hillel (if that indeed is
the case, as I believe it is).


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 08:49:15 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
halocha like beis Shammai in future?

I asked a friend of mine as well Rav Tzvi (Herschel) Schachter when I
saw him a few nights ago about this and they both said that the source
for the idea that liosid lovo the halocho will be like beis Shammai is
from the Zohar - so it is not a gemoro.

Anyway, the question is, would all authorities agree with this Zohar,
as we know that we do not always pasken like the Zohar. Also, would this
idea of a change in halocho not conflict with the idea / principle of
the Torah not changing?

To argue the other side - there are teachings that the chazir will become
kosher liosid lovo (a gemoro?) (but does that mean that the issur of
chazir will become bateil somehow or perhaps that the chazir will change
and become maalei geira, hence kosher?) and that certain yomim tovim
will become bateil liosid lovo (but perhaps thses teachings are aggadic
/ midrashic and maybe not taken literally by all, etc.). Nevertheless,
despite the above, I believe the basic operative principle is that the
Torah will not change.


Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >