Avodah Mailing List

Volume 08 : Number 054

Wednesday, November 21 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 16:51:50 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Definition of zaddik

On Tue, Nov 20, 2001 at 12:25:40PM -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
: I would add that this svara - that divine justice is based on the nature
: of the gavra, rather than human justice which is based solely on an
: action - implies that the difference between zaddik bedino and zaddik
: disappears when the din is the din of the kadosh baruch hu...

There is still the difference that divine justice measures a man compared
to his potential. The tzaddik archetype, however, is an absolute. Calling
someone a tzaddik implies that he closely approximates that ideal, not
that he got as close as he could given the life he had to work with.


Micha Berger                 The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org            for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org       the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 18:30:24 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Herzl

At 01:57 PM 11/20/01 -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
>With regard to RYGB postings: (which I am finding increasingly difficult
>to follow the logic)
>I am aware of many different evaluations of Herzl, and avoda is not
>quite the right place to fight it out. However, it is quite clear that,
>as RDG pointed out, the DR and RAYK had a very positive evaluation of
>Herzl, whose faults they also knew. Furthermore, the DR specifically
>puts Herzl in olam ha'emet at a high stage. I view my statements as
>justified and logical extensions of the position of the DR and RAYK.

I have already explained at length that the anecdote concerning the DR is 
not at all relevant. While RDG may dispute the DR's anavah, he has no proof 
that the DR was not an Anav and therefore the anecdote is irrelevant.

RAYHK did not positively evaluate Herzl the man, but rather Herzl's 
accomplishments. I have written, citing RAEK, praising Herzl's 
accomplishments as well, as you can see at the website at 
www.aishdas.org/rygb/raek.htm but as RDF has succinctly noted, we can and 
should praise Truman, but we do not allocate him a zt"l.

Thus your next paragraph is incorrect.

>One is entitled to disagree with the DR, as many have. Clearly,
>RYGB finds it difficult to give zchut to Herzl
>or as he put it
>> To brazenly assert that one who was not Oved Hashem, did not to our
>> knowledge to teshuva, and besides was a Mechallel Shabbos, Ochel tereifos
>> etc., because of some collateral zechus is therefore a tzaddik b'dino, is
>> nothing lessthan the Christian doctrine of saving grace, and inimical to
>> Jewish concepts of reward and punishment!

>However, the reality is that the DR (and, I believe, RAYK) did give
>zchut to Herzl, enough to merit olam haemet. They view his actions not
>as collateral zechut, but as real zechut, and I don't think that the DR
>was using Christian doctrines. Remember whom you are attacking...


I do not recall RAYHK's hespde on Herzl (and the places I might look are 
packed away) but I do not think it differs substantially from RAEK's 
assessment. That may or may not merit him a place in Gan Eden (he certainly 
is in Olam ho'Emes), but it certainly is no warrant for zt"l to be used.

As I said, the DR is not relevant, and is certainly not a theological 
statement, so we are left with you and your Christiological perspective.

>(by the way, this discussion is in some ways a continuation of a previous
>discussion about the status of a tinok shenishba - RYGB asserted that
>a tinok shenishba had the intrinsic status of a mumar and a rasha,
>something with which I disagreed and brought sources back then. I think
>(although can not prove) that the DR, RAYK, and most RZ would view Herzl
>as a tinok shenishba, therefore all of his hillul shabbat etc is far
>less of an issue)

It certainly is far less of an issue, but a Tzaddik he is not.

"Shivisi Hashem l'Negdi Tamid Hu Klal Gadol b'ma'alos ha'Tzaddikim" (SA OC 
1:!) - this ain't Herzl.

>To get back to the real core of the argument:
>> It seems pashut to me that there is an equation between place in olam
>> haemet, zechuyot, and being a zaddik.

I believe I cited the Malbim and the Netziv that contradict your position. 
Why do you ignore them?

Quite simply, you are defending the indefensible.

[A 2nd email. -mi]

At 02:39 PM 11/20/01 -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
>The fact that ehr bliebt a rosho is your own opinion. However, what
>is at issue here is that clearly others disagree with that assessment
>(who are closer to RAYK than either of us)I don't think that Herzl is
>referred to as a rasha in most RZ circles or merkaz harav circles.

I grew up in these circles, and I have never, ever, ever, heard Herzl 
called a tzaddik until now!!! I am not comfortable going around calling 
people resho'im, and am only engaging in this polemic because you continue 
to amaze me with your persistent cheapening of the term tzaddik.

>> Huh? Dan l'kaf zechus? On what basis? Was he a Marrano-like Ma'amin?! As
>> the CC (whom, of course, you probably regard as no greater than Herzl!)
>> said, l'kaf zechus, not l'kaf shtus.

>I am moche on the personal attack, unjustified by any of my postings.
>Ad hominen attacks are usually a sign of the failure of one's position,
>and I will just leave it at that and not drag avoda further into the mud.

Mocheh? What attack? Do you regard the CC as greater than Herzl? If so why?

[A 3rd email. -mi]

"When a man appears and you watch his ways and his actions carefully - and 
you are enchanted; you listen to his words, and they touch your heart; you 
look at his eyes, and they are clear and pure; you touch his hand, and you 
are drawn to him as though magnetically - then you say in your heart: This 
is a tzaddik."
		    -Menachem Begin (A Tzaddik in Our Time, Prologue)

"Whenever I was in his [R' Aryeh Levin's] company, I invariably sensed that 
I was in the presence of a tzaddik, a truly righteous man of piety - not an 
ordinary righteous man but a tzaddik in every fiber of his being, without a 
trace of materialistic concern or personal ambition, indeed with no thought 
but concern for others."
		    -Chaim Herzog (A Tzaddik in Our Time, Introduction)

"And a tzaddik is one who does not take for himself even one aspect from 
that which is given to him, but returns all to his Creator, using literally 
everything only for the purpose of his creation - the honor of the Blessed 
One. He does not steal a moment, nor rob a penny from his property for his 
own needs, he will not even embezzle a spark of a thought. The level is 
extraordinarily awesome!"
		    -R' E. E. Dessler (vol. 2 p. 158)

"The path of tzaddikim is cleared of all obstacles and frivolities of this 
world, it consists only of the knowledge of G-d."
		    -The Izhbitzer (vol. 1 Chayei Sarah para. 2)

"Shivisi Hashem l'negdi tomid hu klal gadol ba'Torah u'b'ma'alos
ha'tzaddikim asher holchim lifnei Elokim."
		    -Rama OC 1:1

Dr. Shinnar linked this discussion to some of our previous ones. I would
draw a link as well. It is the same individuals that "deflate" the Avos
that "inflate" Herzl.

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:46:08 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Ikkarim

In a message dated 11/16/01 9:21:16am EST, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> To put in context, in a previous public letter (michtav galuy) Rav Kook
> wrote with my love to learn and teach our yesode hadeot, I am far from
> demanding rule (shilton) over the thoughts (deotav) of any man that lives,
> that is in our days something that is unheard of (sheeyno nishma) Rav
> Zeidel wrote back to ask whether that meant that he tolerated pure freedom
> of inquiry, and whether that was a pragmatic decision or was lecatchila.

> RAY Kook answers the rationale behind free inquiry, and then to say
> that it has boundaries (e g to conclude that murder is permissible
> is clearly wrong),and then goes on to the importance of ikkarim to any
> cohesive group.

My point re: ikkarim as normative is simple, basic and baalebatish It
is also probably how M. Mendlesohnn felt but I am not ratifying his
shitos so much has being mechaven to few of his points

1) Torah is mostly about mitzvos and Halachos derived thereby. Ideology is
2) Nevertheless - Reishis Chachma Yir'as Hashem. We have to have at least
a basic dogma or we could become Orthopractic Buddhists or Marxists and
still lay claim to Torah

Therefore the ba'alebatish beauty of ikkarim works so elegantly: You CAN
have freedom of inquiry by affirming an absolute minimum of dogma. If you
claim ALL of Torah beliefs as ikkarim there is no freedom of inquiry at
If you claim there is Zero Torah dogma, then you have ish kol hayashar 
be'inav and Jews for J can lay claim to Torah too by eating Glatt.

The sensible balance is to distill the absolute minimum of dogma and
combine it with observance. Then you can be a very very pious Chareidi
or a very opened-minded secular scholar and still fall under the rubrics
of both the Shulchan Aruch and of Jewish Dogma.

If you want to throw out the universality of the ikkarim by sacrificing it
on the altar of what could have been or what should have been, then you
are opening the entire question of dogma and you have none. The obvious
fallout is a massive disintegration of the already splintered Torah
community. This would make a new de facto mitzvah called sisgode'du. <g>

Psak means to cut off. You cut off options. What is so difficult to
understand? The vast majority of Torah Jews realized that zero Dogma
was untenable and OTOH overbearing dogma was also unbearable and came
to a nearly unanimous formulation of a common denominator. Notice that
"common sense" and "common denominator" have a word in common!

Of course the uncommon - i.e., the da'as Yachid may protest. And to be
intellectually honest maybe they SHOULD voice their opinions. But radical
opinions are rarely mainstream normative Halachah.

Regards and Kol Tuv,

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 19:00:46 EST
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: Ikkarim as Halakha?

> The Rambam even wrote that he is convinced that
> since Torah is truth, one will not arrive at proving Torah ideas wrong
> by engaging in philosophical dialectic that follows strict logic
> (as opposed to simply making nihillistic or relativistic statements,
> which don't prove much positively, just may undermine proofs.)

Nor will one arrive at proving Torah ideas "right" by engaging in any such
dialectic. As the Rabad knew, Rambam trumped himself by insisting that
human logic, if perfected, would confirm the truth of Torah. Rambam's
Aristotelianism remains his greatest weakness. The Greeks knew less
then they thought they knew. Such are the snares of the secular world
on cosmopolitan Jewish elitists.

David Finch

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 22:47:32 -0500
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: ikkarim as halacha

I came across the following over Shabbos, and I offer it to the chevra
as another piece of source material to discuss. I got it from the AOJS
anthology "Encounter", published by Feldheim, but the credits there
acknowledge that it was previously published by Ktav.

It is by Rav J.D. Bleich. The title of the piece is "Faith and Dogma In
Judaism"; this is but one small part of a 12-page article.

>>> begins here >>>

Since matters of belief are inherently matters of halachah, it is not
at all surprising that disagreements exist with regard to substantive
matters of belief just as is the case in other areas of Jewish law. Thus,
while there is unanimity among all rabbinic authorities with regard to
the existence of a body of Jewish law which is binding in nature with
respect to matters of faith, there is considerable disagreement of opinion
with regard to precisely which beliefs are binding and which are not,
as well as, in some instances, substantive matters of faith.

The concept of the Messiah is one example of a fundamental principle of
belief concerning which, at one point in Jewish history, there existed
legitimate divergence of opinion, since resolved normatively. The Gemara,
Sanhedrin 99a, cites the opinion of the third-century amora, Rabbi
Hillel, who asserted, "There is no Messiah for Israel." Rashi modifies
the literal reading of this dictum by explaining that Rabbi Hillel did
not deny the ultimate redemption of Israel but asserted, rather, that
the redemption will be the product of direct Divine intervention without
the intermediacy of a human agent. Nevertheless, Rabbi Hillel certainly
denied that reestablishment of monarchy and restoration of the Davidic
dynasty are essential components of the process of redemption. Rabbi
Moshe Sofer quite cogently points out that were such views to be held by
a contemporary Jew he would be branded a heretic. (Teshuvot Chatam Sofer,
Yoreh De'ah, no. 356) Yet, the advancement of this opinion by one of the
Sages of the Talmud carried with it no theological odium. The explanation
is quite simple. Before the authoritative formulation of the halachah
with regard to this belief, Rabbi Hillel's opinion could be entertained.
Following the resolution of the conflict in a manner which negates this
theory, normative halachah demands the acceptance of the belief that the
redemption will be effected through the agency of a mortal messiah. As
is true with regard to other aspects of Jewish law, the Torah "is not
in Heaven" (Devarim 30:12), and hence halachic disputes are resolved in
accordance with canons of law which are themselves part of the Oral law.

>>> ad kan R' JDB >>>

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 15:36:31 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ikkarim as Halakha?

On Tue, Nov 20, 2001 at 12:24:36PM -0500, Arie Folger wrote:
: I posit that rav Yossef Albo's ikkarim are superior because there are
: too many details of the 13 ikkarim on which too many rishonim disagree
: with Rambam, and that many of the sources of disagreement are accepted
: as mainstream...

I have a problem seeing why this is not a comparison of apples and
oranges. The Rambam lists 13 beliefs that define Judaism in contrast to
kefirah. The Seifer haIkarrim lists 3 postulates from which he derives
the rest of hashkafah as theorems. He is not trying to create a list
that serves the purpose of the Rambam and our discussion.

It is clear from the way RYA uses his ikkarim that he is discussing
what are logically postulates, and not addressing halachic issues. It
could well be that he believes that we are mechuyavim to believe some
of the theorems derived from these ikkarim. In which case they would
still be 'ikkarim' as the Rambam uses the word, even though they are
not such in his terminology.

: As I mentioned in my post, ikkarim are predominantly concerned with
: elementary absolute truth, which is itself not subject to psak, since
: it either is or isn't truth...

Your two variables are a sefeiq sefeiqah she'einah mis-hapeches. Yes, if
something is false, it can not be an ikkar emunah. However, if something is
true, it need not be halachically mandatory to believe it. Such as when
Tosafos allow benei noach to believe in shutfus. It is a false but
permissable belief.

: The umpire's calls are clearly psak, and there is no absolute truth
: in baseball, it is a series of actions, not a philosophy.

Halachah is a series of actions as well. And within the absolute truth,
there is eilu va'eilu. In particular here: within the boundries of
what is true, we can have machlokesin and subsequent piskei halachah
about which ones are mandatory.

Not to be confused with aggadic arguments over which non-mandatory
beliefs are true.


Micha Berger                 A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
micha@aishdas.org            It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org       and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 17:19:36 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Herzl

Calling this thread "Herzl" is a mistake, as it is not about who was Herzl
but what is a tzaddik? (Comments that cross that line have been forwarded
to Areivim.)

Perhaps we should consider another example. The case is fictional:

A Jewish firefighter from Brooklyn was remembered by his friends as
being a real fun guy. Went once a week to strip clubs. He lived with
his Catholic girlfriend. His funeral was at her church, although his
"rabbi" also officiated. (Nearly all post-9/11 NYFD funerals were at
Catholic churches.)

He went back into 1 WTC because one of his buddies was missing.

The man not only died because of his attachment to chessed, he committed
countless hours to it while alive.

Can you call someone who was heading toward intermarriage, who lived a
life very centered on peritzus, by the title "tzaddiq"?


Micha Berger                 The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org            for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org       the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 18:54:56 EST
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: TIDE and TuM

> RYBS's hashkafah is firmly grounded in the Kantian idea that man in
> in constant tension between different sides of unresolvable dialectics.
> Therefore, in experiential terms, many things are "twin peaks which remain
> forever asunder even if ontologically they could be unified.

> In this case, yes both are expressions of the same Creator. However, RYBS
> did not tend to discuss things on that level. Rather, he focussed on the
> fact that existentially, they are going to remain unfusable in the human
> experience.

> Man's goal is not to unify them -- as that is beyond us. Rather, it is
> to constantly strive for their unity.

The fusing of the twin peaks was beyond Kant for one reason and beyond
RYBS for another. The more I read of Ramban and other thinkers of what
I'll call the "Emotionally Transcendent (or Transcendently Emotional)"
school of halacha, however, the more I believe that the twin peaks
can be fused through kavanah and emunah. We can all thank Mussar for
this. RYBS's rejection of Mussar explains a lot, indeed.

I used to think that RYBS's refusal to countenance the fusion between
Torah and Maddah was a sign of his intellectual refinement. Now that
I'm older, I see it as a symptom of his depressed inability to break
away from his ties to stringent Briskerism. This isn't to take anything
away from the Rav. It is to say that one needn't be consigned to RYBS's
emotional prison for the rest of one's life.

David Finch

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 13:22:21 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: TIDE and TuM

On Tue, Nov 20, 2001 at 06:54:56PM -0500, DFinchPC@aol.com wrote:
: The fusing of the twin peaks was beyond Kant for one reason and beyond
: RYBS for another...

I do not know what you mean. RYBS did not try to fuse them. His
philosophy was quite existentialist. He was not out to describe some
underlying reality, but rather to describe the human experience. Since
people experience this tension, he set out to define and describe it,
not resolve it.

An existentialist Jew sees the ideal not in terms of being a good Jew, but
in constantly striving to become a good Jew. The philosophical approach
focusses on the human condition and how man and the world-as-percieved
changes through man's struggle and consequent growth.

To him, such fusion would be counterproductive. It would be ignoring the
struggle and wallpapering over the ver experience that halachah is about.

In RYBS's writings, that struggle is portrayed in terms of Kantian
antinomies, or as RYBS terms them, unresolvable dialectics and the tension
they create. Torah's goal is therefore not in figuring our how to resolve
them (to be a good Jew) but in how to navigate them while acknowledging
the emotional conflicts we face with each decision (becoming one).

We can intellectually find a common thread. However, on the instinctive
and emotional level we still need to navigate conflict. To focus on
the theoretic unity would no longer describe the human condition and
therefore distract us from RYBS's framework for understanding the choices
we face. Since halachah defines the right choice, it would rob us of
that emotional depth he provides to observance.

:                   The more I read of Ramban and other thinkers of what
: I'll call the "Emotionally Transcendent (or Transcendently Emotional)"
: school of halacha, however, the more I believe that the twin peaks
: can be fused through kavanah and emunah. We can all thank Mussar for
: this. RYBS's rejection of Mussar explains a lot, indeed.

Yes, it is very much RYBS's Brisker origins that aimed him away from
the classical aims of philosophy. OTOH, it is also the direction his
contemporary philosophers were taking as well.

:                                                             Now that
: I'm older, I see it as a symptom of his depressed inability to break
: away from his ties to stringent Briskerism.

Depressed? Pride and belief in one's family's tradition and approach is
a symptom of depression?

The Briskers do not pursue theology because they held that it is
inherently unknowable. They do not try to find a philosphical basis for
halachah because halachah must be the a priori from which we reach all
other conclusions.

If anything pure Brisk (as opposed to RYBS's variant) is too cerebral
an approach to allow room for real depression.


Micha Berger                 A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
micha@aishdas.org            It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org       and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 16:53:01 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: be-khol levavkha

On Tue, Nov 20, 2001 at 11:12:30AM -0500, yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU wrote:
: Gil Student is uncomfortable with my repetition of Dr E Hurvitz's
: suggestion that when the Sifrei says "Be-khol levavkha=bi-shenei
: yitsarekha" it is based on the limud of the word "kol" and not because of
: the doubled bet. In fact, "it does not sit well" with him. Understandably
: so, for he -- as I, and no doubt many others here -- grew up with the
: double bet explanation. And for good reason: rov mefarshei ha-Mishnah,
: Tosefta and Sifrei as well as mefarshei Rashi, have so understood it...

And, it explains the language. It does not say bikhol yitzrecha, but
bishnei yitzrecha.


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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 19:08:26 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Hakaras haTov

I was thinking about hakaras hatov. I think I identified 4 critical

1- Recognizing (hakarah) that I have something good. Often we are so
   busy looking at our tzaros that we forget we have anything else.

2- Admitting that I is not /entitled/ to it. That getting something good
   is a tovah, not merely getting what is mine. I am intentionally
   invoking the notion of vidui in defining todah.

3- Noting who and/or Who is the source of the tov. This excludes the
   attitude of kochi ve'otzem yadi, but so did the previous item to a
   large extent. This becomes most challenging when we start contemplating
   other people who contributed to your recieving the tov other than
   the one or two key players.

4- Expressing it.


Micha Berger                     Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                    Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org                   The Torah is complex.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                                    - R' Binyamin Hecht

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:58:08 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Yeshaya Lebovitz

In a message dated 11/20/01 5:01:06pm EST, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> Toward the end of his life, Yeshaya Lebowitz (who also would have
> objected strongly to the use of z"tl for Herzl), wrote a letter where
> he apologized for using the term Judeo Nazis, and says that he meant
> something quite different than what everyone understood by it (letter
> is in a volume of his letters)., so he did tshuva over this..

That is why it is so dangerous to quote a "gadol" baed upon a single
incident w/o knowing how that Gadol himself felt about that same statement
later on.

EG, R. Elchanan Wasserman allegedly said some disparaging remarks re:
Ameican Jewry before he became a martyr. I later heard besheim his son
R. Simcha Waserman that R. Elchanan expressed remorse for that statement.

As we know radical statements get headlines and retractions get buried
in the fine print. I recommend not taking radical statements by gdolim
as normative unless/until it has been ratified by colleagues.

Regards and Kol Tuv,

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 12:32:53 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
ZT"L, Z"L and A"H

In a message dated Wed, 21 Nov 2001 11:56:56am EST, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
> Tzaddik in the context of ZTL is bepashtus a role model of what a Tzaddik
> If you want to bless Herzl why not just say the traditoinal Alav Hasholam?
> AFAIK there is no problem saing this except that according to R. Michael
> Broyde it is a probably a Moslem-based corruption of Eved Hashem but let's
> not go there! <smile>

Interesting-Where did alav hashalom come from and why isn't the use of the
clear choice in the gemora (either zichrono Lvracha or zichrono lvracha
ulchayeh haolam haba)universal? When did the use of ZT"L rather than
Z"L come into play and what definition of tzaddik is used? It seems to
me that it isn't the definition of perfection that has been posited here.

Joel Rich

PS I'm told that R'YBS referred to his father as Z"L because this is
the gemora's construct

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 12:53:22 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: zt"l

RRW wrote
> Tzaddik in the context of ZTL is bepashtus a role model of what a Tzaddik

The Malbim, on the pasuk in Mishle zecher zaddik librocha, veshem reshaim
yirkav . (Mishle 10:7) writes he says yesh hevdel ben shem lezecher -
hashem hu hashem haatzmi, vehazecher moreh ma shemazkirim oto al yede
ma'asav asher asa therefore, zecher zaddik livracha does not remember
or cite the individual per se, but the actions that he did...

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 12:50:49 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: Herzl

Regarding the use of the Rambam's definition of tzaddik in Hilchos
Teshuvah ch. 3, I'm not sure how that definition can apply to anyone
who is dead. Halachah 3: "Whomever is found to be a tzaddik is sealed
for life."

Also, Meir Shinnar wrote:
>However, I would have thought that in general,
>a definition in a halachic setting carries more weight than a purely 
>hashkafic one, and that the use of a term that is sanctioned by a halachic 
>definition would be, at the minimal, acceptable, even if people would have 
>other preferred definitions.

How is this passage from Hilchos Teshuvah an halachic definition?
Are we paskening how HKBH should judge us on Rosh Hashanah?

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 18:18:24 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: "Un-saneh Tokef" (was "ikkarim as halacha")

In a message dated 11/20/01 12:35:33pm EST, MPoppers@kayescholer.com writes:
> In Avodah V8 #50, ETurkel asked:
>> BTW Nesanei Tokef is from R. Amnon.
>> Immediately afterwards we say berosh hashana
>> Is that also from R. Amnon?

> and CSherer answered:
> > AIUI at least until "maavirin es roah ha'gzeira" is from R. Amnon.

> News to me; as I respect Carl's "understanding," 

R. Amnon is attributed with inspiring the Unesaneh Tofef But AFAIK it
was Meshyulam ben Klonymos {MbK} that actually inserted this piyyut into
the machzor {he claimed R. Amnon dictated it to him in a dream.}

Unesaneh Tokef is recited just after "uv'chein lecha sa'aleh kdushah"
and therefore EVERYTHING said before Kaksasuv is an insertion. I cannot
say for sure that 100% of this insertion belongs to MbK.- and I also have
no knowledge if every word of unseaneh Tokef was dictated from R. Amnon
to MbK or only a subset thereof.

FWIW, the Lewandowski arrangement arragnes a choral refrain out of
       1) Une'saneh Tokef...
       2) Use'shuva usfilah...
       3) V'ato Hu Melech...
Using the same majestic melody. Whether or not Lewandowski was aware
of the underlying structure or he just got to this by serendipity is
beyond me.

And FWIW, between Kallir and MbK you have the core of Piyyutim on Yamim
Nora'im amongst Ashkenazim.

Regards and Kol Tuv,

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 10:40:34 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: mitzvot tzrikhot kavanah o ein tzrikhot kavanah

Rabbi Bechoffer (8:52) forwarded the following anonymous query:
> Since when do we pasken "mitzvot eyn tzrichot kavana" (esp. by deorayso)?

Of course we pasken "mitzvot tzrikhot kavanah." But that is simply
to exclude putative mitzvot committed without any intention to perform
the act, in other words, mitaseik. No one holds that one is obligated
to perform a meritorious act with a specific intention to fulfill the
mitzvah of performing the meritorious act. v'zeh barur. The only case
where such a shitah has gained any wide acceptance is in connection with
shmurah matzah where there are many who hold that it is necessary to
prepare the matzah with the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah of matah.
But there is a special limud from which those who accept this shitah
for matzah derive and it applies only to this single mitzvah. All those
who eat machine matzah and even many of those who eat hand matzah agree
that it is sufficient that the matzah be prepared for the sake of being
used for matzah, without any specific intention to fulfill the mitzvah
of matzah. And that is why, to my knowledge, no one holds that one is
obligated to say hinini mukhan u'm'zuman before performing any mitzvah.

To reinforce this point I append the following comment on the pasuq
v'haya eiqev tishm'un from the Dor Revi'i website: www.dorrevii.org

V'haya eiqev tishm'un et ha-mishpatim ha-eileh, v'shamar ha-Sheim Eloqekha
et ha-brit v'et ha-hesed.

Now the question is plain: why, if the Children of Israel observed the
laws that the Eternal commanded them, would their reward not be complete
even if the Eternal did not remember in their behalf the covenant that
He made with their forefathers?

Our master "distilled his speech like the dew" (Deuteronomy 32:2)
and explained the verse according to the Rambam (Hilkhot M'lakhim,
chapter 9) who said: "Everyone who accepts the seven Noahide Laws has
a portion in the world to come, provided that one accepts and performs
them because the Holy One Blessed Be He commanded to do so in his Torah.
But if one performs those commandments because of his own judgment, he is
not a ger toshav and is not included among the righteous of the nations."
The Keseph Mishnah questions deeply to find out from where in the Talmud
the Rambam deduced this. Now consider what our Master found in the Talmud
(Avodah Zarah 2b-3a) where the verse (Habakkuk 3:6): "He looked and shook
the nations" (ra'ah va'yater goyim) is explained as follows: "He saw
that the nations of the world were not observing the seven Noahide laws,
so He permitted them." The Gemara concludes that this means even if the
Gentiles observe the Noahide laws, they receive no reward for doing so.
Now every intelligent person must ask: if the fathers sinned, not wishing
to walk in His ways, and did not observe the seven Noahide laws, why
should the reward of the children who uphold those laws conscientiously
be withheld? "Because the fathers have eaten sour grapes, should the
teeth of the children be set on edge?" (Jeremiah 31:29) The Rambam,
in his wisdom, therefore found it appropriate to explain that the Gemara
meant that by "permiting" the seven Noahide laws, the Eternal decided
that the Gentiles would not be rewarded for observing those laws if
they did so because of the dictate of their own judgment and reasoning.
Only if they observe those laws because the Eternal commanded them to
do so will the Eternal reward them.

However, that is not how Eternal conducts Himself with the Children of
Israel who are sustained by the merit of their ancestors. For even if
they observe His statutes and keep His laws only because of the dictate
of their own reason, should they succeed in finding any reason to observe
them, the Eternal will not deny them benefit from them but will give
them their reward in the merit of their ancestors as He promised them.

Now the word "eiqev" (because) denotes a reason or explanation, which is
why the Scripture writes "v'haya eiqev tishm'un" (and because you will
hearken). Thus, even if you will observe these laws because of some
ulterior motive within you that causes you to observe and to fulfill
them, you will, nevertheless, still be able to partake of the reward.
And the Scripture the explains the reason: "the L-rd your G-d will
keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to
your fathers to keep." He therefore chose their descendants. And their
fulfillment of the commandments, whatever their intention in doing so,
will be significant and acceptable to Him.

ad kan l'shono ha-zahav. v'zeh emet l'amitah shel torah

David Glasner

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