Avodah Mailing List

Volume 09 : Number 048

Tuesday, June 18 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 11:31:36 -0400
From: "warren cinamon" <w.cinamon@worldnet.att.net>
unveiling tombstones

I am trying to find a makor, if one exists, for the practice, which is
quite common during a Hakamas Matzevah, of covering the tombstone with a
cloth only to uncover it moments later. I have checked in numerous
seforim and found no mention of this - It always seemed strange and
perhaps more appropriate for a grand opening than the erection of a
tombstone . Any one have info on this issue?


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Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 00:32:45 +0200
From: "reuven koss" <rmkoss@moreshet.co.il>

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
>:Anyone ever hear of a chiyuv to wash one's hands three times (each) after
>:donating blood?

> Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn posts a sign to that effect when their
> blood drive goes into frum neighborhoods.  I questioned whether that is
> considered hakazah to the Bikur Cholim rep, and he wasn't sure but
> figured it couldn't hurt.

Check SA ORCH siman dales si'if yud tes. also what was brought in the name
of RSZA is not totally correct. In HALICHOS SHLOMO PEREK 20, SI'IF 19,
he brings that if one does a blood test or one has blood from a wound/cut
he is not required to wash his hands. In the Dvar Halacha #31 he brings
that one who donates blood since he is not doing it for his rfua but
for the rfua of otherswhich is a mitzva and one who does a mitzva will
not know bad, it is possible that in such a case one is not required to
wash his hands.


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Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 16:56:57 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: anthropic principle

It seems like this discussion is heading towards the thread we once had
titled "Schlessinger's Proof of Gods Existence". I think it is based
on George Schlesinger's article in the book Encounters (ed. Domb, Carmel).

He starts with the a priori assumptions that the creation of intelligent
life absent God is very small but with God extremely probable. Applying
to this the 50% probability of God's existence (to make it fair) and using
some fancy Bayesian mathematics we come out saying that the existence
of intelligent life very strongly implies God's existence.

This is, to a degree, just over-complication. But it is also significant
in that it only produces a high probability of God's existence which is,
by definition, not an absolute proof of His existence.

Gil Student

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Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 14:42:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: rock solid foundations (was--first principles)

Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 07:23:09PM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote:
>: The problem with tradtion is that it too subjective and does not fall
>: into the category of proof. ...

> Compare to:
>: I didn't say "doesn't seem logical" I said doesn't seem AS
>: logical"...

I don't know that "proof" and "logical deduction" are synonymous. The
concept of a Prime Cause is a logical deduction, one of perhaps several
logical deductions which I intuit is the best one. Never-the-less, the
fact that other explanations or deductions fall within the parameters
of reason makes it something less than "proof".
> BTW, another assumption in the Rambam and RHM's approaches is that it
> assumes the world is created. "Create" is a verb, and verbs imply
> change and time. But zeman itself is a beryah.

When speaking of creating in the Primal sense, time is not a factor
because as you say "Create" is a verb, and verbs imply change and
time. The Primal Cause can create, as it were... "outside" the refference
of time. We do not need to understand this to recognize that part of the
logical deduction to a Prime Cause. We can't understand the methods of
creation of the universe. These are all questions that are beyond the
human ken. But we CAN understand the concept of causality, i.e. that
everything in existence needs a previous cause ultimately going back
to a Prime Cause. The mechanics of creation...? ...that is a horse of
entirely different color. I believe that man is insufficiently equipped
to really understand it.

> There is much in sifrei Qabbalah about beri'ah being a product of atzilus.
> Hashem emanates the universe, or emanates a process of creation. Emanation
> can be explained by mashal: Lightbulbs emanate light.

I beleive this parrallels Aristotle's G-d concept of the "Unmoved Mover"
which the Rambam faults as being "too perfect" a definition of G-d. IIRC
Aristotle felt that it was a P'Chus in the infinite nature of G-d to say
that he actively created anything. Aristotle felt that G-d's mere being,
brought the universe into existence. His power being so great. To say
anything less (i.e. that Creation required His "active participation"
and "will" and that there is Hashgacha Pratis on the world) shows a
flaw which would not be possible in an infinitely powerful being. This
is where the Rambam parts company with Aristotle.

> If you focus on atzilus, then you don't need the cause to precede the
> effect. They coincide in time.  In fact, a problem with the notion of
> atzilus is explaining why the universe isn't as old as G-d. (Answer:
> because time itself is ne'etzal. The universe is as old as time.)

G-d is beyond time. He created time and lives from without time. Time
is a human concept which measures motion, and, pre-creation there was
no time or motion. We mortals are bound by time and cannot conceive
of a "timeless" world. It is beyond comprehension. Infinity itself
implies time. eternal never ending and never having begun... time. This
is incomprehensible to the human mind. So we have a situation where we
use incomprehensible concepts to ascribe to a Being which we therefore
can't fully understand... G-d. Yet this is exactly what we do in trying
to understand the nature of G-d. In the same way it is possible to
understand the basic concept of a Primal Cause even if there are some
parts of it beyond our understanding.

> But in any case, it's a logical model that ends this chain of causes
> without ending the chain of time. A counterexazmple to your
> assumption of one being "more logical"

I don't think you made the case of your proposition being an equally
logical deduction obviating the concept of a Prime Cause as the most
logical of explanations of material existence.. To say that there is
simutaneous existence of time and the universe does not preclude G-d as
their Creator. Logically it is still a superior propostion to say that
there is a Prime Cause to all of creation of which time and the universe
are simultaneously part of.


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Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 05:26:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: jay grossman <jmgkf@yahoo.com>
DOmeh or doMEH?

[It belongs on Mesorah ideally. Out of the choices you gave me,
I'm bouncing to Avodah. -mi]

I'm not sure if this question belongs on Areivim or Avodah.  

In the Shabbos morning brochoh of "Yotzer", we say "HaKol Yoduchah".
I was wondering if the correct way to say it is "V'ein DOmeh L'cha"
or V'ein doMEH L'chah". The siddur Rinat Yisroel has doMEH; all other
siddurim I checked have DOmeh.

Any thoughts on this?

Jay Grossman

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