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Volume 10 : Number 038

Tuesday, October 22 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 13:26:53 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Orthodox vs torah true

Me (old)
: >There is a well known Rambam in the perush hamishnayot (actually, it
: >appears, IIRC, 3 times, although now at work I can't cite it directly) that
: >on issues of machshava we do not pasken.  The issues of psak in hovot
: >halevavot is quite complex (the rambam clearly does pasken in those issues -
: >but not quite as simplistically).  The ikkarim are unique in that regard. (I
: >will ignore the tone of the above post)

: Please do not ignore the above post - the tone is not material - as I 
: recall you yesterday citing Dr. Shapiro's essay with approval, and not in 
: the same vein as my approval (i.e., that his essay proved the 
: counte-position to his thesis), I suspect.

That, of course, is subject to debate (and has been debated endlessly
and fruitlessly).

:  The question is, therefore, 
: legit. Whether you choose to respond is, of course, entirely up to you.

Ultimately, every discussion about complex issues of machshava reduces to
a simplistic accusation that the dissenter is a kofer, even without any
proof, and no matter of past discussions (where this has been clarified).
How often do you beat your wife? Whether you choose to respond is,
of course, entirely up to you.

: As I said, and you are, I am pleased, modeh b'miktzas, machashavah is 
: different that Hil. Dei'os and Chovos ha'Levavos. "Complex," indeed. Try 
: me, I can deal a bit with complexity - but so far I see none.

First, the issue is how far hilchot deot extends beyond the 13 ikkarim.
The notion that there is a universal understanding (at least, among
minimally torah true Jews) that maamre hazal about deot (rather than
aggadta about maasim) need to be understood literally, and are as binding
about hilkhot deot as they are about hilkhot kashrut is, quite simply,

Me (old)
: >The mishna/baraita in avot 6:1 is (IMHO) a classical case of guzma applied
: >to show the greatness of talmud torah.  As the value and message enshrined,
: >there is agreement.  As to the literal understanding of the different
: >components mentioned, well, let us say we disagree (and my understanding I
: >think is quite according to the principles laid down in maamar al agadot
: >hazal by rav Avraham the son of the rambam)

: Guzmah, huh?

: Let me reiterate that somewhat differently:

: Bechhofer brought a good proof which I can only reject by claiming it to be 
: an exaggeration.

: As I have noted, the RABhRambam is irrelevant (I had him in mind in my 
: previous discourses). You are s


I didn't see a good (or even any..)proof (and as a former mathematician,
I know proofs.:-)..). You are starting from assumptions about how we
deal with maamre hazal that I reject. Furthermore, the rambam is highly
relevant - it rejects the methodology of dealing with maamre hazal that
deal with hilchot deot that you accept. stating it is irrelevant doesn't
constitute proof.

Rav Meir, in praising the value of limud torah lishma, associates it with
tremendous praise. In general, statements of hazal in praise of certain
issues are full of guzma, and do not need to be understood literally
(although clearly, the issue is being viewed positively) (this is no
different than the guzma of describing, for example, yemot hamashiach).
This is simple pshat in how the maamar al aggadot hazal, and much of
rambam understands divre hazal.

Thus, the specific categories mentioned in the baraita should not be
understood as literally. Clearly, someone who is wise will be approached
for advice, but that is quite different issue than viewing this as a
statement that chachamim need to be so approached.

The problem with your approach is even greater, as there is a clear
discordance with reality and your pshat in rav meir.

eg, to go back to the example that spawned the discussion that spawned
your post that spawned my reply that ..., about gdolim pre wwIi:

We are in agreement that the pre war gdolim were gdole olam, who were
osek bitorah lishma. They were, if any one were to fit the category
of venehenin mimenu etza vetushia. However, the advice they gave was
far inferior to the advice of Zeev Jabotinsky, whose claim to gadlut
does not come from limud tora lishma. There have been a variety of
discussions and claims to the contrary, none of which is (IMHO) even
remotely satisfactory. This is why RYBS and many others have rejected
daas torah (and yes, it ultimately comes down to that, as WWII remains for
many the paradigmatic example of the failure both of daas torah and of
asking chachamim for advice - something that makes many uncomfortable),
and have argued that advice should be sought from those expert in the
field (eg,the quote from RAL that demonstrators for Soviet Jewry should
have asked for advice from a Kremlinologist) rather than from chachamim.
Not that chachamim should be ignored, but the simplistic view (and I
have failed to detect complexity) that the baraita mandates an advisory
role for chachamim is rejected.

: me (old)
: >(I would point out, however, that even according to the pshat approach,
: >malchut is one of the characteristics associated with haosek betorah
: lishma,
: >and those who haven't achieved malchut perhaps aren't zoche for nehenin
: >mimenu etza vetushia....)

: You forgot:
: Mahn malchei - Rabbanan.

: the mishna talks about malchut and memshala...

: How exactly do you decide which ones you take literally and which not?!

Fair but difficult question, and at the heart of much debate. However, in
these two, it is quite evident to anyone with any sensitivity to text.

: In any event, the Chachamim to which we go for advice are not those who 
: have set out shingles!

: not so pashut.
: Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:05:21 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Atzas Gedolim

In a message dated 10/22/2002 1:28:29 PM EDT, hmaryles@yahoo.com writes:
<< This raises another question. If one gets opposing advice from two
Gedloei Israel, chooses to follow one Gadol over the other and is then
Matzliach, >>

The road not taken - who knows would that individual have been more

Joel Rich

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 18:04:25 GMT
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Atzas Gedolim (was Orthodox vs. Torah-true)

First, R' Meir Shinnar quotes a speech from Rav YB Soloveitchik as
brought in Rav Rakeffet-Rothkoff's book:

<<< If one is confused, he can ask for guidance. I have been presented
with such moral questions. I never give a yes or no answer. The questions
may determine the future of the particular individual. I will explain
the options but tell him that the final choice is his. ... I resent very
much that certain roshei yeshiva and certain teachers want to impose
their will upon the boys. It is against the law. Both ways are correct,
the options are correct, and it is up to the individual to make the
decision. I cannot make the decision for him.... >>>

Then R' Meir shinnar interprets the above <<< This would suggest a
dramatic difference in the role of advice proposed by others and that
suggested by RYBS, and relying on advice from gdolim is not part of
minimal torah true judaism... >>>

I would like to suggest a different interpretation than that of RMS,
and I'd like some feedback on what others think of it...

Namely, is it possible that in situations such as described by RYBS,
even the <<< certain roshei yeshiva and certain teachers >>> are *NOT*
trying to <<< impose their will upon the boys >>>, but rather, they see
themselves as merely giving advice, and it is the fault of "the boys"
for interpreting the advice as The Obligatory Word Of G-d?

We have occasionally mentioned here that what the Gedolim actually feel
on a given point is not necessarily the same as what most people *think*
they feel. Could this be another example of this? Is it possible that
when a person goes to <<< certain roshei yeshiva and certain teachers >>>,
the advice was never intended to be taken as Orders From On High?

(Of course, I don't mean to imply that RYBS was wrong in what he said,
but perhaps he was generalizing over-broadly, and it is only a few ry's
and teachers who intend their words to be taken as Law.)

Akiva Miller

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:52:39 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Da'as Torah and Providence

The definition of hashgachah peratis in the medieval Jewish philosophers
is not always clear. Ralbag holds that individual providence is the
bestowing of knowledge of future events. Rambam's understanding, however,
is a matter of great debate. It could be that he essentially agrees with
the Ralbag that providence is an overflow of knowledge or he could hold
from a "mystical" notion that is more familiar to the average yeshiva
student. According to those who hold the former view within the Rambam,
and I believe that Charles Raffel is among them, hashgachah peratis is
HKBH sharing knowledge of the world with His creations.

Who receives this hashgachah peratis? According to the Rambam, individual
providence - sharing divine knowledge of the world - is based according
to one's knowledge of HKBH. Those who have greater knowledge have
greater providence.

If so, does this not imply that gedolim, not "gedolim" in quotation
marks but those who are truly great in kowledge of Torah and G-d, have
extra knowledge that average Joes like me lack?

This is aside from the wisdom that gedolei Torah tend to have.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 15:11:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@ymail.yu.edu>
R. Lichtenstein on consulting Gedolim

> 2. a point not yet raised: i certainly always received the message from
> rav lichtenstein that chachamin enjoy siyyata dishmaya and, while their
> haskafic opinions may not be BINDING, they must be heard...

> however, r lichtenstein often expressed, in smaller crowds, that not
> every talmid chachim is a "gadol", and not all chachamin are graced with
> "it"...

See his essay in Orthodox Forum volume on "Engaging Modernity."

He has another unpublished essay, written in the 1960's, on the importance
of developing independent judgment, which starts from the assumption
that one would always want guidance from the dwellers in migdal ha-shen,
banuy l'talpiyot.

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 16:02:18 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Atzas Gedolim

At 11:55 AM 10/22/02 -0400, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
>Furthermore, the issue of advice is frequently a matter of moral choice -
>the different options have different consequences with  different
>consequences with different moral values attached. RYBS has a tape where he
>specifically says that one should not rely on gdolim to make moral choices -
>the gdolim may clarify the moral and halachic issues involved, but not
>decide for the individual the right course, suggesting that my demurral is
>not quite as hutz lamachane as RYGB supposes.
>My quote backs this up quite well.

Uh-uh. It says he did not DECIDE, not that he would not ADVISE

>The issue is not whether we should go to wise men for advice - something I
>never denied (and do - but my definition of wisdom is far broader..) - but
>rather I was contesting the claims, both explicit and implicit that
>1) Torah wisdom confers wisdom to advise in all matters
>2) This wisdom has "connections to the heavens"
>3) One therefore should be guided by that advice (even if it is not viewed
>as explicit direction

I did not claim #1.

I do claim #2 (see below).

I do claim #3, but guided does not mean, as you probably meant to impugn,
surrendering personal responsibility!

>It is quite clear that the nature of the advice given by RYBS is quite
>different from what has been discussed previously on avodah - eg, going
>to America pre war, advice about medical decisions, etc - it is not
>prescriptive (this is my advice about what you should do) but descriptive
>( these are potential consequences, but both options remain viable and
>you have to weigh the costs/benefits). In your original post you said,
>as a paradigm of what advice is needed, that you were sent to RSZA to
>"determine what to do with your future". Similarly in the post you quote
>about Rav Sholom Gold asking RYK and the LR about making aliya. It is
>precisely this type of advice that RYBS rejects - he will advise you
>about the consequences of different choices, but the different choices
>remain yours. RYBS's position is completely against prescriptive advice
>as given to Rabbi Gold. Clearly, other gdolim have a different viewpoint,
>and this is very much a fault line between haredi/centrist.

Once more, you are conflating "advise" with "decide." I wish you wouldn't
do that. RYBS would not decide - much, as a typical Brisker, he would
be loathe to decide Halacha, although he did so when necessary, but we
were not talking about decisions!

BTW, your "Centrist" position seems to be that consulting a Gadol about,
say, shalom bayis, is no different than say, consulting a legal consultant
about skiing. Do I get you right on this?

>It is also quite clear that there is no sense that this advice has
>"connections to the heavens", which is why it remains so non prescriptive.

Not at all clear to me!

I think you misunderstood the RYK/LR story. RYK did not believe the
LR was exposing the Ratzon Hashem, but rather, potentially, creating
it. This is not a chiddush, and is evident from many Chazals - although
you may dismiss them as Agadata ;-) - such "shegogo ha'yotzei me'pi
ha'shalit" (hey! Reb Meir, note the MEMSHOLO that tzaddikim have over
the Elyonim!) or "al tiftach peh la'Satan" and "Tzaddik gozer v'HKB"H
makayem" etc.

To the extent that the LR's "psak" may change what RYK perceived to be
the proper derech for RSG he warned him accordingly.

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

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:26:14 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Atzas Gedolim

On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 02:05:21PM -0400, Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
: The road not taken - who knows would that individual have been more
: matzliach?

Or not. I'm with RYGB on this one, that da'as Torah increases accumen --
not guarantees correctness.

Which dovetails well with his chaqirah between advice and instruction.
For someone who believes daas Torah is infallible, there is no chiluq.
Infallible advice is indistinguishable from instruction.

All of which also fits the quotes and citations of RYBS given here.
The individual must think and decide -- *because* DT can fail. That is
not to say that DT (by whatever term) is non-existant. RYBS himself often
gave such advice at least on a communal level. (A recently cited example:
in favor of SSSJ rallies.)

But even so, both rabbanim could be equally correct: there is often more
than one way to succeed. Isn't this a consequence of eilu va'eilu WRT
halachah-- that there are multiple ways to reach temimus and deveiqus?


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 17:05:03 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Atzas Gedolim

I think, that as in some previous arguments, we are arguing about what
seems to me clear and simple pshat.

I will restate it once more, and hopefully this will clarify the issues.

We agree that one may go to chachamim for advice (at the very least, they
are the equal of chachamim in other areas for whom one goes to advice,
whether they are more depends on the nature and extent of their chochma)

If I go a a lawyer (to use your example) about a professional issue
(somehow, skiing (your example) doesn't seem to be an area of expertise
for lawyers qua lawyers), I expect to get advice given his expertise
about the consequences of certain courses of action, and perhaps an
urging to choose a particular course of action.

If I go to a chacham for advice, I expect that in some ways I would get
the same type of insight about the consequences, costs and benefits of
certain courses of action (so far in agreement). This insight comes
both from his chochma as well as personal experience - and being a
gadol requires (hopefully) a certain level of intellectual attainment,
prolonged experience dealing with human problems, as well as insights
based on values that we share (so far, this is without any sense of sod
hashem liyereav). If something clearly violates a halachic issue that
I wasn't aware of, that will also factor in. In that sense, there is
agreement about the value of going to a talmid chacham for advice. To the
extent that one thinks that the halachic issues may be far greater and
more common, this may even be mandated. Again, I am trying to delineate
areas which may be understood without any issues of sod hashem liyereav
or venehenim mimenu etza vetushia - merely common sense and respect for
expertise. Of course, this significantly limits the areas where sheelat
chacham would be needed.

however, for most of the discussion here on avoda, the advice of a talmid
chacham has been claimed to be somewhat more, and the claim made that the
requirement for going to a talmid chacham is far more. Furthermore, in all
the examples given (and which were the basis of the discussion), the issue
of the advice is not merely a greater understanding and clarification of
the issues involved, but a sense that the chacham will sway towards one
of the options. I do not necessarily lose my freedom, but the reason for
going to a chacham is not merely for education, it was to help decide
among the options - that he would sway towards a particular decision.

That is your story with RSZA, that is your story with Rav Gold - he
went to get advice about the decision, the problem was that he got
two decisions, and then the issue was what to do with it. Clearly, it
remained his decision, but the notion was that one went to a chacham not
merely for clarification, but for decisions. Once he got a decision,
other factors may have been operative, but the nature of etza that he
initially went for was fundamentally decisive.

That is precisely what my number 3 meant - that one is to be guided by
the advice, even if one retains the freedom of action - that the advice
directs one in a particular direction.

Thus, when RCS went for advice to Rav kanievsky, it wasn't so that Rav
Kanievsky could explain the medical options better. He still retained his
freedom of action, but the sheelat chacham was precisely in the realm
of action. (Similarly with prewar advice about America - the origin of
this discussion) I would add that the whole concept of siyata dishmaya
in the sheela makes sense particularly in the context of a directed
answer, rather than in the shakla vetarya (ie understanding the options.
The "connection to the heavens" that you suppose inherently means that
the advice will and should influence the outcome, not merely outline
the options and consequences, even though the final decision does remain
the individual's.

It is here that RYBS is radical - he argues that in the whole sphere of
moral action, many options are available, and while he may instruct
about the basis for the options, the decision has to remain the
individual's, and he will not influence it. While the individual may
seek some guidance, the ultimate advice is that it is the individual's
own choice to make. Therefore, in a very real sense, the advice was not
really necessary. Where is the role for connection to the heavens there??

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 17:31:45 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
dating and modeling; gdolim

RYGB (in response to my semi serious post about modeling and dating)
I am in utter disbelief that someone can purport to draw an analogy
from a situation where emotion should be nothing (if you have romantic
feelings toward your secretary, you are in deep trouble) to a situation
where emotion is everything (if you have purely functional approaches
to a potential spouse, you are in deep trouble).

The analogy is, therefore, spurious, irrelevant, and incorrect.

Far be it from me to deny the importance of emotion in marriage. however,
this was part of a thread commenting on issues of dating, and the fact
is that many people do compare (which was the basis of the original
discussion) (what they compare includes the emotional aspects, but (the
beauty of modeling) - once the issue of comparison and ratings come in,
models that deal with comparison have a role in isolating the impact of
the use of comparison on the problem. They clearly are inadequate with
dealing with the emotional aspects (eg, one can fall head over heels
at any time, and emotional aspects overweigh the rational comparisons)
which is one of their limitations (which is why the post was clearly
semi humorous, not a serious model of the problem), but they provide a
guide to what some problems may be.

I would add that this response is highly relevant to another thread -
use of chachamim for etzot - and shows that lack of familiarity with
methodology may lead to a significant misunderstanding of the issues
presented - as nothing in the posts remotely claimed (to those familiar
with modeling) the lack of importance of emotional factors, or purely
functional approaches, etc.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:20:13 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: RMF on microphones and modern gezeirot

Chana Luntz summarized from R' Aryeh Frimer's article:
>b) Part 5: Ruling that Something is Biblically Forbidden, When it is
>Not, may violate Bal Tosif (Adding to the Torah)...
>c) Part 6: Misrepresenting Halakha May Violate the Prohibition of Lying
>[which discusses mi dvar sheker tirchok in the context of rulings in

There were obvious implications in including these sections in this
article. What I thought was missing from the article, however, was
the aspect of "exaggerating" an issur due to public policy issues. By
exaggerating, I mean being extremely machmir. We all know that there
is a good deal of leeway in paskening she'eilos. What I have found is
that poskim will sometimes latch onto a da'as yachid or a not-so-strong
shitah in order to justify their public policy decision.

Are they being mezayef haTorah by paskening like a da'as yachid? No,
that is in their right. However, in order to effectuate a public policy
pesak one cannot, in this day and age, simply say that it is assur due
to public policy reasons. You might as well not bother giving a public
policy answer.

While R' Frimer intimates (at least according to my reading) that R'
Hershel Schachter and others are violating issuring by prohibiting
women's tefillah groups, I contend that they are being very machmir on
all issues involved in order to make a public policy pesak.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 21:28:56 +0100
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: RMF on microphones and modern gezeirot

In message <200210212149.20153.afolger@ymail.yu.edu>, Arie Folger 
<afolger@ymail.yu.edu> writes:
>On Saturday 19 October 2002 14:48, Chana Luntz wrote:

>> a) can RMF make gezerahs?
>Not really, however, I saw one tshuvah, in which he discusses a
>practice becoming minhag hamaqom. It would seem that, after having
>urged to act in a certain manner by a major poseq, people would
>become obligated to maintain that practice in that particular
>locality. For all practical purposes, this means that yes, RMF can
>make gezeirot, however it is a tad harder than it was for 'Hazal.

The reason I suggested that you look at the Addendum to the Frimer article
in Tradition is that they specifically discuss the gezerah making power
of modern rabbonim, in terms of le mi gdar milta (or as they head Part 4 -
"examples of prohibitions based on public policy considerations").

The nature of a gezera is toput a fence around the Torah, - something
is not assur min haTorah, but is forbidden for various policy reasons.
This is precisely what is being discussed in the relevant portion of the
Article (Addendum Part 3). Note, for example, that the Frimers discuss
RMF himself on the gezerah of the Chatam Sofer regarding lacating the
bimah in the centre of a shul (which is clearly discussed in these
terms - ie there is no halachic problem with moving the bimah - the
Chatam Sofer forbad it specifically because the Reform were campaigning
for it - a public policy reason if ever I saw one, RMF comments that,
to the extent that the reason for moving it is to do with eg acoustics,
rather than the Reform it is permissible).

>> b) if he can make gezerahs, can he, as you are suggesting  at
>> least in the abortion situation, make a gezerah but claim that it is
>>not in fact a gezerah,  but a full fledged Torah issur (in the case of
>>abortion, an issur chayav misas beis din).

>He is not making a gezeirah and shrouding it in language of issur
> deOraita. Instead, he is convinced that the halakhah is that
>abortion is a form of retzi'hah. However, knowing that REW
>disagrees, he decides to pull the rug from under his feet as a
>public policy. IOW, he thinks that following REW in this matter
> would be so wrong that he undermines him. Not exactly a gezeirah,
>just trying to instill in people the (according to him) 'right'

I must say, while I thought I understood what you were saying in your
previous post, I do not understand this paragraph at all. What is it,
according to you, that RMF is doing that he would not otherwise do were
it not for the "public policy considerations" (ie what is involved in
"pulling the rug from under his feet"? Amending a Tosphos? I hardly see
that as forming a gezera in any form or fashion. I am also not sure what
this "instill in people (according to him) the 'right' psak" means. It is
not exactly uncommon for any Rav who argues for a particular position
in halacha, aware that there are other positions, to both argue his
position and as to why the other positions are not correct in his view.
If that is gezera making, then there is an awful lot of it going on
(the whole structure of ROY teshuvas are to list all the people who
hold one way, all the people who hold another way, and then argue why
the people who hold against the way that ROY holds are not correct -
or rather, less correct than the others).

But I find it hard to see any issue of gezera making in all this. Besides
which, anybody who is capable of following the discussion re the Tosphos,
is capable of reading REW's teshuva and the sources on which it is based.

That is why I assumed that what you *must* mean, is that RMF didn't
*really* believe it was retzi'ah, but that he felt that, it would
be there is a risk that if he didn't place an absolute ban on it (ie
public policy reasons) people would believe they could go out and get
an abortion whenever they felt like it, and for that reason he banned
it even in extreme cases, like the Tay Sachs case, ie he made a gezera
against abortion even in cases where it would otherwise be mutar (as
per REW) for fear that other people might come to violate and issur
(d'orisa or d'rabanan).

If however he really believes it is retziah, where is the extension that
you are claiming?

>> I would also note, paranthetically, that one of the principles of
>>gezera making is that b'makom d'ikar tzara ei gazaru rabbanan -

>Please elabortae; I am not sure what you are talking about.

I was assuming you were understanding the concept of gezera in, what I
believe to be the classical understanding, ie of a fence around the Torah,
- ie a prohibition of what is mutar because of what it might lead to.
One of the principles of where and when rabbonim can make gezeras is
that in a place of great hardship, the rabbis do not make gezeras.
I have added into the translation of the aramaic phrase that sets
out this principle the word "great", because any gezera is almost
by definition going to cause a certain amount of tzar for somebody -
but that the principle is restricted to tzar gadol (see the various
citations given in the Sde Chemed to this subject). On the assumption
that you understood the gezera under discussion to be an extension of
a ban on abortion to a case where (as per REW) it would be mutar, I was
pointing out that the case in question chosen to implement this "gezera"
(the teshuva was specifically written vis a vis a potential Tay Sach
child), the outcome of following Rav Moshe's psak is probably one of
the greatest situations of tzar existing in this world today, bar none.

>You also, inter alia, suggested that there may be issues of bal
> tosif and of midvar sheqer tir'hoq. Well, there is no bal tosif at
> all.
>In the abortion tshuvah, RMF really believes it is completely
>assur mideOraita.

In which case, where is the question of gezera? BTW, even if you are
saying that the "pulling the rug out under his feet" relates to amending
a Tosphos - the question then becomes, what does Rav Moshe *really*
believe was the original of the Tosphos, - if like him, again what sort
of extension is going on here - he is just arguing the halacha as he
understands it, I can't see anything even vaguely gezera like about that.
To have a gezera, you need on some level to be going beyond the simple
halacha - and if you do that but do not acknowledge that you do that,
then you may run into mi dvar sheker tirchok/bal tosif issues.

>In the Shabbos timers tshuvah he wants to extend an issur derabbanan
>(that of amirah le'aqum).

If you are saying that in fact there is no issur derabbanan, but RMF
is making it clear that he is making a further gezera, in the case of
timers - then there is no issue of bal tosif and midvar sheqer tir'hoq.
I have not been through the shabbas timer issue in detail, and don't know
what he says there. I have, however, been through the abortion teshuva,
and since you were grouping the two together, I assumed that you felt
it was the same thing.

> Other examples welcome (may be I should collect such tshuvot, of
>RMF and others, to show the role of public policy in halakhah?).

Well, as mentioned, the Frimers have already had a pretty good stab at
it (although I am sure they will tell you that there are lots of others
out there - they only purport to bring a sample in their Addendum).
I think the breadth of example that they bring shows that there is a
place for public policy in halacha. But, to avoid the bal tosif/mi
dvar sheker issues, it needs to be acknowledged public policy - which
allows the matter to be debated on the merits (and, as per RMF again,
if the public policy reasons disappear - eg the Reform move on to more
serious targets than the place of the bimah in a shul, to review the
ban in the light of the change in situation).


Chana Luntz

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:27:53 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Modern gezeiros

Rabbeinu Gershom got the same effect as a latter-day gezeirah by
instituting charamim. I thought it was because even the Me'or haGolah
didn't have the authority to make new gezeiros.


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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:28:02 -0400
From: "Stein, Aryeh" <AStein@wtplaw.com>
Re: oseh shalom

In a message dated 10/22/2002 1:03:32 PM EDT, AStein@wtplaw.com writes:
> According to RSZA in Halichos Shlomo (p. 5) (b'sheim the Magen Avrohom
> in OC 66, s'k 7), we say "oseh shalom...ve'imru amen" in our silent
> shemonah esrei (and in benching) because we are asking the malachim who
> accompany and watch us to answer amen. RSZA would often mention that we
> should regularly ask ourselves if the shemona esrei that we just davened
> is "good enough" that we should ask our malachim to answer amen.

RJR wrote: 
>>>Does RSZA discuss why these 2 cases in particular?

No. Perhaps since shemona esrei is the primary tefila of davening,
and since bentching is a mitzva da'arisa, we want to conclude each of
them with "oseh shalom...ve'imru amen," and we want to have the malachim
answer amen.


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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 21:03:58 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: kaddish

On Sun, Oct 20, 2002 at 12:27:27PM -0400, Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
: 2. For those who say kaddish and put the comma after ylamlich malchutei
: - what is the translastion of the phrases?

May He Great and Qadosh and establish His Sovereignty in the world
which He created as He desires.

In our lives and our days and in the lives of all of Beis Yisrael,
rapidly and in near time ... may His name be blessed...

The question is the "ve'imru amein" that I ellided over.


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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