Avodah Mailing List

Volume 10 : Number 090

Friday, January 17 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 13:25:45 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

I was recently reading a book on Moshiach by Rabbi Cohen and he 
stresses that there are many possible ways for Moshiach to come 
depending on the spiritual state of the Jewish people. Gil Student 
gives essentially the same answer in his article.

In general I agree with this outlook except for some reservations.
Rambam (Sanhedrin 23:10) states that the Moshiach will not come until
the Sanhedrin is established. If there are several possible paths why
is Rambam so adamant. Similarly in other places it is presented as
open and shut without a hint that other possibilities exist.
In our discussion I have re-read Netiv Binah by R. Yaakovson on 
Tefilla and have some remarks.

1. Tekah Beshofar  (10)
It is interesting that already Anshe Knesset Hagedola were concerned
about Kibbutz Galiyot becuase of the exiles in Bavel and Eygpt even
though the center was already in Israel (sounds familar). This beracha
is an early one since it is mentioned in Ben Sirah and so is certainly
from the pre-Macabbee era.

2. Jerusalem (14)
The Nusach of RSG lists explicitly Jerusalem and the Bet Hamikdash
separately. Even with our nusach it is fairly clear that it includes
the city of Jerusalem in addition to the Bet Hamikdash.
To quote R. Yaakovson (in translation)
The request are from the easy to the hard and there are levels of
(a) the return to Jerusalem (physical)
(b) the return of the shechinah to Jerusalem, see Yechezkel 43:1
(c) the kingdom of David as a later stage of the geulah

3. David (15)
consists of two stages
(a) the return of David (Moshiach) - et tzemach david avdacha mehera
(b) the redemption - ve-karno tarum be-yeshuatecha

note: in many version (14) and (15) were originally one beracha.
RDZ Hoffman theorizes that (15) was made separate as a homage to the
Resh Galuta. R. Munk says the reason is anti-Xatian that the Moshiach
already came.

I wish to re-emphasize what I have said many times. At best we are in
the times of atchalta de-geulah and not the geulah itself. As such we see
the beginnings of Kibbutz Galuyot. Our brothers in the US are not rushing
on Aliyah and so there needs to be later stages of kibbutz galuyot which
hopefully will be voluntary and not induced by anti-semitism and so more
in tune with the description in the neviim. BTW I understand that the
LR also pointed to the fall of the iron curtain and the Russian aliyah
as a sign of the coming of Moshiach.

Finally, IMHO we are in the stage of kimah, kimah. Things happen slowly
and in stages. We get a partial ingathering of the exiles. We are also
get a partial Jerusalem because we don't have the Bet haMikdash. Some
people seem to insist that we have don't have everything we don't have
anything. My interpretation of Abaye in Sanhedron is that the era before
Moshiach there weill be bad years and good years and battles and peace,
i.e. good intermixed with evil.

kol tuv,
 Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 01/15/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 13:04:55 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
rosh ha-ma'atikim

From: gil@aishdas.org
> Chiddushei R' Akiva Eiger (Zichron Ya'akov:5743), Megillah 17a

> ... The
> translators to /la'az/ are not careful with this, as the head translator
> (rosh ha-ma'atikim) R"M Dessau on the verse "Shema Yisrael" translates,

Rosh hamaatikim - 
wouldn't that be 'head transcriber' rather than 'translator'?


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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 13:14:10 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
disposable cup for kiddush

Gershon gershon.dubin@juno.com:
> Does the next step then follow, that he would hold that one can use a
> disposable cup for kiddush or for netilas yadayim?

From: "WARREN CINAMON" <w.cinamon@worldnet.att.net>
> Interesting - have heard that Rav Dovid Feinstein shlit"a allows the use
> of the "hard plastic cups" for kidush. Additionally, I was once present
> when Rav Reuven Feinstein Shlit"a said that a "hard plastic cup" even
> though disposable - because it is reusable - may be used for kidush and

I was at a kiddush once in Yerushalyaim and was told that when using
a plastic cup to make kiddush - it is preferable to use 2 (one inside
the other).


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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 10:40:58 -0800
From: "Ezriel Krumbein" <ezsurf@worldnet.att.net>
Re: On the origin of Drashot

One nafka mina of the source of the halacha is the punishment. To cite
two examples
1) if it is learned from a kal vchomer there is no punishment since ein
onshim min hadin;
2) if it is learned from a lav shebiklalus there is no punishment.

On a related issue, a friend asked why does the gemara always look for
an extra word or letter to darshen something from a posuk, when there
are is a principle of lav shebiklalus; where many things are learned
from the same exact pasuk?

Kol Tov

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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 10:53:50 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: Pshat vs Drash, Rambam in Shmone Prakim

I owe you an apology. I should have checked before posting and I will
post this clarification as well. I remembered it so clearly but it is
not in the hakdomos. By the way of compensation for looking for it,
Yakov Haberman quotes in his "Maimonides and Aquinas" (Ktav) that he
asked Rabbi Volk 3 stiros between Moreh Nevukhim and Mishe Torah. His
response bderech pilpul is in Shaarei Tohar Vol 6, pp.411-418


[RGS, who recieved a copy of this email directly, adds:
It might be worthwhile to append to this message that the book is
available for download at www.HebrewBooks.org.]

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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 11:32:13 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Pshat vs Drash

See R' Reuven Margoliyos' HaMikra VeHamesorah ch. 16 that peshat in the
time of the Amoraim meant more of a contextual meaning than the simple
literal translation.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 10:44:38 -0500
From: Ari B Berdy <aberdy7487@juno.com>
The Torah isn't Strict Enough


For every aveira that a person might do it it would be logical and
appropriate to make certain gedarim. For example, if there would be
certain streets in the city which would be known for their preitzus,
it would make sense to try to avoid the streets nearby those streets as
a geder.

However, what about beyond that? What if a person would say, "I know
that to stay two blocks away would be a good geder for me, and I would
almost definitely never pass the actually assur streets; I am not going
to go within five blocks of those streets!"

Would that be like saying, "I know the Torah permits it (even taking
into account gedarim), but I am more frum than the Torah anyway?"

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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 22:18:04 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Re: moshiach

I don't have the relevant books in front of me right now, so I'll come
back with more, in depth information later. For now:

From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
> Eli Turkel wrote:
>>I would further state that the order in the shemonei esrei
>>indicates that the ingathering of the exiles and other events
>>start before Moshiach. Hence, this order goes back to
>>anshe knesset hagedola.
> Not entirely clear. The Gemara in Megilla 17b-18a seems to say, based on
> the order of the Shemoneh Esrei, that first Yerushalayim will be built and
> then Moshiach will come. But what is the building of Yerushalayim? This
> building of Yerushalayim refers to the building of the Beis HaMikdash,
> as evidenced in Pesikta Rabbasi ch. 29 and in Rambam's commentary...

One option is that the Beit HaMikdash is started pre-Moshiach, and completed
after the Moshiach comes (sources, to come).

> There are other possibilities. This could be, chalilah, a temporary
> hatzalah from our tzaros but not the keitz. Others, even some on the
> list, would argue that the modern State of Israel is a ma'aseh Satan.

Which always begs the question of 2 Rashuyot, Chas VeChalila. It is far
more likely that when the G'mara says Ein Ketz Miguleh Mizeh 'Ve'Atem
...Tis'u Pri LeAmi Yisrael -- and you look and compare the situation
in Israel 120 years ago with the current one -- and the meaning of the
Nevu'ah becomes clear...

>>But if Moshiach truly does come in the near future (which
>>can still be years away or today) it means that the
>>ingathering of exiles that has so far occurred in EY
>>was indeed part of the processs of Moshiach.

> And Aseres HaShevatim - the "ov'dim be'eretz Ashur"? R' Menahem Kasher
> tried to answer this in his HaTekufah HaGedolah by saying that we pasken
> like R' Akiva that the Aseres HaShevatim will not return but, in his
> Divrei Menahem (vol. 4, teshuvah 13), he admitted that this is shver.

A few years ago there was an interesting show about someone who went
looking for the 10 tribes. Apparently, he found that in Afganistan
there is (was?) a tribe, 15 million strong, whose sub-sections had names
Re'uveni and Gadi (among others). They also had a tradition of keeping
certain customs that were clearly jewish in origin. Another tradition
was that one day they would return to Judaism. They are called Patans
IIRC and are the most fierce Islamic warriors in that region.

There are a few other groups with similar hidden (known only to elders,
and passed on from generation to generation) traditions in the area
between Iraq and China.

Benei Menashe have already returned.

Now, whether these people are truly who they claim -- it is interesting
that all this has come to light in the last 100 years.

> Not to mention that Jews running to EY for their lives is not quite how
> the nevi'im describe kibbutz goliyos. See, for example, Yishayahu 60.
> Note the order of the pesukim and the way passuk 9 describes kibbutz
> goliyos.

There are several sources for kibbutz galuyot. Some are easy "Al Kanfei
Nesharim" some are harsher "VeHeiveiti". Nobody said that when Hashem
"brings" it has to be easy -- he can also cause Jews to run for their
lives when they don't realize on their own that it's time to return

[Email #2. -mi]

From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
> Eli Turkel wrote:
>>Rambam (Sanhedrin 23:10) states that the Moshiach will not
>>come until the Sanhedrin is established.
> Where? I don't see it. Unless you mean in the Peirush HaMishnayos
> to Sanhedrin.

> But see Hilchos Melachim 11:1 where Rambam says that after Moshiach
> comes "choz'rin kol ha-mishpatim be-yamav keshe-hayu mi-kodem" which
> seems to imply that the Sanhedrin will not be re-established until after
> Moshiach comes.

Actually, you have just answered something.

Imagine that somehow Smicha is renewed and a Sanhedrin established in
Israel today. There is no way that they could legally judge all cases
or give all the original types of Onshin. For example, flogging is
prohibited in Israel, but it is considered a legitimate punishement
by Sanhedrin. There are many other issues.

So, if indeed a Sanhedrin is established pre-Moshiach, there indeed
would be a situation where after Moshiach "choz'rin kol ha-mishpatim
be-yamav keshe-hayu mi-kodem" with the emphasise on the word "kol"
to differentiate from the situation pre-Moshiach.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 09:49:11 +0200 (IST)
From: eli turkel <turkel@sundown.tau.ac.il>

While I am not saying that you are definitely wrong, I can make a case
that you are. IMHO the RZ interpretations are not any more convincing
than the Satmar Rebbe's.

Let me make clear - I am not claiming nevuah and don't disagree with SR
based on my kwoledge of future events.

My claim was that IF we are in checvlei Moshiach (as RCK says) then it
will turn out that the Jews currently in Israel were the first wave of
kibbutz galuyot and that the rebuilding of Jerusalem started with the
present new and old cities of Jerusalem.
While the berachot of Yerushalayim in the shemonei esrei and birkhat
hamazon may also include the bet hamikdash they also include the city
itself at least as a stage towards the eventually bayit shilishi bimeharu

Eli Turkel

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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 09:26:17 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

Akiva Miller writes
"Yes, I understand that the Sanhedrin also functioned as a civil and
political court. Are you suggesting that when it included Tzidukim,
it was ONLY non-religious, and refrained from all religious cases and
religious legislation?"

The difference between religious and non-religious legislation is a
modern invention for the separation of church and state. Such ideas did
not exist 2000+ years ago.
More basically there is a misconception of Saducees as being
non-religious. On the contrary many of them were very religious they
"just" had different beliefs than the phrarisees. Today many scholars
believe they had their own TSP. In any case they had their own
chumrot. Questions like when Shavuot occurs have nothing to do with
being more or less religious but of a mesorah.

"To me, it seems much simpler to say that the initial premise is mistaken,
and that no kofer was ever allowed to sit on the Sanhedrin."

Maybe simpler but not correct. We know that the chachamim were killed or
ran away from Yannai. In fact many of the Chashmanoim kings were Saducees
and would have allowed control of the Sanhedrin by the Pharisees. We
also know that many of the Kohanim Gedolim were Saducees. It would be
simpler not to allow them but that was not feasible.

 Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 01/16/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 07:18:45 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Aishdas and Benjamin Franklin

I am currently listening to a biography of Benjamin Franklin. The Mussar 
Movement's links to BF's ideas are far more significant than I hitherto 

I think Aishdas should more consciously emulate BF's model. 

I would like to post a series of three citations on the topic. 

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten either
write things worth reading, or do things worth writing."

Benjamin Franklin

In 1727 Benjamin Franklin was an ambitious young man and had recently
been made manager of Keimer's, one of two printing companies located in
the city of Philadelphia. At just 21 years of age, he oversaw five men,
including Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb, who were soon to
form the nucleus of a club, the Junto (Latin for meeting). Franklin was
an outgoing, social individual and had become acquainted with some of the
businessmen at a club called the Every-Night-Club. This gathering included
prominent merchants who met informally to drink and discuss the business
of the day. Franklin's congenial ways attracted many unique and learned
individuals, and from these, he selected the members for the Junto, a
club that was to be dedicated to mutual improvement and knowledge. All
members lived in Philadelphia and came from diverse areas of interest
and business. Along with Meredith, Potts and Webb, they included Joseph
Breintnall, merchant and scrivener, who also loved poetry and natural
history. Thomas Godfrey was a glazier, mathematician and inventor,
and Nicholas Scull and William Parsons were both surveyors. Scull
was also a bibliophile and Parsons a cobbler and astrologer. William
Maugridge was a cabinetmaker, William Coleman a merchant's clerk, and
Robert Grace a gentleman. Grace's wealth meant he did not have to work,
but apparently he brought an intellectual element to the group, plus a
fine library. The club met Friday nights, first in a tavern and later
in a house, to discuss moral, political and scientific topics of the day.

Clearly the Junto was his creation, and Franklin led the group by example.
Surrounded by men of similar intellectual interests, he recognized that
the unifying force of this diverse group was an inquiring spirit and
devotion to self-improvement. To guide and focus discussions, Franklin
formulated a series of questions that included asking for reasons why
local businesses were succeeding or failing, whether a citizen had done
something praiseworthy and, if so, how might this be emulated. Common
readings in literature were regularly assigned and used to debate topics
related to morals, philosophy, and civic life. Members were required
to write essays that would be critiqued by the group in the form of
suggestions, hypotheses, and polite questions. Franklin required that
any member who became harsh and assertive in his comments would receive a
small but embarrassing fine. While being more of a skeptic than a rebel
and refraining from disagreement just for the sake of argument, this
fine was meant to keep him in line as well. He was one of the youngest
members of the club, had no wealth or position to speak of, and yet,
his leadership skills shone through in his intelligence and moral force.

The Junto was to continue for over 40 years, and as the members, including
Franklin, assumed positions of leadership in business and society, their
influence on the city of Philadelphia became broad and far-reaching.
Acquisition of books and sharing of established personal libraries led to
the establishment of the first lending library in the United States in
1731 and was key to the evolution of the American Philosophical Society
in 1743. As a lasting testament to Franklin's interest in life-long
education, an academy of learning was formed in 1751 that went on to
become the University of Pennsylvania.


 Brands, H.W. (2000). The life and times of Benjamin Franklin. New York:


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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 07:20:03 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
BF and A II

In the autumn of 1727 the Junto began its Friday evening meetings.
Franklin's "Standing Queries" illustrate the young tradesman's interest
both is getting ahead and in doing good, as well as his interest in
life-long learning. Franklin's own words hereafter will appear in italics.

Previous question, to be answered at every meeting:

Have you read over these queries this morning in order to consider what
you might have to offer the Junto [touching] anyone of them?

Have you met with any thing in the author you last read, remarkable,
or suitable to be communicated to the Junto? Particularly in history,
morality, poetry, physic, travels, mechanic arts, or other parts of

What new story have you lately heard agreeable for telling in

Hath any citizen in your knowledge failed in his business lately, and
what have you heard of the cause?

Have you heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what means?

Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere,
get his estate?

Do you know of any fellow citizen, who has lately done a worthy action,
deserving praise and imitation? Or who has committed an error proper
for us to be warned against and avoid?

What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or heard? of
imprudence? of passion? or of any vice or folly?

What happy effects of temperance? of prudence? of moderation? or of any
other virtue?

Have you or any of your acquaintances been lately sick or wounded? If so,
what remedies were used, and what were their effects?

Whom do you know that are shortly going voyages or journeys, if one
should have occasion to send by them?

Do you think of anything at present, in which the Junto maybe serviceable
to mankind? to their country, to their friend, or to themselves?

Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that
you heard of? and what have you heard or observed of his character or
merits? And whether think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to
oblige him, or encourage him as he deserves?

Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it lies
in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?

Have you lately observes any defect in the laws of your country, [of]
which it would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment? Or
do you know of any beneficial law that is wanting?

Have you of lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of
the people?

Hath any body attacked you reputation lately? And what can the Junto do
towards securing it?

Is there any man whose friendship you want? And which the Junto or any
of them can procure for you?

Have you lately heard any member's character attacked, and how you
defended it?

Hath any man injured you, from whom it is the power of the Junto to
procure redress?

In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in any of your
honorable designs?

Have you any weighty affairs in hand, in which you think the advice of
the Junto may be of service?

What benefits have you received from any that are not present?

Is there any difficulty in matter of opinion, of justice, and injustice,
which you would gladly have discussed at this time?

Do you see any thing amiss in the present customs or proceedings of the
Junto, which might be amended?

Any person to be qualified, to stand up, and lay his hand on his breast,
and be asked these questions:

Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I
have none.

Do you sincerely declare, that you love mankind in general; of what
profession or religion soever? Answer. I do.

Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name or goods,
for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? Answer. No.

Do you love truth for truth sake, and will you endeavor impartially to
find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others? Answer. Yes.

Top of Page

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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 07:25:46 -- 0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
BF and A III

BTW, these posts are from <http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/OSL/>.

Colonial America was a land without rigid traditions and therefore
a land of economic and social opportunity. It was a fluid society in
which members of the poor lower class could hope to advance to the upper
class. Land was plentiful and a small farmer could become owner of a large
estate. Indentured servants, after completing their time of service,
could become landowners, craftsman, or well-to-do merchants. There
were many opportunities to start new businesses and there was a great
need for professional people such as clergyman, lawyers, physicians,
and schoolteachers.

The colonist view of government was to be created anew to service the
needs of a new land. This colonial society was the most democratic in
the world and a healthy democratic society requires well-informed and
educated members who are capable of being critical thinkers.

Learning to think critically is one of the most significant activities of
adult life. When we become critical thinkers we develop an awareness of
the assumptions under which we, and others, think and act...Politically,
we value freedom, we practice democracy, we encourage a tolerance of
diversity, and we hold in check the demagogic tendencies of politician
(Brookfield, 1987, p. ix).

Benjamin Franklin, philosopher, diplomat, scientist, inventor, economist,
humorist, printer, and businessman, is often considered the "father of
adult education" because he founded the Junto, one of the first organized
means of self-improvement. The Junto would eventually give way to a group
of learned scientists who came together to form the American Philosophical
Society in May of 1743. This society has played an important role in
American cultural and intellectual life for over 250 years.

Several years after founding the Junto, Benjamin Franklin began a
subscription library with his friends. The group originally brought their
books together so they could share knowledge. Eventually, they charged
annual dues to be members of the library. The dues were used to purchase
more books and then members could use the books free of charge. That was
the first subscription or circulating public library in North America
(Adams, 1944, p.158).

At this time of great change, the general trend of education was also in
flux. It was moving away from domination by theological orthodoxies and
European traditions of class structure toward more liberal, more secular,
more utilitarian, and more democratic conceptions (Knowles, 1962, p. 11).

In this spirit, Franklin roused interest in establishing a college
by publishing an anonymous pamphlet entitled Proposals Relating to the
Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, in 1749. The Academy of Philadelphia,
which was founded in 1751 as a result of his efforts, was the foundation
for the University of Pennsylvania established in 1792. The curriculum
of the Academy was a considerable departure from the program of
classical studies then in vogue. English and modern foreign languages
were to be emphasized as well as mathematics. Franklin believed that
students should learn "everything that is useful and everything that is
ornamental." The University still follows that advice and has a history
of educational innovation consistent with Franklin's instructions. Today,
the University of Pennsylvania is home to the internationally recognized
Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. Penn, as it is popularly known,
opened the country's first law school, established the country's first
medical school in 1765 and was a pioneer in computer technology.

Franklin's liberal and progressive values are reflected in the desire
for the self-directed adult learner to gain knowledge by reading
books, participating in study groups, attending lectures and courses in
philosophy, religion, science, literature, the arts and economics. While
newer forms of contemporary education have more or less placed liberalism
in the past, the influence of this approach to education is still present
in many areas. Great Books Programs, liberal arts curricula in colleges,
continuing education programs, community based programs sponsored by
libraries, museums and institutions of higher education are some of the
more easily recognized areas of the liberal approach to learning. Other
examples that are often visible on college campuses in include Elderhostel
services and Learning-In-Retirement Institutes for older adults. With the
growing number of adults returning to higher education the need to support
life-long learning in formal and informal settings is at the forefront
of curricula development now and in the future (Merriam & Brockett, 1997).

We can thank Benjamin Franklin and his Junto for making outstanding
contributions to the adult education field. "Franklin, beyond all other
early American heroes," according to Grattan, "has claim to being a
patron saint of adult education" (Knowles, 1962, p. 10).

The critical thinking of the America colonists created a debunking
skepticism of their distant rulers that brought them into conflict
with the established laws and institutions. Once they were able to
free themselves of the British Empire, they proceeded to establish a
political system that supported the ideal of democratic participation
by its citizens. It is these same critical thinking skills that are so
fundamental to today's needs and issues.

At the heart of democratic processes, particularly in representative
democracies such as the United States, there must be a willingness and an
ability on the part of citizens to subject their elected representatives,
the policies they enact, and the justification they provide for
those policies to a continuous critical scrutiny [...] helping adults
become critical thinkers should be a fundamental concern of educators,
[for] only if adults' powers of critical analysis and reflection are
nurtured will a truly responsive democracy flourish. In this regard,
not to encourage the development of critical capacities is inherently
antidemocratic (Brookfield, 1987, p. 67-68).

Adult education must address the need to develop critical thinking skills
in adult learners, challenging them to come to their own judgments,
choices, and decisions. In imitation of Ben Franklin and the Junto,
today's citizens must question the legitimacy and accuracy of political
policies. We must ask What is just? What is necessary? What are the

The tragic events of 9/11 should cause us all to "question [our]
previously trusted assumptions about how the world works; this questioning
should prompt a careful scrutiny of what were previously unquestioned
ways of thinking and living" (Brookfield, 1987, p. 6). A democratic
society requires well-informed and educated members capable of critical
thought. All aspects of education are vital to a healthy democracy,
perhaps, at these times, adult education even more than ever.


 Adams, J. (1944). Frontiers of American culture. New York: Charles
 Scribner's Sons.

 Brookfield, Stephan D. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers. San
 Francisco: Jossey Bass-Inc.

 Cohen, A. (1998). The shaping of American higher education. San
 Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

 Knowles, M. (1962). The adult education movement in the United
 States. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

 Merriam, Sharan B. and Ralph G. Brockett. The Profession and Practice
 of Adult Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

 Wright, E. (1970). Benjamin Franklin: A profile. New York: Hill and Wang


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Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 03:58:36 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
Chatam Sofer and work

I believe that the recent critique (Avodah 10: 87, "working for a living")
of my post on the Chatam Sofer (and work) is basically incorrect. It is
maintained that the dispute between Rebbe Yishma'el and Rebbe Shimon in
T.B. Berachot 35b on the advisability of doing necessary work in addition
to the study of torah is not resolved.

Furthermore, it is asserted that both the RIF (R' Yitzchak Al'fasi)
and the ROSH (R' Asher b' Yechiel) bring only the view of Rebbe Nehorai
at the end of T.B. Kiddushin (only teaching his son torah) and not
his disputant, Rebbe Meir (teaching sons a light, clean trade). The
latter observation is correct. However, the RIF does cite the tosefta
in Kiddushin 29a which requires a father to teach his son a trade.

Moreover, the Gemara in Berachot does not simply cite the dispute between
R' Yishma'el and R' Shimon - it comments on it. Abbaye states that many
have followed the path of R' Yishma'el (torah with "derech eretz") and
were successful (in both), while others followed R' Shimon and were
not successful. The Gemara then cites Abbaye's great contemporary,
Rava, who asked his disciples not to appear before him in the months
of Nissan and Tishrei (and earn some money) so that they would not be
anxious about their sustenance for the rest of the year. That sounds to
me like a ratification of R' Yishma'el's view - at least for the great
majority of students. I am also puzzled about the statement that the
Rambam does not decide between the above Tanna'im, when the Rambam's
view about the impermissibility of accepting public money for studying or
teaching torah is well-known. If your family won't or can't support you,
then you have little choice but to earn a livlihood.

However, the entire thrust of my note was the view of the Chatam Sofer on
this subject - particularly for those who do consider him to be the last
universally accepted posek (a subject matter still debated in Areivim).
I was hoping that one of our more learned chaverim would cite chapter
and verse from Harav Moshe Sofer's chiddushim on T.B. Succot 36a since
I do not have ready access to it. In the absence of such citations,
I must rely on my memory of the derasha on "etrog hakushi" which I first
saw many years ago in the volumes of "Sarei Ha'me'ah" by Rav Y.L. Maimon
- but which I subsequently verified in the sefer by the Chatam Sofer.
That memory of the derasha is at variance with the view that Harav Moshe
Sofer does not decide between R' Yishma'el and R' Shimon in Eretz Yisrael.

This is the derasha to the best of my recollection:

The Mishna in Succot 34b states that "etrog ha'kushi" is invalid.
The Gemara on 35a then brings a Beraita that says such an etrog is kasher,
but an etrog like a " kushi" is invalid. Abbaye resolves the contradiction
by reinterpreting the mishna to mean "domeh le'kushi".

Rava, on the other hand makes a distinction between Israel and Bavel.

For the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrale, a genuine "kushi" etrog is invalid
(the Mishna's case), whereas such an etrog is valid in Bavel. On this, the
Chatam Sofer cites his Rebbe's, the Ba'al Haflo'oh (Harav Pinchas Horowitz
of Frankfort), drash which takes "etrog ha'kushi" to refer to a complete
tzaddik (as in the isha kushit of Moshe Rabbenu - a la Rashi) - that is
valid. The "domeh le'kushi" is then someone who wishes to act the part
of a tzaddik without the requisite attainments, i.e. only superficially
resembling a tzaddik - that is invalid. The Chatam Sofer then answers the
question about the reason for the distinction between Israel and Bavel on
the question of tziddkut by citing the above Gemara in Berachot. In Eretz
Yisrael there are mitzvot to be fulfilled in developing the land. These
mitzvot can not be simply disregarded by the requirement to be involved
with torah study. That is, we do decide according to R' Yishma'el. Outside
of Israel, however, a genuine tzaddik need not get involved with "derech
eretz", and can be involved only with torah study. The vast majority
of people, however, can not claim to be complete tzaddikim (like R'
Shimon), that is, claim that their desire for constant torah study is
too strong to permit other activities. Their attempt to imitate truly
holy people by foregoing work is, then, invalid. In terms of teaching
children, however, we do adopt the view of R' Nehorai in the golah by
teaching them only torah since torah study is the only real source of
accomplishment in the golah. Material things, including institutions,
will not long survive us in our difficult experience of exile. Only torah
mastery has survival power in our circumstances - and that is what we
should focus on in our educational efforts.

I regret that I did not make clear that I was not targeting all Haredim
with my comment. I have never lived in Israel - only 2 brief visits,
and can not comment directly about what Haredim in Israel do or don't.

I do have the impression, however, (Areivim postings are one source)
that working is considered objectionable in many circles, and that very
few yeshivot teach anything other than torah. Nor do Haredi parents,
by and large, arrange for their sons to learn a trade or profession.
Some do work ultimately - because of need. The question is, then,
how would the Chatam Sofer regard such developments in Eretz Yisrael?
Did he support the old yishuv with its predilection for living off
charity, or did he argue for achieving some degree of self-sufficiency -
and helping develop the land?

Yitzchok Zlochower

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