Avodah Mailing List

Volume 10 : Number 144

Wednesday, April 9 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 17:09:01 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Oral and written traditions

At 11:58 PM 4/8/03 +0300, Carl M. Sherer wrote:
>I don't think that RSZA was paskening in favor of college generally -
>only in R. Yosef's specific case.

>And this seems to lead to one of the biggest problems in relying on a
>psak that was not written down by the posek (IMHO): the risk that a
>psak that was intended for a specific person in a specific situation
>will be taken as a general psak for all.

Agreed, of course.

You know, at the time, simultaneous to my direct query to RSZA, I asked
R' Yosef Efrati to present the question to RYSE. He did. However, since
the response from RSZA cam back first, R' Efrati refused to tell me what
RYSE had said. If you know someone mekurav to R' Efrati who could ask
him, perhaps now, 22 years later, he may be willing to divulge what the
response from RYSE was?

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org  or  ygb@yerushalmionline.org
essays, tapes and seforim at: www.aishdas.org;
on-line Yerushalmi shiurim at www.yerushalmionline.org

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Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 12:59:07 -0400
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: gilgul

> Thank you for a clearly reasoned argument. However, what I meant is
> precisely the reasonableness and inductive necessity of gilgul. It is
> something that was accepted by most people in antiquity, Plato including,
> through observation - the best kind of resoning; therefore, logically
> binding.

In terms of the Torah being reticent about schar v'onesh, this is an
old problem, discussed by the Kuzari 1, 106-109, Ikkarim 4, ?32 and the
Rambam in hilchos teshuva., 7, 8 (I am quoting from memory and may be
off by a bit in citations). Whatever applies there, apples here as well.

The Ramban in the pirush on Iyov finds many hints to this idea - see
introduction and the commentary itself. So it is not entirely accurate to
say that there is no hint to this idea of gilgul. Also, one must realize
that gilgul is a side issue to the entire question of Olam Habo. It is a
temporary state or expedient, for a minority of soul entities only, and
the Torah does not need to spend much time on it. The final disposition
is after Techias Hameisim according to the Ramban (end of Shaar Hagmul)
or the world of the souls, sccording to the Rambam (Teshuva 8,2, see
Ra'avad, Hagahos Maimonios, Migdal Oz there, also intro to Chelek and
Maamar Techias Hameisim, toward the end). The Rambam in Maamar Techias
Hameisim gives the same explanation regarding why Techias Hameisim is
not mentiooned more in the Torah, for according to him, it is only a
temporary state.

BYTW, I am troubled by this statement of Rambam, as there are quite
a number more clear references in Tanach to Techias Hameisim than he
admits. He says there is only Daniel 12.

Thank you,
M. Levin

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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 13:01:41 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: gilgul

In a message dated 4/8/2003 11:42:53 AM EDT, afolger@aishdas.org writes:
> What is furthermore troublesome, is that there seems no obvious way to
> make Plato indebted to Jewish tradition for this idea of his.

> May be in a next lifetime I'll find out what's the matter here :-).

FWIW, Agus claimed that the Greek Philosophers borrowed from early Jewish
and proto-Jewish thinkers he called "Sofrim" I never understood his
sources and seems to bemore of a belief rather than a product of research.
Bascially, there were early yehidei Sgulah - including sheim v'oever -
who had the emes and that Mattan Torah was a publication of what was
know privately by these yechidim.

Torah was not GIVEN at Sinai, so much as REVEALED at Sinai.Or if you
will given to the masses instead of the yechidim

This explains how the Avos - also yechidei sgulah - could keep the
mitzvos before Matan Torah and they were astute enough to know WHEN to
make an exception - e.g. Ya'akov marrying 2 sisters.

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe <RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com>
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 23:07:21 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: gilgul

Since we're discussing goyish opinions on gilgul...

First, I want to use RSG's term, ha'atakah, when speaking of the goyish
belief. I'm not sure the Greek doctrine is the same as gilgul, and R'
Saadia is clear that ha'atakah is a foreign idea.

Pythagorus believed in ha'atakah, and ha'atakah between medabeir, chai
and tzamei'ach. I don't know of a shitah in TSBP that holds that a person
could come back as a raddish.

Plato got it from Pyth. His argument for ha'atakah is strange to me,
and I don't find it overly convincing. He notes that something that was
hot is something that was once cold. Similarly, cold things were once
hot. Similarly wet and dry, etc... Therefore, alive and dead must also
be cyclic.

Josephus speaks about /something/ in BJ 2.8.14, ascribing some belief to
the Perushim. But it's impossible for me to deduce if he means ha'atakah,
gilgul or techiyas hameisim. (RMFeldman's father is sure it's the
lattermost. Others, eg whomever wrote the relevent Brittannica entry,

JW 2.8.14 seems to use lashon rabim when discussing the future bodies
of a single soul. But that may be the translator.


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: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 14:05:00 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: oats

On Tue, Apr 08, 2003 at 10:28:16AM -0400, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
:> Can anyone think of areas where a kabbalah has been discarded because
:> of historical discoveries? ...

: I wonder if " Halachic brain death" might fit.

I would think it doesn't.

Obviously the rov who don't hold by this definition don't think it's
been discarded. But even so...

It's not a "historical discovery". It's a new ability to measure something
that until now wasn't measurable. This isn't disproving some assumption
about metzi'us.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 2:43 +0200
Taarovet Chametz in Torat haBayit

The only thing I could find re: taarovet chametz in the Torat haBayit
ha'Aroch is in Bayit Revii, Shaar Sheni: "...aval nitarvu b'acherot,
mistavra li she'kulan mutarot".


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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 09:06:51 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Children and Mechiras Chometz

Suppose one has a child who lives with his/her parents, BUT this child is
over the age of bar/bas mitzvah, and at some point (or several points) in
the past year he/she had a paying job (baby sitter, camp counselor,
whatever) and personally got paid for that work, and used some of that
money during the year to buy his/her own chometz (cookies, candy), and
has personal storage areas for personal items (desk drawer, jacket
pocket) where he/she may have put that chometz at some point in the

It seems to me that such a child owns that chometz to the exclusion of
everyone else (even parents), is personally responsible for that chometz,
and is obligated to get rid of it. If the chometz still exists, it
belongs to the child, who is chayav to get rid of it.

It may be that there actually is nothing left of that chometz, or that
another family member happened to find it and get rid of it during the
cleaning/bedikah. But just to be sure, wouldn't it be a good idea for the
child him/herself go to the Rav and add his/her name to the list of
people selling their chometz? My children have been doing this for
several years now, but I've never heard of it from anyone else.

What do others think? Does anyone think that this is unneccesary or wrong
for some reason? Would the child's chometz be included in what the
parents are selling? If yes, why?

Akiva Miller

Sign Up for Juno Platinum Internet Access Today
Only $9.95 per month!
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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 21:37:12 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Tefilin on CHM in EY

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> And even there it's not muchrach. The Gra wore tefillin on cholo shel
> mo'eid, no?

I have always been under the impression that most [even misnagdim and
Obs] don't leig Tefilin on CHM in EY - because of the influence of the
talmidei Hagro!


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Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:10:16 -0400
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
Re: Oral and written traditions

From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
>Also, RMF seems to reverse the Bavli re: burial on YT Shinei by invoking
>chillul YT as a concern - af al pi that the Bavli asserts that legabei
>Meisim YT sheini is considered kechol...

I think this is more on the level of a gezera, rather then an objection
to the views of all the Rishonim and Achronim. (BTW this is not followed
in my community as I have been to a number of levayah on the second day
of a Yom tov.)

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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 23:29:33 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Oral and Written Traditions

In a message dated 4/8/2003 6:51:15 PM EDT, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> Excuse me, I am in utter shock. Because RMF does, b'rov gadluso, claim
> to understand the Gemara, you claim to understand it better and therefore
> conclude that he reversed the Bavli?!

> And, of course, you know as well as I do that we do not pasken on the
> basis of Kabbalah.

> And I imagine you know that the Gemara itself limits burial on Yom Tov
> where there are countervailing issues.

> Your assertion is staggering.

Question does the Gmara state that "asy UT kechol legabie {kvuras}
hameis or not?

I learned in Yeshiva that Mies mitzva is THE most important imtizva that
a Kohen Gadol must be metamei himself, even more important than kibud
av vo'eim!

Yet you Give RMF the cahcne to uproot perhaps the most urgent mitzvah
of all - meis mitzvah. I find this staggering to my imagination!

I challenge you to list EVERY reason that oen should davka NOT wait
overnight to bury a dead body. IO bet your list would be overwhleming.
But you ignore that list in order to Make RMF right and me wrong. Why?
Because meis mitzvah is boteil legabie gadol - when it even over-rides
a kohein Gadol? I find this set of prioties frightening!

At any rate, despite RMF's psak Satmar buried a meis on the FIRST day
of YT when it fell on a Friday . Is Satmare LESS concerned witht chillul
YT Rishon?

What are you saying?

And your own uncle's kehillla would not change its minhag to avoid burial
on YT. how come. Is Breuer's masorah based upon faulty information?
I find that assertion to be quite condescnding to a 500 year old tradition
of Minhag Frankfort!

When asked how come KAJ differs from the Rema Rav Gelley answers -
their Minhag was established LONG before the Remo.

Therfore the RemaIt is the one who must be cahllenged how come HE differs!

Do you think RMF is on a higher madreiga than the Rema?

[Email #2. -mi]

In a message dated 4/8/2003 6:51:15 PM EDT, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> Aveilus is mostly minhagim, and no ra'ayos can be brought from minhagim.

Dvar mishna about kfiyas hamitta.

[Email #3. -mi]

In a message dated 4/8/2003 6:51:15 PM EDT, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> Chasimas Ha'Talmud IS the last word. Beyond that there can only be
> chumros :-) . (There are.)


[Email #4. -mi]

In a message dated 4/8/2003 6:51:15 PM EDT, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> And, of course, you know as well as I do that we do not pasken on the
> basis of Kabbalah.

[Email #5. -mi]

In a message dated 4/8/2003 6:53:13 PM EDT, cmsherer@fandz.com writes:
> And this seems to lead to one of the biggest problems in relying on a
> psak that was not written down by the posek (IMHO): the risk that a psak
> that was intended for a specific person in a specific situation will be
> taken as a general psak for all.

I've mentioned this story before but it bears repeating:
I recall one day when R. Yeruchim Goerlick was reading to us out of
the Chidushie HagrIZ - his own rebbe. He read seomthing and then gave
a very serious/Stern look, that he heard JSUT the opposite of what was
written down.

Now am I supposed to accept the written word as printed over the word
of my own rebbe who learned - iirc - 5 years from the Griz personally?

If we lived 2,000 years ago and took the written word over what our rebbe
told us was THE EMESE we'd be cataogorized as Tzadukkim. Now please
tell me just how did Chasimas Hatalkmud change that?! Are we now
supposed to reverse course and take the written word over the Masorah
of our Rabbei'im?

I challenge this list to please show me ONE reference in the Bavli to
a written text of Mishnah as authoritative!

As far as paskening like a Gadol goes. I want to say this:
AFAIK the Halachah is like Rav {actualy Rabbi} Yochan an over either
RAv or Shmuel -and sometimes both!

But if you look, you will see that despite the Halachah is like Rav
Yochanan, he is probably the most likely to be shulgged up by a tiyuvta.
Tiyuvtas are usualy braissos!

If the Gmara itself used RYGB's logic it would have to say something like
Since Rabbi Yochana is the poseik hador, me MSUT assuem that our humble
minds cannot fathom the pshat in thios shver braissso, so we shojd NOT
ask a Tiyuvta onRav Yochanon but on our humbeo read of the shver Braisso!

well guess what! The Gmara - AFAIK - does not do this. When a
contradictory soruce comes, we even shulg up RAv Yochanah who is himself
almost a Tanna. No respect for the one that Tosafos folows l'halachah!

Now I hear somethin like: "how dare someone challenge a poseik with a Text
- even one enshrined by chasimas Hatalmud! " IOW are we now saying that
todya's poskim are to be given greater deference than Rav Yochanan
in his day?!. Sounds to me that this is davka the biggest rejection of
Talmudic methodolgy that is shayach! The idea that an authoritave text is
used to shlug up a Gadol and poseik itself STEMS from the Gmara! Are we
to eschew the Gmara's own derech in favor of some kind of syncophancy?!

Rav Yochanan welcomed the challenges of his Talmid Reish lakish and
dismissed the rayos of his talmid Rav Eliezer because they failed the
simple test of "yagdil Torah v'yadirah"

Rav Gorelick warned us many times: "Ich vill NISHT KEIN FRUM TORAH!"
Therefore as a talmid of Rav Yeruchim Z"L, I have no choice but to
listen to him uncritically and to accept this dictum as aboslute without

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe <RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com>
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 09:48:49 -0400
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
Re: Oral and written traditions

"Carl M. Sherer" wrote:
> I don't think that RSZA was paskening in favor of college generally -
> only in R. Yosef's specific case.

I agree.  My point was something else.

Rabbi B cited the psak as an example of what we were then calling "atzas
gedolim".  Yet, according to what he now says, none of us should accept it
as "atzas gedolim" since our source is not RSZA, it is Rabbi B (and even he
heard it orally, not in writing).  Therefore we should assign it no more
status than an opinion generated independently by Rabbi B.  So how could it
be support for his opinion about "atzas gedolim"? Surely for a raayah to be
acceptable it must come from a link in the chain of mesorah, which,
l'shitaso, this was not.

[Email #2. -mi]

"Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" wrote:
> Response to Reb David Riceman:
>> Recheck that reference to tshuvoth haRama: R. Shalom Shachna refused to
>> publish (or even to permit students to make private copies) of
>> his psaqim.

> Perhaps. This is one drop in the vast ocean.

Wow! You have made an assertion about how mesorah works without any
evidence. I cite evidence that a rishon disagreed with you and you
reject it by saying "This is one drop in the vast ocean." Show me some
of the vast ocean before you dismmiss the only drop you've seen.

David Riceman

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 14:14:58 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Oral and written traditions

On Tue, Apr 08, 2003 at 09:47:38AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
: Like RMS I find this surprising. The validation by writing is b'dieved,
: not l'chatchila. Did you, for example, fail to refer us to RSZA's psaq
: that you should go to college on the grounds that it was unwritten? ...

I think RCS's comment, that one can't assume this is a general pesaq,
touches on a deeper issue.

There is pasqening for the case, and then there is contributing to the
flow of hora'ah by writing a teshuvah that will be used in deciding
future cases.

The latter, I believe, requires a Sanhedrin or the kind of precise
recording that one doesn't get ish mipi ish.

A last issue is the division between pragmatics and religion. Like the
discussion on Areivim about whether the kosel is "only" a retaining wall,
and therefore memeilah it serves as a line between qodesh and chol.

The pragmatics are what embue qedushah. There is no division. If it served
an important pragmatic role for qedushah then it has qedushah itself --
either as a davar shebiqdushah, a devar mitzvah, or as tashmish qedushah.

Similarly here. It was alleged that written pesaq ought not have
greater authority, but also acknowledged that lema'aseh we have
more confidence in the text. Again, splitting the religious reality
from the pragmatics. If texts are more reliable, then they are
more authoritative in a "halachic authority" sense.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 10:15:23 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Oral and Written Traditions

RYGB wrote:
>Thanks for the compliment. Traditions - especially from
>RYBS and similar oft-"quoted" sources - are indeed only
>as valid as the transmitter.

>It only has my authority. You (and perhaps even I) have
>no idea if it may be particular or universal, and therefore
>cannot extrapolate except to the extent that you trust (or
>distrust) me.

This brings to mind the gemara in Chullin 7a, "Chazu man gavra
rabbah dekamesahid aleih" (or something like that; the mareh mekomos
police won't let me look it up). The story about R' Meir was
believed based on the authority of the source of the quote, even
though alternate explanations could be offered. Even though yeish
lechaleik, it still seems relevant.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 14:22:57 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: On the Matter of Masorah

On Tue, Apr 08, 2003 at 12:03:28PM -0400, Brown, Charles.F wrote:
: Teinach the Maharam, but if you expand R' Wolpoe's idea, the problem is
: the piece begs the question: when is something a chiddush and when is it
: a shinuy? ...

: Even within the examples given in the piece, things seems confusing, e.g.
: Rebbe overturned the practice of teruma in Beit Shean because "the
: prevalent practice was simply based on an error" and hence he was being
: mechadesh, not making a shinuy...

I would think this is a defining feature. This is a position I have
argued RRW about repeatedly. Change because of finding an error is
pretty common, change because of finding no basis is rare, if

Rebbe found that the reason given for the status of Beit She'an was
built on a flawed assumption. And, being Rebbe, we assume he is not
likely to have overlooked any "hidden reason".

: count of shmita years, "although Rambam thought that this does not
: make any sense," which I assume is the same as saying it was an error,
: "he said that this practice should nonetheless be followed because
: masorah is most crucial in determining what the halacha should be."

The Rambam failed to find a basis to the current practice, rather than
finding that the basis was a faulty assumption.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 23:50:34 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
RMF and burial on YT Sheinei

From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
>> Do you really believe that RMF reversed a BAVLI?!

> This is not a matter of emunah. I know that the Satmar and Brreuer
> communities each do not buy into the idea of modern day refrigeration
> as a reason NOT to bury on YT or YT Sheini.

> The point is really very simple.
> If Rabbi X says that the gmara re: burying on YT is not applicable due
> to modern day refrigeration, the Torah world would be up in arms.
> RMF says it and it gets a pass.

I happen to have some knowledge in this matter - as some years ago a
new brash rabbi arrived in town and criticised our Charedi kehilla for
conducting a levaya of a member on YT.

This rabbi, a talmid of RMF, publicly attacked us - quoting RMF -
for doing so. The local 'Jewish' paper picked it up. (That rabbi's
inflammatory sermons and bombastic statements took up many inches

Lemaaseh, I pointed out to him that RMF is referring to those situations
where there is a chashash that irreligious friends and family of the
niftar will be mechalel YT by attending the levayeh.

Ma sh'ein ken, in Charedi kehillos (as per Satmar and Breuer) there is
no such concern and levayes are indeed held on YT as per the gemoro.
V'harayeh that RMF himself held so, is the fact that in IM he gives
instructions to a Chevra Kadisha on how to conduct YT levayes...

I added (this was in a letter published in the Aust. Jewish News -
reponding to their article), that according to that psak of RMF, not
only levayes, but even Bar Mitzvahs should not be held on Shabbos wherever
there is a risk of people coming to Shul via chillul Shabbos.
(I must say that this rabbi later commented to his baalei-battim -
re my point about Bar Mitzvahs - "Abeles is right"...)


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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 23:29:58 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Re: Mendelsohn Redux

From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
> how does the Malbim understand
> "ein Mikro yotzei miday Pehsuto? as applied to Shir Hashirim?

It doesn't.
He writes vehemntly against it.


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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 13:46:32 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>

Posted by: hmaryles@yahoo.com
> There is a tremendous illogic to the mitzvah of covering the hair of
> married women and not single women...

> Another piece is that no matter how attractive an adult unmarried woman's
> hair is, there is absolutely no Issur for that hair to be uncovered
> and fashionable (according to most Poskim). Yet, for that same woman,
> once she is married that same hair is considered Ervah.

From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
> But isn't being attracted to a married woman much more objectionable
> than to a single woman who is theoretically avaialble for marriage?

Not when the man is already married, LAD.

The Minhag Yisroel Torah [chelek 4, p 57] discusses this puzzling din
and brings various shittos.


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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 09:36:56 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Sheitels

In a message dated 4/2/2003 10:44:39 AM EDT, kennethgmiller@juno.com writes:
> I grant that the phrase "saar b'isha ervah" is used, but it can be seen
> as a mere soundbite, a catchphrase to remind us of the halacha, and which
> has nothing to do with the logic behind the halacha, or its rules. This
> is similar to women being paturos from mitzvos aseh shehazman graman,
> which similarly has a zillion exceptions unrelated to the concept of
> "zman grama".

Good Gezugt

This is simple aiui - ONCE the Torah requires that women cover their
heads it CREATES the condition of "saar b'isha ervah"! And it is NOT
the other way around that "saar b'isha ervah" created the requirement
for women to cover their hair!

Now it is indeed more literal to interpret "saar b'isha ervah" that
head-coverings covered all of the hair and hence the result that all
"saar b'isha ervah"! It takes being a bit liberal instead of liberal
to allow for covering of some of the head w/o covering all of the head.
AISI Litvaks in general, tended to be more liberal and less literal when
it came to these kinds of details.

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 00:37:08 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Fw: Re chamira sakant am'issura

In a message dated 4/7/2003 11:40:25 AM EDT, sba@iprimus.com.au writes:
> With regard to your dismissal of those who first cite a minhog then find
> a hetter. I would like to comment that this was actually the way Remo
> paskened. Secondly, for those communities/ familes who still posses
> an unbroken tradition, it is that tradition that sets the standards,
> because those standards were set by earlier and reliable people. It is
> only the book-knowledge-only types that would dare to criticise this
> approach. Maybe I should clarify this a little. When the first yeshivah
> (in the modern sense) opened in Volozhin, it was bitterly opposed by the
> hassidic gedoilim both in Lithuania/White Russia and in Galicia (as was
> the yeshivah-model of the Hasam Sofer incidentally). It's not the place
> at this point to delve into the why's and wherefore's of this opposition,
> but merely to bring out a point: from my research I discovered (to my
> initial surprise, I should admit) that the Lithuanian communities were
> identical in hashkofoh and general behaviour to those in the rest of
> Europe (making allowance for regional differences etc, of course). In
> short, somebody from deep Galicia, for example, would quickly adapt to
> life in a Lithuanian town or village. But the yeshivos quickly created
> a totally artificial environment - the ivory tower par excellence -
> that forced the boys who went there to abandon what they'd learned and
> seen at home and to adopt the mores of the yeshiva. No wonder that
> in many many instances this went further - to the point that the big
> yeshivos actually became hotbeds of haskoloh. Nowadays, the same problem
> works almost in reverse: boys come to yeshivos from very materialist and
> secular homes and anything that they know is learned from the yeshiva -
> anything that the yeshiva doesn't teach them they will not know. However
> positive this may be from one aspect, the same problem pervades both:
> book-knowledge was the criterion, not transmission of tradition. This
> factor was central to the life of the bais ha-medrash that was central
> to Jewish life in Poland and Galicia. I've heard this many times from
> people who have experienced both, and as I wrote above, my own research
> from texts supports this.

I had a minor epiphany when I left West Hartford to go to Ner Yisroel
in 1966. Yeshiva was indeed a big awakening

I agree with the above. I had a bigger eppiphanyh in the 1980's when
I joined the Breuer Kehillah. For the first time I understood what
a kehillah with a Masorah was all about, learned more about Minhag,
Mimetics and Masorah then all the book learning and research in the
Yeshiva world. It is possible that I could have joined a Chaissidishe
kehillah and also gained this.

There is no doubt in my mind how R YY Weinberg - Sridei Eish - felt when
he left Lita and tyransplnated himself to Berline. I strongly idenitfy
with this same transition. I would guess that Rav Kook - who was stranded
for a short time during WWI in Germany and RYBS who went ot U of Berlin,
had similar exposures to the world of TIDE and German Masorah.

Litvisher Yehsives are great for ideas, lamdus and book knowledge, but
they are intriniscally limited and not holistic. A community suich as
KAJ that has cradle to grave Judaism, and does not need to consutl a
sefer to know whether a funeral takes place on YT Shieni, has a much
richer and well-rounded approach to Judaism in general. I only wish YU
could grow a kehilla dedicated to its ideals, but so far all it has is
the academic aspects w/o much of a kehilla structure.

The biggest Chaval I have witnessed is the evoluition of the Breuer
Yeshiva into just another yeshiva w/o its unique yekkisher wordly
charactera and w/o even apprecating its own rich heritage of minhaggim,
nusach, meoldies, hashkofos, and unique holistic approach.

While Talmud Torah is the core of any Yeshiva, I don't see the point of
each yehsiva echoing each other. Choirs work because they have different
harmony lines, they don't all sing in unison.

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe <RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com>
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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