Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 003

Monday, September 29 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 07:09:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: avinu malkenu

(I beleive this belongs on Avodah, so I am forwarding the question
and my reply there - HM)

Eli Turkel <turkel@cem.tau.ac.il> wrote:
> Many siddurim have avinu malkenu in scharit and mincha in the middle of
> tachanun. I have never seen a shul do that.
> Any reasons it should be in the middle or before tachanun?

That is the Nusach of the AriZal according to Shneur Zalman MeLiadi
(The SA HaRav).

AIUI this is because of the Nusach of Tachanun right before "VaAnachnu
Lo Neda" which actually contains a rudimentary "Avenu Malkenu" that
segues nicely into the entire thing. After one finishes Avinu Malkenu
one returns to say VaAnachnu Lo Neda and completes a Tachanun.


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Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 22:40:43 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
RE: Aseres Ymei Tshuva (was Re: cholov Yisrael)

From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" sherer@actcom.co.il
> Ari Kahn wrote:
>> I think it is the aimas (fear) of the din - we don't want to rely on a heter
>> during the 10 days - we wish to go beyond the letter of the law - so that
>> Hashem will judge us lifinm mishuras hadin

But it still sounds like an attempt to 'trick' the midas ha'din. I'm not
saying that it's wrong to be extra careful during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva
- obviously you should be. But part of tshuva is kabala al ha'asid and
what you do during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva (AYT) should carry over into
the rest of the year. Ain hachi nami that if it doesn't, it doesn't. But
it strikes me as disingenuous to say l'chatchila that I'm adopting a
certain hanhaga only for the AYT.

Reminds me of something a previous rav of ours [Rav Betzalel Stern z'l -
author of Shu't Betzeil Hachochmo] used to say in his Shabbos Hagodol

When he got to Halochos he would remind the tzibbur that as from the
2nd night Pesach we count Sefireh. And to ensure that you don't forget
- he advises - even those people who normally don't come to shul for
Mincha-Maariv, to do so during the Sefireh.

And he would add..."And once you see that coming to shul at night - isn't
really that difficult...you may consider continuing to do so all year..."

And maybe that this is behind this idea of improving oneself during
the AYT...and then coming to the realisation that it really isn't such
a HUGE effort or big deal to go after Pas Yisroel or Cholov Yisroel -
and we will continue to do so the rest of the year..


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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 00:55:50 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
RE: Aseres Ymei Tshuva (was Re: cholov Yisrael)

On 26 Sep 2003 at 14:21, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
> I have no problem with doing more mitzvos. I have no problem with
> learning extra and giving more tzedaka and seeking out more mitzvos
> aseh to do. My problem is with changing hanhogos to a way you perhaps
> SHOULD be behaving, when you know well that you won't continue it. It
> feels dishonest. 

Adina and I were talking about this on Yom Tov, and she thinks that 
my approach is that of a Litvak (not surprising) while the approach 
that holds that changing hanhogos during AYT even with no intention 
of maintaining the new hanhaga is a chassidic approach. 


-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, 
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much. 

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Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 21:52:30 -0400
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
RE: Aseres Ymei Tshuva (was Re: cholov Yisrael)

R' Carl Sherer: <<< I'm not saying that it's wrong to be extra careful
during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva - obviously you should be. ... But it
strikes me as disingenuous to say l'chatchila that I'm adopting a certain
hanhaga only for the AYT. >>>

How's this idea sound: It is a demonstration of the sort of person we
would *like* to be, even if we're not strong enough right now, and maybe
that will be enough to change the din. Sort of like how we can twist the
guy's arm till he says "Rotzeh Ani", and that brings out his *real*
ratzon. So too here, the Aymas HaDin is twisting us into the sort of
people we really want to be like.

Another idea I heard somewhere: "Ba'asher hu sham". Who cares how
disingenuous it is, or if the guy plans to go back to pas palter next
week. *Today*, look at what kind of person he is! (No, this is not in the
"bribing or fooling G-d" category, because he really is being careful,
albeit only temporarily.)

<<< But I can see trying to 'fool' a human judge. How do you try to
'fool' HKB"H l'havdil. >>>

I am reminded of when I was very small, and my mother tried to teach me
about cleaning the house before guests arrive. She tried to explain it in
terms of "we don't want them to think we're slobs", which made no sense
to me, and I did not want to participate in deceiving the guests. (This
sounds similar to RCS's comments.) She gave similar explanations for why
I should get dressed up for special occasions, and I had similar
objections to them too.

Having matured, I have often thought back on her explanations, and
thought that if she would have explained it in terms of giving kavod to
the guests who are visiting, or of giving kavod to the people we were
going to visit, I might have understood it all a bit sooner. Similarly in
our case here. Maybe we're NOT trying to fool HaShem. Rather, maybe it's
just plain menschlichkeit that we should go above and beyond the call of
duty at this time of year.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 18:20:30 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
RE: Aseres Ymei Tshuva (was Re: cholov Yisrael) 2

Ari Kahn wrote:
> I think it is the aimas (fear) of the din - we don't want to rely on a
> heter during the 10 days - we wish to go beyond the letter of the law
> - so that Hashem will judge us lifinm mishuras hadin

From: "Carl and Adina Sherer"
> But it still sounds like an attempt to 'trick' the midas ha'din. I'm not
> saying that it's wrong to be extra careful during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva
> - obviously you should be. But part of tshuva is kabala al ha'asid and
> what you do during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva (AYT) should carry over into
> the rest of the year. Ain hachi nami that if it doesn't, it doesn't. But
> it strikes me as disingenuous to say l'chatchila that I'm adopting a
> certain hanhaga only for the AYT.

I took the time to look this up this morning.

The KSA [130;2] explains that by us doing that little bit extra, hopefully
Hashem will reciprocate. Vezeh leshono:

"Ro'uy le'odom sheyisnaheg bayomim elu gam bechumros she'eyno noheg bohem
bechol hashono - ki gam onu mevakshim me'es Hshem yisborach sheyisnaheg
imonu bechassidus..."

And BTW, it is not the Baal KSA's invention. 
It is a mechaber [630] whose source seems to be a Yerushalmi.


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Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 22:09:35 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
more bull

> I don't mean that Shor (in the Torah) is castrated. Rather, Shor refers
> to a large specimen, of the type that work was done with (and that was
> castrated in order to attain its great size, in later times). This is
> how Ralbag and Radak in Shoftim 6:25 seem to understand Par ha'Shor in
> that verse.

> In the Gemara, it refers to a large animal, also. Such animals were more
> prone to Negichah. They may have been castrated to attain that size.

Shor can be defined as a large bovine. Yet, in Bava Kama 65b, the Gemara
says a one day old shor is called a shor. Therefore, this definition of
shor must be the species name. This definition was how Rashi interpreted
Tehillim ch 69 "shor hapar" according to the medrash of Chazal.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 00:13:11 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Hashgocha protis - non chassidic view

gil@aishdas.org wrote:
>R' Chaim Friedlander in his Sifsei Chaim: Pirkei Emunah ve-Hashgachah
>writes that when the Rambam referred to teva he meant a hidden hashgachah.
> thus, everyone on every level has hashgachah peratis but those who are
>greater have more obvious hashgachah.  I can't imagine he would be cholek
>on Rav Dessler.

>I pointed this out to someone who learns in the Mir (in Brooklyn) and he
>discussed it with the mashgiach (I don't know his name).  He directed us
>to R' Shlomo Wolbe's Alei Shur that quotes the Alter of Kelm as saying the

>RC Friedlander also points out the machlokes over whether leaves falling
>are due to hashgachah peratis but I don't think he takes sides.

The issue of hiddgen hashgachah - as R' Micha Berger has pointed out -
is not a clear indicator of the BESHT. Hidden hashgacha can be translated
into the Kuzari or even according to the Rambam as the Lubavitcher Rebbe
himself pointed out. Thus there is no necessary chidush - which is where
this whole thread got started. The clearest indicator of the BESHT is that
hashgocah protis applies to non-man. I could not find any reference to it
in Michtav M'Eliyahu, Alei Shur, Shiurei Daas or Sifsei Chaim (in volume
I in the section on hashgocha protis for non-man). Would appreciate page
reference in the Sifsei Chaim where you saw it mentioned. I also found
no reference to the BESHT in R' Aryeh Kaplans' Handbook in the chapter
on Providence. All these sources reinforce my point since they clearly
state what their views of hashgocha protis based on Rambam, Ramban and
Ramchal - without indicating (contrary to the demands of R' Bechhofer)
that there is an unresolved machlokes because of the chidush of the BESHT.

In sum:  There is no justification for R' Bechhofer criticising Prof 
Levi for proposing a non BESHTian understanding of hashkofa protis 
because every one of the above mentioned sefer do exactly that. Not a 
single example of a non chassidic sefer conforming to R' Bechhofer's 
requirements has been cited. Thus even assuming that the BESHT's view is 
cited in the Sifsei Chaim - he clearly presents an understanding of 
hashkofa protis which ignores it.

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Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 22:12:00 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu>

From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
(some stuff deleted throughout the following e-mail, l'ahavas ha'kitzur).

>Fact #1 RYGB is undecided between the old mesorah and the new view
>of  the BESHT

Correct. My quote in the essay stands: "Me ya'aleh lanu ha'shomyma?"

>Fact #2 the RYGB Hashkofic Principle [RYGBHP] does not indicate what
>needs to be accepted but what one is permitted to reject

I am not sure where the RYGBHP makes this statement - perhaps you refer to 
schools of thought that contradict the 13 Principles or that are suggested 
by kaeli da'as? If so, that is indeed part of the RYGBHP.

> > You teach all positions and note that we cannot know which is
> > correct  but everyone agrees that Avodas Hashem is paramount...

>Fact #3 not only can you not reject but you must teach the full
>range of  opinions which are legitimate amongst Orthodoxy and must
>also admit that  you don't know which is right

You do not have to - you can legitimately advocate a specific position, as 
long as you are willing to be modeh al ho'emes if evidence points against you.

The RYGBHP DOES require teaching the full range of opinions that are 
legitimate if you would be counted as an intellectually honest scholar, 
rather than a brainwasher (I am sure there is a less pejorative term that 
can be used, one does not come to mind at the moment, but yihyeh na 
b'einechem k'illu I used the less pejorative term).

>The RYGBHP seems to be the following. there are two major paths that
>hashkofic positions can be legitimized. 1)  An ancient mesorah of
>gedolei Torah which has been accepted over the ages 2) An innovation
>which has been accepted by some gedolim and has become widespread
>amongst the masses. When faced with conflicting hashkofic positions
>from  these two groups it is prohibited to reject or ignore either
>side but  rather both sides must be taught along with the
>pronouncment to our  students/children (ourselves?) that we don't
>know which is right.

See above - you can teach your children and students what you want with the 
requisite willingness to be modeh al ho'emes etc. But that is again not 
intellectually honest, but rather narrow-mindedness (again, a less 
pejorative term would be preferred).

>Case 1 Hashgocha protis.  Prof. Levi has no right to state a view
>which  implies rejection of the BESHTIAN position. It follows
>however that  according to this principle the Chassidim have  no
>right to ignore the  pre BESHTian position. I would assume that when
>writing a review  concerning Rav Tzadok or the Sfas Emes one needs to
>chastise them for  their consistent failure to acknowledge the valid

No. The implication of your paragraph is that Prof. Levi, whom I greatly 
respect, is on the level of Reb Tzadok or the SE. This is not the case. I 
believe that RT or the SE were on the madreigah of "ya'aleh ha'shomyma."

>Similarly  I would assume that one must tell the Munkatcher that he
>has no right to  prohibit learning the preBESHTian position. There
>is no doubt that the  Chassidim have never heard of the RYGB
>principle or else reject it.

I cannot account for many positions of the Munkatcher, nor am I responsible 
for any narrow-mindedness amongst Chassidim. I am responsible for avoiding 
the pitfalls of narrow-mindedness in my own life and teaching. Prof. Levi 
clearly, as an exemplary scholar, strives to do so as well. Where he may 
fall short, some critique is legitimate, as is the case when I fall short.

>Case 2 Rebbe as Moshiach after the 2nd coming. Here again we have a
>clearly articulated ancient mesorah that rejects the idea  of
>Moshiach  successfully completing his mission only after dying and
>being  resurrected. As opposed to that there is a chidush supported by
>some solid people including the proposed moshiahc himself and the
>support of  many people. According to this principle I have no right
>to say that  they are wrong!  In fact the evidence I have seen is
>that the lack of  public protest is simply a tactic to preserve
>shalom bayis but that most  of us have clearly rejected the validity
>of the 2nd Coming.

There are many reasons to reject the analogy. One of the more obscure 
reasons, perhaps, but one of great validity, is the Meshichist tendency to 
act as the archer in the Dubno Maggid's parable, to shoot the arrows and 
then draw the bull's eye. This is not a bakoshas ho'emes, and the results 
of that process need not be graced with respect as valid. It behooves the 
intellectually honest scholar, however, to dispassionately present the 
Meshichist position and explain how it fails the test of legitimacy. I 
think Dr. Berger attempted to exactly that in his book.

>There are other cases  which I leave to the interested reader to
>fill in  the facts.

>Case 3 Religious Zionism -

>Case 4 Secular education

>Case 5  Chassidus itself
>etc etc

The analogy to all these cases - except, perhaps, the last, and even there 
it is dubious - is inherently flawed. These are issues of Avodas Hashem - 
i.e., is Avodas Hashem enhanced by RZ, SE, Chassidus or Misnagdus. One may 
advocate a position that Avodas Hashem is best served by one side or the 
other. One of the great tragedies in our history is the incapacity of some 
individuals who adhere to one of the two or more perspectives in each of 
these great debates to respect those on the other side of the divide who 
are sincere Ovdei Hashem, even as they reject the school of thought for 
themselves and the people they influence.

Regardless, in teaching, as I wrote in a recent JO essay (footnotes 
available upon request). Note that venue - JO:

  I once gave a Hashkofo Shiur, in which I presented all sides of the 
issue, even those that I was going to ultimately reject. Someone asked me: 
Why present positions that are against Mesorah even as an intellectual Hava 
Amina (premise)? Suffice it to say that the Gedolim oppose position X!

At first glance, this approach is tantalizingly appealing. It certainly
saves significant mental exertion, which may then be devoted to mego, rov
and chazoko [classic Talmudic concepts]. Furthermore, there is a strong
emotional appeal in the simple citation of "Ru'ach Yisroel Sabbah." Much
literature in our circles is based on this approach. This apparent short
cut, however, is not without potential pitfalls:

Declarative statements remain extrinsic. It is only by inculcating the
quest for truth and meaning; by acquiring and imparting both the truth
and its basis; by training ourselves and others to rigorously assess,
analyze and critique, by thinking, that we internalize the yetzer
ha'tov of emes, and we "mohn" (demand) of ourselves. It is only when we
ourselves make demands of ourselves that they are truly inescapable. We
(the congregation) will only change when we ourselves demand it of
ourselves, not when the Rav demands it from us.17

This is not to say that that there is no room for rote education. As
Rabbi Dessler notes (Michtav Me'Eliyahu vol. 3, pp. 131-133), there is
much that one can learn "by osmosis" - by absorbing values from the
right environment and contact with the right people. Indeed, in the
right environment, one can reach levels of outstanding piety.18 But,
says Rabbi Dessler, one's true level is what he has accomplished on the
basis of habituation, but what he has accomplished in his personal battle
with the unique yetzer ho'ra that Hashem has imparted to him.19

The Maharal, Be'er Ha'Golah, end of Be'er 7 says it best. It is only when
we fully explore and comprehend the truth that we will be able to best
our enemy (he was talking about an external one, but in our discussion
we are dealing with our internal adversary):

When an individual does not intend to scoff - rather only to state his
belief - even if these positions stand against your belief and system,
don't say to him: "Don't talk, seal your mouth!" For then the system
will not be clarified. On the contrary, in such matters we should say:
"Speak as much as you want, all that you want to say, so that you will
not be able to say that were you granted permission to expand you would
have spoken further [and convinced me with your beliefs]." If you do close
his mouth and prevent him from speaking, that points toward a weakness in
the system. This [approach] is the converse of the general impression,
which is that it is not permitted to discuss the system, and that thus
the system is strengthened. On the contrary! That approach undermines
the system!... Thus [through the former approach] a person comes to
the inner truth of matters... For, any hero that competes with another
to demonstrate his might wants very much that his opponent muster as
much strength as possible - then, if the hero overcomes his opponent,
he proves that he is the mightier hero. What might, however, does the
hero display if his opponent is not permitted to stand strong and wage
war against him?...20

It is worthwhile to recall here Reb Chaim Volozhiner's21 explanation of
"Hevei mis'avek b'afar ragleihem" (literally translated as: "Sit in the
dust at the feet [of the Sages]"). He explains misavek, based on Yaakov
Avinu's encounter with Eisav's malach, as connoting wrestling: You must
wrestle (intellectually) with your Rebbe (with respect, of course -
"at his feet") - ask questions, demand answers - not to test the Rebbe,
Rav,, or teacher, but to get your own mind in gear so you can make
your own cheshbon ha'nefesh (reckoning) and be your own conscience:"
She'yisbarer v'yisames etzel ho'Odom mah chovoso b'olamo" - "That is
should be clarified and become true to a person what his task is in his
world." (Hakdomo to the Mesillas Yesharim)

>In sum:
>Reviewing the historical reality of these cases - which clearly fit
>the  preconditions for applying the  RYGBHP - we  see  a strange
>thing. No  one seems to be aware of the principle. We do find a
>pragmatic principle  of not fighting over issues that don't produce
>significant benefits.  Thus the caution not to fight or reject is
>typically addressed to one  side not both. I am not aware of gedolim
>articulating a shitah of not to  decide what you consider right or
>wrong in these cases. If such exists I  would appreciate the
>enlightenment. In the absence of such evidence we  can safely reject

By all means; from my Forks essay:

Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch of Telshe made significant use of the Tanya in
his system of thought. My grandfather, Rabbi Dov Yehuda Schochet, was a
close student of Rabbi Yosef Leib and Telshe Yeshiva who later became a
Chassid Chabad. In a 1941 letter to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson of
Lubavitch, my grandfather proposed an objective perspective from which
our generation might consider the disputes between the disciples of the
Gr"a and the disciples of the Ba'al Shem Tov. This approach is based on
an insight my grandfather had heard from Reb Yosef Leib that to the best
of my knowledge is not to be found elsewhere.

The Gemara in Berachos 28b recounts that Rabban Gamliel was removed from
the leadership of the Yeshiva in Yavne and Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya took
his place. Rabban Gamliel had placed a guard at the gate of the Beis
Medrash in order to bar students who were not already of the highest
ethical caliber from the Yeshiva. After Rabban Gamliel was deposed, the
guard was removed, and it became necessary to add four hundred benches
to the Beis Medrash. Seeing this, Rabban Gamliel worried lest he be held
accountable for having prevented so many from Torah. He was then shown
a bucket full of ashes in a dream (a sign that the new students were
essentially worthless). The Gemara concludes, however, that this was
not really the case, but the Heavens showed him this to appease him. Reb
Yosef Leib asked: How can it be permissible to utilize untruth just to
appease Rabban Gamliel? Furthermore, why didn't Rabban Gamliel himself
realize that the consolation was false?

Reb Yosef Leib offered a wonderfully profound explanation: There is
a question as to which is the proper pathway through which to attain
both ultimate shleymus as the nation of Hashem and ultimate success in
bringing the world closer to Malchus Shomayim (the reign of Heaven on
Earth). Are these to be achieved by devoting one's influence toward the
broadest possible cross-section of the nation in order to uplift it to a
loftier plane - even if as a result some outstanding unique individuals
will be impeded from achieving their respective capacities? Or are these
best achieved by devotion with all might and strength to the nurturing
of those of the highest caliber until they become the luminaries of the
Jewish people?

It is impossible for any person to resolve this issue. To do so entails
taking into account ultimate ramifications for eternity, until the
end of days. G-d deliberately placed the issue beyond resolution. Each
great Torah sage has no choice, therefore, but to follow his particular
inclination and perception that in this or that specific manner he will
fulfill his obligation to improve the world.

Rabban Gamliel, according to his characteristics, perceived his
responsibility as one of educating the giants of the nation, its leaders
and trailblazers. That is why he barred those who were, in his opinion,
not candidates for greatness, from the Beis Medrash. When Rabban Gamliel
later beheld the splendid sight of a multitude studying Torah, doubt
entered his heart. The dream was meant to assuage his worries. The
Gemara's subsequent conclusion is not that the dream was untruthful,
rather, that we should not draw from here a conclusion as to how all
generations should conduct themselves. Rabban Gamliel had to conduct
himself according to his understanding - and so do we. There can be no
one decisive, conclusive Halachic ruling in such areas. My grandfather
theorized that we must view the debate between Chassidus and Misnagdus -
- in a similar vein.

In conclusion, I truly wish I could take sole credit for the RYGBHP
of intellectual honesty and even-handedness. In truth, however, it is
a principle I garnered from the works of R' Aryeh Kaplan zt"l and is
succinctly articulated in "Immortality, Resurrection and the Age of
the Universe" p. 2: "Second, we must keep in mind that there is no one
binding opinion in matters that do not involve Jewish law or fundamental
matters of faith..." See the discussion there and subsequently on pp. 6-7.


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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 09:32:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Hashgocha protis - non chassidic view

R Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
>>On Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 06:26:56PM +0200, Daniel Eidensohn wrote: :
>> We are in agreement that 1) at least up till the time of the early
>> : achronim there was a basic consensus concerning hashgocha protis.
>> 2) : the major chidush of the Besht concerns HP for non-man.

>>I disagree with #1. There were few, if anyone other than Nachum ish
>> Gam Zu, who held like the Besht later did. But there was
>> significant disagreement between them.

> I don't understand your point. The consensus I am talking about is
> the idea that 1)HP increases with spiritual level(deveikus or
> seichel) and that the absence of HP is chance/mazel/Teva. 2) HP only
> applies to man -except perhaps where the animal or object is
> relevant to man. Where do you see that Nachum ish Gam Zu held the
> BESHT's shita? I don't see a significant disagreement - where and
> between whom?

I posted about this before. NiGZ's manner of bitachon presumes total
HP over at least all of human life. But I needn't have relied on
implication. R Shim'on bar Yochai (Yer Shevi'is 9:1) explicitly says
that a falcon would not be trapped without it being HP, velo kol shekein
(he says) the affairs of people.

As for consensus, we have three pre-Besht shitos (and you've given all
three): 1- all people; 2- a sliding scale, some get more, some less;
or 3- all-or-nothing some deserve HP, some don't.

This issue still bothers me: what is bitachon in the world-view of #2
or #3?

> ...
>>1- Either you're learning the sugyah, and *all* shitos should be in
>> scope.

>>2- Or, you're writing about one's personal beliefs in a forum where
>> most readers follow a different postulate. So there too, the
>> Besht's position is going to enter the discussion.

> I don't understand your view. When I am teaching or talking about HP
> I don't see that I need to present the view of the BEST since it is
> not part of the hashkofa that I have been taught.

True. But you complained about someone responding with the need to take
Besht's shitah into account. Not what you believe, what he believes. I
therefore pointed out that such a reply was inevitable.

If you meant to give a discourse on the inyan, someone was bound to
point out something they consider an omission. If you meant to present
personal belief, someone was bound to post the more popular (in today's O)
personal belief.

That says nothing about considering one more authoritative. Simply
objecting to your objection. Rhetoric issues, not philosophical ones.

> There is something called mesora - at least pre Artscroll. I don't
> need the mishmash which passes for hashkofa today.

However, you are equally oversimplifying. It's just as much an
oversimplification to follow the philosophical rishonim without
considering other ba'alei mesorah as it is to only consider the "in"

> Similarly the Rambam dismisses the views of the masses
> because they are wrong. Chinuch dismisses the view of the BESHT as
> being absurd as does the Rambam.

But the Besht or REED are not "the masses". The Rambam rejects many things
upon which we base much of our yahadus. Or do you not wash your hands in
a particular order before hamotzi?

>>I /think/ RYGB isn't convinced one way or the other.

> If so- his uncertainty should not be turned into a rule of hashkofa
> for others....

Why not? I believe he's arguing an "agnosticism" -- it is impossible to
know which is correct. Eilu va'eilu without the resolution of dinei pesaq
is pure plurality. Choosing either exclusively would therefore be wrong.

I do not agree, only because I think people end up believing one or
the other because it simply "makes more sense" while be consistant with
our emunah in the Torah in general. Even if it's for odd reasons, like
"I believe X because that's shaped my world ever since Morah Miryam said
it in pre-1A."

I also do not necessarily believe that both are true. (This is an idea
that sometimes attracts me, sometimes not.) Rather, any theological
statement can only be an approximation of an unfathomable truth. In
an absolute sense, neither is true. It could be that all three are
equally useful approximations for our task in life even if their
oversimplification leads them to disagree. Like the blind men describing
an elephant.


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

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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 12:34:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Warren Cinamon <wcinamon@yahoo.com>
Hashgocha Pratis etc.,

>>RYGB wrote:
>>> Sevara. Hashem would not allow so many people to have a

>>How do you reconcile such an "assumption" w/ Malachi 2:6 (See also Rambam
>>Yesodei HaTorah 1:11) ?

> Sorry, you're going to have to be a bit more explicit...

Sorry - it is Malachi 3:6 and what I mean is the following: "ani HaShem
- Lo Shanisi" seems to imply that the essential nature of HKB"H is not
subject to change - surely the issue of Hashgocha's HaShem would one such
essentila quality - This idea is further expressed by the Rambam (Yesodei
HaTorah 1:11) when he says that nothing done by man can effecutate change
in Hashem - ayain sham vetimzah.

Accordingly - I wonder how your "sevara" is yesharah. It would seem
that the mere fact "so many people" share a "mistaken belief" in no way
influences the essence of HKB"H - if it did what about other popular false
beliefs i.e. xtianity and the like - would Hashem no allow himself to
become physical etc. because so many believe it - the early xtians were
Jews. Similarly (although not 100% analogous) what about belief in false
mesiahs other than Yeshu - many Gedolim thought Shabtai Zvi was mashiach -
yet Hashem did not make this the case just so they would not be wrong.


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Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 04:32:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky - FAM" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
Re: Why is Bee Honey Kosher?

On Fri, 26 Sep 2003, Ira L. Jacobson wrote:
> Zoo Torah stated:
> The Gemara says that bee honey is kosher "Because it brings the nectar into
> its body, and does not produce it from its body" (Bechoros 7b - it also
> gives an alternative reason based on a gezeras hakasuv). But bees do add
> enzymes to the nectar, such as diastase and invertase. 

> Then Ari Zivotovsky added:
> Enzymes in the bee's saliva acts upon the 12-carbon sucrose molecules in
> nectar and splits them each into two 6-carbon molecules, glucose and 
> fructose. Saliva also causes a steep drop in the Ph of the honey compared 
> to nectar. Finally, the honey is fanned by the bees to concentrate it. 
> Robinson agreed that the talmudic distinction was solid. The bee does not 
> decompose food into base components and then "produce" honey. 

> And Areh Stein added:
> The Gemara2 explains that honey is kosher
> as it is not a secretion from the bee; the bee functions only as a carrier
> and facilitator.3 Honey is kosher nectar, which enters the honey sac,
> is transformed into honey, and placed into the honeycomb retaining its
> kosher status throughout the "transformation."

> In fact, the bee's enzymes decompose complex sugars into simple sugars,
> so that these arguments seem to be flawed.  Particularly since the
> enzymes remain in the honey after they have completed their task.

> With regard to another claim--that materials that come out of a tamei
> creature's mouth are not tamei, and only when they come out of other
> apertures are they so--I would ask an extreme question: would it be
> permissible to eat pig vomit?  Or if you prefer, camel vomit?

> I have heard that there is another issue, by the way.  In the processing
> of honey a defoaming agent may be used, and its kashrus is also
> significant.

I do not see why the arguments are flawed.
The bee does not produce the honey from fundamental components the way
milk or urine is produced. The nectar is neverfully decomposed. so what
a few enzymes are left. why should that make it non-kosher. THe honey
was not "produced" by the bee.

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 12:27:33 +0400
From: "Ira L. Jacobson" <laser@ieee.org>
Re: Why is Bee Honey Kosher?

At 04:32 AM 29-09-03 -0400, Ari Z. Zivotofsky - FAM stated the following:
>I do not see why the arguments are flawed.
>The bee does not produce the honey from fundamental components the way
>milk or urine is produced. The nectar is neverfully decomposed. so what a
>few enzymes are left. why should that make it non-kosher. THe honey was
>not "produced" by the bee.

The sugars in the nectar are indeed fully decomposed in the honey-making 

The enzymes that are "left" have been produced by the bee and would seem to 
be non-kosher.

Honey actually contains, among other things, sugars, a complex assortment 
of enzymes, organic acids (gluconic), esters, antibiotic agents, trace 
vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, hormones, antimicrobial 
compounds and plant pigments.

Honey is hostile to bacteria because it contains hydrogen peroxide created 
from glucose with the aid of the bee's enzyme glucose oxidase.  And Manuka 
honey, form New Zealand, contains a special, non-peroxide antibacterial 
component not found in other honey.

Just which of thesematerials, other than the enzymes, are produced by the 
bee?  And what are the halakhic implications?


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