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Volume 12 : Number 037

Monday, November 3 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 18:53:38 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: IE and Qadmus


On Thu, Oct 30, 2003 at 08:21:30AM -0600, gil@aishdas.org wrote:
:>So, how does the IE's shitah that it's not in the peshat
:>of the pasuq imply that he holds it's not in the history
:>of the beri'ah?

: I think this is a profound comment on how to understand peshat
: commentaries on the Bible. One must ask whether Ibn Ezra (or Rashbam)
: is explaining what he believes to be an historical truth or merely the
: simplest explanation of the text.

Earlier, on the thread titled "flood", on Wed, Oct 29, 2003 at 4:05:55PM -0600,
gil@aishdas.org replied to RYGB:
:>Nowhere does it say there that the sun and moon were created on Day
:>4... The word creation does not appear in that context at
:>all. And the word "Va'ya'as" later refers to execution, not creation.

: It's a mefurash Rashi on Bereishis 1:14.

One could say the same about the Rashi as you ask about the IE, no?

Two difference, though:

1- With Rashi, it would be peshat vs derashah. With IE, it's peshat vs
elements in history that may not be in the text at all.

2- We know from Rashi on Shir haShirim, that Rashi considers "peshat"
in a mashal to include both what the mashal means on the straight-text
level and the correspoding nimshal. So, if Rashi does not say anything
about ma'aseh Bereishis, can we conclude he took the text to be a literal
description (which itself could *also* have a nimshal)?

Which gets us back to RnSB's point about the difference between derashah and
nimshal.

There is also a difference between metaphor and idiom. Idiom is part of
peshat. I don't think anyone believes that peshat in "matza chein be'einav"
requires discussing eyes.

On Wed, Oct 29, 2003 at 05:52:09PM -0500, T613K@aol.com wrote:
: I do not remember who wrote the question you quote and refute here, but
: IIRC there are NOT any trees with more than 5000 rings. Any scientists
: out there who can confirm this?

I went to a description of the California Redwoods at
<http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/pae/stern/bbits.html>. He talks about one
found to be 3600 years old when it was logged in 1890. Other sites speak
of a 2026 ring tree. I doubt therefore that a significantly older one
was found.

However, as we can see stars (with telescopes) that are more than 6,000
light years ago, the question stands. The light would have to have been
created en route to us from the star in order for it to have reached
us already.

The concept stands, regardless of the example. (As do the redwoods. Mah
gadlu ma'sekha, H'!)

: I point out the above as an obvious explanation for many rings, even
: though I hasten to add that I don't believe G-d created an old-looking
: world on purpose to deceive us.

Yesterday I posted the idea that perhaps nissim ought not leave
physical evidence for us to find. The Rambam, on H's "hichbadti es libo"
(Par'oh's), says that nissim are limited to those for whom it wouldn't
add to their emunah. Only if you already fully believe in HQBH to the
point where the extra ra'ayah won't change you can nissim occur. Otherwise
it's tampering with bechirah. Which is why H' had to artificially leave
Par'oh unmoved.

The same would be true, obviously to a much lesser extent, to evidence of
nissim.

Perhaps one could use this to defend the "fake history" approach.

On more than one occasion I've posted here a survey of approaches to
ma'aseh bereishis. Interestingly, until the scientific challenge, *more*
sources can be found for *non* literalism.


:-)BBii
-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
micha@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (413) 403-9905      


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Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 18:12:57 GMT
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Subject:
goyim buying kosher food


On Areivim, R"n toby Katz wrote: <<< Some of the Noahides that Michael
used to teach took it upon themselves to buy only kosher meat, because
treif slaughtering methods leave a doubt of whether the animal is
halachically dead before they start cutting it up, resulting in a safek
of eiver min hachai. >>>

1) Why would it matter if it is halachically dead when they start cutting
it up? For Eiver Min HaChai, all that counts it that it is dead when
they eat it, no? Are they conflating this halacha with some kind of
"tzaar baalei chayim" issue?

2) As I understand it, shechita is *not* sufficient to mattir meat for
a Ben Noach. IIUC, if an animal has been shechted but is still jumping
around, a Jew is allowed to eat it (if he can find a practical way to
deal with avoiding the blood etc.) but it's still considered alive and
assur to a Ben Noach until it stops moving. (L'maaseh, this has surely
happened by the time he buys it and eats it, but l'halacha, he might
want to be aware of this distinction.)

Akiva Miller


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Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2003 18:05:58 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: RYBS and Heter Meah Rabbanim


Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
>>Just spoke with Rav Shurkin. He said he knew of a case where the wife 

>The extreme circumstance or shaas hadchak of mental illness does not
>prove that RYBS thought that the heter should be used irresponsibly or
>in a willy nilly manner by collecting signatures of bachurim in every
>beis medrash who are not baki bgittin ukiddushin in every case .

As mistakenly presented in the original posting - Rav Soleveitchik was 
rejecting the concept of the hetair meah rabbanim. In fact he was 
rejecting the use of the hetair - by rabbonim and not bachurim - when 
extreme circumstances were lacking. As a posek told me the hetair is 
meant only for the extreme circumstances such as mental illness. There 
have been a number of cases where people with money or influence have 
obtained a hetair, It was apparently these cases that are not sanctioned 
by the halacha that he was objecting to - as should every rav.

                   Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 18:47:13 +0200
From: "Mishpachat Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
Subject:
RE: Zaknus and Illness


> This statement taken from the Shma Kolenu we say on Yom 
> Kippur and during Selichos has much wisdom to it yet seems 
> It is easy for a dispassionate observor to advocate the 
> continuance of having a feeding tube inserted in a comotose 
> patient with a flat EEG (if that is indeed the case) for 10 
> years. But to the parents or children of such an 
> individual, it is pure torture.

In this case, the patient in question is NOT in a coma and does NOT have
a flat EEG. She is aware of her surroundings and is quite non-comatose.

She suffered brain damage and from medical reports it seems that her
husband had tried to choke her to death. This particular case is very
complex and very messy and is not a good test case for euthanasia.

 --Rena 


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Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 00:34:33 +0200
From: "Rabbi Y. H. Henkin" <henkin@012.net.il>
Subject:
Flood


Translated from Commentary on the Torah "Chibah Yeteirah". Bound together
with Resp. Bnei Banim volumes 2-3, also separately.

(Bereishit 7:19). "All the high mountains were covered that are under
all of heaven." Not all mountains were covered. The word "all" (kal) is
repeated and is a ribui achar ribui and comes to limit (l'mayeit). Thus,
according to one opinion in Zevachim 113 "the flood did not descend to
Eretz Israel." This is also the implication of "the high mountains were
covered that are under all of heaven" i. e., those mountains that have all
of heaven above them, which excludes the highest mountains whose tops are
in the clouds. And similarly the implication of "that are under all of
heaven" is those [mountains of the sort] that are found everywhere, which
excludes the very high mountains that are only [found] in a few places.


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Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2003 21:02:02 -0500
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Re: IE and Qadmus


R Micha Berger: <<RMFrankel asked why anyone would assume the IE held
of qadmus. He writes that most of his contemporaries did not. I don't
know who those contemporaries are. I could use mar'eh meqomos. TIA.>>

I'm wondering whether RMicha has mis-typed since he has asked what I would
have thought is the non-controversial question. To give mareh m'qomos
for contemporaries who do not hold qadmus (even of of matter) is the
"mainstream" position, i.e. if you don't hold qadmus you hold b'rioh ex
nihilo. But this is hardly controversial. A short list would include r.
saadia gaon, the ramban, the (exoteric only) rambam, ran. and what's TIA?

I'll remind you the question came up because a poster suggested I had a
preconceived bias to find the IE a believer in qadmus (i.e. a disbeliever
in yesh me'ayin) and I responded there was no earthly reason for me to
hold such a preconception about any rishon since probably the majority
rejected qadmus. If I weren't familiar with a random rishon I might be
inclined to guess he was part of the majority. However, a number did not
reject qadmus of matter as a defensible religious position and after
considering IE's writings I think on the balance that he too did not
reject the notion. not an unusual position amongst his contemporaries
at the time but nevertheless probably part of the minority

Another interesting question is the notion how far one can trace a
belief in either qadmus or ex nihilo in jewish sources. RMicha writes:
<<After all, beri'ah yeish mei'ayin dates back to Rabban Gamliel...>>

Just where is Rabban gamliel supposed to have endorsed this notion?
Frankly, the so called proofs of a belief in ex nihilo from chazal fall
rather flat. I know of no convincing proof that R. gamliel held such
and would appreciate your mareh moqom. I believe the first unambiguous
assertion of that doctrine in a religious context was by Augustine. Which
is not to say that (all/some) chazal did not believe in it, rather
there is little -- or perhaps no -- textual proof. Not necessarily
surprising since there was certainly a tradition not to discuss such
matters publically.

R Micha: <<I know of no maqor for qadmus. SO there's a burden of proof to
be crossed if one wants to insist in a difference that has implications
beyond the looser ruled domain of parshanut.>>

OK, I'll provide some. The usual tannitic source offered for qadmus
is from pir'qei d'rabbi elozor (ch. 3) which talks of the shomayim
being created from a pre-existing "or". This is admittedly not very
convincing since the "or" could also have been a prior "creation". So
it's a judgement call which some have made. A more interesting source
was fingered by the late EE. auerbach . (yerushalmi chagigoh, 2:1, bavli
chagigog 15a) in a murky exchange between ben zomah and r. yehoshuoh
Auerbach is convinced that ben zomah is indeed referring to the existence
of a pre-existent matter, and that this is one of a number of díroshos of
ben zomah wherein he disturbed the majority of chakhomim. (see auerbach,
emunos vídeíos chazal, pp. 164-168)

RMB: <<Rashi and the Ramban both assume gaps in the naarative in Gen
1. I assume that it is something we would agree most rishonim held. So,
how does the IE's shitah that it's not in the peshat of the pasuq imply
that he holds it's not in the history of the beri'ah?>>

itís a judgement call. The same judgement by the way was made, amongst
others, by the abarbanel. To turn the question on the head, what leads
you to think the IE held ex nihilo aside from the statistical notion
you assert that most rishonim held so. To oppose that we have his own
words and an interpretive tradition that so understands his meaning.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
michael.frankel@osd.mil		W: (703) 845-2357
mfrankel@empc.org
michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com


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Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 03:25:49 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: IE and Qadmus


On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 09:02:02PM -0500, Michael Frankel wrote:
: R Micha Berger: <<RMFrankel asked why anyone would assume the IE held
: of qadmus. He writes that most of his contemporaries did not. I don't
: know who those contemporaries are. I could use mar'eh meqomos. TIA.>>

: I'm wondering whether RMicha has mis-typed since he has asked what I would
: have thought is the non-controversial question. To give mareh m'qomos
: for contemporaries who do not hold qadmus (even of matter) is the
: "mainstream" position, i.e. if you don't hold qadmus you hold b'rioh ex
: nihilo. But this is hardly controversial. A short list would include r.
: saadia gaon, the ramban, the (exoteric only) rambam, ran. and what's TIA?

TIA = thanks in advance.

RSG explicitly speaks of yeish mei'ayin in pereq 1.

The Ramban speaks explicitly of yeish mei'ayin in Ber' 1:2 -- the
creation of hyle yeish mei'ayin, followed by the asiyah of everything
else from hyle.

And already cited on the thread is R' Kafeh's repetition of the Rambam's
position -- "Tzur" refers to HQBH as the borei yeish mei'ayin.

I don't have a citation for the Ran, but the Ikkarim (his talmud)
does assert yeish mei'ayin as well.

...
: Another interesting question is the notion how far one can trace a
: belief in either qadmus or ex nihilo in jewish sources. RMicha writes:
: <<After all, beri'ah yeish mei'ayin dates back to Rabban Gamliel...>>

: Just where is Rabban gamliel supposed to have endorsed this notion?

I already gave a citation. To quote my post of last Mon:
> Second, in Bereishis Rabba 1:9, Rabban Gamliel is challenged on this
> very point by a Hellenist, who complimented G-d's artistry but then
> claims that the Torah tells us G-d made the universe from "tohu", "bohu",
> "choshech", "ru'ach", "mayim" and "tehom". Rabban Gamliel then defends
> the concept of yeish mei'ayin by bringing a pasuq showing the creation
> of each of the items mentioned in Ber' 1:2.

...
: R Micha: <<I know of no maqor for qadmus. SO there's a burden of proof to
: be crossed if one wants to insist in a difference that has implications
: beyond the looser ruled domain of parshanut.>>

: OK, I'll provide some. The usual tannitic source offered for qadmus
: is from pir'qei d'rabbi elozor (ch. 3) which talks of the shomayim
: being created from a pre-existing "or". This is admittedly not very
: convincing since the "or" could also have been a prior "creation". So
: it's a judgement call which some have made....

Again, who? To me it argues for the Ramban's initial creation of hyle
(chomer beli tzurah) or the Ralbag's notion of "geshem bilti shomer
temunato". "Or" is not a term for something with qadmus, as it is also
used to describe that which was created on day 1.

...
: itís a judgement call. The same judgement by the way was made, amongst
: others, by the abarbanel. To turn the question on the head, what leads
: you to think the IE held ex nihilo aside from the statistical notion
: you assert that most rishonim held so. To oppose that we have his own
: words and an interpretive tradition that so understands his meaning.

I'm perfectly happy with the assertion merely that the IE doesn't speak
at all about what he held occured. He only says the peshat of the pasuq
has nothing to do with yeish mei'ayin. He says nothing about things that
occured with no description of the pasuq, or whether derashah derives
other facts.

Gut Voch!
-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
micha@aishdas.org        heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org   Love is not two who look at each other,
Fax: (413) 403-9905      It is two who look in the same direction.


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Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2003 21:04:36 -0500
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Re: DT


DA'AT TORAH

>>ATTITUDE #1: The Individual accepts the binding jurisdiction of a posek 
> >voluntarily in matters of halakha. On non-halakhic matters, persuasive 
> >reasoning is the proper ground for decision making, whatever its source.

>>ATTITUDE #2: Recognition of the authority of one or more posekim, should 
> >lead the individual to serious deliberation on, and usually to comply 
> >with, the non-halakhic judgments of those posekim in recognition of 
> >their outstanding wisdom and insight.

>>ATTITUDE #3: The individual who has accepted the authority of one or
>>more posekim on matters of halakha is bound by the judgment of those
>>posekim also in non-halakhic areas when the posekim so dictate.

>>ATTITUDE #4: Gedolei Torah, recognized as such by the people, have
>>the authority to bind both the individual and communities to comply
>>with their dictates in all aspects of life, without having to provide
>>technical halakhic justification of their position.

>>RYGB clearly holds #4 while MF is somewhere around 2 to 3.

RYGB: <<RYGB (someone I happen to know quite well...) actually holds #2.
I cannot vouch for what RMF holds.>>

As it happens, I am in a position to vouch for MF's opinions.

MF is actually much closer to #1 (completely rejecting #3 and only
concurring with the notion in #2 that opinions of respectable people ought
be accorded "serious deliberation"). However, all these descriptive bins
are wanting as there is an implicit assumption that a poseiq possesses
independent authority to render binding decisions, independently of a
precipitating sh'ailoh. With this I would disagree. MF

Mechy Frankel			H:  (301) 593-3949
michael.frankel@osd.mil		W: (703) 845-2357
mfrankel@empc.org
michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com


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Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 02:35:40 +0000
From: simchag@att.net
Subject:
re: double t'vir


a while back there was a discussion about 'double tvirs' in chumish,
which is quite rare.

Parsha Noach, also has one.

the third posuk after reviih 
Breishis 6:17 - mikol bosor bo'oif uvab'heimo uvchol horemes horoimeis

Simcha G


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Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 03:04:57 +0000
From: simchag@att.net
Subject:
Re: Sandak question


From: "JosephMosseri" <joseph.mosseri@verizon.net>
> After the berit milah, the attendees crowd around the sandak who is
> still sitting in his chair and ask him for a beracha.
> Have you noticed the same?

i have noticed something similar...
in Bobov, those that make a bris there in shul, are usualy mechabed the
Rebbe with being the sandak..it is an acepted practice that when the Rebbe
is sitting already and they are about to give him the baby..people with
'bakoshos' for choilim will come over to him and be mazkir the name
of the choleh to him and he will wish a Refuah Shleimoh..this is the
practice by the present Rebbeh and it was also standard by his father the
previous Bobover Rebbe ZT"L..i was told that the reason for doing this
is because at that time Eliyohu Hanovi is already present and the brocho
for a refuah is given in his presence so he should also be maskim...

it is quite possible that the custom that you have observed might have
a similar reason,

Simcha G


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Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 12:56:35 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <akiva@atwood.co.il>
Subject:
RE: Mabul as historical event.


The flood spoken about here took place several thousand years before
the biblical flood.

Akiva


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Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 16:09:56 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Hashgocha protis and suicide


There is a view that one suffers exactly according to Heavenly decree.
Thus the Chinuch 241 that one should not take revenge because you got what
G-d wanted you to get, Tanya Igros Kodesh 25, Chofetz Chaim (Shem Olam
1:3). [Of course there is an alternative position of the Ohr HaChaim,
Netziv, Meshech Chochma and others that free will overcomes HP but that
is not my concern here] How then does one understand suicide according
to the view that suffering - even at the hand of a person - is always
a Heavenly decree? Does that mean that there is a Heavenly decree that
this person must die and that he should be his own murderer? Bava Kama
91b states that a person who kills himself is judged as a murderer.

I have found only one statement consistent with this cited in Igros
Moshe CM II #69.4 page 300 "This that the Yaavetz (1:43)writes that
someone who transgresses a sin in modern times which was punished by the
death penalty in the time of Sanhedrin and he commits suicide he is not
punished and furthermore it is a meritorious act. The Yaavetz - May G-d
forgive him for such a statement - this tshuva of his should be ignored"

                 Daniel Eidensohn


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