Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 076

Monday, January 12 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 23:55:28 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ramban/Shechinah

On Sat, Jan 10, 2004 at 11:17:29PM +0200, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
: Tanya (1:2): [[The second soul of a Jew is truly a part of G-d
: above...

The first 5 words refers to a concept we're discussing in another
thread. I would elaborate, but I'm afraid of writing something
that would show up in a son'ei Yisra'el's web search.

Suffice it to note that the Baal haTanya is saying yeish hevdel bimqor

Frankly, one of the reasons why I'm more comfortable with RSRH's

Gut Voch!

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Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 19:23:08 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Mrs Katz's dilemma

From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@KolSassoon.net>
> Maybe this issue has been raised before, but how about the obligation of
> onah? Why, technically, is it not hishtamshus?

It's hard for me to argue against such a blatant pun, especially when R
Yohannan (Sotah 10a) can be understood to have considered it a form of
menial labor, but somehow I don't think the Rama thought of it that way.

David Riceman

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Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 20:05:18 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Mrs. Cohen's dilemma

I think we're winding down here.  I have one major disagreement with Rabbi
Mandel, and a few nits to pick.  First the major disagreement:

> The groom is obligating himself to treat his wife just as all
> Jewish men are supposed to treat their wives, with honor and respect....
> That may
> include taking out the garbage or it may not; if it does, he cannot say
> I am a talmid chochom" or "but I am a kohen" and therefore exempt. He
> already contracted that he was not exempt from normal husbandly duties.

Rabbi Mandel seems to believe that standard behavior is normative, i.e. that
one rule of behavior fits all husbands (he doesn't say this explicitly, but
I think it'll come out more clearly below, when I discuss his treatment of
Mrs. King).
  I claim, on the other hand, that if Mrs. Cohen knew when she was getting
married that her husband was a religious fanatic who had dedicated his life
to restoring kedushat kehuna, she and he would have read the kesuba in that
  Rabbi Mandel says

> I would expect that the
> k'subba for a melekh would be significantly different than for us, hoi
> polloi.

The problem is that there's considerable discussion of hilchos melachim in
Hazal Rishonim and aharonim.  As far as I know (though I'm not widely read)
no one says this.  I think it much more likely that Mrs. King (and Mrs.
Prince, who according to Rabbi Mandel must have an even more convoluted
kesuba) understands the clause in the light of her husband's position than
that she has a kesuba unremarked upon in halachic literature.
  This leads to the interesting question of whether Mrs. Mashiah has grounds
for divorce since she didn't anticipate her husband's new job.  I suspect it
depends on the machlokes (both in Chazal and rishonim) alluded to in EH
76:3.  As far as I can tell Rabbi Mandel requires her to remarry with a new
kesuba.  I wonder if he would also require the new scholar of 76:3 to write
a new kesuba.

Now the nits:

1.  Rabbi Mandel gave a nice summary of the history of the Rama's opinion
(there's also a Smag and a Hagahoth Maimonioth, for any fanatical students
of history on the list) and a plausible attempt to harmonize it with the
Rambam.  The Gaon (Biur HaGra ad, loc.) held that the Rama was disagreeing
witht he Rambam.  There's no need for Rabbi Mandel to agree with the Gaon
about this (the Gaon's opinion requires some justification he didn't give),
but Rabbi Mandel's explanation is not universally accepted.  I am dealing
with the kavod issues in other posts in this thread.

2.  Rabbi Mandel wrote:

> A melekh, when faced by a wife who refused to do his bidding, could have
> executed as a mored b'malkhus.

This almost convinced me that no one in her right mind would marry a king.
Just in case there's someone on the list whose youthful hope and mature
aspiration was to marry a king, I'll point out that there's an old and
honorable distinction between a king's legitimate commands and any other
commands he gives.  See H. Gezeilah 5:14, Hidddushei HaRamban BB 55a.  in
the light of Rabbi Mandel's terminology the diyuk of the Ramban about
"malchusa" is particularly interesting.

3.  Rabbi Mandel wrote:

> According to your interpretation, where you claim that eflah
> means "I have to get employment to support my wife," if a husband is lazy
> and borrows money from his parents to support his wife, would you say it
> should result in coerced divorce?

I thought I was clear about this.  No other creditor can force his debtor to
work, but a wife can.  "Eflah" means I will work if I need to get money.

David Riceman

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Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 11:16:41 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: Mrs Katz's dilemma

In message <003501c3d7d9$1779f710$37c04b0c@Ricemanhome1>, David Riceman 
<driceman@worldnet.att.net> writes:
>From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@KolSassoon.net>
>> Maybe this issue has been raised before, but how about the obligation of
>> onah? Why, technically, is it not hishtamshus?

>It's hard for me to argue against such a blatant pun, especially when R
>Yohannan (Sotah 10a) can be understood to have considered it a form of
>menial labor, but somehow I don't think the Rama thought of it that way.

But this was part of what I was turning over in my mind. Why is
hishtamshus only a form of "menial labour"? One is liable for malkos
for hishtamshus by kelim in the beis hamikdash if a there is hana'ah
in them to the value of a shavei pruta (and presumably there are chetzi
shiur considerations if the hana'ah is less). I don't think menial (as
opposed to non menial) labour comes into it. The fact that the kelim
(or lets try behamos, bit easier) might have hana'ah themselves would not
seem to come into it. So why should the fact that the kohen gets hana'ah
himself, eg in the case of onah be relevant here - if Mrs Cohen does,
isn't that me'ila?

Chana Luntz

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Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 09:41:40 +0200
From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
Re: shape of the menorah

>WADR to Rav Elyashiv, I don't understand how he derives this chiddush. Ain
>hachi nami that the neis came through olive oil. But the olive oil
>involved in the neis was olive oil for the menorah. Does kasis
>necessarily imply edible? If so, from where do we learn that?

Off the top of my head, how about a back door raya: the shemen for menachos 
had to be edible, and oil for the menorah was kosher for menachos.


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Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 23:13:35 EST
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: Ramban/Shechinah

Thank you [RYGB], for your post and marei makomos, I will bl"n check
them out. It seems to me though that you understand kavod nivra as
a concept; in fact, RSG seems to understand it as an actual created
physical entity that serves to indicate Hashem's presence, such as
a cloud that descended when Moshe spoke to Hashem. F.E. , in Emunos,
Command and Prohibition, Ch.5, also G-d, Ch.12 (all citations are from
S. Rosenblatt's excellent English translation). It also appears form
Creation, Ch.2 that RSG implies the idea of creation out of Divine;
how this relates to the idea of Tsumtsum is unclear to me at this time.
BTW, that RSG prefigured Besht's idea is pointed out by Betsalel Naor's
introduction to God' Middlemen..., a book about Chabad.

In terms of sefiros, there is in fact a machlokes whether they are real or
concepts. Some mekubbolim (I think R. Yisroel Sarug) did hold that they
have an actual existence. The prevailing view is that they are a concept
or way-station as presented in the beginning of Pardes. The etymology
of the word would be from cipher, a number +10. As numbers, sephiros are
not real but are concepts. However, if you derive the word form saphir,
it points to their transparency but they still have a true existence.

Tsror Hachaim also refers to Malchus, with tiferes and bina illuminating
from inside it. The idea seems to be that tsadikim cause a deeper zivug of
zeir anpin and malchus through their actions. See Pardes Shaar 23, Ch. 23\

M. Levin

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Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 01:01:52 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: RYBS conference

In a message dated 1/5/2004 1:38:39 PM EST, turkel@post.tau.ac.il writes:
> 8. The final talks were given by R. Greenberg (video conference) and Tova
> Lichtenstein. R. Greenberg again stressed the need for pluralism and
> strongly objected to the attempts in Israel to block the conservative
> and reform movements. He claimed based on R. Soloveitchik's openness
> to talks with Conservative rabbis that RYBS would back his approach. In
> any case the opposition to conservative/reform causes a chillul Hashem.

> Tova in her talk stressed that her father was mainly an educator who
> was proud of his Judaism and strongly objected to those that tried to
> hide their beliefs within the home. If not for RYBS many/most of MO Jews
> today would be in the conservative camp.

> In the discussion period R. Chaim Waxman challenged R. Greenberg mainly
> based on RYBS's psak that it is better to not hear shofar rather than
> hear it in a conservative shul. R. Greenberg answered that he thought that
> psak itself was horrible and he was using the spirit of RYBS rather than
> a specific psak. Furthermore, it was the job of a talmid to go beyond
> and extend his rebbe's views.

> Tova in her response very strongly disagreed with R. Greenberg. She
> stressed that her father would never agree to any pluralism. Dealing
> respectfully - yes but not acceptance of non-orthodox viewpoints as
> legitimate. She was aked why as a daughter she did not say anything about
> family life - for example did her father learn with her. She responded
> that as RYBS's daughter her father would expect her to talk about his
> accomplishments and not there personal relationship.

> I understood there was a lively debate the evening before with R.
> Sherlo but I will have to wait for the internet videos for that.

Here is a philosphical framing of Judaims vs. Avidah Zarah
Avodah Zara deomnstrates how God is really made in the image of Man
Judaism tries to emphasize how Man is Made in God's image and how Man
should IMITATE god - as opposed to vise versa.

Various groups try to make RYBS in THEIR image. Educators see RYBS
as THE educator par excleence, philosphers see RYBS as a philospher,
Briskers see RYBS as a fellow Brisker.

All of the above are by definition contracting RYBS to fit a mold in
which he never fit during his lifetime.

Furthermore, those who seek to IMITTATE RYBS w/o pigeonholing him
see to do so by reading up on RYBS and infusing themselves with an
encyclopedic knowledge of what RYBS said on X or on Y. This, too,
shortcahges RYBS because he was essntially an innovator, a mechadeish
and NOT an encyclopaedist. IOW, religiously living and breathing the
words of RYBS is NOT a way of horing RYBS. Did RYBS live and breather
the owrds of R. Chaim Brikser? OF Kant? of the GRA? No, he was far too
eclectic to stick to one role model and far too creative to be the shadow
of someone else.

So this 2nd group is also not truly representative of what it means to
be in the image of RYBS although they do perpetuate his legacy a bit.

Nevertheless, RYBS did leave behind certain apporaches and hashkafos
that can serve any scholar - even of far more modest menas as a a set
of guidlines and a toolbox.

That is because RYBS as primarily a mentor of independented minded
scholars rather than some kind of cult figure. His focus - at least as
an educator - was to have students see things for themselves - and to
perpetuate this by teaching in such a way as to foster self-discovery
into the meaning of a text or of a practice, etc.

IOW what RYBS said about Peshat in a given Gmara is far less important
than his metholdology in how to approach a given Gmara. That explains
how RYBS could conclude X in year Y and X' in year Z. Because each time
he approached a text it was with fresh eyes and using similar questions
he could discover differing possibilities. IOW, his approach was not so
formulaic, albeit that his Brisker methodology was an underlying guide.

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: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 18:27:13 -0500
From: "Seth Mandel" <sm@aishdas.org>
Re: the menorah and oil for ner Hanukka

In a previous post (Avodah V12 #65), I discussed in detail evidence
 from historical drawings of the Menorah of the BhM and what the Rambam's
opinion is (or, more precisely, the lack of clear evidence as to what the
Rambam really thought). I brought a number of proofs that the Rambam's
drawing was never meant to be taken literally.

In introducing the discussion, I touched on a number of issues
tangentially, and I should get back to them for the sake of completeness,
and also because on other forums my article has been attacked by
questioning what I said about these tangential issues. (Since, I must
assume, they cannot argue with the main contention, they snipe at the
tangents ;-)

The tangents were:

1. the position of other rishonim, such as Rashi and Ibn Ezra about the
shape of the menorah
2. my assertion that none of the dinim of the mitzva of nerot hanukka
are based on what was done in the BhM
3. the position of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, based on what he wrote
about the issue.
Let me start now with 2), since R. Eli Linas wrote recently:

<When I showed your essay to a friend, he pointed out that in fact,
there is a Kol Bo, quoted by the Darkei Moshe in tuff reish eyin gimmel,
which says that "the mitzvah min hamuvchar is with olive oil, because
the miracle occurred through it." Based on this Kol Bo, HaRav Elyahshiv,
shlitta, says that one should try and use edible olive oil for the
mitzvah, and not the stuff that's sold only for lighting.>

Indeed, it is widely accepted by many O. Jews that one should light
with olive oil, because the miracle occurred through it. The ubiquity
of that idea nowadays is only matched by the paucity of the idea among
the rishonim. As R. SBA wrote, "I always presumed that shemen zayis is
everyone's preference." When I point out that neither the M'habber nor
the R'Mo held this view, I usually elicit blank stares.

I have tried to go through as many rishonim as I could get my hands on
regarding this issue. The results of my research is that virtually all
Ashk'naz rishonim say that "shemen zayit mitzva min hamuvhar," whereas
no S'faradi rishonim that I have found mention this idea, not even those
heavily influenced by Tosfos.

The earliest source of the idea seems to be in Tosfos Shabbos 23a,
where the G'moro says:

"R. Y'hoshua' ben Levi said: every single oil is fine (yafeh) for the
ner, but olive oil is preferable (min hamuvhar). Abaye said: originally,
Mar (lit. "sir"; unclear to whom he is referring) was m'hadder to use
sesame oil,, saying that it draws the light best (Rashi: that it does
not burn out so quicly as olive oil). Once he heard what R. Y'hoshua'
ben Levi said, however, he was 'hadder to use olive oil, sayjng that it
gave the clearest light."

The g'mara does not indicate which ner it is talking about: ner shabbat or
ner hanukka. Tosfot there say that it must be talking about ner hanukka,
and olive oil is preferred because it gives the clearest light. In regard
to Shabbat, however, it is obvious that olive oil is mitzva min hamuvhar
because the wick draws it better than any other oil, as is clear from the
mishna. In other words, olive oil is best for ner shabbat and also for
ner hanukka. There is no mention at all that olive oil might be preferred
because the miracle of hanukka occurred with olive oil; presumably if
Tosfot held that that played a role, it would have mentioned it.

The same ideas, that olive oil is preferred both for Shabbat and for
Hanukka, giving the same reason, is given by the Tosfot haRosh. The
Hagahot Maymoniyot says the same, although its readings in the g'mara
are different than ours (it reads Rava, not Abaye, and shemen qaza
rather than sesame oil). Otherwise, most Ashk'naz rishonim mention that
olive oil is preferable, but the Roqeah and the Sefer haManhig just
say that olive oil is "mitzva min hamuvhar." I believe that all are
basing themselves on this g'mara, since none uses any other term for
"advisable," such as hiddur mitzva or m'daqd'qim. The Mordekhai just
says "Maharam [meRothenburg] haya ragil l'hadliq b'shemen zayit" and in
metal oil containers. The Maharil says that "hidliq 'al shemen zayit";
neither gives any reason. But not one of them mention anything about
the reason that olive oil was involved in the nes. Given that they all
were aware of Tosfot and learned them from the time of their youth (the
custom in Ashk'naz), if one had felt that there was an additional reason,
I would have expected to find mention of it.

OTOH, none of the non-Ashk'naz rishonim bring this g'mara either for
Shabbat or for hanukka. The Rif omits it entirely from his rescension.
The Rambam says that all oils are fine for ner hanukka, and does not
mention any preference for olive oil for shabbat either. The Ramban,
the Rashba, the Ritva, and every other one that I have seen just quote
the g'mara on 21b that all oils are good for Hanukka, even the ones that
one may not use for shabbat. It appears that they think that the g'mara
on 23a is not lahalokho.

Interestingly enough, the Tur does not quote the opinion that olive oil
is mitzva min hamuvhar, neither in Hilkhot Hanukka in 673, nor in Hilkhot
Shabbat in 264. The Beit Yosef in 673 says that the g'mara shows that all
oils are good, and then he quotes the Roqeah (that olive oil is mitzva min
hamuvhar) and the Mordekhai (that Maharam meRothenburg used olive oil).

The Darkhei Moshe, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. I
shall quote the entire thing, at the risk of being pedantic, because
I have seen many references in print about how the R'Mo "paskens" that
one should use olive oil, and this is a distortion of the position of
the R'Mo. The opinion of the R'Mo is even clearer than it was before,
because we now have available the entire Darkhei Moshe, not just the
excepts that were selected by printers that were the only parts available
for over 300 years.

The Darkhei Moshe, when the Tur says that all oils are good for Hanukka,

<We say in the G'mara: "olive oil is mitzva min hamuvhar. Why? Because
it's light is very clear." And therefore the Mordekhai wrote that
Maharam was accustomed to light using olive oil, and the Maharil also
had that practice. However, the common custom is to like using wax, and
similarly it is written in the Minhagim [of Mahar'i Tirna] that wax is
just as much a mitzva min hamuvhar as olive oil. R. Avraham of Prague
wrote that the reason is that it is clear that the light [given by wax]
is clearer than all other oils. The Kol Bo wrote "some light with wax,
and Rabbenu Peretz required using long candles, but the mitzva min
hamuvhar is with olive oil because the nes was done with it.">

It is clear that the R'Mo interpreted the custom of the Maharam
meRothenburg and of the Maharil as being based on the idea that olive
oil gives the clearest light, and that therefore, in his opinion, the
custom of using wax in his days does not contradict their practice,
as the Mahar'i Tirna says: wax is just as good as olive oil. After all,
if the reason to prefer olive oil is because of the nes, how could Mahar'i
Tirna say that wax is just as good? He brings the Kol Bo's comment that it
is because of the nes as an interesting oddity, but does not think that
it represents the halokho, since it would contradict Mahar'i Tirna, who
is the binding posek for most questions as far as the R'Mo is concerned.

And so the R'Mo's comments in the SA are clear: the M'habber just brings
what to him is the mainstream opinion, that all oils are good, and there
is no preference. So the R'Mo says "but olive oil is mitzva min hamuvhar,
and so if olive oil is not readily available, the mitzva is with oils
that give clear a and bright light. In these areas, the custom is to use
wax candles, because their light is as bright as oil." If he thought
that the reason was that olive oil was part of the nes, how could he
justify using wax?

As I wrote, the only rishon that I could find that was known that brings
the reason for a preference to use olive oil being that it was in the
miracle is the Kol Bo. He does not bring the source for this idea, which
leads one to suspect that it is his own idea, whereas Tosfot bases their
opinion on the g'mara. The M'iri also brings the idea that one should use
olive oil because it was in the nes, but the M'iri was not known to poskim
until recently, and played no role in the development of accepted psaq.

In contrast to the rishonim, where this idea is scarcely found, it has
become ubiquitous among Ashk'naz aharonim, from the L'vush on. The MB,
in fulfilling his aim of summarizing the aharonim, correctly quotes them:
"it is preferable to use olive oil, because the nes was done with it." So
R. Elyashiv and any other rabbi who recommends using olive oil is squarely
within the tradition of the aharonim, although not squarely within the
tradition of the rishonim.

Of course, since the Rif and Rambam and chachmei S'farad all think
there is no preference whatsoever, why should anyone care whether you
light with oil or wax? There is indeed no reason not to use olive oil --
unless another oil gives clearer light. RYBS raised the issue that if wax
candles give a brighter light than olive oil, then there is a preference
to use them according to Tosfot (and, as I have shown, according to the
R'Mo). I do not think that this is a place for sweeping pronouncements
that cover all people and all places, but from my observations in Boston
and New York, my wax candles give a much clearer and brighter light than
the olive oil lights of most people. Other people may find that not to
be the case.

Regardless of what one lights with, it is clear that the overwhelming
majority of rishonim thought that the rules of what to use for lighting
the candles have no connection with the menorah in the BhM, and the
idea certainly has no source whatsoever in Hazal, which was the point
I was making in my discussion of the menorah. Indeed, if there had been
a real connection established by someone, one would expect to find some
discussion of the rules of what olive oil is fit for ner Hanukka. There
are stringent rules for the oil used in the BhM, not only that it be
tahor (which no olive oil in the world can currently emulate), but in its
pressing. Based on what I know about oil processing nowadays, I would say
that 99% of olive oils are not suitable, including most of those labeled
"extra virgin." So I do not understand any requirements given about
which olive oil to use. If this had been a taqqono established by Hazal,
we could have a halakhic discussion about what their taqqono included
and what dinim of the oil of the BhM (or the shape of the menorah)
might apply to ner Hanukka. But since this has no basis in Hazal, nor in
the overwhelming majority of rishonim, it has the status of a minhog in
the places that followed it. (As R. SBA indicated, that included all of
Oberland Hungary, and also much of Poland, to the best of my knowledge. In
Lita I also believe that most rabbonim used olive oil, although there were
some that used wax. Of course, the question is when did the custom change
 from the time of the R'Mo, who says that the custom in Ashk'naz lands is
to use wax.) I do not think one can use lomdus to figure out additional
rules or chumros for minhogim: a minhog is defined as accepted practice.
The conclusive proof, in my opinion, that people do not base what they
do in this case on what the M'habber or the R'Mo say in the SA, is that
in 264 the M'habber comes out and says shemen zayit mitzva min hamuvhar
(the sole source that the Beit Yosef brings is the aforementioned Tosfot).
 From my observation, most people who have a custom of using olive oil
for Hanukka have no such custom for Shabbat, despite that fact that
the latter is a clear statement in the SA, whereas for the former no
such clear statement exists, since the R'Mo who brings it immediately
qualifies it by saying that it is not Ashk'naz practice.

My discussion of the other points that have to be addressed regarding
the shape of the menorah will come in future posts, since this is too
long as it is.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 09:26:02 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
more on shor/par

I think from the recent daf yomi it is clear that par refers to a 2 year
old male cow while shor is a more general term that refers to any age
 from birth through old age.

For karbanot the age is important and so the Torah uses the word par.
For work the general phrase shor is more appropriate.

I am not sure if the english words ox and bull have similar connotations

Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 12/01/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:31:33 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Final redemption requires a suffering tzadik?

Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
>I found this in R' Aryeh Kaplan's transation of Derech HaShem. He did not
>provide any source for the statement in the second part of the paragraph -
>any suggestions?

>Ramchal(Derech HaShem 2:3:8):...Within this same category, however, there is
>a class that is even higher than this. There is suffering that comes to
>a Tzadik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones
>discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to
>bring about the chain of events leading to mankind's ultimate
>perfection. According to the original plan, the sequence of worldly
>events required that man undergo at least some suffering before both he
>and the world could attain perfection. This was required by the very
>fact that one of the basic concepts of man's predicament was that God
>should hold back His Light and hide His presence, as discussed
>earlier.34 This became all the more necessary as a result of the
>corruption and spiritual damage caused by man's many sins, which held
>the good back even more and caused God's presence to become all the more
>hidden. The world and everything in it are therefore in a degraded evil
>state, and require that God's unfathomable wisdom bring about numerous
>chains of events to achieve their rectification.

I found a number of sources for the Ramchal -- the only question is why
he didn't mentioned them. It seems clear from these that Moshiach has
to suffer for our sins. The citation from Sefer Chasidim also indicates
that it is desirable for tzadikim to torture themselves in order to atone
for the sins of others. We are not dealing with the tzadikim suffering
for their failure to provide proper leadership which was suggested by
someone -- Meiri Bava Kama (60a). It was also suggested that the omission
is because it sounds very much like a different religion.

Yeshaya(53): [[1. Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm
of the Lord revealed? 2. For he grew up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness that we
should look at him, there was no countenance that we should desire him.
3. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted
with sickness; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised,
and we esteemed him not. 4. Surely he has borne our sicknesses, and
carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, struck by God, and
afflicted. 5. But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was
bruised because of our iniquities; his sufferings were that we might have
peace; and by his injury we are healed. 6. All we like sheep have gone
astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on
him the iniquity of us all. 7. He was oppressed, but he humbled himself
and opened not his mouth; he was brought like a lamb to the slaughter,
and like a sheep, that is dumb before its shearers, he did not open
his mouth. 8. By oppression and false judgment was he taken away; and
of his generation who considered? For he was cut off from the land of
the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9. And they
made his grave among the wicked, and his tomb among the rich; although
he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10. Yet
it pleased the Lord to crush him by sickness; if his soul shall consider
it a reward for guilt, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the purpose of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11. He shall see
the labor of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge did
my servant justify the righteous One to the many, and did bear their
iniquities. 12. Therefore I will give him a portion with the great, and
he shall divide the plunder with the strong; because he has poured out
his soul to death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he
bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Zohar(Shemos 212a): [[When the Messiah hears of the great suffering of
Israel in their dispersion, and of the wicked amongst them who seek
not to know their Master, he weeps aloud on account of those wicked
ones amongst them, as it is written: "But he was wounded because of our
transgression, he was crushed because of our iniquities" (Yeshaya 53:5).
The souls then return to their place. The Messiah, on his part, enters
a certain Hall in the Garden of Eden, called the Hall of the Afflicted.
There he calls for all the diseases and pains and sufferings of Israel,
bidding them settle on himself, which they do. And were it not that he
thus eases the burden from Israel, taking it on himself, no one could
endure the sufferings meted out to Israel in expiation on account of
their neglect of the Torah. So Scripture says; "Surely our diseases he
did bear", etc. (Yeshaya 53:4). A similar function was performed by R.
Eleazar here on earth. For, indeed, beyond number are the chastisements
awaiting every man daily for the neglect of the Torah, all of which
descended into the world at the time when the Torah was given. As long
as Israel were in the Holy Land, by means of the Temple service and
sacrifices they averted all evil diseases and afflictions from the
world. Now it is the Messiah who is the means of averting them from
mankind until the time when a man quits this world and receives his
punishment, as already said...

Sanhedrin(98a): [[R. Joshua b. Levi met Elijah standing by the entrance
of R. Simeon b. Yohai's tomb. He asked him: 'Have I a portion in the
world to come?' He replied, 'if this Master desires it.'39 R. Joshua b.
Levi said, 'I saw two, but heard the voice of a third.'40 He then asked
him, 'When will the Messiah come?' -- 'Go and ask him himself,' was his
reply. 'Where is he sitting?' -- 'At the entrance.'41 And by what sign
may I recognise him?' -- 'He is sitting among the poor lepers: all of
them untie [them]42 all at once, and rebandage them together,43 whereas
he unties and rebandages each separately, [before treating the next],
thinking, should I be wanted, [it being time for my appearance as the
Messiah] I must not be delayed [through having to bandage a number of
sores].' So he went to him and greeted him, saying, 'peace upon thee,
Master and Teacher.' 'peace upon thee, O son of Levi,' he replied. 'When
wilt thou come Master?' asked he, 'To-day', was his answer. On his
returning to Elijah, the latter enquired, 'What did he say to thee?' --
'peace Upon thee, O son of Levi,' he answered. Thereupon he [Elijah]
observed, 'He thereby assured thee and thy father of [a portion in]
the world to come.' 'He spoke falsely to me,' he rejoined, 'stating
that he would come to-day, but has not.' He [Elijah] answered him,
'This is what he said to thee, To-day, if ye will hear his voice.'44

Rashi ( Sanhedrin 98a): Moshiach suffers from leprosy as it says in
Yeshaya (53:4-5) that he sufffers because of our sins and he bears
our suffering

Sefer Chasidim (528): There was a certain tzadik who used to lie on
the ground amongst fleas and in the winter he would put his feet in
a container of water so that his feet would be covered with ice. He
was asked why he did this since the Torah (Bereishis 9:5) prohibits
endangering one's health? He replied: I have not sinned any great sins
but it is impossible that I haven't done small transgressions -- but
small transgression don't need great suffering for atonement. In fact
Moshiach suffers for the sins of the Jews. In addition the completely
righteous suffer for the sins of the Jews. I don't want anyone else to
have to suffer for my account -- I'll suffer for my own sins. Furthermore
I am doing a favor for the masses because when a tzadik suffers the
masses benefit from the suffering. We see this concerning R' Eliezer the
son of R' Shimon bar Yochai and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi -- that the world
benefit from their suffering and it was as if they directly benefited
the world...(Yeshaya 53:12). His student replied: Even so I am afraid
that you will be punished for what you are doing. Later when the tzadik
died the student thought that it might have been because the tzadik
had afflicted himself. He had seen the tzadik putting fire on his flesh
and then had to recuperate in bed. The student had complained that the
tzadik was committing a sin because his actions interfered with his Torah
learning. When the tzadik had died the student was worried that the tzadik
had sinned and went to pray at his grave to be informed whether he was
being punished or rewarded for afflicting himself. The tzadik came to
him in a dream and said: Come and I take you to Gan Eden. When he got
there the student said: Where is my place? The tzadik showed him and
said if he had more merit he could still get a better place. Then the
student asked him where the tzadik's place was. The tzadik said it was
in the better place but he couldn't even show it to the student since he
hadn't enough merit. The student was very happy seeing the great light
of that place and the wonderful fragrance of that place and the fact
that he hadn't merited to even see the place of his teacher.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 08:06:45 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Mrs Katz's dilemma

From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@KolSassoon.net>
> But the Rema/Mordechai cannot be read naively in any event.

But then you have the opposite problem. If the din is really one of
kavod, why do the Yerushalmi and the Rama not mention kavod, but instead
mention only kedusha.

[Email #2. -mi]

From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@KolSassoon.net>
> But this was part of what I was turning over in my mind.  Why is
> hishtamshus only a form of "menial labour"?  One is liable for malkos
> for hishtamshus by kelim in the beis hamikdash if a there is hana'ah in
> them to the value of a shavei pruta (and presumably there are chetzi
> shiur considerations if the hana'ah is less).

This is the question I was trying to get to in my original post.  The only
clear prohibition we know is using a kohen as a servant and reviling him for
incompetence.  What in fact is prohibited by this halacha? Popular practice
seems to be extremely lenient.

David Riceman

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 13:32:04 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Ramban/Shechinah

From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org>
> surely
> it is theologically untenable to say that the sefiros "exist" other than
> conceptually, or, at best, as a created parable a la "kavod nivra?"

Would it be Clintonesque to ask what you mean by "exist", or even "created
parable"? As far as I know all mekuballim contend that sefiros exist, the
question is how to classify them.  For a revue of the literature as of the
mid-sixteenth century see Shaar Atzmuth VeKeilim (Shaar #4) in Pardes

> In Rabbi Chavel's notes to the famous last Ramban in Bereishis he cites
> an essay in Tarbitz (he does not identify the author) who explains that
> according to the Ramban there is a tzeror ha'chaim to which some tzaddikim
> already cling in this world: "she'tiyeh nafsham tzerurah b'tzror ha'chaim
> KI HEIM B'ATZAM MA'ON LA'SHECHINAH ka'asher ramaz Ba'al
> haKuzari."

I'd guess the Ramban would point you to a Hazal: "HaAvoth hen hen

David Riceman

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