# Avodah Mailing List

## Volume 12 : Number 112

### Friday, March 5 2004

 < Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 20:11:59 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: anthropic principle

```
On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 02:54:24PM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
: to be pedantic - actually only simultaneous infinite universes works.
: If they are consecutive then it is the gambler's paradox. i.e. the fact
: that the last thousand throws of the dice has given 6 says absolutely
: nothing about the probability of the next throw (assuming fair dice)

I feel awkward presuming to correct you on a math problem but...

We're not discussing the probability that any given "throw of the dice"
produces a universe with us in it. We're discussing that probability that
at least one such universe comes into being. We don't care which one,
because that's the one we're in to ask how it came to pass.

The Gambler's Paradox would say that the odds of previous runs don't
affect the odds of the current one. But in our case, we only are looking
at the odds of winning in ANY run. "Current" is defined by winning,
by us being here to call it current.

Each die roll, or each universe, is an independent event. The odds combine
by the usual p + (1-p)p. (The probability of winning in two rolls is the
probability of winning in the first [and the 2nd is ignored, as we have
the win] plus the probability of losing in the first but winning in the
2nd.) And that is true whether the die rolls or big bangs are sequential
or simultaneous.

To use RHM's mashal, whomever is the Powerball Lottery winner will be the
one to wonder why me and not another. But that requires enough players
for the odds of one of them to win and become the amazed wonderer to
be significant.

The assumption of other players, ie of universes that are toally distinct
to our own, is basically a religious one. It's rejection the notion
of a Purposive Deity in order to believe in something else. And if the
something else is also infinite, as in an infinite number of universes,
they're basically believing in an impersonal god, and calling it atheism.

But RHM basically makes a 2nd argument as well, one that doesn't really
say what his mashal does:
:> Frankly I think this one just avoids the question. It doesn't justify
:> the a priori improbability, it simply asks you to ignore it by looking
:> at the a postoriori likelihood instead.

: But the fact is... that we ARE here to wonder. No matter how unlikely
: the probability of an evolutionry cause is, the fact of existence and
: the POSSIBILTY of an evolutionary cause makes the probability question
: moot. As I said earlier, something had to happen some way and and this
: is what happened V'Ha Rayah here we are. So an a priori improbability is
: besides the point, isn't it? The causality of our existence by a Creator
: may be a more likely scenario but not a necessary one.

...

: Why speak of odds when speaking of possible explanations for
: existence....

It gets back to occam's razor. At some point it becomes the more
economical hypothesis to assume there's a reason than to assume it really
was incredible luck. This is the whole question the anthropic principle
alleges to avoid, by dismissing the tinyness of the odds so that luck
becomes the more economical hypothesis again.

Speaking in terms of odds isn't really our choice, it's the choice of
the argument we're rebutting. The anthropic principle tries to justify
atheism within occam's razor. Without it, the notion of intent is far
more likely than the notion that we hit the odds involved. (Recall the
odds for one feature of the big bang critical to anything, never mind
sentient beings in particular, is 10^10^123, then we have the fine tuning
of the constants during symmetry breaking, evolution, etc...) This is as
per RGS's post (even if he mistakenly thought I was making that point,
the point still stands).

We needn't buy into occam's razor (perhaps the more complicated assumption
did occur, as RHM effectively asks), but to rebut an attempted scientific
endeavor, one sticks to playing within their rules.

On Tue, Mar 02, 2004 at 10:09:18AM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
: See most recent issue of Discover magazine which has a discussion of how
: string theory explains the "big bang" without requiring G-d (my words
: not theirs). Furthermore according to this there will be future big bangs.

This is the assumption of an infinite sequence of die rolls.

: The major problem with string theory is that it can not be tested...

It doesn't even have an equation describing it yet. It's not really
a theory, more like a direction in which people are searching for a
theory. Once a theory exists, presumably it will make predictions (eg the
existance of some as-of-yet unfound particle of particular properties,
or some effect that has macroscopic consequences) that can be checked.

However, string theory and the repetition of big bangs are not exactly
the same subject. String theory can't require particular behavior in
universes that could be totally unlike ours in the sense of counting
as different rolls of the die. If any theory connected the universes,
then they wouldn't be disjoint random events.

: whether one believes in this explanation or in some external Being,
: force, G-d is a matter of belief. Neither side can prove or disprove
: the other. Similarly for other suggestions like infinite parallel
: universes etc.

We're in agreement. Imagining an infinite number of universes is
a theology. With just a very weird notion of godhood.

-mi

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

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 14:01:51 -0500
From: "Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
Subject:
RE: assur to see Passion?

```
> Akiva Atwood wrote:
>>Poskim here, some of the New age "beliefs" are classified
>>as "shtussim" (i.e. ridiculous). My question is: would it
>>make a difference if the persons professing those beliefs
>>are/were frum or not.

[RGS:]
> IMHO it should not make a difference.

I have heard (but have not seen any evidence) that some of the New Age
Medicine (NAMs) practices may constitute avodah-zarah, and may also
contain anti-semitic leanings.

I would be interested in any specific examples or information on this.

Kol Tuv ... Jonathan

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 17:10:49 -0500
From: "Sholem Berger" <sholemberger@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Re: G-d's existence

```
Amar R' Gil Student:
> If I can state this in other words, this is a Bayesian proof (as dicussed
> here <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol04/v04n227.shtml#07>). When given
> two possible frameworks - either evolution or creation - and assigning
> the existence of humans in the first framework to be of a very low
> probability and in the second framework to be of a very high probability,
> the existence of humans indicates strongly that the second scenario is
> correct. It is not an absolute proof but a strong indication. (Granted,
> one can argue about the assignment of probabilities. But given my
> assumptions, the conclusion is valid.)

That's the problem with Bayesian reasoning -- the rubber really
only meets the road in assigning those pesky a priori probabilities.
Given your assumptions, of course the conclusion is valid, because the
very conclusion is inherent in the assumptions! Why would one assign
our existence a low probabilty in "evolution" and a high probability in
"creation"?* This is where the true argument has to be laid out. Otherwise
I could show anything a la Bayes merely by assigning probabilities that
suit my fancy or hashkofe.

*Setting aside for the moment, of course, the fact that "evolution" and
"creation" are not mutually exclusive. In any Bayes assignation your
hypotheses can't overlap, at least, not without some headache-inducing
complications.

A lurking Bayes agnostic,
Sholem Berger

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 22:21:36 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: G-d's existence

```
On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 05:10:49PM -0500, Sholem Berger wrote:
: That's the problem with Bayesian reasoning -- the rubber really
: only meets the road in assigning those pesky a priori probabilities.
: Given your assumptions, of course the conclusion is valid, because the
: very conclusion is inherent in the assumptions! Why would one assign
: our existence a low probabilty in "evolution" and a high probability in
: "creation"?* This is where the true argument has to be laid out. Otherwise
: I could show anything a la Bayes merely by assigning probabilities that
: suit my fancy or hashkofe.

Assigining a probability to evolution, or to the features of the big bang,
or to the formation of atoms, stars, planets, etc... is possible. We
has a physics, which today is a statiscal science, and we can use it to
provide probabilities.

The probability that a G-d would choose a universe in which sentient
life emerges over one that doesn't is pretty arbitrary. Who knows the
Mind of G-d? And is it even meaningful to speak of odds -- G-d isn't a
random process!

All the proof RGS gives requires, though, is that we believe it to be
more likely well above the submicrosopically tiny odds of the purposeless
explanation.

-mi

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

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 14:16:30 -0800
From: Yirmeyahu Allen <yirmeyahu@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: G-d's existence

```
[RHM:]
> The same thing can be argued for a non-Creator theory of existence. True,
> the odds are a diffrent order of magnitude but the argument works
> the same way. As long as it is POSSIBLE, than that's all one needs to
> explain existence.

But given all, or at least a great deal, of the evidence is it the
simplest? Or just more convenient? When did something being possible
make it reasonable?

```

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Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2004 17:23:41 -0500
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Matanos La Evyomim to be distributed in EY

```
Here is another possible NM- is this mitzva "just drabanan" or is it
divrei kabala-possibly of a higher , although not Torah level? Would
that make any difference in whether one fullfiled a Mitzva she gufo by
a shaliach or not ?

Steve Brizel
Zeliglaw@aol.com

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 18:23:20 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject:

```
RSB gave the URL to Rav Ariel's psak about women reading megilla.

First, some implications of the psak -
1)rav ariel sees nothing intrinsically wrong with the issue of women
2) He does not seem to take issue that for mikra megilla women may
constitute a minyan (doens't question the term minyan for the women's

The sole issue raised is one of berov am mishum pirsume nissa.
The application here raises (to me) several issues.

1) The principle of pirsume nissa arises in several different mitzvot
(eg, hanukka). While we are frequently makpid that when that is a factor,
there should be an audience, are there any other cases that we are makpid
that it should be the largest audience, and that, barring a halachically
valid rationale, given different choices, one is obligated to go to the
one with the largest audience??

2) The issue of berov am mishum pirsume nissa, if understood as requiring
the largest audience, has other implications - essentially barring
all small minyanim not needed for some legitimate halachic reason (eg,
a choleh). While there are poskim who recommend going to the largest
shul, do any bar going to a smaller shul? Are there any other cases of
separate minyanim being barred by poskim mishum pirsume nissa? Is it
fundamentally different than the "hashkama minyan" having their own,
quicker megilla reading than the main shul with its balagan?

3) As mentioned in the tshuva, it is a common minhag to have a second
communal reading for women at a later time. How many rabbanim publicize
that one should try to go to the main minyan, and only go to the second
if it is truly difficult to go to the main minyan??

Meir Shinnar

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 21:29:29 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
Subject:
opposition to upsheren (occasionally transliterated as upsherin) custom

```
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> .................. "upsherin" here in the US. I've been to numerous
> Litvisher upsherins; and in this neck of the woods the only ones resisting
> this trend are Yekkes (who barukh Hashem have a strong sense of minhag
> avos) and cognescenti who wonder about possible derekh Emori origins to
> the practice...........

If Litvisher people make an 'upsheren' , they are usually not aware of
the fact that it against their minhog and was strongly opposed by gedolim
such as the Steipler gaon (Rav YY Kanievsky z"l) (Orchos Rabbeinu, p. 233)
and the Brisker Rov (Rav Velvel z"l) (I inquired about the latter with a
reliable source in Eretz Yisroel recently and he told me that Rav Dovid
Soloveitchik shlit"a, son of the Brisk'er Rav, can bear witness to it, in
addition to discussion of the inyan in 'uvdos vihanhogos libeis Brisk'),
among others. The sefer Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz (third cheilek), as
well, contains an excellent, lengthy discussion of the matter and shows
clearly that the Ashkenazic minhog is to cut the hair davka (particularly)
at a younger age, with no special celebration.

I think this is so, because at first glance it seems innocuous and
non-problematic. Only upon examination do it's problematic aspects
appear. The serious concern of it possibly being derived from non-Jewish
practices ('chukos hagoyim') is not immediately apparent to most, because
the majority of the non-Jewish population in the USA, Western Europe,
etc., among whom many of us live now, do not have such a custom at present
- rather it is from various eastern / middle-eastern and/or past cultures.

Upon examination, however, various difficulties with the custom come into
view, such as 1) it is not mentioned in early sources, and 2) despite
the attempt to connect it to orloh, (a connection which is problematic,
for various reasons - e.g. what forbidden benefits does one get from the
hair, etc.), various Hassidim (E.g. Gur and Skvira) do it at two years
of age, which cannot work if it is derived from orloh, among other things.

Also, I suspect that some, if not many, of the 'Litvisher' people
whose hair-cutting parties R. MB has been to, are (as many talmidim in
'Litvisher' Yeshivas today) actually not of Litvish descent - rather
people of other (or mixed) backgrounds, who just learn in Litvisher
Yeshivas. Some of them are actually (partially or fully) of Hassidic
background, so therefore they maintain certain Hassidic / non-Litvish
practices.

Mordechai

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 16:06:22 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: G-d's existence

```
Sholem Berger <sholemberger@hotmail.com> wrote:
> *Setting aside for the moment, of course, the fact that "evolution" and
> "creation" are not mutually exclusive.

No they are not and in fact are quite compatible as they must be. The
question is rather whether evolution was a random event or directed by
a Creator. Furthermore, a concession to a Creator does not eliminate the
infinite time factor that would allow for the natural selection process
of Darwinian evolutionary theory.

God through his creation of the physical universe can then allow for
near infinite time which He has "built in" to natural law. IOW a Creator
created the laws of nature and ...given infinite time... allowed for the
possibilty of the evolution of man within the laws of nature. It then
becomes possible to say that randomness is even possible as a feature
of natural law in the "larger" creation process of a Creator.

In effect one could say that God created the laws of nature which then
ultimately evolved into Mankind. While I am not saying this view is
compatible with Judaism, it is compatible with general notions of a
Creator ala Aristotle, i.e. the idea of God as "The Unmoved Mover".
IIRC, Aristotle believed that an actively creative God is a P'Chus to
God's infinite power and it is a more apt description of an Infinite Being
to say that his mere existence drew creation into being rather than any
Godly act. This is in effect Deism. One can then therefore believe in
a creator and believe completely in modern theories of evolution.

[Email #2 -mi]

Yirmeyahu Allen <yirmeyahu@juno.com> wrote:
> [RHM:]
>> The same thing can be argued for a non-Creator theory of existence. True,
>> the odds are a diffrent order of magnitude but the argument works
>> the same way. As long as it is POSSIBLE, than that's all one needs to
>> explain existence.

> But given all, or at least a great deal, of the evidence is it the
> simplest? Or just more convenient? When did something being possible
> make it reasonable?

I find myself in the uncomfortable postion of defending the Atheist.
Furthermore I would not want to be responsible for one reading my
repsonses and then questioning belief in God or His Torah. My
response should be considered only as an intellectual examination of
scientific discovery and thought versus the nature of belief and the
impact these two items have on each other. Ultimately one cannot
prove either science or traditional belief and... belief... in one
system of thought or the other is what will ultimately hold way for
us.

So, even though I do so with great trepidation I must, in the spirit
of intellectual honesty, respond that reasonablity is unecessary to
one seeking to find truth without the precondition of the existence
of a Creator. The scientist would say that until one can prove the
existence of a Creator one should assume non-existnce, sort of like
the set up of the scientific method where one wants to prove the
"null" hypothesis. IOW (IIRC) the first assumption is that it isn't
true. Only repeatable results will disprove the null hypothesis
resulting in a scientific hypothesis.

HM

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 21:55:37 -0500
From: "Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
Subject:
RE: anthropic principle

```
>: RET: whether one believes in this explanation or in some external Being,
>: force, G-d is a matter of belief. Neither side can prove or disprove
>: the other. Similarly for other suggestions like infinite parallel
>: universes etc.

> RMB: We're in agreement. Imagining an infinite number of universes is
> a theology. With just a very weird notion of godhood.

In a previous post I mentioned that an updated version of the Cosmological
argument makes a necessary Being (G-d) a better (and in fact the only)
explanation for our contingent existence (whether big-bang, oscillating,
string based, or multiverse).

The fact that we see an amazing amount of "fine tuning" would then be
empirical evidence for G-d, without the need to inflate probabilistic
resources with infinite parallel universes [and anyway, in such a
multiverse, we would have no basis for preferring rational explanations
(Shakespeare was a genius) over bizarre states of affair (Shakespeare
was an imbecile who just happened to produce great literary works by
accident)].

So I would say that if we accept normal scientific explanatory mechanisms
("inference to the best explanation"), a Necessary Being, Creator of
the Fine-Tuned Universe is currently our best (and only) explanation
for our universe.

Of course, our whole nation had the privilege of hearing HKBH at
Har Sinai, and thus our own emuna is not dependent on Cosmological
/Teleological arguments.

Has anyone read Michael Denton's "Nature's Destiny". It presents an
updated version of the "She-aar Habechina". Denton extends Davies'
argument that the universe is fine tuned for carbon based life, to
man himself.

A question: The Nefesh HaChayim [NH 3:1] discusses the Midrash Raba
"sheHu mekomo shel olam veien olam mekomo" (He is the place of the world
but the world is not His place). The NH refers us to the Rambam "vehu
pinas yesod emunas Yisroel kemo shekasav haRambam". The NH explains that
this means that if G-d would withdraw His creative energy, even for a
second, the world would cease to exist. It is only our Torah learning
that justifies G-d's continued investment in this world ...

If so, it would seem that this Midrash is also a Torah source for G-d's
necessary existence?

Kol Tuv ... Jonathan

```

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Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 15:22:13 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
This Year's Shalach Manos Card

```
Most years I print up our own cards to put into the Shalach Manos to
say who they're from. And rather than have blank space, I put a short
Torah thought on the back.

Since we have yet to design a web plug-in for SMIF (shalach manos
interchange format), I can't send y'all manos. However, here's the
thought from this year's card:

"LaYhudim haysah orah, vesimchah vesason viyqar."
"For the Jews there was light, happiness, joy and value." (Esther 8:16)

Rav Yehudah explains: "orah -- light" is Torah... "simchah -- happiness"
is the holidays... "sason -- joy" is beris milah... "viyqar -- value"
is tefillin..." (Megillah 16b)

The Sefas Emes, Rav Yehudah Leib Alter of Ger (1847-1905, Poland), asks
a very reasonable question. If the megillah wanted to say the Jews had
Torah, holidays, beris and tefillin restored to their lives, why didn't
it simply say so? Why use code words?

The Gerrer Rebbe answers that before this time, the Jews did study Torah
and observed yom tov, beris, and tefillin. However, it was a dry rote
observes. Now, the Jews had Torah -- and it lit up their souls. They
found happiness in the holidays, took joy in the beris and saw the value
of being in the community that dons tefillin.

"Qiymu veqiblu haYhudim -- the Jews fulfilled and accepted." (Esther
9:27) With the miracle of Purim, there was a new kind of dedication to
Torah and mitzvos.

Kein tihyeh Lanu!
So may it be for us!

Happy Purim from
Siggy, Micha, Rafi, Yoni, Gavi,
Aishey, Eli, Shifra, Zack,
Izzy, Shuby,??? and Othello
Berger!

:-)BBii!
-mi

--
Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                                - R' Binyamin Hecht

```

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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 22:04:24 -0500
From: "Moshe & Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Subject:
Women Reading Megillah - R' Yehuda Henkin's Response to Shlomo Aviner's Position

```
Rav Henkin's essay on women's megillah reading from his book "Equality Lost"

- Ilana

```

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Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 08:57:40 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
mishloach manos and matanos l'evyonim

```
previous quote, I forget from whom ['Twas  RCS -mi]
> Why do you call it an exception? The only place that the Shulchan
> Aruch says zrizin makdimim is by a bris.

This is also quoted by lulav.  See SA OH 652:1

RAS
> (To tie two threads together) Although, since one shouldn't eat before
> being mekayem the mitzva of matanos l'evyonim and mishloach manos, one
> would probably want to do those mitzvos first thing after getting home
> from shul.

I'm not sure that the din of not eating before being mkayem a mitzva
applies here. First, who does quote this? Second, mishloach manos some
explain to be a din in seuda. Once you start your seuda, then send some
to a friend. It seems to me impossible to start a seuda without yet
eating. Third, sopme learn matanos l'evyonim is also to proivide a seuda
to the poor. Here too one might be allowed to eat first. On this forum,
I think it was last year, we discussed the girsos Gemara if matanos
l'evyonim and mishloach manos can be satisfied simultaneously by sending
a full seuda to a friend.

Shlomo Goldstein

```

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Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 09:37:08 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh" <AStein@wtplaw.com>
Subject:
RE: mishloach manos and matanos l'evyonim

```
Old Me:
> (To tie two threads together) Although, since one shouldn't eat before
> being mekayem the mitzva of matanos l'evyonim and mishloach manos, one
> would probably want to do those mitzvos first thing after getting home
> from shul.

RSG:
> I'm not sure that the din of not eating before being mkayem a mitzva
> applies here. First, who does quote this? Second, mishloach manos some
> explain to be a din in seuda......

I saw it Halichos Shlomo, from RSZA. (I will, b'n, check to see if it
brought down from someone else.) According to RSZA, it was a davar pashut
that matanos l'evyonim and mishloach manos should be no different than
davening, shofar, etc. (i.e., mitzvos that should be performed before
eating.)

KT, Gut Shabbos and Purim Sameach
Aryeh

```

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Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 10:19:56 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Subject:
RE: Matanot La'evyonim to be distributed in EY

```
On 4 Mar 2004 at 13:05, Stein, Aryeh wrote:
> I still don't think that the Be'er Heiteiv is speaking about our case
> at all. We are talking about shlichus; the BH is referring to when I
> personally hand the evyon money prior to Purim day. In the case that
> we are discussing, the money does not reach the evyon's hands until
> Purim day.

Are we reading the same Be'er Heteiv? This is what he says (in the full
SA now, not in the MB, 695:7): "od nistapakti me she'sholach l'chaveiro
she'b'mdinas ha'yam shnei manos, o shtei matanos l'shnei evyonim kodem
Purim U'B'PURIM ATZMO VADAI MAGIIM L'YADO im yotzei ydei chovaso o lo. Mi
leima keivan she'be'shaa she'sholach lo haya chayav bahem lo nafik o
dilma keivan D'B'PURIM ATZMO SHE'HU SH'AS HACHIYUV HIGIA L'YADO NAFIK."

I am reading that as meaning al ydei shaliach and it comes to the ani
on Purim.

FWIW, both Rav Karp (Hilchos Chag b'Chag) and Rav Tzvi Cohen (Purim
v'Chodesh Adar) say that giving matanos before Purim to be delivered
on Purim is b'dieved.

> RCS:
>> .....and the Magen Avraham (695:13) compares Matanos la'Evyonim to
>> Mishloach Manos, and I think you agreed that we can only be yotzei
>> Mishloach Manos bo ba'yom.

> Well, I do agree that we can only be yotzei Mishloach Manos bo ba'yom
> - but I also believe that we can appoint a shaliach (before Purim day)
> to deliver shaloch manos for us (on Purim day) - just like matanos
> l'evyonim.

See the Be'er Heiteiv quoted above.

> RCS:
>> So I have nothing against giving tzedaka in advance. But I wouldn't
>> rely on it to be yotzei Matanos la'Evyonim on Purim.

> I agree. But when I give Matanos la'Evyonim to my shliach to deliver
> on Purim day, *I *am *giving *Matanos *la'Evyonim *on *Purim *day -
> *so *I *am *yotzei!

See above.

> After all of the discussion about the inyan, I am going to be
> super-machmir on Purim day. When I hand the envelopes with checks to
> the evyonim I deliver to on Purim day (on behalf of the local Tomchei
> Shabbos type organization), I will add some cash from my own pocket to
> the envelope. This way, I am 1000% guaranteed to have fulfilled the
> mitzva - even l'shitas RCS!

Always happy to improve observance of mitzvos :-)

[Email #2. -mi]

On 4 Mar 2004 at 20:14, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 07:35:21PM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
>: I'm still not persuaded that you can perform mitzvos in advance by
>: remote control...

> Isn't that what shelichus is? Appointing someone in advance to do a
> mitzvah for you? The mitzvah is not in advance, the chalos is when
> then shali'ach does it. It's only the appointment that is.

> I'm curious to know why you think one can't rely on this delayed
> chalos WRT qiyum mitzvos, but there is a delayed chalos WRT a
> sheli'ach leholakhah. VIDC?

Good question.

1. The bracha. The she'he'cheyanu that's made before Megillah in the
morning is meant to cover Seudas Purim, Mishloach Manos and Matanos
la'Evyonim. If you've been yotzei already, that bracha is a hefsek for
you. If you've appointed a shaliach (e.g. bedikas chametz), you don't
make a bracha - the shaliach does. And if you'll tell me that the bracha
is still being chal on Seudas Purim and Mishloach Manos, Purim Meshulash
b'Mukafim yochiach, when Seudas Purim and Mishloach Manos are only on
Sunday, and therefore it's difficult to say that the bracha is being chal
on anything other than Matanos La'Evyonim (which are given on Friday in
that case).

2. The chalos of a get is never the holacha - it's the kabala. The
kabala is chal whenever the shaliach makes the delivery and not at
a specific time. You don't designate a time when the kabala can be
made. (And if someone did make a get al tnai that it be delivered at a
specific time? Tzarich iyun whether the get would ever be good - can we
be m'tzamtzem to a specific time?). And if you're going to say that the
holacha is kovea and the get is already delivered then, that won't help
you because on Purim the whole point is to deliver davka on Purim. Being
zoche for the ani before Purim won't help even according to RAS's shita.

Also see Mishmeres Chaim Chelek 1 Inyanei Purim Os Gimmel (if I understand
him correctly, it seems that according to shitas HaRozoh that the dinim
of Purim are like Divrei Torah it may not be possible to be somech on
a shaliach at all - even on Purim itself!).

-- 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: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 11:13:31 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh" <AStein@wtplaw.com>
Subject:
RE: Matanot La'evyonim to be distributed in EY

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Old me:
> I still don't think that the Be'er Heiteiv is speaking about our case
> at all.

RCS:
> Are we reading the same Be'er Heteiv?....>>>

Sorry about that; I was referring the Biur Halachah that you had quoted
earlier. (I had not seen RAM's post quoting the Be'er Heteiv until
after I wrote the above.)

RSC:
> FWIW, both Rav Karp (Hilchos Chag b'Chag) and Rav Tzvi Cohen (Purim
> v'Chodesh Adar) say that giving matanos before Purim to be delivered on
> Purim is b'dieved.>>>

I am glad that RAM found that Aruch Hashulchan.....

KT, Gut Shabbos and Purim Sameach
Aryeh

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Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 17:28:02 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Matanot La'evyonim to be distributed in EY

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On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 10:19:56AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: On 4 Mar 2004 at 20:14, Micha Berger wrote:
:> Isn't that what shelichus is? Appointing someone in advance to do a
:> mitzvah for you? The mitzvah is not in advance, the chalos is when
:> then shali'ach does it. It's only the appointment that is.

:> I'm curious to know why you think one can't rely on this delayed
:> chalos WRT qiyum mitzvos, but there is a delayed chalos WRT a
:> sheli'ach leholakhah. VIDC?

: 1. The bracha. The she'he'cheyanu that's made before Megillah in the
: morning is meant to cover Seudas Purim, Mishloach Manos and Matanos
: la'Evyonim. If you've been yotzei already, that bracha is a hefsek for
: you. If you've appointed a shaliach (e.g. bedikas chametz), you don't
: make a bracha - the shaliach does. And if you'll tell me that the bracha
: is still being chal on Seudas Purim and Mishloach Manos, Purim Meshulash
: b'Mukafim yochiach...

Li nir'eh any one seasonal mitzvah warrants a shechiyanu. This is a general
klal on every chag. We don't say Sukkah requires the shehechiyanu but not
the 4 minim. There's no reason to say any particular one of the three is
the target of the shechiyanu to the exclusion of the others.

Besides, this wouldn't show that the person isn't yotzei, it would
(in theory) show that someone who appointed a shali'ach in advance
shouldn't make shehchiyanu in the morning!

: 2. The chalos of a get is never the holacha - it's the kabala. The
: kabala is chal whenever the shaliach makes the delivery and not at
: a specific time. You don't designate a time when the kabala can be
: made. (And if someone did make a get al tnai that it be delivered at a
: specific time? Tzarich iyun whether the get would ever be good - can we
: be m'tzamtzem to a specific time?)....

Here the tenai is even more fundamental. It's not so much a straight tenai
as a term in the instructions to the shali'ach, a detail about the duty
for which he was appointed. So yes, if you designate someone to give
matanos la'evyonim, you are designating a time.

Of course we can -- we do by ten'aim without the shali'ach. The whole
inyan of le-achar 30 relies on this point.

BTW, on that inyan, see R' Shlomo Brin's shiur at
<http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/18lamed.htm> and R' Herschel Schachter's
at <http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/20tnai.htm>.

Because it's a term in the shelichus, it may be closer to le-achar 30
than a tenai -- but it any case, I see no reason why it shouldn't work.

So I am still left not understanding the Be'er Heiteiv's safeiq.

: Also see Mishmeres Chaim Chelek 1 Inyanei Purim Os Gimmel (if I understand
: him correctly, it seems that according to shitas HaRozoh that the dinim
: of Purim are like Divrei Torah it may not be possible to be somech on
: a shaliach at all - even on Purim itself!).

I also suggested that the Rambam's ta'am hamitzvah -- the simchah of
giving -- could justify considering it a hamitzvas haguf. But we weren't
discussing whether shelichus in general is appropriate, but rather the
significance (or lack thereof) of time of the appointment of the shali'ach.

:-)BBii
-mi

--
Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                                - R' Binyamin Hecht

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