Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 117

Sunday, March 14 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 14:03:30 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Havdalah before Maariv

R' Steve Brizel wrote <<< IIRC, does not Maariv on MS serve the same
or a similar purpose as Maariv on Leil Shabbos- one verbally sets aside
(Mkadesh) the Shabbos both upon ushering it in and out. Don't we avoid
having kavanah to fulfil this Mitzvah so that we can do it during Kiddush
and Havdalah? >>>

I'm not sure what your point is. I think you might be suggesting that on
both Friday night and Saturday night we should do "Zachor (i.e. Al HaKos)"
*before* davening, so that it can be done the best way, and without
needing kuntzim like having daas during Maariv to not be yotzay yet.

If so, then I agree. (Theoretically, of course. Practically speaking,
there are other reasons to do Maariv first.)

R' Carl Sherer wrote <<< AIUI, you are correct about Maariv on Leil
Shabbos, but not on Motzei Shabbos. On Motzei Shabbos, Ata Chonantanu
allows you to do m'lacha (essentially the same effect as saying Baruch
HaMavdil). But in order to eat, you still have to make Havdala al haKos,
and therefore regardless of your kavana, you cannot be completely yotzei
havdala in tefilla. >>>

I think Erev and Motzaei are identical: In both cases, with tefilah
you have accepted the new day, unless you already accepted it verbally
beforehand (via Neros or Tov L'Hodos on Friday, or Baruch HaMavdil on
Saturday) and it is still assur to eat. And in both cases, Zachor Al
HaKos permits further eating. What difference do you see between the two?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 01:16:20 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: G-d's existence

On Fri, Mar 12, 2004 at 03:01:11PM -0500, T613K@aol.com wrote:
:> Why not experiment and test the teleologocal hypothesis? ...

: I don't remember who wrote that, but I must say the question makes
: no sense. Whatever you were trying to test--evolution was the subject,
: I think--how could you possibly "test" the teleological hypothesis???

I agree.

Testing the teleological hypothesis means testing G-d, getting Him to
want a particular outcome on demand.

Gut Voch!

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:01:11 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: G-d's existence

In Avodah V12 #116 dated 3/12/04  RMB quotes [RHM] who wrote:
> Why not experiment and test the teleologocal hypothesis? ...

I don't remember who wrote that, but I must say the question makes
no sense. Whatever you were trying to test--evolution was the subject,
I think--how could you possibly "test" the teleological hypothesis???

--Toby Katz

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:06:42 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org>
Re: big letters in the Megil

From: Gershon Dubin gershon.dubin@juno.com
>>> Check the aseres benei Haman

From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
>> Not if one has an '11-liner' megilah.

At 12:46 PM 3/12/2004, Gershon Dubin wrote:
> Does the number of lines alter the mesorah of how large or small to write
> the letters?

Vaist oys yoh, since large megillos I have seen (the old non-haMelech
ones) have the Aseres Bnei Haman in regular size print.


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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:07:09 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: qedusha

I haven't read through all the discussion about the meaning/s of this
word, so perhaps this has already been dealt with, but it seems to me
that any attempt at a comprehensive definition has to deal, not only with
'qadesh/qedesha', but also with the use of the word 'tiqdash' for kil'ei
hakerem, which is forbidden even behana'ah, and must be destroyed.

Zev Sero           The world knows the answer...Israel has opined that
zev@sero.name      it would prefer not to get put in the sea, and as a
                    result, over a period of decades, it has arranged
                    itself so it hasn't been put in the sea.
                             - Donald Rumsfeld, 7-Feb-04

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:27:00 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Re: Rambam, Torah and philosophy

>: 3) If there is a conflict between philosophically proven truth and what
>: the torah seems to say, we have to reconcile the two, as there should
>: be an identity between them

> I would have said: If there seems to be a conflict.... we have to find
> the flaw in our understanding which, once cleared up, shows the two
> are identical. The flaw could be in our understanding of the relevent
> Torah or in our understanding of philosophy.

Yes. However, the Moreh is proceeding from the assumption that philosophy
has proven certan things - and therefore the onus is to understand how
torah can be reconciled. If the philosophy is in doubt (as in the issue
of aristotelian eternity), then one can look at both sides - but it is
important in the rambam to understand that certain philosophical truths
wree not up to reinterpretation, and considered to be true.

> You seem to make this statement into being about limiting TSBP to
> only that which philosophy can't disprove, of secondary certainty,
> rather than being equally considered.

See above. If philosophy does prove something - then one does have to
understand torah in the light of what is known to be true. That is the
essence of the MN.

One could have written a different book, attempting to reconcile and
reinterprete philosophy in the light of torah - as many have done with
science and torah - but there is remarkably little of that in the MN
- occuring only when the issue relates to more fundamental beliefs
(See below)and (and the and should be emphasized) the philosophical
underpinnings are not viewed as solid.

>: 4) THis can be done by reinterpreting the naive meaning of torah - done
>: for ma'ase breshit, angels, etc. THis is not that "philosophy trumps
>: torah" - as RMB states, but that the philosophical proof tells us what
>: the torah must have meant.

> You're using the word "Torah" without being as specific as I would like
> to be. Reinterpreting ma'aseh bereishis does not require reinterpreting
> the TSBP on the subject as well.

Let me define better reinterprete. The rambam would probably have argued
that he was explicating the true meaning of the TSBP (and TSBK) - which
has been misunderstood by the vast majority of his rabbinic colleagues -
and rather than a reinterpretation, he was going back to original intent.

However, (and we had a similar discussion about astrology), that doesn't
change the fact that everyone we know who didnot share the rambam's
philosophical slant viewed this as a major reinterpretation - eg, the
ramban in the beginning of vayetze. His approach to ma'ase bretshit
is also quite radical - and it is only through the lens of subsequent
literature that we can go back to the midrashim and not see the radical
change. Furthermore, the rambam in his iggerot is specific that the basis
of his (re)interpretation is not an esoteric tradition that he has - but
starting with the assumption that hazal and the torah must be consonant
with philosophical truths.

>: 7) In Ma'amar tchiyat hametim, in explaining the issue of tchiyat hametim,
>: he adds that in cases where the position is very explicit in hazal,
>: or the reinterpretation would essentially make a mockery, there is a
>: limit to reinterpretation...

> Why go to another text, when we can look at the very pereq of the Moreh
> (2:25) in question?
> However, I do not recall you yet addressing the second [of the Rambam's
concerns -mi]:
>> Secondly, our belief in the Incorporeality of God is not contrary to
>> any of the fundamental principles of our religion: it is not contrary
>> to the words of any prophet.

> Reinterpretation works for TSBK, but not to actual tenets of religion.

THis is actually the point of what I quoted from the ma'amar tchiyat
hametim. It actually proves more of my point.

First, note that this point is second - the issue of it being fundamental
is raised only after the issue of it not being proven. If it was proven,
it would be a different issue.

There is, however, a different point. The question arises what the
"fundamental principles of our religion". There is a fundamental belief
that there is a concordance between those fundamental principles and
philosophical truths. What those fundamental principles are is a
different issue (they are not necessarily the 13 ikarim) - but the
rambam argues that from a philosophical perspective, aristotelian
eternity eliminates miracles and divine intervention - which mandates
such a radical interpretation of the entire structure of the torah
(rather than of specific events) - such divine intervention is later
viewed by the rambam as a necessary belief (3:28) - and therefore such
an understanding is either unproven, or its proof raises serious issues
about the concordance of the two truths. However, most conflicts with
philosophy (or science today) do not rise to this fundamental level -
even if they may raise conflicts with tenets that some hold to be the
"actual tenets of ou! r religion".

Note that in the presence of a conflict between something viewed as
actually proven and a "tenet of our religion" - rather than merely
advocating therefore accepting the "tenet of our religion" as RMB would
- would fundamentally change the nature of our religion - and that
possibility is therefore not even raised in the MN, whose fundamental
tenet is that such conflicts inherently cannot occur.

Meir Shinnar 

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:32:48 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: R S Aviner's position

>>The issue of women reading megillah is not at all simple. The halachic
>>issue has already been discussed. But there is a social/halachic issue
>>that apparently is being ignored.

> There certainly is. In the cases with which I am familiar, the issue
> is a feminist issue. Women with no small children choose to hear the
> Megilla read by a woman to state and act out their political position.

WADR, may I suggest that labeling all women who choose to fulfil a mitzva
in a certain way as "political" has problems of being motzi la'az -
which is a problem for the mekabel (the recipients of avodaH) as well.
While there are clearly women who choose to do so out of political
fashions, others do so out of an attempt to participate with increased
kavana - and therefore one should be careful of such generalizations.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:38:34 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Yom Haatzmaut 5764

WRT to the celebration of Yom Haatzmaut - the issue of Yom Haatzmaut
which falls on a Friday being pushed back is discussed - and R Shlomo
Goren zt"l held that the tefillot of yom haatzmaut should always be said
on 5 Iyar - and that it was only the public celebrations that were pushed
back. The Rabbanut has held otherwise. This would seem to apply to the
current discussion.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:53:51 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: The Ikkarim of Dwarves

[I keep on forgetting that there are people who find the term I originally
used to be insulting. I changed it in the subject line accordingly. -mi]

> First, you ARE talking about halakhah. Truth vs falsehood would not be a
> question of halakhah. However, whether a falsehood qualifies as minus,
> apiqursus or kefirah is. This is a recurring thesis of RGS's on Avodah.

We have had this discussion before. THis does seem to be the Chatham
Sofer's position - that there are positions that are no longer acceptable
(the classical proof text is the relationship to rav hillel's statement
that eyn mashiach leyisrael - and how we view rav hillel). The question
is the extent to which rav hillel was allowed to have his opinion.

However, this seems quite a major hiddush - what is unique is that rav
hillel;s position is explicitly rejected in the gmara. I don't think
we have any example of rishonim arguing this way against positions that
were previously accepted - and the fact that a position is held in the
gmara or by someone respected is in general viewed as prima facie proof
that the position falls within the realm of acceptable belief (even if
strongly argued against).

Furthermore, the presumption of this post is that believing in a falsehood
qualifies one as a min - and the radbaz would disagree, arguing that it
is not only the content of one's beliefs, but the rationale for them,
that has halachic implications - and that any belief that is reached
through intellectual reasoning and conviction, regardless of how false
it is and otherwise classified as minut, since it is reached through
intellectual reasoning, it is not classified as minut - the presumption
being that one can't go against one's intellect (another thread here...).

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 01:47:15 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: bigdei k'huna (was Euphemisms and Idioms)

On Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 10:40:54PM -0500, Elazar M Teitz wrote:
: In that g'mara (P'sachim 65b), Rashi says "shaveh la'aretz."...

Does this mean that when Moshe Rabbeinu did the avodah in a simple
white linen chaluq he was wearing something kosher to be a kesones for
bigdei kehuah?

Gut Voch!

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 02:04:18 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Learning as much as possible

[From an email your moderator mangled onto the end of another
one. -mi]

On Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 08:48:14AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: My impression is that much of the "Yeshiva world" holds today that doing
: chessed and the like is mostly for married men (and their wives) and not
: for bochrim....

Nir'eh that such may be taken as peshat in "legadlo leTorah, chuppah,
uma'asim tovim" if that's a chronological sequence. However I don't
think the hashkafah actually relayed to the talmid give equal footing
to ma'asim tovim even after chuppah. Seems implied by the steady growth
of the kolelnik and the lack of other role models. But I think I left
Avodah for Areivim territory after the first sentence of this paragraph.

: I don't think that a focus on Torah only necessarily has to exclude
: tikkun ha'middos...

I was speaking about the split of Slabodka, among other cases. There
was a fight over whether to take time away from shas for direct
tiqun hamiddos.

: on oneself if one internalizes what one learns and doesn't just relate to
: learning as intellectual banter to be followed by looking into a shulchan
: aruch. You don't have to do tomchei Shabbos deliveries instead of going
: to a shiur on Thursday nights to become a mentch.

I don't think that's true. I think it'll teach you to know how to be a
mentch. Not actually teach you how to be one.

The Yeshiva movement understood R' Chaim Vilozhiner to be speaking
about a mystical connection between talmud torah and sheleimus ha'adam,
giving da'as Torah some ineffible quality. Rav Yisrael Salanter quite
consciously avoids the mystical; he seeks sheleimus ha'adam in ways we
can understand and experience. Which is why his approach to uplifting
the soul so overlaps psychology.

So even talmud Torah would have to be shifted to include hispa'alus, to
spend time making that intellectual banter part of one's emotional makeup.
Again, taking time from classical talmud Torah, or at least talmud Torah
as we all (including the yeshiva movement) understands it, to work on
tiqun hamidos.

As I've mentioned in the past, I usually print Avodah up and read it
while commuting, so that I can mark it up with notes, look things up
before replying, etc... I found the following earlier email from RCS in
from v12n109 in my briefcase that I hadn't yet gotten to:

: Not unless you can change the Tomchei Shabbos deliveries to a time
: when you don't have a regular seder. Or if there is no one else to do
: them.

Here you speak about already having a seider. I was asking about whether
I'm supposed to set up a seider in every possible time slot that my
zitzfleish can handle, or whether to plan time for chessed even if it
means time coming from learning.

For some of us, parenting and work make up the overwhelming majority of
our waking hours. Doing anything else is a trade-off. I couldn't possibly
learn as much as I can sit through as there is so little time. Would this
mean that it's the only mitzvah I should assign that precious time to?
Should someone in my position never go out of my way perform chessed,
limiting bein adam lachaveiro to my immediate family and other people
I happen to encounter anyway?

: The Gemara tells us about certain things that "m'vatlin Talmud Torah"
: in order to do them...

Again, I think this is about interrupting Torah you already began,
not prioritizing a priori (weak pun intended).

But I think the discussion about this prioritizing being a defining
feature of the mussar movement better addressed the point.

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
micha@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 21:04:30 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: The ikkarim of dwarves

R' Micha Berger wrote <<< Second, understanding is an intellectual
activity. And knowledge grows -- be it halakhah or aggadita. ... We know
more, but their lesser knowledge was more ingrained and who they were.>>>

On the one hand, Rabbi Akiva knew certain details of Torah which Moshe
Rabbenu did not know. Of course, RA (and/or his teachers) figured those
things out based on MR's own principles, so I suppose MR could have
figured them out also, if he would have gotten around to doing so. This
is the advantage of the midgets: they come later, and have the benefit
of the extra time needed to firgure it all out.

But now, in the post-Chazal era, we lack the ability and/or permission
to come up with anything new. Under these conditions, a student cannot
possibly know more than the sum total of what all his teachers know,
and will in all likelihood know less than they do. This might not be
the dictionary definition of "niskatnu hadoros", but will anyone deny
that it is a pedagogic reality? Rabbi Akiva may have had a fuller and
deeper understanding of Torah than Moshe Rabbenu, but no one in recent
centuries can measure up to the Geonim or Rishonim, can they?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 02:59:42 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: omek pshuto shel mikra

On Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 12:25:56PM +0100, Arie Folger wrote:
: However, you would still need to explain how they are both true. That
: is, are they both true in the same plane, or do they speak about other
: kinds of truths...

That's true if one takes "Eilu va'eilu" WRT pisqei halakhah as embracing
literal plurality. The same resolution on the halachic plane can be
applied on the aggadic one.

Aristotilian logic includes the law of excluded middle (that something
is true or false, there is no in between) and the law of contradiction
(nor can it be both true and false). Eastern thought (found in lehavdil
Buddhism, for example) rejects both. As does quantum logic, fuzzy logic,
and many other logical reasoning systems.

For that matter, so does the human condition -- thus the antinomies,
dialectics and paradoxes that so frequently arise. In fact, Rav Tzadoq
explains the world of eilu va'eilu to be a consequence of this,
a feature of the world of machshavah; that Aristotilian logic only
described the world of pe'ulah. If this is enough to explain the
gap between "divrei E-lokim Chaim" and halakhah pesuqah, al achas
kamah vekamah such plurality should apply to aggadita. (See RYGB's

(We've literally have been discussing this Rav Tzadoq since Avodah v1n1.)

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
micha@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 14:23:32 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Yom Haatzmaut 5764

From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@emory.edu>
> To the Chaverim of the RCA:
> I recently issued a psak ...date of Yom Haatzmaut this year, ....to maintain
> 5 Iyyar (i.e., Sunday evening April 25th/Monday April 26th ) as the day of
> observance, given the fact that the key consideration invoked by the
> Rabbanut of chillul Shabbas on Motzaei Shabbas did not apply in America.
> I have subsequently been approached by one of the Rabbanim Harashiim.... I
> have given the matter due thought, ..recommend that our chaverim
> should....schedule...commemoration of Yom Hazikaron..Yom Haatzmaut to Sunday
> evening/Monday, and Monday  evening/Tuesday April 26/27, ... Of course if
> programs have already been scheduled for the earlier dates, and cannot be
> changed, they can continue to be held on the original date.
> Rabbi Gedaliah Dov Schwartz.
> Av Beis Din
> The Beth Din of America

My first comment is, WADR, if we are talking 'Psak' here, it seems strange
that it can be changed there and back [and there again b'shaas hadchak]
in such a willy-nilly fashion.

Secondly, wouldn't it be great if we could get BD to change the dates of
any/all Yomim Tovim and Taaneisim by a day or 2 [for good reasons only,
of course]?

But my main question is what exactly is the concern about Chilul Shabbos?
No person who is a shomer shabbos - will consider being mechalel shabbos -
even for TH.
Whilst the non-Shomer Shabbos is sadly going to be mechalel shabbos
anyway. So do we docheh important [leshitosom] moadim vechagim for
such concerns??


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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 03:37:16 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: G-d's existence

On Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 12:52:23AM -0500, Jonathan S. Ostroff wrote:
: In Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton argues that all the Design
: is front-loaded (at the moment of creation), with all subsequent
: developments, including the Designer's plan for human life achieved by a
: variety of pre-planned natural mechanisms including slow (but directed)
: evolution.

This is akin to the Ramban's discussion about nissim being "front loaded"
as opposed to being localized to the time they occur.

HQBH doesn't "front load" design, nor does He design as time progresses.
Either give a time at which HQBH designed the universe. However, that
end of things is lema'alah min hazeman.

: However, the fossil record (as the first example you quote) does not
: appear to me to favour slow Evolution over rapid Design (with some
: yesh-mi-yesh obviously at work). Perhaps you can explain your thinking
: on the fossil record further.

It favors punctuated equilibrium. Numerous cases of quick evolution,
spread out over a long stretch of time, each a short bursts as some
critical point forced a restructuring of ecological niches.

But ma'aseh bereishis involves looking at a LOT more science than
evolutionary biology. There is also geology, astronomy, cosmology
and particle physics.

:                             If I follow Lee Spetner's argument correctly,
: this directed micro-evolution works in the complete opposite direction
: to standard evolutionary theories (the information-complexity is already
: all there from the start).

See my post in <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol10/v10n124.shtml#16>
on an information theoretic treatement of
evolution. The same issue was discussed in item #3 in
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n174.shtml#15>, and that entire
post is relevent to some extent.

And the following is from an '96 usenet post:
> I came up with a more quantified variation based on von Neuman's book
> (collection of lectures) "Automata Theory" (circa early 50s).

> He defines an automaton as a set of interacting parts that work together
> to perform a task. He then defines the information content of an automaton
> to be the fewest number of bits required to describe this automaton
> in a way that the task will be accomplished. Thefor, if something has
> more parts, or the positioning of the parts requires more precision and
> therefor more decimal places in the number, it contains more information.

> So, we can ask about interacting systems: how did evolution introduce
> this information?

> Through mutation? Driven largely by the same cosmic radiation that puts
> noise -- and reduces the information content -- of radio transmissions?

> Perhaps you'd argue through "survival of the fittest", eliminating the
> parts of the noise that are not useful. But this would require this
> filtering process to know something about the function of the final
> automaton (see our definition of "information content of an automaton".)

> We see this latter point in the writing of genetic software, which
> uses an evolution-like method of mutating approximate solutions into
> better ones. They inevitably have a "fit-ness function", something that
> determines probability of this particular solution being used in future
> "generations". And the fitness function is written by someone who knows
> some features of the ultimate solution. (Although not the solution itself,
> otherwise, why go through all this?)

There's also a whole discussion of how this is a refinement of the
"decreasing entropy" version of the argument by design, which itself
is a refinement of the Rambam's discussion of useful form.

Back to the original discussion:
: I find find slow incremental evolution (undirected or otherwise) hard
: to fit into the Torah (i.e. perek alef and bes of Bereishis).]

But if pereq alef and beis describe the metaphysical causal chain
rather than the physical one, there is no overlap which could fail
to fit.

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
micha@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 23:07:22 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
RYH on Moshe's first-luchos stay on Har Sinai

In a beautiful s'udah-shlishis d'var Torah this past Shabbos (i.e. some
hours ago), a JEC-of-Elizabeth member quoted from a translation of "The
Kuzari" that, according to R'Yehudah HaLevi ("RYH"), Moshe Rabbainu
("MRah") told b'nai Yisrael ("bY") he would only be on Har Sinai for
one day. That concept baffled me (not only because it contradicts a
Talmudic opinion on what MRah told them [quoted by RaShY on Shmos 32:1]
but also, and more pointedly, because it seems illogical to imply that
some component of the people, knowing MRah said he would be back the
next day, rebelled for/after 30-something days such that their activity
coincidentally came to a head just before MRah came down after the 40
days&nights recorded in Shmos 24:18), and it also made no sense to a
talmid chacham ("RYD" [not YDubitsky, who also is a talmid chacham and
who might be able to help us, see below...]) sitting across the table
from me. Tonight, RYD looked at the ibn Tibbon and Genizi (forgive me
if I misspelled his name) translations from the original Arabic, as
well as at two commentaries on the ibn Tibbon translation. That ibn
Tibbon translation uses the word "l'yomo," which could be understood
as meaning that MRah gave bY the precise time he would be returning
(and perhaps the precise day, as per the BT and RaShY and as held by
the one commentary) or as meaning that he would return soon (which
is how the other commentary understood it, in line with RaLBaG, who
comments on Shmos 32 that MRah said he would be back in 2 or 3 days -- we
didn't find this opinion as baffling as the one proposed by the English
translation noted above, even though it contradicts the BT statement,
because when you say you'll be gone for a few days without being very
precise and your brother does a good job stalling [e.g. "get the gold
jewelry from your wives" and your wives don't want to part with same],
it's possible that the stalling lasted 30-something days). Genizi doesn't
use that word -- in fact, his translation of the Arabic indicates that,
according to RYH, MRah didn't mention any specific time or day at all.
Sof sof, I have a request and a question:

1- If anyone has access to the Arabic manuscript and can check what RYH
actually wrote in Part I, stanza 97, 3rd paragraph (here's where I'm
hoping for help from someone like RYDubitsky :-)) and if anyone with
or given such access could translate (RSM, perhaps, assuming he takes
a moment from the current Mesorah thread ;-)) or indicate the possible
meanings of the Arabic, we might gain valuable insight into why the
translators translated as they did.

2- Why would any English translator assume that RYH really meant to say
that MRah told bY he would be gone for exactly one day?

Advance thanks to all (including the JEC member who gave the d'var Torah
and is bcc:ed) for their help in this minor matter.

All the best from
 - Michael Poppers via RIM pager

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 14:30:38 +0000
From: simchag@att.net
Torah Trivia: Longest posuk in Chumish....revisited again

from a post 8 months ago: Devarim 13:6 = 32 words
from a post 2 months ago: Shemois 7:19 = 33 words
and this past Shabbos parshas Ki Siso we have Shemois 32:1 = 34 words
do i hear 35..anybody? 

Simcha G

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 09:16:28 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
4 amot/tfachim

The gm in sotah 44. has a machloket Bet Hille and Bet Shanai concerning
tumat hamet. It involves an antechamber/walkway . Rashi explains 4
amot is "chashiva makom latzma" and the 4 tefachim "havi makom chashuv
bchol duchta". Wecan all think of examples of each measure being used
but has anyone heard of a universal theory that explains why each would
be appropriate in certain cases?

Joel Rich

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 15:54:56 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Re: big letters in the Megil

From: Gershon Dubin gershon.dubin@juno.com
>>> Check the aseres benei Haman
>> Not if one has an '11-liner' megilah.
> Does the number of lines alter the mesorah of how large or small to write
> the letters?

I am not sure if I understand your question.

There is, AFAIK, some shittoh of the Gro that all letters [except those
that are supposed to be larger/smaller] be of the same size.

The problem is with the Aseres Bnei Homon.
Because they have to fill up one page - the megillos generally have them
in GIANT letters.

However, if the megillah has only 11 lines, then the ABH  -
which is in 11 lines - is written in normal size.


PS. I have mentioned before that when in Hobart, Tasmania, I saw an
old megilla which had the 'sheimos' [ie Roshei and Sofei Teivos - see
Emden Siddur and Komarno Chumash] in somewhat larger size than the usual
'font', but smaller than the Large letters.

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