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Volume 12 : Number 134

Wednesday, March 31 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 18:19:30 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book

Shinnar, Meir wrote:
>>The Rambam's principles have to make sense. A literal understanding of
>>the Rambam's principle would have to be rejected by the Rambam himself
>>since he acknowledges in Mishneh Torah that not all scrolls have identical
>>texts. An alternative being proposed is that the Rambam meant halachic
>>determination. Those scrolls which have been declared kosher by the
>>proper halachic procedure are to be viewed as the manifestation of the
>>Torah given on Sinai.

>This is an interesting approach to the internal contradictions of
>the ikkare emuna in the rambam. The facts that you point out are ones
>tha some have used to question the rambam's own commitment to the 13
>ikkarim. ...

>However, you are clearly unique (and, WADR, I find it a position hard to
>argue seriously) in arguing that as a philosophical principle, the rambam
>held that the text declared kosher by the proper halachic procedure are to
>be viewed as the manifestation of the Torah given on Sinai - a statement
>that concords, perhaps, with an understanding of hashgacha as per, say,
>the CI, but is quite at odds with the rambam's own understanding of
>hashgacha and the nature of the torah and moshe's nevua.

This view was stated by the Ginas Veradim. On what basis do you insist
that this view is "clearly unique" understanding of the Rambam? Do you
have any sources that specifically reject it?

>This is clearly the position of all current authorities. It is not
>clearly the position of the rambam in his ikkarim - which is at the
>heart of the issue of whether the ikkarim are truly accepted as normative.

If I understand you correctly - you acknowledge the validity of my
understanding of the principle of faith that Torah is from Heaven -
but you deny that the Rambam would agree with it. Your alternative is
that the Rambam simple created a principle of faith that he himself did
not believe!

The following constitutes the attitude I was taught in yeshiva towards
apparent contradictions. A casual dismissal of the Rambam's stated views
is simply not acceptable.

Seridei Aish( 1:113): I frequently explain the apparent contradiction
found in Avos(6:5) concerning those factors involved in acquiring Torah
i.e. pilpul of the students and emunas chachomim. Furthermore what does
emunas chachomim have to do with acquiring Torah? But the explanation
is that if one doesn't have certainty in the truth of the words of the
sages then one readily dismisses them for the slightest reason. With an
attitude of condescension one proclaims that they didn't know what they
were talking about. Consequently one makes no effort to investigate and
try to validate what they said. But in the end we find that in fact we
are the ones who have erred.. Therefore it is characteristic of the truly
wise to presume that the sages have not erred, chas v'shalom but we -
with our limited perspective and limited understanding - have. On the
other hand to blindly believe and not struggle to comprehend with our
intellect the apparent difficulties - saying simply that they knew and
we need merely to mindlessly rely on them - that is also not correct. We
need to wrestle mightily with the apparent contradictions and doubts as
if they are people like us. With this approach we will come to a much
profounder and sharper comprehension. Thus we see that both factors -
emunas chachomim and pilpul - working together to the end bring about
the acquisition of Torah.

>2) While there are few who would argue (except the plain understanding of
>the rambam) that use of a sefer torah based on a minority traditions is
>heretical, the gan veradim does say something important - he argues that
>such a sefer may even be used halachically, even though only bdiavad -
>which further vitiates the notion that there is some fundamental principle
>that the majority acceptance of the text grants it some fundamental status

The Ginas Veradim goes further and states that the halachic Torah is
to be viewed as the one from Sinai and that this approach is consistent
with the Rambam

Ginas Veradim (O.H. 2:6): According to the Torah one needs to follow
the majority in all matters - even though for a particular issue it is
possible and even likely that the result is not true. One follow the
majority even in such serious matters as marital issues which can cause
mamzerim....The Rambam's words concerning the valdity of a Sefer Torah
fit in well with this. Since we are trying to ascertain the correct text,
it is necessary to thoroughly examine all possible scrolls - and then
follow the majority. A Torah which has been corrected to follow this
majority view is considered as if it were the Torah which was given
on Sinai. Any deviation from this "majority" text is considered to be
completely invalid according to Torah law and it lacks the sanctity of
a Sefer Torah... The scribes from the previous generations worked hard
to determine an accurate text based on the principle of "majority"...
Therefore a Torah which has been corrected according to this established
text should not be modified. It should be viewed as the text that was
received from Sinai. Therefore any deviation from this standard accepted
text - even a small single letter - should not be used l'chatchila for
public reading. It should be viewed as an ordinary chumash as the Rambam
himself writes. However if it were used for public reading then one can
rely on those who are lenient and not require that the reading be done
over from the beginning...

The bottom line is that you can collect statements from various sources
which seem to be at odds with the Rambam and say that there is obviously
not universal agreement - approach of Prof Shapiro. Or you can say
that there is a high degree of agreement in the principles of emuna and
that differences are primarily the result of context - perspective or
audience. Prof Shapiro has much interesting material - but it simply does
not support his thesis. In a similar way Prof Kellner's data does not
support his related thesis concerning the principles of faith. Both of
them clearly have an agenda - Prof Shapiro's is described well by Prof
Woolf and that of Prof Kellner is described by Prof Norman Solomon in
"Three Books on Faith" Journal of Jewish Studies Spring 2001 v52 #1
page 146-154

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 07:31:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: The adoption of new practices

Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> The other question is to what extent does current intent matter. Is it
> okay to simply add to the ritual whatever one feels aids one's avodah. Or,
> should I be learning to align my religious needs to the rituals already
> extant.

> Judging from RHM's comments in the past here (and recently on Areivim
> against singing minyanim (except in the context of kiruv), I assume
> he leans toward the latter. 

I do lean toward the latter. But I do not exclude methods that truly
help to enhance our Kavanah. For example Teffilah B'Tzibur certainly
helps in that regard. When one Davens B'Yachid, it helps Kavanah
to eliminate distractions. It helps to focus on the Perush HaMilos
or to have a translation of the Teffilos handy. It even helps if the
Shaliach Tzibur is sincere and that sincerety is reflected in his voice
and melody. It helps if the Shatz is tearful during a Nesane Tokef. All
these are legitmate enhancements of Kavanah. But is it legitmate to say
that a Minyan dedicated to one man's music falls into the same category
as the items I listed above?

I don't think so.


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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 08:33:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
RE: G-d's existence

"Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca> wrote:
> RHM wrote:
>> But science has conclusively proven that the age of the universe is far
>> more than 6000 years old. So some Gedolim have gone to sources dating
>> back to the Talmud and have included medieval and recent commentators
>> to support a formula theologically compatible with the scienticfic data
>> which places the age of the universe at about 15 billion years. 

> Science has not "conclusively" proven this. That would be a nave view
> of the limitations of science and current theories.

OK. I'm cool with that.

I shouldn't have used the word "conclusively". I realize that it is
quite the nature of science to change current theory as soon as data
becomes available disproving it and supporting new theory.

But I do believe that it is STILL genearlly assumed by most scientists
(and even some Jewish scientist/theologins like Rabbi Dr. A. Kaplan, ZL)
that the universe is 15 billions years old based on our current data. We
may be off a billion here or a billion there, but who really cares?


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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 21:50:05 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: G-d's existence

On Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 06:30:21AM -0800, Harry Maryles wrote:
: But science has conclusively proven that the age of the universe is far
: more than 6000 years old. So some Gedolim have gone to sources dating
: back to the Talmud and have included medieval and recent commentators
: to support a formula theologically compatible with the scienticfic data
: which places the age of the universe at about 15 billion years. Rabbi
: Aryeh Kaplan did a masterful job in explaining that compatibilty.

I think you're misportaying the history of the rabbinic position.

In fact, if we look at chazal, rishonim, and acharonim who lived before
Darwin, far more assume that Bereishis 1 doesn't specify a time for the
start of creation than don't.

If anything, with the scientific challenge, and the non-O fleeing to
reject whatever they could when challenged by modern opinion, we dug in
our heals. The challenge caused *more* of us to insist on a literal week,
not less!

I even posted (and reposted) a survey of opinions to demonstrate this


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: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 21:45:19 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book

On Sun, Mar 28, 2004 at 01:28:32PM -0500, David Riceman wrote:
:> Actually, they'd have to rule him a tinoq shenishba even without the
:> CI. The CI generalized it to say that the post Haskalah kofeir is always
:> a tinoq shenishba legabei moridin, he didn't invent the heter in general.

: I don't know how you see this in either the Hazon Ish or in the case we're
: discussing. The postulated case was a machloketh about kefirah. If he
: knows that both opinions exist he's certainly not a tinok shenishba.

You're certain, I'm not. If he knows both opinions exist, and was lead
to believe he could be meiqil, in the opinion of the machmirim he was

: The Hazon Ish does not explain his psak (no mention there of tinok
: shenishba), nor does he predicate it on the haskalah (though I tried to
: explain it in a way that might fit the haskalah). He predicates it on
: the absence of nisim gluyim.

For some reason I thought his pesaq about the lack of koferim was because
of the haskalah. But in either case, I don't think it's necessary.

I would argue that someone who is trying to follow halakhah and was
taught something that you believe is wrong is at most beshogeig,
which would rule out his being a kofeir anyway.


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: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 22:32:04 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
FWD from TorahWeb: Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Torah and Nevuah

Apropos the discussion of RaMBaM's ikrai emunah....
 -- Michael Poppers via RIM pager

 ----- Original Message -----
From: torahweb
Sent: 03/30/2004 09:30 PM
To: weekly12@torahweb.org
Subject: Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Torah and Nevuah

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Rabbi Hershel Schachter - Torah and Nevuah

Rashi in his commentary on the opening possuk in Parshas Tzav quotes from
the Toras Kohanim that the term "mitzvah" has a technical connotation. It
refers specifically to an obligation which is binding throughout all
the generations. From time to time in the past we had nevi'im who would
instruct our people to perform specific horo'as sha'ah which were
not intended to be of a lasting nature. These were never considered
"mitzvos", technically speaking. Our tradition has it (Megilla 2b)
that the only prophet who gave over "mitzvos", i.e. obligations which
are binding throughout all generations, was Moshe Rabbeinu.

This does not mean to imply that every instruction of Moshe Rabbeinu was
a "mitzvah". Many of his prophecies were also only intended as horo'as
sha'ah. The instruction to knock on the next door neighbor's door on erev
Pesach of the exodus and to ask for gifts was an obligation only once in
the history of the world. The instructions regarding not leaving over the
mohn only applied during those forty years while traveling in the midbor.

The Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 9:2) understands the mishna in Sanhedrin
(89a) as saying that one who violates the instructions of a novi deserves
misa beyedei shomayim. The Minchas Chinuch (#516) is bothered with a
most obvious problem: wasn't Moshe Rabbeinu a novi? It should therefore
follow that anyone who violates any Biblical law given by Moshe Rabbeinu
ought to deserve this punishment of misa beyedei shomayim! How can that
be? The list of aveiros which warrant this punishment appears in the
Talmud (Sanhedrin 83a), and is very brief. Why should Moshe Rabbeinu be
inferior to other prophets, that "over al divrei navi" should apply only
to the other prophets, and bedavka not to Moshe?

Various suggestions were offered over the years in response to this issue.
(see shaylus u'teshuvos Tzafnas Paneach, by Rav Yosef Rozen, 138:5.) The
generally accepted approach today is that which was offered by Rav
Soloveitchik over sixty years ago (see Divrei Hagos V'Ha'aracha, pg. 66.
See Minchas Yisroel, by Rav Yisroel Shurun, pg. 22). "Ho'over al divrei
novi" only applies to one who violates a hora'as sha'ah. One who would
leave over some mohn until the morning, in violation of the instructions
of Moshe Rabbeinu, would indeed deserve misa beydei shomayim. But the
"mitzvos", with a binding force for all generations, and which were
only given by Moshe Rabbeinu, are not included in this category. They
have their own system which has its own hierarchy of punishments. "Over
al divrei novi" applies only to one who violates a "dvar nevuah". Some
of Moshe Rabbeinu's instructions were "divrei nevuah", while most were
elevated to the level of "divrei Torah" and "mitzvah" because of their
binding force for all generations.

In the first half of the Sefer Hamitzvos, Rambam postulates what he
considers the fourteen principles which he feels determine whether any
given commandment deserves to be included in the list of the 613 mitzvos.
His third guideline is that only obligations which apply throughout all
the generations are considered mitzvos. This principle is rooted in the
passage of the Toras Kohanim cited in the Rashi mentioned above.

In his commentary to the mishnayos (end of Sanhedrin), Rambam lists
what he considers are the thirteen principles of our faith. We believe
in prophecy. It is possible for G-d to communicate with man[1]. We also
believe that the prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu was on a higher level than
that of any of the other prophets. What does this mean? Is Rambam grading
the prophets? If Moshe Rabbeinu gets an A+, what does Micha get? And
what grade does Chavakuk deserve?

No, this is not a matter of grading Moshe's prophecy. What Rambam means to
say is that the only prophet who was ever given mitzvos (with a binding
force for all future generations) was Moshe Rabbeinu. His was the only
prophecy that was on the level of Torah.

This point is spelled out explicitly in Rambam's commentary to mishnayos
Chulin at the end of Gid Hanoshe. Even the mitzvos of milah and gid
hanoshe which were given to Avraham Avinu and to Yaakov Avinu are not
binding today because of Avraham's prophecy, or that of Yaakov; but rather
because these commandments were given again later on to Moshe Rabbeinu.
Only then did they acquire the status of "mitzvos". Before ma'amad har
Sinai, milah was only a "dvar nevuah", and one who would not fulfill
this obligation would deserve misa beydei shomayim. This explains the
incident recorded in Parshas Shmos, where the angel came to kill Moshe
for neglecting to perform the milah of his son. At that time milah was
not yet (strictly speaking) a mitzvah, and as a "dvar nevuah" one who
would violate it would have the status of "over al divrei navi".

Another one of the Rambam's thirteen principles of faith is that the laws
of the Torah are immutable. In recent years this has been a fundamental
point of distinction between Orthodoxy and other groups.

This principle requires a bit of elaboration. Just because we believe in
Torah min hashomayim, why does it necessarily follow that all the Torah
laws are immutable? What would be so bad if G-d would notify us, by way of
His prophets, that due to changing circumstances some of the mitzvos no
longer apply? Why do we assume that any prophet who would deliver such a
prophecy is automatically labeled as a navi sheker and deserves the death
penalty (Rambam Yesodei HaTorah 9:4)? Why such an obstinate insistence
on the part of the Orthodox that all the Torah laws are immutable?

The explanation is given by the author of the Tanya as well as Rav Chayim
of Volozhin who both develop the identical theme. The Torah is not merely
a collection of laws. In its entirety it constitutes a description of
G-d's essence. Of course we can't really comprehend His essence. One of
the Jewish philosophers of the middle ages commented that, "if I would
understand Him, I would be Him." The only one who can understand Elokus
is G-d Himself. Nonetheless, He gave us the Torah which by way of moshol
(analogy) constitutes a description of Elokus. It is for this reason that
the Torah is described as "The Moshol HaKadmoni", the moshol of Hakadosh
Baruch Hu (see Rashi to Parshas Mishpatim 21:!3). Rav Chaim of Volozhin
comments, it would probably be better to say that the Torah is a moshol
of a moshol of Elokus, as opposed to assuming that it has a direct moshol.

The prophet Malachi (3:6) tells us that G-d's essence never changes.
Everything in the creation is subject to change, but G-d the Creator
never changes.

Since our tradition has it that the Torah is a description (even if
only by way of moshol) of Elokus, and the prophet Malachi tells us that
G-d's essence can not be affected by change, it therefore follows that
the laws of the Torah can never change. The Torah (Beha'aloscha 12:8)
distinguishes between the level of prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu and that
of the other prophets. Moshe was the only prophet "who was shown the
image of G-d." What can this possibly be referring to? We believe that
G-d has no body - there is no "image of G-d"!

What the possuk is driving at is exactly the principle we developed above.
Moshe Rabbeinu was the only prophet who was given what we technically
refer to as "mitzvos", commandments which are binding throughout all
the future generations, because they constitute the description of G-d's
essence, which is not subject to change. None of the prophets were ever
shown "the image of G-d", i.e., were never given "mitzvos". They were
only given a "hora'as sha'ah", of a temporary nature only.

The concept of "continuing revelation" developed by certain members
of the Conservative movement is totally unacceptable. It is in clear
contradiction to the Rambam's thirteen principles of faith which
have been accepted. There certainly is a concept of "lifnim mishuras
hadin", that one goes further than the halacha requires, all in the same
direction as indicated by the Torah. But one cannot go contrary to the
halacha and consider that lifnim mishuras hadin. The concept of "lifnim
mishuras hadin" only applies when one is going in the same direction as
the halacha requires, but even past the point of requirement. When one
acts contrary to the din, this does not constitute chassidus.

There will always be instances where there will be a clash between two 
contradictory mitzvos. Life is always full of conflict! The world is 
always full of contradictions! Much of the halachic literature deals with 
how to resolve halachic conflicts. We must follow halacha even when it 
appears to us to be unethical or immoral. The Holy One who implanted 
within us the sense of ethics and morality is the same One who commanded 
us to follow His halachos, even if we don't understand them.

[1] Man's ability to communicate with G-d (by way of prayer) is also
included in this principle: There is communication between G-d and man.

Copyright  2004 by The TorahWeb Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 22:13:47 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Teshuvah of non-Jews

In last week's MmD <http://www.aishdas.org/mesukim/5764/vayikra.pdf>, RGS
writes about R' Itzele Petersburger's chiluq between the aspect of teshuvah
that is mishpat, vs that which is choq (my terms, not his). He concludes:
> With this, we can understand why Gentiles are excluded from reciting
> viduy on a korban. While every person can stop sinning and bring a
> sacrifice to G-d in pursuit of atonement, reciting viduy is part of the
> atonement process only because G-d commanded it. To the Gentile, who is
> not subject to this commandment, the viduy is unrelated and external to
> his reaction to sin. To the Jew, however, it is an obligation and the
> final step in the teshuvah process.

RGS's resolution only shtims with the Narvoni's position (see my column
in the same issue), that qorbanos express an innate human need. And like
like the Ramban/Ibn Ezra, that they are commanded as a kofeir nafsho.

Second, I don't see why confession is unrelated. The authors of the 12
Step Program saw the importance of confession without a tzivui. The RCC
also realized the value of confession, as does pyschotherapy, etc... Is
it really something someone who only do because it's nitztaveh and not
as a natural part of teshuvah?

I also so not understand the assumption that nachriim are more obligated
in mitzvos they could deduce on their own than any other of the 7
mitzvos. After all, according to the Rambam even the 7 mitzvos require
the lishmah of beind because they were given as such in Sinai.


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: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 13:11:07 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: omek pshuto shel mikra

Arie Folger wrote:
>RYGB wrote:
>>I agree with RAF that the Ramban did not think he was offering another
>>equally valid viewpoint, but rejecting Rashi. So did R' Tzadok. R' Tzadok
>>is addressing how a 19th century acharon MUST perceive the disagreement.
>>Kal vachomer a 21st century "acharon."

>Ah. This is very far frfom the theory RML suggested, of a Semitic
>perspective of logic and truth which is oh so different from the
>Yeffetic perspective. What RYGB is saying, is that there may or may
>not be compatibility between the positions of, say, Ramban and Rashi,
>and in the latter case, alibi dishmaya, one may be right while the
>other may be wrong (or, as a concession to RMB, both may be somewhat
>right, although that implies that both are also somewhat wrong, if they
>stated their positions as mutually exclusive. ...

>However, argues RYGB (and that is a solid position), we shouldn't freely
>take sides. Rather, we should keep in mind that there are two compelling
>options, and respect both.

If I am following this line of reasoning correctly - the obligation
to view both sides of a debate as true is simply a pragmatic rule to
maintain the authority of rishonim. In fact one side is correct and the
other wrong but we are not allowed to say such a thing. If so, this is
the view of the rishonim - and the Igros Moshe. But I doubt it is the
view of Rav Tzadok, Michtav M'Eliyahu etc etc.

Chinuch(496): We are enjoined not to dispute the authorities of the Oral
Law, not to change their words and not even to avoid fulfilling their
commands regarding any aspect of the Torah. Concerning this the Torah
(Devarim 17:11) says: You shall not turn aside from that which they
tell you right or left. The Sifre (Devarim 154) explains: Not to turn
aside - this is a Torah prohibition. The reason for this commandment is
the fact that the views and understandings of people concerning issues
are not identical. In other words, you will not find total agreement on
an issue amongst a large group of people. G‑d knew that if everyone
was given the authority to follow his own interpretation of the Torah,
each person would understand the Torah differently and there would
be a large number of disagreements between Jews. Consequently instead
of having a single Torah there would be many Torahs. (This is similar
to what I wrote concerning the need for the principle of majority rule
Mishptatim #75). Therefore G-d, the Master of all wisdom, made our Torah
of Truth complete by commanding us to obey the true understanding of
our Sages. We are to obey not only our ancient sages but those of each
generations. That is because the sages in each generation have received
their words and drunk the water from their books and have toiled mightily
day and night to understand the depths of their words and the wonder of
their views. With this principle of agreement we have the path of truth to
knowing the Torah, while without it we will be ensnared by our thoughts
and poor understanding and not succeed at all. As an indication of the
greatness and truthfulness of this mitzva, our sages (Sifre) have said
that we are to obey our Torah authorities even if they say to you that
right is left and the left is right. In other words, even if they are
mistaken in one issue they are not to be disobeyed but their error must be
followed. It is better to suffer from this one error in order to assure
that everything is always under their authority. The alternative is that
everyone follows his own opinion which will result in the destruction
of the religion and anarchy and ultimately the complete loss of the
entire people. Because of this the determination of the correct meaning
of the Torah has been given to the Torah authorities and amongst these
authorities the governing principle is that the minority must submit
to the view of the majority for the same reason. And illustration of
this principle is found in the astounding Bava Metzia (59b) concerning
the dispute between R' Eliezar and the Oven of Achnai. It states that
Eliyahu was asked what G-d was doing during the dispute. He answered that
He smiled and said My children have triumphed over me. G-d was happy that
His children followed the way of the torah and its command to always obey
majority rule. This that it says there My children have triumphed over Me
obviously is not meant literally - Heaven forbid! The explanation is that
in this dispute the truth was in fact with R' Eliezar as was testified to
by the Heavenly Voice (bas kol). Therefore even though the truth was with
R' Eliezar but since his thinking was too profound for them and they did
not want to concede to him even after the bas kol. Their claim was that
the Torah clearly establishes the requirement to listen to the majority
always whether their position is true or they are mistaken. That is why
G-d said that My children triumphed over me. In other words since they
have deviated from the path of the truth which R' Eliezar had determined
- and not them - they asserted their authority based upon the principle
of majority rule. Therefore it had to be concede that in this case truth
was vanquished and it was like the Master of Truth was vanquished.

I would like to have a source - other than the introduction of the
Igros Moshe - where such a pragmatic rational is given by anyone in
the last 200 years. In particular does Rav Tzadok state anywhere that
despite Ramban viewing that Rashi as simply wrong - we are obligated to
view both as correct? In other words, I am not disagreeing that such an
approach exists - I am merely questioning whether Rav Tzadok and other
contemporary authorities hold such a view.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 11:59:04 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Omek Pshuto

> Ah. This is very far frfom the theory RML suggested, of a Semitic
> perspective of logic and truth which is oh so different from the
> Yeffetic perspective. What RYGB is saying, is that there may or may
> not be compatibility between the positions of, say, Ramban and Rashi,
> and in the latter case, alibi dishmaya, one may be right while the other
> may be wrong (or, as a concession to RMB, both may be somewhat right,
> although that implies that both are also somewhat wrong, if they stated
> their positions as mutually exclusive. ...

I do not think that it is pragmatic; rather, what I believe is that Rashi
and Ramban disagree in two issues. One is whether the pashat is thus
or thus but also what the premises to define pshat are. For example,
one might see the definition of pshat differently than the other and,
therefore, come out with a different explanation. He will then attack the
position of the other as not being pshat but their real disagreement lies
in methodology or approach. Ramban would not need to be concerned about
Rashi's assumptions.A Rishon does not need to learn up the position of
his equal but an acharon, such as we ourselves, would be obligated to
unearth the underlying disagreement. That under-the -surface disagreemnt
is subject ot the concept of eilu veilu. Or, one might see an explanation
for a certain act as residing in the mores of the time, as Radak often
does, while the other might see a hashkafic point.

M. Levin

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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 21:55:05 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: chametz in the kinneret

On Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 07:50:00PM +0300, proptrek wrote:
: distilling by evaporation does not un-hhamets it - think whiskey.

One distills whisky to get the alcohol. IOW, to get the product of the
grain and yeast. What is being distilled out is arguably assur because
it's made from the chameitz, or at least the chameitz is goreim.

Distilling water would be to get the water and leave behind the chameitz.

I don't see the comparison.


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: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 17:48:28 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: R. Elyashiv on pesach

<<< The minhag to leave jerusalem on erev pesach has no basis>>>

<<< i heard of this minhag...and i was told that the taam has to do with
being clasified as on a 'derech rechokoh' when the zman hakrovas korban
pesach arrives>>>

May I presume that those who "leave jerusalem on erev pesach" don't
return until chol hamoed? If they do return on erev pesach afternoon,
then they're no longer b'derech rechokah, so what have they gained?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 17:14:01 +0200
From: Dov Bloom <dovb@netvision.net.il>
Re: R Elyashiv on Pesach (leaving Jerusalem)

>Re: R Elyashiv on Pesach 
>>> 26. The minhag to leave jerusalem on erev pesach has no basis
>RCS and RTK wrote:
>> Never heard of this.... 
>i heard of this minhag...and i was told that the taam has to do with
>being clasified as on a derech rechoka when the zman hakrovas korban
>pesach arrives....so as to able to be makriv a pesach sheini k'sheyiboneh
>hamikdosh bimheiroh.....

The "derech rechoka" part is correct, but it has to do with Pesach Rishon, not Pesach Sheni.  

The reason is as follows: 
See Misna Eduyot perek het: Rabbi Yehoshua : "makrivin af al pi she-ain bayit, ochlin kodshei kodoshim af al pi she-ayn kela'im /... (also Zevachim 107, Shavuot 16)
Rambam Hilchot Beit Habechira Perek 6 Hal. 15 "le-fichach makrivin kol(!) hakorbanot af al pi she-ain sham Bayit banui..."

Since the Korban Pesach can be brought without a mizbeach, we are chayav now to bring the Korban Pesach, and one who does not do so, but is in or near Yerushalayim (not on a derech rechoka) on erev Pesach , is chayav KARET!!

Even if we don't bring other korbanot, they are an issur Aseh. Not a Karet. 

In the year 5597 ( 1897) Rav Tzvi Hirch Kalisher started an extensive
correspondence about bringing "korbanot bizman hazeh" with his Rebbe
Muvhak, one of the gedolim of that time, R Akiva Eiger. The back and
forth letters between Kalisher, RAE, and the Chatam Sofer, RAE's son in
law are brought down in "Derishat Tzion" of RTHK.
RTHK's position is laid out in his "Maamar HaAvoda" starting on p.
kuf caf bet of the Mossad HaRavKook edition of Derishat Tzion. The next
section "Maamar Kadishin" includes RAE's and RTHK continuing discussions
back and forth and answers from the Chatam Sofer, and RTHK's answers
after the CS's answers. See especially the end of the CS's tshuva on
page Kuf Mem Bet, where he seems to agree with RTHK about Korban Pesach
but not about other korbanot" ve-af im haya lanu reshut ... gam yihye
rak letoelet le-pesachim".
The gist is that the Chatam Sofer / RAE also), finally (maybe) agreed with RTHK as far as korban Pesach goes, that we could bring it bezman haze. RTHK held that also other korbanot could be brought now also. 
The sticking point (then) was that RTHK had a dream of trying to get
Rothchild and other wealthy Jews to buy land in Eretz Yisrael, especially
the mekom hamikdash. And they never did. And since 1967 Medinat Yisrael
has not allowed Jews to bring korban Peasach on the Mekom Hamikdash,
even though they don't have to ask the sultan's permission any more.
But the fact that the Moslem Waqf doesn't like the idea of Jews bringing
korbanot , that is only a technical "me-akeiv", not a halachik one
according to those that hold KP can be brought.

So in order to save oneself from an Issur Karet (even a safek issur karet)
there are people who leave Jlem on Erev Pesach.

That is what R Elyashiv is referring to, the chashash of an issur Karet.

After all, Pesach is a time for many humrot because of the Issur
Karet of Hametz - and inumerable such humrot have been discussed on
Avodah. (Kitniot, gebrochtz, wells and the kinneret, cleaning walls.. and
most of them have not much to do with a real Issur Karet, because the
Issur Karet is for eating a Kezayit. And we all know how big a kezayit
is.. don't we?
So this is a humra based on the _other_ Pesach Issur Karet.

( there is a new edition of Derishat Tzion
edited by Yehuda Etzion. reviewed in Hebrew at
http://www.eretzhemdah.org/hemdatyamimheb/5763/pekudei63/book.htm. My
quotes are from the older Mossad Harav Kook Edition edited by Klausner
in 5724.)

[Email #2. -mi]

The Chatam Sofer allowing bringing "korban Pesach bazman hazah" can be
found in Shut Chatam Sofer (chelek bet - Yore Deah) siman 236

Dov A Bloom

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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:22:43 -0800
From: "Newman,Saul Z" <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org>
pesach wine

this wine writer discusses mvushal and other problems in the kosher wine
industry. but in a sense it is irrelevant to the shomrei mitzvot--- we
after all barely taste the 4 kosot in their haste down the gullet to be
yotze all speed deot--- taste is irrelevant and maybe detrimental... the
only thing relevant is the alcohol content and hoping we get thru the
seder/ get to shul on time the next day. gourmet wine for pesach is like
those who now make a haroset buffet [ by non O , they may have a number
of ethnic harosets as part of the feast]--- it's really only relevant
to the nonO.....

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