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Volume 12 : Number 136

Friday, April 2 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 19:14:58 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org>
personal tefilos

[The following was an outgrowth of a back-and-forth on Areivim between
RHM and myself:

> IIRC, RYGB touched on the subject of prayer (that is... whether
> individuals are allowed to compose their own prayers of Shevach
> for HaShem Yisborach) during his tenure here in Chicago.

> Not only that, but he's written his own zemiros for the Shabbos
> table. See <http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/zemiros.pdf>.

> From what I can see, there  is no specific Shvach for HaKadish Baruch
> Hu. It is more "matter of fact" and seems to be descriptive of and
> thankful for Shabbos... such as hte refference to the Sherashim of
> Menucha stemming from Olam Habah.

> I did not know that RYGB had such lyrical talent. He never mentioned
> this Zmirah to us here in Chicago. Perhaps the words in this Zemer
> have sources in Midrashim or Kabbalah? Perhaps RYGB could tell us
> about its origins?

[RYGB rose to the challenge (bait? <g>) and wrote the following about
coposing liturgy in general, and about the zemiros under discussion. -mi]

The kepeidah against new tefillos is unique, as far as I know, to Bais
Brisk, and may be even more unique to the American branch of Bais Brisk.
That is why RYBS opposed the introduction of new kinnos on Churban Europe,
and that is also why the Chicago Brisk Yeshiva, although it says the Mi
SheBeirach l'Tzahal, takes out Shem HaShem (as kind of a compromise). They
also do not say Shem Hashem in Zemiros (I am not sure many Briskers even
sing zemiros!). I believe RHS in his sefer on RYBS may cite something
about this issue.

Rov minyan u'binyan Am Yisroel, OTOH, does hold of being mechadeish
tefillos and zemiros and it has been done throughout the generations.

My Friday night zemer is intended as a bakkasha to Hashem to instill our
Shabbos with the right spirit and atmosphere. Since I may be poetical,
but not musical, I did not write a tune, and just use Carlebach's
"V'hayu l'meshisah."

The Shabbos morning zemer is far more complex. It is a synopsis of the
agaddos, primarily in the perek named for R' Akiva ["b'perek sarsur
Toras ha'Mishnah"] in Mesechta Shabbos that discuss Mattan Torah since
"b'Shabbos nitna ha'Torah." It also incorporates some of the Maharal/R'
Tzadok insights, such as the interpretation of "kaffah aleihem har
k'gigis" as "heirimu ummah mei'al la'bechirah." Here too I use a Carlebach
niggun, the one he uses in the Shabbos in Shomayim for the second part
of Lecha Dodi.

Both zemiros are written as acrostics. The Shabbos morning one also
attempts, to the best of my ability, to adhere to the medieval meter,
which IIRC consists of tenuah and yased patterns.


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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:58:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: personal tefilos

"Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org> wrote:
> The kepeidah against new tefillos is unique, as far as I know, to
> Bais Brisk... 
> Rov minyan u'binyan Am Yisroel, OTOH, does hold of being mechadeish
> tefillos and zemiros and it has been done throughout the generations.

> My Friday night zemer is intended as a bakkasha to Hashem to instill our 
> Shabbos with the right spirit and atmosphere. 

I seem to recall a conversation in our Daf Yomi Shiur (...perhaps related
to Nishmas on Shabbos?) wherein it was stated somehow that only the
AKHG were permitted to write Teffilos of Shevach and that we are not.
Bakashos OTOH are permitted, and even encouraged. Also, perhaps permirtted
is a "synopsis of the agaddos, primarily in the perek named for R' Akiva"
and other like synopses of various writings of Chazal. It is the idea
of composing novel Shvachos to HaShem which seem problematic due to our
inablity to properly praise God. Is there no Shita like this?

As you mentioned, your Zemer is intended as a bakkasha and not a Shevach.


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Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:54:29 +0300
From: "proptrek" <ruthwi@macam.ac.il>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book

> : He predicates it on
> : the absence of nisim gluyim.
בבואנו להורות למדינת היהודים סדרי הנהגת הציבור אין לנו להתעלם מהימצא בתוכה רבים מהמורדים והפושעים בה' שעדיין לא נבררו, ולא עוד אלא שמחוסרי הכיפה מושלים בה בכיפה. וכבר כתב החזון איש [יו"ד סימן ב ס"ק טז] „ונראה דאין דין מורידין אלא בזמן שהשגחתו יתברך גלויה כמו בזמן שהיו נסים מצויין ומשמש בת קול וצדיקי הדור תחת השגחה פרטית ונראית לעין כל” (לפי דבריו משמע שהיה כך בימי הרמב"ם, הטור, השו"ע והב"ח), „והכופרים אז הוא בנליזות מיוחדות בהטיית היצר לתאוות והפקרות” (מה שאינו כן בימינו המתוקנים) „ואז היה ביעור רשעים גדרו של עולם שהכל ידעו כי הדחת הדור מביא פ!
רענויות לעולם ומביא דבר וחרב ורעב בעולם, אבל בזמן ההעלם שנכרתה האמונה מן דלת העם אין במעשי הורדה גדר הפרצה אלא הוספת הפרצה שיהיה בעיניהם כמעשה השחתה ואלמות ח"ו, וכיון שכל עצמנו לתקן אין הדין נוהג בשעה שאין בו תיקון ועלינו להחזירם בעבותות אהבה ולהעמידם בקרן אורה במה שידינו מגעת”, ובסוף אותו סימן [ס"ק כח] מוסיף החזון איש נימוק על זה, לאמור שעל פי ההגהות מיימוניות [הלכ' דעות פרק ו] אין חומרת דינם חלה על הרשעים עד שיוכיחו אותם ולא יקבלו, ואחרי שהתפרסם שאין בדורותינו מי שיודע להוכיח ממילא הם עדיין בדין „לפני תוכחה”; ולמי שגדלו והתחנכו בדעות משובשו!
ת נותן החזון איש דין „תינוק שנשבה” – 
וראיותיו שם, והגם שיש להשיב על פרטים מהם, יש לומר שבעל כרחנו אנחנו עם אחד ואם לא נדע להתנהג כיושבים בסירה אחת נתבשל חלילה ושלום כולנו בסיר אחד.

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Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 11:08:40 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Torah never changing

Kohn, Shalom wrote:
>How do we square "the law of the Torah can never change" with the
>teachings that in the future, for example, the only chag that will
>survive is Purim, or (per the Rambam in Moreh, albeit not in Yad), that
>the korbanot will be unnecessary, or (to a lesser degree) that halacha
>will be like Beis Shammai, or the argument (recited in the seder) about
>whether yetziat mitzraim will be recited as part of the shma after the
>arrival of Moshiach? ...

See Radvaz (3:643 #1065) who discusses this in relation to why there is
no punctuation in the Sefer Torah

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 10:21:50 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Ikkarim of Dwarfs

: 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.

Actually, I believe that in his chidushim in the beginning of Y.D., he
says that nowadays we have to decide it on a case by case basis to see
if the individual is akofer or tinok shenishba. I assume that factors
such as upbringing, community of origin, education and psychological
maturity would all go into such an evaluation.

M. Levin

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Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 13:29:41 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book

From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> 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.

Now I'm very confused. We started with RGS claiming that the 13 Ikkarim
demarcate normative Jews from heretics. Lately both you and RGS are
distinguishing between heresy and heretics. But if I'm entitled to believe
these things without legal penalty in what sense are they heresy? After
all, we're talking about beliefs here. Anyone who believes them is
sincere about it (that's what the word means). If sincerity implies
shogeig implies not-a-kofeir than the rules are a dead letter.

To re-ask RGS's question: would you eat the shechita of a
kofeir beshogeig? Why or why not? What if his kefirah was taluy
b'machloketh? What precisely is a kofeir beshogeig? Where can I look up
halachoth about him?

David Riceman

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Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 22:11:02 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book

On Thu, Apr 01, 2004 at 01:29:41PM -0500, David Riceman wrote:
:> 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.

: Now I'm very confused. We started with RGS claiming that the 13 Ikkarim
: demarcate normative Jews from heretics. Lately both you and RGS are
: distinguishing between heresy and heretics...

Actually, I was careful about it for quite a while. I just needed to
point it out mid-conversation.

A couple of clarifications:

I would not say that the 13 ikkarim demarcate normative Jews. Rather, the
13 ikkarim demarcate normative Judaism. It's rare that we have to judge
other Jews, and we should really avoid it except where necessary. However,
in defining who is a kofeir (or min or apiqoreis), we look at whether the
belief is kefirah and whether the person is blamable for that belief. So,
the 13 ikkarim are part of that definition.

One advantage of my favorite case, geirus, is that one wouldn't convert
a person who believes in kefirah regardless of the issue of culpability.

Second, what we find is being used for halakhah lema'aseh isn't really
the Rambam's 13 ikkarim. And I mean this in three senses:

1- The ikkarim are broader than the Rambam's own hashkafah. IOW, one
could conform to the Rambam's ikkarim in peirush hamishnayos without
believing exactly as the Rambam does on each of the 13 topics.

(For that matter, how much of his comments within peirush hamishnayos
was explacation of why the belief is meaningful, rather than details of
its parameters? There's a limitation in trying to deduce halakhah from
a peirush.)

2- Second, and more significantly, the ani ma'amin and yigdal versions
appear to have had as much impact on the definition of kefirah used
lehalakhah as the Rambam's original.

I actually make a point of broadening the boarders of the 13 ikkarim
beyond the Maimonidian limits in the bit of the membership agreement
for this list quoted in RMShapiro's book:
> As an overview: The parameters of "darchei noam" and the Rambam's Thirteen
> Principles of Belief (and/or The Ani Ma'amins and/or the Yigdal) are
> baseline standards for our discussion group.

3- Last, the topic is different. The Rambam is explaining who is a
Yisrael for the purposes of explaining the mishnah "Kol Yisrael yeish
lahem Cheileq". A philosophical question. We're discussing what beliefs
comprise part of the definition of kofeir (or min or apiqoreis) in
cases where we need to decide things lema'aseh.

I think there is much talking across eachother between those who are
discussing the philosophical question and those discussing the lema'aseh.

However, the limits of O, and of what we ought to teach and promote,
is a lema'aseh question. The original philosophical context is not
the relevent one.


Micha Berger             Until he extends the circle of his compassion
micha@aishdas.org        to all living things,
http://www.aishdas.org   man will not himself find peace.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Albert Schweitzer

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Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 11:55:14 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: Zachor and Ve-higadta

> In an article in HaDarom, a number of years ago, I pointed out that,
> based on the first 2 halachot of the Rambam, chapter 7 of Hilkhot
> Chametz uMatzah, there are really 2 dinim in the mitzvah of SY"M. The
> first is based on the pasuk, Zachor et hayom, and the second, Ve-higadta
> le-vinkha. The first, like kiddush hayom, is shevach to HKB"H, the second
> is educational in nature. There are many nafka minas le-halakhah:

A comment:
I discuss the issue of Zakhor in my book on the Shema
(<http://www.targum.com/excerpts/levin.html>.) If you take the mitsva of
remembering as being analogous to other mitvos of zekhira, it should be
sufficient to make a special Pesach Kiddush to be yotse that as one does
by Shabbos kiddush. One has to assume that Chazal fixed an entire Seder
for purposes of this mitsvah and I find it difficult. On the other hand,
Seder seems not to be fixed solely around Vehigadta for the Kiddush and
last kos are not a part of the actual telling of the story. It seems to
me that the Haggadah to fulfill vhigadta is a part of the larger Seder
which also subsumes the kium of vzakharta in its beginning (Kiddush),
its end (bentching adn 2nd part of Hallel); the means of its attachemnt
to the mitsvah of vehigadta are the middle two kosos.

M. Levin

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Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 00:40:28 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Ikkarim of Dwarves/ Marc Shapiro's New Book]

R' Meir Shinnar wrote:
>>>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


>>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?

>THe ginat veradim does not say that - that is your interpretation of the
>ginat veradim. Indeed, the conclusion of the ginat veradim - that a sefer
>that is not in accordance with current majority decision has some kdusha
>and people who read from it are yotze bediavad - would clearly imply that
>it is not an ikkar emuna to believe in the sanctity of the current text.

I think at this point we are discussing different issues. You are
apparently solely concerned with the fact that the Rambam's principles
are dogma - either you believe them or else you are not a Jew. I am
simply trying to understand what the Rambam meant in his 8th principle.
How could the Rambam assert that the Torah we have today is the same
as that Moshe received - when he clearly knew that there are textual
variations? The Ginas Veradim states that the halachically correct sefer
Torah is to be viewed as that received at Sinai.

It is necessary to distinguish between dogma and doctrine. It would
seem that the 13 principles are presented as dogma by the Rambam -
but they are not actually accepted as such. They are closer to being
a code phrase like the term 613 mitzvos. "Keeping the 613 mitzvos" is
understood to mean that the person is fully observant. Even though no one
actually keeps 613 mitzvos. Similarly a person who has proper religious
beliefs is said to hold by the 13 principles - even though he might not
know what they are nor have the ability to understand them. Dogma is
that set of beliefs which must be accepted in order to be considered a
member of the religion. Doctrine are religious concepts which might be
unknown or too difficult to understand by the average member. Dogma also
assumes that there has been some official body which decrees that a set
of beliefs are indispensable. Post Sanhedrin there is no authoritative
body to make such a decree. Thus at best one can say that Judaism has
virtual dogma. On the other hand it clearly has doctrine - some of which
if rejected results in the person being labeled a heretic.

>No, you misunderstood me. I said that it is the position of all current
>authorities that someone who uses a text different than the current
>accepted one is not a heretic. Pshat in the rambam is not so clear -
>but it is not clear to the extent that the rambam believed in it.

The question of the Rambam saying what he meant is found in the case
of whether a heretic can repent. There is a direct contradiction in the
Rambam between Hilchos Avoda Zarah and Hilchos Teshuva. The Rambam himself
explain in his letters that in regard to society a heretic should be
regarded as beyond redemption. On the other hand in relationship to G-d
it is possible that the heretic in fact did repent. Thus it is possible
that the Rambam presented a formulation which as extreme and simplistic
in formulating articles of faith - but that in fact he would agree with
the Ginas Veradim says.

Aside from the Ginas Veradim there are two other sources that support
my understanding of the 8th principle.

Rav Yaakov Weinberg (Fundamental of Faith:Insights into the Rambam's
Thirteen Principles, ed. Mordechai Blumenfeld spring Valley N.Y.
Feldheim 1991 pp 90-91) Thirteen Principles #8): Although the Torah itself
instructs Jews to follow the majority in making a decision, one suspects
that after Inany such occurrences, his decisions are not going to produce
absolutely accurate reproductions of the original Sinai version. The
Talmud, too, says we are no longer experts in the exact spelling of
many words. . . . The words of Ani Ma'amin and the words of the Rambam,
"the entire Torah in our possession today," must not be taken literally,
implying that all the letters of the present Torah are the exact letters
given to Moshe Rabbeinu. Rather, it should be understood in a general
sense that the Torah we learn and live by is for all intents and purposes
the same Torah that was given to Moshe Rabbeinu.

Prof Shapiro writes p91 note 4. "In 'Hilkhot teshuvah', 3: 8, Maimonides
does not go to such an extreme. All he says here is that it is heretical
to say that a part of the Torah, even one word, I was added by Moses
without divine inspiration (mipi atsmo). According to this formulation,
Maimonides is not concerned with the issue of textual accuracy but with
whether or nor the divine word was falsified., thus turning Moses into
a charlatan . "

I went through the various sources such as former orthodox rabbi
Louis Jacob's Principles of Faith, Prof. Kellner's book on Dogma,
Prof Levy's "Fixing G-d's Torah" as well as Prof Shapiro's work. No one
seems concerned with the blatant contradiction in the Rambam. The only
concern is finding contradictions to the Rambam's dogmatic statements -
from other authorities.

>Yes, I fully agree with the Seride Esh's statement - and argue that it
>is simplistic and dismissive of the rambam to view his statements as
>simple pshat.

So what is the point of disagreement? What do you think the Rambam is
saying in the 8th principle?

>The rambam on nature of the sefer torah - where he discusses what is a
>valid sefer torah - not rambam on ikkare emuna - that is (IMHO) where
>you misunderstand the ginat veradimfurthermore, consistent with is quite
>different than the pshat - and it s a grievous methodological error to use

>>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.

>He is talking about the halachic validity of a sefer torah - not the
>ikkar emuna - again, if it is an ikkar, then any use of a "wrong" sefer
>torah would be assur.

You are insisting again that there is a blatant disjoint between what the
Rambam says regarding the validity of a sefer Torah and what he says as
a principle of faith. Are you saying that the Rambam held that a person
was an apikorus for accepting what he said in hilchos sefer Torah?

>No. The bottom line is one can have an a priori understanding of what
>the rambam and other rishonim must have meant, and therefore understand
>them in that light, or try to understand what they actually said - even
>if it is against current popular "dogma". Stating that contradictory
>statements are irrelevant needs to be proven rather than asserted.

Again what do you think the Rambam was actually saying? I am not
dismissing the apparent contradictions to the principles. I am asserting
that it is absurd not to explain the contradictions that came from the
Rambam **himself**. I could not find this discussed by Prof Shapiro or
Prof Kellner.

>The problem is that ikkarim are different than other halachic statements.
>Eg, the statement that we pasken like the shulchan aruch and the rama is,
>in some sense, true, but also clearly false - there are many times we
>don't. However, the statement reflects a fundamental basic consensus,
>even if isn't always followed. The statement that the ikkarim are
>universally accepted is true in the same sense - and I don't think
>that RM Shapiro would argue - but ikkarim are fundamentally different -
>because being wrong on ikkarim essentially writes one out. The exceptions
>here essentially nullify the validity of that statement. The fact that
>we rule against the mechaber and rama is one thing. The fact that a
>major rishon or achron holds a shitta against the ikkarim is another.
>The fact that it is still made reflects more the ignorance about the
>disagreements - and here RM Shapiro made a major service.

This is where we started. Prof Shapiro has written a book that assumes
that the principles are to be taken literally and that one who fails
to accept them is a heretic according to the Rambam. He cites many
authorities which contradict theses principles. Thus he "proves" that
they are not univeral. My objection is that the Rambam himself violated
the literal meaning of these principles. Since the Rambam had to make
sense - we need to understand what the Rambam was trying to say and what
purpose the ikkarim serve. Thus instead of showing that these ikkarim are
not what everyone knows to be true - we need to focus on understanding
what purpose they in fact serve.

By insisting that the Ikkarim are taken literally - Prof Shapiro sallies
forth with great glee in showing that great people disagree with them
and would be considered as heretics by the Rambam and that therefore
the Ikkarim were not accepted.

For example Page 97 "Faced with all the textual differences, even
Maimonides' son R. Abraham invalidate scrolls that differed from
Maimonides' prescriptions.39 Maimonides' establishment of the authority
of the Ben Asher Masoretic text as dogma means that the sages of the
Talmud and Midrash, the Babylonian Masoretes,40 and countless medieval
scholars stand in opposition to Maimonides' Principle, thus making them
heretics! Even today the Yemenites have a slightly different text from
that used by the rest of Jewry.41 It is thus impossible to I speak about
the Torah 'found in our hands today' without clarifying that there is no
such single text. Considering all that has been mentioned with regard
to the non-uniformity of the Torah text, it should not be surprising
that R. Jacob Kamenetzky (I89I-I984) argued that perhaps Maimonides'
text of the Pentateuch differed from the one in use today.42 In fact,
with the publication of Jordan Penkower's monograph on the Aleppo Codex,
we see that the letters in Maimonides' pentateuchal text (the Ben Asher
text) were identical to those of the current Yemenite text.43 This means
that if contemporary Ashkenazim and Sephardim accept Maimonides' Eighth
Principle with regard to their versions of the Pentateuch, they stand
condemned as heretics by Maimonides himself for refusing to accept his
version as the proper one.44"

In sum. If the Rambam is not taken literally there is no problem and one
can readily say that the Ikkarim are universally accepted. If you insist
that they are to be taken literally then no one - not even the Rambam -
is truly a Jew!!

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 18:00:18 -0500
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Ikkarim for dwarves and R M Shapiro's book

RMS stated in part:
>  Pshat in the rambam is not so clear -
> but it is not clear to the extent that the rambam believed in it. (yes,
> the idea that the rambam created principles of faith for the amcha that
> he did not believe in is quite common - even in the Orthodox community -
> because the ambiguity was something he did not think people 
> could deal
> with. BTW, this idea is even taught at Stern ...)

WADR, RYBS many years ago and R Baruch Ber both were of the opinion
that if we found a " shverer Rambam", then we should look in the mirror
and aske whether we have a "shvere kup." On a more serious note, one
can also compare the purpose of the Moreh and the Yad. The Moreh was
designed to address the growth of the raging philosophical trends such
as Aristotelian philospohy. The Yad represents the first codification of
TSBP , regardless of its practical application. Many of the arguments re
the Ikarim remind me of the same issues that are raised with regard to
the apparent and IMO false dichotomy between Rambam's views re karbanos
that are stated in the Moreh and throughout the Yad. IMO, the issue
boils down to what is the pshat of the Rambam in the Yad, as opposed
to applying a deconstructive method and assuring ourselves with no real
proof that the Rambam formulated ikarim that he did not believe in.

Steve Brizel

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Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 09:08:02 +0200
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: omek pshuto shel mikra

Reb Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> Arie Folger wrote:
> >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.

I don't dispute what RThK or REED's views are, I just disputed the
sweeping statement of RML, turning REED's and RThK's views into the
Semitic view [through which all Jewish sources should be analyzed]. When
I study Ramban, I don't read Ramban through RThK's lens, but rather
as Ramban presents his words. However, I dare not disrespect the
opposing view, and ought to accept that it has a basis of its own,
alas in disagreement with Ramban. This doesn't mean both are right,
although that may, at times, be a possibility.

> Chinuch(496): We are enjoined not to dispute the authorities of the Oral
> We are to obey not only our  ancient sages but those of each
> generations. That is because the sages in each generation have received

Your citation of the 'Hinukh tells us nothing about ma'hloket, so I don't
think it is quite relevant, except perhaps in the thread of RGS's argument
with RMS about normativeness of the iqarim of Rambam as understood by
present authorities.

In fact, I tried to word my response in such a noncommittal way, as not
to state any opinion regarding whether or not our duty to respect the
sages of the past requires us to also belive that they were all right
[in their own way]. I tried not to ask and not to answer the question
of what if, after learning Ramban and, say, Ibn Ezra, on a particular
verse where both disagree, I am convinced that Ramban is right, do
I have the right to side with him (in a non halakhic matter, to make
the issue easier) and declare IE wrong, as I understood from Ramban,
all the while stating that in very respectful terms.

FYI, RHS, in a shiur, discussed IIRC a CI [that should really be 'HI ;-)],
who quoted, I believe, a CS ['HS] and used flowery language to explain his
disagreement with the CS. RHS explained that CI held CS to be wrong on
this issue, but didn't want to state it. This means that, when writing,
CI tried to state his opinion of CS's argument in as respectful terms as
possible, yet still communicated his disagreement, and RHS didn't think
it was a sin to make CI's argument more explicit. Not directly on target
(only 100+ years separate between them, not 800+, and both were eminent
posqim), but nonetheless a data point.

> 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.

I would, too, be interested.

OOii (tis will be RMB's new yom tov greeting, as the matzot don't look
like BB 'halles ;-)),
Arie Folger

[Actually, it is! I have the code set up to automatically do it for
Pesach, but it hasn't been tested in the real world yet. -mi]

If an important person, out of humility, does not want to rely on [the Law, as 
applicable to his case], let him behave as an ascetic. However, permission 
was not granted to record this in a book, to rule this way for the future 
generations, and to be stringent of one's own accord, unless he shall bring 
clear proofs from the Talmud [to support his argument].
	paraphrase of Rabbi Asher ben Ye'hiel, as quoted by Rabbi Yoel
	Sirkis, Ba'h, Yoreh De'ah 187:9, s.v. Umah shekatav.

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Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 10:29:55 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: omek pshuto shel mikra

R' Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
>> 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.

It's certainly NOT the view of R' Tzadoq. Here's a bit of Resisei Laylah #17:
> Whenever a new thing about the Torah is found by a wise person,
> simultaneously arises its opposite... When it comes to the realm of po'al,
> it can't be that two [contradictory] things are true simultaneously. In
> the realm of machshavah, on the other hand, it is impossible for a person
> to think about one thing without considering the opposite.

But even Rav Moshe doesn't argue against pluralistic eilu va'eilu because
the concept of contradictory truths is meaningless. The machloqes is not
about the basic idea of there being middle terms and overlaps in which
the paradox really does occur.

We're not talking about a shitah or even a philosophy, we're talking
about something even more fundamental -- a perspective built in by the
culture that shapes all the philosophies that culture produces.

It's not whether Rav Tzadoq's position is the "Semitic Perspective", it's
whether the position were impossible if the perpective were different.

We're discussing something as fundamental as why we didn't use
Rambam-style codification until we had too, why the first mishnah
presumes information not spelled out until the last seder of mishnayos,
why tana'im must be stated in both the positive and the negative, even
why in Yiddish we don't consider "she's not stingy" or "he's no dope"
to raise the same problems of ayin hara as what an Aritotilian would
think is the synonymous positive forms.


Micha Berger             Here is the test to find whether your mission
micha@aishdas.org        on Earth is finished:
http://www.aishdas.org   if you're alive, it isn't.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Richard Bach

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Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 09:08:59 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
4 cups

> I wonder if that would solve the problem of Ein Kiddush Ela B'Makom
> Seudah, especially if I drink both reviiyos at the same time (i.e.,
> without a hefsek between the two.) According to those poskim who allow
> for an extra reviis of wine to qualify as the "seudah," I don't know if
> having one big cup would do the job.

Why not? Surely seudah is determined by food quantity and not number of
serving dishes.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 10:06:05 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe@internationaltax.us>
Re: V'Higadta L'Vincha

From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
> Sipur Yetzias Mitzrayim is not
> necessarily done by *telling* the story. Perhaps it can also be done by
> *participating* in a storytelling - whether as teller *or* as audience.

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, in a 1990 shiur, suggested something similar.
He noted that the korban Pesach was eaten by a chaburah of people.
Consequently, sippur is a group act. He compared this to bentching with
a zimun. M'dina d'gemara, the leader of the zimun bentches on behalf
of the entire group; others in the group are yotzeh not m'din shome'a
ke'oneh, but because the group as a *single unit* is considered to
have bentched. The leader of the zimun is like a shaliach tzibbur doing
chazaras ha'shatz--according to RYBS, chazaras hashatz (in a situation
where everyone has davened b'lachash) is not being motzee people in
"tefilla B'tzibbur," but is "tefillas HA'tzibbur"--a tefillah on behalf
of a single entity of the tzibbur.

From: MSDratch@aol.com:
> there are really 2 dinim in the mitzvah of SY"M. The
> first is based on the pasuk, Zachor et hayom, and the second, Ve-higadta
> le-vinkha. The first, like kiddush hayom, is shevach to HKB"H, the second
> is educational in nature. There are many nafka minas le-halakhah: <snip>
> 2. The Haggadh text is for shevach; the content of Ve-higadta le-vinkha
> must be appropriate for each child.  <snip>
> 5. Shomei'a ke-oneh may work for shevach, it might not for Ve-higadta
> le-vinkha, which may be a chovat gavra not fulfilled by appropriating
> another's words.

Rav Mayer Lichtenstein told me a similar chiluk and noted that in
Perek 7, the Rambam switches off between using the word "l'sapeir"
(which has the din of kol hamarbeh harei zeh meshubach) and "l'hodee'a"
(which has no such din; sometimes a child will listen better if what you
say is short and to the point--it depends on the child). This is quite
striking in halacha 4, where the Rambam uses "l'sapeir" in relation to
"maschil b'gnus u'msa'yem b'shvach," while he uses "l'hodee'a" in relation
to "avadim ha'yeenu."

Kol tuv,

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Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 10:20:42 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe@internationaltax.us>
Shtar Mechiras Yud Gimmel

AIUI some shtarei mechiras chametz have a Mechiras Yud Gimmel for places
where you do not plan to go during the Chag and do not want to have
to check--i.e., you rent those places to the goy prior to the time of
b'dikas chometz. Does anyone know of any sifrei shu&quot;t which discuss
this? I would be especially interested in a shu&quot;t which discusses
renting out most of your house in a situation where you intend to be
away from your house the entire pesach and therefore wish to minimize
the amount of cleaning that you do.

Some might argue that this is ha'arama in b'dikas chometz and therefore
should be frowned upon. My response is that the reason for b'dikas chometz
is that even though bittul works m'deoraisa, the chachamim required us to
do b'dikah because they were afraid you might find some good chometz in
your house during pesach and change your mind about the bittul of that
chometz. If you are going to be out of your house during pesach, that
chashash does not exist.

Interestingly, in my shul, someone got hot under the collar when I raised
this possibility despite the fact that this person himself intends to
sell chometz gamur (i.e., whiskey) with the argument that he would have
a hefsed merubeh if he didn't sell it. I wonder about this; true, his
hoard of whiskey may be worth hundreds of dollars, but I'm sure that it's
a negligible percentage of his net worth. So, who is the bigger meikel?

Kol tuv,

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