Avodah Mailing List

Volume 13 : Number 013

Thursday, April 29 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 22:47:24 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Subject:
Re: Circus redux


On 26 Apr 2004 at 13:53, Kenneth G Miller wrote:
> But eyes? Why does this R' Levi feel that one cannot control one's
> eyes? 

You can control a gaze or stare. You cannot control a look. 

 - Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, 
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much. 

"Soon we will have no enemies. The world is changing; it's 
fighting terror, and you believe they will let us continue fighting 
Arabs? Mr. Prime Minister, you are living in the past and 
ignoring the future. For the people's sake, return to reality!" 

Israeli Opposition Leader and Former Foreign Minister Shimon Peres,
January 12, 2004


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 11:26:54 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Entering a C Synagogue


(From a discussion on Areivim)

There are three issues involved in entering a C synagogue (i.e. without
a mechitzah):

1. It is assur to enter a "beis minus" even if people are chasing you to
kill you. In this respect, we are stricter with a "beis minus" than with
a church for idolatry. It is questionable, though, whether a C synagogue
can be labeled a "beis minus". I can hear the logic, but I am sure that
not everyone would agree.
2. Maris ayin. People might think that you are going there to daven,
which is assur. However, if there are other reasons you might be going
there, such as for a community gathering, then maris ayin probably does
not apply. (Each case is different)
3. One may not be in a place where others are sinning. Since davening
without a mechitzah is a sin, one may not be in a place where people are
davening without a mechitzah. At times when people are not davening,
and a mechitzah is not otherwise required (if there are such cases),
then this would not be a problem. However, many poskim hold that any
gathering held in a synagogue sanctuary requires a mechitzah.

Gil Student
gil@aishdas.org
www.aishdas.org/student


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:04:15 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Subject:
When is a Mechitzah Necessary?


In continuation of a discussion on Areivim:

I have a forthcoming article on the issue of mechitzah (it looks like
it will be published in Bar Ilan's BDD) and I don't want to steal my
own thunder. But here are the basics of when a mechitzah is needed. No
one should be surprised that this is a machlokes.

According to some, a mechitzah is a din in a mikdash me'at and is only
required in a shul. However, some - such as the Seridei Eish and Rav
Uziel - require separation at other events, although an actual mechitzah
separating the genders is only necessary in a shul.

Some, such as the Chasam Sofer, require a mechitzah at any place in
which there is a public gathering for prayer or praise of Hashem.

R. Moshe Feinstein requires a mechitzah at all public events, including
lectures and shiurim. I have heard that his grandson, R. Mordechai
Tendler, tries to sometimes make a point of personally inviting people
to his shiurim so that the shiurim are not technically open to the public
and therefore are not public gatherings and do not require a mechitzah.

Gil Student
gil@aishdas.org
www.aishdas.org/student


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 19:05:23 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Subject:
Kaddish with mixed seating


In a message dated 04/27/2004 5:58:15 PM EDT, T613K@aol.com writes
[on Areivim]:
> Every motzai Shabbos Nachamu, we have a shul melave malka and the rav
> of our shul, R' Yerucham Bensinger, makes a siyum. He is a big talmid
> chacham and a very RW kana'i in many ways. The melava malka takes place
> at someone's house, seating is mixed, and kaddish is said with everyone
> standing at their places--mixed.

I've seen this on many occaisons but have never been sure why this isn't a 
problem.

Any ideas?

KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 02:39:32 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Fwd: Sfas Emes Study List: Parshas Acharei Mos


On the recently discussed subject of designing your own ritual.

 -mi

 -- Forwarded message from Nosson Chayim Leff <levtov@torah.org> -- 
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 23:05:26 -- 0400
From: "Nosson Chayim Leff" <levtov@torah.org>
To: sfas-emes@torah.org
Subject: Sfas Emes Study List: Parshas Acharei Mos
X-PG-Message: Torah.org: The Judaism Site, http://www.torah.org/

Sfas Emes, Zechuso Tagein Aleinu, Parshas Acharei Mos, 5661.

This parsha presents Klal Yisroel with numerous mitzvos. Rashi notes
that many of these mitzvos are introduced with the words: "... Ani HaShem
Elokeichem." ("I am HaShem, your God." (See Rashi's comment on the pasuk
(18:2).

Rashi is echoing a remark by the Mechilta, which notes another case
where mitzvos are presented the same way that they are presented in
our parsha. Where? The Aseres Hadibros (the Ten Commandments) are also
introduced with the same prefatory phrase (Shemos, 20:2): "Anochi HaShem
Elokecha..." ("I am HaShem, your God ").

The Mechilta there comments: We can understand this introductory statement
in terms of the following mashal.. A king entered the capital city of a
country that had just become part of his kingdom. His courtiers advised
him to promulgate decrees to his new subjects. The king replied: there
is no point in issuing my commands now. First, let my subjects accept
my kingship; only then will it make sense to issue my decrees.

I have presented this Medrash in accordance with its plain/simple meaning
(pshat pashut). But the Sfas Emes reads this Mechilta very differently. As
he sees it, the world does not function in a two-stage process like the
one just proposed.. (That is: Stage 1. People accept the king's rule;
and then; Stage 2: People agree to abide by his decrees.)

Rather, issuing the decrees -- and having them accepted -- is itself
the process by which the subjects accept the king's sovereignty. The
Sfas Emes explains that the purpose of the mitzvos is precisely to give
us an opportunity to accept HaShem as our ruler. That is, one may ask:
why do we do mitzvos? The Sfas Emes's answer is: because HaShem commands
us to do them. Thus, performing mitzvos is -- so to speak -- our way to
place a crown on HaShem's head.

Following up on this thought, the Sfas Emes addresses a question that the
Torah leaves unanswered. That puzzling issue is: what did Nahdav and Avihu
do that was wrong (Vayikra, 10, 1-2)? The Sfas Emes explains that they
went off the track because they did something "ahsher LO tziva..." --
that HaShem had NOT commanded (Vayikra, 10:1). In other words, their
misbehavior lay in their performing a religious act that was not an
expression of their subordination to HaShem.

This perspective on Nahdav and Avihu is supported if we take a careful
look at the text. The Torah recounts the story of Nahdav and Avihu after
it presents a lengthy series of things that Moshe and Aharon had done
"ka'asher tziva HaShem". That is, Moshe and Aharon did what they did
solely for the sake of being in accordance with HaShem's will. The
contrast with Nahdav and Avihu is clear.

Why does the Sfas Emes give this topic so much attention? First,
because it clarifies the episode of Nahdav and Avihu. Second, because
this discussion leads to an interpretation of the meaning of mitzvos.
And finally, because this context gives the Sfas Emes the opportunity
to discuss the connection between two key features of Yiddishkeit --
our relationship with HaShem and our commitment to perform mitzvos. As
the Sfas Emes has explained, mitzvos are the means by which we develop
and maintain our relationship with HaShem.

Continuing, the Sfas Emes discusses a famous pasuk (Vayikra, 18, 5):
"... asher ya'aseh osahm ha'ahdam vachai bahehm." (ArtScroll: "You shall
observe My decrees and My laws, which man shall carry out and by which
he shall live...") The Sfas Emes reads this text in a non-pshat mode as
follows. He understands the phrase "va'chai bahem" to mean "he shall give
life" rather than "he shall live". (That is, he reads the word "vachai"
as a transitive verb -- po'al yotzei -- rather than as an intransitive
verb -- po'al omeid). Thus, the Sfas Emes reads this pasuk as telling
us that by doing mitzvos, we give chiyus -- a concept that includes joy
as well as life -- to the whole world.

How does this work? We know -- from the earlier part of the ma'amar --
that doing mitzvos is the way we accept HaShem's kingship. Now the Sfas
Emes adds that mitzvos encompass all human activity. Hence, by doing
mitzvos we can bring all creation closer to HaShem. By doing HaShem's
will -- i.e., accepting His authority -- we can bring life and joy to
the world.

For a brief comment on a key issue, we go now to the Sfas Emes of 5635,
paragraph 1:

(Vayikra, 18, 3) "Ke'ma'aseh Eretz Mitzrayim... lo ta'asu...
u'be'chukosei'hem lo tei'lei'chu". (ArtScroll: "Do not perform the
practice of the land of Egypt... and do not follow their traditions".) The
Sfas Emes reads this last phrase ("u'be'chukosei'hem...") as follows. The
root of "u'beCHUKOseihem" is the same as the root of the word"chuka". A
"chuka" is a practice or behavior that has no meaning. Thus, the Torah
is telling us that the people of Egypt live their lives with "chukos" --
i.e., behavior without meaning.

Why? Because they do not have mitzvos, and thus they lack access to
life's inner content -- the pe'nimiyus. We can do the same things that
they do -- the mechanics of living -- but since we have mitzvos, our
lives have meaning. The mitzvos enable us to form a relationship with
HaShem, a relationship that gives structure and content to our lives.


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:38:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Sefiras Ho'Omer


R Elozor Reich wrote:
> If you ever stop to think about it, there are two different forms of
> counting. Say there is a heap of oranges on the table and you want to know
> the quantity.... However, if you are planning a car journey and want to
> count the mileage, you set the trip odometer at nought... This
> non-discrete counting is really a form of measurement.

As RML writes, one can use cardinal or ordinal numbers for quantity
(discrete counting). For example, a baby is 7 days old when it has its
beris on the 8th day.

(There is a connection between the two distinctions [quantity vs measure
and cardinal vs ordinal], which becomes central to transfinite math. But
it is not that one is more appropriate for one, and the other for the
other. As 49 or 50 are finite numbers, we can ignore that issue anyway.)

I do not understand RML's connecting this to counting up vs counting down.

The Ma'adanei Yom Tov suggests something very similar to RER's idea. We
count 49 days, with day 0 being the begining of Pesach. You need 50
whole days, IOW, day 0 must be whole too. The MYT writes that this is why
the first Shavu'os was a day later than ours. The first Pesach started
with the redemption at midnight, not sheqi'ah. Therefore, it wasn't
shaleim. Therefore, day 0 had to be the *2nd* day of Pesach that year,
and 49 days later would also be shifted by one. Zeman matan Toraseinu
is defined as being after these 50 sheleimim, so that our Shavu'os is
as much zeman matan Toraseinu as the original one.

 -mi

 -- 
Micha Berger             Today is the 21st day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Malchus sheb'Tifferes: What is the unifying
Fax: (413) 403-9905                             factor in harmony?


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:18:30 -0400
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Kos Shel Eliyahu


> Does anyone know a source in the Gemara for the dispute between 4 and 5
> cups? The section in chumash uses 5 loshonos, and as far as I remember,
> the question was whether the 5th was supposed to allude to the future
> redemption. But, I can't remember where this is discussed.

RYBS once mentioned that Vhevesi is considered as the possible
source. However, RYBS mentioned that this lashon already was promises
explicitly to Avraham Avinu and therefore, the 5th Kos was superfluous
from a halachic viewpoint.

Steve Brizel
Zeliglaw@aol.com


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:22:05 -0400
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Hallel on Rosh Chodesh


[RSArgoman:]
> What's the earliest source for Hallel to be recited on Rosh Hhodesh?
> And specifically why bedilug? 

The Gemara in Taanis describes that Rav, upon entering a shul in Bavel,
encountered this practice for the first time and was upset about it. See
the Rishonim in Taanis as to the fact that this was a minhag, as opposed
to a din of the Mishna with respect to saying a full Hallel on other
days enumerated therein.

Steve Brizel
Zeliglaw@aol.com


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 00:35:09 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Christianity


Micha Berger wrote:
>I think most people here in the states assume that Xianity is shittuf
>because many American Jews rely on this lehalakhah. One can go to 47th
>Ave, to the Diamond Exchange (at least I can, it's a couple of blocks
>from here) and find ehrlicher and frum yidden of every stripe who sell
>crosses.

Shulchan Aruch YD 141:1
Igros Moshe YD I #69

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 08:08:33 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Subject:
Re: Christianity


From: "Zev Sero" <zev@sero.name>
> OTOH, it seems to me that trinitarian belief is not in itself sufficient
> to qualify as AZ; not because it's shituf, but because it's monotheism.
>                                        ... though they admit they
> don't understand how this could be. I don't think they must come up
> with an explanation to avoid the charge of AZ; it should be sufficient
> that they believe there *is* an explanation, even if it's one humans
> are not capable of understanding.

See MN I:50.

David Riceman


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 15:10:17 GMT
From: H Lampel <zvilampel@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: Selling crosses


On Tue, 27 Apr 2004, Micha Berger wrote:
> One can find ehrlicher and frum yidden of every stripe who sell crosses.

Rav Reuvain Feinstein, shlita, told me years ago (the issue was selling
holiday-decorated placemats and such)that since these objects themselves
are not worshipped, there's no issur to sell them. I think he also said
that crosses would also be muttar for this reason.

[-R' Zvi Lampel]


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 02:15:01 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: keruvim


In Avodah V13 #12 dated 4/27/04 
> BTW this business of seeing illustrations rather than the real thing
> takes all the romance, beauty and poignance out of the whole story of the
> keruvim and the Romans at the time of the churban. [--old TK]

At R' Micha's suggestion I went back and reread the story of the keruvim
embracing as a sign of G-d's love for us at the time of the churban--in
the place where I had read the story the first time, Kitov's *Book of
Our Heritage.* I found that my memory was not accurate, and this story
happened at the time of the first churban, not the second. It was
the Babylonians, not the Romans, who witnessed this poignant sight.
I thought that it was Vespasian, the Roman general at the time of
the second churban, who had seen the keruvim, but I had confused two
incidents: the real story is that Vespasian brought a zonah into the
Kodesh Kedoshim and desecrated the Sefer Torah in the aron.

  Omer Day 22
 -Toby Katz


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Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:50:28 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject:
RE: 24/7


WRT to RYGB's post on the SE, I think he is misunderstanding my point.
I was pointing out that the minhag in Ashkenaz, even among rabbanim,
was to go to the opera (something, that being of good yekke stock,
he can ask). He cites the SE as being against it. I am not denying
that the SE was against it - nor did I ever say the SE was for it -
but point out that the SE's tshuva presume the fact that yes, indeed,
it was widespread and accepted in ashkenaz, so much so that a rav who
objected would not even publicly voice his objection. The SE, coming
from Lita, adopted much of German customs but not others - eg, if one
reads his tshuva on women singing zmirot, it is clear that
1) This was widely accepted in ashkenaz
2) the basis of this was an oral heter from Rav Hildesheimer (and I think
RSRH, but don't recall all he cited) ( many community customs were based
on oral heterim such as this)
3) He eventually accepted the heter due to his reasoning - but did not
automatically accept them.

Here was one local minhag, based on oral heterim, that the SE did not
accept - but he clearly realized how widespread it was, and didn't think
that it was obligatory to protest. (the fact that RSRH had gone to the
opera might be news here, but was well known in Germany), and his tshuva
documents his awareness that his approach is not the local approach.

Meir Shinnar


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:52:58 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Entering a C Synagogue


In a message dated 04/28/2004 5:41:50 PM EDT, gil@aishdas.org writes:
> 3. One may not be in a place where others are sinning.

Where is this issur found?  Can I eat with people who don't make brachot?

> Since davening
> without a mechitzah is a sin, one may not be in a place where people are
> davening without a mechitzah. At times when people are not davening,
> and a mechitzah is not otherwise required (if there are such cases),
> then this would not be a problem. However, many poskim hold that any
> gathering held in a synagogue sanctuary requires a mechitzah.

so a c synagogue sanctuary qualifies as a synagogue sanctuary but it's in a 
bet minut?
KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 19:22:52 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Subject:
Re: concert anywhere vs. In shul (was =?iso-8859-1?Q?=22RE=3A_24=2F7=22=29?=


In Avodah V13 #12, RYGB replied to RMS:
> 8. The SE would have forbidden attendance at any concert anywhere would
> anyone only heed the protest.

Could you list the source for that (and quote from the text, for those of
us with a poor library), or is that an unsupported supposition? Thanks.

All the best from
 - Michael Poppers via RIM pager


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 18:34:35 -0400
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Subject:
Re: Christianity


David Riceman <driceman@worldnet.att.net>  wrote:
> From: "Zev Sero" <zev@sero.name>
>> OTOH, it seems to me that trinitarian belief is not in itself sufficient
>> to qualify as AZ; not because it's shituf, but because it's monotheism.
...

> See MN I:50.

Note: This can be found at
<http://chassidus.ru/rambam/index.php?seferid=4&level1=001&level2=50>

The Rambam seems to say there that emuna without tziyur is worthless.
In that case, how can we believe in Hashem's infinitude? Or His
timelessness? Or, for that matter, the very simplicity that he is talking
about in this chapter? As he says elsewhere, our brains are physically
incapable of grasping these concepts; all we can do is describe them,
believe that they are so, and accept that we will never actually
understand them.

A simplistic reading of this chapter could equally be applied to
the Sefirot. The language he derisively uses of the Xian belief - 'hu
vetoarav echad' - sounds very like the Zohar's 'ihu vechayohi chad, ihu
vegarmohi chad'. So either the Rambam doesn't quite mean this exactly
as it sounds to the first-time reader, or he does mean it, and his view
on this matter is not correct.

In any case, I don't see him saying here that someone who does believe
in this way is an idolater. Perhaps such a belief doesn't count as true
emunah - I certainly have no problem saying that Xianity is wrong! -
but there's a wide gulf between that and AZ, even in the attenuated form
of shituf.

-- 
Zev Sero
zev@sero.name


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 18:19:15 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
RE: 24/7


>WRT to RYGB's post on the SE, I think he is misunderstanding my point.
>I was pointing out that the minhag in Ashkenaz, even among rabbanim,
>was to go to the opera (something, that being of good yekke stock,

Vu shteit rabbonim?!

YGB


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:54:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Amoraic hybrids of Tannaitic shitos


RZLampel:
> The Yad Malachi, under the heading AMORAIM, states that we find many
> instances where Amoraim declare the halachah to be a compromise (p'shara) of
> the opinions of two Tannaim, creating a halacha that would not be agreed to
> by either Tanna. He says that one such instance appears in perek Ra'ahu Bes
> Din (Rosh HaShonna). I haven't found it there, or anywhere else. Can anyone
> cite any examples of this phenomenon?

Not amongst chazal. The first case of pesharah I can think of is the Ashkenazi
practice of hanging a mezuzah on a diagonal.

There it is suggested (and we batted this around on-list, if you check the
archives) that in truth the machloqes wasn't whether the mezuzah should be (a)
vertical or (b) horizontal, but really (a) it may not be horizontal and (b) it
may not be vertical. Therefore the pesharah is not a new, third, opinion, but
a qiyum of both.

The point of that suggestion was to get around the creation of a third shitah
by pesharah. Now you report that the YM writes this is an ancient means of
resolving the din.

BTW, on a tangent: When do we pasqen, and just follow the pesaq, and when do
we treat the machloqes as a safeiq between two shitos and resolve it using
rules of safeiq (de'Oraisa lehachmir / deRabbanan lequlah)? -- And when are we
chosheish for a shitah in a Rabbanan lehachmir?

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (413) 403-9905                 situation for the benefit of others?


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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:14:58 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Limmud or Ma'aseh?: V'hogisoh Boh Yomom Voloiloh


We're discussing alternative uses of time than talmud Torah.

This is akin to my question a short while ago on a different thread about
when it's okay for me to spend time on Tomechei Shabbos.

To help separate the issues, here's a list of different cases:

1- The circus: Raises issues because it's a circus.
2- Other passive entertainment
3- Entertainment that has health or other personal benefit
4- Parnassah
5- Other mitzvos
6- Doing mussar -- personally, I think this is subsumed in #5 as Hil'
   Dei'os and/or Hil' Teshuvah.
7- Learning mussar -- I'd consider this talmud Torah, in addition to it
   also being self-changing and itself part of mussar.

Using the distinction between #6 and #7 I can salvage much of my statement
about mussar not being talmud Torah because women are mechuyavos in
it. *Doing mussar* can't be talmud Torah, because women are
mechuyavos. *Learning mussar* is talmud Torah, agreed, but it can't be
*only* talmud Torah.

My own opinion on each:
1- I don't see the connection between a modern circus and chazal's circus
other than the name. It's not a Roman circus minus certain elements --
it's a totally different form of entertainment. So, it's reduced to #2.

2- I believe some leisure is necessary for psychological well being,
particularly in this stess-prone society. However, beyond necessary
leisure, such non-productive leisure is bitul zeman. So, some amount
of leisure is identical to #3, but forms of leisure that are addictive
are a problem.

3-4 We have necessary other callings. As R' Shimon Shkop writes in the
intro to Shaarei Yosher
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/shaareiyosher.pdf> to the extent
that one lives lehatavas hakelal, improving the self improves the
effectiveness of one's hatavah, and is therefore qedushah. Literally -
RSS uses this to explain "qedoshim yihyu".

5-6 Implied in out comments in the previous paragraph, mussar and chovos
ha'eivarim are appropriate alternatives for talmud Torah even at times
when you have the zitzfleish and wherewithall to be lerning. After all,
if being one can be meqadeish personal activities by dedicating them to
hatavah, than mitzvos themselves lo kol shekein.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 02:19:00PM +0300, Carl M. Sherer wrote:
:> I would have said differently. They didn't reject as much as chose not
:> to accept RCV's chiddush.

: I don't think RCV was the first to say it...

No, he was the first to implement it in an absolute way.

Others assumed only the rare toraso umenaso had a heter for a few mitzvos
rather than interrupt his learning. Not that he should choose learning
over any other mitzvah if he feels able to do both at the moment.

This entire centrality of Torah, and therefore of the yeshiva, the
maqom Torah, is the chiddush that underlies the movement. Others had
versions of the same idea, but no other implemented it the way the
yeshiva movement did.

The yeshiva movement was as much a hashkafic response to the post-haskalah
challenge as chassidus, Hirschian neoO, mussar, or the rest.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (413) 403-9905                 situation for the benefit of others?


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 19:55:16 -0400
From: "Avi Burstein" <avi@tenagurot.com>
Subject:
Re: When is a Mechitzah Necessary?


> R. Moshe Feinstein requires a mechitzah at all public events,
> including lectures and shiurim. I have heard that his grandson,
> R. Mordechai Tendler, tries to sometimes make a point of personally
> inviting people to his shiurim so that the shiurim are not
> technically open to the public and therefore are not public
> gatherings and do not require a mechitzah.

Could you elaborate on this? I donít understand. If the problem is the 
different sexes being near each other, then what difference would it make if 
the participants were specifically invited or not? 

Avi Burstein 


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Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 20:11:14 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <rygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: concert anywhere vs. In shul (was "RE: 24/7")


>In Avodah V13 #12, RYGB replied to RMS:
>> 8. The SE would have forbidden attendance at any concert anywhere would
>> anyone only heed the protest.

[RMPoppers:]
>Could you list the source for that (and quote from the text, for those of
>us with a poor library), or is that an unsupported supposition? Thanks.

It's in my first email on the topic and I quoted it verbatim.l

YGB 


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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 08:26:08 +0200
From: "Avi Burstein" <betera@012.net.il>
Subject:
jewish rituals


Regarding the idea of a practice or ritual which isn't inherently a
"Jewish way of commemorating/celebrating": What is the source for
lighting yahrtzeit candles?

Avi Burstein


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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 08:45:56 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <akiva@atwood.co.il>
Subject:
RE: Selling crosses


> Rav Reuvain Feinstein, shlita, told me years ago (the issue was selling
> holiday-decorated placemats and such)that since these objects themselves
> are not worshipped, there's no issur to sell them. I think he also said
> that crosses would also be muttar for this reason.

Depending on what constitutes "worship", this heter wouldn't apply
to crucifixes.

IOW, is the act of kissing a crucifix "worship"? Or something else.

(From a halachic POV. I know that from a catholic POV it's not intended as
"worship")

Akiva


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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 10:39:51 +0300
From: "proptrek" <ruthwi@macam.ac.il>
Subject:
Re: Christianity


> > See MN I:50.
> Note: This can be found at
> <http://chassidus.ru/rambam/index.php?seferid=4&level1=001&level2=50>

and also in r. kapahh's hebrew and in english. can dig them up if asked
to. /dw


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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 11:32:09 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Subject:
Re: Christianity


From: "Zev Sero" <zev@sero.name>
> The Rambam seems to say there that emuna without tziyur is worthless.

I don't know what you mean by tziyur. "Understanding" is the operative
word. Later in the MN the Rambam points out that imagined representations
can be misleading (his example is: if the world is round why don't the
people at the bottom fall off? MN I:73 tenth proposition). In your case
the "mystery of the trinity" is an explicit contradiction, so it can't
be true. Admittedly the Rambam predated (and partly caused) a baroque
efflorescence of trinitarian doctrine, but I doubt that he would have
been impressed by it.

> In that case, how can we believe in Hashem's infinitude?  Or His
> timelessness?  Or, for that matter, the very simplicity that he is
> talking about in this chapter?

All explained by the above.

> As he says elsewhere, our brains are
> physically incapable of grasping these concepts; all we can do is
> describe them, believe that they are so, and accept that we will never
> actually understand them.

I don't recall anywhere where he says this.  Source?

> A simplistic reading of this chapter could equally be applied to the
> Sefirot  ...  So either the Rambam doesn't quite mean this
> exactly as it sounds to the first-time reader, or he does mean it,
> and his view on this matter is not correct.

Yes, I suspect the Rambam would have viewed the ascription of divinity
to sefirot as heretical. How do you know he's not correct? Even RGS
would only say "we don't pasken that way". Incidentally the mekuballim
went out of their way to address the Rambam's concerns, they did not
adopt your strategy of "believe but don't understand". That is one of
the reasons kabbalah was traditionally an esoteric doctrine - - it was
restricted to people who could understand the doctrines.

> In any case, I don't see him saying here that someone who does
> believe in this way is an idolater.

But he did pasken that Xtianity is idolatry (H. AZ 9:4, PHM AZ 1:3).

David Riceman


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