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Volume 13 : Number 081

Friday, August 27 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 03:55:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Public expression by women


Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
> I've always assumed that the "antis" were aware that there are some (#?)
> appropriately acting and intentioned women who want to open certain
> venues of avodat hashem that have been traditionally closed to them. I've
> always assumed the "antis" answer would be they must suffer because of
> the ill intentions of the majority(or sizable minority) that want to be
> "poretz geder" for improper reasons.

No one wants any woman to sufer. But think about the implicatiopns of
your characterization. To NOT... for example... daven in a WTG is to
suffer? I can think of a few things that would make not davening in a
WTG look pretty OK.

To equate blocking women (which I am not trying to do) from tradtionally
male venues of avodat hashem with suffering sounds an awful lot like,
radical feminism to me. What is this "suffering" exactl?. What kind of
"pain" is being inflicted?

There is a legitimate term in psyhchology that is inappropriate for this
forum but I contend that if there is "pain" in a woman not wearing a
Talis, it is nothing more than "this" sort of envy.

HM


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 18:57:01 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Psak for hashgofa


The issue has come up a number of times concerning whether there is
such a thing as psak regarding the alternative views on hashgofa found
in the gemora.

I just came across the following psak of the Meiri that Jews are not
totally controlled by mazal. He seems to be basing his basis premise
that some of our Sages were swayed by personal experience on the gemora
in Bava Kamma(80b): What is the meaning of the words, 'if the door
to prosperity has been shut to an individual it will not speedily be
opened'? -- Mar Zutra said: It refers to ordination.19 R. Ashi said:
One who is in disfavour is not readily taken into favour.20 R. Aha of
Difti said: He will never be taken into favour. This, however, is not so;
for R. Aha of Difti stated this as a matter of personal experience.21 '

Meiri(Shabbos 156a):.... The gemora here says that in general Jews
are not controlled absolutely by mazal. Don't pay attention to the
alternative view that says that Jews are in fact controlled by mazal.
That view is the result of some of the sages became confused after they
saw the lack of order in the manner of mankind's reward and punishment.
This confusion is also manifest in Moed Koton(28a) which states that
"Lifespan, children and livelihood are not the result of merit but rather
mazal". This statement was made only because the author saw someone
who was a tzadik and great scholar who was unsuccessful in these three
areas. Another one of these confused sages stated in Bava Kama (80b):
"A door which is locked is not readily opened" and "All those who suffer
misfortune do not quickly obtain good fortune" while another one of
this group said, "He will never obtain good fortune". This statement
was only made because of bad personal experience as the gemora itself
concludes that it was not a general rule but he was only describing his
own personal experience. All this shows that these statements asserting
the importance of mazal were only made in response to their authors'
personal experiences or what they observed with others. Thus these
are only exceptions to the general rule that "Jews are not governed
by mazal". In other words reward and punishment typically determines
what happens to a person and not mazal. Our gemora here (Shabbos 156a)
provides testimony concerning incidents predicted by astrologers such as
being on the verge of death and yet nevertheless being saved through the
merit of giving charity. There is no need to repeat the events described
in this gemora because they are clearly stated.

Comments and additional sources would be greatly appreciated

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 06:55:57 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Public Expression by women


RYB laments that this conversation, despite his best efforts, repeatedly
devolves into assumptions that every woman supporting these changes is
motivated by gender-battle issues.

AISI, there is no halakhic debate on the issue, in the narrower sense of
the term. The O feminist is not looking to change halakhah, but to find
the envelope of what change is permissable within halakhah. Arguments
whether one particular idea or another is within halakhah is a side
issue. To address the primary thrust, we should be exploring the question
of whether such a search for change is appropriate.

This does take us into the realm of motive, and of policy based on
slippery slope arguments about leading to actually crossing the line.

Speaking of the typical woman asking the question, she is not a political
feminist. She is someone who, because she entered the workplace or even
just because she lives in a society where she can enter the workplace,
is a different person than her grandmother was. Her religious needs are
not being met by the traditional Jewish woman's roles, and therefore is
seeking fulfilment as a Jew by exploring new ones. Ones that parallel
the self-image her society has given her.

Note that she, like most contemporary Jews, is working from a position
of connection to mitzvos rather than commitment. Addressing need rather
than realizing a sense of duty to the Borei. Both attitudes play a role,
but with our generation's skew toward connection, the woman described
above is a product of her times in a second manner.

Third is the centrality of the "army of one" in contemporary thought.
Fulfilment is defined by meeting my needs, not by finding my role in
something bigger than just one person.

So, the questions become:
1- Is the current stance on these three issues religiously inferior to
the old?
2- Assuming they are inferior, are these consequences of our environment
unchangable; did we undergo a true qitun hadoros? Or, is the battle not
yet over and we should be making a concerted effort to build a different
attitude toward halakhah and Yahadus?

Framing the issue this way, my objection in the past to those seeking
change has been to the assumptions that:
1- Since it's not an issue of issur or chiyuv, stance is irrelevent.
2- The question of whether we can combat societal change wasn't even
asked. Her needs were a given, therefore it's a lack of kavbod haberiyos
not to allow her to meet them.

-mi 

-- 
Micha Berger             For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org        And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (270) 514-1507      


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:51:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Lice & Change of nature


Moshe wrote:
> Why does it make a difference whether the circumstances changed or if
> Chazal were not aware of the correct circumstances during the time that
> they gave their ruling?

As I understand RYGB's position, chazal were given the power to define
"right" WRT halakhah. Therefore, a pesaq based on faulty assumptions is
definitionally right anyway.

However, a pesaq based on true assumptions that don't apply is simply one
that is inapplicable to the sho'eil's question. No one is really calling
for a change of a pesaq, they're acknowledging that the "right as defined
by chazal" only looked like it applied until we look more closely.

It would seem that there are situations where all it takes to be in
one category or another is phrasing. In "lice, since they reproduce
asexually" the pesaq, the binding part, isn't limited to the impossible
situation. Had chazal simply said "lice that reproduce asexually"
their pesaq would still be halakhah, but that of a situation that never
occurs. (Although can be used for extrapolation, as R' Herzog did.)

But RGS identified TWO different, but very similar sevaros of this
sort. One (1c) revolved around the authority given to chazal and/or
the bavli, but the other (1b) was about the difference of the eras of
Torah and of the mashiach. This all started with RAS's condemnation of
a pesaq about lice, so the question burning in my mind is whether R'
Aharon Soloveitchik held 1b, 1c, or an as-yet unidentified 1d?

The second question I had was a more practical one. Suppose my rav that
X is outside the pale, but I know others -- including many who would
never hold X -- consider it within eilu va'eilu. According to my pesaq,
I should be working against it just as I would anything else that should
be expelled from the community. However, this just invokes the paradox
of applying eilu va'eilu to the question of is X within eilu va'eilu!

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             "Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes
micha@aishdas.org        exactly the right measure of himself,  and
http://www.aishdas.org   holds a just balance between what he can
Fax: (270) 514-1507      acquire and what he can use." - Peter Latham


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 21:04:55 +0300
From: Akiva Atwood <akiva@atwood.co.il>
Subject:
RE: Lice & Change of nature


> As I understand RYGB's position, chazal were given the power to define
> "right" WRT halakhah. Therefore, a pesaq based on faulty assumptions is
> definitionally right anyway.

If so, then what are the conditions for saying a Sanhedrin (or Rav)
has made a mistake? (Which the Torah says is possible).

> be expelled from the community. However, this just invokes the paradox
> of applying eilu va'eilu to the question of is X within eilu va'eilu!

Are there any other cases of self-referential halachas anyone can
think of?

Akiva


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 14:37:40 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Lice & Change of nature


On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 09:04:55PM +0300, Akiva Atwood wrote:
:> As I understand RYGB's position, chazal were given the power to define
:> "right" WRT halakhah. Therefore, a pesaq based on faulty assumptions is
:> definitionally right anyway.

: If so, then what are the conditions for saying a Sanhedrin (or Rav)
: has made a mistake? (Which the Torah says is possible).

Asked and answered already, v13n78:
> However, the only criterion for invalid rulings is "the constitution".
> Bad science does not make a ruling invalid.

Errors in Torah are real errors. Thus Horios deals with the distinction
between pasqening against something that is black-and-white vs plausible
errors.

:> be expelled from the community. However, this just invokes the paradox
:> of applying eilu va'eilu to the question of is X within eilu va'eilu!

: Are there any other cases of self-referential halachas anyone can
: think of?

All of the halakhos about how to pasqen are themselves subject
to pesaq.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 14:12:13 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Public expression by women


In a message dated 8/26/2004 1:48:24 PM EDT, hmaryles@yahoo.com writes:
> What is this "suffering" exactl?. What kind of
> "pain" is being inflicted?

in the colloquial it means not to get to do what you wanted to do,
you give me too much credit to be so medayek in my lashon.

KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 14:46:59 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject:
RE: Public expression by WOmen


> ... even though
> their motivations seem sincere, I never-the-less question the source of
> those motivations and wonder whether the feminist spirit of the times is
> the primary source (whether overtly or subliminally) behind that desire.

> If the only means that are utilized are are those such as: WTGs,
> or wearing Talis and Teffilin, or doing a public Kriyas HaTorah, or
> reading the Kesubah under the Chupah, or as defacto assistant rabbis
> (rabbinic interns) I humbly suggest that the motivation stems not from
> a sincere desire to increase one's Avodas HaShem but instead comes from
> a perspective that sees the traditional role of women in Judaism as one
> of repression by male dominated society.

Serious gemara study and public teaching of torah is as much a traditional
male modality as is public prayer or the other modalities you chose.
What is the basis for differentiating them?

(if the public nature, talit and tefilin are also (or can also) be done
in private - would ou then object??)

The issue is that in desires to increase avodat hashem, it is far easier
(and more traditional) to use traditional models of avodat hashem,
than to develop de novo new ones.

With respect to the last statement about the motivation - two points:
1) being dan lechaf zchut would seem to apply
2) I would substantially rephrase. Traditional role of women was not
that of repression by a male dominated society. However the traditional
religious role of women reflected their traditional social role -
which was primarily domestic. The problem we have in the modern world
is of dissonance between their social and religious roles - and how
to achieve some partial harmony between them. That is not to suggest
full egalitarianism - but suggesting that the problem is that people
have adopted a radical feminist critique is to show that one does not
understand the fundamental issues being addressed. (this was at least
one of RYBS's public reasons for advocating gmara studies for women -
that if they were to have college level secular education, they needed
the equivalent torah education. There has to be at least partial
correspondence between the two worlds we live in).

Meir Shinnar


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:04:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Age of the Universe


Mlevinmd@aol.com wrote:
> ...once you reverse the argumetn and ask the
> deniers about problems with their view of life. They have many, many
> questions that they cannot answer or even begin to answer. There is a
> great deal of evidence that they do not even begin to consider.

> What about the denial of the spiritual, existence of conscience, wonders
> of human history, and unassailable sense of the DIvine that most people
> instnctively possess. 

To an atheist or even an agnostic scientist whose "belief" system is based
on the tangible and the observable, these questions are non-starters. To
a materialist, there need not exist the spiritual. Conscience is a
chemical reaction it the brain. The "wonders" of human history are not
of a miraculous nature... and the (unassailable?) sense of the divine
is nothing more than conjecture. These questions are meaningless to one
who values only what can be proven in a lab. All other considerations
are nothing more than speculation... and belief in the existence of
the spiritual is inversely proportional to the degree of knowledge we
possess about the nature of the universe. The more we know, says the
atheist scientist, the less we need God.

> At the end we must appeal to the meta-rational, where religion had anyway
> always resided.

In the end I believe you are correct. Although I would argue that there
is a rational basis to belief in a Creator, ultimately one must rely on
belief in the spiritual without any material proof. But then again the
spiritual by its very nature cannot be materially proven.

HM


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 11:31:23 -0700
From: "Howard Wettstein" <Howard.Wettstein@ucr.edu>
Subject:
Re: Big Bang


I missed the earlier discussion, but it's hard to see conceptually how
the big bang is compatible with literal "yesh me'ayin" since something
had to be banging, as it were. Can someone explain the compatibility idea?

Thanks.
Howard Wettstein


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 15:03:05 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Big Bang


On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 11:31:23AM -0700, Howard Wettstein wrote:
: I missed the earlier discussion, but it's hard to see conceptually how
: the big bang is compatible with literal "yesh me'ayin" since something
: had to be banging, as it were. Can someone explain the compatibility idea?

Quantum Mechanics is often counterintuitive. There is nothing doing the
banging. QM allows for creation ex nihilo, and in fact particles eappear
and disappear all the time. "Empty vacuum" isn't all that empty.

The probability of this happening is a function of the mass being created
and the lifetime before it pops out again. But there is nothing ruling
out the creeation of all the mass in the universe that way.

And then throw in black holes, which could eat half of the particle
anti-particle pair before they collide to return to nothingness, and
you have real oddities. Just in case the stuff I hinted at above wasn't
odd enough.

And yes, we have experimental evidence of this constant yeish mei'ayin.

Here's the description from the web site of the PBS show, Nova
<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/origins/univ-nf.html>:
> The universe began with a vast explosion that generated space and time,
> and created all the matter and energy in the universe. Exactly what
> triggered this sudden expansion remains a mystery. Astronomers believe it
> involved a runaway process called "inflation," in which a peculiar type
> of energy that existed in the vacuum of space was suddenly mobilized. The
> inflationary expansion ended only when this energy was transformed into
> more familiar forms of matter and energy.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             "Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes
micha@aishdas.org        exactly the right measure of himself,  and
http://www.aishdas.org   holds a just balance between what he can
Fax: (270) 514-1507      acquire and what he can use." - Peter Latham


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 14:32:14 -0400
From: "Glasner, David" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Subject:
Dor Revi'I on shilu'ah ha-qein


A forthcoming update to the Dor Revi'i website <www.dorrevii.org> on
porashat ki teitzei

ki yiqarei qan tzipor l'phanekha ba-derekh ba-eitz o al ha-aretz
 . . . lo tiqah ha-eim al ha-banim. shalei'ah t'shalah ha-eim
v'ha-banim tiqah lah (If a bird's nest chances to be before you in the
way in any tree, or on the ground . . .you shall not take the mother with
the young; But you shall let the mother go, and take the young to you)
(Deuteronomy 22:6-7)

It states in the Talmud (Hulin 139b)

Our Rabbis taught: It is written (Deuteronomy 22:6): "If a bird's nest
chances to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground."
What does Scripture teach thereby? But because it is also written (Id. 7):
"But you shall let the mother go, and take the young" (shalei'ah t'shalah
et ha-eim v'et ha-banim tiqah lah) I might suppose that one should go
searching over mountains and hills to find a nest, the text therefore
states: "chance to be" (yiqarei), that is, if it happens to be before you.

 From here the Havot Ya'ir (responsum no. 67) concluded that even if one
does not want to take anything from the nest, there is an obligation to
send away the mother and to take the children, for the Talmud deduced
from this verse that "if a bird's nest chances to be before you" teaches
us that one is not obligated to go searching for a nest in the mountains
and hills in order to fulfill this obligation. And I am amazed, for the
deduction of the Talmud is precisely that the formulation "if a bird's
nest chances to be before you" teaches us that we do not say that there
is an unconditional obligation to seek a nest to be able to send the
mother away (as we might have thought from the repetition of the words
"shalei'ah t'shalah,"), so that only if it had not been written "if a
bird's nest chances to be before you" would I have concluded that there
is an absolute obligation to send away the mother and take the children.
But it was precisely to preclude this inference that the Scripture
wrote "if a bird's nest chances to be before you." Therefore, even if
one happens upon a nest, one is not obligated to send away the mother
unless he wants to take the children.

Now the Havot Yair bases his inference from the Talmud that there is an
absolute obligation to send away the mother and to take the children
on the explanation of this obligation given by the holy Zohar, which
is that if the mother bird will be distraught and flies from one place
to another in search of her children, the mother's pain will arouse
the pity of the Omnipresent, blessed be He, on his children in exile.
But it is known that the kabalistic explanations are in many cases
not in accord with the halakhah, as I have previously shown you in
connection with the prohibition of the sciatic nerve (gid ha-nasheh)
which, according to the Zohar, is intended to repair the transgression
of Jacob in marrying two sisters. For the sciatic nerve is one of the
365 sinews of the body which correspond to the 365 negative prohibitions
listed in the Torah. But this explanation accords only with the opinion
of R. Judah who holds that prohibition of the sciatic nerve applies only
to one of the sciatic nerves, but it does not accord with the opinion of
the Sages who hold that the prohibition applies to both sciatic nerves.
Similarly the kabalistic explanation for the tefilin to be worn on the
weaker (left) hand, because the left hand is next to the heart does not
accord with the halakhah, because according to this reason a left-handed
person should also wear the tefilin on his left hand. But in fact a
left-handed person is required to wear the tefilin on his right hand.
And there are many other instances in which the kabalistic explanation
does not accord with the halakhah. And the opinion of the Havot Ya'ir
is also disproved by the Hidushei ha-Ran. (Dor Revi'i al Hulin 139b)

David Glasner


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 15:13:57 -0400
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Subject:
Re: Age of the Universe


Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 22, 2004 at 02:14:04PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:

>: What about our calendar, then, which is from the creation of the world,
>: not of Adam, and which in fact starts from "molad tohu", which never
>: existed?

> Our calendar simply says that Adam was born in year 1, rather than
> declaring Tishrei 1 to be year 1. It still says nothing about what came
> before Adam, and whether time as we know it existed yet -- never mind
> how much time.

No, in our calendar, Adam was created on 1 Tishri 0002, not 0001.  The
world was created on 25 Elul 0001. 0001 only lasted 5 days; there was
no 24 Elul 0001, or any earlier date.

> Molad tohu could very well be fictional. If one would take it as proof
> of anything, it would be proof that someone thought the moon existed a
> literal year before Adam got a soul. It would be proof of non-literalism.

The name implies that this molad never actually happened, because there
*wasn't* a moon or a sun at that point. If the sun and moon had already
existed for millions of years by that point, why call it 'molad tohu'?
And if the important point of 'creation' is Adam's awakening into self-
consciousness, and all that went before that is irrelevant preamble,
why *not* start the calendar from Adam, instead of from a metaphorical
event that is poetically dated 5 days earlier? Why *not* have Adam's
ensoulment as the beginning of year 0001, rather than 0002? The fact
that our calendar starts a year earlier, counting the first five days of
creation as a year (like the regnal years of a king), shows that whoever
decided on this count thought of the creation story as literal. You
could still claim, of course, that whoever made that decision was wrong.

> Or perhaps the name is proof of dual creation -- that there was time
> during the period of tohu, before the yetzirah as we know it.

Again, why start from an insignificant point within that tohu, rather
than from the 'true' beginning of the world, Adam's ensoulment?

> However, as RZS writes, we simply use it as a starting point. The Torah
> tells us the original molad from which we counted our calendar -- the
> molad right before yetzi'as mitzrayim. Molad tohu was just a number
> produced by working backwards.

Well, one siurce I have seen (sorry, I don't remember where) has it
that Hashem told Moshe to count from 'molad BaHaRaD', aka 'molad tohu'.
But I suspect that's not true, and that in fact molad tohu was calculated
backward, not in the time of Moshe, but sometime during the period of the
Amoraim. Moshe was simply shown a crescent moon and told 'when it looks
like that, it's a molad'. According to the Rambam, he was also told that
when kiddush hachodesh is impossible, the months should be calculated; but
that doesn't require that he be given a fixed epoch to calculate *from*
- presumably the original command was to calculate from the last known
(visually acquired and duly sanctified) molad.

The idea of calculating from a fixed epoch thousands of years ago seems
to me to have come about much later, and was arrived at, as you say, by
calculating backward from a known molad. A consequence of that would be
that the accumulated error in our moladot (about half a second per month)
is only about 3 hours, instead of ~6 hours if it were accumulating from
matan torah, or ~10 hours if it went all the way back to creation.

-- 
Zev Sero
zev@sero.name


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 23:01 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.HUJI.AC.IL
Subject:
Creation and science


Most mefarshim (Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim, Abarbanel, GRA in Aderet
Eliyahu, Yaarat Dvash on gemara in Megilla 9a) see that *time* itself
was created. The Gesenius dictionary on RESHIT has one of the meanings
as "moving of the head". My translation of B'RESHIT uses the *bet*
as a gerund: "with a rapid oscillatory movement in which time was
created. What's interesting is that the American theoretical physicist
Charles Muses has the "time as energy" concept with the energy released by
*time* to be vibrating or oscillating. See also the US Dept. of Commerce
Joint Publication Service (which translates Russian scientific material)
JPRS 45238: "Possibility of experimental study of the properties of time".

Hashem created time. The energy released by time is vibrating or
oscillating. This property of time is in the form of nonlinear oscillators
which have emergent properties of self-organization.

Nonlinear elements are integrated at many different levels, from the
level of the biological molecule (e.g. enzyme) to the level of the organ
system. Biological ehythms in the body are dynamic, coupled nonlinear
oscillators and tiny pertubations cause disease. Lack of chaos and
perturbed nonlinear systems cause multiple organ failure and eventual
death (Critical Care Medicine 1996;24:1107- 1116). What's more intriguing
is that inducing chaos in the body prevents disease (including cancer,
see: Cancer Research 1988;48: 6050; and heart disease).

As someone in internal medicine (and physiology) I see no contradiction
whatsoever between Maaseh Bereishit and modern science.

And even life (at least in microbes) has been created by this energy.

KOL TUV
Josh


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 15:43:38 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Age of the Universe


On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 03:13:57PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
: No, in our calendar, Adam was created on 1 Tishri 0002, not 0001.  The
: world was created on 25 Elul 0001. 0001 only lasted 5 days; there was
: no 24 Elul 0001, or any earlier date.

In our calendar, Adam was created (immediately before?) bein
hashemashos, the overlap between 30 Elul 1 and 1 Tishrei 2. Tishrei yr 2
overlap. Thus, for people who aren't comfortable doing math with zeros,
there is a need to have a year one for discussion of the first moment of
true time.

: The name implies that this molad never actually happened, because there
: *wasn't* a moon or a sun at that point.

The name is a reference to Bereishis 1:2, and therefore is understood
however one understands the pasuq. If that means between beri'ah and the
current yetzirah, if it means non-existance, if it means incomprehensible
existance, or whilte time is meaningless, or....

-mi


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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 22:22:32 +0200
From: "D&E-H Bannett" <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Subject:
Re:Age of universe


I've been following this thread on and off and might have missed it but,
as it would have generated additional comments, I don't think so.

How come that nobody has mentioned Stephen Hawking's announcement only
a month or so ago that he now believes that the big bang was not the
beginning of the universe. Before the universe expanded from a point,
he now says that the point was the result of previous contraction to
the point.

k'tiva vahatima tova,
David


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Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 00:22:20 +0300 (IDT)
From: eli turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
Subject:
Tosafot map of Israel


Can someone please explain the map of Israel/middle east in tosaphot on
Eruvin 15a. I have no idea what it means.

Thanks,
Eli Turkel


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Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 15:42:24 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
[none]


In the Ran's (Sanhedrin 65b) discussion of why astrology is permitted,
he notes that it is only that which is actually based on some scientific
basis but not that which is nonsense. Nonsense predictions are apparently
prohibited on the doreissa level. However at the end of his discussion
he states the following

Furthermore the reason that our Sages (Megila 32a) permitted a person
to utilize a chance utterance as an omen even though it is similar to
divination and has no basis in wisdom at all  is that nevertheless a
man achieves success and is motivated when he hears reinforcement of
what he wants as it says Yeshaya (30:21): And your ears shall hear a
word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to
the right hand, and when you turn to the left.

How can this be a hetair? Are there any other incidents of things which
apparently should be prohibited but are permitted solely for psychological
encouragement. [I am not concerned with cases of pikuach nefesh which
obviously are permitted.] Of course I might be totally misreading this
Ran - so please check with the original.

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 09:32:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Subject:
nusach of kaddish


From: Joelirich@aol.com
>> I'm trying to do some homework on why there seems to be a difference
>> in the nusach of kaddish drabbanan and other kaddeishim (brachamav,)
>> as well as whether to add v'ara and tovim. I've found different nuschaot
>> in general of kaddish but not that would explain why drabanan would be
>> different nor why to prefer (or not) the additions.

From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
> I assume that you mean in nusach Ashkenaz, since AIUI nusach Sefard has
> all kaddishim with berachamav and tovim. I surmised that, at least in
> the case of Artscroll, and possibly other editions prior thereto, the
> nusach for Ashkenaz for kaddish derabanan was copied from nusach Sefard.

 From what I can tell, and I think I recall reading this in on of
RSMandel's posts, Kaddish Derabanan was never part of Ashkenaz davening,
only part of Torah study, and triggered by agadita (hence the common "R'
Chananya b. Akashya" recited before it). So holds the Baer siddur, and the
siddur Eizor Eliyohu's footnotes that document "original" nusach Ashkenaz.

For some reason, Robbunin Kaddish was imported from Sephardi Nusach,
perhaps by way of the Chasidic Nusach Sfard, and so it came along with
the standard Eastern variants in nusach, "tovim" and "berachamav".
So we say them both in Kaddish Derabbanan, but not in other Kaddeishim.

My mother has been sitting shiva this week for her brother, so I've been
leading mincha/mishna/maariv there, and have to stick to "Nusach Lincoln
Square", since they provided the minyan, the sefer torah, the books,
etc. They say tovim but not berachamav. I asked Cantor Goffin about it
(who's also sitting shiva this week, for his father, through Tuesday, if
you want to contact him), and he said there's no good answer. There are
about 5 theories, but he doesn't like any of them.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


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Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 19:51:50 +0000
From: "M. Kagan" <motikagan@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Kaddish DeRabbanan


The practice of saying Kaddish DeRabbanan migrated over to Nusah Ashkenaz 
from the nushaot of the Hassidim in the last hundred years or so.

There is a siddur that came out in the last few years called Ezor Eliyahu 
(ed. David Kohen, published  in Jerusalem) that sees as one of its aims the 
undoing of changes made in  Nusah Askenaz in the last couple of hundred 
years by grammarians on the one hand and mystics on the other. It omits 
Kaddish DerRbbanan and includes a footnote detailing the relatively short 
history of this prayer in Nusah Ashkenaz.

As far as why Hassidim might have wanted to add the prayer, the Siddur 
Yaavetz (recently translated into English and published by Feldheim Books)  
includes a comment which might reflect the thinking of the Hassidic 
innovators. Starting from the popular conception that during the course of 
the morning prayer one ascends through the four worlds known to mystics, 
Siddur Yaavetz says that Kaddish marks each of the points of transition 
between one world and the next. Without Kaddish DeRabbanan after Qorbanot,  
the transition between Olam Ha-Asiyah and Olam Ha-Beriah wouldn't be 
covered.  The author says that the important point about Kaddish  is that it 
is in Aramaic, a language angels don't understand (I don't know if the 
latter is a demonstrable scientific fact) and that this forms the basis of a 
protective subterfuge important during the delicate moment of transition, 
when angels who by nature stay at one level forever, might envy lowly but 
mobile human beings. I don't have the book and hope I am remembering 
accurately.

Anyways, there's not much point in looking for a correct or original 
Ashkenazy text--whatever is in one's siddur can't be wrong (or can't be 
right?).

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