Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 073

Friday, February 4 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:54:46 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: Torah and Science and Jewish vs. Secular chronolgy


R' Micha Berger wrote <<< The point I was trying to make is that molad
tohu is unlikely to be miSinai. We're told that the molad Moshe Rabbeinu
was given was the one before yetzi'as Mitzrayim, when HQBH says to him
"hachodesh HAZEH lachem". So the question is when did someone compute
backward to molad tohu? >>>

It seems that a lot of people are emotionally hung up on Molad Tohu. Me,
I get a lot of inspiration from the molad of the following Tishre.

Molad Tohu is nothing more than a convenient mathematical starting point
for calculating the other molados. But the molad of Tishre twelve months
later fell at precisely 8:00:00 on a Friday morning. Others can believe
what they want, but this is too much of a coincidence for me.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what was meant by "molad tohu is unlikely to
be miSinai." I think that anyone in Moshe Rabenu's day, armed with the
time of the molad for that Nisan, armed with the duration of a standard
month, and armed with a decent talent for math, could have counted back
to Bereshis and arrived at the same data that we see now.

Akiva Miller


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 12:12:04 -0600
From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Gedolim who attended college


<<I am interested in compiling a list of gedolim from the past and present
who attended college and/or had a college degree. Can anyone help? Let
me begin by mentioning Rav Avraham Pam, ZT"L and Rabbi Yaakov Perlow.>>

Just curious what you're planning on doing with that list. Rav Chaim Dov
Keller, one of the roshei yeshiva at Telshe Chicago, attended YU. He's
said so openly in some of his articles in the jewish observer, but if
you intend to use this as a proof that he approves of every yeshiva
bochur attending college, just go ask him... I think you'll be in for
a big surprise!

Gershon Seif


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 13:28:00 -0500
From: "Allen Gerstl" <acgerstl@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Gedlom who attended college


On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 11:42:01 -0500 Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu> wrote:
>I am interested in compiling a list of gedolim from the past and present 
>who attended college >and/or had a college degree. Can anyone help? .  .  .

Please see: Between Berlin and Slobodka : Jewish transition figures from
Eastern Europe, Goldberg, Hillel, Ktav, Pub. House, 1989

Rav Chaim Heller had a Beit Midrash in Berlin were a number of benei
Torah who were attending university in Berlin learned.

I don't have the book handy but IIRC the following rabbanim z"l were
among those students: Rav Hutner, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav J.B.
Soloveitchik and Rav A.A. Price (the latter of whom I was privileged to
know in Toronto).

KT
Eliyahu


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 20:51 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.HUJI.AC.IL
Subject:
Re: Gedolim who attended college


Rav DR. (!) Shimshon Refael Hirsch. Then there's Rav Yaakov Ettlinger
(the Aruch Laner) who got a PhD 180 years ago from a German university. I
only wonder when they'll start burning his sefarim. And apropos: since
the Ramban and the RAN were both physicians (and they didn't exactly
learn medicine in a yeshiva) I guess we'll have lots to burn this coming
Lag Ba'Omer :-)

Josh


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 13:21:10 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Electricity on Shabbat


He says this in the section on meleches machsheves, Vol 1 but I don't
recal if in the text or the footnotes on psik reisha dlo nicha lei.

I agree that since most rishonim disagree with the Aruch and forbid this
type of psik reisha that it is not a blanket heter. It is only for those
who really have the need and also there must be extenuating circumstances,
such as lenient views on the nature of electricity.

M.Levin


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 14:24:12 -0500
From: "Allen Gerstl" <acgerstl@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Re: A of the U


On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 17:10:53 +0200 R' Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
wrote:
>RYGB's citations from the Torah Shleima were shown to one of the gedolim 
>who had stated that asserting that the world is greater than 6000 years is 
>kefirah. After reading the list he acknowledged that there are views of 
>accepted authorities that the world is more than 6000 years. When asked to 
>reconcile this with his previous statement that such views were kefirah, he 
>replied that since today it is accepted that the world is less than 6000 
>years old - the alternatives are no longer legitimate.

Did he explain why?

KT
Eliyahu


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 14:43:12 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Subject:
Re: A of the U


From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
> RYGB's citations from the Torah Shleima were shown to one of the gedolim
> who had stated that asserting that the world is greater than 6000 years
> is kefirah. After reading the list he acknowledged that there are views
> of accepted authorities that the world is more than 6000 years. When
> asked to reconcile this with his previous statement that such views were
> kefirah, he replied that since today it is accepted that the world is
> less than 6000 years old - the alternatives are no longer legitimate.

I hear statements like this occasionally, and I wonder whether they're
based on empirical evidence. All my life I've known observant Jews
who believed that the world is more than 6000 years old. What does this
particular gadol mean when he says "today it is accepted that the world is
less than 6000 years old"? How does he know that this (that it's accepted)
is true?

David Riceman


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:24:32 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Subject:
Re: Gedolim who attended college


>I am interested in compiling a list of gedolim from the past and 
>present who attended college and/or had a college degree. Can 
>anyone help?

The Aruch LaNer (R. Yaakov Ettlinger) started college but never
finished because of anti-semitic riots. R. Azriel Hildesheimer held
a doctorate. R. Yitzchak Hutner went to college, as did the late RMM
Schneerson. Of course, RYBS held a doctorate.

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books
http://www.yasharbooks.com/Sub.html
Phone: (718) 951-1254  Fax: (718) 228-5150
mailto:Gil@YasharBooks.com


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 21:04:18 +0000
From: y.blau@att.net
Subject:
It recently became kefira


Over the years I had the merit to know a number of gedolei yisrael,
learn from them and even work with them. Their greatness was reflected
in differing ways, both with respect to learning (yedios, chidush,
pesak, machshava) and leadership. They neither claimed infallibility
nor assumed that greatness in one area of Torah implied that they were
authorities in every aspect. The notion that we now have "gedolim" who
can transfer an approach that was not kefira, when expressed in earlier
times, into kefira through signing a cherem is beyond my comprehension.
It is not necessary for the many significant talmidei chachamim who have
not signed to make public statements to demonstrate that this is not
reflective of a true consensus. The entire process (though it appears
that there was no real process) reduces kavod hatorah.

The tragic report of the death of infants, possibly caused by doing meziza
p'feh, when current medical understanding of hygiene would require using
a tube should remind us that ignorance of modern medicine is dangerous.
Meziza is described in the Talmud as a procedure to prevent a sakana
to the infant. Opposition on principle to any accomodation to a modern
scientific sensibility is one perspective within Orthodoxy to declare
it the only acceptable approach is damaging in many ways.

Yosef Blau


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 18:44:27 -0500
From: "" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Subject:
Testing a People


chana@KolSassoon.org.uk posted on: Feb 1, 2005: 
> In the case of the navi
> sheker, Hashem may allow the miracles, but it is the navi sheker who
> has the intention to deceive and lead us away from Torah.

I thought the point was that Hashem declares this navi to be a test,
because he gives him the appearance of being sent by Hashem (or by an
Avodah Zarra) by virtue of being able to perform miracles. This is a
stronger test than that Hashem allows reshaim to do rishus.

(For the record, however, I am staying with the shitta that the fossils
are remnants of creatures who did roam the earth less than 6000 years
ago, eventually to become extinct, and that the dating methods are to
be challenged.)

Zvi Lampel


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 19:55:08 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Subject:
Re: ethnocentrism


RYGB wrote:
>> "Even a ship going from Gaul to Spain is only blessed because of Israel".

> And you assume that is all there is, k'peshuto?!

I don't have to assume that that's all there is, kipshuto. One may take
it as hyperbole, or in some other way shelo kipshuto. But one may also
take it kipshuto. Remember, it was you who described such a view as
"absurdly enthnocentric", and outside the realm of possible positions.
The existence of this maamar chazal, and the possibility of taking it
kipshuto, should be enough to answer that. Unless you really think that
not only *may* one take this shelo kipshuto, but that one *must* do so.

-- 
Zev Sero
zev@sero.name


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:09:20 -0500
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Subject:
Mussar and Kabbalah


Rabbi Rich Wolpe said:
> Personally I would recommend that most people stay out of Kabbalah until
> they have mastered Talmudic Aggadah {e.g En Yaakov} and Midrashim such
> as Midrash Rabba and Tanchuma, Yalkut etc. Once one can plumb the real
> peshat of those stories than lich'ora one is ready for Kabbalah, too.

That is why Kabbalah was traditionally not even taught to people until
the age of 40. Like most subjects of Jewish belief, the area of mysticism
is wide open to personal interpretation. Some Jews take mysticism very
seriously. Mysticism is an integral part of Chassidic Judaism, for
example, and passages from kabbalistic sources are routinely included
in traditional Siddurim.

Other traditional Jews take mysticism with a grain of salt. Prof.
Lieberman, when introducing a speaker on the subject of Jewish mysticism,
said basically, "it's nonsense, but it's Jewish nonsense, and the study
of anything Jewish, even nonsense, is worthwhile." I found his statement
to be somewhat off center. In other words, I never looked upon Kabbalah
as nonsense. Another humble (and learned) rabbi made the statement that
he doesn't know the Talmud well enough to study Kabbalah himself. Or
in his words, it's like a doctor trying to do brain surgery without
learning that the arm bone is connected to the hand bone. (Somewhat of
an oversimplification, nevertheless, very telling).

Kabbalah has become corrupted and is treated as new age stuff that is
leaking out to the general public and to goofballs like Madonna. People
like Madonna and her ilk have made a travesty of it.

Richard Wolberg


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 20:38:54 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Alternative Medicine and AZ


On Wed, Feb 02, 2005 at 03:06:55PM -0500, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
: Let's say the Sun heals the sick.
: Let's say that varous idol worrshippers worship the Sun.

But the sun exists whether or not they worship it.

I would not say the same of ki. To say that reiki is capable of working
alone is problematic. It would be a mindboggling coincidence; akin to
learning that prayers to some AZ happen to be biologically tuned to
healing in a way that other sets of sounds aren't. Now they attributed
the value in the prayer to the meanings for which they composed them.
Would you assume the prayers happen to work for another reason, and
continue using them?

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
micha@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (270) 514-1507         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 21:23:34 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: R. Mordechai Eliyahu on the reason for the tsunami


On Wed, Feb 02, 2005 at 04:44:20PM +0100, Schoemann, Danny (Danny)** CTR ** wrote:
: Iyov believes that everything He does has a purpose, and is frustrated
: when he cannot explain his own misfortunes. He did nothing to deserve
: this trouble and Hashem cannot do injustice.

: His friends assume that Iyov is kidding himself - he cannot be as sin-free
: as he claims.

Elifaz in particular.

: Hashem eventually solves the problem: Live is not only a series of rewards
: and punishments, but sometimes it includes tests. This possibility hadn't
: occurred to anybody.

Quite to the contrary. Hashem's message is more like "you weren't there
when I created the world, who are you to ask these things?" Look at the
nevu'ah in the whirlwind starting at 38:1.

BTW, that in itself is interesting, as Hashem tells Eliyahu that His
Voice is not in the whirlwind but in the qol demamah daqah.

On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 02:48:21PM +0100, Schoemann, Danny (Danny)** CTR ** wrote:
: A *real* TC does everything with Da'as Torah. If a TC decides he has
: an inspiration that will benefit the public then he doesn't need to do
: years of research before he publishes it.

: That's the concept of Da'as Torah...

No, that's the chassidic concept of a tzadiq having ru'ach haqodesh.

Da'as Torah is the notion that learning Torah hones the mind such that
the conclusions of someone who is immersed in Torah are superior. This
sense of the phrase started with R' Yisrael Salanter, who used it to
extend the authority of the rav beyond halakhah into advising talmidim
on other decisions with significant midos-development impact. From there
it grew, and without the focus on midos, totally changed meaning.

The phrase "DT" is used in the gemara -- to refer to that which was
known through mesorah as opposed to his own conclusion. Even though
an amora's own conclusion is closer to what we now call da'as Torah.

Contemporary use of DT is based on the premises that
(1) The talmid chacham would not speak up without knowing the metzi'us
suffiently.
(2) DT is so valuable that having it outweighs differences in knowledge
about the problem space.

See earlier DT debates.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             With the "Echad" of the Shema, the Jew crowns
micha@aishdas.org        G-d as King of the entire cosmos and all four
http://www.aishdas.org   corners of the world, but sometimes he forgets
Fax: (270) 514-1507      to include himself.     - Rav Yisrael Salanter


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 20:42:27 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Electricity on Shabbat


On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 10:15:35AM -0500, Mlevinmd@aol.com wrote:
:> Within five seconds it is lo nicha lei because the door stays open no matter
:> what.

: Having the sensor on, in general, is nicha lei...

The machloqes of whether it's to be parsed as lo nicha-lei (not good
for him) or lo-nicha lei (bad for him), and therefore whether something
that neither harms nor helps is included, was already mentioned.

But I'm chiming in for another reason: The issur is not having the
sensor on, it's tripping it. So "having the sensor on, in general"
is not relevent, it's the nicha-ness of this particular instance of
tripping it.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l


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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 21:33:26 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Torah and Science and Jewish vs. Secular chronolgy


On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 05:54:46PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: Molad Tohu is nothing more than a convenient mathematical starting point
: for calculating the other molados. But the molad of Tishre twelve months
: later fell at precisely 8:00:00 on a Friday morning. Others can believe
: what they want, but this is too much of a coincidence for me.

Precisely 8am on what clock? Setting midnight to the mean chatzos is
only one way to standardize time. For that matter, the hour (as in 8
o'clock) standardized to something other than sha'ah zemanis is also
far more recent than matan Torah. And why would the RSO create the moon
such that the first molad is at an even number of chalaqim per standard
hour? It seems significant, but what's the significance?

: Maybe I'm misunderstanding what was meant by "molad tohu is unlikely to
: be miSinai." I think that anyone in Moshe Rabenu's day, armed with the
: time of the molad for that Nisan, armed with the duration of a standard
: month, and armed with a decent talent for math, could have counted back
: to Bereshis and arrived at the same data that we see now.

As could somone have done it armed with SOR and not knowing about missing
years. He'd then create numbers that look good without taking the years
into account.

Either is possible -- no ra'ayos can be derived either way.

-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: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 01:11:14 -0600
From: Elly Bachrach <ebachrach@engineeringintent.com>
Subject:
pesukim on invitations


Hi.
I have a question regarding the placement of pesukim on invitations.
R' Moshe zt'l in  Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:135  held it was wrong even to put
the std. "kol sasson..." on invitations.
He also felt that it was wrong for schools/mosdos to send out pages with
brachos and similar content.

R' Neustadt in his weekly halacha email discussed this very briefly
several times (well, actually, it's the same content reorganized every
few years).  He writes:
"Although it is a widespread custom to do so, it is improper to write a
pasuk, or part of a pasuk, on a wedding invitation, since invitations
are generally discarded"
The sources he brings are R' Moshe (above) and Harav S.Y. Elyashiv
(Apiryon l'Shelomo, pg. 25)

Yet both of these practices are quite common today. What poskim disagreed
with R' Moshe in these areas? Upon whom are we relying in our current
practices?

I'm sure this or something like it has been discussed before, but I
couldn't find it in the archives

thanks
elly
--
Elly Bachrach
Engineering Intent http://www.EngineeringIntent.com
mailto:EBachrach@EngineeringIntent.com


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Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 11:45:28 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Subject:
RE: R. Mordechai Eliyahu on the reason for the tsunami


For some reason the beginning of my email on this to Danny didn't get
sent, I don't know why.

[It doesn't ring a bell. I think it reached the queue mangled. Although
I have been known to mangle the occasional post during the approval and
reformatting step. -mi]

What I said in the original first part of the email (as you may be able
to gather from the second part), is that this case is analogous to having
two houses next door to one another, the one with a fire alarm and the
one without.

And the fire started in the house without the fire alarm, but was so
strong that it even set off the fire alarm in the second house, and
the inhabitants of the second house woke up and started screaming to
the inhabitants of the first house, but the inhabitants of the first
house still failed to hear them and perished in the blaze. Similarly the
warning system was set up for the Pacific Ocean, the tsunami was in the
Indian Ocean, but the earthquake still set off the sensors in the centre
set up to detect earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean.

In this case I do not know how it could be said that the inhabitants of
the first house were placing too great a reliance on high tech. If the
blaze had been in the second house and despite the fire alarm everybody
had perished, the message might have been what RDS is proposing, namely
that high tech cannot do everything and we need to rely more on the RBSO.
But in the case where the blaze starts in the first house, is not the
more logical conclusion that we need to do more hishtadlus vis a vis
high tech (ie install an alarm, use the science that the RBSO has made
available to us) rather than the reverse,

Regards
Chana


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Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 15:13:47 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: A of the U


Allen Gerstl wrote:
> On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 17:10:53 +0200 R' Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
> wrote:
>> RYGB's citations from the Torah Shleima were shown to one of the 
>> gedolim who had stated that asserting that the world is greater than 
>> 6000 years is kefirah. After reading the list he acknowledged that 
>> there are views of accepted authorities that the world is more than 
>> 6000 years. When asked to reconcile this with his previous statement 
>> that such views were kefirah, he replied that since today it is 
>> accepted that the world is less than 6000 years old - the 
>> alternatives are no longer legitimate.

> Did he explain why?

I assume he is following the view expounded by the Chasam Sofer. I am
trying to find out more information. I also heard this explanation of
delegimization in the name of a second gadol. However, nobody has cited
the Chasam Sofer as the source. It seems a given that major rules in
these matters.

*Chasam Sofer( Y.D. 2:356): *R' Hillel who is quoted in Sanhedrin (99a)
as rejecting salvation through Moshiach but asserted [according to Rashi]
that G-d Himself would directly save the Jews. Rashi is without a doubt
correct that R' Hillel was not rejecting the fact of salvation but only
the agency of Moshiach... Furthermore it is obviously that we don't
accept his view. In fact someone today who asserted that there will be
no Moshiach because he accepts R' Hillel's view is in deny the principle
of the Torah to follow the majority position. Since the overwhelming
majority of sages have rejected this view no one has the right to go
against that majority and insist on accepting the sole dissenting view
of R' Hillel. This is no different that the case of R' Eliezar who
ruled in for his community that it permitted on Shabbos to cut wood to
make charcoal to make iron for a milah knife in order to do bris mila
on Shabbos. Since the majority of Torah scholars rejected this view,
anyone who performs these actions on Shabbos before witness and with a
warning is liable to capital punishment and he can not claim that he is
following the authority of R' Eliezar. This that it teaches in Eduyos
"Why are the minority views taught" is in fact obviously dealing with
a different issue which there is no need to go into here. Nevertheless
even though salvation and the coming of Moshiach are themselves not
foundation principles that determine Judaism but a person who doesn't
accept them is rejecting the foundation principle of belief in the Torah
and the words of the prophets.

*Chasam Sofer (Beitzah 5a): *The Rambam asserts that there are no
disputes concerning halachos which are labeled as Halacha L'Moshe
M'Sinai. This assertion has been criticized since there are in fact many
disputes concerning whether a particular halacha is Halacha L'Moshe
M'Sinai. With great trepidation I would suggest a partial defense
of the Rambam's position. In agreement with the Rambam's critics,
there is no question that there are disputes concerning items that
have been transmitted through the generations as to what is or is not
Halacha L'Moshe M'Sinai. That is because one person had received this
information from his teacher while another one had not. Forgetting
and suffering have negatively affected our Mesorah and this has led to
disputes. However the basis of the Rambam's assertion might be that in
a particular generation the sages gathered together and the majority
agreed with one of the disputants that a certain halacha was in fact
Halacha L'Moshe M'Sinai. Consequently the opposing position became a
minority opinion that was discarded. In subsequent generations it was
not permitted to revive the dispute and rely on the rejected minority
opinion. That is because these matters are not dependent upon logic but
only on the Mesorah. Since the previous generation had decided by majority
vote which view was the correct Mesorah, no subsequent generation has
the right to dispute this majority. This suggestion seems to be very
reasonable unless someone can find evidence against it.

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 12:58:48 +0000
From: Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk
Subject:
Re: A of the U


RDE writes:
>RYGB's citations from the Torah Shleima were shown to one of the gedolim
>who had stated that asserting that the world is greater than 6000 years
>is kefirah. After reading the list he acknowledged that there are views
>of accepted authorities that the world is more than 6000 years. When
>asked to reconcile this with his previous statement that such views were
>kefirah, he replied that since today it is accepted that the world is
>less than 6000 years old - the alternatives are no longer legitimate.

My understanding of the reason why when the majority of Torah authorities
decides something, the alternatives proposed by other Torah authorities
are no longer legitimate is because of "lo beshamayim he" and "achrei
rabbim l'hatos" - the classic case of this of course being whether a
tanur is tahor or tamei (ie does it need to be broken? do we need to go
to the mikvah? can trumah be baked in it? etc).

It is interesting that the above approach appears to extend this concept
to something that I would have described as very much "b'shamayim he".
The manner in which Hashem created the world is surely in His hands.
And if anything could be described as not karov to us, surely it would
be Ma'aseh Bereshis (along with Ma'aseh Merkava)?

It is of course well known that the conclusion of the discussion of tanur
shel achnai (Baba Metzia 59b) is HaShem smiling and saying "nitchuni
banai". But would such a conclusion follow where the matter on which we
are following the rabbim involves redefining HaShem and the nature of
His works?

There has always been a concept that if one aligns themselves with His
will, Hashem will align himself with that person's will. But again I
had always understood that as being in terms of the goodness showered on
that person, not in terms of HaShem agreeing to alter His basic essence.
My understanding has always been that Hashem Is who he Is, and part of
who He Is is the Boreh HaOlam in the way he defines it (whatever that may
be), not that the nature of the Boreh can be redefined by the majority
of talmidei chachamim.

Shabbat Shalom
Chana


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Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 07:24:31 -0500
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Subject:
Mezuzah


I cannot emphasize enough the importance that you read the following
article on Mezuzah. It is probably one of the best essays on this subject
and will disavow many of erroneous thinking.
<http://www.atranet.co.il/gordon/mezuza.pdf>


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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 18:39:47 -0500
From: RMA <xynetics@nyc.rr.com>
Subject:
Re: Torah and Science and Jewish vs. Secular chronolgy


From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
>All the dating prior to Alexander's time is based on very, very few
>artifacts (there are many artifacts from later periods). In fact,
>essentially the whole system rests on a cuneiform tablet known as vat4956.

YOu're definitely mistaken.

VAT4956 is one of many such artifacts. "very, very few" is true compared
to say artifacts we have of the US Civil War, but there are over 10,000
cuneiform tablets which were found in the ruins of Babylon and relate
to the period between about 650 to 312. In addition there are many
inscriptions on Persian antiquities, Persian Royal Palaces etc. which
help establish the number and order of Persian Kings.

In particular one has the following

1. Astronomical Diaries (this is just a selection):
See:Neo Babylonian Astronomical Diaries are discussed and translated
in: A. Sachs & H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from
Babylonia, Vol. 1,5
and T.G. Pinches & J.N. Strassmaier, "Late Babylonian Astronomical and
Related Texts" (Providence, 1955).)

BM 36910+36998+37036 records by date and regnal year lunar eclipses from
Darius I to Artaxerxes II .

"VAT 5047", clearly dated to the 11th year of Artaxerxes I preserves
information about two lunar positions relative to planets and the
positions of Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. This information suffices
to identify the date of the text as 454 B.C.

The so-called Saros Canon lists every year from Artaxerxes II onwards,
recording every lunar eclipse in the period.

BM 32234, is dated to the 5th month of Xerxes 21st year. The astronomical
information preserved on this tablet fixes it to the year 465 BC.

BM 45674 and BM 32299, contain dated observations of the planet Venus
and are internally dated to the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes,.

BM 36754 records solar eclipses in the reigns of Artaxerxes III and
Darius III.

LBAT 1411-1412 records conjunctions of Saturn and Mars with the Moon
for the reign of Darius II and the start of the reign of Artaxerxes II.

LBAT 1387-1388 records observations of Venus for the reigns of Artaxerxes
I and Darius II.

BM 36823 records observations of Jupiter for the reign of Darius I.

LBAT 1394-1395 records observations of Jupiter for the reigns of
Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III.

Strassmaier, "Cambyses" No. 400 is a record of various astronomical data
for the last year of Cambyses' reign.

In all the above cases the tablet contains a regnal date and astronomical
information enabling one to do an astronomical retrocalculation to
establish the absolute date.

2. One also has numerous inscriptions, found in Persian palaces in
Hamadan, Susa and Persepolis which establish the existence of a Persian
Regnal order consisting of
Cyrus, Cambyses ,Bardiya, Darius [I], Xerxes (Ahasuerus), Artaxerxes [I] , 
Darius [II] , Artaxerxes [II] ,Artaxerxes [III],
,Arses, Darius [III].
For example one has the following second inscription found on the western
staircase, which was added on to of the "Palace of Darius" in Persepolis

(SEE http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/inscriptions.text)

    1. baga \ vazraka \ Auramazd \ hya \
    2. imm \ bumm \ ad \ hya \ a
    3. vam \ asmnm \ ad \ hya \ marti
    4. yam \ ad \ hya \ yatm \ ad \ marti
    5. ihy \ hya \ mm \ Artaxa \ xya
    6. thiya \ akunau \ aivam \ par?vnm \
    7. xyathiyam \ aivam \ par?vnm
    8. \ framatram \ thtiy \ Artaxsa \
    9. xyathiya \ vasraka \ xyathiya
   10. \ xyathiyanm \ xyathiya \
   11. DHy?nm \ xyathiya \ ahyy \ BUy \ ada
   12. m \ Artaxa \ xya
   13. thiya \ pua \ Artaxa \ Darayavau
   14.  \ xyathiya \ pua \ Drayavau \ A
   15. rtaxa \ xyathiya \ pua \ Artaxa
   16.  \ Xayr \ xyathiya \ pua \ X
   17. ayr \ Drayavau \ xyath
   18. iya \ pua \ Drayavau \ Vitspa
   19. hy \ nma \ pua \ Vitspahy \
   20. Arma \ nma \ pua \ Haxmanii
   21. ya \ thtiy \ Artaxa \ xyathi
   22. ya \ imam \ ustaanm \ athaganm \ m
   23. m \ up \ mm \ kart \ thtiy \ Arta
   24. xa \ xyathiya \ mm \ Auramazd \
   25. ut \ Mithra \ baga \ ptuv \ ut \ im
   26. m \ DHyaum \ ut \ tya \ mm \ kart \

    A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder
    heaven, who created happiness for man, who made Artaxerxes king. One
    king for many, one leader of many.

    The great king Artaxerxes, the king of kings, the king of countries,
    the king of this earth, says: I am the son of king Artaxerxes [II
    Mnemon]. Artaxerxes was the son of king Darius [II Nothus]. Darius
    was the son of king Artaxerxes [I]. Artaxerxes was the son king
    Xerxes. Xerxes was the son of king Darius [the Great]. Darius was
    the son of a man named Hystaspes. Hystaspes was a son of a man named
    Arsames, the Achaemenid.

    King Artaxerxes says: This stone staircase was built by me in
    my reign.

    King Artaxerxes says: May Ahuramazda and the god Mithra preserve me,
    my country, and what has been built by me.

3. Assorted Cuneiform business records can be used to confirm the length
of reign of each of the Kings in the above sequence.

Just for example

VAS V 110, dating itself to the 36th year of Darius' reign confirms the
length of reign of Darius I is confirmed by.

BM 33342 confirms the length of the reign of Artaxerxes I ias 41 years.I.

The length of reign of Artaxerxes II is confirmed by VAS VI 186, dating
itself to the 46th year of his reign.

All of the above are simply examples. There are in fact many thousands
of Business records which are dated to each and every year of all the
above Persian kings and confirm the conventional chronolgy of the period.

If one doesn't want to believe in the veracity of these documents
thta ids fine. Similarly one can deny the ability to do astronomical
retrocalculations.

However it is absurd to say that "the whole system rests on a cuneiform
tablet known as vat4956" as the Bechofer's claim.

In a future post I will consider some additional problems with the SOR
chronology relating to the Greek and Roman periods.


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