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Volume 14 : Number 103

Monday, March 28 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 11:05:48 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: fallibility or non fallibility of chazal


S & R Coffer wrote:
>>Rav Moshe
>>Shapiro noted that there is a specific and rarely used term - badusa -
>>indicating an actual error.

>I do not agree with the above statement but will not advance a
>counter-argument because I'm not sure in which context R' Moshe was
>speaking. (I am loathe to form a superficial argument against such a
>great man without being fully aware of the circumstances)

The context was Rav Shapiro's objection to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky's
saying the astronaut's landing on the moon proved that the Rambam was
wrong. Rav Shapiro said that one does not totally reject a view if it
is possible to say that it is correct on some level. He also noted that
only when the gemora uses the term badusa do we have a right to say that
the position is totally rejected and wrong.

>Perhaps you mean to say that although elu v'elu does not apply,
>it is clear that the words of Chazal, even when they argue, have at
>least some shiachus to the truth as illustrated from the Maharal's
>interpretation. To this I agree wholeheartedly but regarding fallibility
>versus infallibility, this is a very fine distinction. You see, when
>each Tana/Amora presented their sevara, they were under the impression
>that their stated opinion was categorically correct.

Interesting - how do you know this? If see the Ramban's discussion of
the nature of machlokes - which I assume he would apply to Chazal. The
Maharal also does not make such an assertion.

>In other words, the Chazon Ish should be understood within the context of
>a "nesinas ta'am" to the Kesef Mishna's peshat that they were universally
>mikabel upon themselves to abide by the pesak of the Mishna. Why were
>they mikabel? Because of their awareness of the previous generation's
>greatness, not merely because they wanted to do a chesed and tova to
>the tananim.

>This, I believe, is the proper understanding of the Chazon Ish and thus,
>he is not arguing on the kesef mishna.

There is no evidence for such an assumption. The Kesef Mishna is simply
following the Rambam's view in his hakdama to the Mishna Torah. There is
no mention of authority from superiority but just from the fact that the
Sages were in one place and thus could come to an agreement which was
binding on everyone. The discussion of this issue by Rav Shlomo Fischer
clarifies this point.

As you noted in an offline discussion:
"Anyway, the bottom line is I see your point, at least partially. I'm
glad we agree, at least somewhat"

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 23:26:05 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: fallibility or non fallibility of chazal


On March 27, 2005 Daniel Eidensohn wrote
S & R Coffer wrote:

DE wrote
Rav Moshe Shapiro noted that there is a specific and rarely used term -
badusa - indicating an actual error.

SC responded
I do not agree with the above statement but will not advance a
counter-argument because I'm not sure in which context R' Moshe was
speaking. (I am loathe to form a superficial argument against such a
great man without being fully aware of the circumstances)

DE responded
<The context was Rav Shapiro's objection to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky's
saying the astronaut's landing on the moon proved that the Rambam was
wrong. Rav Shapiro said that one does not totally reject a view if it is
possible to say that it is correct on some level.>

This position is simply untenable. The Gemara rejects opinions all of
the time. In fact, whenever the Gemara states "tiyuvta" twice, this is
an indication that the shita has been rejected such as tiyuvta d'rava,
tiyuvta. This occurs in the Gemara hundreds of times! There are many
other examples in the Gemara that shittos were dichuyos for a variety of
reasons. Perhaps Rav Moshe simply meant to echo Rashi's words that if a
sevara is tenable on a certain level, we do not categorically reject it
because the circumstance may change and the sevara may subsequently gain
ascendancy. Alternatively, he may have meant to express the Maharal's
approach that if the sevara has some truth to it, it has a din of
limud hatorah and from this perspective it is eternal, although it is
ultimately rejected.

What I find even more objectionable about your above quote is that you
are applying it 1) to Rishonim and 2) to statements in the Rambam that
obviously do not have to be followed.

1) It is absolutely inconceivable to say that we need to find "some level"
that every Rishon is correct as it seems you understand Rav Moshe Shapiro.
There are thousands of arguments among the Rishomnim and when they argued,
they absolutely rejected their opponent's views. How many times has the
Ra'avad, for instance, emphatically rejected the Rambam's shita? Who can
count how many times the Ramban said the words "v'einenu nachon"! in his
peerush al haTorah when arguing on Rashi, Ibn Ezra or the Rambam? Are
we expected to simply bury our heads in the sand and somehow accept
all of these opposing views as "correct on some level"? This spirit of
liberalness is diametrically opposed to the spirit of bakashas ha'emes
that permeates all of the words of the Rishonim; and besides, it simply
doesn't make any sense.

I would like to add that as far as we are concerned, the Rishonim were
far above our level of limud haTorah and their words are studied by us
with almost the same dedication as we have towards Chazal. R' Yisrael
Salanter states that without Rishonim, we do not have a Gemara. They *are*
our Gemara. A fellow once approached Rav Hutner and queried him regarding
the infallibility of the Rishonim. "After all, they were human and all
humans err" stated his questioner. To which Rav Hutner responded, "yes,
you are right... and Albert Einstein was also able to err, but I'd like
to see *you* catch him in a mistake"! IOW, as far as we're concerned,
all of the words of the Rishonim are Torah but this doesn't mean that
they couldn't err and it also doesn't mean that their shittos can't
be rejected.

2) The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah perek 3 halachah 9 states that
the galgalim (including the moon) are alive, aware, and praise Hashem
similar to the angels. In halachah 10 he states that everything below the
galgalim (i.e. the earth) is composed of the four elements as opposed
to that which is above the rakiah e.g. the moon. I'm afraid that Neil
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (amongst many others) would strongly disagree
and at this point, I think the onus would be on anyone following this
shita of the Rambam to illustrate precisely which of the moon rocks
and other samples brought back from their mission do not appear on our
periodic table of elements (i.e. the Rambam's four elements). Can you
kindly elucidate precisely on what "level" the Rambam was correct here?

DE continues
<He also noted that only when the gemora uses the term badusa do we have
a right to say that the position is totally rejected and wrong.>

This (in my opinion) is wrong! There are numerous cases in the Gemara were
tanaim and amoraim were wrong. There are whole sugyos in Sanhedrin regarding
the halachah of a dayan who errs. (Is he, for instance, obligated to
compensate the ba'al din monetarily etc.) The Gemara (Sanhederin 33) records
a case where R' Tarfon was toeh in a dvar Mishna and R' Akiva absolved him
from compensating the ba'al din. There are halachos regarding par helem
davar, which assumes an error by the Beis Din haGadol. There are so many
instances in the Gemra regarding human error that it is almost ridiculous to
try and illustrate it. Even Moshe Rabbeinu, the greatest man that ever
lived, erred. Like Rav Avigdor Miller says, the only one who is never wrong
is the pope.

SC wrote
Perhaps you mean to say that although elu v'elu does not apply,
it is clear that the words of Chazal, even when they argue, have at
least some shiachus to the truth as illustrated from the Maharal's
interpretation. To this I agree wholeheartedly but regarding fallibility
versus infallibility, this is a very fine distinction. You see, when
each Tana/Amora presented their sevara, they were under the impression
that their stated opinion was categorically correct.

DE responded
<Interesting - how do you know this? If see the Ramban's discussion of
the nature of machlokes - which I assume he would apply to Chazal. The
Maharal also does not make such an assertion.>

Not everything requires a source. Some things are simply common sense. If
two people are arguing, implicit in their debate is the postulation,
be each participant, that their sevara is correct. I can't understand
how you can see things differently. As far as your Ramban, it doesn't
sound familiar. Can you please supply a mareh makom?

SC wrote 
In other words, the Chazon Ish should be understood within the context of
a "nesinas ta'am" to the Kesef Mishna's peshat that they were universally
mikabel upon themselves to abide by the pesak of the Mishna. Why were
they mikabel? Because of their awareness of the previous generation's
greatness, not merely because they wanted to do a chesed and tova to
the tananim.

This, I believe, is the proper understanding of the Chazon Ish and thus,
he is not arguing on the Kesef Mishna.

DE responded
<There is no evidence for such an assumption.>

And there is no evidence against it. The Kesef Mishna has to make sense
somehow and it makes perfect sense using the Chazon Ish's approach. As
far as I'm concerned, you are creating a needless machlokes between the
Chazon Ish and the Kesef Mishna.

Best wishes
Simcha Coffer


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 10:59:21 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: fallibility or non fallibility of chazal


S & R Coffer wrote:
>DE responded
><The context was Rav Shapiro's objection to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky's
>saying the astronaut's landing on the moon proved that the Rambam was
>wrong. Rav Shapiro said that one does not totally reject a view if it is
>possible to say that it is correct on some level.>

>This position is simply untenable. The Gemara rejects opinions all of the
>time. In fact, whenever the Gemara states "tiyuvta" twice, this is an
>indication that the shita has been rejected such as tiyuvta d'rava, tiyuvta.
>This occurs in the Gemara hundreds of times! There are many other examples
>in the Gemara that shittos were dichuyos for a variety of reasons. Perhaps
>Rav Moshe simply meant to echo Rashi's words that if a sevara is tenable on
>a certain level, we do not categorically reject it because the circumstance
>may change and the sevara may subsequently gain ascendancy. Alternatively,
>he may have meant to express the Maharal's approach that if the sevara has
>some truth to it, it has a din of limud hatorah and from this perspective it
>is eternal, although it is ultimately rejected. 

>What I find even more objectionable about your above quote is that you are
>applying it 1) to Rishonim and 2) to statements in the Rambam that obviously
>do not have to be followed.

I don't think Rav Shapiro needs me to justify his views.

It would be helpful if you looked at the Emes L'Yaakov page 15.

 Emes L'Yaakov (Bereishis page 15): When I watched the astronauts
descending by ladder from their spaceship on the moon, I was thinking --
How could the Rambam explain this since he has written that the moon is
a spiritual entity. I thought that this indicates that the kabalistic
view that the moon is a material object has been shown to be victorious
over the philosophical view that the moon is a spiritual entity. Thus
the Ramban's view had been vindicated and the Rambam's view disproved.
However this presents a major problem since we view the words of the
Rishonim in the category of eilu v'eilu (that all their Torah views
are true). If so even though the actual halacha obviously can not be in
accordance with every Rishon -- but it is impossible that their views
are mistaken. Thus if the Rambam erred in the matter of describing the
nature of the moon found in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah then why couldn't
he be mistaken in the laws of Shabbos and other such things?... We are
forced to conclude that what the Rambam writes in the first four chapters
of the Mishna Torah are in fact not the Torah subjects of Maaseh Merkavah
or Maaseh Bereishis. In fact they are not Torah at all but rather the
Rambam's views in the area of secular knowledge. In fact this is reflected
in the Gra's criticism of the Rambam that he was influenced by philosophy
(Y.D. 179:13)...

>DE responded
><Interesting - how do you know this? If see the Ramban's discussion of
>the nature of machlokes - which I assume he would apply to Chazal. The
>Maharal also does not make such an assertion.>

>Not everything requires a source. Some things are simply common sense. If
>two people are arguing, implicit in their debate is the postulation, be each
>participant, that their sevara is correct. I can't understand how you can
>see things differently.

I think we have hit the wall on this topic. You are basically asserting 
your view is commonsensical and obvious and I am disagreeing.

> As far as your Ramban, it doesn't sound familiar.
>Can you please supply a mareh makom?

 Ramban(Introduction to Milchemes HaShem): For those who look at my
sefer, don't say in your heart that all my responses to the Ba'al HaMeor
are in my eyes absolutely correct and obviously true and would therefore
force everyone to acknowledge them. For everyone who studies our Talmud is
well aware that concerning disputes between the commentaries that there
are no absolute proofs or absolutely unanswerable questions. In fact,
in this area of wisdom, things are not clear and unambiguous as we find
in mathematical proofs. The main effort is to show that one position
is more likely and more reasonable than the alternativesórather than to
show that one is entirely correct and the other is entirely wrong.

>SC wrote 
>In other words, the Chazon Ish should be understood within the context of a
>"nesinas ta'am" to the Kesef Mishna's peshat that they were universally
>mikabel
>upon themselves to abide by the pesak of the Mishna. Why were they mikabel?
>Because of their awareness of the previous generation's greatness, not
>merely
>because they wanted to do a chesed and tova to the tananim.

>This, I believe, is the proper understanding of the Chazon Ish and thus, he
>is not arguing on the Kesef Mishna.

>DE responded
><There is no evidence for such an assumption.>

>And there is no evidence against it. The Kesef Mishna has to make sense
>somehow and it makes perfect sense using the Chazon Ish's approach. As far
>as I'm concerned, you are creating a needless machlokes between the Chazon
>Ish and the Kesef Mishna.

As I pointed out above - our argument has transcended the data.

Neither the Kesef Mishna nor the Rambam make the assertion that authority
is based upon qualitative superiority or ruach hakodesh - as the Chazon
Ish asserts. The Rambam is quite clear on this issue in his introduction
to the Mishna Torah. Similarly Rav Yosef Karo created a new authority
principle of the majority of the Rambam,Rif and Rosh because these
authorites had been accepted by Klall Yisroel - not because of their
superiority. I think this is obvious - while you don't.

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 09:07:55 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: fallibility or non fallibility of chazal


On March 28, 2005 Daniel Eidensohn wrote
> I don't think Rav Shapiro needs me to justify his views.

> It would be helpful if you looked at the Emes L'Yaakov page 15.

Sorry, I don't own a copy of the sefer.

> *Emes L'Yaakov (Bereishis page 15): *When I watched the astronauts
> descending by ladder from their spaceship on the moon, I was thinking -
...

I don't get it. We have been discussing the rejection versus categorical
acceptance of Chazal/Rishonim and in your last post, you quoted Rav
Moshe Shapiro in your defence as follows:

"The context was Rav Shapiro's objection to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky's
saying the astronaut's landing on the moon proved that the Rambam was
wrong. Rav Shapiro said that one does not totally reject a view if it
is possible to say that it is correct on some level".

Apparently, you are understanding Rav Shapiro to say that even in
the case of the landing on the moon, Rav Moshe was objecting to Rav
Yaakov's position regarding the Rambam for "one does not reject a view
if it is possible to say that it is correct on some level" . Yet, when
I requested an elucidation as to how the Rambam might be correct on
some level regarding the moon, you quote Rav Moshe as saying that the
Rambam was discussing his own personal secular views in this chapter,
and was influenced by Greek science.

I do not see how you are supporting your position from the above
paragraph. In fact, if anything, it supports my own.

...
> Neither the Kesef Mishna nor the Rambam make the assertion that
> authority is based upon qualitative superiority or ruach hakodesh - as
> the Chazon Ish asserts. The Rambam is quite clear on this issue in his
> introduction to the Mishna Torah. Similarly Rav Yosef Karo created a new
> authority principle of the majority of the Rambam,Rif and Rosh because
> these authorites had been accepted by Klall Yisroel - not because of
> their superiority. I think this is obvious - while you don't.

I think the former part of your statement is obvious but not the latter.
IOW, it is obvious that the Kesef Mishna is using the idea of kla
yisroel's acceptance etc. as the mechanism here. I am simply adding that
the *reason* why klal yisroel accepted the chasimos is because of their
awareness of the greatness of the past generations. I do not see why it is
"obvious" that the Kesef Mishna necessarily did *not* hold this position.

Simcha Coffer


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 13:13:35 -0500
From: "Glasner, David" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Subject:
fallibility of chazal


RD Eisensohn wrote:
<<< My text of the Chazon Ish says no such thing. He says that the Kesef
Mishna did not do Klall Yisroel a favor by proposing that authority is
based upon the acceptance of Klall Yisroel. Chazon Ish says authority
is based on the superiority of Chazal....>

The Chazon Ish dismisses the Kesef Mishna, but the Kesef Mishna only came
to explain how the Rambam could havepaskened in Mamrim 2:1 that a beit
din ha-gadol may overturn the halakhah decided by an earlier beit din
ha-gadol based on its interpretation of the Scripture even if the later
beit din is inferior to its predecessor in wisdom and number. The Kesef
Mishna is trying to reconcile this psak l'halakha of the Rambam with
the method of the Talmud, which doesn't allow an amora to argue with a
tannaitic source. The Chazon Ish may not like the Keseph Mishna, but his
problem seems to be with the Rambam about whom he is silent (at least in
the quotations I have so far read).

David Glasner


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 16:34:08 +0200
From: "Schoemann, Danny (Danny)** CTR **" <schoemann@lucent.com>
Subject:
Ad D'Lo Yoda secrets


The Sha'arei Tshuva in 695:2 (Hil. Seudas Purim) says at the end of (1)
in the name of the Mor Uktzia that "it appears to me that there is no need
to be careful about making a Memorial to the mourning over Yerushalyim
at the Purim Seuda, since one is required l'bsumi ad delo yoda etc."

A neighbour of mine claims that the concept of not being able to
differentiate between cursed Haman and blessed Morderchai is a cover
up. The real reason for over drinking is to forget about the mourning
over the destruction of Y-m. Thus the "etc." in the above quote.

However, since it's not "right" to say "drink until you forget the
churban", therefore some "purim-dik" reason was given.

 From what I understood, the joyful acceptance of the Torah at Purim time
(kiymu v'kiblu) was so great as to somehow negate the churban.

Can somebody elaborate?

 - Danny, recuperating from a 3 day Purim.


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Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 20:38:36 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: kavod hatorah


At 10:32 PM 3/26/2005, Harry Maryles wrote:
>k that it is a Reshus HaRabbim D'Oraisa still stands.

>Perhaps RYGB, an expert in Eruvin, can weigh in on this issue. AIUI he
>is familiar with the Pratim WRT to the Eruv in Flatbush and hopefully
>as well with the new YU Eruv.

I am not familiar with the YU eruv. Years ago I was told by R' Moshe
Dov Stein zt"l that the Faltbush eruv was very well constructed (we
do not know, of course, whether it has been maintained, more on this
momentarily). And it was "only" the RH"R issue that was a question.

But, as I tried to highlight in "The Contemporary Eruv," while the reshus
ho'rabbim issue is a davar she'yeish lo mattirin, the majority of eruvin
(even those constructed by distinguished-looking rabbis with luxuriant
white beards and resplendent frocks or bekeshes) are pasul - some of
them "pasul l'mehadrin." Moroever, even those that were constructed
k'dos u'k'din often become pasul sometime after construction, because
the individuals left charged with maintenance are either irresponsible
or ignorant - and, worse still, often lacking in yiras shomayim.

There are numerous examples of these issues - even here in undzer heilige
shtetl. Indeed, if you travel down a certain heavily-traveled highway
in one of the boroughs of City of New York, you will see - "galui l'kol
ho'amim" - one of the eruvin that is relied upon by thousands, if not tens
of thousands, of yidden - pasul l'kol ha'dei'os, u'kdai bizayon vo'kotzef.

V'Hu rachum yechaper avon...
YGB

P.S. Check out my new blog: http://rygb.blogspot.com
Also, if someone has the NY Times from last Thursday, I need to know about 
something that may have appeared in the Circuits section. Thanks!


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Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 19:31:43 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Uprooting Torah


On Tue, Mar 22, 2005 at 05:08:11AM -0500, Rich, Joel wrote:
:> Rather, that the problems of midevar sheqer, bal tashchis and multiplying
:> copycat murders satisfies the requirement that the gezeirah laaqor davar min
:> haTorah besheiv ve'al ta'aseh must be to protect a more chamur de'oraisa.
:> Which other deOraisa is most relevent depends on the ta'am for eglah arufah.

: Why didn't the gemora mention this mechanism (or the possible
: reinstatement) at all?

The mishnah and gemara is about the decay of society immediately preceding
churban bayis sheini. Not about the dinim themselves; and in fact, some
of the landmarks given (e.g. the loss of "eshkolos = ish shekol bo")
aren't halachic.

So, it's not about reinstatement. But it would seem to me as obvious
as the implication that if we again have a Sanhedrin on Har haBayis,
it would cause the restoration of misas beis din. Neither really needed
spelling out.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 13:12:46 -0600
From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
Subject:
CC article on Terri Schiavo case


here's some more debate and perspective about this case

<http://tinyurl.com/694u6> [Reduced from a cross-currents blog
reference. -mi]


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:14:42 -0500
From: Yaakov Ellis <yellis@gmail.com>
Subject:
Praying for the Sick by Name


On TB Berachot 34a (http://www.e-daf.com/daf.asp?ID=65), towards the
bottom (immediately before the two dots) it says: "Amar R. Yaakov amar
Rav: Kol hamevakesh rachamim al chaveiroh ein tzarich lehazkir shemoh,
shene'emar 'El Na Refah Na Lah' - ve'loh kamedaker shemah d'Miriam" -
"R. Yaakov said in the name of Rav: Anyone who asks for mercy for his
fellow does not neet to mention/recall his name, as it says (when Moshe
was praying for Miriam) 'El Na Refah Na Lah' - and it does not mention
Miriam's name.

Rashi (d"h Ein Tzarich leHazkir Shemoh): "Shel Choleh".

The Gemara here seems to be saying pretty explicitly that when praying
for a sick person, there is no reason (or it is maybe even improper) to
mention the name of the sick person. Merely thinking about the person
without mentioning their name was enough for Moshe, so it should also
be enough for us.

This Gemara is not quoted anywhere else (at least according to Massoret
haShas) and is not related to any specific location in Rambam or Shulchan
Aruch (at least according to Ein Mishpat).

How does this fit in with what seems to be the universal minhag nowadays
that when saying a Mi Shebeirach for a sick person, we explicity mention
the names of the sick people out prayer? Do we say that the Gemara
means that one does not have to mention the name, but one still can
if desired? Or is there another source somewhere else which recommends
mentioning the name?

Yaakov Ellis
-- 
url: http://ellisweb.net/aliyah/
email: yellis@gmail.com


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:32:50 +0200
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe@internationaltax.us>
Subject:
Reading megillah in English


A baal tshuvah who does not have a knack for Hebrew asked me what to do
on Purim-is it OK for him to read the megillah (with his eyes) in English
while the baal koreh reads it in Hebrew? The simple understanding of OC
690:8-9 is that he should listen to the Hebrew even though he doesn't
understand it. (An English reading from a megillah written in English
would work, but I have never heard of this being done.) I assume that
merely hearing the Hebrew words but not paying attention to them while
he reads an English translation doesn't work because in that case he
wouldn't really be listening to the Hebrew. Listening carefully to every
word in Hebrew would be difficult, though not impossible; certainly,
he finds it less meaningful.

Any suggestions (for next year)?

Kol tuv,
Moshe


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 18:41:01 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject:
RE: Startling historical beliefs


WRT to RJSO 's critique of Marc Shapiro's book, it shows (IMHO) a lack
of understanding of what RMS is trying (and is, IMHO, successfully)
to do. The issue is not whether there is a large strain of thought
that holds the eighth ikkar (as well as the other ikkarim) kipshuto
is binding - clearly, there is Rather, the question is the claim that
this is universally held among all ma'aminim after the gmara - and that
therefore questioning this removes one from the community of ma'aminim.

To prove something false, one counterexample is all that is needed -
even if one can show that there are many people who fully support the
eight ikkar. The issue isn't the relative weight of them - but the
existence of people fully within the mesora who dissented.

In this context, Rav Moshe Feinstein's (and kvodo bimkomo munach)position
is irrelevant to Rav Marc Shapiro's point - because there exist rabbanim
who do not view this to be a forgery, and therefore that alone removes the
universal consensus that is believed. Furhtermore, outside of the issue
of the content being controversial, there is no evidence for a forgery.
Therefore, the fact that other sources cite rav yehuda hachasid is proof
that this position was viewed as acceptable by some - even if we want
to argue that it is far from the mainstream.

WRT to the Zioni - note that the zioni's position as cited by RJSO would
imply that the entire text we have is from moshe, dictated from hashem,
and therefore there isn't anything added to the torah. However, there
is nothing in the zioni's position to argue that he inherently opposed
rav yehuda hachasid's position - that parts were removed from the humash.

WRT to R Menashe Klein's and RJSO's ingenious reinterpretation -
the problem with it is that the natural interpretation of rav yehuda
hachasid and the zioni is precisely as r marc shapiro puts it. If they
truly intended for this reinterpretation - which is not simple pshat -
and held the natural interpretation to be epikorsut (as per many modern
opinions) - they would have said something so that we wouldn't think that
they held such a strange position. Note that Rav Moshe Feinstein disagreed
with this reinterpretation - which is why he wishes to ban the book.

The evidence being put forward is essentially that rav yehuda hachasid
and others couldn't have said it, therefore they didn't - and therefore
evidence otherwise is either a forgery (RM Feinstein - whose sole proof is
the nature of the statement) or has to be reinterpreted against the pshat.
Therefore, this claim does pass scrutiny...

The warning given by RJSO, caveat emptor, is quite correct - but we
differ where to apply it...

Meir Shinnar


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 19:08:53 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
Subject:
Hallel HaGodol


At 01:32 PM 03/28/2005, "Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca> wrote:
>> 10. Hallal Hagadol was part of the Torah but was taken out and put in
>> Tehilim [R' Yehuda Hachasid]

>I believe that the above quote is a misrepresentation of the position
>of R. Yehudah Hachassid on Hallel Hagadol...

There is a tape that I heard of a talk given by Dr. S. Leiman that
appeared to me to back up what Micha wrote in no uncertain terms. The
tape is "Torah Min Hashamayim: Recent Perspectives on the Divine Origin of
Torah" , Shnayer Leiman. I no longer recall from who I ordered this tape.

[I didn't write it. I was quoting a blog comment, just for the purpose
of getting new conversations going. (As RZL had guessed.)]


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 15:39:57 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject:
RE: Uprooting Torah


From: Micha Berger [mailto:micha@aishdas.org] 
>: Why didn't the gemora mention this mechanism (or the possible
>: reinstatement) at all?

> The mishnah and gemara is about the decay of society immediately preceding
> churban bayis sheini...
> So, it's not about reinstatement. But it would seem to me as obvious
> as the implication that if we again have a Sanhedrin on Har haBayis,
> it would cause the restoration of misas beis din....

But Rashi on the daf ties it to the technicality of the murderers being
"known", not to an overarching principle? Do you think Rashi meant the
overarching principle but just cloaked it as a technicality? Why wouldn't
he mention the akira?By the sotah we're told that it is a technical reason
(the whole family was guilty of niuf and thus waters wouldn't work)-again
a technical reason. IIUC you're saying that chazal used the technicality
to do something they could have done in any event. So perhaps they
needed a lower tolerance for the "uprooting" because they could cloak
it as not an uprooting but a close reading of the technicality?

KT
Joel 


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:55:47 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Uprooting Torah


On Mon, Mar 28, 2005 at 03:39:57PM -0500, Rich, Joel wrote:
: But Rashi on the daf ties it to the technicality of the murderers being
: "known", not to an overarching principle? ...

I don't know what "overarching principle" you're talking about.

As I wrote, the mishnah is about the decay of society at the end of the
2nd Commonwealth, not about din. Part of that decay was when murderers
became so brazen that they couldn't apply eglah arufah.

Again, given the more-discussed example of dinei nefashos becoming
more common leading to their application becoming worthless leading
to the self-exile of the Sanhedrin, I'm not clear why you find this
so problematic.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             The purely righteous do not complain about evil,
micha@aishdas.org        but add justice , don't complain about heresy,
http://www.aishdas.org   but add faith, don't complain about ignorance,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      but add wisdom.     - R AY Kook, Arpilei Tohar


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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 23:12:56 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Races of Mankind [was: age of universe]


In Avodah V14 #87 haflaga dated 2/25/2005 "m cohen"
<mcohen@touchlogic.com> writes:
> Does anyone have any  input for me on the following question(s)..
> Independent of the question whether the AofU is 5765yrs+6 days
> ...or...millions of years...both agree that the first man as we know him
> (with neshama) was created 5765 years ago,
> How did man get from the Asian continent (Eden) to N&S  America,
> Australasia, etc (and in such a short period of  time)?...

1. How they got to N and S America--it's possible for peoples to
wander very widely even in brief historical time, and for populations
to grow rapidly. There was a little Ice Age a few thousand years ago,
during which the water between Russian and Alaska may have been frozen,
and it's also possible that the American Indians came by sea. I've read
articles in science magazines saying there is a lot of evidence that many
Europeans visited and even settled in the New World long before Columbus
(but within recent historical time, i.e., in the last thousand years).
Why couldn't Asians also have crossed oceans?

They got from one island to another in the Pacific, why not all the
way to the Americas?

Another possibility is that people--even many people--were created AFTER
Adam Harishon. We know that there were people who were created without
being mentioned explicitly in the Torah, by the very fact that the sons of
Adam and Chava married and had children, yet the creation of their wives
is not mentioned (except in midrashim). If two or three extra people
could be created without being mentioned, why not thousands or millions?

> ...Also, any sources for yichus of nJewish nations of today  wrt b'shaim /
> b'cham / b'yefes.
> India. shem?
> Japan/china.  cham?
> N&S America Indians/Incas  ?
> Russia?

2. I have no source but this is what I believe: Shem = Europeans,
Indians (from India) and Semitic peoples, Cham = Africans and Australian
aborigines, Yafes = Asians, Pacific Islanders and American Indians.
However, all the races have been so thoroughly mixed and had so much
intermarriage between them that the historical races no longer exist
except in very broad terms.

 -Toby  Katz
=============


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