Avodah Mailing List

Volume 15 : Number 036

Thursday, June 23 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 17:27:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Learning Halakhah from Agadah

Just to be clear, we could be talking about four things:

1- Deriving halakhah from a taam hamitzah (which is a kind of aggadita).

2- Deriving a halahkhah based on the assumption that tzadiqim aren't described
in aggadic stories as sinning without the medrash explicitely saying so.

3- Deriving a hlakhahah from a detail in an aggadita that doesn't require the
assumption given in #2.

4- Hashkafic assertions that are lehalakhah because one is mechuyav to thing
about them (the 6 zekhiros) or the issues of kefirah recently discussed here
ad nauseum.

I think we all agree that #1 is wrong, and #4 is definitionally a chiyuv.

Even though we say, as RDE writes (and we've given sources for in the past),
that aggadic stories are meant as meshalim (whether or not some given story is
historic), this would dismiss #3, but not necessarily #2. After all, one could
still argue who would make up and repeat a story which attributes a cheit to
one of the Ushpizin or R' Chanina ben Dosa?

RDE adds:
> The Toldos HaPoskim asserts that chazal made no clear distinction
> between halacha and agada.

However, the Rambam makes a clear distinction between the practical and the
theoretical. They do not match 1-to-1 with halakhah vs aggadita. My #4 above
is pragmatic aggadita, and nearly all of the halakhos of the beis hamiqdosh is
not lemaaseh bizman hazeh. Therefore, AIUI, the Rambam would say it's
impossible for a poseiq to issue a pesaq on these dinim -- it's all simply
eilu va'eilu with no resolution. But may that change BBA!


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: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 21:33:46 -0500 (CDT)
From: <zlochoia1@verizon.net>
hashkafa and pesak

Let me first make two comments concerning sources on the application
of "aggadic" concepts to halacha that Simcha has mentioned. It is
of value to actually read the sources rather than relying on someone's
interpretation.. The statement by the otherwise obscure Amora, Hillel,
that we should no longer expect a messianic king since Hezekiah was
intended to be that person is to be found in T.B. Sanhedrin 99a.
The Gemara there does not reject this opinion after reflection -
but rejects it out of hand, since it conflicts with explicit verses
in Zechariah (9:910). Here, Zechariah ben Edo who lived in the times
of Darius (from the context of the nevuot, it is clear that he lived
during the time of the return from the Babylonian exile - i.e. long
after king Hezekiah) prophesizes the arrival of the messianic king
who will rule from sea to sea and from the Euphrates west. The view
of the Amora, Hillel, is therefore invalid and is simply a mistake.
Anyone who subsequently adopts this view knowing the basis for its
rejection by Chazal sets himself in opposition to an accepted navi.
That is the basis for considering such a person a heretic.

Second, the ruling by the Rambam that the primary difference between
current conditions and the Messianic Age is that Israel will be fully
independent (the view of the Amora, Shmuel) is not inconsistent with
his view about the inapplicability of the halachic processs to issues
without practical consequences. True, the future will bring what it will
without our current need or ability to decide that destiny Nonetheless,
it is of importance to provide a more realistic expectation of that
future lest people in those days disparage the work of the messianic
king by noting that nature has not changed. In that sense, the ruling
by the Rambam has practical consequences.

Having said this, I must admit the Sincha's basic argument that the
Rabbinic critics of Nosson Slifkins 3 books have the right to render
a pesak of heresy (albeit in error - to my mind). The question is,
rather, one of authority. What authority does an ad hoc group of rashei
yeshiva and rabbanim have in such issues? Surely, the view of qualified
rabbanim and poskim is not unanimous on these issues, and there are
many who have not lent their names to this proposed ban. I note that
many of the respondents on this issue here have not accepted the ban.
Let us then leave it as an unresolved issue (one of many such.debates
that occur in this forum. I am pleased, however, that the debate on
this matter has been generally kept on a high level.


(kindly note that my new mailbox is <zlochoia1@verizon .net>. I don't
know how much longer my old address <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net> will
be functional)

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Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 22:49:36 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Re: [Hirhurim] Slabodka and Secular Studies

>In the current issue of Jewish Action
><http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/>, R. Pinchas Stolper
><http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5765/5765summer/Book.pdf> reviews
>David Kranzler's biography of R. Solomon Schonfeld titled "Holocaust
>Hero." I flipped through my in-laws' copy of the book soon after it was
>published and found the following surprising fact:

>On page 30, Dr. Kranzler writes that in 1932 or 1933, R. Schonfeld was
>studying for semikhah in a yeshiva in Slabodka (I think Knesses Yisrael)
>and, simultaneously, studying for a doctorate in a nearby university.

In the European system of yore (and in some instances to this day)
a doctorate requirted only a dissertation, not physical presence at
campus classes.


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Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 23:05:46 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
TIDE and TuM (redux with new players)

On Tue, Jun 21, 2005 at 07:21:07PM -0400, Samuel Svarc wrote to Areivim:
: Now I'm wondering were you people get the idea that TIDE and TuM are the
: same thing as the previous quotes seem to suggest. All the yekkes that I
: know disagree...

Unsurprisingly, we've discussed this in the past. To repeat two points
I've made in those iterations:

RYBS said so. So at least /his/ version of TuM was identical to how RYBS
understood RSRH's TIDE.

Second, the version of TIDE current in the Breuer's Kehillah (and I'd
exclude Dayan Grunfeld from this statement) does not fit the Tzitz
Eliezer's description of RSRH's TIDE:
    The Torah, according to Rav Hirsch, is the force that gives
    form. Form, to Aristotle's thought, means a thing's essential nature
    in distinction to the substance from which it is embodied. Derekh
    Eretz is merely the matter on which Torah works. (Essay in "Shimshon
    Rephael Hirsch: Mishnaso Vishitaso")

We also seem to have concluded amongst ourselves that TIDE differs from
TuM in that TIDE values applied knowledge and TuM more academic knowledge.
But not that TIDE was identical to "Torah vaAvodah" ala the CI.


Micha Berger             Here is the test to find whether your mission
micha@aishdas.org        on Earth is finished:
http://www.aishdas.org   if you're alive, it isn't.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Richard Bach

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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 04:24:44 -0400
From: <gil@aishdas.org>
[Hirhurim] Solomon and Giving up Land

[Title changed to be 4 amos from politics rather than directly atop it.

There was an article <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/589714.html>
a few days ago in Haaretz by Dr. Mordechai Cogan, an associate professor
of Jewish History at Hebrew University. He points to an interesting,
and briefly mentioned, biblical transfer of land from Jewish to Gentile

    [T]here is one recorded incident in which an entire section of land
    was transferred to foreign rule.

    King Solomon transferred "20 cities in the land of the Galilee" to
    Hiram King of Tyre (1 Kings 9:11-13), apparently in order to erase the
    debt he owed Hiram for his assistance in building the Temple. These
    were 20 cities with their land and their inhabitants - the entire
    Acre Valley up to Rosh Hanikra, which became the property of the
    Phoenicians. This was recorded in the Tanach without any criticism
    on the part of the writer of the chronicles of Solomon, and the
    explanation for that is clear: There is no prohibition whatsoever
    in the Torah against handing over territories to someone who is not
    a member of the Israelite nation. The ownership of territories in
    Eretz Israel by the Jewish nation has always reflected the political
    and military circumstances of the period.

Dr. Cogan's observation is both cogent and entirely dismissive of the
Jewish commentarial tradition that is so important the religious opponents
of the Disengagement. Commentators noted two biblical passages that seem
to contradict each other:
    And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had
    built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king's house--now
    Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar-trees and
    cypress-trees, and with gold, according to all his desire--that then
    king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. And
    Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given
    him: and they pleased him not. And he said: 'What cities are these
    which thou hast given me, my brother?' And they were called the land
    of Cabul, unto this day. (1 Kings 9:10-13)

    And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had
    built the house of the Lord, and his own house, that the cities
    which Huram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused
    the children of Israel to dwell there. (2 Chronicles 8:1-2)

According to 1 Kings, Solomon gave the cities to Hiram/Huram, while
according to 2 Chronicles it was the other way around. The standard
commentators, chief among them Radak (R. David Kimhi), explain that there
was a mutual trade of cities as a show of trust and partnership. Hiram
gave Solomon cities and Solomon then transferred other cities back. It
was a zero-sum trade in which neither kingdom diminished from its size,
and perhaps important is that Hiram gave his cities first.

R. Yitzhak Abrabanel, in his commentary to 1 Kings, disagrees with this
interpretation for the following reasons:
- The text should have mentioned both actions together, not in different
- Hiram's complaint about the cities he received would have been a slap
  in Solomon's face, and not a show of friendship.
- Solomon would have had violated a Torah commandment by giving the

Instead, Abrabanel suggests that Solomon annually gave Hiram wheat and
oil (cf. 1 Kings 5:25) as payment for his work and material. After the
Temple was finished, Solomon designated specific cities in the bountiful
Galilees whose output was given directly to Hiram. It is not that their
sovereignty was handed over to Hiram, just their annual bounty. Perhaps,
Abrabanel suggests, Hiram's servants even worked the fields in those
cities. (This is actually a very wise form of risk transfer, but that
is another long discussion.)

The point: Dr. Cogan has no proof, certainly not from a traditional
perspective of biblical commentary. Quite the opposite: Abrabanel points
out the very biblical prohibition that Dr. Cogan is claiming does not
exist. (6/22/2005 6:10:24 AM)

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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 04:24:44 -0400
From: <gil@aishdas.org>
[Hirhurim] Belief

Last week, I was asked why I believe. So here are my thoughts:

1. You have to differentiate between difficulties and doubts. There is
no easy way to identify something as a doubt or a difficulty, but when
you have enough difficulties they cumulatively turn into doubts. The
more I learn Torah, the more truth I find and the less significant the
difficulties that I have become. I believe in the general structure
of Torah -- Torah She-Bi-Khsav, Torah She-Be-Al Peh, the need for
commandments and a structure to conservatively develop halakhah over time
(this last point is confusing and requires elaboration; I contend that
almost everyone would agree with it if said in the right way). I see the
profundity in even the most obscure aspects of Torah and the multiple ways
of reading the Torah. I delight in the creativity of the greatest Torah
scholars of all generations, and the relative intellectual freedom that
they had to be so creative. Of the people I have seen lose faith, they
usually spend day and night thinking about the difficulties and nothing
else, so that these problems grow in their minds into insurmountable
barriers. If they would take a step back and look at the big picture,
the difficulties would shrink in perspective.

2. Humility. When I was in yeshiva, I was the katan she-ba-haburah (the
least of the group). Commenters and readers here like to congratulate
me on my blogging brilliance but I know better. I know where my "peers"
are and how great they have grown. I left yeshiva at the age of 22;
some are still in yeshiva, learning and teaching strong. I have been
fortunate enough to have spent time with some truly brilliant students
and scholars, many of them with very different skills and interests, and
to see how frumkeit need not be sacrificed for intellectual curiosity
and creativity. Yes, all of the people of whom I am thinking have
very different paths in life and have often reached very different
conclusions in their thinking. That is part of my point. I have been
blessed by having seen and been taught multiple paths in Torah. That,
alone, solves most problems that frum people face.

Additionally, time and again over my short life, I have faced
difficulties that I thought were unsolvable, only later to discover a
solution. Sometimes it took a few years, sometimes days. Sometimes I just
had to ask someone while other times I searched through libraries. I have
been convinced enough times that something was wrong, only to be later
convinced that it is correct, to develop patience and humility. Some
things are entirely false and some problems are unsolvable. But my
inability to solve a problem is not a definitive evaluation.

3. Proofs. I don't need to prove Judaism. Personally, I have never been
interested in the whole "Age of the Universe" or Evolution issues, even
if you would not be able to know that from reading this blog. It is not
even a difficulty for me, certainly not a doubt. But I don't believe any
single proof that I have seen for Judaism. I remember once in college,
a professor, R. Asher Ziv (whom I've been informed is still alive and
well and was recently spotted in Teaneck), quoted an article in an
old journal that supposedly proved the Divine origin of the Torah. So,
using the wonderful library resources that YU has, I tracked down the
article to finally have proof to present to others. Nothing. The same
old arguments that don't stand up to critical questioning.

The closest thing that I have found to a proof, really more of an
argument, is the existence of the Jewish people after thousands of
years. It is, indeed, quite stunning. I know, plenty of arguments can be
given, not least of which is that the changing of a national name does not
mean that the people have disappeared off the face of the earth. Still,
with all that considered, it is still quite amazing. Sociological reasons
just don't sufficiently explain it.

More importantly, I am not an empiricist. I believe in things
that cannot be proven, because to do otherwise is absurd. Proof
has high standards that cannot always be reached. But just because
something cannot be proven does not mean that it is not true. Ask
any prosecuting attorney. Additionally, there is more than one way
to learn things. Rational thought is only one way. Intuition and
emotion are important methods that we all use in arriving at truth (see
<http://tinyurl.com/apgt4>), even if we like to pretend that we are purely
rational beings.

I think the following excerpt from an essay by R. Aharon Lichtenstein is
worth quoting. It can be found in his Leaves of Faith, vol. 2 p. 365-367
and is also in The Jewish Action Reader:

    Newman has emphasized the difference between difficulty and doubt,
    noting that of all his beliefs, the existence of God was the most
    fraught with philosophical questions, and yet none was borne in
    his mind and heart with greater certitude. This is the crucial
    distinction between judging faith and its tenets as an outsider or
    probing its contents while firmly ensconced within. The bulwark of my
    mentors' support assured that my own situation would be the latter:
    Tuv ta'am ve-da'at lamdeni ki be-mitzvotekha he'emanti (Tehillim
    119:65). Answers, I of course continued -- and continue -- to seek,
    and have found many. But commitment has not been conditioned upon
    them. I have never been attracted to fideism and I regard Tertullian's
    credo quia absurdum est as alien to the spirit of Judaism. Clearly,
    however, faith cannot be contingent upon having all the answers. Its
    essence is implied in Rav Yohanan's rejoinder to a student who had
    initially ridiculed a palpably implausible statement but who then
    recanted upon finding empirical support for it: "Ne'er-do-well,
    had you not seen, you would not have believed. You ridicule the
    words of the wise" (Bava Batra 75a)...

    The greatest source of faith, however, has been the Ribbono shel
    Olam Himself.

    At the level of rational demonstration, this is, of course, patently
    circular... Existentially, however, nothing has been more authentic
    than the encounter with Avinu Malkeinu, the source and ground of
    all being. Nothing more sustaining, nothing more strengthening,
    nothing more vivifying...

    This will obviously provide too little guidance for those to whom
    attaining encounter is precisely the problem. To those "struggling
    to develop faith," one can, however, proffer first the reassuring
    assertion of the religious significance of the quest per se, as, in
    the footsteps of Avraham Avinu, they have already become mevakshei
    Hashem; second, the prospective hope of successful resolution, as "The
    Lord is good until them that yearn for Him, to the soul that seeketh
    Him" (Eikhah 3:25); and third, the counsel to focus persistently,
    in terms of coleridge's familiar distinction, upon faith rather than
    belief, upon experiential trust, dependence and submission more
    than upon catechical dogmatics. Intellectual assent is normative
    and essential; but, at the personal level, it is generally not the
    key. In the final analysis, the primary human source of faith is
    faith itself.

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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 05:03:19 -0400
From: "Allen Gerstl" <acgerstl@hotmail.com>
RSRH (from Areivim)

On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 19:21:07 -0400 "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Wrote: To Aveirim: Subject: RSRH
[I have at Michah's suggestion posted the following to Avodah-ACG]

>Recently there were a bunch of posts that attributed to Rabbi Shamshon
>Rafael Hirsch (RSRH) views that I found surprising, to say the least.
                       .  .  .
>And then this one from RSB:
>"... It is well known that R Schwalb
>ZTL's views changed after he learned with R Brauch Ber ZTL who viewed
>TIDE as a Horass Shah, despite much evidence to the contrary in RSRH's
>own writings. ... One can also say
>that TIDE under R Schwalb ZTL deteriorated from RSRH's views and derech
>into a Charedi POV with German minhagim."

>Now I'm wondering were you people get the idea that TIDE and TuM are the
>same thing as the previous quotes seem to suggest. All the yekkes that I
>know disagree... (The 19
>Letters with R' Elias' commentary...).   .   .   .

>... Unless one says
>that the premier Kehilla of TIDE ... sold out to the Torah
>Only camp, it's hard not accept what R' Schwab says as authoritive.

>So, if R' Schwab is not the "foremost advocate of TIDE", who is?...

Rabbi Schwab was not an advocate of TIDE nor was he atypical. In twenties 
and thirties many young men from the German Jewish  community decided to 
study in the east because that was where they could learn gemorah on what 
was generally a higher level than in Germany.  At the same time the Orthodox 
Rabbiner Seminar in Berlin brought in a young Eastern European iluy, R. Elya 
Kaplan as its head and after his death R. Y.Y. Weinberg who was also from 
the east followed as the last head of the seminary.

I recall reading R. Schwab's Elu ve-Elu when I was about to go to university 
when seeking some personal guidance. I was confused by it as it did not 
advocate general studies as having intrinsic worth and therefore as a 
lechatchila and it therefore contradicted what I had believed was the 
Hirschian position.   Of course I did not know that R. Schwab as a young man 
was the person who had elicited the famous opinions of eastern European 
rashei yeshiva as whether general studies were muttar.  A true Hirschian, 
IMO, and would not have therefore have doubted that general studies were not 
only muttar but rather  le-chatchila and moreover he would not have needed 
the approval of rashei yeshiva of a different hashkafic orientation. He 
would have approached the rabbanim in his own community.

As to TuM and TIDE, IMO the latter accords with much of TuM, BUT not an 
Orthodox form of Wissenschaft des Judentum as advocated at the Rabbiner 
Seminar begun by R. Hildesheimer.   RSRH  was generally against the 
employment of modern critical scholarship in Torah study and believed that  
Torah was an independent system and that there therefore was no need to 
employ outside methodologies. Thus RSRH did not support the Rabbiner Seminar 
of R. Hildesheimer.

As far as R. Elias' commentary to his new edition of RSRH's Nineteen 
Letters: it is correct that he views TIDE as a horaat shaah. But see a 
point-counterpoint series of two articles in 1996 in Jewish Action.  In that 
series,R. Joseph Elias and R. Shelomo Danziger debated this issue.
R. Danziger (who had previously taught at Breuers for over twenty years ) 
argued strongly that TIDE was not a horaat shaah but le-chatchila. R. Elias 
(who had been the principal at Breuer's) disagreed.

A detailed study of RSRH, his life and his ideas is that of Samuel 
Rosenbloom, Tradition in an age of reform, JPS, 1976. IMO the author of  the 
latter book would strongly support Rabbi Danziger's opinion.

As a side comment,  it is of interest that the Breuer's community has not 
associated itself with YU and in fact I was told by someone who grew up 
there that he when he was considering going to YU in the early sixties (?) 
that he was advised by the late long-time president of the community, that 
it was far better that he go to some other university. But of course that's 
not a proof  as to RSRH's hashkafot but only the views of the leadership of 
the Breuer's community, and  a proof that the community had obviously 
undergone many changes since the time of RSRH.

A person named George D. Frankel has written a pamphlet decrying the changes 
in his community (mentioned in Avodah, 50:47,48)."Dan Shall Judge His 
People: 5 Essays on Torah im Derech Eretz and the Breuer Community Today."

My own opinion based admittedly on only a few observations and without an 
intimate knowledge of that community  is that Breuer's is now a yeshivish 
community (with German minhagin) but one that is more open to Torah im 
Parnasah than some other yeshivish communities.


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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 05:43:37 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: hashkafa and psak

RGStudent's book review of RMShapiro's book "The Limits
of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides' Thirteen Principles
Reappraised" is finally available on line for free. I
alredy pointed the chevrah to a related essay by RGS at
<http://www.aishdas.org/articles/crossroads.htm>, but for the polished
argument, see <http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/24/3/272.pdf>.

In it, he argues why the ikkarim are critical in defining the limits of
O. The same argument explains why it's an (until recently) unheard of
innovation to use *more* than the ikkarim as well.


Micha Berger             Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of
micha@aishdas.org        heights as long as he works his wings.
http://www.aishdas.org   But if he relaxes them for but one minute,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      he plummets downward.   - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 02:48:39 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Re: hashkafa and psak

On Tuesday June 20, 2005 Micha Berger wrote:
> This is halakhah. Terms have real meaning. Kefirah, apiqursus and meenus
> mean something... 

> The term kefirah therefore really is about being able to use my wine, or
> accept a geir who accepts my philosophy. Those are the classical nafqa
> minos to getting the chalos sheim "kefirah".

> Either those pesaqim apply, or the word "kefirah" is inappropriate. It's
> really that simple.

I am unable to comprehend your refusal to concede the distinction
between a *shita* that is kefira and a koifer. The CS *you* quoted
states that despite the fact that R' Hillel was espousing a shita of
apikorsus, since there was not yet a final pesak regarding this shita,
R Hilel could not be referred to as an apikorus although he was a choteh
(b'shogeg) as Chazal indicated by stating shari ley maray (may Hashem
forgive him). Thus, although R' Elyashiv most certainly *is* paskening
that your shita is apikorsus, this does not necessarily mean that he is
paskening that you are an apikorus.

> You can't ban a book as being kefirah because the only lemaaseh is the book
> banning itself. That really is circular. And an abuse of a halachic term.

True but that's not what I said. Obviously R' Elyashiv had reasons
which led to the ban, several possible ones of which I enumerated in
my post. All I meant to illustrate was that a l'maseh can evolve from
an essentially aggadic opinion. The age of the universe is an aggadic
topic by nature. We do not employ the shlosh esrey middos shehatorah
nidreshes bahen to determine the precise time of creation yet R' Elyashiv
still felt that he could pasken that a billion year universe based on
current scientific dogma is a shita of kefira which led to the banning
of the book.

>: As far as what motivated his pesak, perhaps he was moved to action due
>: to his estimation of the contents of RNS's book being kefira, perhaps it
>: was due to the contents being considered a zilzul of divrei chachamim...

> Then say "zilzul divrei chakhamim". Which, BTW, can mean that the book is
> ill advised from a mussar perspective, but would still be mutar.

Zilzul divrei chahchamim is a very serious sin, far more serious than
just "ill advised". The Rambam paskens that one who is mizalzel bidivrei
chahchamim forfeits his share in the world to come.

>: Remember, our original dispute was regarding whether agadita is binding;
>: you maintain that it is not...

> Not what I said. I said that agadita needs to have a nafqa minah lemaaseh in
> order to be binding.

Lovely... we finally agree.  

> The ikkarim are binding, because we pasqen according
> to them lehalakhah when evaluating geirim and wineries.
> Nothing more, and (contra R' Marc Shapiro), nothing less. That's what's
> IKKAR about them!

Although I would accept the above statement in a general sense, I disagree
with the "Nothing more" part. Even if there would happen not to be any
halachic ramifications such as wineries etc., something could still be
called an Ikkar. What distinguishes an ikkar from other mitzvos is that
knowing the ikkar is a prerequisite to being part of the Jewish religion
whereas the lack of knowledge re any other mitzvah does not automatically
preclude you from membership in the faith. If one does not know that
there is a concept of schar vaonesh for instance, he is precluded from a
share in the world to come. However, if someone happens not to know that
there is an injunction against mixing wool and linen in one's garments,
he is still potentially a ben olam habba.

>: I have alluded to this CS no less than four times in this thread. I
>: began by expressing my unmitigated lack of reservation regarding wine
>: consumption from one maintaining your position and then repeated, at
>: least three times...

> Not relevent. We're discussing R' Elyashiv's position, not yours.

Huh? We are discussing our respective opinions regarding RYSE's
position. My position is that RYSE could very well be aligned with this
CS thus mitigating the severity of his pesak and limiting it to the
shita itself per se without it being directed at the person maintaining
this shita.

> Is he
> assuring my wine, or not?

Well, did he? I didn't see any such issur in the ban and neither did you.
Therefore I am perfectly within my rights to maintain that the pesak is
only on the shita not on its bearer and thus the answer to your above
question is no.

> You're answering the question of whether you're
> obligated to follow his pesaq, not what his pesaq is.

I'm answering both.

>: a common consensus amongst all of the gedoley yisrael regarding this
>: issue, one maintaining your shita would not be deemed an apikorus...

> If it's not kefirah, then it's not kefirah, and there is no issur about
> which one can apply to the book. The statement would therefore be intended
> lifnim mishuras hadin and even R' Elyashiv's students are not mechuyavim
> me'ikkar hadin to avoid the book.

I never said it wasn't kefira, I just said that you're not a koifer.

Look, let me ask you a question. If let's say you lived in the times of R'
Hilel and you were a talmid of the chachamim and the argument re mashiach
had just surfaced. Your Rebbi said that mashiach is a real king and R' Hilel
said what he said etc. Now, bear in mind that in addition to your Rebbi
espousing his view, he also indicates that R' Hilel has made an egregious
error and will require forgiveness from Heaven for maintaining his view. Now
here comes the question. If you turned to your Rebbi and asked him 1) is it
permissible to believe like R' Hilel and 2) is R' Hilel an apikorus, what do
you think his answers would be? And if you think that your Rebbi would have
answered no to both questions, why can you not understand that just as your
Rebbi has told you that it is assur to believe R' Hilel's words and yet he
did not go as far as calling R' Hilel an apikorus, so too Rav Elyashiv told
his talmidim, indeed the whole world, that it is assur to believe in
billions of years yet did not condemn any believer directly? Why do you
stubbornly refuse to decouple Rav Elyashiv's pesak of kefira from the gavra
and place it squarely on the shita where it belongs? I mentioned the issue
of cognitive dissonance some time ago and although you rejected my comment,
it still seems odd to me that you persist in attempting to unravel RYSE's
pesak by showing that it is not binding. 

>: Second, I can bring you many sources. Here are several to start.
>: 1) R' Hilel and the chachamim are arguing about a) a mili d'aggadita
>: that b) has no halachic ramifications...

> Yes it does! The 12th ikkar is part of the definition of geirus, stam
> yeinam, [lo] ma'alim velo moridin, etc....

Oh really? So are you saying that R' Hilel's baalei plugta would not drink
his wine? Do you have any proof for that? I doubt it! The CS says that the
negation of R' Hilel's shita only became part of the Ikkarim *after* the
process of acharei rabbim lehatos eventually established it as halacha not
before! Furthermore, it didn't even become part of the 12th ikkkar but
rather the injunction of accepting all of the divrei Torah uneveim (if it is
an ikkar I suppose it would be the ikkar of Torah misinai). Thus, at the
time that the machlokes was going on, it was aggadic in nature and had no
halachic ramifications just like I stated.

>:> And you still can't drink his wine. Otherwise there would be no problem
>:> with the wine of a tinoq shenishba.

>: Not true. You are a full maamin who believes in all of the ikray haemuna
>: however when you approached the study of one of them in order to gain
>: clarity in its details, you were (IMO) toeh bieeyunchah. That does not
>: count as apikorsus chs'v.
>: On the other hand, a tinok shenishba (TS), although he was "nebach"
>: taught not to believe in one or more of the ikrim or is "nebach" unaware
>: of one or more of the ikrim and thus may not be culpable for his position,
>: but as R' Chaim was reported to have said, "nebach en apikorus iz fort
>: en apikorus".

> The culpability of the person has nothing to do with stam yeinam. 

I never said it did. Look above...I said that the difference is that you
believe in the ikkar but are erring in a detail of the ikkar versus a TS
that does not believe in the ikkar at all

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 05:54:17 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: hashkafa and psak

On Thu, Jun 23, 2005 at 02:48:39AM -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
: I am unable to comprehend your refusal to concede the distinction between a
: *shita* that is kefira and a koifer...

NO! I'm saying that there is a very real distinction. I'm not discussing
[lo] moridin velo maalin. I'm discussing stam yeinam and geirus. They use
the definition of "kefirah", not "kofeir". A tinoq shenishba, who does not
have the din of a kofeir, still can't touch my wine.

:> Not what I said. I said that agadita needs to have a nafqa minah lemaaseh in
:> order to be binding.

: Lovely... we finally agree.

Umm, Ive been saying it longer than you've been on list, and have
referred you numerous times to posts of R' Gil's to that effect. That
you think we "finally agree" shows we're talking across eachother.

:> Then say "zilzul divrei chakhamim". Which, BTW, can mean that the book is
:> ill advised from a mussar perspective, but would still be mutar.

: Zilzul divrei chahchamim is a very serious sin, far more serious than
: just "ill advised". The Rambam paskens that one who is mizalzel bidivrei
: chahchamim forfeits his share in the world to come.

1- Zilzul divrei chakhamim is strange grounds for declaring ideas previously
stated by chachamim to be assur.

2- If it were zilzul leshitas haRambam, it would be kefirah. See Hil'
Teshuvah. I believe the Rambam would consider it part of the 8th ikkar,
as applied to TSBP. We're back at the same point.


Micha Berger             "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
micha@aishdas.org        heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org   Love is not two who look at each other,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      It is two who look in the same direction.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:45:52 -0700
From: Daniel Israel <israel@email.arizona.edu>
Re: gadol ha-dor

Eli Turkel wrote:
>> Not so; there's a Tosefos about Shmuel Hanavi being moreh halacha
>> lifnei rabbo that says that although Shmuel hadn't (yet) learned
>> anything from Eli, Eli's status as gadol hador made him ipso facto
>> Shmuel's rebbi.

> Even if one accepts this thesis it would only apply in the days when
> there was a direct link of mesorah from Moshe through the shoftim and
> neviim.

OC 472:5 states one may not recline (at the seder) in the presence
of a Gadol, even if it isn't his Rebbi muvhak. So it would appear it
applies today.

>> There are mefarshim that are medayek in Tosefos that this only
>> applies when the person is coming to learn with the gadol, not just
>> by dint of gadol status, but here we fade to Avodah....

According to R' Dovid Feinstein (Kol Dodi haggadah) the Terumas HaDeshen
holds both reasons are independently applicable. I haven't seen it inside.

Thanks to an anonymous chaver (you know who you are) for the citations,
as I can't find my copy.

Daniel M. Israel
Dept. of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

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