Avodah Mailing List

Volume 15 : Number 038

Saturday, June 25 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 21:09:50 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: [Hirhurim] Belief


On Thu, Jun 23, 2005 at 04:24:44AM -0400, gil@aishdas.org wrote:
: 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....

I don't think RGStudent means "empiricist". Empiricism is a statement not
about proof, but about which ideas we accept as the basis for proofs. An
empiricist would say that we're never sure of anything except what we
can see ourselves and show to others.

I agree with RG's discomfort with deductive proofs. (As well as
empiricism, but that's less relevent. Any true empiricist is by definition
an agnostic.) A proof is a means of combining many givens to produce
a new conclusion. You therefore have to believe all of the givens and
accept the line of reasoning before you're convinced of the proof.

Emunah can instead be based on non-empirical experience. I'm certain I
love my children because I've experienced that love. There are people
so certain of that relationship that they were able to give their lives
for it. All without philosophical argument.

There is proof, but not a line of reasoning /nor/ empirical evidence.
Rather, on non-empirical experience. Accepted as a given, not built from
other givens.

I think there's a role for deduction and reasoning. Without it, there
is a limit to the richness and depth of one's emunah. But only as a 2nd
layer. People aren't likely to be convinced by proofs; rather they're
more likely to accept those proofs that match their preexisting beliefs.
(See my .signature, below.) The proof is not the thing, it's the need
to accept every given on which its based, first. Isn't that what the
Kuzari says?

I wrote a blog entry on the subject. It generated so much heat, I had
to add a follow-up. At this point, I have:
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-i.shtml>
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-ii.shtml>
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2005/02/kuzari-proof-part-iii.shtml>
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/argument-by-design-ver-40.shtml>

The last is an example in which I both give a proof, and show that the
more rigorous I make it, the less convincing it gets.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (270) 514-1507      


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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 21:08:32 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Manna


At 04:45 PM 6/23/2005, [Micha] wrote:
>Lemaaseh, kashrus -- in particular basar vechalav -- does something
>similar. Elevates the act of eating from simply doing what animal do
>and places it into the uniquely human realm of thought.

I do not think so. To put it "Kabbalistically" there is a vast difference
between food from kelipas nogah and food from the oros elyonim.

YGB 


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Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 23:00:26 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Subject:
Re: RSRH (from Areivim); Sundry Comments


Many thanks to RACG/REG and RYGB for their accurate comments.  A few
he'aros:

From RYGB:
> I once asked one of my cousins who is a grandson to R' Breuer how
> many true TIDEeans in the truest philosophical meaning of the word exist
> today and he answered (and named) four (I disagree about one of them).

I never met Dr. Yehudah/Leo Levi sh'l'y't'a', but he would be on my short
list based strictly on reputation. I did know his brother, RNLevi z'l',
and there were more than four like him whom I knew while growing up
in WH who are either b'H' still alive (such as my Rebbi, RSEDanziger,
who REG mentioned -- more on him a bit later) or who have passed on
(such as Dr. Paul Forchheimer z'l').

From REG:
> 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.

RSEDanziger's article in "Moreshes Tzvi" (published by Feldheim many years
ago) on RSRH and TIDE is IMHO worth the price of the book.  Looking through
the list of authors who wrote essays for that book, RJElias isn't listed --
given that list's members, I find his absence a bit surprising.  FTR, a
speech by Rav Schwab z'l' _is_ listed in it, and it's quite a noteworthy
speech both for all that it says about RSRH as a lochaim milchamos H' and
for what it doesn't explain about TIDE -- rereading it tonight, I received
the distinct impression that RSS felt that TIDE as advocated by RSRH was
solely a response to Reform and all that it represented.  Many Hirschians
would disagree strongly with such a limiting sentiment.

From REG:
> A person named George D. Frankel has written a pamphlet....

Yes, he most certainly did.  I remember having some strong objections to
some of what he wrote in it, but it did represent his heartfelt "Gevalt!"
at the state of affairs.  By the way, he is the son of the wonderful
Chazzan sh'l'y't'a' who has faithfully transmitted the nusach hat'fila for
many decades.

Someone (REG?) mentioned something about a member of the KAJ community
being dissuaded from attending YU many years ago.  I can testify to the
anti-YU advice I was given by certain Rebbeim/administrators before I left
in the middle of 12th grade to start my studies at YU.  I respected and
still do respect their opinions, but I still am amazed by the depth of
their antipathy towards YU.  Perhaps RYGB is onto something in noting just
how different TIDE is from TuM, but for them the problem didn't seem to be
TuM so much as Torah under the same roof as what they considered apikorsus
(or what RSP described as TuMa).

From RET:
> I thought that RSRH was more interested in the humanity's than science.

IIRC, Dr. Levi nixed such an idea in his Tradition article on Hirschian
beliefs.

From Micha:
> RSRH's interest in German culture was in producing well-rounded and
> refined Jews....RSRH's focus would be on that secular knowledge that
> more readliy blends.

On secular knowledge that can help one convert Chol into Qodesh and be the
best Jew one can be, not on knowledge for its own sake.

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 01:17:01 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Torah Im Derech Eretz


In  Avodah V15 #37 dated 6/23/2005  RYGB writes:
> I once asked one of my cousins who is a grandson to R' Breuer how
> many true TIDEeans in the truest philosophical meaning of the word exist
> today and he answered (and named) four (I disagree about one of them).

I'd be curious to know who the four (or three) are. As long as my father
zt'l was alive I knew one genuine exemplar of Torah Im Derech Eretz.
Since his petira, I don't know any. But I have clung to the faith
that there must be some in the world. There are so many people in the
world whom I do not know, after all!

> As we have iterated many times here, there are vast differences between
> TIDE and TuM - at least as the latter was formulated by RYBS. TIDE sees
> life as a seamless whole, and seeks harmony and true synthesis of T and
> DE. TuM sees life as consisting of two paradoxical poles and bridging
> between the two, with no need nor quest to resolve the discrepancies.

very well said.

One can see this difference (to some extent) by reading RSRH on the  first 
two perakim of Bereishis vs reading RYBS's *The Lonely Man of  Faith.*

>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. --R' Eliyahu Gerstl 
(?)

My father believed in going to college but davka not to YU. He also
believed in learning in yeshiva, and davka not in YU. As a musmach
of YU who also had a BA in English and philosophy from YU, he was in
a position to know whereof he spoke.

> It is a pity that it did not go the other way - better, IMHO, to have
> sustained TIDE and jettisoned the minhagim than to have sustained the
> minhagim and jettisoned TIDE.

Don't know if it would have been better or not. My father had tremendous
respect and admiration for Yekkes (a term some consider derogatory, but he
used with affection), although--or because?--he was a Polish chossid. He
tremendously admired their yashrus, their unswerving adherence to minhag
and halacha, their yiras Shamayim and the dedication with which they
built a Community with a capital C--a true Kehilla--and not just a shul
here and a school there and some kashrus organization over there.

When I speak of their yashrus, I speak of a certain simplicity of
faith and action, simple as in "Yakov ish tam" or "Tamim tihayu im
Hashem Elokeichem." RSRH, who set the tone for the community, was not
a simpleton, but neither was he a conflicted and schizophrenic man.
His hashkafa was, as R' Bechhoffer put it so well, a seamless whole.

My father did consider it a pity that the German community swerved away
from Torah im Derech Eretz. OTOH, he pointed out that if a community
was going to be swayed by the zeitgeist and influenced to depart from
its original derech, and if it could go to the left or to the right--the
fact that the community headed to the right testified to the essential
yiras Shamayim of its original vision.

I have much more to say about this but am pressed for time.

[Email #2. -mi]

In Avodah V15 #37 dated 6/23/2005 "Samuel Svarc"
<ssvarc@yeshivanet.com> writes:
> 2) Those who consider TIDE and TuM equivalent, do they have mareh
> makomos in RSRH's writings to support this?

Your question sounds anachronistic to me, since Hirsch lived a
century before there was such a thing as TuM. A TuMist could probably
find things here and there in Hirsch's writing that he could shoehorn
into TuM, but obviously, Hirsch never used the phrase.

Personally I am convinced that TIDE is very different from TuM both
philosophically and sociologically, but that would need a book.

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


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 08:00:41 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
TIDE, from the parallel discussion on my blog (rygb.blogspot.com)


Anonymous said...

"IMHO, to have sustained TIDE and jettisoned the minhagim than to have
sustained the minhagim and jettisoned TIDE."

the commitment to TIDE is very much secondary to the minhagim; it only
dates from RSRH after all. (Actually, the veneration of TIDE is a result
of veneration of minhag, our leader said, etc. ) These are not the words
of a real yekke, that's for sure!

As for the distinction between TIDE and TUM, you lost me on that one. Are
you saying that RYBS' philosophy was unique to him and everything else
is TIDE?:)

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:20:07 PM

________________________________

<http://www.blogger.com/profile/7592239>YGB said...

I guess we must disagree then about what is ikkar and what is tafel:
To me, the contribution that German Jewry made to the world of Judaism
was not some quaint minhagim, but a weltanschauung.

Like most great philosophies of Judaism of the 19th century, RSRH did
not innovate TIDE anymore than R' Yisroel Salanter innovated Mussar or
R' Chaim Brisker innovated Lomdus. They each noted a specific strain of
Avodas Hashem that was hoary and ancient, and brought it to bear on the
current realities. For example, the GRA was certainly a believer in TIDE.

As for TuM, to the extent that it has any legitimacy as a derech, as
opposed to a concession to the American milieu of the time, it is only
in RYBS's statements on the topic that we can find its validation.

Friday, June 24, 2005 7:51:17 AM


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:46:16 -0500
From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
Subject:
TIDE


From what I've just read on this board, everyone's understanding of
TIDE seems to be revolving around how to engage in knowledge that isn't
Torah per se.

I've spent a lot of time reading Hirsch over the years and maybe I'm
reading a different set of Hirsch than the rest of you! I'll have to
show you some clear statements of Hirsch himself when I have more time,
but the way I've always understood TIDE, it has to do with all of human
experience being elevated as an expression of avodas Hashem. Knowledge
is a part of this but just one component. To be continued...


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 09:06:01 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: [Hirhurim] Slabodka and Secular Studies


At 04:51 PM 6/23/2005, Micha Berger wrote:
>In one of RAEK's essays (RYGB might have a reference) he mentions the
>active intellectual life in Slabodka. Slabodka didn't teach limudei chol,
>but lively debates about Hegel, Marx or Frued were commonplace.

It is from his diary. Page number in B'Ikvos HaYirah available upon
request (see also <http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/raek.htm>).

KT,
YGB


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:04:03 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: [Hirhurim] Slabodka and Secular Studies


Thinking about it, I don't think the whole TuM-TIDE-Torah only thing is
really compatable with Mussar.

Say we phrase the difference as basically whether (1) chol is an
opportunity whose risks must be mitigated or (2) it is risks that ought
to be avoided and only then look to see what opportunities remain of
what's left.

Both are relatively remedial ways of addressing personal
challenge. Methods usable for setting communal policy or for someone
who doesn't really know himself. However, in a community of people who
strive to know themselves and judge each situation accordingly...

The current TuM/TIDE sociological group does not include a TuM/TIDE plus
tiqun hamiddos. Probably because it is dfounded on the thought of RYBS,
from Brisk ("you don't need any more Mussar than you get from the SA"). MO
collapses into O-lite for so many because there is no such introspection,
and therefore the risks have done enough damage so as to blind the victim
to themselves before the question of mitigation arises.

Alternatively, I could say to a yeshivish person that what they need is
a different kind of yeshivish, one in which tiqun hamidos tools are used
to know when and how to protect oneself from today's degenerating society
without missing out on its opportunities. That the current alternative
retreating into fortresses, is a position for the weak. And weakening
the masses, engenders the need for further retreat ad infinitum. But
the resulting "yeshivish" would be something that is too new to simply
fit within the current movement's umbrella.

The solution, IMHO, is orthogonal to that whole axis. (Or perhaps I'm
just one of the "newly converted" who just got a hammer and sees everying
as nails...)

:-)BBii!
-mi

-- 
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.


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 08:26:54 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Manna, from the parallel discussion on my blog (rygb.blogspot.com)


At
<http://rygb.blogspot.com/2005/06/manna.html#c111952275333409681>Thursday,
June 23, 2005 6:32:33 AM, Anonymous said?

Might I suggest that 'Intellectual' is perhaps the wrong word; it
might be better to say that the Mon related to Nefesh Hasichlis
rather than bahamis/tivi'is. The difference is in quality of
thought. Intellectual relates to our daily thinking, the level of
western thought. Nefesh hasichlis is a much more powerful kind of
pure mental activity, cf Greek philosophy. Enhancing this would
certainly decrease the power of nefesh habehamis and reduce desire.

At
<http://rygb.blogspot.com/2005/06/manna.html#c111953228640796070>Thursday,
June 23, 2005 9:11:26 AM, <http://www.blogger.com/profile/7592239>YGB
said?

Let's see if we can agree on the nomenclature:

Nefesh HaSichlis would seem to be the analog of the Kabbalistic/Chassidic
Neshama in the Naranchi continuum.

What you are calling intellectual is evidently the Chochmah-Binah
paradigm, while the "pure mental activity" would be a kind of Da'as
Tachton.

The mon, however, I would suggest, touched not just the
Da'as Tachton but the Da'as Elyon, the Ruach HaKodesh core.

At
<http://rygb.blogspot.com/2005/06/manna.html#c111960284457188776>Friday,
June 24, 2005 4:47:24 AM, Anonymous said?

I find nomenclature quite difficult. As you say, nefesh hasichlis is
neshama in chabad. It's more than an analog, the terminology changed,
that's all. Where I run aground (so far) is integrating structural models
of nefesh with the sefiros. Chochma is intuitive knowledge, that comes
from outside, at the level that you become aware of it. A pre-verbal
'hey I know I got the answer but can't quite understand it yet'. Drawing
that down into a level where you can understand what it is you grasped
(or were given) and perhaps articulate it would be binoh. What I am
not clear about is the terminology for the 'everyday mind' of the
average guy - what you call intellectual. This is a very mezumzamdike
bit of our real mental potential, which is achieved by the activation /
opening up of nefesh hasichlis, which happens when nefesh habehamis is
'crossed', i.e. purified of emotions so that you can reach to the other
side of it. I'm not familiar with the terms da'as tachton and elyon,
but if you pushed me I would try and run this along the lines of active
and passive intellect. The problem with this is that active intellect
is a universal aspect of (Divine) mind that you can tap into rather than
higher aspects of your inner self. But in principal you, as a body/nefesh
combine, are connecting to higher levels and receiving their wisdom and
knowledge. Daas tachton would be nefesh hasichlis as a whole, which is
the keli that can receive ruach (? from ruach i.e. not yet neshama),
whereas da'as elyon would be outside you.

Where would you locate a 'Ruach hakodesh core'? (and actually, what
is that?)

BTW R. Chaim Vital says in shaarei kedusha that bosor vecholov
is poygem in nefesh hativi'is, i.e. a much lower level.

At
<http://rygb.blogspot.com/2005/06/manna.html#c111961570531865672>Friday,
June 24, 2005 8:21:45 AM, <http://www.blogger.com/profile/7592239>YGB
said?

My attempt to refine the application of the nomenclature:

Chochma is intuitive knowledge, that comes from outside, at the level
that you become aware of it. A pre-verbal 'hey I know I got the answer
but can't quite understand it yet'.

I think that is actually Kesser. Chochmah is knowledge that can be
articulated.

Drawing that down into a level where you can understand what it is you
grasped (or were given) and perhaps articulate it would be binoh.

Binah follows articulation; it is the more profound understanding that
allows extrapolation ("meivin davar mitoch davar").

What I am not clear about is the terminology for the 'everyday mind' of
the average guy - what you call intellectual. This is a very mezumzamdike
bit of our real mental potential, which is achieved by the activation /
opening up of nefesh hasichlis, which happens when nefesh habehamis is
'crossed', i.e. purified of emotions so that you can reach to the other
side of it.

The system distinguishes between Oros Penimiim and Oros Makifim. the
Oros Penimiim are internalized, so it is available even in the presence
of the nefesh ha'behamis - kinda like going from surfing the web directly
to learning a blatt gemara or vice versa :-) - The Oros Makkifim are only
available when *something* has been done with the nefesh behamis - what,
is a major point of contention - say by the Hakkafos (the link between
Hakkafos and Makkifim is made by Rav Zevin) of Simchas Torah or Kabbolas
Ol Malchus Shomayim of Neilah.

The problem with this is that active intellect is a universal aspect of
(Divine) mind that you can tap into rather than higher aspects of your
inner self. But in principal you, as a body/nefesh combine, are connecting
to higher levels and receiving their wisdom and knowledge. Daas tachton
would be nefesh hasichlis as a whole, which is the keli that can receive
ruach (? from ruach i.e. not yet neshama), whereas da'as elyon would be
outside you.

I think both take place in neshamah. Da'as Tachton (passive intellect) is
the combination: knowledge+understanding=wisdom. Da'as Elyon (active
intellect) is the additional aspect of the divine spirit. You can
achieve Da'as Tachton in any realm of human inquiry, but Da'as Elyon is
the product only of Torah wisdom (and is associated with the principle:
"Chacham adif me'Navi").

Where would you locate a 'Ruach hakodesh core'? (and actually, what
is that?)

While Ruach HaKodesh is associated with the higher functions of Neshamah,
it is only accessible because of and through Chayah and Yechidah.

YGB


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 01:05:22 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Where were all the firstborns?


In  Avodah V15 #37dated 6/23/2005 RMB writes:
>: From  when did they start counting first born as
>: "first-born to his mother"? If  they counted them as "first born to the
>: father" (which MUST be the case  at least in Shevet Levy), would that
>: help solve the mystery? [--old  TK]

>Why? The laws of pidyon haben speak of the bechor of an eishes  leivi
>being patur from pidyon.

As of when?  Before the census in the desert?  [Not  arguing, just asking]

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


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:49:35 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Minyan with sinners


Cantor Wolberg wrote:
>>...He paskened that for a minyan one needs 10 people who are shomer
>>mitzvot... If one combines this psak with that of RYSE the many people
>>in this list (myself included) are pasul for a minyan,

>It's impossible to accept that what was discussed on Avodah is really
>what they said. It would be irrationally and ridiculously extremist...
>It actually flies in the face of what many of us have been taught --
>namely, you could have 9 tzadikim and you still don't have a minyan. On
>the other hand, you could have 10 non-observant men and that would
>constitute a minyan.

Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe OH I #23 page 66/OH II #19 page 189/OH III #14 page
312 ) states that one can in fact make a minyan for devarim shebekedusha -
with those who don't keep Shabbos or are heretics - but that it is not
considered tefila b'tzibor.

Tefila K'Hilchaso(8:46- 51) summaries :A person who sins even one sin
to cause anger, mumar for avoda zara or heretic who doesn't accept
the words of chazal - are not counted for a minyan...Mechallal Shabbos
b'farhesia has the status of an akum and does not count for a minyan
(Mishna Berura 55:46) However there are modern poskim who consider that
they are part of a minyan to say devarim shebekedusha and some say even
for tefila b'tzibor and others disagree (Chacham Tzvi #35, Meishiv
Davar.... ). (Chachom Tzvi says not to count a person who refuses to
cover his head in public.) Karaites are not counted even for saying
devarim shebekedusha (Since they reject decrees of of chazal) (Yalkut
Yosef says that if they repent they can be counted).

Daniel Eidensohn


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 03:49:55 -0400
From: <bloglet@bloglet.com>
Subject:
[Hirhurim] Downloading Music


I have been asked a number of time to write about the downloading of music
from the internet. So here are my thoughts, albeit not accompanied with
the usual citations. The reason for that is that, more than most other
posts, this is not something on which I want to give the impression of
offering a definitive position. Ask your rabbi about this. The following
are just my musings:

I think the issue boils down to two points, the latter for which there
are three positions.

I. Dina De-Malkhusa Dina

Generally speaking, albeit with many details and exceptions, the law
of the government is religiously binding on Jews based on the Talmudic
principle of Dina De-Malkhusa Dina -- the law of the land is law. Since
downloading music (without permission) is illegal, it should therefore
be prohibited.

However, the principle of Dina De-Malkhusa Dina only applies to laws
that are enforced. Obscure rules that happen to be on the books but
no one follows and the government does not even bother to enforce are
not religiously binding. For example, I have witnessed more than once
R. Hershel Schachter cross the street (while walking) against a red
light when there are no cars coming. Is that technically illegal? Is it
enforced? Not in New York; everybody does it. While "everybody does it"
is not an excuse to violate a religious law, unenforced governmental
laws are entirely different.

When it comes to copying tapes and CDs for personal use (as opposed
to copying them for sale, i.e. bootlegging), there is absolutely no
enforcement of the "no copying" rule. Furthermore, I am not aware
of anyone who was sued for copying CDs and giving them away to some
friends. That seems to be entirely unenforced. In my limited knowledge,
downloading music illegally is similarly unenforced, with the exception
of a few high profile lawsuits a few years ago. If that is the case,
it would seem that Dina De-Malkhusa Dina does not apply.

II. Halakhic Copyright Violations

Since secular law seems to offer no practical position on this issue,
it moves to the hahakhic realm. If halakhah also provides no barrier,
then downloading music without permission would be permissible. This
issue was made most famous in regard to copying tapes. After I purchase
a tape and it belongs to me, am I allowed to make copies of my tape for
my friends? After all, once I buy the tape it is mine to do with as
I wish. If I want to smash it to pieces or throw it off the Brooklyn
Bridge, I can. So why can't I copy it? On this, I have heard three
positions from my rabbe'im.

1. The tape is mine and I can copy it if I want. Conditions that some
companies put on the sale, that if I copy it the sale is void, are just
plain silly. What that means is that I can buy a tape or CD, copy it,
and then return it to the store and demand my money back because the
sale is void. I have heard this in the name of important contemporary
posekim, but I will not name them unless I know that they have expressed
this position in writing.

2. I have heard in the name of R. Moshe Feinstein that there is a separate
problem of causing financial harm to another. Copying/downloading per
se is not problematic. However, if it reduces a company's sales then
it is considered causing damage and, therefore, prohibited. Anyone even
remotely familiar with the current state of the music industry knows that
illegal copying and downloading has caused huge financial damage to the
entire industry. Therefore, copying/downloading is only permitted if you
would otherwise not buy the tape/CD. Presumably, if you aren't sure then
you should be strict. This approach is that taken by R. Yisroel Belsky.

3. R. Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, in an article in Tehumin that I have
somewhere in my files but cannot currently find, posits that sellers
can retain certain right to the objects that they sell. In other words,
a company can sell you a CD but not sell you the right to copy it or
post it to the internet. Therefore, copying it or posting it is actual
theft of the company's portion of the CD.

In conclusion, there seem to me to be three positions regarding illegally
downloading music from the internet. Assuming that the government does
not enforce the law against it, halakhah either permits it entirely,
allows it only if you would otherwise not buy the music, or entirely
prohibits it. So ask your rabbi. (6/23/2005 5:55:19 AM)


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Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 15:18:12 +0300
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Subject:
Timtum Ha'lev in situations where food is muttar me'ikar ha'din


I wrote (on Areivim):
>> Here's a suggestion; perhaps someone on list can find a makor for it:
>> the risks do not exist halachically and therefore it is 100% muttar to
>> eat.  However, the idea that non-kosher food is metamtem es ha'lev may
>> still apply (after all, even if it is muttar to eat, in fact the food
>> may be treif),

On 6/24/05, Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@bezeqint.net> wrote (on Areivim):
> When we had a Sanhedrin and there was a question of accepting the
> testimony of the Eidim, Chachamim had the option of not sitting in Lishkat
> HaGazit -- this would prevent the giving of testimony, and result in
> a shift in the calendar. The idea being that while the moon may show
> that it's Rosh Chodesh -- until Chachamim decree it so -- it just isn't!!!

> Similar situations are known for mamzerim (until a Beit Din proclaims a
> person a mamzer -- they are held as kosher) and obviously for kosher food.

I'm not sure that you can prove your point from these two examples.
In the case of Kiddush HaChodesh, the Beis Din is the entity which
halachically *creates* the status of a new month. So even if the entire
Jewish people see the new moon but Beis Din is unable to pronounce the
new moon until the next day, the new month begins on the next day.

In the case of mamzeirim, there is a gzeiras ha'kasuv that only a mamzer
vadai is prohibited to enter the kahal.

In the case of food, we do not require a pronouncement of beis din.
I will agree, however, that whenever there is a halachic decision,
such as bittul b'rov, the mi'ut doesn't exist halachically. However,
in the case of statistics, the issue is ruba d'lesa kaman, and that rov
works differently than ruba d'isa kaman, so I'm not sure that the mi'ut
disappears halachically, just that we are not required to be choshesh
for it.

In any case, as I was addressing the issue of timtum ha'lev, we do find
cases where poskim said that something is muttar to eat but nevertheless
is metamtem es ha'lev:

a) SA Y.D. 91:7: a Jewish baby technically is allowed to nurse from a
non-Jewess, but should not do so because of timtum ha'lev.

b) Tzitz Eliezer 18:70 one is permitted to feed a sick person nonkosher
food, but it is better to be mechalel Shabbos for him rather than to
feed him nonkosher food because the latter is metamtem es halev.

In fact, in my Bar Ilan CD search I found that Mishne Halachos 16:137
specifically states that even where something is muttar to eat because
of bittul b'rov, nevertheless, one may be machmir not to eat it because
of timtum ha'lev. (To quote the Hebrew: "L'inyan bittul b'rov . . .im
hu yodea she'hadavar muttar ela she'eino rotzeh l'ochlo mishum davar
ha'tamei . . . harei hu metamtem es ha'lev . . ., harei hu oseh davar
tov b'ma she'eino ochel, keivan she'hu poresh atzmo mi'tzad teva ha'issur
she'hu metamtem es ha'lev, lo m'ta'am she'hu assur min ha'torah.")

When we learned Yoreh De'ah, my chavrusa and I theorized that Minhag
Ashkenaz was to be much more machmir than dina d'gemara because of the
fear of timtum ha'lev.

Also, I think that this ties into the machlokes of whether rov causes
issur to change into heter, or just is a hanhaga allowing us to eat
the food. Nifka mina: if a piece of issur is mixed with two pieces of
heter, is one person allowed to eat all three pieces? See discussion in
Beis Yosef Y.D. 109 summarizing the views of Rosh (yes), Rashba (yes,
but not together, just one after the other) and SeMaG--based on Tosfos
(no, because then it is definite that he eat an issur). Ramo paskens
that l'chatchila we are machmir.

Kol tuv,
Moshe


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Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 02:41:43 +1000
From: Rael Levinsohn <ralevinsohn@gmail.com>
Subject:
Saving Nachriim on Shabbos


In light of a recent discussion on Areivim, regarding the topic of why
Jewish people leave the fold which lead onto the topic of saving the
life of a gentile on Shabbat. Over the years I have found some sources
on the internet which I feel will be useful to the readers as works of
reference regarding this topic and the treatment of gentiles in general
in halachic literature.

Sources for Saving the life of a Gentile on Shabbat
Some background sources:

Judaic sources on the attitude towards gentiles: By Leon Zilberstein 
(<http://www.talkreason.org/articles/gentiles.cfm>)

Gentiles, Rabbis and Texts: 
Review of Gil Student, The Real Truth About the Talmud; also accessible
at http://talmud.faithweb.com/* :
By Sasson Lerner
(<http://www.talkreason.org/articles/students.cfm>)

A Lonely Champion of Tolerance: R. Menachem ha-Meiri's Attitude Towards
Non-Jews
By David Goldstein 
(<http://www.talkreason.org/articles/meiri.cfm>)

A Halakhic View of the Non-Jew Author: Nahum Eliezer Rabinovitch Publisher
(Tradition, 8:3 1966 & Le'ela 1:5 (18-23) 1979):
(<http://tinyurl.com/9qb5y>)

A Modern Blood Libel: Rabbi Immanuel Jakobavits (Tradition, 8:2 1966)
(<http://tinyurl.com/j8zk>)

Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim IV: 79)
(<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/rmfMedicineOnShabbos.pdf>)

Sources regarding Non Jews
(http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/mmOnNachriim.pdf>)

Lookjed List Archive ג€“ Hillul Shabbat for non Jews
(http://www.lookstein.org/lookjed/read.php?f=1&;i=153&t=153&v=f>)

Aspects of letters from RYYW regarding non Jews (posted on Lookjed by
Saul Lieberman) (see below)

For a documented source of why a once religious Jew left the fold see
the following document.
Letter to My Rabbi: By Naftali Zeligman
(<http://www.talkreason.org/articles/letter1.cfm>)

There are many other informative articles on the Talk Reason website,
although clearly biased and with an agenda, should make for some thought
proving discussion and contemplation.

I will be posting more on the above topic in the next couple of days.

Hope these sources are of some use to the readers,

Regards,
Rael Levinsohn

				    --------

Re: Helping non-Jews 
Author: Saul Lieberman (---.cc.biu.ac.il)
Date:   03-31-05 00:00

Portions of two letters of R. Jehiel Jacob Weinberg to Professor
Samuel Atlas may be of interest. (The letters were published in
Marc B. Shapiro, "Scholars and Friends: R. Jehiel Jacob Weinberg
and Professor Samuel Atlas", The Torah U-Madda Journal, VII, 1997,
<http://www.yutorah.org/_shiurim/%2FTU7%5FShapiro%2Epdf>.)

September 19, 1957 - "The entire world hates us. We assume that this
hatred is due to the wickedness of the nations, and no one stops to think
that we also bear some guilt. We regard all the nations as similar to
an ass. It is forbidden to save a Gentile, it is forbidden to offer him
free medical treatment, it is forbidden to violate the Sabbath to save
his life, his sexual intercourse does not render a woman forbidden to her
husband according to R. Tam because their issue is like that of horses.
Can the nations resign themselves to such a deprivation of rights? It is
permitted to deceive a Gentile and cancel his debt as well as forbidden to
return his lost object! What can we do? Can we uproot our Torah teaching
with apologetic formulae or clever deceptions. God knows that I have
written this with the blood of my heart, the blood of my soul."

November 15, 1965 - "In my opinion it is fitting to put an end to the
hatred of the religions for each other. More than Christianity hates
Judaism, Judaism hates Christianity. There is a dispute if stealing from
Gentiles is forbidden from the Torah, everyone holds that deceiving
a Gentile and canceling his debt is permitted, one is not to return a
lost object to a Gentile, according to R. Tam intercourse with a Gentile
does not render a woman forbidden to her husband, their issue is like
the issue [of horses]. According to Maimonides, if a Jew has sex with a
Gentile [woman], the Gentile is killed because the Jew stumbled into sin
through her. The law of a Gentile is the same as the law of an animal.
Maimonides derived this law on his own. It is not found in the Bavli or
the Yerushalmi. We must solemnly and formally declare that in our day this
does not apply. Meiri wrote as such, but the teachers and ramim whisper in
the ears of the students that all this was written because of the censor."

Saul Lieberman


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