Avodah Mailing List

Volume 15 : Number 053

Monday, July 18 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 15:39:29 +0300
From: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" <frimea@mail.biu.ac.il>
Pareve cultured meat????

A friend has brought the following bizarre article to my attention which
deals with cultured meat.

In the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, researchers describe methods
of mass-producing "cultured" meats: muscle tissues with the same taste,
nutrients and texture of "real" meat, grown under controlled conditions
in the lab. This wouldn't be fake meat made from processed vegetables,
it would be cellularly identical to the flesh from livestock -- but no
animal would be killed for its production. The article is now available
online, and a detailed summary is available here.

The researchers -- from the US and the Netherlands -- aren't just talking
about theory. They've started a non-profit company called New Harvest
to develop cultured meat.

The production of such "cultured meat" begins by taking a number of
cells from a farm animal and proliferating them in a nutrient -- rich
medium. Cells are capable of multiplying so many times in culture that,
in theory, a single cell could be used to produce enough meat to feed
the global population for a year. After the cells are multiplied, they
are attached to a sponge-like "scaffold" and soaked with nutrients. They
may also be mechanically stretched to increase their size and protein
content. The resulting cells can then be harvested, seasoned, cooked,
and consumed as a boneless, processed meat, such as sausage, hamburger,
or chicken nuggets.

Is anyone aware of any discussion of the kashrut of this sort of "meat"?
Would kol haYotsei min haTame tamei apply here? Would this meat truly
be fleishig?

Kol Tuv
Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Ethel and David Resnick Professor
   of Active Oxygen Chemistry
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
E-mail: FrimeA@mail.biu.ac.il

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Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 22:44:01 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Admin: Blogs

This post is NOT addressed to the moderators, because I think that it is
an issue for the Avodah membership to discuss. And I also do not think it
belongs on Areivim, because it concerns an issue which is very specific
to the Avodah mailing list.

In Avodah Digest 15:50, Moderator Micha Berger wrote <<< I am (unless
people ask me to stop) carrying the Torah found in some of our regular
members' blogs. >>>

Examples of this are found in Avodah Digest 15:52, which contains the
following lines:
* If you go to:
you will see the Hebrew,...
* Posted by M. Levin to Der Alter at 7/16/2005 11:32:00 PM
* Posted by Gil Student to Hirhurim - Musings at 7/17/2005 09:49:00 PM

I am trying to decide whether or not to ask the moderator to stop this
practice (as he suggested we might), but I am seeking some information
with which to form an opinion on this matter. Specifically: For what
purpose are these blogs being repeated in Avodah?

If the purpose is to bring the blogs to the attention of the chevra,
then I support continuation (though I'd suggest that it might be better
for Avodah to have shorter excerpts).

But if the purpose is to raise an issue for discussion, then I don't
understand why it should appear in both places. The author should choose
one venue or another for the discussion, and leave it at that. If it is
discussed in both places, some points will inevitably be shortchanged.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:37:40 -0500
From: "brent" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>
RAF letter

> The well known statment of Rav Hertzog was an unpublished letter
> responding to the assertion of the Tzitz Eliezar that blood tests can
> not establish paternity since chazal tell us that the blood is from the
> mother. It appears that Rav Herzog did not view Chazal's statement about
> origin of blood as a halachic statement and thus should not be taken
> literally against scientific evidence.

This doesn't have to be a machlokess. There are different parts of blood,
hemoglobin, platelets, white celss... Just because the main ingredient is
from the mother doesn't mean that every aspect of it is. DNA is in all
bodily cells, those contributed by the father (marrow, neurons...) and
those from the mother (blood...). The same DNA is found in all of
these. If DNA is found in cells found in cells contributed from both
sexes then maybe other parts may be similarly. ...shalom al Yisrael.

brent kaufman 

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 16:07:28 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Order of Creation

On Fri, Jul 15, 2005 at 12:41:46AM -0400, Zvi Lampel wrote:
: *As an aside, this is one reason that claiming that the days of Creation
: were each actually billions of years, or not "time-as-we-know-it," would
: not help (as per this Gemora and Rashi and plain sense of the posuk)
: to conform the Torah's version of history to billion-years age-of-earth
: claims. For the 15 billions-of-years evidence is allegedly of several
: billions-of-years development of agricultural growth, not billions of
: years of grass not yet sprouting (while, incidentally, birds and other
: creatures developed and procreated without plant life to support them.)

But according to the "there was no time as we know it" idea found in
REED, one can't discuss how things aged altogether. Nor whether events
had sequence -- never mind what the sequence was. Time as a flow didn't
exist until the eitz hadaas, so there is no definition for "before" or
"after". Etc... That the science is wrong because it presumes one can
project the laws of nature into the period in which they didn't yet exist
(as they are now). AND assuming peshat in the pasuq (including Rashi's
peshat) is historial is dangerous because we can't understand what it
is that is being described.


Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
micha@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 23:41:43 EDT
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
RE: Rav Ashi and Lo Sassur

<< When you read the Dor Revi'i's haqdamah, I think that you will have a
better handle on how they got the authority. Al regel ahat, I would say
that the authority was not the result of their personal stature but of
the nature of the document that they produced, a document that preserved
in writing the upshot of the oral torah and its underlying reasoning.
Rav Ashi did not impose it on us by gezeirah, he produced a document
that compelled our assent because it faithfully reproduced nearly the
entire corpus of rabbinic reasoning. The problem was that by so doing
they foreclosed further disagreement which was contrary to the principle
of el ha-shofeit asher yihiyeh ba-yamim ha-heim. >>

One should keep in mond that there are two ways in which an interpretation
can be deemed correct:
1. It faithfully reproduces the original intent.
2. It is by defintion correct because it is proposed by the only
authoritative body that can offer an interpretation. Thus, the
Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says that it means because
it is the only body that is authorized to interpret it.

Thus, the interpretation of Chazal are "correct' bse they are the only
ones given the authority to interpret.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 15:03:16 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Rav Ashi and Lo Sassur

RDC asked:
> In H. Mamrim (1:2) the Rambam writes that the prohibition of lo sassur 
> applies to rulings of the "beis din hagadol shebiyrushalem". In the 
> hakdamah of the Mishneh Torah, however, he says that we're obliged to 
> follow all of the decrees enacted by the sages of the Holy Babylonian 
> Talmud, through Ravina and Rav Ashi [who of course were not "beis din
> hagadol shebiyrushalem"],
> and he cites the pasuk "lo sassur" as the source of the obligation.

Mlevinmd@aol.com posted on 15 Jul 2005 replied,
> The views of Rishonim on this subject have been summarized by Y. Stefansky 
> in Hattakanot B'Ysrael published by Mossad HaRav Kook. He demonstrates 
> that there are 4 basic positions....

Is then the basic answer to RDC's kushya that the Rambam's terminology
"beis din hagadol shebiYerushalayim" was meant "lav davka" in one way
or another?--"Lav davka" "hagadol" and/or "lav davka" "shebiYerushalayim"?

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 16:02:40 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: yeridat hadorot

On Thu, Jul 14, 2005 at 01:28:45PM -0400, Mlevinmd@aol.com wrote:
: There seem to be two ways of understanding this concept in teh rishonim.
: 1. Various Geonim - Chazal were actually superior beings, with higher
: degree of perception and greater souls and they possessed Ruach Hakodesh
: which later generations did not.
: 2. They were not metaphysically greater but it is just that subsequent
: generations persecutions and exiles made it impossible for anyone to
: learna s much from their teachers as eartlier generation. This seems to
: be the view of Rambam and also of Sefer Hakkabala and Matteh Dan.

I would like to see lashon hage'onim on this. To me it would seem that
because they knew more they were metaphysically greater. IOW, your #2
(minus the first clause) is the cause of your #1. No machloqes at all.

For there to be a problem you would have to show that the geonim
believed the superiority was innate.


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Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 23:54:31 -0400
From: A Seinfeld <seinfeld@daasbooks.com>
Re: sending email to Israel on friday afternoon

From: Shaya Potter <spotter@cs.columbia.edu>
> Situation that just came up for me. I find a bug in a piece of  software
> our lab wrote that I'm using for research. Lab mate is not religious,
> and is currently in Israel. As it's shabbos his time, can I send an
> e-mail that he will probably see on shabbos, and might even work on to
> try to fix.
> Does it matter if I send it directly to him, or to a mailing list that
> he'd see....

Why not write it and put in in your outbox, then shut down your  
computer before it goes out. That way it will go out right away next  
time you boot up.

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 00:01:08 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
R' Tradyon's daughter

In a women's shiur yesterday, about "hatznea leches" (which was in
yesterday's haftara), the speaker discussed something mentioned in the
Gemara--that R' Teradyon and his wife were put to death by the Romans
because of their sins, and that R' Tradyon's daughter was condemned to
spend her life in a brothel because of a sin she had committed in the
area of tznius.

She was walking down the street and heard some Romans behind her say,
"See how graceful are the footsteps of this maiden" or some such thing,
and she became conscious of her graceful walk and paid attention to her
steps--not that she changed her way of walking, but that she was now
conscious of it and was presumably flattered by the attention.

The speaker said that the sin was caring what outsiders think, something
like that. She also said that the Tradyon family was on such a high
madreiga, such great tzaddikim, that they were judged kechut hasa'arah
and therefore, I guess, we shouldn't be surprised that they received
such harsh punishments for seemingly minor sins.

Tonight a friend of mine called me up, very upset about this, and wanted
to know what on earth this speaker meant by telling us such a thing. How
could we presume to judge someone so harshly and say she deserved to be
a captive in a house of ill repute for the rest of her life because she
enjoyed a compliment?! I said WE were not judging, nor was the speaker
judging, but Chazal were judging. My friend then said something like,
"Well how could Chazal say that?!" She seemed to be very surprised and
upset by all this. "Did you ever hear this thing about R' Tradyon's

I replied that I had indeed heard it before, and I was surprised that
she was surprised. "Surely this is not the first time you have heard
something from the Gemara that sounded off the wall?" I said to her. "I
think you're supposed to take it with a grain of salt."

She said, "Doesn't it bother you? What are we supposed to learn from

"That women shouldn't learn Gemara because it might upset them?"

She wasn't buying that. But anyway, no, the story doesn't bother me,
maybe because I've been desensitized by frequent exposure to strange
stories (midrashim, chassidishe stories, etc etc) OTOH, my curiosity
has been somewhat piqued.

I suggested that one lesson we are supposed to learn from the story is
that we--Jewish women--shouldn't care what non-Jewish culture considers

My friend wasn't too excited about the emphasis on women's modesty,
but that's another discussion. To be fair, the speaker emphasized that
tznius applies to men and women and has more to do with attitudes and
hashkafos than with clothing.

But the main thing that troubled my friend was the harsh fate that befell
Rav Tradyon's daughter, which to my friend seemed worse than death.

I said, well, we can't really fully understand Chazal, but R' Tradyon was
one of the asarah harugei malchus, which is also a big question in  theodicy.  
Someone (I don't remember who, one of the Tana'im?) went "behind  the pargod" 
(sought mystical knowledge by kabbalistic means?) and asked the same  question 
and was told, "Hos!  Be quiet, or I will destroy the world!"   I understand 
this to mean that Chazal were aware that such harsh  punishments for seemingly 
slight sins DO raise questions, but the answers are  beyond our understanding.
Do any of you  chevra have some understanding or information that will shed 
light on this  story?  Is there further information about the ultimate fate of 
R'  Tradyon's daughter?   Did she in fact spend her life in a brothel or  was 
she ransomed?  And does anyone have any insight into why she deserved  so 
harsh a punishment?  

My friend thought that if we cannot understand stories like these,
they should not even be taught publicly. I said we can understand
this much: that we should be careful about tznius, not on so high a
level as was expected from R' Tradyon's daughter, but on our own level.
This didn't satisfy my friend, either. Any comments on the value of
teaching such anecdotes?

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 01:01:39 -0400
From: Shmuel Zajac <s.zajac@verizon.net>
Re: R' Tradyon's daughter

Some thoughts, not entirely in order, but I hope coherent.

Firstly, I don't believe that her lack of enthusiasm over the emphasis on
tznius is a separate issue. I think, rather, that it is a large part of
why she is so upset by the story. Whatever the story means, it certainly
means that tznius is IMPORTANT, even if there is more to the story than
meets the eye.

Context is important to all of this. The first thing to realize, I think
is that the Agada is replete with stories of someone doing something that
seems small which winds up with MAJOR repercussions to the transgressor.
I suspect that many of these stories are written in "code"; that the
deeds described are actually references to something else. Also, I think
that, on the whole, the Gemarah is taking the point that what seem to
be small things are references to and reflections of much larger and
fundamental issues.

In the case of Rav Tradyon's daughter, two things come to mind. One is
that she, of all people, should have either been totally indifferent to
the praise of the Roman soldiers, or even disgusted by it. After all,
her father was brutally murdered by the minions of an Emperor cynically
claiming to be acting as an agent of Hashem. She, of all people, should
have understood the decadence and foulness of a culture epitomized by
this shameless and hypocritical butcher. Instead she was so flattered
that she was makpid to continue walking that way. Maybe, looked at in
that light, what she did was not so "small" - especially when juxtaposed
with what we learn were the zechusim for which B'nei Yisroel were taken
out of Mitzrayim - one of which was that they did NOT change their beged.

The other thing that comes to mind is to wonder if there is not more to
the story than we are being told. Is it possible, that the way she was
walking was "too graceful" and that the comment of the Roman soldiers
should have shocked her into awareness, rather than encouraging her to
continue. In other words, could it be that she was originally being
untznius, but possibly not realizing, and having heard them, she now
continued to do so on purpose. Is it possible that the story continued on,
in a way that could have been predictable? Those are the kinds of tings
that I wonder about, although I have to admit that it's all speculation.

As to the value of "hiding" or teaching these stories. Well, Talmud is
not the possession of a secret society, so trying to hide stories we
don't like is not going to work too well. That's reality, and we might
as well deal with it head. On the other hand, how valuable it is to
actually teach these stories depends on context as well. Who is doing
the teaching, to whom, why and how. (All the questions a good journalist
is supposed to ask :) )

One thing I think the story says to us is to think before we get too
pleased with the compliments from a culture that is antithetical to Torah.
Maybe we should stop and reflect about our reaction to a compliment from
some big movie start deep in the mire of the entertainment industry,
or from some corrupt politician. Whose opinion do we value?

And, yes, I think it does speak to basic attitudes about tznius. People
sometimes complain that we get to hung up on the minutiae of tznius.
Maybe. But this speaks to who we want to have looking at us, especially
on an external level, and whether we will do anything to get them to
look at us. The Gemoroh does not get hung up on how long or short here
hair or skirt or sleeves were. It tells us that she apparently WANTED
to admiration of the Roman soldiers and once she knew how to get it,
she made sure to do what it took. What it took may have been "kosher",
but it was still wrong.

I think that in ordinary situations, for ordinary people, if what it
took was kosher, we would not be so drastically punished for the wrong
attitude, but we need to be cognizant that this is the wrong attitude.
Especially since this attitude leads to many tings that are NOT kosher.
And, when someone needs extra zechuyos / a situation is NOT "normal"
and getting out of it requires nissim, then the wrong attitude is enough
to get even "normal" people in trouble.

And that's another piece of context. It would seem to me, from
a historical perspective, that she was in greater danger than most,
because of who she was related to. So, for her to lose that extra level
of zechus got her condemned to this awful fate.

Just my thoughts
 - Kayza

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 01:43:20 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
correction: R' Chanina ben Tradyon

It just struck me that the man who was martyred by the Romans, and
whose daughter walked so gracefully, was not R' Tradyon, but R' Chaninah
ben Tradyon. My bad.

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 03:44:06 -0400
From: "Moshe & Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Re: R' Tradyon's daughter

> But the main thing that troubled my friend was the harsh fate that befell
> Rav Tradyon's daughter, which to my friend seemed worse than death.

The context of the story is essential here - this is taking place during
the time of asarah harugei malchus and terrible g'zeiros against klal
Yisrael. Hundreds or even thousands of young Jewish women may have
suffered such a fate at the hands of the Romans. So the question is not
"Why was a frum girl, living quietly in the suburbs, subjected to this?"
It is "Why was this girl, seemingly a tzadekes, not miraculously
spared from this?" At such times of din, unfortunately, everything
works differently.

 - Ilana

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 15:05:46 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
RE: R. Zechariah ben Avkulos

On Thu, Jul 14, 2005 at 10:52:10AM -0400, Eli Turkel wrote:
> where else in shas does R. Zechariah ben Avkulos appear?

Shabbos 143a and Tosefta chap. 17, regarding how he dealt with the
muktseh issue of leftover nutshells.

Zvi Lampel (Source: R. A. Hyman's Toledos Tannaim V'Amoraim)

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 01:10:53 -0400
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Kiddushei ketana (was: Realism and Cynicism)

Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk> wrote:
> The big problem with the father is that there is a pasuk in the Torah
> which says that the father is believed, as set out in the gemora in
> Kiddushin on 64a (and Kesuvos 22a) based on the pasuk in Devarim 22:16
> "et biti natti l'ish hazeh". And for that you would not seem to need to
> produce witnesses. The halacha is that a man is believed to say that he
> has married off his minor daughters, and, if for example he says that he
> doesn't remember to whom he has married them - then they are forbidden
> from marrying *ever*. You don't need to produce the witnesses, just the
> statement of the father is enough. This is explicit in the Rambam Hilchos
> Ishus Perek 9 halacha 10 (and 11), the Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer siman
> 37 si'if 20 .

> So I am not sure I understand the point of this posselling of the
> witnesses, unless he is then saying that if had this ban, then their
> could not have been a kiddushin, so it is a form of anun sadi, ie we
> know that their could not have been a kiddushin, so therefore we override
> the ne'manus that the Torah gives the father. But that suggestion would
> seem to me completely uprooting a Torah situation, which makes me feel
> a little queasy, should we say.

Eid echad ne'eman be'isurin is also from the Torah ("vesafrah lah"),
and yet if we can prove that the metziut is otherwise, that the eid echad
is not telling the truth, then we do not believe her, despite the passuk.

Suppose a man claims to have betrothed his daughter to someone, and we
then find proof that at the time he claims to have done this he was on a
secluded island, on which there were no other Jewish men, and no way for
any to come there. We therefore know for a fact that he must be lying --
do we still say that the Torah gives him ne'emanut? I don't think so,
any more than we believe the eid echad who has been proven a liar.

Similarly, the Torah gives a man the power to declare that his wife's
child is a mamzer. But suppose we prove that during the whole time when
she could have conceived the two of them were in isolation, with no other
Jewish men available. Once again, do we still believe him, because the
Torah said to, or do we go with the proven metziut that in this case he
is a liar?

So if we declare that anyone who agrees to witness such a kiddushin is
passul le'edut, then we know, by definition, that the kiddushin had no
kosher eidim, and that "anan sahadi" in no way uproots the ne'emanut that
the Torah gave him. We simply say "yes, we believe that you did this,
because it was in your power, and the Torah says we can't question your
honesty in this matter; but we don't believe you found kosher witnesses
for it, because that is not in your power, and we know for a fact that
you didn't".

So why didn't Chazal make such a takana? Because in their day the vast
majority of fathers who betrothed their daughters did so with honest
intentions; there was an actual chatan, whose name was not at all a
secret, and he would arrive in due course and claim his bride. An honest
and good man might well agree to be a witness to such a kiddushin. Whereas
nowadays, the only fathers who (claim to) do this are vindictive men
who are set on punishing their daughters for their wives' sins (real or
percieved), and any man asked to be a witness to such a kiddushin knows
this full well; so it makes sense to declare such eidim to be resha'im.

Zev Sero

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 14:20:17 +0200
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Re: [YGB] Daf Halachah - Shabbos 73b

RMB wrote:
>Otherwise, RSMashbaum's question seems to stand: Why would he remember
>about the issur achilah of YK when it's on a Wed, but not on a Shabbos?

RYGB responded:
>I think it's pretty Baale-Battish. On a day which is kadosh from two
>aspects, we are afraid he may remember the one aspect and not the other,
>while on a day that is only kadosh from one aspect we are reasonably
>sure that is what he will remember.

I don't understand this. According to the TC, on YK which falls on Shabbat
we are afraid that he will forget *both* YK and Shabbat, *not* that he
will remember Shabbat and forget YK ("we are afraid he may remember the
one aspect and not the other"). You are saying that its being Shabbat
causes him to forget that it is YK, and then saying that he forgets that
it's Shabbat. This doesn't seem reasonable to me.

IMHO, RMB's hypothesis "lemaaseh the gezeirah was made WRT Shabbos and
not YK or other Yom Tov" seems most reasonable. If, however, we accept
the premise that the issur achila of YK removes the inclination to pluck
the fruit, then this should apply bein b'chol bein b'Shabbat.

We do find a case where a double k'dusha is assumed to cause
confusion. The gzeirah of lulav and shofar on Shabbat "shema yaavireno "
seems to me in part because davka on yom tov, when carrying normally is
permitted, one may forget that it is Shabbat and carry (even on Purim,
where this gzeirah applies, one may say that carrying the megilla
is a normal Purim activity, which may cause one to forget that it is
Shabbat). However, this svara does not apply to YK and Shabbat regarding
issur ktzira; YK is not a day when ktzira is normally permitted which
will cause one to forget it is forbidden to reap on Shabbat.

Saul Mashbaum

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 13:07:21 GMT
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>

Can anyone explain to me the brief piece starting "mechachmascha" that
is said after putting on the shel rosh?


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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 17:44:50 -0400
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
amoraim disagreeing with tanaim

>: The Gra held that those terms ("Hachi k'amar" and "chasorei mechsora")
>: weren't saying that the Tanna actually said something else or that there
>: is an intrinsic lacking in the text but rather that the Amora was in
>: fact disagreeing with the Tanna and rewriting the Tanna's statement to
>: conform with the current understanding of the new opinion.

> Maqor? Extraordinary claims need greater proof.

I dont find it very extraordinary. There are many places in shas where
the gemara asks a question on an amora from a tanaitic source. The gemara
then answers by reitenterpring the taanitic source in a way that is very
far from pshat.
One of my favorites is by reinterpreting a mishnah as discussing someone
making something hekdesh right before the bet hamikdash is destroyed
when there is no hint of this in the Mishnah.
It seems fairly clear that the gemara is willing to go to great lengths
to defend an amora rather than simply ending with a "tiuvtah".

Also it is interesting that occasionally the gemara adds "hacni nami
mistavra". This seems to mean that the answer is not just pulled out
to answer a question but is indeed the pshat of the Mishnah.

I have seen similar ideas in several achronim. Unfortunately being on
travel I do not have the source available.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 00:11:46 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: R' Tradyon's daughter

T613K@aol.com wrote:
>In a women's shiur yesterday, about "hatznea leches" (which was in
>yesterday's haftara), the speaker discussed something mentioned in the
>Gemara--that R' Teradyon and his wife were put to death by the Romans
>because of their sins, and that R' Tradyon's daughter was condemned to
>spend her life in a brothel because of a sin she had committed in the
>area of tznius.

>She was walking down the street and heard some Romans behind her say,
>"See how graceful are the footsteps of this maiden" or some such thing,
>and she became conscious of her graceful walk and paid attention to her
>steps--not that she changed her way of walking, but that she was now
>conscious of it and was presumably flattered by the attention.

Contrary to the speaker - Rashi notes that she took special care to walk
in the manner that they had commented.

Avoda Zara (18a) - Soncino  translation

"Why then was he punished? ג€" Because he was pronouncing the Name in 
public. His wife was punished by being slain, because she did not 
prevent him [from doing it]. From this it was deduced: Any one who has 
the power to prevent [one from doing wrong] and does not prevent, is 
punished for him.4 His daughter was consigned to a brothel, for R. 
Johanan related that once that daughter of his was walking in front of 
some great men of Rome who remarked, ג€˜How beautiful are the steps of 
this maiden!' Whereupon she took particular care of her step. Which 
confirms the following words of R. Simeon b. Lakish: What is the meaning 
of the verse, The iniquity of my heel compasseth me about?5 ג€" Sins which 
one treads under heel6 in this world compass him about on the Day of 
Judgment.)... Beruria, the wife of R. Meir, was a daughter of R. 
Hanina b. Teradion. Said she [to her husband], ג€˜I am ashamed to have my 
sister placed in a brothel.' So he took a tarkab-full19 of denarii and 
set out.20 If, thought he, she has not been subjected to anything wrong, 
a miracle will be wrought for her, but if she has committed anything 
wrong, no miracle will happen to her. Disguised as a knight, he came to 
her and said, ג€˜Prepare thyself for me.' She replied, ג€˜The manner of 
women is upon me.' ג€˜I am prepared to wait,' he said. ג€˜But,' said she, 
ג€˜there are here many, many prettier than I am.' He said to himself, that 
proves that she has not committed any wrong; she no doubt says thus to 
every comer. He then went to her warder and said, ג€˜Hand her over to me. 
He replied, ג€˜I am afraid of the government.' ג€˜Take the tarkab of 
dinars.' said he, ג€˜one half distribute [as bribe], the other half shall 
be for thyself.' ג€˜And what shall I do when these are exhausted?' he 
asked. ג€˜Then,' he replied, ג€˜say, "O God of Meir, answer me!" and thou 
wilt be saved.' ג€˜But,' said he,ג€˜who can assure me that that will be the 
case?' He replied, ג€˜You will see now.' There were there some dogs who 
bit anyone [who incited them]. He took a stone and threw it at them, and 
when they were about to bite him he exclaimed, ג€˜O God of Meir answer 
me!' and they let him alone. The warder then handed her over to him. At 
the end the matter became known to the government, and [the warder] on 
being brought [for judgment] was taken up to the gallows, when he 
exclaimed, ג€˜O God of Meir answer me.' They took him down and asked him 
what that meant, and he told them the incident that had happened. They 
then engraved R. Meir's likeness on the gates of Rome and proclaimed 
that anyone seeing a person resembling it should bring him there. One 
day [some Romans] saw him and ran after him, so he ran away from them 
and entered a harlot's house.1 Others say he happened just then to see 
food cooked by heathens and he dipped in one finger and then sucked the 
other. Others again say that Elijah the Prophet appeared to them as a 
harlot who embraced him. God forbid, said they, were this R. Meir, he 
would not have acted thus! [and they left him]. He then arose and ran 
away and came to Babylon. Some say it was because of that incident that 
he ran to Babylon; others say because of the incident about Beruria."

We see from this gemora 1) that tzadikim are judged by a higher standard 
2) she and her parents fully accepted G-d's justice 3) She was rescued 
by her brother-in-law R' Meir 4) Nothing in fact happened to her 4) Not 
all drashas are based on what the gemora actually says.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 02:12:17 +0200
From: Avi Burstein <avi@tenagurot.com>
mishna mentioning gemara

I just realized something that didn't make any sense to me. The famous
mishna in pirkei avos (5:25) that says 18 is the time for marriage (and
other age related milestones) also says that 15 is the age for gemara.
Now, how could a mishna mention the term "gemara"? Wasn't the mishna
compiled before there was any concept of gemara? I suspect that either
pirkei avos is not really part of the mishna like the "normal" mishnayos
are, or that the phrasing of gemara means something else other than what
we use it to mean today. But if it doesn't mean gemara like we understand
the term, then what does it mean?

(I'm aware that the sixth chapter of Avos is accepted as not real mishna,
but AFAIK everything before is.)

Avi Burstein

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Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 19:48:27 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
yeridas hadoros

"brent" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com> Sun, 17 Jul 2005 posted:
> The Gra held that those terms ("Hachi k'amar" and "chasorei mechsora")
> weren't saying that the Tanna actually said something else or that there
> is an intrinsic lacking in the text but rather that the Amora was in
> fact disagreeing with the Tanna and rewriting the Tanna's statement to
> conform with the current understanding of the new opinion.

I think you are going to receive many requests for your source ("chapter
and verse"). Do you have one?

Zvi Lampel

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