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Volume 15 : Number 071

Friday, August 19 2005

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 08:59:32 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Fwd (torahweb@torahweb.org): Rabbi Mayer Twersky - L'shaim Shomayim

This TD has a very AishDas-esque feel.


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L'shaim Shomayim
Rabbi Mayer Twersky
Acting l'sheim shomayim (for the sake of heaven) is one of the overarching
principles if Judasim (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 238). But how do we
ascertain that we are acting truly l'sheim shomayim?

On the one hand, it is simple and straight forward. All we have to
do is look into our hearts and be honest with ourselves. On the other
hand, however, it is somewhat complex. We have a remarkable capacity for
self-deception. This capacity is a necessary part of the gift of bechira
chofshis (free will). Bechira chofshis includes the freedom to deny truth
- even about ourselves. Hence the complexity in ascertaining that we are
acting truly l'sheim shomayim. We may think that we are acting l'sheim
shomayim, but are we fooling ourselves?

			Yiras Shomayim

	You shall not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person
	and you shall have fear of your God - I am Hashem (Vayikra 19:14)

	You shall have fear of your God - since this matter is not given
	to people to know if the intent of the person [who gives the bad
	advice] is for good or for bad, and he is able to escape blame,
	and to say, "I meant well," therefore it is said about him "and
	you shall have fear of your God" who recognizes your thoughts. And
	so, too, anything that is given over to the heart of the person
	who does it and which other people can't recognize, of it, it
	is said, "and you shall have fear of your God." (Rashi ad loc.,
	Artscroll translation)

When we can deceive others, the Torah exhorts us "you shall have fear
of your God." Hashem can not be deceived, and we are accountable to Him.
Yiras shomayim (fear of heaven) holds in check the yetser harah to deceive
others. And, by extension - yiras shomayim can also hold in check the
yetser harah to deceive ourselves. Admittedly we have a capacity for
self-deception, but, conversely, we also have a matching capacity for
self-awareness. Yiras shomayinm can be instrumental in activating the
latter and suppressing the former.

Yiras shomayim not only counters the impulse to self-deception and fosters
self-awareness. It also cultivates the capacity for altruistic l'sheim
shomayim conduct. Simply put: one who has deep-seated yiras shomayim and
is keenly aware of and preoccupied with Hakadosh Baruch Hu is likely to
act genuinely l'sheim shomayim.


An important indicator is assessing the l'sheim shomayim of our actions
and beliefs is consistency. Inconsistency invariably exposes deception
and/or self-deception. The Beis Halevi (on parshas Vayigash) offers this
penetrating insight in explaining the apparent redundancy of the Mishna
in Pirkei Avos (3:1).

	Da...lifnei mi attah asid litein din v'cheshbon - Know...before
	Whom you will give justification (din) and reckoning (cheshbon).

Din, explains the Beis Halevi, refers to each of our actions judged
individually. Cheshbon refers to the amalgam of our actions. Cheshbon
scrutinizes the internal consistency of our actions. For instance, if we
will plead poverty or lack of means as justification for miserly tzedakka
habits, the heavenly court will review all of our expenditures. We will be
asked to explain why we were wealthy enough to take expensive vacations,
live in opulent homes and the like, but too poor to give tzedakka.
Inconsistency highlights deception and/or self-deception.

Let us consider a few examples. Anger is a destructive impulse. Inflamed
passions lead to impulsive, vindictive speech and conduct. In anger,
we say and do regrettable things. And not only are they regrettable,
at times, they are also irreversible. Moral outrage, on the other hand,
is a noble sentiment. We should be passionate in opposing injustice,
falsehood, and evil. "I have hated falsehood and abhorred it." (Tehillim
119:163) "O lovers of hashem, despise evil!" (Tehillim 97:10)

When someone wrongs us, we react passionately. We think - or at any rate,
we would like to think - that we are feeling moral outrage l'sheim
shomayim, and not narcissistic anger. But which is it? The test is
very simple. Are we consistent - viz., do we react as forcefully and
passionately when others are wronged? If so, we are feeling moral outrage.
But if not, then we are feeling personal, selfish anger - a destructive
impulse that must be avoided.

When a parent strikes a child, is he/she doing so for the child's welfare
- convinced that there is no better form of discipline possible?[1] Or is
the parent acting out of frustration (for some parents, the frustration
quotient in parenting spikes at times) and anger, rationalizing to
himself "I'm doing this for the child's best interest. It is a mitzvah"?
Consistency test: when the child misbehaves but the parent's nerves are
not frazzled is he equally inclined to strike the child? When the parent
decides to hit the child, is he/she calm, objective, and dispassionate
in making that decision? Or is the parent feeling frustrated and angry,
emotions which cloud one's judgment. If the parent is feeling frustrated
and angry, it is virtually certain that in part if not in full, he is
not acting l'sheim shomayim. He is venting his frustration and anger.

In virtually every case of parents hitting children that I have witnessed,
the parent manifested unmistakable signs of anger and/or frustration. Such
discipline does not teach children right from wrong. The overriding
message children receive in such situations is that parents, instead
of controlling anger and developing patience, vent anger by hitting
their children.

Another example, of a different variety, of utilizing the consistency
test. In contemporary ideological discussion and debate, we often levy
charges of revisionism, cataloguing what we consider various instances
of revisionism. In doing so, we ostensibly act l'sheim shomayim, as
zealots for truth. But are we zealots for truth or simply seeking
to discredit ideological opponents? Or perhaps we are pandering
to a certain constituency? Consistency test: do we adduce examples
from the entire ideological spectrum or only from one side ("left",
"right") of the spectrum? If the latter, does this group being assailed
have a monopoly on revisionism? Once we recognize our inconsistency,
the self-questioning should proceed. How many examples that we cite
are really instances of revisionism, and how many are interpretations
with which we disagree? The consistency test, honestly administered and
uncensored, can be very revealing.

One final example, also drawn from contemporary ideological discussion
and debate. Many "hot-button" issues are currently being debated in
the public square. Some of these are women's issues - role of women,
aliyas, and so on. There are many other issues as well - for instance,
the boundaries of legitimate tolerance and openness. Many people are very
opinionated in such matters, passionately advocating a particular point of
view. Some go beyond advocacy and introduce change and innovation. And,
of course, ostensibly everything is said and done l'sheim shomayim. But
is the advocacy truly l'sheim shomayim? Or, perhaps is it self-serving,
remaking halachah in our image in concert with our predilections?

Consistency test: do we maintain the same professional standards for the
resolution of halachic issues that we insist upon in other contexts? For
instance, in complex medical affairs we seek - as we should - the best,
most expert medical care and guidance. If need be, we travel the world
to seek out an expert. For a laymen or even an undistinguished doctor
to make decisions or even advocate in complex medical issues would be
reckless. We would not allow it. How many of us - laymen and rabbonim
alike - are entitled to even express an opinion, much less advocate, in
complex halachic matters? If, lack of qualifications notwithstanding, we
persist in advocating on halachic matters, are we truly doing so l'sheim
shomayim? The consistency test, honestly administered and uncensored,
can be very revealing.

[1] By no means, am I assuming that, in our day, corporal punishment
is desirable even with the purest of motives (see Rav Shlomo Wolbe's
Planting & Building: Raising a Jewish Child.) My point is that even if
one does approve of corporal punishment it must meet the standard of
l'sheim shomayim.

Copyright © 2005 by The TorahWeb Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 09:12:21 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Fwd: MiOray HaAish - V'etchanan

On Wed, Aug 17, 2005 at 08:11:52AM -0400, I forwarded from RAK:
: This is based on a passage of the Talmud (Rosh Hashana 18a) which explains
: why at times prayers "work," and why at times they do not seem to. The
: Sefer Chasidim (section 612, citing Rav Saadya Gaon) explains that Moses'
: prayers were rejected, because his judgment had been finalized. This
: idea dovetails with a number of teachings of the Sages, which indicate
: that once this judgment was final nothing more can be said by Moses. (See
: Avot d'Rebbi Natan addition 2 to chapter 4.)

: It seems then that there is point where repentance is no longer effective.

So does in RSG's siddur not say "Avina Malkeinu! Qera ro'ah gezar
dineinu!" I thought this line was from R' Aqiva's original (Taanis 25b).
Also, how old is the siman of eating gezer on RH?

Also, the author of "uTeshuva uTefillah oTzedaqah maavirim as ro'ah
hagezeirah" must disagree.


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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 09:55:50 -0400
From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@verizon.net>
Re: Har Habayit

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> The two seem to be in disagreement. RYBS apparently doesn't let
> put your finger into the kotel in places RYMT would permit us
> walking just on the other side. As I wrote, this quote is "In
> contrast to RYBS..."

I wouldn't assume any disagreement.  RYMT was presumably talking about a 
scenario where the visitors have gone to the mikveh, whereas RYBS was 
addressing visitors to the kotel, who generally have not.


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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 13:36:09 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Re: Rabbi Mayer Twersky - L'shaim Shomayim

> Consistency test: do we maintain the same professional standards for the
> resolution of halachic issues that we insist upon in other contexts? ...
> How many of us - laymen and rabbonim alike - are entitled to even express
> an opinion, much less advocate, in complex halachic matters? If, lack
> of qualifications notwithstanding, we persist in advocating on halachic
> matters, are we truly doing so l'sheim shomayim? The consistency test,
> honestly administered and uncensored, can be very revealing.

This issue of who is a "bar hachi" on any particular issue is a favorite
theme of R'HS. Is their any practical definition or is it I know it when
I see it? IIUC this applies even when the issues are quite clear cut due
to "halachik intuition" issues(i.e. posek holds like a rather than b even
though his rebbe didn't and even though nothing has changed in mitziut)

Joel Rich

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Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 00:38:25 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Parshas Devorim

Just 2 points I noticed in last weeks Parsha.

2:1 - The Torah calls Eisov's descendents "acheichem bnei Eisov".
See the Ramban's reasoning for this 'brothershaft' [and mentioning similar
"Lo sesa'ev Adomi ki ochicho hu."], which Yishmael does not have.

And 2:1 Rashi dh 'Ki Hashem Elokecho Berach'cho', saying that we SHOULD
display our riches!


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Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 00:52:30 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Refuos shebeTalmud - cherem hakadmonim

This topic comes up on Areivim-Avodah regularly, so it was interesting
to see that the sefer Likutei Maharich [Vol 1] (towards the end) under
the heading of Birchas Refuah cites the Beis Lechem Yehudah [siman 336]:
"Yesh Cherem Hakadmonim shelo lismoch al refu'os shebeTalmud".

Also Hagahos RAE beshem Maharil: "ki ein laamod al ikron, veyaaligu al
divrei Chazal..."


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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:47:33 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: The Humility of R Zechariah b Avkolus

On Tue, Aug 16, 2005 at 08:08:03AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
:> Why does Rashi point to R Z b Avkolus not having Bar Kamtza executed
:> rather than his banning the offering of the blemished sacrifice?

: Why does the gemora report both or why were both considered? ...

More than that.... RZbA may have been involved in another part of the
story. According to the version in the Tosefta, RZbA was also at the
party and didn't speak up (presumably also because he thought it wasn't
his place).

So why two -- not the one primary cause or all three?


Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
micha@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:10:57 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Some Theology

On Tue, Aug 16, 2005 at 02:52:54PM -0400, RYGB wrote (from an account
that oddly claims to be the Avodah list):
:>Even if it is philosophically true, I do not believe we may say it. We are
:>not permitted to explain away those events that cause feelings of aveilus.

: Why not?

Even the Borei Himself doesn't. Imo Anokhi betzarah is an acknowledgement
that tzaros are real, not just an illusion created by ignorance.

Second, as I pointed out, while we make a berakhah al hara, it's a
different berakhah.

Third, seifer Iyov is a systematic proposal and rejection of various
explanations of tragedy. It ends with Iyov and G-d in dialogue, not
with an explanation. Therefore the idea that tragedy has value in that
it motivates an interaction rather than understanding it intellectually.

For that matter, some of the machloqesin amongst Chazal with the broadest
spectrum of opinions are those trying to find meaning in tragedies:
the loss of Nava & Avihu, the reason for Moshe's death, each of the
churbanos, etc, etc...

If you can't explain tragedy, you can't attach it to some tov.

Fourth, mishenichnas Av mema'atim besimcha.

Last, as I also already wrote, RYBS said the core of it first, in "Qol
Dodi Dofeiq".

: >I was about to invoke the Shoah to show that it's not something we should
: >say. In the grand scheme, after history is complete, it will have
: >contributed to the conclusion, which is tov. Thus, it is LE-tovah. But
: >it itself isn't tov, and thus the different berakhah. We must deal with
: >our experience.

: This is not at all the same. No one, B"H was killed, no level of 
: kedushah or form of Avodas Hashem lost - all these comparisons are out 
: of order.

Not the same at all. However, a theory of tragedy that claims that it
doesn't really exist would have to say it in ALL cases, even the most
extreme. I'm trying to make  a reductio ad absurdum.


Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
micha@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 22:55:58 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

In a message dated 8/10/2005 4:53:03pm EDT, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> The Kesef Mishne, after several attempted rebuttals, ends up conceding
> that the rambam is right lecatchila - but that the torah community
> would not survive and not have leaders if there wasn't support - and
> therefore this was allowed bdieved. This position - that the rambam was
> right lecatchila, but bdieved we allow the support, was the real norm
> (at work don't have - but look in yore dea and the rama and nose kelim)
> - the preferred mode was for the torah scholar to be independent - the
> question was if that was not possible, what type and modes of support
> was permissible - and the majority opinion was that it was actually quite
> limited (eg, schar batala and related ideas) . there are a few acharonim
> who go the other way, and believe that the honor of torah is manifested
> in the support given by the community, but most view the rambam as right
> lecatchila - the question is what to do given social realities.
> What has happened more recently that the kollel movement has changed
> this normal priority - and (especially in Israel) developed a communal
> model based on the entire community not working - something that is
> very much against mainstream halacha.

Accodring to this line of thinking why did the Torah FORCE Israel to
support Kohanim why no have THEM do the Avoda lishma, too?

Did Financially supporting Kohanim somehow Cotnribute to the descturction
of the Temple?
is that why supoorting kohanim was a bad idea and should not be perpetuated?

The Talmud worked ona different principle. In the days of yore disciples
were literal servants of their matsters. See The Story of Hille and
Bnei B'teira. The relationship of a Mesharet was TOTAL subservience.
The problem with paying a master is that he is NO LONGER YOUR MASTER.

My Karate master harvey Sober explained this to us.

In the orient, a disciple of a martial artists paid ZERO tuition but was
a serf/apprentice of his mantor. He swept his floor, sined his shoes etc.

When in America amrtial arts became a business, THEN stuedents did NOT
dust of fthe lcothes of the master, rather they paid tuioin, bowed in,
took a class and then went home indpendently. The nautre of tuioint
money CHANGES the relationship and makes the student a student and NOT
a discpile.

this is Pehsat in the Tlamud and the Rambam. If we want ot return to
the shimush method of Hillel being subservient to Shmaya and Avtalayon
then tuiotn is dropped and you take a young boy - like Shumeul to Eli,
and have him wait on his master hand and foot.

This is STILL done today in the East, such as those who serve the Dali
Lama for zeor money. But it won't fly in the West.

FURTHERMORE, as Rabbi Meir points out you serve ONE master not many,
becasue serving MANY dillutes your effectiveness. You pick a master -
even if it is an acheir - and you STICK WITH HIM through thick and thin
and exile. Sure you pay ZERO $$$ but you give up your indepndence...

Kol Tuv,
R. Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:32:56 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: TIDE Redux

On Tue, Aug 16, 2005 at 07:51:58AM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote:
: I grant your point. But taken in its totality TuM is at least equal to
: TIDE. Humaism may not be the central component of TuM but in the end it
: is Torah that emphasizes it for its adherents

I have no idea why you're phrasing it as a competition. Each derekh is
superior -- for different people.

: My favorite example of this is RAL's essay in which he says that his
: understanding of certain portions of Navi through his study was only
: possible (in his own case) through the study of English Literature.
: TIDE although having this same use for Mada as an aid to Torah, is
: still less likely to advocate study of English literature as a way of
: understanding Torah better. In a system which looks at Mada for its own
: sake, however, a PhD in such studies is more likely, thus expanding the
: horizens of ways to understand Torah and practice Mitzvos.

In a system which studies mada for its own sake is LESS likely. See again
RYGB's contrast of RYBS's ramasayim tzofim with RSRH's Israel-Mensch.
I say "again" because RYBS just replied to your making this point in
late June. See <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol15/v15n040.shtml#08>.


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: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 23:08:31 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Beards and peyos in Lithuanian Yeshivos

In a message dated 7/21/2005 1:29:08pm EDT, remt@juno.com writes:
> I believe I once wrote about a conversation my father z"l had, as
> a bachur, with the next-to-last Lubavitcher Rebbe. The gist of the
> conversation was the Rebbe's desire to form a yeshiva in Lithuania which
> would be Litvish in its derech halimud, but Lubavitch in its hashkafa. One
> condition would have been that the bochurim not shave.

> My father answered that the bochurim would not agree, andplained that they
> were trained (at least in Slabodka, where he learned) to dress in keeping
> with style and to be clean-shaven. The reason, they were taught, was that
>                                   ... if he saw a ben Torah, yet one
> who looked fashionable, he would certainly entertain the thought of such
> a future for his son, as well. Although (as the Lubavitcher argued) the
> beard would serve as a deterrent from going places he shouldn't (which,
> at that time, was the situation), Slabodka (as my father responded)
> felt that it was each bochur's obligation to think not only of himself,
> but on the impression and effect he would have on others.

I'm not sure if REMT is saying this, but I get the impression on my
own that Litvaks learn the way they do because they challenge their
authority figures. That simly does not work in Hassidism.

Rav Gorelick repeatedly admopnished us "ich villl NISHT KEIN FRUM
TORAH" it does not mean that he wanted us to be cyncial orsarcastic,
but to challenge what was said and to make sure that we concurred with
it before accepting it.

FWIW, I don't find that kind of spektical attitude too prevalent even in
"litvisher" yeshivos today.

Kol Tuv,
R. Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:19:09 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Tisha b'Av in America vs. in Israel

On Tue, Aug 16, 2005 at 11:32:48PM +0300, Moshe Feldman wrote:
: I have the sense that American Jews view Tisha b'Av as commemorating
: primarily the destruction of the bais ha'mikdash, while Israeli DL view
: it as commemorating primarily our galus from EY (with the destruction
: of the BhM being just part of that)...

There are centuries between churban bayis and the actual leaving Israel.
The entire period of the tannaim and the early amora'im.

: My sense is that from the Israeli DL perspective, galus is the primary
: punishment to Jews for violating cardinal sins, as we see in the Tochacha.
: In addition, in the parshios of the arayos we find that violating cardinal
: sins causes the land to become defiled...

... or shemitah. Chazal suggest things along those lines for bayis rishon.

Bayis sheni is explained in terms of sin'ah, misplaced anivus, and
other such midos-oriented topics. Which makes sense, as it didn't go
hand-in-hand with being forced from the land.

: Based on this, it is not surprising that the view of the Israeli
: DL community is that voluntarily living in galus today--even one as
: prosperous as America--is problematic, as galus is supposed to be a
: punishment, not a benefit.

You're confusing galus with golah. Both are punishments. But we even
had a bayis (rededicated by the Chashmonaim) throughout galus Yavan!
You can't leave the golah, it requires the Shechinah's return. Thus
"umeivi go'eil livnei veneihem", Hashem brings, not sends, the melekh


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: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 23:22:53 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Rav Ashi and Lo Sassur

In a message dated 8/7/2005 5:37:24pm EDT, driceman@worldnet.att.net writes:
> The first perek of H. Mamrim discusses the obligations the Sanhedrin
> entails on individuals. The second perek discusses the obligation,
> via precedent, it entails on later battei din. What I'd suggest is that
> the prohibition of lo sassur prohibits any later beit din from violating
> a precedent of the Sanhedrin, whereas it prohibits an individual from
> violating only something from the current Sanhedrin (studiously ignoring
> the question of institutional continuity - when is a Sanhedrin not
> current?), the obligation to follow the decisions of earlier Sanhedrins
> is mediated, as described below.

IMHO it is indeed ONLY the Sanhedrin that can bind us. The Mishnah/Gmara
is authoritative Pimrarily to the extent in that it approximates a
perservation of Pre-Hurban Halachah.

There are also post hurban Gezeiros that can be  binding, etc.

There is antohre model.

The Midrash Halachah equates the Sanhedrin to all of Klal Yisrael re:
V'chi sighu v'ene'elam mei'ein hakahal,,, etc.

So we have actual proof texts teaching us that the Sanhdrin is a sort of
proxy for the community. I argue the converse is true - to an extent. The
entire community is a proxy for Sanhedrin - expeicallyy in the ABSENCE
of a bona fide Sanhedrin.

This explains dynamics such as Ma'ariv being a hiyyuv because it is
{Local minhagim have less impact, but when a minhag prevades ALL OF ISRAEL
it is defacto as good as it gets to approximateing an act of Sanhedrin.}

A MINHAG of a single communiyt {e.g. Ashkenaz} is approximately the same
as the authority of Sanhedrin of a single shevet. In fact communites
have refferred to themselves as a Shevet.

So we have an approxmiation of Sanhedrin in a way, albeit mostly in the
method of passively ratifying...

Kol Tuv,
R. Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 08:19:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: TIDE Redux

Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 16, 2005 at 07:51:58AM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote:
> I have no idea why you're phrasing it as a competition. Each derekh is
> superior -- for different people.

I wasn't trying to make a competition between the two. Although
ultimately, aren't the different Derachim in Avodas HaShem, by definition
a sort of competiton? As an adherent of one Hashkafa or another aren't we
by our actions saying that our own Derech is superior to other Derachim?

The point I was trying to make is that TuM has an inherent strength
over TIDE... in that it opens up areas of study that TIDE would normally
not encourage and there-by allows more options of understanding Torah,
as my example of RAL suggests. As RYGB says:

> Thus, true TuM has no problem with -- would indeed encourage -- the
> study of areas of wisdom that are incompatible with Torah, while TIDE
> cannot and would not.

Minor quibble: I disagree with RYGB about the nature of TuM in one
sense. TuM does not ENCOURAGE areas of wisdom that are not compatible
with Torah. Nor can we even say it has no problem with it. TuM concedes
that there are problems with it but ...ALLOWS... its study as part of its
philosophy of allowing complete academic freedom in pursuit of worldly
knowledge. AIUI, TuM does recognize, however, the potential danger
involved in such study but at the same time, as Dr. Revel explained
in defending academic freedom in Yeshiva College... a person properly
prepared in Torah (as they are in YU) will know how to deal with such

Getting back to my point, I did not mean to say that TIDE doesn't
have its own strengths over TuM. But as an adherent of TuM, I would
naturally point out ...ITS...  strengths rather than the strengths of
other Hashkafos. Those who are adherents of TIDE are the ones to show
TIDE’s strengths since they are the ones who know that Hashkafa best.

> In a system which studies mada for its own sake is LESS likely. See again
> RYGB's contrast of RYBS's ramasayim tzofim with RSRH's Israel-Mensch.
> I say "again" because RYBS just replied to your making this point in
> late June. See
> <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol15/v15n040.shtml#08>.

You must mean RYGB, not RYBS. I looked at it and I don't understand
what you mean. Why is the study of Mada for its own sake less likely
to expand the horizons of ways to understand Torah and practice

> To extend the metaphor used by RYBS in the Ramasayim Tzofim
> speech, in TuM there are two mountains to scale, Chorev and Olympus,
> while in TIDE there is only Chorev to scale, with some elements of
> Olympus used to assist in the process.

Scaling only one mountain is not cause to assume greater likelihood
of ways to understand Torah and practice Mitzvos. I totally disagree.
Can you explain why this would be the case?

To my way of thinking, the study of Torah L'Shma which is the prime
component of TuM, is what gives one the foundation to pursue a proper
understanding of Mada. So the study of Mada L'Shma should in no way
undermine one's commitment to Torah and can only enhance... through
greater variety of prisms (as RAS referred to them) the way in which
the Torah can be understood.

While I cannot really know the motivations of RYBS, I believe that
it may have been at least in part, his motivation for the study of
philosophy. Such study is full of wisdom that is incompatible with
Torah. But RYBS was steeped in Torah which allowed him such study which
he then taught to his students. And it was his knowledge of Torah enabled
him to defend Torah theology against elements of apostasy one finds in
much of philosophic thought. I do not think that TIDE has any examples
of such people because... AIUI... TIDE discourages the study of general

Perhaps TIDE looks at the prohibition of study of apostate philosophies
as a strength... a barrier to possible dilution of Emunah, but TuM look
at it as a weakness.


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Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 19:10:17 -0400
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Ye'ush on land

On Areivim, Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>  wrote:
> From http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=5443
> I was struck by this:
>> At this point, the rabbi decided to teach the members of the commission
>> a lesson in Jewish law. Calmly and respectfully, he explained:

>>   "In Jewish law, the concept of 'yei'ush ba'lim' ('owner's despair')
>>    applies even to land. [That is, the owner of a stolen piece of land
>>    forfeits his ownership over it if he gives up hope of ever
>>    retrieving it from the thief.] However, if a person steals someone
>>    else's land, and the rightful owner continuously protests the theft,
>>    he retains ownership over the land forever!"

I think this must be a mistake. Karka einah nigzelet. Of course, in
the case of EY there was no ye'ush, and ever since we lost control of the
land we have been serving notice on the world three times a day that we
intend to take it back. But suppose we had not. Suppose we had truly
lost hope of ever retrieving it. Or suppose we did not lose hope, but we
had no nevu'ah promising us that we will retrieve it; since at the time
it appeared impossible that we would ever retrieve it by natural means,
our protestations to the contrary would be unreasonable, and therefore
halachically irrelevant (cf "zuto shel yam"). In the case of movable
property, this would sever our relationship with it, and whoever next took
possession of it would become the new owner (ye'ush and shinui reshut).
But in the case of land, as I understand the halacha, it would remain
ours forever, or until the last yoresh of the Jews who last held it died
out, ch"v.

My guess is that R Kook was misquoted here.

Zev Sero

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Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 13:41:26 GMT
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Ye'ush on land

I don't know of any cholek on the Gemara mefureshes that karka einah


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