Avodah Mailing List
Volume 15 : Number 072
Sunday, August 28 2005
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 15:09:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: "R Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Some Theology
Micha Berger said:
> Even the Borei Himself doesn't. Imo Anokhi betzarah is an acknowledgement
> that tzaros are real, not just an illusion created by ignorance.
No, tzaros are not real from Hashem's perspective. His tza'ar is a geder
of nosei b'ol im chavero.
> Second, as I pointed out, while we make a berakhah al hara, it's a
> different berakhah.
But only due to our lack of understanding.
> 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.
Chazal believe that Iyov fell short...
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 16:18:34 -0400
From: Micha Berger <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Some Theology
On Fri, Aug 19, 2005 at 03:09:01PM -0400, R Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:
:> Even the Borei Himself doesn't. Imo Anokhi betzarah is an acknowledgement
:> that tzaros are real, not just an illusion created by ignorance.
: No, tzaros are not real from Hashem's perspective. His tza'ar is a geder
: of nosei b'ol im chavero.
But we're not discussing whether tzaros are real. We agree on that point,
which was the conclusion of the letter.
The question is whether someone within tzarah is expected to fight the
natural response by focusing on the deeper reality, or whether his
tafqid is to respond to the tzarah qua tzarah.
I'm arguing the latter. I phrased it better the first time:
:>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.
Quoting RYGB again:
:> 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.
: Chazal believe that Iyov fell short...
But not on this nequdah, AFAIR.
The friends are the ones who try to convince him that there's a higher
purpose to his suffering rather than to just cry out to the Boreish
mimaamaqim. It is the latter that finally becomes the first step to
And now that I paraphrased: David haMelekh himself doesn't try to explain
away the events, he tries to use his pain as a means of acheiving deveiqus
-- mimaamaqim qarasikha Hashem!
Micha Berger It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
firstname.lastname@example.org you are, or what you are doing, that makes you
http://www.aishdas.org happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507 - Dale Carnegie
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 00:15:22 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <email@example.com>
Subject: kriah bishas yitzias n'shama
I would like to bring to the broader Avodah olam an exchange Rav Teitz
and I have been having on the topic of kriah bishas yitzias n'shama:
To my statement on A/A (don't remember which) that this is not practiced
nowadays, Rav Teitz asked:
On what basis do you make this claim?
I'll skip the narration and simply put initials from here on:
Gesher Hachayim Perek Daled paragraph 9.
His opinion is far from universal. The Aruch Hashulchan, e.g., makes
no mention of it; in fact, even when mentioning that we are not noheig
k'riah for an adam kasher, he specifically is not referring to sh'as
y'tzias n'shama (340:20,21).
For me, it is ma'aseh rav. I remember, as a teenager, my father z"l
coming from bikur cholim in the hospital with a torn jacket, because
the choleh had expired in his presence.
May we speedily be zoche to bila hamaves lanetzach v'gomeir.
I cannot argue either with maaseh rav or with your vastly greater
experience. However, I have never seen it, there's the Gesher Hachayim,
and the Pnei Baruch (aka Artscroll Mourning) brings other mar'eh mekomos.
The G"Hch's sevara is, basically, hitiru sofan mishum techilasan, that
requiring keria in such circumstances would discourage people from being
there bish'as yetzias neshama. As a longtime Hatzola member, that makes
a lot of sense to me.
Me'inyan le'inyan, what was your father's practice (and what is yours)
WRT the time of keria-at the time of hearing, yetzia to the beis olam,
at the kever? This is also apparently a divergence from dinah deGemara.
The sources quoted are, if I am not mistaken, all latter-day. While the
s'vara is valid, it shouldn't stop one who wants to fulfill the din,
if it is made clear that one has the option of not doing so (so that
others will not be discouraged from being present).
My father's practice, which I follow, is to have k'riah after the
hespedim, since the g'mara mentions "achim b'hespeida" and k'riah is
(At his own levaya, which took place in Yerushalayim, the chevra kadisha
told me to tear k'riah after the hespedim. I informed them that I had
been present bishas y'tzias n'shama and had torn then. I don't know how
they interpreted the torn garments I was wearing.)
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 10:28:24 -0400
From: Micha Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: TIDE Redux
On Thu, Aug 18, 2005 at 08:19:01AM -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?
As I wrote, each derekh is superior -- for different people. My adherence
to a derekh should be motivated by the belief that I found the approach
to avodas Hashem that best fits what I need for success.
Nothing about what might work better for someone else.
:> 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 [RYGB] just replied to your making this point in
:> late June. See
: 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
Because the study of mada for its own sake is just that -- for its
own sake. TIDE encourages treating the two as a single body of
knowledge, and therefore fosters using chol to "expand the horizons
of ways to understand Torah.
TuM runs the risk of fostering compartmentalization. As we recently
discussed on Areivim in the treatement of secular education in YU.
Again, not a necessary consequence of TuM, but a logical and unsurprising
: 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...
The study of Torah is not the centerpiece of TuM, it's the centerpiece
of the yeshiva movement. MO gives other mitzvos a more central role
Micha Berger One who kills his inclination is as though he
email@example.com brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507 parts to offer. - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 23:31:45 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: kriah bishas yitzias n'shama
Gershon Dubin wrote:
>I would like to bring to the broader Avodah olam an exchange Rav Teitz
>and I have been having on the topic of kriah bishas yitzias n'shama:
>To my statement on A/A (don't remember which) that this is not practiced
Igros Moshe (Choshen Mishpat II #73.10 page 310).
Concerning the kriah of a doctor who has alread done kriah for another
Question: If a doctor finds himself in the presence of a sick person at
the time of yetzias neshama and does kriah and afterward he was in the
presence of a second sick person in that hospital - is it necessary to
do kriah again?
Answer: It is definitely necessary. However it is sufficient if he simply
extends the original kriah.... However I saw in the Sefer Gesher HaChaim
who says that the practice is to be lenient and not to do kriah because
otherwise it will be difficult to find people to stay with the dying
person at the time of yetzias neshama. However this is a very weak and
insufficient reason to nullify an actual obligation...
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 11:13:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: TIDE Redux
Micha Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> As I wrote, each derekh is superior -- for different people. My adherence
> to a derekh should be motivated by the belief that I found the approach
> to avodas Hashem that best fits what I need for success.
> Nothing about what might work better for someone else.
Agreed... on a subjective level, but not on an objective level. For
example, Chasidus may work for one person, while Misnagdus will work
better for another. Objectively, however, it is possible that one
Hashkafa is superior to the other. We may not know which one since no
one can be completely freed from his or her own perspectives and biases,
but it is as legitimate to say that various Hashkafos are not equal,
as it is to say they are.
>: Why is the study of Mada for its own sake less likely
>: to expand the horizons of ways to understand Torah and practice
> Because the study of mada for its own sake is just that -- for its
> own sake. TIDE encourages treating the two as a single body of
> knowledge, and therefore fosters using chol to "expand the horizons
> of ways to understand Torah.
Studying Mada for its own sake does not preclude using it in pro-actively
Torah ways. On the contrary, the more objective the study, the more
likely the knowledge obtained from it is to be accurate. Once you have
attained such knowledge, then it is up to the individual to use it
in the best way possible. That is where the "Torah" side of TuM comes
in. An adherent of TuM will, in theory, be better equipped to apply that
knowledge because, (again... in theory) he will know it more accurately if
it is an unfettered form of study. I see the motivation in application
of Mada in TuM to be the same as that of TIDE, whether such usage is in
its practical applications or in its use in understanding Torah better.
> TuM runs the risk of fostering compartmentalization. As we recently
> discussed on Areivim in the treatement of secular education in YU.
> Again, not a necessary consequence of TuM, but a logical and
Everything has risks. I concede that such risk is greater in TuM than it
is in TIDE. But I am arguing on ideological grounds not on practical. In
theory, I still feel that TuM is equal to TIDE in ultimately fostering a
betterment of the human condition and in fostering Yiras Shamayim while
at the same time, its emphasis on Mada L'Shma gives it a leg up in the
level of achievement in acquiring, understanding, and retaining such
knowledge which (and I cannot emphasize this enough... IN THEORY...) is
greater than in TIDE, in my opinion.
I have already conceded that TIDE's emphasis on a unified approach
gives one better protection in the short term in the level of Yiras
Shamayim. But in the long term TuM will give one the same level of Yiras
Shamayim. As I already pointed out RYBS is the best example of that. His
study of philosophy and expertise of it did not lessen his Yiras Shamyim
one bit and probably enhnced it. His expertise in Torah which was learned
l'Shma was the foundation on which he was able to study philosophy
L'Shma and lead to his ultimate development of his own philosophy. Is
there any adherent of TIDE about whom you can make the same claim? Did
RSRH or any of his antecedents study the great philosophies of history
and develop their own philosophies based on those studies? Is there a
comparable TIDE essay to "Halakhic Man" or "Lonely Man of Faith" written
by an adherent of TIDE? I ask this not as a form of "one upmanship"
but only to point out the level of knowledge one can achieve through
"independent" study of Mada versus through a "dependant" study of Mada.
> The study of Torah is not the centerpiece of TuM, it's the centerpiece
> of the yeshiva movement.
I wouldn't call Torah the centerpiece of TuM. I would call it the primary
tower of the two towers. In TuM both are indispenible but Torah always
takes precedence over Mada. (That's why it is called TuM and not MuT)
And that is why Torah is learned first.
You say it's the centerpiece of the Yeshiva movement. I would argue that
TuM would be impossible without the Yeshiva movement because that is
the primary source of one's Torah learning today. If one is going to
study Mada at the highest level, one must study Torah at the highest
level first. One without the other is not TuM, by definition.
> MO gives other mitzvos a more central role than that.
What do you mean? MO is merely the milieu wherein TuM is found and most
advocated. But it is not really a part of the Hashkafa itself.
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 13:05:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Hashkofic questions - Where to Religious Zionism
The events are raising difficult issues for the religious zionist
movement and for all Jews. I haven't sorted out the second part yet,
so - about the religious zionists:
It is clear that they have to find another partner with who to build
eretz israel. The alliance with the secular zionists has unraveled and
the religious zionists were betrayed and got nothing for their physical
and religious comprmises of the past. They also see that the secular
are ready to turn on them in a minute, past services totally forgotten.
Waving the Israeli flag while resisting national policy is a sign of
ideological confusion. It is like the KKK waving Americal flag so as
to say that they are the only true patriots and the rest of America are
traitors to the ideals of the Founding Fathers. That's OK for a marginal
movement but will not restore them to the center of national politics.
Rav Meidan thinks that the partners will be Chareidi Jews and that the
religious zionists made a historic mistake when they allied themselves
with the secular. This will require national religious to consider
hardening their position on a number of Halachic issues on which they
are currently liberal. Rav Lichtenstein thinks that the alliance can be
restored by farther ideologic compromise and that we must continue to
carry out national policy under the old paradigm of state = Melech. Rav
Schapira thinks that the religious zionists must resist immoral policies,
do not need anyone and can change Israeli State by Civil Disobedience
and by coalescing remnants of secular zionists around them. I think that
the religious zionists have to do a lot of spiritual work to redefine
who they are and what is really important to them. What I see is that
the inherent tension between national and religious is beginning to tear
the national religious apart as one defined movement.
Go to top.
[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version. ]
[ To post: mail to email@example.com ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to firstname.lastname@example.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/ ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to email@example.com ]