Avodah Mailing List

Volume 15 : Number 079

Wednesday, September 14 2005

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 12:55:23 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Re: Reb Yehuda ben Billom!!

From: Gershon Dubin <>
>> [Whilst there, see the last words in that piece how he bemoans his
>> own fate.]
> I don't know who Reb Yehuda ben Bilom is, no mention in Shem Hagedolim.
> However, you're learning wrong peshat in the I"E; he's explaining how
> Dovid Hamelech is bemoaning HIS fate.

Maybe. But as I understand from the meforshim, this kapitel refers to
the time after the churban BHMK - and DH wasn't around then.


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 13:02:23 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Re: Misheberach leyoledes

From: "Micha Berger" <>
> RSBA wrote:
>> Artscroll has it at the end and also in parenthesis, no doubt to emphasise
>> that it not part of the original Mi Shebeirach.

> Does a "Mi sheBeirakh" require a standardized matbei'ah?

Doesn't seem so.

The Shorshei Minhogei Ashkenaz [1:386 footnote 82] mentions an
article/sefer "Tefilos Mi Shebeirah'" by a A Yaari.
Maybe someone who has it can inform us.


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 12:58:27 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Ra'asah Shifcha al hayam

From: "Gershon Dubin" <>
> There is a statement by Chazal that "ra'asah shifcha al hayam mah shelo
> ra'ah Yecheskel ben Buzi".
> Which shefachos does this refer to-were not all of Kelal Yisrael free
> from beis avadim?

Maybe some of the eruv rav came along as avodim ushefachos?

Or possibly shefachos of Mitzrim who lived alongside the Yam Suf and
were looking out of their windows?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 12:50:44 +0200
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Torah & Evolution

RDR wrote:
> It's taken from Tshuvoth HaRashba Hameyhasoth l'haRamban #284 (the second
> part of the tshuva). He says there's a machloketh in Hazal whether human
> souls were created on yom rishon or yom shishi, but everyone agrees that
> both human and animal souls were created before human and animal bodies.

Well, since neshamah is not equal to a gene, even to a gene important
to brain development, I would state that this teshuvat haRambam is only
very tangentially related to my post. Vos zugt ihr?

Arie Folger

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 10:18:17 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

> From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
>>> I would be interested in seeing a source for this claim that the
>>> Rambam's brother's support was dependent upon capital that 
> the Rambam supplied.

There are two sources.  One already provided.

> Mon, 29 Aug 2005 R. David Riceman <driceman@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>> See Igroth HaRambam, ed. Sheilat, p. 229 (the letter to R. Yefeth).

This source provides two points.

RZL had asked how the rambam had capital to invest. In this letter
he says how over the last years (before the death of his brother) he
had lost capital L 5 In the last few years he had multiple troubles,
including hefsed mammon ג€" this is before the loss of his brother,
and points out that the rambam was an economic agent who already had money

More directly, the letter says
> "And in his hand was a vast amount of money for me, for him, and
> for others (u-b'yado mammon rav li, v'lo, u-l'acheirim)." 

This seems pshat, and Rav Sheilat also understands it, that the rambam's
brother had money invested for the rambam. The loss of the money wasn't
only the loss of future income and profits, but loss of profits.

However, RZL states 
> Sheilat (p. 228) misunderstands the Rambam's Hebrew, for he takes it as
> if the Rambam wrote "mammon rav shelli, shello, v'shel acheirim (a vast
> amount of money of mine, of his, and of others),"

This is a misunderstanding. What RZL says is correct of leshon chachamim,
but not of leshon mikra - and the rambam (as well as much of medieval
sefarad) did use constructs from leshon mikra.
see, eg abba bendavid leshon mikra leshon chachamim, where he brings
some examples (eg uminayin sheavodata veorah shelo? Talmud lomar veish
et kodashav lo yihyu ג€" lashon mikra lo, lashon chachamim shelo.

One can also point to many other sources that use li where chachamin
would use sheli eg breshit 31:43, vechol asher ata roeh li hu.

2. There is another source -- a letter from the rambam's brother to his
the rambam, found in the Moses ben Maimon, Epistulae, DH Baneth, 1946
ג€" where David tells the rambam that he will take care of the business
transactions he requested (I don't have the volume ג€" reference is
from Goitein A Mediterranean Society, vol 2, p.258 and note 91, p580 ג€"
I think that it is also in the book Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders.)

One general point of surprise is that given the rambam's strong opposition
to scholars living off zedaka, given a reasonable understanding of the
relationship between the rambam and his brother that doesn't violate that,
it would seem that one would need proof that the rambam's relationship
was not that way, but opposition to the rambam is here quite strong...

The second issue is the halachic status of the rambam's position. I
had stated that the rambam's position is accepted by many lecatchila --
as the ideal -- even though bedievad we allow many forms of support.

Starting with the kesef mishne, which RZL says is quite explicit in
rejecting the rambam even as a lecathcila.

When I took lomdus 101, the first principle I learned was that if someone
brings multiple reasons, it is because he finds each individual reason

The Kesef mishne, after a long explanation of why he thinks the rambam
is wrong, concluding that a scholar who has no other source of income
may take money from the community, goes on for two more attempts.

Perhaps the rambam in hilchot Talmud torah merely requires learning a
trade, and if that trade is insufficient, then he would allow charity ג€"
even if that is against the rambam in perush hamishnayot, any place the
halacha is rofefet go after the minhag.

Vegam ki nodeh shehalacha dedivre rabbenu beferush hamishna ג€" efshar
shehiskimu ken kol chachme hadorot mishum et la'asot lahashem -- the
final conclusion (or at the least, possible position) is that the primary
halacha is like the rambam ג€" and the heter is an et la'asot heter.

This is proof that the kesef mishne himself found his primary refutation
of the rambam to be problematic.

For ashkenazim, it is simpler. THe rama brings down the rambam as ikkar
halacha ג€" kol hamesim al libo la'asok batorah velo laasot melacha
lehtiparnes min hatzedaka hare ze mehalel et hashem umevaze haotora ג€"
and then qualifies it with some restrictions and heterim and kulot. It
seems hard to say that the rama completely rejects the rambam ג€" as
he specifically brings him down -- and it seems as I say -- the rambam
is the lecatchila -- but we allow people to take money because of the
public necessity.

Other poskim also cite that if it is possible for him to work and learn
it is preferable ג€" the question is if it is impossible.

The early ashkenazic position was clearly that paying for torah study
was forbidden - only schar batala allowed - as in machzor vitry after
saying that it is forbidden to take for teaching torah, it says
    Veet asher nahagu litol schar, shesamchu al ma shematzinu ba'aggada,
    sheeyn zee la schar bittul. Aval schar torah eyn kol briah yechola

This was actually in the shtar rabbanut given to most rabanim through
at least the 16th century.

>I will close again as I did in my original post:
>No doubt there are many authorities and gedolim past and present who
>for a variety of reasons recommend many to spend the bulk (time-wise) of
>their activities, and find as the source for their incomes, non-kollel

I will close, No doubt there are many authorities who allow people to
accept money for learning in kollel. However, I urge that we understand
the rambam's position, that it was not unique but accepted as the
preferred option. Furthermore, many of the positions did not envision the
current kollel community, especially in Israel. As a practical matter,
we have seen the words of the rambam to come true, and the tremendous
hillul hashem (including sofo melastem et habriyot ג€" think Pell grant)
that comes from building a community that does not work ג€" and we need
to reevaluate.

Meir Shinnar 

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 13:59:21 -0400
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Re: Rav Shalom Gold's Response to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

Eli Turkel wrote:
> In terms of RAL personally he paskens halacha le-maaseh for the students
> in his hesder yeshiva. I think he very conciensely did not want to make
> this into a Le'maseh dispute.
> He very insistently wanted this to be a basic theoretical discussion on
> the issues. he is then dismissed for being theoretical.

Shoshana Boublil wrote:
> That's very nice that he wanted it to be a theoretical discussion,
> but unfortunately, this was about a very very practical issue.

The way a Brisker paskens a she'eilah is to start with the theory,
clarify it, and only then proceed to the specific question. Truth be told,
I'm not sure of any other reasonable way to pasken.

R. Aharon Lichtenstein started with a theory (from RYBS) and then pointed
out that reasonable people can disagree about the reality of the situation
under question. He asked R. Avraham Shapira whether those who followed
his (RAL's and RYBS') theory and then took a specific position on the
reality are entirely without merit.

R. Shalom Gold responded to R. Lichtenstein by ignoring the theory --
which is all R. Lichtenstein quoted RYBS in relation to -- and addressing
only the reality.

I am baffled about how the Torah in Israel can be different from the
Torah outside of it. Especially since the Gemara specifically permits
leaving Israel to learn Torah in the diaspora. It sounds to me that this
is another way of saying "He isn't part of our group."

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 13:38:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Rav Shalom Gold's Response to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

"Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net> wrote:
> The issue of TEY vs. TCL as regards to theory and Le'ma'seh has to do
> with that aspect of psika that is influenced by the addition of Eretz
> Yisrael to the equation

I'm not familiar with that portion of the SA that discusses TEY vs
TCL. Could someone direct me to it?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 13:39:41 -0700
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Torat EY

<<This is just one example, and why Torat Eretz Yisrael is not "Torat
Rav Kook". It is the difference between studying the theory for many
years and then facing true life situations and having to rule. Again,
this is a simplistic presentation of a very complex topic.>>

Is ther anyone outside of the talmidei R. Kook who went as far as RAS
in damning anyone who particpted in the evacuation. Even ROY did not go
that far and certainly not the representatives of yishuv hayashan. Thus,
while people like R. Porush were very saddened by the events the agudah
called on all yeshiva students to continue learning and not demonstrate
(while for electioneering they frequently leave the yeshiva)

So I still dont understand the difference between Torat R. Kook and Torat
EY. It seems that only those who follow torat R. Kook truly understand
torat EY.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 13:15:13 -0700
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
destroying shuls

>> The defense minister expanded, saying that the Palestinians would be
>> asked to secure the synagogues; even though they refused the request,
>> it would still be preferable that the destruction of synagogues in the
>> Gaza Strip be conducted by Palestinians than by IDF soldiers.

> Any halachik sources on this issue (If it is a given that a shul will
> be destroyed, who should do it?)

In more detail all the rabbis requested that Israel not destroy the shuls.
It would seem to me to better that jews dismantle the shuls in a "kavodik"
manner rather than having the PA/Hamas destroy them or turn them into
mosques. Anyone know the basis of ROY and the other rabbis?

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 19:11:58 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: destroying shuls

On Mon, Sep 12, 2005 at 01:15:13PM -0700, Eli Turkel wrote:
: In more detail all the rabbis requested that Israel not destroy the shuls.
: It would seem to me to better that jews dismantle the shuls in a "kavodik"
: manner rather than having the PA/Hamas destroy them or turn them into
: mosques. Anyone know the basis of ROY and the other rabbis?

I waxed philosophical on the subject at
I compare the problem to that of being threatened to choose someone to
die or all will be killed, and conclude:
> [T]hat's the perspective on religion that the government lacks. When too
> many people think of religion, they think of houses of worship, of prayer,
> of retreat and respite from "the real world". However, Yahadus is based
> on the notion of sanctifying one's life, not saving oneself from it.

> Their original plan would have saved the synagogue at the expense of
> G-d's true sanctuary in this world, the Jewish soul.


Micha Berger             A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow
micha@aishdas.org        man's soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries
http://www.aishdas.org   about his own soul and his fellow man's stomach.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 00:05:15 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Torah & Evolution

Shalom Aleichem Chevra,

I've been out of the loop for the entire summer partially due to the fact
that I am not here the first half of the summer, and partially because I
assess tuitions for Bais Yaakov during the latter half of the summer. The
last I remember, I was debating RYGB about the sugya of Tinok Shenishba
(which I intend on revisiting). School just started here (unlike Lakewood)
so I finally had time to start reading Avodah again and lo and behold,
my favorite subject is being discussed: Evolution.

On Fri, 9 Sep 2005 Arie Folger wrote:
> One major question about reconciling ma'aseh vereishit with science is
> what to do with the account of creation of man. Some want to say that
> the humanoid homo sapiens sapiens came into existence by evolution but
> wasn't yet an adam until HQBH vayifa'h beapav rua'h 'hayim. The question
> is of course, what happened in human evolution that could be coupled
> with the end of sheshet yemei vereishit...

As anyone who has ever read my posts knows, I strongly disagree with
the above as it seems RAF does. I also believe that Rav Dessler rejects
evolution and believes that the sheses yemey bereishis occurred in six
regular days and that there is no room to attribute billions of years
to the age of the universe (even without evolution) I have had several
debates with R' Micha about this and he has chided me as follows:

R' Micha:
"and feel you understand REED better than his meivi la'or."

To which I responded:
"Possibly. But so does Rav Dessler's son. And so does Rav Dessler's greatest
talmid alive today, Rav Moshe Shapiro...  I am not impressed with name
bandying... I have plenty of my own names to toss around too."

Despite my confident tone, I must confess that Micha's criticism continued
to gnaw at the back of my mind. Was it actually possible that R' Dessler
believed that the world was millions or even billions of years old? And
although I categorically reject this possibility but who knows...maybe...

Until I saw an incredible letter, written by Rav Dessler himself, which
categorically proves that Rav Dessler was against seeing the world in
terms of protracted periods of time. The letter can be found in Sefer
HaZikaron LiBaal Michtav MeEliyahu, Sifsei Chachamim, Institute for the
Dissemination of Torah and Mussar 1994 - Collected Letters p. 108.

I have written an article on this letter encompassing a full translation
of the letter along with notes and several pages of scientific data
(written in layman's terms) which facilitates the understanding of Rav
Dessler's refutation to the theories of evolution. If the reader has time,
I recommend following this link to the article. <http://toriah.org>. It
is fully formatted with hyperlinked footnotes. I have cut and paste
the translation portion of the article alone and included it in this
e-mail. I left out the rest due to space limitations (the article is
thirteen pages).

    Rav Dessler on Evolution and Time

    The following is a translation of part of a letter written by Rabbi
    E. E. Dessler delineating his refutation regarding certain proofs for
    the theory of evolution. The letter was written to someone who was
    apparently having issues with a number of claims made by a particular
    evolutionist although the evolutionist's identity remains hidden.

    When embarking on this venture, I was faced with a dilemma; should I
    choose a free-style format for the translation or should I utilize
    a more literal approach. Due to the importance of this letter,
    I opted to proceed with the latter despite the fact that English
    grammar and syntax had to be compromised in several instances. Thus,
    in order for the translation to be more accommodating to the reader,
    I have appended several insertions, enclosed in brackets. Please note:
    Whenever brackets appear in the body of the translation, they are
    insertions made by the translator. Whenever parentheses appear, they
    are by the author and can be found in the original printed letter.

    There are five paragraphs in total; the first two pertain to alleged
    support for evolution from geology, the second three to ostensible
    evidence from embryology.

    Paragraph I

    Two Refutations to the Claims of the Evolutionists

    Geological Proofs

    All geological transformations are very much affected by the
    conditions [of the prevailing] atmospheric pressure. We can illustrate
    this [idea] from an example which is familiar to us. A [cooking]
    pot for meat which is sitting on the fire [is subject to several
    conditions which would alter the time it would take for the meat
    to cook], if the pot is uncovered, the cooking takes so much time,
    if it is closed, less time, and if it is sealed (pressure cooker),
    it is cooked in a small fraction of [the original] time.

    This [the accelerated time periods mentioned above] is as pertains
    to an alteration which is affected via cooking in a situation where
    the heat is unable to escape, and is compounded by an alteration
    whose primary cause is pressure. We know for certain that atmospheric
    conditions have changed, and that indeed these changes are [at least
    partially] responsible for the evolution [of the various geological
    formations] although the causes for these changes [in atmospheric
    conditions] are not known to us.

    Paragraph II

    But in addition to this, there is evidence that these transformations
    [in the atmospheric conditions] occurred suddenly in a diametric
    fashion for behold we find, just in places where the temperature
    is unyieldingly cold, embedded in the ice, carcasses of animals
    that according to their physiology where only able to exist in a
    warm climate. And since not only did they find their skeletons,
    they found their bodies fully intact, it is clear that the frigid
    temperature materialized in a very short period of time, relatively
    speaking, and diametric changes in the atmosphere such as these must,
    by necessity, make transformations in the atmospheric pressure. If so,
    how can we measure the duration of the [geologic] changes according
    to the condition of our current atmospheric pressure?

    Paragraph III

    Proofs from the Development of the Embryo

    I wonder greatly what basis there is for [saying] that the changes
    that occurred in the evolutionary stages of previous generations
    must also appear in the embryo [of the progeny during its course
    of development]. Do they themselves not claim that the [various]
    details of the evolutionary process were random and only in a very
    slow fashion did they [these changes] attain the phase which we
    currently observe. If so, [why] does everything that takes place in
    the ancestor have to appear in the progeny? For instance, if a midget
    cohabits with a midget and this pattern persists for generations,
    it would naturally follow that [from generation to generation]
    the progeny would also be dwarf-like (if we agree that this [idea
    that species give birth to their own type] never changes just as we
    find that humans never give birth to horse-like progeny [although
    we may find extreme aberrations in human fetuses due to random,
    non-beneficial mutations]), would we say that the [midget] embryo
    had all of the [genetic] components which cause growth but later
    [when the embryo finally asserts itself, these features] change in
    him because his ancestors where dwarves?

    Paragraph IV

    Behold there are some that claim that changes which randomly
    occur in the "father" will not generate its likeness in the "son"
    but even if we were to say that it does , would the embryo have to
    recapitulate the exact method by which the random change occurred in
    its progenitor? And what necessitated him [our nameless evolutionist]
    to say something so absurd? Simply because he wished to claim that
    in this manner all life evolved.

    Paragraph V

    And here I ask, why would he [the evolutionist] not say that the
    embryo's development is purely natural, and that at this time we
    have still not been able to understand the mechanisms [lit. causes]
    which are involved [in the development of the fetus]? And the
    fact that we find differentiated species amongst the [various]
    life-forms is merely because there were those [species] that did
    not traverse the entire length of the development in their fetal
    stage and remained [somewhere] in the middle, and thus did the
    species become differentiated one from another. If this [theory]
    is so, than the "madder has fallen in the well" for in this fashion
    [i.e. the development of the various species on earth through the
    mechanism described by R' Dessler] there is no longer any connection
    to calculating [long] periods of time at all. And if for the various
    technicalities which are responsible for the development of the fetus
    there are further causes (I am employing the idiotic terminology
    of the evolutionist, woe to that wisdom [i.e. the study of nature]
    if it does not lead one to be aware of the handiwork of Hashem for
    behold [there is no wisdom here, rather] there is just folly animated
    by the desire to throw off the yoke of heaven) also they [these
    causes] have natural causes, which means that [only] via features
    [of the development of the embryo] which are intrinsic to the embryo
    [as opposed to the randomness of evolution] does the fetus develop,
    thus leading to the ultimate differentiation in the various species.

This concludes Rav Dessler's letter.

To sum up, Rav Dessler makes three points in his letter.

1. Geology and Embryology cannot be used as proofs for the long
periods of time purported by scientists for the evolution of the world.
2. Geology is actually proof that the world unfolded rapidly,
in a short period of time, as opposed to the evolutionary time frame.
3. It makes more sense to say that Haeckel's embryos is a naturally
occurring feature of ontogeny rather than a representation of randomness
occurring over vast periods of time.

What is most noteworthy is Rav Dessler's remark in Paragraph V; anyone
viewing the world within the context of evolution over millions of
years as opposed to seeing the yad Hashem in the beria is a tipesh and
a porek ol. What is interesting is the fact that Rav Dessler does not
seem to allow for any grey area in this matter. If you see evolution you
don't see Hashem. Thus, I believe that evolution and vast periods of
time are both understood by Rav Dessler to be contrary to the Torah's
account of maaseh Bereishis.

Simcha Coffer 

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 19:51:58 -0400
From: micah2@seas.upenn.edu
palestinians destroy shuls so we don't have to

R Joel Rich:
> Any halachik sources on this issue (If it is a given that a shul will
> be destroyed, who should do it?)

Palestinians are not metzuveh be'mitzvos. That's probably what they
taa'nah in the Cabinet. So the burden of proof on one who would say that
abandoning a shul is assur despite the fact that someone may detroy it.
  (Even though they have tzelem elokim :))                                    

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 04:03:49 GMT
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Sefer Hazahir

Anyone know anything about this sefer, mentioned by Tosefos in Kol
Habasar? (Same Tosefos where he quotes Rabbenu Avraham-who's he?)


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 09:43:52 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

RZL has cited Hilchos Mattanis L'Oniyyim, 10:16):
    "One who provides sustenance for his adult sons and daughters, for
    whom one is not obligated to provide such, in order to teach the
    males Torah and to train the daughters in the straight path
as proof the rambam allowed support of family members to study torah,
including brothers. I find that reading rather strange. The rambam
qualifies the term adult by "for whom one is not obligated to support".
If read as RZL as a general heter for all adult relatives, this would
be superfluous, as we know we are not obligated to support them (and
even if not superfluous, the rambam only allows sons and daughters -
not brothers). However, the term "for whom is not obligated to support"
has a specifi meaning - it means older than age six, when the halachic
requirement of mezonot for children ceases (I think kesef mishne brings
this down). The term the rambam uses is not adult but hagdolim - and
the meaning is clear. When the child is older than six, one is still
allowed (and is a mitzva of tzdaka) to support him in learning torah -
and one does not have to fear about the general prohibition of supporting
torah scholars. Sending kids to dayschool (perhaps even to mesivta)
is fine. However, truly adult sons would fall under the issur of both
receiving and accepting support. This seems simple pshat - because
otherwise the qualification would be extraneous, and the rambam doesn't
use extraneous words that we would already know.

Meir Shinnar

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 10:01:58 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

Dr. Saul Stokar, Ph.D. ( Manager, Algorithms &Tracking Technologies,
Elbit Systems, Ltd., Head Mounted Systems Division, Haifa , Israel),
called to my attention off-list that I have been neglecting to attribute
proper "honorific" to Rav Sheilat whenever I referenced him. (Oy, in
Ellul, yet!) I plead guilty and publically apologize for not giving proper
respect to a talmid chachim. Dr. Stokar informs me that Rav Sheilat
"teaches at Hesder yeshiva Birkat Moshe in Maale Adumim and is the author
of numerous works of impeccable 'lamdanut' e.g. Zichron Teruah, Rosh
Devarcha, Hararim Hatluyim, etc., and for more information refers to:

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 09:50:36 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Admin: Avodah Posts and Organizing Them

I just discovered that if you go to the Archives and click on the poster's
subject line, it switches you over the part of the index where all posts
with that subject line are listed, and you can click on each one to see
what it says. This is really helpful!

Zvi Lampel

[I added this feature a month ago. However, I only rearchived vol15 with
the new program. So the above is only true from v15n1 onward. I didn't
have plans to spend the time to go further back, but if there is demand,
I'll try. -mi]

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 10:37:39 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
<<However, from how I understand it so far, it doesn't seem you're
addressing my point (for which purpose you had cited the iggeress
haRambam about his brother), the chikkuk I was making in the Rambam's
shitta: support for someone learning given by family (good) vs. given by
tsibbur (no good). Before responding to your post, I would appreciate a
clarification. I assume you've already posted what you sent me to Avodah,
but if not--or if you'd be willing to post an addendum--I think it would
make our enjoyable discussion more productive.>>

My point was that the Rambam was already a mature scholar well before
his brother's death, and therefore the heter of support for students
would not apply to him.

David Riceman 

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 20:37:42 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
> A Re-examination of the post to which RDR originally replied by citing
> this iggerress will show that the Rambam not only permits, but praises
> as a "tzedakka gedolah," family support of their adult sons' learning
> (See Mahari Kurkos ["gedolim mammash...there is not even any genai
> involved"] and Be'er Avraham [and this is clearly referring to gedolim
> over thirteen]).

Rabbi Lampel is referring to H. Matnoth Aniyyim 10:16 as understood by
Mahari Kurkas. But see H. Talmud Torah 1:7 where the primary distinction
is between studying, for which b'diavad one may pay, and teaching, for
which, under no circumstances may one accept payment (and the Rambam
permits schar battalah only when it's evident, see the PHM on Avoth
which all of us have cited).

The attempt to apply the Rambam's position to kollelim is immensely
complicated by our having a different understanding of Talmud Torah
than the Rambam had. According to the Rambam the main initial effort of
Talmud Torah is to know the naive meaning of Tanach (H. Talmud Torah 1:7)
and to know halachah l'maaseh (see, e.g., H. Yesodei HaTorah 4:13, Igroth
HaRambam ed. Sheilat pp. 257-259 and ibid. pp. 311-313). Advanced Talmud
Torah is understanding the sources in Tanach and in logic of the above
(H. TT 1:11-12 and HYhT 4:13).

We are the heirs in this regard, not of the Rambam, but of the baalei
haTosafoth. Rashi, for example, understands "Talmud" in that gemara in
Kiddushin (30a) not to mean the Biblical sources of the halacha but to
mean the general principles underlying the law. This reflects a general
difference in attitude: for the Rambam halacha was a closed system,
and it was possible for a student in a few years to master kol haTorah
kulah, but for Rashi and the baalei hatosafoth Torah is an open system,
and, in a practical sense, kol haTorah kulah is infinite in extent.

The Rambam is generally careful to distinguish between students
(talmidei hachamim) and sages (hachamim), and I suggest that he would
consider someone who had not mastered kol haTorah kulah a student, and
someone who had mastered it a sage. The passage in H. Matnoth Aniyyim
justifies supporting students who are trying to become sages, but not
supporting sages. The Rambam's complaints about soliciting funds to
support study was directed primarily against supporting sages.

What the Rambam would have made of kollelim, which ignore the basic
methodology he recommended (see the letters I cited above), and in
which students study as though they were sages, and without even a clear
curriculum to make the transition (see Igroth RAYH vol. 2 pp. 59-60),
leaves my mind boggled.

David Riceman 

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >