Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 005

Saturday, October 15 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 12:05:16 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: Shofar on Shabbos


On October 14, 2005 Alexander Seinfeld wrote:
> R. Moshe Heinemann spoke on this kasheh. He made the following insight:
> 1. The case the Gamara describes is HIGHLY unlikely - that someone will find
> a shofar in the street on Shabbos and take it to someone to repair it.

It certainly is unlikely especially in view of the fact that no such Gemara
exists!

What is considerably more likely though is that an am ha'aretz possessing
a Shofar will take it to a baki (expert - a talmid chacham) to learn
the proper way of blowing or, alternatively, to have the chacham blow
for him. Although this scenario was not necessarily common practice
for amey ha'aretz, it was certainly likely that it would play itself
out every year in scattered localities.

> 2. The fact that Chazal banned Shofar on Shabbos for the above reason
> teaches us how important it was to Chazal to care about every Jew and kavod
> Shabbos, that we would all put aside the mitzvah in order to avoid such an
> unlikely event.

The same lesson could be learned even if we suppose that the likelihood
of chilul Shabbos occurring was probable, but only in a very small number
of cases.

> 3. With the kavanah of point #2, we actually gain the same spiritual benefit
> by NOT hearing shofar on Shabbos that we would have had, had we heard it.

I saw this ha'arah in R' Aharon's sefer (Mishnas Rav Aharon) over twenty
years ago. I guess great minds think alike.

Simcha Coffer


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 07:13:48 -0400
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Subject:
Re: Shofar on Shabbos


From: "R. Alexander Seinfeld" <seinfeld@daasbooks.com>
> 2. The fact that Chazal banned Shofar on Shabbos for the above reason
...

Thanks so much for this insight: "The fact that Chazal banned Shofar on
Shabbos for the above reason teaches us how important it was to Chazal
to care about every Jew and kavod Shabbos, that we would all put aside
the mitzvah in order to avoid such an unlikely event."

However, I cannot accept that. I believe his insight is AFTER the fact
and if that were the real case: "to avoid such an unlikely event,"
then I can think of a dozen other halachot and/or minhagim that should
be different too.

The reason he gives is "reaching."


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 03:29:34 -0400
From: "R. Alexander Seinfeld" <seinfeld@daasbooks.com>
Subject:
Re: Shofar on Shabbos


R. Moshe Heinemann spoke on this kasheh. He made the following insight:

1. The case the Gamara describes is HIGHLY unlikely - that someone
will find a shofar in the street on Shabbos and take it to someone to
repair it.

2. The fact that Chazal banned Shofar on Shabbos for the above reason
teaches us how important it was to Chazal to care about every Jew and
kavod Shabbos, that we would all put aside the mitzvah in order to avoid
such an unlikely event.

3. With the kavanah of point #2, we actually gain the same spiritual
benefit by NOT hearing shofar on Shabbos that we would have had, had we
heard it.

A good year, a good Shabbos, and a chag sameach to all.

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld
The Art of Amazement: Judaism's Forgotten Spirituality
Tarcher/Penguin 2005  ISBN 1585424188 


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 09:36:07 -0400
From: Mike Wiesenberg <torahmike@gmail.com>
Subject:
Lulavim


There have been reports of many lulav sellers adding a surcharge to their
pre-ordered sets.

Is this considered being Mechusar Amanah? Or does that not apply since the
cost went up?

MikeW


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 14:51:29 +0200
From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Shade of succa must come from the s'chach (from areivim)


"Joseph I. Lauer" <josephlauer@hotmail.com> wrote on areivim:

(regarding the requirement that the shade of the succa must come from
the s'chach)

Some of those circulating the "Dr. Seuss" poem add a link to "The
Laws of the Succah", Pninei Halacha, by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, at
<http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=958>. There it states,
in part, "It is permissible, though, to make a Succah next to the walls
of a high building. Even if the walls of the building are very high and
prevent the sunlight from reaching the Succah, it is Kosher. This is
because only a roof or branches which are directly above the S'chach
can render a Succah invalid; anything that is outside of the straight
line running from the S'chach to the sky cannot invalidate the Succah."

This is stated explicitly in the very first Beur Halacha in Hilchot Succah
(OC 425:1).

Saul Mashbaum


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 12:49:52 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject:
RE: Shofar on Shabbos


From: Simon Montagu [mailto:simon.montagu@gmail.com] 
>> So I guess my question is this: If a superfluous word in the Torah is 
>> used as support for a d'Rabanan, then how was that word explained as 
>> non-superfluous prior to when they thought up that d'Rabanan?

> See <http://dafyomi.shemayisrael.co.il/nidah/backgrnd/ni-in-28.htm>,
>: The RITVA (to Rosh Hashanah 16a, see Be'er ha'Golah of the MAHARAL,
>: Be'er #1) states that when Chazal present an Asmachta, it means that the
>: Torah meant to suggest that it is fitting to implement such a Halachah,
>: but that it did not choose to make it obligatory....

Which is why some authorities hold that a drabannan based on an asmachta
is a higher level drabbanan than others. However AIUI the asmachtas are
often not superfluous words.

GT
Joel Rich


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 12:57:30 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: Shofar on Shabbos


On October 14, 2005 Cantor Wolberg wrote:
> However, I cannot accept that. I believe his insight is AFTER the fact
> and if that were the real case: "to avoid such an unlikely event,"
> then I can think of a dozen other halachot and/or minhagim that should
> be different too.

Kindly illustrate. A dozen is not necessary. One or two will do the trick.
And they can't be Lulav or Megilah and they have to be chilul Shabbos
related in order to fit the parameters of the Gemara's concern. If you
can't come up with any, might I suggest that the standard reason given
by the Gemara is perfectly sound and should not be characterized as
"not the real case".

> The reason he gives is "reaching."

Reaching?

Simcha Coffer


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 13:07:03 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Nusach Hatefilos of Musaf and Bchiras Yisrael


We have discussed whether Bchiras Yisrael is an ikar of our Mesorah
with widely differing perspectives. Some have posited that our
special relationship stems per se from our acceptance of a covenantal
relationship( bris avos/Sinai/Arvos Moav/Purim) and our acceptance of
Torah and mitzvos. Others have posted that our status as am hanivchar
depends on how we act. Still others maintain that all references to
the same were based upon Chazal's attempts to maintain morale during
persecution.

Based upon RYBS's shiurim and drashos on RH and YK that have been
circulated in Noraos HaRav by R B Schreiber , I think that RYBS
clearly held that we entered into a special relationship based upon
Bris Avos/Sinai/ Arvos Moav together with our acceptance of Torah and
Mitzvos. Of course, our actions must always be in consance with the
terms of the Bris. IMO, if one reads these drashos and shiurim, the
claim that am havivchar as described most eloquently in the Mussaf of
RH was a post facto reaction to persecution cannot be sustained in any
serious manner. Musaf of RH consists of a statement of faith, a series
of proof texts and a request that HaShem act in accordance with His
role as King,etc. FWIW, R D Schreiber has just issued a Volume 15 that
consists of drashos on RH, YK and the role of man. Must reading for
anyone interested in RYBS's writings.

Steve Brizel
Zeliglaw@aol.com


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 13:38:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: rough wooden box


R David Riceman wrote:
> 1. The Ramban (Aharei Moth 16:8) says that the s'ir la'azazel was a
> bribe to Samael, and it's not idolatrous becuse we give it only because
> God told us to. Yet the Rambam (H. AZ 1:1) says that the delusion that
> God wants us to give things to his assistants is "ikkaro shel AZ".
> What can the Ramban mean?
...
> 6. Last years us was good enough for last year's Yom Kippur. The bribe
> the Ramban speaks about is a metaphoric version of Rabbi Kook's constant
> striving for more. We take last years us, which was good enough for God,
> and appraise it as appropriate for Samael, because this year we intend
> to have an even better us for God.

How does this answer the opening question? Say one gave zevel as
a taqroves. Wouldn't that also be assur? So then how (other than the
obvious cynical reply) does "last year's me" not qualify? Particularly
since it's in a representation that is identical to one perfectly fine
for the mitzbei'ach.

-mi


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 13:46:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: statistics


R Leonid Portnoy wrote:
> Let's consider the decline in mortality rates compared to 200 years
> ago, due to the use of modern technology (antibiotics, medical imaging,
> surgical procedures, and so on). How we can reconcile this decline with
> our conception that the determination of who lives and who dies is made
> based upon each individual's merit?
> Assumption #1: The proportion of reshoim to non-reshoim has remained
> almost the same throughout the past 100 years.
> Assumption #2: If one is found to be a rasha on Rosh Hashanah, he is
> decreed to die within the year.

I think #1 is unknowable, and #2 is in error.

First, the subject of universal HP was a given for the sake of this
conversation back when RET launched it; but we should remember that it
really is far from such. In fact, in the Moreh, it would seem that the
onesh within olam hazeh that most people should be most afraid of is
being abandoned to teva.

Second, not every rasha dies. They too have sechar, and not only is it
often paid off in olam hazeh, the sechar is often enough to merit their
getting time for teshuvah. (Although I think that's what chazal mean by
getting their sechar in olam hazeh. They get the opportunity, which -- if
they're still resha'im -- is wasted. Thus, sechar for no olam haba. IOW,
I presented the same idea twice.)

Third, HP is not identical to sechar va'onesh. There is a midas
harachamim, not only din.

It could well be that while more people deserve misah today, fewer would
get the desired outcome, and therefore onesh is delayed. Particularly
if the misah would mean widespread death, and require an end to hesteir
panim (by violating scientifically expected death rates).

In short, there are other criteria by which Hashem acts. As the motivation
for onesh goes up, apparently so does some other criterion that is
biasing away from onesh.


To get to the otehr question (on RH vs daily judgement): Our tefillah on
RH presumes that judgement is on RH. Our tefillos for a shechiv meira
or parnasah during the year work on the presumption that justice is
daily. When I spoke of oversimplified models and original sentencing
vs appeals, what I was trying to say was:

Who said we had to choosed sides in the machloqes? While the two positions
seem to contradict, the trial vs appeals models suggests they don't
have time. We're judged at both times. Or, simplly be cognizant that the
whole thing is itself a simplified model, and not worry about the problem.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             "As long as the candle is still burning,
micha@aishdas.org        it is still possible to accomplish and to
http://www.aishdas.org   mend."
Fax: (270) 514-1507          - Unknown shoemaker to R' Yisrael Salanter


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 15:17:39 -0400
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Subject:
RE: Shofar on Shabbos


On Fri, 2005-10-14 at 12:57 -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
> On October 14, 2005 Cantor Wolberg wrote:
>> However, I cannot accept that. I believe his insight is AFTER the fact
>> and if that were the real case: "to avoid such an unlikely event,"
>> then I can think of a dozen other halachot and/or minhagim that should
>> be different too.

> Kindly illustrate. A dozen is not necessary. One or two will do the trick.
> And they can't be Lulav or Megilah and they have to be chilul Shabbos
> related in order to fit the parameters of the Gemara's concern. If you
> can't come up with any, might I suggest that the standard reason given
> by the Gemara is perfectly sound and should not be characterized as
> "not the real case".

What about Shofer on YK? Isn't YK "Shabbos", could one have the same
worry on YK that one would have on RH? Or is it the fact that YK ALWAYS
has the status of shabbos different from RH that can fall out on shabbos?


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 22:43:02 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: first rashi al torah


In  Avodah V15 #80 dated 9/17/2005, From:  micah2@seas.upenn.edu
>Bad answer to my questions, it basically means even jews don't have
>bechira chofshit in the end, as according to you, we didn't have a
>choice to accept the torah or not and even more so goyim didn't have
>bechira to accept it or not either. [--Someone, I don't remember who]

. >>The rambam in sefer hamada explicitly discusses that issue (free
will vs. hashem knowing the future). I think it is way beyond the scope
of the discussion. And i think its been discussed in avodah. It is not
an issue specific to the first rashi al hatorah.<< MikeW

. Meant to comment at the time, surprised no one else did, but this
is Pirkei Avos 101:

"Hakol tzafui veharashus nesunah" -- Hashem's foreknowledge of what we
are going to do does not take away our bechira chofshis.

Now if WE knew ahead of time what we were going to do, there might be
a problem.....

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


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 20:51:42 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: sugya correctly


On October 15, 2005 Joel Rich wrote:
> [R Steve Brizel wrote on Areivim:]
>> ... [T]he main derech halimud in Lakewood is via Chaburos without a rebbe
>> and that issues of psak and horaah are not considered the bailiwick of
>> lomdus. How anyone can learn without a rebbe to show him the ins and
>> outs of a sugya and which views of Rishonim are mainstream and rejected
>> especially and even at such a high level in Lakewood has always struck me
>> IMO as highly problematic. IOW, without a rebbe, how does anyone in such
>> a situation known whether he is learning pshat in any sugya correctly?

Lakewood is my alma mater so perhaps I can shed some light on the above.
First of all, the Yeshiva doesn't accept young bachurim. Entry level
is generally shiduch age so it is assumed that the bachur has already
attended a bais Medrash and has heard shiurim from a rebbi muvhak and
acquired, at least to a minimum degree, a "derech" in learning. I heard
shiurim from my primary Rebbi for four years before attending Lakewood.

Second, the official policy of the Yeshiva is that you cannot join a
chabura until having attended the regular shiurim for one year. There are
four mageeday shiur (R' Malkiel, R' Dovid, R' Yisrael and R' Yerucham)
and during the course of the year they follow up on you and even test you
in the sugyos being learned. So as you can see, it is not as hefkeirisdic
as it might seem. Obviously there will always be people that balk at
the system but the general infrastructure is supposed to be in place.

Third of all, Lakewood, by nature, is more of a Bais Medrash than
a Yeshiva. In fact, half the people there are already in in kollel,
and many are already mature talmeeday chachamim.

In short, Lakewood, unlike the standard Yeshiva, is not geared to creating
a derech as much as it is to promoting a pre-existing one, to help a young
inexperienced ben-torah feel his wings and fly on his own. Toward this
end, these chaburos are an indispensable tool for personal advancement
in learning.

As far as the comment regarding psak and horaah not being the bailiwick
of lomdus, this is the standard attitude in most of the chareidi Yeshivos
that I am familiar with. My Rosh Yeshiva, for instance, doesn't have
semicha and never put his kochos into halachah. This state of affairs
is an unfortunate side-affect of golus and yeridas hadoros. Whereas 300
hundred years ago every Rav in the city was also its "Rosh Yeshiva" today
most people do not possess the ability to become proficient in lomdus and
halacha simultaneously; thus the generally pronounced distinction between
roshei Yeshiva and Rabbanim. Fortunately we still have some people left
that encompass both qualities. As it happens, Toronto (where I live)
has a few such people, most notably Rav Shlomo Miller shlita.

Simcha Coffer 


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 15:58:05 -0400
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Subject:
Re: statistics


R' Eli Turkel wrote:
>Assuming 20 people quit (or join) a kollel and get jobs working. It is
>fairly obvious that their incomes will go up (or down) even though
>their income was supposedly fixed at Rosh Hashana/YK.

The answer I've heard is that your hishtadlus or lack thereof can affect
the pre-set amount. You can change your hishtadlus, thereby reducing or
increasing the Rosh Hashanah amount. I'm not sure how much of an answer
that really is.

R' Akiva Miller wrote:
>But to help towards a solution, let me point out that it is merely a
>restatement of its reverse: When an unusually large number of
>people die in some sort of tragedy, is it because on the previous
>Rosh Hashana they were found to be reshaim?

There are Rishonim (e.g. Kuzari) who hold that one can die from natural
disasters even if it was not decreed on Rosh Hashanah. I believe the
Rashbash has a teshuvah in which he says something like this also. In
other words, the Rosh Hashanah decree is not all-encompassing and one can
(ch"v) perish even if not written for it on RH.

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books
http://www.yasharbooks.com/Sub.html
mailto:Gil@YasharBooks.com


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:21:07 -0400
From: Mendel Singer <mendel@case.edu>
Subject:
Re: statistics


At 12:48 PM 10/11/2005 +0200, you wrote:
>Also I have no statistics on life expectancy in the charedi community.
>However, speaking to doctors in Israel that treat these people they
>dont personally see any major differences between them and the general
>population that cannot be explained by standard reasoning (eg smoking,
>better eating habits etc). Thus, it does not seem (again with absolute
>proof) that leading a religious life leads to a longer life span except
>through the venue that it may hopefully lead to better habits.

Anecdotal evidence on life expectancy is worthless. As a medical
researcher who works with clinical experts, my experience tells me that
there are certain things a clinical expert can tell me from his experience
and I am amazed at how well they can estimate certain effects. Still,
other issues they really cannot gauge.

I had posted previously (not sure whether it was Avodah or Areivim)
about the study published circa 1996 (American Journal of Public Health)
of 22 Israeli kibbutzim. The comparison of dati vs chiloni showed large
differences in mortality. I believe the analyses were properly adjusted
for baseline differences. Also, differences were found across the board
in mortality due to various illnesses.

I'll try to remember to locate the reference and provide better info.

mendel


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 19:14:42 +0200 (IST)
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Subject:
Morbidity statistics for charedim in Jerusalem


Way back in 1986, I came across a paper in the Intl J Cardiology written
by members of our hospital's lipid unit on the very unexpected finding
of a relative risk of coronary heart disease in the Jerusalem charedi
population that was ONE FOURTH that of the secular or "dati" communities
even though the population violated every rule in the book: overweight,
chain-smokers, zero exercise [shukling wasn't included :-)], junk food,
Type-A behavior. [The team had worked with a number of chassidic groups]

Their team which also included a top epidemiologist could offer no
explanation. Our preventive cardiology unit suggested (and this was
published in the journal) that the mechanism could be daily (multiple)
immersion in a hot Mikva [head out water immersion via increased thoracic
pressure elevating the hormone ANF, lowering the peptide vasopressin,
and as a result lowering blood pressure and triglycerides. This was
15 years before Kiemer's group in Munich found that atrial natriuretic
factor simultaneously and immediately lowers 3 inflammatory cytokines,
but we were the on the right track].

To make a very long story short: after obtaining a diskette from the post
office computer department with every address in Jerusalem and obtaining
a special digital map from the Jerusalem Municipality's city planning
office (listing in great detail which sections of a neighborhood were
charedi or not and which sector: chassidic or not), we had the hospital's
computer dept. (Bernie Sylvetsky) overlay the two and merge it with ICD
(International Classification of Disease) numbers of each of the 30,000
hospital admissions per year at Hadassah University Hospital Ein Karem
taken from a separate database (reshumot refui'oht).

We found that in the 3 diseases we had investigated (two were cataract
and glaucoma, I forgot the 3rd) that involved ANF/vasopressin and the
then "unknown" mechanism of inflammatory cytokines, chassidic male
(not Litvishe, not sefardi) charedim had a drastically reduced incidence.

The hospital is a tertiary medical center getting the difficult and
complex cases. Percentage wise the charedi community would be expected
to be 1/3 of those admitted. Over the years I have queried senior staff
from other departments on incidence of disease X [involving inflammatory
cytokines] in the chassidic charedi population and get back an astonished
look: "Where's the beef ???" It suddenly occurs to them that charedim
are vastly under-represented.

KT
Josh


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 22:10:56 +0100
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>
Subject:
Re: statistics


In message , Leonid Portnoy <leonid.portnoy@verizon.net> writes
>Let's consider the decline in mortality rates compared to 200 years
>ago, due to the use of modern technology (antibiotics, medical imaging,
>surgical procedures, and so on). How we can reconcile this decline with
>our conception that the determination of who lives and who dies is made
>based upon each individual's merit? The argument is as follows:

>Assumption #1: The proportion of reshoim to non-reshoim has remained
>almost the same throughout the past 100 years.
>Assumption #2: If one is found to be a rasha on Rosh Hashanah, he is
>decreed to die within the year.

>The logical conclusion from these assumptions is that there should be
>the same number of people dying now as there were one hundred years ago.
>However, this is not the case. Therefore, one (or both) of the assumptions
>must be wrong. Assumption #1 seems like it is more or less true - the
>basic nature of humanity has not changed, political or other types of
>progress notwithstanding. So assumption #2 must not hold. How can that
>be? Perhaps even when one is deemed a rasha, but yet external factors make
>it less likely for him to lose his life in a natural way, he does not in
>fact die within the year. (The external factors could be, for instance
>that he visited doctors throughout his life, took immunization shots,
>avoids dangerous activities, will have access to modern medicine if he
>gets sick, and so on. When combined together, a population that does
>all these things will be found statistically to have a lower mortality
>rate). A question remains however - if that individual does not die,
>then how is his punishment effected?

Actually I have seen arguments that would suggest that neither Assumption
#1 nor #2 are true.

Assumption #1: - there are those who hold that indeed the world has moved
more towards the middle - ie that while there are not the great tzadikkim
that there used to be, there are not the same level of reshaim either.
It is a bit like the discussion about levels of learning. In terms of
Torah learning, we have one of the most generally educated generations
(I am not discussing the time of Hezkiyahu Hamelech, but in more recent
times). It is part of the "there are more people learning in Eretz Yisroel
.. " discussion. On the other hand, I think few dispute that the level of
learning at the very top is nowhere near what it was. Similarly there is
a view (I think it can be seen eg in Rav Kook's writings, for example)
who sees the general standard of morality as being higher than it used
to be, but again with the very top level not what it used to be.

Assumption #2 - well it is not really a disagreement with the statement,
just with the assumption contained within this assumption, which
is that there are a lot of reshaim. Assumption #2 only works if you
assume a statistically significant number of reshaim. But if 99.9% of
the population are in fact benonim, then this doesn't matter. And there
are certainly enough sources within our tradition which say that if one
is not the world's greatest tzaddik, a lot depends on the level of nes
required to save you (think for example of Yosef in the pit - and the
question as to whether his tzidkus would have been enough to save him from
a pit that was filled with water, or only one filled with scorpions.)
So, if scientific advance eliminates the equivalent of the scorpions,
(or water filled pits) fewer people are going to be tested at that level,
so more middling level people are going to live longer.

Regards
Chana

-- 
Chana Luntz


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 21:15:15 -0400
From: "Leonid Portnoy" <leonid.portnoy@verizon.net>
Subject:
Re: statistics


On Tue, 11 Oct 2005, eliturkel@gmail.com wrote:
>Assuming 20 people quit (or join) a kollel and get jobs working. It is
>fairly obvious that their incomes will go up (or down) even though their
>income was supposedly fixed at Rosh Hashana/YK. The answer that I heard
>was that something else would have happened to that individual to change
>his income. However, that answer only applies to single people. Once
>we talk about larger numbers statistics again tells us what to expect
>when changing from/to a Kollel job from a (say) hi-tech job.

I think the answer that Chana Luntz gave would apply to this question too.
As I understand it, she said that life/death determination is made on Rosh
Hashanah only for tzadikim or reshoim, however for benonim it is made to
depend on the level of nes that is required to keep them alive. In other
words, whether a benoni lives or dies is a function of external factors
(state of medicine, safety measures, etc.) because these factors determine
the level of nes required to avoid death. It's possible to apply the
same reasoning to one's income - if one is truly deserving (a tzadik)
then his level of income is fixed, to a high amount, at Rosh Hashanah,
and conversely for a rasha. If one is a benoni, however, then whether
or not his financial needs are met might depend on the level of nes
required for that to occur.

Leonid Portnoy


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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:15:41 -0400
From: Mendel Singer <mendel@case.edu>
Subject:
RE: hiskashrus


>> Actually this discussion of a chassid connecting to Hashem by connecting
>> to a Tzaddik is not universal in chassidus. In Pshyscha, the approach
>> was that the Rebbe was the person who helped a chassid to realize how
>> he can connect directly to Hashem. It represented a major shift from
>> the centralized system focused on the Rebbe/Tzaddik to a decentralized
>> system focused on the individual chassidim.

>And yet the house of Pashischah generated a Kotzker Rebbe which in turn
>spawned the houses of Gur and Alexander, two of the most devoted Rebbe
>Chasid houses in Chassidus.

Indeed. Radzyn and Vorka, among other Pshyscha offshoots, kept more of
the Pshyscha derech. I hadn't realized Ger and Alexander had moved so
much to a Rebbe-centric system. In some ways, Ger became so litvish.

>In any case, I was not referring to the Rebbe Chasid relationship per se
>which I consider an extremely beneficial arrangement for klal yisroel. In
>fact, IMHO, Chassidus was instrumental in saving klal yisroel. I was
>referring to two houses in particular and their offshoots. Lizensk and
>Chabad.

Yes, Chabad is certainly an extreme form of the Rebbe-centric system. I
always found it odd that chassidic movement would go that route. The Baal
Shem Tov stressed the greatness of every Jew as individuals. Seemed to
me that the approach that you have to connect to a Tzaddik to connect
to Hashem is really the antithesis of that doctrine.

Just shows what I know.

mendel


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 19:59:23 +0200
From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Subject:
Torah & Evolution


Last week, I was filmed in Jerusalem for a documentary produced for
showing in England in January, I think, on the issue of the Temple Mount
and how religion can "interfere", so to say, with what secular people
would consider a very straightforward political question.

The interviewer, who filmed the Mufti of Jerusalem the day
previously, and was off to Lourdes and other sites where religion
has "interfered", was Richard Dawkins. He seems to be, unbeknowest
to me previously to the invitation to be interviewed, one of the
world's outstanding pro-evolution and anti-religious interpretation
academics (see: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins> and
<http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/index.shtml>)

Well, since the interview, I have been sending him material (better late
than never).
Any suggestions from the list as to the best article they would use?

--
Yisrael Medad
Shiloh
Israel


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 22:17:21 +0200
From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: schach


"Joseph I. Lauer" <josephlauer@hotmail.com> wrote on areivim:
(regarding the requirement that the shade of the succa must come from
the s'chach)

Some of those circulating the "Dr. Seuss" poem add a link to "The
Laws of the Succah", Pninei Halacha, by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, at
http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=958 . There it states,
in part, "It is permissible, though, to make a Succah next to the walls
of a high building. Even if the walls of the building are very high and
prevent the sunlight from reaching the Succah, it is Kosher. This is
because only a roof or branches which are directly above the S'chach
can render a Succah invalid; anything that is outside of the straight
line running from the S'chach to the sky cannot invalidate the Succah."

This is stated explicitly in the very first Beur Halacha in Hilchot Succah
(OC 426:1).

Saul Mashbaum


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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 19:48:41 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Subject:
Re: rough wooden box


From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> How does this answer the opening question?

The Ramban used "Samael" metaphorically: the self which last year was
good enough for God is this year (to use a more updated metaphor) merely
"good enough for government work". The Seir really is directed towards
God, and our intentions are to improve ourselves (also towards God)
so there's neither maaseh nor kavvanah for Avodah Zara.

David Riceman 


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