Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 112

Wednesday, February 1 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 19:44:29 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Re: All Supervisions 'Reliable Enough"

On 2/1/06, Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu> wrote:
> Please have a look at
> http://www.kashrut.org/forum/viewpost.asp?mid=9978&;highlight=subway
> regarding what this web site says one can eat in Subway (non-kosher)
> restaurants. I doubt that you will find too many kashrus agencies
> agreeing with the statements made on this site.

If you go back to the statement I originally quoted from RSZA, he did
not say that *all* kashrus agencies can be relied upon. He said that the
well-known rabbanuts can be relied upon. Moving over to the American
context, that would probably include the kashrus agencies considered
acceptable by a sufficiently large segment of those who are yirei shamayim
and medakdek b'mitzvos. I don't think that kashrut.org falls in that
category. For that matter, at this point, Half-Moon K doesn't either
(though that may change soon).

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 13:35:31 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
Re: All Supervisions 'Reliable Enough"

At 12:44 PM 2/1/2006, Moshe Feldman wrote:
>I don't think that kashrut.org
>falls in that category.  For that matter, at this point, Half-Moon K
>doesn't either (though that may change soon).

Well, now that you have named one Kashrus Organization, I guess I can
bring another one in. What about the Triangle K? I have been told not to
rely on it. However, I do know of people whom I consider Yorei Shomayim
who do use some of the products under the Triangle K. For example,
when I was at West Point, I attended a gathering at which potato chips
were served that had the Triangle K on the bag. The Chaplain at that
time was most certainly someone whom I would consider a Yorei Shomayim,
yet he used products that I would not use. Was I supposed to, according
to you, eat in his home if I had been invited?

Many people are not aware of the "nuances" of Kashrus. I have
seen products under the Triangle K for sale in "Heimishe" stores in
Brooklyn. Now it is not my place to tell anyone what to use or not to
use. But it is my place to decide what I will or will not use and to
make sure that I do not eat what I do not use.


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 01:23:01 +1100
From: "meir rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Enzymes in Honey & Cheese

There is a Machlokes in the Gemora and Poskim regarding the reason
why honey is Kosher. Either a Sevoro: the honey is not PRODUCED by the
bee but is only MODIFIED by the bee and so is not a Davar HaYotze Min
HaTomeh; or alternatively a Passuk (Vayikra 11:21) "But this you may
eat of the flying Sherets", which excludes the Sheratzim we may NOT
eat but includes what these non-kosher Sheratzim are Mashrits - produce
[as long as it is not a baby like its mother. Rashi Bechoros 7b].

The NMinah is, do we have a single exception for bee honey alone or a
general rule that permits all products MODIFIED by non-kosher animals
[YD 81:9].

So according to those [RaMBaM & R Chananel] who Pasken like the Chachomim
and use the Sevoro, we must explain why cheese which is milk MODIFIED
with enzymes is not acceptable if from non-kosher animals.


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Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 15:23:49 -0500
From: "Allen Gerstl" <acgerstl@hotmail.com>
Re: Pas Akkum-Kashrus

R'"Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@lifebridgehealth.org>
Wrote:Subject: Re: Pas Akkum-Kashrus
On Wed, 01 Feb 2006 14:30:22 -0500

I had written:
>> (See also: http://www.whirlwind-design.com/madbaker/hlaf.html
>> for a 1047 (!) Anglo-Saxon law governing the ingredients of bakery bread)

And the above information turned out to be a hoax:
>[AB:]...[the above]is completely untrue.

That's surely a good lesson about internet sources and the importance of
either using established sources or better yet the importance of checking
citations. I had by the way googled a few of the sources that had been
cited but I had found no other reference to the specific law cited by
the author- that should have tipped me off and it will in the future.


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 00:37:13 +1100
From: "meir rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Maris Ayin of the Ben Pakuah and Heqer

Reb Micha,

I do not follow your meaning. You say that MA is "the prohibition against
giving people reason to think one is sinning and that I am describing
something different - cheshash, that people may confuse the two animals".
But the Taz and Aruch HaShulchan here indicate that MA refers to others
being misled to consume meat without Shechitah. My rough translation
of the O"HaShulchan, "a living, full gestation Ubbar that has walked on
the ground requires Shechita bcs of MA since they will say that [this]
animal does not require Shechita and will consider that other regular
animals [also do not require Shechita]"

Reb Micha, please tell me more about the distinction between MA
(DeOraysa) and Heqer (DeRabbonon) [you described it as "the motivation
for a derabbanan (more specifically, a seyag or a geder)" Could you
please provide more explanation about what you mean] and also sources
for these distinctions.

What are the situations/criteria where one applies and not the other?

Where did the Rabbonon see it necessary to fill any gap left exposed by
the T?

One would imagine that if one acts in a manner that arouses suspicion
there should equally be a consideration that others will consider that
permissible; see IgM YD 2 33.

I also still have no answer to the question, Where else do we find that
a reminder such as a fused hoof is adequate to avert the issue of MA
[or satisfy the needs for Heqer]? And especially the Ramo who considers
any minor variation an adequate reminder. Keep in mind this fused hoof
is in no manner an indicator that this animal is a BP, it is just an
alarm that rings suggesting that SOMETHING is different here. This is
unlike fish scales in fish blood or almonds in almond milk.

BTW the A"HaShulchon 13:11 adds the word LeRabbim and omits the word Shum,
thus - Im Yesh Bo (Shum) Shaar Davar Tamuah + (Lerabbim)


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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 06:57:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Whip Cream

T613K@aol.com wrote:
>>> My guess: nolad. The product is not whipped cream while it is still
>>> in the can, but some kind of liquid that becomes cream as it is sprayed
>>> from the can. [--TK]

>> Then the same should apply  to ice cubes. R' Moshe paskens it is mutar
>> to make ice cubes on Shabbos. The  same should apply to whipped cream.

> Well, I was only guessing. 

I guessed the same thing. The reasons mentioned by others seem quite
reasonable as well (Kosev and/or Boneh) but I would not so hastily
discount Nolad. The difference between ice cubes and whipped cream is
that when you "make" the whipped cream you are doing it more actively
with your hands the moment you squeeze the nozzle. The change takes
place immediately. When you make ice, you are doing it indirectly...
a sort of Gramah. The change takes place much later. That might make a
difference. Also, frozen water is still water and not a new creation
(IIRC there is a deabte about that aspect of it.) The whipped cream
that comes out is something new that is created as it comes out directly
through the action you are taking.

Just a thought.


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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 14:49:08 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: veset kavua

Sorry I am getting to some old Avodahs very late, but in Avodah V16
#83 dated 1/9/2006, "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com> quotes an
earlier post that said:
> From what I heard from several Rabanim and madrichim, mostly at
> shiurim in Hilchos Niddah and some of whom I've spoken to personally,
> a steady veset kavua is virtually unheard of nowadays.<<

and then he adds:
> I was fortunate to have learned Hilchos Niddah as a chosson with one
> of the four official Lakewood poskim. He introduced vestos by saying
> that I basically wouldn't need to worry about a vest kavua for the rest
> of my life, it is that unheard of.

I seem to remember that this thread started with a thread (possibly on
Areivim) about a kallah taking hormones to make sure that she doesn't
have a chupas nidah -- vs keeping track of her cycle and scheduling
her wedding accordingly.

It's been many years since I reviewed the hilchos nidah and I have to
admit I don't remember this, but I have a hard time believing there is
no such thing as a veses kavua, unless the definition of a veses kavua
is "a period that starts after the same number of days, and at the same
time of day, every month
 from age 12 to age 50."

In reality it is common -- not uncommon -- to have a fairly regular
period, such that one knows, within two or three days, when your next
period will start. There may be enough deviation that you can't schedule
a wedding a year hence, but most girls can schedule a wedding three
months in the future with a high degree of confidence.

As for husband and wife separating when a period is anticipated, if the
wife always has a cycle of 28 days with occasional delays to day 29 or
day 30, the safest and easiest course is to separate from day 28 onwards.
After day 32 or so, if she still hasn't gotten her period, she may
well be pregnant.

If she usually has a 28-day cycle but it occasionally varies by a day
or two, then a single recurrence of her normal 28-day cycle restores
her veses kavua. At least, that's what I thought. There has been a
whole long discussion about this on Avodah, I know, during much of which
my son was ill, so I didn't follow it closely. (He's better now, B"H)
Please accept my apologies if I am revealing ignorance of basic Hilchos
Nidah 101 -- and boring you all in the process.

BTW I have a problem with the requirement of veses kavua having to be
always starting a period EITHER in the day OR at night, namely: the day
is much longer in the summer than it is in the winter -- at least, it is
if you're living in a place that is significantly north of the equator
(and of E"Y) -- so that it is actually almost impossible to ensure that
your period will ALWAYS start in the daytime (or ALWAYS start at night)
throughout the seasons. If your period tends to start late in the
afternoon it will be daytime in the summer but dark in the winter.

To be honest I don't remember this too well either but wonder how such a
requirement can be necessary to establish a veses kavua when the length
of the day varies so much. It would mean, I guess, that your body
is sensitive to the presence or absence of sunlight. If THAT is the
necessary definition of a veses kavua (rather than the number of days in
your cycle) then it is no wonder "no one has a veses kavua nowadays."
We live our lives without regard to sunshine nowadays, we no longer
work outside and we don't rise at dawn or go to sleep at dusk --
a point which was made by another poster as well.

But you can still schedule a wedding (and separate from your husband)
with confidence, even if it's not a halachic veses kavua, and I don't
remember or don't know what else you would need to know your veses
kavua for.

 -Toby Katz

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 15:22:30 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
The Ethics of 360 Reviews

This is lemaaseh for me, so I found this post interesting. From a
blog titled "Lazer Beams", by Rabbi Lazer Brody, who became frum after
experiences in the Israeli special forces in Beirut.

> High tech, low ethics

> Have you ever heard of the "360 Evaluation"? It's a dog-eat-dog system used
> by leading high-tech companies whereby everybody rates everybody - superiors
> their subordinates, subordinates their superiors, and workers their
> coworkers....

> The Chofetz Chaim writes that one is better advised to forfeit all his or
> her worldly possessions, rather than utter one word of slander against
> another person.

> The Bolshevik-like system of the "360 Evaluation" is both immoral and a
> negation of Jewish law.... Intel and Microsoft have a lot to learn from
> Chovos Halevavos and Mesillos Yesharim.

I recommend reading the full post (this is around 50%), and I am curious
about others' reactions.


Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        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

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 10:56:27 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Benching Gomel frequently (after flying)

On February 1, 2006, Marty Bluke wrote:
> Simcha Coffer wrote:
>> What does this have to do with the halacha? If you watch people during
>> birchos hashachar, there isn't much emotion then either although they
>> are thanking for all of their daily needs and more. If one follows R'
>> Moshe's psak, he should train himself to recognize the benefit Hashem
>> bestowed upon him by allowing him to traverse without incident....

> There is no comparison between bircas hashachar and bircas hagomel.
> Bircas hashachar are part of the nusach of davening. Bircas Hagomel
> however, is only said when a person was in danger. The Rishonim conpare
> it to a korban toda.

True. But my point is that if one maintains that the halacha is that you
bentch hagomel on a particular episode, then one must train himself to
understand the chesed he is receiving from Hashem which is associated
with said episode, just as one must train himself not to fall into
habitual lip service when reciting birchos hashachar.

What I am saying is that I don't see R' Moshe's psak of saying hagomel
on an ostensibly "banal" episode as problematic. It is merely a matter
of perspective. Once one is trained to perceive the chasdey Hashem,
one is better equipped to resist the torpor engendered by the repetitive
nature of "mitzvos anashim milumada"

Simch Coffer

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 09:37:14 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: the Torah's response to sex offenders

> In fact even the other puinishment, the fine... is troubling. Can you
> imagine any court today, finding a rapist guilty and then fining him
> fifty dollars?

I think you are not distinguishing between a crime and a symptom.
You are worried, not that he has raped her, but that he may do so again.

David Riceman 

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 06:59:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Rape of Dinah

MSDratch@aol.com wrote:
> This also grates on my ears and conscience, but we cannot be anachronistic
> and impose modern sensitivities to the ancient world. B"H, over the
> generations, Halacha has compensated for these problems.

I agree. I was just expressing my gut feelings.

[Email #2. -mi]

David Riceman <driceman@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>> In fact even the other puinishment, the fine... is troubling. Can you
>> imagine any court today, finding a rapist guilty and then fining him
>> fifty dollars?

> I think you are not distinguishing between a crime and a symptom.  You are 
> worried, not that he has raped her, but that he may do so again.

That's part of it. But really I am wondering about the overall justness
of it.


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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 03:59:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Eternal Torment?

Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
> So what happens to those who don't get into the system? I assume that
> nothing happens to them, that they simply expire. In many case that's
> exactly what they expected.

I understood it the same way you do. But There is a difficulty in
this. The worst of Reshaim and the best of Reshaim who are denied Olam
Haba and simply expire can theoretically have a marvelous life iof
debuachery and "simply expire" as they thought they would in any case if
they were atheists. It doesn't seem just that a Hitler and a ... say,
a Madelaine Murry Ohare are worthy of the same fate. Just as there are
gradations of Tzadikim, there should be gradations of Reshaim and the
reards and the punishments such match their behavior. And How do you
explain those Gemaros that speak of burning for all eternity in a vat
of excrement for this or that Rasha?


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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 13:10:12 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
RE: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

I haven't been following this discussion so forgive me if somebody has cited 
this already: 

RZL writes:

> I include myself among the many who would view as a crackpot
> interpretation of the Torah the suggestion that the Flood -- which the
> Torah depicts as destroying all un-Ark-protected human and animal life,
> destroying all animals except those who were in the Ark, leaving only
> Noach's family as the progenitors of all future mankind, and which was
> always understood as being a global flood -- was merely a local flood.

How do you understand the gemora in Nida 61a?

"v'amar Rabbi Yochanan ze Og shepolet m'dor hamabul"  - and as Rashi 
explains "Og polet min hamabul" - shebarach l'eretz yisroel.  (Tosphos there 
adds that it was not just Og but Sirchon as well).

This is of course referring to the midrash that the flood did not cover Eretz 
Yisroel (Rashi gives a reference, and Tosphos gives one to Perek Rabbi Eliezer, 
although the notes at the side of the gemora suggest that it is not in all 
versions of Perek D'rabbi Eliezer, but also gives a reference to Breishis Rabba 
in Lech L'cha. Ad my Breishis Raba is at home, so I can't check if this 
portion of the midrash is there, or only the part about coming to Avraham which 
is also referred to in this gemora).

Now it would seem that unless you reject this midrash as a crackpot 
interpretation of the  Torah, you are forced to either say that Eretz Yisroel 
was entirely barren of animal life or that there was animal life that survived 
outside the Ark.  And at the very least this midrash suggests a not entirely 
global flood as it fails to destroy at least two humans and an entire country 
(and query whose definition of Eretz Yisroel is being used here - the most 
expansive definition is quite a wide area).    Og and Sirchon were, of course, 
giants, but I always understood the point as being that because of their size 
they were able to run far enough and fast enough to get away to somewhere where 
there was still food to eat, not that they were sustained through miracles 
while up to their neck in water (I know, I know, the midrash of Og sitting on 
top of the ark that illustrates those midrash books for children is hard to get 
out of one's mind, but at the very least that doesn't explain Sirchon, who the 
Torah says was Og's brother).

BTW, I have been told that is a geographical fact that at least today, Eretz 
Yisroel is geographically lower than most lands and countries (ie some points 
of it are the lowest or close to the lowest places in the world below sea level 
that you can stand on dry land).  Unless that geography have changed, it would 
presumably be more, rather than less, likely to be covered in water than 
elsewhere in a truly global flood)

> Zvi Lampel

Chana Luntz

This mail sent through http://www.ukonline.net

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 09:25:30 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
RE: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

Simcha Coffer wrote:
>But the Rambam doesn't say this. He is quite clear in the Moreh (2:25)
>that unless there is incontrovertible evidence to the contrary (such as
>the Rambam's ten proofs that corporeality cannot apply to Hashem) we
>are to take the pesukim in Tanach literally.

But keep in mind that when the Rambam requires proof, he is not speaking
as an empiricist who utilizes the scientific method. He was willing to
allegorize pesukim based on theological theories alone, even without
incontrovertible physical evidence. The same goes for R. Sa'adia Gaon.

>>I didn't see the Rashba as questioning their historicity. Identifying
>>a symbol doesn't mean the literary character is "only" symbolic, it
>>can rather mean that the historical person's life stands as a symbol.
>>Is that not peshat in "ma'aseh avos siman labanim"?

>Rav Avigdor Miller says the same. The Rashba wasn't the only one
>who fought against pure allegorizing. Many Rishonim were involved.

Look at the Rashba (Chiddushei Haggados, Bava Basra 74b, Mossad Ha-Rav
Kook ed. p. 104). He does not state that pure allegorizing is forbidden,
despite the opportunity to do so.

The Meiri (Commentary to Avos 3:11) lists three types of biblical
passages: 1) phrases that are clearly only allegorical and not literal,
2) those that are to be ready only literally and not allegorically and 3)
passages that are meant both literally and allegorically.

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

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Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 10:47:41 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

>: But the Rambam doesn't say this. He is quite clear in the Moreh (2:25)
>: that unless there is incontrovertible evidence to the contrary (such as
>: the Rambam's ten proofs that corporeality cannot apply to Hashem) we are
>: to take the pesukim in Tanach literally. For some reason, the Rambam,
>: of late, has been championed as a non-literalist. In view of the above
>: mareh makom, I am perplexed as to how this attitude has gained a foothold.

> I don't think the Rambam is dealing with literalism vs non. Rather, he
> writes that Torah (written plus mesorah) can't contradict philosophy --
> there is only one truth.
> And if they seem to, it must be that either (1) the philosophy isn't
> muchrach, or (2) the idea will not be found to be counter "all of our
> nevi'im and chakhamim".
> (RMS seems to think I invented the latter part; I don't know why. It's
> there in RZL's edition too.)

It is in my edition - but it means something different (here I believe
in pshat.. :-)). Truth is univalent - therefore, if philosophy is
correct, it can't contradict "all of our nevi'im and chakhamim" -
and the way out is that either we misunderstand philosophical truth,
or that we misunderstand our nevi'im and chakhamim - and we know that
our nevi'im and chakhamim spoke allegorically (even if it doesn't always
appear that way)

The one time that this issue really arises is with the issue of
aristotelian kadmut - and note that the rambam does not have any
problem with the historical issue of the how long the world has been in
existence - reinterpreting the text as to the pshat about what happened
- but that aristotelian kadmut, in addition to the historical issue,
has implications about the relationship of hashem to this world - and
this counters "all of ur nevi'im and chakhamim". Issues like the flood
don't even rise close to this issue.

> Thus, the Rambam would only allow new peshatim when (1) compelled to by
> incontravertable proof, and (2) it isn't against the clear 
> statement of the mesorah.

No, when it contradicts ikkare emunah - because the nature of the mesora
is that it is not clear about many issues.

> On Tue, Jan 31, 2006 at 12:45:19PM -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
>: Rather, the issue is the conflict between simple pshat in the mesora and
>: our reason - and that allegory is the way out. The rambam is not the only
>: source - see, eg, the hakdama of ibn ezra to the alternate perush on sefer
>: breshit (there is also, I believe, a Meiri discussing the 
>: use of allegory)

> However, the IE is clear it's about "alternate peirush", not that one
> peirush happens to be allegory.

No - the hakdama there talks about when we have a nonliteral understanding
of the text - and the deciding issue is a contradiction between the
sechel and simple pshat or simple understanding of divre chachamim that
can be resolved by such nonliteral understanding.

> Besides, as you note, the Rambam isn't the only source -- but he is
> MORE liberal on this issue than most others, and condemned for it by
> the other rishonim, as well as the Gra, RSRH, etc...

yehi chelki im harambam... 

>: The fundamental position of the rambam is that torah, neviim and hazal
>: speak in allegorical terms - and the real problem is to understand when
>: - and therefore the fact that something seems to be clear pshat does
>: not mean that it is....

> And where does he say this? I'm in agreement with RSC on this one. (See
> above.)

See hakdama to more nevuchim, (p 6 in Qafih edition)
vechalal ma'amar ze inyan acher, vehu beur inyan meshalim stumim meod
shene'emru besifre haneviim velo nitparesh bahem mashal, ela yera'e
lasachal velapeti shehem kipshatam

this is addressed to someone already versed in mesora, and says that
many things appear as pshat - but are really mashal, even though it is
not evident to those merely versed in the mesora that they are mashal.

Ma'amar techiyat hametim (Shilat edition)

know that these prophecies and similar matters that we say that they
are allegorical - our word in them is not a decree, that we did not
receive a prophecy from hashem that will tell us that it is an allegory,
nor did we have a tradition for one of the sages from the prophets who
will explain that these details are allegorical.

Rather, what brought us to that is the our effort and the the effort
of every man of wisdom (of the few) - the reverse of the effort of the
multitude. That the multitude of the the followers of torah, what is
beloved of them and tasty to their folly, that they will put torah and
sechel as two opposite poles, and will derive everything separate from
the reasonable, and will say that it is a miracle, and will flee from
thngs being natural, not in what is told about what happened in the past,
nor what he will see now, nor what is said that will happen. And our
efforts our to gather between the torah and the reasonable, and will
manage all things accroding to a possible natural order, except what is
specifically explained that it is a miracle (mofet) and it is impossible
to explain it otherwise, then we will need to say that it is a miracle

> ...
>: eg, one can analytically conclude that saying that a black object is
>: not black is false. However, if a word is used that may mean black or
>: may mean merely not white, depending on context (let me invent brack),
>: concluding that saying a particular object described as brack is black
>: requires first a synthetic analysis of the meaning of brack in the
>: context - and then one can apply analytic.

> Thus we have a mesorah to define our terms. I fail to see why this is a
> difficulty. If one is redefining the terms to fit something other than
> mesorah, than one is engaging in shinui -- changing the Torah to fit.

That is the point - the rambam redefined the terms malach in aristotelian
terms - engaging, according to you, in shinui. Once he redefined the
terms, then analytic logic applied.

> Notes relevant to our discussion.
> 1) The torah does not really care about historical events.

> Not quite. Rather, he says the "ikar shel Torah" is otherwise. However,
> that doesn't mean its statements about history are altogether ignorable.

While he prefers that the statements be true, he says that that is
not me'akev...

>: 2) He advocates extending the use of allegory even above that of the
>: rishonim (no mention at all of hazal). Previous sanction is 
> not required.

> But a lack of contradiction is. As you translate:
>: And in general, this is a great principle in the battle of opinions,
>: that any opinion that comes to contradict something from 
> the Torah, we
>: have to in the beginning not to contradict it, but to build 
> the palace
>: of Torah above it, and that way we are elevated by it, and 
> through this
>: elevation the opinions are exposed, and later, when we are 
> not pressed
>: by anything, we can with a full and confident heart to fight against
>: it as well....

> This isn't shinui, it's chiddush. Constructing from what we have to
> what the Torah was hithertofore thought to be silent. Building,
> not whittling.

However, it is precisely the appraent contradiction between a pshat
understanding of the mesora that leads to this issue Rav Kook is
functioning from a perspective that all contradictions eventually are
resolved (very Hegelian..)- but he doesn't deny that there are apprarent
contradictions - that motivate the need for allegory - even if the
ultimate resolution might be different. Chiddush is shinui (hachadash
assur min hatora...)- what we call it depends on our perspective and
attitude to it.

Now, part of the problem is, of course, attitude - there is a big
difference between saying
a) science has shown the mabul couldn't have happened, so we must find
some kludge to explain the mesora and
b) due to advances in science, we now realize the true spiritual message
the torah is conveying to us with the story of the mabu,l and hope to
reach greater heights in our avodat hashem.

Rav Kook is supportive of b, not a - and
much of the allegory discussion is phrased in terms suggestive of approach
a - but approach b also exists (and is actually frequently meant by the
shomre shamayim, even if they seem to say a...)

>: 3) The motivation for the need for allegory is "opinions that come
>: through the new research, that most of them contradict the simple meaning
>: of Torah." - not a problem generated by an internal mesora problem.

> When he speaks of not being concerned, RAYK addresses contradictions with
> "the simple meaning of the Torah", not Torah in all its richness. It's
> impossible to contradict the Torah in all its richness.

yes, but the entire richness of torah has not yet been revealed to us
- and the contradictions generated by science are part of the process
our learning torah in its fullness (I suspect that, as per some prior
discussion, the entire distinction made between internal to the mesora
and external would be viewed as irrelevant to RAYK - because the physical
world is part of hashem's creation and science is part of his torah...)

>: 4) It is not necessary for the secular opinion to be proved beyond all
>: reasonable doubt, and one may even have real doubts about what the truth
>: is ( no need for analytical proof..)

> I don't see this in your translation at all.

He writes that even though there is no truth demonstrated in all these
new investigations, still we are under no obligation to contradict them
outright and to stand against them

that is - even though there is "no truth demonstrated", it is still
enough to justify allegorizing gan eden

Meir Shinnar

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