Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 129

Monday, February 13 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 23:00:10 -0500
From: rabbirichwolpoe@aol.com
TSBP: Its change of sequence over time

About a zilllion years ago I posted that TSBP was learned as a commentary
to the Torah Shebichsav "Mechilta/Sifrei style" iuntil Rebbe and his
predecessors re-sroted TSBP by tractate etc.

I had heard this theory and I finally foudn a Source. In the book titled
TARYAG by Rabnowitz? he quotes this is the name of Iggeres derabbeinu
Shrira Gaon. I did not get a chance to re-check this in the
 Iggeres itself but this makes sense to mef

NB: that OUR versiojn of Mehcilta/Sifra/Sifrei are LATER than REbbe's
mishna but the style of learning is AIUI the original method of
transmitting TSBP until it was sorted by rebbe into 6 orders and 60+
mase chtos.

And FWIW the first post Talmudic source to cuts and paste snippets fro
mthe Talmud into order by subject is AFAIK the She'iltos who takes a
topic and quotes braisos and meimros regardless of order of appearance
in the Bavli etc.

And FWIW there are some passages in Rambam's Yad that pretty much mirror
the Sheiltos but in Mishnaic Hebre instead of in Aramaic. IOW the Rambam
used a simlar sorting sequence to the She'iltos as opposed to the Rif
who pretty much followed the order in Shas

Kol Tuv

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 18:13:59 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
KOsher Pets

From: Akiva Atwood <>
--- Shmuel Zajac <s.zajac@verizon.net> wrote:
> I don't know i you are aware of this, but having *pets* 
 has always been frowned on in certain circles.

My understanding is that Chareidi poskim here hold pets are assur UNLESS
there is a valid reason (for example, a child who needs it for emotional
therapy) --and in those cases it's better to have a kosher pet than a
non-kosher pet.

AFAIK it is ossur to have a 'kelev ra' in your house. Can anyone supply
a source otherwise?


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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 14:09:33 +0200
From: Mishpachat Freedenberg <free@actcom.co.il>
Re: Pets

> : AFAIK it is ossur to have a 'kelev ra' in your house. Can anyone supply
> : a source otherwise?

AFAIR, this means that if a dog is dangerous one is not allowed to have 
them in the house, but it does *not* rule out a non-dangerous dog.

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Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 22:00:31 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Rape- Sources?

On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 05:57:20PM -0500, MSDratch@aol.com wrote:
: 1) It may fall into the category of chabalah (see Teshuvot Divrei Yeziv,
: Even ha-Ezer no. 77). The payments, in addition to the 50 shekel
: fine, for pain, shame, and character degradation (See Ketubot 39a)
: sound a lot like the tort payments. In addition, the gemara there
: tries to define the pain caused and winds up with "pisuk raglayim"
: which speaks tothe violence of the act itself.

I was wondering if underlying this is a very "modern" idea: Psychologists
who specialize in this field found that rape is about violence and
control, not lust.

Gut Voch!

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Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 22:04:30 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Sabbath mode wall ovens

On Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at 10:33:47AM +0200, Marty Bluke wrote:
: The control panels on ovens use LED's and not incandescent lights and
: therefore there is no havara when they go on. The only problem is using
: electricity which according to most modern poskim (except the Chazon Ish)
: is an issur d'rabbanan (and according to RSZA is not really assur at all).

It's on vs off as opposed to quantity either way, and would be no more
mutar on Yom Tov than on Shabbos.

I'm not usre I agree with the "most modern poskim" bit, though.

Gut Voch!

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 10:57:00
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Papaya: safek orlah in Israel ????

Tu Bishvat is around the corner and every year the supermarkets here
are flooded with fresh and dried papaya. The papaya tree (if one can
call it a "tree") is quite bizarre: it basically self-destructs every 3
years. That's why all Sephardi poskim rule that the bracha over papaya is
"borei pri ha'adama" and since it's not a "tree" in the halachic sense,
there's no problem with orlah. Ashkenazi poskim are lenient with papaya
grown out of Israel but have a problem with papaya grown locally.

Does anyone know why Ashkenazi poskim think there could be a problem with
orlah regarding this bizarre fruit "tree" ? I even checked on the Internet
and all botanists agree that the papaya "tree" falls apart after 3 years.


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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 12:02:40 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Creation & allegory

Zvi Lampel wrote:
>> Fri, 03 Feb 2006 R' Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il> posted:

>> ... All of this leads to the problem - if the solar system or the
>>celestial spheres in which the stars and planets exist were not put
>>into place until the fourth day - what does "day" mean for the first
>>3 days, since time did not exist ?... Because time cannot exist
>>without physical motion, it follows that the term day for the
>>first 3 days cannot refer to a temporal quality.

> I'm afraid Rabbi Eidensohn, whose works I truly admire, missed an
>important clause in the passage he is quoting (from MN II:30).

I appreciate that you admire my works but the bottom line is that my
explanation was incorrect. Thank you for pointing out my error.

In my concern to elicit discussion of this Rambam - I relied too
much on the mistaken understanding of another person. I also did not
look carefully into what Prof. Klein Braslavy was writing. While
very brilliant - it relies too much on conjecture and pilpul
i.e., it is not a reliable source of understanding.[see Naomi
Frankel's review article on the subject of Creation and Rambam

The view of Shem Tov [and Abarbanel page 10] is that the Rambam
held that the days of Creation were not days at all and that there
was in fact only one day of Creation in which everything was created
ex nihilo.. Thus according to Shem Tov the Rambam held that the days
were in fact allegorical. His explanation is coherent and consistent
with what the Rambam states - however it raises huge problems - some of
which are discussed in Abarbanel.. The view of Shem Tov is an expansion
of the views of Moshe Narboni.

Shem Tov's understanding of the Rambam is on page 58b of the standard
edition of the Moreh Nevuchim..

"Just as G-d is an absolute unity, His actions are also unified and from
His organization came out the sequence of Creation. At the start - time
was created simultaneously with the rest of Creation. It is incorrect
to say that Creation began at the start of time.Consequently creation
consisted of entities that were separate and distinct and prioritized
- which is not a reflection of G-d Who is an absolute unity.Their
prioritzation is the result of their nature as to what their purpose and
causal relationship is in combining and interacting with other things.
Therefore it only in describing their level in reality that we say Day
One, Day Two - but not that they were created in this sequence. Thus the
Rambam's explanation rejects the literal meaning of the Torah verses. He
asserts that everyting was created simultaneously. It is only as a
reflection as to their purpose and importance does the Torah say first
second and third and the rest of the days. Understand this! This true
explanations removes the questioned that concerned R' Yehuda as to how
there could be time on the first three days since there was no sun. In
fact the sun was created simultaneously with the rest of Creation. This
explanation is built upon the Chazal which states that the lights of
the fourth day had been created already on the first day - but were only
put in place on the fourth day."

However it is also possible to read this as saying that there were
in fact 6 historical days during which the processes of organizing
Creation took place. According to this the Rambam is stating that while
there were 6 24 hour periods called days - only on the first day was
creation ex nihilo. The subsequent days were just rearranging, dividing
and developing that which was created on the first day.

It is interesting to note that the Ramban also indicates that creation
ex nihilo only occurred on one occasion - but that the subsequent days
of creation were creation from pre existing matter. Rashi also cites
the statement in 1:14 that the lights had been created already on the
first day - in apparent contradiction to what he said previously. [Gur
Aryeh discusses the problem and offers a resolution]

The Abarbanel notes the problems that occur with this approach that
everything was created simultaneously in its various manifestations in
his question five.

To summarize: There are readings of the Moreh Nevuchim which can be
understood to mean that the days of creation were allegorical descriptions
rather than historical reality. My previous posting that this allegorical
description was limited to the first three days was wrong.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 17:43:30 +0000
From: y.blau@att.net
Re: Avodah V16 #128

Today is the 50th yahrzeit of Rav Yisrael ben Rav Gershon haLevi
Rosenberg. He was in charge of funding for yeshivos through the JDC
("Joint"), rescued many Jews from Europe, welcomed refugees when they
arrived in America and aided them in every way, was a founder of Ezras
Torah and its president for many years, a founder of Vaad Hatzalah,
and a president of the Agudas Harabbanim when that organization was in
its strength, and worked from his arrival in the United States in the
first decade of the 20th century until his p'tirah to build yeshivos,
spread Torah and assist Jews. The revival of Torah Judaism in America
today owes a great deal to his work. Ye'hi zikhro barukh.

Rivkah Blau

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 19:17:41
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Dogs as pets

See my post on AVODAH reposted below:

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 20:30 +0200
Subject: Dogs as pets

Although one may *own* a dog [to protect property but see: Choshen Mishpat
409:3 on details; dog has to be tied etc.] the She'elat Yaavetz Chelek
Alef #17 says that having a dog as a pet is a "ma'aseh akum". See also
the gemara in Bava Kamma BK 83a (comment by R. Eliezer ha'Gadol) and
the Sefer Chassidim #1038.


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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 12:44:44 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Killing kinim on shabbat

On February 11, 2006, Micha Berger wrote:
> As already posted in the past, I recall a shiur from R' Dovid Lifshitz
> where he explains that maggot eggs have no halachic mamashus, since
> they are too small to be seen without a lens. In reality, the maggot has
> a zeh vezeh goreim -- the egg, and the food it ate since hatching that
> allowed it to grow to visible size and issur. Since the egg doesn't count,
> only one goreim is considered. Which is why it's "made from the meat"
> as far as hilkhos Shabbos and kashrus are concerned.

Actually, this is precisely what R' Carmel says in the name of R' Dessler.
I've been championing this approach for quite some time but RJO asked me
a kasha on this mehalech which I will now turn around and ask you. Nits
are not too small to be seen. In fact, we have women checking for lice
in our Bais Yaakov here every year before the beginning of school. This
includes lice and their larva. So what do R' Dessler and Rav Lifshitz
mean by claiming they are too small to be seen?

>: Anytime Chazal propose something in science, if they base a halacha on
>: their scientific conclusion, the halacha cannot be discarded despite
>: the fact that the science turns out to be faulty. We must now search
>: for current scientific explanations which support their halachic
>: conclusions. The idea behind this is that Chazal did not always mean
>: to condone the scientific principles which they forwarded. Rather,
>: they advanced explanations for the halachah which seemed to fit the
>: paradigms of their day. However, the halacha itself was a kabala and
>: thus can never be discarded...

> R' Kook says this only lechumrah. That the din could have other
> motivations other than the one given. However, not lekulah. He believed
> that it was possible that the din really was a pesaq based on bad science,
> and therefore should not be applied. Since every din has a myriad of
> reasons, eliminating one reason lechumrah doesn't eliminate the chumrah;
> but eliminating one reason lequlah is sufficient to create a chumrah.

It is difficult to follow the above logic. Citing an example would assist

>: The upshot is that Chazal's infallibility in Torah, to which I personally
>: subscribe, is not compromised from ostensibly faulty scientific
>: statements.

> It wouldn't anyway. Chazal spoke of the din of a mouse that came from
> the dirt that people believed existed. The existence of such a mouse
> is a different question than what would the halakhah be if such a most
> did exist.

True. But what about lice, for instance? Is it permissible to kill them
on Shabboss? Chazal's infallibility would be compromised if you paskened
"yes". IIRC the sefer Pachad Yitzchok (not R' Hutner) paskens that
it is permissible to kill lice on Shabbos. If he did not hold of the
approach of nishtanu hativi'im, it would seem that Chazal were fallible,
even in halacha. This is the shita I am attempting to disagree with when
advancing R' Dessler's (and apparently R' Lifshitz's) approach.

Simcha Coffer 

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 12:48:03 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Killing kinim on shabbat

On Sun, Feb 12, 2006 at 12:44:44PM -0500, S & R Coffer wrote:
: Actually, this is precisely what R' Carmel says in the name of R' Dessler.
: I've been championing this approach for quite some time but RJO asked me a
: kasha on this mehalech which I will now turn around and ask you. Nits are
: not too small to be seen....

Nits are lice larva. Maggot eggs are something different entirely.


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Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 00:28:15 +0200
From: Mishpachat Freedenberg <free@actcom.co.il>
Re: Pets

> Although one may *own* a dog [to protect property but see: Choshen Mishpat
> 409:3 on details] the She'elat Yaavetz Chelek Alef #17 says that having
> a dog as a pet is a "ma'aseh akum".

I don't think that this statement is talking only about dogs, but about
having a "pet" of any kind. However, many of what we would call pets in
modern-day English do indeed have a purpose, whether it is guarding the
house/yard, eating/chasing away mice, training children in compassion/care
of those more helpless than they are, soothing depression, lowering blood
pressure, and more. So what is what I visualize when I hear the word
pet? There are some people who have little teeny miniature dogs and other
pets whose sole use/purpose is to be carried around in a pocket for their
entertainment and that do not provide any service other than entertainment
of their "owners" and even if they are well fed it seems like tzaar baalei
chaim to me to keep an animal solely for one's entertainment that way.

The fact that the Gemara says that one cannot have a "kelev ra" in one's
house seems to state obviously that one CAN have a kelev that is not
"ra". There are also halachos on how we must feed and take care of our
animals and this also seems to suggest that Jews have cared for animals
ever since there were Jews in the world.

Sorry, I was brought up with compassion for animals and all living things
and I think that especially here in Israel we should be much more worried
about how our children are taught to relate to Hashem's creations and
kindness to those that are more helpless and dependent on us than to
worry about Mickey Mouse cartoons or teddy bears.


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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 19:47:55 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Killing kinim on shabbat

On February 12, 2006 Micha Berger wrote:
> : Actually, this is precisely what R' Carmel says in the name of R' Dessler.
> : I've been championing this approach for quite some time but RJO asked me a
> : kasha on this mehalech which I will now turn around and ask you. Nits are
> : not too small to be seen....

> Nits are lice larva. Maggot eggs are something different entirely.

What is your point? Are you insinuating a teretz to the kasha of spontaneous
generation of lice (Chazal) versus currently understood lice reproduction
which would obviate an alternative approach such as RJO's? Because if you
are, I do not understand your teretz.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 19:46:10 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Killing kinim on shabbat

On Sun, Feb 12, 2006 at 07:47:55PM -0500, S & R Coffer wrote:
:> Nits are lice larva. Maggot eggs are something different entirely.

: What is your point? Are you insinuating a teretz to the kasha of spontaneous
: generation of lice (Chazal) versus currently understood lice reproduction
: which would obviate an alternative approach such as RJO's? Because if you
: are, I do not understand your teretz.

My point is that chazal would have attributed mamashus to nits, since
they are visible by the unaided but attentive eye. But what does that
have to do with attributing mamashus to maggot eggs, which are not?

What does the size of post-hatching but pre-metamorphasis lice have to
do with the size of maggot eggs? Lice aren't maggots, even if one argues
they are both species of kinim. When chazal speak of those kinim that
lack piryah verivyah, they aren't speaking of lice. And nits aren't eggs,
they are post-birth.


Micha Berger             A person must be very patient
micha@aishdas.org        even with himself.
http://www.aishdas.org         - attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 23:55:59 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel

I've been meaning to get back to this for a long time.

I had written:
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.

A reply came:
See Igroth HaRambam, ed. Sheilat, p. 229 (the letter to R. Yefeth)...
[where the Rambam notes that his brother's ship sank, "u-b'yado mammon
rav li, v'lo, u-l'acheirim"], which Rav Sheilat (p. 228) takes to mean,
"a vast amount of money of mine, of his, and of others," indicating that
the Rambam invested his own money in his brother's business, because
otherwise he would not accept any proceeds.

I countered that Rav Sheilat's understanding is inaccurate, because the
Rambam did not write "mammon rav shelli, shello, v'shel acheirim," but
"u-b'yado mammon rav li, v'lo, u-l'acheirim," which correctly translates,
"And in his hand was a vast amount of money for me, for him, and for
others," meaning that the Rambam's brother supported him and others
with proceeds from his trade, and that there is no indication of Rambam
investing his own capital.

On Mon, 12 Sep 2005 R' Meir Shinnar" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu> (Re:
Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel) responded:
> 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
> she'avodata ve'orah shelo? Talmud lomar: ve'ish et kodashav lo yihyu --
> 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.

My reply:
Statements made by Lavan can indeed be deceiving <g>. "Li" means "to me"
or "for me." "Lo" means "to him" or "for him." "Li" and "Lo" do not mean
"mine" and "his," neither in lashon chachamim nor in lashon mikreh. When
joined with a verb of being, as in "lo yihyu" and "li hu," it means
"it will be to him," and "it is to me," which is the equivalent of "it
will be his" and "it is mine." But "mammon li" means "money for me,"
not "my money."

I challenge anyone to find either in biblical or rabbinic Hebrew, or
in any of Rambam's writings (or in any Hebrew writings by rishonim or
acharonim, for that matter), the usage of a prepositional possesive
joined to a noun -- as in "u-b'yado mammon rav li, v'lo" -- to mean
"mine" or "his."

As far as I can find, the Rambam in all his writings expresses himself
with pure, standard Hebrew grammar, and invariably indicates possession
by using the inflective form (i.e., the shortened form, a suffix added
to the noun) so that "my money" would be expressed by "mammoni (= "mammon
shelli,") not "mammon li" (which, as I wrote, means "money for me").

It seems very docheik to propose that the Rambam followed in this one
letter some aberrant form of dikduk not used by him anywhere else and
unknown to have ever been used by anyone anytime.

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
-- where David tells the rambam that he will take care of the business
transactions he requested (I don't have the volume -- reference is
from Goitein A Mediterranean Society, vol 2, p.258 and note 91, p580 --
I think that it is also in the book Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders.)

One would have to provide details as to the nature of these requests to
determine whether the Rambam provided the funds with which his brother
transacted the business.

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 lechathcila....

I had written that "One may entertain a new shitta that pits accepting
money for educational and pastoral duties together with other forms
of "work," against accepting money for academic Torah research; but
one may not ascribe this distinction to the Rambam. RMS (Wed, 10 Aug
2005, Re:Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel) agreed that "This
distinction does not occur in the rambam." This should have closed the
discussion, but RMS felt it necessary to add: "However, if you look
at later poskim, they argue that while lecatchila the rambam is right,
given the issue of public need for talmide chachamim, we allow it ...The
Kesef Mishne, after several attempted rebuttals, ends up conceding that
the rambam is right lecatchila - but that the torah community would not
survive and not have leaders if there wasn't support - and therefore this
was allowed bdieved. This position - that the rambam was right lecatchila,
but bdieved we allow the support, was the real norm (at work don't have -
but look in yore dea and the rama and nose kelim) - the preferred mode
was for the torah scholar to be independent - the question was if that
was not possible, what type and modes of support was permissible -
and the majority opinion was that it was actually quite limited (eg,
schar batala and related ideas)

Again, the bottom line is that l'ma'aseh, for us, taking payment for
Torah-pursuits is acceptable -- especially through using concepts such as
s'char b'tayla. (And this, after all, ends up permitting anyone to accept
payment as long as he is not simultaneously partaking in some enviable
turn-key business or is in possession of a large inheritance. We must
not forget that the Rambam's lechatchilla was spending the /overwhelming
majority/ of one's day in Torah study, a far cry from the situation in
which we find ourselves today. Let's not cherry-pick lechatchillos.)

But the discussion now became whether RMS is correct in saying that
(regardless of the Rambam's own shitta) in academic/halachic terms (not
historic/practical terms) /l'chatchilla/ it is prohibited for adult
talmidim and pulpit rabbis to accept stipends and salaries. I showed that
the very sources RMS cited -- the nosei kaylim on the Shulchan Aruch --
considered refusing salaries and stipends not l'chatchilla but middas
chassidus. And I showed that they strongly advocated the practice of
paying rabbonim. I think this is plain to anyone who reads the citations I
brought from the Kessef Mishneh on the Rambam (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10),
the Rema on Yoreh Deah (246), Darkei Mosheh, Bach, Rashbatz [Rav Shimon
bar Tsemach], Derisha, and Shach approvingly citing Maharshal. (Indeed
the Rambam himself -- begrudgingly -- described this as the practice
of "the entire Jewish nation" in his time and in his recent past, who
"considered themselves as performing a great mitzvah by doing s! o.")

(All the more so is there no prohibition against /family/ support of
full-time learners. Even Rav Sheilat himself, commenting on the Rambam's
letter about his late brother, concludes that it was not halacha, but
middas chassidus, that would have motivated the Rambam to refuse family
support without his own monetary investment in the business. Rav Sheilat
expresses the incongruity of denying that a natural family relationship
smiles upon freely supporting any of its own who take upon themselves
the ol haTorah full-time.)

But choosing to focus on the Kessef Mishneh, RMS wrote:
"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 problematic. The Kesef mishne, after a long explanation of why he
thinks the rambam is wrong ... goes on for two more attempts. ... This
is proof that the kesef mishne himself found his primary refutation of
the rambam to be problematic."

My reply:
The "lomdus 101 principle" must be understood properly. If one's position
is strengthened by the fewer proofs one attempts, RMS should have written
a much shorter post! The Kessef Mishneh's explanation is long only because
he is answering each of the multiple proof-texts the Rambam brought for
his position. Does "lomdus 101" posit that the Rambam considered each
of /his/ multiple reasons problematic?

... concluding that a scholar who has no other source of income may take
money from the community, goes on for two more attempts.

No. After rebutting each of the Rambam's proofs, the Kessef Mishneh
cites Tosefos to support his position. I therefore understand his next
statement, ("HaKlall ha-oleh, sheh-kol sheh-ain lo mi-mah lehissparness,
mutar litol secharo l'lamed--bain mei-hatalmidim atsman, bein min
ha-tsibor") to mean that /even/ if one insists on ignoring what he (the
KM) considers the weaknesses of the Rambam's proofs, and say that the
halacha follows the Rambam's p'sak, even the Rambam would still agree
that it is muttar for one who has no other source of income to accept
payment from his talmidim or the community. (And notice that he is not
here referring to the talmidim, but to the Rav.)

For ashkenazim, it is simpler. The rama brings down the rambam as ikkar
halacha -- kol hamesim al libo la'asok batorah velo laasot melacha
lehtiparnes min hatzedaka hare ze mehalel et hashem umevaze haotora --
and then qualifies it with some restrictions and heterim and kulot. It
seems hard to say that the rama completely rejects the rambam -- 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 -- 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 zeh ela 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.

Now abandoning the nosei keylim whom he incorrectly asserted hold it is
lechatchilla forbidden to accept salaries and stipends for Torah pursuits,
RMS cites Machzor Vitry and the shtar rabbanus which quotes it. I don't
know where the passage in Machzor Vitry is (publication information and
page number would be appreciated), and although RMS says it states it is
"forbidden," the only passage he actually quotes does not contain that
word. Perhaps RMS can point to where the actual word is used. Otherwise,
I would assume that these sources agree to the nosei kaylim on the
Shulchan Aruch, that the Rambam's shitta is a middas chasidus, whereas
the accepted halacha l'chatchilla is to permit rabbis and students to
take salaries and stipends. For I found only one authority declaring
it "forbidden" to accept a salary, and that being only for an already
financially well-off rav:

Rema (YD 246:21):
"And therefore it has been practiced in all Jewish locations that the
city's rav gets income and provision from the city's men, so that he will
not have to involve himself in work before the berios and denigrate
the Torah before the masses (Abarbanel, Commentary on Ahvos). But
this is only true of a scholar who requires this. But a wealthy man is
prohibited. [--THERE'S THE ONE AUTHORITY. -- ZL] But others are more
lenient and say it is permitted for a Chacham AND HIS TALMIDIM to accept
provisions from those who give, to strengthen the hands of lomdei Torah,
for through this they will be able to learn Torah b'revach.

"Nevertheless, one for whom it is possible to gain himself a good income
from his own hands, and be oseik b'Torah -- it is MIDDASS CHASSIDUS and
it is a gift from G-d. But this is not the middah of every mortal, for
it is impossible for every mortal to engross himself in Torah and make
hoimself wise through it and provide his own income (this too is in the
teshuvah cited). ... And "one who uses the Torah as a spade" refers to
one who accepts a substantial gift from that which he permitted (GM and
SMG). And some say this is referring to one who is mishtameish b'shaymos
(ibid., b'shem Avos D'Rebbi Nassan)."

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
pursuits. I am merely urging that we correctly understand the Rambam's
unique position, and that it should not be confused with other gedolim's
shittos or touted to support other people's personal opinions and

Zvi Lampel

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