Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 165

Wednesday, March 22 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 20:45:04 -0600
From: "CBK" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>
torah and morality

> According to halacha when this woman comes home we tell her that she
> must get divorced. If she has younger children after everything she went
> through she (or the husband) must leave their neighborhood, and split
> up the children.

I asked a similar question to a rav. Regarding the mitzvah that if a
girl is raped the rapist must marry her or pay her father. It's not bad
enough that she was raped now she has to live with the guy unless "he"
opts out. In response I got an earful about how we, nowadays, have no
understanding of the importance of virginity.

My question still stands.


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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 22:31:45 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: torah and morality

R' Eli Turkel:
> His problem was with a wife of a Cohen who was raped.... According to
> halacha when this woman comes home we tell her that she must get divorced.
> ....This rabbi mentioned that if it happened to his wife (he was a Cohen)
> he could not see divorcing her.

First of all there should be a big "CHAS VESHOLOM" in any such

Second of all, the halacha may be a bit more complicated than this.
If the woman does not report the rape her husband may not be obligated
to divorce her, and it may be that she has no obligation to report it.
And even if she does report it (to her husband, or to the authorities),
if there were no witnesses, it may be that the husband has no halachic
obligation to believe her and therefore no obligation to divorce her.

I say "may be" because I never learned such a halacha, but I read
a story once in Nima Adlerblum's memoirs about a woman who was raped
by an Arab in Yerushalayim a hundred years ago and the rabbanim told
her not to say anything, and she went back to her husband -- though it
wasn't clear that the husband was a kohen. But I do remember the part
about them telling her not to say anything.

I realize that not saying anything in the case of such overwhelming
trauma may exacerbate the psychological damage, or then again,
suppressing the memory may be for the best. At any rate, I throw the
question open to this learned chevra, that maybe the kohen does not have
to divorce his wife in every such case.

 -Toby Katz

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 09:21:37 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Re: Avodah V16 #164

From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
> His problem was with a wife of a Cohen who was raped. As is well known
> today a woman who is raped undergoes a tremendous trauma and many places
> have centers to psychologically treat the victims. According to halacha
> when this woman comes home we tell her that she must get divorced. 

This is a very tough issue and it is usually resolved on a case-specific
basis. This is exactly an example of a case where it isn't sufficient
to know a single halachah. This is also an example of the type of
cases that the Av Beit Din of Lybia (years ago) stated that he would
not discuss the halachah concerning them until an actual case came to
court and then when they sat as 3 Dayanim with Shechina among them --
only then would they examine the case and render a Psak.

This is not as simple as it seems. Halachically the case is brought
before a Beit Din. The husband can decide not to believe the wife; The
court can decide not to believe the wife. There are also other factors.

So, it is quite possible that a legalistic approach would decree that
halachically, there is no need for a divorce.

This would not prevent the wife from seeking aid from a trauma unit at
any time. Not everything that is considered fact or evidence is indeed
evidence in a Beit Din (you need 2 witnesses etc.)

>Given the trauma of the rape very few woman would survive
> a divorce. They would either need severe psychiatric help or else would
> abandon religion. This rabbi mentioned that if it happened to his wife
> (he was a Cohen) he could not see divorcing her.

I heard of a case in New York many many years ago (prior to the JDL)
where a wife of a Cohen was escorted everywhere by members of her family
to prevent this situation. Someone once told me that this was one of
the factors that led to the JDL in the beginning -- they would escort
women coming back from Mikveh late at night.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 09:50:11 +0200
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
RE: torah and morality

R' Aharon Lichtenstein wrote the following about this issue:

    "I recall in my late adolescence there were certain problems
    which perturbed me, the way they perturb many others. At the time,
    I resolved them all in one fell swoop. I had just read Rav Zevin's
    book, Ishim Ve-shitot. In his essay on Rav Chayim Soloveitchik, he
    deals not only with his methodological development, but also with his
    personality and gemilut chasadim (acts of kindness). He recounted
    that Reb Chayim used to check every morning if some unfortunate
    woman had placed an infant waif on his doorstep during the course of
    the night. (In Brisk, it used to happen at times that a woman would
    give birth illegitimately and leave her infant in the hands of Reb
    Chayim.) As I read the stories about Reb Chayim's extraordinary
    kindness, I said to myself: Do I approach this level of gemilut
    chasadim? I don't even dream of it! In terms of moral sensibility,
    concern for human beings and sensitivity to human suffering, I am
    nothing compared to Reb Chayim. Yet despite his moral sensitivity,
    he managed to live, and live deeply, with the totality of Halakha
    - including the commands to destroy the Seven Nations, Amalek and
    all the other things which bother me. How? The answer, I thought,
    was obvious. It is not that his moral sensitivity was less, but
    his yirat shamayim, his emuna, was so much more. The thing to do,
    then, is not to try to neutralize or de-emphasize the moral element,
    but rather to deepen and increase the element of yirat Shamayim,
    of emuna and bittachon."

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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 17:45:20 -0600
From: "CBK" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>

> I think part of the problem is an assumption that gilgul is the same
> thing as reincarnation.

Yes, because this is how the Ari and those that use the term gilgul
use it. I don't mean that it exactly parallels the eastern concept of
reincarnation but it clearly (according to his their own words) refers
to a soul being born into another body after a previous lifetime in
order to finish an unfinished job.

[Email #2. -mi]

> It would be interesting to see the various sources you cite inside
> and see whether any of the advocates of gilgul were using the term in
> a way that was truly the same as the Eastern concept of reincarnation.
> I suspect they weren't.


I'm sorry but your suspicion is incorrect. It is very much the same way
that they use it.
See Shaar Hagilgulim (hakdama 38), and sefer Minchas Yehudah by R.
Yehudah Fatayah simon 37 say as I mention.


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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 07:52:22 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>

At 06:18 PM 03/20/2006, Gil Student wrote:
>For mareh mekomos on gilgul, see R. Yitzchak Blau's article in the Torah
>U-Madda Journal 10: <http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm?shiurID=703961>

What struck me about this article was how much of it deals with Greek
philosophy. On page 2 the author writes:

              "The Philosophical Background

Before surveying medieval views on te~iiyyat ha-metim (resurrection of
the dead) and gilgulim, we must briefly review the Greek philosophical
background, since much of medieval Jewish philosophy revolves around the
acceptance or rejection of the ideas of Plato, Aristotle and their fol-
lowers. In terms of our topic, as well, the Greek writings on the soul
and the nature of the afterlife provide the starting point for Jewish
writings on the topic."

Yet RSRH wrote in Letter 18 of his 19 letters (page 265 of the R.
Elias edition)

"It is to this great man [the Rambam] alone that we owe the preservation
of practical Judaism until the present day. By accomplishing this and
yet, on the other hand, merely reconciling Judaism with the ideas from
without, rather than developing it creatively from within, and by the
way in which he effected this reconciliation, he gave rise to all the
good that followed - *as well as all the bad.* His trend of thought was
Arab-Greek, as was his concept of life."

On page 267 of the same letter RSRH wrote:

"During this whole period, only very few stood with their intellectual
investigations completely within Judaism and built the interpretation
of Judaism entirely upon its own premises."

The selection below is from "new" Hirsch Chumash, page 891. It is part
of RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 50, 2.

"Here we have an interesting contrast between the Egyptian view - as
expressed in embalmment - and the Jewish view. Such contrasts, whenever
they occur, should be analyzed, and should be stressed espe- cially in
our confrontation with those who deny the Divine source of the Torah,
who regard "the work of Moses" as merely the product of "his genius'
which "drew upon the wisdom of the priests of Egypt."

How striking is the contrast that is revealed here! The Egyptian would
embalm the body, so that its individuality should endure. However,
the soul, he thought, did not remain in its personal individuality,
but wandered from body to body - even to animal bodies - in man- ifold
metamorphoses. The Jew believes that the soul endures forever, whereas
the body wanders. Once the soul has been gathered unto the souls of its
people, the body has nothing more to do with the individual. Rather,
it is a mitzvah to bring the body as soon as possible into close contact
with the decomposing earth (see Sanhedrin 46b). The body returns to dust,
and goes through all the transformations of earthly matter. The Egyptian
believed in the transmigration of the soul, and tried to protect the
body from any possibility of change. The Jew believes in the soul's
eternal personal existence, and surrenders the body to earthly change."

Am I misreading it when I say that these words imply to me that RSRH did
not subscribe to the idea of the transmigration of souls? Given the above,
can one say that his basis for rejection of Gilgulim, if RSRH did indeed
reject this concept, was that he felt that it was a non-Jewish concept?

Yitzchok Levine 

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 22:42:44 +0200
From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
Re: Nodeh b'Yehuda on Kabbalah


>cbk quotes R. Yehudah Fatayah (talmid of Ben Ish Chai and author of
>Minchas Yehuda on Aitz Chaim) as saying that he [R. Fetayah] was "a gilgul
>of the Nodah B'Yehudah[,] who [] was not interested in Toras Nistar."

I don't have a makor in front of me, but IIRC, the Gaon is reported to
have said about the Nodeh B'Yehudah vis a vis who were the top talmidei
chachamim of the dor, "In nigleh it's him and me, and in nister it's me
and him." (or was it vice versa - but anyway, the point is clear).


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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 22:44:39 -0500
From: "Mike Wiesenberg" <torahmike@gmail.com>

> But in any case, one can eradicate Amaleiq by making them geirei toshav.

IIRC. the Mechilta paskens that we dont accept geirim from amalek.


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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 17:16:52 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: amaleik

On Mon, Mar 20, 2006 at 10:44:39PM -0500, Mike Wiesenberg wrote:
: IIRC. the Mechilta paskens that we dont accept geirim from amalek.

Gittin 57b and Sanhedrin 96b have a famous aggadita that says that
Haman's descendents were rabbeim in Benei Beraq.

See also Rambam, Hilkhos Melakhim 6:1-4.

The Netziv limits that Mekhilta to being during warime.

OTOH, the Tzitz Eliezer (8:27) notes that the Baal haTurm (Shemos 28:7)
quotes the gemara as speaking of the descendents of of Na'aman, not
Haman. The TE ends up concluding that the Rambam is speaking of geirei
toshav, not geirei tzedeq.

As there seems to be no dispute about geirei toshav, I took the TE's
position on it for granted.

On a different note, despite RJF's suggestion here on Avodah, Sha'ul
haMelekh's problem with the mitzvah was not its incomprehensibility. But
rather, that he lacked the belief in himself to stand up to the will
of the masses. See Shemu'el haNevi's rebuke at Shemu'el I 15:17. (You
might also be interest in my blog entry "Anavah, Simcha, and Purim
Based on his more recent comment on the blog entry, I believe RJF agrees.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 22:56:26 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Musafim Kehilchasam

In Avodah V16 #163, RSBA quoted RGD:
> Has anyone ever heard why, "kehilchasam"? What's the hava amina?

I think it's just the l'shon Anshai Knesses Hag'dola for the "kamishpawt"
which is found in P' Shmini (and elsewhere).

All the best from
 -Michael Poppers via RIM pager

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 10:02:13 -0500 (EST)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Musafim kehilchasam

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
> On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 01:58:28 +1100 "SBA" <sba@sba2.com> writes:
>> The Dover Sholom in the SIddur Otzar Hatefilos brings a pshat from 
>> the Yaaros Dvash. [Not that I understand it.]

> My Otzar Hatefilos doesn't have that perush.  Can you post it or scan it?

Mine does. The quarto ones? Not the tiny 3-volume one. Originally
published by Romm in Vilna, 1928.

>> BTW, you could also ask about 'Korban Mussaf Shabbos >>KORO'UI>>

> Not once you've asked it.  Please, as above, post what it says there.

I don't understand it either, but here it is.

Temidim kesidram umusafim kehilchatam. The changed language is
explained in Yaaros Dvash. Temidin correspond to Torah Shebictav,
musafin correspond to Torah Sheb'al Peh. They say "there is no order to
the Mishnah", therefore it says Temidin kesidram, because Torah shebiktav
is follows the order. (hu keseder) But Torah sheb'al peh is kehilchatam
but not kesidram.

Oh. I just looked in Yaaros Dvash. In mine, it's vol 2 pg 33.
Ein seder lamishnah is from BK 102b. He's comparing Torah Shebictav
which is limited and ordered, to Torah Sheb'al Peh, which is unlimited and
without order. If one breaks one's heart over the loss of the sacrifices,
rather than just thinking about the details of the bird-offerings, he
will merit to receive reward as if he had done these no-longer-possible
mitzvot himself. Don't just think about the halachos, break your heart
over them, to merit the reward.

As for koroui, Iyun Tefillah brings from Daat Zekenim Mibaalei
Hatosafot on Parshat Pinchas, from the Midrash Shochar Tov, that the
Shabbat complained before Hashem that her mussaf was the smallest one.
Hashem replied that just as everything about Shabbat is doubled (Mizmor
Shir leyom hashabat, Lechem Mishneh, double Oneg on Shabbat (Karata
lashabbat Oneg lakadosh H' Mechabed), so too the salient point of the
Shabbat Musaf, that which makes it Koroui, is its doubling: shnei kevasim,
shnei esronim solet minchah.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 10:05:10 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <akiva.atwood@gmail.com>
Re: what Israeli hechsherim can one rely on..

> My rav will not buy grapes from Arabs because there is often a problem
> there of kilayim--they plant vegetables close to the vines.  This is
> important to know especially during the shmittah year.

And why is that a problem? Kilayim isn't an issur for non-Jews (AFAIK)


Most people act on their own account; they pursue personal ambitions
without seeking God's guidance and grace. By asserting the self they
will achieve nothing.

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 00:29:32 -0500
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Tza'ar Ba'alei Hayyim

> But I want to raise a more fundamental issue about tza'ar ba'alei
> chaim. Animals lack the development of neocortex/neopalleum responsible
> for metacognisance, IOW, being aware of being aware -- self-awareness.
> It is therefore quite plausible that even when an animal feels pain, or
> even emotions, there is no "I" to have a first-hand experience of pain.
> Yes, I'm suggesting that even when an animal is in pain or emotional
> distress, there is "no one there" to suffer. However, since the experience
> to us is the same as if there were, we can not act cruelly based on this
> theoretical knowledge. We would grow callous.

Shut Havos Ya'ir 191 concludes that there is no Issur of Tza'ar Ba'alei
Hayyim when causing pain to a person. The reason given was that the
Torah was Mapqpid specifically not to hurt animals because they lack the
capacity to suffer and deal with pain. This is very consistent with what
RMB has so eloquently explained as to the reasoning for TZBH.

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 08:05:04 -0600
From: Lisa Liel <lisa@starways.net>
Re: jewish identification

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> It would make sense from that perspective to wonder if our story wasn't
> viewed by malkhei Paras uMadai as a side-story to a basic battle between
> polytheism and early, monotheistic Zoroastranism (before it became
> dualist). Haman would then be a priest of the old-time polytheism
> (which fits the problem given with bowing down to him), who hated us
> because he was an equal opportunity monoitheist hater. Achashveirosh,
> a commoner who married into royalty, banked on religious support in
> order to secure his shakey throne.

> ..., I see that Lisa [Liel] carries an article on her web site ...
> explaining the idea besheim Dr Chaim S Heifetz in more solid terms, as
> a battle between Mithrism and Zoroastranism....

Actually, Dr. Heifetz's source for this is a book by Jacob Hoschander,
published in 1923, entitled _The Book of Esther in the Light of History_.
Hoschander's thesis was that the events of Esther took place during the
reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon, and happened in the context of a conflict
between monotheistic Zoroastrians and polytheistic Mithra worshippers.
As a bible critic, Hoschander simply labeled our version of the Megillah
inaccurate with regards to the king having been named Ahasuerus (Xerxes),
but he brings a huge amount of source material to support the historical
basis for the religious conflict in the Megillah.

Dr. Heifetz used this as an important building block in his revision
of Persian history. The book has been out of print for a long time,
but a new edition is coming out in a couple of months. I'll let y'all
know when it's actually out.

Incidentally, I was wondering if changing the spelling of my last name
to Li-el or Li'el or Liכl would help keep people from misspelling or
mispronouncing it. <sigh>

> And who were the leaders of the battle against Zoroastranism in
> Persia? Ironically, it was the Arians!

Well... strictly speaking, the Persians were an Aryan people, so both
sides really were, but yes, that was probably our first major run-in
with them.


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Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 09:30:00 +0200
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Adar hi miliz'oq?

Somebody wrote on Areivim:
> Hamaqom yerapei oso besokh she'ar cholei amo Yisrael, refu'as hanefesh
> urfu'as haguf, Adar hi miliz'oq, urefu'ah qerovah lavo.

I realize that "Adar hi miliz'oq" is a spin-off from Marbim B'simcho,
but I suspect it's either a 21st generation chiuddush or a sneaky attempt
at humour.

After all, AFAIK there's no "ancient" quote of Mishenichnas Adar Marbim
B'simcho". Rather it's a spin off from the gemora that "Just as when Adar
enters we increase mourning, so too when Av enters we decrease mourning."

For that matter, IIRC the original cause for increasing rejoicing starting
in Adar was the upcoming month of Geula, and pre-dates Purim.

Do I have my facts right, or is my memory still under the influence?

 - Danny

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Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 07:07:37 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Adar hi miliz'oq?

On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 09:30:00AM +0200, Danny Schoemann wrote:
: I realize that "Adar hi miliz'oq" is a spin-off from Marbim B'simcho,
: but I suspect it's either a 21st generation chiuddush or a sneaky attempt
: at humour.

The middle of a berakhah for someone's health wasn't intentionally chosen
for humor.

My personal berakhos usually contain chiddushim, so that they reflect
thought and the one giving the blessing. That does mean I will blunder
sometimes, but it also means that I invest some kavanah when saying them.

Ze'aqah is a more primal scream of pain than tze'aqah. As RYBS notes,
"vayitz'aq" and the like are used to introduce a quote. A ze'aqah is
when the pain gets so bad that words fail you.

Is ze'aqah appropriate in a month when aveilus isn't? I felt that when
we say "Keil Malei" is a better guide than Tachanun. However, ever since
RSBA asked me offline, I'm not as sure anymore.

I still think that when it comes to baqashos that have no matbei'as
tefillah, it's better to be wrong occasionally than to be rote. "Kol
ha'oseh tefilaso qeva, lo asah tefilaso tachanunim."


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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