Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 167

Thursday, March 23 2006

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 17:50:20 +0200
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Re: Adar hi miliz'oq?

[Yes, my musing was based on /two/ local rabbanim who happened on
different Shabbasos Minchah told someone not to say EM. REMT already
pointed out to me that they were not promoting normative practice. -mi

RMB mused:
> 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.

Where do you see that we don't say "Keil Malei" in Adar? All I can find
is that "they" don't say Av Horachamim on any of the "4 parshios". ("We"
Yekkes only say it twice a year.)

I also didn't find anybody that says we don't say Tikun Hatzos during

Marbin B'Simcha doesn't have to mean jumping right into Yom Tov-dik
simcha - it's a continuum, I assume.

- Danny

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 18:08:39 +0200
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamyb@actcom.net.il>
Adar hi miliz'oq?

"Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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."

Taanis 29a (last line): keshem shemishenichnas av m'maatin besimco,
kach mishenichnas adar marbin besimco.

However, see shu"t Chasam Sofer Orach chaim 160.

Akiva Blum

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:31:49 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Gilgulim

In Avodah V16 #165, RYL wrote:
> 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?

We've discussed this before -- see
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol16/v16n091.shtml#06>. Thanks.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 17:23:59 -0500
From: "Aryeh Stein" <aesrusk@gmail.com>
Dealing with guilt and depression

Subject: Dealing with guilt and depression (was: sources on onanism)

On Areivim, RMF wrote:
>But if, as the author of the onanism article claims, the
>overwhelming majority of teens succumb to onanism, the question
>remains: how do we avoid guilt over this issue causing teens to go off
>the derech?

During the first shiur of R' Reisman's navi shiur from the 2004-2005
season (October 9, 2004), R' Reisman mentioned this issue in the larger
context of feelings of guilt and depression when we succumb to aveiros.
He spoke about how damaging the feelings of guilt are and how they can
destroy a person. What follows is a summary of my notes from the shiur.
(Everything below is from R' Reisman; I put the material that is not 100%
"on point" in parentheses, but I wanted to include it for the sake of
accuracy and comprehensiveness. Anything in brackets is mine.)

His main point was that everyone should remember that we are human beings
and HKBH expects us to sin and that we just have to keep on trying to
improve ourselves. People often say about nisyonos that "HKBH wouldn't
have given you a nisayon that you couldn't overcome."

This is false. R' Reisman said in the name of R' Tzadok that sometimes
the nisayon is so great that when a person fails the nisayon, he wasn't
a ba'al bechira in this regard - he became an "oinais" [sorry for my
creative spelling]. If we don't realize this, we can become overcome
with guilt - and this can be very counter-productive. L'mashal - if
one is on a diet, and he sneaks in a cookie, this one cookie does not
have to be the end of the diet. The problem arises if the person says
to himself "well, I just blew my diet with this cookie, I might as well
eat the whole box." IOW, it's the feelings of yi'ush that arise after
the aveirah that can be more damaging than the aveirah itself.

These feelings of guilt can arise from all types of aveiros, not just
the one that is the topic of this thread.

R' Reisman said in the name of the Steipler Gaon, the Brisker Rav and R'
YZ Segal with respect to thoughts of kefirah - we are not responsible
for thoughts that we can't control. We are not ba'alei bechira WRT these
thoughts - but we should take steps to try to change them.

Another example - if a person makes a small kabalah on Yom Kippur that,
from now on, he will have kavanah when he says modim during shemonah
esrei. If, after Yom Kippur is over, the person completely forgets
until a week later - don't give up. In this regard, the person is not a
ba'al bechira, since he's been saying modim without (much) kavanah for
so many years. So, the person is not a ba'al bechira WRT to forgetting
his kabalah, but he is a ba'al bechira to take steps to remember in the
future to have kavanah during modim (such as putting a post-it note on
his siddur next to modim.)

Another example: nowhere do we see that Yehudah was punished for the
ma'aseh biah with Tamar. Yehudah was not a ba'al bechira in this regard.
Yehuda's "bechira point" was at the moment that he said "Tzadkah mimeni."

R' Reisman then went on to explain that our feelings of guilt WRT to
aveiros is relative to people around us - our peers. If my friends act
similarly, I don't feel so bad. For example, a person may not feel so
bad that if he doesn't have kavanah during shemonah esrei or if he talks
during chazaras hashatz, if all of this friends act likewise.

This explains why the guilt that is most damaging and debilitating
is the guilt that stems from personal and private aveiros - such as
"being pogem b'bris kodesh" [R' Reisman's words - keep in mind that R'
Reisman is speaking to over a thousand people, including many women.]

Mechanchim have said that the one thing that drives teenage boys away
is feelings of guilt about this aveirah.

R' Reisman brought from the Steipler that one should not fast ta'anaisim
because of "mikrei layla", as a person is an oinais in this regard.

Guilt is good if it drives one to become better - not if it makes one

(R' Reisman suggested that people make small kabalos to improve
themselves. R' Reisman himself, as a way to improve his kavanah during
bentching, was mekabel to count out loud the seven "al/v'al" in the
paragraph "Nodeh L'cha." During the first six months after he made this
kabalah, R' Reisman only remembered 10% of the time.)

R' Reisman then related a story about a young married kollel man who
came to R' Reisman and said that he (the kollel man) had embarrased
another person b'rabim - and he knows the gemara that says that anyone
who embarrases another person b'rabim, "ein lo chelek l'olam habah."

So, this man learns and davens - but what's the point? He's not going
to olam haba after 120 years - why should he continue to be a frum yid?
This man was "going crazy" and was taking medication, etc. etc. R' Reisman
was able to help this person by showing him the Rambam's explanation
of the gemora (that which the gemara says that anyone who embarrases
another person b'rabim, "ein lo chelek l'olam habah" is referring to a
person who is "ragil b'kach" - someone who does this type of thing on
a regular basis. But if a person is nichshol now and then, he certainly
still has a chelek l'olam habah.)

WRT depression, the key is not to let it destroy you and to realize that
every person suffers from mental anguish (if not clinical depression)
at times. R' Reisman mentioned the Seridei Aish as an example (when he
apologized to a correspondent for not writing sooner, but he had been
depressed for a while.)

R' Reisman then mentioned about all of the warnings that we hear about
the dangers of the internet. Ten years ago (before the warnings), a
bachur had come to R' Reisman and told R' Reisman about the dangers of
the internet and that he (this bachur) had been nichshol. Warning people
about the dangers of the internet is fine, but, after someone "falls",
don't continue to confront him with the warnings - the person will think
that he will never be able to recover.

R' Reisman then spoke about the remedies for these types of problems.

Remedy # 1 - Learn Torah. Someone who is "pogem b'bris kodesh" should
learn and don't be afraid. Q. - won't this make the person feel more
guilty? A. - learn Torah and work on your learning and be satisfied with
your learning - these feelings of satisfaction from learning can only
help the person.

(R' Reisman mentioned the Zohar which says that, on shabbos, one
should review all of the person's chidushei torah that he made during
the week.  Isn't this depressing?  How many of us can say that we came
up with any chidushei torah at all during the span of one week?  A. -
(in the name of the Steipler) let's redefine chidushei torah:  if you
learn the wrong p'shat in the gemara, and then you learn the right
p'shat - that's your chidushei torah!)

Remedy # 2 - have good friends.  Have friends who won't be afraid to
tell you if you have some dirt on your suit.  A real friend is one
that shows concern for you and is willing to let you know when they
think you're doing something wrong.

[Of course, 1) any errors in the above should be attributed to me and
not to R' Reisman, and 2) it's always better to listen to the actual
tape (October 9, 2004 - I think the title of the shiur is "Dirty


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 07:43:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Levin <mlevinmd@verizon.net>

>> 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.

I have to check these sources but the Ramchal in Likkutei Ramchal clearly
says that there are many parts to what we call a soul and only the parts
that require tikkun are reincarnated - sometimes different parts are
reincarnated in different objects or individuals. That is very different
than the Eastern concept, whatever little I know of that.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 14:30:42 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Adar hi miliz'oq?

In Avodah V16 #165, Micha wrote:
> 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.

See Shmuel I 4:13-14 (which I just happened to be reviewing online via 
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t08a04.htm).  One could say that what Eli 
"heard" wasn't what the city was/its people were "crying," but la'd' 
that's k'tzas dachuq.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:31:49 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Gilgulim

In Avodah V16 #165, RYL wrote:
> 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?

We've discussed this before -- see
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol16/v16n091.shtml#06>. Thanks.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:37:59 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
Re: Gilgulim

> In Avodah V16 #165, RYL wrote:
>> 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?

> We've discussed this before -- see
> <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol16/v16n091.shtml#06>.

This part was indeed posted by me earlier. However, I felt that it 
should be included with the other part of my post on this topic for 

If Gilgul is indeed heavily based upon Greek philosophy as the 
article that Gil Student purports, and, given RSRH's rather strong 
words about using "outside" ideas in Judaism, then I think that, if 
he was opposed to the concept of Gilgul, this was probably his reason.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 20:06:37 -0600
From: "CBK" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>
noda beyehuda

> It's incorrect to say that The Noda BiYehudah was not interested in
> Toras Hanistar. He was quite familiar with it.

I will rephrase to be more exact. He said that he had come back in this
gilgul because in his previous one (that of the Noda Beyudah) he didn't
fulfill his Torah obligation of learning Toras Nistar. So in this life,
the study of Kabbalah was his main focus and tikkun.


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 02:42:02 GMT
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
re: Torah and morality

> While I now agree that Sha'ul himself may have had no personal issue with
> Mehiyas Amalek as per the Tzivuy, it is worth noting that a significant
> portion of Klal Yisroel did have the issue, otherwise there would not
> have been the political pressure.

Isn't the simple pshat in the pasuk that the people were motivated not
by morality, but by venality -- and that was the cause of the "political


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 02:48:21 GMT
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
re: Torah and morality

>> 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.

> Huh? It's not his choice, it's hers or rather her father's acting in
> her place, since she's a minor).>

It's both her father's _and_ her choice. Either one can say no, in which
case there is no obligation for the rapist to marry her. And she's
not necessarily a minor; indeed, according to R. Meir, the din doesn't
apply to a k'tana at all, but only to a na'arah (although lahalacha,
it applies to both).


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:42:15 -0600
From: Lisa Liel <lisa@starways.net>
Re: jewish identification

On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 17:35:54 -0500, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 11:33:52AM -0500, Steg Belsky wrote:
>:>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.

>: First major run-in with that *name*, not actually the same people.

>You mean like Haman haAGAGI?

Why would you think that Haman was not a descendent of Agag? Certainly he
would have been called Amaleki, had that been the intent.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 19:24:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Levin <mlevinmd@verizon.net>
Musafim kehilchasam

I would say simply - temidim have a din of seder in that the first korban
and the last of every day is a Tamid. Musafim follow their internal
hlolchos - they are not brought in any particular relationship to any
otehr korban.

  M. Levin

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 11:31:13 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: jewish identification

On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 09:42:15PM -0600, Lisa Liel wrote:
:>You mean like Haman haAGAGI?

: Why would you think that Haman was not a descendent of Agag? Certainly he
: would have been called Amaleki, had that been the intent.

The Da'as Miqra on Esther offers three peshatim for "Haman haAgagi":
1- That he came from Agag
2- That he came from a Persian family named Agag. (2 more cents: There
was an Agag, Persia. So maybe that's the homonym.)
3- That he was a conceptioal, not physical, descendent of Agag.

He leans toward the latter. Why then was he called "Agagi" rather than
"Amaleiqi"? R' Chakham writes that this is because of Haman's fate --
to be killed by a daughter of Sha'ul haMelekh's house.

Also, the Yerushalmi in Yevamos 4a says that Hamedasa, who lived well
before Haman, was not his biological father, but his conceptual one.


Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
micha@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 18:30:25
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Kitniyot on Pessach for medical reasons/infants

On AREIVIM Rb"n Chana Luntz said:
>But all the non kosher l'pesach Beechnut jars have gone out of all the
>shops already - and we are weeks and weeks from pesach!  And that means,
>no "peas and carrots", no "green beans", no "country garden vegetables",
>no "mixed vegetables" - basically on the vegetable front all that leaves
>is butternut, sweet potato and pure carrots for the next month and a
>half - and this is all for a Sephardi child (!)

I'm sure the gentile stores (Selfridges ?) in London have the (kosher
but not KP) Beechnut in stock. Another alternative is to make your
own baby food in a blender. BTW supermarkets in Israel do sell KP rice
for Sephardim.

For those who are gluten intolerant or who must eat kitniyot for medical

   If one is gluten intolerant, one should make an effort to find oat
   or spelt matza. If, however, one can't obtain non-wheat matza, one is
   exempt from the requirement of eating matza the first night of Pessach
   (see: Chazon Ovadiah 173). If one's physician prohibited the person
   from eating gluten matza and the person ate wheat matza in spite of
   the warning, he has not fulfilled the mitzva (see: SHU"T Mahari Asad
   OC 160; Tzitz Eliezer XII 43 and the eating is called an *aveira*
   [see: Maharam Shick OC 260; Minchat Yitzchak IV 102 #2]. It is even
   forbidden to make a bracha over the matza (see: Mahari Asad Orach
   Chaim 160). See also: Sdei Chemed, Maarechet Chametz U'Matza 14:14).

   Gluten-sensitive enteropathy can present with devastating
   malabsorption, steatorrhea, diarrhea, weight loss, as well as
   extraintestinal manifestations such as: osteopenic bone disease,
   secondary hypopituitarism, adrenal insufficiency, purpura,
   hyperpigmentation, peripheral neuropathy, xerophthalmia, dermatitis,
   secondary hyperparathyroidism, bleeding, microcytic or macrocytic
   anemia, and edema.

   For an Ashkenazi ill person who is gluten sensitive and requires a
   rice (kitniyot) diet, there is a leniency provided the following is
   carried out:

   1) a special pot is reserved for the rice (and set aside special

   2) the rice is cooked by placing it in boiling water (one is not
      permitted to place cold water and rice in a pot and then heat
      to boiling);

   3) before cooking, the rice is checked grain by grain for presence
      of any of the 5 forbidden grains [for anyone who has ever visited
      a wholesale grain market and has seen 200 pound sacks of rice in
      burlap bags, knows what I'm referring to].

     Marei mekomot: Chatam Sofer OC 122; Sdei Chemed Maarechet Chametz
                    u'Matza 6 # 10; Chayei Adam Klal 127 #6; Maharam Shick
                    OC 241; Melamed l'Ho'il OC 98; Kaf Ha'Chaim 453 # 27.


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 03:47:59 -0500
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
RE: About Kashrus

From: Moshe Feldman [mailto:moshe.feldman@gmail.com]
>I wrote on Areivim:
>>>My sisters, who attended Prospect Park Yeshiva High
>>>School, attended Michlala respectively in 1985 and 1991.  One of
>>>them considers herself charedi.  You can't talk about the "average"
>>>girl. RSZA was giving that psak to *all* girls, including those who
>>>aren't average.

>On 3/2/06, Samuel Svarc <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com> wrote on Areivim:
>> By definition one can talk of the average girl. Furthermore, are you
>> disputing the fact that the further back one goes the less charedi
>> Michlala was?

>Sure you can talk about the average girl.  But if a posek is paskening
>for all girls in an institution, he is paskening not only for the
>average girl, but for the those who are not average as well.  Everyone
>knows that Michalah girls are not cut from one cloth.

It is my understanding that when issuing a p'sak to an institution a
posek is forced to "trim the ends" - he is forced to address the average
person in the institution. Sure there might be exceptions, but such is
the nature of a p'sak for an institution.

>> Isn't that an example of a b'deived situation? Either the girls won't
>> go to their relatives or they won't eat the food in their houses.

>Michlalah girls are free to stay in their dorms for Shabbos or to be
>set up with people living in charedi neighborhoods.  Admittedly, that
>might be less appealing to them, but if there really is a kashrus
>problem, why deliberately enter such a situation?

Because it might cause strife if you don't visit your relatives??

>>> Second,
>>>this psak was to the entire student body of Michlalah, which by
>>>definition does not have one single standard.  If you are right, the

>>>psak should have been: if you normally eat Rabbanut, then you can
>>>eat when you visit others, but if you don't then don't.

>> Once again. I wasn't there so my guess could very well be incorrect.
>> By the same token, you , likewise, was not there so your guess might
>> very well be incorrect as well.

>But we have listmembers whose daughters attended Michlalah who said
>that the psak was to the entire student body.  Moreover, the report by
>R. Guttal is pretty clear on this matter, that it was a general psak to
>all chutznik Michlalah girls.

You misunderstood my suggestion. Maybe this p'sak was for girls who
visit their relatives or close family friends.

>> Isn't that an example of a b'deived situation? Either the girls won't
>> go to their relatives or they won't eat the food in their houses.

>Michlalah girls are free to stay in their dorms for Shabbos or to be
>set up with people living in charedi neighborhoods.  Admittedly, that
>might be less appealing to them, but if there really is a kashrus
>problem, why deliberately enter such a situation?

Because it might cause strife if you don't visit your relatives??

> 1. This posek was fine with doing a shidduch with non-charedim. I
>> know of no greater fraternization.

>> 2. He had no qualms of my going to those places. I explicitly asked
>> if he objected to the tznius? No. Hashkafah? No. That the places
>> might be dangerous? No. Kashrus? Yes. One can ascribe ulterior
>> motives to this p'sak, but my impression was that he felt I can't
>> downgrade kashrus standards.

>Interesting that you could consider becoming a DL in terms of marriage
>and hashkafa, yet this posek believed that you couldn't downgrade your
>kashrus.  What about the idea that when joining a community, one
>accepts upon himself its halachic norms?

Um, when one marries it is the WIFE who accepts the husband's halachic

> Did you ever consider the
>possibility that
>this posek (R. Kaplan) truly believed that Rabbanut hashgacha is
>unreliable even for non-charedim, and that therefore no one should rely
>upon it?

Consider?! He quite clearly told me that was the case!

> This clearly is against RSZA's view as reported.

Not quite. Besides, I asked R' Nevenzahl as well and it is pretty evident
to me that he agreed essentially with the p'sak I received from the first
posek. This would make it TWO talmidim of RSZA who pasken against RSZA's
p'sak (something that I doubt is actually the case).

>BTW I discussed this issue today with Rav Shlomo Levi, Rosh Kollel of
>Yeshivat Har Etzion (and who is fairly machmir on kashrus matters) and
>even though he generally recommends that people eat Rabbanut Mehadrin
>rather than plain Rabbanut, he agreed that Rabbanut is kosher me'ikar
>ha'din and that in some circumstances, such as avoiding embarrassing
>someone, it may be proper to eat Rabbanut.

If he's your Rav you should certainly listen to him. But as I have
posted in the past a charedi posek clearly disagreed with that p'sak.
One is free to choose which posek he wants to follow, but to question
the other posek's p'sak based on that is meaningless.

>>>> 1. It clearly demonstrates the dangers of such a sefer. Even with
>>>> the explicit instruction people will persist in using it for
>>>> p'sak. This bolsters the POV of those who advised the m'chaber not
>>>> to publish the sefer.

>>>On the contrary, I bring this up merely as another data point, as
>>>part of an overall argument.

>> Exactly. You bring it as a data point in an halachic discussion.
>> Something that is against the explicit instruction.

>Why is that against any explicit instruction in the book?  Obviously,
>the book was published for a reason, not just that people have
>interesting bed-time reading.

First of all, is that reason a bad reason? I think it's a decent reason.
These days seforim that record R' Chaim Kanevisky's p'sakim is all the
rage in certain circles. I wouldn't use them to pasken a shaila (due to
the problems I've pointed out) but I would definitely read one.

>Why can't someone who is a posek use the information in the sefer,
>along with his own sevaros?  I note that today I spoke with Rav Shlomo
>Levi and he agreed with me.

Look, WADR, you're reporting what a Rav told someone who holds one side
of a debate. Would you rely on that when it came to a din torah? For
example, you (RMF) and Reuven (R) are in a dispute about a car. R tells
RMF that Rav So-and-So paskened like R. Would you listen? I thought not.

>Here are some excerpts from the haskamos to the sefer:
>R. Rosenthal of Sha'arei Chesed: "In Succah 21b it states that even
>sichos chulin of talmidei chachamim should be studied."

I'll expand on this by R' Neuwirth.

>R. Zalman Nechemia Goldberg: "In the gemara Chullin, Rebbi permitted
>Bet She'an to eat w/o maaser based on the testimony of R. Yehoshua ben
>Zaruz who testified WRT R. Meir who ate a leaf of a vegetable.  And
>they asked on this: perhaps R. Meir was nosein einav b'tzad zeh (i.e.,
>to be ma'aser), and they answered: given that R. Yehoshua was the one
>who came to be me'id, certainly he was careful and was medakdek to make
>sure it was correct. But because these statements [by RSZA were made
>while walking and there wasn't enough time to expand on them, I have
>written a little to explain a little more and sometimes to give my own

>R. Neuwirth: "Sometimes [RSZA did not agree [missing a verb] to his
>words without additional iyun; but his words are chaviv, and great is
>the conversation of talmidei chachamim, which require study."

So even if you can't use it for halacha they still have value.

>R. Neventzal: "With respect to contradictions between what RSZA [told
>different people], they may derive from various reasons: sometimes he
>answered questioners different answers based on what was appropriate
>for each questioner, sometimes he changed his mind.  Certainly, one can
>attribute this to listeners who didn't understand or forgot.  The
>language of the letters sent by RSZA were written according to the
>needs of the recipient, as was done by the gedolim in previous
>generations, and therefore one must weigh with care the circumstances
>of the letter before applying [to other situations.]"

He gives three reasons why you shouldn't use something in the sefer
for p'sak.

>R. Avraham Auerbach's letter against the printing of the sefer: Talks
>about the fact that the answers to R. Stapansky's (the author's)
>questions were said while RSZA was walking, sometimes when there was a
>rush.  Not everything he said verbally is proper to publish.  "The way
>of my father was to go according to the nature of the questioner, and I
>am certain that certain things were said to you one way but said
>differently to another person, and some things he did not reveal the
>true reason."

Gives four reasons (some different then R' Neventzal's) why you shouldn't
use something in the sefer for p'sak.

In summation: There are (at least) seven distinct reasons given why one
shouldn't pasken from the sefer.

1. The answers from RSZA were given while walking (sometimes while there
was a rush).

1a. Since they were given while walking there wasn't time to expand and
explain them.

2. RSZA might not have agreed to the p'sakim without more iyun.

3. RSZA answered each questioner based on what was appropriate to each
questioner; hence the p'sak in the sefer might not be the one that RSZA
might have given would the reader have asked RSZA directly.

4. RSZA sometimes changed his mind about his p'sakim.

5. Listeners might have misunderstood or forgot the p'sak.

6. Not everything RSZA said verbally is proper to publish.

7. RSZA might not have told the questioner the true reason for his p'sak.

>Introduction by the author, p. 21: "I have put the relevant siman in
>S.A. near each episode so that the readers will not pasken based on the
>episode but will research the halachic sources.  Only after iyun in the
>halachic sources can talmidei chachamim who are poskim decide whether
>these stories and words of RSZA can be used as an aid
>("si'yu'a") in deciding halacha l'maaseh...."

That's a very small percentage of the readership. "TC who are poskim."
I don't fit these criteria. In fact I know very few people who fit these
criteria. The only people I know who fit these criteria are... poskim.
WADR, are you a posek??? If you aren't you would be better served leaving
this sefer out of your data-points.

>> You don't have to accept anything. I never stated that this IS the
>> halacha. It was in the context of a story that I related that this
>> p'sak (given to me) was related. If your Rav disagrees, that's fine.
>> But it is not fine to deny the validity of a p'sak because of "data
>> points" from seforim explicitly NOT intended for p'sak and hearsay
>> p'sakim in which the wider halachic context is unknown.

>Let's not forget that I was not denying the validity the psak given to
>you, but stating that you should not extrapolate from it that *all*
>charedim would be expected to comply with that psak.

I'm not following you here. I never evangelized this p'sak. When I
mentioned it in passing (to bolster a personal anecdote) you right away
took exception based on... well let's just say that the p'sakim you
brought were as weak as the one you were arguing against. So run it past
me again. I shouldn't extrapolate to other people because you extrapolated
YOUR p'sakim to apply to every one? That sounds like a weak argument.

>>>Furthermore, in this case, RSZA did provide the reasoning behind his
>>>psak--"me'ikrar ha'din, all the well-known rabbanut hechsherim are
>>>good, just that certain hechsherim are machmir with regard to
>>>various issues which are not related to ikkar ha'din."

Based on where the p'sak was given (was it while they were walking)
ALL of the above seven reasons might apply.

>> I will attempt to show you why this is incomparable to a shu"t's
>> presentation of the halachic reasoning.

>> A shu"t would have addressed ALL halachic angles - including if RSZA
>> held that one, in the privacy of ones own home, should be machmir on
>> those various issues, then why doesn't he advise people to avoid
>> lowering their standards by avoiding these situations (don't invite
>> yourself to homes where they don't keep your standards)? And if that
>> is because he is discussing a case where if you avoid going to these
>> homes it would cause strife, then it's clear his p'sak is only for
>> such a B'DEIVED situation, and it cannot be used to say that one
>> should L'CHATCHILA put himself into such a situation.

>While that might be correct with respect to the second story--involving
>visiting family, it is not true with respect to the Michlalah girls who
>were visiting various homes, where RSZA said, "tell them that every
>hechsher is good, though everyone is permitted to be machmir for

1. If every hecsher is good, why should someone be machmir? If there
is a solid reason to be machmir for ones self, why should that someone
INVITE himself into a situation where those chumra's are not kept (NOTE:
This is distinct from being INVITED.)?

2. If a girl in her father's home was raised with a certain standard
of kashrus and is sent to a seminary that also keeps that standard of
kashrus, how can someone advise them to VOLUNTARILLY lower this standard?

>>>Yet, I was told by Dr. Haym Soloveitchik that the MM does have
>>>mistakes, due to the author's lack of Torah knowledge.  In contrast,

>>>with respect to V'aleihu Lo Yibol (VLY), many of the people reporting the
>>>psakim (but not the collator of these psakim) are themselves
>>>well-known rabbanim.

>> Two answers.

>> 1. If the collator of VLY is not a TC, he can make the same mistake
>> that the collator of Minhagie Mahril made. Namely, to misinterpret
>> actions.

>Yet no one says that MM should not have been published.

That might be due to the second reason I gave. Let me reinsert it. (NOTE:
This is the second time I'm reinserting it after you snipped it out.)

[I sometimes trim quotes, when it's easy to do so and I think the poster
didn't even try. It may not have been RMF. -mi]

>> 2. You snipped out a significant portion of my post that addresses this
>> point. Let me reinsert it, " V'aleihu Lo Yibol's m'chaber did NOT have
>> daily contact for years. His sefer records isolated instances from RSZA
>> life (which spanned 40+ years in the period that the m'chaber knew him).
>> This can't be used since we don't know the background to each instance
>> (e.g. If V'aleihu Lo Yibol would record that at a certain seuda in
>> such-and-such shul RSZA said Kiddush standing. This might be because he
>> held that was the halacha, or because the Rav in that shul paskened that
>> way so he conducted himself in accordance with the p'sak of the shul,
>> or because he felt that otherwise his voice wouldn't carry and other
>> people wouldn't be yoitze or... The point is we don't know and therefore
>> we can't pasken based on this.)." As opposed to MM who had daily contact
>> for years (he was the shamash of the Mahril) and he recorded the actions
>> of the Mahril (as opposed to VLY's isolated instances).

Go to top.


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

< Previous Next >