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Volume 17 : Number 050

Thursday, May 25 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 16:24:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>

R "Steg" Belsky wrote:
> As R' Menachem Leibtag has said (anyone know any 'more authoritative'
> sources preceding him? my knowledge base isn't as wide as the rest
> of yall), the concept of Qedusha is that of *separating out one part
> in order to elevate the whole*....

LAD, "qedushah" is separated for a purpose, which is why we
usually have a "le-" if there is a prepositional phrase. "Qadosh
Lashem". "Mequdeshes li". As per RSS's opening paragraph of
the haqdamah to Shaarei Yosher, qedushah is to be set aside
to continue Hashem's work. RYGB scanned the haqdamah in, see
<www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/shaareiyosher.pdf>. For my take at greater
length, see <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2005/05/qedushah.shtml>.

This is in distinction to "tahara", which is separation from. Thus
explaining the use in "zahav tahor" for pure gold.


Micha Berger             Today is the 41st day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        5 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Yesod sheb'Yesod: What is the ultimate measure
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     of self-control and reliability?

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 16:16:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Lubavitch acosmism

RSC writes in another post:
>> Except according to the Tanya, which described Hashem as both the Or
>> and the Ma'or of the atzilus. Which is part of his shitah that Ein od
>> milvado means that everything is of Him, tzimtzum is an illusion, what
>> RJB called Lubavitch acosmism. See
>> <http://thanbook.blogspot.com/2006/04/chabad-rebbe-and-god.html> ...

> I don't know what RJB has to say (don't have time to follow the
> link...maybe later) and I don't know what acosmism means but the baal
> haTanya clearly does not equate Or with Maor on levels higher than Atzilus

Acosmism = there isn't really a cosmos.

> As far as your reference to Tzimtzum, the baal haTanya (BH) did not
> chs'v mean to imply that because Tzimtzum is eino kipshuto and only
> in Or, that everything is "of Him" in the sense that eitzim va'avanim
> are merely manifestations of Hashem's essence.

See the igeres of the LR translated at <http://tinyurl.com/maw4z>. He
disagrees with your "clearly" in the first quoted paragraph that you
wrote, and the "ch"v" in the 2nd. It's a famous ma'amar on hits peshat
in "ein od milvado". I could give you the sources in the Tanya itself,
but I would just be pulling them off the igeres anyway.

The most relevent bits, as a teaser (all insertions by R' Eli Touger,
the translator):
> d) the tzimtzum should not be interpreted literally, and it affected
> only His light
> [As chassidim,] we follow solely the fourth approach mentioned
> which explains that the concept of tzimtzum should not be interpreted
> literally, and that it affects only [G-dís] light, but not the Source of
> light. [Indeed, within the light,] it affects only the lowest level of
> the light which existed before the tzimtzum, as explained in the texts
> and manuscripts of Chabad [teachings].


Micha Berger             Today is the 41st day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        5 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Yesod sheb'Yesod: What is the ultimate measure
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     of self-control and reliability?

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 18:12:20 GMT
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Mutav yihyu-from the past

Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 15:26:34 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Subject: RE: mixed dancing

From: Shlomo Godick [mailto:shlomog@mehish.co.il]
> A talmid chacham in Rechasim informed me that the chiyuv of 
> tochachah holds, even when one suspects it will not be heeded,
> when the issur is an issur d'oraissa which is explicitly stated in
> the Torah.  In other words, we say "mutav sh'yihyu shog'gin 
> v'al yihyu m'zidin"  only in the case of  issurim d'oraissah that 
> are not explicit and are derived from a  limud, or, of 
> course, issurim d'rabbanan.

The second sentence is correct, but the first sentence does not
necessarily follow from the second sentence. As I noted on Sunday,
in his article in the RJJ Journal No 25 (Spring 1993), Rabbi Alfred
Cohen summarizes: "if there seems to be no chance that the rebuke will
be effective, or might even be counter-effective, the majority would
counsel silence. However, there is a minority view which sees tochacha
as necessary in order to remind the public what the Torah view is,
and that it has not been cancelled due to neglect."

Mutav sh'yihyu shog'gin v'al yihyu m'zidin is a reason not to fulfill
the mitzvah of tochacha. The S"A paskens like the Rosh (IIRC in 608:2)
that Mutav... is not said if mefurash b'kra. But (Rabbi A. Cohen notes
that) there are other reasons not to fulfill tochacha when it will not
be heeded: (1) it's possible that we don't do tochacha when this may
be a lifnei iver to cause the non-religious to hate us; compare RSZA's
view that one should offer a guest food, even though the guest will not
make a bracha on it, because otherwise he may hate religious Jews; (2)
according to many, the whole purpose of tochacha is l'hachzeero l'mutav,
and there is no reason to do tochacha when it's clear that they won't
listen anyway; (3) we don't know how to give tochacha nowadays.

Kol tuv,


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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 14:31:29 -0400
From: "Russell Levy" <russlevy@gmail.com>
v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha, Hillel and Rabbi Akiva

I am trying to understand the connection between Hillel's teaching of
the entire Torah, "da'alach sani l'chavreich la ta'aveid' on Shabbos 31a,
and Rabbi Akiva's klal gadol from Kedoshim, "v'ahavta l'reacha
kamocha". From everything that I can remember, these are taken to be
equal -- Hillel was just rephrasing in Aramaic what the Torah said
(and from there, we learn about the mitzvah of v'ahavta).
It just doesn't seem that way to me. Those two statements always struck
me as the "Sur m'ra v'aseh tov" dichotomy, and the lishna acharina in
Rashi in Shabbos seems to support that.
1) Has this been discussed, here or in seforim before?
2) Can one see this in the personalities of Hillel and Rabbi Akiva,
in how they acted towards other people (I think it can -- Hillel was
always the one to give respect to other people, whether through dan
l'kaf zchut or teaching the other opinion first, while Rabbi Akiva
went out of his way to console those who are upset and to mend rifts).
3) Which derech is the one we are to follow, or both, and how?

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 18:24:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Al Naharos Bavel: Authorship and Ibn Ezra's shittah

> Well, I /think/ it's from Rav Miller. I've used this mehalach for a long
> time. But I do distinctly remember him saying that if Avraham Avinu was
> not metsuvah to wear tsitsis, how could he wear them on Shabbos without
> transgressing hots'ah? So he either did wear tstsis, not keeping Shabbos,
> or didn't, not keeping the mitzvah of tsitsis.

Oo, a tartei disasrei!

Ta shma:  (proposed answer):
And Avraham Avinu was a Yid? If he wasn't a Yid, he wasn't metzuveh.
If he wasn't a Yid, it was ossur for him to keep Shabbos fully. So to
keep that part of his non-Jewishness, he went outside in his tzitzis on
Shabbos, keeping Shabbos as a non-Jew, and keeping tzitzis.

* * *

Re the original question about Al Naharos Bavel: I note the commentaries
also use the Edom reference to refer to the SECOND churban. Which is
really interesting, since Chazal didn't call Rome Edom until LONG
after the fact. I suppose they might have looked to this psalm as a
justification for the euphemism.

Ah, hm, I found a reference that does point to later composition of
Tehillim: R' Yitz Etshalom gives a number of sources that support
late composition:

+ Shir HaShirim Rabbah 4:5 puts it in Ezra's time, which would eliminate
the problem;
+ R' Moshe Gikatilla (13th c. Kabbalist) favors late composition;
+ Malbim holds that as long as nevuah was available, Tehillim were still
being composed (again, down to Ezra's time). He explicitly states that
this Mizmor was written in the first year of Koresh (539 BCE).

See http://www.torah.org/advanced/mikra/5762/hagim/ps137.pdf 

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

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 23:57:09 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Al Naharos Bavel: Authorship and Ibn Ezra's shitta

On May 24, 2006, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Wed, May 17, 2006 at 05:35:41PM -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
>:> That's medrash, though. And not to be taken as literally true.

>: What gives you licence to say such a thing? ...

> First, the LR does not take it as literally true. Rather that they were
> mequyamim the same tafqidim, perhaps in the way halakhah now requires
> for people who can't figure out their neshamos's needs on their own,
> but not necessarily.

First of all, what you are referring to is not the LR's innovation. He is
merely maintaining the approach of the Rabbeim before him as explicated
by the Baal haTanya (Likutey Torah Parshas Beshalach) who explains that
AA was mamshich all of the "oros v'giluyim" that are found in Torah
u'Mitzvos without having to come on to the actual ma'aseh to accomplish
this feat. This in no way contradicts the pashtus of Chazal that the
Avos actually did the ma'aseh haMitzvah; however, the difference is
as follows. The Avos reached the shoresh of the mitzvah through their
zakus haNefesh and then subsequently performed the mitzvah in a physical
fashion as a zecher for what they had already acquired in their nefesh
(eino mitzuvah v'osseh). We are unable to accomplish this and thus "Moshe
horida l'matta", Hashem sent us the Torah into this world such that we can
perform ostensibly superficial physical actions and yet gain the spiritual
shleimus of the Torah. For a thoroughly considered view of this concept,
please see MME 3 pg. 51. See also Pachad Yitzchok Pesach Maamar 15.

Second of all, you're just plain wrong. The LR does not say what you
are saying. He says that the kiyum haMitzvos of the Avos was *bi'ikar
bi'Ruchnius* and the actual ma'aseh haMitzvah was *tafel* to the Ruchnius
of the Mitzvah, not non-existent. See for instance Likutei Sichos 3:888
and 5:327.

Third of all, halacha is not a facility for people who can't "figure
out" their tafkid in life. Regardless of the shoresh of one's neshama,
regardless how aware one may be of his cheilek in giluy kvod shamayim,
he must keep every one of the taryag mitzvos subsequent to the giving
of the Torah. Only the Avos were able to pick and choose as RZL quoted
from R' Avigdor Miller. We are simply not big enough to ignore any one
of the mitzvos even if a navi came and informed us of our tafkid in life.

> Second, the list of rishonim who tell you not to assume any particular
> medrash is literal is long, and has appeared here with M"M and quotes
> more than once. The Rambam holds that any medrash that consists of
> fantastic claims MAY NOT be accepted as historical, and this one likely
> qualifies. 

Why? What is so fantastic about Avraham eating matzos? Or keeping Shabbos?
The "fantastic" the Rambam is referring to is something that seems
physically impossible.

> All of which doesn't change the fact that be'emes Yaaqov did marry
> them. And thus, did not keep all the mitzvos in all places at all times.

Of course it does. If the Ramban's shita is that Yaakov was not 'mechuyav'
to keep mitzvos in chutza la'aretz, then the kasha falls away. What's
your problem?

> On Wed, May 24, 2006 at 07:48:43AM -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
>: I'm not following the logic here. Just because Avraham Avinu was not
>: metsuvah in Tzitzis does not mean he didn't receive a 'mitzvah' for
>: wearing them bi'geder eino metsuva v'oseh. As long as he had a tallis
>: metzuyetzes ki'hilchasa, why would it be hotsa'a on Shabbos?

> Because unless AA was required to wear tzitzis in order to wear the
> beged, the tzitzis aren't beteilim to the beged and there is a problem
> of hotz'ah.

First of all, who says? Are you telling me that R' Yoseph, who was a
sagi nehor and thus patur from mitzvos (Kiddushin) was not allowed to
wear tzitzis on Shabbos? Can you show me a makor for such a halacha?

Second of all, our tzitzis are also not beteilim to the begged. The
reason we can wear them is because we are being yotzey the mitzvah of
tzitizis. The only time a "non bittul" is a problem is if one of the
fringes becomes passul in which case the other three are not battul
to the begged because your da'as is on them as they are perfectly good
representations of tzitzis other than the fact that there is a fourth
tztitzis missing (see MB O'C 13:1 sk:3)

Since this is so, it should make no difference whether the kiyum haMitzvah
is bi'geder mitsuvah v'osseh or eino mitsuva v'osseh as long as the
tzitztis ultimately serve a purpose. Especially since all AA could ever
aspire to in the first place is eino mitsuvah v'osseh.

Simcha Coffer 

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 20:51:23 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Holocaust/daat torah

On May 21, 2006, Rich, Joel wrote:
> Our recent areivim thread on this topic included discussion of the pasuk
> (Yeshayahu 44:25) Mayshiv Chachamim Achor , as to why Rabbinic leadership
> in pre-holocaust Europe advised their kehilot to stay.

> Just a few technical points that don't speak to the holocaust. I assume
> those that quote this pasuk are drawing from the gemara in gittin 56b
> (the famous kamtza bar kamtza story). It's worthwhile to note that this
> pasuk appears twice. The first explains why R'YBZ did not answer the
> analogy of the barrel and the snake. 

Although the Gemara seems critical of RYBZ, he had good cause not to
answer. The Beis haMikdash and all of it power was entirely in the
hands of the Tzedukim. Klal Yisroel was overrun by a band of thugs,
unscrupulous people who garnered favour with the Romans and took control
of the lishkas haGazis and all of the monetary affairs of the nation. RYBZ
didn't answer because he realized that Vespasian, the Roman general,
was right. The only way to rid the nation of the snake (the Tzidukim)
was to smash the barrel (the churban Beis haMikdash) and this is
precisely what happened. As soon as the churban occurred, our nation
was permanently rid of the influence of the Tzedukim and the Gedoley
haDor ruled supreme in our nation for hundreds of years as a result
(man malchi? Rabbanan). Anytime we find a reference to "ha'hu Tzeduki"
in the Babylonian Talmud, it is a reference to a Notzri and was changed
by the censor. The truth of the matter is, "kol man di'avid Rachmana,
li'tav avid"; the churban was really a blessing in disguise.

For an accurate account of the story of the churban, I recommend
Doros haRishonim and Josephus, or for a shortcut, Torah Nation by R'
Avigdor Miller. The latter is beneficial because it also supplies a
proper perspective of the churban utilizing terminology familiar to the
American personality. Doros haRishonim is more difficult to assimilate.

Simcha Coffer  

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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 21:35:00 -0400
From: <mageq@fastmail.fm>
Looking for mekor

Can anyone here 'source' for me the following:

'kayin was born with one female twin, hevel was born with 2 female twins..

The fight between kayin and hevel was partially ovee who gets hevels
second twin.

Kayin felt that as he was older, the 'extra female' belonged rightfully
to him as the older brother, while hevel felt that as it was 'his' twin,
he should marry her as well.''



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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 22:47:40 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Search, please

There is a midrash I saw on Shabbos that the "ches" on the abdomen of
a chagav stands for "chayil", as in "Vashem nasan kolo lifnei cheilo".
Can someone do a search for it? Thanks.


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Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 15:29:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
A Thought on Yom Yerushalayim

See <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2006/05/yom-yerushalayim.shtml>, which comes
from a kosher blog (I hope <g>). A teaser for the shtikl:
> "Zechor, Hashem, livnei Edom, es Yom Yerushalaim -- Hashem, remind the
> children of Edom of the Day of Jerusalem..." - Tehillim 137:7
> The name of the city is a portmanteau of two words: Yeru, and Shaleim.
> "Yeru" derives from the Aqeidah...Yeru is a place where Avraham encountered
> G-d, where He experienced hashgachah peraris...
> Right near the place of the Aqeidah, Malkitzedeq (who tradition identifies
> with Sheim the son of Noach) was reigning as king of Shaleim....
> The call to remind Edom ... is also a call for them to remember Yom
> Yerushalaim, a day in which they join the union to serve G-d wholeheartedly.
> A day when we not only hold sovereignty over Jerusalem, not only rebuild the
> Beis haMiqdash, but one in which it serves as a centerpiece, a place where
> one experiences Hashem's over-awing presence, and is moved to work together
> to serve Him.


Micha Berger             Today is the 42nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        6 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Malchus sheb'Yesod: Why is self-control and
Fax: (270) 514-1507       reliability crucial for universal brotherhood?

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Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 08:27:39 -0400
From: "Lisa Liel" <lisa@starways.net>
Avot and Mitzvot

On Fri, 19 May 2006 10:21:19 -0400, "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com> wrote:
>> Rav Avigdor Miller zt""l explained that the avos did literally 
>> keep the mitzvos; but since, unlike us, they were not metsuvah, 
>> they had the option of weighing matters: in a conflict between 
>> marrying the right person to raise a holy nation or even a holy 
>> family (or the kindness of feeding others dairy with meat) vs. 
>> keeping [o]the[r] mitzvos d'oraissa and d'rabanan and chumros, 
>> they in their great wisdom could (and were expected to) choose 
>> the former.

> Well, I /think/ it's from Rav Miller. I've used this mehalach for 
> a long time. But I do distinctly remember him saying that if 
> Avraham Avinu was not metsuvah to wear tsitsis, how could he wear 
> them on Shabbos without transgressing hots'ah? So he either did 
> wear tstsis, not keeping Shabbos, or didn't, not keeping the 
> mitzvah of tsitsis.

Alternatively, while all midrashim teach something true, we know better
than to take them all literally. And while it's reasonable to say that
the Avot kept all the commandments that existed at the time, and that they
fulfilled Hashem's will to the fullest, it's not reasonable to take the
midrash of the Avot keeping the actual mitzvot of the Torah literally.
It really isn't.

R' Avigdor Miller makes it extremely clear that his history books are
didactic history. That they say what they do in order to teach Jewish
concepts. Taking the specifics as literal history when we already have
a rule about not taking every midrash as literal fact is a mistake.


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Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 08:35:22 -0400
From: "Lisa Liel" <lisa@starways.net>
Re: Malachim

On Sun, 21 May 2006 18:06:10 -0400, "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com> wrote:
>> RYGB once suggested that leshitas haOS, they lack bechirah 
>> because in Shamayim, good vs evil is obvious, not a choice. Which 
>> would mean that when sent down here, where tov is occluded, 
>> perhaps they do. This would answer the timing of mal'achim when 
>> down on earth, eg saying shirah at qeri'as Yam Suf. Since they 
>> obtain bechirah, time follows suit.

> Question: Is it established that they were down on earth? (If so,
> mekor, please.) Or are you saying that witnessing events down on 
> earth (even "from shamayim") necessitates (for melachim) being 
> involved with earthly time? Or are you just raising the possibility 
> that they were down on earth, or that witnessing events down on 
> earth necessitates being involved with earthly time, in order to go 
> on to answer the question?

With respect, it's not even established that the melachim mentioned in
the Torah were melachim in the Kabbalist/angelology sense. A malach is
essentially an extension of Hashem's will. Technically, everything in
creation that lacks free will is a malach in a certain sense. That would
include people, if Hashem overrode their bechira to cause them to bring
a message.

There are dual traditions about Esther, and how she could have slept
with Ahasuerus. Maybe more than just two, but the two I'm thinking of
are instructional. One is that Hashem sent a malach to take Esther's
place. Another is that "Esther karka hayeta". The two can actually
be reconciled if we see her submission to Ahasuerus as a case of her
bechira having been suppressed.

Or maybe not. But in any case, the ambiguity throughout the Torah in
which we see men acting as malachim can be reconciled in this way.


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Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 09:47:15 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Looking for mekor

The Mokor about the argument over the second twin is the Zohar.

kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 10:30:58 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Re: Malachim (was Spilling drops of wine at the Seder)

Tue, 23 May 2006 from: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 06:06:10PM -0400, Zvi Lampel wrote:
>: Question: Is it established that they were down on earth? ...

> Other than the three anashim who visited Avraham, or the one who battled
> Ya'aqov, or the one who stopped Bil'am's donkey, the one who approached
> Yehoshua, or Shimshon's parents, etc...

> It would seem that mal'achim regularly visit olam hazeh.

I was talking about the mal'achim of shiras yam suf, and whether
the criticism of their joyous response is exclusively applicable to
post-moment-of-salvation time.

But as far as whether mal'achim in general can be down on earth and
probably therefore be subject to time (as well as other physical qualties
--although there is the Rashi [IIRC] that says the melachim visiting
Avraham only pretended to eat, because they don't need to), thanks for
the good ha-a'rah that supports the Sefer Ikarrim's position.

Actually, I'm somewhat uncomfortable, and feel like I'm getting way
over my head, talking about the nature of mal'achim (haven't decided yet
about the numbers of them possible on pins of needles...) I'm trying to
get cutting my challah on Shabbos right.

Zvi Lampel

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