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Volume 23: Number 200

Thu, 20 Sep 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 22:46:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Time and Emunah

On 9/19/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 06, 2007 at 10:57:51PM -0400, MPoppers@kayescholer.com wrote:
> :
> Philosphically, it's hard to explain why science works at all. Why the
> universe makes sense in a way our brains analyze things. Kant, Mach,
> and Einstein conclude that this is because we can't know or study the
> world as it really is -- we can only know how it seems to us given the
> structure human perception puts on things. Thus the world makes sense
> because the world we're studying is already through human concepts of
> "sense".
> Last, REED writes that the flow time is a perception created by the
> change in psyche caused by the eitz hada'as. And the minhagim about the
> length of aveilus etc... presume some sort of connection beetween the
> deceased and time even though no physics involved.
> It would seem that time is something the soul imposes on its perceptions,
> with a guf, and even without (under at least some conditions).
> GCT!
> -mi
> --
> Micha Berger

AIUI Micha is echoing classic thought:
Yeshayahu - Ki Lo machshevosai machshevoseichem
Also Rambam - eino Guf v'lo YSIGUHU MSIGGEI Haguf

It could be etz had'as or just the fact that we are material beings, either
way we cannot even think like HKBH,  Or to use some scientifc license we
cannot computer or calculate like HKBH - [lachasov can me to compute or to
account!]  I.E. WE perceive a flow of time that on an EMES level is not
quite an accurate picture...

Perhaps before eitz hada'as our Neshamos COULD be masig, and that aspet
could communicate to the amterial side
While afterward eitz hada's our material beings are now blocked from
"getting it."
it is also my firm belief that True Science and True Torah can never be in
conflict, t is our human limitations that perceive contradictions that are
not there and perhaps  during yemos hamashiach when Da'as Hashem kemayim
mechassim we will THEN be able to transcend these human limitations by an
infusion of Divine Enlightenment.  apropos to YK:
" Or Zaraua Latzadik...v'gomer"

Hashiveinu Hashem El;icha hadesh Yameinu K'kedem:
It is my firm understanding that when we yearn for teshuva we are not moving
FORWARD towards a future of Yyemos Hamshiach but back to the restopration of
  pre-eitz had'as innocence of Gan Eiden.  hence hadeish yameinu ke'kdem
refers to the Kedem of Eiden. so the flow of time might be circular in a way
and not a straight line at all. Moving forward towards Moshiach circles us
back to the beginning!

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 23:21:22 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lifnei Iver/Kanaus

On 9/19/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> So, unless someone has the purity of soul of Pinechas, I would think
> qana'us is a non-option.
> GCT!
> -mi
> --
> Micha Berger

I concur and May I ad a parallel?  How do we know Sha'ul sinned with
When Sha'ul had rachmanus on the sheep and the King couldn't het have been
excused as simply having the Middah of Avraham Avinu?

Anwser:  WHERE was this midah with Nov Ir Hakohanim?   [Yes ba'asher hu sham
etc., the 2nd incident had not happened.]   My point is that HKBH had
already realized that Sh'aul was insincere at the Amaleik incident.  Llater
on Scripture demonstrated to us the evidence at the Nov incident.

W/O HKBH's testimony in Scripture it would be hard to know what Pinchas's
motives were.  [OK so it COULD have been in TSBP!]   Micha is correct,
Kan'us requires pure intentions.

Another ra'ya.  Lechishasan lechishas Nachash,.  A Chacham - or Talmid
Chacham's bite is  poisonous just like a snake. R. Sh. Schwab Z"L explained
that this means he takes ZERO pleasure when he bites a wayward student just
as a snake has no hana'ah in biting.

OTOH if one takes pleasurein biting then his motives are impure, etc.

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 23:46:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Teshuva - postive or negative?

On 9/19/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 07, 2007 at 04:13:21PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : If Harata is remorse  -  an emotion such as depression would be the
> natural
> : consequence.
> In Shaarei Yosher, shaar 1, fourth principle, Rabbeinu Yonah literally
> links the effectiveness of teshucah to the amount of distress one has
> in charatah.
> GCT!
> -mi

I don't deny Rabbeinu Yona says this. I deny that it MUST be that way. Of
couse it CAN be emotionally charged - neverthelss  one can come up with
alternate viable models of Haratta.

 I believe I couched my terms in an earlier post taht Rabbeinu Yona's
approach is much more emotionally charged than the Rambam's [No surprise]

Did you know that poskim mention that being sad during Aveilus is a RESHUS
and not a CHOVA!  I would say kal vachomer for haratta!

Some people are like British stiff upper lip types. To them haratta is
regret over not making a better choice and may have the same emotional
impact as say wearing jeans instead of a suit to a social function. One CAN
realize the Faux Pas w/o getting  emotional over it.

I would add, that it might be a HIGHER level to  see things clearly and
intelligently than  emotionally and  be involved with  the coulds of
depression.  E.G. we can explain that Ya'akov was depressed over the absence
of Yosef,  and that this emotion short-circuited his nevu'ah!   Maybe had he
flet something like "gam zo ltovah" he might have had a different experience

If someone stole my Kiddush Becher I would  fell like Clobbering him!
The Chofetz Chaim would be mochel him.
And My Rich Cousin would simply come up with a way to write it off for more
than it was worth and come out ahead on taxes.

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 23:53:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shofar and guf naki

On 9/19/07, Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> <<>From the lengthy footnotes, it seems that the problem is that having
> kavana for
> the mitzva is a form of thinking divrei Torah.>>
> This argument is problematic, because it would mean that according to the
> Vilna Gaon, that hirhurei Torah are forbidden before birchos haTorah, it
> would be forbidden to do any mitzvas aseh before birchos haTorah, which is
> a
> problem for those who put on their tallis/tefillin before saying b'rochos,
> which is the common custom.
> I think that shofar question is dependent on the chakira (discussed in R.
> Frank's Mikro'ei Kodesh) whether shome'a k'oneh works by putting the
> shome'a
> in the same position as the shatz/tokeah (ie as if the shome'a had said
> the
> words), or merely by transferring the kiyum mitzva created by the
> amira/tekiah to the shome'a.
> Kol tuv
> Dov Kay
I'm not 100% sure but I would suspect that the GRA would say to say Birkas
Hatorah ASAP in the morning after Netillas Yadayim etc.  A lot of siddurim
these days have
Asher Yatzar
E.lopkai Hnesham
& Birkkas  Hatorah
as the first thing in the morning. I figure it is al pi the GRA

Our minhag probably follows the Rema

FWIW Artscroll has Kadesh and V'haya ki Yeviacah BEFORE birchas Hatorah and
I cannot imagine WHOM they are following on that one!  I have been meaning
to write them on this matter myself

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 00:01:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - Especially before Midnight

On 9/19/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 15, 2007 at 11:37:23PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> :
> I once wondered on list whether Yekkes lack the minhag to say Berikh
> Shemei, or whether they explicitly removed it -- whether because of
> "ana avda", post-Sabbatean fears of Qabbalah, or some other reason.
> The difference would be whether a yekke in a Berikh Shemei reciting minyan
> should say it with the tzibbur because he has no reason to be poreish,
> or whether he has an explicit minhag mandating he miss it.
> GCT!
> -mi
> --
> Micha Berger

Great question!

I have heard TWO versions.
Version A
The yekkishe Minhag is pre-Ari etc. and therfore NEVER incorporated Brich
Shemi etc.
Version B
The Yekkes reacted to Shabtai Zvi and therfore removed kabbalah AFTERWARDS

FYI: There is an  "Elokeichem" for Shabbas Shuva mussf kedusha that is NOT
said in Breuer's but WAS said in my Congregation.
Q:   Why does Breuer's [who omits virtually NOTHING from the Roedelheim]
omit this?
A:    Since the first 3 words are Elokeichem SHofeit Tzdedek and
The Roshei Teivos are Sh Tz - same as Shabtai Zvi
This  would support Version B above

OTOH Rav Gelley has said many times that Breu'ers does not say X or Y
because their minhag pre-dates the inclusion of X or Y into the Davening -
IOW the minhag is older than Rema!  This seems to support Version A.

I favor Version B but note that  I suspect some Shlah influence  [e.g tikkun
leil Shavuos] but NOT Lurianic stuff.  [E.G. no Psalm 30 before Barcu

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 01:56:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] HaRav Menachem Meshiv Nefesh

I wrote:
<SNIP>B'cheshbon. That section is about fifteen pages long, towards the end
of the 
second volume of Mirkeves Hamishnah. It looks like this Kuntres is about 

Sorry, that should have said towards the end of the FIRST volume of Mirkeves


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Message: 7
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:19:44 +0200
Re: [Avodah] ha-sameach be-chelko

On 9/20/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

R Simon Montagu <simon.montagu@gmail.com> replied to RETurkel's orignal
> question on Mon, 17 Sep 2007 14:25:41 +0200:
> : On the linguistic level, I suppose what I am saying here is
> that  "sameach
> : bechelko" doesn't mean "happy with, one's chelek" in the sense of not
> : wanting to improve one's position or to have an easier time finding
> tuition
> : fees, but "happy, with one's chelek", and I think this fits better the
> : Mishna's proof text from Tehillim "Yegia` kapeicha ki tochel, ashreicha
> : vetov lakh".
> But "be-" means "with" in the sense of "via" or "through the aegis of".
> Not "together with".
> And I think the proof text is exactly my thesis -- simchah with one's
> particular version of the task of continual growth.

I expressed myself unclearly. I don't understand the "be" in "bechelko" as
"together with". IMHO the sense is more of perceiving something in a
particular way, as in "hibit be-", "shama` be-", "chafetz be-" etc.

Having said that, I don't agree that "be-" can't mean "together with":
"vayetze Edom likrato be`am kaved" could be either "together with" or "by
means of"; "be-makli `avarti et hayarden" might just be "by means of", but
in context Ya`akov's point seems to be his lack of possessions at the time
(Rashi gives the latter as peshat and the former as 'midrash aggada') ; and
I think "bi-nechasim rabim shuvu el aholeichem uve-mikne rav me'od be-chesef
uve-zahav" can only be "together with".

And having said *that*, I much prefer your interpretation to my own! I
wonder if one's chelek le`olam haba is also something dynamic, not static? I
remember several ma'amarei chazal that make the contrast between `olam hazeh
as dynamic and `olam haba as static, but maybe it's a question of
perspective, and `olam haba has its own dynamic.

Chatima tova!
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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:32:27 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - especially before midnight

RDKay wrote:
> I think R. Wolpoe's arguments raise the larger question of what weight
> should be given to kabbalistic practices. ?It seems to me some of these
> practices have become so enmeshed in our custom and sifrei poskim that ARE
> halacha and cannot be dismissed, except perhaps by those Teimanim who never
> adopted these practices to start with. ?No-one, for instance, rejects
> practices prescribed by the Talmud on the basis that could only have had a
> mystical rationale.

Bime'hilat kevod Toratkha, I see two conflated issues. Kabbalah is not the sum 
total of Jewish mysticism. Die hard Ari-only-fans will equate the two. 
However, there are many other mystical strains, some of which have known a 
continuous tradition, while others are discontinuous.

For example: our version of kabbalat Shabbat does not accord with the Ari, as 
we do not go out in the fields, but rather is according to Rav Moshe 
Cordovero plus the addition of five more mizmorim, a minhag of unclear 
origins. (I couldn't back up RY'E's contention that this is from RaMaK, too. 
The contrary seems the case.) Likewise, extended tashlikh is mostly according 
to RaMaK. Minhag Ashkenaz has preserved some ideas dating on prayer from at 
least 'Hassidei Ashkenaz, though these ideas aren't easily understood. 
Nonetheless, that is one important reason why some kabbalistically inspired 
prayerbook reforms (-> "nussa'h Sefard") were not accepted.

Cognoscenti see in the Moreh Nevukhim a mystical system, too (in the third 
part). Tanakh specialists see mystical practices there. We cannot even 
approach understanding certain mitzvot without assuming nonrational (but not 
antirational), mystical ideas.

Obviously, many mystical concepts predate the Ari and many predate what most 
people would call kabbalah, i.e. Zohar, Bahir etc., especially for those who 
accept RY'E late dating of the Zohar.

Hence, the mere non-acceptance of kabbalistic ideas in public worship does not 
mean the lack of mystical influences.
Arie Folger

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Message: 9
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 12:40:33 +0200
[Avodah] foreign influence on Judaism

Micha writes
<<Which came first -- the chicken or the egg? Perhaps the Rambam's
willingness to believe that all kishuf is trickery was because he had
to explain why it would be assur otherwise.>>

Given that most rishonim disagree about kishuf being trickery I find
this hard to accept. In general when Jews & gentiles develop similar
customs and institutions it is not always clear who copied from whom
or if they developed independently at the same time.
Thus, for example some of R. Chaim's shitah has much in common with
philosophies of his day though it is quite clear he did not directly
know of them

Let me quote from a recent article of Woolf in BDD

"Many years ago the late Harry Wolfson ointed iut that the
attempt to synthesize Greek Philosophy and the literature of Divine
Revelation is the leitmotif of all medieval philosophy whether
Muslin,Jewish or Christian. Jewish luminaries such as R. Sa'adiah
Gaon, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Ibn Daud and Maimonides shared this ambition
to demonstrate the identity of Revelation and Reason of Torah and
Aristotle. It was a daring attempt to sensitize, energize and rarify
"The epistemology espoused br Rabbi Soloveitchik turned this medieval
tradition on its head"
In the article he attempts to bring cases where halakhah impacted on
his philosophic outlook. He is convinced of the converse but has
difficulties because of datings of RYBS's works

gmar chatima tova

Eli Turkel

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Message: 10
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 13:23:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lifnei Iver/Kanaus

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Qana'us means acting w/out a beis din -- Pinechas is the exemplar, no? So,
> if one believes kana'us is appropriate, than one should be taking the
> law into their own hands.
> ...
> So, unless someone has the purity of soul of Pinechas, I would think
> qana'us is a non-option.
> Which makes me wonder if the advice was given lemaaseh, or if the
> statement was one of halachic theory.
Igros Moshe E.H. IV #63 page 124 - "Just as one is required to ask a 
posek concerning all dinei Torah this also is true for giving tochacha 
and kana'us. It is necessary to ask a posek and not to make a ruling for 

The case of Pinchas involves a halacha l'Moshe (AZ 36b/ Rambam Issurei 
Biah 12:4) and can not be generalized to other cases of kana'us.

I once asked the Tanker Rav about Pinchas and he explained it with a 
story about the Baal Shem Tov. "The Baal Shem Tov was once sitting with 
chassidim - and he was constantly ridiculing and embassing one of them. 
Later he was asked how why he did this and replied simply that he knew 
there was a decree from Heaven that this chasid was to die. He also knew 
that publicly embarrasing someone is considered murder. He embarrassed 
the chasid to save him from death. The chasidim replied that it was nice 
that he was saving the chasid but that his actions had cost him his olam 
habah (Avos 3:11). He replied that he was willing to give up his olam 
habah to save his fellow Jew. The Tanker Rav said only a person with 
such ahavas Yisroel - without any regard for himself - can be a kanoi. 
He doesn't ask beis din because the only thing that matters is helping 
klal yisroel and he is not concerned with the consequences for himself."

The Shomer Emunim Rebbe told me that according to  Derech Mitzvosecha 
that one can only be a kanoi if it doesn't provide pleasure or excitement.

gemar chasima tova

Daniel Eidensohn


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