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Volume 25: Number 51

Thu, 31 Jan 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 00:27:02 +0200
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

> A friend from Jerusalem stopped by last week, and we chatted for a few
> hours.  One of his remarks struck me as worth repeating here.  He told
> me that when he reads mussar sefarim he gets the impression of small
> mindedness; the concerns are very petty.  Whereas when he reads Rabbi
> Kook "ze mamash marhiv et hada'at."
> Any comments (I'll reserve my own)?
> David Riceman

I know exactly what he's saying. Unfortunately, in what follows, I'm
going to sound terribly disrespectful to various rabbis, but I don't
know how else to say what I'm going to say:

I've found that Rav Salanter type mussar doesn't do anything for me.
It seems too stark and harsh, and makes everything too black and
white. I feel like it's trying to break me down (which it may very
well be, in fact) and scare me, and this doesn't do it for me. It also
seems far too simplistic and childish and small-mindedto me. There's a
certain (non-famous) book that I read, that  was similar, and it
similarly presented everything one-dimensionally and too starkly and
harshly. I know exactly what your friend is talking about. Mussar like
this is what I imagine fire-and-brimstone Christian preachers to be
like, l'havdil.

On the other hand, I find things like Messilat Yesharim and Orchot
Tzadikim to be great. They tell you what to do and what not to and
what the pitfalls are, without getting into fire-and-brimstone remarks
about the yetzer hara and such. And they're not simplistic, not by any
means. Mesilat Yesharim is of course very sophisticated, and Orchot
Tzadikim is not sophisticated, but neither is it simplistic; it is
merely straight-to-the-point.

And regarding Rav Kook, this is something totally separate. Rav Kook
isn't mussar; he's hashkafa. Rav Kook indeed presents an amazingly
sophisticated weltanschauung, once you get past the insanely difficult
mystical terminology and packaging. Translate him into simple language
and repackage it rationally, and it's mamash something.

Rav Hirsch is similar IMO, except baruch hashem one doesn't have to do
any translation or repackaging. And he's not only hashkafa, but mussar
too in a hashkafic packaging. Mamash.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 00:38:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

On Tue, January 29, 2008 1:23 pm, David Riceman wrote:
: A friend from Jerusalem stopped by last week, and we chatted for a few
: hours.  One of his remarks struck me as worth repeating here.  He told
: me that when he reads mussar sefarim he gets the impression of small
: mindedness; the concerns are very petty.  Whereas when he reads Rabbi
: Kook "ze mamash marhiv et hada'at."

RYS's 125th yahrzeit begins tomorrow night (25 Shevat), so I was looking
for a topic for a blog entry on mussar. Thanks for grist for that mill...

There are two foundation stories about the birth of Tenu'as haMussar
(which should not be confused with mussar as a whole).

The first is where a young Yisrael Lipkin used to follow R' Zundel
Salanter around. Rav Zundel wanted to live privately, secretly, so
RYS had to sneak around to watch the actions of this ba'al mussar. One
time, he followed Rav Zundel into the woods, where Rav Zundel swayed
in hispa'alus. (No, this really isn't a Breslov story...) Suddenly, Rav
Zundel turned around, made eye contact, and instructed, "Yisrael! Lern
mussar zal tzuzain a yarei Shamayim!" In Nesivos Or it writes that RYS
called the moment a "thunderbolt" that changed his life.

The second was a time on Yom Kippur when RYS didn't have a machzor with
him. At one point he got lost, and needed to peer over the other person's
shoulder. He got shoved in response to his efforts. How dare you shterr
my kavanah! At that point Rav Yisrael realized that he couldn't keep
Mussar to himself, and had to share it with the world.

Hold onto those, I'll get back to them.

What is mussar?

I'm going to answer that with a set of three triads.

First triad: There are three ways to see the relationship between tiqun
hamiddos and halakhah. They are far from mutually exclusive.

1- Hilkhos Dei'os describes the chiyuvim specific to personality. They
are chiyuvim among other chiyuvim.

2- Without tiqun hamiddos, one is incapable of making the right decisions
beshe'as ma'aseh. They are the means by which one is capable of following
halakhah to an ever greater extent.

While the first notion is universal, for example "kol hako'eis keilu
oveid AZ", this one is only nearly universal. It is not consistent
with some forms of Chassidus. Chassidus is inherently experiential in
nature. Breslov argues that trying to over-analyze or work at it would
actually get in the way of the experience.

3- The entire tachlis of halakhah is to achieve sheleimus ha'adam,
to finish HQBH's creation "na'aseh adam betzalmeinu" -- the lashon
rabim can be taken to mean the person himself. Perfection of the tzelem
E-lokim which by definition must be self made. Thus, all of halakhah is
an exercise in tiqun hamiddos.

This notion is far from universal -- it's the sheleimus fork in
the hashkafic road. Chassidus took the other route, deveiqus, making
sheleimus an aspect of it. Others here argued non-personal perfection
as a goal. And Brisk would argue against the entire concept of defining
goals; halakhah must be understood on its own terms.

Second tried: A rebbe chaveir of mine, R' Dr Ephraim Becker, describes
mussar (in the third sense of the previous triad) as a three part thing:
- There is the real, knowing where one stands
- There is the ideal, knowing where the Borei wants us to be
- There is the process

There is an interesting contrast in book titles. When R' Yaakov
Hillel wrote a seifer on machashavah, he called it "Ascending Jacob's
Ladder". When Dr Alan Morinis documented his path to being a chozeir
biteshuvah studying under R' Yechiel Perr in a book titled "Climbing
Jacob's Ladder". (RYP is RY Derech Ayson, Far Rockaway NY, and scion
of Novhardok three different ways.) Ascending, with no mention of work,
vs climbing.

To go to primary sources, note that RZS told the future RYS "zal tzuzain
a yarei Shamayim" -- not to gain yir'as Shamayim, to *become* a yarei
Shamayim. As I wrote above, Chassidus tries for deveiqus. Tenu'as
haMussar asserted that one must try to become kind of person capable
of deveiqus. There could be no other reason why deveiqus isn't
achieved. Hashem would leave no break between Him and us. The break is
between us and ourselves.

It is this notion of process, of climbing -- literally "shteiging" --
that is of value within nearly all derakhim. And thus lower case "m",
not specifically Tenu'as haMussar. The different derakhim define the
ideal by stressing different aspects of it. Which will in turn suggests
different paths, thus the name "derakhim". But using tools to become
the kind of person who can follow that path, to consciously pursue that
derekh's perspective on the end-goal, makes sense according to any derekh.

Third triad: Note that the story with Rav Zundel portrays mussar as the
route to becoming a yarei Shamayim. The one about the man who wouldn't
share his machzor for a moment focuses on bein adam lachaveiro. The need
to refocus the masses who were focusing on rite, such a following along
the tefillah on YK to the exclusion of more fundamental mitzvos. And
that second theme is central to how R' Yisrael is portrayed; most of
the stories told about him are about being machmir in BALC over common
chumros in bein adam laMaqom.

Mussar is also very centrally a third theme -- tiqun hamiddos. Whether it's
Mesilas Yesharim's working up the ladder of mid dos up to Ruach haQodesh
or Cheshbon haNefesh's list of middos that have more BALC implications.
And this is true even in the "Hilkhos Dei'os" sense of Mussar, never mind
the approaches in the first triad that make tiqun hamiddos even more

We can view the goals of Tenu'as haMussar as creating a "holistic Jew",
one who works on his relationship with the Borei, with other people,
and with himself. And compared to Orthodox culture as warped by needing
to defend our existence against Reform, that means a greater stress on
BALC and BALN (bein adam lenafsho, as the Gra put it) than one sees in
other derakhim. And if that's true of 19th cent Litta, it's even more
true of today's society, with its providing grist for "chumrah of the
month club" jokes.

That would explain why Rav Yisrael is so associated with stories stressing
BALC. Had the Yahadus of his day been BALC-centric, the stories retold
about him would be about tefillah, etc... E.g. Tenu'as haMussar promoted
tefillah behispa'alus; a minyan no quieter or less passionate than
anything found in Karlin.

RDR's friend told him that
:         when he reads mussar sefarim he gets the impression of small
: mindedness; the concerns are very petty.  Whereas when he reads Rabbi
: Kook "ze mamash marhiv et hada'at."

Which brings me to RMM's reply to RSR's post. (I must confess I held onto
his reply, not approving it until I could immediately reply with this
post. It's not often someone comes on an AishDas list and effectively
questions the goals of the host "organization".)

RMM writes on Tue Jan 29 14:27:
: And regarding Rav Kook, this is something totally separate. Rav Kook
: isn't mussar; he's hashkafa....
: Rav Hirsch is similar IMO, except baruch hashem one doesn't have to do
: any translation or repackaging. And he's not only hashkafa, but mussar
: too in a hashkafic packaging. Mamash.

Using the real-ideal-path concept:

RAYK is giving machashavah. He therefore defines an ideal, but no
way to become the kind of person who can live up to it. For that matter,
RSRH doesn't either. RSRH is closer to Tenu'as haMussar in ideal --
both aim at a refined Jew. Different focuses on refinement, but it's no
coincidence both Slabodka and TIDE produced well groomed, secularly
informed, doers.

But TIDE doesn't tell you how to embody more TIDE.

It is easy to be inspired by ideals. The trick is staring at the details,
the step-by-step work, and still following through. I'm sorry RDR's
friend doesn't find it inspiring.

Mussar in the loose sense is encapsulated in the notion of finding and
following a path from the real me to the ideal me. It requires belief
that tiqun hamiddos is a prerequisite for being able to follow halakhah.

This kind of Mussar can therefore be applied within most derakhim. One
can use RSRH's definition of the ideal or the Tanya's and still seek to
transform oneself into the kind of person who better lives that ideal.

And it is in that sense that AishDas strives to promote Mussar.

To get Mussar in the sense of Tenu'as haMussar requires one more element:
adopting the notion that sheleimus ha'adam is the entire tachlis of the
Torah, perfecting our tzelem E-lokim. And thus Rav Yisrael was lead to
balancing all three amudim as equals: Torah's perfection of the self,
Avodas Hashem, and Gemillus Chassadim toward others.

RMM also writes:
: I've found that Rav Salanter type mussar doesn't do anything for me.
: It seems too stark and harsh....                       Mussar like
: this is what I imagine fire-and-brimstone Christian preachers to be
: like, l'havdil.

I don't see those remarks as defining for Tenu'as haMussar. Rather, mussar
inherently is very subject to knowing where you are. And therefore, the
same era that created the stereotype fire-n-brimstone preacher called for
a very "dark" mussar. It's as unfair to judge it from where we stand as
it is to judge the role of tokhachah in contemporary Sepharadic maggidim.

And thus, the Tenu'ah had to "repackage" itself repeatedly as people
changed. Slabodka's Gadlus haAdam is no less Tenu'as haMussar even if
it dovetails well with contemporary Human Potential talk. And RSWolbe
(who /is/ somewhat less ThM, since the tenu'ah was really a casualty of
Hitler) wrote in the 1970s about the need to focus on zeri'ah ubinyan
rather than pruning. Carrots, not sticks, are what work for today's Jew.

What killed Mussar? Mussar never survived the end of East European
Jewry's golden era. But why not, whereas Chassidus is rebuilding itself?

Two bachurim noticed that of all the Slabodka graduates who built
post-War yeshivos, only R' Dovid Leibowitz (founding RY of Yeshivas
Chofetz Chaim) strived to build a mussar yeshiva. Not R' Aharon Kotler,
R' Yaakov Kamenecki, Rav Hutner, Rav Kahaneman, etc, etc, etc... They
actually went around the US asking these rashei yeshiva why. Rav Hutner's
answer is telling. He felt that the American talmid couldn't handle the
long work that real change requires. Rav Hutner therefore chose the more
modest goal (in his opinion) of inspiring them with the Maharal's thought.

NeoChassidus is popular because it provides inspiring experiences
without that demand of the day-to-day attention to detail and following
a spiritual discipline that RDR's friend can't relate to. Rav Hutner,
in the founding years of the American O community of today, thought
all we can do is inspire people toward the ideal and hope for the best
without conscious work or a plan to get there.

Given the increasing lack of a holistic, three pillar, approach to
Yahadus, and the greater strength of the community and its educational
system today, I believe we have a sizable population ready to work for
something better. To build idealists.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The worst thing that can happen to a
micha@aishdas.org        person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org          - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 23:10:01 -0500
Re: [Avodah] FW: : [Areivim] What would a Torah government

On Jan 26, 2008 10:24 PM, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:

> See VM p 93 based on the Maharal, that even if govt members were "kulom
> ahuvim kulom berurim af ketanoim ve'amoroim" taking over the govt before
> Moshiach is 'dechikas hakeitz' and kefireh in Torah and emunah. Ayen shom.

At this point in history I am beginning to ponder if the only "heter" for
hakamas hamedina after all is said & done is the aftermath of the holocaust
-   But once instituted what do you do bedi'avad??

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 4
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 20:53:47 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Changing God's Mind

> R' Micha Berger wrote:
> > By turning to the Borei one changes the factors that go
> > into His decision.
> R' Richard Wohlberg asked:
> > how would you respond to "If God is omniscient (and of course,
> > knows the future), then how can His mind be changed? In other
> > words, God knows what His decisions will be, so it's almost
> > an oxymoron to say that your prayers may change His decision.
> RRW is correct; we cannot change G-d's mind. For a given situation, If G-d feels that "A" is His response, there is nothing we can do change His mind to prefer the "B" response.
> But what we CAN do is to change the *situation*. We can become closer to Him in various ways, and then it's a whole new scenario. And perhaps our actions will have tipped the balance towards one of the many alternate situations in which "B" had been His chosen response from the beginning.
> Some may say I'm being simplistic. But to me it really seems simple.
> Akiva Miller

Indeed. I think it's the Hertz chumash on Hashem is not a man that He
changes His mind, that it notes that it cannot mean that His decrees
are irrevocable, because then what is prayer and teshuva? Rather, it
means that He does not arbitrarily change His mind without there being
a change in the person. But if the person changes his deeds, then
Hashem is dealing with a whole new situation, and this is not changing
His mind.

One might protest that Hashem already knew in the beginning that you'd
change your deeds, and so He really has changed His mind. That is,
when you were sinning and He decreed a punishment, He already knew
you'd do teshuva, but decreed a punishment nonetheless. Thus, when you
do do teshuva and He reverses the punishment, He has in fact changed
His mind, because He could have decreed a reward on the basis that
you'd have done teshuva by the time the punishment was to have taken

But this is no real objection. It is merely a restatement (or perhaps
a corollary) of the paradox of free will versus omniscience. Whateover
resolution one takes, there is a resolution after all, and so the
above objection most certainly has a resolution, whatever it is.

I personally prefer the answer that His omnscience does not determine
our actions. He knows what we will do, but He doesn't cause us to do
it. In other words, He knows in advance what we will freely choose via
free will. Somewhere in Prof. Urbach's Chazal, he says that Rabbi
Akiva chooses this approach, but NOT on the basis of the famous Avot,
as he says this Avot is referring not to Hashem's knowing the future,
but rather the present (he bases this on the fact that Tannaitic uses
of the word in question refer to the present not the future) - saying
that He sees all and free choice is given merely means that you can do
whatever you want but Hashem will see it as you do it. It has nothing
to do with His seeing the future but your nevertheless having free
will. Nevertheless, Prof. Urbach later in the chapter on free will
says that Rabbi Akiva holds that His knowledge of the future doesn't
cause our deeds, and this is the answer to the paradox, but forget
which midrash he is basing this on.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 5
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 21:00:34 +0200
[Avodah] Pruning/zomer

Was: Re: [Areivim] Cutting of olive trees.

>Olive trees are regularly cut back to ensure better growth and yield.

>One way to tell the difference is that the trees are actually cut back to
>large stumps and not pulled out of the ground.

The entire tree is cut down? I thought they'd just be pruned of their
branches...? I'm not an agriculture guy though...

I am thinking of the halacha in Shabbat perek shvi'i daf 73b that if a
person prunes his tree AND wants the wood, he is liable for kotzer and
zomer; if he only wants to prune, but does not want the wood, he is
liable for zomer only. Whereas a person who prunes his ground
vegetables is liable for both kotzer and zomer no matter whether he
wants the vegetables (intent for kotzer) or not.

There are a few explanations, but the two that appealed to me were:
1) With a tree, cutting the branches is m'kalkel, even if it does
result in kotzer, and so you are not liable for kotzer. Only if you
have intent to harvest the wood, and use it productively, is the whole
operation not m'kalkel, and thus you are doing kotzer. You do zomer in
either case of course, since this is your intent.
2) Iglei tal says that wood is not a pri of the eitz. Only if you have
intent to harvest the wood, does the wood become a pri, and thus you
are doing kotzer. Again of course, you do zomer in either case.

With vegetables however, they grow back so quickly that it isn't
m'kalel (if one follows number one above). Or, they are intrinsically
the pri (according to two).

If pruning means cutting down the whole tree, then number one's
m'kalkel would make a lot of sense.


guy from some tiny little island in Greece, so whenever we have a
question about sewing or harvesting or doing anything else, we just
ask him.

Tirmonsu (or some funky-sounding thing like that - lupine
beans) just came up in Shabbat, and he described to us exactly what
they are and how you have to boil them many times - if you remove the
good ones from the bad on Shabbat, you're chayav b'borer, because they
are boiled so many times. Rashi offers three explanations, but prefers
to say that since some of what you remove will eventually be bad after
another boiling, they're considered pesolet even though you'd call
them ochel now (Artscroll). Or he might be saying (according to my
teacher) that what you have is a pile of beans that have been boiled -
the inferior ones are ready to eat after only one or two boilings, but
the superior ones need to be boiled more. But the inferior ones are
ready to eat now, whereas the superior ones are still inedible. So
when you remove the superior ones to boil again, you'd say you're
taking ochel min ha pesolet, but halachically, you're taking pesolet
(superior but still not edible beans) from ochel (inferior edible

I was looking at something in Chullin once, and he walked into the
room, and I asked him if he's ever butchered an animal, and he said
he's done a chicken and seen it done to sheep and lambs.

He also told us a story of how he went to visit his family during
Sukkot, but he forgot his lulav in Israel, so he and his mother drove
around the countryside till they found a naturally growing kosher one.

Every mesechet Shabbat group needs a guy like him.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 6
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:05:35 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Lo Bashamayim Hee

Hazal wanted us to know that once th
Torah left the heavens it would no longer remain the pristine Perfect
Handiwork of HKBH, but would henceforth be managed and interpreted by
error-prone humans. Nevertheless - despite the loss of innocence for
the Torah - this step was necessary. The time had come for the
innocent Torah to mix it up with the mortals and to help us even if if
would not remain in its original state.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/

Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner makes a large point of this, saying that
the truth of Torah She'be'al'pe is not what Hashem says but what we
say (Rabbi Eliezer and the oven), in line with Drashot haRan on the
oven and Sefer haChinuch on the mitzvah of following the judges, that
we follow our rabbis even when they're wrong.

(Rabbi Glasner simply takes it a bit further than most. Likewise Rabbi
Berkovits on Moshe seeing Rabbi Akiva's class and not understanding
and learning from this that Torah does evolve over time; both are more
extreme than most, but the gist of what they say is quite normative
IMHO. In fact, IMHO, once we say that halachot could be forgotten and
had to be recovered by humans, and once we say that many drashot were
in fact used by humans to actually derive the law (often **but not
always** they were asmachtot for laws already known as kabbalot), we
are admitting the human element of many halachot, and we can no longer
say it is purely m'Sinai as most say TSBP is, and we are forced, IMHO,
to adopt some sort of opinion similar if not as extreme as those of
Rabbi Glasner and Rabbi Berkovits.)

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:03:43 GMT
Re: [Avodah] assisted suicide

Regarding the city of Luz, RnTK wrote:
> I agree that it didn't actually exist, but nevertheless,
> taking the story  on its own terms -- when people left
> the city, were they doing something wrong by leaving?

I recall hearing that they did not die immediately upon leaving the city gates, but that they simply became subject to natural death, so that they would die at some unknown future point. If so, then perhaps leaving would not be an act of suicide, but merely a case of "removing an impediment", sanctioned by the Rama YD 339:1.

(OTOH, leaving a safe city to enter a deadly outside world could easily be considered an actual maaseh, much more serious than merely "removing an impediment". This could be good source material for defining what other cases do/don't meet that criterion.)

Akiva Miller
Click to help a good cause and make a difference

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Message: 8
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 15:13:58 +0100
[Avodah] inheritance for daughters and kim li

In the daily halacha from ROY there was something that amounts to kim li
though he doesnt use that term

He assumes that daughter's cannot inherit even when it is enforced by
secular law
Thus the daughters must sign a document giving up their rights to an
The question is whether they can demand payment for this signature. His final
conclusion is that most poskim do not allow her to collect. However,
since she is
muchzak and there is a minority of poskim that allow her to collect 10 percent
per daughter she can insist on payment against the majority of the poskim

Eli Turkel

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Message: 9
From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 10:19:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

Michael Makovi wrote:
> I know exactly what he's saying.
See BM 84a.

David Riceman

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Message: 10
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 12:27:45 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

On Thu, January 31, 2008 10:19 am, David Riceman wrote:
: Michael Makovi wrote:
:> I know exactly what he's saying.

: See BM 84a.

Are you accusing him of being obese, very good looking, or driving you
insane by agreeing too often? <g>

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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Message: 11
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:16:53 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Assisted Suicide

On Sun, January 27, 2008 1:36 pm, RnTK <T613K@aol.com> wrote:
: I'm not sure if you mean this seriously or as a cute drash but the
: pshat surely is not "Hashem creates people and all their defects and
: lacks."

As I already wrote, the Ri ben Yaqar and Avudraham both disagree,
invoking the curse of the nachash as contrast.

The "pei" pasuq in Ashrei (really, in Tehillah leDavid) is very hard
to translate. And yet, there is a chiyuv that it be said with special
kavanah. It is therefore unsurprising we've discussed it here before.

Poseiach es yadekha -- You open Your "Hand"
    belashon hoveh, not tzvui

I might suggest that "yadekha" is meant in contrast to yeminkha -- ie,
midas hadin in particular. Perhaps it's not a request that HQBH start
giving as much as that He stop restraining Himself. The right hand,
chessed, is always trying to give. Din, the need to let His children
be their own people and suffer from their own mistakes, stops it.

Umasbia lekhol kai ratzon

This is grammatically difficult. As an adverb modifying "umasbia" it
would be "beratzon". RMPoppers and I batted around RSRH's take, but
all in all, I recall the following different peshatim:

- and willingly satisfies all living things
- and satisfies the desires of all living things
- and satisfies through the bestowing of His Ratzon, all living things
- he satisfies all people by making them desirable

Last, Rav Kook's (and the reason for this detour:
- and he satisfies all living things by giving them desires, Something
to pursue and thereby have a goal, rather than falling pray to innui.

This take on the pasuq is very much like a berakhah for that which
Hashem didn't give us.

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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Message: 12
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:26:10 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] planting during shmitta permitted

On Sun, January 27, 2008 3:10 pm, R Arie Folger wrote:
:> This article states that Rav Avraham Yosef, the head of the
:> rabbinate
:> shmitta committee, permitted planting (al y'dei goy) in some of the
:> areas which were heavily damaged in last week's frost. If this land
:> is under the heter mikhira (HM), why is a special heter needed? If
:> the land is under the ozer beit din, is this throwing issurim out
:> the window without even a HM to be somekh on?

: Sefardim hold by the BY's opinion that shemittah nowadays is rabbinic.
: Hence we have a shvut deshvut bishe'at hade'haq.

I was prepared to post that this was an example of non-algorithmic
pesaq. One could not accept heter mechirah as a heter, but still give
it non-zero significance. IOW, consider it a senif lehaqeil in a more
complex case that involves weighing in other factors.

I think RAF reinforces that point.

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv


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