Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 53

Sun, 03 Feb 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 23:39:18 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Changing God's Mind

On Jan 27, 2008 1:19 PM, Richard Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net> wrote:
> R' Micha wrote: By turning to the Borei one changes the factors that
> go into His decision.

> I understand the many answers given to: If God knows the future where
> is man's free will?

As part of the Tzimtzum [self-contraction] perhaps God does  not CHOOSE to
foresee the future

> But how would you respond to "If God is omniscient
> (and of course, knows the future), then how can His mind be changed?

Perhaps God's deicsions are by defintion conditional
I will sdestroy sodom UNLESS I finx x number of righteous people etc.

> 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.

Perhaps as  Above God is Omniscient but HE is not forced to use HIM
Omniscience in order to make room fro free will.

God - in order to make space for Human Free Will  Limits His own
IOW jsut becasue God is all-powerful does not mean He exercises that power.

> If you
> maintain that they may change His Mind, then His Mind had already been
> made up to change.

Or as above, every deicsion is contingent
E.G. If my kid does not come up with a good explanation I will punish him
for being late.  and then when  the kid explains why he/she is late, the
punishemnt is averred because of the conditional nature of the ultimatum.

So Perhaps in a way God is talking in shorthand.  As He becons Avraham re:
Sodom or Moshe re: the Israelites at the masecha, an implicit condtion
always exists

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 2
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 00:46:25 -0500
Re: [Avodah] cave or desert island

On Jan 29, 2008 3:42 PM, <T613K@aol.com> wrote:
>   RMB wrote:
>: He created his own society in a rural area, his compound of tents,
>: family, employees... This balance of isolation and engagement is the
>: ideal. [--TK]

>>>A beautiful tribute to RnTK's sister, Kiryat Nachliel in Migdal haEimeq.

> (For those who don't know the reference, see
> <http://www.tzemachdovid.org/gedolim/ravbulman.html> on RNB, RnTK's
> father, and his other work.)<<

> I love the way you refer to my father's community, Kiryat Nachliel, in
> Migdal Ha'emek, as my "sister."  That holy community was indeed a beloved
> child of his.

> But there is something strange about the link you provided.  While it is a
> nice tribute to my father, it does not mention his fourteen years in Migdal
> Ha'emek at all!

Um... yes it does.

"Rav Bulman always had a dream of leading a community that would serve as a
magnet for American aliyah. To further that aim, in 1979, Rav Bulman founded
the Torah community of Kiryat Nachliel in Migdal Ha'emek and he lived there
until 1993."

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 09:22:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Changing God's Mind

On Sun, Jan 27, 2008 at 09:02:14PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: 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.

Let's define change.

Change is what we call it when the state of something at one point in
time is different than it was at an earlier one.

The Borei created time, He is not within it. Thus, no two points of time
in which to change His state. It's not simply that He's unchanging, it's
that there is no way to even define change WRT the A-lmighty.

Similarly, Hashem seeing "now" what will happen, or His choosing not to,
is meaningless. Hashem -- now?

The subject of Hashem and time is a difficult one, since our thought
is so fundamentally tied to time and Hashem is so fundamentally not. I
tried once on my blog:

Tir'u baTov!

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

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Message: 4
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 10:26:51 -0500
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

During the flourishing of the mussar movement the target audience was
teenage boys who intended to spend several years intensively studying
Torah and ignoring everything else.  Books that are "marhiv et hada'at"
are precisely those to be avoided when you're trying to become a
specialist; they're more appropriate for another stage in life.

David Riceman
I'm not so sure, since it's at this age that they are developing their
worldview, one could argue it's a disservice not to try to expand their
Joel Rich

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Message: 5
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 11:56:36 EST
Re: [Avodah] critique of mussar

From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
>>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."<<

When I was a high school student in Bais Yakov, we used to have what
were called "mussar" classes. These consisted of a rebetzen yelling
at us because our skirts were too short, "and I don't understand how
girls from fine chassidishe homes like yours can go around looking the
way you do, you should be ashamed of yourselves." It took me two decades
to overcome the emotional association of the word "mussar" with "boring
and sanctimonious." By now I have read large chunks of classics like
Orchos Tzaddikim, Mesilas Yesharim and Sha'arei Teshuva and have managed
to divest myself of most negative associations, but I still think of
this type of seforim as akin to diet and exercise books -- good for
you, but impossible to read other than in small doses. Not the kind
of thing you find totally absorbing and just /want/ to learn because
it's so intrinsically fascinating and intellectually stimulating.

That's why it amazes me that there could be something like a Mussar
Institute or a mussar Shabbaton. The appeal of an aish seminar or
a Chabad Shabbaton I totally get, the appeal of a mussar Shabbaton,
I don't get -- about as appealing as a diet and exercise spa.

--Toby Katz
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Message: 6
From: "David E Cohen" <ddcohen@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 16:38:28 +0200
Re: [Avodah] pitum haketores

R' Gilad Field asked:
> Anyone know of the source for some minhag I have seen where people
> have the pitum haketores written on a klaf in ksav ashuris?

I don't have the answer, but wanted to add something else that has
puzzled me for a while about this minhag.

Permitting the writing down Torah of shebe`al peh is, in essence, a
"kula." Yes, there's a hetteir that we use all the time without thinking
twice about it, and justifiably so, but it is still, strictly speaking,
a "bide`eved" (in the colloquial sense of the word). How, then, can
there be a kiyum in writing a beraisa in a particularly formal way,
in kesav Ashuris on a kelaf?


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Message: 7
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 10:41:25 -0500
[Avodah] Responsibilities to our host country - maharatz

F?rom darkei horaah -chapter 7

"vhinei bgaluteinu, anu machzikim btorah umitzvot, mitzad ki anacnu baalei
daat myuchad, ochzim bemunat avoteinu, vchen mtzad hasheini af ki anachnu
hayom bagolah, vtamnu lhiyot am myuchad, vnitztaveenu mpi chazal shebod
sheanu nichnaim tachat eizeh umah shetihiyeh, anu muchrachim laamos
hasevel al shichmeinu, laset bol hamutal aleinu ulhaazin ulhakshiv
bchol eit el hamoshel bchol asher yitzaveh, vgoral hauma vhamamlachah
asher anu garim shamah, tzarich shetihiyeh minat chevleinu gam kein,
im ltovah im lraah, lsmach bsimchatam, vlakachat chevel bygonam.....

Joel Rich
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Message: 8
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 18:08:09 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Rabbiner Hirsch and the Mishna Brura

> I have just completed reading the Biography of Rabi Samson Raphael Hirsch.
> Apparrently Rabbiner Hirsch bemoaned the fact that the Shulchan Aruch[1] was
> in 4 parts and Thereby people were not being holistic in that they neglected
> vast tracts of Hosehn Mishpat etc, in their behavior.

> While the Mishna Brura pointedly commented on ONLY Orach Haim because he
> felt that this was the primary legal text for Jewish People [see hakdamah to
> the Mishna Brura.] [2]

>  Posted By Rabbi Richard Wolpoe to NishmaBlog at 2/02/2008 10:12:00 PM

Rav Hirsch's letter to his friend regarding the publication of Horeb,
in the Soncino English translation of the Horeb, says that he wants
Horeb to be printed as one volume so that what is one in concept is one
in expression; he says one could write an entire treatise on the damage
that's been done to the Jewish people through the exclusive study of
Orach Chayim.

Rav Hirsch of course lived before the Chofetz Chaim. I can only wonder
what would have happened had he seen the publication of the Mishna
Berurah on OC alone. I imagine the Chofetz Chaim would have gotten a
firm letter from Rav Hirsch; saying that one could write a treatise
on the damage to Am Yisrael suggests this wasn't a minor topic on Rav
Hirsch's mind. And what Rav Hirsch says about Rambam in his 19 Letters
shows he was not one to be beholden to a personality.

In any case, this is why I want to study the Aruch haShulchan instead
of the Mishna Berurah when I reach that stage.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 9
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 12:04:04 EST
Re: [Avodah] "From Copper to Silver to Gold"

From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
>>As one comes closer to God, there is a progression from the copper
to the silver to the gold.
As I see it, when we are born we're on the outer courtyard... Finally,
when that fateful day arrives and we leave this world, we hopefully,
will have made it to inside the sanctuary, having successfully progressed
ultimately to the 'gold' and full potential of our souls.<<

Makes for a nice drasha but I don't know if it's totally oisgehalten.
True, the building and items in the building were made of copper, silver
and gold, but the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, when he entered the kodesh
hadkedoshim, davka wore plain white and did /not/ wear his bigdei zahav,
because "ein kategor na'aseh sanegor." And when a person goes to meet
his Maker, he is dressed in white tachrichim. White is more of a symbol
of innocence and purity, gold is I'm not sure what -- a symbol of Divine
splendor, perhaps.

--Toby Katz
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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2008 12:42:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Responsibilities to our host country - maharatz

Rich, Joel wrote:
> F?rom darkei horaah -chapter 7
> "vhinei bgaluteinu, anu machzikim btorah umitzvot, mitzad ki anacnu 
> baalei daat myuchad, ochzim bemunat avoteinu, vchen mtzad hasheini af ki 
> anachnu hayom bagolah, vtamnu lhiyot am myuchad, vnitztaveenu mpi chazal 
> shebod  sheanu nichnaim tachat eizeh umah shetihiyeh, anu muchrachim 
> laamos hasevel al shichmeinu, laset bol hamutal aleinu ulhaazin 
> ulhakshiv bchol eit el hamoshel bchol asher yitzaveh, vgoral hauma 
> vhamamlachah asher anu garim shamah, tzarich shetihiyeh minat chevleinu 
> gam kein, im ltovah im lraah, lsmach bsimchatam, vlakachat chevel bygonam?..

Typical haskala talk.  Just another reason why many "don't hold of" him.

Zev Sero

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 15:21:13 -0500
[Avodah] Kol Yisrael Areivim...

On Areivim, someone wrote "Come on ...., haven't you ever heard
expressions like ... 'kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh'?"

To which someone else replied:
: I can't speak for ..., but I've never heard the latter expression
: except as a misquotation. It's "bazeh," not "lazeh."

Actually, it's a girsaos issue.

The Vilna Shas, Shavuos 39a, has "lazeh". Teimanim ad loc have "bazeh",
and Mechon Mamre corrected accordingly. The same quote in Ein Yaaqov is
"bazeh" However, Rashi in Vayiqra 26:37 has "lazeh". So, it might be
that both girsaos are equally "right".

There is "omerim zeh lazeh" at the top of 39b. That might explain where
an error in girsa may have originated, OR it may indicate that "lazeh"
was used since the gemara is more likely to use parallel language.

Siddur Rashi (381) has "MIzeh".

"Lazeh" would imply that "areivim" is meant in the sense of collateral
or guarantee. All Jews are responsible for each other.

"Bazeh" would imply that "areivim" is to be translated as "mixed
together". The Or haChaim uses this peshat to explain how Moshe lost
his "Peh"-el-peh nevu'ah after the cheit ha'eigel. That his neshamah
was intertwined with those of the rest of BY, and therefore their sin
diminished MRAH as well. (The nevu'ah was restored with the rise of the
next generation. This explains how 38 years pass between two pesuqim
with no Torah relayed.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             With the "Echad" of the Shema, the Jew crowns
micha@aishdas.org        G-d as King of the entire cosmos and all four
http://www.aishdas.org   corners of the world, but sometimes he forgets
Fax: (270) 514-1507      to include himself.     - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 12
From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 15:00:35 -0500
[Avodah] Good Middos

R' Micha wrote:
Also, RYBreuer's call for "Glatt Yosher" (the link RYL posted) doesn't
address all middos. Ahavas H', yir'ah, bitachon, etc... are middos too.

In this same vein, we should be as m'dakdeik about what comes out of  
our mouth as what goes in. It's easy to find a mashgiach for the latter,
but not so simple for the former.

K/T, B/R


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