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Volume 25: Number 111

Wed, 26 Mar 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 12:29:46 +0100
[Avodah] halachot that depend on LH

Obviously, I did not make myself clear. Of course there will be all 613
mitzvot. Murder is murder and chometz is chometz. My question is about
a mitzva where a _detail_ in the mitzva is "dependent" apparently on
people speaking Lashon Hara. For example, the rule of "kol d'lo posak"
which can force a person to divorce his wife. The aveira is niuf. That
won't change. But the parameters for assuming the aveira took place,
seem to be dependent on people speaking LH about it.>>

You obviously are not a Brisker. When learning Gittin with RYBS he never
took these gemarot literally but used "kol d'lo posak" as a tool for
the basic understanding why we might require a get in this case.
The famous phrase he used was that Brisk changed Oreh Deah from pots and
pans to axiomatic positions. The same applies to gittin.

kol tuv

Eli Turkel

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Message: 2
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 21:17:21 +1100
[Avodah] skip saying "korbonos"'?

From: "Michael Makovi" < >
>  A "yeshivish" mispallel got quite upset, but the BT replied 'and what
aboutyou "Litvaks"'? 'How come your regularly skip saying "korbonos"'?
>  Is this correct? And if so, what indeed, is the reason for this?

I'm pretty sure it's simply not Ashkenazi minhag. .. Ashkenazim,
AFAIK, were not makpid on this - as far as I remember, no Ashkenazi
halachic sefer lays serious stress on the matter.

SA OC 48.


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Message: 3
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 14:37:05 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Parshas Parah

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 2:25 AM, Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net> wrote:
> There is a machlokes amongst the Poskim whether the reading of Parshas Parah
> is a Torah obligation today.
> ri

What I'm curious about: It says of Parshat Parah "zocher", and the
Gemara says that zocher means read it from a Sefer Torah.

But if so, we have five other zochers in the Torah (see your Artscroll
siddur after Shacharit - page 176f in the Nusach Ashkenaz), but in
only two of the six zochers do we read anything from a Sefer Torah.

1) L'ma'an tizcor et yom tzeitecha mei-eretz mitzrayim col yemei
chayeicha - Dev 16:3
We say this in Shema, but we do not read it from a scroll.

2) Rak hishamer lecha ushmor nafshecha me'od pen tishkach et hadevarim
asher ra'u einecha... (i.e. the revelation at Sinai) - Dev 4:9-10
We do nothing.

3) Zachor et asher asa lecha amalek... - Dev 25:17
We DO read this from a scroll

4) Zachor, al tishkach, et asher hiktzafta et hashem elokecha bamidbar
(i.e. cheit ha-egel) - Dev 9:7
We have parshat parah from a scroll

5) Zachor et asher asa hashem elokecha l'miryam baderech b'tzeitechem
mimitzrayim - Dev 24:9
We do nothing.

6) Zachor et yom shabbat l'kadsho - Shemot 20:8
We do nothing.

Now, we can argue that numbers one (Exodus) and two (Sinai) do not use
the lashon of "zachor", and so they are different. But three (Amalek),
four (cheit ha-egel), five (Miriam), and six (Shabbat) all say
"zachor", but only for three and four do we read from a scroll - why
don't we read Miriam and Shabbat from a scroll? And why does one get
put davka in Shema for daily recitation (I know this is in Mishna
Berachot, but as far as I remember, the machloket is between col yemei
chayecha being a night too or after moshiach - I don't recall learning
why a daily recitation is needed in the first place)? And why does two
get nothing at all?

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 4
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 21:17:32 +1100
[Avodah] geirim

rom: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
<<Indeed - ALL gerim are not going to be able to keep all the mitzvot at
first - like a bar mitzvah.

What exactly is the mitzva of bar mitzva?

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Message: 5
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 17:36:16 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (keep his experience in kiruv in mind, IMHO),
Handbook of Jewish Thought, vol. 2. Now, I will say right now, I have
NOT looked up the sources from the footnotes.


However, a person who has been brought up in a nonreligious
environment 139 where he never had the opportunity to learn about
Judaism, 140 is like a child who was abducted by gentiles, 141 and is
not considered to be doing wrong purposely. 142 Even if he is later
exposed to authentic Judaism, he is not to be blamed for rejecting it,
since it is almost impossible to overcome one's childhood upbringing.
143 Therefore, such a person is not to be counted among the
nonbelievers, 144 and he should be approached with love and with every
attempt to bring him back to the teachings of our faith. 145

139. Cf. Tosefta, Sanhedrin 14:1; Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 4:6; Migdal
Oz, Kesef Mishna, Pri Chadash, ad. loc.; Pith'chey Teshuvah 340:5,,
345:4; HaGra 340:13, 345:9; Chokhmath Adam 156:7; Kitzur Shulchan
Aruch 201:7; Teshuvoth Avodath Gershoni 48. See also Semachoth 3:5;
Yoreh Deah 344:6.

140. For example, the children of the Karaites; cf. Yad, Mamrim 3:3;
Hagahoth Mordecai, Yevamoth 107; Yoreh Deah 159:3. Others count later
generations of Karaites as apostates; cf. Radbaz, Mamrim 3:3; Sifethey
Cohen, Yoreh Deah 159:6, 266:17, 267:59; Choshen Mishpat 175:33; Yad
Avraham, Yoreh Deah 159:3; Mishnah Berurah 55:47; Teshuvoth Rabbi
Aaron ibn Chaim 113, 125; Teshuvoth Mabit 2:38;  Teshuvoth Rabbi
Betzalel Ashkenazi 3 (end). Other sources seem to indicate that the
later generations of Karaites were worse than the earlier ones; cf.
Tosaftoh, Avodah Zara 26b s.v. Ani; Rosh Avodah Zara 2:7, from
Yerushalmi, Avodah Zara 5:4 (34a). See also Rambam on Chullin 1:1.

141. Shabbath 68a-b; Shevuoth 5a; Yerushalmi Shabbath 7:1 (40a); Yad,
Shegagoth 2:6, 7:2; Yoreh Deah 159:6 in Hagah.

142. Yad, Mamrim 3:3; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative Commandment 217
(end). Cf. Bava Metzia 33b.

143. Cf. Kethuvoth 41b; Yerushalmi Sotah 4:4 (20a); BaMidbar Rabbah
9:10; Yad, Issurey Biyah 1:9. See Magen Avraham 204:20; Biur HaGra
ibid. s.v. Im Ansuhu. Also see Terumath HaDeshen 223.

144. Regarding their position in the World to Come, see Sanhedrin
110b; Tosefta, Sanhedrin 13:1; Yalkut Shimoni 2:874; Sotah 48a (end).
From Rashi, Sotah 48b, Sanhedrin 110b, s.v. Ketaney, this would appear
to refer only to those who die as children. Cf. Koheleth Rabbah 4:1;
Zohar 2:113a. Also see Zohar 2:96a, 3:234a.

145. Rambam, Iggereth HaShmad, p. 20, from Proverbs 6:30; Yad, Mamrim
3:3; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative Commandment 217 (end); Teshuvoth
Rashbash 68, cited in Pith'chey Teshuvah 268:10; Chazon Ish, Yoreh
Deah 13:28, Evven HaEzer, Yibum 71, commentary on Yad, Deyoth 6:3.


At the opposite extreme [of a shogeg talmid chacham who is as if
meizid - 13:22] is the individual who is raised in a totally
nonreligious environment. Such a person can grow up in complete
ignorance of the Torah's teachings. He is thus not considered a
purposeful sinner, but rather, like a child kidnapped as an infant who
never had access to the truth. 70 Although such an individual might
bear some responsibility for his general ignorance, he is in no way to
blame for each individual act. 71 Even if he is later exposed to the
Torah's teachings, it is still counted as if he is acting out of
ignorance,  72, since it is all but impossible to overcome one's
upbringing. 73 However, even such an individual is responsible for
moral sins, such as murder and robbery, since these can be readily
deduced from common sense. 74

70. Shabbath 68b; Yerushalmi Shabbath 7:1 (40a); Yad, Shegagoth 2:6,
7:2. However, see Berenoro, Tosefoth Yom Tov, on Keritoth 1:2.

71. Ibid.

72. C.f Bava Metzia 33b; Maharsha ad. loc.

73. See above 12:55, notes 142, 143.

74. Moreh Nevukhim 3:13; Ramban, Meiri, Makkoth 7b; Sefer Chasidim
153. [Mikha'el Makovi: I would add that surely a Jewish TsN is no less
liable than the gentiles he was raised amongst (literally or
allegorically). If they are liable to the Noachide Laws despite their
ignorance, surely he is also liable to the "moral" laws despite his
own ignorance, which by definition cannot be greater than the
gentiles' ignorance.]

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Message: 6
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 18:36:04 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

> To reiterate. You are claiming that the individual members of
> Reform/Conservative have 1) the halachic status of  tinok shenishba and
> that consequently they bear  no guilt at for their actions which violate
> the Torah. However the correct use of the term tinok shenishba (Shabbos
> 68a) is concerning one who is totally ignorant of being Jewish and of
> anything about Torah. Once they receive some knowledge they are
> responsible for not finding out more. It is questionable whether  they
> are still tinok shenishba after this point. From our perspective the
> issue is primarily whether we can aid them to do teshuva and whether
> they are a threat to our communities. They are not given a free pass
> that exempts them from mitzvos. Their rabbinical leadership is even more
> liable because they are much more aware  of their deviation from
> traditional Torah observance. It is also true that it is not always
> helpful to have direct confrontations - but that is a question of
> politics and sociology.
> R' Daniel Eidensohn

I see that I misunderstood your question. You're no longer asking
where I learned that today's nonobservant are TsN (and I replied Hazon
Ish et. al.; I wondered why this wasn't enough for you! LOL); you're
now asking how they're still TsN even after they learn a smidgen of
Torah. So my earlier reply was irrelevant - my apologies.

I am not conversant in the TsN literature (so I cannot give textual
proof for anything I'm about to say), but I find it hard to believe
that one ceases to be a TsN the moment he learns *something* of Torah
without learning that Torah b'klal applies to him. According to this
logic, if a TsN learns the lone fact that Jews do not drag benches on
soft dirt on Shabbat, but he himself still is ignorant of the general
chiyuv of Torah u'mitzvot b'klal, he's suddenly not a tinok she'nishba
- this goes against all logic and reason. Perhaps the Ramban that a
generation could arise someday that thinks Torah does not apply to it,
could be applied here.

Now, the Gemara does say that knowledge of one tiny bit of hilchot
shabbat constitutes knowledge of Shabbat, because the Mishna gives the
number of melachot as 39 to say that someone who violates them all
b'shogeg gets 39 chata'ot. The Gemara asks how he knows about Shabbat
if he was shogeg in all 39 melachot, and it answers that he knew about
techum (Reish Lakish; or that he knew all 39 but was shogeg in karet -
R' Yochanan). But I'd say:

The Gemara says he knows about techum, which constitutes knowledge of
Shabbat. But I'd take it for granted (perhaps erroneously - someone
please correct me if I'm wrong) that he must have also gained
knowledge of the general chiyuv of Torah u'mitzvot and Shabbat b'klal
- he must have learned that Torah was given at Sinai and that Shabbat
is on the seventh day of the week and such. If this TsN learns that
Jews keep techum on Shabbat, but he is still ignorant of the fact that
he himself is chayav in Torah u'mitzvot, and is still ignorant of the
day on which Shabbat falls, and is still ignorant of what Shabbat is
in the first place, I'd think he's still a TsN and shogeg in Shabbat
despite his knowledge of techum! And even if he knows about Shabbat,
if he doesn't yet know that he is chayav in Torah, I'd say he's still
a TsN/shogeg in the whole Torah, I'd think.

To learn that one is obligated in Torah is not a simple matter. As I'm
sure Rn' Toby Katz will testify, one cannot simply take an R/C Jew,
hold up a book that says "All Jews must keep the Torah", and suddenly
a lightbulb will go off and he'll be observant - halevai!! Rather, an
R/C must be convinced to HIS OWN rational/logical satisfaction that
the Torah is true. Until then, he has no reason to think the Torah is
any more applicable to him than the Koran or the Communist Manifesto,
and I personally cannot see basis to fault him. I cannot imagine that
knowledge of the Torah (to establish that one is no longer TsN) means
anything but this - i.e., I cannot imagine that knowledge of Torah
u'mitzvot means anything except that the person has been convinced
that Torah and mitzvot are applicable to him.

I would agree that once someone learns about the chiyuv of Torah
b'klal, and its Sinaicity, etc., then he's no longer TsN, and he is
now shogeg in individual mitzvot one-by-one, and he must learn more.
But this is all only if he knows the chiyuv of Torah! **Anyone** can
easily learn an individual law of Torah, but I don't understand how
Reb Moshe can think that if I find a random R Jew on the street and
open up the Mishna Berurah to a random page and read it (in English)
to him, he's suddenly not TsN anymore, because he knows some Torah.
This is utterly illogical, IMHO. Reb Moshe says this person ought to
know that Torah is logical and rational and that he is obligated in
it, but Reb Moshe never establishes the mechanics of how this ignorant
person/would-be-TsN is supposed to learn in the first place, to his
own satisfaction, that he is liable and obligated in Torah. The burden
of proof for this sevara is on Reb Moshe, IMHO. If Reb Moshe thinks
that an R/C can be so easily convinced that Torah is true, simply by
uttering the sentence "The Torah is true", I want proof; otherwise,
Reb Moshe is trying to argue against the teva that my own eyes see,
and I'm inclined to follow the obvious facts of nature over Reb Moshe.

Rabbi Eidensohn, please excuse me for my impudence, but I'm going to
ask you for a source that tries to give a sevara to establish that a
person is no longer a TsN once he has some knowledge, but does not yet
know that he is chayav b'Torah u'mitzvot. You've given a source that
holds by this sevara - viz. Reb Moshe. What I'm asking for, is proof
of the validity of this sevara itself. Because the evidence of nature
seems to hold otherwise.

And again, I don't see how the R/C rabbinate is more liable than the
laity - the clergy went through the same upbringing as the laity, and
they are as deluded as the laity when it comes to the chiyuv of Torah.
Sure, HUC and JTS teach a lot of text, but it is all in a distorted
manner that leaves its graduates still ignorant of the chiyuv of
Torah. So how are they not TsN?

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 7
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:21:53 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

Responding to R' Daniel Eidensohn:

>  You provide 3 citations to support your contention
>  1) Dr.  Richard Joel - his statement is not about tinok shenishba nor
>  does he refer to guilt. Not relevant

But he clearly implies guiltlessness. But I'll agree with you that
he's not a posek. I brought him merely to show the widespread MO
consensus on this.

>  2) You cite an approbation of R' Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Says nothing
>  about tinok shenishba or guilt. Not relevant

I don't recall doing so. I brought Einayim Lirot, Rav Kook, and Rav
Hirsch, but I do not recall bringing R' ZNG.

>  3) You menton R' Kasher - without quoting what  he actually said - that
>  non-religious Jews have the status of tinok shenishba. Also don't see
>  the relevance. Does he say that therefore they bear  no guilt for their
>  sins?

I was bringing R' Kasher merely to support my previous statement that
Rav Kook holds like Chazon Ish - we already saw that Chazon Ish holds
today's nonreligious are TsN.

R' Kasher went on to say (and this I did not bring) that because the
nonreligious today are not those those of yore, they are not
considered sinners vis. a vis. the building of the state and therefore
associating with the state is not considered associating with sinners.
Perhaps we could derive from this that todays nonreligious are not
considered sinners at all (since associating with their state does not
equal associating with sinners), but I would need to see R' Kasher
inside more extensively to draw such a far-reaching conclusion. Given
what I have of his (in R' Student's quotation), I am comfortable only
with R' Kasher's connection between Chazon Ish and Rav Kook.

>  These are not serious citations.

Chazon Ish, Ravs Hirsch and Kook, Einayim Lirot, these are not
serious? I've got three gedolei ha-dor who led entire sectors of
modern Jewry! (I honestly don't know how much R' Schwarz counts.)
Plus, Rabbi Henkin says the majority of poskim follow Chazon Ish even
if there is a significant dissension from Reb Moshe et al.

And Einayim Lirot brings Ramban that an age could arrive when people
honestly and sincerely and innocently believe that the Torah is no
longer relevant or applicable. So I *perhaps* have Ramban on my side

>  I have cited the Rambam, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Henkin and the Ginas
>  Veradim and yet you have not produced a single posek who disagrees. At
>  this point you said you are only not sure whether the Chazon Ish is
>  understood as consistent with the others and is thus describing a tactic
>  to get them to do teshuva - even though they are sinners.

Rabbi Henkin said that the majority of poskim follow Hazon Ish in
declaring today's nonreligious to be TsN.

I said nothing about being sure or not sure about anything Hazon Ish
said. Could you please elaborate? You seem to be suggesting that Hazon
Ish may have only said what he said to encourage teshuva, but that he
thought like Reb Moshe that they are nevertheless mamash sinners.
Could you please explain?

>  *Igros Moshe (**Orech Chaim 4:91.6

Reb Moshe here could be read as simply saying that they are not at
fault/to blame for their sins, but nevertheless, one must practically
distance himself from them to avoid being influenced etc. - i.e.
theoretically they are sinless but nevertheless we must practically
behave towards them in a certain way commensurate with their practical
behavior. We already know Reb Moshe does not hold like this, because
of the citation of his from elsewhere, but just for the record, I'd
note his ambiguity here.

>  *Binyan Tzion - New (#23):

This source actually supports *me*, as far as I can tell:

>  Furthermore their children who come after them [them = those who knew Shabbat etc. but > did not keep it]- who have never known or
>  even heard about the laws of Shabbos ? are identical  to the Tzadokim
>  who are not considered heretics even though they profane Shabbos because
>  they are simple imitating the actions of their parents [and not because
>  they are willfully transgressing Shabbos]. Thus they are considered like
>  tinok shenishba (children who were captured by and raised amongst
>  non?Jews).
> ...........
> However concerning these fundamentals, the
>  majority of sinners in our day have not transgressed them. Consequently
>  in my humble opinion those who wish to treat the touching of wine by
>  these modern sinners as prohibited stam wine  - they should be blessed.
>  However even those who are lenient in this matter have authorities to
>  justify their actions - as long as it has not been determined that these
>  transgressors actually know about the laws of Shabbos and are arrogantly
>  violating Shabbos in the presence of 10 Jews. If that is true than it is
>  definite that they are full heretics and the wine they touch is prohibited.

It seems very clear from this that today's sinners, who undoubtedly do
NOT know the laws of Shabbat, and are NOT being arrogant, etc., are
full TsN according to him.

Similarly, Einayim Lirot connects innocent children Tzadukim/Kara'im
to today's nonreligious, and brands them all as innocent guiltless

>  *Yabiya Omer(3:21)

I will agree with you that he definitely holds like Reb Moshe. But,
could you please tell me who Binyan Tzion and Yabiya Omer are?

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 8
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 22:31:41 +0200
[Avodah] Rav Kook-ian Zionism

Last year, I attended the shiurim of Rabbi Moshe Kaplan at Machon
Meir, on the topic of Israel's redemption, in which he taught at geula
and  galut and the medina, etc. from the perspective of Rav Kook-ian

His shiurim are online at
and I have the notes from his class that maybe someday I'll form into
some sort of book, but until then, the following essay is a good
summary of what he taught. It lacks his extensive explanations that
formed the bulk of a 2-hour/week year-long year, but the skeleton is

An interesting anecdote: Someone posted this essay on a certain
Satmar-ish online forum, and it got mercilessly lambasted for
representing views that that had no basis in Torah; i.e. Rav Kook made
it all up. Rabbi Kaplan soon saw why the replier thought this: all the
footnotes had been cut out out of the essay!

Mikha'el Makovi
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