Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 114

Fri, 28 Mar 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 21:56:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Skipping Korbanos

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:18 PM, Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> I can only guess that
> they reckoned that the avreichim don't need their mikra, misha, talmud
> dosage then, because they will be learning all day in any event (cf Lakewood
> not saying chazaras hashatz for mincha).

What's the connection between saying heicha kedusha and learning all
day?  I recall hearing that the basis of the practice is that chazaras
ha-shatz is a din of a beis hak'nesses, not of a beis hamedrash (or
wedding hall, etc.).

Joshua Meisner

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Message: 2
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 03:13:02 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

chana@kolsassoon.org.uk wrote:

> So far I have avoided getting involved in this discussion, mostly 
> because I have agreed with you as compared with RMM that one cannot say 
> that a tinok shenishba bears no guilt for their actions which violate 
> the Torah.
> However, now you have started quoting RJB, with whom I have been round 
> the houses before and relying on him to my mind has made you express 
> matters incorrectly vis a vis the modern responsa (ie starting with the 
> Binyan Tzion).

> If they are mechallel shabbas b'farhesia, and you do not adopt this 
> tinok shenishba language, it is questionable on what basis you are 
> permitted to do that -especially as the sources say it is impossible.
I did not say I agreed fully with RJB. I did feel it relevant to be the 
messenger to post his posting - since he wasn't doing it himself.  
Therefore I am not sure where we disagree - except for your assertion 
that they can not do teshuva.

found in Daas Torah page 64

*Rambam (Hilchos Teshuva 3:14):* Those who transgress one of these 24 
sins?even though they are still Jews?lose their portion in the World to 
Come. There are also others sins that are much more minor than these?but 
for which our sages said that habitual transgression also has causes the 
loss of a portion in the World to Come. Therefore, it is best to keep 
far away from these transgressions. For example giving somebody a 
nickname or calling him by a nickname, embarrassing somebody publicly, 
getting honor at the expense of another?s dignity, insulting talmidei 
chachomim, insulting one?s teachers, degrading the holidays, profaning 
the holy. However, the sinner loses his portion in the World to Come 
only when he denies without repenting for the sin. However, if he 
repents then he will get a portion in the World to Come. That is because 
nothing stands against repentance. If he was a heretic his entirely life 
and at the end repented?he has a portion n the World to Come?.

*Rambam[i] <#_edn1>(Hilchos Avoda Zara 2:5)*: ? a Jewish heretic is not 
considered a part of the Jewish people and he is never accepted back 
even if repents?It is prohibited to talk with them or reply to them in 
any manner?


?????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ?? 
?????, ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ??? ????? ????, ??? ?????????? 
?????? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?? 
???? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ????, ??????????? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ??? 
?????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ??? 
??? ??????? ???? ??? ???, ????? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ???...

    Resolution of contradiction

*Rambam**[i]* <#_edn1>*(Letter #615:8): ?*concerning the apparent 
contradiction [between Hilchos Teshuva and Hilchos Avoda Zara] as to 
whether a heretic can repent and obtain the World to Come. In fact, 
there is no contradiction. The statement found in Hilchos Avoda Zara 
that his repentance is not accepted means that he is always presumed to 
be a heretic. His apparent repentance is to be assumed to be from fear 
or to fool people. The other statement from Hilchos Teshuva that their 
repentance is accepted is referring to the case where they have in fact 
genuinely repented?in their relationship to G?d. That is why they obtain 
the World to Come. It is specifically dealing with their relationship to 
G?d. The first statement from Hilchos Teshuva is describing their 
relationship with other people?and in that case, their repentance is 
presumed to be false.

[i] *???"? (?????? ????"? ??? ?' ???? ???? ??? ?' ???? 
???"?)* ????? ??? ??????? ????? ????? ?????????? ????? ?? ???, ??? ???? 
???? ????????"??? ?????? ???? ??????"?????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??? 
?????, ??? ???? ????? ?????, ??? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ????, ??? ??? 
???? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ????, ?? ????? ??? ??????. ??? ????? ???? ???, 
??? ?? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????????? ?? ??? ??? ????? ???, ??? ??? 
??? ????? ???? ?????, ??????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 3
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 03:46:58 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

R' Meir Shinnar wrote
> However, there is another model of giyur - where the primary process
> is the transformation of becoming part of am yisrael (and not in the
> notion that we are only an am through the mitzvot) - and mila and
> tevila are the technical acts that transform a non Jew into a Jew.
This issue has been bouncing around for many years. The question is how 
to understand the lack of emphasis or concern with the full  acceptance 
of mitzvos prior to the mid 19th century.

Prof. Zohar and Prof Sagi insist that it proves that originally there 
was no requirement to accept all the mitzvos. The alternative which 
seems to be accepted by all major poskim is expressed well by Rav Herzog 
(translation by R' Bleich on page 283 of vol 1 of Contemporary Halachic 

. . "even though the halakhic decision has been formulated that, after 
the fact, even those converting for ulterior purposes and not for the 
sake of heaven are converts, I have exceedingly strong reason  [to 
assert] that in these times the law is not so. Since in former times 
virtually every Jew was forced to observe the commandments, otherwise he 
would have been disdained and despised as a renegade, this therefore 
strengthened the supposition that the gentile who comes to convert has, 
in truth, made a decision to observe the Sabbath, etc. . . . But in our 
day the situation has changed and it is [now] possible to be a leader in 
Israel while yet a desecrator of the Sabbath and one who partakes of 
nevelah and tereifah in public, etc. Whereby does one arrive at the 
supposition that the gentile indeed decided, at least at the moment of 
conversion, to observe Judaism? Moreover, the vast majority and perhaps 
all converts of this genre do not commence to observe even the 
fundamentals of [the Jewish] faith. ." .[this letter was published by 
Rabbi Breish in the latter's Chelkat Ya'akov, I, no. 14. Similar 
sentiments are also expressed by Rabbi Herzog in his Heikhal Yitzchak, 
Even ha-Ezer, I, no. 20, sec. 2 and no. .21, sec. 3. Rabbi Herzog adds 
that if the candidate for conversion is a female the dangers are greater 
since an invalid conversion may cause grave ramifications with regard to 
subsequent marriage involving a Jewish partner and affect the 
genealogical purity of future generations.]

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 01:56:48 GMT
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

R' Daniel Eidensohn wrote:

> An additional source indicating the lack of innocence of
> tinok shenishba is from Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
> *Minchas Shlomo (3:19): Saving tinok shenishba on Shabbos -
> *Perhaps it is correct to say that also a tinok shenisba
> amongst the non-Jews is not to be saved or killed since
> his whole life he considers himself to be a non-Jew and he
> doesn't believe that he is a Jew even if he is told directly.
> Therefore he will transgress the entire Torah inadvertently
> (shogeg). Perhaps it is better that he should die than to
> live mistakenly as a non-Jew.

I'm having a lot of difficulty trying to understand why it could possibly be better for this person to die than to live.

The only guess I can come up with is that (like the Ben Sorer Umorah) his early death would minimize his sins.

If that is correct, then it would apply ONLY to this sort of Tinok
SheNishba, who, as RSZA wrote, would not believe he's Jewish even if you
told him directly. But this would NOT apply to the more common sort of TsN,
who does accept his Jewishness, and who might someday do teshuva.

If the above understanding is correct, then I agree that it is evidence
towards the point that RDE is making, which is that even for the common
sort of TsN, there *is* a lack of innocence.

By the way, it seems to me that this is consistent with the section R' Michael Makovi quoted from Rav Aryeh Kaplan:

> However, a person who has been brought up in a
> nonreligious environment where he never had the
> opportunity to learn about Judaism, is like a
> child who was abducted by gentiles, and is not
> considered to be doing wrong purposely. 

My experience has been that Rav Kaplan was VERY precise in his wording,
especially in this work, his "Handbook of Jewish Thought". Please note the
last word in that sentence: "purposely". Now read it without that word, and
it has an entirely different meaning.

If Rav Kaplan had left out the word "purposely", then he would have meant
what RMM claims he meant. But he did not leave it out. He deliberately
included it, and with its inclusion, he seems to be very consistent with
what RDE wrote: Guilty on a shogeg level, but guilty nevertheless.

Akiva Miller
TotalBeauty.com NYC Sweepstakes
TotalBeauty.com is giving away a trip to NYC   lots of beauty products

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Message: 5
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 05:15:07 -0400
[Avodah] Parshas Para

Simon Montagu asks a very good question:

I was going to say that in all these cases we read the pesukim  
from the Sefer Torah during the annual cycle.

But this prompts the inverse question: why do we need Parshat Zachor? We
read the same pesukim every year in Parashat Ki Tetze, why aren't we  
from that?

IMHO chazal have extrapolated through majority interpretation that  
pesukim require reinforcement, so to speak. We're back to eilu v'eilu.  
because we don't understand certain takanot does not mean that it  
make sense. Remember, too, that there still is a machlokes amongst the  
whether the reading of Parshas Parah is a Torah obligation. So we're  
not the
only ones with these same questions and concerns.

To give a more scholarly answer:
When the Beis Hamikdosh stood in Yerushalayim, every Jew had to be in  
a state of tahora
in time for the bringing of the KP. Today, though, since we're unable  
to fulfill the Temple-related
rituals in practice, we fulfill them spiritually by studying their  
dinim in the Torah.
Thus, we study and read the section of Parah in preparation for the  
festival of Pesach. This is probably why Parah was legislated a  
special Shabbos.

I remember as a kid I could never understand how when everyone
smoked on Yom Tov, someone would go over to someone else who was already
smoking (after shul) and take his cigarette and light it from the  
already lit cigarette.
This person couldn't care less if the first person was m'chalel yom  
tov by having
struck a match first. Even though this seemed hyprocritical, it was  

I realize this is not relevant to the question at hand, but free  
association took over.

Shabbat shalom. Don't forget: Pashas Para tomorrow.

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Message: 6
From: "AY & CB Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:11:37 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Skipping Tachanun

not to forget, of course, that Tachanun is more a reshus than korbonus (cf Tur, DM)
  RSBA wrote:  <<Which reminds me something I once heard about a bit of a tummel which took
  place in a BHMD in BP, when the "chassidish" BT skipped Tachanun.

  A "yeshivish" mispallel got quite upset, but the BT replied 'and what about
  you "Litvaks"'? 'How come your regularly skip saying "korbonos"'?

  Is this correct? And if so, what indeed, is the reason for this?>>

Find out how you can get spam free email.

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Message: 7
From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 23:48:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Skipping Korbanos

On Wed, 2008-03-26 at 21:18 +0000, Dov Kay wrote:
> RSBA wrote:  <<Which reminds me something I once heard about a bit of
> a tummel which took place in a BHMD in BP, when the "chassidish" BT
> skipped Tachanun.
> A "yeshivish" mispallel got quite upset, but the BT replied 'and what
> about you "Litvaks"'? 'How come your regularly skip saying
> "korbonos"'?
> Is this correct? And if so, what indeed, is the reason for this?>>
> Much of "korbanos" in modern siddurim was a later additions my
> mekubbalim, eg pitum haketores.  Straight minhag Ashkenaz just says
> parashas haTamid, eizeihu mekoman and R. Yishmael (the minimal mikra,
> mishna and talmud following immediately after birchos haTorah, which
> are recited after birchos hashachar).  So a Litvak or Yekke who
> restricts himself to these sections is not skipping korbanos.
> However, I have been in Hungarian shuls where the shatz is expected to
> say everything printed in the siddur, including the akedah.  I believe
> Sephardim to do the same.

Sepharadim are supposed to do the same, but various different synagogues
start at various different places publically, and expect you to the rest
at home, and announce different starting times based on that.
Additionally, people come late at various places in the tefillah.

For example, at the minhag Yerushalaim synagogue here in Chicago, we
announce 6:30 a.m. weekday davening, but the shaliach tzibbur starts at
6:45 with "Ribi Yishmael", wiht most people aiming to have their
tefillin on and be ready to go for 6:45.
At the Turkish synagogue, they announce 7:00 a.m., and start at 7:00
a.m. with "Kadesh Li", then they jump over akediah, korbanot, etc...
directly to Hodu. (During Elul, I've noticed that they don't leave time
after Selichot to say Korbanot.)
When I visited Los Angeles not too long ago, I found that the Persian
synagogues there started Yom Tov and Shabbat davening with "Hashem
Melech" at the announced time, then went straight to "Baruch
She'amar" (skipping over all of the tehillim added for Shabbat.)

> That being said, RSBA will be aware that the Lakewood Kollel in
> Melbourne officially skips all of the korbanos and goes to straight to
> R. Yishmael after b'rochos.  One of the avreichim there once told me
> that he had looked far and wide for a source for this, but couldn't.
> I can only guess that they reckoned that the avreichim don't need
> their mikra, misha, talmud dosage then, because they will be learning
> all day in any event (cf Lakewood not saying chazaras hashatz for
> mincha).  However, given that it goes against the words of the
> Shulchan Aruch, this is quite surprising.  

I'm actually really curious what an Ashkenazi shaliach tzibbur is saying
before pseukei d'zimrah that he's saying too quietly for me to hear. He
says morning berachot, then I hear him say "hagomel chasadim tovim l'amo
yisrael", "l'olam yehei adam", shema, then "ham'kadesh sh'mo b'rabim",
then shortly after that it's kaddish. Everything else is said too
quietly for me to know what he's saying. I've found that I hear pretty
much the same thing at lots of Ashkenazi shuls, so there must be some
kind of standard.

In the mean time, I'm not paying full attention, as I'm doing all of
korbanot according to the Sepharadim, then trying to get a slight jump
on Hodu, so I'm not paying attention to him to know what else he's
saying, but I'm curious to know what they're actually saying. Could
someone please enlighten me?


Ken (Chanoch) Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.

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Message: 8
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 16:38:03 +0300
Re: [Avodah] RAYK and the end of chol

>  Rav Kook's view of learning chol has nothing to do with Zionism.  So, please
>  don't mix the issues.
>  Rav Kook's view is based on the sentence (Zohar?) "Histakel BaTorah U'Vara
>  Alma". So, there is no knowledge of this world that exists that is outside
>  of Torah.  Therefore, there is no real "chol" as is common to think of
>  history, math, archeology, languages etc. and in Rav Kook's view one has to
>  study these topics and not just limit oneself to what he finds within the
>  pages of the Talmud.
>  Shoshana L. Boublil

Rav Kook's approach is of course, in its essence, not anything so
dramatically new. Plenty of rishonim took some form of this approach
(Emunot v'Deot, Chovot haLevavot, Moreh Nevukhim, etc.), that
ultimately, all knowledge comes from G-d. I recently posted a summary
of an essay of Rav Berkovits's on this topic. Rav Berkovits basically
says that their epistemology is a bit extreme, as per the Greek
philosophic background of much of it, but the basic gist of what they
sound is soundly Jewish.

Obviously, some knowledge is more "pure" than other knowledge in its
G-dliness, but when you get to the core, it's all from the same place.
Therefore, Chazal tell us that one who does not practice astronomical
calculations, ignores the work of His hands. Rav Hirsch in 19 Letters
to Psalm 19 (in Shabbat Pesukei Dezimra) says that nature and Torah
alike testify to G-d, albeit the latter is greater than the former.
Many commentators say this on the Avot that ha-mehalech on the derech
who sees a tree and interrupts his Mishna - true, nature testifies to
G-d, but Torah even more so, and you don't interrupt a higher form in
favor of a lower form.

So Rav Kook's approach seems highly akin to that of the Spanish
Rishonim, and I've seen it remarked that Rav Hirsch's TIDE was more or
less a return to the paradigm of chol of the Spanish Jews.

And as I said, Ravs Kook and Hirsch both say much the same on infusing
chol with kodesh - Rav Kook speaks in mystical and metaphysical terms,
while Rav Hirsch speaks in terms of your chol activities being done in
a Torah-dic way - be a businessman, but make sure it's a Torah-dic
businessman. In Avot, we learn that a table without divrei Torah is
filled with vomit, and Rav Hirsch there says it doesn't mean divrei
davka *Torah* - rather, he says, any serious conversation about
serious life matters, even explicitly secular matters, is "Torah". I
suspect he means that if you sit around the dinner table discussing
the daily news and how it affects your (presumably Torah) lifestyle,
then you are elevating derech eretz by using it as part of a Torah
lifestyle; in other words, you are infusing the chol with kodesh.

There is an essay on this topic published by Azure (Spring 2006) and
available on their website (www.azure.co.il), "Sciences of What and
the Science of Who" by Georges Hansel; I'm not sure that the author is
Jewish, but the essay's content seems fine in any case.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 9
From: "M Cohen" <mcohen@touchlogic.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 09:45:26 -0400
[Avodah] Chazzan pacing the tzibur/long tachanun

I have had the same kasha.

My conclusion was that since the leniences of tachanun are very much
affected by minhag (for instance: days&situations not to say/not saying
after shkiah/short version when need to leave shul early/etc), the minhag is
includes saying it faster than the rest of dovening (and indeed this is the
common minhag both in shuls and yeshivos)

I could suggest possible reasons for this minhag, but I will leave this to
greater TCs than I.

Personally, I rarely finish all of long tachanun, but jump to shomer yisroel
when the shatz indicates that he's finishing.

mordechai cohen

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Message: 10
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 16:53:22 +0300
Re: [Avodah] geirim

> Someone wrote:
>  > Indeed - ALL gerim are not going to be able to keep
>  > all the mitzvot at first - like a bar mitzvah.

Someone = Mikha'el Makovi

>  R"SBA asked
> > What exactly is the mitzva of bar mitzva?

>  There is no "mitzva of bar mitzva". My understanding of the first comment was simply to
> say that a bar mitzvah is like a ger, in the sense that he is suddenly obligated to do all the
> mitzvos, and that is an unreasonable burden.

>  But I think the comparison is an unfair one, because the father of the bar mitzvah (or, if
> there is no father, then beis din, IIRC) is obligated to teach him *all* the mitzvos which he
> will have to do. Thus, the halachik system is set up in such a way as to insure that the boy
> is NOT suddenly thrust into a situation that he is not prepared for.

I didn't mean that he is suddenly thrust into the situation with NO
preparation; a bar mitzvah has 13 years of preparation, and a ger
should have preparation too. But a 13 year old boy is not going to be
as as knowledgeable and punctilious as a 25 year old or a 40 year old.
Now, honestly, who here considers a 13 year old mature enough to be
considered an "adult"; aside from his relative ignorance, a 13 year
old is simply not the most mature person in the world. It is
indubitable that he will slip. But all the same, he's chayav. And kol
vachomer with the ger - he has preparation, but certainly not 13
years, and moreover, he has to forget some of the gentile shtiut he
learned, whereas the bar mitzvah was raised starting with a clean

This is why the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the bar mitzvah and the
ger are a paradigm for us all, for how G-d does not expect perfection.
These two will, without a doubt, sin, and yet G-d makes them chayav -
so too with us all. If this is so, G-d must find it acceptable. (Or we
could go with the Christian Bible and say the exact opposite: G-d must
find it INacceptable; we will doubtlessly sin, and yet we are chayav,
proving we need a savior to escape from the inescapable mire of sin -

> In sharp contrast, there is no similar halacha regarding a ger; nowhere do the seforim say
> that the ger must be taught ALL the mitzvos that he'll have to do. But this actually
> strengthens the argument that the first writer was trying to make: If we have sympathy for a
> bar mitzvah boy who has difficulty with mitzvos that he's been learning about for years, then
> we should certainly have sympathy for a ger who might have first heard about mitzvah XYZ
> only very recently.
>  Akiva Miller

This is exactly what I was trying to say.

But I'm confused: above you say that "My understanding of the first
comment was simply to say that a bar mitzvah is like a ger, in the
sense that he is suddenly obligated to do all the mitzvos, and that is
an unreasonable burden," and to this I replied that this is an
incorrect understanding of what I meant. Now you say "But this
actually strengthens the argument that the first writer was trying to
make...", and you procede to say *exactly* what I had meant. You seem
to have gotten two opposing understandings of what I meant, and I'm
not sure which one you think I meant.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 11
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 17:09:12 +0300
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

> It seems clear from this letter of Rav Dovid Hoffman - that he also
>  views the ignorant as sinners who are degraded by their sins. The are
>  not viewed as innocent and blameless.
> R' Daniel Eidensohn

But his viewing them as not blameless, is rather ambivalent. He says
they shouldn't be counted in a minyan, etc., but he never actually
says they are mamash sinners; perhaps they are innocent but
nevertheless their sin has practical ramifications; if I accidentally
knock someone's mailbox down because my car malfunctioned, I'm chayav
even though I'm not at fault. Perhaps R' Hoffman means only this.

And even if he does view them at 100% sinful fault, he then
equivocates himself by quoting the approach that today's sinners are
b'shogeg TsN, and that in Austria and especially Germany and America,
the sinners are not reckless, but rather ignorant and misguided. He
says that a public Shabbat violator today is like the private ones of
yore, because to violate Shabbat publicly is not shameful or
conspicuous or noteworthy anymore. R' Hoffman says it is best not to
count them, but those who do have on whom to rely. His approach seems
FAR closer to Chazon Ish/Rav Kook than to Reb Moshe; Reb Moshe
explicitly said that are completely 100% b'meizid because they ought
to know that Torah is true even though they weren't raised with this.
In R' Hoffman's words, I see nothing of the sort.


seen that there are two shitot on the matter, and Rabbi Henkin has
already said that Chazon Ish's is the more popular one, which would
explain why Reb Moshe's was so startling to me. You can keep bringing
more sources, and I won't object, but they're not proving anything
that hasn't already been said.

You then asked me for a source that says that even if today's
nonreligious are TsN (Chazon Ish), where do we learn that once they
are exposed to a smidgen of Torah they are still TsN. I brough R'
Aryeh Kaplan (whose sources you rejected), but I also brought a sevara
(that it is simply unreasonable to expect, like Reb Moshe, that
someone raised nonobservant to suddenly do teshuva when he learns a
random halacha, if he hasn't yet been convinced that Torah is m'Sinai)
that IMHO has some basis that I'd like to see a reply to, and I
brought a second sevara (stronger than the first IMHO), that surely
Chazon Ish presumed that every nonreligious today knows that Orthodox
Jews believe in one G-d and not two and that they don't eat pork -
this is some Torah knowledge, and yet Chazon Ish still called them TsN
- I'd like a reply to this too please.

Mikha'el Makovi


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