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Volume 25: Number 293

Wed, 13 Aug 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 17:48:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] nes niglah

On Wed, Aug 06, 2008 at 10:59:41PM -0400, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: Maybe but I am saying that a hologram is a REAL form of communication just
: not a real altering of physical laws.

Actually, creating any phsyical effect would be an altering of physical
laws. Getting the light to be just so for the hologram to be seen by
the navi would require having light and light sources do things that
aren't teva.

For that matter, directly putting things into someone's koach hadimyon may
be the only way possible to communicate with a person without violating
teva. And that's only because there must be some teva support for a
soul that has bechirah, and thus is nondeterministic, but is seated
in a physical brain. Whatever allows that gross-scale non-determinism
(non-determinism is the norm on quantum scales), could allow nevu'ah too.

On Thu, Aug 07, 2008 at 12:32:37AM -0400, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: But Actually the Rambam and his son R. Avraham say pretty much teh same re:
: Aggedita

: If you take Aggadah literally you are a fool - and actaully make TORAH look
: foolish
: But if you are cyncial re: Aggadah, you are also a fool - and maybe a letz.

The Rambam (PhM, haqdamah to pereq Cheileq) writes of three katim (as I
described them in March).
1- Those who assume they are all historical claims, see them as foolish,
   and reject the Torah;
2- Those who assume they are all historical, and therefore reduce the
   Torah and believe such foolishness;

and then in the Vilna Shas 123 amudah 4 (ie 123b 2nd column) "vehakat":
    And the third kat, and they -- as H' "Lives" -- are very few,
    until it isn't proper to call them a "kat" except in the way it's
    said that the sun is a species and it is unique, and they are those
    people for whom the greatness of the Chachamim z"l is clear. And
    they are the best of all of them, WHICH WE FIND IN *ALL THEIR WORDS*

    They know that they [Chazal] a"h don't speak foolishness (?), and it
    is known as true to them [those in the 3rd kat] that their [Chazal's]
    words have to them a nigleh and a nistar. And they, IN ALL THAT THEY
    PARABLE For this is the way of the great sages. Therefore the greatest
    of sages started his book and said to understand mashal umelitzah,
    derech chachamim vechidusam...

Returning to RRW:
: The point is that Agaddah is out to tech truths but not LIERAL truths

The bits I capitalized last March were to try to convince RZLampel of
my thesis that Chazal quoted stories set in the past with absolutely no
interest in which are historical. And therefore, even caring enough to
raise the question about any particular story is a different attitude
toward these narratives than Chazal had.

: I think the Netziv explained it thusly.  In a 1,000 years the statement:
: "The 2-headed eagle has spread his wings over thousands of miles.." will
: face the same mis-understanding.

That's from R' Dov Katz, Tenu'as haMussar vol 1 (tr. R' Leaonard Oschry),
attributed to RYS:
> See S. Mark, op. cit., pp. 88?90. The author also relates that Prof.
> Hermann Helmholtz, the famous philosopher and scientist, evinced an
> interest in meeting R. Israel, and an animated conversation took place
> between the two of them. Helmholtz seized the opportunity to express
> his surprise that the Talmud, which is built on such solid and logical
> foundations should have given space to such legends which sound like
> fanatical and outlandish fantasies, such as the stories of Rabbah bar
> bar Chana, which tell of a bird standing in the sea, with the water
> reaching up to its feet, and its head to heaven (Baba Batra 73b). R.
> Israel answered by using an analogy: They were living in 1871, after
> Germany had won its great victory over France. The King of Prussia had
> been crowned Kaiser of all Germany. His emblem was an eagle.
> Previously it had been one-headed; now it had become two-headed.
> Hundreds of poets and authors had celebrated the event in diverse
> forms. He himself had read a poem in which the author had given a
> description of the glory of modern Germany in these terms: The great
> German eagle had one head reaching out to Memel and the other to Metz;
> its one wing tip touched Kiel and the other Badensee. They knew the
> reference. The poet had described how far German territory now
> extended in all four directions. Now, the professor could imagine to
> himself that 600 years hence ? when no one would remember how Germany
> had been fragmentized in principalities and the metaphoric description
> of the rise of the monarchy someone would find a story of a two-headed
> eagle with wings extending some 300 miles in some library. Would he
> not express the same opinion as the professor had on the stories of
> Rabbah bar bar Chana? Obviously, just as they understood the import of
> the two-headed eagle, so did the people of those times understand the
> implications of those stories, which were certainly richer in content
> than the mere description of an eagle. It was because the present was
> so far removed from that epoch that the description seemed so absurd
> to them. Similar approaches had to be adopted towards the other
> Aggadot of the Talmud as well. The reply is characteristic for R.
> Israel, and shows his rationalistic bent.

Speaking of RYS's rationalistic bent... The whole centerpiece of Mussar
is the notion that perfection of the soul is defined in concrete terms
of personality.

: Did the Rambam and R. Avraham get this from an even earlier source? I do not
: know.  Perhaps R. Sa'adyah or others have said the same.

RDE listed a long line of such rishonim and acharonim. Check the archives.
I think an insistence on literalism has been firmly proven here (in
annual iterations) to be a new invention.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 17:54:15 -0400

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 12:07:48AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: It seems the MB advocated learni orach Chaim as "the ikkar"
: To be VERY fair to the MB himself, his sefarim [viz. Chofetz Chaim and
: Shemiras Halashon, not to mention Ahavas Hessed] cover a LOT of bein adam
: lachavieroa....

How do you know that the CC place the MB ahead of CC, SL and ACh in
importance? He wrote CC first, and wrote his BALC sevarim on a far more
poularist level. I would argue RYMhK placed chessed as the first shelav,
and OCh coming next.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When a king dies, his power ends,
micha@aishdas.org        but when a prophet dies, his influence is just
http://www.aishdas.org   beginning.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                    - Soren Kierkegaard

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 18:18:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kinnot and churban habayit

RET tried asking again this year:
> If one examines both Eicha and the kinnot there is in fact very little
> emphasis on the physical destruction of the bet hamikdash. The emphasis
> in Eicha and followed in the kinnot is on the destruction of the city of
> Jerusalem which is now desolate and more on the loss of life of both the
> general populace and special individuals.

The treatment of other human beings is what caused the churban. In fact,
it was spiritually necherav by our chata'im, and Edom "only" destroyed
the husk.

PERHAPS, if we were to make 9 beAv about the loss of the bayis rather
than the human cost, we would have missed the whole point.

    Shim'u devar H' qetzinei Sedom,
    haazinu Torah E-lokeinu, am Amorah.
    Lamah Li rov zivchekhem, yomar H',
    sava`ti olos eilim vecheilev meri'im...?
    ... Limdu heiteiv
    dirshu mishpat, asherus chamotz,
    shiftu yasom, rivu almanah!
                    Yeshaiah 1:10,11,17

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 4
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 22:35:13 +1000
Re: [Avodah] kenignaot

From: T613K@aol.com
From: "Simon Krysl" _skrysl@gmail.com_ (mailto:skrysl@gmail.com) 
>>I am writing in the hope for a possible insight on perhaps a  technical - 
But to me no less perplexing - question. The Kitzur Shulkhan  Arukh (126.4),
based on Magen Avraham 224.3, prohibits attending "animal  shows" presented
by goyim, as well as dances and other joyful occasions, as  moshavei leicim.
R. Avrohom Davis translates "kenignaot" as "animal shows...( in the text of
the Kitzur itself?) in the Hebrew explicates kenignaot as  "ceid hayot",
that is, hunts. (I do not find any etymology or explanation of  the word
"kenignaot" elsewhere.) <<
I will make a guess -- that "kenig" is the  Yiddish word for "king" and that

what is being referred to here is the kind of  "animal show" that would be
put  on for kings, for example, some kind of  tournament  or staged combat
where knights on horses joust in an arena,  with one of them ending up dead.


Nice pshetl, but I doubt that Chazal used Yiddish or even German...

The meaning is definitely hunts/hunting. I found it listed in Aruch Hashalem
(Kahut), under KNG (vol 7 p 132).

Here are a few sources: Bava Basra 74b, Chulin 60b, AZ 18b, 
Breshis Rabba 33;32, Vayikra Rabba 13.


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Message: 5
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 23:01:16 +1000
Re: [Avodah] kenignaot

From: SBA [mailto:sba@sba2.com] 
The meaning is definitely hunts/hunting. I found it listed in Aruch Hashalem
(Kahut), under KNG (vol 7 p 132).

See http://www.kipa.co.il/jew/show.asp?id=17854


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Message: 6
From: JoshHoff@aol.com
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 11:35:17 EDT
[Avodah] Tisha B'Av

In a message dated 8/13/2008 6:37:15 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org writes:

I had  thought of that answer but I find it to be incomplete. You can't have
it  both ways. Either it's fasting, or it isn't. If it isn't fasting,  then
there is no need to make a restriction on eating and drinking during  that

Not so simple. Even if one needs to eat on Tisha B'av, once he has  satisfied 
that need he is still prohibited from eating the rest of the day,  according 
to Rav Zolti in his Mishnas Yaavetz.

**************Looking for a car that's sporty, fun and fits in your budget? 
Read reviews on AOL Autos.      
00050000000017 )
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Message: 7
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 20:42:07 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Hanheg Bahen Minhag Derech Eretz

Again on this Gemara, as per the Shulchan Aruch Harav in Hilchos Talmud
Torah this Gemara is talking about how to achieve greatness in Torah, and is
not necessarily a general guideline for what path one must take in life. It
is a Machlokes on what is the better path to achieve greatness in Torah. The
multitudes are better off following RY, concludes the Gemara. Someone who
does not think about Torah constantly, but is a good Jew who is koveia Ittim
in whatever sources he can hack, and is Nosei V'nosein BeEmunah, is on
neither path to greatness in Torah, as per the Nefesh Hachaim's explanation
of  Rabbi Yishmael, but he may very well be a very fine Jew.

[ Reminds me of the story about the Netziv, who said that had he not begged
his parents not to turn him into a shoemaker's apprentice he would have been
asked after 120 "where is your Haamek Sheela/Beracha/Davar etc. I forgot who
it was, but a Rosh Yeshiva once told someone who was frittering his time
away in Yeshiva - after 120 they'll ask you - "where are your shoes"? ]

I'll add something from Sefer Binyan Olam (the Mussar Sefer on the
importance of Torah study), page 62. He quotes from Sefer Menuchah
UKedushah,who, after quoting R' Chaim Volozhiner (he says it is actually
from the GRA), writes - "Know my sons that I have already stumbled in
interpreting the Gemara as its simple meaning, and I went away from
permanence in Torah study after I had already clung to it well, as is
appropriate, for two consecutive years, and I merited then the pleasantness
of its sweetness. And after the two years (which was my initial intent when
I left my home) and I searched through the Gemara and all the Poskim, and I
saw them unanimously say that one should be involved in Derech Eretz along
with Torah, and they wrote it without elaboration, and I did not understand
their interpretation that they also meant like Rav Chaim (Volozhiner)
because the Sefer Nefesh Hachaim had not yet been published then, and had I
seen it I certainly would have listened to him and I would have been a big
Talmid Chacham and a Tzaddik etc. Maybe Hashem will see my impoverished
state and will grant that my descendants listen to my advice to them in this
Sefer of mine, revealing to them my error so that they will avoid it, and to
choose the path of truth, etc."

(This may run counter to the Shulchan Aruch Harav and says that R' Chaim
means it for everyone Mamesh, but it isn't Muchrach. I'm not sure).
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Message: 8
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 20:55:47 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Hanheg Bahen Minhag Derech Eretz

from Doron

Maalos HaTorah (pg. 195 in the Menukad edition) - while his mind is
occupied with his business affairs, he should learn whatever his mind
can handle at the time.  >>

To me this seems the most reasonable.  What is possible for some
gedolim is not possible for
the average person or for every profession (eg surgery)

I have in general a problem with some gedolim who seem to assume that
they are typical and
everyone can do what they do. An outstanding example is Yavetz who
writes that he gets
some 4 hours of sleep which he recommends to everyone. In another
place he writes that
he doesn't understand the complaints against ashkenazi piyuttim. If
one knows all shas, medrashim
and medieval Hebrew then they are straightforward.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 9
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 13:59:27 -0400
[Avodah] Interesting Shailah

You shall not (inter)marry with them; you shall not give your daughter  
to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. (Dev.7:3)

Since marriage between a Jew and a non Jew has no halachic validity,  
it is an oxymoron. How can it say you shall not marry them?                            
Rambam's answer, I believe, refers to civil marriages which are  
recognized as valid by the non Jewish countries, such as the U.S.

However, my question is: Could THAT have been what the Torah had in  
mind when it uses the word "marriage" (sischatayn).

[Not that it means much, but Va'eschanan has chassan as three of its  

Kol tuv.

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Message: 10
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 21:03:47 +0300
[Avodah] pasken like SA

But let me digress to a larger issue. Some talmiddi mof mine "heard" that
Ashkenazim ALWAYS follow Rema.  That is simply false.>>

Is it also false that sefardim always pasken like the mechabber. Many have
exceptions based on local minhag.
ROY has attacked the Morrocoans for not always following the Mechaber.
I saw a sefer defending the Morrocoans. There was one chapter that
brought several cases where ROY himself does not pasken like the SA.

One famous example is the definition of shekia. SA paskens like Rabbenu Tam
that it means a second shkia "72 minutes" after sunset.  Most ashkenazim
and sefardim pasken like the geonim, gra, SAHarav that it is astronomical sunset

Eli Turkel

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Message: 11
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 14:45:32 +0200
Re: [Avodah] 10 shevatim

On Wednesday, 13. August 2008 12.36:42 avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org wrote:
> It could be that when Moshiach comes, Eliyahu Hanavi will reconstitute all
> ? the tribes by telling each Jew exactly what Shevet he is /really/ part
> of, ben achar ben. ?Maybe the "lost" tribes will never be "found" because
> by now they have been goyim for too many generations. ?But we will still
> have ?twelve tribes, just by correctly identifying all the Jews who have
> been wrongly assigned to Yehuda all these years.

I wonder, whether everyone agrees that the non Jewish child of a Jew, who 
converted, has absolutely no filial relationship with his father, or whether 
some authorities would say that while the qedushah of kehunah cannot be 
transmitted this way, one could maitain his status as a Danite, Reubenite, 
Simonite, Zebulonite, Jew, Benyaminite etc.

I vaguely remember hearing something in the name of Rav Ya'aqov of Lissa 
(Netivot haMishpat), but never saw it. I also wonder who else might have 
written on this topic.

Does the Amishav foundation have anything to say on the matter?
Arie Folger

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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 18:59:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] pasken like SA

Eli Turkel wrote:

> One famous example is the definition of shekia. SA paskens like Rabbenu Tam
> that it means a second shkia "72 minutes" after sunset.  Most ashkenazim
> and sefardim pasken like the geonim, gra, SAHarav that it is astronomical sunset

The Mechaber changed his mind in Hil' Milah.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas


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