Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 317

Fri, 05 Sep 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 00:14:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] KSA, MB, AhS, Chayei Adam and other codes

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:41:26AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 11:38:10PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : Ask yourself the following questions and contemplate their implications:
> I find there is no one issue in your list we didn't discuss already more
> than once.
> Your basic fallacy is in your first question:
> :    1. Based upon Torah Principles:
> :       1. Do we want a subjetvie or objective ps'aq?
> Something in between. A heuristic drives you to a particular subset of
> the possibilities without requiring you reach any particular one. There
> are constraints on possible conclusions without forcing any particular
> one from that set.

then you have to better define heurisitics.
But even there ther ARE RULES, OBJECTIVE RULES that Posqkim must adhere to.
E.G.  not ending a sentence with a perposition, or to aggegregiously without
concern of consequences split an infinitve!

> Similarly, that is why there can be a to'eh bidvar mishnah or a mesechtes
> Horios.
> :    4. Re: Algorithimics
> :       1. In which post did  I ever propose an algorithmic solution to
> p'sak/
> ...
> Numerous times, including two lines later in this same post. To wit:
> :       3. If Algorithmics is off-limits please describe the techniques
> :       ascribed to:
> ...

The are lies
D...'ed Lies
And quoting out of context.
I was NOT advocting algorithimics. I was rejecting your rejection of
algorithmics using a hypothetical case. I actualyl have not exactly defined
my system. But I do ask that posqim

   1. submit themselves to Halachah
   2. be consistent
   3. But in DIRE circumsances allow for exmptions.

> In all these cases there are exceptions to the rules. That this is true
> for the SA's "beis din" is well known and discussed on Avodah often.
> This indicates that the SA meant it as a "soft rule", a heuristic
> "something to be weighed very very heavily", but still, can be violated
> when sufficient other reason exists.

I don't call if a 'soft rule O r a heuristic. I cal lit a default a klal a
gnerality. When the SA deviates we CAN call him on it and if there is an
over-riding excpetoin Good and if not we can question his adherence to his
own rules

The point? The BY violated HIS OWN rule re: 3 matzos. Which says to me that
the rule was not soft but a default In the face of a STRONGER over-riding
rule he gave in. What WAS that over-riding rule? Well look at BY hismlef nd
the kaf hachayyim. BOTH subscribe to the same rule even though ti overturns
the Rif/rambam for the By and the GRA for the Kaf hachayyim.

I really do nto care so much about whenter you use 2 or 3 matzos. the point
is that BY made an excpeoin to his default because of OVEWHLEMING need to
over-ride. And pretty muc hall the peer review agreed.  {see e.g. Shelah
quoted by Kaf hachayyim] But GRA resisted it anyway.  That resistance to
even strong META rules to me is a dangerous slippery sliope tha has NOTHING
to do with heuristics.

So waht SHOULD the GRA have done?
He should have said I honestly believe that all of the above are wrong and
that the Gmara demans TWO not THREE, but I am going to defer to the SYSTEM
at large, the peer reivew, etc. but he did not. This is not due to any
hueuristics. It is due to the abilty of a Gaon to use oforce of personality
to ignore consensus. It is imho no different than Tanur Achnai etc.

And if the GRA did not himself abuse, he opened the door for others to do
so.  Shades of slipepry Sloep and Antignos ish Socho.

BTW the BIGGEr the genius the more likely he is to come up with something
out of the mainstream.  In fact, halacha has not usually faovred Genius over
Cosnensus. See BH vs. BS, R. Meir and hsi chaverim . Halacha kerav Akiva
meichaveiro nbut NOT meichveirav are all examples of what I mean.

> Unlike actual nimnu vegamru, a vote taken of a BD of people sitting in
> the same room.

Look the BY uses it often. Are you saying HE is wrong? He did it to overeule
the Rif in YD 101 Ayein Sham

> ...
> :    1. Search or scan the Major Posqim ? Tur, BY, SA, Rema, MB Ahs Etc,.
> :                                                               i.      Do
> : they frequently  use terms as sniffim to build a case?
> : OR
> :                                                             ii.      Do
> they
> : use terms like Rov Posqim, Rov Acahronim , Maskanas Haposqim etc.[e.g.
> see
> : Maggid Mishneh Rambam Hilchos Shabbas 5:1]
> In establishing a theoretical halakhah, or in applying it to metzi'us?
> The former is the establishment of factors to be weighed far more than
> actually having a case in which to weigh them. Codes discuss senifim far
> more than discuss how they interact. That's why I pointed you to shu"t
> (in particular, RIM's survey), not codes.
> As RnCL wrote back on Nov 9 2007
> <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol24/v24n049.shtml#01>:
> > I don't think I disagree with your analysis that part of psak is
> > heuristic with factors having to be weighed. The point is that you cannot
> > weigh factors if you don't start with the case and then look at what
> > applies (ie factors). If you start where RAF seemed to want to start -
> > with philosophical principles that you formulate in the abstract as a
> > consistent guide to life and upon which you believe you now need to act,
> > you are almost certainly going to miss many factors, (and often and most
> > likely the human cost factor as the human cost is borne by the shoel or
> > by society, not so much by the posek) in your analysis.
> Returning to RRW's latest post on the topic:
> :    2. Re: Acceptablity
> :       1. IF posqim are right simply because they are popular than how is
> :       that ANY different than schectherian Cahtolic Israel?
> Because Schechter had no constitutional law. Therefore, his definition of
> Catholic Israel became circular. The law is decided by the norms of the
> observant community and he defined the observant community based on who
> followed the law. By those criteria, assume R is within the observant
> community and you can prove they are because by that definition they
> follow the practices of much of the so-called-observant community. (The
> "much" who are themselves, the former R.)

Yep and I say taht any gadol who is "accepted" can be justified by your
postings because since he is an acceptable Gadol ANYTHING he says msut be

A Radical Talmudist I know persoanlyl has been quoted as saying that you can
halachically follow ANY Tanan or Amora because th Talmud would not hae
included an opino fro ma heretic so it MUST be a kosher opinion.

But that is denying psaq and Tanur Achani etc.

> Again, after 11 months it seems clear to me that you're confusing
> heuristic with anarchy.

You have defened waht I consider indefensible psaqim with heuristics. IT is
your own use of the word that leads ME to believe that is HOW you mean it.

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 00:18:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Fish and milk REdux

On Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM, Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:

> Richard Wolpoe wrote:
>  For example, just because BY states that fish and milk are not permitted
>> together does not make it normative. We analyze this BY and E.g. the Rema in
>> Darchei Moshe posits 'ta'us Soferim.
> Actually he doesn't say it's a copyist's error, because the context
> doesn't allow for that.  It's quite clear that the BY himself wrote
> milk, and meant milk.   When the DM says "nitchalef lo basar bechalav",
> he means that the BY himself confused milk and meat.   Needless to say
> that's a very bedochak explanation, but since there's no other mention
> of such a sakana the DM evidently feels forced to it.
> --
> Zev Sero

I just saw the Taz in YD 87.  He specifically calls the alleged error in the
BY re: fish and milk as a Ta'us Sofer.
And the Sefer haSheetos qutoes this and attributes Ta'us Sofer to BOTH DM
and Taz. IOw he does not make the above distinction.

I guess that iff I was in error in calling this a Ta'us Sofer at least I am
in good company.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 00:24:22 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Geirut

In Avodah Digest, Vol 25, Issue 305 dated 8/26/2008 "Chana Luntz"  

>>An alternative halachic paradigm that could possibly be  applicable is that
of tnai....    In that sense, the way KOM  is usually understood (and as you
have articulated it) appears to resemble  a tnai on the giur.  That is, the
convert says, or is deemed to have  said (or is required to say), I convert
on condition that I accept that I  am obligated that I keep the mitzvoth -
and then if he does not accept the  mitzvot, the giur is never chal.  This
fits rather better with what  you quote as your father's view that if the
person at some later time did  accept the mitzvoth, the giur would be chal at
that time, than what appears  to be the more common view in circulation at
the moment that conversions  can be completely invalidated by showing that
the person was not  immediately after the conversion, shomer mitzvos....  


And as I  have indicated, the intrinsic argument is difficult, because then
the codes  really ought to say: the requirements for giur are: a) mila; b)
tevila; c)  korban and d) KOM (not necessarily in that order).  Even if it
was a  rabbinic requirement, learnt out from Bechoros 30b, one would have
expected  it to be listed in the codes as one of the necessary elements.
That is,  trying to leave aside the politics, the textual difficulty.   People
are so convinced that KOM is an intrinsic requirement, that they  keep trying
to read the sources as saying that.  But the language one  would expect to
see in such a case is just not there.  And that is  what makes this tricky. 

As I wrote in another letter, trying to become a ger without keeping the  
mitzvos would be like to trying to become an American so you can be an American  
gangster.  To me KOM seems to be so intrinsic to being a Jew that it just  
would not have occurred to any generation before the Reform movement that there  
could even be such a concept as "a Jew who does not keep mitzvos."  There  
could be such a thing as a Jew who is porek ol, a rasha, a sinner, a bad person,  
but there couldn't be such a thing as a Jewish identity DEFINED other than 
"the  ones who are beholden by the bris, the ones who are subject to the Torah." 
  I think that the earlier generations didn't list KOM as a requirement for 
gerus  because it literally did not occur to them that somebody who was not 
born a Jew  would approach a court and say, "I am not presently a Jew but I want 
to become  one, al me-nas  to be a porek ol, a rasha, a sinner, or a tinok  
shenishba."  If you had said any such thing to a bais din before  the 19th 
century, they would have said, "This--does--not--compute."  If you  had said to 
them, "I want to convert al me-nas to be a Tzedoki, or a  Karaite" I do not 
believe that any court would have accepted such a ger  (unless it was a Tzedoki or 
a Karaite court).  KOM was so  intrinsically part of the definition of being a 
Jew that they didn't even think  of listing it as a separate requirement for 
conversion -- it would have seemed  tautological to them -- like saying, "In 
order to be a Jew, you have to be a  Jew."

--Toby  Katz

**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel 
deal here.      
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Message: 4
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 01:40:29 EDT
Re: [Avodah] NASA, Dead-Sea Scrolls and G-D's holy name

From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
> When reading a  megillah in a foreign language (Megillah 18a), are there
> limits on the  kesav? Or do they mean writing Greek in Ashuris letters --
> like Yiddish  or Ladino?

>>Bear in mind that Greek letters were used in the BHMK  because "yaft
Elokim leYefet, veyishkon beoholei Shem".  So the Greek  alphabet also
has a special  significance.<<

Greek letters were used in the BHMK?  Where, what,  why?

--Toby  Katz

**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel 
deal here.      
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Message: 5
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 01:48:51 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Reciting l'Dovid Hashem Ori

From: Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk>
>>I stopped saying l'Dovid when I was alerted to the  Sabbatean origins of 
the custom to say it at this time of  year. <<

Just because one person finds some indications that  the custom may have been 
of Sabbatean origin doesn't mean that he's right, or  that you should stop a 
custom that by now is so widespread in Klal  Yisrael.  An individual should 
not set himself up as a higher authority or  bigger tzaddik than everybody else, 
unless he hears that some of the biggest  gedolim and poskim stopped saying 
l'Dovid Hashem Ori for that reason,  or  he really is a big posek himself,  or 
has been told to do so by his own  posek or rav.  

--Toby  Katz

**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel 
deal here.      
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Message: 6
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 02:12:12 EDT
Re: [Avodah] "Hashem" as God's name

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
>>And before the  war, his Yiddish speaking father would have said "de
Aibishter" (the Most  High).<<

I think, although I am not certain, that he would  have said "der Aibishter." 
 We Americans, those of us who retain a  smattering of Yiddish, have mostly 
forgotten that in Yiddish the definite  article must be masculine or feminine 
to match the gender of the noun.  In  English most nouns have no gender, so we 
are not even conscious of such a  thing (except for some old-fashioned 
constructions, like using the  pronoun "she" for ships and countries).   Even knowing 
that there is  such a rule in Yiddish, with most words I have no idea whether 
I should be using  "der" or "dos."  I think "di" is plural but I'm not even 
sure about  that.  I never speak Yiddish out loud because I am painfully aware 
that I  can't string together six words in Yiddish without making six mistakes 
in  grammar and pronunciation.  I love to hear the language spoken but as 
time  goes by, more and more native Yiddish speakers are leaving us, and more and 
more  oldsters speak plain American English.  I mourn the passing of the 
language  of my grandparents, the language of warmth and comfort, chicken soup and 
kugel  and faith and shelter in a storm and light in the darkness.

--Toby  Katz

**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel 
deal here.      
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