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Volume 26: Number 50

Sat, 14 Mar 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:30:16 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Women covering hair

On Tue, 10 Mar 2009 22:16:43 EDT
T6...@aol.com wrote:


> But the posek (ROY?) who was quoted recently as permitting women to read  the 
> megilla for men (in the extremely remote case that no man could do it) was  
> also quoted as saying IIRC that the woman who leins for men should read the  
> megilla without the trop.

Actually, Hacham Ovadyah, who is indeed the posek in question, has
ruled *exactly the opposite*, that she should read the Megillah (for
men) *with* the cantillations!

Hazon Ovadyah Purim pp. 60-61
Hat tip: our friendly JTS blogger Menachem Mendel:

Bein Din Ledin - http://bdl.freehostia.com
A discussion of Hoshen Mishpat, Even Ha'Ezer and other matters

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Message: 2
From: "Chana Luntz" <ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 11:55:15 -0000
[Avodah] women reading megilla

RTK writes:

> But the posek (ROY?) who was quoted recently as permitting women to read
> the
> megilla for men (in the extremely remote case that no man could do it) was
> also quoted as saying IIRC that the woman who leins for men should read
> the
> megilla without the trop.

Where do you see this?  The piece from Ha'aretz that started this off

"Yosef said that most rabbis forbid women to read the megillah on the
grounds that men are forbidden to listen to women sing, because a woman's
singing voice can stimulate sexual arousal. However, he said, he does not
agree that a woman chanting a sacred text is the kind of singing that
stimulates sexual arousal. The analogy rabbis have drawn between singing and
chanting sacred texts has "no value," he declared.

Yosef said women should not read for men if there are men capable of doing
the reading. But in a "small community" where there are no men capable of
chanting the text properly, it is permissible to bring a woman to read, he

While one might not always want to rely on Ha'aretz's summary of ROY's
halachic position, I do not think this is an inaccurate summary of what is
found in his writings.

RRW then wrote responding to RTK:

> : True but that is AIUI ROY was factoring in -IOW chosheish - for BEHAG
> etc. : So he would not permit it lechatchila

And RMB then responded to both of them 
> ROY being ROY, he's not so much being chosheish for the Bahag and a
> bunch of Ashkenazi rishonim, as much as the mechabeir giving it as a
> yeish omerim.

But in all these quotes the implication (or explicit statement) was that
RTK's assertion that the issue for ROY was women singing and hence they
should do it without the trop was accepted.

The basis for ROY's discomfort is not as far as I can see based on the idea
that there is a problem of woman singing for men by chanting the trop, but
that the yesh omrim brings the Behag who holds that the obligation for men
and women are different.  The Behag holds that while men are obligated in
*reading* women are obligated in *listening* and therefore women cannot be
motzei men.

TO quote the Yalkut Yosef on this (I know somebody brought this, but I think
a lot of people, including me, could not read what was brought, because he
only sent it in Hebrew, and Hebrew comes out as question marks on my
digests), so I will write it in transliteration:

Yesh omrim she af al pi she hanashim chayvot b'mikra megila, ainun motziot
et ha anashim yadei chovatan. V'yesh cholkim v'omrim shehanashim y'chalot
l'hotzei et ha'anashim yedei chova.  V'af al pi she haikar k'dat ha'achrona,
nachon l'chush l'svara rishona, elea im ken b'shat hadchak.  Mikol makom,
ain issur b'zeh mishum "kol b'isha erva".

Or in English:

There are those who say that even though women are obligated in mikra
megila, they cannot be motzei men from their obligation.  And there are
those who disagree and say that women are able to be motzei men from their
obligation.  And even though the truth is like the last opinion, it is
correct to be concerned for the first opinion unless it is a shas hadchak.
But in any event, there is no prohibition in this of "the voice of a woman
is erva". 

The issue that the Yalkut Yosef grapples with in his footnotes, is why is it
that one should be choshesh for the first opinion.  As he brings in footnote
21 the general rule is that "stam, v'yesh omrim, halacha k'stam" - that is,
the general rule of Sephardi poskening that ROY and I think most other
Sephardi poskim follow is that if Maran (the Mechaber) brings two opinions,
one without any qualification (a "stam") and one beginning "yesh omrim" the
halacha follows the stam (and the most that tends to be said is that if one
wishes to be choshesh for the yesh omrim, tov aleha bracha - sort of like
the Rema's baal nefesh machmir).

That is why, BTW, that when my husband, whom most people know is Sephardi
(many years ago, before he met me - when he was first in Jerusalem) asked
whether he could be yotzei his obligation by one of these women's megilla
readings, he was told that he could, and while he shouldn't davka go and
seek one out, if it happened that the most convenient megilla reading in
terms of time or location was a woman's one, he didn't need to put himself
out by going to a men's one.  As it happens he has never taken advantage of
this psak (the fact that megilla tends to be read as part of either ma'ariv
or shachris tends to mean that he is in a location where a man's reading is
taking place anyway).  But in many ways ROY's psak is on the machmir end of
the spectrum, and can be considered a deviation from the norms of Sephardi
psak. [Of course, as RMF and others have brought, this is not the case for
Ashkenazim, as the Rema follows the Behag].

BTW, even in the Yalkut Yosef, you can see the contrast between this
paragraph and the next paragraph, which discussed the case where the only
person who is able to read megilla is a katan.  The relevant section reads
as follows:

"V'katan aino motzi acherim yadei chovatan, v'afilu im hegia l'chinuch.
B'shat hadchak hagadol yachol hakatan l'hotzei yadei chova, v'nachon
sheb'sha'ah she koreh hamegilla yikareu acherav mitoch hamegilla kashera
maleh b'maleh.


And a minor is not motzei others from their obligation and even if he has
reached the age of chinuch.  And in a great shas hadchak [shas hadchak
gadol] a minor is able to motzei others from their obligation. But it is
correct that at the time that he reads the megilla, they should read after
him in a kosher megilla word by word.

And the footnote states, after reciting that everybody pretty much holds
that a minor cannot be motzei an adult,  "m'kol makom, b'shat hadchak
she'ain ish sheyodea l'krot hamegilla yachol hakatan sh'hegia l'chinuch
l'hotzeiam v'chen ha'aleh b'shut ...."  "or in any event, b'shas hadchak
where there isn't a man who knows how to read megilla a minor who has
reached the age of chinuch is able to be motzei them and this is found in
the responsa ..."

But if a shas hadchak gadol is when there is no man around who can read the
megilla, then it does rather beg the question what a shas hadchak that is
not gadol is?

As a side note, the things that a minor can do under Sephardi psak seem to
be more general than the common Ashkenazi minhag am used to. My husband
keeps suggesting that it won't be long before my six year old boy can
technically be included in a mezuman, because the Sephardi psak is that one
need not wait until barmitzvah.  I confess I haven't looked in to this, and
am not sure what level of knowledge and understanding is needed (and I
suspect, whatever the technicalities, given that few people seem to know
this, it is unlikely to happen that often).  In addition, the gabbai in my
husband's shul is already telling my son that if he gets some of psukei
d'zimra down pat, he can do them for the shul on shabbas morning.  

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha



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Message: 3
From: "SBA" <s...@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 23:02:32 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Shmoneh esrei - 18/19

From: D&E-H Bannett 
Re:  <<I once heard (I know, this is usually not a good 
introduction to a reliable source) that Kallir purposely omitted a q'rova
the bracha of "Et tzemach David" on Purim.
That's what the commentary in the Artscroll siddur states>>

I was not very surprised that Artscroll backs such 
teirutzim. What is the halakhic or other justification for 
ignoring the evidence of the Yerushalmi, the nusach of the 
combined b'rakha in the nusach E"Y found in the geniza and 
the lack of a krova for the extra b'rakha.

I think you are being a bit harsh on Reb Art.

What they probably meant was as I saw in another publication on Yotzros etc
that there is much proof that RE Hakalir generally held with the Yerushalmi
v. Bavli. 
And so he id here re Kroyvetz.


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Message: 4
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjba...@panix.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 09:32:10 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Shmoneh esrei 18/19?

From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
> David ? 

> > If one looks at the evidence there is no need for teirutzim. 
> > What is wrong with there having been tov b'rakhot instead of 
> > chai b'rakhot? If there is something very wrong with having 
> > had 17, should we, perhaps, combine two brakhot to return 
> > the present 19 back to the holy 18?
> Perhaps nothing wrong but IIRC the gmara in brachos links 18 with Psalm
> 29 having 18 hazkoros. And FWIW so does Baruch Hashem l'olam

So that's an older or Palestinian memra.

But the braita in Megillah which lists the brachot and the reasons that
each one is the natural successor to the previous one lists all 19.
> The way it was taught to me is that the original 18 went 2 ways:
> Up to 19 or maintaining 18 by contraction

> Saying. In EY they contracted 2 brachos to preserve 18 supports the idea
> that tefillah "yud cheis" is a long-standing term.

While what I understood from Netiv Binah and any number of other sources
was that in Bavel, where the Davidic dynasty continued in the office of
the Reish Galuta, they split out a separate bracha for Es Tzemach Dovid.
> While David may be correct historically I prefer the logic of the way I
> was taught because it all fits together. 17 doesn't seem to fit as well.

Nobody I know says "17".  When Samuel Klein "tikein" the Birchat haMinim,
it was a "correction" so that it would refer to the minim that existed in
his own day (Christians etc.) rather than, maybe, syncretists of the post
Bavel period.

IOW the bracha existed, but was out of date.  Meanwhile, in Bavel, they
created a 19th bracha.  But it was always 18 in EY, as evidence by the
Yerushalmi and Kallir, and now by the Geniza.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjba...@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 5
From: "SBA" <s...@sba2.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:55:59 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Shmoneh esrei - 18/19

From: D&E-H Bannett 
SBA (OLD) ... hakdomo of the sefer Al HaGeulah ve'al  HaTemurah ...quotes
the Bach (OCh 118)  who "...shehis'chil bevinyan Yerushalayim vesayem
beChisei Dovid - she'ein hap'sicha me'ein hachasima..."

The AHVH goes on "...vetamtsis devarav - deshapir haveh chasima me'ein
hap'sicha deBinyan yerushalayim veChisei Dovid chada milsa....she'ein anu
mevakshin al binyan yerushalayim - ela be'ofen sheyihye raui leKisei Dovid
- lo be'ofen achar.."

But this is only a teirutz after the fact. 

I don't think so.
AIUI the Bach says [and the AHVH emphasizes] that the request for Boneh
Yerushalyaim  must be with the vechisei Dovid.

>>>The AHVH doesnt even consider the possibility that there was only one
b'rakha in E"Y and, after they were separated, for some reason a piece of
one got stuck in the other.

I would suggest that  the Nusach EY is even a stronger proof to the
abovementioned statement of the Bach


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Message: 6
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:06:20 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Shmoneh esrei - 18/19

I think you are being a bit harsh on Reb Art"

I think reb art in general does a good job

If you look on their commentaries on akdamus (the book) and on yatziv pisgam they explain how those poems follow (or used to follow) the bracha

And that is because they are not a hefseik in the qriah but a haqdama to the targum

The implications?
The taz's kasha against aqdamus following bracha falls away as a mis-understanding

The use of aramaic is NOT qabbalistic but just matches the taegum to follow

Yehonasan gvar invessan is NOT a back refernce to Moshe rabbeinu but a forward reference .to the upcoming targum yonassan.

Really the reader should NOT recite these rather the meturgaman should!

I don't know if reb art got all points but if you understand the dynamics
and know that despite the taZ heidenheim kept aqdamus after first passuk
"bachodesh hashlishi" then the pieces all fall into place.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 7
From: "Silverman, Philip B" <Philip.Silver...@bcbsga.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 12:35:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Choshen

SBA asked about the background of the world "Choshen," and some folks
have responded with interesting answers.

I'm curious if any grammarians out there have focused on the two-letter
root "ches-shin" with a nun suffix.


All the best, Phil


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Message: 8
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 15:26:36 -0400
[Avodah] Getting Drunk on Purim

R' Eli wrote: ROY discourages getting drunk on Purim and advocates a  
little drink and falling asleep.
A person is obligated to become inebriated on Purim until he doesn't  
know the difference between cursed is Haman and blessed is  
Mordechai.                                        (Talmud Megillah 7b)
We know that certain things are said tongue in cheek. Many things that  
are written are not to be taken literally, and I believe this is one  
of them.  I find it hard to accept that one will be taken to task and   
punished because he didn't get drunk on Purim.
Here's a personal perspective. In the story of Purim, Haman was drunk  
with power. Since he knew the difference between himself and  
Mordechai, we are symbolically reliving the history of pretending to  
be as drunk as Haman was -- and to show that we are nothing like him  
(God forbid) -- we act as if we don't know the difference between  
Haman and Mordechai, just to spite the fact that Haman thought he knew  
the difference. For similar reasons, we wear masks to pretend we are  
someone else -- again, to mock Haman,        y-mock shmo.
Kol tuv.
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Message: 9
From: D&E-H Bannett <db...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 22:13:22 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Shmoneh esrei - 18/19

Re: the comment addressed to me <<I think you are being a 
bit harsh on Reb Art.>>

referring to <<Kallir purposely omitted a q'rova for the 
bracha of "Et tzemach David" on Purim. That's what the 
commentary in the Artscroll siddur states>>

I did not write the above.  My comment on it said that I was 
not surprised that Artscroll backed this teirutz.  Is that 
too harsh?  I admit that it might hint that I don't agree 
with Artscroll on this.  But no more than that.


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Message: 10
From: Daniel Israel <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 21:16:44 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Women covering hair

T6...@aol.com wrote:
> But the posek (ROY?) who was quoted recently as permitting women to read 
> the megilla for men (in the extremely remote case that no man could do 
> it) was also quoted as saying IIRC that the woman who leins for men 
> should read the megilla without the trop.

RnCL and RYG pointed out that ROY does not say this.  However, my 
understanding is there are poskim (I'm not sure who) that take exactly 
the position RnTK suggests: women can read for men, but not with trop.

I was discussing this with someone and he pointed out that no such 
caveat exists in the SA, which he took to imply that the SA would hold 
that the trop is not a problem.  I questioned this conclusion.

So here's my question: do those who hold that in such a case a woman 
should not use trop consider themselves to be cholek on the SA, or do 
they hold that the SA would have agreed with them, and simply felt it 
was obvious enough that it didn't need to be explicitly mentioned in 
that sif?

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 12:31:54 +0200
[Avodah] superstition

To review a topic we have discussed before
what distinguishes a minhag from a superstition

I am just reading in one the daily halacha messages that
one should not cut ones fingernails and toesnails on one day
either because it is dangerous or else (in the name of
rashi yashan - whatever that means) because of "lo yilbash gever"
(implies a woman can do it).
Didnt understand that either - a woman does something reasonable
and so a man can't do it??
The source is the sefer Maggid Mesharim of things the angel told
R. Karo.

Even more the Ramah says not to cut the nails in order but gives
a different order (in darcei Moshe brings that cutting nails in the natural
order causes poverty, memory loss ad burying one chidren.

Though some objected to these things MB says one should follow
it lechatchila.

To me it sounds like a superstition. Nothing is mentioned in the
Gemara about this.

shabbat shalom

Eli Turkel

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Message: 12
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 15:29:18 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Women covering hair

> RnCL and RYG pointed out that ROY does not say this.  However, my 
> understanding is there are poskim (I'm not sure who) that take exactly 
> the position RnTK suggests: women can read for men, but not with trop.

> I was discussing this with someone and he pointed out that no such
> caveat exists in the SA, which he took to imply that the SA would hold
> that the trop is not a problem. I questioned this conclusion.

The original halachic objection for women reading is the BEHAG
Tosafos assumes this psaq matches tosefta.

IIRC the Korban Nesan'el says that women reading for women is a K'vod
Zibbur issue not a qol isha issue.

I don't know when and how the issue morphed from K'vod Zibbur to
Kol. Isha. Qol Isha is a highly problematic concept to tie back to shas.
While K'vod Tzibbur is easy to demonstrate from Shas.

Illustration: A man may let his wife "bensch" for him halachically but
tavo alav Me'eira. This is commonly understood to mean that he should
be cursed for such a poor education that he needs his wife to enable him.

So the argument goes that any zibbur NEEDING a woman should be ashamed
of itself that it needs to resort to a woman.

Qol isha is not a factor

AISI if there is such a thing as minhag ta'us then I would posit svara
ta'us. Or iow there is a valid svara to not let women to lain for men
but qol isha is aisi a red herring

Good Shabbos
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 13:45:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Rambam's naturalism

On Mon, Mar 09, 2009 at 02:21:12PM +0200, Michael Makovi wrote:
: According to Rambam, in "hakol bidei shamayim hutz miyirat shamayim",
: the "hakol" (which is in G-d's hands) is natural law, and "yirat
: shamayim" (which is not in G-d's hands) is all the actions of man,
: which are either mutar or assur.

Arguably, the Rambam could say that since HP is in response to da'as, a
person has some control over it. But I don't see the Rambam actually
saying that the actual responding is outside "yedei Shamayim". But at
that point, it becomes an argument as to what "yad" means.

: But if so, what do we make of the following passage?
: The Rabbis expatiate very much upon this subject in the Midrash
: Koheleth and in other writings, one of their statements in
: reference to this matter being, "Everything follows its natural
: course". In everything that they said, you will always find that
: the Rabbis (peace be unto them!) avoided referring to the Divine
: Will as determining a particular event at a particular time.

Ah, but continuing the paragraph, it is clear the Rambam is speaking of
the difference between Hashem creating human nature and determinism of
human action:
    When, therefore, they said that man rises and sits down in accordance
    with the will of God, their meaning was that, when man was first
    created, his nature was so determined that rising up and sitting down
    were to be optional to him; but they as little meant that God wills
    at any special moment that man should or should not get up, as He
    determines at any given time that a certain stone should or should
    not fall to the ground. [3] The sum and substance of the matter
    is, then, that thou shouldst believe that just as God willed that
    man should be upright in stature, broad chested, and have fingers,
    likewise did He will that man should move or rest of his own accord,
    and that his actions should be such as his own free will dictates
    to him, without any outside influence or restraint, which fact God
    clearly states in the truthful Law, which elucidates this problem,
    when it says "Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good
    and evil."[1] The Targum, in paraphrasing this passage, explains
    the meaning of the words mimmenu lada`at tob wara`. Man has become
    the only being in the world who possesses a characteristic which no
    other being has in common with him. What is this characteristic? It
    is that by and of himself man can distinguish between good and evil,
    and do that which he pleases, with absolutely no restraint. Since,
    then, this is so, it would have even been possible for him to have
    stretched out his hand, and, taking of the tree of life to have
    eaten of its fruit, and thus live forever. [2]

Gorfinkel's footnotes:
    [3] Cf M's Commentary on Abot IV 23 (Rawicz Commentar pp 89 90): H.
    Teshubah V 4, and Moreh III 17 Fifth Theory. See Rosin. Ethik p 69 n 6
    [1] Gen III 22
    [2] Cf. H Teshuvah V 1

I do not see in this discussion where he attacks hashgachah in general.
After all, the 8th pereq is about bechirah; and his only mention of
hashgachah is in contrast to bechirah. The question of HP (including
sechar va'onesh) vs hashgachah kelalis (including the Divine Wisdom
expressed in nature) is outside the discussion.

: Moreover, Rambam went to great lengths to be naturalistic, even going
: so far as to say that all miracles were pre-instituted at creation,
: and are not ad-hoc volitional acts of G-d. Rambam repeats this on Avot
: 5:5. If "EVERYTHING follows its natural course", and if the Rabbis
: avoided referring events to ad-hoc Divine Will, and even miracles are
: not ad-hoc interventions, clearly this excludes the notion that in
: addition to our free will (which G-d does not interfere with), that
: G-d ALSO performs ad-hoc actions of His own.

Peirush haMishnayos 5:5 is saying that neis isn't a suspension of
teva as much as teva was created with the possibility of neis. E.g.,
"On the fourth day, when the sun was created, there was placed with
in it the potential to at some time stand still when Joshua spoke to
it." Not a constant following of natural course as much as a version of
nature which doesn't require believing that G-d changed His mind when
He performed a miracle.

: End of that subject, onto another one.

I remain with my belief that the Rambam doesn't suggest in either of
these quotes anything like the Ralbag's notion that hashgachah is only
expressed as ruach haqodesh or nevu'ah.

And thus, no contradiction to Moreh III:18 to need resolution.

: I said that according to Manekin, Novel Will has nothing to do with
: intellect, whereas Divine Providence is based davka on intellect. R'
: Micha objected:
: > That's a very hard position to support. Will is something Intellect has.
: > Basic Aristotilian physics: Intellect has Will
: > ...
: > ...
: > And chap 18 [of the Moreh] includes: "For it is the intensity of the Divine
: > intellectual influence that has inspired the prophets, guided the good
: > in their actions, and perfected the wisdom of the pious."

: Sorry. Let me clarify my intent. My point was that Manekin's Novel
: Will has nothing to do with the RECIPIENTS' intellect. Obviously,
: everything G-d does is in accordance with His will and His intellect
: (which are actually one and the same thing, but...). My point,
: however, was that while Rambam's Divine Providence is only for those
: RECIPIENTS with perfected intellect, Novel Will would be different.
: The people of Sodom could have all been raving idiots, and they still
: would have been destroyed by G-d's Novel Will, due to their sins.

You're language needs honing. The Rambam's notion of hashgachah applies
to everything. It's only HP that depends on the recipient. Hashgachah
kelalis includes nature, it's an expression of Divine Will and Wisdom,
in contrast to Epicurus's belief in randomness.

: Now, one could say that if the Sodomites were idiots (and in a
: Maimonidean sense, they were, since only an ignoramus who doesn't
: appreciate G-d would ever sin), then they were destroyed, not because
: G-d destroyed them, but because they lacked Divine Providence (which
: may be Ralbag's Divinely proffered smart tips to proper living, or
: whatever), and they destroyed themselves.

(WADR the the Rambam, he and Aristotle were wrong. Sin isn't due to a
failure of intelligence, but a failure of midos. This isn't the topic
under discussion, but see
or <http://www.kitzur.com/52t2r>. RMSteiner discusses the topic,
including the work of non-Jewish philosophers that disprove Aristotle's
model, and argues in favor of R' Yisrael Salanter's. But regardless of
that last point, philosophy moved past Aristo.

: It is worth noting that Rabbi Henkin, in Equality Lost, for a reason
: having nothing to do with Rambam, also suggests that the Second Temple
: fell, not due to G-d's punishing us actively (sinat hinam, he says, it
: not a severe enough averah to merit this), but only due to His
: passively not protecting us, withdrawing His active protection; sinat
: hinam is only bad enough to merit His withdrawing His protection.

That's the Rambam's notion that HP requires yedi'as Hashem, or REED's
(very distinct) notion that the only way to avoid needing hishtadlus is
by having bitachon.

: Indeed, R' Micha says,
: > [S]ince Sedom was evil, then the Rambam's reasoning leads one to
: > conclude it was cast off to hashgachah kelalis because of a lack of
: > intellectual perfection. Therefore its destruction had to be part of a
: > general rule.

: This may very well be the case. However, if Manekin is correct, then
: alternatively, even if the Sodomites WERE idiots, and Divine
: Providence dictated that G-d sit back and watch whatever will just
: happen to happen to them, nevertheless, Novel Will would permit G-d to
: take direct action against them.

How? Novel Will is hashgachah peratis. The perat is what makes the event


Micha Berger             A life of reaction is a life of slavery,
mi...@aishdas.org        intellectually and spiritually. One must
http://www.aishdas.org   fight for a life of action, not reaction.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            -Rita Mae Brown

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Message: 14
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 13:11:45 -0400
[Avodah] Being Does Not Entitle One to Existence

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Shemos

30: 12 When you take the sum of the Children of 
Israel according to their numbered ones, let each 
one of them give to God an atonement
for his person when they are numbered; then there 
will be no dying among them when they are numbered.

Not by his mere existence, by living for himself, is there meaning
and value to his nefesh, his personality; not by his very existence and
enjoyment of life does he become an integral part of the nation. The
mere fact of his being does not even entitle him to his own existence.
Only he who gives and contributes is counted; only he who gives and
contributes gains the right to his own continuance; only he who contributes
as required of him gains a rightful place among his fellow creatures,
who have been crowned by God with life, and gains a rightful
place in the community of his nation. Only he who makes his contribution
is entitled to be reckoned in the number of the Children of
Israel. The moment he seeks to be counted without making his contribution
and claims the right to live for himself without contributing ?
at that moment he forfeits his right to exist. 
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Message: 15
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:03:15 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Rambam's naturalism

: It is worth noting that Rabbi Henkin, in Equality Lost, for a reason
: having nothing to do with Rambam, also suggests that the Second Temple
: fell, not due to G-d's punishing us actively (sinat hinam, he says, it
: not a severe enough averah to merit this), but only due to His
: passively not protecting us, withdrawing His active protection;

FWIW I posited this causal connection between moznai zedeq and pashas

Viz. that unethical Jewish businessmen withdraws Hashem's vigilant
protection from anti-Semites

And fWIW I think Jerry Fallwell (or Pat Robertson) said that America's
Divine protection was withdrawn as a result of immorality thereby enabling
the 9/11 hurban

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 16
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 15:29:28 -0400
[Avodah] The term 'erusin'

We recently discussed the propriety of calling engagements 'erusin' and
the engaged couple "meorasim".  My friend Andy showed me that the
recently published Nitei Gavriel on Shidduchin and Tenaim (Ch. 23 n.
26, p. 284) cites (and accepts) the following in the name of the "Kol
Aryeh (Nisuin)":

"The custom that has lately become widespread, that when engagements
are announced in newspaper announcements, signs and open letters, they
print that so-and-so and so-and-so are "meorasim", this is incorrect,
since the term "erusin" in the language of the Bible and the Gemara,
and even after the sealing of the Talmud, and until our latest
generation, is used to refer to kiddushin, and not to the execution of
the tenaim, and it is therefore certainly ab initio improper to refer
to a mere tenaim as erusin.  And ab initio one should be concerned for
the Mishneh at the end of Gittin (88b) "yaza shemah ba'ir mekudeshes,
mekudeshes", and sometimes, for various reasons, the shidduch is
dissolved, and why should we publicize in the world that she is
mekkudeshes when there is not even a "re'ah kiddushin"."

I'm not claiming that these sources are authoritative, or that the
logic is compelling; I'm merely noting an interesting source.

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