# Avodah Mailing List

## Volume 26: Number 120

### Fri, 19 Jun 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 23:47:45 GMT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] tannur shel achnai

```
R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Second, because there isn't even clarity that the model
> involves statistics at all. For example, sefeiq sefeiqa
> would become rov is we map uncertainty to statistics.
> However, that would also mean that safeiq plus mi'ut
> would become rov -- 50% + 5% is still greater than 50%.
> But in practice, mi'ut bemaqom sofeiq lo amrinan!

Just as an aside, I once heard an interesting explanation of sfeik sfeika which had nothing to do with probability or statistics.

Namely: Everyone knows that "Safek d'Oraisa l'chumra", but it is not the
Torah which requires us to do so. According to the Torah (so this person
said) we only need to follow the Torah when there is a vadai chiyuv or a
vadai issur. If there is a *genuine* safek (whatever that might mean), the
Torah allows us to do what we want, and it is "only" d'rabanan that we are
told to go l'chumra.

Therefore, in the case of a genuine sfeik sfeika, what we actually have is
a safek on whether or not the "safek d'Oraisa l'chumra" rule is in effect.
In other words, it is a safek d'rabanan. And on that, even the rabanan
allow us to go l'kula.

Does that sound familiar to anyone? I once knew of a proof to it, but I've long forgotten it.

Akiva Miller

____________________________________________________________
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Message: 2
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 20:00:05 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
On Thu, 18 Jun 2009 15:11:22 +0200
Simon Krysl <skr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> this is something I was asked a while ago - and keep wondering since:
> is there (and what is) an explicit halakhic basis to prohibit one from
> giving bribes, to public officials or else? The question of accepting
> bribes is clear (Shemot 23.8): but what about bribing? It is clear -
> of course - that a bribe to save live(s) is unproblematic: but I am
> thinking of less radical situations. All I can think of is Vayikra
> 19.14 (stumbling block before the blind) and, at most, dina demalkhuta
> dina. But can you think of anything else (more direct) or is the point
> that there is no such prohibition (for the above reason) at all?
> The situation would probably be different in Israel and in galut
> countries - as well as, perhaps, on the degree the person in question
> is a public official (the difference between bribing a judge, an
> academic official or member of a prize-giving committee, or an
> employee at a local grocery to put some avocados aside for me- in some
> countries). If anyone had any thoughts, I'd be most thankful.

The prohibition against giving a bribe is indeed lifne iver; this is an
explicit SA (HM 9:1).  See Pis'he Teshuvah there (#1 and #3) for more

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

```

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Message: 3
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:06:30 +0000
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] tannur shel achnai

```
Akiva:
>           .... If there is a *genuine* safek (whatever that might mean),
> the Torah allows us to do what we want, and it is "only" d'rabanan that
> we are told to go l'chumra.

> Therefore, in the case of a genuine sfeik sfeika, what we actually
> have is a safek on whether or not the "safek d'Oraisa l'chumra" rule
> is in effect. In other words, it is a safek d'rabanan. And on that,
> even the rabanan allow us to go l'kula.
> Akiva Miller

Machlokes Rishonim
Rambam is as above
Rashba holds sfeik d'oraisso is lehumra d'oraisso and holds s'feik
s'feika is al pi Rov

See the Shach's kuntros hasfeikos and the gazillions of peirushim on it.

KT
RRW
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

```

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Message: 4
From: Harvey Benton <harveyben...@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 19:12:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:
[Avodah] lo dmus haguff.....

```

david riceman wrote:

rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:

> Given:

> A mal'ach is a spiritual entity lacking a body

> YET

> On occassion it can assume material form

>???

This is not the Rambam's opinion.? He holds that angels are visible only

in dreams or prophetic visions.

hb: from chabad.org/library: yehoshua chapter 5:13. And it was when
Joshua was in Jericho,
that he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, a man was standing opposite
him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went to him, and said to him,
Are you for us, or for our adversaries??14. And he said, No, but I am the
the captain of the host of the Lord; ....snip....15. And the captain of the
Lord's host said to Joshua, Remove your shoe from your foot; for the place upon
which you stand is holy. And Joshua did so.?? (end reference).

hb:Yehoshua according to pshat was standing and had to take off his shoes....
can a person stand while dreaming or while having a prophetic vision acc. to
the rambam???....doesn't the rambam say that all novi's except 4 moshe rabeinu
lose control of their bodies (shaking, convulsing, etc??) (see also megilla 3b
where it clearly states that it was a malach that appeared to yehoshua, and
gave yehoshua the 2 reasons that he was there?.)

2. was the writing on the wall by a disembodied hand (daniel chapter 5)written
by a malach?? a shin daled?? by Hashem, or some other supernatural entity???

Again, what would the rambam say about those who saw the
hand? that they were dreaming? or having a prophetic vision???

3. Finally, some say that yaakov wrestled with the angel of
eisav (gid hanashe)... again, would the rambam argue with those meforhsim that hold it was an actual angel that yaakov wrestled with??? HB

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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 02:59:16 GMT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Ein lo dmus hagguf...

```
> could HKBH Create a briyah in material form and put words
> in its mouth - something like an android or a robot?

Or like Bil'am's donkey?

Or the air molecules at Har Sinai?

Akiva Miller

____________________________________________________________
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```

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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 02:53:49 GMT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
R' Yitzchok Zirkind wrote:
> WRT Dayonim even "Lizkos Es haZakai uLchayeiv Es
> haChayov" it is Ossur, see Rambam Hil. Sanhedrin 23:1.

R' Zev Sero responded:
> That refers to the issur of shochad, which is on the
> recipient, *not* on the giver. The only issur on the giver is
> lifnei iver or mesayea`, which depends on the circumstances.

Okay, so you agree that depending on the circumstances, lifnei iver or mesayea` might apply, rendering it assur to offer the bribe.

> What is one to do if the dayan requires a bribe in order to
> pasken correctly?  Not pay it and accept that one will lose
> the case?

Isn't that exactly what the Rambam quoted by RYZ is saying?

Akiva Miller

____________________________________________________________
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```

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Message: 7
From: Yitzchok Zirkind <y...@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 23:12:49 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 6:17 PM, Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:

>
>> WRT Dayonim even "Lizkos Es haZakai uLchayeiv Es haChayov" it is Ossur,
>> see
>> Rambam Hil. Sanhedrin 23:1.
>>
>
> That refers to the issur of shochad, which is on the recipient, *not*
> on the giver.   The only issur on the giver is lifnei iver or mesayea`,
> which depends on the circumstances.   What is one to do if the dayan
> requires a bribe in order to pasken correctly?  Not pay it and accept
> that one will lose the case?
>

Where do you get this distinction from, if the Dayon is not allowed to take

Find a Dayon Hogun.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind
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Message: 8
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:13:02 EDT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Sodom bed [was Torah Homeschooling|

```

From: Yitzhak Grossman _celejar@gmail.com_ (mailto:cele...@gmail.com)

> D. Adonis or  Narcissus -- handsome man who sees his reflection in  water
> and  falls in love with his own image [--TK]

I'm not sure what you have in  mind here; perhaps the story of Shimon B.
Shetah and the  Nazir?

....But in that story, the Nazir didn't exactly fall in love with  his
image; rather, he felt an overwhelming temptation toward  sin.

>>>>
Thank you for providing all the sources that you  cited.

Yes, I had in mind this story.  The ikar is not that the  man fell in love
with himself, but that he saw himself reflected in the water  and was taken
with his own extreme beauty.  This story has to my mind a  striking
resemblance to the Narcissus story.

--Toby  Katz
==========

_____________________

fingertips.
sdown00000004)
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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:27:58 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] tannur shel achnai

```
kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:

> Just as an aside, I once heard an interesting explanation of sfeik sfeika which had nothing to do with probability or statistics.
>
> Namely: Everyone knows that "Safek d'Oraisa l'chumra", but it is not
> the Torah which requires us to do so. According to the Torah (so this
> person said) we only need to follow the Torah when there is a vadai
> chiyuv or a vadai issur. If there is a *genuine* safek (whatever that
> might mean), the Torah allows us to do what we want, and it is "only"
> d'rabanan that we are told to go l'chumra.
>
> Therefore, in the case of a genuine sfeik sfeika, what we actually
> have is a safek on whether or not the "safek d'Oraisa l'chumra" rule
> is in effect. In other words, it is a safek d'rabanan. And on that,
> even the rabanan allow us to go l'kula.
>
> Does that sound familiar to anyone? I once knew of a proof to it, but I've long forgotten it.

See the first of the Shev Shmaatsa (it's been about 25 years since I
learned it, so I don't remember much of it either.

--
Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
- Margaret Thatcher

```

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 05:45:14 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Officiating at a Mixed Marriage

```
I was once in the awkward position of being asked by two co workers if
I would be a witness at their wedding at City Hall. (The entire company
was roughly a dozen people, just to give you a sense of the bond between
co workers.) He is a Russian Jew, came to the US via Israel. She is an
Italian Catholic, born in the US.

So as to be able to say "I asked my rabbi and I can't", I asked my
rabbi. He in turn asked his rabbi, who disussed it with a peer. Anyway,
I was shocked by the pesaq.

1- They're living together monogmously already. (Which today is typical
of American fiances.) Therefore, there is no issue of mesayei'ah.

2- Odds are, the marriage won't last their lifetimes. I represent Judaism
to him. The difference between whether he becomes a BT someday or not
might hinge on emotions generated by my alienating him or befriending
him now.

Therefore, very contrary to expexctation, the rav pasqened mutar, and
because of #2, not to offend.

I mention this because the line of reasoning could well apply to a rabbi
being asked to officiate. However, there is one MAJOR chiluq; my friends
got married in City Hall, the ordaining rabbi is being asked as rabbi,
a religious ceremony, and one that will misrepresent Yahadus to boot.

Of course, none of this is an actual direct source, but given that it
wouldn't have come up too often until modern times and that few would
even bother contemplating on a technical level rather than saying no
for policy reasons. (And since one is chayav work against shmad, finding
the right policy is itself a halachic matter.)

:-)BBii!
-Micha

--
Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
mi...@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

```

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 07:03:33 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
> R' Yitzchok Zirkind wrote:
>> WRT Dayonim even "Lizkos Es haZakai uLchayeiv Es
>> haChayov" it is Ossur, see Rambam Hil. Sanhedrin 23:1.
>
> R' Zev Sero responded:
>> That refers to the issur of shochad, which is on the
>> recipient, *not* on the giver. The only issur on the giver is
>> lifnei iver or mesayea`, which depends on the circumstances.
>
> Okay, so you agree that depending on the circumstances, lifnei
> iver or mesayea` might apply, rendering it assur to offer the bribe.

Yes.

>> What is one to do if the dayan requires a bribe in order to
>> pasken correctly?  Not pay it and accept that one will lose
>> the case?
>
> Isn't that exactly what the Rambam quoted by RYZ is saying?

No. The Rambam is saying that the dayan may not receive such a bribe.
He does *not* say that a person may not pay such a bribe.  I think
it obvious that if a person believes that without a bribe the judge
will rule against him despite his case's merits, then lifnei iver is
moot and it is not one of the circumstances in which mesayea` applies.
Surely a person cannot be expected to sacrifice his case in order to
avoid helping a corrupt judge.

--
Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
- Margaret Thatcher

```

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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 07:13:51 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
Yitzchok Zirkind wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 6:17 PM, Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:

>>> WRT Dayonim even "Lizkos Es haZakai uLchayeiv Es haChayov" it is
>>> Ossur, see Rambam Hil. Sanhedrin 23:1.

>> That refers to the issur of shochad, which is on the recipient, *not*
>> on the giver.   The only issur on the giver is lifnei iver or mesayea`,
>> which depends on the circumstances.   What is one to do if the dayan
>> requires a bribe in order to pasken correctly?  Not pay it and accept
>> that one will lose the case?

> Where do you get this distinction from, if the Dayon is not allowed to
> take your not allowed to give.
>
> Find a Dayon Hogun.

In general, that is not up to a person, is it?  A person doesn't get to
pick the judge that will handle his case.  Nor does he necessarily
get to pick the court.  Remember 1) we're not just talking about batei
din yisrael; 2) even in BD, a BD kavua (which would be the normal case)
can compel jurisdiction; 3) without a BD kavua generally one party has
the right to pick the BD, and the other party must go along with it;
4) even in ZaBLA, a person signs a shtar borerut on the understandable
assumption that the dayanim are honest - what is he to do once he
realises that that is not the case?

--
Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
- Margaret Thatcher

```

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Message: 13
From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 14:14:24 +0300
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] tannur shel achnai

```
RMB and RRw discussed probability and the halachot of rov and safeq.
RRW noted that  "And I still don't get the logic for kavua nor have I
heard an explanation that clicks with me so far."

I *highly* recommend "Resolving Uncertainty: A Unified Overview of
Rabbinic Methods",
a comprehensive treatment of this subject, by Moshe Koppel, a talmid
chacham and mathematician,  at
http://u.cs.biu.ac.il/~koppel/rov-25.5.pdf.

In this paper, the classic rabbinic concepts of safeq, rubba d'ita
kaman, rubba d'leta kaman and kavua are clearly described in terms of
fundamental probabilty concepts. It is written for the educated
layman, with no complicated formulas or intimidating (to some)
mathematical symbols or notation.

In particular, kavua is discussed in great detail in pages 10-15 of
this 24-page double-spaced paper. Very briefly, the case of kavua is
"indeterminant" (an alternative term considered is "hybrid"), such
that the uncertainty involved canot be resolved by the relative
probablities of the possible outcomes. This is what the term "mechtza
al mechtza" implies.

This paper is IMO a must read for anyone with an interest in this subject.

Saul Mashbaum

```

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Message: 14
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 11:25:43 -0400
Subject:
[Avodah] Halachic Methodology

```
From a Cross Currents Post:

"Should it surprise us when people operating within this mindset turn to
Torah and do the same? Sagi and Zohar claim to have found two sources in
the gemara, and turned them into two different shitos regarding
conversion requirements. Alas, say the authors, halachic thought jumped
ship in the late 19th century (motivated, of course, by waning rabbinic
authority just as it had to confront the dizzying new choices of
modernity) and opted for the more onerous set of rules.

Halachists, of course, do not approach text this way. Neither do ninth
graders with serious gemara background. When they see conflict between
sources, they generally endeavor to reduce the tension as much as
possible, sometimes by successfully harmonizing sources, and where that
is impossible, reducing the intellectual distance between the opposing
viewpoints as much as possible.

Does the chevra agree with this analysis of halachists approach?  Is
there a specific source for the approach?

KT
Joel Rich

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Message: 15
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 10:48:12 -0400
Subject:

```
<http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/modern/27modern.htm>

tsbp:

www.vbm-torah.org/archive/modern/27modern.htm
<http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/modern/27modern.htm>

According to R. Zadok, reluctance to accept the Oral Law is not merely
avoidance of hard work; it reflects a religious value judgment.  The
Written Law model allows for tremendous clarity because receiving
guidance directly from the mouth of God removes ambiguities and doubt.
On such religious grounds, the people preferred accepting the Written
Law without the Oral Law.  Only in later history did they come to
understand that the human component of the Oral Law brings with it

Me- I can't imagine someone today saying what R' Tzadok said without

KT
Joel Rich
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Message: 16
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 14:31:22 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] bribes

```
Didn't the topic shift from the permissability of bribing secular
officials to that of bribing dayanim?

I would agree with Zev that if the goal is to insure the right thing
is done, bribing a misguided or immoral gov't functionary is the right
thing to do.

Bribery is a violation of either "tzedeq tzedeq tirdof", which requires
not only pursuit of just ends, but using just means. (Thus the keifel
lashon, according to R' Elya Meir Bloch, the RY of Telzh.)

even accepting a perutah to give the just and proper verdict you would
have anyway. I doubt the lifnei iver on batei din for Benei Noach
goes that far, though.

However, there are cases where it could be dechuyah, just like any other
mitzvah aside from "the big three". R' Chaim Brisker's famous case of
collecting money on Yom Kippur for pidon shevuyim for a Bundist who was
actually "guilty" of the charge of being a communist agitator.

I just objected to his use of "pure wickedness to prosecute someone
for paying a bribe, as the civil law does, since the payer often has no
choice in the matter" WRT describing a dechuyah. It's like calling it
"pure wickedness" to prosecute theft, since a poor person who is stealing
money for food has no choice in the matter.

:-)BBii!
-Micha

--
Micha Berger                 Time flies...
mi...@aishdas.org                    ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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