Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 126

Tue, 30 Jun 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Samuel Svarc <ssv...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 03:55:59 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R Tzadok-TSBP

On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 5:46 AM, Michael Makovi<mikewindd...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Someone asked: Given lo techanem, can we cheer for einam yehudi
> baseball players?
> Talmid hacham: That's a very good question; let me ask Rabbi Kanievsky.
> Me: I just yesterday read Rabbi Dr. J. H. Hertz's eulogy for a
> Catholic Cardinal, and you're asking whether lo techanem applies to a
> baseball player? Ask whether that law even applies today at all! We
> must live in different worlds indeed.

One lives in a world where halacha decides how he lives (and where he
might accept a 'rayah' from RDJHH) and one lives in a world where
emotions rule which halachas are "still" valid?

> Compare the following three quotations:
> - RMF: "My entire world view stems only from knowledge of Torah without
> any mixture of outside ideas (yediot hitsoniyyot), whose judgment is
> truth whether it is strict or lenient. Arguments derived from foreign
> outlooks or false opinions of the heart are nothing. . ." (Even he-
> Ezer, 2:11, quoted in Rabbi Angel's "A Study of the Halakhic Approaches
> of Two Modern Posekim").
> - Rav Hirsch, "Religion Allied to Progress": "The more the Jew is a Jew,
> the more universalist will his views and aspirations be, the less
> aloof... will he be from anything that is noble and good, true and
> upright, in art or science, in culture or education..."

The perversion of truth, of taking a single quote out of context are
awe inspiring. Contrast to another RSRH quote and tell me if he argues
with RMF: "But the Torah and all its teachings must always... be the
yardstick by which we measure all the results obtained by other
spheres of learning. Only that which is in accordance with the truths
of the Torah can remain true for us..." Vayikrah 18:4-5

So, yes, RSRH (and RMF - remember Shira al Hayam, Shiras Devorah,
etc.) holds that there exists nobility in music (to use but one
example). But what is the yardstick to measure it with?

> I think it absurd to say that the machloket between Rabbi Feinstein on
> the one hand, and Rabbis Hirsch, Uziel, and Halevy on the other, has
> no practical implications in halakhah l'maaseh; adarabbah.

Don't lump RSRH with the others. They don't hold his views.

> If nothing else, learning hashkafa and about the authentic Orthodox
> lifestyle is a very important innoculate against being influenced by
> Haredi anti-mimetic textualism. If someone truly knows Rav Hirsch's
> hashkafa and Rabbi Marc Angel's books on Sephardim, etc., it is rather
> difficult to be won over by Haredi propaganda.

I find it difficult to believe that you have read much of RSRH inside
(for example, the above quote, or the one where he says that if
knowledge will lead you away from G-d, it is better to remain a fool,
where he applies that 'mamar Chazal' to secular knowledge). I suspect
much of what you know about RSRH comes from quotes and interpretations
in other books, not in the original.

> Just this moment, as I read "Orthodox Judaism Moves with the Times:
> The Creativity of Tradition", by Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, Commentary,
> June 1952, I saw the following: "Nevertheless, in the deepest strata
> of Halachic thinking, logical judgment is preceded by value judgment,
> and intuitive insight gives impetus to the logic of argument."
> What I see often is that the surest way to detect a questionable
> halakhic ruling, is on hashkafic grounds. The reason is that
> 1) Just about any humra does in fact have a halakhic basis, and
> 2) No matter how much halakha I learn, I have little hope in becoming
> as proficient as the "gedolim".
> According to these two points, I cannot rely on halakhic knowledge
> alone - as vital as this knowledge surely is - to detect questionable
> pesak. The "gedolim" surely do have halakhic basis, and they surely do
> know more in their pinkies than I'll probably ever know in a thousand
> years. So what will keep me from blindly following their path?

To rephrase what you have just said, but bluntly. "I can't win a
debate with TC on halachic ground, bringing proofs against them, so I
will reframe it to one of hashkafah, where I can win".

> I have no mimetic tradition; I have no Orthodox family, I have no
> rabbis to guide me - unless we mean rabbis who like to joke that
> President Obama is like Sadam Hussein, in which case I have no
> shortage of rabbis to follow - so learning hashkafa is my personal
> bedieved substitute for a mimetic halakhic tradition. It isn't ideal,
> but it's all I have.

You're joshing us, right? In all of O there are no rabbis that respect
the President? Either you are ill-informed, or you choose not see
things, but the fact remains that even in the Yated there were
columnists that wrote admiringly of Brack Obama before he won the

> The halakha is the Oral Law, but the way to live an Orthodox life, and
> the meaning of an Orthodox life - these also constitute Oral Law, but
> in the latter - unlike in practical halakhah - I have no one save
> myself to guide me.

Cue "And every man did what was good in his eyes..."


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Message: 2
From: "L Reich" <lre...@tiscali.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:47:31 +0100
[Avodah] Was Ben Petura a Christian?

The Talmud tells us

"Two people were traveling, and [only] one of them had a canteen of 
water.[There was only enough water so that] if both of them drank they would 
both die, but if one of them drank [only] he would make it back to an 
inhabited area [and live].Ben Petura publicly taught:'Better both should 
drink and die than that one see his friend's death,' until Rabbi Akiva came 
and taught: 'Your brother should live with you' (Vayikra 25:36) - your life 
takes precedence over the life of your friend's.'" (Bava Metzia62a).

I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that Ben Petura was not a Tanna, 
but a Christian.

Can anyone cast light on this?

Elozor Reich 

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Message: 3
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:40:38 +0000
[Avodah] Mitzvos Tzreichos Kavvanah

See mishna Megila 2:1

It seems that the longstanding machloqes need not apply here

The cases that the mishna requires kavvanah are (e.g.) Maggiah etc.
When it is not patently obvious that one is reading lesheim mitzvah.
It THOSE ambiguous cases positive kavvanah is required

OTOH when one is reading megillah on purim no specific kavvanah is needed
because it is patently obvious that it is lesheim mitzvah

This hilluq seems to me patently obvious. :-) Does anyone else say
it already?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 4
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:45:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] FW: R Tzadok-TSBP


The best (and by this I mean, the most factual) explanation as to the
irrelevance of academic studies to Torah, is the following. R' Boruch Ber
said about a professor, "He knows what Abbaye ate, where he lived, etc. I
know what Abbaye said." Academic studies of Torah share the same
irredeemable flaw, they lack the real knowledge, the internal knowledge of
what is really being said. Living today are people who have heard Torah
directly from people who heard directly from people who heard directly from
R' Chaim Brisker. Anyone who analyzes Brisker Torah without this knowledge
is fooling himself and anyone who listens to him. Extrapolate from this to
academic studies that cut themselves off from Torah as a whole (not only
Brisker Torah) and attempt to analyze Shas.

While I agree with most of R'MSS's response (interesting question why some
have a preference for theory of everything and some for let each sugya
stand on its own -is in nature or nurture?) I think the painting of "the
academic" approach with this broad brush is inappropriate. In fact I would
argue that R' Boruch Ber's statement , if taken at face value, is
inconsistent with Brisker (and broader) traditional talmud torah.

 "He knows what Abbaye ate, where he lived, etc. I know what Abbaye said."
 imho should be " "He knows what Abbaye ate, where he lived, etc. I know
 UNDERSTOOD THAT Abbaye said."

It wouldn't shock me at all if an academic better understood the local
conditions (what one ate, where one lived) and how that informed on what
issues an amora spoke on and how they were dealt with.	Of course , that
doesn't mean we rely on them for psak but I still think their input can be
of value.

Joel Rich
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Message: 5
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:13:08 +0000
Re: [Avodah] FW: R Tzadok-TSBP

Samuel S
> The real reason is that to have 'sugyos' in Shas
> contradict each other is no evil in your eyes. Tosfos gives the most
> straight forward ways to resolve these seeming contradictions, a real
> straight shooter. If you would accept the reality, that Shas is a
> seamless whole (by and large - we are talking in generalities), you
> would have no issue with Tosfos.

My friend R Dr E Kanarfogel opposes Dr Feldblum and Dr Halivni in that
he holds like Tosafos viz. that the Bavli is "tightly redacted."

Drs. Feldblum, Halivni et. Al. Can muster many rayos to the contrary.
Halivni once showed us that a braisso in shas was quoted in full 3 times
and in part 3 times and that the partial quotes led to kushiyos that
were not applicable where it had been fully quoted.

It is therefore obvious to me that Shas was not redacted uniformly.

Nevertheless I still like Tosafos anyway and frankly I find Tosafos
presents dialectic in a far more straightforward manner than Shas itself
does. Shas has MANY phrases and structures to indicate a contradiction.
Tosafos uses just a few and his shakla v'tarya is usually more tight
than shas's. Learning a lot of tosafos early serves as a stepping stone
to the shakla v'tarya of shas because it is simply more accessable
for the most part. Even if you reject Tosafos's p'saq he plays the
dialectic game better than anyone else IMHO and therefore his methods
are most instructive.


A to D by means of B and C.



and or me'iri. They are almost a sheeta mequbetzes of early rishonim.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 6
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:08:53 +0000
[Avodah] Tefillin and Osos

Re: taking off tefillin before Hallel on ChhM Sukkos Someone asked me:

"The osos of the Torah are three:
So where in Hazal is [arba minnim or matzah] an os to undue the tefillin
obligation [on ChhM]?"

I think he means excluding the Zohar.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:19:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tefillin and Osos

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 08:08:53PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: So where in Hazal is [arba minnim or matzah] an os to undue the tefillin
: obligation [on ChhM]?"
: I think he means excluding the Zohar.


When we bounced this back privately, RRW noted:
> Beniddan diddan the missing piece is the idea of removing tefillin
> whilst picking up arba minnim

He asked me to modify his post accordingly, but it was too late.

My greatgrandfather explained it from the connection between writing
tefillin. Since there is a machloqes about writing on ch"m bichlal, the
presence of a gemara saying one can write tefillin on ch"m, implying
it's not hachanah, implying tefillin are worn on ch"m, is simply one
side of the known machloqes.

(The same linkage is why my father sheyichyeh wears tefillin on his
right hand, even though writing is the only thing for which he's a lefty.)

My grandfather a"h stopped writing my mother shetichyeh on ch"m when he
moved to Israel. Since minhag Yisral is not to wear tefillin, and his
father linked that to not writing, he stopped writing.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes
mi...@aishdas.org        exactly the right measure of himself,  and
http://www.aishdas.org   holds a just balance between what he can
Fax: (270) 514-1507      acquire and what he can use." - Peter Latham

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Message: 8
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:01:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Was Ben Petura a Christian?

On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:47:31 +0100
"L Reich" <lre...@tiscali.co.uk> wrote:


> I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that Ben Petura was not a Tanna, 
> but a Christian.
> Can anyone cast light on this?

oad/PerekAMaim.doc [p. 21, 24]

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

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Message: 9
From: harveyben...@yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:55:45 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] validity of ketubahs if .....

rbw: Perhaps one of the lawyers on the list can comment, but I had
always understood that when someone signs a contract, he is bound to
it. It matters not one bit if he read the contract, understood the
contract, understood the legal principles behind the contract. You
sign, you're in. And that is why when one signs a contract, it is a
very good idea to understand what you are signing.

HB1: What you write may or may not be true in secular law, but what about torah law?

HB2: What about a verbal contract? (As rzsero pointed out to me only the eidim sign, but not the bound parties.)

HB3: What if you were misinformed my your attorneys, accountants, advisors,
etc, as to the extent of your obligations? Even if you are ultimately
found by to be legally bound by what you signed/verbally
agreed to, wouldn't you have ultimate recourse against those who either failed to advise you properly or (chas veshalom) misinformed you? for
their own [conscious or unconscious] purposes?

HB4: Are choson or kallah classes considered adequate enough to make one properly aware of their rights/ obligations? 

HB5: What about someone who is not religious, etc., and who doesn't attend a choson or kallah class? How obligated is he/she? 


-----Original Messag
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Message: 10
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:21:22 +0000
Re: [Avodah] FW: R Tzadok-TSBP

> It wouldn't shock me at all if an academic better understood the local
> conditions (what one ate, where one lived) and how that informed on what
> issues an amora spoke on and how they were dealt with. Of course , that
> doesn't mean we rely on them for psak but I still think their input can
> be of value.
> Joel Rich

Look at the terms "gollel v'soseim"

As understood by historians
As understood by Rishonim.

Halachically Rishonim may have correctly applied the din to medeival
burial procedures
They really did not seem to understand the terminology nor the procedures
as they applied to the late Bayyis Sheini era.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:32:53 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mitzvos Tzreichos Kavvanah

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 04:40:38PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: See mishna Megila 2:1
: It seems that the longstanding machloqes need not apply here
: The cases that the mishna requires kavvanah are (e.g.) Maggiah etc.

Havanah and kavvanah are not necessarily identical.

Also in the mix would be lishmah.

Many is the mispallel lost in tears over the words of a tefillah he
only understands a one line summary of (or only knows the tune!).
In contrast to the master of Hebrew who has something else on his mind.
One has more kavanah, the other more havanah, no?

And both are davening lesheim mitzvah.

Just thinking out loud from first principles...

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
mi...@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (270) 514-1507         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:09:10 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Angel Hierarchy

On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 08:29:37PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: In Yesodei Hattorah Rambam demarcates a very specific angelic hierrarchy
: Touger notes that the Zohar has a similar albeit slightly different
: hierarchy.

This touches on something I wanted to post as part of my reply to R'
Saul Newman's post of Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 10:54:31AM -0700, where
he quotes a blogger who writes (in part)
: "There is a lot of confusion about the term "rationalism." What is a
: rationalist? The differences between rationalists and non-rationalists
: fall into three categories:

: A) Denial of Pnimius HaTorah

Does he mean like the Aristotilian rationalist who wrote the classic
peirush to Seifer haYetzirah -- R' Saadia Gaon?

Or like the rishon who describes creation as an overflow of Divine
Intellect. The Mamtzi -- not not the "Borei" -- who is the only
Non-Contingent, has a Thought. That Thought is in turn a seikhel nivdal,
a tzurah beli chomer, and one step more contingent. It too has a thought,
also a seikhel nivdal / tzurah and one step even more contigent, and so
on downward until this overflow of thought becomes the world as we have it.

Meanwhile, nevu'ah is also caused by the overflow. Such that the prophet
sees the actual overflowing itself.

Of course, as is telegraphed by my handing this on RRW's words, this
seemingly hyper-mystical view of creation is the Rambam's.

As I wrote here back in 2004:
Averroes (ibn Rushd), who translated Aristotle's works, mistook Plotinus's
Enneads (the works that started neo-Platonism) to be Aristo's, and
therefore includes them in the translation. Therefore, everyone who got
Aristotle via the Arabic had strong neo-Platonic influences. Including
the Rambam...

What I wrote above is from YhT 1:1 (the Mamtzi) and 2:5 (the chain of

That nevu'ah is seeing the overflow is from MN 2:36 and III:18 (which also
connects it to HP). And BTW, I noticed that this fits well with what he
says about mal'akhim only being visible bechazon hanevu'ah (ibid ch 56).
Nevuah sees the overflow that reaches and becomes the universe, and
mal'akhim are the steps of that overflow, so mimanafshach they should
figure in nevu'ah.

The difference between the "Mequbalim" and the "rationalists" was more
in which Greek philsophers they tended to borrow terminology from. Which
is why the Rambam, who was (I believe) an unwitting semi-neoPlatonist,
can sound like a mequbal if you pick up the right pieces. And in fact,
the Rambam considered his philosophy to be the Sod of the Pardeis and
beyond the reach of the hoi-paloi just as Mequbalim thought theirs was.

And the Zohar acknowledges this similarity to Plato and neoPlatonism.
However, the flow went the other way -- Greek thought traces back to the
Bavliim who were taught by Daniel and the other nevi'im who were forced
by Ashpenaz to staff Nevchadnezzar's court.

(Similarly, the Zohar doesn't deny the similarity between its mystical
traditions and Eastern Meditation. Rather, it explains that Avraham
gave them these skills when he taught them to benei Qeturah and sent
them east.)

: So hagganah we get the Michael interface
: Vengence - Gavriel
: Healing - Rephael
: Learning - Uriel

Mikhael is Chessed, opposite Gavriel/Gevurah. Which is why, according to
the Malbim, in Daniel, Chessed can span the world in one step, but
Gavriel requires two.

Gevurah is a consequence of Divine Chessed; much the way parents will
stand back and let their toddler walk or fall on her own -- it's the
greater chessed (mashal mine). Therefore the Malbim describes Gavriel's
two steps as being one to Mikhael for consultation and then one to span
the world.

: We can play the same game with the Sephiros
: We may need Hashem's Hessed or His Gevurah. Instead of a hierarchy it
: could simply be a ring of interfaces.
: (As to why we need interfaces at all ein kan mekomo leha'arich)

Excapt that the Eitz Chayim structure is as much part of the post-Zohar
qabbalah as the sephiros themselves. (I don't think it's mentioned in
Seifer haYetzirah.) The Leshem describes the partzufim as more like what
you're calling interfaces, and they are interactions of subsets of the
sefiros and the connections between them. All of which are only existent
in Hashem-as-perceived, the Qav, not the Ein Sof.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Strength does not come from winning. Your
mi...@aishdas.org        struggles develop your strength When you go
http://www.aishdas.org   through hardship and decide not to surrender,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      that is strength.        - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:35:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo

On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:21:25PM -0700, Simon Montagu wrote:
: > There is something else going on too, like the propriety of blessing Him
: > and His Name. After all, once one refers to Shemo, then Hu must be very
: > specifically Hu, not the Or Ein Sof. But HQBH be'atzmo, the Ein Sof
: > Itself, how can it be blessed or changed in any way?

: > I was told this is why the Gra never said bhu"sh, using this rationale
: > as proof that the minhag was beta'us.

: These hhashashot would apply either with or without the vav hahhibbur,
: correct? Or am I missing a distinction?

No, you're correct. I was repeating the claim that the Gra never said
barukh Hu ubarukh Shemo (do I capitalize the "S"?) even with the vav

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 14
From: Michael Makovi <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 03:12:56 +0300
[Avodah] R' Soloveitchik on religious turmoil, pesak

From "Orthodox Judaism Moves with the Times: The Creativity of
Tradition", by R' Emanuel Rackman, Commentary June 1952

Some quotes I found very powerful, mostly regarding Rabbi Soloveitchik:

        Soloveitchik regards as altogether too simple the popular notion of
religious experience as one preeminently pleasing and soothing-a
stream of delight and relaxation and an asylum from the frustrations
of life. This conception of religion Rabbi Soloveichik deems a fraud,
the result of a surrender on the part of religious thinkers to the
desire of the mass of men to lose themselves in states of bliss. It
also echoes Rousseau in his flight from reason, and much subsequent
romanticist thought. Religion's invitation has been misinterpreted to
say: "If thou cravest peace, if thou cravest integration, make the
leap of faith." In the flight from reason and the rejection of
objective truth, Rabbi Soloveichik sees the cause of the moral
deterioration of contemporary man. He would prefer to see religion
wedded to a cold objectivity and rationality, even though faith and
reason may at times appear to conflict with one another, rather than
derive religion from man's instinctual longings.

        Also, he asserts, the highest form of religious experience comes from
constant turmoil and from the experiencing of life's irreconcilable
antitheses-from the simultaneous affirmation and abnegation of the
self, the simultaneous awareness of the temporal and the eternal, the
simultaneous clash of freedom and necessity, the simultaneous love and
fear of God, his simultaneous transcendence and immanence. True, with
the departure of Sabbath's peace, Jews may sing, 'The Lord is my
Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures." But the road to the green pastures is a narrow and winding
one, along a steep cliff, with a bottomless pit below. It is the other
words of the Psalmist-"From the deep I called unto Thee, O Lord"-that
describe the most authentic religious experience, and the deep is a
deep of antinomies, doubts, and spiritual travail.In A sense, it can
be said that Rabbi Soloveichik is trying to fuse the emotional
intensity of existentialism with the hard logic of rationalism.

        Yet in traditional Jewish style, his philosophy is derived from, and
applied to, the Halachah of Judaism. He is not content with the way in
which Jewish scholars have heretofore examined the sources: to
reconcile conflicting authorities and to arrive at the correct rule of
Law is only one phase of Jewish jurisprudence. Soloveichik finds the
essential antinomies of religious reality also incarnated in Halachic
matter. A dispute over the extent of liability in a particular tort,
the question of a prohibited form of work on the Sabbath, or of the
proper preparation of a temple offering-all these may become for him
the basis of a theological insight. In this, he is in the tradition of
the illustrious Abraham I. Kook, late Chief Rabbi of Palestine, who
derived a philosophy of Jewish community, as opposed to mere
"collectivity," from Talmudic law on the acquisition of property.

        Given the premise that all the Law is God's revealed will, it follows
logically that all of it will have theological significance. The
totality of the Law is taken by Soloveichik as a realm of ideas in the
Platonic sense, given by God for application to the realm of the real.
Just as the mathematician creates an internally logical and coherent
fabric of formulas with which he interprets and integrates the
appearance of the visible world, so the Jew, the "Man of Halachah,"
has the Torah as the divine idea that vests all of human life with
direction and sanctity. Legislative change is irreconcilable with
Halachah, yet creativity is of its very essence. "The Halachah is a
multi-dimensional everexpanding continuum which cuts through all
levels of human existence from the most primitive and intimate to the
most complex relationships" (from an unpublished lecture by Dr.
Soloveichik). Thus, though Halachah refers to the ideal, its
creativity must be affected by the real.

Halachic creativity is not an ingenious academic exercise. The man who
would bridge the distance between the ideal and the real, who would
discover what is the intent of divine will in a new and unprecedented
situation, must employ the dialectic of reason in fear and
trembling-his thinking must be part of a religious agony. God willed
that man obey his Law. God also willed man's welfare. Sometimes the
Law and man's welfare come into seeming conflict. The pious jurist
must then probe the sources and the commentaries of the saints, must
descend into that same crucible of pain out of which the right way was
originally revealed.

[Permitting the draft of rabbis for the military chaplaincy,] Rabbi
Soloveichik admitted that he had not approached the sources with
complete objectivity; that he had had certain intuitive feelings and
held certain basic values that prejudiced him in favor of the decision
rendered by Yeshiva University and guided him in his exploration of
the various aspects and facets of the problem. But this lack of
objectivity is merely a fundamental avowal of inevitable human
limitation, and is not to be confused with arbitrariness. As anyone
who has studied the Talmud knows, the Halachah is too objective a
discipline to permit an approach based on transient moods.
Nevertheless, in the deepest strata of Halachic thinking, logical
judgment is preceded by value judgment, and intuitive insight gives
impetus to the logic of argument.

[Quoting Rabbi Soloveitchik, permitting the Jewish community to adopt
and raise as Jewish its share of abandoned babies; even though
statistically, the babies are probably gentile.] "One school sees, in
a naturalistic fashion, life and death on a biological level
exclusively and identifies Pikuah Nefesh (the obligation to conserve
life) with the saving of a carnal existence from extinction. The other
school introduces an idealistic motif. It maintains that the law of
Pikuah Nefesh which is based upon a value judgment-the appraisal of
life as the highest good-transcends the bounds of biological fact and
extends into the domain of spiritual activity. Life is not only a
factumn but also an actus, not only a tangible reality but also an
abstract ethical value to be attained. Death is both a biological and
ethical-spiritual phenomenon. The failure of an individual to realize
his own personality in a manner decreed by his creator at birth is as
tragic as his physical disintegration. One may save a life not only
through medical skill but also by extending moral help. Hence,
whenever man's inner life, his unique relationship to God, and the
mode of his existence as an individual and social being are to be
determined, we encounter the problem of Pikuah Nefesh, which means
here the preservation of a spiritual identity. .... Hence [the concept
of] majority finds no application in this case."

However, as has been demonstrated, the Orthodox view does not exclude
Halachic creativity or changes, flexibility, and. growth in concept
and method in order to meet the most perplexing of the problems that
trouble the religious minds of today. But it insists that such
evolution must be organic, i.e., it must be a further unfolding of
historical continuity and develop authentically out of tradition.
Orthodox Jews feel that they are helping the revealed Law to fulfill
itself, and in their Halachic creativity they move slowly and with the
same turmoil of soul that characterizes the authentic religious
experience, but with the firm faith that where the basic values of
Judaism still live, the Law will suffice to meet the requirements of

Michael Makovi

Go to top.

Message: 15
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:36:59 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo

On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 03:30:48PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: The repsonses baruch hu and baruch shemo are ancient
: Look at baruch she'amar and the article in the HERTZ siddur

But there it's a clear progression, describing G-d in ever more
comprehensible terms.

Look also at the progression of
    sheAmar veHayah haOlam
    Omeir ve'Oseh -- we introduce "asiyah", which people do too
    Gozeir umQayeim -- now, the statement isn't itself the action, He
        descrees and fulfils that decree
    Meracheim al haaretz
    Meracheim al habrios -- less cosmic than the previous
    Meshaleim sechar tov lirei'av -- and in the previous line it was

It could well be that the problem is in the connective, without which
"barukh shemo" could be considered a rephrase of "barukh Hu".

OTOH, Tehillim has keifel lashon with a vav hachibur all the time. Not
always a paraphrase of exactly the same idea, but I don't know Tehillim
by heart to say that there is /no/ instance of a keifel lashon with a
vav in the middle.

Unfortunately, no one actually substantiated what I heard besheim haGra
with a source. So the whole thing could be legend.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Rescue me from the desire to win every
mi...@aishdas.org        argument and to always be right.
http://www.aishdas.org              - Rav Nassan of Breslav
Fax: (270) 514-1507                   Likutei Tefilos 94:964


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