Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 152

Fri, 31 Jul 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Joseph Kaplan <jkap...@tenzerlunin.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 16:25:58 -0400
Re: [Avodah] we live in good times

One of the points of the shiur I heard was answering the question of  
how can the Yerushalmi say the walls were breached on the 17th of  
Tammuz when Tanach says it was the 9th.  The answer, based on Rashi,  
is that the people were so confused that they thought it happened on  
the 9th, and God, as it were, wanted to be with Bnai Yisrael in their  
desolation and confusion and joined with them by having Tanach list  
the 9th even though it was in error.

Joseph Kaplan

On Jul 30, 2009, at 5:08 PM, Ben Waxman wrote:

> I was glancing at the Kaf Hakhayim before Maariv and he brought the  
> sources in a very concise manner. There is a source that indicates  
> that the walls were breached on two different days, but since  
> people couldn't handle two fast so close together, we fast on the  
> second day (i.e. 17th of Tammuz) only. However a ba'al nefesh might  
> feel that it would be proper to fast on both days. However the  
> Yerushalmi indicates that the two breaches were both on the 17th of  
> Tammuz and therefore there is no need for a ba'al nefesh to fast  
> both days. And then the Kaf Hakhayim adds that there is a Gemara in  
> Baba Batra (60:B I think, but don't quote me) that indicates that a  
> ba'al nefesh need not be makhmir in any situation where most people  
> could not be makhmir.
> Ben
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joseph C. Kaplan
> To: Avo...@aishdas.org
> Cc: Ben Waxman
> Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:06 PM
> Subject: we live in good times
> "There are sources saying that the walls of Jerusalem were
> destroyed on separate days, but we fast only one day because the  
> tzibbur
> can't handle fasting too many days. Granted these two days (9th and  
> 17th of
> Tammuz) are close together, but if we were to fast for every  
> tragedy, then
> the effect would be similar."
> I just heard a shiur this past Shabbat in which it was explained  
> that it is a machloket Bavli and Yerusalmi as to whether the walls  
> of Jerusalem were destroyed on the same day of the month for both  
> Temples (17th of Tammuz) or on different days (9th and 17th).
> Joseph Kaplan

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Message: 2
From: Arie Folger <arie.fol...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:42:15 +0200
Re: [Avodah] we live in good times

From: <rabbirichwol...@gmail.com>
> I suspect that Rav Schwab et. al. did not wish to see the year contain too
> many mournful days because - the impact would have been too depressing.
> So instead he wrote a shoah qina for 9 Av just as there is one for tatnu
> despite the fact that it took place around Rosh Hodesh Sivan.

This is exactly the way I understand the qina stating vekhi ein
leharbot biymei taanit/eivel (or whatever - no qinot in front of me),
which famously was used to prohibit the establishment of any 'Hurban
Europa memorial day by the Brisker Rav-Jerusalem. It seems to me that
the straightforward meaning is, there have been so many tragedies that
we shouldn't multiply the fast days, or ein ladavar sof.


From same 'Oved, in another thread (tisha baav is a moed):
> Purim is in a sense too joyous for Hallel (too much holelus? :-)

Because we use the Eikha trop for some passages?
(ducking and running)
Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* How did Psalm 30 Land in the Morning Service
* Testing the Efficacy of Prayer

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:15:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] we live in good times

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 01:53:51PM -0400, Stuart Feldhamer wrote:
: I believe it's an explicit pasuk in Nach that the walls of Y"M were not
: destroyed on 17 Tamuz for the first destruction. Do you have any sources for
: the shiur?

Looking at complicated historical questions like when WWI started...

Germany made their first declaration of war of WWI, against Russia,
on 9 Av, 5674 (Aug 1, 1914). Much is made of it in some circles, that
Germany's road to the Shoah began on Tish'ah be'Av.

But if you think about it, one could equally say the war began with the
assination on June 28; or with the first declaration by any country,
Austria declaring war on Serbia on July 8th; or with the first shots,
the Battle of Liege (Germany's invation of Belgium) on Aug 3; etc... And
was WWI the start of the road, and not the birth of the Nazi party,
their election of Hitler, etc, etc, etc...

Thinking of when I reached that realization, I wonder if the stirah
is real. It could be that there were multiple events that in different
perspectives could be terms "the first breach".

This doesn't fully answer the question, since it would then force us to
ask how the navi's context differs from ours to justify our focusing on
a different event as the beginning of the breach.


Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
mi...@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

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Message: 4
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:40:03 +0300
[Avodah] tisha baav in 2nd bayit

Bizman shebeis hamikdosh [hasheni] hoyo kayem..
(how) did Jews commemorate Tisha B'Av? >>

It is a machloket rishim. Rambam holds they did fast while most
other rishonim disagree. The various proofs discussed here are brought
by the rishonim

Eli Turkel

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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:43:53 GMT
Re: [Avodah] tisha baav as moed

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> Eichah 1:15
> karah alai moed lishbir bachurai(partial pasuk)
> Artscroll translates this as
> He proclaimed a set time against me to crush my young men
> nothing to do with any holidays

I agree that it seems to have nothing to do with holidays. At least, not on a simple, obvious, pshat level.

Yet the poskim clearly DO point to this pasuk! Why?

My guess: The navi could have used other words in this pasuk: "zman",
"ays", "hayom", or others. But he didn't. He specifically used the word
"moed". It was clear and understood by the author's contemporaries - and
has since been passed on to us via oral tradition - that this word was
chosen specifically because of the "holiday" connotation.

Akiva Miller

Looking for insurance?  Click to compare and save big.

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 11:28:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] tisha baav as a moed

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 09:58:04PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
:> I think of "mo'eid" as "an appointment". As in "ki eis lechenena ki va
:> mo'eid", bimheirah beyameinu, amein.

:> 9 beAv is a time for a particular kind of encounter with the
:> Aibishter....
:> I would say therefore that the pasuq is being used to teach that 9 beAv
:> is a time for reflecting on the message of 9 beAv to the exclusion of
:> the personal baqashos of tachnun.

: Sounds similar to RYBS explanation that we dont say tachanun because of the
: pasuk "satam tefillati" that it is a day when we dont ask for requests

Except that RYBS doesn't explicitly address the notion of tying it to

I'm trying to tie in that notion, and saying that the mo'eid is defined
as an appointment with the A-lmighty whose nature leaves us tongue-tied.

And so 9 beAv really is a mo'eid, like the chagim -- even though they
are appointments for different kinds of encounter. The gemara then adds
that when HaMaqom finally does give us complete nechamah, the appointment
will remain even though the theme will not. And at that time, the mo'eid
will be more of a festival.

A question we might have to shelve until it becomes halakhah lemaaseh:
My father phrased his hopes as this being the last year he would not
put on tefillin at Shacharis on 9 beAv. Once it becomes a holiday, will
we put on tefillin at all? Or is the gemara implying there would be an
issur melakhah?


Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Arie Folger <arie.fol...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:03:50 +0200
[Avodah] Mizmor Shir 'Hanukat Habayit

Dear fellow 'Ovedim,

I am taking the liberty to bring this following blog post of mine to
your attention. I will gladly hear your thoughts.

How did Psalm 30 Land in the Morning Service
July 31, 2009
One of the pleasures of having come to Basel was, that I was suddenly
confronted with what seemed to me rather strange liturgical minhaggim,
as up until then I had assumed that my tradition was of course the
standard; a common human fallacy. One of the things I discovered, is
that, while every synagogue I could remember visiting up until then,
included Psalm 30 (????? ??? ????? ????) in the morning liturgy, to be
recited before Baruch SheAmar, in Basel, it was ignored.

My first indication that this Psalm?s inclusion in the liturgy
deserved some scrutiny came even before I encountered Minhag Basel,
from hearing about R? Joseph Ber Soloveitchik?s personal minhag of
reciting said Psalm only after Barukh SheAmar, for in his opinion it
was only within the framework of Pessuqei deZimra that one could begin
to recite Psalms in the morning liturgy. (However, he had no objection
to the liturgical recitation of Psalms after Pessuqei deZimra.)
However, that was a chiddush of R? Soloveitchik; it never was an
established minhag.

So how come that it is recited in most communities, while many
Yeckishe communities skip it?

Read on at: http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/psalm-30-in-morning-service/

Kol tuv & good Shabbos,
Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* How did Psalm 30 Land in the Morning Service
* Testing the Efficacy of Prayer

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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 15:06:09 +0300
[Avodah] selling kidneys

There is an extensive article in Tradition 40#2 (2007) by Ronnie
Warburg on selling kidneys.
While several poskim ncluding Tzitz Eliezer forbid seeling kidneys
most poskim allow it
on the grounds of pikach nefesh.
However, harming oneself is allowed only to save a life.
Thus several poskim point out that the Shylock contract obligating one
to give a pound
of flesh if payment is not made is a nonvaild contract.
From the public policy side he quotes
of the sellers on India's black market trade 86% reported that their health had
deteriorated sbstantially from its pre-sale condition.
.... four out of five seller would not recommend that others follow
their lead in
selling organs

Eli Turkel

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Message: 9
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:07:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

Micha Berger wrote:
> I think it could be
> argued that there is nothing about being a Maharat that is inherently
> different than being a yoetzet, or just being a knowledgable neighbor
> who I call when I am stuck on something.
This strikes me as an argument in favor of calling knowledgeable women 
"Rabbis".  Here's why.

My impression is that long, long, ago, rabbis knew a lot more than they 
know now.  It's hard to believe that 150 years ago anyone would consider 
me qualified to be a rabbi.  I've met Reform rabbis who can't read 
unvocalized Hebrew, and Haredi rabbis (native speakers of English) who 
think that the English word for unvocalized is "unvowelized" (see 
Sanhedrin 5b).  So the title "rabbi" implies less skill and knowledge 
than it used to.

It's not as though there's a fixed amount of kavod, and spreading it 
around merely distributes less of it to more people.  Instead, by 
removing restriction, we reduce the actual amount of kavod involved 
(think of Groucho's remark that he wouldn't want to join any club that 
would accept him).  By reducing the value of the term "rabbi" we are 
reducing the total kavod.  At some point "rabbi" will degenerate to the 
point that "mister" is at already, and will have no honorific value.  
Isn't that what you're after?

David Riceman

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Message: 10
From: zelig...@aol.com
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:36:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tznius and Gender Roles

WADR, the concept of spiritually equal but functionally distinct and gender
defined roles can be traced to the dawn of the Jewish People, especially in
the interactions between the Avos and Imahos, the latter who never flinched
at disagreeing with the Avos on critical issues that had a major role in
the development of the Bris Avos. Yet, the Imahos never demanded that they
supplant the roles of the Avos. Miriam HaNeviah rallied the Jewish women
long before Moshe Rabbeinu returned ti Egyot, inspired them to reject the
Egyptian version of ZPG and led the women in their own shirah after the
crossing of the Yam Suf. The Jewish women refused to participate in the
episodes of the Golden Calf, the spies or Korach. Miriam criticized Moshe
and was punished for doing do, but never sought to supplant Moshe
Rabbeinu's role. 

 the time of their use.  There are numerous halachos and minhagim rooted in Tznius-the Kohen Gadol emtered the Kodesh HaKadoshim
by himself on YK. A Sefer Torah, to whom man is compared, stays in the Aron HaKodesh and is only
taken out and uncovered for the sole purposes of Krias HaTorah, public Talmud Torah and honoring
the Torah on Simchas Torah. The Challah, the Challah knife and the Shofar
are also hidden until the time of their use. Public prayer and the prayer
of the Tzibbur are not a substitute or replacement for the inner most
recesses of man or woman talking to God in the course of private prayer.

Yes, we live in a generation where it is perceived, rightly or wrongly, that the only differences
between the genders are that a woman gives birth to a child. Yet, as RYBS, who was a huge advocate
of women learning Torah, reminded all who attended the levayah for the
Rebbitzen of Talne, Zicronah Livrahca, that she personified the age old
principal of Shma Bni Musar
Avicha Val Titosh Toras Imecha-the father may teach Hilcos Shabbos, but the mother passes on the aroma and atmosphere of Shabbos Kodesh.
WADR, at the risk of sounding like an advocate for early marriage ( i.e.
while in college and grad school), at the expense of career development,
any married woman who runs the house, works in or out of the house, raises
a family, attends shiurim and shul is a spiritual leader who needs no

Steve Brizel

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Message: 11
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:05:12 -0400
[Avodah] Kohen Gadol

I've always been puzzled that a Kohen Gadol could not even become  
tamei through the death of the seven krovim.
Yet, if the KG came upon a meis, he was required to contaminate  
himself because of meis mitzvah.
Any thoughts?

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Message: 12
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 15:34:56 +0000
Re: [Avodah] we live in good times

> I understand the qina stating vekhi ein
> leharbot biymei taanit/eivel (or whatever - no qinot in front of me),
> which famously was used to prohibit the establishment of any 'Hurban
> Europa memorial day by the Brisker Rav-Jerusalem. It seems to me that
> the straightforward meaning is, there have been so many tragedies that
> we shouldn't multiply the fast days, or ein ladavar sof."

Agreed but also plz note the corollary viz. that 9 Av and its season
grows more intense!

It's like a tzintzum or riccuz of all tzaros heaped up into a single pile.

That's why IMHO post-Holocaust we shouldn't be looking for kulos.
(Except maybe for "personal hygeine" issues which has to do with how we
are socially nowadays)

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 11:49:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kohen Gadol

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 07:05:12AM -0400, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: I've always been puzzled that a Kohen Gadol could not even become  
: tamei through the death of the seven krovim.
: Yet, if the KG came upon a meis, he was required to contaminate  
: himself because of meis mitzvah.
: Any thoughts?

It seems to me self evident, a huge statement about the relative
importance of chessed.


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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 11:58:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] asara harugei malchut and mechirat yosef

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 04:12:47PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: 1. Medrash Ele ezkarah (anyone know anything about it?)

There are two complete copies on Google books. See
(The latter is annoyingly scanned in in reverse page order; it looks
like the person Harvard hired to scan it looked at the cover and presumed
German page order.)

Both are in the public domain and can be downloaded as PDF.

What I think is important to take from the medrash is to see how
the cheit of mechiras Yoseif reflects itself in the sins of the
generations of the churban and of Hadrianus, why this meant that
we needed to be bereft of leaders who couldn't pull us out of this
morass (thus the Zohar calling them in diyuqnayhu of the brothers),
and how we as the eternal community finally do teshuvah for it all.


Micha Berger             In the days of our sages, man didn't sin unless
mi...@aishdas.org        he was overcome with a spirit of foolishness.
http://www.aishdas.org   Today, we don't do a mitzvah unless we receive
Fax: (270) 514-1507      a spirit of purity.      - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 15
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:35:47 +0000
Re: [Avodah] we live in good times

Joseph Kaplan:
> Rashi,  
> is that the people were so confused that they thought it happened on  
> the 9th, and God, as it were, wanted to be with Bnai Yisrael in their  
> desolation and confusion and joined with them by having Tanach list  
> the 9th even though it was in error.

 From the Tu b'av aggadic story we learn that by the 15th no one still
thinks it's still the 9th - due to the full moon!

Thus, either people were HIGHLY confused beyond all reason
Or there is more to this "confusion" than meets the eye

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 16
From: Mike Miller <avo...@mikeage.net>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 18:56:18 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] The Shevach Scandal and the Arrested

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 06:57, it was written on Areivim
> Mike Miller <arei...@mikeage.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 07:56, it was written:
>> > He is a moser; killing him would not
>> > be an avera.  It's unlikely that anyone will actually do so, but he can
>> > never be sure.
>> Of course, this is only if you believe that what he did is mesirah.
>> It's entirely possible that causing one to be sent to today's jails
>> (at least American ones, and probably Israeli ones too) does not give
>> one the din of mesirah; before killing anyone, I would recommend
>> making sure that all shittos are covered....
> Why would today's prisons be different?   Remember that mesirah applies
> even to property.  If you tell the nochrim where a yisroel is hiding his
> money you're a moser; kol sheken if you tell them enough to lock him up,
> no matter in what luxurious conditions.  (Of course there are cases where
> mesirah is allowed; this is clearly not one of them.)

The issur of mesirah applies to property, but the death sentence for a
moser is m'din rodef. Even the death sentence for a moser on property
is that we're afraid that once the goyim start taking from the Jews,
they will treat his property and his life as hefker, and they will
come back time and again until he's out of money... and then they are
likely to kill him.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to apply this chain of events to the
American legal system.

Of course, it's possible that this is not the way we should pasken,
and any application of a secular legal system, however just and
egalitarian, is forbidden m'din moser.... but I'm not sure if one can
just say "kim li" and start killing.... maybe the moser can fight back
m'din rodef if he holds that his mesirah does not make him chayav

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Message: 17
From: Yosef Skolnick <yskoln...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 12:12:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] learning kinnot

The understanding of the kinnot allows one to have a truly deep feeling and
emotions that lead to true despair over the loss.  If you say the words,
even with great fervor, it won't necessarily speak to the purpose of the
day.  This is a day of complete abandon to the despair over the loss of the
beis hamikdash.

Yosef Skolnick

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM, Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com> wrote:

> <<>>>>
> Any tefilla mumbled off without understanding is worth less than the same
> tefilla said with understanding.  How can you keep a Tisha B'Av mood of
> melancholy if you mumble off the kinos with no understanding >>
> Basic understanding of the words is of course desired.
> The question was about a deeper study of the kinnot
> --
> Eli Turkel
> _______________________________________________
> Avodah mailing list
> Avo...@lists.aishdas.org
> http://lists.aishdas.org/listinfo.cgi/avodah-aishdas.org
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Message: 18
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:40:47 -0400
[Avodah] Tisha b'Av and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Tisha b'Av and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

    ...a disorder in which a person deliberately causes injury or
    illness to another person, usually to gain attention or some other
    benefit. (Wikipedia)

Completely separate from the issue of whether the mother in the episode
that is ongoing in Yerushalayim is obsessed by MSbP or not, is the
question of the message that Hashem is trying to send us by having had
this episode unfold specifically in Bein HaMetzarim.

The answer is rooted in the Cheit HaMeraglim, the "original sin" of Tisha
b'Av in which all the day's later tragedies are rooted. What was the
cause of that sin? As I heard many years ago from Mori v'Rabi Rabbi Shimon
Zelaznik zt"l, the Zohar HaKadosh explains that, great individuals that
the Nesi'im who were sent to be the Meraglim were, they were concerned
that upon entering Eretz Yisroel all Jews would be holy and lofty,
and their nesi'us would no longer be necessary. This negi'a led them
to mistakenly conclude that it would be better -- not only subjectively
but even objectively -- for Am Yisroel to remain outside of the Land of
Israel, so as to benefit from the leadership of the Nesi'im.

Thus, the Meraglim deliberately attempted to inflict the terrible
injury of the loss of Eretz Yisroel upon Am Yisroel -- in order for
them to retain the attentiveness of the people to their leadership and
direction. In short, the Meraglim were guilty of the sin of MSbP. Rather
than seek to retain their status by elevating themselves, they sought
to retain their superior status by degrading others.

This is the yesod ha'yesodos of Sinas Chinam. What is the difference
between your everyday, plain old Sinah and Sinas Chinam? There are people
that I am entitled to hate -- say, a Haman or a Hitler. But Sinas Chinam
means that I hate someone who I really have no reason to hate, and who
is not deserving of hate (see the Siddur Otzar HaTefillos on Al cheit
she'chatanu lefanecha b'Sinas Chinam). The problem is, that this may
make him my equal, and my ga'avah and kavod will not allow me to see
anyone else as my equal (as my better, perhaps yes -- that's a different
story, but not as my equal!). So I seek to retain my superior status by
degrading him. Sinas Chinam=MSbP.

Societies can self-define in two different ways: By who they are, or
by who they are not. They can say: "We are different because we have a
certain superior aspect;" or they can say: "We are different because they
have a certain negative aspect." At first glance, these might seem like
two sides of the same coin, but they are not: When we define ourselves
by what we are not, we accentuate their flaws. This approach has two
pretty negative corollaries: Complacency (i.e., just by me being me
I'm the greatest, so there is really no need for me to change anything,
is there?) and dehumanization (i.e., those guys are such lowlifes that
we obviously don't need to treat them with mentchlichkeit!). In short,
societies that self-define in the latter manner are engaging in MSbP

When frum Jews call non-frum or less-frum Jews "Erev Rav," or "Nazis,"
or "Amalek," they are engaging in MSbP. They are defining themselves and
rationalizing anything they might be doing by dehumanizing others. In
fact, even if I just say: "Well they do the same thing, they're no
better than us," or charge them with maintaining a double standard
(both of which may be perfectly true), I'm still guilty of MSbP: I'm not
engaging in introspection to see if I'm worthy, or in and self-growth
to become worthy, of attention and respect -- I'm great, you've/he's
got problems/issues; are anti-frum/anti-Charedi/anti-Modern Orthodox;
are a self-hating Jew; are antisemitic; are a mosser.

Which leads us to the other messages that Hashem has sent us during this
very unique Bein HaMetzarim:

First, the protests in Yerushalayim. Again, I am not getting into
whether the protests are justified or not. But how could they have come
to overturning garbage bins and setting them on fire, and to the wanton
destruction of public property, etc.? Would these same people under the
same circumstances have protested so violently in another country? I
think we all know that the answer is, no. So why in Eretz Yisroel? MSbP.
Because that segment of Orthodox Judaism has long defined itself by what
it is not ("Tziyoinim," "Mizrachistin," etc.) and in the course of that
self-definition they have succeeded in delegitimatizing and dehumanizing
the State, its society, its institutions and its representatives to the
point that they are unworthy of mentchlichkeit.

Second, the alleged criminal activity of the arrested Rabbonim and other
Orthodox Jews. Again, I am not getting into whether they are guilty or
not. Let us hope,even assume, that they are not. But in orchestrating
the arrests in and of themselves, Hashem clearly intended to send yet
another MSbP message. We bandy about catchphrases (usually irrelevant
and misapplied!) such as Eisav sonei l'Yaakov or Atem keruyim Adam.
Sometimes it's for a "worthy" cause -- to caution us in regard to our
public behavior, or to castigate the others' immoral behavior, etc. But
this too is ultimately a manifestation of MSbP. We thus delegitimatize
and dehumanize our non-Jewish neighbors (or kidney donors), which
leads too often to dishonesty, fraud, racism, etc. So Hashem says to
us: "Hello?! Is this what you think I meant when I told you to be a
Mamleches Kohanim v'Goy Kadosh?! Do you really think this is being Ohr
LaGoyim?!" So let's even stipulate that the crimes are all trumped-up
charges (halevai!) -- but do we seriously deny the middos problems that
could lead to such crimes?

Third, the curious phenomenon of the focus on the heinous act of the
moser. We have seen this focus exaggerated to such an extent that the
message one might be excused for getting is that the real problem is the
mesirah! It is reminiscent of the Gemara that states (not l'maskanah!):
"It is not the mouse that steals, but the mousehole." Again, let us
stipulate that the moser is a rat fink of the lowest kind. But in
essence, focusing on him is like saying that even if the crimes were
(chas v'shalom!) committed, the real problem is that they were exposed.
Is there any greater manifestation of MSbP?! Moreover, somewhat on a
tangent, do we really think mesirah is such a problem amongst us that the
Hashgachah made this happen to highlight that problem? And, by the way,
I would like to propose a daherr: The Gemara says the Beis HaMikdash
was destroyed because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza. In calling the missing
guest "Kamtza" and the moser "Bar Kamtza," it is evident that it was
the matter of Kamtza that was the primary and major cause -- the "Bar"
(son of) Kamtza matter was but the secondary and minor cause.

The Torah itself alludes to MSbP. (By the way, we also suffer from 
Munchausen Syndrome in its non-by-Proxy strain, but that's not for now. 
And the book "The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen" is very 
engaging reading, but that's certainly not for now.). The way in which 
Munchausen is spelled in Hebrew (????????-- ?) equals 189 in gematria. This 
is equivalent to the words ?? ???? ??? "Lo Yimtza Tov" in the pasuk 
(Mishlei 17:20): ??????? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ??????????? ???????????? ??????? ????????. Of course, 
the person afflicted with MSbP will not find good in others -- on the 
contrary, he will seek to accentuate the bad. Thus, 189 is also 
equivalent to the words ???? ??? "Yil'ag Lamo" in the pasuk (Iyov 
22:19): ??????? ?????????? ??????????-- ?? ??????? ??????? ?????, for the quest to accentuate 
the bad is in order to denigrate the other as an excuse for not focusing
on building oneself. Finally, the 189th pasuk in the Torah (Bereishis
8:5) is the first pasuk in Tanach to reference the 10th month -- the
month of Av...

All of us are guilty of MSbP in some way or another. It's impeding the
Geulah. Hashem has brought it out in the most blatant ways possible.
What can we do about it?


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