Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 164

Wed, 12 Aug 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjba...@panix.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 19:51:48 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Inconceivable! (was: (no subject))

Subject: Re: [Avodah] (no subject)
Daniel Israel:
> On Mon, 10 Aug 2009 10:30:09 -0600 Akiva Blum <yda...@gmail.com> 
> > [mailto:avodah-boun...@lists.aishdas.org] On Behalf Of Zev Sero
> >> Daniel Israel wrote:

> >> > The opinion in the Gemara regarding the ben sorer umoreh 
> >> > appears to be making an onological claim, namely, that it is 
> >> > intrinsically impossible for such a case to happen.

> >> There's nothing inherently impossible about the requirements being
> >> fulfilled, and the gemara doesn't claim that they can't be, just
> >> that they're extremely unlikely -- just like this case.

> >See Sanhedrin 71a. Hagohos haBach learns that it is instrinsically 
> >impossible.
> The loshon in the gemara is "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid lihiyos."  It 
> would seem to me that pshat in the gemara is that it is impossible. 
>   If it is merely unlikely, how could the gemara know that it won't 
> ever happen in the future?

R' Yonason says (you see why I remember that line), there was one and
I sat on his grave.

So is the maskana that it's impossible, or is it that it's rare and
extremely unlikely?

1/0 = infinity, as it were, so there is a real difference.

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

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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 21:46:33 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

R' Rich Wolpoe suggested:

> How about a total-oversimplification?
> Why not:
> 1. Allow or empower women to learn all the Torah
>  they want - including Yore Dei'ah?

How much of Yoreh Deah is currently off-limits to women? How much is not of
practical value in their daily lives? Offhand, I'm can think of only a
handful of simanim there. A better example of learning which is (currently)
of no practical need would be Kodshim.

Akiva Miller

New to Digital Photography? Click Here.

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Message: 3
From: "Chana Luntz" <ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:55:25 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles (Micha Berger)

RMB writes:

> I think that you're working from an outsider's view of chareidi life.

I am indeed, deliberately so.

> It's like all the talk about subjugating onself to daas Torah 
> as seen from the media vs what you hear from yeshivish people 
> on Avodah about how their decision-making really works. 
> (Thanks RJJB who recently brought up that example in an IM 
> discussion.) The child has to make a conscious decision to 
> allow their parents into that role.

Yes, agreed, although they have been educated towards doing so.  But there
is always the option of not doing so and if they don't they will refuse
everything proposed to them.  The key factor though, that a lot of the key
decisions regarding who to marry are left, with the conscious agreement of
the child, to the parents, and marriage is concluded earlier than it
otherwise would because the child is not, at the age that marriage is
concluded, capable of making such decisions by themselves.  The charedi
system leads to earlier marriage, and the modern orthodox system leads to
later marriage, and both are hashkafic choices.  Which have consequences.  

> Is that the question of Maharat? Or is it something else 
> grouped together?

I am not at all sure that Maharat as currently designed specifically is a
good solution.  But what I was trying to get you to examine are some of the
issues which perhaps need addressing, which might lead many people to
believe that, when proferred a solution in the form of the Maharat, that
this is a solution.  You keep responding with yoezet and toenet and Nechama
Leibowitz, whereas to my mind, these deal with completely different
problems, problems that you acknowledge are problems, and hence it is very
easy for you to acknowledge them as good solutions.  On the other hand, you
keep saying that you can't see the problems that Maharat may be seen by
others to address.   
> If we have a need for women in such a role, and I could see 
> many communities that would need a paid position for an adult 
> educator of this sort, then create such a position and a new 
> title. I must be missing something, because that seems trivial.

Not at all trivial. What title do you suggest?
> Learning YD wouldn't be a part of it.

Well it might be, if somebody preferred to ask their kashrus and shabbas
questions to somebody whom they felt they could be on the same wavelength
with.  I am not convinced that is so pashut. Given the number of shialas
that come my way, I don't think it is pashut at all.  Being not equipped and
not interested in answering shialas doesn't mean that one doesn't get asked.

 Nor would her being the 
> one officiating (being mesaderet) at lifecycle events, the 
> leader of the shul, etc...

Well batmitzvah perhaps, (pregnancy, zeved habat, miscarriage at a stretch,
mourning perhaps if the general minhag is not for women to be involved in
the general mourning rituals, which is probably not the case in an MO
environment) but generally I would have thought not.  But that is the point.
If you acknowledge there are real needs to be met, then one could think
about tailoring something to meet those needs.  If you dismiss the existence
of any such needs, then obviously you will be against change.  If however
there are real needs, and you are failing to acknowledge them, then you are
leaving the running to those people who have an agenda to provide more than
the needs warrant.

> Remind me again, why do they need the derashah to come from a woman?

Because many single women are failing to relate to a Rav and as they are not
(or no longer) in seminary they are receiving no role modelling and often no
yiddishkeit imput at all and are drifting in yahadus terms while waiting to
find a husband (they may be storming ahead with their career, or their
university education, but that is a different matter).  You could indeed
schedule such a talk for a Tuesday evening. But the reason the drasha arose
on Shabbas is because for (childless) working people, that is the time when
they are most likely to be available, and most likely to be receptive.  Once
upon a time there was no drasha at all, certainly mid service, it is a
relatively modern innovation, done because that is best time to reach
people.  If you scheduled the Rav's drasha on a Tuesday evening too you
would get far far fewer people who could gain any inspiration from it. 

As I have said, a number of times, to my mind, one solution to this problem
is early marriage, that is why I keep going on about it.  It is the
traditional way of ensuring there is not a problem.  Another is to take the
view that a few years or a decade of down time yahadus wise doesn't matter.
But if you think that growing in yahadus is important, and early marriage is
not a solution, then it seems to me you need to look at other solutions to
increase the ability for women to find role models and people who fit the
aseh l'cha rav model, even if it is "rav" with a small "r" rather than "Rav"
with a capital "R".  And if you don't then logically people are going to
step in with a solution that turns a rav with a small "r" into Rav with a
capital "R".   
> : Not quite sure what you are getting at here - because I 
> don't see any
> : discussion about turning to a rav for hora'ah - which is 
> very personal and
> : hopefully taylored with abusive men...
> Except that you spoke against men lecturing women. If this is 
> an issue for a woman, how can she be ready to accept hora'ah 
> when she has to ask a man?

I'm sorry that you cannot see the difference between a public lecture on the
importance of an identified midah and ho'rah.  I don't quite know how to
further explain that to you, but I think there are many people who have
negative reactions to a certain type of lecturing, because it feels like it
is all about yenem (ie them, not the lecturer) (even if the one giving the
lecture doesn't think that is the message they are conveying), and horah. It
is not necessarily a gender thing, by any means, just a situation where
whoever is giving the lecture is, due to whatever circumstance, less tempted
or less tested or whatever.  For example, does the fact that somebody who
has been put through some severe life tests may have a negative knee jerk
reaction to somebody who has been less tested telling them that "HaShem
doesn't give tests to people He doesn't know can manage them" mean that they
cannot accept horah?   Or just that they might prefer to look to a Rav who
is able to be a bit more empathic.

But a deeper problem, in my view is that there are lot of women out there
who do not feel able to ask a man horah (lectures or no lectures), so they
don't.  They don't ask anyone and just muddle through or they ask their
women friends or some woman whom they think might know something - if the
rebetzin is good at her job they will ask her (that is another traditional
way of dealing with the problem, make the rabbinate a him and her job, and
interview her just as much as you interview him - but it does mean that a
man who wants to be a community Rav, and who may have skills to be a
community Rav, needs to interview prospective spouses and make sure they are
up to sharing his job with him).  I know this is an attitude you want think
should be changed, but how are you going to go about doing it?

> The practices are NOT din. 

Minhag k'din hu.

Lehalakhah, I did a full neigl 
> vasr if I pour water over my weaker hand and then my stronger 
> one (sorry, as a lefty that's the only way I coudl phrase it) 
> and then put the cup away. Since I'm not Teimani, I violated 
> minhag, not din. I never saw a teshuvah arguing that we 
> should break the mimetics of neigl vasr because it is a 
> danger for those of us with OCD.

I agree.  Nobody I know is going to undermine a bone fide documented minhag
on that basis either, any more than they are going to say that all
Ashkenazim can eat kitniyos because you may find some who are so alergic to
various items they need greater nutrition than a non kitniyos diet allows.

 And I see that as something 
> of a parallel to your raising the issue of kol kevudah and 
> abusive men.

Only if you argue that we have a a bone fide documented minhag towards kol
kevudah in the manner in which you describe it.  But as you keep agreeing,
we do not have a minhag.  The  best you can come up with is the halacha to
refuse aliyos, which, you agree, is constantly violated in practice.  Nor
are there any other minhagim of the community that in fact accord with this
concept.  According to you, the community is doing the wrong thing by not
having such a minhag, and you are strongly advocating creating such a
minhag.  If there was a particular practice that nobody in the community
did, but a person was arguing that it would be good to do, then if indeed
this practice would be a significant danger to those with OCD, it would seem
to me that it would indeed be appropriate to take that fact to take into
account when examining whether to recommend the practice.



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Message: 4
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 22:57:44 +0000
[Avodah] Women Learning Torah

Apparently some of my positions have been misperceived a bit.

I am taking a centrist 2-track approach (similar to Hirsch's 2-tiered
approach re: the hinuch for Yaakov and Esav)

Tier 1 women learn traditonally as before.
No gmara. Women learn basic Halachah etc. Kitzur SA, a smattering of
Midrash, mussar, etcm

Tier 2 Women are enabled - but not coerced - to learn what men learn.

Thus I support allowing women to choose a Hareidi-style education


A RYDS-style fully modern yeshivisher curriculum, gmara and all.

And that no woman would be "shamed" into either role, rather to learn what best works for her as an individual.

No coercion
No one-size-fits-all
Freedom of their own destiny
No disabilities

The decision to produce Orthodox women clergy will be postponed; but
there will be women ready to go at any time.

It's about not forcing the issue, but allowing the issue.

It's about Liberty within the confines of Torah


A: Not quite. I envision a range of options with individual communities
implementing it differently.

Q:  Do you see Orthodox women being called "rabbi"?
A: maybe, maybe not.

Q:  What about "tzenius"
A. Ideally I see women as leaders for women, and men as leaders for men.
Sort of like Moshe and Miryam at Yam Suf - "separate but equal"

EG We already have women teaching shabbos afternoon groups for women
in Teaneck. Works for me

Q:  What about women teaching men?
A: Good question. I don't have all the parameters - but certainly
publications would work. Think Nechama Leibowitz.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 5
From: Daniel Israel <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:52:11 -0600
Re: [Avodah] School Tuition + Fundraising

rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
> Set aside the halachic issues for a while
> What are the ETHICS of Jewish Schools doing the following?
> Instead of asking for a lump sum - say $10,000, you sometimes get
> $500 journal ad
> $1500 "scholarship" donation
> $500 registration
> $2000 "scrip" obligation
> (worth $100)
> $500 raffle
> Etc.
> And finally the remainder is the "tuition"
> But any "honest" accountant will tell you it's all tuition and none
> is deductible.
> So what's the point? 
> It seems a ha'arama and a less than "tamim tihyeh" approach. When our
> educational system "plays games" won't the students learn the "wrong"
> lessons?
> Wouldn't "Glatt yosher" call a tuition a tuition and suspend with using
> "manipulation" to acheive the fund-raising goal?

Can you clarify what problem is bothering you?

If you are concerned that the schools are trying to hide the true cost 
of tuition (I've been looking at cars recently, dealers are expert at 
this), I would agree that that would not be yosher, but I'm not 
convinced that that is the motivation.  I think rather it is an attempt 
to make the price more marketable.  That is, not to make me unaware of 
the price, but to make me happier about paying it.

If you are concerned about tax law, AIUI, the rule is simple.  It is 
only deductible if no tangible benefits are provided.  In this case it 
boils down to (I would think): if attendance is contingent on paying 
this fee, it isn't deductible.  If parents deduct things they shouldn't 
that is a yashrus problem on their part, not the school's.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 6
From: Daniel Israel <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:40:42 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Halachah, Mussar, Qabbalah

rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
> Indirect reply:
> There is an excellent bifurcation of Halachah and Muusar-Qabalah in one
> of the most famous Sefarim of the 19th Century!
> The sefer Chofetz Chaim is a classic halachah sefer
> And its shemiras halashon component is mussar laced with quotes from
> Zohar.
> Surely this paradigm works for me, viz. Non-conflation.

I'm also lost.  Note that Sefer Chofetz Chaim itself contains quite a 
bit of mussar/aggadah.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 7
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 10:25:41 +0300
[Avodah] R Akiva

<<RYS (OY #10) picks up on a later line, "miyad, CHAZAR lilmod Torah".
According to his take on the story, R' Aqiva was raised in a Torah
observant home and had an education. By age 40, he had left it all and
wasn't learning any longer. After this story, he returned to learning.>>

The problem is that many of these legends are contradictory.
According to this story he had a son and then went (returned) to learning
at the age of 40. According to the other story with Rachel (BTW her
name isnt mentioned)
He was convinced by his wife and it doesnt appear that he had children.
Also he was separated from his wife for 24 years. What happened to any children?
Some claim R. Yehoshua Ben Korcha was a son others deny it.

One story is that in early life he hated Talmidei Chachamim and would be willing
to bite them. In another story he worked for Hyrcanus (father of R. Eliezer) and
believed every possible reason why he was not paid after his work. Makes him
into a great chassid (not modern type) doesnt sound like someone who had
bitter hatred towards learning.

More generally it is unclear when he lived. He dies about 135 during
the Bar Kochba revolt.
Accepting the standard calendar (which is too exact 40+40+40 just like
R. Yochanan Ben Zakai), he was born about 15 CE. He started learning
(or relearning) at age 40 in
the year 55 ie before the churban habayit. Why did he go to R. Yehoshua and
R. Eliezer and not R. Yochanan ben Zakai or R. Shimon ben Gamliel?
Thus the 24 years he was gone from home included the churban habayit.
Where was he then and how could he not return during the war years?
According to legend then he was a student for 40 years (or was it 24?) taking
us to the year 95. However, in Yavne he was already considered a candidate
for being Nasi after R Gamliel was deposed.

Furthermore there are numerous stories about the wives of R. Akiva and so he
had at least 3 if not more wives (successively not at one time).

Most academics assume that these are legends that grew up to explain the
early life of a great figure and hsould not be taken literally.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 8
From: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:40:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 7:04pm EDT, R Dr Meir Shinnar wrote:
> : me
> :> FWIW, I think the practical implication on men is far greater.  
> Because
> :> it implies that men, who already occupy leadership positions, are  
> called
> :> upon to make sure that their leadership is really warranted. Do  
> they
> :> bring something to the table that others can't or aren't, or is  
> much of
> :> it a pursuit of kibud?
> : I understand the desire to preserve Jewish norms...
> Your phrasing is skewed toward your response. I'm talking about the
> desire to preserve Jewish values, whether or not they are norms.  
> What I
> (following RHS) and calling zeni'us is one such value. The fact that
> it's not the norm speaks ill of the norm, not the value.

RMB misunderstands (which affects much of the answer). I was using  
norms from normative - descriptive of ought rather than is - the same  
as his values.

However, even with his understanding, it is problematic.  I think that  
we both agree that the proposed new roles for women - from high school  
tanach teachers to maharat and beyond - are  a break in the  
traditional roles of women and mimetic tradition.   The question is  
how to judge that break  - and that requires two separate analyses.
1.  What intrinsic values were represented by the traditional roles of  
2.  What values are enhanced by the proposed new roles.

RMB proposes for the first analysis his definition of tzeniut - which  
is a broad criteria applicable to both men and women.
My problem is two fold with this analysis.
1.  As a description of social mores (what he calls norms), it seems  
that current and classical social mores do not reflect this value.   
Therefore, a solution that violates this social more is not a break  
with the past and the mimetic tradition - and therefore, this can't be  
the basis for opposing such a change.  One can't argue that something  
is a radical break with the past because it violates a social more  
that has never existed.

2.  As a description of a norm, or a value - we can differ about  
whether his definiton of tzeniut has textual support - somehting I and  
others (including people on the other side such as RTK) disagree with  
RMB.  What, however, is clear, is, that even if one believes that it  
is a value with some textual support - it is one that has, in general,  
not been embraced by the community - not just the amcha, but even the  
rabbinic leaders, who have not tried in any meaningful sense to  
implement this value - even in areas where it would be quite  
feasible.  To me, this suggests that even if one can find isolated  
texts that might be interpreted as supporting this value, it is  
clearly not that the halakhic community and leaders have endorsed.   
Therefore, it is difficult to make that value the basis for  
traditional women's roles, and against innovation - the mimetic  
tradition does not know of that value.....The issue has to be  
something else.

As an aside, part of the question has been the extent that one can  
learn ought from is - to what extent does communal practice reflect  
values, and to what extent does one say that if communal practice does  
not reflect a practice, it speaks poorly of the communal practice.   
There are a variety of mitzvot that have traditionally been neglected  
(one thinks of the issue of lashon hara before the chafetz chaim) -  
but what is clear is that there is a fairly general recognition that  
there is a problem, just that it is not feasible to correct at this  
time.  What is clearly lacking is a large literature of people who not  
only talk about inappropriate redifat kavod (classical musar), but  
that one should limit public roles and activity unless necessary -  
even if they can't actually implement it.  This, to me, suggests that  
this is not a real value.

> Not really. You are the motzi meichaveiro, not the people who say that
> the rabbinate should stay in the hands of men. You need to show the
> ability to make taqanos; not prove an inability to make gezeiros.
The oid issue of whether what is not directly permitted is forbidden,  
or whether what is not specifically forbidden is permitted..

> : But the second is that the Jewish norms involved have to be  
> authentic
> : Jewish norms.  I understand the novelty in pulbic roles for women -
> : but you are basing your opposition on a norm that is not a Jweish
> : norm, and even created out of whole cloth. TO
> Again, translating back from norm to value, of course it's a Jewish
> value that predates my inventing anyting from whole cloth. "R' Eliezez
> haQapar omeir: ... vehakavod, motzi'in as ha'adam min ha'olam." (Avos
> 4:21 sometimes numbered 4:27)
> See the Keli Yaqar Shemos 30:
>    ... ein kaparah zu meshameshes ki im bizman shekol echad yosheiv
>    besokh ami kemo she'amerah haShunamis...
> Or the Tzitz Eliezer XVI:35, who uses besokh ami to argue that it's  
> better
> (yeish to'eles yoseir) to make one tefillah for numerous neshamos  
> rather
> than single out one at a time.
> (Aside from the Radaq on the pasuq in Melakhim II itself, the same  
> idea
> made by the Chovos haLvavos, Cheshbon haNefesh 3, and other rishonim
> ad loc.)
> None of these sources are gender-specific, even those based on the
> Shunamis's words.

Again, you misunderstand.  Issue of kavod is a classic mussar issue.   
The problem is the extension that you make out of it.  Kol harodeph  
achare hakavod hakaovd borech mimenuis a classical Jewish issue.  The  
question is the identification of being in public positions as  
intrinically violating this issue of kavod - and that is invented out  
of whole cloth.

The tzitz eliezer I have to look up, but the use that he seems to make  
out of it is that it is better to be part of a community than as an  
individual - and the modern revolution has been precisely now that  
women are part of the community - rather than merely the family unit.

> ...
> : This is not an oversimplicfication.  In pubilic policy terms, it  
> it is
> : the actual, practical implication of your policy.
> Then why aren't I actually reaching that conclusion WRT toanot?

Because you recognize the utility of them, and not of Maharat.
> :>
> : It is not a con for tzedaka dinners, it is not a con at weddings, it
> : is not a con for any other aspect of Jewish life ...
> Of course it is! However, we need as much tzedaqah as we can raise, to
> honor mothers at weddings, etc... The presence of a con doesn't deny  
> the
> presence of a pro. That's the oversimplification of my position that I
> wrote about -- you write as though my setting a threashold to justify
> a change (that it must compete with the additional kavod threatening  
> to
> take a person out of the world) means an outright ban

No, it is an extra barrier - which will therefore limit public  
engagement.  That is the practical reality - which is why it has not  
been implemented.
> Rather, in cases where I see the advantages, I agree with the change.
> In cases where the advantage is framed circularly, I don't. Such as
> justifying promoting the Maharat concept rather than teaching women  
> how
> to fulfill their religious needs without being/turning to one being
> based on the argument that it fulfills those needs. (Which in turn
> was backed by the accusation that I didn't assess that as an honest
> religious need, which is both wrong and less nuanced than what I  
> really
> said.)
> Here's an example of that circularity:
> : You find this new value compelling - and if everyone were like  
> you, it
> : might not be destructive of public enterprise - but our history, and
> : nature of public practice
> ...
> : The issue is not women who feel that they belong in the role  -  
> but a
> : community that thinks that they need women in the role. That is the
> : major distinction.  Again, one can argue against hthe changes - but
> : you are again focusing on the individual rather than the community.
> So you justify going ahead with the Maharat idea because there are
> people not like me who find the idea more compelling than a warning in
> Avos. But it's the correctness of the worldview of those people that's
> our very question!
You completely misunderstand my statements.
First, about the general value that you propose:   If people were like  
you, who is invovled in mussar in the real sense - putting an extra  
road block of honest self examination before public activity would be  
reasonable - because people would still do public activity.  In the  
real world, putting the extra road block would limit public activity -  
which is why it has not been proposed and has not been a value.

Second, there is no warning in avot (except for efo she'en ish  
hishtadel lihyot ish) My point was not that there are people who find  
it more compelling - but that the focus is not on the individual  
maharat and her kavod and perceived lack of tzeniut - but that there  
is a community that feels that this satisfies a religious need.  The  
focusing on the tzeniut is a red herring - even if one accepts your  
definition, the level of communal need here is easily above what is  
used in many other circumstances.

There is a real issue that you identify, but I think , because you are  
focusing on this value, you don't appropriately focus on it.   The  
level of religious change that is proposed (and we both agree that it  
is a change) is reflective of changes in the roles of women in the  
general community thaqt are far reaching - and not at all consonant  
with the traditional role of women.  The prime issue is what the  
appropriate religious response to that should be.  One can argue for  
several different models.
a) The change in social roles is problematic and should be combated.   
As noted in past go rounds, few are seriously making this claim.
b)  The change in social roles is good/acceptable, but it should not  
have any/minimal  impact on religious models.  This is probably more  
mainstream position - but it then begs the issue of a discordance  
between the social and religious - tzeniut and betoch ami (in your  
sense) apply only to the religious sphere
c) There has to be a change in religious roles that in some way  
reflects current social realities .  What that change should be can  
then be debatged, and whether the proposed current changes are  
appropriate or misleading can be debated - but then the debate is  

The debate aboutyour model of  tzeniut, is, IMHO, a red herring.   
Furthermore, because it is  a value that even though it is gender  
neutral, it is not practiced or imposed in any other context,  
regardless of the integrity of those who propose it, sounds (and I am  
not the only one who feels this,as per the discussion) as a dishonest  
attempt to justify traditional social roles
> As a rabbi in all but name. We're not talking about taking down the
> mechitzah, are we?
Again, your model of tezniut does not explain why being a rabbi is  
fundamentally different than being a  high school tanach teacher or  
giving shiurim a la Nechama Leibowitz.  We both understand that they  
are different - but your model of tzeniut should ban all 3 - or merely  
be an issue of communal need.  Your model is not one that explains the  
issues that we should focus on - and is a red herring.

> And why is participation as part of the community in the beis kenesses
> valued so much that women want change in this domain so badly? Is it
> not because of the prominence of such participation rather than those
> mitzvos that Yahadus is /really/ about? (Particularly for people not
> mechuyavos in tefillah betzibbur?)

Because we do not have a better model of being part of the community -  
rather than merely of the family unit.  I understand that other models  
could be developed - but those would be far more radical.  This is  
actually an attempt to be traditional......
Again, this is an attempt to deal with a real phenomenon. Criticism  
and discussion is legitimate and necessary.  However, we have to  
understand both what the basis for the old was - and what problems the  
new is trying to solve.

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 9
From: Daniel Israel <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:37:09 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Inconceivable!

Jonathan Baker wrote:
> Daniel Israel:
>> The loshon in the gemara is "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid lihiyos."  It 
>> would seem to me that pshat in the gemara is that it is impossible. 
>>   If it is merely unlikely, how could the gemara know that it won't 
>> ever happen in the future?
> R' Yonason says (you see why I remember that line), there was one and
> I sat on his grave.
> So is the maskana that it's impossible, or is it that it's rare and
> extremely unlikely?

I'm not clear what you are asking.  Obviously R' Yonason holds it is 
possible, I was speaking entirely in the other man d'amar.

I understand R' Yonason's response as meaning, not only is it possible 
in theory, but I can prove it can happen, because it did happen.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 10
From: Daniel Israel <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 00:41:10 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Ben Sorer Umoreh

Akiva Blum wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: avodah-boun...@lists.aishdas.org 
>> [mailto:avodah-boun...@lists.aishdas.org] On Behalf Of Daniel Israel
> Akiva Blum wrote:
>>> See Sanhedrin 71a. Hagohos haBach learns that it is intrinsically 
>>> impossible.
>> The loshon in the gemara is "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid lihiyos."  It 
>> would seem to me that pshat in the gemara is that it is impossible. 
>>   If it is merely unlikely, how could the gemara know that it won't 
>> ever happen in the future?
>> The Bach simply gives a sevarh why it is impossible.
> But the Gemara then brings two more cases with the same "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid
> lihiyos" and both of them are cases which would be extremely unlikely, but not
> necessarily impossible.

In each of the three cases the Gemara first says "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid 
lihiyos," and then goes on "V'lama nichtava?  Darosh v'kabel s'char. 
K'man?" and proceeds to quote a tanna who gives a very unlikely criteria 
for that case.

IIUC, both you and RZS are understanding the Gemara's question, "k'man" 
as asking for a proof of the claim "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid lihiyos."  The 
proof would then be not that it is intrinsically impossible, but rather 
that it is improbably.  The only exception being that in the first case, 
you point out that the Bach shows that the stated condition actually is 

I read the Gemara slightly differently.  I think "k'man" is used in its 
conventional sense.  The Gemara is simply asking which other tanna is 
the first tanna holding like.  And, given that the first tanna has just 
explicitly claimed that the case is impossible, it is reasonable to 
assume that he holds like the most restrictive known interpretation of 
the case.  IOW, "lo hayah, v'lo l'asid lihiyos," is an independent claim 
that the case is intrinsically impossible, and is not being proven from 
the restrictiveness of the case.

That the Bach found a sevarah why the first case is actually 
demonstrably impossible may imply that such a proof could be found for 
the other two cases, but it is not necessary for my reading.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 11
From: Arie Folger <arie.fol...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 11:28:05 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Kohen gadol

R. Elazar M. Teitz wrote to me off list:
> Horayos 12b: v'chulan ein nohagin b'mashuach milchama, chutz meichamisha
> d'varim ha'amurim baparsha: lo poreia v'lo poreim *v'ein mi'tamei lik'rovim*
> umuzhar al hab'sula v'asur b'almana.
> ???? However, in the presence of an entire army, it's highly unlikely for
> him to be faced with a meis mitzva during a war.

Thank you. (boshti venikhlamti; I actually learned Horayot a number of
times, but obviously not well enough).

In war time, the number of dead can G"d forbid, be overwhelming, and
people may find themselves in small groups on the battlefield.
Especially during guerilla warfare.

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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