Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 174

Sun, 23 Aug 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 17:11:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] talmud Torah

On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 01:13:02PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: Micha brings up a different point that is not completely clear.
: What defines Talmud Torah
: examples
: learning dikduk?
: learning Jewish history especially about talmud scholars
: using probability theory to explain Rov and a sugya in kinnim

I do not think it's unclear. I think it's well defined -- but as fuzzy
set. Similar to what RDI wrote. What I would add is that getting on
the edge where the answer to "is it talmud Torah" becomes a "somewhat",
the answer would seem to depend on lishmah. E.g. look at RET's example
"using probability theory to explain Rov and a sugya in kinnim" vs
learning the same formula in order to exaplin a game in Let's Make a Deal.


Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
mi...@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 22:52:26 GMT
Re: [Avodah] following mesorah

R' Rich Wolpoe asked:

> This question is somewhat rhetorical
> Given this how can we make a bracha on any given sheeta of Tefillin?
> OR
> IOW via what mechanics can we defitively settle this post-Tallmudic
> dispute decisively enough to overcome "s'feiq brachos lehaqeil"?

Sounds pretty simple to me. If your tradition, or that of your teachers, or
that of your parents, or that of your posek, holds that one of those shitos
is the ikar, then there's no longer any safek, and no problem making the
bracha. For example, see Pirkei Avos 1:16.

Akiva Miller

Compete with the big boys.  Click here to find products to benefit your business.

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Message: 3
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 21:06:57 +0300
[Avodah] kovetz divrei soferim

Does anyone know if kovetz divrei soferim by R. Elchanan Wasserman is
available on line?

In particular I am looking for a discussion of the makhloket between Rambam and
Ramban on the status of rabbinical rules under the pasuk of   "lo tasur"


Eli Turkel

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Message: 4
From: Yitzchok Zirkind <y...@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:00:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kovetz divrei soferim


On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 2:06 PM, Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Does anyone know if kovetz divrei soferim by R. Elchanan Wasserman is
> available on line?
Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind
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Message: 5
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:40:14 +0300
[Avodah] psak of the Rambam

<<I think more that the Rambam pasqened according to pesaqim more than
sevaros. Therefore, the Gra writes that if the Bavli had a shaqla
vetarya that concluded some peshat, but the Y-mi had an explicit "Amar
Ribbi ..." the Rambam would follow the Y-mi. Which would rule out his
following 98% of the dechuqos on those grounds.>>

Just read an interesting article where the author shows that early in his career
Rambam relied heavily on the psakim of the Gaonim. Later in life he severely
attacked those who rely on the psak of the Gaonim without thinking in through
and disagreed with many psakim of the Gaonim

Eli Turkel

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:30:36 +0300
[Avodah] lo plug

<<There are gezeiros for some cheshashos that are real
stretches, and yet nothing protecting things that nowadays are often done
incorrectly. (Hand clapping on Shabbos vs amirah le'aqum for tzarkhei
rabbim, as an example.) I think the only way to understand which things
get a gezeirah is to assume that in practice at the time when there was a
Sanhedrin that /could/ make a gezeira, those were the things that people
actually did err on.>>

Just to nitpik - it is not only the Sanhedrin. To my mind one
of the strangest gezerot is that of Rabbah not to blow shofar when RH fals
on shabbat (as this year) and so we dont keep shofar from the Torah
and similarly in EY there will be no lulav on yomtov.

All the explanations I have heard are all farfetched. We give up a mitzvah
from the Torah (shev ve-al taaseh) for some remote chahash that someone
will take a shofar in Reshut Harabaim (assumming the need for 600000 this was
very rare - indeed were there any cities in Bavel with 600000 people
passing each day)
to learn how to blow shofar or make a beracha.
True the yerushalmi brings a pasuk but we seem to pasken like Rabbah
that it is a gezerah

Eli Turkel

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Message: 7
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:36:47 +0300
[Avodah] lo plug

<<AIUI "lo plug rabanan" doesn't mean that the rabanan *can't* make
distinctions, but that they don't have to make every distinction that
could conceivably be made.  When they make a takanah they can build
exceptions into it, if they think of them and think it appropriate to
exclude them, but at some point they can decide "OK, no more exceptions
to this rule, we're done", and one can't then come along and make ones
own exceptions.  But for this to apply there has to have been an actual
takanah, where they could have made (more) exceptions and chose not to.>>

The question was not the right of chazal to make exceptions.
Rather the question had two parts
1. Is there any rule when they do or not
2. Rishonim and Achronim frequently do distinguish between cases and
sometimes say lo plug - again how do they decide
the case I brought was candle lighting on Yom Tov - does the woman make the
beracha before lighting unlike shabbat. Wife of the perishah makes the
distinction while Magen Avraham says lo plug
what is the basis of the machloket?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:45:50 +0300
[Avodah] lo plug

<< Given that various
gezeiros were made by different rabbanan, it is not clear that there a rule>>

Agreed on historical grounds. The question is how does a modern day posek decide
whether to apply lo plug or else say the two cases are different with something
stronger than "it seems to me"

Eli Turkel

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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 15:27:38 +0300
[Avodah] Rambam and olam haba

Many discuss the Rambam in hilchot teshuva that seems to define a
tzaddik depend on whether he has more sins than good deeds.
The obvious question is that can change from minute to minute.
Some explain that indeed it is not a simple comaparison but a question of t=
he total personality

Nevertheless there is the question of karet. If one lives an exemplary life=
 but was mechallel shabbat on purpose without teshuva pnce in his life
does he lose everything?

Nevertheless the Rambam in hilchot teshuva 3rd chapter lists many categories
that dont have olam haba
In #14 he states that there are categories that are lighter than those
listed above nevertheless those who transgress habitually (ragil behem) loses
his olam haba
the list begins with
mechaneh shem lechavero
koreh lecharevo be-chinuyo
malbim pnei chavero
mitchabed bakalon chavero
mevazeh talmidei chachamim

Kesef Mishneh on the spot discusses the source for the Rambam


I have for a long time wanted to meet
someone who can tell me who will and who will not
get Olam Haba! Too bad he did not give his name.

I certainly to not intend to disagree with the RAMBAM. However, it seems to
my small mind that while someone may do something that takes away his Olam
Haba, he may to other things that give him Olam Haba.=C2=A0 HaShem presumably
 evaluates all that we have done when the time comes. How he weights our
pluses and minuses I have no idea nor do I think anyone else does.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 10
From: "david guttmann" <david.gutt...@verizon.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 07:20:54 -0400
[Avodah] Mesora

RZZ writes

 >The Rambam is a more interesting case: his mesorah was like RT, and from
bar mitzvah until the age of 18 that is what he wore.  Then he became
convinced that the Halacha was like Rashi, so he changed his Tefillin.

In that Teshuvah he mentions R. Moshe Hadre'i as proof for the Rashi Mesora
and was one of the reasons he changed his earlier practice. He is also
mentioned in Igget Teiman as a promoter of false Moshiach hopes see Sheilat
Page 162 in the notes. This and other inconsistencies with Rambam's thinking
and derech have been behind Rav Kappach's conviction that this Teshuvah is a
fake. (He feels so about most Lunel Teshuvat and I have posted on my blog on
one re Tzitzis where I show that it is obviously a fake teshuvah though
mentioned by Beit Yosef and others) 

David Guttmann
If you agree that Believing is Knowing, join me in the search for Knowledge
at http://yediah.blogspot.com/ 
Ve'izen vechiker (Kohelet 12:9) subscribe to Hakirah at www.hakirah.org 

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Message: 11
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:47:23 -0400
[Avodah] RSRH on Dovid HaMelech and Shlomo HaMelech

RSRH has a rather long commentary on Devarim 17:14

When you will come to the land that God, your 
God, is giving you, and you have taken possession 
of it and will dwell in it, you will say: I
will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me.

There he talks about the role of a King of 
Israel. I found the following paragraphs about 
Dovid and Shlomo most interesting. Notice how Rav 
Hirsch does not hesitate to criticize Shlomo HaMelech.  YL

Among the kings appointed on the basis of this act [i.e., request] of
the people, there was one whose personality embraced all the qualities
required of a king. He had the military proficiency to prevail in protecting
the people and the Land, and, at the same time, he was filled with the
spiritual ideal of a Jewish king ?after God?s Own heart.? Neither before
or after him did there arise anyone like him, who sang Israel?s song about
the relationships of man and the people to God. In impassioned and inspiring
tones he gave expression to ideas and emotions, and through his
psalms he has become the creator and bearer of the people of Israel?s
spirit. To this very day, and also far beyond Jewish circles, directly or
indirectly, every soul that seeks knowledge of God and help from God is
uplifted to God on the wings of his song. In this king, David, son of
Yishai, the two sides of the Jewish monarchy appeared ? the sword and
also the lyre, the nation?s spiritual leadership beside the victorious defense
of the nation externally. One of the national poets, inspired by the king?s
spirit, called him simply a Metziah, a ?find,? for God found him and considered
him His instrument for His work: Matzasi Dovid Avdi (Tehillim 89:21).

This king, God dedicated to be the royal root of a line of descendants
reaching until the end of days; and a coming generation, which will realize
God?s Torah completely, will also bring the pure realization of the
Torah-king in Israel. This future king will bring about the fulfillment of
this reality, and ?God?s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and
understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and
fear of God.? By the word of his mouth he will rule the earth, and because
of his spirit lawlessness will die away. He will 
empower justness and faithfulness
to such a degree that the ?wolf ? will dwell with the ?lamb,? and
the ?tiger? will lie down with the ?kid?; and on the earth, which aspires
to the Mount of God?s Sanctuary, no evil or wrongdoing will be found,
?for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, as water covers
the sea.? This future king will realize the ideal of the Torah-king. He will
emerge like a shoot from the stock of Yishai, which had apparently been
cut down long ago, and like a long-awaited twig he will sprout from its
roots, which were hidden by darkness (Yeshayahu 11).

The military side of David?s kingship disqualified him from building
God?s Sanctuary (see Divrei Ha-Yamim I, 22:8), and this task was left for
his son, to whom he had bequeathed the peace he had victoriously fought
for. But this aspect of kingship ?in the manner of the other nations? existed
in the case of his son even during the peace. ?Shlomo,? the great
son of David, the prince of peace, whose wisdom enlightened his people
and amazed distant peoples, was not a king according to the Torah?s ideal.
He did not set as his ideal the spiritual and moral perfection of his people;
rather, he imitated the ways of peace of the kings of ?all the nations.?
Their daughters became his wives, and he competed with these kings and
even exceeded them in seeking splendor and luxury. When he violated
the three articles of the law for the king and acquired many horses, many
wives, and vast stores of silver and gold, he himself ruined the foundations
of his own enterprise, thereby paving the way for the destroyers of the
Sanctuary he had built for God?s Torah. An ancient tradition says
On the day that Shlomo married the daughter of Pharaoh,
Gavriel, the ?messenger of God?s power,? came down and planted a staff
in the sea, on which a sandbank settled, on which the great city of Rome
was built? (Sanhedrin 21b, according to the version of the Yalkut).

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