Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 263

Sun, 27 Dec 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 16:58:10 -0500
Re: [Avodah] anarchy/libertarianism

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 09:20:52AM -0500, David Riceman wrote:
:>In general, the Rambam places yedi'ah on a pedestal much higher than most
:>of us would. If you don't think that a philosopher is one step below a
:>navi, then I don't know if you can invoke further implications of that
:>hashkafah to prove your point.

:  The nature of prophecy is really not closely related to the Rambam's 
: point in the PHM, in spite of the polemical drasha there.

There is also the Moreh 2:36, which states that intellectual perfection
is the main precondition for being capable of nevu'ah.

: >I think most of us today put a person's ehrlachkeit and deveiqus on a
: >more central pedestal than intellectual comprehension.

: Throughout Jewish literature, from the Bible to aharonei aharonim, you 
: find warnings that piety which exceeds understanding is dangerous ...

That doesn't mean the point is understanding. It could be the point is
piety, but piety without the handmaiden of understanding is self

: (though, I should add, you also find warnings about the contrary).  
: Tangentially, I don't understand how polling produces evidence (and the 
: Rambam explicitly rejects determining one's opinions through polling).

In any case, I acknowledge the machloqes you point out. I'm saying that
either derekh is divrei E-lokim Chaim, however, in practice, most of us
follow derakhim that emphasize ethics and/or an experiential deveiqus
over comprehension. It's not a matter of the Rambam's correctness, it's
a matter of the usability of his position given where we stand. And I
was saying that for most of us, this position doesn't fit.

My problem with the Rambam is more the Shuby question... Personally, I
am incapable of believing that a person with Downs, who is capable of an
incredible emunah peshutah (he doesn't reason his way out of believing
that G-d is as real as a person he never met) but less compehension,
actually not only gets a harder olam hazeh, but less hana'ah miziv
haShechinah when it's all over. I can't do it, because my son Shuby
makes me nogei'ah bedavar, but I still think the objection is sound.

: >AishDas's [borrowed] motto, which is just my own understanding of Dr
: >Nathan Birnbaum's motto for haOlim, is "Daas Rachamim Tif'eres". (See
: >RYGB's JO (?} article at <http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/birnbaum.htm>.)
: >Daas in this context is being used in a very different way than the
: >Rambam's philosophical understanding of what Hashem isn't. To DNB, daas is
: >knowing G-d, not knowing /about/ G-d, that which includes hislahavus and
: >hachna'ah.

: See the discussion of the phrase "hesed mishpat utzedakah" in MN III:54 
: (the final chapter).

Since this is a topic central to the hosting organization and I assume
many people are too busy or lazy to look it up, here is Friedlander's
translation for them (transliterations fixed for ASCII text):
    He says, however, that man can only glory in the knowledge of God
    and in the knowledge of His ways and attributes, which are His
    actions, as we have shown (Part 1. liv.) in expounding the passage,
    "Show me now thy ways" (Exod. xxxviii. 13). We are thus told in this
    passage that the Divine acts which ought to be known, and ought to
    serve as a guide for our actions, are, chesed, "loving-kindness,"
    mishpat, "judgment," and tzedakah, "righteousness." Another very
    important lesson is taught by the additional phrase, "in the earth."
    It implies a fundamental principle of the Law; it rejects the theory
    of those who boldly assert that God's providence does not extend
    below the sphere of the moon, and that the earth with its contents
    is abandoned...

I think the Rambam is going for something fundamentally different Daas
Rachamim Tif'eres, even though both are tripod. DoRoT (if I may now
coin a pleasant acronym) is a particular perspective on Torah, Avodah,
Gemilus Chassadim, where TAGC gives us three relationships (self, HQBH,
others), and DoRoT spells out our goals for each (in a different order).
The Rambam is giving a a trialectic, three conflicting goals that we
have to sort out in any particular relationship.

More to the point of the original topic, he does appear to imply here
that yedi'ah is a stepping stone to emulation, and not an end in itself.
Although the closing words of the seifer restore things.

I think the truth is in the Rambam's understanding of akrasia (why
people do the wrong things). According to Aristo (at least some takes
on what he's saying, and I'm betting that's the Rambam's source), the
reason for akrasia is that we make our decisions based on opinion. IOW,
to the Rambam, da'as in the sense of yedi'ah and da'as in the sense of
dei'os are sides of the same coin.

Whereas we tend to derakhim based on models of the mind more in line
with Hume and Freud, which were developed by the Besh"t, the Gra and R'
Yisrael Salanter. This is where the Besh"t gets an experiential
definition of deveiqus, RYS speaks of middos, taavos and negi'os, etc...
The Rambam's piece here doesn't fit the rest of our puzzle.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Live as if you were living already for the
mi...@aishdas.org        second time and as if you had acted the first
http://www.aishdas.org   time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 2
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 23:25:20 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

> (i) to whom did the author address each rule??

Aha! this pre-supposes that the author intended this as a g'zeira which
may not always be the case.

But as you may soon see for yourself, perhaps the g'zeira might have
evolved from a P'saq INTO a g'zeira and intention is fuzzy
Possibly a given poseiq REPORTS a pre-existing g'zeira w/o a clue how
it got there in the first place!

EG Hayei Adam or Sma"k reporting the g'zeira of qitniyyos but not issuing
it themselves.

> According to RMF and RAK it is completely assur and always has been,
> and the poskim who permit it are simply wrong.

Ein hachi nami
No argument here

> The USA agencies
> that forbid it are paskening like them.

Lav davka that they continue to pasqen as RAK/RMF! Rather perhaps -
out of deference to the authority of those g'dolim - they continue to
hold that way anyway and therefore refuse to re-think this issue!

[Like RYDS says Mattan Torah closes off thinking outside a certain box]

Here I use g'zeira as 
"a bar or impediment preventing a party from asserting a fact or a claim
inconsistent with a position that party previously took, "

[Or iow refusal to allow the natural shaqla v'tarya out of deference to
an authority who already made a ruling.]

In simple legal terms words a Halachic "estoppel" *

The g'zeira here is about re-opening the decision 

Illustration 1
This is AIUI how Breuer's treats RMF's psaq forbidding eruvin in
Manhattan; they will no longer listen to any new arguments because they
deem the matter closed to debate.

Illustration 2
This is also true of Dr. Lamm's refusal to allow women to read the
Megillah @ Stern College, because the Rav had opposed this whilst alive.
IOW Dr. Lamm would not revisit the issue.

Illustration 3
Yekkes continue to follow the Heideneheim Masoretic text regardless of
new discoeries by R Mordechai Breuer.

Rabbi Wolpoe: What if there were no such estoppel?

RHS ignored RYBS's prohibition Re: Eruv in Manhattan and re-opened the
issue and revised the p'saq and certified an eruv around YU.

So Gelatin's indeed WAS at one time a p'saq [historically speaking]
but NOW it has been estopped in the USA from being re-visited or revised.

If you can now find this common denominator as to
1 Why YU refused to revisit the Rav's decision re: Megillah, and
2 Why RMF's decisions are perpetuated by Manhattan and US Certifying
agencies, you have added a big piece to the puzzle


*  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estoppel
Estoppel in its broadest sense is a legal term referring to a series of
legal and equitable doctrines that preclude "a person from denying or
asserting anything to the contrary of that which has, ... been established
as [True]...]

Note: As a former insurance agent I had been trained in this law.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 3
From: Ira Tick <itick1...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 20:53:21 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Assur to be Stupid...

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 2:52 PM, Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 10:27:54AM +0200, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> : I remember seeing an article or hearing a tape of RYBS in which he
> : stated that the Jews sacrificed their minds on the altar of Sinai.
> :
> : He was saying that there is now a limit to the range of thought and
> : questions that can be asked...
> That's stronger than I understood his intent.
> RYBS was wont to knock on the desk or microphone three times as a
> mnemonic for the idea of submission. We can have all our rationales --
> we can ask the questions and propose answers -- but none of that can
> change our observance. At some point, we have to live with hte question
> or table it for later, because halakhah comes before logic. I saw him
> as speaking of submission to halakhah, not to ideas.

I don't believe that submission of human logic to Halacha is a trend
supported by history. Many times the Sages understood details of the
halacha, or changed their own Rabbinic dinim, or even subverted the halacha
completely in order to accommodate certain conclusions of moral and
pragmatic logic. I've heard people talk about the existence of rules for
things like Es La'asot LaShem, etc, but I've never seen them written.
Perhaps other list-members have and will be good enough to share after this
post. Regardless, nowhere is it explicit in Halacha that Torah SheBa'al Peh
be written down if necessary. Within whatever rules or lack thereof that
govern their extralegal powers, the Rabbis decided that the compelling logic
of history required them to subvert the Halacha for the greater good and
write down Torah SheBa'al Peh.  The Voice from Sinai doesn't just allow us
to place logic over ideology, it requires us to use logic together with
Halacha, even to the point that at certain times, under the right
circumstances, that logic may overturn the Halacha, not just help us deduce
it. (Although, one could make this whole discussion tautological and argue
that the two processes are really the same, that Halachic determination
itself includes logical consideration to that degree, so by definition
Halacha and human logic cannot conflict, yet we find that the seem to do so
often enough to present us with a more sophisticated dilemma.)
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Message: 4
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 12:25:24 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Kashrus and Shabbas

I wrote:

> <The irony of your response is that the usual criticism of ROY is that
> he is
> *not* innovative, only encyclopaedic.>
> This is true
> But he has cherry picked sources.  I saw an article on glass on
> passover that mentioned pesachim [76?] And tosafos elsewhere but
> omitted the tosafos on the daf that says that "shain leiv d'shia" as a
> dichuy d'alma!
> I showed this to a big talmid chacham who says ROY will cherry pick [I
> assume I'd there is an agenda] so I found a suspicious article and
> corrobarated my suspcions with a neutral party.  I don't take this
> lightly.

Um, without seeing any of the details of the case I am clearly not able
comment.  What article was this - was it written by ROY or a talmid?  Was it
one of his summaries for the general populace or was it one of his detailed

But I do think you need to be a bit careful.  Cherry picking is a very
negative word, and while one can argue that all poskim cherry pick, because
citing everybody can take forever, so every posek uses his judgement to
decide what needs to be included and what does not.   And clearly poskim who
tend to quote relatively few rishonim and achronim, such as Rav Moshe, can
even more easily be accused of cherry picking if you were to use that term.
However a more standard approach to a posek of ROY's stature is to be open
to the possibility that the posek did not consider the particular cite
relevant for some reason, and while it may lead to questions as to why,
rather than using a term such as cherry pick, which has very negative
connotations, I would have expected one to try and understand why such an
approach might have been taken.  And especially for a Tosphos on the daf in
question, where it is impossible to say that ROY did not know it.  Just
because you and whoever you spoke to feels it is relevant and important,
only means you and the person you go to are taking are setting yourselves up
in disagreement to ROY, perhaps on your understanding of the Tosphos,
perhaps in terms of other aspects of psak.

Note that while I can't find it listed in the Klalei Horah at the back of
the first volume of Yachave Daat, I remember reading one of his discussions
on hora'ah in which he takes the view that because Tosphos was written
primarily as a commentary on the Gemorah, and not as a halacha sefer, their
views are less authoritative when they come into conflict with eg the Rambam
or the Tur etc (he certainly takes this view vis a vis Rashi - stating that
Rashi meforash hu v'lo posek See Klalei Poskim HaRishonim aleph at the end
of the first volume of Yachave Daat).  Now this is not necessarily an
approach traditionally taken in Ashkenaz (and clearly where other Rishonim
cite Rashi as paskening, he does too, - after all, we have just seen that
one of the rishonim cited by ROY for yesh bishul achar bishul on a d'var
lach is in fact Rashi).  

But if a rishon is used as a basis by others for a modern psak going the
other way, I would be extremely surprised if ROY does not at least mention
it somewhere, given the extent of his citational ability.  

> EG
> Does ROY mention the rashba and all that hold s'feiq d'oraisso is
> d'oraisso?

Yes of course. The Rashba inter alia gets a mention on this point in the
very first volume of Yabiat Omer (in general terms on page 1 and
specifically by name on page 125 where the topic comes up again), not to
mention numerous times throughout the various volumes.  Indeed in his Klalei
Horai, ROY mentions specifically that it is a machlokus rishonim as to
whether safek d'orisa l'chumra is d'orisa before giving his conclusion that
the ikar halacha is like the Rambam and the Ra'avid.  His point of course is
that while it is a machlokus, the line up of big rishonim is significantly
tilted towards a d'rabbanan conclusion, that is precisely the point of his
list.  You don't (or at least he doesn't) really need to go as far as the
Aruch Hashulchan, although because of the way he does tend to pasken, he
will cite all the achronim on the point as well.

> KT

Shabbat Shalom


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Message: 5
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 16:58:47 +0000
[Avodah] What Drives Lashon Hara?

Nishmablog is conducting a poll as follows [based upon the writings of
the Chofetz Chaim]

POLL: What do you think drives Loshon Hara?  
In your opinion, what is the one, most salient reason that allows for
a proliferation of Lashon Hara and/or Rechilut?

    A) the underlying low quotient of Ahavat Yisroel or Ahavta lerei'acha
       kamocha within our communities;

    B) the underlying lack of "giving the benefit of the doubt" [betzedeq
       tishpot amitecha; dan et kol ho'odom lekaf z'chut]

    C) the general lack of gravity or seriousness attached to harmful speech

    D) the desire to feel good about oneself at the expense of another
       [samei'ach bikolon chaveira - schdenfreude]

    E) ego and surety that one is correct in saying these things   


Please see

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 6
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 21:38:06 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

RRW writes:
> Just as Minhag is an elusive word, so is g'zeira. And So is the word
> doctor, it might mean physician, it might be a dentist, it might be a
> professor or it might be a former Met and Yankee pitcher!

This is a standard deconstructionist theme, that words are ultimately
empty of meaning. If you want to get into deconstructionism and Humpty
Dumpty (which was Lewis Carol's version of it, "words mean whatever
I say they mean"), you can do so, but at that point there is no point
talking about halacha, and you might as well go off and join the Reform.
After all, as I pointed out "melacha" is certainly an elusive word,
if you want one, so why not go on what one "feels" Hashem wants when he
wants us not to do melacha - and whatever feels right in terms of your
understanding of the word is what you should do (or not do) on shabbas.

Halacha is all about defining words (as is any legal system of course)
as precisely as possible. Melacha means what it has been defined to mean
via halacha Moshe m'Sinai, via the gemora, the rishonim, the achronim,
and you can't just decide to redefine it the way you want to without
taking all of this into consideration.

Similarly the word gezera. You need to work through the discussions of
the rishonim and the achronim in order to be able to argue your point.
I am not saying that you might not be able to argue with the summary
position given by ROY in his Klalei Horai which is "ain l'chadesh
gezerot achar chatimat hatalmud ... " but you are going to need to be
on his level of learning (or need help or support from somebody who is)
and be able to cite the rishonim and achronim who disagree.

Perhaps to get a better idea of what you are up against, here is Yabiat
Omer Chelek aleph Orech Chaim siman 16:

"Behold the matter is known from that which is set out in the Rishonim and
the Achronim shein lgzor gzerot meda'atanu like the Rosh writes: (perek 2
of Shabbat siman 15) to wonder on the geonim as to how they are able to
mechadesh a gezera after the completion by Rav Ashi of Shas, see there.
And Harav Hamagid (perek 5 of hilchot Hametz u'Matza halacha 20) writes
"sheain lanu l'gzor gzerot medatainu achar dorot hageonim ain sham.
And so writes the Ran in the Teshuvot Harivash (siman 390) bd'H Nashumv.
And so writes the Radvaz in Teshuva chelek 1 (siman 149). And in the
Yakar Tiferet (perek 1 of hilchot Terumot halacha 22). And so writes
in the teshuvot of the Ri meverona (siman 108) see there. And Maran
Beit Yosef (siman 462) bd'h Umashekatuv Rabbanu l'chalek he brings that
which is written in the Kol Bo, .... and he writes on this the Beit
Yosef that there is no reason to this minhag, to forbid ul'gozer gezerot
bedavar shelo chashashu lo chachmei hatalmud, v'lo chachmei haachronim
ad kan lashono;. And from what he writes "vlo chachamim hachronim"
we derive that there is coach byadei haposkim l'gzor gezerot achar
chatimat haShas (vgam hu hadin lo shalal ele achar dorot hageonim aval
hageonim atzmam yecholim lichadesh ligzor, vzeh shelo c'da'at haRosh).
And it seems that even though we are not able lchadesh gezerot achar
chatimat haShas in any event if there are chashashim for this the
poskim because they see that there is found a stumbling block in this,
and they are accustomed not to do any matter, they need to be concerned
for the minhag. But in this where even the rest of the poskim are not
concerned for this they do not have a concern about this minhag at all.

b) And even if there is agreement by the chamchmei dorot l'chadesh
gzerot in any event this is only where the chachmei hadorot stand up
and count and the majority agree l'gzor ul'taken but indeed there is
no coach l'shum chacham l'gzor ul'asur (al klal yisroel) and like that
which is written in the Teshuvot of the Rivash (siman 271) d"h "amar"
see there. And so writes the Rivash in his teshuva (in siman 125 and
241) sheain lanu l'gzor gezerot meda'atinu see there and he brings in
siman 4 Yad Malachi chelek 3 (klal 153) see there V'chen chazik bklal
ze gaPrach Yoreh Deah (siman 87 si'if katan 7)... "

As you can see from this, this topic is discussed extensively in the
rishonim and achronim. With the Rosh, inter alia stating explicitly that
we cannot make gezeros today. Your position is thus coming out against
the Rosh and others. Now since RRW versus the Rosh is, due to other
principles in halacha, not really a contest (or are you querying the "an
Achron cannot argue with a Rishon unless he can show other Rishonim that
support him" principle as well?), I think you need a bit more than that.
ROY had done some of the work for you, as you can see, by showing that
at least some others, such as the Beit Yosef, appear possibly to not be
quite as rigid as the Rosh. But as you can see, that does not seem to
really get you that far, certainly not where you want to get to.

> My tachlis is to rid people of rigid beliefs that fail to map reality
> correctly. Marc Shapiro found gazillions of exceptions to how people
> see the iqqarei emunah. His legitimate point is aisi that they are more
> fluid than we think

Marc Shapiro was looking at Rishonim versus Rishonim, and trying to show
that the Rambam was not necessarily the only Rishon in the equation.
That is quite different to a contest which sets the Rishonim against
what some people might want to say today (or even more, certain actions
by certain poskim or by various communities that you are interpreting
but nobody else does as conflicting with what the Rishonim are saying).

Now if you can accept that gezera has a precise halachic meaning, and
whether or not one can make a gezera today has been discussed within
the Rishonim and Achronim, you can then look at your list of "gezeros
everywhere" and see to what extent these actually fall within a different
halachic category (psak, minhag, chumra, whatever, which is how most
people understand the various items on this list - and is the way that
anybody challenged on any of this will justify them halachically, not
as being gezeros, but as having other, legitimate halachic sources).
But absent this not only are you accusing everybody involved in all of
these things, including all the poskim involved in promulgating any of
the things on the list as not knowing what it is that they are in fact
doing, but if taken to the logical extension you have taken it in the
paragraph I quoted at the beginning, we are truly in Humpty Dumpty land
and there is no point discussing anything, certainly anything halachic,
and we might as well shut up shop here on Avodah and elsewhere.

Shabbat Shalom

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Message: 7
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 19:08:58 +0000
[Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

"Look for the S'yag"

Dear Readers, this in an exercise to exorcize some flawed notions!
I have many flaws of my own. EG for 50+ years I pronounced vayhi wirh a
sh'va na, but as hazal note it's VAY HEE no sh'va na, and I have had to
do t'shuvah. My laining is worse now than 10 years ago because I need
to relearn and unlearn.

I do not wish to make a klal and have everything fit neatly into that
klal - why?

1 we don't learn much
2 it don't stick
3 [main reason] I myself haven't fleshed it all out yet!

I'm working hard to research this so that we have a robust list and
someday it might be comprehensive

I started re-reading SA-Rema - esp. Rema- in choshen mishpat because it
rocked my own boat several years ago. I'm just sharing this now [except
for a quickie post which shocked some way back when]

Let's at least give the primary motive Avos 1:1 "asu s'yag latorah"

IOW adding on or subtracting is less about p'saq than abour g'zeira WHEN
we are protecting something else!

A tipoff bittuy would be: "X is assur shema Y". Even when psoqim omit
the words g'zeira. [FWIW Rambam is one of the few who seems to be
dedaqdeiq in saying it. I contend it's still virtually ubiquitous but
not articulately blatantly!]

Now let's jump to  my 3 favorite codes
I will treat them as divisions within the same mega-code

One of the biggest fundamental arguments in Halachic methodology and
meta-halachah is in YD 1:1

I will outline 2 g'zeiros
One is obviously innovated but may be more properly a taqqanah, but I
will frame it as g'zeira nevertheless.
The 2nd is framed as minhag but it can be shown that a minhag WHEN a
s'yag is either a G'zeira or at least a quasi-G'zeiram

[Conversely EG a minhag [n'viim] to take aravos or a minhag to do haqafos
is a NON-s'yag]

For now YD 1:1

G'zeira 1: thou shalt not shecht [lechatchilah] without a kabbalah on
sh'chita even if you know the halachos inside out! [Sounds like driving
w/o a license perhaps? ;-)]
[Indeed this might be a taqqanah but please stick with the program for a while]

G'zeira 2: [Whilst the Halachah permits women to shecht] thou shalt not
allow women to shecht - Rema ein manichin... [Note Levush phrases it
differently also Note Rema quotea Agur and Shach defends Agur against
the BY's attack]

The question on Rema is why not allow women to slaughter? In the Yeshiva
urban legend was lest women faint. And guess what the Levush actually
states this verbatim!
Nireh lee mishum ..they faint at the sight of blood!".

If Levush is correct, then we have the following as a g'zeira [perhaps
in conjunction with minhag - similar to qitniyyos in which the terms
are used interhangeably]

My formulation
Ein manichin isha lishchot - g'zeira shema tisaleif.

Back to the first case

Ein manichin shochtim lishchot - blee kabbalah, shema lo yishchatu o
yiv'd'ku yafeh [or kedas]

Hint on parameters:
Since these 2 g'zeiros [like qitniyos] is ashkenazi-centric it may help
define what I'm driving at as a "more robust defintion of Post-talmudic

In g'mara it would be termed something "R X gozeir v'R Y eino gozeir EG
Think of hour 5 erev pesach
R Yehudah gozeir mishoom yom ham'unana, v'R. Meir eino gozeir.

Agur-Rema-L'vush-Shach gozrin on nashim lest they faint
And BY eino gozeir.

[email #2. -mi]

Remember the Hypothetical - Could RMF uveis dino issue a ban prohibitting
cigarette smoking.?..

A colleague who chooses to remain anonymous e-mailed me the following:
> A beit din can decide to enact a ban on anything it thinks needs
> to be banned, and the ban is only enforceable in the community which
> recognizes the beit din as its authority for such matters, and only to
> the extent that that beit din has the power to enforce its rulings or
> to the extent to which people follow the ruling anyway in the absence
> of enforcement power

FWIW this is how I see it, too. [I will show BEH how this may be
extended below]

And so does the following Beis Din abide by this:

> Rabbi Norman Eisenstein... decreed that no Dayan - no judge on a
> conversion court would be accepted if they believed the universe was
> more than 5770 years old.

So within the "community" - such as it is - a Beth Din may indeed issue
a g'zeira or decree.

Now add a hypothetical:

What if every Yeshiva in the USA accepted this ban?

What if every Ashkenazic or Sephardic community abided by this ban
[think qitniyyos or bigamy!]

What if all of klal Yisroel accepted this ban [think of "maariv" going
from reshus to chov]

And so even a local BD may create a national g'zeira
Provided that you accept "Catholic Israel" as a bona fide ratifying body!

[Note: Who is it that decides that all of Israel has voted is a legitimate
issue for another thread]

Alternatively, it might be promoted to a national level by a consensus
of Posqim and Rabbanim who choose to further the cause of this ban.

[Similarly: Who is it that decides that there is a auch concensus of
posqim is another legitimate issue for another thread]

Disclaimer: Note Micha did not request that I drum up more business! ;-)


Now let's say people quibble and say RMF did not BAN burial on YT sheini,
they may have a point. But l'maaseh - l'mai nafqa minah? RMF's authority
as. a poseiq was probably co-extensive with his authority as an Av Beis
Din issuing a ban. IIRC this point was indeed made to me off-list

I think issuing a ban instead of working it into a shu"t is simply 
A more straightforward approach, and not subect to quibbling.

[And in interest of full disclosure, I actually have questioned this
online as to why RMF paskened this when a g'zeira would have been more

"Aha! Rabbi Wolpoe - doesn't this prove that RMF didn't think he had
the authority to issue such a ban! And this is a kasha on your entire
g'zeira thesis!"

Maybe so. Or maybe RMF was merely couching g'zeiros in the language
of p'saq! And this has led people to THINK that rabbis may not issue
g'zeiros - but in fact they could all along!

I request anyone to find a definitive source stating that a Beth Din is
NOT allowed to issue a g'zeira! And then, of course, I will show you that
this source is ITSELF issuing [or at least perpetuating] a g'zeira! ;-)

[Email #3. -mi]

Notice the use of Decree in the following context:
> Rabbi Norman Eisenstein... decreed that no Dayan - no judge on a
> conversion court would be accepted if they believed the universe was
> more than 5770 years old.

If this was originally in ivrit then it would have used "g'zeira" and
then we have another case of a modern g'zeira

[Email #4. -mi]

Daas Torah - Issues of Jewish Identity:
The Syrian ban on Converts

    Notice decree and ban used below:

    We, the undersigned rabbis, constituting the Religious Court, together
    with the Executive Committee of the Magen David Congregation and
    the outstanding laymen of the community, do hereby decree, with
    the authority of our Holy Torah, that no male or female member of
    our community has the right to intermarry with non. Jews; this law
    covers conversions, which we consider to be fictitious and valueless.

    We further decree that no future rabbinic court of the community
    should have the right or authority to convert male Or female non-Jews
    who seek to marry into our community. We have followed the example
    of the community in Argentina, which maintains a rabbinic ban on
    any of the marital arrangements enumerated above, an edict which
    has received the wholehearted and unqualified endorsement of the
    Chief Rabbinate in Israel. This responsa is discussed in detail in
    Devar Sha 'ul, Yoreh Deah, Part II to Part VI. In the event that
    any member of our community should ignore our ruling and marry,
    their issue will have to suffer the consequences. Announcements to
    this effect will be made advising the community not to allow any
    marriage with children of such converts. We are confident that the
    Jewish People are a holy people and they will adhere to the decision
    of their rabbis and will not conceive of doing otherwise.

    Chief Rabbi Haim Tawil, Rabbi Jacob Kassin, Rabbi Murad Masalton,
    Rabbi Moshe Gindi, Rabbi Moshe Dweck Kassab

[email #5 -mi]

"ain l'chadesh gezerot achar chatimat
hatalmud ... "

Most ironic because
This itself is a brand new g'zeira!

Here is qn offlist observation by a rabbi who specialises in Gaonica

Q: Can G'zeirot be made post-talmud?

> Local Takkanot and Gezeirot yes. Not binding on all of Israel. See
> Rambam's intro to Mishneh Torah.

I send several links off list re: G'zeiros being made NOW.

Now if Rn Chana means to quailify what ROY means to conform with the
Rambam and Rema in Choshen Mishapt, then by all means she can and then
ROY would NOT be making a new g'zeira at all. But as stated, 'tis indeed
itself a g'zeira

[email #6 -mi]

Re: Microphones on Shabbos - a Clarification

[NB: Sources provided below]

The issur against using a microphone on shabbos was indeed a p'saq -
perhaps extenuating an existing g'zeira of shema Y'taqein klei shir -
but mostly a P'saq

The g'zeira comes AFTER this p'saq!

VIZ. That anyone who relies upon a Meikil P'saq instead of this p'saq
is now deemed a m'chaleil shhabbos! THAT is the g'zeira aspect.

A chaveir of mine once opined:

"Any one who carries on shabbos relying upon the Manhattan Eruv is
passul l'edus!"

This is g'zeira

Here is how it works
P'saq1: one may not carry in a city w/o an eruv.
P'saq2: one who does carry w/o an eruv is passul l'edus
P'saq3: the manhattan eruv fails to meet a certain defintion of Kosher Eruv

Here the g'zeira starts:
Therefore: anyone relying upon this "mieklidicke" version of that eruv
is guilty of violating 1+2 above.
Similarly anyone relying upon the "meikeldicke" p'saq on microphone is
m'challel shabbos - THAT's g'zeira - LFAD.


Some sources courtesy of chaveir RDE

> I have a category in Yad Moshe called  Shabbos:Microphone

try OC 4:91.6 p 174
YD 4 64.2 page 315
YD 2:4 page 5
YD 2:5 page 6?

NB: I began reviewing these shu"t after first seeing 2 over 33 years ago.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 8
From: Dov Kaiser <dov_...@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 14:35:25 +0000
[Avodah] Reciting Shir haMa'alot or 'Al Naharot Bavel before

R. Arie Folger wrote: <<The Mishnah Verurah, following Peri Megadim, following Magen Avraham ...>>
I note that you transliterate Mishnah Verurah as... Mishnah Verurah.  Could
you please explain the rationale for this.  I note that the Roedelheim
siddur vowelizes safa berura (not verura) in birkhas yotzer, and yism'chu
b'malkhus'kha (not v'malkhus'kha) in Shabbos mussaf.  How is this
Kol tuv
Dov Kaiser

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Message: 9
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 16:56:03 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Reciting Shir haMa'alot or 'Al Naharot Bavel

On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 3:35 PM, Dov Kaiser <dov_...@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> R. Arie Folger wrote: <<The Mishnah Verurah, following Peri Megadim,
> I note that you transliterate Mishnah Verurah as... Mishnah Verurah.? Could
> you please explain the rationale for this.? I note that the Roedelheim
> siddur vowelizes safa berura (not verura) in birkhas yotzer, and yism'chu
> b'malkhus'kha (not v'malkhus'kha) in Shabbos mussaf.? How is this different?

Good question. Tzarikh 'iyun. Diqduq experts out there, heeeeelp!
Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Equal Justice for All - even in Israel?
* The Warmongering Laboring Amazons
* But is it Still Pork?
* Glaubensweitergabe ? Ein Videovortrag

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Message: 10
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 23:52:27 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Kashrut and Shabbos (was: Kashrus and Shabbas)

I wrote:
> > But RYDS is positing an intrinsic halachic distinction (something
> that
> > halachically happens).  Does he see this double threshold in the
> rishonim,
> > or does he understand this to be a chiddush of the Rema?  Who are the
> people
> > following when they are noheg like this?

And RAF replied.

> It has been a while since I learned this, but I vaguely remember that
> this is based on a Terumat haDeshen. Possibly quoted in the Darkei
> Moshe heArukh.

Thanks for this, I *think* that this may be talking about Teshuva 66 in the
Trumat Hadeshen, where he discusses the case where people didn't have any
specific oven to warm things in, and they were putting their humim in the
oven that is also used to warm the house, and on shabbas a non Jew would
come and take the humim out and put it on the oven and then light the oven
in order to warm the house (ie the Trumat Hadeshen that is the basis of the
Rema discussing this issue in 253).  And I am further guessing that the key
words for RYDS in that teshuva are the reference *im lo nitkarer kol kach
dugmat machel ben drosai*.  The case the Trumat Hadeshen brings in which he
quotes this (that people were accustomed for weddings to keep hummim warm
and then the next day non Jewish servants would come and warm them, so long
as they were not fully cold) is then tracable back to the Smag and the
Hagahot Maimainiot and the Machzor Vitri (and it would seem from the Trumat
HaDeshen, the Morde
 rchai, but there the Mordechai is not on Bar Ilan) - and they all use
 pretty much the same language except that they add in the word *tam* as in
 *im lo nitkarer kol kach tam dugmat machel ben drosai*.

So I assume the argument is based on understanding that something that is
not fully cold is considered the equivalent of machel ben drosai vis a vis
bishul - ie since kol tzorko equalling yad soledet bo then if one can drop
back from kol tzorko to machal ben drosai in a liquid, then one can further
drop back to uncooked once fully cold.

Now I also *think* that the Nishmas Adam (chelek 2-3 hilchot Shabbat klal
20) is specifically disagreeing with this interpretation of the Trumat
Hadeshen, but I guess RYDS is entitled disagree with the Nishmas Adam.

I confess I too tend to think that when the Trumat Hadeshen and earlier
uses the term dugmat machel ben drosai the issue they are dealing with is
lest one stir the coals, and not whether or not there is any chance of real
bishul - but at least I can see that if you do not understand this phrase
that way, you would be understanding there to be a chain of tradition that
goes back into the Ashkenazi rishonim, and not postulating some chiddush of
the Rema.  So thanks for that.

> Arie Folger



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Message: 11
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 01:17:11 +0000
[Avodah] Masneh al Mah Shekassav baTorah

In a recent daf [BB 126] it is quite clear that anyone who makes a tnai
upon what is written in the Torah, that t'nai is batteil.

I'm looking at Rema Choshen Mishpat 8:1

"Any tzibbur may accept upon themselves a beth din that is not worthy
according to the Torah"
source given
Beth Yosef in the name of Shu"t Rashba [sefer toldos adam 290]

How can that be so?

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