Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 167

Fri, 19 Aug 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:41:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Feedback, causality & G-d

From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
To: avo...@lists.aishdas.org
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Feedback, causality & G-d
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On Thu, Aug 04, 2011 at 11:53:04AM +0300, harchinam wrote:
: IIRC, the Rambam [and probably many others] holds that even though Hashem
: CAN just do anything in the blink of an eye and without any assistance, He
: created a system that we call teva in order that things should generally go
: according to the system [and nisim are those things that occur outside of
: this system] that would obscure His constant involvement...

More than that... According to the Rambam, teva is a nivra, a "thing",
not just a pattern or rule of behavior. Hashgachah means involvement
at levels higher than teva, and a neis nigla is when that involvement
can't be fitted to the patterns that teva follows.

A person who in a given situation doesn't merit HP is described in MN 3:18
as not being protected from nature.

: hishtadlut of whatever form -- planting a field, sending out a resume, etc.
: -- we are merely providing the tzinor for the bracha to flow down through.
: So it is not really that we are providing merit, but instead the actual kli
: for the bracha to flow through in a figurative manner in order that things
: work according to the system of teva that Hashem set up.

This isn't the Rambam. The Rambam's metaphysics is based on the notion
that HQBH had Thought which itself thought a Thought down to the Active
Intellect, the spheres, man and physical reality. Teva is one of those
planes of abstraction.

(In Yesodei haTorah 2:5 this is presented in conjuction with the different
levels of tzurah beli chomer that we call "mal'akhim". Add to that the
maamar Chazal about the mal'akh who stands over each blade of grass
ordering it to grow, and I personally get the sense that the laws of
nature are a consequence of teva being composed of the intellects of
mal'akhim or the sefiros that lack free will. The laws of nature is the
software of their deterministic minds. But making the full argument would
take us too far efield, and buying into this notion isn't necessary to
accept my previous conclusion -- the Rambam holds that teva is a "thing"
between HQBH and man, and not merely a pattern behind which He hides
His involvement.)

On Thu, Aug 04, 2011 at 05:34:38PM -0400, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
:> Even moreso am I bothered by the idea that only a "completely perfect"
:> person would escape such a fate. Even Moshe Rabenu wasn't "completely
:> perfect."...

: Seforno[1] (Vayikra 13:47): When a person sins because he follows his
: lusts and thus turns away from G-d's will or he simply rebels against G-d,
: he will be punished justly according to G-d's justice. When a person
: sins accidentally, he will typically be punished either financial or
: physically according to G-d's wisdom in order to arouse him repent. In
: contrast those who are as insensitive as one asleep and thus have no
: realization of what is happening and are not motivated to know - this
: includes all the nations as well as the majority of Jews except for a
: few exceptions - they are without doubt under the direction of nature
: or mazel. They do not receive hashgocha protis but rather a general form
: of Providence which is for the species rather than the individual. Thus
: they are like the animals and other forms of life which do not have
: individual Providence. They thus fulfill G-d's will only on the level
: of the group not as individuals.

Notice the Seforno himself shifts from speaking about a given person
receiving different amounts of hashgachah depending on where he is
then, to speaking of "those who are insensitive" vs the spiritually

I think the problem is one of language. In classical literature through
the middle ages, it was assumed that the writer was describing archetypes.
That he would discuss the fate of the hypothetical perfectly righteous
person and the perpetually spiritually insensitive person, and the
reader would naturally understand that real people were a mix of these
typologies. (Otherwise, isn't the Seforno subtly contradicting himself?)

The Rambam makes this kind of argument when he shifts between his
presentation of Chazal's position on HP, at the end of MN 3:17, and his
own interpretation of that position in 3:18. First he says that all
people receive HP, but then as you progress to his own position you learn
that the word "people" denotes a fuzzy set, and the more you fit the
description, the more HP you get:

    Species and other classes are merely ideas formed in our minds,
    whilst everything in real existence is an individual object, or
    an aggregate of individual objects. This being granted, it must
    further be admitted that the result of the existing Divine influence,
    that reaches mankind through the human intellect, is identical with
    individual intellects really in existence, with which, e.g., Zeid,
    Amr, Kaled and Bekr, are endowed. Hence it follows, in accordance
    with what I have mentioned in the preceding chapter, that the greater
    the share is which a person has obtained of this Divine influence,
    on account of both his physical predisposition and his training,
    the greater must also be the effect of Divine Providence upon him,
    for the action of Divine Providence is proportional to the endowment
    of intellect, as has been mentioned above. The relation of Divine
    Providence is therefore not the same to all men; the greater the
    human perfection a person has attained, the greater the benefit he
    derives from Divine Providence....

Again, an assumption that Chazal spoke in archetypes, and therefor
real individuals are somewhere in between or in combination of those

And similarly, I don't know if we can take it as a given that just
because the Ramban spoke in black-and-white terms, he too didn't intend
to be describing the ends of a range of possibilities.


1- HP and sekhar are different things. Providence includes oneshim,
constructive punishment, learning experiences. I'm not sure the Rambam
would agree, but the Seforno must (see #2).

2- Note also the Seforno distinguishes between the sinner who can
take a spiritual lesson, who therefore still gets HP in the form of
onesh, and the person who is unalert to all that, and therefore onesh
wouldn't help. It's only the person who blinded himself from being able
to gain from HP who is subject to nature of mazal.

3- If you think about the astrological origins of the word mazal, and
the fact that the coin was termed by people who knew stars followed
predetermined paths, "mazal" might be better translated "fate" than
"luck". And is very much a brother of teva.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is harder to eat the day before Yom Kippur
mi...@aishdas.org        with the proper intent than to fast on Yom
http://www.aishdas.org   Kippur with that intent.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:55:37 -0400
Re: [Avodah] "God who knows the future"

On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 12:18:50PM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
> RMB:
>> The common people do. Open an organizer, or Outlook. Time is arranged  
>> in a line down the page.

> Me: [ie RMR -mb]
>> I don't know how to determine the "common" view of time, but I  
>> suspect it's viewed as a cycle, not a progression.>>

> In some contexts.  Cycles help explain "l'ma'alah min hazman"...

How does it help?

In any case, I disagree. People see the calendar as cyclical, but today,
thoughts of time are dominated by our belief in progress. People get older
and mature (or r"l some simply age). Science and technology progress.
Something many O derakhim have to overcome is the West's assumption that
morality too progresses, as this is often seen as a contradiction to
nisqatnu hadoros. OTOH, R' Tzadoq and RAYK also believe in progress in
morality as well.

But in any case, this is tangential. The point wasn't whether the
dimension is linear or cyclic (or a helical combination of the two),
but that we see time as a dimension. Perhaps not as literally as Einstein
did, perhaps yes. Things happen "in time", "at a certain time and place",
etc... Not that time is a logical consequent of events.

So today, we can model lemaaleh min hazeman with meshalim like the
following: We see the universe as a 3D movie. To HQBH, it is closer to
a 4D sculpture. There is no flow of past-present-future, so it's just
another direction much like the other 3. (Or 9 or 10, for the string
theory efficionados among us. Or 2, if your more into the holographic
principle.) Or at least, closer to that than our movie-like experience
of a changing 3D reality.

The medieval worldview had no parallel.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Brains to the lazy
mi...@aishdas.org        are like a torch to the blind --
http://www.aishdas.org   a useless burden.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 - Bechinas HaOlam

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Message: 3
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 22:47:47 +0300
[Avodah] kiddush levana

>I understood that some claim that it is not mitzvat aseh she-hazman
>grama. The argument is that one can say the bracha only when the moon
>is increasing in size and that happens only in the first half of the
>month. But it is not intrinsically connected to time in the same sense
>that shofar or lulav are connected.

My claim , from memory, was based on R. Shlomo Kluger in Chochmat Shlomo 426,
see however elef lecha shlomo 193 where he differentiates between the
beginning and end of the bracha
RMF also holds that it is a mitzvat aseh she-hazman grama (CM2 15-2)
disagreeing with the idea of R. Shlomo Kluger
and stating that the reason why a mitzva is not always done is irrelevant
It is discussed in detail by Minchat Asher and the sefer Ishei Yisrael

Note that Turei Even holds that bringing bikkurim is not mitzvat aseh
she-hazman grama
even though one cant bring it after chanuka. Similarly the Ramban says
that sefirat ha-omer is
not a mitzvat aseh sheha-zman grama and R. Frank in Har Tzvi says that
birjkhat ha-ilanot is also
not a mitzvat aseh she-ha-zman grama

Bottom line not everything that has some time element is necessarily
mitzvat aseh she-ha-zman grama

Eli Turkel

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Message: 4
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 17:01:23 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shelo asani isha

In theory, I have no problem with the elimination of Shelo asani ishah.

It is a birchas hodo'oh, if you don't feel thankful, don't say it.

What bothers me about this incident is the principle a rebbe of mine, R' 
Shimon Zelaznik zt"l, once gave over in a shmuess.

He related that a man came to R' Yisroel Salanter to ask a she'eilah 
whether he could eat on Yom Kippur. R' Yisroel is said to have said that 
al pi din he could be mattir, but how could he know if in the heart of 
the sho'eil there was not a thought of "minus" (heresy)?

Now, this is the same Reb Yisroel who got up in shul in Vilna on the Yom 
Kippur during a cholera outbreak, made kiddush and ate mezonos publicly.

Voss is dehr chilluk?

The answer to that question is the reason why this incident makes me queasy.

V'ha'mayvin yavin.


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Message: 5
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:59:50 -0700
[Avodah] Who is Orthodox?

what about the consideration  as to who is a manhig /rabbi/teacher . there 
are eg rabbinic organizations [RCA , YI ]   or  synagogue groups {OU, YI} 
that have to have some criterion as to who is allowed to lead a member 
congregation, or to be a member congregation. are not the criteria 
stricter for that? 

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 18:17:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Who is Orthodox?

On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 02:59:50PM -0700, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
: what about the consideration  as to who is a manhig /rabbi/teacher . there 
: are eg rabbinic organizations [RCA , YI ]   or  synagogue groups {OU, YI} 
: that have to have some criterion as to who is allowed to lead a member 
: congregation, or to be a member congregation. are not the criteria 
: stricter for that? 

Yes, the question of who is "one of us" is different than who is fit
to lead. Since leadership is a relative statement, I'm not sure one can
phrase in any concrete way rules for who that is.

(Beyond issues like ordaining women, geirim as dayanim, etc... We started
by talking about beliefs and behaviors.)

Personally, I am currently more interested in clarifying the question
I originally raised. I believe there are clear halachic guidelines for
deciding who is a "Jew in good standing", and the creation of rules that
have nothing to do with those guidelines is problematic.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 7
From: Allan Engel <allan.en...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 00:14:25 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Interlocking the Fingers of the Right Hand with

> On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 4:39 AM, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org
> > wrote: you often see Catholic priests holding their hands in that manner
> - ha'lo davar hu.

Do any of the poskim who bring this down as halocho offer this reason?
Surely that would come under the heading of Bechukoseihem L*o Seileichu* or
something similar, rather than Sakono?

In any event, I'm not sure anyone has addressed my original query, by what
right or mechanism can new Issurim be enacted after Ravina and Rav Ashi? If
there is no source in the Torah, Mishna or Gemoro, why doesn't it transgress
the prohibition against adding Mitsvos? (One could also ask the same
question about the Tzavo'o of Reb Yehuda Hechosid.)

The Rambam in Hilchos Deos has a long list of things to avoid because of
Sakono. I don't think I am crossing any theological red lines by suggesting
that they were included in the Yad because they were the accepted medical
wisdom at the time, rather than a received tradition (I'm sure that's what R
Avrohom ben HaRambam would say!). I might be wrong, but I don't think anyone
today prohibits eating truffles or mushrooms because of that Rambam.
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Message: 8
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 19:35:21 EDT
Re: [Avodah] shabbas//mishum eiva, etc???


From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
>>  I'm  arguing that preserving human dignity and avoiding enmity are both
chiyuvim  deOraisa. (At least there is a consistent trend emerging to
my madness.)  <<

In certain contexts you may well be right but you have to be careful, that  
can be a slippery slope.  I remember a Conservative rabbi who claimed that  
Judaism is in favor of gay rights because of "human dignity."

--Toby Katz


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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 21:22:23 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shabbas//mishum eiva, etc???

On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 07:35:21PM -0400, T6...@aol.com wrote:
:>  I'm  arguing that preserving human dignity and avoiding enmity are both
:> chiyuvim  deOraisa. (At least there is a consistent trend emerging to
:> my madness.)

: In certain contexts you may well be right but you have to be careful, that  
: can be a slippery slope.  I remember a Conservative rabbi who claimed that  
: Judaism is in favor of gay rights because of "human dignity."

So, let's phrase this halachically rigorously: Preserving human dignity
is a deOraisa, and according to the gemara it can therefore trump another
deOraisa besheiv ve'al ta'aseh, and perhaps other criteria must be met.

Saying something is deOraisa doesn't mean ignoring the huterah / dechuyah
rules of which to observe when in conflict with another deOraisa. One
might argue that the whole point of phrasing religion as a legal system
is to anchor the changes that one can make to religious behavior and
ethics to well defined modes of evolution. Otherwise, the religion would
end up being about our zeitgeist informed guesses of what G-d wants.
This way, we follow His instructions to determine which modalities of
behavior, which derakhim and potential derakhim and their nafqos mina
lemaaseh, are valid.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Good decisions come from experience;
mi...@aishdas.org        Experience comes from bad decisions.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Djoha, from a Sepharadi fable
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 10
From: Yaacov Shulman <yacovda...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:14:43 +0300
Re: [Avodah] shelo asani isha

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
<r...@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Now, this is the same Reb Yisroel who got up in shul in Vilna on the Yom
> Kippur during a cholera outbreak, made kiddush and ate mezonos publicly.

Incidentally, R. Salanter urged others to eat should they need to. He
himself did not eat.

Yaacov David Shulman
Translator; Editor; Ghostwriter
Specializing in Torah and literary texts

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Message: 11
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 21:40:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shelo asani isha

On 8/18/2011 7:14 PM, Yaacov Shulman wrote:
> Incidentally, R. Salanter urged others to eat should they need to. He
> himself did not eat.


   Since Reb Yisroel never rendered any halachic decisions in Vilna,
   not even for his own household,[16] he must have experienced enormous
   personal conflict during the peak of a cholera epidemic that devastated
   Vilna in late summer 1848. Reb Yisroel had committed himself to the
   city's welfare - renting hospital quarters with five hundred beds,
   while his own talmidim nursed the stricken around the clock, seven
   days a week, with patient care on Shabbos no different than on the
   other days of the week. As Yom Kippur approached, he feared that the
   fast would weaken the people and make them dangerously susceptible to
   the often-fatal disease. Reb Yisroel hung placards throughout Vilna
   urging all who felt weak to eat on the fast day, to stave off any
   threat. He did this without consulting others because he apparently
   realized that he would not gain a consensus for such a radical, yet
   - in his view - essential move. Immediately after Shacharis on Yom
   Kippur, he himself rose to the bimah, and according to some accounts,
   publicly made Kiddush and ate some cakes to encourage all those in
   need to follow suit. Needless to say, there were great protests,
   but Reb Yisroel ignored them and reportedly made his way to other
   shuls as well, to urge others to join him.[17]

   This daring episode provoked strong and mixed reactions in different
   circles, and was long debated.[18] For all the esteem he commanded, the
   Beis Din of Vilna summoned Reb Yisroel for an uncomfortable exchange,
   [19] with Reb Yisroel demonstrating clearly that his command of Torah
   knowledge put him beyond their ability to challenge him.


   16. Sridei Aish, R. F.F. Weinberg, IV, 289. Some have attributed
   Reb Yisroel's reluctance to serve as a Rav to his having arrived at
   halachic conclusions different from many established local minhagim,
   Tnuas Hamussar p. 377.

   17. Tnuas Hamussar I, pp. 160-161, no. 8 for sources.

   18. Rabbi Boruch Ber Lebowitz, many years later, said a shiur to
   analyze the halachah in question.

   19. R Yaakov Kamenetsky related details to the writer, as transmitted
   to him by Rabbi Dovid Lebowitz, who had heard a report from the
   Chofetz Chaim, who had been in Vilna at the time.

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Message: 12
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 11:23:57 +0100
Re: [Avodah] shelo asani isha

RMB wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 06:05:24PM +0100, Chana Luntz wrote:
> :> No, I am assuming R' Yehudah, who wrote the currently used triad of
> :> berakhos, set it up because /he/ holds that way.
> : Which is fine.  But then you have to justify why we say it today if
> we do
> : not hold like this position.  (I am not saying that is the case here,
> you
> : can, presumably, hold l'halacha that avadim are not chayav in any
> more
> : mitzvos than women, but if you do not hold vadai that is the case...)
> Perhaps we shouldn't aske whether or not we hold that avadim would be
> chayavim in more mitzvos than women, and simply take the berakhah's
> continued existence in the siddur as a raayah that we do.

But that is a huge leap about a very complicated issue.  I know hilchos
avadim are not exactly halacha l'ma'ase today but still - are you totally
comfortable, just based on this bracha, to say that, for example, avadim are
patur from the obligation re payos and prohibition on shaving (remember
according to this, their bracha total has to be kept down to that of women,
so in order for that to work, avadim can't have more even negative
obligations that women don't have, you are boxing yourself into a halacha
l'ma'ase corner if you ever do have to come and posken hilchos avadim) if
one turned up in front of you and asked you a halacha l'ma'aseh question?

> ...
> : But this isn't just about taamei hamitzvos and aggada.  As you
> correctly
> : quoted, the Magen Avraham used this reason for the bracha to posken
> halacha
> ...
> : So it would seem that if you posken like Tosphos, the Maged Mishna or
> the
> : Turei Even, or are even mesupik that they are correct, then this
> reason
> : cannot be the reason for the bracha today, otherwise you may be
> prohibited
> : (either d'orisa or d'rabbanan) from saying it....
> Why? These are birkhos shevach. The notion that you can't praise HQBH
> in zu ve'ein tzarikh lomar zu format isn't necessarily a given.

Not with a repetition of shem and malchut!  Look, you can't even say the
bracha over thunder twice in the same thunderstorm, and that is
unquestionably a bracha  of shevach.  Repeating shem and malchut for the
same shevach is just as much a brocha sheino tzricha as for the classic
birchas hane'nin.  (Now you might be able to make one brocha which went
shelo asani eved v'isha without fussing too much about the order of the
final words, but not a double use of shem and malchut).

>The Granikim try to repurpose the phrase by (awkwardly IMHO)
> moving the period to make it:
>     Vehasheiv [two things:]
>    - es haavodah lidevir veisekha,
>    - ve'ishei Yisrael.
>     Usefilasam teqabel beRatzon...
> Keeping the matbeiah by changing its meaning, and where one pauses.

The issue for the Graniks is that one should not be praising HaShem who is
emes with sheker, it is a pretty strong taina - because while praising him
twice for the same thing maybe a bracha sheaino tzricha and a machlokus
about whether it is d'orisa or d'rabbanan, praising him for something that
is not true would seem on the face of it to be a bracha l'vatala, and a
d'orisa prohibiton according to everyone.   Note of course that the GRA is
the one who most famously recommended saying sheasani yisroel (and the Sde
Chemed said shelo asani goy k'goyei aratzos, because simply to say shelo
asani goy is a sheker, since Israel is a goy (albeit gadol v'kadosh)).  If
RYK (for example) is to this extent a GRAnik and does not believe in the
truth of shelo asani isha, ie that it is indeed a shvach to HKBH, then
arguably by saying it with shem and malchus he is actually over on an issur
d'orisa, and he would be better off not saying it.  (Query what the
obligation is really - clearly to say some shevach to HKBH, but that would
be covered by lots of other brachos.  To say 100 brochos a day, that can be
covered by eating more fruit and the like.  The gemora in Menachos does seem
to suggest some level of obligation to say these brochos, but if you are a
GRAnik and hold that a bracha must be true to be said, otherwise you are
over on an issur d'orisa, then an at most rabbinic obligation would need to
be pushed aside by way of shev v'al ta'aseh if faced with a balancing issur

The alternative to the GRA's position on the question of emes that you seem
to be taking is that if the rabbis introduced a matbeiah, then it does not
actually matter if it is true or false (of course we know that if we say
these in lashon hakodesh, we don't have to understand what they mean to be
yotze, but it is a huge step that we are fulfilling an obligation with a
statement that we both understand and genuinely believe is (now) false and
that we should keep on doing so).  That seems to be the position you are
justifying here - but it seems to destroy emes as a halachic principle (I
know, I know, angels being pushed down to earth etc etc, but vis a vis a
praise of HaShem??).  The alternative position vis a vis rotzei that I think
most people adopt is to say that it does mean something true, just maybe the
grammatical phrasing isn't quite the way the purists would like it and that
doesn't matter - a bit like the Sephardim who have held on to the old nusach
where HaShem is always referred to in what we today know as the feminine, ie
lach, rather than the lecha etc that presumably the maskilim changed it to
in the Ashkenazi nusach.  I don't think the Sephardim consider themselves
therefore to be making feminist statements about G-d's feminine side, they
are just using the traditional nusach that wasn't that hung up on gender
grammar, perhaps because of contact with other era Hebrew and/or Aramaic and
don't worry about the fact that is sort of sounds feminine.

> But I have been arguing until now with the assumption that the matbeiah
> proves the aggadita, without assuming repurposing. And as you have yet
> to convince me that we repurposing is actually needed, I am sticking
> with my default assumption.

You could still stick with your original assumption, but can you at least
understand this as a reason why others might prefer to repurpose, so as not
to cut off unresolved halachic argument on practical halachic matters
without any valid halachic authority to support it (because once you
repurpose, you don't need to cut off the argument).

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha



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Message: 13
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:01:54 +0100
Re: [Avodah] shabbas//mishum eiva, etc???

I wrote:

> :                        For example, since we are getting in to
> Shmitta
> : below, how about the statement that when the rabbis instituted
> Shmitta
> : rabbinically, that causes a shev v'al ta'aseh situation regarding the
> : collecting of d'orisa loans (Gitten 36b).  How does that fit within
> the
> : definition of gezeros as defined here?
> I don't understand the question. I'm talking about violating an issur
> or chiyuv deOraisa. Is there a chiyuv to collect your loans?

No, but if collecting the loan is mutar d'orisa, then by enacting shmitta
d'rabbanan, the rabbis are forbidding somebody acting on his Torah given
right to collect his loan.  Now the gemora (not me, the gemora) on Gitten
36b raises this as a problem with the rabbis enacting shmitta d'rabbanan,
and Abaye gives the answer "shev v'al ta'aseh hu".

Now you said, in the name of R' J Sachs of YU that rabbis can only enact
enactments which rely on shev v'al ta'aseh in the case where they are
protecting more chamur mitzvos (the case presumably you were thinking of is
shabbas vis a vis shofar).  But Abaye says that they are relying on shev
v'al ta'aseh to enact shmitta d'rabbanan.  What more chamur mitzvah is being
protected here like shabbas is being protected vis a vis shofar?   It
therefore seems to me that you (or RJS if this is really his argument) are
arguing with Abaye on the nature of shev v'al ta'seh.  

If that is not your argument (or alternatively that the more chamur mitzvah
is the memory of shmitta - but how can memory be a d'orisa) - then what case
is there that limits the power of the rabbis to use shev v'al ta'aseh - I
need a practical example where you or RYS would hold that the rabbis could
not use shev v'al ta'aseh, in a circumstance where they could possibly want
to do so (and that does not violate your assertion that kovod habrios etc
are d'orisas).  If there is no such case then would not the principle be a
bit meaningless?

> Which would seem to indicate that either
> 1- Kavod haBerios is deOraisa, but not as high of a priority as to
>    justify a qum va'asei. Or,
> 2- Laws protecting Kavod haBerios are gezeiros. (Which by RYS's rules,
> as
>    I understood them, would require that there is a deOraisa which the
>    kavod haberios legislation is protecting from violation. Ie back to
>    #1.)

Or of course RYS's rule is not true, ie there are principles such a kavod
haberios which don't have the status of full fledged d'orisas but shev v'al
ta'aseh is allowed to be used anyway.
> But because of hefqer BD -- IOW, the money really isn't moving because
> shemittah no longer exempts the loan, but because BD artificially move
> it themselves.

Agreed.  The point is that the rabbis are using the power of hefker BDH to
circumvent an issur d'orisa (not challenge it, circumvent it, which is what
I gave as an example of a power that the rabbis had).

> There is a machloqes Rashi and Tosafos as to whether Rava is replacing
> Abayei's answer, as you assume, or is adding to it. IOW, according to
> Tosafos, Rava invokes HBDH to override "gadol mimenu", not the
> deOraisa.

But that I think is because we posken that today shmitta is d'rabbanan, so
Rava would then have had to have been speaking theoretically if he was not
in fact adding something.  That does not necessarily mean (and I don't
believe there is anything in the gemora or Tosphos that states that it does
mean) that if in fact shmitta was d'orisa, then Hefker BDH would not and
could not work - which is why I included this in and example of the power of
rabbis to go around mitzvos d'orisa if necessary.

> : No, I don't believe that any of these relate to pikuach nefesh.
> :
> : But you have to get back to basic principles.  A rabbinic enactment
> in any
> : form or fashion cannot simply allow you to violate a lo ta'aseh of
> the
> : Torah, and certainly not one of shabbas....
> Which is the second assumption that something is derabbanan. (Kavod
> haberios and now mishum eivah.)

Kovod Habriyos I am mesupik about, it runs very close to allowing violating
d'orisas.  Mishum eiva is, as far as I know, treated throughout as a
construct of the rabbis, and I had never thought about it as a d'orisa.  You
see, if you abandon RYS's principle, then the rabbis have the power to use
shev v'al ta'aseh and hefker beis din to forward aims that we cannot
necessarily pin directly on a pasuk (although they are much in evidence in
Nach, and seem fit as part of the moral underpinning of the Torah).

> I'm arguing that preserving human dignity and avoiding enmity are both
> chiyuvim deOraisa. (At least there is a consistent trend emerging to
> my madness.)

Interesting, I wonder if we can link this up to the other thread we are
debating.  How about the principle of emes, which seems to share some
aspects with human dignity and avoiding enmity (in particular there are
specific sources that enable it to get pushed aside for these two - think
about Yosef and his brothers).  Of course there is a clear d'orisa source
for that - m'd'var sheker, but that only strengthens the case.

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha



Go to top.

Message: 14
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 07:15:13 -0400
[Avodah] See-Through Challah Cover

 From http://revach.net/article.php?id=3287

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: See-Through Challah Cover
The Shulchan Aruch says (OC 271:9) that you need to cover the challah 
at the shabbos meal.  The Elya Rabba (OC 271:16) says that the cover 
for the Lechem Mishna should be white, similar to the Mun in the 
Midbar.  At the very least, whatever color it is, it should be nice and clean.

Is a see-through clear plastic challah cover considered covering the 
Challah?  The Shemiras Shabbos KiHilchoso says (47 footnote 116) in 
the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that even though you can see 
through it, it is considered covered.  Since the Challah is covered 
it is not an embarrassment to the challah that you are making Borei 
Pri HaGofen first.  Others hold, says the Piskei Tshuvos (271:4), 
that you should be machmir even not to use woven covers that have 
holes that let you see through.

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