Avodah Mailing List

Volume 30: Number 129

Thu, 20 Sep 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:37:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shofar and hearing aid

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:48:09PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: Does anyone know of teshuvot about bionic ears or eyes?

Why go that furturistic? How about teshuvos that consider qeri'as
haTorah with eyeglasses to be valid? Here's a list taken from R'
Avraham Steinberg's "Encyc of Medical Ethics" pg 111 fn 92:

    Shevus Yaaqov 1 #126
    Tif'eres Yisrael, Kalkalas haShabbos #33, and Nega'im #2, Boaz #4
    Shaarei Teshuvah OC 426:1
    Mishpetei Uziel (2nd ed) OC 38
    Yechaveh Daas 4 #18 fn 13

Judging from the book, they make a chiluq RAS describes as glasses
not having an "/interposition/ for those precepts that require vision"
(pg 109; /italics/ in the original).

Apparently RSZA holds that hearing what a hearing aid's speaker produces
in response to a shofar making sounds in the room is an "interposition" --
whatever the original Hebrew/Aramaic was.


Micha Berger             I always give much away,
mi...@aishdas.org        and so gather happiness instead of pleasure.
http://www.aishdas.org           -  Rachel Levin Varnhagen
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 07:49:55 +1000
[Avodah] Beris Milah with Metzitza 6 days of the week

R Micha responded to my earlier post - Since we practice Metzitza today as
a tradition, unlike the Halacha that requires it as a matter of life and

R Micha suggests that,

It's NOT a given that halakhah only requires Metzitza as a matter of life
and death. This is the very topic under machloqes!

 MR; I am unaware of even one argument that can explain the Gemara in any
other manner. It is beyond any doubt that the Mishna and Gemara impose
Metzitza for health reasons.

As proof R Micha offers,

And if it were, then why would it continue even as a minhag?

MR; That?s about the weakest proof that was ever offered.

R Micha also mentions that:
We don't do bloodletting in general as a minhag. All the other refu'os in
shas (with 1 exception) are neither halakhah nor minhag. And the one
exception --fish and meat -- is about tzora'as. Not your usual teva
illness. So I would need proof that we consider this particular piece of
medical advice more enshrined as minhag than any other.

 MR; This is irrelevant. We have no objection to Minhag unless it violates
Shabbos. In this case Metzitza may be performed 6 days of the week, but not
during Shabbos.

R Micha says, One might argue that it's a derabbanan whose cause for
legislation was medical (and apparently was never real). But then it would
still be on the books, and therefore would outrank a melakhah derabbanan.

MR; Pikuach Nefesh is a Torah obligation. Metzitza ? as is any other
medical procedure that relates to life and death - is a Torah obligation.
The Gemara is clear, Metzitza is required for medical reasons only. One who
shirks performing this procedure is not permitted to be a Mohel, even
though the Beris is performed perfectly [and this is why the Gemara needs
to emphasis this ruling] simply because the baby?s life is endangered.


Meir G. Rabi
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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:15:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Beris Milah with Metzitza 6 days of the week

On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 07:49:55AM +1000, Meir Rabi wrote:
: It's NOT a given that halakhah only requires Metzitza as a matter of life
: and death. This is the very topic under machloqes!
: MR; I am unaware of even one argument that can explain the Gemara in any
: other manner. It is beyond any doubt that the Mishna and Gemara impose
: Metzitza for health reasons.

Please reread http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol30/v30n124.shtml#11
and the subseqient post for my list of sources who disagree with
your assumption of "minhag". My reply was intended as being in
addition to what was already said.

You also don't actually answer the questions:

(1) Why does metzitzah qualify as minhag if people were doing it solely
because of Aristotilian medical theory?

(1b) And why didn't bloodletting in other contexts qualify as minhag?

It seems to me that the fact that Jews did it is irrelevent in
establishing minhag if we were doing it for medical reasons. Just as if
ties were to go out of style, there wouldn't be a minhag requiring us
(in communities where ties are now worn) to continue doing so on Shabbos.

(2) Why would RSRH, RYESpektor, etc... require metzitzah bepeh (even if
through a tzinor), if Aristotle didn't give reasons for such a preference?

So, aside from the existance of sources that say metzizah was for more
than medical reasons, I don't see the logic that would connect the
assertion that medicine was the only reason to the conclusion that it's
therefore minhag, rather than therefor obsolete.

The gemara is clear that someone who didn't have metzitzah done to him
is not an areil, and that a mohel who didn't do metzitzah should be
fired for risking medical problems. That's not the same as saying the
only reason for metzitzah are those medical reasons, and there is no
qiyum asei involved.

In http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol30/v30n123.shtml#09 I cite the Avnei
Neizer who explains the gemara as being redable either way. The Meishiv
Nefesh does similarly with the Rambam. With the sifrei nigleh being
readable either way, it would seem that reading the gemara such that
metzitzah bepeh (not only metzitzah in general) is part of the original
deOraisa would be more compelling for posqim who consider the Tiqunei
Zohar a primary source. And a valid possibility that can't be dismissed
out of hand, for those who don't.


Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
mi...@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
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Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 4
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 19:09:59 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Can a Rasha do Teshuva?


From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>

Is  teshuva ineffective for the rasha? A simple reading of this Rambam 
would seem to  indicate that the rasha was already sealed for death on Rosh 
Hashana, and it is  only the beinoni who needs to bother with teshuva. Is it 
impossible for the  rasha's future to be improved by teshuva?....

....But this logic  seems to confirm what I wrote in the beginning, that 
the rasha gamur, the 100%  rasha, is sealed for death on Rosh Hashana, and no 
amount of teshuva will help  him. I am very troubled by this. I would prefer 
to think that *everyone* -- even  the rasha gamur who might not ever 
actually exist -- can improve his fate by  doing teshuva.

Akiva Miller

There are some people whose sins are so bad that only death can atone, but  
they can still do teshuva.  They will die -- presumably prematurely -- but  
they will go to olam haba.   Like the man in the gemara who visited  every 
red light district in the world, a bas kol said "Everyone can do teshuva  
except [whatever his name was]."  He cried so much his neshama left  him and a 
bas kol said his teshuva was accepted and he went to Gan Eden.   I'm sure 
the learned chevra here will remember the story and provide a  citation.

--Toby  Katz


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Message: 5
From: Simon Montagu <simon.mont...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 06:29:23 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Can a Rasha do Teshuva?

On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 2:09 AM,  <T6...@aol.com> wrote:
> Like the man in the gemara who visited every
> red light district in the world, a bas kol said "Everyone can do teshuva
> except [whatever his name was]."  He cried so much his neshama left him and
> a bas kol said his teshuva was accepted and he went to Gan Eden.   I'm sure
> the learned chevra here will remember the story and provide a citation.

You're thinking of the story of how R Elazar ben Dordai was kone olamo
besha'a achat in AZ 17, but I think the bat kol has crept into your
memory from elsewhere: R Elisha ben Abuya claimed to R Meir that he
heard a bat kol saying "Shuvu banim shovevim, hutz me-acher", and IIRC
it's a mahloket whether he actually heard it, or whether this was his
greatest heresy.

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Message: 6
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 00:03:30 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Can a Rasha do Teshuva?

You're right, I mixed up two stories.  But anyway the point is, a  rasha 
can do teshuva.  He may still have to die in order for his teshuva to  be 

--Toby Katz


In a message dated 9/19/2012 11:29:23 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
simon.mont...@gmail.com writes:

You're  thinking of the story of how R Elazar ben Dordai was kone olamo
besha'a  achat in AZ 17, but I think the bat kol has crept into your
memory from  elsewhere: R Elisha ben Abuya claimed to R Meir that he
heard a bat kol  saying "Shuvu banim shovevim, hutz me-acher", and IIRC
it's a mahloket  whether he actually heard it, or whether this was his
greatest  heresy.

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Message: 7
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:16:08 +0300
Re: [Avodah] partial teshuva

On 9/19/2012 8:41 PM, Eli Turkel wrote:
> I rrecently saw a quote from the Mabit (Beit Elokim, Shaar HaTeshuva 
> p139-140) who claims that teshuva
> is different from other mitzvot. Someone who puts tzizit on 3 corners 
> does not get a partial mitzvah.
> However, someone who regrets without leaving the sin or leaves the sin 
> without regret helps
> (mo-il ketzat)

In YU's To-Go 5773, Rabbi Alex Mondrow, discusses this very issue, using 
rabbinic and psychological sources to describe teshuva as a process, not 
a single step moment.

[See <http://j.mp/OdXovW>, compressed from


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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:30:15 +0300
[Avodah] R Asher Weiss

<< > R. Weiss also stressed that we always say avinu malkenu. G-d
> is both a king and a father but he is first a king and only
> second a king.

I think there's a typo here. Did you mean to write
"first a king and only second a father" or
"first a father and only second a king" ?  >>

My apologies

Avinu Malkenu - G-d is first our father and only second our king

Let me also use this as an excuse to ask mechila for all my (inadvertant)
typos and  sins and for
anyone I may have treated without sufficient respect

Eli Turkel
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Message: 9
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:52:53 GMT
Re: [Avodah] partial teshuva

R' Eli Turkel asked:

> My problem is more fundamental. In real life teshuva is usually
> a process and not a single moment with regret and acceptance
> and usually not vidui. A person may decide to eat kosher in the
> future without regretting all the delicious shrimp from the past

On Rosh Hashana afternoon, the rav of our shul (Rabbi Avrohom Herman, JEC,
Elizabeth NJ) addressed what I think might be this exact question, saying
that it is clearly an incomplete teshuva because of the missing steps, but
that the person can still become a tzadik in the process.

He quoted the gemara in Kiddushin about one who is mekadesh a woman "al
m'nas that I am a tzadik gamur", and that the kiddushin is safek valid,
because he might have done "hirhurei teshuva". He suggested that "hirhurei
teshuva" is a less-than-complete teshuva, and gave the specific example of
one who resolves to be better in the future *without* any regret over the
past. Such a person, he said, is henceforth a tzadik gamur, even though his
slate has not been wiped clean.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:50:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] partial teshuva

I think there are two distinct questions, but also that the difference
is not the relevent point. But just to be clear, there is no reason to
assume that teshuvah as a means of reparing past damage is necessarily
teshuvah as one of the 613 mitzvos.

The gemara's case (already mentioned by RAM; Qiddushin 49b) of qidushin
"al menas she'ani tzadiq" is common Shabbos Shuva derashah fodder. As
is the story of R' Elazar ben Durdaya (AZ 17a) who got his title and his
olam haba from "only" incomplete teshuvah. But both of those are about a
change in the person from rasha ("afilu rasha gamur" -Qiddushin, "shelo
hiniach zonah achas ba'olam" -AZ) to tzadiq, not about qiyum hamitzvah.

An extreme example, the Chinukh reads Rambam Hil' Teshuvah 1:1 as saying
the mitzvah is vidui, not teshuvah itself! After all, the Rambam writes:
"Kol hamitzvos shebaTorah... im avad adam al 1 meihen... KESHEya'aseh
teshuvah veyashuv meichet'o, chayyav lehisvados." WHEN a person does
teshuvah, there is a chiyuv to do vidui.

RYBS saves the Rambam from this implication by making a chiluq between
maaseh mitzvah (vidui) and qiyum hamitzvah (yashuva meichet'o). Pashut
peshat is like the Chinukh. And in any case the Chinukh himself qualifies
as a data point for my purposes, to show that rishonim didn't assume the
requirements of the mitzvah needn't be the same as the requirements for
repairing the past.

(Notably, this doesn't discuss teshuvah from a personal flaw rather
than specific cha'atim. I believe the Rambam addresses this other kind
of teshuvah with the second form of vidui in 2:8.)

LAD, I think there is only one mitzvah where partial qiyum is
stil a qiyum, but I think it's a derivative of the above about
teshuvah-as-repair. There is a strange Peirush haMishnayos lehaRambam
on Menachos 4:1. The mishnah has 4 halakhos, and the Rambam's comments
on the first two appear to contadict.

a- Tekheiles isn't me'aqaves the white strings, nor visa versa. The
Rambam says that even so, they are one mitzvah (#84 in Seifer haMitzvos).

b- Tehillah shel rosh isn't me'aqeves the shel yad, nor visa versa. The
Rambam counts these as separate mitzvos (#79 and #80) among the 613, and
refers you to his explanation in Seifer haMitzvos. But that proof that
they are distinct mitzvos is that they must be if each is not me'aqev
the other!

Why is it a proof for tefillin, but for tzitzis the Rambam can say that
even so, it's one mitzvah?

Li nir'eh, it's something tzitzis inherited from teshuvah. "Velo
sasuru acharei levavkhem ve'acharei eineikhem, asher atem zonim
achareihem." Tzitzis is framed by HQBH as a tool for teshuvah. To *stop*
straying after what we see and covet "that we are currently straying
after." Teshuvah perforce can never be performed entirely. No matter how
much I repair, there is always more to work on. And therefore a tool
for teshuvah-as-repair needn't have all the elements and reminders of
the full mitzvah in order to be of qiyum-level value.


Micha Berger             Man is capable of changing the world for the
mi...@aishdas.org        better if possible, and of changing himself for
http://www.aishdas.org   the better if necessary.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 15:57:22 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sefer Torah, Shevet Levi Special Treatment

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:04:31pm EDT, R David Riceman wrote:
> RMR:
>> Why did Moshe Rabbenu give Shevet Levi but not the other Shevatim?

> The Rogatchover discusses this in several places.  He distinguishes  
> between halacha, which is "morashas kehillas ya'akov", and "pilpulah  
> shel Torah", which Moshe could give to whomever he wished....

I heard (perhaps from RARakeffetR) that there is a kelal, not just
MRAH: Any rebbe has the right to select his students when it comes to
teaching his own Torah, but is obligated to teach anyone who comes to
(actually) learn the Torah he received.

Nut the question appears to be the reverse: Initially, the TSBK was
given to only a select sheivet, not all of qehillas Yaaqov. Why didn't
Moshe Rabbeinu follow the same kelal?

Well, let's work with the assumption he did. What would that that imply?
That of all the shevatim, the only ones who clamored for TSBK was sheivet
Levi. IOW, they asked first, they got the original copy. Moshe DID
teach every ready student. Then the other shevatim got qin'as soferim,
only then ready to learn, so they got their own copies.

Does this not fit the text?


Micha Berger             "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
mi...@aishdas.org        heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org   Love is not two who look at each other,
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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 16:36:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] yom she-kulo torah

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 04:44:55PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: R. Meidan stressed that zichronot means judgement and not remembering. He
: brought many proofs from Tanakh. The essence of the bracha of Zichronot is
: that we take responsibility for the world and stake an activist position...

I don't see how this fits the berakhah itself.

The first part of the intro text does open
    Atah zokheir maaseh olam
    ufogeit kol yetzurei qedem
and continues along those lines. But that section concludes with a
declaration of RH has zikaron leyom rishon. Not zikaron for all those
things done. So the while this portion might refer to remembering events
for judgment, it doesn't really tie out that way.

The second part of the intro is explicitly judgment. "Ve'al hamedinos
bo yei'amer: Ei zo lacherev..."

But then we get to the iqar, the pesuqim. At least, I assume it's the
iqar, from the gemara's focus on them.

The third part of the intro, introducing the first pasuq, is about Hashem
remembering Noach.

The pesuqim:
1-  Remembering Noach, the chayos and beheimos, and ending the mabul.
2,3- Hashem remembering His beris avos when hearing the cry of BY in

4- Zekher asah lenifle'osav
5- Yizkor le'olam beriso
6- Vayikor lahem  beriso

7- Zakhari lakh chesed ne'urayikh
8- Vezakharti es berisi
9- Habein yaqir li Ephraim... zakhor ezkerenu...

10- Vezakharti lahem beris rishonim...

Notice that none of the pesuqim can possibly refer to judgment. So I need
more help seeing RYMeidan's point.

7 explicitly refer to rememering the beris. Of the other 3:
#1 might refer to beris Noach,
#4 zekher asah lenifle'osav might refer to the nissim of yetzias Mitzrayim
and thus beris Sinai, and
#8 is about the promise of Ephraim in its early days.

So maybe zikhronos is about berisim between HQBH and man. My own feeling
is slightly different, but I have no compelling proof.

LAD, it would seem the berakhah is about the potential we were made with.
Even in our youth (yeled sha'ashuaim) or when we set upon this beris with
the Almighty.

: Malchiot on the contrary stresses that G-d is in charge and we rely on him.

So, from the way I drew it above, I concluded a different contrast:
Malkhios is about the ultimate vision of an "agudah achas la'asos
Retzkhonekha" in a day when "veyaha H' leMelekh al kol ha'aretz." Where
we are going.

Zikhoronos is where we came from, that we were made with the potential to
get there.

    Malkhios: kedei shetamlikhuni aleikhem
    Zikhronos: kedei sheya'aleh lifnai zikhroneikhem

How do we get to release the "ben yaqir li Ephraim" from all the layers
of mistakes we buried him under so that we can join the "moshi'im behar
Tzion... vehayah laH' haMelukhah"?

    Ubameh? Bashofar [Sifra: ... shel cheirus.]

With remembering that we are always in the presence of G-d, no less so than
at maamud Har Sinai.

(To the extent that a shofar can't be a cow's horn because [in part] ein
kateiger naaseh saneiger -- just like taking gold in lifanai velifnim.)


Micha Berger             "As long as the candle is still burning,
mi...@aishdas.org        it is still possible to accomplish and to
http://www.aishdas.org   mend."
Fax: (270) 514-1507          - Anonymous shoemaker to R' Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 16:47:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 05:45:07PM -0400, cantorwolb...@cox.net wrote:
: R' Micha wrote: If G-d would prosecute we could never win.

Actually I was quoting RET's post, where he paraphrases a thought given
by RAWeiss.

: Theologically, this statement is troublesome to me.
: HE created us and gave us our nature, as well as 
: the capacity to choose good over evil. Therefore,
: if you say that we could never win, there has to be 
: a flaw in how HE created us...

Only if the word was supposed to run on justice.

Rather, the world is supposed to run on a synthesis of chessed and
din -- "verav Chessed veEmes".

Alternatively, on chessed alone -- "olam chesed yibaneh" -- with the
result that at times the most lovingkind thing to do is to refrain from
stepping in. I like to illustrate the self-control, the restraint,
of gevurah, with how one teaches a toddler to walk. You want to step
in each time the child totters, but the true kindness is to let them
occasionally fall on their rumps. Otherwise they'll never learn to walk.
Gevurah can thus be seen as a derived value from chessed.

But law alone? 

Hashem made us imperfect so that we can improve ourselves. In the image
of the Divine, there will always be more improvement that can be made --
we are always below His Infinite Perfection.

And thus we inherently can't stand up to His Absolute Standard.

But that's not a flaw in how He created us, because He didn't create a
world of justice. The standard isn't His Absolute one. We are made to
live in His Chessed.


Micha Berger             Good decisions come from experience;
mi...@aishdas.org        Experience comes from bad decisions.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Djoha, from a Sepharadi fable
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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 16:59:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The root peh-ayin-mem

On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 09:39:32PM +0000, Akiva Miller wrote:
: (Rabbi [Matisyahu] Clark begins here)

: The basic meaning that I get from these varied contexts corresponds
: very closely to the English "beat", which is both a noun connoting
: regularity (as in music) as also a verb connoting a strong impact done
: repeatedly. For example, a bell could be formed by being hammered
: repeatedly against an anvil. The regularity of the thrice per year
: is obvious, and it is my wild guess that the singular "this one time"
: was adapted from there.

On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 10:17:02PM +0000, Gershon Dubin wrote:
: Very interesting, but how do you explain "pa'amosav"?

I think it better fits IE and Chizquni, who translate it as the
legs of the aron rather than Rashi and Unqelus who say pa'amosav
are its corners. See Yeshaiah 26:6, Tehillim 85:14 or ShS 7:2
where pa'amayim are mentioned in connction to leglayim, halikhah
and ne'alim -- clearly it means leg or foot in those contexts.

Quoting myself yet again, this time from

    On Friday night, Rav Aharon Cohen's devar Torah was based on a seifer
    called Areshes Sefaseinu. He asks why the pasuq would use the word
    "pa'amosav" rather than the far more common "raglav"?

    Angels are stationary, which is why the prophet describes them as
    "standing upon one regel". ... [References to other posts ellided.]
    Regel connotes the ability to stand, stability. Tables have raglayim.

    We see from the pasuq in Tehillim that the Ibn Ezra uses, "and
    he will place his feet on the path", that pa'amos has a greater
    connotation of legs as a means of motion. This is more like the
    nature of people than of angels. People move, we progress. ...

    The aron's role in the Miskan parallels that of the soul in the
    body. Therefore, the Areshas Sefaseinu suggests, it has pa'amos,
    not raglayim.

IOW, the word is meant in the sense of stride, because the aron "walks"
the path of the human soul.

What Unqelus or Rashi would answer is a different question.


Micha Berger             A person must be very patient
mi...@aishdas.org        even with himself.
http://www.aishdas.org         - attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov
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Message: 15
From: h Lampel <zvilam...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:53:21 -0400
[Avodah] Rav SR Hirsch and the Raavad on Anthropomorphism

On Areivim, R. Chesky Salomon noted:
> In ''Psalm 8 as an Educational Text'' (Collected Writings VII p. 385) he [RSRH] writes about
> a misguided approach to education:
> "They act as if the most mature philosopher knows much more about the
> nature of G-d than the innocent soul of any child, or as if it were
> even necessary for us to know (and we were therefore in a position to
> know) about the essence of G-d in order to conduct ourselves with
> decency and morality in His world! [...] As if any endeavor that
> presumes to delve, by philosophical doctrine or dialectics, into the
> essence of G-d -- whether He exists and what He is like -- were not
> founded mostly on baseless and meaningless fallacies, on a
> misinterpretation of the subject studied and of the means to attain
> the desired knowledge!"

RSRH writes similarly in his Chumash commentary on Breishis, end of 6:6 
(I'm using the new Haberman edition translation, except for the second 
sentence, where I maintain the more delicious translation in the older 
Isaac Levy edition):

''Let us here make a general remark about anthropomorphic expressions
in Scripture.For so long people have philosophized all round these 
expressions to remove the danger of the slightest thought of any 
materiality or corporeality of G-d that, at the end, one runs very 
nearly into the danger of losing all idea of the personality of 
G-d....This is also the view of the /Ra'avad/, the distinctively Jewish
thinker: Belief in the Personality of G-d is more important than the
speculations of those who reject the attribution of material features to

The view RSRH attributed to the Raavad has also been described as the 
real point the rishon R' Moshe Taku meant to make (as opposed to an 
actual belief in Hashem's corporeality, attributed to him by some).

Question: We know the Raavad questioned the Rambam's labeling a min one 
misled by Midrashim and pesukim to attribute physicality to Hashem. But 
where does the Raavad make the point RSRH attributes to him: that belief 
in the Personality of G-d is more important than ''the speculations of 
those'' who preach his incorporeality?

Zvi Lampel

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