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Volume 31: Number 184

Thu, 31 Oct 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 13:44:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] rav benyamin lau proposes

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 06:18:05PM +0000, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: I understand the words individually, but when I put them together I
: don't know what it means. For the past thousand years, ever since Rabenu
: Gershom did away with multiple wives, every wife views her husband as
: exclusively hers, to the exclusion of all other women. What is new here?

I went to the original FB entry. See http://j.mp/1hx14En or
I believe his point is to explain the gap between Yitzchaq and Rivqa's
marriage, where a child is married off by her father, and post-Rabbeinu
Gershom marriage where there is more symmetry. The piece is parshanut,
not a teshuvah or formal proposal.

He does close with a proposal (tr mine):
    It is incomprehensible the morality of society lacks symmetry, but
    that's the halakhah. What do they do? In groups that do operate by
    halachic principles they just change the rules of the game. ...
    It would seem only a solution of the sort of Cheirem deRabbeinu
    Gershom would resolve the dilemma. A new taqanah of chakhamim that
    would establish that a woman is mitqadeshes the man and makes him
    mequdash to her and only her. A taqanah like this is within the
    control of chakhamimA: "Kol hameqadesh al daas chakhamim meqadeish".
    And this is what we say, "Kedas Moshe veYisrael."

It looks like he just wants a symmetric ceremony as an end in itself.

Zev already mentions that a symmatric ceremony could well rob the actual
deOrais of its effectiveness -- an exchange of rings is not giving her
a shaveh perutah. (In fact, in most cases his ring will be bigger and
cost more...) But that topic has already been addressed in teshuvos.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them,
mi...@aishdas.org        I have found myself, my work, and my God.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Helen Keller
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 14:19:39 -0400
[Avodah] The Two Se'irim of Yom Kippur

I'm learning Y-mi Shavuos around 5b-6a. The sugya is which se'irim brought
as mussafim atone for which tum'as qodshim. Including the se'irim of YK,
and for that matter, YK itself.

So the mishnayos ask which is for someone who didn't know they were
tamei but found out after they ate / entered the BHMQ (the se'ir
hamishtaleiach), which is for someone who knew before the sin, forgets,
sins and never finds out later (the se'ir bifnim and YK, but it's
only toleh -- there can't be full kaparah because some day he may
be reminded that he did that while tamei or that what he ate was
qodesh and need to bring a qorban). If he never knew enough to know
he's be guilty -- that's the se'irim of YT. Possibly the se'irim of
Rosh Chodesh too, possibly those are for someone who eats tamei qodship,
not qodshim while tamei. Etc... as usual, machloqes ensues.

My problem is that I can't get the gemara to work unless we assume that
they meant that this was the sole role of the se'irim. The whole sugya
depends on keeping the territories separate, as there would be no need
for multiple qorbanos if both addressed the same violation of tum'ah

And one can even use a sa'ir set aside for Rosh Chodesh for YT, or from
YT to YK, etc... since they're all for the same *general* purpose,
even if the particulars differ.

So I'm wondering, because that would rob the whole avodas YHK of its
meaning bizman hazeh. Why have long piyutim about how the KHG used to
bring se'irim and now it's all lost if the se'irim are to be mechaprim
for a sin we can't possibly violate right now anyway? Isn't the whole
import that they provide kaparah for *everything*, or at least everything
bein adam laMaqom?

And in which case, why wouldn't the 2 se'irim be machaprim all sort of
tum'ah bemiqdash/beqodshim as well, and in any case be necessary even
if the other se'irim covered that whole territory?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The thought of happiness that comes from outside
mi...@aishdas.org        the person, brings him sadness. But realizing
http://www.aishdas.org   the value of one's will and the freedom brought
Fax: (270) 514-1507      by uplifting its, brings great joy. - R' Kook

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 14:40:14 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Two Se'irim of Yom Kippur

On 31/10/2013 2:19 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> So I'm wondering, because that would rob the whole avodas YHK of its
> meaning bizman hazeh. Why have long piyutim about how the KHG used to
> bring se'irim and now it's all lost if the se'irim are to be mechaprim
> for a sin we can't possibly violate right now anyway?

Why can't we violate it?  One could go to the Har Habayis while under the
mistaken belief that one is tahor enough for that section, either because
one has forgotten about a tum'ah that occurred (shigegas tum'ah), or because
one is mistaken about the boundaries of the area where that particular
tum'ah is not allowed (shigegas mikdash).

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
z...@sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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Message: 4
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:42:36 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Who is Eliezer?

R' Micha Berger wrote:

> I saw the 4 sons in standard shenayim sheheim arba format.
> The first two sons try a cognitive way of relating to G-d. The
> one who succeeds in conntecting to the RBSO is the chakham, the
> one who doesnt get it "mah ha'avodah hazos lakhem", is the rasha.

Please allow me to reformulate the question: Why is the first described in
terms of mental abilities, while the second is described in terms of evil

I had described them as a four-element continuum, with each less interested
than the previous. R' Micha's 2x2 matrix is also reasonable, but you need
labels for both columns and both rows. I see that his first row is
"cognitive" and the second is "experiential", but the columns need labels
too. I suppose the columns would be "successful" and "unsuccessful", and
"successful cognition" can lead to chochmah. But how does "unsuccessful
cognition" lead to rishus?

Okay, perhaps I'm arriving at an answer: Unsuccessful cognition can easily
lead to frustration, yi'ush, and an abandonment of belief. Perhaps the
rasha is not a violent criminal, but "merely" an atheist. Not an agnostic,
by the way, but one who the hagada describes as fully rejecting his

I had some other words that I was going to write here about resha'im, but
now I'm not going to, because my mindset was to understand "rasha" as
"awful bad person". Perhaps this is indeed the point of the Baal Hagadah:
That one can earn the title "rasha" merely by excluding himself from the
Torah community. I've never been comfortable with that idea, which perhaps
makes it all the more important that I should take it to heart.

Akiva Miller
Do THIS before eating carbs &#40;every time&#41;
1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar & decrease fat storage

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Message: 5
From: Yonatan Kaganoff <ykagan...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 13:49:34 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [VBM: Before Sinai] Shiur #02: Is There an Ethic

David Shatz has an important review of Walter Wurzburger's Covenantal
Ethics in Tradition, Shatz, David, ''Beyond Obedience: Walter Wurzburger's
Ethics of Responsibility.'' *Tradition *30, 2 (1996), where he discusses
these issues and point out problematics of an intuitive ethics rooted in

It may be available here:
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Message: 6
From: Zvi Lampel <blimielam...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 13:53:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mesorah

On 10/31/2013 1:16 PM, avodah-requ...@lists.aishdas.org wrote:
> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 From: Micha Berger ...But because he says they lack 
> even the theoretical capacity for bechirah, I have a hard time 
> understanding how the Rambam could say your seifa about having choice 
> about the details in their mission. Could you provide a mar'eh maqom? 
> ... Tir'u baTov! -Micha

MN 2:7

We have already explained how the term" angel" is a homonym, and 
includes the Intelligences [i.e., angels], the spheres, and the 
elements. For all these are engaged in performing a divine command. But 
do not imagine that the Intelligences and the spheres are like other 
forces which reside in bodies, which act by the laws of nature without 
being conscious of what they do. Rather, /t_he spheres and the 
Intelligences are conscious of their actions, and choose ( bochrim) and 
enact behavior [on the objects of their influence], but **not in the 
same manner as we exercise free will and rule*_,*/ which is entirely in 
transitory matters. I have been led to adopt this theory by certain 
passages in Scripture: e.g., an angel says to Lot :" For I cannot do 
anything?" (Breishis 19:21), and telling him to save himself, [the 
angel] says, ?Behold, I have accepted your request concerning this 
thing" (/ibid./).

[Again:] He (Hashem) says, ?Take heed before him, and listen to his 
voice??" (Sh?mos 23:21). These [passages] all teach you that /_angels 
are conscious of what they do, and that *they possess will and [the 
power of] choice (bechirah) in the province of action granted to 
them_,/* just as we have will within our province, and in accordance 
with the power given to us with our very existence. Except what we do is 
at the lowest degree, and our influence and actions are preceded by 
non-action; whilst _/the Intelligences and the spheres_/ are not so: 
they **_always perform that which is good; there is nothing associated 
with them but the good,_** as we will explain in the coming chapters, 
and whatever they have is found in perfection, and continuously in 
activity from the time of their coming into being.


?Zvi Lampel
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