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Volume 32: Number 30

Mon, 24 Feb 2014

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Joseph Kaplan" <jkap...@tenzerlunin.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:19:00 -0500
[Avodah] RHS on daas torah on non-halachic issues

"But (as he says at 69:30 or so) that doesn't mean that even if the

rebbe muvhaq knows the kallah he can say yes or no. It's a discussion,

a consultation, an airing of the issues so that the halachic implications

do not get ignored or misconstrued."

Assuming there is no halachic problem with the proposed bride and groom
getting married (e.g., gerusha to a Kohen, etc.), what are the halachic
implications of getting married? I find it interesting that in the Q&A RHS
said this about shiduchim: "People ask me eitzas about shiduchim, I can't
tell him yes or no. I just bring out points."  I note he used the word
"eitzas," not "for a pesak."  And he said later in the Q&A: "It would be a
smart idea if they'd stop giving psakim, and they should give eitzos. . . .
He should give a recommendation. He should say: Keep this in mind, keep this
in mind."  

So, ISTM that the upshot of this is that he was saying that people should
speak to a wise person before they make important life decisions and that
the wise person should be their rabbi who should make recommendations and
not pasken.  FWIW, I agree with the first part, but not because I'm MO or,
indeed, not even because I'm Jewish.  It's simply a smart thing to do.  As
to the second, sometimes yes and sometimes no or, possibly, there's someone
else wiser about such matters.  That's who I'd ask and that's who I'd tell
my kids to ask.




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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 14:13:51 -0500
[Avodah] Academic Claims of Early Israelite Henotheism

On 2/20/2014 5:35 AM, R D Bannett wrote on Areivim:
>> To the idea that the shema might have meant H' eloheinu H' alone, Lisa  
>> Liel commented "That's ridiculous."

>> V'khatuv basiddur: mi khamokha ba-elim H'.  Uma peirusho?

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:18:33AM -0600, Lisa Liel replied there:
> The noun /el/, which is chol, and not kodesh, means possessing power  
> and/or ability.  In Hebrew, we say /yesh l'el yado laasot/, which means  
> "he has it in him (ie, he has the potential and/or ability) to do"  
> something.

> There are numerous places in the Torah where /elohim/ is used in a chol  
> way, as opposed to /Elokim/, which is kodesh.

Meaning, there is no word for "god" (as a common noun, rather than a name)
in Biblical Hebrew, they are merely powers. Some imaginary, some real,
such the Rambam's description of as Dor Enosh worshipping angels, or my
theory that the Chaldean bull-god Kirub, the Egyptian Apis, the eigel
and the bulls of Malkhus Yisrael was keruv/im worship.

For that matter, Greek paganism and their worship of gods had nothing
to do with their belief in a Prime Mover. (I think this is true of many
neo-pagans and wiccans today as well.) So, they had a concept closer to
our theology than their gods were, however, they thought that the First
Cause / Prime Mover was abstract, could not be influenced, and therefore
not a target of worship. Instead they worshipped beings that were more
like more powerful human beings, who they felt could impact the quality
of their lives. Again, very much like Hilkhos AZ 1:1, although the end
of 1:2, about only individuals remembering that there is a Tzur haOlamim,
appears to have reversed from its nadir in Avraham's day.

But I'm not sure that el, elil and E-loah actually all use the same root
with no difference in shades of meaning.

But once you say that el means power with no specific word for false gods,
then there is room for phrasings that sound henotheistic. For example,
explaining Shema as achknowledging that other powers exist. But only one
is our G-d. And since it says "E-lokeinu", one might actually argue that
it never says that only one is G-d altogether, just that only one power
-- which, again, can equally be read "god" -- is ours. The academic
could therefore translate Shema as "... Y is /our/ god, Y is the only

Not that I think Judaism actually evolved from henotheistic roots. Rather,
I believe that if you're going to defend the faith against a contradictory
claim, you should know what it is you're facing first. Summarily
dismissing it as silly only works when preaching to the choir, and even
then, you're fooling yourself into thinking you addressed the challenge.
When arguing against bright people, assume that if their point seems
stupid, you probably misunderstood them.

For that, I would point to the Torah's language coined by someone
whose congregation really was comprised of honotheists -- Malkitzedeq
(Bereishis 14:19, and used by Avraham in v. 22). "Keil elyon" is at
worst a statement that the RBSO is quantitatively superior; but it's
still an objective superiority, not a henotheist's subjective choice
of god to be loyal to. But more telling is when he calls G-d the "Qonei
shamayim va'aretz", since that places Him qualitatively apart from the
other forces people might choose to worship.

Interestingly, this language found its way into Birkhas Avos. We still
have "Keil Elyon", but only a paraphrased "Qonei hakol". However, in
Nusach EY and preserved in the mei'ein Tefillah of Shabbos Maariv the
phrase is "Keil elyon". We call it Birkhas Avos, and yet make a point
of calling the Borei in pre-avos language.

Tir'u baTov!

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: 3
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 14:29:54 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Academic Claims of Early Israelite Henotheism

On 2/20/2014 1:13 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> Interestingly, this language found its way into Birkhas Avos. We still 
> have "Keil Elyon", but only a paraphrased "Qonei hakol". However, in 
> Nusach EY and preserved in the mei'ein Tefillah of Shabbos Maariv the 
> phrase is "Keil elyon"...

In Shabbat Maariv, it actually uses the original phrase "Koneh shamayim


[Thanks Lisa, for correcting my crossed wires. I hadn't intended to
contrast "Keil elyon" with "Keil elyon" -- what I wrote has no "however"
to point out! Rather my point was the difference between the Shemoneh's
Esrei's "Qoneih hakol" and the mei'ein's "Qoneih shamayim va'aretz",
as per the Nusach EY where it originated. -micha]

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:12:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Academic Claims of Early Israelite Henotheism

On 20/02/2014 2:13 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> Not that I think Judaism actually evolved from henotheistic roots. Rather,
> I believe that if you're going to defend the faith against a contradictory
> claim, you should know what it is you're facing first. Summarily
> dismissing it as silly only works when preaching to the choir, and even
> then, you're fooling yourself into thinking you addressed the challenge.
> When arguing against bright people, assume that if their point seems
> stupid, you probably misunderstood them.

The claim is not ridiculous because there are no phrases in the Torah that
could be read as henotheistic.  There are many, and indeed it's a fairly
standard view among academics that our early ancestors, in the times of
Bayis Rishon, were henotheists.   It's ridiculous because *this* section,
in Devorim, is clearly monotheistic, and according to the academic view it
was written after our ancestors had become monotheist, or while that
transition was happening, by champions of that view.  It specifically
*rejects* the henotheistic view, saying that "our G-d is the only one",
and "there are no other gods".  That's why it's ridiculous to read it
as was proposed.  The most one can read into it is that the need to
stress monotheism means there were henotheists to argue against.

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: 5
From: Chesky Salomon <chesky.salo...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:38:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Academic Claims of Early Israelite Henotheism

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Interestingly, this language found its way into Birkhas Avos. We still
> have "Keil Elyon", but only a paraphrased "Qonei hakol". However, in
> Nusach EY and preserved in the mei'ein Tefillah of Shabbos Maariv the
> phrase is "Keil elyon". We call it Birkhas Avos, and yet make a point
> of calling the Borei in pre-avos language.

In Nishmas the language "Qonei shamayim va'aretz" is preserved as well.


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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:19:11 +0200
[Avodah] RHS on daas torah on non-halachic issues

<<s it really possible for any human to know all the facts? If being the
boy's teacher is not enough familiarity to tell him who to marry, then how
can ONE hour with ONE expert be enough to decide on Soviet Jewry rallies?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach spent years learning about electricity before
paskening on it. In contrast, I'd love to know how many homosexuals spoke
with Rav Moshe Feinstein before he wrote about them in Igros Moshe O"C

> 3) One should ask only a posek with experience on answering
> questions. The Steipler and Rav Schach were not poskim.

How does RHS define "posek"? Suppose someone asks a question to the
Steipler or to Rav Shach, and they answer it in a clear manner with no
disclaimers. Doesn't the psak on the issue implicitly include a psak that
they are qualified to pasken on the issue?>>

Of course no human knows everything. However, a posek has to do his best to
find the facts. RHS's example is paskening about if a chicken is treif. One
cant do that over the telephone, one needs to see the chicken, The
professor told that RYBS that in the past Russia didnt didnt care about
public opinion. However, that had changed and that "now" Russia indeed was
afraid of public opinion and American boycotts and that SSSJ rallies could
achieve something. RYBS had always advocating listening to generals on
questions of ceding territories. We rely on doctors for YK questions. Are
these people infallible - of course not but we do are best

The story with RSZA proves the opposite. Sorry to say some pasken modern
technology questions without knowing anything about modern science. In fact
RSZA and RMF both had scientists that they consulted with when answering
technology questions.

RHS seemed to define "posek" as one who frequently deals with practical
questions and not just theoretical learning.
Just a story - a relative of mine finished a Baid Yakov school in Israel.
The relative wanted to learn some technology in a PAI post high school. The
principal forbad it. The family went to Rav Schach who said that he saw no
problem with it. When they returned to the principal she replied that Rac
Shach may be gadol hador but she knows better what is good for a Beis Yakov

R Chaim Kanevsky has paskened that doctors are not to be believed that
smoking is harmful. After all he knows many people who smoked and lived
long longs. Does anyone think he analyzed doctors reports before issuing
his psak? It simply proves he knows nothing about statistics. Some rabbis
pasken that the sun revolves the earth. It is not based on scientific
As I have mentioned several times I go to a shiur of Rav Zilbersteon on
medical questions. R Zilberstein is constantly asking the doctors various
medical questions. Nevertheless there are some answers that I am convinced
show no understanding on how a hospital operates. The Tzitz Elizer also had
a shiur for doctors that led to many of his teshuvot. However, other poskim
answered medical questions with no knowledge of modern medicine.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:45:04 GMT
[Avodah] Kosher-supervised vs. kosher-approved

I just read an article in Wired magazine about an interesting contradiction: a product which is kosher BECAUSE the hechsher was withdrawn for kashrus reasons.


Those of us who remember our discussions about "approved" lists will be able to follow the logic, but I fear it will be lost on most people.

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: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:26:13 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Kosher-supervised vs. kosher-approved

On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 05:45:04PM +0000, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: I just read an article in Wired magazine about an interesting
: contradiction: a product which is kosher BECAUSE the hechsher was
: withdrawn for kashrus reasons.

As RAM noted (but I want to spell out further for those who only skimmed
the past conversation), this is because bitul by a non-Jew (of something
only assur to Jews) isn't counted as lekhat-chilah unless it was done
for the a Jew's sake. And we discussed this at length when discussing
the effects of starting kashrus certification rather than approval lists.

However, the author's interest because of its similarity to the Russel
or Barber's Paradoxes is misplaced.

Here it's something is kosher only if no one tried to certify it as
such. Certification and kashrus are two different propositions. The
"interesting logical properties" are only illusory, because the two
sound like they should correlate, but in this case don't.

The Barber's Paradox goes: in a town where the barber shaves every man
who doesn't shave himself, who shaves the barber?

This is more like: Bob is the official barber of every man who doesn't
shave himself. Bob shaves himself, but he isn't his own official barber.


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
http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 09:53:12 -0500
[Avodah] Insights into Shabbos

The following is from Rav Dr. Shlomo Zalman Breuer's commentary of 
Parsha Vayakhel pages 198 - 199 in his sefer Chochmo u'Mussar.

The Shabbath rises in our midst as an eternal monument of the
Divine creation of the world, and demands, through. the cessation of
creative work, the worshipful recognition of God as the Master of
the world. Anochi HaShem Elokecha, God desires to be our God; God demands
the devotion, the subordination of the entire man, of the entire human
existence under His Will. God rules the world in accordance with
His plan of wisdom .. God rules also over our human existence. With
all that we strive for, possess and enjoy, we must further the Divine
Will in which we view life's solitary and loftiest goal. The Shabbath
is designed to educate us to the service of God: it wishes to keep
alive our awareness that the world is Divine property, entrusted to
us by God, to be administered only in His service. As it is true that
man's rulership over nature is manifested in every Melacha. in every new
shape and formation with which we imprint our will on nature, thus
every recurring Shabbath demands: lo sa'aseh kol melacha - do not put
your hand to any creature or being in order to reconstruct or reshape
it according to your will; demonstrate thereby that the world is not
yours, that you are not the master, but that God is the Creator and
the sole, permanent Owner of His world, Who has called your life
into His service. With the cessation of the Lamed tes Melachos we renounce
the rulership over the world and, as it were, return the world to God
in order to receive it ever anew from His Hand.

If this Shabbath-proclamation is not to be a lie, then we must
proclaim the Shabbath-truth during the days of the active week -
from Sunday until Friday - which are occupied with the practical
application of the Lamed tes Melachos.
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Message: 10
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10:13:49 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Time for the Deceased

On 2/23/14, 6:59 AM, David Riceman wrote:
> RAM:
>>> My if/then above presumes a basic point, namely that Hashem's
>>> awareness of past and future i(n)[s] experiential, not informational.
>> Me:
>>> There's a third option. God's awareness of past and future could
>>> be based on a knowledge of paradigms (admittedly this is closely
>>> related to two medieval disputes: do universals exist and does
>>> God know particulars).  I strongly recommend Wolfson's essay
>>> "Extradeical and Intradeical Interpretations of Platonic Ideas".
> RAM (offlist, cited with permission):
>> I have no idea what you mean. What's a "paradigm" in this context? 
>> "Universals" and "particulars" sounds like hashgacha klalis and 
>> hashgacha pratis, but those are about what He DOES, not what he 
>> KNOWS, right? Surely everyone agrees that He always knows everything, 
>> no?
> I'm going to try to isolate a strand of Jewish thought.  There are 
> other strands (e.g., the things we say in shul on Yom Kippur) which 
> seem to contradict this, but the strand I want to isolate is well 
> attested, as I hope you'll see.
> "V'habit el amal lo suchal" (Hab. 1:13), "lo hibit aven b'yaakov vlo 
> ra'ah amal b'yisrael" (Balak 23:21).  So God doesn't see everything.  
> How does He see things? The hint is in BR 1:1 (ed. Theodor-Albeck p. 2 
> lines 1-5) "mabit baTorah uborei haolam". This is expanded in H. 
> Teshuva 5:4 "God knows, not through extradeical knowledge, as people 
> do, but through intradeical knowledge, for He and His knowledge are 
> one ..." (compare H. Yesodei HaTorah 2:10). Now this seems to 
> contradict God's simplicity, as the Rambam points out there in H. 
> Yesodei HaTorah, and quite a lot of Lurianic Kabbalah (the first parts 
> of Etz Hayyim) are devoted to resolving that problem.
> Tangentially, if you have access to the Theodor-Albeck edition of BR, 
> see the section of Albeck's introduction (in volume 3 pp. 84 ff.) 
> where he discusses the relationship between BR and Philo.
> So the idea is that God sees the world, not through the world, but 
> through a map of the world which the midrash identifies with the 
> Torah.  Let's consider a few examples of how time appears in this map:
> i.  In his essay RMB cites Sefer HaBahir as identifying the seven days 
> of creation with seven sefiros.
> ii. I'm sure you're familiar with the custom of Ushpizin, mentioned in 
> the Zohar, which identify the seven days of Sukkos with seven Biblical 
> figures as well as seven sefiros.
> iii.  Every circle in a plane divides the plane into two disjoint 
> regions - the inside and the outside.  The final mem is homomorphic to 
> a circle.  We find that 40 (gematria of mem) is often used to 
> represent being sealed off: Noah in the ark during 40 days of rain, 
> Moses and Eliyahu not eating during 40 days on the mountain, 40 days 
> for the transition from zygote to fetus, 40 years in the desert. And, 
> indeed, our custom is to use a circular ring, rather than anything 
> else of value, for Kiddushin.  See the Rama in EH 27:1, and look at 
> the Tikkunei Hazohar he cites for the allusions above as well as some 
> others (if you enjoy math you might also want to look up the Jordan 
> curve theorem, but that's not strictly necessary to the point I'm 
> making).
> So time, in God's perspective, may not be duration, or the fourth 
> dimension.  It may be, instead, that different periods of time 
> represent different concepts.  Every week may represent sefiros, and 
> not every forty days may represent the cluster above, but certainly 
> the time from RH Ellul to Yom Kippur does.

Time may not be a quantitative idea, it may be a qualitative idea.
> David Riceman

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 11:34:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Philosophers and philosophy

On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 02:17:25PM +0000, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: It was only when I joined Avodah that I began hearing about things
: like Rambam "basing himself on a point in Aristotle", and I am still
: extremely uncomfortable with it, which is NOT to say that I reject it
: entirely...

My own background is somewhat different, as my father went to Moriah
Tues nights through most of my childhood to hear RYBS's shiur. Ours
was one of the homes where he was "the Rav".

So, at some point before I was ready, I tried learning Ish haHalakhah. I
realized I was in over my head pretty early on -- fn. 5. RYBS starts
with talking about the wheel, who seems to be saying or implying
something?! But I pushed on, hoping the footnote would make sense if I
got the whole picture. It was only reached a long word that was obviously
foreign that I got was "Kierkegaard" that I realized "Hagal" was actually

(Eventually I did learn Halachic Man, but I never did read the rest in
the original Hebrew.

So I grew up comfortable with the idea that rabbanim could be utilizing
non-Jewish philosophy.

: And that's why, when discussing ideas which are beyond any sort of
empirical observation, I had been somewhat shocked to hear suggestions
that (for example) the Rambam might even bother listening to what
Aristotle had to say about angels. I guess I have to accept that this
was indeed the science of his day; it would be just as reasonable for
Rambam to consider Aristotle's conclusions, as for today's gedolim to
consider Einstein or Hawking.

WRT Rambam, like REED, it's not guesswork. The Rambam quite clearly
credits Aristo. He invokes "qabel es ha'emes mimi she'omro" (into to
Avos) to justify it. For that matter, he praises Aristo as being one
step below a navi. (Although to him a navi is an intellectual attainment,
to be so connected to The Truth that higher wisdom naturally flows down
to him. Except when H' miraculously stops it.)

In the Moreh 2:6 the Rambam writes (tr.Fraedlander):
    We have already stated above that the angels are incorporeal. This
    agrees with the opinion of Aristotle: there is only this difference
    in the names employed--he uses the term "Intelligences," and we
    say instead "angels." His theory is that the Intelligences are
    intermediate beings between the Prime Cause and existing things,
    and that they effect the motion of the spheres, on which motion the
    existence of all things depends. This is also the view we meet with
    in all parts of Scripture...

And it's not just about angels. The Moreh is primarily
a book of where he agrees and disagrees with Aristo -- and even on the
points of disagreement the Rambam plays Aristo's game (chomer, tzurah,
types of causality, time as a property of processes, etc, etc, etc...)

Switching from hashkafah to mussar, here's an example from 3:49:
    It is well known that man requires friends all his lifetime. Aristotle
    explains this in the ninth book of his Nikomachean Ethics. ... I
    have already quoted verbatim the words of Aristotle. He says:
    "The sense of touch which is a disgrace to us, leads us to indulge
    in eating and sensuality," etc. He calls people degraded who seek
    carnal pleasures and devote themselves to gastronomy: he denounces in
    extenso their low and objectionable conduct, and ridicules them. This
    passage occurs in his Ethics and in his Rhetoric.

But I picked the Rambam because many would agree with RAM's objection
in the Rambam's case, and actually asserted the Rambam did indeed cross
a line. (In fact, lately I find their arguments compelling.)

It's a tightrope walk.

: I accept Rambam's explanation of Hashem's unity and incorporeality
: because it is so logical and so consistent with the Sh'ma. If it was
: originally formulated by Plato or Aristo or whoever, then I am grateful
: for their help in explaining to to me...

: Perhaps my question can be phrased like this: On what basis can we have
: a Torah discussion about the nature of mal'achim, or the experiences of
: the not-yet-born? Are we limited solely to what get from Torah Sheb'ksav
: and Torah Sheb'al Peh, or is there something that the scientists and
: philosophers can offer? And if so, where do they get it, and why might
: we believe it?

The Zohar deals with the commonality of language between its Qabbalah
and the Greeks by postulating a tradition from Shelomo haMelekh to
Daniel to the Babylonian court to the Greeks. It doesn't deny the
similarity, it reverses the causality -- they got it from us! Perhaps
you're more comfortable with that kind of resolution.

Here's how I personally take it, especially now that the pattern continued
after philosophy built layers atop the Greeks and anything they might
have gotten from us. The Or Samayach on Hil' Teshuvah, in his piece on
"Hakol Tzafui", R Yisrael Meir haKohein says that we can't possibly
understand Hashem's Knowledge. The OS uses a mashal of trying to cover
yourself with a blanket that is too small. You pull it over one way when
one part of you gets called, but then some other part of you is no longer
covered and getting cold.

Any hashkafic explanation is IMHO similarly an overly small blanket.

But the part of our body that gets cold is based on the society we're
in, the issues we face, the ideas floating around and the forces that
led people to finding and discussing those ideas.

So, in a day when Artisto's thought answers most people's need for
meaning, an Aristo-based model of the Torah's hashkafah will be one
that covers the parts of that picture that nag the Jews of that time the
most. And in a post-Kantian world, our popular hashkafacists are those
who consciously or not speak neo-Kantian -- whether we speak of REED,
R' Hutner, RYBS, etc...

RSRH sounded Hegelian for a reason. Not because he rewrote the hashkafah
he received to fit Hegel -- in fact, he objects to the Rambam for doing
suc rewriting (Letter 18). But because Hegelian issues were the ones that
bothered people, and the aspects of the answers that could be couched in
Hegelian terms were the ones that his audience would find most reasonable.
Although in this case (unlike the above examples of Rambam, REED or RYBS),
I'm guessing -- RSRH doesn't actually cite Hegel, AFAIK.

But the philosophy is the qanqan, not the wine.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
mi...@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:51:19 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Nature of the tana'atic machlokus regarding

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:42:31PM -0000, Chana Luntz wrote:
: And RMB replied:
: >I agree it is interesting. *Maybe* this is because none of the tannaim
: >would feel comfortable promoting a sevara that was too far from mai ama
: >devar. Since many women were indeed doing many of the MASG, the plausible
: >machloqes was only reshus vs chiyuv, not issur.
: I'm afraid this is not correct.  But rather indeed the fundamental machlokus
: is issur versus reshus.  

After reading your long erudite post (thank you) I still disagree.

The fundamental machloqes is reshus vs chiyuv. And this is the majority
of situations.

Yes, subssequent discussion focuses on the corner-case consequences, the
cases where classifying a mitzvah as a reshes removes the justification
for overriding RH or shabbos. Because those are the most interesting. Not
because the bulk of instances where women are preforming a mitzvah asei
shehazman gerama according to either posittion would involve an issur.

So R Meir and R' Yehudah, who in this miut of cases had a problem with
women fulfilling their reshus, are also minimizing even the mi'ut.

I was suggesting (with a "*maybe*") that the tannaim who argue the topic
kept the number of cases where common practice violated their position
down to a minimum because such shitos would be implausible. And I think
that whole discussion, while interesting and informative, doesn't change
my suggestion.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
mi...@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l


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