Avodah Mailing List

Volume 34: Number 65

Mon, 06 Jun 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: H Lampel
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2016 22:50:33 -0400
[Avodah] Ain machlokess bo

In //Dynamics of Dispute/,/ I develop the idea that the Rambam, when he 
says that there is no //machlokess/ /b'payrush mekubal miSinai/,/ he 
does not mean that there were no disputes *about* any explanation agreed 
to have been given by Moshe from Hashem at Sinai. He means that there 
was no disagreeing *against* any explanation agreed to have been given 
by Moshe from Hashem at Sinai.

In note 12 (p. 82) I wrote that in addition to indications that this is 
so from other writings of the Rambam and their applications to talmudic 
sources, The //Mevo HaTalmud//, attributed to Shmuel HaNaggid, indicates 
this definition of the word //machlokess// as well.

I have just found that the Meiri on Avos 5:19, regarding a different 
subject, explicitly gives this definition to the word //machlokess//, 
explicitly negating it in the other sense.

He writes:

It seems to me that [the use of the word] ''machlokess'' attaches only 
to the one who responds to the first [speaker]. I.e. ...when a second 
person responds [to the first] and says, ''What you say is proper to do 
is improper, or what you taught is wrong,'' this [response] is the 
''machlokess.''...the "machlokess" only refers to one of the two sides, 
the one that responds to the first.

Another way to put it: Sometimes the word //machlokess/ /refers to an 
opposing opinion, not to two or more opposing opinions.

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 2
From: M Cohen
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 08:56:44 -0400
[Avodah] Ohr lagoyim

>>  No one is saying it isn't a good thing.  ..To paraphrase someone, it's
descriptive; not prescriptive.

R Avigdor miller said (paraphrased) when asked if we should actively go out
and convince goyim to keep their sheva mitzvos etc :

In theory we should, but in practice we have a lot of cleaning up of own
backyard to be done first before we run after helping them clean theirs..

Mordechai cohen

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Message: 3
From: saul newman
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 09:22:53 -0700
[Avodah] ohr lagoyim

>>>As R' Sholom and Rn Toby noted, it's not that we haven't brought light
to the world during galus. I would say that it's that the process is
so slow we do not notice it when looking in the timespan of a single
lifespan. We're watching the hour-hand and complaining it doesn't move.

------  the only problem i have with their approach is that , had the
Jewish people been eliminated from the earth [ch'v]  after jesus' time,  it
implies their job was basically done---since a billion xtians then took
over , and a billion moslems after that . the direct interaction of jews w
goyim in either xtian europe or moslem europe/asia/africa could be argued
to have minimal direct impact .
  where jews have major impact in modern times , in science , entertainment
, ,media etc are ways that clearly were not only not what Scripture had in
mind, but in many cases directly contravening Tradition....
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Message: 4
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 07:56:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] listening to governments and derabbanan

R' Eli Turkel wrote:

> In a related matter I have been attending for a while shiurim of R
> Michael Avraham on logic. The topic that he just began is the
> requirement to listen to rabbis. Rambam relies on the pasuk "lo
> tassur". Ramban disagrees and says that if so then every derabban
> becomes a de-oraita. RMA points out that the more difficult shita
> is actually the Ramban. He offers no alternative to the Rambam.

Okay, so every d'rabanan is actually a d'Oraisa. Is that problematic? I
always thought that was in fact how we hold.

(Even if d'Oraisa, we can still use rules like "safek d'rabanan l'kula",
because that's how they legislated it from the beginning.)

Akiva Miller
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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 15:49:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] ohr lagoyim

On Mon, Jun 06, 2016 at 09:49:09AM +0300, Lisa Liel wrote:
:> So, nu, our influence via daughter religions and just being there to
:> shape host cultures may have fulfilled the prophecy of le'or goyim
:> either way. Yet we still have to act in a way that brings others to
:> avodas Hashem.

: Or rather, Hashem is telling us that this will be the end result.  I
: don't see any indication of an obligation on our part towards the
: nations of the world.

So you see "ve'atim tihu Li mamlekhes kohanim..." as nevu'ah, not a

:> Hevei mitalmidav shel Aharon ... uheiv es haberios umeqarvan laTorah.

: Good mussar, but also not a chiyuv.

(I just noticed this tied to "mamlekhes kohanim" quite smoothly.)

We also see from hilkhas geneivas aku"m that chilul hasheim and qiddush
hasheim involve whether we ch"v distance aku"m from AYH or merit to draw
them closer.

So I guess we could add qiddush hasheim and avoiding chilul among the list
of potetial imperatives that say le'or goyim in more clearly tzivui terms.

Going back to the parshanus of le'or goyim...

RET posted on Areivim in 2012 (quoted then by RnCL, with permission
at <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol30/v30n028.shtml#11>, quoting IE
and the Radaq (49:6) that le'or goyim refers to Yeshaiah's nevu'ah 00 the
light is the nations seeing that his nevu'ah was fulfilled. And thus not
about the Jewish people at all.

To which RnCL replied citing the Rashi (as I already wrote, in one place
he takes "goyim" to mean shevatim, and thus uplifting other Jews) and then
quotes the other Radaq (42:6) and translated:
> And so you would be also l'or goyim like it says "And nations shall
> walk to/in your light -v'helchu goyim l'orech" [Yeshiyahu 60:3 - where
> it is pretty clear that it is the nation Israel being talked about]
> and the light is the Torah that shall go out to them from Tzion.

And then translating Metzudas David (ad loc):
> L'or goyim - to light the eyes of all the nations to know that Hashem
> hu haElokim.

Closing with her own thesis:
> And indeed I think that it is the other pasuk quoted by the Radak, ie
> v'helchu goyim l'orech that is the one that is the real source for the
> common understanding which is usually labelled as Or l'goyim. That pasuk
> is quoted all over the place (unlike l'or goyim), for example in dozens
> of places in midrash raba, tanchuma, pesikta d'rav kahana etc And a lot
> of the commentary in the various midrashic sources involves analogies
> between the shemen zayis that lights the Beis HaMikdash and Yisrael who
> lights the world -eg Shemos Raba which goes on to say and so our fathers
> were called zayis because they gave light to all with their emunah.
> That is, to my mind, the concept which we understand to be or l'goyim is
> unquestionably there in the sources - it is just generally drawn from a
> psuk that is much more of a mouthful (Yeshiyahu 60:3). L'Or goyim, does,
> it would seem according to all the classic commentators, mean a light to
> the nations, as we would understand it, but, at least on one of the two
> pasukim where it is used, it is understood as referring to Isaiah himself,
> not the Jews in general (but note that it is clearly a good thing,
> and high praise of Isaiah, that he should be considered this). And,
> as so often seems to be the case (and as discussed with tikun olam)
> the phrase which tends to roll off the lips in the common parlance is
> not the strictly correct biblical terminology, but the one that sort of
> sounds right to the ear of the layperson to get to the concept of which
> they are aware.

To continue her thought to focus on 60:3, I see BB 75a explains vehalkhu
goyim le'oreikh" as a messianic prophecy, and someting HBH will do,
not even hilkhisa demeshichasa.

Metzudas David: "As to say, from you they will learn the ways of Hashem
and you will light their eyes." Also, not clearly a tzivui.

The Tanya 1:36 takes "vehalkhu goyim le'oreikh" as messianic, and thus
not a tzivui for the here-and-now

The Malbim takes the pasuq as prophetic and descriptive, linking the
seifa, "yeilekhu leneged zarchakha" to "ukhvodo alayikh yra'eh" in the
previous pasuq.

Okay, given 60:2, we could presume 60:3 isn't imperative either.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 44th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 2 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Gevurah sheb'Malchus: What type of justice
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            does unity demand?

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 16:38:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ohr lagoyim

On Mon, Jun 06, 2016 at 08:56:44AM -0400, M Cohen wrote:
: R Avigdor Miller said (paraphrased) when asked if we should actively go out
: and convince goyim to keep their sheva mitzvos etc :

: In theory we should, but in practice we have a lot of cleaning up of own
: backyard to be done first before we run after helping them clean theirs..

Maybe in theory we should clean up our own backyard first, but...

Anyone in kiruv would question whether they are all that separable. My
own most inspiring Shabbasos were in NCSY, experiencing it with people
for whom it was one of their first few attempts to observe Shabbos.

Similarly, anyone who has given a shiur will tell you that the topics
they prepared to teach others are those they know best. And even during
the shiur -- umitalmidai yoseir mikulam.

Maybe if we invested effort being a mamlekhes kohanim, we would be better
at avoiding messing up our own backyard too.

And for a Hirschain perspective...
   The Forgotten Humanism of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
   by Rabbi Mayer Schiller
   Jewish Action (Summer 5759/1981) pp. 21-26. Vol.49, No. 3

On pg 24 (PDF pg 4) he quotes 19 Letters where RSRH talks about a world
in which
    every Jew would be a mutely eloquent example and teacher of universal
    righteousness and universal love; if thus the dispersed of Israel
    were to show themselves everywhere on earth as the glorious priests
    of God and pure humanity...

RSRH makes a duty to set an example. Not to actively teachm but not to
ignore the example we set either.

And then there's the Semag (Asei 74), which I translated for
    I already expounded to the exiled from Jerusalem who are in Spain
    and the other Roman exiles that now that the exile has gone on far
    too long, it is appropriate for Israel to separate from the vanities
    of the world and grab onto the signet of the Holy One, blessed be
    He, which is truth, and not to lie neither to Jew nor to gentile.
    Not to mislead them in any way. To sanctify themselves even in what
    is permitted to them, as it says, "The remnant of Israel do not
    commit sin, do not speak lies, and one won't find a false tongue in
    their mouths." (Tzefaniah 3:13) And when Hashem comes to save them,
    the nations will say, "It was done justly, for they are a people
    of truth and the Torah of truth is in their mouths." But if they
    act with the gentiles with trickery, they will say, "See what the
    Holy One, blessed be He did, that chose for His portion thieves
    and con-men." Also, it says, "I will plant her [the Jewish People]
    for myself in the land..." (Hosheia 2:25) A person doesn't plant a
    kur [of seed] but to produce numerous kurim. So too the Holy One,
    blessed be He, planted Israel among the lands so that converts will
    join them (Pesachim 87b) and every time that they conduct themselves
    with trickery, who will attach to them?

It seems that unless we act in a way that makes it obvious to non-Jews
that our redemption would be just, the Semag expects us to continue to
languish here.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 44th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 2 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Gevurah sheb'Malchus: What type of justice
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            does unity demand?


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