Avodah Mailing List

Volume 34: Number 68

Tue, 14 Jun 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 13:43:19 -0400
Re: [Avodah] listening to governments and derabbanan

On 06/09/2016 09:22 AM, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> I recall hearing once that the halacha of "safek d'Oraisa l'chumra"
> is only d'rabanan.

See Shev Shmaatsa at great length on this question.  I don't remember his

Zev Sero               Meaningless combinations of words do not acquire
z...@sero.name          meaning merely by appending them to the two other
                        words `God can'.  Nonsense remains nonsense, even
                        when we talk it about God.   -- C S Lewis

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 12:24:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Boaz's nisayon with Ruth

On Thu, Jun 09, 2016 at 08:34:57AM +0300, Marty Bluke via Avodah wrote:
: And therefore what? According to Chazal Boaz was the Gadol Hador and he
: was also an old man. Why would a strange woman giving him a sign that she
: wanted to sleep with him tempt him? Why would that be called a bigger
: nisayon then Yosef faced?

I took Chazal to mean the story as I learned it in school was bowlderized.
I suspect that "vegilis margelosav" is sagi nahor. Eg, why "margelosav"
and not "raglosav?"

Second, being gadol hador just makes it worse. Kol hagadol mechaveiro
yitzro gadol heimenu.

(An idea with way too much evidence in support in the newspapers. Not
the drequency of the stories, it's still man-bites-dog. But the things
religious people and other role models are caught doing that most of us
aren't tempted to do....)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 47th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 5 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Hod sheb'Malchus: What is glorious about
Fax: (270) 514-1507               unity-how does it draw out one's soul?

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 13:40:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] ohr lagoyim

On 06/09/2016 05:23 AM, Arie Folger via Avodah wrote:
> R' Zev Zero wrote:
>  > But all of this is beside the point, because a kohen's job does not
>  > involve any kind of outreach.  Except for the two days a year that his
>  > beis av is on duty in the BHMK he has no duties at all.
> I am afraid that a certain heilige yid by the name of Yechezkel, the son of Buzi, disagreed with you.
> Ve-et 'ami yoru bein qodesh le'hol uvein tame letahor yodi'um.
> "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean"
> Given he was himself a kohen, he might have had first hand
> experiences with the job, too.

It was expected that all of Shevet Levi would devote themselves to learning,
since they had nothing else to do, and since they got in that position in the
first place mostly by dint of having already been the Torah-learning class in
Mitzrayim (which role they got simply by staying in the beis medrash when
everyone else ran out to do their civic duty) it was natural that they would
continue.  Thus it was expected that they would be prominent in the Sanhedrin
("uvasa el hacohanim haleviyim") and "yoru mishpatecha leyaacov".

But there was no requirement on any individual Cohen or Levi to do so; they
were given land for farming around each of their cities, and by the late
2nd bayis it appears that most cohanim, or at least a large proportion of
them, were amei ha'aretz, and this did not make them less Cohanim.

 From this I conclude that Torah is not part of the job, but rather something
to do when you're *not* on the job.  The actual job of kehuna was a well-paid
sinecure that Hashem gave them so they would have the time to do this other
thing on their own, much as one is supposed to let a Talmid Chacham sell his
goods first in the market, so he can get out of there and back to his "hobby".

Zev Sero               Meaningless combinations of words do not acquire
z...@sero.name          meaning merely by appending them to the two other
                        words `God can'.  Nonsense remains nonsense, even
                        when we talk it about God.   -- C S Lewis

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Message: 4
From: Simi Peters
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 16:08:26 +0300
[Avodah] boaz and rut

Boaz knew, liked, and even admired Rut, fully accepted the fact that
she was Jewish and felt protective toward her. She was not a stranger
accosting him on the street, she was not a work colleague (with whom
there are certain professional boundaries) nor was she the girl at the
checkout counter. (Platonic relationships had not been invented yet-yes,
I'm being sarcastic. There is probably no such thing as a truly platonic
relationship between a straight man and a straight woman, which is
why we are enjoined to be tznu'im. En apotropus le'arayot, remember?)
His own wife had died a couple of months before (at the start of the
barley harvest) which probably meant he was lonely and certainly meant
that involvement with Rut would not have been an emotional betrayal of
his wife. It would have been easy for him to see Rut's behavior as the
sexual invitation of a lonely, socially isolated woman, whose feelings
he did not want to hurt. It was highly unlikely that anyone would have
known about a one-time liaison between them, so there would have been
no hillul haShem, and Boaz could easily have justified availing himself
of the 'invitation' instead of waiting to do things through bet din the
next day. I think that adds up to a fairly decent nisayon.


Kol tuv,

Simi Peters

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Message: 5
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 17:30:15 +0300
[Avodah] derabbanan

<<I recall hearing once that the halacha of "safek d'Oraisa l'chumra" is
d'rabanan. In other words, if one has a legitimate safek about whether he
did a d'Oraisa, then it is a smart idea and/or a rabbinic obligation to
resolve that safek, but he is not required by the Torah to do so. >>

The Rambam holds that safek deoratita lechumra is a rabbinic law while the
Rashba disagrees and says it is a torah law,

Some want to distinguish between different types of safek
1) safek in the :metziut"
2) safek in the din
3) machloket poskim

Eli Turkel
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Message: 6
From: Sholom Simon
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:25:12 -0400
[Avodah] temimos re: last day of shavuos

I was doing some learning with a Kollel guy in a chabura about 
s'firas ha'omer, and I asked RSM's famous question, pitting "tosafos 
yom tov" vs the minhag that the Taz mentions of waiting until the end 
of the 49th day to count because of "temimos."

The Rav thought it was a great question, and he took it back to his 
Rosh HaKollel, who, among other things asked: if this is such a good 
kashya, why does nobody even bring it up for 200 years after the Taz?

Quite "coincidentally", he ran into a 32-page packet, just produced 
by BMG in Lakewood, that is on this very question.

So, for your interest and/or Shavous study, see <http://bit.ly/1UaFKYd>, or
(you can download it)

Good shabbos and a gutten yuntiff!
-- Sholom

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 16:36:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] derabbanan

On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 05:30:15PM +0300, Eli Turkel via Avodah wrote:
: The Rambam holds that safek deoratita lechumra is a rabbinic law while the
: Rashba disagrees and says it is a torah law,

This was discussed earlier on this thread, right before RAM's
Me: http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol34/v34n067.shtml#03
the other RMB: http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol34/v34n067.shtml#08


Micha Berger             Today is the 48th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Yesod sheb'Malchus: What binds different
Fax: (270) 514-1507             people together into one cohesive whole?

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 06:24:29 -0400
[Avodah] A Post-Modern Orthodoxy

I often said on Facebook that one reason why more are going OTD in this
generation than in mine is that post-modernism has become part of the
common culture. It is impossible to maintain any orthodoxy, including O,
if one believes that there are no objective truths, or even that there
is nothing one could ever know to be objectively true.

And this touches everything on the college campus from religious beliefs
to defending the Palestinian because we have our narrative and they
have theirs. (There is room for every narrative but those that exclude
other narratives.) In the real world outside those ivory towers, though,
you won't find too many people with post-Modern notions of science,
declaring (eg) that math or physics are merely social constructs...

I think post-Modernism is a confusion of the subjectivity of my
justification for knowing something with the subjectivity of the known.
However, I can know that hilkhos Shabbos as we have them today really
did objectively speaking come from the Creator by way of my personal
experience of Shabbos. Objective truth, subjective justification.

So, the folk there pointed me to Rav Shagar (Rav Shimon Gershon Rosenberg),
a DL postmodern baal machashavah. Along the way, someone mentioned R/Dr
Alan Brill's blog post of notes he made to himself teaching R Shagar's
works. <http://bit.ly/1XmWvTu> or

To give you an idea of R Shagar's thought, he likens Deconstructionism
to Sheviras haKeilim and the post-modern's inability to consider an idea
to be objectively true to Ayin.

Given their advice, and the hopes that I could find common language
with the post-modern among my own children, I spent part of the "3 day
yom tov" with R' Shagar. Given my opening rejection in post-modernism,
as well as a couple of comments made by Dr Brill, I must admit I may not
have been fair. Perhaps one of his fans is lurking on list and wants to
clear up wht I misunderstood.

As R/Dr Brill put it "The very question" in the prior sentence, not
quoted, "shows that Shagar is treating postmodernism as an ism to
adopt rather than the current condition of our lives like the prior
existential-psychological era that we did not choice but were embedded

R Shagar builds a case for the condition of believing in nothing and
turns it into a Ism of believing in Nothing. An inability to believe that
something is objectively true into the belief in of an objective Ayin.


Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
mi...@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 9
From: Ilana Elzufon
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:10:06 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Boaz's nisayon with Ruth

RMBluke: I am having a hard time understanding this nisayon. Imagine if you
woke up and found a beautiful woman (full clothed in a tznius manner) lying
at your feet. Would you have any hava amina to sleep with her?

As RnSP points out (in a different subject line), they were certainly not
strangers. I will confess that I have always imagined that, over the weeks
of encountering each other repeatedly during the course of the harvest
season, the two may well have developed feelings for each other. From the
very beginning, we see that Boaz was caring, helpful, and protective
towards Rut - feelings that can easily develop in a romantic direction. His
actions could also easily have led her to be attracted to him.

Without Naomi's intervention, neither would have acted on these feelings.
Rut would certainly not have the temerity to initiate a relationship with a
man of Boaz's status - it would probably have been improper for her to do
so with any man. And what does Boaz say when he discovers Rut? He praises
her chessed for not going after the younger men. He seems to have assumed
that such a beautiful and relatively young woman, of such fine character,
must have no shortage of admirers in her own age group, and that she would
and should prefer them to an older man like himself.

So what is the nisayon? He woke up and found the woman with whom he was
deeply in love (had he admitted this to himself already? did he realize it
only at that moment?) lying at his feet. And she asked him to "spread his
wings" over her. Would it not have been the most natural thing in the world
to invite her to come under the blanket next to him, rather than staying at
his feet, and to let one thing lead to another?

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