Avodah Mailing List

Volume 38: Number 1

Sat, 04 Jan 2020

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 08:19:42 -0500
[Avodah] Anti-Semitism is Out of Control

It is imperative to address the rampant anti-Semitism which is on the rise exponentially.
Please watch the following (under) 10 minute television interview of former NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
It is time we realize that the laws of the ?rodef? definitely apply to the anti-Semite.


Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Micha
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2020 01:03:37 -0500
[Avodah] Using Bein Adam laMakom to Motivate Bein Adam


So, RRYEisenman's recent Short Vort has been making the rounds.
(Carried as OpEd pieces in both The Yeshiva World and Matzav.)

RRYW writes:
    Op-Ed: Important "Checklist" Of Things To "Bring" To The Siyum Hashas
    December 31, 2019 11:00 am

   As the horrifying events of Monsey are still so fresh in our minds,
   coupled with other over manifestations of anti-Semitism in the New York
   area, it behooves all of us to rethink our preparations for the great
   convocation of Jews on Wednesday in Met-Life Stadium.
   Keep in mind that this event is a momentous one for Kavod HaTorah and
   for Kavod Shomayim.

   The last-minute items to remember to pack:

   1. SMILE
   a. Most important: remember to bring your best smile with you.
   e. Keep in mind that all of the workers, security people, police,
   maintenance people, cleaning staff, parking attendants and anyone else
   working are human beings.
   f. These are the same human beings who our Sages say about them,
   "Beloved are human beings, for they was created in the image of
   Hashem...as it says, "For in the image of G-d, He made human beings".
   (Genesis 9:6)
   g. You must smile when you see someone created in the image of Hashem.
   h. Can you think of any other greater irony than for 100,000 plus
   people who are the children of Hashem who have come to give honor to
   Hashem, not recognizing those who are also created in His image?
   i. Smile, smile and smile more at each and every person you meet.

   2. Happy New Year!
   a. These people are all working on what is to them one of the most
   important and universally observed holidays: the day which is called
   New Years Day.
   b. It is totally irrelevant that these people are also getting paid ...

   3. Thank You
   a. This might be the most important item to remember to bring.
   Most importantly, we have the opportunity to bring Kavod and honor to
   His Holy name.

Note his repeated appeal to bein adam laMaqom (BALM) terms. Smile at
a person because he is a tzelem E-lokim and it is part of giving honor
to HQBH. Or qiddush hasheim / avoid chillul hasheim. And this theme
came up more in discussions of this OpEd on social media.

But I have an open question about this strategy that I have been chewing
on for years. Maybe people here have opinions.

We are dealing with an Orthodoxy which, ba'avonoseinu harabbim, thinks
that the Torah is all about bein adam laMaqom. And so, in the short run,
it makes sense to sell bein adam lachaveiro by emphasizing the BALM
aspects of it -- respecting Hashem by respecting a tzelem E-lokim,
and chillul vs. qiddush hasheim.

But... I am not sure if I like the message or not. Isn't the road out
of this whole mess a realization that "ve'ahavta lerei'akha kamokha" is
the more central principle of the Torah? If we reinforce the idea that
it is only "really" against the Torah is it interferes with my relating
to the Creator, will we be in the same boat a generation from now?

Are we getting people to do the right thing, and atttidue will follow
any behaviors we can encourage? Can we create the right habit this way?
Or are we reinvorcing the imbalanced attitude, and we'll never get out
of this "frumkeit" hole?

I have picked up the conundrum repeatedly since starting on my book. I
don't have an answer, though.

Your thoughts?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The Maharal of Prague created a golem, and
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   this was a great wonder. But it is much more
Author: Widen Your Tent      wonderful to transform a corporeal person into a
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    "mensch"!     -Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 21:37:43 +0000
[Avodah] Q. If one read through a Masechta, but did not

From today's OU Halacha Yomis

Q. If one read through a Masechta, but did not really understand it, can he make a siyum?

A. The Steipler Gaon (Orchos Rabbeinu 2:57) writes that one who studies
Gemara or any other subject cannot make a siyum unless one understood the
subject matter. The learning need not be with great depth. It is enough
that one learns the p?shat (simple understanding). Many poskim hold that
this is true even if one did not study the Gemara with Rashi or any other
commentary. Sefer Ohr L?Tzion (3:12, ha?arah 1) writes that even if one
might have missed a few lines here or there, they can still make a siyum.
Similarly, he writes that although when one learns Torah one must vocalize
every word (or listen to each word from a chavrusa), but if one
occasionally learned by reading the words in one?s mind, one may still make
a siyum.

One can make a siyum even if one learns a short Masechta such as Tamid or Horiyos, and even if it was studied out of order.

Rav Elyashiv, zt?l (Doleh Umashkeh, p. 318:3) held that one person must learn the entire Masechta and it cannot be divided up among a group.

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