Avodah Mailing List

Volume 40: Number 87

Tue, 27 Dec 2022

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2022 21:13:50 +0000
[Avodah] Flaunting is Dangerous

The following is from pages 167 - 168 of the sefer Rav Schwab on Chumash.

The Rav, in one of his speeches at an Agudas Yisrael Convention,
explained this pasuk as follows:

????????? ????????? ????? ???????????? ????????????? ??????????

????????? ????????? ??????? ???????????:.

.. Yaakov said to his sons, "Why would you have
everyone gazing at you?" (Bereishis 42:1)

Let us beware of ??????? ???????????; do not be conspicuous in your wealth even
if it is honestly earned. As Yaakov Avinu warned his children: Why
display before others that you have sufficient food, when everyone else
is going hungry? His sons did have enough, but others did not. Thus his
admonition: Don't flaunt your wealth! How, then, does one deal with
the public display of extravaganzas, celebrations covered by the media,
detailing how many thousands of dollars the kal/ah's dress cost, and how
many thousands were spent on the ring? Another example of imprudent
excesses is the twenty-six-page display advertisement in The New York
Times to "sell" an institution of Jewish learning. Or, for that matter, any
display of excessive luxury, lavish dress, and opulent appearance. These
all send the wrong signals to the world at large, creating greed, jealousy,
and hatred. Listen to the old zakein, the father of the twelve tribes,
Yaakov Avinu: ??????? ???????????!

Also, we must beware of causing a chillul Hashem-a desecration of
... G-d's Name-through our conduct. Let us be at the forefront of those
who are meticulously honest. Those who make the headlines through
deceit and swindling and smuggling and forging and defrauding the
government and the public-no matter how devout they are in their
outward appearance-have the blood of Kia! Yisrael on their hands.
Stealing from a non-Jew is more severe than stealing from a Jew, for
whoever is guilty of the former has no atonement, should he die without
doing teshuvah (repenting), because of the chillul Hashem involved.
Chazal include those who lie or steal from the gentiles among those who
are mechallel Hashem, for they provoke non-Jews to say, "There is no
Torah within Israel." Liars, swindlers, thieves who appear to be frum
Jevvs, are considered as if proclaiming, "There is no Torah unto Israel."
For the Torah instructs the Jewish People not to commit dishonest acts,
and the\? put the lie to this command. Should they actually adhere to this
directive, then the greatest kiddush Hashem, in this respect, would result.
Several years ago, newspapers and magazines published stories
about a great Jewish family renowned for both its remarkable business
successes and its philanthropy. The stories stressed that everybody trusts
them because they are honest; and their word is gold because they are
Orthodox Jews!

Selected Writings, pages 298-299

Professor Yitzchok Levine
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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 14:44:10 -0500
Re: [Avodah] RLakish & RElozor - Is less than honest thinking

On Mon, Nov 21, 2022 at 09:11:54AM +1100, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
> WADR If one hears a halachic analysis and ascribes it different value
> pending who said it then IMHO that is a violation of HKBHs Torah and
> a violation of ones own integrity.
> unless it is a Shikul HaDaAs.

When isn't it shiqul hadaas? Either a din is zil qeri bei rav, and you
don't need a poseiq, or it requires shiqul hadaas. The whole reason why
someone who never did shimush is an am haaretz or a bur is because real
pesaq ALWAYS needs a feel, and not just expertise.

What's this other situation you're picturing?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   suffering, but only to one's own suffering.
Author: Widen Your Tent                    -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 15:11:01 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Ben PeKuAh - is there an Issue ReViAh?

On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 11:47:08AM +1100, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
> Furthermore, aside from all the 'normal' food prohibitions that it
> sidesteps, it may be harnessed to and interbred with other animals -
> including bestiality, or is at least suspected of being exempt from these
> prohibitions.
> Tosafot [s.v. lime'utei 74b] explain that although the prohibition of cross
> breeding applies even to a beheimah that is about to but has not yet
> expired,
> nevertheless, we might suspect that it does not apply to the ben pekuah
> which is an even lesser status and for this reason the Gemara must clarify
> that it is prohibited.

Is all of this relevent once Chazal were finished making gezeiros
mishum cheshash and/or mar'is ayin?

Last time I looked at ben paqua, most things (e.g. shechitah) were
required derabbanan anyway.

What's left that they weren't gozerim on?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 You are not a human being in search
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   of a spiritual experience. You are a
Author: Widen Your Tent      spiritual being immersed in a human
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    experience. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 10:19:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Flaunting is Dangerous

On Sun, Dec 25, 2022 at 09:13:50PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> The following is from pages 167 - 168 of the sefer Rav Schwab on Chumash.
> The Rav, in one of his speeches at an Agudas Yisrael Convention,
> explained this pasuk as follows:
> .. Yaakov said to his sons, "Why would you have
> everyone gazing at you?" (Bereishis 42:1)

I noticed that "ayin ra" in Pirqei Avos is usually translated as an
idiom for "jealousy".

Which led me to think that maybe "ayin hara" is sekhar va'onesh -- a
logical punishment for someone who engages in conspicuous consumption,
not caring about the feelings of those who wished they could do the same
but can't. What would better punish someone for carlessly making others
dissatisfied with their lot by flaunting their gifts than their drying up?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 It's never too late
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   to become the person
Author: Widen Your Tent      you might have been.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                    - George Eliot

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 11:06:11 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why are women exempt from positive time-bound

On Sat, Nov 19, 2022 at 09:07:18PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> "Mitzvos Aseh Shehazman Grama" has so many exceptions and details, and
> those exceptions and details have their own exceptions and details... A
> long time ago, I gave up trying to find a systematic set of rules for which
> mitzvos apply to women.
> It's a "siman/sibah" thing, I think...

I don't think it helps, as having so many exceptions and details not only
rules out causality (sibah) it also robs MASG of being a reliable sign
for guessing whether women would be exempt (siman).

We could shift the question, even: Instead of asking what the rule really
is for when nashim peturos, we can also ask why Chazal state a rule that
doesn't work. Why does the idiom even exist?

Which is why I think the rule DOES work, our problem is understanding it.
Such as:

- Is "mitzvos asei" getting used in the usual way, refering to any duty,
  obligation, or proper way to get something done, if you want to
  do it? (By that last, "proper way", clause, I'm thinking of gittin
  or shechitah.)

  We say "mitzvos maasiyos" to mean ritual mitzvos, even though there are
  other mitzvos that require action (maaseh) rather than inaction. Maybe
  Chazal had another usage for "mitzvas asei".

- "Shehazman gerama". Maybe there are other relationships between the time
  and the obligation being in effect than the time *causing* the obligation.
  And those wouldn't be included in the rule.

  How it could be that the mitzvos Pesach and Sukkos have different
  relationships to time is beyond me. Although Pesach is more properly
  on a specific anniversary...

Anyway, I think emunas chakhamim compels us to say that if Chazal declared
a rule, that rule works. At least in the forward direction. We don't have
to say they are ONLY exempt from MASG to ask questions about talmud Torah.

So I would instead be asking how the rule ought be correctly understood,
knowing that the correct understanding has "exceptions and details"
that our naive understanding overlooks.

Or just living with the belief that that understanding exists, even if I
don't know it.

I am happier with that than attempts (like RSRH's) that adds unstated

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The thought of happiness that comes from outside
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   the person, brings him sadness. But realizing
Author: Widen Your Tent      the value of one's will and the freedom brought
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    by uplifting its, brings great joy. - R' Kook

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 15:03:23 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Halachic process

On Tue, Dec 13, 2022 at 11:34:45PM -0500, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> Jonathan Haidt uses the analogy of the elephant and its rider as a metaphor
> for the relationship between our reason and our emotion (passions)...

R Yitzchaq Sher, in his pesichah to the Slabdka Alumni edition of Sefer
Cheshbon haNefesh (and included in most subsequent editions, pg 32,
par #4 in Feldheim's bilingual edition), likens mastering the yeitzer
hara to training an elephant.

The yeitzer hara, after all, is nothing but the animal aspect of our
own selves. And like any other animal, it needs to be trained, not
taught. And RYS also talks about a person's inability to force an
elephant to do something it doesn't want to.

There is a copy on Google Books at:

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 If you won't be better tomorrow
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   than you were today,
Author: Widen Your Tent      then what need do you have for tomorrow?
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF            - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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Message: 7
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2022 14:23:22 +0000
[Avodah] What is the prohibition of ?bal teshaktzu??

The following is from Today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. What is the prohibition of ?bal teshaktzu??

A. The Torah (Vayikra 11:43) states, ?Al teshaktzu es nafshoseichem bichol
sheretz hashoretz ?(You shall not make yourselves abominable with any
creeping insect). The plain intention of this verse is to prohibit the
consumption of insects. However, because the Torah uses the phrase, ?Al
teshaktzu es nafshoseichem? rather than simply saying ?Do not eat insects?,
the rabbis inferred that there is a broader prohibition to eat anything
repulsive or engage in any form of repulsive behavior. This restriction is
known as bal teshaktzu (do not engage in repulsive activity). For example,
Shulchan Aruch (YD 116:6) writes that it is forbidden to eat foods that
were contaminated with vomit or feces, or to eat from a bowl that was
previously used as a chamber pot. The Gemara (Makkos 16b) states that
delaying relieving oneself is a violation of bal teshaktzu. The Mishnah
Berurah (92:10) explains that this refers to one who has a strong urge to
relieve themselves but does not do so. Nonetheless, th
 is prohibition does not apply if there is a concern of kavod ha?briyos
 (human dignity). For example. If a bathroom is not available or one is
 with other people and it would be awkward to use the facilities, kavod
 ha?briyos overrides bal teshaktzu.

Professor Yitzchok Levine
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