Avodah Mailing List

Volume 41: Number 13

Fri, 17 Feb 2023

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2023 21:04:59 +1100
[Avodah] (no subject)

R ZS responded to my post, I repost his observations with mine interspersed:
I wrote:
MR ?  It is also important to consider WHY the boss wants his other workers
to proclaim their support, my point being that the boss realises this
information is not to the Din Torah, the BD does not ask for it and IF they
do it may only be reported in BD,
So the boss has asked for this because he is fairly certain this will
decompose and disturb his BaAl Din ? just like presenting what appears to
be a second witness, the case of the Gemara.

R ZS wrote ? His motives are irrelevant.

MR ? Why are the motives irrelevant ? is it not apparent that he feels his
argument needs to be buttressed by interference that provides absolutely no
illumination upon the facts of the case or the relevant Sevaros ? that
would seem to be very much the meaning of the Gemara the Rebbe/Rosh
Yeshivah is seeking to create a false sense of evidence.
Even more so, do his motives not indicate that he is confident these
tactics will yield results he is looking for?
Indeed, it would seem to be even more a Sheker because the Rebbe/Rosh
Yeshivah is at least working within a framework of having evidence that BD
evaluates whereas the letter of support is entirely outside BD
considerations and designed to merely decompose the other litigant.

I suppose you might be suggesting that in for example the present debate in
E Yisrael, about changes to the High Court - are members of the public and
influential community identities not permitted to express their opinion?
Yes indeed but they are offering an opinion about the topic about the
substance of the Sevaros and counter Sevaros.
It is clearly prohibited to besmirch someones character in order to promote
a position.
And is not declaring that this litigant is to be trusted ? besmirching the
integrity of the other litigant? No matter the protestations that one
speaks only of this fellows qualities?
When someone says, that is a silly Q because R Akive Eiger did not ask it.
Or why would anyone consider that an answer to RAE Kasheh if RAE himself
did not consider it ? that is playing the man not the ball.
That would be a horrible example of MShT.
I think we need to recognise that MShT is not an evaluation about the
spoken or implied statement,
MShT is about the consequence, the outcome. If one wraps themselves in a
flag to declare their allegiance or wear Chassidishe or Litvishe Levush in
order to promote an image and gain acceptance and trust ? is that not MShT?

R ZS ? But now you have moved the goalposts.

MR ? I am sorry if I did move the goalposts, I did not intend to and I do
not see why you think I did or intended to move them.

R ZS ? If the employees don't really trust their employer and don't really
have confidence that whatever he says is true, then of course it would be
sheker for them to say they do.

MR ? but we ARE NOT discussing Sheker we are evaluating MShT.
In the Gemara the Talmid has absolute faith and confidence in his Rosh
Yeshivah/Rebbe and it is precisely for this reason that it is Assur MShT ?
the issue is NOT the outcome, it is the PROCESS.

R ZS ? The presumption in your original scenario was that they honestly do
trust him; if so, there's no reason in the world why they should not say

MR ? that is only true PERHAPS if they are not weighing upon the other
litigant and compromising his position or eroding his confidence. And even
if they are not they are transgressing the terrible sin of reinforcing and
provoking the continuance of the Machlokes.
Even witnesses who are instructed to provide evidence can do so only in BD
if they offer that information outside BD they are violating so many
prohibitions listed in the ChCH.

R ZS ? There is not even a slight smidgen of sheker in that.  So long as
they don't say or imply that they have personal knowledge confirming his
allegations against their colleague, they are telling 100% emes, and are as
far away from sheker as it is possible to be.

The fact that it will harm their colleague and make his case harder to
argue should not be their concern at all; they have no more duty to him
than to the employer.

MR ?  their duty is EXCLUSIVELY to HKBH and they are not permitted to
provide any information unless sanctioned by BD and presented to the BD.

R ZS ? Since they do trust him, they presumably agree that justice is on
his side, so not only are they practicing emes they are also promoting
tzedek.  But even in pursuit of tzedek they must not pretend to have
personal knowledge that they don't.

MR ? if the workers have witnessed with their own eyes that this worker
acted negligently, there is no Q that broadcasting that information is
LHara, which is the reporting of absolute truth, and it is prohibited to
report this because not all the conditions have been satisfied, in the main
they do not know if this event is enough to justify the boss sacking him.
Am I saying anything that is not obvious?


Meir G. Rabi

0423 207 837
+61 423 207 837
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230213/4ecd603e/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Joseph Kaplan
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2023 05:06:59 +0000
[Avodah] The Offer Is No Longer On The Table

Jay Schachter?s interesting analysis of Moshe?s interaction with Paroh
leaves one possible answer open: that Moshe lied when he said he would
return in three days and he had no intention of doing so. Jay says if Paroh
had accepted the original offer and not gone back on his word, he (Jay)
would have brought the people back because his obligation is to keep his
word. I don?t know if Hay would actually have done so. But I certainly hope
that I would not. 

We all have the obligation to keep our words. But we have other obligations
as well, and the difficult decision to make is what to do when those
obligations come into conflict. Take this simple situation. Someone is
holding innocent people hostage. The hostage taker asks for free passage
out of the country and when he gets to the new country he will release the
hostages  The authorities agree to this demand and promise him what he
asks. As a moral issue (not a practical one) are the authorities obligated
to give him free passage just because ?they gave their word?? Are they
prohibited from capturing him before he gets to the plane just because
?they gave their word?? I don?t think so. I think other values ? to name a
few, protecting these hostages, making sure others won?t take hostages,
doing Justice by capturing and then having the ability to mete out
punishment to evil doers ? trumps the value of honesty in this situation. 

Putting ?God?s plan aside,? if Moshe would have been able to free the
Jewish people from slavery at the cost of ?going back on his word,? I think
he would have been a very poor leader had he not done so. Just imagine if
Abraham Lincoln had been able to free the US slaves without a civil war
that cost hundreds of thousands of lives at the cost of going back on his
word. In my view, he would not have been one of our greatest presidents had
he not done so. Sadly he didn?t have that choice. But the obligation to
keep his word seems a very small price to pay to obtain these results ? a
price that moral people should gladly pay. As I would hope Moshe would have
done had Paroh not gone back on his word. 

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Joel Rich
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2023 05:53:42 +0200
[Avodah] Halachic Life Insurance

My note on an argument why to buy life insurance:
Just keep in mind that if you think it?s a good omen to buy insurance
because the insurance company will benefit from your long life (owners are
wealthy and wealthy have good financial mazal, it would imply that one
should not purchase an annuity since insurance company benefits from early
mortality.( You can?t take the actuary out of me [image: ?])
And then my follow-up thought:
Undoubtedly. It?s much like, in my mind, the change in practice about going
to doctors rather than just relying on faith. World changes, and certain
risks that could not be dealt with in the past now can be. but sometimes
folks seem to need halachic cover rather than just accepting that. Chazal
were dealing with a different world.
Your thoughts?
Joel Rich
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230215/b49aaa43/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2023 10:06:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Halachic Life Insurance

On Wed, Feb 15, 2023 at 05:53:42AM +0200, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> Undoubtedly. It's much like, in my mind, the change in practice about going
> to doctors rather than just relying on faith...

Jews ever didn't go to doctors?

The Mekhilta on Shemos 21:19 "verapo yerapei" talks about going
to doctors. And this is quoted repeated in the gemara, as "devei
R Yishma'el" (which indeed is the beis medrash responsible for the
Mekhilta), e.g. Berakhos 60a, BQ 85a.

(Note: this week's parashah.)

> risks that could not be dealt with in the past now can be. but sometimes
> folks seem to need halachic cover rather than just accepting that. Chazal
> were dealing with a different world.

In general, there is the question of the role of precedent in halakhah.
By far the most common case of where practice changes is where the metzi'us
changed in some way that makes the old pesaq inapplicable. Rather than
actually having grounds to change which pesaq we follow.

But there are exceptions -- like the change from Geonic Zemanim, to
Rishonim's Alos and haNeitz, and for the past 250 years or so, back to
the original.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   I awoke and found that life was duty.
Author: Widen Your Tent      I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                      - Rabindranath Tagore

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2023 10:16:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Is Lab-Grown Meat Kosher?

On Sun, Feb 12, 2023 at 05:46:05PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine wrote
*on Areivim*:
> From https://oukosher.org/blog/articles/is-lab-grown-meat-kosher-ou-kosher-ceo-rabbi-menachem-genack-discusses-in-washington-post-other-media-outlets

> As food technologies develop, so do new halachic issues. In recent days,
> OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack has taken on questions about whether
> lab-grown meat, created from animal stem cells, is kosher. While Israel's
> Chief Rabbi David Lau recently declared it kosher pareve, Rabbi Genack
> disagrees. Read more in a front-page piece in The Washington Post...

As I understand it, RMG is saying that microscopic ingredients are a normal
case of bitul. And that here, the starter cells are a davar hamaamid, and
a davar hamaamid isn't batel since its effects change the whole. (The
way the textbook davar hamaamid, renet, changes milk into cheese.)

Which makes me wonder....

Does R Genack hold that maggots that emerge from the middle of a piece
of meat are treif?

The gemara says they're kosher, but assumes abiogenesis. Since the kosher
meat putrified into the maggots, they're as kosher as the original meat.

In shiur, R Dovid Lifshitz explained that this is still effectively true
despite advances in science. The maggot is born of a microscopic egg
and then grows to visible size by eating the surrounding meat. Since
halakhah ignores the microscopic, the only cause of the visible maggot
that matters is the meat that it ate while growing. And so, it effectively
comes from the meat.

Notice that preserving the gemara's pesaq requires saying that something
microscopic altogether doesn't exist. If you consider it a microscopic
davar hamaamid, you would again be saying that the maggot egg isn't batel
and the maggot is treif.

I find the cases very parallel. (Until you get to the question of bal
teshaqtzu, which comes to mind in the maggot case.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 It is harder to eat the day before Yom Kippur
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   with the proper intent than to fast on Yom
Author: Widen Your Tent      Kippur with that intent.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                     - Rav Yisrael Salanter


Avodah mailing list



Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

A list of common acronyms is available at
(They are also visible in the web archive copy of each digest.)

< Previous Next >