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June 1998

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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 106

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: Theological Conundrum!
	by palix@juno.com (Moshe Pollack)
  2) Re: FW: Theological Conundrum!
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  3) Re: Rambam's 13 Principles -- M. Shapiro article
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  4) Re: Fw: JO Article
	by Arnie Kuzmack 
  5) Succinct quote from Dr. Isaac Breuer
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  6) The Weaker Sex?
	by Harry Maryles 
  7) Theological conundrum, shelo asdani isha
	by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown)
  8) Re: Theological conundrum, shelo asdani isha
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  9) a brief response to Russell
	by "Moshe J. Bernstein" 
 10) Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!  
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
 11) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 105, Meir Shinnar-Yosef Bechofer exchange on the Kuzari
	by "Lawrence M. Reisman" 
 12) FW: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 13) Re: Fw: Conservative prayer
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 14) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 15) Re: Rambam's 13 Principles 
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 16) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!  
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 17) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 18) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 22:57:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Theological Conundrum!
Message-ID: <19980630.230450.9302.3.palix@juno.com>
From: palix@juno.com (Moshe Pollack)

>I confess I never understood that midrash.  After all, what kind of
>nevu'ah was it?    Was there a message?  Chazal divide nevua'h into 
>two
>categories  -- nevuah that is le-dorot and therefore written down -- 
>and
>nevuah which is not le-dorot and therefore is not written down.  The
>nevuah of Yehezkel was written down.  The nevuah at yam suf wasn't.  
>So
>in what way was it superior?  Moreover, we normally think of nevuah as 
>a
>communication, yet we do not know what was communicated there.

I have been under the impressionthat the uz yashir is directly related to
this nevuah of klall yisroel, is that not a communication??

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Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 23:17:26 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: FW: Theological Conundrum!
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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I have a sensation akin to something like "you're moving the finish
line further back." I cite Medrash that is essentially one of the most
mainstream exegetical (not a "story" Misrash) Midrash - one that iss borne
out by the pesukim themselves, i.e., "Zeh Keli v'Anveihu" - and you
dismiss it! So, mixing metaphors, where are the goal posts?

But, I comment below:

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:

> I confess I never understood that midrash.  After all, what kind of
> nevu'ah was it?    Was there a message?  Chazal divide nevua'h into two
> categories  -- nevuah that is le-dorot and therefore written down -- and
> nevuah which is not le-dorot and therefore is not written down.  The
> nevuah of Yehezkel was written down.  The nevuah at yam suf wasn't.  So

You are defining nevu'ah as a message. That is not necessarily the case.
As the Ramchal in Derech Hashem 3:3:4 puts it (my translation):

Its [prophecy's] definition is that a person shall attain and connect to
the Creator may His name be blessed, and achieve dveykus in Him in the
literal sense of clinging, in a manner that he can sense that clinging in
Him - that is His honor, may His name be blessed, in the way that we shall
explain, and the matter will be clear and senssed by him without any doubt
at all - in the ssame way that one has no doubt in that which his physical
senses sense,

The primary compontent of prophecy is - the attainment of that dveykus and
connection thereto, while one is yet alive, which is certainly great
perfection; however *this will occasionally be accompanied by* knowledge
an insight... 

> in what way was it superior?  Moreover, we normally think of nevuah as a
> communication, yet we do not know what was communicated there.

> Moreover, looking at Rambam's description of what is necessary to be a
> navi, I find it inconceivable that all of bnei Yisarel, including the
> shifhot, could have met his criteria.  All of which leads me to assume
> that what happened at yam suf was not nevuah in the conventional sense.
> Indeed, the entire midrash sounds like a guzma.  In any case, I would be
> leery of building a weighty theological argument upon its thin frame.
>

I cannot understand how they could *not* have experienced nevu'a yet said
Zeh Keli etc., and, even moreso, how the result of "va'ayaminu ba'Hashem"
would have occured otherwise.

As to their worthiness, it cannot be that the Rambam, despite the Yad
Yesodei HaTorah 7 and Moreh 2:32ff. holds that unworthy people do not
receive *prophecies* - Scripture is rife with such epissodes, including
Mano'ach and the Malach, the Navi Ha'Zaken in Bet El, and the prophets of
Ach'av - who, indeed more than Bil'am - rather, to the best of my
understnding, he meanss they cannot become *prophets*.
 
> I am unaware of any statement of Chazal which makes clear that the
> noncorpreality of the Ribbono shel olam is an ikkar emunah, nor,
> apparently, was the Raavad aware of any.  (Of course, I don't have

C'mon, it is explicit in the passuk - the literl meaning ofthe vers that
contains "v'nishmartem me'od l'nafshoseichem!"

> Finally, not only are the actual 13 ikkarim not clearly established by
> Chazal, but the idea of defining a list of ikkarim is not clearly drawn
> from Chazal either.  What do you make of R. Yosef Albo, who has only

Chazal did not have an inclination toward any codification - the Rambam
did.

> three ikkarim?  And what about all the important things left off the
> list?  For example, Chazal say that a mechallel Shabbat is a kofer.  But
> the Rambam doesn't.  Curious, no?

He most definitely does - the last halacha in Hilchos Shabbos.

Kol tuv,
YGB

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 23:22:29 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Rambam's 13 Principles -- M. Shapiro article
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:

> >But, whether that was the author's intent or whether he may be blamed begs
> >the question of ratzon Hashem - what would be a more accurate fulfillment
> >of His will - its publication, or non-publication?
> 
> I try to not to spend too much time reading the mind of the Ribbono shel
> olam.
>

How can one not?

How else does one determine how to lead one's life?
 
> 
> But my point is a more general one.   The simplicity of the ikkarim is a
> double-edged sword.  They are easy to memorize, but hard to analyze.  We
> all agree that the Torah does not change.  But what is included in the
> concept of "Torah"?  Reform always cite prozbol as a precedent (!) for
> their abandonment of Halakha.  I don't take that seriously.  But we
> would agree that that takanah, as well as those of R. Gershom, are not
> considered "changes" in Torah.  Does that mean any takanah would be
> legitimate?  Presumably not.  Chasidism didn't exist 300 years ago.  Yet

This is a fine thread of inquiry - but I find it very distinct from the
thread we are pursuing - this returns, indeed, to the evolution of
halacha/practice. Even theology may evolve, although within far more rigid
parameters. The Rambam's Ikkarim are, to my mind, a successful attempt to
distill that which does not change.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980630234052.0087b100@cpcug.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 23:40:52 -0400
To: baistefila@shamash.org
From: Arnie Kuzmack 
Subject: Re: Fw: JO Article
Mime-Version: 1.0
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>> What siddur are you referring to?  That phraseology is not within the
>> standard Conservative "Silverman" siddur.  I don't dispute, however, that
>> this phraseology has been added ad hoc by some Conservative synagogues.   .
>
>
>If I had to guess, it was the Siddur put out by the conservatives probbaly
>at least a decade ago, Sim Shalom. It has lots of egalitarian stuff, like
>a Reshus le-Kallas ha-Torah and th elike, and reflects the new wave of the
>Conservative movement.
>If its not the standard Siddur by now, I would guess its gettign there.

Sim Shalom is indeed getting to be the standard Conservative siddur.
However, it does *not* have the "elokei imoteinu" language referred to.
The only changes to the amidah that I noticed was "shalom rav al yisrael
amkha v'al kol yoshvei tevel" and an "al hanisim" for Israel's Independence
Day.

It is true that some Conservative congregations have recently introduced
changes to include the imahot as well as the avot in the amidah.  Others
reject this.  They have their left and right wings as well.

I am not aware of any that have only the imahot.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 23:36:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group 
Subject: Succinct quote from Dr. Isaac Breuer
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>From one of my heroes:

Moriah pp. 62-63 (my translation):

And immediately, with the Torah, each abd every Jew in each and every
generation recieves his Jewish task. Between Hashem, baruch hu, Creator of
the World, King of Nations, Giver of the Torah, and the individual, there
stands the Torah Nation. Not each and every individual, nor each and every
generation, leaves Egypt in body and hears with its bodily ear the voice
of G-d b"h at Mt. Sinai, hewing flames of fire. "Remember, do not
forget!": This is the primary worry that fills the heart of Moshe Rabbeinu
a"h in his orations of his last oratories before the children of those who
left Egypt. And the book of "HaDevarim" is a tract of mussar to the Torah
Nation, with the "heh of awareness." It is impossible to deny or
contradict the foundations of Judaism, for they are not questions of logic
or extrapolation, but historical realities. One cannot deny or contradict
history. History is a matter of - memory. To forget history: this is
possible. And this is the danger. "Remember, do not forget!"

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Message-ID: <359A0907.4361@neiu.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 06:01:43 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: YGBList 
CC: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
Subject: The Weaker Sex?
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Russell Hendel wrote:
>
> Harry Maryless' original question about SHELO ASANI ISHAH was never
> really addressed. Instead we got into a thread about SHELO ASANI GOY.
>
> I would like to offer a simple explanation based on parallel blessings
> right there in the siddur.
>
> *We thank God for not being blind but for having sight! Now no one
> thinks we are making fun of the blind. We are simply acknowledging
> our better physical status (and presumably the need to help those
> less fortunate than ourselves).
>
> *We thank God for not being naked but having clothes. Now no one is
> screaming that Rabbis make fun of naked people. We are simply
> acknowledging our better status and perhaps encouraging helping the
> less fortunate.
>
> So to with SHELO ASANI ISHAH. We are thanking God for not being woman
> (who are physiologically more vulnerable than men) and for being a man.
> Presumably we are encouraging helping the less fortunate (ie woman).


This is not a satisfying answer. You can't compare being a woman to
being blind! I can't believe you are serious when you say that men are
thanking G-d for being physiologically superior to women, who are more
"vulnerable". I think many women would disagree with that. Vulnerability
is a sociological phenomenon and in some cultures it is the women who do
the hunting, etc. and men are the "domestic" ones. Also, Women are the
ones who give birth making them in a most significant way
phisiologically superior to men. So, Russel Hendell, No Cigar! Please
try again.

HM

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Theological conundrum, shelo asdani isha
Message-ID: <19980701.100038.4559.1.cbrown106@juno.com>
From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown)
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 09:51:51 EDT

RE: historical reality argument.  Very difficult - how could b'nei
Yisreal build an eigel while experiencing the "historical reality" of
ma'amad har Sinai?!  Possibilities: a) the reality of the experience did
not impress itself in the way we conceive of it, or b) unreinforced
impressive experiences are not a roadblock to sin (don't the b'alei
mussar take this approach?) 

Re: 13 principles.  Couldn't one argue that it was known that Moshe was
the "adon hanevi'im", but Miryam did not see this as adequete reason for
Moshe to leave his wife.  Regarding Korah: I fail to see the question:
why make the assumption that Korah was not a kofer?  (I think D.
Eidensohn's Yerushalmi clinches that point).  Also, couldn't one argue
that Korah beleived Moshe to be a navi, but felt that the appointment of
Alitzafan was of Moshe's own volition and not nevuah?  

-Chaim

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 09:06:28 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Theological conundrum, shelo asdani isha
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Charles Brown wrote:

> RE: historical reality argument.  Very difficult - how could b'nei
> Yisreal build an eigel while experiencing the "historical reality" of
> ma'amad har Sinai?!  Possibilities: a) the reality of the experience did

You know, while I cannot deduce your actual opinion from your question, I
have been seriously bothered since yesterday by what I sense to be a whole
new divide between left and right - or any other fault line you choose -
in Orthodoxy: Whether Judaism is an evidence gounded religion - as all the
Rishonim impress upon us; or a faith grounded religion - no different in
kind than other religions, just in tenets and theology. If I understand
the positions advocated by you, Reb Meir and Reb Eli yesterday correctly
(without accounting for the devil's advocate factor) you are all of the
latter school of thought. The implications of such a divide are
significant, perhaps even staggering, and, if confirmed, would require
much exploration.

As to the Chet ha'Egel, surely you are aware that Chazal had the same
difficulty, as did all the Mefarshim, and explain it in various different
ways - one, even, the Kabbalistic one, being that the calf was chosen
*because* it was one of the animals manifest in the prophetic vision of
the Merkava they had recently experienced.

> not impress itself in the way we conceive of it, or b) unreinforced
> impressive experiences are not a roadblock to sin (don't the b'alei
> mussar take this approach?) 

Yes, they do, yedi'ah vs. hashava el halev.

> 
> Re: 13 principles.  Couldn't one argue that it was known that Moshe was
> the "adon hanevi'im", but Miryam did not see this as adequete reason for
> Moshe to leave his wife.  Regarding Korah: I fail to see the question:
> why make the assumption that Korah was not a kofer?  (I think D.
> Eidensohn's Yerushalmi clinches that point).  Also, couldn't one argue
> that Korah beleived Moshe to be a navi, but felt that the appointment of
> Alitzafan was of Moshe's own volition and not nevuah?  

These are all valid possibilities - the question was on the Or Gedalyahu
l'shitaso.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 10:40:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Moshe J. Bernstein" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: a brief response to Russell
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

i don't know whether russell is accusing me or chaim of having the gall to
suggest that Rashi was ignorant of simple grammar (Nu 7:1), but it's clear
that the statement of which i spoke is indeed editorial and not by Rashi,
ON THE OTHER HAND, there are certainly places where Rashi shows that his
knowledge of Hebrew grammar is inferior to that of other rishonim (e.g.,
Ibn Ezra, Radaq, and perhaps even Rashbam) and to that of students of
Tenakh today. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT HE STOPS BEING RASHI!! The sources
available in Hebrew to Rashi on Hebrew language were virtually limited to
Menahem and Dunash whose conception of the language was less sophisticated
than that of the Judeo-Arabic grammarians (ibn Jannah, ibn Hayyuj etc.) 
who influenced the mefarshim of the Spanish school (but whose works had
not been translated into Hebrew yet). to point out that Rashi may have
erred here or there on the basis of an incomplete understanding of
biblical Hebrew is not to demean Rashi's greatness or the debt which we
owe to him in so many other areas. where he was right he was right; where
he was wrong, he was wrong. the rishonim were gedolim, not mal'achim! 

moshe bernstein

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Russell Hendel wrote:

> As to the content of the message: My point was outrage over a group
> member who had the gall to suggest that Rashi was ignorant of simple
> grammar (Nu 7:1). [The comment is made in parenthesis and is therefore
> not do to Rashi].

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807018993.AA899301654@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 09:52:18 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!  
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Let me explain.  Rav Yehuda Halevy makes two related empirically based arguments
for the validity of Torah.  These arguments are no longer valid for us, because
the empirical validity of their assumptions is itself a matter of doubt, and is
accepted essentially only by those who already accept the Torah.

The first is the historical reality of yetziat mitraim.  In Rav Yehuda Halevy's
time, this was generally accepted even outside the mesora community.  He
therefore could use the historical nature of the humash to buttress theological
arguments.  Today, the reality is that outside of the mesora community and
conservative Christian groups, the historical reality of the Exodus and all of
humash is not accepted.  Therefore, one has to have accepted Torah before these
arguments have any validity.

The second is the reliability of the transmission of the mesora.  He argues that
it is highly unlikely that all of a sudden, an entire community would accept
innovations as being Torah misinai. 

For the outside community, this is no longer (if it ever was) an acceptable
argument, because of the evidence of distortions of general history are now so
well known .  However, even within the mesora community, this empirical argument
becomes less sustainable, as we seen evidence of falsification gaining
acceptance.  Rav Bechhofer may quibble at my "gratuitious" swipe at Artscroll.
However, (and this was previously discussed on mail-jewish), there is a
recognition among many (including haredim) that Artscroll tends to sanitize and
change history to conform with current perceptions and theological beliefs
(witness the flap over My Uncle the Netziv).  Examples could be multiplied if
desired.  One can argue for the positive theological value of such alterations,
as  our interest is really in the lessons to be derived from history, rather
than in the facts per se.  However, in my perspective, it strikes at the root of
the second argument, by showing that current theological fashions and perceived
communal needs dictate the accuracy with which the past is transmitted.   Anyone
who argues for Torah on the basis of the Kuzari - the unlikelihood of invented
traditions being accepted, and the empirical reliability of the historical
transmission within the mesorah community - has to argue against invented
traditions now being propagated.

I believe in the mesorah at least partially because I know that my teachers
wouldn't lie, even for the sake of Torah.  I am sure that Rav Bechhofer would
agree with regard to his teachers. The  fashion of changing the past so it fits
current norms strikes at the very heart of the mesorah. 

Meir Shinnar
_______________________________________________________________________________
Subject: Re: Re[2]: Theological Conundrum!  
From:     at SMTP-for-MSSM
Date:    6/30/98  7:50 PM

I do not understand how you can possibly say this - I think, to be
honest, your gratuituous, uncalled for swipe at Artscroll is beclouding
your reason. To be more honest, the swipe tempts me to forgo the
conversation altogether, as it shows that there are negi'os in place here
that occlude reason.

But, nevertheless, to turn it around - this is precislely the pint! If
Artscroll cannot deceive Meir Shinnar, surely a false Mesorah could not
have deceived so many generations - why then was it accepted as historical
reality with no divergent opinion for thousands of years? For one
inescapable reason - as we have evidence that there was a person named
Napoleon and we accept he existed because of such, so do we accept the
historical reality of ma'amad Har Sinai.

YGB

 

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote:

> One major difference between Rav Yehuda Halevy and us.  Much of the
> major opposition in the Kuzari - Christians and Muslims - accepted the
> essential historic accuracy of humash.  Therefore, the 600,000 of
> yetziat mitzraim and ma'amad har sinai was accepted as fact, and he
> could furthermore argue that the historical accuracy is guaranteed by
> the transmission, and could not have been made up.  For us, general
> culture no longer accepts this historicity.  Artscroll histories show
> how quickly we can distort and forget the history of even 50-100 years
> ago.  Thus, for us, emuna is required to believe in history, rather than
> history being available to bolster our emuna.  The 600,000 are no longer
> a given, but are part of our emuna. 
> 
> Meir Shinnar
> 
> 
> 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147





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From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" 
To: 
Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 105, Meir Shinnar-Yosef Bechofer exchange on the Kuzari
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 11:16:02 -0400

While I don't appreciate Meir Shinnar's dig at ArtScroll, I will concede he
has a point, at least as to how we relate to the rest of the world.  We
believe maimad Har Sinai out of emunah, and as a result, we accept it as
history.  When the Kuzari was written, most of our gentile neighbors also
accepted it as history.  Today, not only don't most of our gentile neighbors
accept it, but most Jews don't accept it either.  As a result, when we
discuss it as history with outsiders, they are not gorais our discussion.
Having been around long enough on both sides of the emunah bridge, I can
warn you:  This is a serious gap in understanding that we must be aware of
when talking to "non-believers."


By the way, for the rationalists, there is very nice discussion of how to
prove the divine origin of the Oral Torah, or at least its existence as a
unified entity, in the Rambam's introduction to the Mishneh.  Again, you
have to know what he's talking about, but it does make some sense.




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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: FW: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 12:21:00 -0400
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R. YGB writes:

>I have a sensation akin to something like "you're moving the finish
>line further back." I cite Medrash that is essentially one of the most
>mainstream exegetical (not a "story" Misrash) Midrash - one that iss borne
>out by the pesukim themselves, i.e., "Zeh Keli v'Anveihu" - and you
>dismiss it! So, mixing metaphors, where are the goal posts?

I apologize for any such feeling I may have caused.  I do not disagree
that the midrash you quote is mainstream.  I don't know if I would call
it exegetical.  It is not written in exegetical form.  To the contrary,
its formulation involves a kind of broad comparison that, to my ears,
sounds rhetorical.  [For example, in a number of places, Chazal write
that a mitzvah is ke-neged kullam, or otherwise equivalent to all the
other mitzvot.  I am sure others may read it differently, but I have
always understand these as Chazal's way of saying they are very
important, not making a precise qualitative comparison.  Maybe this
should be a separate thread.]  After all, the midrash singles out the
shifcha.  Why?  Surely the point is to emphasize that what benei Yisrael
saw at yam suf was not confined to neviim or zekenim or any elite but
everyone.  The midrash is simply using a rhetorical device.  Note too
that the comparison is made to Yechezkel.  Why him?  Is yechezkel
considered a greater navi than all of the others after Moshe?  I assume
that Yechezkel is singled out because the ma'aseh merkavah is such an
awesome vision, that Chazal wanted to compare what happened at yam suf
to that.   But I still am not sure that what they experienced should be
called nevuah.

Consider: the midrash says that the whole world heard the Aseret
ha-Dibberot at ma'amad Har Sinai and they were spoken in 70 languages.
These are mainstream exegetical midrashim.  But does this mean that
everyone alive at the time of ma'amad har Sinai was a navi?

You argue that the words "Zeh Keli ve-Anvehu" are clear evidence of
nevuah.  But Chazal -- echoing the pasuk -- say that what benei Yisrael
were doing was saying shirah.  When you or I recite zeh Keli ve-anvehu,
we certainly do not mean that we have just experienced Hashem be-nevuah.
 (Or I don't at least.)  Moreover, according to your reasoning, when
benei Yisrael say: Hashem yimlokh le-olam va-ed, they could be speaking
be-nevuah.  Yet, I have always assumed that they were speaking shevach.
The nusach ha-tefillah we say every day (shibbekhu ge'ulim) suggests the
same.

Finally, whereas i think zeh Keli can be understood poetically, coming
as it does in the context of lots of other poetic language, I direct
your attention to the non-potic pesukim in parashat be-ha'alotekha,
where Moshe clearly indicates that the entire am are not nevi'im.

>You are defining nevu'ah as a message. That is not necessarily the case.
>As the Ramchal in Derech Hashem 3:3:4 puts it (my translation):

I have never experienced nevu'ah, so I rely on others to define it for
me.  Chazal enumerate a list of nevi'im, all of whom had a message.
Chazal also distinguish between nevi'im whose nevuah was le-dorot and
those whose nevu'ah was not le-dorot -- this too indicates a message.

I think it is suggestive that I have been quoting the Rambam's ideas
about nevuah, while you quote the Ramchal.  The Rambam, as I noted in
comments to Elie, is a rationalist, which appeals to my way of thinking.
 The Ramchal is a mekubbal which I find harder to appreciate.  Certainly
the equating of nevua'ah with devekut is a mystical concept.  To my
knowledge you won't find it in Chazal (but please correct me if I'm
wrong!).

But with the little I know about devekut, I think it is very hard --
given what is written about how to achieve devekut -- that an entire
nation, including shifchot, could attain such devekut en masse.  If you
have the Ramchal handy, can you tell me if he speaks to that?

>I cannot understand how they could *not* have experienced nevu'a yet said
>Zeh Keli etc., and, even moreso, how the result of "va'ayaminu ba'Hashem"
>would have occured otherwise.

I am speculating, of course, but if i saw a sea split open, then swallow
the mitzrim, I think it would do a lot for my emunah, even if I did not
become a navi in the process.

>As to their worthiness, it cannot be that the Rambam, despite the Yad
>Yesodei HaTorah 7 and Moreh 2:32ff. holds that unworthy people do not
>receive *prophecies* - Scripture is rife with such epissodes, including
>Mano'ach and the Malach, the Navi Ha'Zaken in Bet El, and the prophets of
>Ach'av - who, indeed more than Bil'am - rather, to the best of my
>understnding, he meanss they cannot become *prophets*.

I am afraid I find that distinction semantic.  What is a navi if not
someone who has had nevu'ah.

>C'mon, it is explicit in the passuk - the literl meaning ofthe vers that
>contains "v'nishmartem me'od l'nafshoseichem!"

Let us clarify something.  We are speaking of what constitutes an ikkar
emunah.  Yetziat mitzrayim is also explicit pasuk.  But the Torah -- and
the Rambam -- do not classify belief in yetziat Mitzrayim as an ikkar
emunah.

>Chazal did not have an inclination toward any codification - the Rambam
>did.

Actually, the Mishnah is a code.  And the Mishnah does address ikkarei
emunah in Perek Chelek.  But what appears there differs greatly from
Rambam's formulation.

>He most definitely does - the last halacha in Hilchos Shabbos.

Quoting Chazal.  But it's not one of the ikkarei emunah.  Why not?  Why
does it not appear in Hilkhot Teshuvah, where the Rambam seems to be
formulating what makes a person a kofer?  As you noted, the Rambam is
inclined toward codification, yet doen't codify shemirat Shabbat as an
ikkar emunah.  Do you not find that strange?

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Fw: Conservative prayer
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 12:29:00 -0400
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Arnie Kuzmack writes:

>Sim Shalom is indeed getting to be the standard Conservative siddur.
>However, it does *not* have the "elokei imoteinu" language referred to.
>The only changes to the amidah that I noticed was "shalom rav al yisrael
>amkha v'al kol yoshvei tevel" and an "al hanisim" for Israel's Independence
>Day.

I read an article once about the Siddur Sim Shalom.  It reported that
there are three different versions of the amidah.  I believe that at
least one of these versions does use language of E-lokei Avraham
ve-Sarah, etc.  I welcone anyone who can confirm or refure this
information.

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 12:55:00 -0400
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R. YGB writes:

>You know, while I cannot deduce your actual opinion from your question, I
>have been seriously bothered since yesterday by what I sense to be a whole
>new divide between left and right - or any other fault line you choose -
>in Orthodoxy: Whether Judaism is an evidence gounded religion - as all the
>Rishonim impress upon us; or a faith grounded religion - no different in
>kind than other religions, just in tenets and theology. If I understand
>the positions advocated by you, Reb Meir and Reb Eli yesterday correctly
>(without accounting for the devil's advocate factor) you are all of the
>latter school of thought.

I can speak only for myself, of course, but I would reiterate what I
wrote in an earlier post.  I think it is our mesorah vs. their mesorah.
I think ours is true and theirs is not, but I cannot prove it to them
based on their assumptions.

Regarding the statements of Rishonim, I think it would be well to
remember that much of their writing on this subject was polemical and
directed kelappei chutz.  In other words, they were trying to defend our
mesorah against gentile attacks on Torah.  Thus, for example, there is a
great debate about how to understand various statements of the Ramban in
his famous vikua'ch.

Secondly, I think the term evidence needs clarification.  There is no
single standard for evidence.  What constitutes evidence in a secular
court is not evidence in a beit din.  Most of what we accept as true is
based not on our own exploration of the facts (=evidence), but on
mesorah, as R. YGB pointed out with respect to (I think) the French
revolution.  On the other hand, many blacks believe that AIDS is a plot
by whites against the black community.  I cannot prove that they are
wrong, but I remain skeptical in the absence of what I would consider
evidence.

In the time of the Rishonim, it was common to try to prove the existence
of Hashem.  Today these proofs are not viewed as conclusive "evidence,"
though I know many people who are convinced by them.  But, as long as
different people have different assumptions (or biases), I cannot prove
to anyone that Hashem exists and I cannot prove to anyone that our
mesorah is true.  Many Rishonim did believe that one could prove
Hashem's existence and many believed that they could prove that our
mesorah was true (or prove that other people's proofs against our
mesorah were not true, which is different).

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Rambam's 13 Principles 
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 13:43:00 -0400
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R. YGB writes:

>Even theology may evolve, although within far more rigid
>parameters. The Rambam's Ikkarim are, to my mind, a successful attempt to
>distill that which does not change.

I am sure we are not far apart on this issue.  I assume we agree that,
just as in the halakhic sphere, the Rambam's distillation in the Mishneh
Torah was shaped by his own hakhraot (with which others disagree), so
too in the theological sphere.

One difference is that Asheknazim tend to follow him less in one sphere
than in the other.

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 13:05:29 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!  
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote:

> Let me explain.  Rav Yehuda Halevy makes two related empirically based
> arguments for the validity of Torah.  These arguments are no longer
> valid for us, because the empirical validity of their assumptions is
> itself a matter of doubt, and is accepted essentially only by those who
> already accept the Torah. 
> 

I have no idea what you mean by emprical  - does he cite a statistical
analysis? It is not empirical, it is anecdotal. Of course it is accepted
only by those who accept the Torah - were it to be accepted by others they
too would be in the camp of those who accept the Torah. 

> The first is the historical reality of yetziat mitraim.  In Rav Yehuda
> Halevy's time, this was generally accepted even outside the mesora
> community.  He therefore could use the historical nature of the humash
> to buttress theological arguments.  Today, the reality is that outside
> of the mesora community and conservative Christian groups, the
> historical reality of the Exodus and all of humash is not accepted. 
> Therefore, one has to have accepted Torah before these arguments have
> any validity. 
> 

The Khazars certainly knew nothing of the mesora - Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi
seems to have been of the opinion that his arguments could even convince
pagans. I guess you would disagree.

> For the outside community, this is no longer (if it ever was) an
> acceptable argument, because of the evidence of distortions of general
> history are now so well known .  However, even within the mesora
> community, this empirical argument becomes less sustainable, as we seen
> evidence of falsification gaining acceptance.  Rav Bechhofer may quibble

Falsification never has gained complete, total and ongoing acceptance.
Artscroll's misdeeds are copiously recorded and scored at the vaunted
Journal Of Torah U'Madda. Where is the Journal that contemporaneously
noted that Ma'amad Har Sinai was in doubt? 

Communism attempted to eradicate all those who bravely stood up to deny
it, yet failed - how were we so successful?

Again, the category of evidence of Ma'amad Har Siai is no less valid than
that that "proves" there was a Napoleon.

> with which the past is transmitted.  Anyone who argues for Torah on the
> basis of the Kuzari - the unlikelihood of invented traditions being
> accepted, and the empirical reliability of the historical transmission
> within the mesorah community - has to argue against invented traditions
> now being propagated. 
> 

I just did - and I think quite cogently .

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 13:30:25 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:
> 
> I can speak only for myself, of course, but I would reiterate what I
> wrote in an earlier post.  I think it is our mesorah vs. their mesorah.
> I think ours is true and theirs is not, but I cannot prove it to them
> based on their assumptions.

So why do you think its true? Is that faith on your part - a leap to the
irrational?

> 
> Regarding the statements of Rishonim, I think it would be well to
> remember that much of their writing on this subject was polemical and
> directed kelappei chutz.  In other words, they were trying to defend our
> mesorah against gentile attacks on Torah.  Thus, for example, there is a
> great debate about how to understand various statements of the Ramban in
> his famous vikua'ch.

I never fathomed that approach and I never will, and it implies pretty
negative things abpout the Rishonim. Sorry.

> In the time of the Rishonim, it was common to try to prove the existence
> of Hashem.  Today these proofs are not viewed as conclusive "evidence,"
> though I know many people who are convinced by them.  But, as long as
> different people have different assumptions (or biases), I cannot prove
> to anyone that Hashem exists and I cannot prove to anyone that our
> mesorah is true.  Many Rishonim did believe that one could prove
> Hashem's existence and many believed that they could prove that our
> mesorah was true (or prove that other people's proofs against our
> mesorah were not true, which is different).
>

So why can we kill non-Jews who refuse to accept Sheva Mitzvos Bnei No'ach
- if our mesorah cannot be rationally convincing, and they have theirs
which is of equivalent weight to ours, that seems like a pretty unfair
mitzva, don't you think?

YGB 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807018993.AA899319650@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 14:55:11 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
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>I have no idea what you mean by emprical  - does he cite a statistical
>analysis? It is not empirical, it is anecdotal. Of course it is accepted
>only by those who accept the Torah - were it to be accepted by others they
>too would be in the camp of those who accept the Torah. 

We are talking about two different definitions of evidence and proof.  One
definition is that we inherently believe in the Torah, and wish to find ways to
be mehazek emuna.  Clearly, the Kuzari works today for many on that level.  The
other is that this is evidence for someone who does not start out believing.

Empirical here means based on accepted facts, and yetziat mitzraim was viewed as
an accepted fact.

The notion that belief in the historical accuracy of humash mandates acceptance
of Torah is, however, wrong - ask any fundamentalist Christian.
 


>The Khazars certainly knew nothing of the mesora - Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi
>seems to have been of the opinion that his arguments could even convince
>pagans. I guess you would disagree.

Actually, I agree, and that is exactly the point. The Khazar agrees with the
essential historic accuracy of yetziat mitzraim, because the Christians and
Muslims both accepted the essential historical accuracy of the Torah. (he did
know about some aspects of the mesora, and was validated for him by outside
sources).  Therefore, that was a legitimate starting point to argue for Torah
and mitzvot.  rav Yehuda Halevy is trying to show that one can convince someone
who is not already convinced (the second level of evidence).  It is here that
because of the change in commonly accepted beliefs in the outside world, it no
longer works.

Note that Rav yehuda Halevy specifically contrasts the validity of the
historical traditions of the humash, widely accepted, against the historical
validity of the Hindus, which he views as not valid.   


Today, unless you already accept the Torah, you are unlikely to believe that
there were 600,000 people who left mitzraim and stood at mattan torah. 
Therefore, arguments based on that 600,000 are not convincing (except perhaps
for arguments with missionaries who do accept that 600,000).  (ask any Reform
Jew or anyone who has taken any Bible course in college or read any popular
Bible history book))

> For the outside community, this is no longer (if it ever was) an
> acceptable argument, because of the evidence of distortions of general
> history are now so well known .  However, even within the mesora
> community, this empirical argument becomes less sustainable, as we seen
> evidence of falsification gaining acceptance.  Rav Bechhofer may quibble

>Falsification never has gained complete, total and ongoing acceptance.
>Artscroll's misdeeds are copiously recorded and scored at the vaunted
>Journal Of Torah U'Madda. Where is the Journal that contemporaneously
>noted that Ma'amad Har Sinai was in doubt? 



>Again, the category of evidence of Ma'amad Har Siai is no less valid than
>that that "proves" there was a Napoleon.

Outside the mesora community, some right wing Conservatives, and conservative
Christians and perhaps Muslims, most of the world does not believe in  the
historical reality of yetziat mitzraim as described in the Torah.  This 
starting point of the Kuzari is denied by them.  You may think their denial
foolish, but how do you prove it without using emuna in the Torah?

There does not exist a comparable body of doubters for the existence of
Napoleon.  If there was, there would be discussions about the validity of
historical references and the possibility of mass delusions, with the final
conclusion dependent on the quality of contemporaneous documentation and the
reliability of that documentation.  There has been quite a bit of doubters, for
example, whether William Shakespeare actually wrote his plays.  The farther back
one goes, the more doubts exist.

Outside of the Torah, we have no contemporary journal or record that validates
it.  The Torah is enough for us, but it is not evidence for its own truth for
those who do not accept it.  Lastly, our acceptance of the Torah is based on the
acceptance of the accuracy of its transmission, and  that is why we have to be
extra vigilant about attempts to change the mesora from within.


Meir Shinnar




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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 107

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
	by "Clark, Eli" 
  2) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  3) The Ikkarim
	by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
  4) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
  5) Re: The Weaker Sex?
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  6) RE: Theological Conundrum!
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  7) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
  8) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Clark, Eli" 
  9) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 10) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
 11) Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 12) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 13) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 14) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!    
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
 15) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 16) Re[6]: Theological Conundrum!    
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
 17) Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
	by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
 18) Lonely Man of Faith
	by Harry Maryles 
 19) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion 
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
 20) Re[2]: Faith based vs. evidence based religion 
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:54:00 -0400
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>It is an attempt to explain "Zeh Kel v'Anveihu." That is exegesis, no?

Rather than debate the meaning of the word "exegetical," let me draw a
distinction.  The Midrash often makes a statement that does not explain
the meaning of a particular pasuk, but bases the statement on a
superfluity or irregularity in the pasuk.  A good example is the very
mainstream midrash on the first pasuk in Behar: the addition of the
phrase "Behar Sinai" provides the basis for the midrash about Torah
mi-Sinai.  Whether or not we call that an exegetical midrash, I think we
can agree that its purpose is not to clarify the meaning of the
particular pasuk, but to comment on the totality of what Moshe received.
 Similarly, the midrash we are discussing is talking about the overall
experience of yam suf, rather than the particular meaning of the words
Zeh Keli.

>Not rhetorical! Indeed, even the shefachos experienced nevu'ah!

Perhaps I should state my point more clearly.  The midrash doesn't say:
everyone at yam suf saw more than Yechezkel.  Instead it refers only to
the shifcha.  Now, of course, we understand that the Midrash is saying
"even" a shifcha.  But the style is rhetorical, rather than merely
expository.  Thus, for me to say "a nine-year old could do it!" is a
rhetorical way of saying that anyone could do it.  I find it significant
that the midrash does not directly say: all of bnei yisrael experienced
nevuah, but says, "what a shifcha saw . . .".

>>But I still am not sure that what they experienced should be
>> called nevuah.

>Elah mah?

Oodles of possibilities.  There are all kinds of things that don't
constitute nevuah.  Ru'ah ha-Kodesh, for example, and bat kol.  But I
think the simplest explanation is that what was seen is what the Torah
says they saw: anan, choshech, and a ruach kadim which split the water.
You know the rest.  This was a clear departure from teva and certainly
one which could inspire shirah.  Note that we do not assume that those
who witnessed the eser makkot were experiencing nevu'ah.


>I would not have difficulty with this at all - I don't know how one can,
>if one accepts the revelation as a reality.

Excuse me?  I am very confused.  Do you believe there is any difference
between something which appears in the Chumash and something which
appears in Shemot Rabbah?  Given all of the fantastic, not to mention
conflicting, midrashim about mattan Torah, do you really equate each of
them with historical reality?  If so, we will have to agree to disagree.
 For my part, I am very comfortable drawing a distinction between the
historical reality of mattan Torah as described in the Chumash and the
midrashic descriptions which move in a a number of different directions.

>Sorry, I am unclear as to why you have difficulty in what was once indeed
>nevu'ah being incorporated in tefilla.

No difficulty.  Keriat shema was received al derekh nevu'ah.  My point
was that I did not think that the words Zeh Keli proved that nevu'ah had
occurred, nor that the words of the pasuk -- az yashir -- or the words
of the siddur -- shibbekhu -- give any hint that that this was nevu'ah.
Now if the Tirah said, Az yitnabbeu, or the siddur said, Nevuah
chadashah hitnebbeu geulim -- I would concede the point.

>But Chazal there say there were millons of Nevi'im - I believe it is there
>in Megilla where you refer us! And when Shaul was ba'nevi'im, if you will
>please look at the Radak (one of your fellow rationalists :-) ) in Shmuel
>1:10:5 you will see that a nevu'ah can be defined as shevachos
>v'tishbachos! Cf. Yesodei HaTorah 7:7.

>(Hey! the episodes with Shaul are further evidence to my position - not
>refuted by you as far as I can see - that prophecy - not consistent high
>levels thereof but occasional "spells" - can befall anyone! Cf. ibid.
>1:1.)

No question.  The Tanach is full of episodes which support your
position.  Same with ma'amarei Chazal and rishonim.  My argument has
been rooted in the Rambam's view, which is very much his own.  Why?
because your original question -- at least as applied to Miryam -- was
based on the Rambam's ikkar about the prophecy of Moshe.  Generally,
other Rishonim who compiled list of ikkarim did not include this.
Therefore, the question shold be on the Rambam le-shitato.  But
consitency demands that we grant the Rambam his shitah on nevu'ah as
well.


>But, it is true that the Rambam sees nevu'ah differently than the Ramchal,
>he sees it as more of an exposure to high levels of emes - an intellectual
>experience. Thus, in the Moreh2:32  he regards the revelation at Sinai
>(the cornerstone of Emuna according to the Rambam as well - see Iggeres
>Teiman) as distinct from nevu'ah. It is, therefore, plausible that the
>Rambam holds that a revelation like that of Yam Suf can be universal, and
>divine - but not prophetic according to his definition.

We agree entirely on this point.

>Oh, one last thing - althought I already deleted your comment - the Mishna
>is a code?!

Yes, actually.  It is an organized compilation of law.  Though perhaps
not intended to be comprehensive in detail, the Mishnah meets the
ordinary defintion of a code.  It is organized by subject.  It is
different from the midrashei Halakhah, which are organized by pasuk .
The mishnah often presents more than one opinion (as does the Tur and
SA), but generally guides one regarding the proper Halakhah.  In
contrast, the Gemara is not organized topically, contains a vast amount
of non-legal information and rarely gives any indication of what the
final halakhic rule is.

Kol tuv,

Eli


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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:01:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

A  few comments on the current topic: First of all the book Eye of a
Needle
which I quoted  the 600,000 person mashal from, is the kiruv primer put
out by Aish Hatorah. It instructs those who try to be mekarev nonbelieving
jews to use that mashal aswell as other maamad har sinai proofs.
Therefore, although many on the list claimn that this is not a valuable
and current way of being mekarev jews, it would seem like they are wrong.
Second of all, I am obviously missing something in meir, Eli's etc.logic.
If something is accepted as fact for almost three thousand years, and then
someone says it's not true and even gets millions of people to say its not
true, how does their statements affect the truth. I can still maintain
that all the people who lived within the last two hundred years are more
likely to be wrong then the billions of people who have lived since 2448
who didn't and couldn't deny the truth of mamid ha sinai. It's precisely
the fact that this truth hasn't been challenged until recently which
serves as the greatest proof to its truth. I will admit that nothing can
serve as 100 PROOF of Hashem's existence (exept a personal expierience of
prophecy) However, I do believe that maamid har sinai serves as very
strong evidence in favor of beliving in a of a G-d who speaks with man.
It's becoming clear
that I wil not be able to convince those who don't want to accept this
evidence, but I'm happy I do, since the Torah (which is eternal) told me
to
accept this evidence (devarim 4, pasukim 9-10). 
Elie Ginsparg

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Message-Id: <199807012002.QAA21503@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com>
Subject: The Ikkarim
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:02:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

According to Rav YB Soloveitchik zt"l (I can't recall which tape, sorry), the
Rambam chose ikkarim to not only be sufficient to derive the rest of
Yiddishkeit, but also to pose limits between what is Yiddishkeit, and other
beliefs of his time.

So, for example, belief in Moshe is listed separately than belief in the Torah
because both Christianity and Islam claim their founder superior to Moshe.

I'm more interested, though, not in the ikkarim as the Rambam wrote them, but
the ikkarim as Klal Yisrael has accepted them. Do they have halachic power, as
piskei din for defining meenus or apikursus, because the ikkarim (perhaps in
their Yigdal or Ani Ma'amin variants) have been so universally accepted?

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287    Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5852 days!
micha@aishdas.org                         (11-Jun-82 - 1-Jul-98)
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.
http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:27:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:

> 
> So why can we kill non-Jews who refuse to accept Sheva Mitzvos Bnei No'ach
> - if our mesorah cannot be rationally convincing, and they have theirs
> which is of equivalent weight to ours, that seems like a pretty unfair
> mitzva, don't you think?
> 

The Hazon Ish in Hilkhot Shehitah posits that the din of Moridin for a
Kofer only applies when there is empircial evidence of hashgahat Hashem,
because thats the only time that kofrim are brazenly defying the will of
Hashem. LAD, the Hazon Ish is responding to a similar issue to that which
R YGB raised: if, in fact, the Mesorah (in this case, Hashem's existance,
control, etc....or the truth of Torah mi-Sinai) is not provable by
evidence, how can we kill people for not surrendering its dictates? 

The answer of the Hazon Ish is that we cannot. Until Hashem re-reveals
(what an ungainly formulation!) Himself, ve-sechezena eineinu be-shuvo
le-Tzion be-Rachamim, Kofrim do not get the full halakhic treatment they
would seem to deserve, I don't see why maintaining that the evidence for
Har Sinai is missing is  any more problematic than claiming that
Hashem's
presence is less palpable now than bimei HaBayis.

Whether or not this applies to goyyim or not is unclear, is there any
literature on the topic?

As to the issue of rational proof of God's existance, the Rav in Lonely
Man of Faith p.51 points out rational proof of God's existance is
difficult, and more productive is Kierkegaard's comments, does a bride in
her beloved's embrace ask for proof of his existance? In other words, its
only through the experience of Emunah that we can hope to attain Emunah
be-zman ha-zeh. I think this would equally apply to Har Sinai, which, as
been cogently point out by an number of people, is not considered valid
empirical evidence by much of the world today.

daniel


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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:29:31 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: YGBList 
cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
Subject: Re: The Weaker Sex?
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Harry Maryles wrote:

> Russell Hendel wrote:
> >
> > Harry Maryless' original question about SHELO ASANI ISHAH was never
> > really addressed. Instead we got into a thread about SHELO ASANI GOY.

I think the shelo asani ishah problem is made bigger than it really is.
When a man says shelo asani issah-he's not saying a women is inferior in
any way and can't achieve greatness like a man (just look at Sara, rivkah,
rochel,ester etc.)It's the same chazal who have us say this bracha that
say many wonderful things about women including how sara was a greater
 prophet then avraham. it would be illogical to think that chazal had
a negative approach to women. So what's p'sat in the beracha, it's a
statement of metzius. If we look at berashis we see that women were
cursed "vhu yimshal bach" (berashis 3-16) If you had  to be created as the
ruler or the ruled you'd be happier to be the ruled. Therefore, we make a
beracha that we were created as men and not women. But does this fact mean
that men are better, smarter... than women? no. It just means that ther is
a status in the metzius which make it beracha worthy not to be a women.
Maybe this is why we say shelo asani issah and not sassni ish. Ie. there
is no maalah in being a man, it's not being a women, not being under the
curse of Chava which is being blessed. For example, I'm thankful that I
didn't grow up in New York because I would view it as very bad to have to
grow up in New York. But that doesnt mean New Yorkers are inferior or
can't achieve greatness. I'm sure there is at least one New Yorker who is
greater than a Chicagoan ( My mashal is meant at least partially in jest
but I hope it helps convey my point). This explanation also works with
Rashi to Menachos daf 43b where he explains the gemaras question
"heeinu issah" eiyen sham. I hope this helps explain what I believe Russel
was also
saying and provides sufficient explanation for Rabbi Maryles-I'm sure I'll
hear whether or not it does
Elie Ginsparg

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:34:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: RE: Theological Conundrum!
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

After writing my last post I thought of a possible answer to Rabbi
Bechoffer's original question concerning the Rambam's reference to Korach
as a proof for the fact that the whole Torah is from heaven.Maybe the
Rambam divided up the belief in the existence in Hashem and the belief
that all the mitzvos are from Hashem. The first principle states that we
must believe in a creator etc, the proof for this in th first of the ten
commandment "anoche Hashem", which allof klal yisroel heard and thus can't
be refuted. However, one can still maintain that even though there is a
G-d we have no way to know how to serve him. One could argue that Moshe
made up all the mitzvos while on har sinai. The actual maamad har sinai
only proved there was a Hashem who spoke with humans, but the fact that
all the mitzvos were faithfully recorded from Hashem to Moshe wasn't
proven. In fact someone named Korach actually challenged this very fact,
and therefore another proof was required to prove that not only was there
a G-d which everyone "saw" but that G-d gave mizvos which Moshe faithfully
wrtoe down and transmitted. This was proved (according to the rambam) when
Moshe said "this shall demonstrate to you that Hashem sent me to do all
these deeds, and I DIDN"T MAKE UP ANYTHING MYSELF" In fact this episode
also happened in front of all klal yisroel . This might explain why the
Rambam  brought Korach as a proof to the fact that Moshe transmitted the
word
of hashem independant of maamid har sinai as a proof to the existence of
Hashem.
Elie Ginsparg

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:39:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Cheryl Maryles wrote:

> A  few comments on the current topic: First of all the book Eye of a
> Needle
> which I quoted  the 600,000 person mashal from, is the kiruv primer put
> out by Aish Hatorah. It instructs those who try to be mekarev nonbelieving
> jews to use that mashal aswell as other maamad har sinai proofs.
> Therefore, although many on the list claimn that this is not a valuable
> and current way of being mekarev jews, it would seem like they are wrong.

The fact that an argument is used, and has been successful, doesnt mean it
is water tight. I would tend to believe that many of those who have been
exposed to presentations like Aish ha-torah's have not weighed the
arguments suggested for the giving of the Torah against the state of the
art in Academic Bible study and Ancient Near eastern History. Frankly, I'm
glad--- I prefer to have them as Shomrei Torah u-Mitzvos. On the other
hand, i am curious if those arguments would be compelling to someone who
did such rigorous research. I have met people who have been turned off by
the Aish ha-Torah approach.

> Second of all, I am obviously missing something in meir, Eli's etc.logic.
> If something is accepted as fact for almost three thousand years, and then
> someone says it's not true and even gets millions of people to say its not
> true, how does their statements affect the truth. I can still maintain
> that all the people who lived within the last two hundred years are more
> likely to be wrong then the billions of people who have lived since 2448
> who didn't and couldn't deny the truth of mamid ha sinai. It's precisely
> the fact that this truth hasn't been challenged until recently which
> serves as the greatest proof to its truth. I will admit that nothing can

People have believed all kinds of strange things. i think the Samaritan
community believes they are descendants of Malkhus Yisrael, and are
maintaining the Mesorah as passed down from Har sinai. That doesnt PROVE
anything. 
People also believed for thousands of years that bugs spontaneously
generated. Today, we don't, partially because what qualifies as evidence
has changed. Similarly, a proof of Matan Torah that was useful for a long
time may no
longer be useful, because the evidence, as evidence, may not be
acceptable.

> that I wil not be able to convince those who don't want to accept this
> evidence, but I'm happy I do, since the Torah (which is eternal) told me
> to
> accept this evidence (devarim 4, pasukim 9-10). 

No one on this list denies the fact that we stood at Har Sinai and
recieved the Torah amidst an unparalleled revelation of God's glory, and I
resent the implication that some of us do. 
What we are arguing is that the historical data of Har sinai is not
sufficient to serve as a proof to an outsider of its having happened.
> Elie Ginsparg
> 
> 

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:25:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
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>> I can speak only for myself, of course, but I would reiterate what I
>> wrote in an earlier post.  I think it is our mesorah vs. their mesorah.
>> I think ours is true and theirs is not, but I cannot prove it to them
>> based on their assumptions.

>So why do you think its true? Is that faith on your part - a leap to the
>irrational?

No, I think it's true based on the evidence.  But I accept the evidence
based on my assumptions.  And my assumptions are based (in part) on
faith.  So are yours, I suspect.
I accept that the Torah's account of yetziat Mitzrayyim is true.  All of
the evidence I know supports it and I the evidence against it (i.e.,
lack of archaeological records) does not persuade me toherwise.  But I
can accept the Torah's account of Hashem's miracles only if I believe in
Hashem.  That is one of my assumptions and it is based on faith (though
not entirely).

>I never fathomed that approach and I never will, and it implies pretty
>negative things abpout the Rishonim. Sorry.

Don't be sorry.  Viku'ach was a critical part of Jewish life in the
Middle Ages and we can be proud of what the Rishonim achieved in that
area.  It is also a direct mandate of the Mishnah.  But is absurd to
think that a rishon would express himself in exactly the same way in the
bet midrash as he would while defending Torat Hashem in Tortosa.

>> In the time of the Rishonim, it was common to try to prove the existence
>> of Hashem.  Today these proofs are not viewed as conclusive "evidence,"
>> though I know many people who are convinced by them.  But, as long as
>> different people have different assumptions (or biases), I cannot prove
>> to anyone that Hashem exists and I cannot prove to anyone that our
>> mesorah is true.  Many Rishonim did believe that one could prove
>> Hashem's existence and many believed that they could prove that our
>> mesorah was true (or prove that other people's proofs against our
>> mesorah were not true, which is different).

>So why can we kill non-Jews who refuse to accept Sheva Mitzvos Bnei No'ach
> - if our mesorah cannot be rationally convincing, and they have theirs
>which is of equivalent weight to ours, that seems like a pretty unfair
>mitzva, don't you think?

I admit I don't understand the question.  Do you think we can prove that
Hashem exists?  And if so, why should that change our right to kill
people the Torah tells us to kill?  Forget the non-Jew, let's talk about
a Jew who commits murder with edim and hatra'ah.  We agree that he is
chayyav mittah whether or not he believes in Hashem.  If I am the
shaliach bet din, it is my job to execute him, not be mekarev him.  I
suspect that he will not be comforted if I say to him before I kill him:
you may not believe, but I could prove to you that Hashem exists.  I
just don't see how fairness enters the discussion.  What is fair is that
Hashem gives us bechirah and we make our own choices.  The choice we
make will not only determine whether we live or die in this world, but
whether we have olam ha-ba.  If, as you suggest, it isn't fair to kill
someone who has a mesorah with equal logic to ours, then it is certainly
unfair to deny such a person olam ha-ba!

Speaking of proving Hashem's existence, R. E. Berkovits (to bring
someone back from an old thread) notes in God, Man and History that it
is a mitzvah to believe in Hashem (one of his uncontroversial statements
:)).  But, he asks, if one could prove that Hashem exists, why should it
be a mitzvah to believe in Him?

Kol tuv,

Eli

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:50:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote:

> The notion that belief in the historical accuracy of humash mandates
> acceptance of Torah is, however, wrong - ask any fundamentalist
> Christian. 
> 

They fully concede their religion is based on faith - non-empirical, as
you put it. They are, therefore, not relevant.

> Today, unless you already accept the Torah, you are unlikely to believe
> that there were 600,000 people who left mitzraim and stood at mattan
> torah. Therefore, arguments based on that 600,000 are not convincing
> (except perhaps for arguments with missionaries who do accept that
> 600,000).  (ask any Reform Jew or anyone who has taken any Bible course
> in college or read any popular Bible history book)) 
> 

So, in essence, there is no way that a Reform or Conservative Jew can be
convinced thet Orthodoxy is emes - we have no way to prove or evince emes
to others?

YGB

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:53:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:
> So, in essence, there is no way that a Reform or Conservative Jew can be
> convinced thet Orthodoxy is emes - we have no way to prove or evince emes
> to others?


Halevai!
But to the best of your knowledge, has there been anyone who has been able
to consistently convince committed Reform and Conservative Jews of the
Emes based on the Kuzari's proof?


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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:53:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:

> Oodles of possibilities.  There are all kinds of things that don't
> constitute nevuah.  Ru'ah ha-Kodesh, for example, and bat kol.  But I
> think the simplest explanation is that what was seen is what the Torah
> says they saw: anan, choshech, and a ruach kadim which split the water.
> You know the rest.  This was a clear departure from teva and certainly
> one which could inspire shirah.  Note that we do not assume that those
> who witnessed the eser makkot were experiencing nevu'ah.
>

The Rambam classifies ruach hakodesh as prophecy.

You asked me where the Rambam links nevu;ah with dveykus - Moreh 3:51 in
the "He'ara."

 
>  For my part, I am very comfortable drawing a distinction between the
> historical reality of mattan Torah as described in the Chumash and the
> midrashic descriptions which move in a a number of different directions.
>

That's good enough! 
 
> SA), but generally guides one regarding the proper Halakhah.  In

It does?


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:58:30 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote:

> Whether or not this applies to goyyim or not is unclear, is there any
> literature on the topic?

To the best of my knowledge this does not apply to goyim.
> 
> As to the issue of rational proof of God's existance, the Rav in Lonely
> Man of Faith p.51 points out rational proof of God's existance is
> difficult, and more productive is Kierkegaard's comments, does a bride in
> her beloved's embrace ask for proof of his existance? In other words, its
> only through the experience of Emunah that we can hope to attain Emunah
> be-zman ha-zeh. I think this would equally apply to Har Sinai, which, as
> been cogently point out by an number of people, is not considered valid
> empirical evidence by much of the world today.
>

Aha, so this begins to confirm my suspicions - the Rav himself seems to
reject the mahalach of the Rishonim in favor of existential evidence for
emuna. This connotes a great gap - between what can be defined as "Toras
Emes Muchletes" (if one finds rational evidence compelling) and "Toras
Emes Yachasis" (if one bases emuna on one's own experiential faith). Not
everyone is as in love with the Torah as the Rav. If, then, they fall into
the latter camp...

YGB 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:01:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote:

> art in Academic Bible study and Ancient Near eastern History. Frankly, I'm
> glad--- I prefer to have them as Shomrei Torah u-Mitzvos. On the other

Why? Strength in numbers?

> What we are arguing is that the historical data of Har sinai is not
> sufficient to serve as a proof to an outsider of its having happened.

What is the proof.

Hey! Another "revelation." Perhpaps this is why there is very little
"modern orthodox" kiruv. There are no tools (other than pure experience,
say, a la NCSY).

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807018993.AA899327192@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 16:59:37 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!    
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A  few comments on the current topic: First of all the book Eye of a
Needle
which I quoted  the 600,000 person mashal from, is the kiruv primer put
>out by Aish Hatorah. It instructs those who try to be mekarev nonbelieving
>jews to use that mashal aswell as other maamad har sinai proofs.
>Therefore, although many on the list claimn that this is not a valuable
>and current way of being mekarev jews, it would seem like they are wrong.
Difference between not being valuable in kiruv, and being accepted as logical
proof.  Codes work in kiruv, and many here will dispute their logical efficacy. 
The question is, how much does someone know or accept the prevailing dogmas
beforehand?  
>Second of all, I am obviously missing something in meir, Eli's etc.logic.
>If something is accepted as fact for almost three thousand years, and then
>someone says it's not true and even gets millions of people to say its not
>true, how does their statements affect the truth. I can still maintain
 
The issue here is, I hope, not the truth of ma'amad har sinai.  I and Eli both
accept that truth.    The question is convincing others who do not start out
with that belief.  While the fact it was accepted is something that we can use
to support our emuna, clearly it has not convinced millions of people.  People
have believed for thousands of years strange things.

The Kuzari posits that our emuna is empirically (factually) based, rather than
on philosophical proofs or emuna  (ani hashem asher hozeticha me'eretz mizraim,
rather ani hashem asher barati et hashamaim v'ha'aretz).  The starting point for
the Kuzari is the unquestioned historical reality of yetziat Mizraim as
described in the Torah, validated by the universal acceptance by Jews and
gentiles.  This historical reality is then used to validate hashem as the
creator and lawgiver.

For us today, yetziat Mizraim is not an unquestioned historical reality
universally accepted, but something that is an unquestioned historical reality
because of our emuna, just as briat haolam is part of our emuna.  One can bring
many reasons why to believe in yetziat mizraim, as rav Ginsparg does, but it is
no longer the primary, unquestioned fact that can be used to found our emuna on. 


Meir Shinnar




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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 16:04:51 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:

> area.  It is also a direct mandate of the Mishnah.  But is absurd to
> think that a rishon would express himself in exactly the same way in the
> bet midrash as he would while defending Torat Hashem in Tortosa.
>

Why? I hope I do. (Except in that I use better English outside the BM.)
 
> just don't see how fairness enters the discussion.  What is fair is that
> Hashem gives us bechirah and we make our own choices.  The choice we

"Fair" here means that this is a mishpat, not a chok. Is the chiyuv to
kill them mishpat or chok?


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807018993.AA899327971@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 17:11:46 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re[6]: Theological Conundrum!    
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>So, in essence, there is no way that a Reform or Conservative Jew can be
>convinced thet Orthodoxy is emes - we have no way to prove or evince emes
>to others?

Whether such a proof can exist today is a different issue.  However,
we clearly have not found such a way that works consistently (the ba'al tshuva
movement, for all the wonderful things it does, is a minute portion).  For the
current generation, who  are a tinok shenishba, this is not because of willful
rejection, but at least partially because of our inability to formulate a proof
that will convince them.  I would be very happy to be wrong about this.

Meir Shinnar







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From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
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Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 17:19:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Theological Conundrum!   
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On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:

> On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote:
> 
> > art in Academic Bible study and Ancient Near eastern History. Frankly, I'm
> > glad--- I prefer to have them as Shomrei Torah u-Mitzvos. On the other
> 
> Why? Strength in numbers?

I assume youre asking why i want them to be shomrei toraah umitzvos.
i think it is obvious that members of klal yisrael following the Torah is
a good thing.

> 
> > What we are arguing is that the historical data of Har sinai is not
> > sufficient to serve as a proof to an outsider of its having happened.
> 
> What is the proof.
> 
> Hey! Another "revelation." Perhpaps this is why there is very little
> "modern orthodox" kiruv. There are no tools (other than pure experience,
> say, a la NCSY).


You may be right.

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Message-ID: <359AA443.2A75@neiu.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 17:04:03 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
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Subject: Lonely Man of Faith
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> > As to the issue of rational proof of God's existance, the Rav in Lonely
> > Man of Faith p.51 points out rational proof of God's existance is
> > difficult, and more productive is Kierkegaard's comments, does a bride in
> > her beloved's embrace ask for proof of his existance? In other words, its
> > only through the experience of Emunah that we can hope to attain Emunah
> > be-zman ha-zeh. I think this would equally apply to Har Sinai, which, as
> > been cogently point out by an number of people, is not considered valid
> > empirical evidence by much of the world today.
> >
> 
> Aha, so this begins to confirm my suspicions - the Rav himself seems to
> reject the mahalach of the Rishonim in favor of existential evidence for
> emuna. This connotes a great gap - between what can be defined as "Toras
> Emes Muchletes" (if one finds rational evidence compelling) and "Toras
> Emes Yachasis" (if one bases emuna on one's own experiential faith). Not
> everyone is as in love with the Torah as the Rav. If, then, they fall into
> the latter camp...
> 

Just Briefly:

As I recall, the subject of the essay by Rabbi Joseph B.Soloveitchik 
is the biblical dichotomy of Man.  And it, of course, is a masterful 
exposition of why a man of faith must, by definition, be "lonley". His 
refrence to the Kierkegaardian rhetorical question of:

"does a bride in her beloved's embrace ask for proof of his existance?"

is a statement recognizing simultaneously the impossiblity of tangible 
proof in G-d's existence, while at the same time utilizing the 
experiencial fact of our own existence, i.e. his embrace, as evidence of 
His existence. 

HM

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807018993.AA899331566@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 18:12:10 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion 
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>So why can we kill non-Jews who refuse to accept Sheva Mitzvos Bnei No'ach
>- if our mesorah cannot be rationally convincing, and they have theirs
>which is of equivalent weight to ours, that seems like a pretty unfair
>mitzva, don't you think?

The mesora does seem to accept that some notion of moral code (as distinct from
belief in torah misinai) is derivable by reason.  Note that we do not kill a non
Jew who follows the  mitzvot bnei noah, but does not believe in their divine
origin.  The rambam, who does put acceptance of their divine origin as part of
the mitzvot, also accepts that one can logically derive the existence of hashem.

Meir Shinnar



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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
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Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 19:06:50 -0500
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>Aha, so this begins to confirm my suspicions - the Rav himself seems to
>reject the mahalach of the Rishonim in favor of existential evidence for
>emuna. This connotes a great gap - between what can be defined as "Toras
>Emes Muchletes" (if one finds rational evidence compelling) and "Toras
>Emes Yachasis" (if one bases emuna on one's own experiential faith). Not
>everyone is as in love with the Torah as the Rav. If, then, they fall into
>the latter camp...

There is an extensive discussion by  rav Soloveitchik of different approaches to
hashem (philosophical, empirical, existential..) in Uvikashtem misham.  He
agrees that post Kant, rational proofs of God's existence are very problematic. 


However, it is probably true that very few people actually believe purely on the
basis of rational proofs, but rather, those that believe, use logical proofs to
validate their faith. (Of course, according to the Rambam, Avraham was one of
those few, but (unfortunately) we are not Avraham, and have different
philosophical issues.

    With regard to the rishonim:  The arguments brought down for hashem's
existence are mostly standard ones, and were accepted by the "science" and
philosophy of the time.  Those arguments today are no longer viewed with the
same equanimity.  Furthermore, basing acceptance of the Torah (rather than
existence of a Supreme Being) on reason is today far more difficult, given the
current state of biblical criticism and archaeology.  

    We accept Torah misinai on the basis of emuna.  A reason based proof,
however,  would have to have evidence to discard that modern scholarship. 
  I know of no Toras Emes hamuchletet camp writer who has given a convincing
rational proof for Torah misinai, accounting for  current knowledge, which can
convince someone who is not already convinced.  The best have been works showing
that Torah misinai is consistent with current evidence. The recent Orthodox
Forum publication on Modern Scholarship in the Study of Torah struggled with
this issue. 

 Again, I would love to find such a convincing, evidence based rational proof.  
 
Finally, I don't believe that the difference is one of fundamental theology, but
one in appraising the metziut.  If someone believes that he can base emuna in
torah misinai and mitzvot on a firm, evidence based, rational approach, I would
love to see the details.  However, we may disagree on what we consider to be
convincing evidence.  Perhaps the real difference is that while I have emuna in
Torah misinai,  the toras emes hamuchletet camp has, in addition, emuna that a
rational proof for Torah misinai can be found...

Meir Shinnar



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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 108

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Being clean shaven
	by gershon.dubin@juno.com
  2) blindfolded leading the blindfolded
	by gershon.dubin@juno.com
  3) Re: The Weaker Sex?
	by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
  4) thinking about belief
	by Shalom Carmy 
  5) Source in Rambam: Mashiach Ben Yosef = David
	by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
  6) Re: Invented traditions
	by alsilberman@juno.com
  7) Re: thinking about belief
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  8) Re: The Weaker Sex?
	by Harry Maryles 
  9) Re: The Weaker Sex?
	by 
 10) An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:09:57 -0400
Subject: Being clean shaven
Message-ID: <19980701.191609.29622.0.gershon.dubin@juno.com>
From: gershon.dubin@juno.com

>  All of the discussions I've seen of why the Torah prohibits shaving
>mention the result (i.e. being cleanshaven or removal of hair) rather
>than the process, yet, as we all know, it is the process which is
>prohibited.
	One idea I've heard,  which would speak for having a mustache
even if a beard is not an option,  is Lo Silbash Gever.

Gershon

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:15:58 -0400
Subject: blindfolded leading the blindfolded
Message-ID: <19980701.191609.29622.1.gershon.dubin@juno.com>
From: gershon.dubin@juno.com

>of 1 million people are marching in the desert.  You are at the back 
of the line of one group, I am at the back of the other group.  We start 
>to talk.  I tell you that I've been told that my group is being led by 
>one person.  You tell me that you've been told that your group is being 
>led by 600,000 people.
	I think that to say "at the back of the line" is misleading. 
You-we all-are at the end of thousands upon thousands of parallel lines. 
The fact that so many mesoros-plural-exist to the same event is what
gives the Kuzari's argument its power.  As long as we're recommending
reading,  I suggest Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb of Ohr Somayach's book on truth,
 which is available on their web site in PDF or HTM format.  He makes the
Kuzari's argument,  but very well.

Gershon

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 20:08:49 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Message-Id: <199807020008.UAA22930@mcs.drexel.edu>
To: C-Maryles@neiu.edu, baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: The Weaker Sex?
Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu

A short comment on Harrys reply. A summary of what has transpired is
as follows:

A)Harry asks why we say SHELO ASANI ISHAH
B) I respond by analogy that we say "Thank God for not being blind 
but having sight" and "Thank God for not being naked but being clothed
(by God)" and these blessings are NOT construed as attacking blind or
naked people but encouraging appreciation of Gods gifts and helping the
lest fortunate. So to I suggested that we thank God for not making
us women (who are physiologically inferior) but made us men

C) Harry Responds that this is cultural bias since in some cultures
women do hunting etc

D) So now it is my turn to respond. Look, I try and strike a balance
between discretion and details.

When I said "Vulnerable" I meant "can be forcibly raped". You can't 
rape a man (if you threaten him he has the right to die--a woman
doesn't). [Please Harry (and everyone else) don't ask me to prove
this  from sources or elaborate)

That is ALL I mean by women's vulnerability.

Hence I thank God for not making me vulnerable and making me a man.

Again as to the negative form of the blessing (LO ASANI vs ASANI ISH)
I suggested that the Prophet Sages of the great assembly did not 
want to inflate male egos.

Harry may be interested in WHAT CHAZAL did with female vulnerability.
Among other regulations are the following

--a female captive is redeemed before a male (because of her vulnerability)
--a female is also given priority in court appearances (because
	very often her vulnerability expresses itself in raising children
	not giving her enough time to get to court)

I could go on.

I wish to make it clear however I am not talking about SOCIOLOGICAL
BIASES (a trick brought in by the womens movement). I am SOLELY
talking about the FACT that a women can be raped against her will
without the right to die and a man can't.

I think this is an important topic and should be discussed further
(perhaps with other halachas brought in)

As usual we should all observe DARCAY NOAM particularly in this area

BUt we should also show respect for people (no "You aren't serious"
postings)

Anyway, I am serious. I believe the above argument is solid.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd. ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 20:10:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Shalom Carmy 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: thinking about belief
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

I am perplexed by several of the assumptions made (or not being
made) in the discussion of proofs for ikkarei emuna. So much so that I
have been moved to jot down some notes on the subject:

1. In real life, as opposed to math, we rarely confront deductive
proofs in the classical sense: arguments proceeding validly from
universally accepted premises. Will it rain tonight? The
weatherman has been wrong before, and the same is true of one's
arthritic bones and any other factor that may come into play. Did
Clinton make the best case he could in China last week? Did Hitler
approve the gas chambers? Is AIDS a Zionist plot? All kinds
of considerations can be brought in, none of which is absolutely 
conclusive.

Sometimes it is reasonable to suspend judgment; sometimes the truth
doesn't really matter all that much. But with respect to many matters,
both trivial and momentous, we reach a point where we cannot honestly
refrain from making a commitment. Basing a belief on the coming together
of various considerations, as opposed to one knock-down proof, is called
"consilience" in contemporary philosophy of science.

2. The idea that the Kuzari's argument (the 600,000 at Sinai) is
either conclusive or negligible goes against the common sense
assumption of the last paragraph. Of course one can raise all
sorts of quibbles about the reliability of tradition. But I, and
most intelligent people I know, do not rely on this argument in
isolation from everything else we know.

If, as we know and believe, the Ribbono shel Olam is a living presence and
a moral commander, rather than a mathematical equation, we should expect
our apprehension of Him to be experiential and personal, accessible to the
method of consilience operative in biology and history, rather than
deductive, as is the case in logic and mathematics. 

3. Some Rishonim were more sanguine about the validity of the classical
philosophical proofs for the existence of G-d etc. than are most
philosophers of the past 200 years. Others dismissed philosophical
argument totally. I doubt that any Rishonim subscribed to the proofs as a
substitute for living experience; I cannot imagine any of the Rishonim
recommending such an approach to others. As my mentor in this area, the
often slighted Rav Soloveitchik, observed, any proof limited to human
considerations alone inevitably yields a conception of G-d that is
confined by our own interests and perspectives.

4. It is difficult, though not impossible, to reject a short,
direct, irrefutable demonstration. It is much easier to resist
the flow of experience, the coming together of many experiential,
historical and metaphysical threads. As R. Elhanan Wasserman
pointed out, such resistance is even more attractive when the
truth entails accepting burdensome duties. Let me add that such
resistance is also strengthened when people uncritically adopt
unrealistic and inappropriate standards of proof in religion.

Even the most overwhelming experience can be resisted. Ramban,
Shemot 20:17 states that maamad har Sinai is a test (nissayon)
because it highlights the question of whether those who had
direct experience of G-d will choose to obey Him. Even at maamad har
Sinai, the gate of non serviam is not locked.

5. One writer has suggested that if the classical proofs are not airtight
then all we are left with is "experience, a la NCSY." This understanding
of "experience," in its religious context, is surprising, to say the
least.  The kind of religious experience which Rav Soloveitchik and Rav
Kook, among others, placed at the center of their existence, is the fruit
of prolonged, intense Talmud Torah, tefilla, self-examination,
understanding of the world, of Israel's destiny, and of the human
condition. If our own experience is less profound and less rich, it is
nonetheless the result of serious self-examination, devotion and work. I
don't wish to demean the emotional value of NCSY events, but the first
religious baby steps of American bourgeois adolescents are exactly that. A
momentary emotional high is NOT religious experience. It is, at best, an
opening through which the Ribbono shel Olam can break in. From the
perspective of the adult, the adolescent's beginnings are laughable. From
the perspective of kiruv or hizzuk the question is how to build from small
beginnings to a mature, honest existence. 

6. If I didn't think philosophy has value for a life of yirat
Shamayim, I would stop teaching it. But in all honesty, the real
value of philosophical arguments is to enhance self-understanding
and, as the Bet Halevi said, to help remove intellectual
impediments and excuses from the path of robust emuna.

My intellectual experience leads me to believe that overly
confident, rationalistic claims about what religious philosophy
can and should accomplish are among the impediments that good
philosophy ought to be clearing away.

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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 20:13:11 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Message-Id: <199807020013.UAA22986@mcs.drexel.edu>
To: BaisTefila@Shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
Subject: Source in Rambam: Mashiach Ben Yosef = David

Rabbi Bechhoffer suggested we would all benefit from this source

It is KINGS, 11:1.  

To be sure the Rambam doesn't mention Mashiach ben yosef.

BUT..he mentions the TWO MACHIACHS that the Jews have  and
identifies the first as David.

So I assume the first Mashiach = The Mashiach Ben Yosef of the Gemarrah


It seems to me (Laanniyuth daati) that if the Rambam brings this
down in a legal book then it must have legal bearing.

In particular we have no right according to this Rambam to call
The Rebbe or Begin Mashiach Ben Yosef.

Incidentally if all I accomplish is some discussion on this
(touchy) topic and this Rambam I will be happy

Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_108

To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 20:17:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Invented traditions
Message-ID: <19980701.201714.3518.0.alsilberman@juno.com>
From: alsilberman@juno.com

On  Wed, 1 Jul 1998  YG Bechhofer wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, the category of evidence of Ma'amad Har Siai is no less valid than
that that "proves" there was a Napoleon.

> with which the past is transmitted.  Anyone who argues for Torah on the
> basis of the Kuzari - the unlikelihood of invented traditions being
> accepted, and the empirical reliability of the historical transmission
> within the mesorah community - has to argue against invented traditions
> now being propagated. 
> 

I just did - and I think quite cogently .

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to give an example of an invented tradition from something
with which I am very familiar with in my circles. I don't know whether
this is true or not in other circles. With this knowledge in my
background I find the "" quite premature !

In chassidishe circles (as I said with which I grew up) not believing
that the Maharal actually created a Golem indicates a lack of Emunas
Xachamim and will get one branded as an "Apiqorus". There is no doubt, of
course that he did create one since everyone in Prague at that time and
the surrounding area actually saw it!! We, of course, have to believe it
is true since we have now received it as a Masora for countless
generations (at least 10) !! The Spinker Rebbe zt"l even has the letter
from the Maharal describing how he created it.

The number of such examples can be multiplied many times over.

Regards,
Moshe


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Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:53:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: thinking about belief
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Since I am the writer I must respond!

Obviously the religious expreience of the Rav, of Rav Kook, of Reb Nachman
Breslever, of any great Torah master, is a profound, prophetic experience,
validation of emuna in and of itself. This emuna peshuta -powerful,
experiential, prophetic, transcendan - is at the core of many schools of
divine service and uplifting growth. I fervently yearn for such
experiences and feel strongly that they are the greatest chizuk of emuna.
My hero Reb Avrohom Elya Kaplan, writes that one would become a Ba'al
Teshuva hearig the Gr"a's Kabbolas Shabbos.

But I am talking about what tools HaKadosh Baruch Hu has given us to
influence our wayward brethren, and ultimately, kol ha'olam kullo. You,
and several others here, are convincing me more and more that you question
the existence of those tools to reach out and provide illumination of the
truth - emes muchketes!! - to others.

I do not wish anymore at this stage to quibble whether the ishonim - the
expositors of Dvar Hashem! - meant what they said or said what they meant. 
I cannot fathom otherwise, and I cannot fathom why what they say cannot be
the starting point. or how they are no longer relevant. Forgivr my
ignorance.

But I now understand things I never understood before. How rabbis to the
"left" are into ecumenical activities, granting legitimacy to C/R rabbis
and movements (remember "Validus?"). If "I'm OK, You're OK" - there is no
proof that I am right and you are wrong - well. if I'm the Rav and I am
cheftza chada with the Torah, of course I find the others loathsome. But
if I am Rabbi X...

There are several other lines of thought that have opened before me in the
past twenty four hours, but that is enough for now.

YGB

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shalom Carmy wrote:

> 5. One writer has suggested that if the classical proofs are not airtight
> then all we are left with is "experience, a la NCSY." This understanding
> of "experience," in its religious context, is surprising, to say the
> least.  The kind of religious experience which Rav Soloveitchik and Rav
> Kook, among others, placed at the center of their existence, is the fruit
> of prolonged, intense Talmud Torah, tefilla, self-examination,
> understanding of the world, of Israel's destiny, and of the human
> condition. If our own experience is less profound and less rich, it is
> nonetheless the result of serious self-examination, devotion and work. I
> don't wish to demean the emotional value of NCSY events, but the first
> religious baby steps of American bourgeois adolescents are exactly that. A
> momentary emotional high is NOT religious experience. It is, at best, an
> opening through which the Ribbono shel Olam can break in. From the
> perspective of the adult, the adolescent's beginnings are laughable. From
> the perspective of kiruv or hizzuk the question is how to build from small
> beginnings to a mature, honest existence. 
> 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_108

Message-ID: <359ADA91.4712@neiu.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 20:55:45 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Russell Hendel 
CC: YGBList 
Subject: Re: The Weaker Sex?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Russell Hendel wrote:
> 
> A short comment on Harrys reply. A summary of what has transpired is
> as follows:
> 
> A)Harry asks why we say SHELO ASANI ISHAH
> B) I respond by analogy that we say "Thank God for not being blind
> but having sight" and "Thank God for not being naked but being clothed
> (by God)" and these blessings are NOT construed as attacking blind or
> naked people but encouraging appreciation of Gods gifts and helping the
> lest fortunate. So to I suggested that we thank God for not making
> us women (who are physiologically inferior) but made us men
> 
> C) Harry Responds that this is cultural bias since in some cultures
> women do hunting etc
> 
> D) So now it is my turn to respond. Look, I try and strike a balance
> between discretion and details.
> 
> When I said "Vulnerable" I meant "can be forcibly raped". You can't
> rape a man (if you threaten him he has the right to die--a woman
> doesn't). [Please Harry (and everyone else) don't ask me to prove
> this  from sources or elaborate)
> 
> That is ALL I mean by women's vulnerability.
> 
> Hence I thank God for not making me vulnerable and making me a man.
> 
> Again as to the negative form of the blessing (LO ASANI vs ASANI ISH)
> I suggested that the Prophet Sages of the great assembly did not
> want to inflate male egos.
> 
> Harry may be interested in WHAT CHAZAL did with female vulnerability.
> Among other regulations are the following
> 
> --a female captive is redeemed before a male (because of her vulnerability)
> --a female is also given priority in court appearances (because
>         very often her vulnerability expresses itself in raising children
>         not giving her enough time to get to court)
> 
> I could go on.
> 
> I wish to make it clear however I am not talking about SOCIOLOGICAL
> BIASES (a trick brought in by the womens movement). I am SOLELY
> talking about the FACT that a women can be raped against her will
> without the right to die and a man can't.
> 
> I think this is an important topic and should be discussed further
> (perhaps with other halachas brought in)
> 
> As usual we should all observe DARCAY NOAM particularly in this area
> 
> BUt we should also show respect for people (no "You aren't serious"
> postings)
> 
> Anyway, I am serious. I believe the above argument is solid.
> 
> Russell Jay Hendel; Phd. ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

First I want to apologize for any ill feeling that may have been 
generated ftom my post.It was not my intention to depart from Darcay 
Noam. I respect the high degree of intelligence and thought that goes 
into virtually all of the postings on this list. And Russell, you are 
certainly no exception.  When I said:

	"I can't believe you are serious"

I actually believed that you might be answering me "tounge-in-cheek" 
because I have never heard an explanation of "Shelo Asani Isha" that 
characterized women on any kind of inferior plane, even a physiological 
one.

I still maintain that the physiological differences between men and 
women are differences in kind rather than in degree.  Whereas a man has 
superior upper body strength, a woman has superior lower body strength. 
 A woman may have a greater tolerance for pain than a man.  A man may 
have a quicker reaction time than a woman.  And on and on.

In cases of rape. it is almost exclusively true that women are the 
victims here.  But again in modern times it has been shown that women 
can learn how to protect themselves and therefore not be left 
vulnerable.  It is in the nature of Mankind that women are the targets 
of rape and not men because of the sexual nature of men versus women, 
and the nature of such attacks. In this sense, vulnerability is not a 
real difference between men and women but their sexual nature is.  This 
is a difference in kind, not in degree. It is arguable that men might be 
more vulnerable than women in certain circumstances.

As for your refference to Chazal's deffinition, i.e.:

 --a female captive is redeemed before a male (because of her 
vulnerability)
> --a female is also given priority in court appearances (because
>         very often her vulnerability expresses itself in raising children
>         not giving her enough time to get to court)

I believe in your first reference, Chazal made a woman"s redemption a 
priority because of the sexual nature of men towards women combined 
with their being captive, and
your second reference to her court appearance priorities... I'm hard 
pressed to believe that it was because of her vulnerability. It seems 
more likely that her RESPONSIBILITIES towards child-rearing is the 
reason that chazal prioritized women's appearances in court. I could be 
wrong here because I'm not familiar with, or don't remember the gemmorah 
you are talking about.

Also, I don't understand what you mean by:

>		(if you threaten him he has the right to die--a woman
> doesn't).

Could you explain. I know you asked not to elaborate but I simply do not 
understand what you mean.

HM

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From: 
Message-ID: <33665436.359af32e@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 22:40:45 EDT
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Mime-Version: 1.0
Subject: Re: The Weaker Sex?
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

In a message dated 98-07-01 21:51:49 EDT, you write:

<< your second reference to her court appearance priorities... I'm hard 
 pressed to believe that it was because of her vulnerability. It seems 
 more likely that her RESPONSIBILITIES towards child-rearing is the 
 reason that chazal prioritized women's appearances in court. I could be 
 wrong here because I'm not familiar with, or don't remember the gemmorah 
 you are talking about. >>

According to the Rambam (Hilchot Sanhedrin, 21:6), a woman's case is heard
first because her shame is greater. I'd be interested to know the source of
children impairing her ability to get to court.

----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_108

To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Message-ID: <19980701.234013.8567.0.KennethGMiller@juno.com>
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 23:40:58 EDT






Micha Berger wrote: <<<  I recall one of Rav YB Soloveitchik's yarchei
kallah in Boston an August in the early 80s, where The Rav discussed the
gemara about an esrog that is used for only part of Succos. It is assur
bihana'ah the rest of the day that it is used, including bein hashmashos.
Then, since it was assur bihana'ah bein hashmashos,
it is assur for the rest of the next day as well. >>>

Another example of this is that the Sukkah remains assur on the last day
(Sh'mini Atzeres in Israel, Simchas Torah elsewhere) merely because it
was muktzah during the preceding bein hash'mashos -- Mishna Brurah 667:2.

But if so, then I have a very serious question which has been bothering
me for years. It will sound ridiculous at first, but please consider it
carefully: If a sukkah remains muktza on the Yom Tov which falls on the
day after Sukkos, then a candle should remain muktza on a Yom Tov which
falls on Motzaei Shabbos. Why isn't it?

I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
and the candle, or (2) an authoritative sefer which points out that
indeed, the candle and all cooking utensils and related items should
remain muktza over Yom Tov, but an explicit exception was made for this
situation.

Personally, I have not found any rule which distinguishes between a sukka
and a candle. I would easily believe that an exception was made here
(especially since it would be so similar to having Shabbos and Yom Kippur
run into each other) but I'd like to know if it was ever explicitly said.

Akiva Miller

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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 109

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Mashiach BY
	by Isser Zalman Weisberg 
  2) Re: The Kuzari's Proof
	by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)
  3) You can't rape a man?
	by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)
  4) Re: Shavers (fwd)
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  5) Faith and Emunah
	by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
  6) RE: The Weaker Sex?
	by "Pechman, Abraham" 
  7) Re: Mashiach BY
	by Harry Maryles 
  8) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Clark, Eli" 
  9) Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 10) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Moshe J. Bernstein" 
 11) Re: The Kuzari's Proof
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 12) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by "Lawrence M. Reisman" 
 13) Re: Faith and Emunah
	by 
 14) 
	by "Newman,Saul Z" 
 15) Re: Rabbis to the left
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 16) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 17) Re: Faith and Emunah
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 18) RE: Early shabbos
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 19) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 

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Message-Id: 
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 02:25:20 -0500
To: Bais Tefila Learning Group 
From: Isser Zalman Weisberg 
Subject: Mashiach BY

Unfortunately I haven't had the time to actively participate in the many
interesting discussions lately, or even to read most of the digests.
B'hashgacha pratis I saw the posing in digest 101 from HM and I was very
surprised at the harsh tone which I thought was unacceptable to our group.

I do not wish to dwell on this. Just a few points.

"Please remember that long before he brought up this whole business with
Moshiach, nobody outside of Lubavitch was Gores him"

This, of course, is untrue. Most gedolei Yisroel had enormous respect for
the Rebbe. Rav Moshe and Rav SZ Aurbach zt"l, both considered the
undisputed poskei Hador in their time, publicized their admiration for the
Rebbe and their total support for his massive kiruv efforts. They clearly
did not consider them "questionable". (I can give exact quotes for those
interested). There is a set of seforim titled "Shemen Sasson" which
documents the Rebbe's correspondence (oral and written) with the Gedolei
Yisroel of our generation. A glance at the long list of personalities
demonstrates that Rav Shach was clearly the exception, not the rule.

"R. Chaim Shmulevitz has been quoted as saying (in Yiddish) Az Ehr iz
Moshiach, Gey Ich Nit!"

Anyone who knew R. Chaim realizes that this is clearly a fabrication, and
totally out of character for this great master of musser and humility. I
personally know bachurim from Mir whom Rav Nachum zt"l (Rav Chaim's
son-in-law and one of the most respected Roshei Yeshiva in the world) spoke
to about the Rebbe's gadlus and asked them to please go to the Rebbe when
they returned to NY and ask him for a b'racha for a refuah shleima for
himself (when Rav Nachum was ill).

"...leader of a generation which, I believe to be a minimum requirement to
be even Moshiach ben Yosef"

A little research on this matter would reveal that: MBY has a VERY LIMITED
following, is clearly NOT considered the leader of a generation, is scorned
upon and even ridiculed by many Jews and even Talmidei Chachomim, IS a
descendent of DAVID HAMELECH, IS considered by his followers to be Ben
DOVID, not Ben YOSEF, DOES have very "special significance in Yahadus", and
IS most likely mentioned in RAMBAM. I can cite all the sources if there is
interest.

Isser Zalman

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Cc: clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM, meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Subject: Re: The Kuzari's Proof
Message-ID: <19980702.023611.8567.6.KennethGMiller@juno.com>
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 02:37:01 EDT




It seems that several posters understand the Kuzari somewhat differently
than how I do. Please allow me to explain my understanding of the
Kuzari's proof of the Torah's truth.

Rabbi Clark wrote:  <<< ... I don't get the same chizzuk from the Kuzari
that you do.  After all, the direct access advantage only lasted one
generation.  After that we have to rely on mesorah, just like --
le-havdil -- all the other religions. ... >>>

And Meir Shinnar wrote <<< ... Rav Yehuda Halevy makes two related
empirically based arguments for the validity of Torah.  These arguments
are no longer valid for us, because the empirical validity of their
assumptions is itself a matter of doubt, and is accepted essentially only
by those who already accept the Torah.  The first is the historical
reality of yetziat mitzraim. ...  Today, the reality is that outside of
the mesora community and conservative Christian groups, the historical
reality of the Exodus and all of humash is not accepted.  Therefore, one
has to have accepted Torah before these arguments have any validity. ...
>>>

Rabbi Clark seems to say that since those who witnessed Maamad Har Sinai
are no longer with us, what had been their testimony is now mere hearsay.
And Mr. Shinnar is saying that the proof is dependent upon a prior belief
- in which case no proof is needed!

I will demonstrate that my personal belief is not based on accepting the
testimony of 600,000 witnesses as evidence, and it is not based on what
percentage of any population might believe the Torah to be true.
Contradictory though it may seem, my belief is based on the mere *claim*
of the Torah's truth. Generations of Jews have *claimed* and *believed*
the Torah to be true, and that is what makes this proof rock-solid in my
eyes.

(Unfortunately, I am not sufficiently familiar with the Kuzari to cite
chapter and verse. But over the years, when I have read or learned
anything relating to this subject, this is how the Kuzari was taught to
me.)

I do admit that most of the world does not accept the historical validity
of the Torah, certainly not as much as we do. However, the fact is that
we do accept it. And why? Because our parents and teachers believed it,
and so they taught us to believe it. And they believed because of their
teachers. And so on.

Of course, this belief proves nothing. The faithful of other religions
believe because of their parents and teachers, who also sincerely
believed. All this shows is that at some point in the past, someone
started passing down a story which succeeding generations believed. This,
on its own, does not prove that the story really occurred.

So we have to look at they story. And this is where the proof comes to
light. Because every other religion in the world started with an
individual, or a small group of people, who gathered a following and
taught them their message. I am not accusing any particular religion of
being false. All I am saying is that ultimately, the proof of the other
religions depends on whether or not the founder(s) really spoke with G-d
(or whatever), or whether the founder(s) made up the story (deliberately
or not). Again, I am not accusing any religion of being false. All I am
saying is that a charismatic individual, or group of same, *could* set a
religion in motion on a false basis, yet the faithful followers would be
totally innocent and unaware of the error, and then they would faithfully
pass this on to their children and students.

But that could not possibly have happened in our case, because our story
CLAIMS that an entire nation experienced it personally. If our faith was
based on what Moshe told us, then a non-believer could claim that Moshe
was a charismatic person who convinced others that G-d had spoken to him,
and we could not prove him wrong. But we believe that every single one of
those millions *personally* experience HaShem's presence. You can't make
this stuff up. No one would believe it.

Let's go back to the days of Yehoshua. Better yet, a few years later,
when absolutely no one is left who had been in Egypt. In Rabbi Clark's
words, "the direct access advantage" is gone, and at this point "we have
to rely on mesorah, just like -- le-havdil -- all the other religions."
But I disagree, because we do not need "the direct access advantage".
Imagine it is Pesach, we're sitting at the Seder eating the Korban
Pesach, telling the story of what happened a few years ago. I ask for
proof, and they tell me this answer: If we were the only people around
having this Seder, the request for proof would be reasonable. But with so
many people doing this, the burden of proof falls to me. Why do I think
that they are all wrong? How could they possibly have made up the story?

And this is true even nowadays. To say that the Torah is *not* true is to
say that at some point, someone wrote it, and managed to get other people
to believe it. But what sane person would believe it if it did not
happen? If I told you that 500 years ago, all of Greece flew to the moon
and back, and they celebrate that trip every year ever since, no one
would ever believe it, because there is no support for its own claims.

So too for us. There is no way that you can convince an entire nation
that their ancestors really spoke with HaShem unless it really happened.
In other religions, the bottom line of the tradition is that a certain
person or group spoke with G-d, which could be true or false; the fact
that the tradition exists is no proof either way. But *our* tradition
boils down to millions of people speaking to Him. Such a claim would
never have made it to the second generation unless it really happened.

Sometimes I feel bad that this is referred to as the Kuzari's proof. I
believe that Moshe Rabenu should get the credit for it. In Moshe's own
words (D'varim 4:32-35) 

<<< So go and ask about the old days that came before you, since the day
that G-d created man on the earth, from one end of heaven to the other
--- Has there ever been anything like this great thing? Or has anything
like it ever been heard of? Has a people ever heard the voice of G-d
speaking from a fire, like you heard personally, and lived? Or has G-d
ever miraculously come to take a nation for Himself out from another
nation, with miracles, signs, and wonders, and with war, a mighty hand
and outstretched arm, and with great awesomeness, like everything which
Hashem your G-d did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were
shown so that you would know, that HaShem is G-d, there is no other
besides Him. >>>

I am particularly inspired by the words "O hanishma kamohu" - "Has
anything like it ever been heard of?"

True then. True now. 'Nuff said.

Akiva Miller






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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: You can't rape a man?
Message-ID: <19980702.073536.8567.1.KennethGMiller@juno.com>
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller)
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 07:36:29 EDT

Dr Hendel wrote <<< When I said "Vulnerable" I meant "can be forcibly
raped". You can't rape a man >>>

When a person donates blood, they ask the donor a series of questions, in
order to help screen out dangerous blood from the public supply.
Questions about prescription drugs, illegal drugs, recent illnesses and
surgeries, that sort of thing. For several years this has included
questions about one's sexual practices, presumably because of AIDS.

About two years ago, I noticed a new question on the list: "Have you ever
been in prison for over 72 hours?"

What a sad commentary on the state of our prison system. Someone who's
been in jail for three days has lost the chazaka on the quality of his
blood. I think Dr. Hendel's theory is mistaken.

Akiva Miller

_____________________________________________________________________
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Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 08:24:39 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group 
Subject: Re: Shavers (fwd)
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Forwarded message. Rabbi Rabinovitch is the Rosh haYeshiva of Yeshivat
Birkat Moshe in Ma'aleh Edumim.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:26:54 +0000
From: yeshivat birkat moshe 
To: Benjie 
Subject: Re: Shavers

Your quote of Rabbi Rabinovitch's position is accurate, though he 
wishes to stress that you only quoted the conclusion of  a lengthy 
teshuva and in order to understand his reasoning  he urges you to 
read the whole teshuva.  

Kol tuv

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Message-Id: <199807021333.JAA01712@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com>
Subject: Faith and Emunah
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 09:33:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

As I see it, there is a spectrum of level of proof to anything a person
accepts to be true:

1- Proof. I have incontravertable proof that X is true. People who don't
   believe in X are either ignorant of it, in denial, or delusional.
2- Argument. I can give a line of argument that shows X to be true. (E.g.
   Using information theory to prove the existance of a creator.) However,
   someone else could pick holes in this argument, or at least believe that
   they must exist.
3- Assertion. I have no evidence one way or the other, but I believe that X is
   true.
4- Counterproof. I believe in X even though I have evidence otherwise.

I don't think anyone defines emunah to include #4. And, I quoted my LOR a
little while back, who felt that emunah doesn't mean seeking #1. Clearly,
things that are proven should be believed, but that isn't emunah. Even worse,
the need / desire to seek proofs is a chisaron in emunah. IIRC, R' YGB still
disagrees, at least on this last point.

But what the question really boils down to whether emunah is supposed to be
based on argument, or isn't. This is not to say arguments do or don't exist,
just whether it is the obligation of emunah.

The Rambam requires searching for arguments as part of his definition of the
chiyuv of "Anochi Hashem". OTOH, his hakdamah to the Moreh implies that you'd
be better off not needing such arguments, but for those who do, here's a
sefer.  And we've already cited those who laud emunah p'shutah. Eilu va'eilu?


About the Riha"l's arguments:

1- Why is it that the widespread acceptance of the events of the Torah is
proof during this acceptance, but evaporates otherwise? IOW, if at any time,
diverse peoples accept a single Great Event as being true, shouldn't that
argue louder than their later rejection of that belief as myth?

For example, it's easy to see how multiple cultures would reject tall tales.
The Riha"l's first argument, though, was about how multiple cultures could all
have very similar stories. Of course in rejection, the absence of a story,
they'd converge.

2- OTOH, I find the oft cited second argument, about the impossibility of
creating a legend about nearly all the ancestors (except those of geirim) of
the people who believe it, to be flawed. (BTW, there were 3million or so
witnesses, not 600,000. The fact that we know that women and children saw it
too adds to the credibility, at least numeriacally.)

In generation 1, the story could be made up, and told as a story. No one
questions it, because it's a story. In generation 5, it's a "legend", it
gains currency, but only the gullible believe it. By generation 10, if
someone were to insist to the masses that it /is/ true, who would question
not having heard the story before? The Rihal assumes the claim was created
overnight, however, a slower process is plausable.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287    Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5853 days!
micha@aishdas.org                         (11-Jun-82 - 2-Jul-98)
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.
http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed

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Message-ID: <642B2955645BD0118FEE00805FD4068228DE45@MWEXCHANGE>
From: "Pechman, Abraham" 
To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" 
Subject: RE: The Weaker Sex?
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 09:37:12 -0400 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain



> -----Original Message-----
> From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu [mailto:rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 1998 8:09 PM
> To: C-Maryles@neiu.edu; baistefila@shamash.org
> Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
> Subject: Re: The Weaker Sex?
> 
...
> --a female captive is redeemed before a male (because of her 
> vulnerability)
 

Actually, if the captors are known to be into mishkav zachor, then the
male captive would take precendence in redemption, because the rape of a
man is worse (unnatural? more painful? more embarrassing?) than the rape
of a woman. Indicating that we measure vulnerability on a case by case
basis.

Avi Pechman

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Message-ID: <359B8657.81B@neiu.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 09:08:39 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Mashiach BY
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Isser Zalman Weisberg wrote:
> 
> Unfortunately I haven't had the time to actively participate in the many
> interesting discussions lately, or even to read most of the digests.
> B'hashgacha pratis I saw the posing in digest 101 from HM and I was very
> surprised at the harsh tone which I thought was unacceptable to our group.
> 
> I do not wish to dwell on this. Just a few points.
> 
> "Please remember that long before he brought up this whole business with
> Moshiach, nobody outside of Lubavitch was Gores him"
> 
> This, of course, is untrue. Most gedolei Yisroel had enormous respect for
> the Rebbe. Rav Moshe and Rav SZ Aurbach zt"l, both considered the
> undisputed poskei Hador in their time, publicized their admiration for the
> Rebbe and their total support for his massive kiruv efforts. They clearly
> did not consider them "questionable". (I can give exact quotes for those
> interested). There is a set of seforim titled "Shemen Sasson" which
> documents the Rebbe's correspondence (oral and written) with the Gedolei
> Yisroel of our generation. A glance at the long list of personalities
> demonstrates that Rav Shach was clearly the exception, not the rule.

Rav Shach may not be the rule but he is most certainly not the exception 
as there are many roshei yeshiva today that are at least inclined to 
question Rebbe"s ultimate accomplishements.  Rabbi Chaim D. Keller comes 
to mind as does the entire leadership of Telshe Yeshiva.  I have also 
spoken tomany roshei Yeshiva here in Chicago, who, for obvious reasons, 
wish to remain anonymous, who have the same inclination.  Furthermore, 
Rav Shach is considered the Gadol Hador by most Litveshe charedim in 
Eretz Israel today.  So, his opinion cannot be so easily discounted.
> 
> "R. Chaim Shmulevitz has been quoted as saying (in Yiddish) Az Ehr iz
> Moshiach, Gey Ich Nit!"
> 
> Anyone who knew R. Chaim realizes that this is clearly a fabrication, and
> totally out of character for this great master of musser and humility. I
> personally know bachurim from Mir whom Rav Nachum zt"l (Rav Chaim's
> son-in-law and one of the most respected Roshei Yeshiva in the world) spoke
> to about the Rebbe's gadlus and asked them to please go to the Rebbe when
> they returned to NY and ask him for a b'racha for a refuah shleima for
> himself (when Rav Nachum was ill).

The quote by Rav Chaim Shmulevitz I have heard  eid mipi eid. And 
I'vedouble checked my source  on this and he is impeachable.  Anyone who 
knows about R. Ch.Shmulevetz,knows that he had a tremendous sense of 
humor. If he disagreed with what the Rebbe was doing or saying, it is 
not a stretch to believe that he said it in this humorous tone.

As to his son-in-law,R.Nuchum, I have heard the same story about his 
asking for a bracha from the Rebbe, and have even heard the same thing 
about my own Rebbe, R.Aaron Soloveichik, who, after being struck down by 
a debiltating stroke, also, asked (I believe personally) for a bracha 
from the Rebbe.  I really can't say that I understand this except to say 
Al todin Chavercha ad shyagya limkomo. And in my Rebbe's case, there was 
also, a close personalrelationship with the Rebbe (which the 
Mashichistin exploited about a year or so ago for their own purposes).
> 
> "...leader of a generation which, I believe to be a minimum requirement to
> be even Moshiach ben Yosef"
> 
> A little research on this matter would reveal that: MBY has a VERY LIMITED
> following, is clearly NOT considered the leader of a generation, is scorned
> upon and even ridiculed by many Jews and even Talmidei Chachomim, IS a
> descendent of DAVID HAMELECH, IS considered by his followers to be Ben
> DOVID, not Ben YOSEF, DOES have very "special significance in Yahadus", and
> IS most likely mentioned in RAMBAM. I can cite all the sources if there is
> interest.


There has been so little written on MBY that it is difficult todefine 
his characteristics.  I would like to see your source material.

Eventhough you addressed some of my points you did not address my other 
points so, you must admit to them.

HM

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:12:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
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>> area.  It is also a direct mandate of the Mishnah.  But is absurd to
>> think that a rishon would express himself in exactly the same way in the
>> bet midrash as he would while defending Torat Hashem in Tortosa.

>Why? I hope I do. (Except in that I use better English outside the BM.)

I think you and I live in a very different time.  I certainly can't
imagine being summoned before the ruler of this land and asked to serve
as defense attorney for Yiddishkeit.  Moreover, remember the stakes: not
only did Ramban have to flee for his life after the vikku'ach, but there
was a strong possibility of a pogrom depending on its outcome.  Other
outocmes of vikkuchim included the serefah of every single copy of the
Gemara.

>"Fair" here means that this is a mishpat, not a chok. Is the chiyuv to
>kill them mishpat or chok?

I do not see how the mishpat and chok distinction helps.  Assume the
only evidence is two edim.  No other physical evidence.  Not even a
corpse.  By US standards, conviction is unlikely.  But the Torah says al
shenayyim edim yakkum davar.  Is that a mishpat or a chok?  Answer: it
doesn't matter.  We kill him anyway.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Nevuah of Benei Yisrael
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:04:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

R. YGB writes:
>The Rambam classifies ruach hakodesh as prophecy.
Correct.  Correct.

>You asked me where the Rambam links nevu;ah with dveykus - Moreh 3:51 in
>the "He'ara."

Well, yes.  Two quibbles.  One -- his use of the term seems very
different from the Ramchal's and that of other mekubbalim.  Two -- he
was writing in Arabic, so it is that much harder to draw the comparison.
 (Where the Rambam writes in Hebrew -- i.e. the Mishneh Torah -- I don't
remember seeing the word devekut.)



>> SA), but generally guides one regarding the proper Halakhah.  In

>It does?

Basically.  I admit it is less clear than, say, Shemirat Shabbat
ke-Hilkhatah.  But you have to judge it against the other texts
available at the time -- and for the subsequent 5 or 6 centuries.  The
Mishnah is very concrete compared to the Mekhilta, Sifra and Sifre.  It
is far more organized than the Gemara.  The next closest thing to a
practical Halakkhah guide is something like the Sefer Halakhot Gedolot,
which is still harder to use than the Mishnah.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 11:19:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Moshe J. Bernstein" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

question for those of us who believe that yahadut is an "evidence-based" 
religion: can you conceive of a piece of evidence which could lead you to
believe other than what you believe currently? if not, then what you
believe in is ultimately faith-based. 

those of us involved in scholarship in biblical studies frequently get
asked questions of this kind, both sincerely and superciliously (depending
on the questioner), and the issue must be treated in a far more nuanced
fashion than mere citation of the Kuzari. after all, regardless of how the
Kuzari's argument is treated on the evidentiary scale, does it really
surpass all other forms of evidence? if not, then what would happen if
such a piece of evidence were to be presented?

moshe bernstein

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: The Kuzari's Proof
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 11:19:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

I am glad to see that many people find the argument of R.[who gave him
semikhah?] Yehudah Halevi just as convincing today as the king of the
Khazars found the argument of the Chaver.

Just a few comments.  Akiva, you seem to agree that the issue comes down
to our story against their story, but that our story is better because
harder to fabricate.  You mention the state of belief of people in the
dor of Yehoshua or later and ask how could they doubt something seen by
a whole nation.  A good question!

The answer of the skeptic:  Yehoshua (chalilah!) never existed either!
 You may be right that a claim as grandiose as ma'amad Har Sinai could
never have made it to the 2nd generation.  But how do we know there was
a second generation?  We know about Yehoshua from the same source which
tells us of ma'amad Har Sinai.  Do you see why this argument is
circular?

A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the
Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l).
According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush
by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles
that happened long before (chalilah).

Now I don't believe this at all.  But I do believe that this is an
accurate description of the origin of pagan myths, Hindu myths,
Christian myths, Moslim myths, and, more recently, Mormon myths.

Armed with your argument, I could tell these Bible critics: yes, but our
story is not a myth because the giluy shekhinah was in front of millions
of people!  And dor Yehoshua would not have bought the story unless the
previous generation really experienced it.  Do you think this would
convince the Bible critics that the Torah is true, while the religious
legends of all other faiths are myth?  Or do you think they would just
say that Chizkiyah's story was better written than (le-havdil) Paul's?

Kol tuv,

Eli



Akiva Miller writes:

>So we have to look at they story. And this is where the proof comes to
>light. Because every other religion in the world started with an
>individual, or a small group of people, who gathered a following and
>taught them their message.[snip]
> All I am
>saying is that a charismatic individual, or group of same, *could* set a
>religion in motion on a false basis, yet the faithful followers would be
>totally innocent and unaware of the error, and then they would faithfully
>pass this on to their children and students.

>But that could not possibly have happened in our case, because our story
>CLAIMS that an entire nation experienced it personally. If our faith was
>based on what Moshe told us, then a non-believer could claim that Moshe
>was a charismatic person who convinced others that G-d had spoken to him,
>and we could not prove him wrong. But we believe that every single one of
>those millions *personally* experience HaShem's presence. You can't make
>this stuff up. No one would believe it.

>Let's go back to the days of Yehoshua. Better yet, a few years later,
>when absolutely no one is left who had been in Egypt. In Rabbi Clark's
>words, "the direct access advantage" is gone, and at this point "we have
>to rely on mesorah, just like -- le-havdil -- all the other religions."
>But I disagree, because we do not need "the direct access advantage".
>Imagine it is Pesach, we're sitting at the Seder eating the Korban
>Pesach, telling the story of what happened a few years ago. I ask for
>proof, and they tell me this answer: If we were the only people around
>having this Seder, the request for proof would be reasonable. But with so
>many people doing this, the burden of proof falls to me. Why do I think
>that they are all wrong? How could they possibly have made up the story?

> But *our* tradition
>boils down to millions of people speaking to Him. Such a claim would
>never have made it to the second generation unless it really happened.

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Message-ID: <000a01bda5cf$7ba583e0$3d9cfbd0@default>
From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" 
To: 
Cc: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 11:38:36 -0400

Rabbi Bechofer wrote:

>But I now understand things I never understood before. How rabbis to the
>"left" are into ecumenical activities, granting legitimacy to C/R rabbis
>and movements (remember "Validus?"). If "I'm OK, You're OK" - there is no
>proof that I am right and you are wrong - well. if I'm the Rav and I am
>cheftza chada with the Torah, of course I find the others loathsome. But
>if I am Rabbi X...


Excuse me, but at this point, I feel compelled to defend Dr. Lamm.  Now,
most people can guess that I'm no lover of Dr. Lamm or modern Orthodoxy, and
I have defended Reb Elya's right to speak his mind more than once.  But I
cannot let you get away with using an unfortunate slip of Dr. Lamm's tongue
to imply he said something that he didn't.  He used the word "valid" when he
meant to use "viable."  In other words, Conservative and Reform have proven
to be viable groupings in the modern era. But at no time during that speech
did he concede legitimacy!  His exact words, spoken at the CLAL critical
issues conference on March 19, 1986, and reprinted in Moment Magazine's
June, 1986 issue are as follows:

    From a functional point of view, therefore, non-Orthodox rabbis are
valid leaders of Jewish religious communities, an it both fatuous and
self-defeating not to acknowledge this openly.... As an Orthodox Jew, I not
only have no trouble in acknowledging the functional validity of
non-Orthodox rabbinic leadership, but also in granting that non-Orthodox
rabbis and lay people may possess spiritual dignity. ...  But neither
funcional validity nor spiritual dignity are identical with Jewish
legitimacy.  "Validity derives from the Latin "validus," strong.  It is a
factual descriptive term.  "Legitmacy" derives from the Latin "lex," law.
It is a normtative and eveluative term.  ... Here, I have no choice but to
judge such legitimacy by my own understanding of what constitutes Judaism
and what does not.  The criterion of such legitimacy is the Jewish lex-the
halacha: not a specific interpretation of and individual halacha; not a
general tendency to be strict or lenient; but the fundamental acceptance of
halacha's divine origin, of Torah minhashemayim.

    It is interesting to note that the Orthodox reaction focused on the use
of "validity," while the non-Orthodox reaction focused on his denying
legitimacy to other groups.  If one peruses the letters to the editor of
subsequent editions of Moment, one finds non-Orthodox Jews excoriating Dr.
Lamm for his intolerance.  As to the use of the word, in his reply to Aaron
Twerski, printed in the June, 1988 edition of the Jewish Observer, he
conceded the use of the word of validity was unwise and misleading.

    I like Dr.  Lamm-blaster no more than any other right-wing Neanderthal,
but please don't criticize him for something he never said or meant to say.
Nine years ago at the Agudah convention, Reb Elya was allowed to give a "Wos
Ich hob gemeint ich hob nicht gesogt, und vos hob Ich gesogt, Ich hob nicht
gemeint" (What I meant I did not say, what I say I did not mean) speech to
clarify some remarks he had made earlier on.  We should look at Dr. Lamm's
in its entire context, and see what he really meant to say.  The pursuit of
emes demands no less.

Yours as ever,

Levi Reisman


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From: 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Message-Id: <85256635.004DDF86.00@allante.chase.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:33:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah
MIME-Version: 1.0
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I think that much of the confusion is due to the two separate things we
mean by the term "Emunah".
1] - The knowledge based on logical proof
2] - The emotional "feeling" of believing

I know that my son is really my son because

0] - Chazaka,  rov beilos achar habaal
1] - I was in the hospital when he was born
2] - The kid we took home looked something like the one I saw a few moments
after birth
3] - The kid I see every day seems like the one I saw yesterday

But when I beam (kvell) at his kindergarten graduation and feel that strong
feeling of "he's my son", I'm not focusing on the above proof. I'm past
that. I know it in my gut. and don't think about it.

I think this is what Rabbi Soloveitchik meant his by "bride in the embrace"
example. Not that we believe blindly, but that when you know, you know. And
once you know, it's insulting to focus on the proofs. Imagine if I told my
wife: We can go on living together because:
- You  have a copy of the Kesubah, and my signature on it matches my Visa
card
- You look (more or less) like the woman I married ten years ago
- The woman I know to be my mother in law recognizes you as her daughter
- Pictures from the wedding indicate that you are the same woman

She might come back with proofs the other way.

Aaron

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From: "Newman,Saul Z" 
To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" 
Subject: 
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:10:07 -0700 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Message-Id: <359bbeec1cd4002@laurel.kp.org>

in re proofs and emuna. there's an interesting review of david
halivni-weiss' latest book in the current Forward. from his non-orthodox
orientation to torah and talmud, he's trying to reconcile keeping  the
mitzvot while possesing a textually-imperfect torah, l'daato. [this work
may redlect on a previous thread of his halachic status.

szn

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Rabbis to the left
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:29:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
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R. YGB writes:

>But I now understand things I never understood before. How rabbis to the
>"left" are into ecumenical activities, granting legitimacy to C/R rabbis
>and movements (remember "Validus?"). If "I'm OK, You're OK" - there is no
>proof that I am right and you are wrong - well. if I'm the Rav and I am
>cheftza chada with the Torah, of course I find the others loathsome. But
>if I am Rabbi X...

I once had a long discussion with a young woman in which I tried to
persuade her that if I thought Orthodoxy was correct, it followed that I
also thought that everyone else was wrong.  I did not succeed.

However, I am uncomfortable with the sweeping generalizations implied in
the above paragraph.  I assume that all of us want one thing and one
thing only: to reunite all of kelal Yisrael under the banner of Torah
u-mitzvot, to restore the keter le-yoshenah and once again make Yisrael
a goy echad ba-aretz.   The only question is: What is the best way?

Aish ha-Torah have their approach, so does NCSY, Chabad and others too
numerous to mention.  However, most kiruv today involves inviting the
non-Orthodox to come to us, to our territory, on our terms.  Tragically,
the number who decline or ignore our invitation dwarves the number who
accept.  As a result, the forces of assimilation are stealing away Jews
on a much larger scale than the kiruv organizations which are working to
bring them back.

Another fact is that most non-Orthodox Jews have a (mostly) distorted
view of orthodoxy as intolerant, arrogant and fanatical.  This image is
spread y the Jewish and mainstream media and is occasionally reinforced
by some really stupid statements or actions which emerge from the
Orthodox community.

In this context, I understand why an Orthodox rabbi would be willing to
work with non-Orthodox "rabbis," to dispel this image and make our
(kiruv) invitations more appealing.  I understand why someone might
participate in a religious debate with non-Orthodox "rabbis" on
neutral/hostile territory, such as a JCC or a Hillel.

What about legitimization?  Here is one answer.

The fact is that many -- perhaps all -- non-Orthodox rabbis are
convinced that what they are doing is the correct path of avodat Hashem.
 Strange but true.  The fact is that many -- perhaps all -- affiliated
non-Orthodox Jews view their rabbis as knowledgeable and reliable
expositors of Judaism.  Sad but true.  So when the "rabbi" tells his/her
congregants that their movement is correct and Orthodoxy is wrong, they
are likely to believe it.  Especially when the message also makes them
feel better about themselves and acords with their stereotype of
Orthodoxy.  In other words, the average Reform Jew thinks Reform is
legitimate and the average Conservative Jew thinks Conservative Judaism
is legitimate.  The average unaffiliated Jew couldn't care less about
the whole thing.  And the average Orthodox Jew is certainly secure in
the legitimacy of Orthodoxy.  So in whose eyes will the feared
legitimization occur?

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:48:00 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

We would have to submit to that evidence - that is clear. I.e., were to be
presented with stronger evidence of the veracity of, say, Islam, over
Judaism, we would all have to become Moslems.

I think that those of us who are open to thought do modify our beliefs
when presented with evidence (in contradistinction, perhaps, to certain
strains of Chassidus, and, it seems, perhaps, certain strains of Modern
Orthodoxy :-) ). The acceptance of evolution and an older world are
examples thereof.

YGB

On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Moshe J. Bernstein wrote:

> question for those of us who believe that yahadut is an "evidence-based" 
> religion: can you conceive of a piece of evidence which could lead you to
> believe other than what you believe currently? if not, then what you
> believe in is ultimately faith-based. 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:55:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Thu, 2 Jul 1998 Aaron.Berger@chase.com wrote:

> once you know, it's insulting to focus on the proofs. Imagine if I told my
> wife: We can go on living together because:
> - You  have a copy of the Kesubah, and my signature on it matches my Visa
> card

You signed your own kesuva?

Didn't I sign it?

Seriously, I like and agree fully with your analysis. Yeyasher kochacha!

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: RE: Early shabbos
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 14:02:00 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Tuesday, June 23, 1998, Elie Grinsparg asked:

>In siman 233 (orech chaim) the mechaber says that if you do like R.Yehuda
>its ok or if you do like the rabbais its ok, provided you are consistent.
>I imagine that most people Daven maariv after sunset, and for that matter
>mincha after plag on a regular basis. So why do we allow people to make
>early Shabbos, which makes it neccesary to daven Mincha before plag and
>Maariv after plagbut before sunset  The only heter that is in the shulchan
>orech would be a
>shaas hadchak (see M.B 11) Are we assuming that eating a Shabbos meal at
>9:30 P.M. is considered Shaas hadchak or is there some other piece of info
>that I'm missing

Last night I came across an interesting teshuva in the Terumat ha-Deshen
(siman 1) which addresses this issue.  R. Isserlein is asked about a
minhag in Ashkenaz to daven ma'ariv in the summer 3 or 4 hours before
tzeit.  He justifies the minhag on the basis of "tashut koach," the
physical weakening of the current  generation who cannot wait to eat
until nightfall.  But he cites two unnamed Gedolim who considered it
legitimate to daven ma'ariv very early, and cites a Tosafot in Berakhot
(the first one, in fact), that for purposes of tefillah we rely on two
kulot even thought they are a tartei de-satrei.

It is clear that in Ashkenaz they had the same problem we have in the
summer  -- tzeit is not til many hours after we normally eat supper.  We
also know that the Mechaber lived in a region where this was not as big
a problem.  It would appear, speaking on regel achat, that we are
relying on the shitah of Tosafot and the Terumat ha-Deshen (though what
sefardim do, I cannot say).  I know ya'akov Katz has written about this
as well.  I wonder if anyone can shed more light on this topic?

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:27:16 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Lawrence M. Reisman wrote:

> Excuse me, but at this point, I feel compelled to defend Dr. Lamm.  Now,
> most people can guess that I'm no lover of Dr. Lamm or modern Orthodoxy, and
> I have defended Reb Elya's right to speak his mind more than once.  But I

Guess what! I am perfectly happy to love Rabbi Lamm, and am certainly
abhorred, not to say, as listowner, formally and publicly rebuking you, by
your extraordinarily derogatory "kinnui shem" for him in your post, which
common courtesy la'adam ba'asher hu adam prevents repeating.

I am not involved in judgmentalism here, and not attacking Rabbi Lamm. I
think you are projecting. I am observing, and continue to do so below.
There was no "putdown," as we shall presently see.

> did he concede legitimacy!  His exact words, spoken at the CLAL critical
> issues conference on March 19, 1986, and reprinted in Moment Magazine's
> June, 1986 issue are as follows:
> 
>     From a functional point of view, therefore, non-Orthodox rabbis are
> valid leaders of Jewish religious communities, an it both fatuous and
> self-defeating not to acknowledge this openly.... As an Orthodox Jew, I not
> only have no trouble in acknowledging the functional validity of
> non-Orthodox rabbinic leadership, but also in granting that non-Orthodox
> rabbis and lay people may possess spiritual dignity. ...  But neither
> funcional validity nor spiritual dignity are identical with Jewish
> legitimacy.  "Validity derives from the Latin "validus," strong.  It is a
> factual descriptive term.  "Legitmacy" derives from the Latin "lex," law.
> It is a normtative and eveluative term.  ... Here, I have no choice but to
> judge such legitimacy by my own understanding of what constitutes Judaism
> and what does not.  The criterion of such legitimacy is the Jewish lex-the
> halacha: not a specific interpretation of and individual halacha; not a
> general tendency to be strict or lenient; but the fundamental acceptance of
> halacha's divine origin, of Torah minhashemayim.
> 

It is evident from Rabbi Lamm's words that he is constained as a ma'amin -
regrettably so, but nonetheless constrained - from conferring legitimacy
in the legal sense. As he correctly noted, no choice is granted an
Halachically observant Jew in this area.

But, he did confer "validus" - not legitimacy, but a strength, a
significance, and spiritual dignity to the non-Orthodox. This is not a
status of legal "legitimacy" but a status of spiritual "reality".

This is very much in line with my impression - confirmed ever more so by
Reb Eli Clark's most recent post - that "torat ha'emet ha'yachasit"
underlies many of the attitudes (eitherin an obvious or subtle manner)
that the MO world espouses, as opposed to the RW world (forgive the
stereotypes, please - but, I should note, that in this context, RW
includes, say, to the best of my understanding, the talmidim of Rav Kook
and others at the RW of the Religious Zionist world as well).

The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never
accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the pale
- even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and assistance.
Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im eino min
ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of Shavna's
massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" cannot apply -
"sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common courtesy, la'adam
ba'asher hu adam, (BTW, Rabbi Lamm is due much more
respect than that - my remark before merely reflected a minimum that even
his detractors must afford him) - but not more.

In contrast, as Reb Eli pointed out, there is no way in which a person of
the MO world can "prove" or present evidence that his way is "right" and
another "wrong." He may feel such very strongly, have faith in it, live it
- but there is no way to convince others. Aderaba! The case may be made,
however Christianity, Islam, Bhuddisim, Conservative or Reform came to be
- now, a person born into such camps, was placed by Hashem there, this is
their emet yachasit, and while I cannot drink their wine (the Meishiv
Davar about tinokos shenishbu notwithstanding) - no legitimacy - validity
they possess.

These were my points of yesterday. They were and are not meant to
derogate (c"v!), but as observations. I have two more.

1. Torah U'Madda: I am not referring to Rabbi Lamm's "contemporary"
re-definition, which is borrowed from Chassidus, but to a definition I
heard on a Yiddish tape from the Rav from the 50's - where he forcefully
and eloquently described Torah and Secular Knowledge as a "Ramasayim
Tzofim" - two toweing peaks that face each other, with the students of
Yeshivas R' Yitzchok Elchonon building bridges between the two. The tape
is awesome, but I was bothered afterwards by how the Rav could ascribe so
much significance to Secular Knowledge - far more than the "rakachus
v'tabachus" approach of Torah im Derech Eretz. But, lefi devareinu, yesh
lomar that the great secular scholar toiling in his field and achieving
great heights, has a validity and significance that is equivalent from his
perspective, although technically barred legitimacy from ours, and the
rest is obvious.

2. This is much more doubtful, but, we can always discuss it, and I
present it for your consideration (more fun!): The MO camp has, to the
best of my knowledge, not produced a home-grown Posek of epic stature. I
submit that, perhaps, the quest for psak (as opposed to "scholarship") is
one of rigorous pursuit of "emes l'amisa." If all emes is relative, this
quest is diminished.

YGB

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 110

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: The Kuzari's Proof
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  2) Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M
	by Michael Frankel 
  3) Re[2]: Faith based vs. evidence based religion 
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
  4) MO and Home grown poskim
	by "Newman,Saul Z" 
  5) Trust, Argument, Proof
	by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
  6) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm 
	by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
  7) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm 
	by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
  8) Torah written down (rl) in Chizkiyah's time
	by Mordechai Torczyner 
  9) Re: Darkhei Dikduk
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 10) Shelo asani
	by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
 11) Re: MO pesak
	by "Clark, Eli" 
 12) emes muchletes
	by David Glasner 
 13) Re: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 14) Re: Shelo asani
	by Harry Maryles 
 15) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
	by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown)
 16) Zeh Keli Ve'anvehu
	by gershon.dubin@juno.com
 17) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 108
	by gershon.dubin@juno.com
 18) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by Harry Maryles 
 19) Re: Shelo asani
	by Joel Margolies 
 20) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by 
 21) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by Joel Margolies 

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:31:53 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: The Kuzari's Proof
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
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On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote:
> A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the
> Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l).
> According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush
> by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles
> that happened long before (chalilah).
> Now I don't believe this at all.  But I do believe that this is an
> accurate description of the origin of pagan myths, Hindu myths,
> Christian myths, Moslim myths, and, more recently, Mormon myths.
When Chizkiahu came out with his Torah what did the people say. Wouldn't
they question the fact that the jews were taken out of egypt and stood at
har sinai both with commands to tell these events over to their children,
yet the people of cizikiahu's time wouldn't have heard of these events
from
their parents. What would Chizkiahu say--that it was forgotton, but the
Torah itself states that it won't be forgotten. Wouldn't this cast doubt
on Chizkiahu's claim. This will hold true for any generation--lemasah what
did the people say when presented with the Torah. Wouldn't they wonder why
they never heard of events that their parents were commanded to tell them
about.besides the fact that these were events happened to an alleged
millions of people. No its not hard core proof,a nd a lawyer can even
prove OJ Simpsom innocent, but look at evidence and judge what iis more
likely to be true---you're forced to conclude that it is more logical for
the torah to be written by hashem in 2448 then any person at any other
time. It is in this respect that I believ that we have evidence in the
torah's accurecy beyond the fact that our fathers told us so and we follow
blindly. 
Elie Ginsparg

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Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 19:20:57 +0000 (GMT)
From: Michael Frankel 
Subject: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Message-id: 
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RYGB writes of someone's submission:
  > your gratuituous, uncalled for swipe at Artscroll is beclouding
your reason. To be more honest, the swipe tempts me to forgo the
conversation altogether, as it
 > Artscroll's misdeeds are copiously recorded and scored at the vaunted
Journal Of Torah U'Madda

I wasn't aware that JTU'M did such copious recording and scoring, or even
uncopious mentions, or indeed any mention.  Citation would be appreciated. 
(though I do remember the odd-uncopious swipe by Traditon,  some fairer than
others)

Also wasn't aware that JTU'M was vaunted, which comes across, sagei nohor, as a
not so faint whiff of disapproval from our listmaster.  Since I don't recall
JTU'M  figuring in the thread conversational flow at all, one might consider
its reference here gratuitous and sits in an odd semichus haparshiyos within a
post which bristles with a perception of the next guy's "gratuitous, uncalled
for swipe" and leads one to reflect again on personal hot buttons and your own
vs other people's gored oxen (I think there's a metaphor in there somewhere -
and I know there's a run on sentence there).   

I don't , c"v, mean to criticize our listmaster who is doing a yeoman job
captaining (quick promotions available in god's navy) this electronic ship. It
doesn't seem to me that the participation spectrum is quite as broad as in
mail-jewish (may it have a r"s"b"b"a"),  but I am sure he still has to bite
down and swallow hard on a pretty regular basis

On another note, It is ironic that the self proclaimed (though hopefully only
part-time) zealot wing of this list is championing the so-called historical
argument for belief in ma'amad har sinai as well the validity of the classical
philosophical "proofs" for God's existence,  while the rationalist (which
doesn't mean the other guys are irrational, at least not continuously) wing
trumpet the importance of emunoh and reject rationalizing Divine "proofs. 

Mechy Frankel				frankel@hq.dswa.mil

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807028994.AA899406093@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 98 14:54:51 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re[2]: Faith based vs. evidence based religion 
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>We would have to submit to that evidence - that is clear. I.e., were to be
>presented with stronger evidence of the veracity of, say, Islam, over
>Judaism, we would all have to become Moslems.

>I think that those of us who are open to thought do modify our beliefs
>when presented with evidence (in contradistinction, perhaps, to certain
>strains of Chassidus, and, it seems, perhaps, certain strains of Modern
>Orthodoxy :-) ). The acceptance of evolution and an older world are
>examples thereof.

1)There is a basic difference between accepting evidence that refutes a belief,
versus requiring evidence to validate a belief.  

2)  Even for people who believe that their belief is evidence based, for most, 
the standard of evidence required to validate their belief is far different than
the standard of evidence required to invalidate it, suggesting that the belief
is primary, and the evidence is primarily a hizzuk (nothing wrong with that). 
No philosophy operates in a vacuum.

3)  Yeshaya Lebovits's position is perhaps of interest here, as almost the
direct opposite of the Kuzari.  He argues that history, even when known and
agreed upon, never determines values. The decision to be oved hashem is a value
decision. I can know that hashem exists, and still choose not to worship him.
    Thus, the dor hamidbar, which saw  nissim and niflaot and directly
experienced mattan tora, was always mored.  The dorot that heard the neviim
directly were ovdei avoda zara.  However, in the middle ages, generations that
had no direct revelation from hashem were devoted to avodat hashem.  

Meir Shinnar






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From: "Newman,Saul Z" 
To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" 
Subject: MO and Home grown poskim
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:17:17 -0700 
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in re the possible point  by  rav YGB-- of MO not being able to produce
epic poskim    1) assume  that a great posek emerged in the  Hesder
world orthe YU world, e.g.    How would he be defined a s great if the
chareidi world wouldn't be maskim? would anyone from the MO world be
able to write the rigorous kulas of rav moshe without being lambasted
from the right?  2] how many great poskim are there? five per dor? one?
if the chareidi/MO ratio is five or ten to one, wouldn't it follow that
the great pposkim will come from the majority?  3] there are
unfortunately too few MO mosdot hatorah at least in USA (?reflective of
the actual need?)--so maybe no one speciallizes in psak  4]the MO
rebe'im will prob always defer to the universally recognized gdolim for
psak [but not for da'at torah}

szn

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Message-Id: <199807021927.PAA19869@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com>
Subject: Trust, Argument, Proof
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:27:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Aside from the distinction I made earlier (belief based on (1) proof; (2)
argument; (3) no real indication either way, but I trust it's true), I'd like
to make another one.

Are we discussing whether emunah ought be BASED ON proof or argument, or if it
ought be BOLSTERED BY SEEKING proof or argument?

If we're to say emunah is based on evidence then if the particular set of
evidence that you know happens to evaporate -- proven false or whatnot -- your
emunah would collapse as well.

Instead, if we're to say that emunah ought spur one to seek evidence, the
problem evaporates, and yet we're still not talking about "faith" as per
Christianity.

I might suggest that true emunah is not the belief, but the trust that such
evidence (proof and argument) exist.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287    Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5853 days!
micha@aishdas.org                         (11-Jun-82 - 2-Jul-98)
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.
http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed

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From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
Message-Id: <9807028994.AA899408776@smtplink.mssm.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 98 15:41:20 -0500
To: 
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm 
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>stereotypes, please - but, I should note, that in this context, RW
>includes, say, to the best of my understanding, the talmidim of Rav Kook
>and others at the RW of the Religious Zionist world as well).

>The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never
>accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the pale
>- even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and assistance.
>Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im eino min
>ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of Shavna's
>massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" cannot apply -
>"sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common courtesy, la'adam
two comments:
1)  Most MO do not deny the existence and validity of "emes muchletet", they
just don't know how to prove it.  I  have heard the claim, but not the evidence
of valid proofs from the RW.  Is the difference merely a difference in assessing
evidence?  

Given our inability to prove conclusively the emes muchletet, our ability to
judge those who do not accept it is different, as they are no longer mordin 
(the Hazon Ish ( hopefully accepted as a member of the RW :))  was cited in this
regard - is he now part of the "torat ha'emet ha'yachasit"?
2) While Rav Kook clearly held in emes muchletet, he also held in the spiritual
significance of those beyond the pale. 

>But, he did confer "validus" - not legitimacy, but a strength, a
>significance, and spiritual dignity to the non-Orthodox. This is not a
>status of legal "legitimacy" but a status of spiritual "reality".

strength and significance - do you deny that?  You may have a  negative
evaluation of their significance, but how can you deny the metzius that they are
a strong and significant component of am Yisrael?  That is what Rav Lamm is
saying. 
With regard to spiritual dignity,  there is (hopefully) a difference between
someone who denies Torah misinai and still tries to act with spiritual dignity,
and someone who denies Torah misinai and concludes that everything is permitted. 
There are gradations even among  epikorsim.  This is epecially true as almost
all the Conservative and reform, even the rabbinate, may have the status of a
tinok shenishba, rather than an epikoros.
    The Rambam, in Iggeret hashmad, is quite insistent that just because someone
did (and continues to do) averot (even avoda zara), does not mean that he should
not try to do mitzvot, and we have an obligation to be mkarev them and
appreciate whatever spiritual dignity they have.
Rav Soloveichik, in one of essays in Al Hatshuva, refers to "hayehudi hagadol
Franz Rosenzweig", even though Franz Rosenzweig never fully accepted Torah
misinai.  However, given where he started, he can not be called a rasha, and
came close to true avodat hashem. That is not a reflection of the relativeness
of truth, but the appreciation that not everyone arrives at the truth. No one,
even the RW, requires a tinok shenishba to accept torah on the basis of his own
thinking.

Meir Shinnar
 




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From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:46:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm 
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On Thu, 2 Jul 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote:
> Rav Soloveichik, in one of essays in Al Hatshuva, refers to "hayehudi hagadol
> Franz Rosenzweig", even though Franz Rosenzweig never fully accepted Torah
> misinai.  However, given where he started, he can not be called a rasha, and



This is a private note. First of all, in general I have been very
impressed with your posts on this topic. However, Al Ha-Teshuva was
written by Pinhas Peli, not by the Rav, and quotes may not be directly
attributable to him. If you have other evidence though, that the Rav used
this phrase when referring to Rosensweig, then great.

Daniel

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:46:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mordechai Torczyner 
To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group 
Subject: Torah written down (rl) in Chizkiyah's time
Message-ID: 
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R' Eli Clark wrote:
>A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the
>Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l).
>According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush
>by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles
>that happened long before (chalilah).

Only one problem - there just isn't enough time for a tale as developed,
intricate and demanding to evolve.

It's one thing to evolve a legend of walking on water, leHavdil Elef
Alfei..., or other such things. But to evolve a philosophy, a religion of
laws and customs such as the Jewish world was keeping en masse only a few
centuries later in the time of the fights with the Samaritans, out of a
loose collection of tribal taboos and idolatries in a dwecidedly
pre-multimedia and pre-mass communication world?

				Mordechai

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: Darkhei Dikduk
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:52:00 -0400
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Could I respectfully request that people refer either to "emet
muchletet" or "emes muchletes"  I know that no one on this list is
trying to be yotze keri'at ha-Torah, but we (I?) dikduk purists are
suffering!  Thanks.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Message-Id: <199807022025.QAA27968@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com>
Subject: Shelo asani
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 16:25:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
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The three shelo asani b'rachos were introduced by Rav Me'ir.

Interestingly, a contemporary of Rav Me'ir also addressed these three
distinctions. Please bear with me despite the odd source, but one book in the
Christian Bible is a letter from Paul to the Galacians, where he tries to
convince them that one need not follow halachah. (They, like many pre-Paul
Christians, saw Christianity as a kind of Judaism, and therefore required
observance of Jewish Law -- usually Tzeduki-style.

Anyway, part of his tirade is a rejection of the distinctions halachah makes
between various kinds of people:
	Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the
	law... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor freeman, male nor
	female...

Thanks for hanging in there. Now's the payoff.

Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three
distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is
their roles in halachah!

Adds weight to Rashi's explanation (Minachos 43b) that these b'rachos are said
to thank Hashem for the extra opportunities to do mitzvos. (Of course, He also
was the one who created us in a way that we men need these extra mitzvos.
Perhaps this is why women say "she'asani kirtzono" -- closer to His Ratzon
than men are.)

We should also keep in mind that this interpretation comes from Rashi, it well
predates any need to accomodate feminist sensibilities.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287    Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5853 days!
micha@aishdas.org                         (11-Jun-82 - 2-Jul-98)
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.
http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed

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Message-ID: 
From: "Clark, Eli" 
To: bais tefilah list 
Subject: Re: MO pesak
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 17:42:00 -0400
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R. YGB writes:
>I submit that, perhaps, the quest for psak (as opposed to "scholarship") is
>one of rigorous pursuit of "emes l'amisa."

Why?

Put another way, is the quest for pesak a more rigorous pursuit of emet
than lamdut.  I am sure we all have our own views of pesak, but I would
think that pesak is far less a quest for emet le-amitah than
other intellectual pursuits because it is inherently contextual.  In
other words, a posek must of necessity take into account the specific
circumstances of the sho'el.  Thus, R. Moshe, for example, often
distinguishes between the Halakhah per se and what ba'alei nefesh should
do.

Kol tuv,

Eli

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Message-Id: 
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 18:07:00 -0400
From: David Glasner 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: emes muchletes
Mime-Version: 1.0
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Based on the recent thread concerning rational proofs for our beliefs,
our moderator proposes a distinction between "emes muchletes" and
"emes yachsis."  The problem with such a distinction is that the
possibility of "emes muchletes" ["rational certainty" or "certain
knowledge"] concerning any factual proposition is pretty widely rejected
in modern philosophy.  Ever since the most successful scientific theory
in the history of the world, Newton's theory of gravity, was disproved, it
has become apparent that there is no rational method by which one can
PROVE the truth of his beliefs about anything.  However, that does not
mean that one cannot offer plausible reasons for holding certain beliefs,
e.g., that Einstein's theory of relativity (which could be wrong) is a
"better" theory than Newton's theory.

What makes a discussion about a set of beliefs rational is that one is
willing (at least for the sake of discussion) to entertain the possibility that
those beliefs might not be true and what evidence or what kinds of
arguments would force him to abandon those beliefs.  But if one starts
from the position that certain beliefs are "emes muchletes" and therefore
one will only entertain arguments that support those beliefs while
arguments that contradict, challenge, or otherwise call into question
those beliefs are dismissed, then one's belief in "emes muchletes" is not
rational but dogmatic.  

As a matter of fact, we are commanded to hold certain beliefs
dogmatically.  The Rambam lists 13.  [Just as an aside, I would mention
that the Hatam Sofer in a teshuva questions why belief in the Messiah is
a fundamental belief on the grounds that whether the Ribono Shel Olam
chooses to redeem us is entirely up to Him and would in no way affect
our obligation to fulfill His commandments.  "Ours is to do or die, not to
reason why."]  But to characterize as rational the a priori view that our
beliefs are "emes muchletes" is inconsistent with the current
understanding of rationality, which focuses on reason as a critical
faculty for uncovering error rather than as a certain guide for
establishing truth.

Our moderator assures us that, unlike some Chassidim and some Modern
Orthodox, he is prepared to adjust his beliefs in light of contrary
evidence, just as he has done concerning evolution.  I take him at his
word.  But if that is the case, how can he possibly assure us that he will
not (chalilah) be presented tomorrow with evidence that will compel him
to proclaim that Mohammed is the last and greatest of all the prophets? 
And if he cannot rule out that possibility, then how can he convince us
that what he believes today is "emes muchletes"?

Our moderator seems to find fault with the Modern Orthodox community
for acknowledging that the sorts of arguments that the Rishonim made in
favor of our beliefs, which once seemed compelling, no longer seem so
compelling in the light of the current state of historical, archaeological,
and scientific knowledge.  Instead, the Modern Orthodox settle for more
personal, existential justifications, instead of the tried and true arguments
of the Rishonim that our moderator prefers.  So what is a Modern
Orthodox Jew supposed to do, pretend to believe in an argument that he
finds unpersuasive, or (chalilah) become an agnostic, or (chalilah)
convert to another religion like Islam or Reconstructionism?

The approach favored by many hareidim is to reject modern scholarship,
even villify it as goyish and apikorsus.  If we can exclude whole
categories of evidence concerning our beliefs from consideration
because they are inherently illegitimate, then it certainly does become
much easier to accept the proofs of the Rishonim.  I have no reason to
believe that this is the practice of our moderator, but unless one is
prepared to address all the evidence bearing on the question, one should
not be surprised if a claim that his beliefs are based on the evidence is
met with a degree of skepticism.

David Glasner
dglasner@ftc.gov

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 17:25:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Sorry, I assumed that everyone here knew Rabbi J.J. Schachter's essay
calling Artscroll on "My Uncle the Netziv" and toher historical
distortions. I certainly assumed that Reb Meir Shinnar was referring to
that essay, as he had previously relied on March Shapiro's essay on the
Ikkarim. Hence, the term - I apologize - "vaunted" - as it seemed to be
the springboard for validating viewpoints.

BTW - MJ has some 3000+ subscribers, we, about 100. Big difference!

On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Michael Frankel wrote:

> I wasn't aware that JTU'M did such copious recording and scoring, or even
> uncopious mentions, or indeed any mention.  Citation would be appreciated. 
> (though I do remember the odd-uncopious swipe by Traditon,  some fairer than
> others)
> 
> Also wasn't aware that JTU'M was vaunted, which comes across, sagei nohor, as a
> not so faint whiff of disapproval from our listmaster.  Since I don't recall

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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Message-ID: <359C0AB1.2388@neiu.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 18:33:21 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Shelo asani
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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Micha Berger wrote:
> 
> The three shelo asani b'rachos were introduced by Rav Me'ir.
> 
> Interestingly, a contemporary of Rav Me'ir also addressed these three
> distinctions. Please bear with me despite the odd source, but one book in the
> Christian Bible is a letter from Paul to the Galacians, where he tries to
> convince them that one need not follow halachah. (They, like many pre-Paul
> Christians, saw Christianity as a kind of Judaism, and therefore required
> observance of Jewish Law -- usually Tzeduki-style.
> 
> Anyway, part of his tirade is a rejection of the distinctions halachah makes
> between various kinds of people:
>         Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the
>         law... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor freeman, male nor
>         female...
> 
> Thanks for hanging in there. Now's the payoff.
> 
> Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three
> distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is
> their roles in halachah!

It seems unlikely that R. Meir would bother writing brachos as 
acontradistinction to Pauls letter to the Galacians.
 
> Adds weight to Rashi's explanation (Minachos 43b) that these b'rachos are said
> to thank Hashem for the extra opportunities to do mitzvos. (Of course, He also
> was the one who created us in a way that we men need these extra mitzvos.
> Perhaps this is why women say "she'asani kirtzono" -- closer to His Ratzon
> than men are.)
> 
> We should also keep in mind that this interpretation comes from Rashi, it well
> predates any need to accomodate feminist sensibilities.


Rashi's explanation of why we  make the bracha of Shlo Asani Isha has 
always bothered me. If women have a pre-existing higher level of Kedusha 
not requiring them in all of the mitzvos, then in essence we are 
thanking G-d for putting us on a lower level than women.  If you say 
that it is better to be on a lower level because this way we can do more 
mitzvos, how convoluted! Are mitzvos the goal, or reaching higher levels 
of Kedusha, the goal? The Chazon Ish used to stand up when a moron 
walked into the BM because since they are patur from mitzvos, their 
status of imperfection makes them more perfect then ours.(Again, 
convoluted.) We are now we comparing women to morons.  Very nice!  

The best explanation I've heard to date, is the one posted by my 
son-in-law, Rabbi Elie Ginsparg:

	. If we look at berashis we see that women were
cursed "vhu yimshal bach" (berashis 3-16) If you had  to be created as 
the
ruler or the ruled you'd be happier to be the ruled. Therefore, we make 
a
beracha that we were created as men and not women. But does this fact 
mean
that men are better, smarter... than women? no. It just means that ther 
is
a status in the metzius which make it beracha worthy not to be a women.


the only problemI have wirh this is that it seems unlikely that Chazal 
would construct the bracha as "Shelo Asni Isha" based on the punishment 
given to Womankind by G-d.  Man was also, punishned as I recall... 
"BeZayis Apecha Tochel Lehem". Maybe man's punishment is less severe 
since he gets to "rule", but to me, it just seems unlikely that Chazal 
(R. Meir) wrote the Bracha as a thanks for the lessor of two 
punishments.

HM

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Cc: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion
Message-ID: <19980702.191602.4559.3.cbrown106@juno.com>
From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown)
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 19:07:14 EDT



>R. YGB writes:
>
>>You know, while I cannot deduce your actual opinion from your 
>question, I>have been seriously bothered since yesterday by what I sense
to be a 
>whole>new divide between left and right - or any other fault line you 
>choose ->in Orthodoxy: Whether Judaism is an evidence gounded religion -
as 
>all the>>Rishonim impress upon us; or a faith grounded religion - no
different 
>in>>kind than other religions, just in tenets and theology. If I 
>understand>he positions advocated by you, Reb Meir and Reb Eli yesterday

>correctly>

There has been so much to respond to I will struggle to be brief. 1)
 I haven't personally resolved a stance on this issue yet, nor did I mean
to comment on it, so I guess its good that you couldn't deduce what I
meant. 
2)  I think you are mistaken in defining "faith grounded religion" as an
expression of Modern Orthodoxy; if anything, I think the sympathy for
faith (as opposed to "evidence", or philosphocal proof) grounded religion
is rooted in the kabbalistic world of Chassidus.   You are more likely to
find a Moreh Nevuchim in YU's Bais Medrash then many others.  
3) The Rav's position is most clearly articulated in Halachic Mind where
he calls for a philosophical approach to Judaism based on halacha.  The
essence of Halachic Man is the balance between faith grounded in
subjectivity and faith grounded in empirical reason-the very chakira at
hand.
4)  There is a great difference between reading a Tosfos and reading the
philosophical proofs of a Rishon.  Tos. bound by the rules of a
self-enclosed system of logic; sort of like doing Euclidian geometry and
"proving" postulates when the "real" world consists of non-Euclidian
curved space-time (I guess Chana can explain this better then I can :-)) 
 Philosophy trues to see outside the "box" of self-enclosed logical
systems into the real world.  The common theme I find among all
philosphical writings of the Rishonim is there use of the philosphical
models of their generation to explain the basis of faith.    The Rambam
used Aristotilian philosophy because it was in vogue; in that system it
is easier to arrive at hard core proofs (evidence).  Philosophy no longer
accept Aristotilian philosophy as real proof, much like science has
rejected the neo-Platonic model of the universe used by the Rambam.   A
faith that utilizes post-modernist thought or existentialism tends to be
more subjective (in fact, most deconstructionists claim no objective
meaning or evidence can ever be arrived at) but  is consistant with the
spirit of what the Rishonim attempted to do: formulate Judaism in a way
that was consistant with the philosophical models of their time - not
list the 101 best proofs of Judaism.   Is our modern faith better then
that of the Rambam? - I don't know.  I only know that according to Thomas
Kuhn's "paradigm shift" argument all statements  are valid within their
own paradign (just like the Euclidian geometry example I gave) and
Einstein is no better then Aristotle.  On the other hand, most
philosophers reject this assertion of Kuhn's.  Draw your own conclusion. 

5) Eye of the Needle:  Bertrand Russel, one of the last rationalists of
our time (and a favorite of mine), wrote a famous essay  "Why I am not a
Christian" , whose arguments against "evidence" and organized religion
are equally valid for Judaism.   I  recommend reading a 20th centurey
philospher's take on things before using philosophical arguments as
evidence - you may or may not be convinced, but I guarantee food for
thought and awareness of the dangers of this approach.
7)Tthe lack of poskim in the MO world - don't interpret shtikah k'hoda'ah
on my part.  Its just not worth debating this fallacy.

-Chaim

_____________________________________________________________________
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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 19:32:58 -0400
Subject: Zeh Keli Ve'anvehu
Message-ID: <19980702.194637.4622.0.gershon.dubin@juno.com>
From: gershon.dubin@juno.com

The Ramban calls it "shehisigu leziv haShechina".  Sounds like nevuah to
me,  at least according to the Ramchal's definition as a higher state of
communion, for want of a better word,  with Hashem.

Gershon

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 19:46:30 -0400
Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 108
Message-ID: <19980702.194637.4622.1.gershon.dubin@juno.com>
From: gershon.dubin@juno.com

>On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shalom Carmy wrote:
>> 5. One writer has suggested that if the classical proofs are not 
>airtight then all we are left with is "experience, a la NCSY." This 
>understanding  of "experience," in its religious context, is surprising,
to say the
> least.  The kind of religious experience which Rav Soloveitchik and 
>Rav  Kook, among others, placed at the center of their existence, is the

>fruit of prolonged, intense Talmud Torah, tefilla, self-examination,
	I would like to sum up some of this discussion.  Anyone who ever
heard Rav Soloveitchik describe his feelings of closeness to Hashem, 
would never use the term "cold Litvak" again.  That kind of deveikus is
the accomplishment and goal of all "mevakshei Hashem",  of whatever camp
they come from.  (There is a story about Rav Shach saying to one of the
Reichmanns that he's not sure who has more Olom Haboh,  they through
their Maasim or he through his Torah.  But one thing he is sure of-his
Olom Hazeh is much greater.)
	The way to achieve it is through Torah and Tefila,  but how is
someone motivated to begin that long and arduous journey?  There have
been times that it could be inspired by reflection on the Briah,  as the
Rambam suggests,  or on philosophical proofs of the existence of Hashem. 
Each generation had its own challenges.  Ours is surely of a more
emotional bent.  Speak to people in kiruv:  their formulation is that an
(NCSY?) kumsitz or a bowl of cholent and a warm family atmosphere "bring
'em in" more effectively than any rational arguments.  This is a
reflection of the world surrounding us-ideas don't fire people up the
they used to,  whether in the Jewish or the secular world.
	On the other hand,  this only brings them in,  and here I mean
FFB's no less than Baalei Teshuva.  The inspiration is only an
inspiration.  There is a lot of hard work ahead.  The ultimate madrega is
da'as,  both in the strict definition of the word, and in the
Kabbalistic.  At that point,  no proofs are needed.

Gershon

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Message-ID: <359C1085.1115@neiu.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 18:58:13 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:
> 
> On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Lawrence M. Reisman wrote:
> 
> > Excuse me, but at this point, I feel compelled to defend Dr. Lamm.  Now,
> > most people can guess that I'm no lover of Dr. Lamm or modern Orthodoxy, and
> > I have defended Reb Elya's right to speak his mind more than once.  

>

Why is Dr. Lamm such a whipping boy for all RWs? What is it they fear so 
much, his Centrist Philosphy of Torah U'Maddah?  R.YGB is right in his 
rebuke of R.Levi Reisman's  obvious swipe of Dr. Lamm.  R. Reisman could 
not defend Dr. Lamm w/o doing it in an obviously derogatory manor.  It 
would have been so nice had R. Reisman given his defense of Dr. Lamm  
BeDarcay Noam... perhaps a small step towards repairing some of the 
animosity between Centrists and RWs.

I suspect the answer is that the RW is so insecure in maintaining their 
fifedoms that they must continue to bash the likes of Dr. Lamm so that, 
G-d forbid, one of their flock won't go off to YU, ChasVeSholom. I can 
assure you that Dr. Lamm does not have the same fear of someone leaving 
YU for Lakewood. In fact,I'll bet that Dr.Lamm would give that 
individual his blessing.  Not so, R.Elya Svei.  In no way would he give 
any of his Bachurim his blessing for going to YU.

Why can't there be mutual respect between people with differing points 
of view, while agreeing to disagree, in the spirit of Eilu VeAilu?

HM

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Message-ID: <359C2E97.EBA8AD7C@ms.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 21:06:32 -0400
From: Joel Margolies 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Shelo asani
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Harry Maryles wrote:
> Rashi's explanation of why we  make the bracha of Shlo Asani Isha has
> always bothered me. If women have a pre-existing higher level of Kedusha
> not requiring them in all of the mitzvos, then in essence we are
> thanking G-d for putting us on a lower level than women.  If you say
> that it is better to be on a lower level because this way we can do more
> mitzvos, how convoluted! Are mitzvos the goal, or reaching higher levels
> of Kedusha, the goal? 

This is the way I've always understood this:
Hashem, in his infinite wisdom, created men and women vastly different
with different roles and goals.  Throughout jewish machshava we see
women as more spiritual and men as more physical.  As a consequence, in
order to attain the spiritual, men must have more mitzvos.  I think the
way to understand Rashi's mehalach is that we love to do mitzvos.  Just
because someone was created different than you and does different things
to achieve the same goal does not make them better than you and in fact
we must be sameach bechelkeinu.  As men, we were created to do lots of
mitzvos and we shouldn't want to give that up for the world - we should
relish having to work hard to achieve our goal - therefore we say -
thank you for not giving it(spirituality) to us easy, however, a woman
who has in-born spirituality- would never say that she would like to
work for it, because it is such a wonderful thing to have been born
with. (many vordtlach emphasize the superiority of working hard for
something over getting it easy - even though the end is the same, you
appreciate it more if you've worked for it) I don't think that's a
steirah - I am trying to say that there are positives to both sides.
Just like a working person relishes his job and enjoys making his own
money and feeling an incredible sense of accomplishment, even to the
point where he might say that he is glad that he was not born rich and
would not have the opportunities to accomplish and be gratified in this
manner, whereas a rich person would most likely say that he is very
happy with his status quo. 

 I think the reason that the women are the focus and we don't both say
shasani kirtzno is because b-emes, spirituality IS a wonderful thing to
have, the brochah teaches us that we are to thank Hashem because of the
additional aspect of avodas Hashem that he gave to us, EVEN if it means
being in some way farther from the final goal. Spirituality is the goal,
but we are ecstatic that we have to work for it - and hopefully
appreciate it that much more.  

(As I'm writing this - another thought came to me.  Maybe the hanacha is
that women are created in a superior manner, however, Hashem decided to
create men this way and therefore men must accept and be sameach and
thankful that Hashem did not make us in any other way.  For men to say
kirtzono when women are really better, might be saying that "ok, we live
with this, but we're not really that happy with it because we know the
other is better" so we emphasize that we love how hashem created us - to
exclude creating us in a different even better way!  But women, who are
acknowledged to be better, would surely not say shelo asani ish - of
course!!!   Rather, if we assume that women are superior, it is obvious
why they would say kirtzono.) 

The sad thing is that there are always those who will want to be like
the other and cannot be sameah with the chelek and opportunities that
HKB"H gave them.

Sorry if I rambled.

Take care,

Joel

-- 

Joel
Margolies                                                                           
margol@ms.com	
W-212-762-2386

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From: 
Message-ID: 
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 21:14:25 EDT
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Mime-Version: 1.0
Subject: Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

In a message dated 98-07-01 23:43:48 EDT, Kenneth Miller wrote:

<< I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
 descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
 an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
 and the candle, or (2) an authoritative sefer which points out that
 indeed, the candle and all cooking utensils and related items should
 remain muktza over Yom Tov, but an explicit exception was made for this
 situation. >>

Just a bit of folklore which may or may not be relevant. My mother's family
has a custom of not touching, much less putting away, the havdalah utensils
until well into the day Sunday. I never understood it, but perhaps it's
related to this idea.

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Message-ID: <359C3520.FA5FA6DC@ms.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 21:34:24 -0400
From: Joel Margolies 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Harry Maryles wrote:
> I suspect the answer is that the RW is so insecure in maintaining >their fifedoms that they must continue to bash the likes of Dr. Lamm so >that, G-d forbid, one of their flock won't go off to YU, ChasVeSholom. I >can assure you that Dr. Lamm does not have the same fear of someone >leaving YU for Lakewood. In fact,I'll bet that Dr.Lamm would give that
> individual his blessing.  Not so, R.Elya Svei.  In no way would he >give any of his Bachurim his blessing for going to YU.
> 

I'm not sure that those in YU would agree with you.  R' Lamm is
definitely considered a radical even in his own camp.(I sincerely doubt
he would give brachos to one who decides to be a "caveman")  I don't
think that the rebbeim in YU - who are part of the driving force of frum
"centrist" (they would probably hate that term) halachah identify fully
with R' Lamms views.  I know this for a fact from a friend who is the
son of one of the rebbeim at YU.  I think the radicals are always
singled out as objects of criticism by the other side and the other side
always assumes that all in the first camp are robots who share the views
of the radical who is most outspoken.  I think the single most devisive
point between frum Jews is that neither of us understand how the other
camp really works.  I speak to the Rav of my shul, R' Menachem Zupnick
(originally from wonderful Chgo!!) often about this and he, who is from
the agudah camp, wholeheartedly agrees.  The agudahniks think we are all
little Lamms and "YUniks" think that they are all little Sveis.  In
reality R' Zupnick says that evryone goes to hear what R' Svei says and
then goes off and does whatever they want regardless of what Reb Elya
thinks.  Obviously Reb Elya has influence and power, and can force
issues, but not on a grand scale and I believe R' Lamm has similar
powers. 

If the two camps could form a body together and sit and shmooze, I
firmly believe that the idelogical differences would end up being
counted on one hand - they might be BIG differences but not big enough
to justify the current situation of mistrust and contempt.

Take care,

Joel



-- 

Joel
Margolies                                                                           
margol@ms.com	
W-212-762-2386

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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 111

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) reading the kuzari
	by David Riceman 
  2) Rashis Greatness: MOshe, Some examples Please
	by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
  3) Simple Peshat: Rambam On Prophecy // The Bondmaid Prophecy Midrash
	by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
  4) Re: Shelo asani
	by Harry Maryles 
  5) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by 
  6) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by Harry Maryles 
  7) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  8) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 

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Message-ID: 
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 22:15:14 +0000
From: David Riceman 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: reading the kuzari
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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I've just skimmed an extraordinary number of postings about the
Kuzari's proof of the authenticity of the Torah.  The Kuzari was written
as a dialogue partly to show that his comments were ad hominem, and not
meant as rigorous proofs.  Any serious reader of the Kuzari has to
notice that the Melech HaKuzarim just lies down and plays dead at the
first sign of disagreement on the part of the Chaver.  That is not an
indication that R. Yehuda HaLevi thinks we're dumb - it's an indication
that he expects sophisticated readers to fill in the missing argument. 
Nonetheless, he also wrote the book for unsophisticated and wavering
Jews (read the subtitle).  The Melech HaKuzarim is the prototype for
them.
  On a different topic, how does Dr. Hendel know that Dovid HaMelech was
descended from Yosef? It's news to me.

David Riceman

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 21:58:24 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Message-Id: <199807030158.VAA12495@mcs.drexel.edu>
To: BaisTefila@Shamash.Org, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
Subject: Rashis Greatness: MOshe, Some examples Please

This is to formally state that I never accused Moshe Bernstein of
attributing Rashian authorship to the parenthetical insert in the
Rashi on Nu 7:1 which insert shows total ignorance of Hebrew Grammar.

However Moshe is wrong in asserting that Rashi's knowledge of grammar
is inferior to other Rishonim--on the contrary it was far superior.
Unfortunately Moshe spent 17 lines discussing grammatical theories
WITHOUT ONE EXAMPLE. 

Moshe, could you please provide YOUR BEST THREE EXAMPLES of where 
Rashian grammar appears inferior and I will be happy to answer one 
or two.

RE Why I think I can do this: It is not because I am familiar with
near eastern grammars. Rather because I am familiar with modern
methods of Artificial intelligence and pattern inference...Rashi
apparently had access to some of these methods while other Rishonim
did not. 

As a simple example I showed(previous bt) how 
Rashi's Database methodology led him
to correctly Identify as three semantic units
        KI = Because                                    100% (~4200 cases)
        KI IM = Except                                    3%  (120 cases)
        KI IM (IM WRitten/not read)= {Except} Perhaps     .1%
Only with advanced database methods can such grammatical nuances be
perceived.

Similarly in a previous BT I showed how the Rashi on 32:4 
        *on the one hand appears to derive Peshat from a Gematria
        IM LAVAN GARTI & GARTI = TARYAG==> I observed TARYAG MITZVOTH

        *but on the other hand (following the Ravs explanation)
        it is the use of GARTI vs YASHAVTI that denotes "uncomfortable
        abode" (because of religious disparity).

At any rate, I will be happy to enlighten people on Rashis that
appear Peculiar or deviant from fine grammatical analysis and show
extreme subtlety behind them. Since we have computers and databases
today we can begin to appreciate Rashis greatness over other Rishonim
in grammar.

I understand the above view might irritate Moshe (and others). But
Please all I ask for is some examples (preferably 3)

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 21:59:03 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Message-Id: <199807030159.VAA12501@mcs.drexel.edu>
To: BaisTefila@Shamash.Org, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu
Subject: Simple Peshat: Rambam On Prophecy // The Bondmaid Prophecy Midrash

My understanding of proper advanced study of Rambam is that you first gather
all relevant gmarrahs, halachahs, and Tnach stories and then see
how the Rambam unified these according to his shitah.

Similarly my understanding of advanced Midrashic learning is to see
Midrash as Peshat as emanating from explicit Posookim.

Let me apply these two viewpoints to the issues at hand:
        * The Maimonideean principles of Prophecy (Torah Foundations)
        * The midrash about the prophetic maidservants

1) Rambam in Torah foundations clearly distinguishes between
        * the BEFORE state of prophecy---with a requirement of SIMCHAH
        * the DURING state of non Mosaic prophecy--with intense visions
                and body trembling(?)

These BEFORE/AFTER states can be documented either from Gmarrahs or
Biblical stories.

Incidentally when I teach Rambam/Gmarrah I frequently prepare students
for the Rambam/Gmarrah by having them do the research. Thus in the
case at hand I would ask
        >>Take a concordance and Tnach and go thru your favorite 
        >>Biblical stories or prophecy...what attributes do you see
This helps prepare them for the real Gmarrah/Rambam.

2) Rambam In Torah Foundations seems to describe two types of prophecy
        * At the chapter beginning he describes a person who is 
        totally involved in thinking about God and spiritual things
        The Rambam concludes that
                >>this person IMMEDIATELY joins the level of the ISHIM
                >>and has appropriate experiences (cited from memory)

        * Later in the chapter the Rambam describes the "students of
        the prophets". There is no IMMEDIACY here...they may or may
        not become prophets. >>It depends on Gods will<<

In my impoverished opinion the second class--the bnay hanviim---refer
to people who are involved in this world---they have marital lives,
enjoy good food, trips, friends etc---but for a while they separate
from this world to think about spiritual matters.

Now we can answer the various questions posted:
* Jeremiah was SAMAYACH BEFORE his prophecies but TREMBLING/SAD DURING/AFTER

* The Bondmand prophecy midrash refers to the "Bnay haniviim" prophecy
type. These Bondmaids were involved in this world but as the Chumash
explicitly states Ex 19:10-20--they separated from this world to
prepare for the Mount Sinai prophecy.

* Elishah required music to place him in a state of Simchah as noted
both in the Neviim and rambam

* I would suggest that Amos is like Elishah. Amos used his sheparding
to place him in a state of simchah just like Elishah used music.

As to the plausibility of using pastoral life (sheparding, farms...) to
enter a SAMAYACH state there are many beautiful stories connecting
musical pieces with pastoral inspirations. If I recall, one of the
great Brahm trios was composed this way. Brahms was walking in the
woods early in the morning and as he witnessed the sunrise he states
>>the theme for this trio came into my head<<(Any music lovers out
there who know which Trio this refers to?).

Before anyone attacks me for POSTULATING this SHEPARD-SAMAYACH relationship
again I state that advanced reading of Rambam requires one to see the
Rambam as uniting all gmarrahs and stories and uncovering underlying
assumptions.

Finally, I bring Rabbi Hirsch as support who points out sheparding is
contrasted to farming. You must fight with theland for sustenance 
while sheparding brings out the kinder attributes of man.

I close with some points about Midrash. The advanced way to read the
more serious midrashim (like Midrash Rabbah, Tanchuma etc) is to
see them as dealing with purely grammatical questions of verse
interpretation. We have the following EXPLICIT verses:

* Ex 19:15--18----The sinaitic prohecy of the nation
* Ex 15:20--------The sea prophecy of Miriam
* Ex 14:31 (vs 30)It can be maintained that "Hand of God" refers to
                prophecy (This could be the real source for 
                the bondmaid prophecy midrash...see a konkordance
                for various uses of "hand of God"=Prophecy)

I hope the above wets some appetites.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ MCS DREXEL EDU

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Message-ID: <359C3B12.7FC0@neiu.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 21:59:46 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Shelo asani
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Joel Margolies wrote:
> 
> Harry Maryles wrote:
> > Rashi's explanation of why we  make the bracha of Shlo Asani Isha has
> > always bothered me. If women have a pre-existing higher level of Kedusha
> > not requiring them in all of the mitzvos, then in essence we are
> > thanking G-d for putting us on a lower level than women.  If you say
> > that it is better to be on a lower level because this way we can do more
> > mitzvos, how convoluted! Are mitzvos the goal, or reaching higher levels
> > of Kedusha, the goal?
> 
> This is the way I've always understood this:
> Hashem, in his infinite wisdom, created men and women vastly different
> with different roles and goals.  Throughout jewish machshava we see
> women as more spiritual and men as more physical.  As a consequence, in
> order to attain the spiritual, men must have more mitzvos.  I think the
> way to understand Rashi's mehalach is that we love to do mitzvos.  Just
> because someone was created different than you and does different things
> to achieve the same goal does not make them better than you and in fact
> we must be sameach bechelkeinu.  As men, we were created to do lots of
> mitzvos and we shouldn't want to give that up for the world - we should
> relish having to work hard to achieve our goal - therefore we say -
> thank you for not giving it(spirituality) to us easy, however, a woman
> who has in-born spirituality- would never say that she would like to
> work for it, because it is such a wonderful thing to have been born
> with. (many vordtlach emphasize the superiority of working hard for
> something over getting it easy - even though the end is the same, you
> appreciate it more if you've worked for it) I don't think that's a
> steirah - I am trying to say that there are positives to both sides.
> Just like a working person relishes his job and enjoys making his own
> money and feeling an incredible sense of accomplishment, even to the
> point where he might say that he is glad that he was not born rich and
> would not have the opportunities to accomplish and be gratified in this
> manner, whereas a rich person would most likely say that he is very
> happy with his status quo.
> 
>  I think the reason that the women are the focus and we don't both say
> shasani kirtzno is because b-emes, spirituality IS a wonderful thing to
> have, the brochah teaches us that we are to thank Hashem because of the
> additional aspect of avodas Hashem that he gave to us, EVEN if it means
> being in some way farther from the final goal. Spirituality is the goal,
> but we are ecstatic that we have to work for it - and hopefully
> appreciate it that much more.
> 
> (As I'm writing this - another thought came to me.  Maybe the hanacha is
> that women are created in a superior manner, however, Hashem decided to
> create men this way and therefore men must accept and be sameach and
> thankful that Hashem did not make us in any other way.  For men to say
> kirtzono when women are really better, might be saying that "ok, we live
> with this, but we're not really that happy with it because we know the
> other is better" so we emphasize that we love how hashem created us - to
> exclude creating us in a different even better way!  But women, who are
> acknowledged to be better, would surely not say shelo asani ish - of
> course!!!   Rather, if we assume that women are superior, it is obvious
> why they would say kirtzono.)
> 
> The sad thing is that there are always those who will want to be like
> the other and cannot be sameah with the chelek and opportunities that
> HKB"H gave them.
> 
> Sorry if I rambled.
> 
> Take care,
> 
> Joel
> 
> --
> 
> Joel
> Margolies
> margol@ms.com
> W-212-762-2386


Very nice post. But, saying dogmaticly that we are ecstatic about our 
requirement Mitzvos assumes that we have the ability to force emotions. 
I can only be ecstatic when I feel ecstatic. If someone feels ecstatic 
through indoctrination is that true ecstacy? You can't say we are happy 
in our greater state of mitzva requirement,  Frankly, I would be happier 
if I didn't have to do so many more mitzvos to make equity with a 
woman's status.  If you are saying that we SHOULD be happy, this is 
another matter, relating to what our attitude should be in Avodas 
HaShem. But, again as you, yourself, indicate, the ultimate goal is 
reaching an elevated spiritual state, and I don't think the bracha of 
Shelo Asani Isha was written with the idea of gratitude for doing more 
mitzvos unless by doing so you can reach an even higher spritual state 
than women, which I don't believe to be the case. 

Also, the idea of feeling a sense of accomplishment vis-a-vis earning 
money is a personal gratification one gets in the sense that he 
accomplished it through his own efforts rather than through gratuitous 
fortune.  I don't think Chazal would create a bracha for this type of 
feeling translated to working to acheive spirituality.  So my question 
still stands. 

HM

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From: 
Message-ID: 
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 22:56:13 EDT
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Mime-Version: 1.0
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
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In a message dated 98-07-02 21:35:17 EDT, you write:

<< 
 If the two camps could form a body together and sit and shmooze, I
 firmly believe that the idelogical differences would end up being
 counted on one hand - they might be BIG differences but not big enough
 to justify the current situation of mistrust and contempt.
  >>
The "big" differences pale(l"ad) in comparison to the similarities(eg tora min
hashamayim).  Perhaps we can agree to pursue as best we can the ratzon hashem
as we understand it, without mistrust and contempt(if they do exist). We can
agree to disagree respectfully on those ideological differences that exist and
let hashem "pasken" through history who is "correct" (if that even has
meaning). One of my rabbeim once remarked that the tragedy of our time is that
some  would rather mashiach not come rather than that he have the "wrong"
fashion of head covering.

Kol Tuv

Joel Rich

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Message-ID: <359C41B8.2A4@neiu.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 22:28:08 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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Joel Margolies wrote:
> 
> Harry Maryles wrote:
> > I suspect the answer is that the RW is so insecure in maintaining 
>their fifedoms that they must continue to bash the likes of Dr. Lamm so 
>that, G-d forbid,
> > individual his blessing.  Not so, R.Elya Svei.  In no way would he 
>give any of his Bachurim his blessing for going to YU.
> >
> 
> I'm not sure that those in YU would agree with you.  R' Lamm is
> definitely considered a radical even in his own camp.(I sincerely doubt
> he would give brachos to one who decides to be a "caveman")  I don't
> think that the rebbeim in YU - who are part of the driving force of frum
> "centrist" (they would probably hate that term) halachah identify fully
> with R' Lamms views.  I know this for a fact from a friend who is the
> son of one of the rebbeim at YU.  I think the radicals are always
> singled out as objects of criticism by the other side and the other side
> always assumes that all in the first camp are robots who share the views
> of the radical who is most outspoken.  I think the single most devisive
> point between frum Jews is that neither of us understand how the other
> camp really works.  I speak to the Rav of my shul, R' Menachem Zupnick
> (originally from wonderful Chgo!!) often about this and he, who is from
> the agudah camp, wholeheartedly agrees.  The agudahniks think we are all
> little Lamms and "YUniks" think that they are all little Sveis.  In
> reality R' Zupnick says that evryone goes to hear what R' Svei says and
> then goes off and does whatever they want regardless of what Reb Elya
> thinks.  Obviously Reb Elya has influence and power, and can force
> issues, but not on a grand scale and I believe R' Lamm has similar
> powers.
> 
> If the two camps could form a body together and sit and shmooze, I
> firmly believe that the idelogical differences would end up being
> counted on one hand - they might be BIG differences but not big enough
> to justify the current situation of mistrust and contempt.
> 
> Take care,
> 
> Joel
> 
> --
> 
> Joel
> Margolies
> margol@ms.com
> W-212-762-2386

Based on my understanding of  Dr.Lamm's book "Torah U'Maddah and other 
of his writings, I believe I have a "feel" for his Hashkafa. I donot 
believe him to be a radical in the Centrist camp.  If anything he is a 
right winger in this camp.  The fact that he believes in studying Maddah 
Lechatchila, doesd not make him a radical.  I did not attend YU but 
I thinknit is fairly safe to say, those in the YU community who are to 
the right of Dr.Lamm in their approach to Maddah are more correctly put 
in the RW camp. Rav Dovid Lipshitz, ZTL comes to mind. So, does Rav 
Herschel Shechter who may be to the left of Rav Dovid Lipshitz in the 
sense that he did go to college and supports the idea of it but doesn't 
quite fit into Dr. Lamm's category.  But Dr.Lamm always supports the 
primacy of Learming Torah Lishma (for it's own sake), and then secondly, 
studying Maddah. Dr. Lamm is always touting REITS as the Centerpiece of 
YU.  When you say:

(I sincerely doubt
> he would give brachos to one who decides to be a "caveman"). 

 I disagree.  Of course he believes that the Torah U'Madda approach is 
the superior one, but he doesn't denigrate those who choose the Torah 
only approach. (If I recall his relatively recent statements to the 
effect.)

Of course I don't agree with Dr.Lamm on everything, but I believe he is 
a sincere Ohaiv HaShem. 

Also, there are so many MO Rabbis to Dr. Lamms left, that by default he 
is at the very least, not radical.

HM

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 22:53:11 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Thu, 2 Jul 1998 DAHLIA2@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 98-07-01 23:43:48 EDT, Kenneth Miller wrote:
> 
> << I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
>  descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
>  an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
>  and the candle,
Why can't you say that the Sukkah is Mutzah machmas mitzva--so it's
essense is Muktzah on yomtov and the next day as well by virtue of the
fact that its guf became muktza. The candle is only a kli shmelachto
lissur which can't be moved on shabbos in order to light it, however its
status can never be more chomer on yom tov then it's original kli
shmelachto lissur and since it is mutar to light a candle on yom tov,
mmeila it's mutar to move the candle as well.( according to those who hold
a candle is mutzah machmas gufo on sahbbos I admit the question is
stronger hovever I believe it can be answered using basically the same
chiluk) This comes to mind off the
top of my head-tell if if you agree or maybe I'm over looking some problem
in my haste.
Elie Ginsparg

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 22:55:34 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

> > In a message dated 98-07-01 23:43:48 EDT, Kenneth Miller wrote:
> > 
> > << I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
> >  descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
> >  an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
> >  and the candle,

In a conversation with Reb Elie Ginsparg today in the Beis Medrash of
Skokie Yeshiva, we proposed that it seems that Ochel Nefesh is mattir
muktzeh. Since adlukei shraga is part of ochel nefesh, it applies to this
case. I am sure this point is discussed in the Poskim, probably our chaver
Reb Daniel Eidensohn can point out where it is in the Mishna Berura.

YGB

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

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			    BAISTEFILA Digest 112

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  2) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by Cheryl Maryles 
  3) Faith and Emunah
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
  4) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
	by Daniel Eidensohn 
  5) Re: thinking about belief
	by Shalom Carmy 
  6) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
	by Harry Maryles 
  7) Re: thinking about belief
	by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart)
  8) Truth and Kefirah
	by Daniel Eidensohn 
  9) INNERNET MAGAZINE - THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS FAITH ITSELF (fwd)
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 10) (no subject)
	by "David Eliezrie" 
 11) Re: thinking about belief
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
 12) Re: thinking about belief
	by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 23:05:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

After reading many of the posts from the MO camp concerning whether or not
there is evidence to the authenticity of the torah and maamid har sinai
(specificlly their conclusion that there is no such evidence and we
believe because of faith alone) I have a new insight into the attraction
of Torah Umadda. It makes perfect sense that one should L'chatchila look
to science to understand Hashem because the Torah is no longer the best 
source
that we can use to seek out proofs and evidence to the way Hashem relates
to the world because although we all believe in the Torah(I never did or
will suggest otherwise)it still is only a source based on belief whereas
science can provide evidence and proof. If this is not the case I would
like to be corrected, however it should be explained why lshitasem it's
not the case, and if it is the case then do we need to say more about the
accuracy of Rabbi Sveis objection to Torah Umadda.
EG

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 23:10:12 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cheryl Maryles 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

I wrote this at the same time Rabbi Bechoffer wrote his post-- Rabbi
Bechoffer summed up our conclusion--sorry for the repitition-EG
On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Cheryl Maryles wrote:

> On Thu, 2 Jul 1998 DAHLIA2@aol.com wrote:
> 
> > In a message dated 98-07-01 23:43:48 EDT, Kenneth Miller wrote:
> > 
> > << I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
> >  descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
> >  an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
> >  and the candle,
> Why can't you say that the Sukkah is Mutzah machmas mitzva--so it's
> essense is Muktzah on yomtov and the next day as well by virtue of the
> fact that its guf became muktza. The candle is only a kli shmelachto
> lissur which can't be moved on shabbos in order to light it, however its
> status can never be more chomer on yom tov then it's original kli
> shmelachto lissur and since it is mutar to light a candle on yom tov,
> mmeila it's mutar to move the candle as well.( according to those who hold
> a candle is mutzah machmas gufo on sahbbos I admit the question is
> stronger hovever I believe it can be answered using basically the same
> chiluk) This comes to mind off the
> top of my head-tell if if you agree or maybe I'm over looking some problem
> in my haste.
> Elie Ginsparg
> 
> 

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Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 23:44:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group 
Subject: Faith and Emunah
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

I am attaching Reb Aaron's post of today at the end of this note because
it sums up articulately what I am fully in agreement with.

I am also doing so because most of my grounding in emuna I received from
his uncle, my Mashgiach in Sha'alvim, Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel's sefer, the
Beis Yechezkel. I wish to quote it and cite it.

1. Quote from the Alter from Kelm, Chochma u'Mussar vol 2 p 76, BY p 91:

"The matter is that there are three categories of emuna. A fool believes
everything, and this is a terrible shortcoming. (The other extreme is) one
who believes only that which his mind sees and to which his eye testifies.
This is also great foolishness, for man's mind is small, inclined to error
and short on understanding. But the mean is (to) understand with intellect
the evidence of belief, to believe the kabbala (mesora) that is built on
the obvious... For most of the world is like a blind man pretending to be
sighted, going to the places they are led, like a woman who is light
minded, in the category of `a fool believes everything.' The tailor in
Berlin sends her a `journal' how to sew her clothes, and she devotedly
follows in his ways. So too all the world is made up of men who are like
women, drawn after the foolish winds of the time. But such is not the way
of wisdom... The mind, rather, must lead man... Were I to be in my home
(sitting) in solitude without the company of others, I would achieve
(emuna), via thought upon the obvious (evidence), and go in the way of the
Torah."

R' Tzuriel brings several more passages from Rishonim and Acharonim, in
this vein. I bring this example, not to prove a point - for this debate is
like no other I have ever experienced in a long history of Jewish
argumentation. The rules here have been set down by my partners: No
Rishon, may be brought as evidence, certainly no Acharon, indeed, pesukim
themselves, not to mention Chazal, can have no bearing on the discussion.
Kant, Kuhn, and others, have swept all rational religion away, and, to be
sure, Yeshayahu Leibowitz is as valid ("validus" :-) ) an authority as R'
Yehuda HaLevi. I say this without malice or irony, I merely observe that
it is therefore, impossible for me to objectively debate and win the
point, as my partners have made - in the wake, they say, of modern
philosophy and science, relying on the Rav, who seems to have been "somech
es yadav" on Kant - everything subjective.

I, of course, do not concede a whit on this. Whether "Emes Muchletes" is
the term or some other, I maintain that there is far more than sufficient
objective evidence for Yahadus.

Which leads me to my next point: We have focused on the Kuzari's reasoning
as the sole basis for the emes of Yahadus, for better or worse. I note
that in a long and articulate chapter, R' Tzuriel presents ten categories
of evidence (we may quibble if they are in fact ten distinct categories),
which we have not even begun to explore (let me stress that I do not
intend to do so here!) In brief, they are:

1. The basic premise (the book in the desert proof).
2. The intricacy of nature (a la ice is less dense than water).
3. The wonders of the human body.
4. The history of Am Yisroel.
5. The Kuzari and variations on the theme.
6. The tradition from our ancestors.
7. Philosophical Contemplation.
8. Kabbala and the Secrets of the Torah.
9. The greatness of Chazal.
10. Evidence from the Torah itself (a la the list of kosher animals).

Let me note, now, that there should be no confusion between the emuna
peshuta of Chassidus and the subjective faith my partners here have
presented. The emuna peshuta of Chassidus is predicated on the "pintele
yid" and "chelek eloka me'ma'al mamash," i.e., that every Jew is hard
wired for prophecy, enjoys some aspect thereof, and therefore has direct
access to Kudsha Berich Hu u'Shechintei internally. This is not the
Rambam's concept of intellectual, elitist nevu'ah, but rather universal
mini-ru'ach hakodesh, the experience of which is almost an internal
ma'amad Har Sinai. See the eloquent and inspiring description of this
emuna peshuta in the the first of the Three Ma'amarim in Chovas
HaTalmidim. I have not seen this in any of the writings (except perhaps
one post) here. I subscribe wholeheartedly to this notion - subsequent to
rational grounding we must strive for transcendance. See Aaron's
progression below. I do not think the "subjective faith" school dovetails
with Chassidic Emuna Peshuta. 

So. Let me reiterate: There are significant ramifications to this divide. 
The existence of the divide was something I was not even aware of 48 hours
ago, yet now I feel very much educated by its realization. I identified
five areas in which I believe the divide is manifest, and although some
have grumbled, none, so far as I can tell, have advanced cogent arguments
against these observations. To chazzer ibber, the "subjective faith" 
school's limitations are manifest in: 

1. Lack of tools for kiruv, and corresponding lack of kiruv ventures.
2. Openess to ecumenical ventures.
3. Openess to the validation of Conservative and Reform Judaism.
4. The "old" Torah u'Madda philosophy.
5. (Again, the one I concede is the shaky one) Failure to produce Poskim.

Kol Tuv,
YGB

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:33:49 -0400
From: Aaron.Berger@chase.com
Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah


I think that much of the confusion is due to the two separate things we
mean by the term "Emunah".
1] - The knowledge based on logical proof
2] - The emotional "feeling" of believing

I know that my son is really my son because

0] - Chazaka,  rov beilos achar habaal
1] - I was in the hospital when he was born
2] - The kid we took home looked something like the one I saw a few moments
after birth
3] - The kid I see every day seems like the one I saw yesterday

But when I beam (kvell) at his kindergarten graduation and feel that strong
feeling of "he's my son", I'm not focusing on the above proof. I'm past
that. I know it in my gut. and don't think about it.

I think this is what Rabbi Soloveitchik meant his by "bride in the embrace"
example. Not that we believe blindly, but that when you know, you know. And
once you know, it's insulting to focus on the proofs. Imagine if I told my
wife: We can go on living together because:
- You  have a copy of the Kesubah, and my signature on it matches my Visa
card
- You look (more or less) like the woman I married ten years ago
- The woman I know to be my mother in law recognizes you as her daughter
- Pictures from the wedding indicate that you are the same woman

She might come back with proofs the other way.

Aaron

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Message-ID: <359C7F48.F9213158@netmedia.net.il>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 09:50:49 +0300
From: Daniel Eidensohn 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit



Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:

> > > In a message dated 98-07-01 23:43:48 EDT, Kenneth Miller wrote:
> > >
> > > << I am hoping to find an answer which will fit *either* of these two
> > >  descriptions, but I have not been able to find such a source. Either (1)
> > >  an explanation of how the laws of muktza apply differently to the sukka
> > >  and the candle,
>
> In a conversation with Reb Elie Ginsparg today in the Beis Medrash of
> Skokie Yeshiva, we proposed that it seems that Ochel Nefesh is mattir
> muktzeh. Since adlukei shraga is part of ochel nefesh, it applies to this
> case. I am sure this point is discussed in the Poskim, probably our chaver
> Reb Daniel Eidensohn can point out where it is in the Mishna Berura.
>
> YGB

Mishna Berura 507 (21). "It is permitted to move Muktzeh for the needs of Ochel
Nefesh. Also see the Biur Halacha 501 *(18).
Mishna Berura 509 (31)....but to eat or to benefit from the Muktzeh itself...it
is Ossur.

                           Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 03:53:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: Shalom Carmy 
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: thinking about belief
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:

> 
> Obviously the religious expreience of the Rav, of Rav Kook, of Reb Nachman
> Breslever, of any great Torah master, is a profound, prophetic experience,
> validation of emuna in and of itself. This emuna peshuta -powerful,
> experiential, prophetic, transcendan - is at the core of many schools of
> divine service and uplifting growth. I fervently yearn for such
> experiences and feel strongly that they are the greatest chizuk of emuna.
> My hero Reb Avrohom Elya Kaplan, writes that one would become a Ba'al
> Teshuva hearig the Gr"a's Kabbolas Shabbos.
> 
> But I am talking about what tools HaKadosh Baruch Hu has given us to
> influence our wayward brethren, and ultimately, kol ha'olam kullo. You,
> and several others here, are convincing me more and more that you question
> the existence of those tools to reach out and provide illumination of the
> truth - emes muchketes!! - to others.

The tools that haKadosh Barukh Hu has given us are, in the final analysis,
experiential. The intellectual search for G-d is not excluded. I think it
is important, if only, as the Bet Halevi suggested, to remove false ways
of thinking. The intellect is an important dimension of human existence.
But intellect, especially when it is applied to personal relationships, of
which the relationship with G-d is infinitely the most crucial, is
connected to the human being's entire experiential existence. Human beings
are not computers.

> 
> I do not wish anymore at this stage to quibble whether the ishonim - the
> expositors of Dvar Hashem! - meant what they said or said what they meant. 
> I cannot fathom otherwise, and I cannot fathom why what they say cannot be
> the starting point. or how they are no longer relevant. Forgivr my
> ignorance.

Let us take the Rishonim as a starting point. The Rambam states explicitly
that he is writing the Moreh for people who have studied Torah and
philosophy and are perplexed about certain matters. It is not necessarily
for ignorant people, or people who are resistant. The Rambam presents
proofs for the existence of G-d, but with respect to creation, which the
Rambam judges to be a pillar upon which the Torah stands, he maintains
that there is no conclusive proof for the Torah's teaching, as opposed to
Aristotle's; there are only considerations that might incline one towards
the Torah's position.

 At the very beginning of the Moreh, the Rambam refers to a question he
once heard from a very intellectual person. Before responding to the
question, the Rambam insults the person who asked him the question, who
thinks that one can discuss issues of emunot ve-deot in one's spare time,
without the proper emotional orientation and intellectual preparation. 
Presumably the Rambam, as an expositor of Torah and one of the most
deliberate writers ever to have taken up a pen, wasn't interested in
making biographical comments about this particular individual. He was
warning the reader, as early as possible, that hashkafa is not simply a
matter of intellectual cleverness.

Moving on to R. Yehuda Halevi. Remember the opening of the Kuzari. The
king summons the various spokesmen because he had a dream: "your intention
is good, but your actions are not." If he had not had this dream, the book
wouldn't get off the ground. Why is R. Yehuda Halevi writing this? As
introductory fluff? No, he is simply noting that in real life the quest
for G-d begins before the philosophers arrive. The individual is moved by
something in his/her experience. Different people may be struck by
different promptings: Rav Soloveitchik has a fourfold classification of
areas in which human beings seek after G-d. And naturally people with the
inclination to intellectual formulation may attempt to take these
experiences and make logical arguments out of them. Naturally people who,
like the king in the Kuzari, are unsure how to proceed, will look for
criteria that will enable them to distinguish between truth and falsehood.
And so the argument from the 600,000 leads him to continue his discussion
with the Jew and to ignore the Christian and Muslim claims. (By the way,
the argument in the Kuzari is directed specifically against the daughter
religion because they accept the revelation at Sinai and claim to
supresede it through additional "private" revelations.)

So much for two representative Rishonim, exponents of Dvar HaShem, and
what they actually wrote.

There is a strong counter-tradition, which maintains that one should not
accept revealed religious truths unless backed by conclusive evidence. In
our century it is perhaps best incarnated by Bertrand Russell and AJ Ayer.
With all due respect, we don't pasken like them, however. Nor do most
contemporary philosophers.

> But I now understand things I never understood before. How rabbis to the
> "left" are into ecumenical activities, granting legitimacy to C/R rabbis
> and movements (remember "Validus?"). If "I'm OK, You're OK" - there is no
> proof that I am right and you are wrong - well. if I'm the Rav and I am
> cheftza chada with the Torah, of course I find the others loathsome. But
> if I am Rabbi X...
> 

I don't understand the meaning, or relevance of this paragraph. The Bet
Halevi, as mentioned above, held that once a person has turned away from
Torah, it is virtually impossible to reach him intellectually (his basis
is the Gemara on "kol baeha lo yeshuvun"), that reasoning can, at best,
undermine his arguments, but cannot compel him to turn back to Torah. Does
this mean that he took an "I'm OK, you're OK" position towards the rebels
of his time?

If we yearn to restore "our wayward brethren" to the "table of their
Father" there is a great deal that can be achieved by inducing them to
confront blind spots in their self-understanding, blatant inconsistencies
in their thinking and teaching and the poverty of their experience. I am
not sure how many intelligent people will be swayed to claims to
irrefutable proofs that are not forthcoming or by debates in which the
ground rules are rigged in favor of skepticism.

In passing, I also don't know that using the term "loathsome" so freely is
really that helpful in reaching out to our wayward brethren. 

P.S. Since writing the above, an hour has passed. (This delay is due to my
odd conviction that one should weigh one's words carefully, especially in
dealing with matters that are literally spiritual life and death.) During
this time I have had the opportunity to review other reactions posted in
the last 36 hours. In particular, I note the frequent repetition of the
insinuation that individuals influenced by Rav Soloveitchik's way of
thinking regard Torah as "relatively true," as opposed to those people who
base their belief on classical proofs, who are blessed with "absolute" 
belief.  Such a distortion might be forgiven if it were based on ignorance
or sloppy thinking; it is hard to attribute its stubborn reiteration to
garden variety stupidity or sincere misunderstanding. I'm not sure that
loudly asserting the absolute validity of a logical proof makes it any
more plausible. It seems to me, though, that conjoining the assertion to
allegations and insinuations that are baldly false does not increase their
credibility. This would not be a problem if the goal of the exercise were
to hear oneself shout and bask in the glory of one's cleverness. It is a
problem if the purpose is to cultivate yirat Shamayim and integrity.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Rambam was right and discussion of
philosophical topics is a waste of time in the absence of moral maturity
and intellectual self-discipline. See also Mishle 23:9 & 26:4.

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Message-ID: <359CAFF1.16CD@neiu.edu>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 06:18:25 -0400
From: Harry Maryles 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Cheryl Maryles wrote:
> 
> After reading many of the posts from the MO camp concerning whether or not
> there is evidence to the authenticity of the torah and maamid har sinai
> (specificlly their conclusion that there is no such evidence and we
> believe because of faith alone) I have a new insight into the attraction
> of Torah Umadda. It makes perfect sense that one should L'chatchila look
> to science to understand Hashem because the Torah is no longer the best
> source
> that we can use to seek out proofs and evidence to the way Hashem relates
> to the world because although we all believe in the Torah(I never did or
> will suggest otherwise)it still is only a source based on belief whereas
> science can provide evidence and proof. If this is not the case I would
> like to be corrected, however it should be explained why lshitasem it's
> not the case, and if it is the case then do we need to say more about the
> accuracy of Rabbi Sveis objection to Torah Umadda.
> EG

I would think, based on the on many of the posts, that just the opposite 
is true. Since we have no scientific evidence at hand, at least here 
to fore, that Madda has failed us in our quest to find scientific 
evidence to prove the Torah's veracity, and therefore we must rely on 
our emunah plus our intellect to believe in it's Truth.

HM (Dad)

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To: baistefila@shamash.org
Cc: baistefila@shamash.org
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 08:46:22 -0400
Subject: Re: thinking about belief
Message-ID: <19980703.084624.13006.0.sroth4@juno.com>
From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart)


I have been following this fascinating discussion on definitive proof for
religious beliefs and must admit I am a little baffled by R' Bechhofer's
position. You seem to make the exisitence of proof that conclusively
proofs the truth of Torah into a fundamental religious belief (which is a
contradiction in terms if I ever heard one). This seems to be an easy
thing to clarify, if there is such a proof please present it! The fact is
I don't have to believe that there is a therom that shows that that a
triangle is 180 degrees it exists. THe fact is that there is no such
proof. As has already been pointed out the historical proof from the
revelation of Sinai is not conclusive, the SAmaritans believe that they
are the direct descendants of Ephraim and Menashe and we are the splinter
group, how could a whole nation believe something which is clearly not
true as Melachim Beis.

The sad reality of the human condition is that beyond the trivial it is
really impossible to  have definitive proof for anything nor do we expect
it and live our life accordingly. I might be able to know things about
congruent triangles however I never will be able to  know whether a
certain woman is the person I  should marry, a certain career is the
field I show go into and simmilary whether a certain lifestyle is
absolutely correct. We simply must live with a degree of uncertainty. We
function, as R' Carmy wrote, by a preponderance of indications not by one
knockout proof.

In relationship to accepting the words of the Rishonim I don't know why
philosophy and history should be any different from science. We readily
admit that the Rambam's  ideas in medicine are certainly outdated, why
not similary the Rambam's view in history and philosophy (which is
certainly based to a certain extent on the science of the day)? There
clearly is a difference between the Rambam's writing in halachah and
philosophy.

Finally, to say the lack of definitive proof makes kiruv impossible I
don't think is true. Since all of us believe with a degree of belief that
makes it possible for us to devote our lives to that belief, whether it
be because of experiential, combined reasonableness or definitive proof,
I don't see why those reasons can't be given over. I know I do it for Ohr
Sameach here in Detroit all the time, admitting to my listeners that
there is no absolute proof (as in most of lifes experiences)

Shraga Rothbart

_____________________________________________________________________
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----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_112

Message-ID: <359CDB3F.148F66EA@netmedia.net.il>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 16:23:11 +0300
From: Daniel Eidensohn 
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: baistefila@shamash.org
Subject: Truth and Kefirah
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Shalom Carmy wrote:

> P.S. Since writing the above, an hour has passed. (This delay is due to my
> odd conviction that one should weigh one's words carefully, especially in
> dealing with matters that are literally spiritual life and death.) During
> this time I have had the opportunity to review other reactions posted in
> the last 36 hours. In particular, I note the frequent repetition of the
> insinuation that individuals influenced by Rav Soloveitchik's way of
> thinking regard Torah as "relatively true," as opposed to those people who
> base their belief on classical proofs, who are blessed with "absolute"
> belief.  Such a distortion might be forgiven if it were based on ignorance
> or sloppy thinking; it is hard to attribute its stubborn reiteration to
> garden variety stupidity or sincere misunderstanding. I'm not sure that
> loudly asserting the absolute validity of a logical proof makes it any
> more plausible. It seems to me, though, that conjoining the assertion to
> allegations and insinuations that are baldly false does not increase their
> credibility. This would not be a problem if the goal of the exercise were
> to hear oneself shout and bask in the glory of one's cleverness. It is a
> problem if the purpose is to cultivate yirat Shamayim and integrity.
>

I'd like to state my  full agreement with the position of  Prof. Carmy. I have
stayed out of this thread which at first seemed mildly interesting,  turn -
increasingly turn the direction of "discovering that MO is Kefirah" -  though
those exact words have not been stated _yet_. I think the moderator's
understanding of absolute versus relative truth is primarily the Mussar
orientation. The introduction to the Ketzos and Emes L'Yaakov have no problem
with the concept of relative Truth. In contrast, Rav Dessler and the Mussar
school seem to reject the validity of relative Truth. I think there should be a
moratorium on this issue before it snowballs out of control. Having spent much
time tracking down sources of what Emes is according to the Torah position - I
don't think it is possible to find a satisfactory definition. Again - I think
this thread is heading into dangerous and harmful territory and should be
terminated.

                                                Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 08:33:37 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 
To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group 
Subject: INNERNET MAGAZINE - THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS FAITH ITSELF (fwd)
Message-ID: 
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Inyana d'Yoma. I received this today.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer
sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 10:42:33 +0300
From: Heritage House 
To: innernet@jer1.co.il
Subject: INNERNET MAGAZINE - THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS FAITH ITSELF

INNERNET MAGAZINE

THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS FAITH ITSELF
by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein

Reprinted with permission from The  Jewish Action Reader-Volume 1,
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, New York   1996.


THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS FAITH ITSELF

"Who prop, thou ask'st, in these bad days, my mind?" Thus opened Matthew 
Arnold an early sonnet, "To A Friend." I believe that, unlike Maimonides, I 
do not generally experience the days as bad: and I am quite certain that if 
I did, Arnold's choices --Homer, Epictetus and Sophocles -- would not 
provide the requisite solace. But as to the formulation of the question: In 
my case, at least, the critical factor is indeed "who" rather than "what."

Without question, during my formative years and, to a lesser extent, 
beyond, the source and bulwark of my commitment was not so much a cluster 
of abstract factors or arguments as key persons. This may make my response 
less valuable for readers who have no access to my sources of strength and 
inspiration. Moreover, such a response raises obvious questions about 
determinism and inequity which, in a different context, would need to be 
addressed philosophically. But any other would be not only partial but 
false.

I refer, of course, to those who put me on the path to temporal and eternal 
life: my parents, ob"m, who were also my primary (in several senses of the 
term) teachers; and my Rabbis, of whom three--Rabbi Hutner ob"m, the Rav 
(Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik), and Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik, stand out far 
above the rest. At home, I received trust and strength, imbibed (although 
did not always implement in youth) a work ethic, and initially breathed an 
atmosphere within which a balance between criticism and rootedness was 
consistently maintained. Both my parents, each in his own way, habitually 
raised serious questions about the religious world or about various textual 
or philosophic aspects of Torah--but always radiated a sense of profoundly 
engaged commitment.

The impact of my Rabbis obviously varied. That of the first two is 
presumably self-evident. They-- the Rav, as my primary Rabbi, in 
particular--both limned the contours of my religious and intellectual 
universe and filled it with content. In addition, they communicated a 
powerful sense of relation to the past, immediate and distant, of being and 
becoming a link in the unbroken chain of the tradition from Sinai. Perhaps 
more needs to be said, however, about my relation to Reb Aaron. From him 
too, I learned much, but above all, he served as a role model. The Rosh 
Yeshiva (as his students invariably called Rabbi Hutner), simply 
overwhelmed. The Rav overawed. I could entertain no rational illusions 
about attaining their status or stature. But Reb Aaron, while an inspiring 
vision, yet somehow seemed within reach, and truly presented a model. It 
wasn't so much what he said or did. I was simply enthralled by what he 
was--a remarkable fusion of mastery and simplicity, of vigor and humility 
and, above all, a pillar of radical integrity. To an extent probably far 
beyond what he knew or could even have imagined, he was to me, for many 
years, a polestar. Upon attaining fuller maturity, I came to realize that 
the notion that I could attain his level was pretentiously vainglorious. 
But his hold upon me, and the ambition and commitment it generated, have 
not waned to this day.

What I received from all my mentors, at home or in yeshiva, was the key to 
confronting life, particularly modern life, in all its complexity: the 
recognition that it was not so necessary to have all the answers as to 
learn to live with the questions. Regardless of what issues--moral, 
theological, textual or historical--vexed me, I was confident that they had 
been raised by masters far sharper and wiser than myself; and if they had 
remained impregnably steadfast in their commitment, so should and could I. 
I intuited that, his categorical formulations and imperial certitude 
notwithstanding, Rav Hutner had surely confronted whatever questions 
occurred to me. Later, I felt virtually certain the Rav had, so that the 
depth and intensity of their service of G-d was doubly reassuring.

Newman has emphasized the difference between difficulty and doubt, noting 
that of all his beliefs, the existence of God was the most fraught with 
philosophical questions, and yet none was borne in upon his mind and heart 
with greater certitude. This is the crucial distinction between judging 
faith and its tents as an outsider or probing its contents while firmly 
ensconced within. The bulwark of my mentors' support assured that my own 
situation would be the latter; and the motto I inscribed in my college 
notebook was David's plea: "Teach me good discernment and knowledge: for I 
have believed the commandments." Answers, I of course continued--and 
continue --to seek, and have found many. But commitment has not been 
conditioned upon them. I have never been attracted to fideism and I regard 
Tartullian's credo quia absurdum est as alien to the spirit of Judaism. 
Clearly, however, faith cannot be contingent upon having all the answers. 
Its essence is implied in Rav Yohanan's rejoinder to a student who had 
initially ridiculed a palpably implausible statement but who then recanted 
upon finding empirical support for it: "Ne'er do well, had you not seen, 
you would not have believed. You ridicule the words of the wise" (Baba 
Batra, 75a).

The source of my support was not confined to my immediate Rabbis. At one 
point, during my late teens, I was troubled by certain ethical questions 
concerning [the destruction of ] Amalek etc. I then recalled having 
recently read that Rabbi Chaim Brisker would awaken nightly to see if 
someone hadn't place a foundling at his doorstep. I knew that I slept quite 
soundly, and I concluded that if such a paragon of kindness coped with 
these laws, evidently the source of my anxiety did not lie in my greater 
sensitivity but in my weaker faith. And I set myself to enhancing it.

That faith has been persistently reinforced by Jewish history. And this, in 
two respects. First, I have envisioned Providence as revealed and refracted 
through its uniqueness, in the spirit of the response our sages ascribe to 
the Men of the Great Assembly: "These are His awesome effects, for were it 
not for awe of God, how could one nation survive among the nations?" (Yoma, 
69b). Of course, I realized that, from a purely logical standpoint, one 
could rejoin with an analogue to Newman's statement that he saw design in 
nature because he believed in God, not vice versa. But given the substratum 
of faith, our singular history has provided much reinforcement. Secondly, 
it has served as a corpus with which-- to some extent, even through 
which--to identify, and on whose behalf to continue. That sense has 
received added impetus through the Holocaust. Some may regard this as 
paradoxical; but it is thoroughly genuine -- and from my perspective, not 
paradoxical at all. The theological philosophic difficulties posed by this 
frightful hiddeness of G-d are self-evident. They are, however, so 
insoluble and intractable that a person of faith is led to look beyond 
their sheer magnitude to evoke and formulate a practical response. For me, 
that has meant a redoubled commitment--a sense of mission to take the 
flickering torch from my predecessors and move with it toward our common 
goals.

The greatest source of faith, however, has been the G-d Himself.

At the level of rational demonstration, this is, of course, patently 
circular. I hold no brief for Anselm's ontological proof and I recognized 
the theoretical possibility of self delusion long before I had ever heard 
of Feuerbach. Existentially, however, nothing has been more authentic than 
the encounter with Our Father, Our King, the source and ground of all 
being. Nothing more sustaining, nothing more strengthening, nothing more 
vivifying.

Encounter, of course, has been varied. In part, it has been channeled 
--primarily through the learning of Torah (this is no doubt an aspect of 
"the light within it," of which our Sages spoke) but also through prayer 
and the performance of mitzvahs; or, if you will, by the halachic regimen 
in its totality. In part, it has been random-- moments of illumination 
while getting on a crowded bus or watching children play in a park at 
twilight. Obviously, it has also been greatly varied in intensity. In its 
totality, however, whatever the form and content, it has been the ultimate 
basis of spiritual life.

This will obviously provide little guidance for those to whom attaining 
encounter is precisely the problem. To those "struggling to develop faith" 
one can, however, proffer first the reassuring assertion of the religious 
significance of the quest per se, as in the footsteps of Abraham, they have 
already-become seekers of G-d; second, the prospective hope of successful 
resolution, as "The Lord is good unto them that yearn for Him, to the soul 
that seeketh Him" (Lamentations 3:25); and third, the counsel to focus 
persistently, in terms of Coleridge's familiar distinction, upon faith 
rather than belief, upon experiential trust, dependence and submission more 
than upon catechetical dogmatics. Intellectual assent is normative and 
essential; but, at the personal level, it is generally not the key. In the 
final analysis, the primary human source of faith is faith itself. 

----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_112

Message-ID: <003c01bda692$55d80b60$3ee1afce@hkyxztrz>
From: "David Eliezrie" 
To: "Torah LIst" 
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 07:52:58 -0700
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
	boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0037_01BDA657.98AD4620"

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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The question of defining "Emuna" is important.

If we understand something based on a rational proof we cannot say that =
this is an expression of Emuna. Why then do we have to believe if we can =
prove it through rational thought.

Here lies the fundemantal differance between Judaism and other =
religions. We can argue, based on historical proofs that the Torah was =
given on Har Sinai. In fact the proofs of the Kuzari are the same proofs =
we use to prove any other historical event. The only way we know George =
Washington was first president of the United States, or that Alexander =
the Great conquered the ancient world was because people who witnessed =
this and they told the next generation. The same is true of Torah, some =
2,000,000 witnessed the event they told their children who told their  =
childen until modern times. The fact that Jews in differant geograhical =
locations cut off from each other had the same testimony serves to =
validate this point. The only differance is that 3, 310 have elapsed =
since that moment in history instead of two centuries for Washington or =
2,500 years to Alexander.

The fact that the Kuzari was authored a millenia closer to this =
historical event only validates the historical argument, it does not =
undermine it.

Emuna, belief is an  expression of acceptance of something that we =
cannot understand.

This same argument of Emuna versus logic lies at the center of the =
Mitzvah of Emunas Alokus-believing in G-d. One can argue that you can =
prove G-d exists then the question is why do we need a Mitzvah to =
believe in Hashem.( also if you accept that it is a Mitzvah you already =
believe in Hashem) The answer of the Tzemech Tzedek is that there are =
aspects of Hashem that we can not understand, such as how can Hashem =
transcend time and place. Those aspects of Hashem that cannot be =
explained Al Pi Sechel (according to logic) are are the Mitzvah of =
believing in Hashem.=20

By the way as for the irrvelvance of the Kuzari in modern times the =
Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"ya writes in a letter on the question of Mesorah =
that the person should look into the arguments of the Kuzari who will =
explain according to logic (not emunah ) that the Torah was given on Har =
Sinai.
Dovid Eliezrie

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The question of defining = "Emuna" is=20 important.
 
If we understand something based on = a rational=20 proof we cannot say that this is an expression of Emuna. Why then do we = have to=20 believe if we can prove it through rational thought.
 
Here lies the fundemantal differance between Judaism = and other=20 religions. We can argue, based on historical proofs that the Torah was = given on=20 Har Sinai. In fact the proofs of the Kuzari are the same proofs we use = to prove=20 any other historical event. The only way we know George Washington was = first=20 president of the United States, or that Alexander the Great conquered = the=20 ancient world was because people who witnessed this and they told the = next=20 generation. The same is true of Torah, some 2,000,000 witnessed the = event they=20 told their children who told their  childen until modern times. The = fact=20 that Jews in differant geograhical locations cut off from each other had = the=20 same testimony serves to validate this point. The only differance is = that 3, 310=20 have elapsed since that moment in history instead of two centuries for=20 Washington or 2,500 years to Alexander.
 
The fact that the Kuzari was authored a millenia = closer to=20 this historical event only validates the historical argument, it does = not=20 undermine it.
 
Emuna, belief is an  expression of acceptance = of=20 something that we cannot understand.
 
This same argument of Emuna versus logic lies at the = center of=20 the Mitzvah of Emunas Alokus-believing in G-d. One can argue that you = can prove=20 G-d exists then the question is why do we need a Mitzvah to believe in = Hashem.(=20 also if you accept that it is a Mitzvah you already believe in Hashem) = The=20 answer of the Tzemech Tzedek is that there are aspects of Hashem that we = can not=20 understand, such as how can Hashem transcend time and place. Those = aspects of=20 Hashem that cannot be explained Al Pi Sechel (according to logic) are = are the=20 Mitzvah of believing in Hashem.
 
By the way as for the irrvelvance of the Kuzari in = modern=20 times the Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"ya writes in a letter on the question = of=20 Mesorah that the person should look into the arguments of the Kuzari who = will=20 explain according to logic (not emunah ) that the Torah was given on Har = Sinai.
Dovid Eliezrie
------=_NextPart_000_0037_01BDA657.98AD4620-- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_112 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 10:10:13 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: thinking about belief Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Shalom Carmy wrote: > Let us take the Rishonim as a starting point. The Rambam states explicitly > that he is writing the Moreh for people who have studied Torah and As I note, it has become pointless to dispute what the Rishonim hold as Kant has made them irrelevant (I read up on Kant last night, and this is indeed true l'shitaso). But if you look at the nice section in "Perakim b'Machasheves Yisroel" from R' Shaul Yisraeli on Emuna you will see the Rambam from Iggeres Teiman and other places where he bases emuna on evidence. Not just the Moreh. See also the Beis Yechezkel. The Kuzari's line of inquiry is opened in other sources as well. > So much for two representative Rishonim, exponents of Dvar HaShem, and > what they actually wrote. > It is, I mentioned, fruitless to argue, but you may find all the sources in the aforementioned books - clearly, no diyukim necessary. > With all due respect, we don't pasken like them, however. Nor do most > contemporary philosophers. > Who's paskening? > I don't understand the meaning, or relevance of this paragraph. The Bet > Halevi, as mentioned above, held that once a person has turned away from > Torah, it is virtually impossible to reach him intellectually (his basis Where is this Beis Ha'Levi? I would like to see it. > is the Gemara on "kol baeha lo yeshuvun"), that reasoning can, at best, > undermine his arguments, but cannot compel him to turn back to Torah. Does > this mean that he took an "I'm OK, you're OK" position towards the rebels > of his time? Perhaps - but, I specifically precluded individuals who are so immersed in Torah that they find other perspectives loathsome. > In passing, I also don't know that using the term "loathsome" so freely is > really that helpful in reaching out to our wayward brethren. > This is not an outreach discussion. I meant, however, as you must realize, that the Rav and the Beis Halevi et al surely found non-Orthodox *attitudes* loathsome. Is that incorrect? The following paragraph contains no substance and has lead me to seriously consider, and likely conclude, to disband the group. It is an eloquent way of contravening darchei noam by imparting motives that the reader can surely only guess, and certainly accuses on the basis of his own perception with no direct query. It also implies an intellectual snobbery, as if, despite the fact that if, indeed, Kant is the starting point, Judaism is questionable (consult your local Encyclopedia Judaica on the topic), we must all close off this area of inquiry without any explanation. I see, sadly, that it is not possible to maintain a high level of discourse on important topic without umbrage being the ultimate result. It is not worth it. Is there someone else who would like to take the group over? YGB > P.S. Since writing the above, an hour has passed. (This delay is due to my > odd conviction that one should weigh one's words carefully, especially in > dealing with matters that are literally spiritual life and death.) During > this time I have had the opportunity to review other reactions posted in > the last 36 hours. In particular, I note the frequent repetition of the > insinuation that individuals influenced by Rav Soloveitchik's way of > thinking regard Torah as "relatively true," as opposed to those people who > base their belief on classical proofs, who are blessed with "absolute" > belief. Such a distortion might be forgiven if it were based on ignorance > or sloppy thinking; it is hard to attribute its stubborn reiteration to > garden variety stupidity or sincere misunderstanding. I'm not sure that > loudly asserting the absolute validity of a logical proof makes it any > more plausible. It seems to me, though, that conjoining the assertion to > allegations and insinuations that are baldly false does not increase their > credibility. This would not be a problem if the goal of the exercise were > to hear oneself shout and bask in the glory of one's cleverness. It is a > problem if the purpose is to cultivate yirat Shamayim and integrity. > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_112 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 10:12:26 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: thinking about belief Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Again, if I find that someone I hold in such high esteem as my old chevrusa misreads me totally, obviously e-mail is a flawed forum. I never posited that there is absolute proof, I made that clear, I thought several times. YGB On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Paul Rothbart wrote: > > I have been following this fascinating discussion on definitive proof for > religious beliefs and must admit I am a little baffled by R' Bechhofer's > position. You seem to make the exisitence of proof that conclusively > > Shraga Rothbart > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_112-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899478764449739382-- From baistefila@shamash.org Fri Jul 3 20:02:14 1998 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 20:02:12 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 113 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899510532449755266" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899510532449755266 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 113 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Truth and Kefirah by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) two chumros by David Riceman 3) Re: Faith and Emunah by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 4) support for and concern about the list... by Ben Teifeld 5) Our listowner's conundrum by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 6) Re: Faith and Emunah by Cheryl Maryles 7) Fairness to the topic and YGB by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 8) Re: Faith and Emunah by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 9) Re: Faith and Emunah by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 10) Re: Faith and Emunah by 11) Re: Science, objectivity, Halachik Mind (Rav Soloveitchik) by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 12) Re: Faith and Emunah by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu 13) A critique of Pure Subjective Reason by Harry Maryles 14) Re: Faith and Emunah by Harry Maryles 15) Re: Faith and Emunah (fwd) by Cheryl Maryles 16) Re: Faith and Emunah by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 17) re: Kuzari's proof by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 18) Captives and Vulnerability by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 19) Re: The Kuzari's Proof by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 20) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899510532449755266 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_113" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 10:19:25 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Truth and Kefirah Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII As stated, I am becoming more convinced that such debates will always end with some umbrage taken - even if that were no one's intention, and, therefore, the raison d'etre of such a group is questionable. I, personally take umbrage at the accusation made below - it is, of course, compeletely incorrect. The motivations for belief do not play a role in determining Kefira. Albeit the Rambam disparages "Emunas Nashim" (of his time, of course!), but he does not say you cannot drink their wine! I thought it was very enlightening to me to discuss a Kantian view of Judaism, but I see that this touches "tzippor nafsham" of some - and leads them to false interpreatation of motives and directions. That is a pity. YGB On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Daniel Eidensohn wrote: > I'd like to state my full agreement with the position of Prof. Carmy. I > have stayed out of this thread which at first seemed mildly interesting, > turn - increasingly turn the direction of "discovering that MO is > Kefirah" - though those exact words have not been stated _yet_. I think > the moderator's understanding of absolute versus relative truth is > primarily the Mussar orientation. The introduction to the Ketzos and > Emes L'Yaakov have no problem with the concept of relative Truth. In > contrast, Rav Dessler and the Mussar school seem to reject the validity > of relative Truth. I think there should be a moratorium on this issue > before it snowballs out of control. Having spent much time tracking down > sources of what Emes is according to the Torah position - I don't think > it is possible to find a satisfactory definition. Again - I think this > thread is heading into dangerous and harmful territory and should be > terminated. Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Message-ID: Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:23:40 +0000 From: David Riceman MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: two chumros Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit 1. I was playing an empty seltzer bottle to my son the other evening, and feeling frustrated because to play a tune I'd have to fill and empty the bottle between notes. I started wondering why one may pour liquid from a bottle on Shabbos - isn't it tuning a musical instrument, which is a melacha d'oraysa? One historical comment, and then three possible answers: Chazal poured their wine from clay barrels to pitchers to cups, so they didn't have this problem (wine bottles were invented only around two hundred years ago). a. Davar sheain miskavavain - I don't really understand this concept, but I don't believe it applies here (why is it any different from driving, for example?) b. The tuning isn't permanent - I don't believe this either; harpists retune their harps every twenty minutes or so. c. The bottle is fully functional even when untuned, and the issur of metaken mana is a tolada of makeh bepatish, which would apply only if the object were previously not fully functional. This is plausible, and has interesting implications, e.g. could one tune and play dual use devices (seltzer bottles and doorbells come to mind) on Shabbos? Or should we all pour our wine into pitchers every Friday afternoon? 2. Last summer one of my wife's friends returned from a month in a seminary in Jerusalem, and told us of one lecture where she was told that study is OK for a single woman, but once you're married, by the time you care for your husband and children and earn enough money so your husband can learn full time, you'll have no time to learn Torah (or even daven). My immediate response was that if that's true, it's an issur gamur for a woman to marry (she ignored me and got married anyway). Here's the logic: Even if you hold that women are chayyavoth in the mitzva derabbanan of yishuv haaretz, marriage is at best a hechsher for one derabbanan. Study of halacha is a hechsher for all mitzvoth. Tefillah is clearly a mitzva, and according to some it's a deoraytha. Chazal say hithif einecha bo v'ainenu (as we working stiffs can attest), so even if someone knew all relevant psak before marriage she'd forget it under the regime described above. It is obviously not permitted to do one hechsher mitzvah which will perforce prevent you from fulfilling any mitzva properly. I'm sure that Rabbi Ginsparg is going to tell us that his bubbe got married and had children. Truth to tell, so did both of mine (I'm older than Elie - mine did it before automatic laundry machines became available). I wouldn't be surprised if other list members were in the same position. So the final question - assuming the truth of my wife's friend's teachers, how do we justify our bubbes' behavior? David Riceman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Message-ID: <19980703.123134.4559.0.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 12:22:58 EDT To respond to YGB: Question - why does philosophy have to stop in the Middle Ages? Why did the Rishonim see fit to use the philosophical models of their time, with all the inherent limitations of doing so, to justify faith, yet no modern RW thinker will approach the philosophy of Derrida, Foucault, or Sartre (the current names in vogue; you are only about 150 years behind the times with Kant) with their notions of subjectivism and relativity and attempt to root faith in that soil? To sum up: I won't debate specific proofs, but will just note that the philosophy of 1100 is no more relevant or truthful then the science of 1100 - if you accept that there has been advances in science and that what the Rishonim write is dated, why not accept the fact that there have been advances in philosophy and much of the arguments of the Rishonim are dated? The kiruv argument holds little water; most people are simply not well read enough to appreciate why Kant rejected much of the metaphysical models that preceded him and will be convinced by arguments that have been rejected for centuries. I don't see how subjectivity opens the door to Christianity or Conservative Judaism any more then engaging in any philosophical analysis be it objective or subjective - your position is only as good as your proof. If anything, using arguments that have been rejected by modern philosophy to justify your faith only weakens your position! I fail to understand Eli's criticism of science being a greater source of truth then Torah. Where did you get that from? Even a cursory reading of Halacic Mind will demonstrate otherwise, as would a cursory reading of Moreh Nevuchim demonstrate the exposure of Rishonim to philosophy, science, linguistics, and history. Either you haven't read these works, or are misunderstanding them. As far as I know there was no Bas Kol that declared it okay to use Aristotle but not to use Kant and Einstein. -Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 From: Ben Teifeld Message-Id: <199807031738.KAA12047@netcom18.netcom.com> Subject: support for and concern about the list... To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 10:38:57 -0700 (PDT) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I have been a silent lurker on this list for some time, enjoying reading much of what I have read, and trying to learn as much as I can. I am writing this because of a concern about the tone and character of the conversation, which in some ways is surprising. I became concerned when Rav Bechhofer mentioned that he would consider leaving this list in the hands of another person. My work is in the realm of community development and community organizing, and when something like this happens, it is something that deserves attention. I have been impressed with the level of discussion here, for whatever that's worth, and would be fearful of seeing it end because people speak in a tone which does not first presume that those in dialogue are honest and sincere in their convictions, and acting from highest intention. I have spoken with Rav Bechhofer personally in the past, and one of the things he has contributed to my understanding is the breadth and depth of approaches from which he considers an issue, and while he maintains very strong passionate views, I feel that even when he and I have disagreed rabidly, we could still talk to each other an hour or a day later. I work in settings where the idea of eilu v'eilu would be considered beyond comprehension. Yet this concept, combined with darchei noam, should enable us to have a level of civility and presumption of highest intentions. Discussions of emunah and its basis are at the core of issues and ideas that all of us face, and because we hold ideas about it passionately, we sometimes forget about the resources we have as yiddin to help us be mutually respectful and give each other the benefit of the doubt. I may not be as learned as many involved with this list, and may sometimes struggle to understand some of what is being discussed, but I feel this struggle is worthwhile, and would hate to see the character of this list change because people get so lost in anger that they no longer feel able to freely communicate and explore ideas. I realize there are real profound differences in the approaches that many here have. I may not know personally many of the people here, but I respect the intelligence and passion I read in all the posts I have seen. I hope this list can grow and tackle the toughest issues, so that I and others like me can learn more and be inspired. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Our listowner's conundrum Message-ID: <19980703.134941.4559.1.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 13:40:55 EDT I think as far as darchei noam and maintaining a high-level of discussion generalizations like MO, RW, etc. should be avoided and the focus should be on ideas and opinions. I do not know what "modern orthodoxy" means anymore and can only defend my personal opinion. If the debate is religion in a post-Kantian (or post-modernist) world, or the Rav as a Kantian, then there is much to write. If the debate is modern orthodox religious thought (which I do not think YGB meant, but I'm biased) then disband the list. In short: keep focussed on the point, do not make inferences that may have not been intended and avoid labelling. Are these rules acceptable? On a different note: Kant is an interesting character in that his entire work undermines rationalism as the basis of religion, but his bias as a religious person forced him to justify religious belief. -Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 13:10:49 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Charles Brown wrote: > > I fail to understand Eli's criticism of science being a greater source > of truth then Torah. Where did you get that from? Even a cursory reading > of Halacic Mind will demonstrate otherwise, as would a cursory reading of > Moreh Nevuchim demonstrate the exposure of Rishonim to philosophy, > science, linguistics, and history. Either you haven't read these works, > or are misunderstanding them. As far as I know there was no Bas Kol that > declared it okay to use Aristotle but not to use Kant and Einstein. > > -Chaim In response to Chaim and Rabbi Maryles: I never said that science is a proof to Hashem any more than Torah. My point was that if we believe in hashem as a given and we want to understand how hashem relates to the world it makes more sense according to you to study science and modern philosophy because these are more valid ways of learning about how Hashem relates to the world. This is because the philosophy of the rishonim is dated and the torah is a work which only holds as much weight as the original belief in its accuracy. However when you study science coupled with the original belief in Hashem-you see the works of Hashem in front of you. So once again according to the shita which believes in hasem because of belief-from that point on it makes sense to learn about Hashem through science and modern philosophy. In regards to chaims question of what is wrong with using science as a way to know about Hashem GREATER than Torah I am shocked that this is asked because the logical conclusion is that if you have time to learn Torah or science you should learn science-if that is true then I need not say anything but everyone should take a step back and say is really what TORAH UMADD has come to ? (Chaim-if I misunderstood your question than I apologze -but it needs to then be explained. I understood it to mean why am I criticzing the fact that sciene is grater than Torah implying that it really is, if your point was that these people never said that science was greater than Torah I agree but my point is that the argument that the Torah is only authentic because of belief should lead one to believe that science is greater than Torah -See above) I also find if difficult to deal with poeple who have the chuzpah to say "Yehuda halevi, who gave him semicha anyways". I will conclude this topic with words of thanks to the MO. I never realized just how dangerous it was to be involved with secular topics---I now know much better-Thanks Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Fairness to the topic and YGB Message-ID: <19980703.152811.4559.2.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 15:19:29 EDT I may be biased because I'm a relative, but I don't think YGB means to bash MO as kefirah. His argument is that the notion of relative truth is a) religiously dangerous b) not consistant with Rishonim. (I arrived at this "interpretation" in a phone call with him). As I said before, if all members of the list focus on the argument rather then on MO, RW, (terms which mean different things to different people and reflect groups rather than positions) we will all be better off. (YGB did get himself in trouble there by referring to MO as a group - he meant specific people and would have been better off in my opinion naming who he meant and why). In short: lets all keep to the facts and substantiate our argumements. My response to the substance of YGB is: b) the Rishonim only engaged in a "proof" as an end to philosophical enquiry. Even Kuzari is a philosophical work. Since modern philosophy accepts the concepts of relative truth then our philosophical backdrop must change as well. a) Relative truth is no more dangerous then asserting certain objective truths which are then subject to refutation. Asserting thsat the "historical" argument of 600,000 witnesses as advanced by Kuzari is objective proof leaves one open to the following questions a) what is the shiur, i.e. if 500 Indians claim a miracle occured in their shrine do you beleive it? 1000 Indians? etc. b) history can be distorted. I imagine a cultural anthroplogist would say that the Revelation story was written by an afterthought by a nomadic tribe that had grown to a kingdom and now sought to root its cultural heritage in a miraculous occurance - chas v'shalom, total kefirah, but adopting the historical approach does open you to this line of attack which is dangerous. A seperate thread that YGB's post seems to have started is the influence of Kant on the Rav. I don't have time to go into that now. -Good Shabbos Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Message-ID: <19980703.153721.4559.3.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 15:28:41 EDT On Fri, 3 Jul 1998 13:10:49 -0500 (CDT) Cheryl Maryles writes: >In response to Chaim and Rabbi Maryles: I never said that science is a >proof to Hashem any more than Torah. My point was that if we believe >in >hashem as a given and we want to understand how hashem relates to the >world >it makes more sense according to you to study science and modern >philosophy because these are more valid ways of learning about how >Hashem >relates to the world. This is because the philosophy of the rishonim >is >dated and the torah is a work which only holds as much weight as the >original belief in its accuracy. In a nutshell the answer is that Torah in the sense of a blatt gemara reflects absolute timeless truth. The Rishonim are dated in the sense that they attempted to synthesize Torah (objective truth) with the philosophy and science of their time (subjective, changing, relative). The RAmbam himself says science is a means of reaching Hashem, however it is inferior to study of the objective truth of Torah. If you wish to engage in a blatt gemara it is as relevant and timeless today as it was 1000 yeasr ago. If you wish to arrive at an appreciation of HAshem through science or philosophy,, or synthesize Torah with our culture, I would surely suggest that the science and philophy of the 20th century is a better place to start then Plato ar Aristotle. The latter half of your post is an ad hominum attack on MO and again does not relate to the issue at hand. -CB _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 14:58:26 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Charles Brown wrote: > The latter half of your post is an ad hominum attack on MO and again does > not relate to the issue at hand. > > -CB Agreed. I also agree with the need to drop the term MO, and apologize for its use. As I discussed with my brother in law today, there are specific people one can identify as involved with ecumenical dialogue and inter-denominational contacts, such as those who were and are directly affiliated with the NYBR and the SCA. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 From: Message-ID: <58f95a36.359d37db@aol.com> Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 15:58:18 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-03 15:30:07 EDT, you write: << In a nutshell the answer is that Torah in the sense of a blatt gemara reflects absolute timeless truth. The Rishonim are dated in the sense that they attempted to synthesize Torah (objective truth) with the philosophy and science of their time (subjective, changing, relative). >> I'm curious as to why you limit your comment to the rishonim, certainly at least as far as "hard science" goes. There seem to be examples(and I include myself in the category of a less educated lurker) of dated science on the blatt as well. Perhaps it has been our function throughout history(or at least since the chet of adam harishon brought subjective tov and ra into the world ) to reconcile the hard and soft sciences of our times(eg the blatt deals with astrology) with the eternal objective emet of tora. Yet none of this effort ever means a lesser commitment to that eternal emet. Shabbat Shalom Joel Rich ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Science, objectivity, Halachik Mind (Rav Soloveitchik) Message-ID: <19980703.171026.4559.4.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 17:01:44 EDT On Fri, 3 Jul 1998 15:58:18 EDT writes: >In a message dated 98-07-03 15:30:07 EDT, you write: > >I'm curious as to why you limit your comment to the rishonim, >certainly at>least as far as "hard science" goes. There seem to be examples(and I >include>myself in the category of a less educated lurker) of dated science on >the>blatt as well. Perhaps it has been our function throughout history(or >at least>since the chet of adam harishon brought subjective tov and ra into the >world )>to reconcile the hard and soft sciences of our times(eg the blatt >deals with>astrology) with the eternal objective emet of tora. Yet none of this >effort>ever means a lesser commitment to that eternal emet. > >Shabbat Shalom >Joel Rich > > I simply meant halacha rests on certain immutable objective truths that are untouched even when the science it rests on is passe, see Chazon Ish Y.D. 5. You are right that the science of Chazal is off and I wouldn't try the astrology or refuah referred to in many gemaras - yet that is not a reason to dismiss the halachic postulates that emerged from their scientific world view. Not to get involved in this point I wrote Rishonim and appreciate your comment. On a different note, Halacha might be the means of reconstituting the objective world of truth shattered by Adam HaRishon that you refer to, which explains the Midrashic view of ma'amad har Sinai (revelation of ultimate objective truth) as a tikkun of that chait . "If Jewish philosophy is reduced to obsolete concepts and medieval catagories that time has rendered sterile , then where is living philosophical continuity?" - Rav Soloveitchik , Halachik Mind, p100. P.S. see pp. 78, 88 for an elaboration on religious subjectivity, and Halachic Mind in general for a discussion of the methodology of reconstituting a world view through objective data (sorry if this sounds pretentious) Good Shabbos! -Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu Message-Id: <9807038995.AA899502413@smtplink.mssm.edu> Date: Fri, 03 Jul 98 17:42:00 -0500 To: Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="simple boundary" --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Description: "cc:Mail Note Part" With due respect to Rav Bechhofer, I think that there is a point of terminology that is inflammatory, even if not meant that way. There is a major difference both in meaning and in implication between "relative truth" or "subjective truth" on the one hand, and "unprovable truth" on the other. Relative or subjective truth implies that if I believe in torah misinai and you believe in Christianity, they are both equally true. In his implications of the "great divide", he suggests (or at least implies) that. I think most people have spoken about "unprovable truth". We lack proofs that are convincing. Furthermore, we have theoretical grounds for supposing that, at least for some issues, no such proofs exist. Of course, we remain open minded to the possibility of such a proof, but no one has yet offered one that convinces us. However, the fact that we do not have such a proof does not in any way make our truth "relative", or lessen our commitment to it. This implication that the Rav's faith was based on "subjective truth" was properly rebuked by Rav Carmy. The lack of proof does not mean that we do not get hizzuk out of a variety of logical arguments. Many religious scientists get hizzuk from the beauty and intricacy of scientific laws, one of the classical proofs for hashem, but few would view that as a proof. Similarly,the different historical and experiential models can deepen our emuna, but we do not classify them as proofs. Going back to classical sources, part of the Kuzari's insistence on the historical validation of emuna is based precisely on his rejection of the validity of the theoretical proofs (cf the Kuzari's explanation of why he started out with belief in yetziat Mitzraim rather than briat haolam). This difficulty on relying on the theoretical proofs thus has a basis in the rishonim. For at least some of us, the historical proof also has its difficulties. In all of the discussions of ikkare emuna, I never previously saw a proposal that we have to be convinced by a certain logical argument. Clearly, if a proof fails to convince many who are intelligent, versed in the field of the argument, and not prejudiced against the conclusion, then the proof is flawed (even if the conclusion is correct). Is it now suggested that to be a card carrying member of the right, one has to be convinced of the validity of the logic of at least one of the classical proofs? Lastly, in the work of Rav Dessler (and others), emunat chachamim translates to negating one's personal intellectual reasoning before the chachamim, realizing the limitations of our reason. Some of us are willing to admit the limitations of our reason in reaching conclusions about hashem, and submit to emunat hashem (even if not to emunat chachamim). Why is that so problematic? Meir Shinnar --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; name="RFC822.TXT" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RFC822.TXT" Received: from shamash3.shamash.org by smtplink.mssm.edu (ccMail Link to SMTP R8.10.00) ; Fri, 03 Jul 98 16:02:58 -0500 Return-Path: Received: (qmail 12236 invoked from network); 3 Jul 1998 19:58:40 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 3 Jul 1998 19:58:40 -0000 Return-Path: Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 12184 invoked from network); 3 Jul 1998 19:58:29 -0000 Received: from casbah.acns.nwu.edu (129.105.16.52) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 3 Jul 1998 19:58:29 -0000 Received: from localhost (sbechhof@localhost) by casbah.acns.nwu.edu (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id OAA05606 for ; Fri, 3 Jul 1998 14:58:26 -0500 (CDT) Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 14:58:26 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah In-Reply-To: <19980703.153721.4559.3.cbrown106@juno.com> Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN --simple boundary-- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Message-ID: <359D44FC.2DFE@neiu.edu> Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 16:54:20 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: YGBList Subject: A critique of Pure Subjective Reason Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit If I err in the following it is because I am going back over thirty years in my memory philosophical thought, so please forgive, and correct me if I am wrong. The discussion on this list seems to have evolved into whether it is legitimate to seek objective proof of Yahdus. If one is a believer in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, then it is impossible to consider any physical evidence as proof. Idealism explains that there is no "out there" and that all of out perceptions are subjectively perceived, through our own senses, which can fool us. Just ask yourself the question: "Would I know of existence if I could not use any of my senses?" Since reality can only be experienced through the senses, then, we can't really prove reality at all, so why bother looking for physical proof. The only thing we know of for sure is the reality of existence. As Rene Descartes so aptly put it: "Cogito Ergo Sum", I think, therefore, I am. Since all other reality is subjected to the mind all we can know of is the mind. We cannot know for sure of anything else. We cannot prove the physicality of the universe. So, in a post Kantian world such as ours, external proofs are useless in searching for proof of Yahdus. For what good would it do to find an Archeological Artifact. Even if one were to find Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, with an original passenger list (somehow preserved), and carbon date it to the Mabul it would do us no good because our perceptions are filtered through the five senses which are barriers to actual Reality. Scientific study? The Scientific method? Useless towards the proof of the physical universe. I am, however, firmly implanted in the "Realism"camp of John Locke. I believe in the scientific method. Admittedly, I can not PROVE the existence of a physical Universe either but I believe, and trust that my senses are telling me truth of the existence of a physical universe. I don't think G-d is fooling us. There is an "out there". It isn't just mind. I, therefore, look for physical proofs of Yahdus as well, even though I may not have found any yet. I don't see how either the Realist camp or the Idealist camp can prove the exclusive truth of their mutually exclusive philosophical beliefs. Emunah, as Sholom Carmy indicated, is achieved by a multitude of factors, some of which are: faith alone, trust in the mesorah of our fathers, intuitiveness, experiences, rational thinking, deductive and inductive reasoning, emotion, and probably many others that I can't think of at the moment. And physical evidence! HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Message-ID: <359D5191.5DD8@neiu.edu> Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 17:48:01 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote: this debate is > like no other I have ever experienced in a long history of Jewish > argumentation. The rules here have been set down by my partners: No > Rishon, may be brought as evidence, certainly no Acharon, indeed, pesukim > themselves, not to mention Chazal, can have no bearing on the discussion. > Kant, Kuhn, and others, have swept all rational religion away, > it is therefore, impossible for me to objectively debate and win the > point, as my partners have made - in the wake, they say, of modern > philosophy and science, relying on the Rav, who seems to have been "somech > es yadav" on Kant - everything subjective. > > I, of course, do not concede a whit on this. Whether "Emes Muchletes" is > the term or some other, I maintain that there is far more than sufficient > objective evidence for Yahadus. > > Which leads me to my next point: We have focused on the Kuzari's reasoning > as the sole basis for the emes of Yahadus, for better or worse. I note > that in a long and articulate chapter, R' Tzuriel presents ten categories > of evidence (we may quibble if they are in fact ten distinct categories), > which we have not even begun to explore (let me stress that I do not > intend to do so here!) In brief, they are: > > 1. The basic premise (the book in the desert proof). > 2. The intricacy of nature (a la ice is less dense than water). > 3. The wonders of the human body. > 4. The history of Am Yisroel. > 5. The Kuzari and variations on the theme. > 6. The tradition from our ancestors. > 7. Philosophical Contemplation. > 8. Kabbala and the Secrets of the Torah. > 9. The greatness of Chazal. > 10. Evidence from the Torah itself (a la the list of kosher animals). > > Let me note, now, that there should be no confusion between the emuna > peshuta of Chassidus and the subjective faith my partners here have > presented. The emuna peshuta of Chassidus is predicated on the "pintele > yid" and "chelek eloka me'ma'al mamash," i.e., that every Jew is hard > wired for prophecy, enjoys some aspect thereof, and therefore has direct > access to Kudsha Berich Hu u'Shechintei internally. This is not the > Rambam's concept of intellectual, elitist nevu'ah, but rather universal > mini-ru'ach hakodesh, the experience of which is almost an internal > ma'amad Har Sinai. See the eloquent and inspiring description of this > emuna peshuta in the the first of the Three Ma'amarim in Chovas > HaTalmidim. I have not seen this in any of the writings (except perhaps > one post) here. I subscribe wholeheartedly to this notion - subsequent to > rational grounding we must strive for transcendance. See Aaron's > progression below. I do not think the "subjective faith" school dovetails > with Chassidic Emuna Peshuta. > > So. Let me reiterate: There are significant ramifications to this divide. > The existence of the divide was something I was not even aware of 48 hours > ago, yet now I feel very much educated by its realization. I identified > five areas in which I believe the divide is manifest, and although some > have grumbled, none, so far as I can tell, have advanced cogent arguments > against these observations. To chazzer ibber, the "subjective faith" > school's limitations are manifest in: > > 1. Lack of tools for kiruv, and corresponding lack of kiruv ventures. > 2. Openess to ecumenical ventures. > 3. Openess to the validation of Conservative and Reform Judaism. > 4. The "old" Torah u'Madda philosophy. > 5. (Again, the one I concede is the shaky one) Failure to produce Poskim. > I tend to agree with the above post for the most part, only I would have weighted each of R. Tzuriel's 10 points, for example, putting more emphasis on points number 6 an 7 and less weight on points number 2 and 3. (almost identical points, btw) because 2 and 3 may ultimately be explained scientificly. Some would not effect me at all such as point number 8 which has absolutly no rational basis and must be accepted on faith. (no pun intended). Point number 1... I don't know the desert proof so, I can't comment. The last list of 5 pointsI do take exception to, however. 1.Kiruv does not require intellectualism, certainly not at first. In most instances it is an emotional experience that wins over the potential BT. Kiruv is a complex proccess which varies from individual io individual. It may or may not include the study of Mussar, attaching oneself emotionally to the BT and a host of other methods which should be tailored to each individual BT, and may include philosophcal discussions. 2.Openess to ecumenical ventures is not a function of the philosophy of "subjective reasoning". It may be nothing more than a practical means to an end in service to Klal Israel. 3.Same thing for: Openess to the validation of Conservative and Reform Judaism. Altough here I do not believe anyone validates Conservative and Reform Judaism. I believe here it is only a matter of respect for someone elses belief even when we know they are wrong. And working with them for the betterment of Klal Israel. 4. I'm not sure what R. YGB means by: The "old" Torah u'Madda philosophy. 5. Failure to produce Poskim I believe to be the nature of the Torah U'Maddah system vs.the Charede system, and has nothing to do with "subjectve reasoning" HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 17:51:09 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah (fwd) Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 17:42:54 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" Cc: Cheryl Maryles Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah I apologize for using the generalzation of the Mo when refering to specific people. I do not apologize for my maacha against the lack of kavod rishonim-I guess I'm a kohen and named Eliyahu so I can't let such lack of kavod go unprotested.( I'm protesting the act not the person-I hope there are no hard feelings) I wanted to take part in this group as an opportunity to grow in Torah but I don't see that happening. I will try to spend more of my free time in the beis medrash and off of e-mail, I thank all those people who took the time to respond to what I have to say. Good Shabbos Elie Ginsparg \ On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote: > On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Cheryl Maryles wrote: > > > I also find if difficult to deal with poeple who have the chuzpah to > > say "Yehuda halevi, who gave him semicha anyways". I will conclude this > > topic with words of thanks to the MO. I never realized just how > > dangerous it was to be involved with secular topics---I now know much > > better-Thanks Elie Ginsparg > > > > Far too confrontational. I think you should apologize. > > > > > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer > c/o Shani Bechhofer > sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu > http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 > > ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 18:12:15 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith and Emunah Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 3 Jul 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote: > With due respect to Rav Bechhofer, I think that there is a point of > terminology that is inflammatory, even if not meant that way. There is > a major difference both in meaning and in implication between "relative > truth" or "subjective truth" on the one hand, and "unprovable truth" on > the other. Relative or subjective truth implies that if I believe in > torah misinai and you believe in Christianity, they are both equally > true. In his implications of the "great divide", he suggests (or at > least implies) that. > It is unfortunate that people find terminology inflammatory. I would ask people to work on their middos and not get inflamed. Usse whatever terminology you want instead, but address the issue. > I think most people have spoken about "unprovable truth". We lack > proofs that are convincing. Furthermore, we have theoretical grounds > for supposing that, at least for some issues, no such proofs exist. Of > course, we remain open minded to the possibility of such a proof, but no > one has yet offered one that convinces us. However, the fact that we do > not have such a proof does not in any way make our truth "relative", or > lessen our commitment to it. This implication that the Rav's faith was > based on "subjective truth" was properly rebuked by Rav Carmy. > That was not insinuated nor intended and, again, it is unfortunate that you took it that way. Whether it was properly rebuked is secondary, as I do not think it was, but find it irrelevant regardless. The point under discussion is thereefold: 1. If there is no convincing evidence (not proof!), why do you believe (not questioning the fervor of your belief!)? 2. If there is no convincing evidence, then what makes us "right"? What right, for example, to we have to the Land of Israel - how can we say Hashem gave it to us if that is purely our own, unconvincing belief. (I.e., forget about the first Rashi in the Torah). 3. If Kant swept away the earlier proofs (as indeed he did), was the Rav, as a Kantian, in agreement with him, or "tocho achal klipaso zarak" and to what extent? > The lack of proof does not mean that we do not get hizzuk out of a > variety of logical arguments. Many religious scientists get hizzuk from > the beauty and intricacy of scientific laws, one of the classical proofs > for hashem, but few would view that as a proof. Similarly,the different > historical and experiential models can deepen our emuna, but we do not > classify them as proofs. > Not proof! Who's looking for proof? Convincing evidence. > In all of the discussions of ikkare emuna, I never previously saw a > proposal that we have to be convinced by a certain logical argument. > Clearly, if a proof fails to convince many who are intelligent, versed > in the field of the argument, and not prejudiced against the conclusion, > then the proof is flawed (even if the conclusion is correct). Is it now > suggested that to be a card carrying member of the right, one has to be > convinced of the validity of the logic of at least one of the classical > proofs? > You are the first to suggest that, not I, and it is obviously not the case and that is precisely the reason why there is no kefira question here. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: re: Kuzari's proof Message-ID: <19980703.195921.12039.0.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 20:00:16 EDT Gershon Dubin mentioned <<< I suggest Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb of Ohr Somayach's book on truth, which is available on their web site in PDF or HTM format. He makes the Kuzari's argument, but very well. >>> This entire sefer can be downloaded from: http://www.ohr.org.il/special/books/gott/truth.htm I highly recommend it, especially for people who believe that they have found logical flaws in the Kuzari's proof. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Captives and Vulnerability Message-ID: <19980703.195922.12039.2.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 20:00:16 EDT Russell Hendel wrote <<< a female captive is redeemed before a male (because of her vulnerability) >>> Avi Pechman answered <<< Actually, if the captors are known to be into mishkav zachor, then the male captive would take precendence in redemption, because the rape of a man is worse (unnatural? more painful? more embarrassing?) than the rape of a woman. Indicating that we measure vulnerability on a case by case basis. >>> Avi's response would make sense only if Russell's theory of vulnerability is correct. But if the reason for redeeming a female first is the shame, then perhaps it applies always. Is there a source which mentions this exception where the captors practice mishkav zachor? Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM Subject: Re: The Kuzari's Proof Message-ID: <19980703.195922.12039.4.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 20:00:16 EDT Rabbi Clark writes: <<< You may be right that a claim as grandiose as ma'amad Har Sinai could never have made it to the 2nd generation. But how do we know there was a second generation? We know about Yehoshua from the same source which tells us of ma'amad Har Sinai. Do you see why this argument is circular? <<< A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l). According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles that happened long before (chalilah). >>> Yes, I have heard of this theory of the Torah being written much later than we claim. I would very much like to know: According to the proponents of that theory, how many people were involved in writing the Torah? How many people did they teach this "Torah" to? Did that initial group of believers ask, "Why have we never heard of this before? Where are all the other Jews? Did *your* parents believe and follow all this stuff?" I can't imagine what kind of answers they would have offered. Remember that the Torah is not mere stories like the myths of other cultures, but it also embodies a law and way of life. For this artificially-written Torah to have been accepted, that first generation would also have to begun the *observance* of many things, such as tefllin and holidays. Where is the infrastructure to support such things? Who would buy such a story? Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion Message-ID: <19980703.195922.12039.3.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 20:00:16 EDT Moshe Bernstein writes <<< question for those of us who believe that yahadut is an "evidence-based" religion: can you conceive of a piece of evidence which could lead you to believe other than what you believe currently? if not, then what you believe in is ultimately faith-based. >>> Excellent point. Okay, we are looking for the possiblity of a piece of evidence which could outweigh the evidence which we do have. Well, let's look at that evidence which we do have. My evidence is that certain people (namely, our ancestors at Sinai) claim to have experienced G-d ("Zeh Keli v'anvehu") and/or manifestations of G-d (miracle, makkos, etc etc), and that this testimony has been presented to us by a chain of tradition, orally and in writing. Now, over the years, and in this very forum, there have been those who have pointed out that there are grounds for not believing that testimony. Fine, that's not a problem; that's why we call it "evidence" rather than "proof". The search is for counter-evidence, so that we can call the testimony "evidence" rather than "faith"! Remembering that this evidence testifies to a communication with G-d, the counter evidence would have to do the same or better. This has been tried many times over the years, most notably by an individual from Natzeret about 2000 years ago. But since he and others were only individuals, that evidence is so much weaker than our testimony of millions, that it would not satisfy Mr. Bernstein's criteria. I do think, however, that if I, personally, would hear from G-d and He would tell me things contrary to the Torah, then that might meet his criteria. If this actually happened, then it is quite possible - I'd like to think probable - that I would ignore the incident as a hallucination, test, or some other kind of error, and continue as before. But perhaps it *would* be the kind of strong evidence which would show that I *know*, and not merely *believe*. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_113-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899510532449755266-- From baistefila@shamash.org Sun Jul 5 00:01:08 1998 Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 00:01:04 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 114 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899611264449805632" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899611264449805632 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 114 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: shavers by "Allswang" 2) Re: Shavers (fwd) by Hershel Ginsburg 3) Objective proof, the Rav's opinion, Kant by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 4) Tuning a seltzer bottle on Shabbos by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 5) Re:response to YGB-please clarify what you mean!!!!!- by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899611264449805632 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_114" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114 Message-Id: <199807041953.WAA22958@alpha.netvision.net.il> From: "Allswang" To: Subject: Re: shavers Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 22:52:38 +0300 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I've returned after almost two weeks of computer problems which precluded my e-mail reading. Regarding shavers I thought it would be right to walk through the sources from beginning to end. In Parshas Kedoshim the pasuk says "lo sashchis as pe'as zekanecha." In Parshas Emor the pasuk says "u'fe'as zekancha lo yegalechu." The gemara in Kedushin brings the sifra which says that giluach excludes from the ban the use of milaket and rehitni ( planes , see Rashi and Blondheim Loazei Rashi) which is not a normal way of shaving and hashchasa excludes scissors from the issur. Which leaves the Taar , razor as being forbidden. OK. Now the analysis. The Beis Yosef seems to learn that the scissors that are not included in the Lav, are even when they effect the same result as a taar- a close cut. This is how the Shulchan Oruch paskens - that misparayim k'ein taar is patur.He learns the gemara as follows: Using scissors certainly is a normal way of giluach and even can produce the same results. However, since it is not a tool exclusively identified with hashchasa (i.e. it is also used for trimming- not total destruction) it is patur. Those who permitted electric shavers on the scissors-theory premise did then make three assumptions: 1. We hold like the Beis Yosef 2. It is patur and muttar (not like the Chinnuch who says patur aval assur) 3.Even if a scissors is devised which isn't used for trimming, just for close shaving, it is OK because the scissors mechanism is inherently ok. Mlaket and rehitni are not included in the lav according to Rashi because it is not *normal* giluach.There seems to be an inference that these tools are not intrinsicly ok, just that the use of them would be a very awkward way of shaving (sort of like shinui by meleches shabbos). While the Rambam and shulchan Aruch discuss misparayim, there is a noticable ommission of the milaket and rehitni. Its a hard sell to call using an electric shaver a not normal way of shaving. Conventional wisdom was to shy away from the rehitni precedent this being a subjective heter of *not normal* . And (until recently) the lenient views with respect to shavers relied on the Beis Yosef (scissors) and not on the basis of Rehitni. This is the basic source material. Of course, the Tzemach Tzedek took a very critical approach towards the psak of the Beis Yosef. He says that had the Beis Yosef seen the Teshuvos HaRashba, then he would never had been mattir misparayim k'ein taar. R Bechhofer cited a recently published article making the assertion that rehitni may be used as a precedent for electric shavers. This is obviously a big chiddush because rehitni was permitted for not being normal giluach and we don't find a rehitni heter being developed in the shulchan aruch or Rambam (just misparayim). Avraham ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 22:37:01 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Re: Shavers (fwd) At 8:24 -0500 2/7/98, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote: >Forwarded message. Rabbi Rabinovitch is the Rosh haYeshiva of Yeshivat >Birkat Moshe in Ma'aleh Edumim. > >Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 10:26:54 +0000 >From: yeshivat birkat moshe >To: Benjie >Subject: Re: Shavers > >Your quote of Rabbi Rabinovitch's position is accurate, though he >wishes to stress that you only quoted the conclusion of a lengthy >teshuva and in order to understand his reasoning he urges you to >read the whole teshuva. > >Kol tuv I have had several requests for Rabbi Rabinowitz Shaver Sh"Ut; I still have it if anyone else is interested. For e-mail delivery, I need to know what format you want -- PaperPort (~250K), JPEG (~500K), TIFF (~500K). If you are a Macintosh afficianado I can also send it in PICT format. I am doing this all on a Mac but it should be viewable on PC's with standard image file viewers and / or netscape or other browsers. For those who can't handle image files or if you get the files but are not successful in viewing them, I am willing to FAX you the Tshuva; just e-mail your FAX number to me. Shavua Tov hg ............................................................................. Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il ............................................................................. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Objective proof, the Rav's opinion, Kant Message-ID: <19980704.225957.4559.5.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 22:51:21 EDT Last week I argued for both the relativism of post-modern philosophy as well as the objective nature of halachic truth. Just to clarify the issue, there seems to be 3 possible positions: 1) Halacha is objective truth and can be proven to be such, 2) Halacha is objective truth but there exists no means of proving this as all proof is relative, 3)Religious experience as well as any proof of its truth is all subjective and relative. The Rav rejected the last position outright. "Let us admit that modern religious subjectivism is indeed incommensurable with the objective order sanctioned by tradition." (Halakhic Mind, p.88. This position is clear from many other passaged in Halakhic Mind and Halachic Man). Ma'amad Har Sinai has revealed to us something about the objective metaphysical nature of the universe that we would know in no other way. If I understand YBG correctly he opts for position #1, as did many of the Rishonim who engaged in proofs - Moreh Nevuchim, Kuzari, Chovos HaLevavos, etc. I am personally undecided but having read a little philosophy I am "noteh" to #2. The whole notion of "objective proof" seems to be dismissed by the post-modern world. This in no way diminishes the strength of many of the arguements of the Rishonim viz. their use in kiruv, the reason other religions or branches of Judaism are wrong, etc. - an arguement can be subjective in nature and still be convincing (as an example take my subjective postings :-)), just not proof in an objective absolute way. We make important decisions all the time on the basis of relative proofs. I am not a baki in Kant. The Rav discusses the neo-Kantian school in the end of section III of Halakic Mind but I am struggeling to understand it. I cannot find a passage that would relate to accepting/rejecting the notion of absolute proof and do not know if the Rav took a stand on this. I hope R' Carmy or someone else can shed some light in this difficult area - I'm stuck!. Good Vuch, Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Tuning a seltzer bottle on Shabbos Message-ID: <19980704.231711.8511.0.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 23:17:59 EDT David Riceman asks why the prohibition against tuning musical instruments does not seem to apply to pouring from a beverage bottle on Shabbos. Abraham Lincoln once posed a riddle: "If a take a horse's tail and call it a leg, how many legs will the horse have?" His answer: "Four. Calling it a leg doesn't make it one." Using a beverage bottle as a musical instrument does not turn it into one. It is true that one may not may music with such a bottle, nor adjust the liquid level in order to play music better, but if the bottle would be considered music, then so would many other utensils which are used for sound or music: tapping a spoon against a water glass, or beating on the table as a drum. These things are not musical instuments, and neither is the bottle. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re:response to YGB-please clarify what you mean!!!!!- Message-ID: <19980704.233247.4559.6.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 23:24:00 EDT >1. If there is no convincing evidence (not proof!), why do you believe >(not questioning the fervor of your belief!)? > >2. If there is no convincing evidence, then what makes us "right"? >What >right, for example, to we have to the Land of Israel - how can we say >Hashem gave it to us if that is purely our own, unconvincing belief. >(I.e., forget about the first Rashi in the Torah). > >3. If Kant swept away the earlier proofs (as indeed he did), was the >Rav, >as a Kantian, in agreement with him, or "tocho achal klipaso zarak" >and to >what extent? > 1. Even Kant accepted religion as convincing - just unproven. I think YGB and I (what about everyone else) at least can agree on this - religious belief can be supported convincing arguements, albeit not "proof" in the absolute philosophical sense. Modern philosophy never said you cannot accept a reasonable position, even though it is your subjective relative self that is doing so. However, it was absolute proof that the Moreh Nevuchim and Chovos HaLevavos attempted to arrive at. Curious: how do you (YGB) relate to these works of the Rishonim which accept the notion of absolute proof utilizing arguments negated by modern philosophy? 2. Same answer as 1. Convincing evidence, yes, absolute proof, no. Interesting that the first Rashi on Chumash bases our claim to E. Yisreal on "koach ma'asav higid l'amo" as a response to the Umot HaOlam. Clearly, not "proof" as it postulates belief in G-d as a Creator and adherence to Biblical text. 3. I lose you. The earlier proofs were based on metaphysics and were absolute. Kant did do away with absolute metaphysics. Where do you stand? You can accept Kant and still be religious on the basis that faith is a better argument then atheism to our subjective reasoning (as opposed to a mathematical proof which is objective). Kant himself accepted this approach! Kuzari is not absolute philosophical proof but is a nice arguement. Moreh Nevuchim is metaphysics. The RAv writes "If Jewish philosophy is reduced to obsolete concepts and medieval categories that time has rendered sterile, then where is the living philosophical continuity?" If you reject the need for absolute proof then you need not be bothered with Kant or other modern approaches to metaphysics, as convincing arguments need not relate to an objective metaphysical reality and can certainly be subjective. It is like proving you are right with "rov" - 90% is not absolute, but it is still enough to be convincing. Why do you have this Kantian hangup and think accepting Kant is a threat if you claim you are not looking for absolute proof? You are confusing me!!! :-) -Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_114-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899611264449805632-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 6 00:04:26 1998 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 00:04:22 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 115 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899697861449848930" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899697861449848930 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 115 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Captives and Vulnerability by 2) Re:response to YGB-please clarify what you mean!!!!!- by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 3) Re: Shavers -- Two Requests by Hershel Ginsburg 4) Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah by Heather/Chana Luntz 5) The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik by Shalom Carmy 6) YGB's clarification, the Rav's position, R' Carmy by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 7) Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 8) Shoge in D'Rabbanan by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 9) First Rashi in Torah by Mordechai Torczyner 10) Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899697861449848930 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_115" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 From: Message-ID: <96f138ed.359efd5d@aol.com> Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 00:13:16 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Captives and Vulnerability Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-03 20:00:50 EDT, you write: << Avi's response would make sense only if Russell's theory of vulnerability is correct. But if the reason for redeeming a female first is the shame, then perhaps it applies always. Is there a source which mentions this exception where the captors practice mishkav zachor? >> According to my source, the Mishnah in the Yerushalmi, Horayot 3:4, is explicit that a man takes precedence where sexual assault against him is likely. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 23:30:50 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re:response to YGB-please clarify what you mean!!!!!- Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Firstly, let me state my agreement with the parameters you delineated in your post on objective proof, etc. Now, let me clarify: On Sat, 4 Jul 1998, Charles Brown wrote: [these were my questions-YGB] > >1. If there is no convincing evidence (not proof!), why do you believe > >(not questioning the fervor of your belief!)? > > > >2. If there is no convincing evidence, then what makes us "right"? > >What > >right, for example, to we have to the Land of Israel - how can we say > >Hashem gave it to us if that is purely our own, unconvincing belief. > >(I.e., forget about the first Rashi in the Torah). > > > >3. If Kant swept away the earlier proofs (as indeed he did), was the > >Rav, > >as a Kantian, in agreement with him, or "tocho achal klipaso zarak" > >and to > >what extent? > > > > 1. Even Kant accepted religion as convincing - just unproven. I think > YGB and I (what about everyone else) at least can agree on this - > religious belief can be supported convincing arguements, albeit not > "proof" in the absolute philosophical sense. Modern philosophy never > said you cannot accept a reasonable position, even though it is your > subjective relative self that is doing so. However, it was absolute > proof that the Moreh Nevuchim and Chovos HaLevavos attempted to arrive > at. Curious: how do you (YGB) relate to these works of the Rishonim > which accept the notion of absolute proof utilizing arguments negated by > modern philosophy? I think the Chovos HaLevavos is uniques in the exttaordinary focus on philosophical proof. To be honest about my ignorance, I am not sure why his philosophical proof of first cause is no longer held true - particularly in this, the "big bang" era - could you explain to me please why it no longer applies? But, in any event, I did not mean to focus on the historical proofs, rather on the concept of evidence (see Akiva Miller's comments on the defintion of evidence) in the many different ways found in the Rishonim and Acharonim. > > 2. Same answer as 1. Convincing evidence, yes, absolute proof, no. > Interesting that the first Rashi on Chumash bases our claim to E. Yisreal > on "koach ma'asav higid l'amo" as a response to the Umot HaOlam. > Clearly, not "proof" as it postulates belief in G-d as a Creator and > adherence to Biblical text. But, obviously, there must be some way to present this evidence to a non-Jew (although this way is not the subject of this Rashi) - so it is predicated on the existence of some evidence of G-d as Creator and the veracity of the text. > > 3. I lose you. The earlier proofs were based on metaphysics and were > absolute. Kant did do away with absolute metaphysics. Where do you > stand? You can accept Kant and still be religious on the basis that > faith is a better argument then atheism to our subjective reasoning (as > opposed to a mathematical proof which is objective). Kant himself > accepted this approach! Kuzari is not absolute philosophical proof but > is a nice arguement. Moreh Nevuchim is metaphysics. The RAv writes "If > Jewish philosophy is reduced to obsolete concepts and medieval categories > that time has rendered sterile, then where is the living philosophical > continuity?" > > If you reject the need for absolute proof then you need not be bothered > with Kant or other modern approaches to metaphysics, as convincing > arguments need not relate to an objective metaphysical reality and can > certainly be subjective. It is like proving you are right with "rov" - > 90% is not absolute, but it is still enough to be convincing. Why do you > have this Kantian hangup and think accepting Kant is a threat if you > claim you are not looking for absolute proof? You are confusing me!!! > :-) > > -Chaim I, personally, am not bothered by Kant. Perhaps ignorance is bliss! But Encyclopedia Judaica tells ignorant people like myself that there are problems reconciling Kant with any form of Judaism, particularly the Orthodox version. Perhaps someone might scan in the essay from the EJ, or you would look it up yourself, but I am curious how you can be an Orthodox Jew and an Orthodox Kantian! YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 10:12:15 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Re: Shavers -- Two Requests For those of you requesting copies of Rav Rabinowitz Shavers Sh"Ut, I have two requests: a) For e-mail delivery -- YOU need to SPECIFY what file format you want -- PaperPort (~250K), JPEG (~500K), TIFF (~500K). If you are a Macintosh afficianado I can also send it in PICT format. b) For those requesting FAX delivery (either bcause you can't handle image files or if you get the files but are not successful in viewing them), please send me YOUR ***COMPLETE*** FAX number, i.e., what is the country (this is quite an international list), and City / Area code + phone number. Please be **EXPLICIT** with this information. I don't want to have to darshan the information from the text of your e-mail note & e-mail address, both of which can be misleading. I am happy to provide the Tshuvah, but please please provide me with the requested info up front. hg ............................................................................. Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il ............................................................................. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Message-ID: Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 14:11:04 +0100 To: "M. Gaffen " Cc: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah MIME-Version: 1.0 Sorry, been a bit busy lately, so haven't had a chance to respond to my mail. In message <006801bd9fc5$ef282080$8ce551d1@ns1.megsinet.net>, "M. Gaffen " writes > >>Do you mean by this: >> >>1) we don't differentiate between men and women; or > >>2) we don't differentiate between women who learn and women who don't. >> >>If 1), why not, if we differentiate with regard to other brochas? >> >>If 2) then why don't the mefarshim give the answer of lo plug when >>dealing with the question as to why men don't have to make an additional >>brocha each time they return from a break in their learning (on the >>grounds that some men never break) - in which case you wouldn't need to >>come on to the question of a continuous chiyuv. And how do you explain >>the Magen Avraham, who appears to explicitly say that if a man is not >>accustomed to learning, he does need to make the bracha again? > >Please see MB, Taz argues with MA. Yes, but the reason the Taz argues with the MA is because of the obligation (on a man) to learn night and day - so that even if he is not accustomed to learn, since he *ought* to be learning, the bracha covers the whole period of time he *ought* to be learning (the Mishna Brura doesn't go into the reasons of the Taz, you have to see the original). Remember I said in my original post that there appear to be two reasons given by the commentaries - 1) that because the obligation to learn is night and day therefore the bracha extends over that period and/or 2) because a person intends to return to learning, therefore it is not considered a sufficent hefsek in order to require a new bracha. If we want to divide these two reasons between the commentators, one is tempted to say that the MA relies on the second, and the Taz on the first. I discussed the MA because the Taz's reason clearly does not apply to women, while the MA's might (in more unusual circumstances). > Gra also argues. Gra relies even more heavily on the reason for the bracha being the chiyuv on a man to learn (as he appears to be the only one that poskens that there is no obligation on women to make birchas hatorah at all, it is just a rishus, - however the Shulchan Aruch and the others indicate that women are obligated). > Reason is safek >brachos l'hakel by men. Um, this is true only if you hold that the brachas are d'rabbanan. If a bracha is d'orisa, then we do not say safek brachos l'hakel. - See for example Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 184:4 (dealing with birchas hamazon - if he does not know whether he said birchas hamazon or not, he needs to make the bracha m'safek, because it is from the Torah). The Aruch HaShulchan, who holds that birchas hatorah are d'orisa holds that likewise one makes the bracha m'safek here as well (Orech Chaim 47:6). > bistama daato lachzor. Woman, who are obligated in >birchas haTorah albeit d'rabanon should be no different than men. >From your "albeit d'rabanan" am I to conclude that you hold that the situation is - men d'orisa, women d'rabbanan? It may be possible that there are meforshim that hold that way, but I cannot see that this can be determined clearly. The issue whether birchas hatorah is d'orisa or d'rabbanan sources originally from Brochas 21a - which asks the question - how do we know that birchas hatorah is d'orisa? We learn the brachas afterwards from the p'sukim for birchas hamazon (D'varim 8:10- v'achalta v'savata u'verachta) and a kal v'chomer (see also Brachas 48b where R' Yishmael explains the kal v'chomer this way - if we make a blessing on the life of an hour, kal v'chomer that we make a blessing on the life of olam haba) - while the bracha before we learn from Devarim 32:3 - (ki sheim HaShem ekra ..). The question is - are these psukim only asmuchtas (if you look at the discussion following on daf 21a, where (at least) one half of the kal v'chomer is refuted (R'Yochanan does it backwards as well, ie tries to make the blessing before bread to be d'orisa from a kal v'chomer from birchas hatorah) you can see why there could be a difference of opinion about this - although coupled with daf 48 and the first half, one can also see the strength of a d'orisa position)? The Aruch HaShulchan disagrees with those who argue that, because the Rambam did not count birchas hatorah as one of his mitzvos (the Ramban did), and that neither the Tur nor the Shulchan Aruch mention that it is from the Torah, therefore it is d'rabbanan (he also disagrees with the position, based on a Yerushalmi that it is only limud for the rabbim that is min hatorah, and limid for a yachid is d'rabbanan (and that therefore is is this that the gemora in the Bavli is referring to). It is not clear to me what position the Mishna Brura takes (d'orisa or d'rabannan)ie whether he agrees with the Aruch HaShulchan or not (it may well be somewhere, but I haven't managed to find it) - but what is clear is that he understands the Beis Yosef and the Magan Avraham as saying that a woman can be motzei a man in birchas hatorah (see Beir Halacha on 47:14)- meaning that whichever it is, men and women are equal, while the Gra, because he holds that women are not chayav in birchas hatorah, it is just a reshus (but they can say the bracha because it is no worse that a mitzvat ose shehazman grama) obviously holds that they cannot make the bracha for a man. It is possible that the Aruch HaShulchan holds that the mitzva is d'orisa for men, and d'rabbanan for women (he brings everybody's reason, some of which seem to imply d'orisa, some d'rabbanan, and some reshus see 47:25) Thus he does not refer back to the p'sukim in order to discuss women's obligation, but relies on matters such as women's obligations in tephilla (d'rabbanan) as well as the fact they are chayav to learn the mitzvos that are applicable to them (query d'orisa - all though he brings this as a "there are those who hold") and the reshus argument of the Gra.. To the extent you learn it from birchas hamazon though, I would have thought that that might well mean that in fact it is d'orisa for women (especially if it is contrasting olam hazeh to olam haba) - if that is just an asmuchta, then it presumably it isn't d'orisa for men as well - so I am struggling to get a d'orisa/d'rabbanan split - despite what possibly could be argued by implication from the Aruch HaShulchan. > Lo plug > But if there really is a difference between men's obligations (d'orisa) and women's obligations (d'rabbanan) then can we say lo plug, where the rules in relation to safek are so different? To summarise - we have the Magan Avraham and the Rosh (Teshuvas, 4) saying that if one did not have the intention to return to learning, then one needs to say the brachas again. The Taz says no - but on the basis that the obligation to learn is continuous (day and night). Why then, if women do not fit within the category of the Taz, do they not (at least) fall nto the category of the Magan Avraham and the Rosh (or even fall further into the category of the Sukka case brought by the Ri - see discussion in the Taz, ie each time you do it, you make a bracha - and Sukka is clearly a case where the brachas are d'rabbanan - whereas here you might have a situation of d'orisa!). >Thi is IMHO. If you can find differently I'd appreciate it > >Kol Tuv > >moshe > Regards Chana heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 12:38:27 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII First, kudos to Rabbi Bechoffer for sending out the incisive, profound essay by mori veRabbi Rav Aharon Lichtenstein. In reviewing the material that has circulated on this list over the last few days, it has become evident that much of the difficulty is due to carelessness in formulation and false statements. These flawed statements are then taken up by others and subjected to further misinterpretation. Perhaps this in an inevitable result of using an Internet list to deal with matters of essential importance. One does not become an instant expert by quoting fragments of information or misinformation, and then combining and recombining them in conformity with one's own prejudices and the reactions of others. I once heard from Rav Lichtenstein b'shem Prof. Schorsch (head of JTS) b'shem one of the Conservative rabbis he [Schorch] had ordained, interpreting the Gemara "ehad ha-marbeh ve-ehad ha- mam'it"-- it doesn't matter how much you do, as long as your intentions are good-- as applying to knowledge of Torah in pesak: it doesn't matter whether you know the sources thoroughly, as long as you mean well. Rav Lichtenstein did not think the anecdote reflected well on the Conservative rabbinate. There is no great virtue in pontificating about things we don't know much about. If taking this position with respect to emunot ve-deot makes me a snob, then a snob I am. But then again I suspect that the nice Conservative rabbi quoted by Schorch, and her associates, would regard all of us as snobs too. The only solution is to go back to the beginning and try to get things straight. Rabbi Bechoffer has indicated to me, privately, several points of possible confusion, primarily relating to Kant and Rav Soloveitchik. He has suggested that, rather than curse the darkness, it might be worthwhile to get out the truth. Let me stress, however, that a thumbnail sketch is not a substitute for more substantive knowledge. 1. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason contributes to the discussion at two major levels: (a) He held that pure reason (=the categories that underlie scientific knowledge) do not apply to objects beyond the sensible world. (b) The classical proofs of the existence of G-d, immortality of the soul etc. are flawed. The procedure with regard to the latter is to present the best formulation of the proof and show its deficiencies. Kant himself justified belief in G-d on the basis of moral considerations. He wrote that he "evicted reason to make room for faith" (i.e. religion based on morality). The Hayye Adam therefore hailed Kant for showing the limits of reason and the need for Torah. With all due respect, however, Kant's conception of G-d is probably incompatible with traditional religion and is, in any case, irrelevant to our discussion. Both the elaborate argument for (a) and the specific arguments for (b) are open to debate. Reformulations of the classical proofs are still alive and well, and there has been an unpublicized renaissance of religious philosophy in the past generation. (Unpublicized largely because the "American way" treats religion as a matter of feeling and behavior rather than as a system of thought, and rejection of this dogma energizes the ACLU and its intellectual thought police.) The reformulations are, however, highly complicated and debatable. To take one example, the Jewish philosopher Yehuda Gellman has just published a book arguing that it is reasonable to accept the existence of G-d, and unreasonable to reject it, on the evidence of mystical experience. His argument holds up, as he emphasizes himself, only if one adopts certain views of rationality, and there are other points which can be controverted. Such a book may confirm a religionist, cause a waverer to reconsider, or disturb an atheist. It may also encourage a theist to gain a deeper understanding of the often unexamined undercurrent of our thinking. But for all practical purposes, the classical proofs cannot do the main work of bringing the individual into an appropriate relationship to religious truth. 2. Where does the Rav stand in all this? (i) On the validity of the proofs the Rav is agnostic. It is not his business to affirm or deny them. He merely observes, in several texts, that the proofs are more important as reports about how individual thinkers experienced G-d than as conclusive arguments. (ii) The Rav is pleased with Kant's recognition that G-d is beyond rational formulation. This modern approach "came to uproot, but found itself planting," because any conception of G-d that is reducible to human considerations falls short of the divine infinity. (iii) The Rav has a great deal to say about the natural sources of man's quest for G-d, and some of this discussion (in U- Bikkashtem miSham) parallels ideas that appear in the classical proofs. Like Rav Kook, he maintains that human beings have intuitions of G-d, that G-d satisfies a variety of human needs, physical, spiritual and intellectual, and that one would normally expect people to move from these intimations of G-d to commitment. Yahadut affirms these needs and encourages us to seek G-d in these ways. But G-d also seeks out man, often when man is not particularly interested in the encounter, and in a framework that does not always conform itself to human needs or values or rationality. This is why Torah (=G-d addressing man) cannot be reduced to some higher conception of human rationality (=one form of man's quest for G-d). (iv) The Rav was seriously involved with neo-Kantian philosophy. This concern was confined to questions of philosophy as it impinges on scientific method. While the various schools of neo- Kantianism paid attention to Kant interpretation, they were primarily committed to developing their own views. Nobody familiar with philosophy or with the Rav would regard him as preoccupied with the arguments about the proofs in the first Critique. 3. I must express my perplexity at the allegation that if, according to the Rav, Kant is right, then Judaism is wrong. It seems absurd to have to counter such an allegation. Fortunately, the Rav, in addressing a non-Jewish audience, anticipated the possibility that someone might suggest proceeding from non-revelational premises. He writes: I believe you will agree with me that we do not have much choice in the matter; for, to the man of faith, self- knowledge has one connotation only-- to understand one's place and role within the scheme of events and things willed and approved by G-d, when He ordered finitude to emerge out of infinity and the Universe, including man, to unfold itself. This kind of self-knowledge may not always be pleasant or comforting. On the contrary, it might from time to time express itself in a painful appraisal of the difficulties which man of faith, caught in his paradoxical destiny, has to encounter... However, this unpleasant prospect should not deter us from our undertaking... Whether such an approach is effective in attracting shallow people to Orthodoxy is open to debate. The Rav had a saying, which he applied in many situations: You can compel others to respect you; you can't force them to like you. 4. Rabbi Bechoffer has expressed annoyance with Orthodox rabbis who fraternize with the non-Orthodox. I assume that his irritation is primarily with the sense of "passivity" (my term, not his) exuded by these spokesmen, the sense that "I'm OK, you're OK" (in his phrase). As the last paragraph clearly implies, we share his unhappiness. To blame this "passivity" on skepticism about the power of rational theological argument seems unreal. It appears to me that the Rav's aphorism sheds light on the problem: you can compel respect, but not liking. I suspect that rabbis who turn passive either lack self-respect and the capacity of compelling respect in others or want too desperately to be liked. In one of the Rav's more predictable phrases: in connection to their own lives, they have chosen to be heftsas rather than gavras. Examine the broad phenomenon of rabbis who assimilate to their communities, and you will discover that it is not at all limited to the intellectual realm or to discussions with non-Orthodox rabbis. Religious passivity, be it that of the shomer-mitzvot academic who is an intellectual Marrano in his professional life or the Orthodox rabbi who "goes native" and adopts the lifestyle of his most "sophisticated" parishioners (socio-economic, cultural, even sexual) is a consequence of the failure to treat oneself and one's message, with respect, and/or to a hunger for approval from people whose approval shouldn't really matter. This curse affects so-called MO and RW communities without discrimination. The demoralization of interdenominational compromise is probably negligible by comparison. One must feel compassion for rabbis who succumb to these temptations. They often feel isolated and lonely. But part of the difficulty is that many of them are woefully unprepared for the intellectual challenges that face them. How many of them are required to articulate an Orthodox hashkafa with little awareness of what Yahadut teaches and how Torah impacts upon and confronts the culture in which we live, and which has affected them too? And again, this lack of knowledge, and (more dangerous) lack of self-knowledge, does not discriminate between yeshivas. At the risk of being thought a snob, while it is unnecessary to wade through the 2000 pages of Kant's major works with all the mefarshim, it is not enough to cobble together the gossip of equally unlettered people. Bnei Torah who are truly suffused with Torah, and who have learned to think confidently, humbly and critically in other areas, should be able to inspire respect and even admiration. An earned reputation for intellectual integrity confers sublimity even to the confession of ignorance, and can survive leaving b'tsarikh iyyun those sugyot in which the best evidence we have would, all other things being equal (which, barukh haShem, they are not!), militate against our firmly held theological commitments. P.S. Rabbi Bechoffer wondered how Thomas Kuhn fits in all of this. So do I, and I notice that Kuhn has been joined overnight by Sartre, Foucault and Derrida. But sufficient unto the day is the name-dropping thereof. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: YGB's clarification, the Rav's position, R' Carmy Message-ID: <19980705.140633.4559.7.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 13:57:49 EDT YGB raised the issue of relating "Evidence" to the non-Jewish world. The answer is the same: a convincing arguement (be it subjective, objective, Kantian or post-modernist) can be presented to any audience. I fail to see how whatever philosophical position you adhere to relates to this. Can we convince others of the authenticity of Judaism and the objective world-vierw of halacha - Yes. Is this proof as "absolute" as 2+2=4 - maybe not, but what difference does it make? As to the EJ article - since I don't have a copy please try to explain why Kant bothered you as I really don't grasp the point. On a side note, I believe (though I haven't read him, but I know YGB has) R' Y. Breuer was influenced by Kant - to no great harm! A better source on the Rav's position might be "Lonely Man of Faith". "Being at the level of the faith community does not lend itself to equation...'To be' is not identical with 'to think' (as the classical tradition of philosophical rationalism throughout the ages, culminating in Descartes and later in Kant, tried to convince us)..." This is the root of the Adam II model - sounds "existential" (and I hate to use a word I can't define precisely) to me, and the Rav in fact devotes a long footnote to distinguishing the "faith" of halacha from that of Kierkegaard (pp.107). However, Adam I seems to strive for a "rational" faith, see pp. 97-107, esp. footnote p.97 which directly addresses Kant. My intuition is that the Adam I/Adam II split is rooted in the homo religiosus/cognitive man of Ish HaHalacha. I tried to be precise in my quotes not out of snobbery, but in an attempt for clarification out of respect for R' Carmy's comments. Apologies for any previous lack of clarity of name-droppings. If I may throw one more question at R' Carmy (or anyone else that can answer): Halakhic Man/Mind both contain considerable philosophical depth and the footnotes show the Rav to be "holding" in the discipline. Essays such as "U'Bikashtem MiShum" seem more in the way of personal expression/reflections, and the Rav's thought on the issue of "faith" (among others) seems to deal more with the "experience" of faith rather then a precise philosophical definition of faith. 1) Do you agree? 2) Is this a reflection of the Rav's audience or a shift in his thinking? 3) Am I being too pretentious in asking this :-) ? -Chaim _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 16:39:21 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII First, I would like to thank Reb Shalom for a masterful explanation and education. Yeyasher kochacha. I, as, I noted previously, am a novice - certainly in Kant, where I could not even call myself that, the total of my experience being from this exchange, and from the Encyclopedia Judaica. I am not an expert on the Rav's philosophy either - I have read only ze'eir po u'ze'eir sham, heard him on a number of occasions, and have had numerous conversations with this talmidim. In reality, of course, the Rav is not the topic of this conversation, it is actually talmidav v'talmidei talmidav - several of whom are involved in this very discussion - who are the topic. Even more than that, perhaps, it is those who would seek justification by cloaking themselves in his mantle. While this specific thread began with a question on R' Gedalya Schorr's assumption as to the order in which the ikkarei emuna were "imparted" and whether they are historical realities, that seems now to be a moot point - we all must agree that they *were* historical realities *then*. We disagree if they may still be classified as such. But, in my mind, although I have not expressed same explicitly, likely - and I am sorry for this - contributing to irritation, this thread became linked to the feminism thread, and my plaint against the lack of protest from the quarter called "Modern" (not "Centrist!" - too vague a term. Besides, I have friends, even in this group, who might well classify themselves as "Centrists," whom I regard as solid Poskim, while I am about to wonder about others who would classify themselves as "Modern." In any event, let's forget the labels, deal with the issues and end this parantheses) Orthodox." To which, I believe Reb Meir Shinnar responded, that it was not the role of that camp to draw boundaries - I am paraphrasing. That it is not their role, is something that required, to my mind, more explanation. Let me also note that I cannot fathom R' Rackman himself. He is not an ignorant man, and was a great fighter for Orthodoxy in the past - and maintains, I believe, that he is a disciple of the Rav. How then could he distort halacha in such a terrible way? There are others who I lump together. One, whose name I do not want to mention, since I do not believe he is publicly associated with the teshuva, authored a teshuva some time back on the permissibility of playing ball on Shabbos. More prominently, but again, without names, he has written on the dispensing of the prohibition on kol isha in modern times. Closer to my "expertise," there is yet another Rabbi of this sort who goes arounf the country advising urban communities how to put up eruvin for $50 or so - needless to say, highly dubious ones. Surely, he is not maliciously distorting? Is there any limud zechus? It was these people I had in mind (and others) - when I expressed my "five points." Not a generic statement (for which my brother in law, justifiedly, chided me) about everyone to the left of the RW, which is, of course, absurd, but this specific region of the bandwith. Let alone the distortion, let us say, of the Halachic process. Where is the quest for Emes, i.e., without getting into Halachic Emes, the Emes of Ratzon Hashem and Avodas Hashem? I am sure that any of the three individuals referred to above sincerely believes they are pursuing these three values! (I am sure of two, and pretty sure of the third, that they are not in it for the money or fame!) How can their definition of these values and mine be so different? Ironically, perhaps, the Chazon Ish in Emuna and Bitachon had a critique of the Mussarists that I think is apropos. He said that Mussar places a value on ethics and character independent of Halacha (I am paraphrasing). This, he says, can lead a "Ba'al Mussar," faced with an unexpected opportunity to engage in Chesed, to heat up water for tea on Shabbos. I say ironically, because, if I recall correctly, the Chazon Ish allows you to present refreshments to a visiting non-Orthodox guest, although you know he will not make a bracha, because of the overriding consideration of Chillul Hashem. Reb Shalom, I am sure is right, that I ascribe too much theological thought to these individuals. Nevertheless, I am really doing so in an effort to be melamed zechus! To allude to one of my brother in law's comments, Dr. Isaac Breuer's "Moriah," in light of what has come to light about Kant here, is, it seems, a refutation of Kant - the perspective of meta-history and national destiny he advances, seems to be in stark contrast to Kant's approach, which is a-historical and personal. One might add here that Kant's perspective is grounded in ethics as opposed to revelation. As the EJ notes, ultimately, that even gives liberal Judaism a headache when trying to reconcile Kant with Judaism. Nevertheless, it seems that somehow the individuals or schools of thought in question, have incorporated in their thought some validation of: a. Ethics as understood by current society and societal norms. b. Viewpoints grounded in sincere quests for spirituality. Both, even if they run counter to hitherto "accepted" benchmarks of "emes." Surely - again, leaving the halchic process issue aside - if they accepted the thesis of my hero, Dr. Breuer, that there is a very definite national agenda, destiny, and quest for meta-historical accomplishment, then the values they bring to the table are very difficult to grasp. It was an alternate "lishma" that the theological basis in Kant (and Kierkergaard) was meant to explain. It would also explain how this segment of the Rav's talmidim would have taken concepts from their Rebbe and used them to justify their activities. But, perhaps it is all, indeed, too "lomdish"... YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 16:49:01 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Shoge in D'Rabbanan Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII The Nesivos in 234 says one eho transgresses a d'rabbanan b'shogeg does not require atonement because the prohibition is to deviate from rabbinic dictates and that, by defintion, entails intent. One of our group members pointed out to me that the Meshech Chochma on Lo Sasur (Shoftim) alludes to this in explaining why safek d'rabbanan l'kulla. R' Yosef Engel in the Asvan d'Orysa links this to a question on whether issurim d'rabbanan apply to the gavra or to the cheftza, with the Nesivos indicatin the former. I believe the Brisker Rav argues, and calls demai an issur cheftza. I don;t think he brings this proof, but since the donkey of R' Pinchas b' yair did not eat demai it would seem to be an issur cheftza (donkeys are not mechuyav in an issur gavra!). R' Herschel Schechter use the Nesivos to explain why one need not always notify the community that an eruv is down. Does anyone have any more ideas on the topic? I was asked about it over Shabbos. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 19:09:08 -0400 (EDT) From: Mordechai Torczyner To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: First Rashi in Torah Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII R' Bechhofer wrote: >2. If there is no convincing evidence, then what makes us "right"? What >right, for example, to we have to the Land of Israel - how can we say >Hashem gave it to us if that is purely our own, unconvincing belief. >(I.e., forget about the first Rashi in the Torah). While this doesn't touch on your basic issue, it is worth noting that this isn't what Rashi was doing with the Midrash he cited in the beginning of the Torah. The Midrash (and RAshi) were saying that the Torah was to be proof to the nations, not to the Jews. In that light: a. According to Rashi/Midrash, the nations are to accept the Torah's validity b. To use your phrasing, we can indeed forget about it, sadly. Mordechai ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave WEBSHAS! http://www.virtual.co.il/torah/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115 To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 23:28:38 -0400 Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah Message-ID: <19980705.232841.13222.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) In relationship to women making a brocha each time they learn, the Tzlach in Berachos actually suggests that they should although he admits that he has never found such a postion in Rishonim or Achronim. THe Aynayim Lemishpat on Berachos seems to want to justify this by saying that women do have an obligation of Talmud TOrah in the mitzvas that they are obligated and therefore in that sense are no different from men (based upon the Semag) and therefore the beracha would be indentical to them (which certainly seems like a very unique position to say that women's obligation to learn their mitzvos is like a man, day and night!) The most reasonable explanation seems to be that we essentially hold like the G'ra that it is like any other mitzvas aseh shezeman gramah, and therefore it is only a reshus, and since there might not have been hesech hadaas it is better not to make the Bracha SHraga Rothbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_115-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899697861449848930-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 6 13:16:26 1998 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:16:22 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 116 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899745382449872691" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899745382449872691 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 116 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Fw: Conservative prayer by Arnie Kuzmack 2) Cohen who kills by Robert Werman 3) Shelo Asani Ishah by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) 4) Emunah and Kiruv by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) 5) An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue by Ben Teifeld 6) My defense of Dr. Norman Lamm by "Lawrence M. Reisman" 7) Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, YGB by cbrown@bestware.com 8) Re: Authorship of the Torah/The Kuzari's Proof by "Clark, Eli" 9) Re: Non-Gratuitous Swipes at Artscroll by "Clark, Eli" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899745382449872691 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_116" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980706003409.0088a9c0@cpcug.org> Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 00:34:09 -0400 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Arnie Kuzmack Subject: Re: Fw: Conservative prayer Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" >Arnie Kuzmack writes: > >>Sim Shalom is indeed getting to be the standard Conservative siddur. >>However, it does *not* have the "elokei imoteinu" language referred to. >>The only changes to the amidah that I noticed was "shalom rav al yisrael >>amkha v'al kol yoshvei tevel" and an "al hanisim" for Israel's Independence >>Day. > >I read an article once about the Siddur Sim Shalom. It reported that >there are three different versions of the amidah. I believe that at >least one of these versions does use language of E-lokei Avraham >ve-Sarah, etc. I welcone anyone who can confirm or refure this >information. I went back and checked. There are some different versions of the amidah. The standard one is as I described earlier. In addition, there are the following alternative versions: - An "abridged" version for weekday evening services. I did not compare it in detail to see what was left out, but it did not add anything relevant to the imahot question. - "Alternative" amidah texts for weekday evening and shabbat/yom tov evening services which are *all in English* and contain the following: "Our ancestors worshiped You. Abraham and Sarah, Rebecca and Isaac, Jacob, Rachel and Leah stood in awe before you. We too reach for You..." - An "alternative" amidah for shabbat musaf that does not have anything about the imahot but has, in addition to the standard "tikanta shabat", three alternative English readings. The second is the only one that is relevant to the imahot issue. Whatever one might think of it, it is far short of "elokei imoteinu". Kol tuv, Arnie Kuzmack kuzmack@cpcug.org ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19980706085100.006af2ac@vms.huji.ac.il> Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 08:51:00 +0300 To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group From: Robert Werman Subject: Cohen who kills Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" The halakhot that deal with a Cohen who kills [cannot duchan unless he repents and may not have have first aliya to Torah, probably even if he does repent] speak of harigat et haNefesh but none of the commentators tell what is meant by a "nefesh." Since this silence is uncharacteristic, since animals are clearly not included, it is likely that the killer of a gentile is not included and that medieval censorship was responsible for the reticence. This immediately brings to mind the question of whether a goy, who may be a lost Jew and was also created in the tselem and can convert [mitgayer] and in the case of some sects [Karayim, perhaps] may be kosher for intermarriage, is excluded from the prohibition against human blood on the hands of a Cohen. Any thoughts on this matter? __Bob Werman rwerman@vms.huji.ac.il Jerusalem ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-Id: <199807061159.HAA10087@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com> Subject: Shelo Asani Ishah To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 07:59:30 -0400 (EDT) From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : : BAISTEFILA Digest 110 : : Topics covered in this issue include: : : 1) Re: The Kuzari's Proof : by Cheryl Maryles : 2) Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M : by Michael Frankel : 3) Re[2]: Faith based vs. evidence based religion : by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu : 4) MO and Home grown poskim : by "Newman,Saul Z" : 5) Trust, Argument, Proof : by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) : 6) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu : 7) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut : 8) Torah written down (rl) in Chizkiyah's time : by Mordechai Torczyner : 9) Re: Darkhei Dikduk : by "Clark, Eli" : 10) Shelo asani : by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) : 11) Re: MO pesak : by "Clark, Eli" : 12) emes muchletes : by David Glasner : 13) Re: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M : by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" : 14) Re: Shelo asani : by Harry Maryles : 15) Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion : by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) : 16) Zeh Keli Ve'anvehu : by gershon.dubin@juno.com : 17) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 108 : by gershon.dubin@juno.com : 18) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : by Harry Maryles : 19) Re: Shelo asani : by Joel Margolies : 20) Re: An Esrog Used for only Part of Sukkos : by : 21) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : by Joel Margolies : : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:31:53 -0500 (CDT) : From: Cheryl Maryles : To: bais tefilah list : Subject: Re: The Kuzari's Proof : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : : On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote: : > A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the : > Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l). : > According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush : > by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles : > that happened long before (chalilah). : > Now I don't believe this at all. But I do believe that this is an : > accurate description of the origin of pagan myths, Hindu myths, : > Christian myths, Moslim myths, and, more recently, Mormon myths. : When Chizkiahu came out with his Torah what did the people say. Wouldn't : they question the fact that the jews were taken out of egypt and stood at : har sinai both with commands to tell these events over to their children, : yet the people of cizikiahu's time wouldn't have heard of these events : from : their parents. What would Chizkiahu say--that it was forgotton, but the : Torah itself states that it won't be forgotten. Wouldn't this cast doubt : on Chizkiahu's claim. This will hold true for any generation--lemasah what : did the people say when presented with the Torah. Wouldn't they wonder why : they never heard of events that their parents were commanded to tell them : about.besides the fact that these were events happened to an alleged : millions of people. No its not hard core proof,a nd a lawyer can even : prove OJ Simpsom innocent, but look at evidence and judge what iis more : likely to be true---you're forced to conclude that it is more logical for : the torah to be written by hashem in 2448 then any person at any other : time. It is in this respect that I believ that we have evidence in the : torah's accurecy beyond the fact that our fathers told us so and we follow : blindly. : Elie Ginsparg : : ------------------------------ : Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 19:20:57 +0000 (GMT) : From: Michael Frankel : Subject: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Message-id: : MIME-version: 1.0 : Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII : Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT : : RYGB writes of someone's submission: : > your gratuituous, uncalled for swipe at Artscroll is beclouding : your reason. To be more honest, the swipe tempts me to forgo the : conversation altogether, as it : > Artscroll's misdeeds are copiously recorded and scored at the vaunted : Journal Of Torah U'Madda : : I wasn't aware that JTU'M did such copious recording and scoring, or even : uncopious mentions, or indeed any mention. Citation would be appreciated. : (though I do remember the odd-uncopious swipe by Traditon, some fairer than : others) : : Also wasn't aware that JTU'M was vaunted, which comes across, sagei nohor, as a : not so faint whiff of disapproval from our listmaster. Since I don't recall : JTU'M figuring in the thread conversational flow at all, one might consider : its reference here gratuitous and sits in an odd semichus haparshiyos within a : post which bristles with a perception of the next guy's "gratuitous, uncalled : for swipe" and leads one to reflect again on personal hot buttons and your own : vs other people's gored oxen (I think there's a metaphor in there somewhere - : and I know there's a run on sentence there). : : I don't , c"v, mean to criticize our listmaster who is doing a yeoman job : captaining (quick promotions available in god's navy) this electronic ship. It : doesn't seem to me that the participation spectrum is quite as broad as in : mail-jewish (may it have a r"s"b"b"a"), but I am sure he still has to bite : down and swallow hard on a pretty regular basis : : On another note, It is ironic that the self proclaimed (though hopefully only : part-time) zealot wing of this list is championing the so-called historical : argument for belief in ma'amad har sinai as well the validity of the classical : philosophical "proofs" for God's existence, while the rationalist (which : doesn't mean the other guys are irrational, at least not continuously) wing : trumpet the importance of emunoh and reject rationalizing Divine "proofs. : : Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil : : ------------------------------ : From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu : Message-Id: <9807028994.AA899406093@smtplink.mssm.edu> : Date: Thu, 02 Jul 98 14:54:51 -0500 : To: : Subject: Re[2]: Faith based vs. evidence based religion : Mime-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="simple boundary" : : : --simple boundary : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : Content-Description: "cc:Mail Note Part" : : >We would have to submit to that evidence - that is clear. I.e., were to be : >presented with stronger evidence of the veracity of, say, Islam, over : >Judaism, we would all have to become Moslems. : : >I think that those of us who are open to thought do modify our beliefs : >when presented with evidence (in contradistinction, perhaps, to certain : >strains of Chassidus, and, it seems, perhaps, certain strains of Modern : >Orthodoxy :-) ). The acceptance of evolution and an older world are : >examples thereof. : : 1)There is a basic difference between accepting evidence that refutes a belief, : versus requiring evidence to validate a belief. : : 2) Even for people who believe that their belief is evidence based, for most, : the standard of evidence required to validate their belief is far different than : the standard of evidence required to invalidate it, suggesting that the belief : is primary, and the evidence is primarily a hizzuk (nothing wrong with that). : No philosophy operates in a vacuum. : : 3) Yeshaya Lebovits's position is perhaps of interest here, as almost the : direct opposite of the Kuzari. He argues that history, even when known and : agreed upon, never determines values. The decision to be oved hashem is a value : decision. I can know that hashem exists, and still choose not to worship him. : Thus, the dor hamidbar, which saw nissim and niflaot and directly : experienced mattan tora, was always mored. The dorot that heard the neviim : directly were ovdei avoda zara. However, in the middle ages, generations that : had no direct revelation from hashem were devoted to avodat hashem. : : Meir Shinnar : : : : : : : --simple boundary : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; name="RFC822.TXT" : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RFC822.TXT" : : Received: from shamash3.shamash.org by smtplink.mssm.edu (ccMail Link to SMTP R8.10.00) : ; Thu, 02 Jul 98 13:52:34 -0500 : Return-Path: : Received: (qmail 2454 invoked from network); 2 Jul 1998 17:48:08 -0000 : Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) : by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 2 Jul 1998 17:48:08 -0000 : Return-Path: : Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org : Received: (qmail 2394 invoked from network); 2 Jul 1998 17:48:03 -0000 : Received: from casbah.acns.nwu.edu (129.105.16.52) : by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 2 Jul 1998 17:48:03 -0000 : Received: from localhost (sbechhof@localhost) : by casbah.acns.nwu.edu (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id MAA10464 : for ; Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:48:01 -0500 (CDT) : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:48:00 -0500 (CDT) : From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" : To: bais tefilah list : Subject: Re: Faith based vs. evidence based religion : In-Reply-To: : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org : Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org : X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN : : : --simple boundary-- : : ------------------------------ : From: "Newman,Saul Z" : To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" : Subject: MO and Home grown poskim : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 12:17:17 -0700 : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain : Message-Id: <359bdcbc2a06002@laurel.kp.org> : : in re the possible point by rav YGB-- of MO not being able to produce : epic poskim 1) assume that a great posek emerged in the Hesder : world orthe YU world, e.g. How would he be defined a s great if the : chareidi world wouldn't be maskim? would anyone from the MO world be : able to write the rigorous kulas of rav moshe without being lambasted : from the right? 2] how many great poskim are there? five per dor? one? : if the chareidi/MO ratio is five or ten to one, wouldn't it follow that : the great pposkim will come from the majority? 3] there are : unfortunately too few MO mosdot hatorah at least in USA (?reflective of : the actual need?)--so maybe no one speciallizes in psak 4]the MO : rebe'im will prob always defer to the universally recognized gdolim for : psak [but not for da'at torah} : : szn : : ------------------------------ : Message-Id: <199807021927.PAA19869@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com> : Subject: Trust, Argument, Proof : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:27:03 -0400 (EDT) : From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8 : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : : Aside from the distinction I made earlier (belief based on (1) proof; (2) : argument; (3) no real indication either way, but I trust it's true), I'd like : to make another one. : : Are we discussing whether emunah ought be BASED ON proof or argument, or if it : ought be BOLSTERED BY SEEKING proof or argument? : : If we're to say emunah is based on evidence then if the particular set of : evidence that you know happens to evaporate -- proven false or whatnot -- your : emunah would collapse as well. : : Instead, if we're to say that emunah ought spur one to seek evidence, the : problem evaporates, and yet we're still not talking about "faith" as per : Christianity. : : I might suggest that true emunah is not the belief, but the trust that such : evidence (proof and argument) exist. : : -mi : : -- : Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5853 days! : micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 2-Jul-98) : For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. : http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed : : ------------------------------ : From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu : Message-Id: <9807028994.AA899408776@smtplink.mssm.edu> : Date: Thu, 02 Jul 98 15:41:20 -0500 : To: : Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : Mime-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="simple boundary" : : : --simple boundary : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : Content-Description: "cc:Mail Note Part" : : : : >stereotypes, please - but, I should note, that in this context, RW : >includes, say, to the best of my understanding, the talmidim of Rav Kook : >and others at the RW of the Religious Zionist world as well). : : >The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never : >accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the pale : >- even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and assistance. : >Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im eino min : >ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of Shavna's : >massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" cannot apply - : >"sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common courtesy, la'adam : two comments: : 1) Most MO do not deny the existence and validity of "emes muchletet", they : just don't know how to prove it. I have heard the claim, but not the evidence : of valid proofs from the RW. Is the difference merely a difference in assessing : evidence? : : Given our inability to prove conclusively the emes muchletet, our ability to : judge those who do not accept it is different, as they are no longer mordin : (the Hazon Ish ( hopefully accepted as a member of the RW :)) was cited in this : regard - is he now part of the "torat ha'emet ha'yachasit"? : 2) While Rav Kook clearly held in emes muchletet, he also held in the spiritual : significance of those beyond the pale. : : >But, he did confer "validus" - not legitimacy, but a strength, a : >significance, and spiritual dignity to the non-Orthodox. This is not a : >status of legal "legitimacy" but a status of spiritual "reality". : : strength and significance - do you deny that? You may have a negative : evaluation of their significance, but how can you deny the metzius that they are : a strong and significant component of am Yisrael? That is what Rav Lamm is : saying. : With regard to spiritual dignity, there is (hopefully) a difference between : someone who denies Torah misinai and still tries to act with spiritual dignity, : and someone who denies Torah misinai and concludes that everything is permitted. : There are gradations even among epikorsim. This is epecially true as almost : all the Conservative and reform, even the rabbinate, may have the status of a : tinok shenishba, rather than an epikoros. : The Rambam, in Iggeret hashmad, is quite insistent that just because someone : did (and continues to do) averot (even avoda zara), does not mean that he should : not try to do mitzvot, and we have an obligation to be mkarev them and : appreciate whatever spiritual dignity they have. : Rav Soloveichik, in one of essays in Al Hatshuva, refers to "hayehudi hagadol : Franz Rosenzweig", even though Franz Rosenzweig never fully accepted Torah : misinai. However, given where he started, he can not be called a rasha, and : came close to true avodat hashem. That is not a reflection of the relativeness : of truth, but the appreciation that not everyone arrives at the truth. No one, : even the RW, requires a tinok shenishba to accept torah on the basis of his own : thinking. : : Meir Shinnar : : : : : : --simple boundary : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; name="RFC822.TXT" : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RFC822.TXT" : : Received: from shamash3.shamash.org by smtplink.mssm.edu (ccMail Link to SMTP R8.10.00) : ; Thu, 02 Jul 98 14:32:26 -0500 : Return-Path: : Received: (qmail 8210 invoked from network); 2 Jul 1998 18:28:03 -0000 : Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) : by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 2 Jul 1998 18:28:03 -0000 : Return-Path: : Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org : Received: (qmail 8039 invoked from network); 2 Jul 1998 18:27:21 -0000 : Received: from casbah.acns.nwu.edu (129.105.16.52) : by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 2 Jul 1998 18:27:21 -0000 : Received: from localhost (sbechhof@localhost) : by casbah.acns.nwu.edu (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id NAA23397 : for ; Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:27:16 -0500 (CDT) : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 13:27:16 -0500 (CDT) : From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : In-Reply-To: <000a01bda5cf$7ba583e0$3d9cfbd0@default> : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org : Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org : X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN : : : --simple boundary-- : : ------------------------------ : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:46:41 -0400 (EDT) : From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : : On Thu, 2 Jul 1998 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote: : > Rav Soloveichik, in one of essays in Al Hatshuva, refers to "hayehudi hagadol : > Franz Rosenzweig", even though Franz Rosenzweig never fully accepted Torah : > misinai. However, given where he started, he can not be called a rasha, and : : : : This is a private note. First of all, in general I have been very : impressed with your posts on this topic. However, Al Ha-Teshuva was : written by Pinhas Peli, not by the Rav, and quotes may not be directly : attributable to him. If you have other evidence though, that the Rav used : this phrase when referring to Rosensweig, then great. : : Daniel : : ------------------------------ : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:46:59 -0400 (EDT) : From: Mordechai Torczyner : To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group : Subject: Torah written down (rl) in Chizkiyah's time : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : : R' Eli Clark wrote: : >A very large group of non-believers have proposed a theory that the : >Torah as we know it was written in the time of Chizkiyah (R"l). : >According to them there was no yetziat Mitzrayyim, there was no kibush : >by Yehoshua, just a lot of made-up stories of heroic deeds and miracles : >that happened long before (chalilah). : : Only one problem - there just isn't enough time for a tale as developed, : intricate and demanding to evolve. : : It's one thing to evolve a legend of walking on water, leHavdil Elef : Alfei..., or other such things. But to evolve a philosophy, a religion of : laws and customs such as the Jewish world was keeping en masse only a few : centuries later in the time of the fights with the Samaritans, out of a : loose collection of tribal taboos and idolatries in a dwecidedly : pre-multimedia and pre-mass communication world? : : Mordechai : : ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- : Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave : WEBSHAS! http://www.virtual.co.il/torah/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home : ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- : : ------------------------------ : Message-ID: : From: "Clark, Eli" : To: bais tefilah list : Subject: Re: Darkhei Dikduk : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 15:52:00 -0400 : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : : Could I respectfully request that people refer either to "emet : muchletet" or "emes muchletes" I know that no one on this list is : trying to be yotze keri'at ha-Torah, but we (I?) dikduk purists are : suffering! Thanks. : : Kol tuv, : : Eli Clark : : ------------------------------ : Message-Id: <199807022025.QAA27968@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com> : Subject: Shelo asani : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 16:25:19 -0400 (EDT) : From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8 : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : : The three shelo asani b'rachos were introduced by Rav Me'ir. : : Interestingly, a contemporary of Rav Me'ir also addressed these three : distinctions. Please bear with me despite the odd source, but one book in the : Christian Bible is a letter from Paul to the Galacians, where he tries to : convince them that one need not follow halachah. (They, like many pre-Paul : Christians, saw Christianity as a kind of Judaism, and therefore required : observance of Jewish Law -- usually Tzeduki-style. : : Anyway, part of his tirade is a rejection of the distinctions halachah makes : between various kinds of people: : Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the : law... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor freeman, male nor : female... : : Thanks for hanging in there. Now's the payoff. : : Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three : distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is : their roles in halachah! : : Adds weight to Rashi's explanation (Minachos 43b) that these b'rachos are said : to thank Hashem for the extra opportunities to do mitzvos. (Of course, He also : was the one who created us in a way that we men need these extra mitzvos. : Perhaps this is why women say "she'asani kirtzono" -- closer to His Ratzon : than men are.) : : We should also keep in mind that this interpretation comes from Rashi, it well : predates any need to accomodate feminist sensibilities. : : -mi : : -- : Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5853 days! : micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 2-Jul-98) : For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. : http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed : : ------------------------------ : Message-ID: : From: "Clark, Eli" : To: bais tefilah list : Subject: Re: MO pesak : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 17:42:00 -0400 : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" : Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : : R. YGB writes: : >I submit that, perhaps, the quest for psak (as opposed to "scholarship") is : >one of rigorous pursuit of "emes l'amisa." : : Why? : : Put another way, is the quest for pesak a more rigorous pursuit of emet : than lamdut. I am sure we all have our own views of pesak, but I would : think that pesak is far less a quest for emet le-amitah than : other intellectual pursuits because it is inherently contextual. In : other words, a posek must of necessity take into account the specific : circumstances of the sho'el. Thus, R. Moshe, for example, often : distinguishes between the Halakhah per se and what ba'alei nefesh should : do. : : Kol tuv, : : Eli : : ------------------------------ : Message-Id: : Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 18:07:00 -0400 : From: David Glasner : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Subject: emes muchletes : Mime-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: text/plain : Content-Disposition: inline : : Based on the recent thread concerning rational proofs for our beliefs, : our moderator proposes a distinction between "emes muchletes" and : "emes yachsis." The problem with such a distinction is that the : possibility of "emes muchletes" ["rational certainty" or "certain : knowledge"] concerning any factual proposition is pretty widely rejected : in modern philosophy. Ever since the most successful scientific theory : in the history of the world, Newton's theory of gravity, was disproved, it : has become apparent that there is no rational method by which one can : PROVE the truth of his beliefs about anything. However, that does not : mean that one cannot offer plausible reasons for holding certain beliefs, : e.g., that Einstein's theory of relativity (which could be wrong) is a : "better" theory than Newton's theory. : : What makes a discussion about a set of beliefs rational is that one is : willing (at least for the sake of discussion) to entertain the possibility that : those beliefs might not be true and what evidence or what kinds of : arguments would force him to abandon those beliefs. But if one starts : from the position that certain beliefs are "emes muchletes" and therefore : one will only entertain arguments that support those beliefs while : arguments that contradict, challenge, or otherwise call into question : those beliefs are dismissed, then one's belief in "emes muchletes" is not : rational but dogmatic. : : As a matter of fact, we are commanded to hold certain beliefs : dogmatically. The Rambam lists 13. [Just as an aside, I would mention : that the Hatam Sofer in a teshuva questions why belief in the Messiah is : a fundamental belief on the grounds that whether the Ribono Shel Olam : chooses to redeem us is entirely up to Him and would in no way affect : our obligation to fulfill His commandments. "Ours is to do or die, not to : reason why."] But to characterize as rational the a priori view that our : beliefs are "emes muchletes" is inconsistent with the current : understanding of rationality, which focuses on reason as a critical : faculty for uncovering error rather than as a certain guide for : establishing truth. : : Our moderator assures us that, unlike some Chassidim and some Modern : Orthodox, he is prepared to adjust his beliefs in light of contrary : evidence, just as he has done concerning evolution. I take him at his : word. But if that is the case, how can he possibly assure us that he will : not (chalilah) be presented tomorrow with evidence that will compel him : to proclaim that Mohammed is the last and greatest of all the prophets? : And if he cannot rule out that possibility, then how can he convince us : that what he believes today is "emes muchletes"? : : Our moderator seems to find fault with the Modern Orthodox community : for acknowledging that the sorts of arguments that the Rishonim made in : favor of our beliefs, which once seemed compelling, no longer seem so : compelling in the light of the current state of historical, archaeological, : and scientific knowledge. Instead, the Modern Orthodox settle for more : personal, existential justifications, instead of the tried and true arguments : of the Rishonim that our moderator prefers. So what is a Modern : Orthodox Jew supposed to do, pretend to believe in an argument that he : finds unpersuasive, or (chalilah) become an agnostic, or (chalilah) : convert to another religion like Islam or Reconstructionism? : : The approach favored by many hareidim is to reject modern scholarship, : even villify it as goyish and apikorsus. If we can exclude whole : categories of evidence concerning our beliefs from consideration : because they are inherently illegitimate, then it certainly does become : much easier to accept the proofs of the Rishonim. I have no reason to : believe that this is the practice of our moderator, but unless one is : prepared to address all the evidence bearing on the question, one should : not be surprised if a claim that his beliefs are based on the evidence is : met with a degree of skepticism. : : David Glasner : dglasner@ftc.gov : : ------------------------------ : Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 17:25:24 -0500 (CDT) : From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" : To: baistefila@shamash.org : Subject: Re: Gratuitous swipes, JTU'M : Message-ID: : MIME-Version: 1.0 : Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII : : Sorry, I assumed that everyone here knew Rabbi J.J. Schachter's essay : calling Artscroll on "My Uncle the Netziv" and toher historical : distortions. I certainly assumed that Reb Meir Shinnar was referring to : that essay, as he had previously relied on March Shapiro's essay on the : Ikkarim. Hence, the term - I apologize - "vaunted" - as it seemed to be : the springboard for validating viewpoints. : : BTW - MJ has some 3000+ subscribers, we, about 100. Big difference! : : On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Michael Frankel wrote: : : > I wasn't aware that JTU'M did such copious recording and scoring, or even : > uncopious mentions, or indeed any mention. Citation would be appreciated. : > (though I do remember the odd-uncopious swipe by Traditon, some fairer than : > others) : > : > Also wasn't aware that JTU'M was vaunted, which comes across, sagei nohor, as a : > not so faint whiff of disapproval from our listmaster. Since I don't recall : : Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer : c/o Shani Bechhofer : sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu : http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 : : ------------------------------ Harry Maryles writes: : It seems unlikely that R. Meir would bother writing brachos as : acontradistinction to Pauls letter to the Galacians. OTOH, it seems unlikely that both would make the same three distinctions in the same order by coincidence. I was actually trying to argue that the idea was "in the air" at the time. However, I find it equally likely that Paul was referring to those new blessings everyone was saying. In which case, it is clear that his understanding of the b'rachos is the same as (lehavdil) Rashi's. : If you say : that it is better to be on a lower level because this way we can do more : mitzvos, how convoluted! Are mitzvos the goal, or reaching higher levels : of Kedusha, the goal? Neither, since you appear to mean "reaching higher levels" on some absolute scale. Man's goal (whether read as a search for temimus or diveikus) is to reach the highest level he or she can. How high the ceiling is compared to the floor -- a relative scale. Therefore, it is no great gift to start with a greater baseline. -mi -- Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5857 days! micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 6-Jul-98) For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-Id: <199807061212.IAA10319@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com> Subject: Emunah and Kiruv To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 08:12:45 -0400 (EDT) From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit : . To chazzer ibber, the "subjective faith" : school's limitations are manifest in: : : 1. Lack of tools for kiruv, and corresponding lack of kiruv ventures. I can't agree for two reasons. 1- The strongest kiruv tool is Shabbos. Far and away most ba'alei teshuvah connect to Yahadus that first Shabbos. It is a subjective experience -- "Shabbos works, therefore there could very well be something to the rest of their claims". Few people are cerebral enough to change their lives because of rational argument. The mind is an incredible tool -- for justifying what the heart already decided. 2- I don't think modern-O is under-represented in kiruv. : 2. Openess to ecumenical ventures. : 3. Openess to the validation of Conservative and Reform Judaism. I'm not too sure what you mean by this. Are you implying that someone who believes because of emunah alone believes less deeply than someone who expects a proof? And therefore is more open to pluralism? Human psychology being what it is, the person who has no proof behind his beliefs would be /less/ likely to expose himself to threatening ideas. It is weak people who need to stay in a fortress. : 5. (Again, the one I concede is the shaky one) Failure to produce Poskim. I don't see how mod-O has failed any worse than other branches of O. Post WWII Orthodoxy has failed to produce halachic leadership altogether. -mi -- Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5857 days! micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 6-Jul-98) For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 From: Ben Teifeld Message-Id: <199807061413.HAA03116@netcom7.netcom.com> Subject: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 07:13:24 -0700 (PDT) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I've been thinking about how this discussion of emunah has been proceeding, and it seems to me that something is fundamentally being missed. I this conversation is taking its inspiration from a source that is fundamentally not Jewish in essence origin. Emunah for us should be seen as a byproduct of practice, not as an essence. I would look at the example of Avraham avinu as the model for looking at this. A man born into the society of his time, in the house of a man who facilitates idolatry, nevertheless comes to a conclusion that all of it is emptiness, and discovers HaShem. From what I understand, there is a midrash which speaks to things he actually did, and reasoning he explored, which led him to this conclusion. I for one would be interested in what produced Avraham avinu's conclusion, in terms of what he did and how he thought, since this is our own beginning, in our own terms. We have a generally accepted notion of the progressive degeneration of the generations, meaning that each subsequent generation from Sinai is somehow less than the preceding. Maybe Sinai itself was actually a crass statement by HaShem to a people that had degenerated so far from the ability of Avraham Avinu to know HaShem that we needed such open revelation and miraculous change in the order of things. We did get a very positive benefit from this, in that by doing mitzvos we can change the world and draw near to HaShem, but it came as a result of our degeneration. It is not my intention to minimize the Sinai experience, rather, I am reminded by the experience of Baba Metzia 59 where in the end, we are expected to rely on reasoned doing as the basis of a halachic decision as opposed to open miracles. Avraham avinu discovered and obeyed HaShem as a result of his practice and reasoning, and did not need an open miracle to convince him or compel him. Even so, after Sinai, we have a practice in the doing of mitzvos which enables us to know and draw near to HaShem. The Torah says "Na'aseh V'nishma", in that order, because the first concern is the performance, not the belief. Developing the experiential base created by mitzvah experience produces emunah as a byproduct, if the intent of the performance of the mitzvah is properly aligned. A writer has already mentioned how in the kiruv practice, a person who experiences the doing of an entire kosher shabbos is one who is likely to want to try that and more. The desire for shabbos and more emanates from an experiential direct doing, not from a theoretical speculation on emunah. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-ID: <002101bda8f4$c85d82a0$959cfbd0@default> From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" To: "Highlevel Torah topics discussion group" Subject: My defense of Dr. Norman Lamm Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 11:42:38 -0400 Having read some the replies to my defense of Dr. Lamm, I must post the following rejoinder: 1. The shinnui hashem "Lamm-blast" was an error, for which I apologize profusely. I originally intended to use the term to refer to attacking Dr. Lamm, but decided to delete it. Obviously, my proofreading wasn't very good. 2. To quote Dr. Lamm's words in the June, 1988 JO, "I suppose that if I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a less equivocal and ambiguous word than "valid." Without that word, you don't have much of a leg to stand on saying that Dr. Lamm was conferring legitimacy on Conservative and Reform. 3. Please don't parse Dr. Lamm's words to try and wring a meaning out of them that he didn't mean to give! We are all vulnerable to that kind of attack. And again, if you thought he meant to communicate to his audience that he was conferrning legitimacy, please go back and read the letters columns in the Moment editions that followed the printing of his speech. (June, 1986) Quite a few non-Orthodox readers got his message, and they wrote in to register their indignation. 4. To those who thought I was putting down Dr. Lamm intentionally, all I can say is that we on the right wing have the right to think Dr. Lamm is wrong! And if we do so, it is not because of any insecurities! However, if you wish, I will refrain from defending him in the future, and YOU can fetch out his original remarks and post them on the internet so the list members can see his remarks in their original context. Best wishes as ever, Levi Reisman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256639:005108FE.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 12:39:47 -0400 Subject: Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, YGB Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Firstly, kudos on identifying specific individuals and points of contention rather then MO/RW split. I think it advances the discussion much further and minimizes the risk of offending people. Regarging point b. below I think it was a rejection of exactly this that the Rav had in mind at the end of Part III of Halackic Mind (R' Carmy's comment on my choice of quotation noted). The Rav throughout his writing seems to view the concept of spirituality as a function only of adherence to halacha, which is an "objective" world view that emerges only from Revelation. Esp. in part IV of Halachik Mind the Rav develops a notion of Jewish philosophy that stems from halacha alone rather than any extra- halachic/secular framework. The Rav was known to hold the "chazakos" and "umdanos" of Chazal to be objective statements of truth about the human condition. The Rav wrote in the language of philosophy (whether you want to call it Kantian or existentialist), but his views were a unique expression of halachic objectivity as a world view and not consistant with any one school of philosophic thought. I think your "lomdish" analysis is misplaced. Rackman et al. are still attempting to use the halachic process (objective revelation), unlike the liberal/Reform (R' Carmy's note) movement the Rav opposed, which accepts subjective religion at the expense of halacha. The issue seems to be the degree to which they attempt to mold the halachic process through choosing shittos, psak, etc. to arrive at a point where the objective truth they aspire to conforms with the subjective relative ethics of modern society. The Rav's work (Halachik Man/Mind) is at once a confirmation of the rift between modern ethics/philosophy and halacha and an attempt to balance both forces (see esp. Lonely Man of Faith). When one tries to implement the model practically (the Rav was not a "public" posek) one risks either ignoring any societal change as relevant to the objective nature of halachic truth, or so wholeheartedly embracing secular values that they corrupt the halachic system. With apologies for my oversimplification. I am too young to have been a talmid of the Rav so I can only draw on my personal reading of his work and hope others who are more knowledgeable can elaborate. -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik It was these people I had in mind (and others) - when I expressed my "five points." Not a generic statement (for which my brother in law, justifiedly, chided me) about everyone to the left of the RW, which is, of course, absurd, but this specific region of the bandwith. As the EJ notes, ultimately, that even gives liberal Judaism a headache when trying to reconcile Kant with Judaism. Nevertheless, it seems that somehow the individuals or schools of thought in question, have incorporated in their thought some validation of: a. Ethics as understood by current society and societal norms. b. Viewpoints grounded in sincere quests for spirituality. Both, even if they run counter to hitherto "accepted" benchmarks of "emes." Itwas an alternate "lishma" that the theological basis in Kant (and Kierkergaard) was meant to explain. It would also explain how this segment of the Rav's talmidim would have taken concepts from their Rebbe and used them to justify their activities. But, perhaps it is all, indeed, too "lomdish"... YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: Re: Authorship of the Torah/The Kuzari's Proof Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 12:56:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Note: Below I make reference to some views that are kefirah. To save bandwidth, please read each sentence with an appropriate disclaimer. In an earlier post, I mentioned that a substantial group of people happen not to believe that the Torah is devar Hashem. I did not think this was news. I mentioned that a substantial group of Bible scholars date the composition of (what they call) the Bible to the time of Chizkiyah. This also is not a recent development. My post elicited a number of responses questioning the logic of such an approach. With apologies to this electronic chevrah, I do not think this is an appropriate forum to give a "90 Second Introduction to Biblical Criticism." People who are very interested in this subject are encouraged to study it, and I (and perhaps other listmembers) would be happy to suggest a reading list. Suffice it to say that the scholars who have concluded that the Chumash was "composed" at the time of Chizkiyah have not relied on our mesorah but on literary analysis, archaeological findings, and informed speculation, among other things. I mentioned the existence of this theory primarily to show a certain circularity in the Kuzari's proof as formulated in a posting to this list. I stand by that analysis. If there are others who disagree, I fear that nothing I say will persuade them otherwise. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: Re: Non-Gratuitous Swipes at Artscroll Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:15:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit A number of tangential references have been made, by R. YGB and others, to historical distortions that have appeared in various Artscroll publications. Given both the impact and authority of this publishing house, I would be interested in hearing whether this is viewed as isolated examples of simple sloppiness, as a conscious and praiseworthy attempt to "interpret" history for largely unsophisticated audience or a sinister attempt to selectively rewrite history. For myself, I admit to being neither surprised nor outraged by Artscroll's occasional less than faithful translations and less than disciplined approach to biography, though I think it important that the information be made public for those who care deeply about these matters. Kol tuv, Eli Clark >Sorry, I assumed that everyone here knew Rabbi J.J. Schachter's essay >calling Artscroll on "My Uncle the Netziv" and toher historical >distortions. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_116-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899745382449872691-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 6 20:04:39 1998 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 20:04:37 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 117 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899769877449884938" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899769877449884938 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 117 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Science and Halakha by "Clark, Eli" 2) FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani by "Clark, Eli" 3) Re: Differences vs. Similarities by "Clark, Eli" 4) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 116 by Emanuel Feldman 5) artscroll history by "Newman,Saul Z" 6) RE: artscroll history by "Pechman, Abraham" 7) Early Maariv, miqoros by Michael Frankel 8) Torah im Derech Eretz, but not T'UM? by Michael Frankel 9) Some real maddoh-halochoh issues, Kant? feh. by Michael Frankel 10) Umdenos by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 11) RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 12) A complete summary: Bin vs BeN: (Also: Another great Rashi) by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 13) Other Nutritional Anecdotes among the Religious by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Betrand Russell Believed in God: His essay on Christianity is for Us by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 15) Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 16) Reasons for KING blessing for a president: Clarification R Bechhoffer? by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 17) In defense of Education thru involvment: Some Disclaimers by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 18) FINAL DEFENSE: SHELO ASANI ISHAH=WOMEN CAN BE RAPED/MEN CAN"T by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899769877449884938 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_117" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: Re: Science and Halakha Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:50:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Chaim writes: >I simply meant halacha rests on certain immutable objective truths that >are untouched even when the science it rests on is passe, see Chazon Ish >Y.D. 5. You are right that the science of Chazal is off and I wouldn't >try the astrology or refuah referred to in many gemaras - yet that is not >a reason to dismiss the halachic postulates that emerged from their >scientific world view. Not to get involved in this point I wrote >Rishonim and appreciate your comment. Would anyone like to get involved in this point? I think it an important one, whether for people who are involved in science on a daily basis or people who rely on contemporary scientific development in their daily lives (in other words, everyone). I hope it is clear that I am not suggesting that Chazal's halakhic authority is compromised by a statement on a scientific matter which conflicts with modern science. But what happens when a certain Halakhah is based on an outdated scientific assumption? I assume that most people would not feel comfortable killing maggots on Shabbat. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that doing so is an issur de-Oraita. But would we also rely le-kullah on the science of our time? If not, are we simply applying a kind of minhag avotenu be-yadenu? Or is there some other intrinsic halakhic principle in operation? Or do we engage in a kind of cognitive dissonance, whereby the world of Halakha is divorced from the world in which we live? Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:38:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Micha Beger writes: >> Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three >> distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is >> their roles in halachah! Harry replies: >It seems unlikely that R. Meir would bother writing brachos as >acontradistinction to Pauls letter to the Galacians. Why? The Gemara is full of takkanot instituted with an eye to demonstrating a difference with the Tzaddukim. It seems fair to assume that the Episte to the Galateans was an accurate reflection of Paul's position. Given that Paul's initial following was made up of wayward Jews, R. Meir would have been doing a great tovah by establishing berakhot which emphasized our differences with the early Christians. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: Re: Differences vs. Similarities Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:39:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Joel Rich writes >The "big" differences pale(l"ad) in comparison to the similarities(eg tora min >hashamayim). I sincerely hope and pray that you are wrong. Let us briefly consider what the right, left and center of Orthodoxy share: 1. A view of the world as created and controlled by Hashem 2. A view of history as controlled by Hashem and destined to resolve in a Messianic climax. 3. A view of Torah as divine and defining. I regard these issues, which we can agree are similarities, as deserving to be considered "big." What are the differences? On the organized study of non-Torah disciplines, whether such study is religiously valuable for all, permissible for parnasah, bittul Torah, or absolutely prohibited. On the State of Israel, whether it is a religiously significant step in the eventual ge'ulah, a mixed blessing, or a religious abomination. If people disagree with my formulations, I welcome criticism. But i hope these matters are still considered small next to the list compiled above. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 21:57:21 +0200 (IDT) From: Emanuel Feldman To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 116 Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Re Arnie Kuzmak on Conservative Siddur:. Repeating what I wrote in an earlier post, the Masorati (Conservative)movement in Israel has just published an all Hebrew prayerbook, "Siddur Va-ani Tefilati" - which contains a host of imoteinu nuschaot such as "magen Avraham V'Sarah." In addition, in the illustration of how to wear tefillin, the model in the picture is a woman (p 10) - unless it is a man with earrings. Emanuel Feldman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: artscroll history Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 12:28:30 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35a125607109002@laurel.kp.org> i think this topic has beenpreviously discussed on anothe r jewish mailing list at length. if i remember the maskana, it was about the jewish concept of history;that maybe not every detail is necessary to appear in the book ,especially if it's sordid. lemashal, if a torah gadol was arrestedd as a delinquent as a child, that would not be seen in having a bearing on klal yisrael. One could compare side-by-side biographies by an Orthodox vs JPS or a university press to see the difference to these kinds of popular biography. The author of course gets to choose what type of material to delete, so if the subject held a certain belief that might be [now] objectionable, it can be deleted. The classic example might be if the subject wasn't anti-zionist enough. i don't think we can object to this if we know the publisher's bias. i find more objectionable if material is deleted from an rav's writing becuz the topic might be objectionable. Examples of this type of publishing would be in the differences in Eliyahu kitov's book on the holiday's. References to yom haatzmaut came out only in the English version. Similarly, rav zevin's Holiday book alledgedly talked about yom haatzmaut in the original hebrew version, but i understand, not in current versions I assume the author's or their estates must have allowed this; or else, i assume, a publisher can't halachically delete what he doesn't like from a sefer. kol tuv szn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Message-ID: <642B2955645BD0118FEE00805FD4068228DE48@MWEXCHANGE> From: "Pechman, Abraham" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: RE: artscroll history Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 16:19:38 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain > -----Original Message----- > From: Newman,Saul Z [mailto:Saul.Z.Newman@kp.ORG] > Sent: Monday, July 06, 1998 3:29 PM > To: 'baistefila@shamash.org' > Subject: artscroll history > > > i think this topic has beenpreviously discussed on anothe r jewish > mailing list at length. if i remember the maskana, it was about the > jewish concept of history;that maybe not every detail is necessary to > appear in the book ,especially if it's sordid. lemashal, if a torah > gadol was arrestedd as a delinquent as a child, that would not be seen > in having a bearing on klal yisrael... About this gadol's (shlita) juvenile delinquency - what is it that has no bearing on klal yisroel? Is it that having been once arrested does not impact on klal yisroel, and it's therefore extraneous to his life, or is it the reporting of that fact that has no bearing (in other words, the "biography" is an important treatise for klal yisroel, and therefore must be edited to protect the innocent) on klal yisroel? If it's the former, then one may question why the biographies are chock full of anectodes about the gadol's youth which are also extraneous. If it's the latter, why bother with a biography; why not write a fictional story about someone who has all the qualities and did all the things the "biographer" aims to teach. It seems logical that if the purpose of publishing a biography is to let the life of the gadol serve as mussar (which is how I always viewed these biographies; if there's no real purpose to them, then they're simply invasive of privacy), then report the life as it was actually lived, and let the lessons stand on their own. Avi Pechman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 22:54:42 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Early Maariv, miqoros To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT E. Clark writes: >Last night I came across an interesting teshuva in the Terumat ha-Deshen >(siman 1) which addresses this issue. R. Isserlein is asked about a >minhag in Ashkenaz to daven ma'ariv in the summer 3 or 4 hours before >tzeit. He justifies the minhag on the basis of "tashut koach," the >physical weakening of the current generation who cannot wait to eat >until nightfall. But he cites two unnamed Gedolim who considered it >It is clear that in Ashkenaz they had the same problem we have in the >summer -- tzeit is not til many hours after we normally eat supper. We >relying on the shitah of Tosafot and the Terumat ha-Deshen (though what >sefardim do, I cannot say). I know ya'akov Katz has written about this >as well. I wonder if anyone can shed more light on this topic? We are actually relying on the shitoh of rabbeinu tam, which was a chidush in his day. The early minhog in Ashkenaz, right through the rabbeinu tam's time was indeed to daven maariv quite early (the maariv hagodol) with no notice of any pilag haminchoh constraint. That was introduced by rabbeinu tam - but may not have had much practical effect since nobody (outside the wealthy who could afford clypstras) could tell time very well in the frequently cloud covered Europe. The gidolim whom the terumas hadeshen may have been referring to were likely the ra'avon and ra'aviyoh. The ra'avan, provided halakhic justification for early maariv (not that it needed much - after all the talmudic masqonoh was that ma'ariv has no kevah, the problem was really with qirias shema, which does have specifically mandated times, statrting with tzais ha'cochovim) as well as early qirias shema (quite a trick in light of the mishnoh berochos). The ra'aviyoh also confirms the minhog of very early davening, though he is hardly as enthused about it as the ra'avon. he could also have been referring to the arugos habosem, whoi according to the oar zoruah's citation, allowed shabbos to be started a full two hours early There is indeed an article by the late (b"d"e. I just became aware of this) Jacob Katz, the greatest jewish historian of this century, entitled "Ma'ariv Bi'zimano Vesheloa Bi'zimano: Dugmoh Li'ziqoh Bain Minhog, Halochoh, Vi'chevroh" (in Tsiyon, 35) which covers much of this and more. There is also another article (where I ran across the arugos habosem citation) by Yisroel Ta-Shma on "Tosephos Shabbos" in his collection "Mihag Ashkenaz Ha'qadmon" (Magnes Press). Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 22:55:07 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Torah im Derech Eretz, but not T'UM? To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT RYGB writes: >I was bothered afterwards by how the Rav could ascribe so >much significance to Secular Knowledge - far more than the "rakachus >v'tabachus" approach of Torah im Derech Eretz. But, lefi devar While that is a succinct but basically fair representation of one school of thought, RYGB surely knows that the issue of torah im derech eretz, and just what it is R. Hirsch may have meant by that and his appreciation of the place of the secular world and secular studies are matters which are hotly debated. With the "minimalist" school, which is what I take RYGB to be pithily portraying, under considerable criticism (correctly so imho) for RC revisionism. The minimalists can thus have their cake (r. hirsch and) torah im derech eretz, while clearly distinguishing it from the (feh) torah u'maddoh. Critics find both concepts rather blurred together, which given the unsystematic definitional and interpretational histories of each, seems appropriate to me - hopefully R. Yitzchoq Breuer z"l is too precocupied with adjusting his atoroh and being neheneh from the ziv to be bothered by these sentiments. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 22:55:25 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Some real maddoh-halochoh issues, Kant? feh. To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=ISO-8859-1 Content-transfer-encoding: 8BIT R. Prof. Carmy writes: >P.S. Rabbi Bechoffer wondered how Thomas Kuhn fits in all of this. So do I, >and I notice that Kuhn has >been joined overnight by Sartre, Foucault and >Derrida. But sufficient unto the day is the name-dropping >thereof Despite R. Carmy's heroically Hillelian effort to explicate 2000 pages of Kantian insights in 2 paragraphs, I confess that trying to read Kant gives me a headache - as does mere mention of Sartre and all those other philosophizng stuff guys. Indeed I'll confess here, and as a former talmid - shamefacedly, that even some of the Rov's writings are capable of infusing a similar clinical reaction. (sorry, but I just could never get any jollies from plowing through all that existential angst. hmm, I wonder whether such a philosophical disinclination, practically an impairment, would all by itself, despite my educational baggage, qualify me for RYGBs emunoh pishutoh, pintele yid bin - along with the chassidim. speaking of which I wondered where the chossid's emunoh in his tzaddiq entered RYGBs conception of this simple direct connection with hashem, or perhaps even chassidim have some more complicated belief structure) . Of that list I will only admit to a professional's weakness for Thomas Kuhn, and that only for his strikingly original contributions as a historian of science, not as a philosopher. So if we want to discuss maddoh's intersection with halochoh, I find it more congenial to take a pass on the cosmic philosophizing and consider the meat and potatoes, functional/operational impact, implicitly rejected by C. Brown's assertion that: > simply meant halacha rests on certain immutable objective truths that are untouched even when the science it rests on is passe.. >. Not so quick there - this is not so poshut. The notion articulated, that halochoh always remains constant no matter the change in scientific perspective is essentially the position best represented in this century by R. Dessler - who dismiss the notion that we actually understood the real basis for the halochoh in the first place, with any now scientifically discredited basis never more than an asmachtoh. There is however a clear strain of posiqim who, in specific halochos, do aknowledge that changes in scientific appreciation, just as changes in social or historical circumstance, may and do lead to change in the halochoh. To give just a few specific examples we may consider the Heichal Yitzchoq's (R. Y. Hertzog) dispute with the Tzitz Eliezer and others on the use of blood tests to establish paternity. While the Tzitz Eliezer discounts the halakhic validity of any such test -based on the gemoroh's scientific conception that the blood in a new born is entirely the contribution of the mother, the R. Hertzog writes (my translation): "I was almost ashamed to hear the words of…, ..what point is there in having a discussion concerning the trustworthiness of specific doctors in a matter which is clearly accepted by the greatest leaders of medical science throughout the whole world? Chazal never claimed that their knowledge here was an explicit halochoh limoshe misinai… and today it is as clear as the sun in the midday sky that the reality is not so…and they (chazal) accepted all this as truth, and built major halochos on the supposition (that it was true) because Aristotle said so, and such was accepted by all the chakhomim in the world. And what a gulf exists between the medical science of their day and ours". For another instance we may consider the gemoroh in shabbos 107a which instructs us that we may kill the kinoh (some kind of louse or fly I suppose) on shabbos because - unlike the other listed creepies - it does not partake of normal piryoh verivyoh (but spontaneously generates from the dirt), a conclusion also shared here by the rambam. This issue was addressed by the Pachad Yitzchoq, who was also one of the more notable physicians of his era, who concludes that since there is no longer any scientific question that the kinoh is poreh viroveh, we should refrain from killing them. For this conclusion, by the way, he was roundly attacked by his own rebbe who emphasized that a ma'amin had no need for any new fangled scientific theories and qabbolas rabboseinu should be quite sufficient, thank you. For a final example, though this is more muddled because of its historical circumstance as a foil in the reform-ortho wars of the 19th century, one may cite the halochoh of metzizoh, mandated by the talmud as a therapeutic measure to ward off medical complications in the miloh's aftermath . While the gemoroh is quite clear that any mohel "deloa meitz ma'avirin oaso", medical wisdom in the last century completely discounted its medical efficacy while also pointing to the potential for catastrophic harm -concern over mohelim infected with syphilis- which had in fact been tragically realized in a number of highly public instances. Since the very act of metzizoh bi'feh involves a chillul shabbos, absent a medical rationale it becomes hard to justify especially if it may itself, contrary to the talmud's teaching, be a saconoh. In response to this circumstance, no less than the chasam sofer, in 1837, was mattir an alternative form (sponge job) of metzizoh on shabbos which did not require suction applied by mouth. I.e. a clear instance of scientific insight changing halochoh - at least for a while. This is not the place to review the whole story, which includes a later successful chareidi counterattack and dismissal of the chasam's sofer's pisaq as a forgery. In order not to confuse this point I have deliberately kept away from a very long list of other halachos which have changed since talmudic or or even SA times which do not conform to current scientific perceptions , because many posiqim have identified these cases as issues where "nishtaneh ha'tevoh" and thus one can argue that the halakhic change was not driven by an evolving scientific theory but rather an evolving natural reality. (thus babies born in the eighth month now receive medical attention kihalochoh even on shabbos, thus the talmudic encouragement to marry relatives is discarded for genetic fears, thus the structure of our internal organs have changed, … etc etc etc) In reality however, all these many cases could be adduced as well since another strain of posiqim, exemplified by the rambam, totally reject the notion that the natural tevoh could ever be changed. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 17:45:37 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Umdenos Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII I never understood the Rav's adamant stance on that. It sounds unreasonable. It seems to me that tav l'meisav tandu is certainly subject to change. YGB On Mon, 6 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > halachic/secular framework. The Rav was known to hold the "chazakos" and > "umdanos" of Chazal to be objective statements of truth about the human > condition. The Rav wrote in the language of philosophy (whether you want > to call it Kantian or existentialist), but his views were a unique > expression of halachic objectivity as a world view and not consistant with > any one school of philosophic thought. > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:47:57 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062347.TAA26625@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn Cc: duker@ymail.yu.edu I (pleasantly) spent my July 4th weekend catching up on all the BTs I had missed while I was in Atlanta. I therefore apologize if I have more than postings than usual. After tonight I shall be back to normal since I have no more travelling planned. Eli Duker (Duker@ymail.ye.edu) in Bt#99 discusses the heter of the chafetz chaiim for girls to learn Torah/Gmarrah(?) today. Allow me to state my version of the heter which is a bit more detailed: HETER OF THE CHAFETZ CHAIIM FOR GIRLS TO STUDY TORAH/GMARRAH ------------------------------------------------------------ 1) There are Talmudic opinions prohibiting girls learning Gmarrah because exposing them to Talmudic logic gives them a tool (logic) to be used for "physical" purposes. NOTE: There is nothing intrinsically prohibited in Talmud Torah for girls according to the Talmud except this exposure to logic. 2) The chafetz chaiim NEVER overrode or contradicted this 3) However since the girls of this time were learning in public schools (gymnasiums etc) and were learning topics with logic anyway such as mathematics, science etc... 4) Therefore there is NO LONGER any reason to prohibit talmud torah or even gmarrah since the girls are being exposed to logic anyway. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:50:40 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062350.TAA26662@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: A complete summary: Bin vs BeN: (Also: Another great Rashi) Cc: c-maryles@neiu.edu, mjbrnstn@ymail.yu.edu, msgaff@iname.com, yolkut@ymail.yu.edu There were quite a number of postings on this subject: Chaiim Maryless [C-Maryles@Neiu.edu], Moshe Gaffen [MSGaff@Iname.com], Moshe Bernstein [MJBrnstn@Ymail.YU.Edu], Elie Ginsparg (sorry, didn't jot down your address ]. Daniel Halevi [Yolkut@YMail.YU.Edu], Joel Margolis (forgot address)[Bt#97,#99] I will eloborate on this since this is a *beautiful* example of how Rashi can appear as Drash but is actually *pure* pshat. THE SOURCES ----------- Everyone thinks counting sources is easy and all you need is a konkordance. Wrong!! How you count depends on HOW YOU CLASSIFY. In this case the word BIN can be classified EITHER as * an unusual form of BeN * a verbal form BYN (to understand) spelled deficiently In fact as the Minchat Shai shows on Prv 30:1, Prv 23:1 there is much confusion in the texts of the Mesorah on this subject. After reviewing the literature the Minchat Shai lists FIVE=5 texts: * Prv 30:1 (AGUR BIN YAKEH) * Prv 23,1 (BIN TaViN...clearly a verbal form) * Jon 4:10 (BiN -- occurs twice in one verse,,but counted once) * Dt 25,2 (BiN HaCoTh RaShaH) * All BIN NUN. NOTE: All we have done so far is to count!! That is not an easy task A POSSIBLE RULE --------------- The rule I know of (I am ignorant of a source) is * Use BiN vs BeN if the next word is accented on the first syllable * Use BiN for the verbal form. Here we already see the problem. BiN can mean SON OF or UNDERSTAND. APPLICATIONS OF THE RULE: ------------------------- * Use of BiN vs BeN if the next word is accented on the first syllable -BIN NUN (So the reason is because on the monosyllabic nature of Nun -BIN LayLah (Accented on first syllable) * Use BiN for the verbal form: -Now we can understand the beautifully delicate Rashi on Prv 30:1 The verse states >>The words of AGUR *bin* YAKEH<< Any other rishon/acharon might interpret this as >>AGUR son(Ben) of Yakeh<< But Rashi was FORCED not to act this way. Not because of his *inferior* knowledge of Dikduk but because of his SUPERIOR knowledge of dikduk. It just ain't done---BIN is never used poetically and only used to replace BEN when the next word is accented on the first syllable!!!! So what did Rashi do? He HAD to interpret the word as UNDERSTAND. >>These are the words of >>AGUR--someone who gathered so much >>BIN -- understanding that he >>YAKEH--felt the need to regurgitate it back to the world. I have elaborated enough but could easily go on for many more lines. Two other relevant verses (about wisdom wanting to explode like a filled stomach are Job 32:19 (..like fermented (wine) bottles about to explode) or Prv 25,16 (if you find "honey" (=wisdom) only eat to saiety lest you overeat and regurgitate (same word Yakeh)). I hope this analysis shows how to properly learn Rashi. (I didn't have time to defend Dt 25:2 but it would go along the same lines and is consistent with the Midrashim on the verse) Praise be He Who chose them and their learning Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel Edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:51:53 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062351.TAA26675@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, heather@luntz.demon.co.uk, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Other Nutritional Anecdotes among the Religious Chana [Heather@Luntz.Demon.CO.UK] mentions in the name of her mother (actually her "mum") a study of abnormal nutritional deficiencies among Charedi Australians. Allow me to add one or two more anecdotes. In one of the synagogues where I lain someone recently broke his leg. When I inquired how, he told me "I was walking in my garden and fell". When after 12 weeks he still wasn't totally cured (he is in his 30s) I was further explained that there was total separation of his tendon and bone. When I expressed surprise at someone his age taking that long and inquired further he explained >>Since becoming Kosher I don't drink milk anymore (because of meat-milk problems)<<. (If anyone is curious, I urged him to have the mineral density of his bones checked and then take corrective action on his diet before it gets worse). In another story one of my mothers best friends was Rabbi Yitzchak Greenburgs sister (my mother (a mere 5' 1.5") always brags how she babysitted for Yitz (who is now 6' 4")). Yitz's sister's husband - may he rest in peace - was a doctor in Boro Park. He would constantly complain that on Monday's he would see numerous people with stomach problems from eating Chullin (It was explained to me that simmering meat and beans in fat all night is not the ideal meal digestively) It seems to me that a potential useful function of this list is to alert the Jewish community of potential problems in offbeat areas like nutrition. If anyone has further anecdotes along the lines that Chana and I have mentioned I think it would be a welcome thread (and also a fulfillment of at least two important mitzvoth: a) returning a lost article (ones health!) and not standing on the blood of your neighbor). Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:52:56 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062352.TAA26682@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Betrand Russell Believed in God: His essay on Christianity is for Us Cc: cbrown106@juno.com Chaiim Brown [CBrown106@Juno.Com] asserts that Bertrand Russell * was a rationalist * his essay on "Why I am not a Christian" applies to Judaism I disagree. * Bertrand Russell believed in God. ----------------------------------- I don't care what he said, I care what he did. We have recorded dreams of Russell in his writings in which he discusses dreams of dialog with God figures--this shows to me that he did believe in God. So much for rationalism. * His Essay on Christianity supports not attacks Judaism --------------------------------------------------------- I also don't agree that his essay on Christianity attacks Judaism. As a simple example Christianity is a "miracle based religion". By contrast our belief in God is revelation based. The very thread now going on about belief in God remarkably shows this...despite all the varied opinions no one has advocated the many miracles that happened to us as proof of Gods existence. There are many other differences A careful reading of Russell's essay shows he was against "anti reason" religions...this has nothing to do with Judaism. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:53:48 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062353.TAA26692@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan Cc: DAhlia2@aol.com DAhlia2@Aol.Com (incidentally do you have a name...it wasn't listed..I don't even know your gender) states that * Targum Yonathan on the Chumash is really Targum Yershalmi * The error happened because they both have the same initials TY Could I have a source for this with arguments summarized (Please don't make me spend several hours going to a library to look up some stuffy Journal article). It was my understanding based on the Gmarrah that Yonathan ben Uziel did alot of translating. If this is Targum Yerushalmi then who wrote it and when? (No big deal either way..the citations I made are still valid) Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:56:57 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062356.TAA26733@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Reasons for KING blessing for a president: Clarification R Bechhoffer? Cc: sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu Rabbi Bechhoffer [SBechhof@Casbah.ACNS.NWU.Edu] brought about 5 sources for (not) saying blessings on Presidents: a) The Raavad (only if he can execute people) b) Radbaz(1:296), c) Apharsachta DAniyah, d) Minchat Eliezer 7:3, e) Beer Moshe (2:9), f) Sheveth Halevi (1:35).[BT#87] I responded that since the president is commander in chief of the army it doesn't matter if he has other superficial characteristics of kings (like rights of execution). By analogy I pointed out that a 12 year old girl who delivers a baby is an adult even if she doesn't have superficial signs of puberty (like adult breasts)--the reason being that intrinsic signs (giving birth or commander in chief) take precedence over superficial signs (adult breasts, right to execute). Rabbi Bechhoffer to my surprise said I was engaging in TANACHING and RISHONING Why? The whole incident in Sam 1:8-10 demonstrates this: In fact >>(8:20)..And we also will be like the other nations: Our king will >>judge us and go out before us and fight our wars. It further explicitly says >>(12:12) And you saw Nacash the King of Amon coming on you and you >>said to me NO! BUT A KING WILL REIGN OVER US..<< This verse clearly indicates that the Tenach regards Military leadership as a main criteria for a king. Our american president is both leader of the executive branch and commander in chief..so what if he can't execute. And why am I Rishoning. You state that Rishonim should define for us not we ourselves. But Rabbi Bechhoffer it was you who cited a collection of hungarian authorities that seemed to contradict the Raabad. So I tried to defend them with the Rambam. Your tone ("You are rishonim") Indicates a feeling of total unworthiness in the content of my ideas...they might be wrong (I have yet to see that) but why are they so worthless? Let me put it this way: Consider the following 3 statements: R for Raavad: President = King only if he can execute C for Commander in Chief: Pres is Commander in chief (and e.g. has authority to order raids and use nuclear weapons) E for execution: President cannot execute people My point is that C, the right to authorize nuclear weapons, is an example of the presidents right to execute people and thus By R qualifies him to be king. Rabbi Bechhoffer thinks that someone who can drop bombs but cannot execute E has not fulfilled R. Why? And why the strong mocking tone? (Rishonin, tanaching). I think I have a strong cogent argument...and I wasn't overriding a rishon...I was simple defending a collection of Hungarian Acharonim. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:59:54 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807062359.TAA26755@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: In defense of Education thru involvment: Some Disclaimers The following deals with some leftover issues from the thread on the 10 statements by which God created the world. In a nutshell I would prefer that people remember that thread as a thread and disagreement on how education should take place not on whether rishonim are right or wrong. a) I NEVER initiated a statement >>Rishon X is wrong<< to anybody. Rather, I always initially presented the yeshivadick approach: >>This rishon appears difficult; I can't find an answer; we can't >>sit in judgement on them etc... It is only when I saw my students anquished look (>>another adult telling us what to do<<) that I made an assessment IN THAT PARTICULAR SITUATION that it would be better to say >>OK. We have to find 10 statements..YOu go find them and tell me what you come up with<< To use Joel's language the students insisted on a unifying theme approach ...10 *acts* of creation. This led to a rejection of Gen 1:28 and 1:29 and inclusion of the chap 2 vayomer. Since I moderated the whole thing I took responsibility and acted as if I had actually stated their conclusions. b) At no time did I ever do anything behind someones back. ON my own initiative I typed up 400 pages of notes and always gave their parents copies. I always discussed matters with their parents. (I already indicated that the father of two of the children spoke to me against certain practices I developed).Whatever they thought of my methods they were shocked at the good results: >>My xxxx said this in shiur?>> is what the mother said to me on several occasions. c) To answer Joel/Shraga..of course I am aware of the argument >>If a rishon can be wrong in tnach then maybe he can be wrong in >>shabbath and you will come to be matir issurim. However I made a judgement in this particular case with these particular children that it was better on this particular midrash to take that risk and show them a unifying approach d) Let me put it this way. I think education is a very complex process. I don't believe any one statement (Rishonim are always right) is going to solve our problems. Allow me to also quote a nice idea I heard while in Atlanta from the person who won the teacher of the year awared: Show me and I might see Tell me and I might remember but involve me and I will understand. As I said...I regard this discussion as how to get young students sufficiently involved so that they remember. In doing so I veered from certain accepted styles of presentation. But I believe my methods worked. e) Allow me to criticize Shraga for what I consider an underhanded violation of Darcay Noam. First he states >>If Russell hadn't said Rav Yonah was wrong I wouldn't have stayed up at 11:30 and looked thru all these sources<< and then after I write a posting thanking him he turns around and says >>I was just being sarcastic<< 1) You should state what you believe. 2) It is highly unethical to lure someone into making statements based on yours and then retract them 3) I don't see any sarcasm in the original statement. 4) I don't really believe you...I think I did motivate you to learn by insulting a rishon and I think you felt embarassed and didn't want to have a written admission of it in public. At any rate I would request that people say what they mean...we already had one person thrown off this list for (excessive) statements which we were suppose to understand but appeared differently f) To Chaiim I reiterate that he is avoiding issues. Chaiim acts like one statement of Tosafoth can erase all midrashic literature. Tosafoth is only one approach. Many people take the Rambam literally (that our torah is the same as Moshes) thus creating a need to understand Talmudic texts to the contrary. The Michat Shai in Zechariah also supports this view Look Chaiim I am simply saying the following: We all have to learn midrashic principles for those midrashim that are defended by rishonim. Suppose Chaiim, that the principles involved explain one of the very midrashim that Tosafoth thinks are textually variant. Wouldn't that support the "opposing point of view". All you have done so far is cite sources and problems. I wish to do neither. I wish to get down and see what principles we have g) Finally, with Regard to Rav Yonah. I publicly state that I have a high regard for Rav Yonah and have even cited him in this list Russell Jay Hendel; PHD ASA RHENDEL @ MCS DREXEL EDU ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 20:05:16 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807070005.UAA26804@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: FINAL DEFENSE: SHELO ASANI ISHAH=WOMEN CAN BE RAPED/MEN CAN"T Cc: Adahlia2@aol.com, akivagmiller@juno.com, apechman@inwellp.com, c-maryless@neiu.edu I have recently suggested that SHELO ASANI ISHAH comes from the fact that a woman can be raped but not a man and further elaborated that when threatened with rape a man can choose to die but not a woman. Chaiim Maryless(C_MaryLess@Neiu.edu) seems not to understand this and Akiva (KennethGMiller@Juno.Com) and Avi Pechman (APechman@Inwellp.Com)also raised strange objections. So I will answer them this once with a clear lucid explicit statement of Judaisms view on this. 1) DEFINITION OF INTERCOURSE ---------------------------- Intercourse requires * a male erection (Forbidden Intercourse,1:11) * Vaginal or Anul intercourse (but not oral) For purposes of further discussion every act of intercourse has * a thrustor (the male) * a receptor (the female in heterosexual intercourse and the receivor in homosexual intercourse) These terms (thrustor receptor) are my own but will make the conversation easier. 2) LAWS OF COERCION -------------------- 2a) SABBATH COERCION: --------------------- If I tie someone up and start beating him and threaten to kill him unless he write 2 letters (Chilul Shabbath) then * He has the physiological ability to commit martyrdom (refusing) * If he does write the 2 letters then he has a status of coerced and is not liable to a sin offering or death penalty (e.g Torah Foundations 5:4) 2b) RECEPTIVE INTERCOURSE: -------------------------- If someone ties a woman up and starts beating her and threaten to kill her unless she has intercourse with him then * she does not have a physiological ability to commit martyrdom * after being raped she is not liable to a death penalty or sin offering. Furthermore while the above is true for both men and women nevertheless *a woman is considered coerced with regard to - physiological responses of intercourse - verbal responses during intercourse (e.g. "I want it", "Leave him alone") (Forbidden intercourse 1:9, Sanhedrin20:3, Murder 1:12) 2c) THRUSTING INTERCOURSE ------------------------- If someone ties a man up and starts beating him and threatens to kill him unless (after he unties him) he has thrusting intercourse with a nearby woman (or man) than * he has the physiological ability to commit martyrdom * if he goes thru with it he is liable to a death penalty since >>erections only happen willfully<< (Sanhedrin 20:3, See Kesef Mishnah who deals with the problem of why/how he is liable) We may summarize these results on coercion as follows: Threats do not nullify female sexual response but do nullify male sexual response (a man can't have an erection under conditions of extreme fright but a woman can respond) I don't know why Chaiim is asking me to explain these items which are rather clear and well known. But if further elaboration on rape is needed one may find physical descriptions of rape acts in the memoirs of holocast victims since the Nazis, Yimach Shmam VZichram, regularly practiced herd rape. Recent rape cases that made the news such as the central park rape also carried explicit descriptions. 3) TORTS/EMBARASSMENT/PLEASURE ------------------------------ It is legally considered a form of embarassment punishable by court whenever a rape takes place (Torts, 1:9).As is well known embarassment is a function of the degree of embarassment (Torts 3:). It would appear that in any rape there are aspects of embarassment * use of the victims body to satisfy the rapists urges * the elicitation of physiological and verbal responses contrary to ones will Since of these 2 starred items only female rape has the second it would appear that female rape is "more embarassing". Furthermore while many types of rapes are possible and do occur nevertheless female vaginal rape is more common and the assumed "standard". One possible explanation of this is that more erogenous zones are encountered (there are a variety of "popular books" detailing this (for those who want details)... The Naked Ape is one such book). 4) OTHER FORMS OF RAPE ---------------------- Although rape is technically used predominantly for situations involving intercourse it certainly is permissible to classify any coerced sexual act as rape. In particular forced oral sex whether with womem or men could be termed rape even though this act appears to be only a negative prohibition (Forbidden acts 24:1). In passing I note that a Harvard Study published two years ago showed that aids can be transmitted thru non intercouse means (such as oral sex). 5) THE BLESSING--WHO HAS NOT MADE ME A WOMAN --------------------------------------------- I reiterate what I have said in previous issues. Women can be forced to undergo rape and be forced to respond verbally and physiologically against their will. This is a source of great embarassment to them and would justify the blessing by men "thank God I am not a women" similar to "thank God I am not blind". The blessing is said negatively rather than positively to avoid inflating male egos. The blessing couldn't have been made by Rav Meir since all blessings were made by the Prophet-Sages of the Great Assembly(Shma 1:7). Rabbi Meir only restrengthened its use. Furthermore it is logical that Ezra and the prophets he worked with made such a blessing so as to preserve a small but strong record of the types of suffering people should be aware of daily (The blessings list the types of needs we see on a daily basis: Lack of clothing, blindness, being a woman..) Anyone who reads the daily literature is aware how much women fear rape and how it affects their lives. It seems that part of the greatness of the Prophet Sages of the great assembly was that they made institutions to help counteract some of the more grotesque social abuses and these blessings are one example. (How odd that the feminine movement attacks this blessing when its goal is to make people aware of human suffering and alleviate it) 6) OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ----------------------- While men can be subjected to coereced receptive (homosexual) intercourse it is a relatively rare practice since the standard method of sex for men is thrusting. As pointed out while you can threaten and kill anybody men cannot be raped in this fashion the same way women can (since they can refuse and die) While both men and women can be subjected to forced oral sex again this is not the predominant type of rape crime that occurs. The prison laws mentioned by Akiva do reflect homosexual and oral rapes but men have the option of dying (Akiva..you seemed shocked at the fact that this happens in prisons..do you really think you know how many prisoners elect to die and not succomb...do you think we get reports on this... Do you think they are accurate) Chaiim Maryless curiously recently cited Gen 3 (He shall reign over you) for the source of the blessing. It seems to me that "reigning" is not a social norm or a religious norm but should be developed along the lines of "physical inferiority" mentioned here. Finally Dahlia2 (I still don'tknow your name) mentions that Sanhedrin 21:6 cites embarassment not potential rape.Perhaps I should accept this. But it appears to me that we must find out why women are embarassed to make court embarassments..perhaps it derives from fear of confrontations of any kind. I have spent a great deal of length here developing something which I assume was obvious. I personally prefer the "discrete" methods of language employed by chazal and others. I think I have defended the above adequately. And I further think any other protestations along a "prove it line" must be interpreted as pulling my leg. Consequently I refuse to be drawn into further discussions on the physiology of women and will go back to the standard discrete methods of discussion Russell Jay Hendel ;Phd ASA RHendel @ MCS DREXEL EDU ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_117-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899769877449884938-- From baistefila@shamash.org Tue Jul 7 00:01:08 1998 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 00:01:04 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 118 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899784064449892032" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899784064449892032 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 118 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan by alsilberman@juno.com 2) Scientific evidence by Mordechai Torczyner ----__ListProc__NextPart__899784064449892032 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_118" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_118" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_118 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 20:56:15 -0400 Subject: Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan Message-ID: <19980706.205617.3502.0.alsilberman@juno.com> From: alsilberman@juno.com On Mon, 6 Jul 1998 rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) wrote: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAhlia2@Aol.Com (incidentally do you have a name...it wasn't listed..I don't even know your gender) states that * Targum Yonathan on the Chumash is really Targum Yershalmi * The error happened because they both have the same initials TY [snip] It was my understanding based on the Gmarrah that Yonathan ben Uziel did alot of translating. If this is Targum Yerushalmi then who wrote it and when? (No big deal either way..the citations I made are still valid) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First of all, the Gemara in Megillah 3a is very explicit that YBU only wrote a targum to Neviim, not to the Torah or Kesuvim. Second of all, (and I had previously posted this to Mail-Jewish) look at the `arukh under the listing for the word aleph-shin-nun where the mosif-`arukh is explicit about this error and expounds on it. The Radal in his Haqdama to Pirqei D'R Eliezer reviews this subject again. There are many indications of this confusion but for just one, look at Tosfos in Xagigah 27a D"H Salamandra. Check the way it is written in Tosfos then check it in the original `Arukh. The error, by the way, is attributed to the Riqanti. In addition to the posting I made several days ago, this is just one more of many examples of an invented tradition. It seems impossible to reverse this error. _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_118 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 23:15:32 -0400 (EDT) From: Mordechai Torczyner To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Scientific evidence Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII R' Eli Clark writes: >Would anyone like to get involved in this point? I think it an >important one, whether for people who are involved in science on a daily >basis or people who rely on contemporary scientific development in their >daily lives (in other words, everyone). > >I hope it is clear that I am not suggesting that Chazal's halakhic >authority is compromised by a statement on a scientific matter which >conflicts with modern science. But what happens when a certain Halakhah >is based on an outdated scientific assumption? I assume that most >people would not feel comfortable killing maggots on Shabbat. Indeed, I >would go so far as to say that doing so is an issur de-Oraita. But >would we also rely le-kullah on the science of our time? If not, are we >simply applying a kind of minhag avotenu be-yadenu? Or is there some >other intrinsic halakhic principle in operation? Or do we engage in a >kind of cognitive dissonance, whereby the world of Halakha is divorced >from the world in which we live? The last suggestion is indeed the approach sponsored by the Kehillos Yaakov in his Shiurin Shel Torah, as I mentioned in the last go-round of this discussion. Interesting note to this conversation - we are not the first generation to have access to new scientific ingformation. The Tzlach wrote that it is impossible to suggest that our thumbs are larger than the trhumbs of the ancients, for the generations shrink rather than grow. Scientisits of his time, as well as the general public, knew of archeological and anthropological evidence which contradicted this. Clearly, he chose to ignore this evidence - and he was not the only one. The Aruch haShulchan seems to have done the same regarding spontaneous generation of Kinim. (Or did they not know this wasn't the case a mere 80 years ago?) Mordechai ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave WEBSHAS! http://www.virtual.co.il/torah/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_118-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899784064449892032-- From baistefila@shamash.org Tue Jul 7 16:37:23 1998 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 16:37:20 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 119 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899843840449921920" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899843840449921920 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 119 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn by Cheryl Maryles 2) Re: Reasons for KING blessing for a president: Clarification R Bechhoffer? by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 3) Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 4) Halacha:Science & Kabbala by Daniel Eidensohn 5) Re: Scientific evidence by 6) Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan by "Moshe J. Bernstein" 7) Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue by Ben Teifeld 8) The Rav's different writings by Shalom Carmy 9) Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, YGB by Shalom Carmy 10) Bin or Ben by Yisrael Herczeg 11) Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue by 12) Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by cbrown@bestware.com 13) Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by 14) Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by Cheryl Maryles 15) Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by cbrown@bestware.com 16) Forwarded from R' Eli Turkel by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 17) (no subject) by Eli Turkel 18) nature has changed by Shalom Carmy 19) Re: nature has changed by "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> 20) RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut ----__ListProc__NextPart__899843840449921920 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_119" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 23:29:18 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu, duker@ymail.yu.edu Subject: RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII > > 4) Therefore there is NO LONGER any reason to prohibit talmud torah > or even gmarrah since the girls are being exposed to logic anyway. > > Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs drexel edu > > In the Chofetz Chaim's heter written in likutei halachos (Sotah) he matturs, tanach and musrai chazal (including avos) there is no heter what so ever for women to learn gemarra. In fact Reb moshe explicitly assurs Even Mishna (except for Avos) So please cite your source for the Chafetz Chaims Heter of Gemarra or claim it's your heter mistakenly based on a chofetz chaim but NOT the Chofetz Chaims's heter ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 23:32:46 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Reasons for KING blessing for a president: Clarification R Bechhoffer? Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Mon, 6 Jul 1998, Russell Hendel wrote: > Rabbi Bechhoffer to my surprise said I was engaging in TANACHING and RISHONING > Why? > > The whole incident in Sam 1:8-10 demonstrates this: In fact > > >>(8:20)..And we also will be like the other nations: Our king will > >>judge us and go out before us and fight our wars. > > It further explicitly says > > >>(12:12) And you saw Nacash the King of Amon coming on you and you > >>said to me NO! BUT A KING WILL REIGN OVER US..<< > > This verse clearly indicates that the Tenach regards Military leadership > as a main criteria for a king. Our american president is both leader > of the executive branch and commander in chief..so what if he can't > execute. > No, this is indeed in Tanach, but it is not the Torah itself, nor even the Navi delineating the kingship and its parameters, but a description of the motivations of the people who wanted a king - it is meant as an account of an episode and can only be definitional (new word!) by inference. > And why am I Rishoning. You state that Rishonim should define for us not I can't say *why* only *how* :-) . Where is the source of the definition in a Rishon? > him to be king. Rabbi Bechhoffer thinks that someone who can drop bombs > but cannot execute E has not fulfilled R. > Generals can kill. So can others. Clearly, the capacity to order death is not indicative of kingship. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 23:39:45 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Mon, 6 Jul 1998, Ben Teifeld wrote: > I've been thinking about how this discussion of emunah has been > proceeding, and it seems to me that something is fundamentally being > missed. > > I this conversation is taking its inspiration from a source that is > fundamentally not Jewish in essence origin. Emunah for us should be seen > as a byproduct of practice, not as an essence. > I agree. You cannot teach "emuna" either. Emuna is a state, not a concept. You can teach foundations of emuna and engage in activties that promote emuna, but emuna itself must be experienced. Kind of like what Viktor Frankl said about happiness. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Message-ID: <35A1DF6A.8DFC7E33@netmedia.net.il> Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 11:42:18 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Halacha:Science & Kabbala Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Michael Frankel wrote: > So if we want to discuss maddoh's intersection with halochoh, I find it more > congenial to take a pass on the cosmic philosophizing and consider the meat and > potatoes, functional/operational impact, implicitly rejected by C. Brown's > assertion that: > > simply meant halacha rests on certain immutable objective truths that > are untouched even when the science it rests on is passe.. >. > > Not so quick there - this is not so poshut. The notion articulated, that > halochoh always remains constant no matter the change in scientific perspective > is essentially the position best represented in this century by R. Dessler - > .... Since the very act of metzizoh bi'feh involves a chillul > shabbos, absent a medical rationale it becomes hard to justify especially if it > may itself, contrary to the talmud's teaching, be a saconoh. In response to > this circumstance, no less than the chasam sofer, in 1837, was mattir an > alternative form (sponge job) of metzizoh on shabbos which did not require > suction applied by mouth. I.e. a clear instance of scientific insight > changing halochoh - at least for a while. This is not the place to review the > whole story, which includes a later successful chareidi counterattack and > dismissal of the chasam's sofer's pisaq as a forgery. > The issue is not so poshut i.e., that we are dealing simply with a Halcha based upon a scientific substrate which defines whether it is danger. Rav Moshe Feinstein states that Metzitza is purely a medical issue (Igros Moshe YD I # 223 page 451). However, according to Kabbalistic-Chassidic understanding, Metzitza is an inherent part of Mila itself. I was told that in the old days, it was not unusual for a woman to be in the hospital with her newborn on the 8th day of birth. The hospitals in New York did not allow Metziza. Rav Moshe ruled that it was better to do mila without Metzitza and not miss the 8th day. Chassidic poskim ruled that it was better to wait after the 8th day in order to do Metzitza because it was Meakaiv. In sum, the apparent scientific factors are often Hashkofa factors (which have changed because of Kabbala) and this new Hashkofic understanding cancels out the change in our scientific understanding and thus the actual halachic practice remains unchanged.. Daniel Eidensohn. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: Message-ID: Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 09:05:18 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Scientific evidence Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-07 01:13:12 EDT, you write: << The Tzlach wrote that it is impossible to suggest that our thumbs are larger than the trhumbs of the ancients, for the generations shrink rather than grow. Scientisits of his time, as well as the general public, knew of archeological and anthropological evidence which contradicted this. Clearly, he chose to ignore this evidence - and he was not the only one. The Aruch haShulchan seems to have done the same regarding spontaneous generation of Kinim. (Or did they not know this wasn't the case a mere 80 years ago?) Mordechai >> R' Hershel Schachter has often pointed out that a takana drabanan which was made for a particular reason can be uprooted if the reason disappears- however this only works if the reason was given immediately in conjunction with the takana, not if the reason was formulated or announced later. I've always thought that this might be because by announcing the reason with the takana that chazal were saying , "this and only this" whereas in the other cases it might be "this and some other reasons not mentioned". Perhaps the same "logic" is being applied in these cases , that if we were "sure" that chazal were purely rendering their decision on only scientific fact, we would go with "current science" but if not, then we don't. I've heard similar defense of not eating fish and meat with same utensils due to sacanah. Just a conjecture. Kol tuv, Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 10:09:02 -0400 (EDT) From: "Moshe J. Bernstein" To: baistefila@shamash.org cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu, DAhlia2@aol.com Subject: Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII the eretz yisrael targumim to the torah come down to us in various forms, none of them with any affirmed halakhic status such as the ones assigned to ONqelos on torah and yonatan on neviim. (there is a teshuvat hageonim procalaiming lack of knowledge of targumei eretz yisrael, incidentally, and suggesting the possiblities that they might have been composed by great authorities or by fairly unreliable individuals.) targum yonatan is a rather late literary combination of onqelos and the genuine eretz yisrael traditions represented by "targum yerushalmi" (fragment targum, targum haqeta'im), many geniza texts (fragments of a different sort), and targum neofiti which is the only complete targum yerushalmi al hatorah and which was published about 30 years ago. the latter is gradually sneaking into batei midrash via the back door through its inclusion in torah shelemah of rav kasher ztl where he calls it targum yerushalmi hashalem ketav yad roma. according to the gemara in megillah 3a, yonatan ben uzziel wanted to translate ketuvim but was precluded from doing so by a bat qol; there is no reference there to his attempt to translate torah. there is clearly material in targum yonatan al hatorah which dates from long past yonatan ben uzziel (past the foundations of islam and perhaps even later). its language is a melange of good eretz yisrael aramaic and bavli aramaic and some linguistically dubious material. this view that targum yonatan al hatorah was not composed by the tanna of that name and is fundamentally anonymous is shared by virtually all students of targum (it's therefore referred to as hameyuhas leyonatan or pseudo-jonathan), and even in the fairly recent traditional commentary on yonatan Nose Kelei Yonatan by K.A. Pinsky with a haskamah from R. Moshe ztl, the author writes (my translation from page gimel of haqdamah) "this matter [the biography of the author] has been dealt with at length and it has been determined that this author is not yonatan ben uzziel the greatest of the students of hillel....see further the important book on yonatan Ahavat Yonatan [B. Schmerler] who quotes the words of the gemara in megilla...and it does not say there that he translated the torah, and so writes the maharsha there in the hiddushei aggadot..." so even the non-academic world has accepted the non-authorship of the targum by YbU! [it is striking that the title page of Pinski still reads "commentary and sources for the holy words of the tanna haeloki yonatan ben uzziel"!!] the halakhic material in this targum is strange and has been the subject of and still requires discussion. for a gathering of data, albeit an approach which i find methodologically unsatisfying, see the two volumes by rav kasher ztl in torah shelemah which are devoted to the targumim (24 and 35, i believe). for a valuable treatment of the aggadic material in yonatan, see Avigdor Shinan, Targum veAggadah Bo (Magnes around 1992). he has published a good deal about this aggadic material which is generally held to be late AND which differs in style, form and content from the aggadic material in the early eretz yisrael targumim mentioned above. it has a variety of unique parallels to Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer which also dates to a much later period, in the form that we have it, than the name assigned to it. it may very well be the vagaries of fortune which preserved one targum rather than another, as printers tend to publish from manuscripts they have rather than those they do not have. there happens to be one ketav yad of yonatan plus the first edition which seems to have been made from another one. the assumption that the mistake in identity derives from the incorrect expansion of an abbreviation TY to targum yonatan is found already in the 19th century, but even if it is correct, the more important question is the tracing of the various traditions found in targum yonatan and the separating out of the different strands of material which it contains in halakhah and aggadah. ve'ein kan maqom leha'arikh, moshe bernstein ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: Ben Teifeld Message-Id: <199807071425.HAA10733@netcom4.netcom.com> Subject: Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 07:25:20 -0700 (PDT) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit > I agree. You cannot teach "emuna" either. Emuna is a state, not a concept. > You can teach foundations of emuna and engage in activties that promote > emuna, but emuna itself must be experienced. Kind of like what Viktor > Frankl said about happiness. > > YGB I have a question though- the Chovos HaLevavos makes as its basic argument for why it was written that there are certain duties which seem to be present, yet not well expressed or written by others of his time. It isn't that others minimize the obligations covered in this sefer, but rather, there just didn't seem to be any clear systematic expression of how to really do them. Even though he does have a rationalistic proof orientation in dealing with emunah, I think he is essentially arguing for a kind of work that is focused on the nature of intent/being a person brings to performance of mitzvos, which he derives from mitzvos that are concerned with those matters. Do I have the right idea here? ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 10:26:49 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: The Rav's different writings Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII > more question at R' Carmy (or anyone else that can answer): Halakhic > Man/Mind both contain considerable philosophical depth and the footnotes > show the Rav to be "holding" in the discipline. Essays such as > "U'Bikashtem MiShum" seem more in the way of personal > expression/reflections, and the Rav's thought on the issue of "faith" > (among others) seems to deal more with the "experience" of faith rather > then a precise philosophical definition of faith. 1) Do you agree? 2) > Is this a reflection of the Rav's audience or a shift in his thinking? 1. First draft of what ended up becoming U-Bikkashtem was written in the '40s, same time as the other two. The Rav considered it his most important work in mahshava. And why not? The question he tackles there is the nature of our relationship to G-d. The footnotes are, in my opinion, no less serious than in his other major works, although the non-Jewish elements are not very prominent beyond the first few sections. Certainly he pays more systematic attention to medieval Jewish philosophy and to various streams in Kabbala in U-Bikkashtem than elsewhere. There is still room to speculate about the effects of the long gestation period between the draft and publication over 30 years later. But unfortunately, this will probably have to remain speculation. 2. Halakhic Mind was intended as a general work in philosophy of science, with small sections applying his analysis to Judaism. The original title was "Is the Philosophy of Halakha Possible?" which indicates something of his methodological focus. 3. I would see the 3 major works drafted in the '40s as parts of one project. Ish haHalakha describes a type of personality unfamiliar to students of philosophy and comparative religion. U-Bikkashtem moves on to show how halakha reflects the fundamental truths about the G-d relationship, how ish ha-Halakha becomes Ish ha-Elokim (=the title of the first version). Halakhic Mind offers the methodological-philosophical justification. 4. I have argued at length, b'al peh (& Michael Berger has picked this up in writing) that U-Bikkashtem is the "sequel" to Ish haHalakha. I am strongly committed to this view, but you can accept the previous paragraph without following me all the way to this one. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 10:52:08 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, YGB Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII > comment on my choice of quotation noted). The Rav throughout his writing > seems to view the concept of spirituality as a function only of adherence > to halacha, which is an "objective" world view that emerges only from > Revelation. Esp. in part IV of Halachik Mind the Rav develops a notion of > Jewish philosophy that stems from halacha alone rather than any extra- > halachic/secular framework. The Rav was known to hold the "chazakos" and k Not, in my reading halakha *alone* (what about Nakh, Aggadta, hasidut etc.) but yes, Halakha *primarily* and *centrally.* ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 18:02:34 +0300 (IDT) Message-Id: <199807071502.SAA04208@alpha.netvision.net.il> Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Yisrael Herczeg Subject: Bin or Ben Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Russell Hendel writes: >* Use of BiN vs BeN if the next word is accented on the first syllable > -BIN NUN (So the reason is because on the monosyllabic nature of Nun According to this, how do we account for the "ben" of Avner ben Ner being vowelized with a segol? Yisrael Herczeg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-Id: <8525663A.004F3E57.00@allante.chase.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 10:48:09 -0400 Subject: Re: An alternative formulation of the kiruv/emunah issue MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii > I agree. You cannot teach "emuna" either. Emuna is a state, not a > concept. > You can teach foundations of emuna and engage in activties that promote > emuna, but emuna itself must be experienced. Kind of like what Viktor > Frankl said about happiness. > YGB If so, let's coin another term that refers to the art of integrating the body of "evidence" that makes it reasonable to luxuriate in this state. - ab ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663A:004C6347.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 11:41:10 -0400 Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii My original intention was to illustrate halacha as an objective measure or reality (not to discuss the relationship between science and halacha) , and in light of the sources you indicate perhaps the Chazon Ish (my original source - not R' Dessler) is an extreme position. The Chazaon Ish questions Chazal's list of treifot which all die within 12 months - modern vetinary medicine can keep these animals living longer. He offers two approaches: a) physical reality has remained constant, while data/theories change. Even in the time of Chazal refuot such as the sefer refuot which was nignaz could have extended life. Chazal chose to root halacha in what was accesible to most people of their time - the justification is based on the license of 'lo masaro ha'katuv ela l'chachamim'. The halacha follows therefore a de jure scientific validity rather then any objective scientific truths. b) physical reality has changed. Chazon Ish suggests this is why hakazat hadam is no longer effective and speculates the opposite - modern surgery would not have been effective if done in the time of Chazal. He interestingly uses the Rambam (who you say rejects nishtana hateva) in peirush hamishnayot to justify this - take a look! I do not know how the Chazon Ish in approach (a) would deal with the insect killing case of Shabbat, as it seems to posit that halacha is independent of scientific truth, a notion which I find difficult to swallow. Approach (b) leaves broad parameters. Do we say nishtana hateva on the chazakos and umdanot of Chazal? Is all science relative? I still haven't come to grips with the Chazon Ish's formulation - any ideas? Is there is a distinction between halacha which addresses a scientific fact which is wrong (insects self-creation) and halacha which operates against a theoretical backdrop which is wrong (e.g. l'ma'aseh there is little difference to halacha if Chazal thought the sun revolved around the Earth). Perhaps some enlightenment from Kuhn on this second issue is in order :-) Is it a coincidence that Russel H. should respond to my note on Bertrand Russell? (YEs, that is a lousy pun). Bertrand Russel was an admitted agnostic and was opposed to mystical faith regardless of his dreams. His essay "Why I am not a Christian" addresses many of the "rational" arguments for God and explains his rejection of them. He also addresses religion as a social and political force. These issues are worthy of debate and analysis for Judaism. It is worth reading becasue a) he is a good writer b) it is instructive for "da ma'shetashiv" c) it can help one formulate a rational "Why I am a ma'amin" response. It is also kefirah, so the reader beware. -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Some real maddoh-halochoh issues, Kant? feh. Not so quick there - this is not so poshut. The notion articulated, that halochoh always remains constant no matter the change in scientific perspective is essentially the position best represented in this century by R. Dessler - who dismiss the notion that we actually understood the real basis for the halochoh in the first place, with any now scientifically discredited basis never more than an asmachtoh. There is however a clear strain of posiqim who, in specific halochos, do aknowledge that changes in scientific appreciation, just as changes in social or historical circumstance, may and do lead to change in the halochoh. In order not to confuse this point I have deliberately kept away from a very long list of other halachos which have changed since talmudic or or even SA times which do not conform to current scientific perceptions , because many posiqim have identified these cases as issues where "nishtaneh ha'tevoh" and thus one can argue that the halakhic change was not driven by an evolving scientific theory but rather an evolving natural reality. (thus babies born in the eighth month now receive medical attention kihalochoh even on shabbos, thus the talmudic encouragement to marry relatives is discarded for genetic fears, thus the structure of our internal organs have changed, … etc etc etc) In reality however, all these many cases could be adduced as well since another strain of posiqim, exemplified by the rambam, totally reject the notion that the natural tevoh could ever be changed. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: Message-ID: <594c4a8b.35a2511c@aol.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 12:47:23 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-07 11:48:51 EDT, you write: << He offers two approaches: a) physical reality has remained constant, while data/theories change. Even in the time of Chazal refuot such as the sefer refuot which was nignaz could have extended life. Chazal chose to root halacha in what was accesible to most people of their time - the justification is based on the license of 'lo masaro ha'katuv ela l'chachamim'. The halacha follows therefore a de jure scientific validity rather then any objective scientific truths. b) physical reality has changed. >> In a) is it accesible or accesible/understood(ie halacha operated on "facts" as understood by most people of their time)? If its the latter then a real nafka mina would be in a case where we could prove(sorry to have to use this word after the "proof" thread:-)) that physical reality hasn't changed(eg we discover frozen kinim from the time of the gemora and determine they're the same as in our day). In that case a) would say change result because now majority understand different but b) would say since no change in teva then no change in halacha. I prefer the a) approach as modified. kol tuv Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 12:23:36 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Just a quick thought on shinui hateva---We know that in the past women had hargashos before\while becoming a nidda many opinions say that women now adays don't have\feel hargashos. Furthermore, the ability to establish a veses kavua seemed to be much more common in the past than now. Finaly in the times of the gemara women would go to the mikva after 7 days, now because of all the chumras we have accepted the minimun is 12 days usually 13-14 days. In both cases --then and now the most opportune time to get pregnant is right around the leil tevila, I'm not big in biology so correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the "pregnancy window less then 5 days" if so there had to be some change in the teva to keep up with thegezeiras of chazal. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663A:006174E1.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:50:51 -0400 Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii After posting this Chazon Ish yesterday I reread it last night and found it vague. Take bloodletting/hakazat hadam as an example. Why don't we do it today? Approach (a) would argue that medicine has advanced; approach (b) would argue our physical bodies are different. Your split is very precise and I haven't been able to figure out the exact formulation that Chazon Ish is driving at. He quotes different sources to justify (a) and (b) without offering examples of how the two approaches deall with the same sources, or halacha l'ma'aseh how to apply all this. If you get a chance to look at the Chazon Ish maybe you could clear it up. -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) In a message dated 98-07-07 11:48:51 EDT, you write: << He offers two approaches: a) physical reality has remained constant, while data/theories change. Even in the time of Chazal refuot such as the sefer refuot which was nignaz could have extended life. Chazal chose to root halacha in what was accesible to most people of their time - the justification is based on the license of 'lo masaro ha'katuv ela l'chachamim'. The halacha follows therefore a de jure scientific validity rather then any objective scientific truths. b) physical reality has changed. > > In a) is it accesible or accesible/understood(ie halacha operated on "facts" as understood by most people of their time)? If its the latter then a real nafka mina would be in a case where we could prove(sorry to have to use this word after the "proof" thread:-)) that physical reality hasn't changed(eg we discover frozen kinim from the time of the gemora and determine they're the same as in our day). In that case a) would say change result because now majority understand different but b) would say since no change in teva then no change in halacha. I prefer the a) approach as modified. kol tuv Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:00:50 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Forwarded from R' Eli Turkel Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Return-Path: Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Eli Turkel Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 12:52:29 -0400 (EDT) To: baistefila@shamash.org Re: Halacha and science A number of people have enquired about halachot that contradict modern science. In fact in the last 2-3 there have been several articles and even an entire book on the subject. While the subject of maggots have been mentioned there are several other topics. Tosaphot in a number of places already mention that facts in the gemara contradict observation. There answer is "nishtanu ha-teva" nature has changed. Some of the problem areas are: 1. The Gemara assumes that 7 month and full 9 term fetuses can live but not 8 month or in the ninth month. Modern medicine assumes the longer the fetus is in the mother the better up to full term. According to the gemara a baby born on shabbat in the 8th month is muktza and can not be moved. Today could one save such a baby? 2. The gemara assumes a pregnant woman can become niddah through the 3rd month. Today a pregnant woman who see blood is considered as needing medical help. With modern tests a woman can tell she is pregnant within a few days. Can she assume is not a niddah? At the other end the gemara assumes that a women after birth does not menstruate for 24 months. Can this be relied on today for the laws of niddah? 3. The gemara allows a baby to bathed on shabbat in hot water before his brit because it is "pikuach nefesh". Today we normally do not insist on bathing babies in hot water. Is it is still permitted on shabbat? 4. The gemara says that within the male the tubes for the sperm and urine are separate but touching. Modern medicine insists there is only one such tube not two. The anatomy of the women given in the beginning of Niddah does not coincide with modern medicine. Does this make a difference? 5. The gemara considers the possibility of a needle in the lung as coming from the heart. This is fine accrding to Galen. However, according to the modern theory of blood circulation there is no connection between the heart and lung. Do we change the halacha? 6. More generally a treifa according to the gemara (many opinions and the the halacha) can not live for 12 months. Today modern medicine does not agree with these definitions. One famous example is whether a chicken can live without a heart. 7. The gemara has lengths for pregnancy of animals (7 years for a snake) that are completely different than modern medicine. This also applies to ages that the mothers can give birth. This affects laws concerning first born animals. 8. As previously mentioned the gemara assumes that "kinim" do not sexually replicate and so can be killed on shabbat. 9. One no longer needs (or is even harmful) to suck out the blood at a brit milah. The gemara says it is pikuach nefesh. Is it still required? Another pikuach nefesh in the gemara is not eating fish and meat. Modern medicine doesn't recognize any danger. Similarly the gemara does not allow one to drink from uncovered water because a snake may have put in venom. Does this apply today? 10.The "segulas" e.g. not eating olives because they cause memory lapses. Not eating whole uncut garlic. Not eating things in pairs. As stated there are many more such practical examples that modern poskim have to grapple with. There are a number of approaches. I. Modern medicine is wrong when there is an explicit gemara against it. The Michat Yitzchok states that it is impossible for a 8 month baby to live and doctors don't know what they are talking about. In most cases we can assume that they dated the baby wrong and it is really a 9 month fetus. However, if the husband was away except for a short time so we know the date of conception then indeed one cannot save such a baby on shabbat. the most famous example is shevut yaakov (200 years ago) who states that we cannot rely on modern science for if we do we would believe that the earth is round which is against a gemarra !!! II Tosaphot already introduce the idea of nishtanu hateva. This is expanded by Chazon ish to many other cases e.g. #4. Though this is a "strange" opinion in many cases it is the most lenient. Dr. Levy in an article points out that in many cases it is quite reasonable to assume that nature changed eg due to breeding of cows. However, in many other cases it is hard to believe that the anatomy of the person has changed within 2000 years. Dr. Steinberg has pointed out that this position is even more radical than darwin in terms of evolution with big changes happening in relatively short periods of time. III. Rav Dessler opines that everything in Chazal must be accepted as is. When it contradicts modern science we assume that Chazal had many reasons for their statements. The explicit reason given was one that appealed to people of their generation. However, when the reason is not applicable we assume there are other hidden reasons for which we are not aware. IV. Rav Herzog, Rav Feinstein and others are willing to change the halacha when facts change. thus, Rav Moshe allows a pregnant woman to assume she is not Niddah from the minute she finds out she is pregnant. Rav Moshe insists on following the Gemara only when the halacha is based on halacha le-moshe-misinia. The Rambam already points out that we do not change the laws of trefa because of modern observations. The Rashba states that if one puts a cow under observation and sees that the cow lives for more than 12 months with a treifa then we declare that person a false witness. This seems to put Rashba in category I. However, it is pointed out that in other places Rashba contradicts himself. Hence, it is assumed that his strong comments apply on the laws of treifot and not all halachot. The argument over when is prohibtted from killing kinim on shabbat is already a few hundred years ago. Early achronim prohibted it based on modern science while others allowed it as the Gemara overrides modern science. The argument over a chicken without a heart is a famous argument between Rav Yonasan Eibschutz (who says it can happen based on the gamara) and Rav Yaakov Embden (who says it can't happen based on science). The shulchan arukh already disallows bathing a baby in hot water on shabbat because the nature has changed. The Rama allows a fetus in the ninth month to be saved but not in the 8th month. So he partially changes the law. This is also the opinion of the mishna Brura. Hence, according to the Chazon Ish babies now live in the 8th month only for the last 100-300 years. It should be stressed that this is a fundamental halacha whether fetuses in their 8th month are capable of living. The gemara does not allow for medicines to help the situation. In many other cases however the halacha clearly changes becauses of advances in modern medicine. Thus, everyone (?) would agree that one can save a person on shabbat with procedures that were not available years ago. There is a cherem against using the medicines in the gemara since they no longer work. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 From: Eli Turkel Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 21:02:37 +0300 (GMT+0300) Message-Id: <199807071802.VAA20459@virgo.math.tau.ac.il> To: baistefila@shamash.org Re: Halacha and science A number of people have enquired about halachot that contradict modern science. In fact in the last 2-3 there have been several articles and even an entire book on the subject. While the subject of maggots have been mentioned there are several other topics. Tosaphot in a number of places already mention that facts in the gemara contradict observation. There answer is "nishtanu ha-teva" nature has changed. Some of the problem areas are: 1. The Gemara assumes that 7 month and full 9 term fetuses can live but not 8 month or in the ninth month. Modern medicine assumes the longer the fetus is in the mother the better up to full term. According to the gemara a baby born on shabbat in the 8th month is muktza and can not be moved. Today could one save such a baby? 2. The gemara assumes a pregnant woman can become niddah through the 3rd month. Today a pregnant woman who see blood is considered as needing medical help. With modern tests a woman can tell she is pregnant within a few days. Can she assume is not a niddah? At the other end the gemara assumes that a women after birth does not menstruate for 24 months. Can this be relied on today for the laws of niddah? 3. The gemara allows a baby to bathed on shabbat in hot water before his brit because it is "pikuach nefesh". Today we normally do not insist on bathing babies in hot water. Is it is still permitted on shabbat? 4. The gemara says that within the male the tubes for the sperm and urine are separate but touching. Modern medicine insists there is only one such tube not two. The anatomy of the women given in the beginning of Niddah does not coincide with modern medicine. Does this make a difference? 5. The gemara considers the possibility of a needle in the lung as coming from the heart. This is fine accrding to Galen. However, according to the modern theory of blood circulation there is no connection between the heart and lung. Do we change the halacha? 6. More generally a treifa according to the gemara (many opinions and the the halacha) can not live for 12 months. Today modern medicine does not agree with these definitions. One famous example is whether a chicken can live without a heart. 7. The gemara has lengths for pregnancy of animals (7 years for a snake) that are completely different than modern medicine. This also applies to ages that the mothers can give birth. This affects laws concerning first born animals. 8. As previously mentioned the gemara assumes that "kinim" do not sexually replicate and so can be killed on shabbat. 9. One no longer needs (or is even harmful) to suck out the blood at a brit milah. The gemara says it is pikuach nefesh. Is it still required? Another pikuach nefesh in the gemara is not eating fish and meat. Modern medicine doesn't recognize any danger. Similarly the gemara does not allow one to drink from uncovered water because a snake may have put in venom. Does this apply today? 10.The "segulas" e.g. not eating olives because they cause memory lapses. Not eating whole uncut garlic. Not eating things in pairs. As stated there are many more such practical examples that modern poskim have to grapple with. There are a number of approaches. I. Modern medicine is wrong when there is an explicit gemara against it. The Michat Yitzchok states that it is impossible for a 8 month baby to live and doctors don't know what they are talking about. In most cases we can assume that they dated the baby wrong and it is really a 9 month fetus. However, if the husband was away except for a short time so we know the date of conception then indeed one cannot save such a baby on shabbat. the most famous example is shevut yaakov (200 years ago) who states that we cannot rely on modern science for if we do we would believe that the earth is round which is against a gemarra !!! II Tosaphot already introduce the idea of nishtanu hateva. This is expanded by Chazon ish to many other cases e.g. #4. Though this is a "strange" opinion in many cases it is the most lenient. Dr. Levy in an article points out that in many cases it is quite reasonable to assume that nature changed eg due to breeding of cows. However, in many other cases it is hard to believe that the anatomy of the person has changed within 2000 years. Dr. Steinberg has pointed out that this position is even more radical than darwin in terms of evolution with big changes happening in relatively short periods of time. III. Rav Dessler opines that everything in Chazal must be accepted as is. When it contradicts modern science we assume that Chazal had many reasons for their statements. The explicit reason given was one that appealed to people of their generation. However, when the reason is not applicable we assume there are other hidden reasons for which we are not aware. IV. Rav Herzog, Rav Feinstein and others are willing to change the halacha when facts change. thus, Rav Moshe allows a pregnant woman to assume she is not Niddah from the minute she finds out she is pregnant. Rav Moshe insists on following the Gemara only when the halacha is based on halacha le-moshe-misinia. The Rambam already points out that we do not change the laws of trefa because of modern observations. The Rashba states that if one puts a cow under observation and sees that the cow lives for more than 12 months with a treifa then we declare that person a false witness. This seems to put Rashba in category I. However, it is pointed out that in other places Rashba contradicts himself. Hence, it is assumed that his strong comments apply on the laws of treifot and not all halachot. The argument over when is prohibtted from killing kinim on shabbat is already a few hundred years ago. Early achronim prohibted it based on modern science while others allowed it as the Gemara overrides modern science. The argument over a chicken without a heart is a famous argument between Rav Yonasan Eibschutz (who says it can happen based on the gamara) and Rav Yaakov Embden (who says it can't happen based on science). The shulchan arukh already disallows bathing a baby in hot water on shabbat because the nature has changed. The Rama allows a fetus in the ninth month to be saved but not in the 8th month. So he partially changes the law. This is also the opinion of the mishna Brura. Hence, according to the Chazon Ish babies now live in the 8th month only for the last 100-300 years. It should be stressed that this is a fundamental halacha whether fetuses in their 8th month are capable of living. The gemara does not allow for medicines to help the situation. In many other cases however the halacha clearly changes becauses of advances in modern medicine. Thus, everyone (?) would agree that one can save a person on shabbat with procedures that were not available years ago. There is a cherem against using the medicines in the gemara since they no longer work. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 14:04:48 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: nature has changed Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Note a new book by R. Neriya Gutel, NSHTANNU HA_TEVAIM. Very exhaustive citations. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Message-Id: Date: 07 Jul 1998 12:22:12 GMT From: "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> Subject: Re: nature has changed To: baistefila@shamash.org Is the book in hebrew? Ahron ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: nature has changed Author: SMTPGATE.BAISTEFI at EMIS Date: 7/7/98 11:03 AM Received: from FW-ES05.HAC.COM by GSGMVS.EMIS.HAC.COM (Soft*Switch Central V4L40P1A); 07 Jul 1998 11:03:58 GMT Received: from shamash3.shamash.org ([207.244.122.42]) by fw-es05.hac.com (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id LAA02215 for <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM>; Tue, 7 Jul 1998 11:05:29 -0700 (PDT) Received: (qmail 640 invoked from network); 7 Jul 1998 18:04:59 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 7 Jul 1998 18:04:59 -0000 Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 629 invoked from network); 7 Jul 1998 18:04:45 -0000 Received: from acis.mc.yu.edu (129.98.201.27) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 7 Jul 1998 18:04:45 -0000 Received: (from carmy@localhost) by acis.mc.yu.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) id OAA93628; Tue, 7 Jul 1998 14:04:48 -0400 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 14:04:48 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy X-Sender: carmy@acis.mc.yu.edu To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: nature has changed In-Reply-To: Message-ID: Organization: Yeshiva University MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Note a new book by R. Neriya Gutel, NSHTANNU HA_TEVAIM. Very exhaustive citations. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 16:37:16 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: RE: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII The issue originally, which I think was not responded to, was the origin of a distinction b/t nashim no tbeing allowed to engage in Talmud Torah at all, and a prohibiton of their learning davka Gemara. Does this distinction exist before the Chaftez Chaim/R' Moshe, or until then was the issue more all or nothing in those mekoros that dealt with the issue? While the question was not originally mine, I think it is interesting and bears re-raising (is that word?) Daniel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_119-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899843840449921920-- From baistefila@shamash.org Wed Jul 8 00:01:12 1998 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 00:01:08 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 120 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899870468449935234" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899870468449935234 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 120 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re[2]: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> 2) Re: Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, Kuzari and text of Tanach by cbrown@bestware.com 3) Thumbs Up or Down: How Big Were Chazal? by Michael Frankel 4) Metzizoh by Michael Frankel 5) Citations and Complexity by Daniel Eidensohn 6) Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 7) Torah and Science by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 8) Re: Betrand Russell Believed in God: His essay on Christianity is for Us by Douglas I Segal 9) Re: My defense of Dr. Norman Lamm by Harry Maryles 10) Re: FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani by Harry Maryles 11) Re: FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani by Cheryl Maryles 12) Muktzah on Yom Tov / Motzaei Shabbos (was Esrog Used For Part Of Sukkos) by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899870468449935234 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_120" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Message-Id: Date: 07 Jul 1998 13:59:13 GMT From: "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> Subject: Re[2]: science, B Russel (& Russel H) To: baistefila@shamash.org I would like to know if we are required to measure eruv tachumin today according to the mishna in eruvin with 50 amos long ropes or can we rely on maps, surveying instruments, or lasers which in many ways would be more accurate and less time consuming. Of course, I am assuming we would still have to follow the guidelines for slopes as specified. Ahron ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Author: SMTPGATE.BAISTEFI at EMIS Date: 7/7/98 10:57 AM Received: from FW-ES05.HAC.COM by GSGMVS.EMIS.HAC.COM (Soft*Switch Central V4L40P1A); 07 Jul 1998 10:57:26 GMT Received: from shamash3.shamash.org ([207.244.122.42]) by fw-es05.hac.com (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id KAA00934 for <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM>; Tue, 7 Jul 1998 10:58:57 -0700 (PDT) Received: (qmail 29578 invoked from network); 7 Jul 1998 17:58:29 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 7 Jul 1998 17:58:29 -0000 Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 29564 invoked from network); 7 Jul 1998 17:58:15 -0000 Received: from unknown (HELO mail.bestware.com) (206.67.180.2) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 7 Jul 1998 17:58:15 -0000 Received: by mail.bestware.com(Lotus SMTP MTA 202.1 8-21-1996) id 8525663A.00620B32 ; Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:50:53 -0400 X-Lotus-FromDomain: BESTWARE From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663A:006174E1.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:50:51 -0400 Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN After posting this Chazon Ish yesterday I reread it last night and found it vague. Take bloodletting/hakazat hadam as an example. Why don't we do it today? Approach (a) would argue that medicine has advanced; approach (b) would argue our physical bodies are different. Your split is very precise and I haven't been able to figure out the exact formulation that Chazon Ish is driving at. He quotes different sources to justify (a) and (b) without offering examples of how the two approaches deall with the same sources, or halacha l'ma'aseh how to apply all this. If you get a chance to look at the Chazon Ish maybe you could clear it up. -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) In a message dated 98-07-07 11:48:51 EDT, you write: << He offers two approaches: a) physical reality has remained constant, while data/theories change. Even in the time of Chazal refuot such as the sefer refuot which was nignaz could have extended life. Chazal chose to root halacha in what was accesible to most people of their time - the justification is based on the license of 'lo masaro ha'katuv ela l'chachamim'. The halacha follows therefore a de jure scientific validity rather then any objective scientific truths. b) physical reality has changed. > > In a) is it accesible or accesible/understood(ie halacha operated on "facts" as understood by most people of their time)? If its the latter then a real nafka mina would be in a case where we could prove(sorry to have to use this word after the "proof" thread:-)) that physical reality hasn't changed(eg we discover frozen kinim from the time of the gemora and determine they're the same as in our day). In that case a) would say change result because now majority understand different but b) would say since no change in teva then no change in halacha. I prefer the a) approach as modified. kol tuv Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663A:00518353.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 17:02:06 -0400 Subject: Re: Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, Kuzari and text of Tanach Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii I agree - just trying to capture what I think is the Rav's primary focus. I wonder how far you would take your extension - i.e. Nach is stilll an intellectual "talmud-Torah" approach to spirituality. The Rav in Ish HaHalacha speaks of the Brisker/Volozhin opposition to mussar - what do you mean by hasidut? Would the Rav agree with the Kuzari's broad statement where even music (section II 64) can be a path to spirituality (though the specific ref. I cite may not be referring to spirtituality, but to a sense of music as part of our cultural heritage, I do recall references in Kuzari to simcha, rikud, and music as related to 'avodah', just can't pinpoint it now). My impression is that the Rav defined a very narrow path to 'avodah'. On a different note, I thank those who started this Kantian discussion with references to Kuzari's proofs. It inspired me to take a more thorough look at the sefer. I just want to note the discussion of mesorah and text of Torah in chelek III section 27-28. Kuzari uses concept of 'rov' to determine correct text and weed out variants. Kol yehudah has a long discussion of mesorah and contraditions between meforshim and the mesorah on the exact text of certain pesukim. There are many other interesting things that warrant discussion (does anyone who has read the sefer fathom the sections on the date line or the long dikduk discussion?), but I just note this mareh makom because this topic has been discussed in the past. (I still have to do a thorough reading of Kant - not sure I'm up to that challenege yet :-) -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Re: The 90-second Kant & Rav Soloveitchik, YGB > comment on my choice of quotation noted). The Rav throughout his writing > seems to view the concept of spirituality as a function only of adherence > to halacha, which is an "objective" world view that emerges only from > Revelation. Esp. in part IV of Halachik Mind the Rav develops a notion of > Jewish philosophy that stems from halacha alone rather than any extra- > halachic/secular framework. The Rav was known to hold the "chazakos" and k Not, in my reading halakha *alone* (what about Nakh, Aggadta, hasidut etc.) but yes, Halakha *primarily* and *centrally.* ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 22:26:00 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Thumbs Up or Down: How Big Were Chazal? To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT M.Toczyner writes: >Interesting note to this conversation - we are not the first generation to >have access to new scientific ingformation. The Tzlach wrote that it is >impossible to suggest that our thumbs are larger than the trhumbs of the >ancients, for the generations shrink rather than grow. Scientisits of his >time, as well as the general public, knew of archeological and >anthropological evidence which contradicted this While it is quite true that the Tzlach suggested that our thumbs must be less than or equal to chazal's thumbs (relative to the doros chazal) because of the principle of nisqatnu hadoros - which he apparently took quite literally, we ought note that, in this generation, the Igros Moshe (Y'D, part 3, s' 66) very specifically rejects this particular suggestion of the Tzlach and suggests that, if such a systematic physical-biological change should have occurred, it was just likely that any change would have gone the other way, and things could have grown. In case anyone is wondering why the tzlach cared about thumb size, it was a matter of shiurim and his chaqiroh which attempted to reconcile the kizayis (= .5xbaitzoh) with the ri'vi'is. He came down to a conclusion that either the egdol -thumb must have grown or the standard egg had shrunk. Rejecting the growing thumb option he opted for the shrinking egg -factor of two difference. By the way, what was the "archeological or anthropological evidence which contradicts this" known to scientists of that day? I'm still not cognizant of any early little people. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 23:13:02 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Metzizoh To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT R. Eidensohn writes: >inherent part of Mila itself. I was told that in the old days, it was not >unusual for a woman to be in the hospital with her newborn on the 8th day of >birth. The hospitals in New York did not allow Metziza. Rav Moshe ruled that >it was better to do mila without Metzitza and not miss the 8th day. Chassidic >poskim ruled that it was better to wait after the 8th day in quite so. since it was off the point i neglected to mention that the chasam sofer's pisaq dispensing with metzitizoh bi'feh (he still wanted a sponge job) specifically aknowledged the qabbolistic vector here which placed great emphasis on the traditional methods - but he concludes as a matter of communal and personal practice that "ain lonu eiseq bi'nistoros" and disregards this concern. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Message-ID: <35A2AB43.A96E91C5@netmedia.net.il> Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 02:12:03 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Citations and Complexity Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Eli Turkel wrote: > Re: Halacha and science > . > IIV. Rav Herzog, Rav Feinstein and others are willing to change the > halacha when facts change. thus, Rav Moshe allows a pregnant woman > to assume she is not Niddah from the minute she finds out she is > pregnant. Rav Moshe insists on following the Gemara only when the > halacha is based on halacha le-moshe-misinia. > I have a number of problems with this posting. 1) Without specific citations it is difficult to verify the accuracy of the statements. 2) The summaries are also made without citations and I believe that the issues are much more complex than presented. It is asserted that Rav Moshe insists on following the Gemora only when the halacha is based on halacha le-moshe. If you look at (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah II #70 age 127 you find the following words, "....only Chazal with their traditions and also their sevoros is it relevant to say that they knew. And we are obligated to believe in all their words that they are the words of the living G-d. However, after the completion of the gemora - even with the Gaonim it is not relevant that they would discover something which is not found in the gemora with their sevoros concerning a fact of nature which it is impossible to see - to say that that is a fact of nature... In Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah II #74 page 139 he says that the Rambam's description of Caesarian birth differs from our knowledge and that perhaps Teva has changed since the time of the Rambam. In another place (Even HaEzer II #3.2 page 08) he discusses the issue of Petzuah Daka. He notes that according to hazal that any perforation of the testes prevents fatherhood. On the other hand this is a standard medical procedure to aid in fertility and we see today that it doesn't prevent fatherhood. He says perhaps Teva has changed and cites a number of cases. He says perhaps the halacha was established at Sinai and even though nature has changed since then the Halacha which has been established has not changed. He says the same applies to Treifa - we see today that animals classified as Treifas live. Obviously nature has changed [not like the Rashba says] but nevertheless the halacha remains what it was at the time of Matan Torah. However, Treifa itself, he notes is complicated since capital punishment in connection with a human treifa depends on whether _doctors_ declare the person to be a treifa. Therefore Treifa for eating and for murder are different regarding change in nature. Therefore he concludes that that which is dependent upon physical facts - if there is no absolute requirement to maintain the halacha - like there is for a treifa for eating - it depends upon the evaluations of the experts in each generation. Thus it seems that Rav Moshe is willing to accept the possibility of change in nature and change in halacha but there are exceptions and he doesn't give clear guidelines to enable us to generalize to cases he didn't specifically talk about. Ten years ago I asked Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler about Rav Moshe's assertion (Y.D. II #76 page 143) that contrary to what is found in the medical books the womb does not start dilating prior to birth. Rav Tendler replied that he was not aware of the tshuva and didn't know what the source of Rav Moshe's assertion was. This is relevant to the question of when she is considered a Niddah. Rav Moshe did not accept that a change in nature had occurred simply because it was current scientific knowledge. >there is a cherem against using the medicines in the gemara since > they no longer work. This is _perhaps_ the view of Tosfos (Moed Koton 11a) and Chazon Ish. Others state that the Cherem is not to use the medicines because we don't know how to use them properly and our failure with them will be taken in a derogatory way towards Chazal. The exception cited is using a plate over someone's head if a bone is stuck in his throat. Yom shel Shlomo (Chulin Chap 8 Simon 12). Lekutei Maharil "All medical treatments and incantations from the Talmud is prohibited to try because we don't properly understand them and it will lead to ridicule of us and Chazal - except that which is stated in Shabbos concerning one who has a bone in his throat - this is thoroughly tested and reliable... Also see Rabbi Akiva Eiger to Yoreh Deah #336 1. See also Chava Yair #334. Daniel Eidensohn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 20:16:05 -0400 Subject: Re: science, B Russel (& Russel H) Message-ID: <19980707.201608.3534.1.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) In relationship to the CHazon Ish, I thought that he meant whether you except the idea that medical science has advanced or nature has changed, still it was the ratzon of Hashem that Torah should be defined by Chazal at a certain point in history. Since Hashem obviously knew that the was the condition of the world at the time of Chazal, and since he wanted the TOrah to be permantly defined during that period, defacto what we have is the ratzon of Hashem , whether it agrees with nature or not. (However this idea would only be limited to places where Chazal had to define broad concepts for example treifos, but would clearly have no bearing on questions like babies born in 8 mos. etc.) An analogy to this idea that I have used is the concept of shochbecha and kumecha in Krias Shema which is defined by tzeis hakochavim. In a society without electrical lights it is reasonable to assume that people went to sleep around five at night in the winter, but clearly in our society it makes no sense. However we are bound by the definitions of Chazal as they relate to a specific historical time, like treifos. I would be interested to know if this was a reasonable understanding of the CHazon Ish I have not seen anyone discuss the issue of inconsistencies between Chazal an d modern science in things that have nothing to do with biology but physics. For example a. The idea of tatai gavar when cold goes into something hot which would not make sense according to thermodynamics b. THe idea of "hevel" in a pit that is so powerful that it can kill an ox, person, and even shatter new vessels which I believe is not really understood that way today. Is there a concept of nishtana hateva on physics also? If not how else can this be understood? SHraga Rothbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 20:03:56 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Torah and Science Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII While I have not much to contribute to understanding this interface, I would like to note the Gemara towards the beginning of Avoda Zara that says that Saturnalia began when Adam HaRishon was nervous lest the shortening of days mean the world was coming to an end, and then rejoiced when he saw the days become longer again, realizing it was the custom of the world. Obviously, Adam did not have direct access to even basic scientifc knowledge. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to assume that neither did Chazal, in all areas. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 21:21:30 -0400 (EDT) From: Douglas I Segal To: baistefila@shamash.org cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu, cbrown106@juno.com Subject: Re: Betrand Russell Believed in God: His essay on Christianity is for Us Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Mon, 6 Jul 1998, Russell Hendel wrote: > Chaiim Brown [CBrown106@Juno.Com] asserts that Bertrand Russell > * was a rationalist > * his essay on "Why I am not a Christian" applies to Judaism > > > > > * His Essay on Christianity supports not attacks Judaism > --------------------------------------------------------- > I also don't agree that his essay on Christianity attacks Judaism. > > As a simple example Christianity is a "miracle based religion". By > contrast our belief in God is revelation based. The very thread now > going on about belief in God remarkably shows this...despite all the > varied opinions no one has advocated the many miracles that happened > to us as proof of Gods existence. There are many other differences > > A careful reading of Russell's essay shows he was against > "anti reason" religions...this has nothing to do with Judaism. > > Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ Mcs Drexel edu > > a small note: people often make a big deal about how judaism is not miracle based, but revelation based, and i think that to some extent this is true. but on the other hand, people ignore the emphasis given to yetzias mitzraim. i am hashem, your g-d, who took you out of the land of egypt, also zecher yetzias mitzraim (by every holiday, by shabbos, and by countless mitzvos, ), etc. so the question needs to be asked: is faith in the jewish religion clearly independent of miracles? ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Message-ID: <35A2C003.60F4@neiu.edu> Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 20:40:35 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: My defense of Dr. Norman Lamm Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Lawrence M. Reisman wrote: > 4. To those who thought I was putting down Dr. Lamm intentionally, all I > can say is that we on the right wing have the right to think Dr. Lamm is > wrong! And if we do so, it is not because of any insecurities! However, if > you wish, I will refrain from defending him in the future, and YOU can fetch > out his original remarks and post them on the internet so the list members > can see his remarks in their original context. You have the right to say about anyone you wish, that he is wrong, including Dr. Lamm. It is a sad commentary when you feel that the only way you can defend Dr. Lamm (or others that you disagree with) is by first slamming him. I don't believe any Centrist would slam anyone on the right, including R. Svei, while disagreeing with some of his haskafic positions. If there has been some hard feelings, it is because of the outright rejecton by R.Svei of anything to do with the Centrist hashkafa. I will ask the question again. Why can't there be RESPECTFUL disagreement amongst advocates of the varying Hashkafos? What a wonderful experience it would be if we let the ideas themselves do battle, rather than calling each other names and creating allthat acrimony amongst ourselves. Shouldn't we all be on the same side here? Aren't we all sincere in our Avodas HaShem and seeking out of Emes? HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Message-ID: <35A2C2EE.CAF@neiu.edu> Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 20:53:02 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Clark, Eli wrote: > > Micha Beger writes: > > >> Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three > >> distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is > >> their roles in halachah! > > Harry replies: > > >It seems unlikely that R. Meir would bother writing brachos as > >acontradistinction to Pauls letter to the Galacians. > > Why? The Gemara is full of takkanot instituted with an eye to > demonstrating a difference with the Tzaddukim. It seems fair to assume > that the Episte to the Galateans was an accurate reflection of Paul's > position. Given that Paul's initial following was made up of wayward > Jews, R. Meir would have been doing a great tovah by establishing > berakhot which emphasized our differences with the early Christians. > > Kol tuv, > > Eli Clark I admit that it's possible. but I would have thought that R.Meir would not have been mesakain brachos to counter "Hashkafic" points made by Paul in a letter to the Galacians. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 22:20:16 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: FW: R. Meir and Shelo asani Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII I have to admit that I haven't been closely following the discussions concerning R.Meir's "invention"of the three berachos so I don't know if the following point is relevant but it's important to get the emes out. It's not clear at all that rabbi Meir even wrote these berachos. The gersa in the tosephta as well as the rosh and rif all have Rabbi Yehuda as the author of these berachos. So if the argument is based on it specifically being Rabbi Meir I wouldn't give that theory much thought because Rabbi Meir probably didn't even write these berachos. If the same argumenet would apply to Rabbi Yehuda then I'm happy just to add a little more truth to the discussion On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, Harry Maryles wrote: > Clark, Eli wrote: > > > > Micha Beger writes: > > > > >> Note that this is a contemporary of the b'rachos who makes the same three > > >> distinctions in the same order -- and the topic of those distinctions is > > >> their roles in halachah! > > > > Harry replies: > > > > >It seems unlikely that R. Meir would bother writing brachos as > > >acontradistinction to Pauls letter to the Galacians. > > > > Why? The Gemara is full of takkanot instituted with an eye to > > demonstrating a difference with the Tzaddukim. It seems fair to assume > > that the Episte to the Galateans was an accurate reflection of Paul's > > position. Given that Paul's initial following was made up of wayward > > Jews, R. Meir would have been doing a great tovah by establishing > > berakhot which emphasized our differences with the early Christians. > > > > Kol tuv, > > > > Eli Clark > > I admit that it's possible. but I would have thought that R.Meir would > not have been mesakain brachos to counter "Hashkafic" points made by > Paul in a letter to the Galacians. > > HM > > ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: C-Maryles@neiu.edu, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu, yadmoshe@netmedia.net.il Subject: Muktzah on Yom Tov / Motzaei Shabbos (was Esrog Used For Part Of Sukkos) Message-ID: <19980707.225712.8567.1.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 22:58:23 EDT I greatly appreciate those who took the time to seriously consider my question. Namely, candles and similar objects are not muktzah on Yom Tov, but they are muktzah on Shabbos. Therefore, since they are mutzka for the entire time of Bein Hashmashos on Shabbos afternoon, they should remain muktzah for that night and the following day, if it is Yom Tov. Reb Elie Ginsparg suggested that it does indeed remain muktzah over Yom Tov, but that since one IS allowed to move a kli shemelachto l'issur l'tzorech gufo, there's no big deal in moving it. There are a couple of problems with that answer. First, as Elie anticipated, there are shitos which hold a candle to be muktza machmas gufo, not merely a kli shemelachto l'issur. Second, even if it is a kli shemelachto l'issur, then only moving it is allowed, not consuming it by burning. Third, my question also applies to a genuine muktza machmas gufo, such as ... hmm, if say raw meat of fish, then you steak tartare and sushi fans (not at the same time!) will jump all over me... ok, how about raw gefilte fish? Here's a better one: Raw gefilte fish that was still a frozen loaf during bein hashmashos on Shabbos afternoon. Any volunteers out there who want to say that (from a Shabbos perspective) it wouldn't be muktza machmas gufo? Ok, so my question is about defrosting and cooking such a loaf when Yom Tov falls on Motzaei Shabbos. Later, he and Rabbi Bechhofer suggested that Ochel Nefesh is a blanket heter for muktza problems. This idea seems pretty good - after all, if Ochel Nefesh works for melacha d'oraisa, the muktza should be easy. And as he hoped, Reb Daniel Eidensohn showed us several relevant sources: >>>>> Mishna Berura 507 (21). "It is permitted to move Muktzeh for the needs of Ochel Nefesh. Also see the Biur Halacha 501 *(18). Mishna Berura 509 (31)....but to eat or to benefit from the Muktzeh itself...it is Ossur. >>>>> But alas, 509:31 shows that we would not be able to eat it, and the Aruch Hashulchan 509:16-17 gives even more examples of muktza that may not be eaten on Yom Tov. Perhaps we can attack this problem from a different direction: Let's try to see if the rules of Migu D'iskatzaei L'bein Hashmashos Iskatzaei L'kulo Yoma really apply here or not. For example, there is a principle of "Garmu biydei adam". Oversimplfied, I understand this to mean that if a *person* did an act *before* Shabbos which will *definitely* result in being able to use that object on Shabbos, then it *will* be considered as having been "prepared" on Erev Shabbos, and so we *will* be able to use it once the preparation is complete. This human act "insulates" the object from the rule of Migu D'iskatzaei. ("The Halachos of Muktzah", by Rabbi Bodner, gives an example of this on pp.249-250: If wet laundry is put on an *indoor* clothesline before Shabbos, such that it will *definitely* become dry at some point during Shabbos, then once it does become dry, it will lose its muktzah status. But I suspect that principle does not apply in this case, for two reasons: (1) The frozen raw gefilte fish (or esrog in the original question) ought to become non-muktza on Yom Tov, but that happens by force of the calendar, and no person did anything to "prepare" it for Yom Tov. (2) The preparation needs to be done *before* Yom Tov begins, and having it automatically accompany the beginning of Yom Tov is not sufficient. I hope there are people who are still interested in looking into this problem. I hope it is understood that I *DO* acknowledge that candles and raw gefilte fish are not mutktzah when Yom Tov falls on Motzaei Shabbos. I am just trying to determine whether this is an unwritten exception to the rules, or whether this situation is described within the rules. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_120-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899870468449935234-- From baistefila@shamash.org Thu Jul 9 00:01:09 1998 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 00:01:05 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 121 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__899956865449978432" ----__ListProc__NextPart__899956865449978432 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 121 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan by 2) Re: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn by 3) Feminism and the JO article by "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" 4) Re: Feminism and the JO article by Harry Maryles 5) Re: Feminism and the JO article by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 6) Re: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 7) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 120 by Mordechai Torczyner 8) RE: Feminism and the JO article by "Pechman, Abraham" 9) Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting by "Lawrence M. Reisman" 10) Re[2]: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posti by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu 11) Feminism and the Balcony by Daniel Eidensohn 12) Merger in the Works? by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 13) Science and Halachah by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) 14) More Info on Merger by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 15) RE: R. Moshe on Feminism and the Balcony by "Clark, Eli" 16) Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting by 17) RE: Heter of Chafetz Chayiim for Torah by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 18) Re: Bin or Ben by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 19) :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) ----__ListProc__NextPart__899956865449978432 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_121" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 From: Message-ID: Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 00:36:04 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Source Please: TY= Yerushalmi vs Yonathan Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-06 20:21:22 EDT, you write: << DAhlia2@Aol.Com (incidentally do you have a name...it wasn't listed..I don't even know your gender) states that * Targum Yonathan on the Chumash is really Targum Yershalmi * The error happened because they both have the same initials TY Could I have a source for this with arguments summarized (Please don't make me spend several hours going to a library to look up some stuffy Journal article). >> I'm sorry about the apparent anonymity. My name is Brigitte Dayan (Dahlia is my middle name) and my gender, as you may guess, is female. I trust that Moshe Bernstein's response to your question regarding sources for T'"Y was more than sufficient! (Whew, I'm off the hook. I just graduated from the institution from which he is affiliated, so I would have had to do them proud.) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 From: Message-ID: Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 01:07:03 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-07 16:37:31 EDT, you write: << The issue originally, which I think was not responded to, was the origin of a distinction b/t nashim no tbeing allowed to engage in Talmud Torah at all, and a prohibiton of their learning davka Gemara. Does this distinction exist before the Chaftez Chaim/R' Moshe, or until then was the issue more all or nothing in those mekoros that dealt with the issue? While the question was not originally mine, I think it is interesting and bears re-raising (is that word?) Daniel >> The distinction dates to well before the Chofetz Chaim. See the Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:13, who discourages both but makes a distinction between Oral and Written; the Taz to Shulchan Aruch yoreh De'ah 246:4, who corroborates the Rambam, based on Deut. 31:12, parshat hamelech, where only the pshat (=Written) was explained and not the more detailed explanations (=Oral Law). Brigitte Dayan ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-Id: <35A39B80.68EC@mail.biu.ac.il> Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 09:17:04 -0700 From: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" Mime-Version: 1.0 To: BaisTefila Cc: Bat Sheva Marcus , "Lawrence M. Reisman" Subject: Feminism and the JO article Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit In a previous posting of mine to Bais Tefilla, I commented that both Bat Sheva Marcus and Susan Hornstien indicated that they had been quoted out of context in the Jewish Observer Article on the Feminism and Orthodoxy Conference. Our distinguished moderator, R. Bechhoffer suggested that I ask them to indicate how they were misquoted. Bat Sheva Marcus has asked me to post the following response: Subject: Re: Feminism and JO article from Bais Tefilla Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 22:05:18 EDT From: BJMARCUS@aol.com In the Observer article immediately following the First International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, my quote suggesting in no uncertain terms that Orthodox shuls should "Get rid of the balconies" was clearly framed in a context which suggested that I meant to get rid of mechitzot altogether. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a staunch advocate of mechitzot, but I feel strongly that they have to be constructed in such a way as to give women a sense of being part of the Kahal and not merely spectators. I have an aversion to balconies even though they improve the sightline of many women, because I believe that they send out the message that women are not part of the kahal but watching the tefillot as they unfold. Can you ever imagine men in an Orthodox shul sitting in a balcony? However, without question, someone reading the article out of context would have concluded that the Orthodox Feminist were suggesting doing away with mechitzot. And that is simply not my, (or anyone else involved in the conferece that I am aware of,) agenda. Thanks. Bat Sheva Marcus ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-ID: <35A34493.13DC@neiu.edu> Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 06:06:11 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer wrote: > > In a previous posting of mine to Bais Tefilla, I commented that both Bat > Sheva Marcus and Susan Hornstien indicated that they had been quoted out > of context in the Jewish Observer Article on the Feminism and Orthodoxy > Conference. Our distinguished moderator, R. Bechhoffer suggested that I > ask them to indicate how they were misquoted. Bat Sheva Marcus > has asked me to post the following response: > > Subject: Re: Feminism and JO article from Bais Tefilla > Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 22:05:18 EDT > From: BJMARCUS@aol.com > > In the Observer article immediately following the First International > Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, my quote suggesting in no > uncertain > terms that Orthodox shuls should "Get rid of the balconies" was clearly > framed > in a context which suggested that I meant to get rid of mechitzot > altogether. > Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a staunch advocate of > mechitzot, > but I feel strongly that they have to be constructed in such a way as to > give > women a sense of being part of the Kahal and not merely spectators. I > have an > aversion to balconies even though they improve the sightline of many > women, > because I believe that they send out the message that women are not part > of > the kahal but watching the tefillot as they unfold. Can you ever imagine > men > in an Orthodox shul sitting in a balcony? However, without question, > someone > reading the article out of context would have concluded that the > Orthodox > Feminist were suggesting doing away with mechitzot. And that is simply > not my, > (or anyone else involved in the conferece that I am aware of,) agenda. > > Thanks. Bat Sheva Marcus The Balcony concept was taken from the Bais Hamikdash. Until recent times, all shuls had balconies for their ezras nashim. I fail to see how Balconies would give anybody "seperation anxiety"any more than any other form of Mechitza. R.Eichenstien;'s shul in Chicago has a balcony and, as the above post suggests, women enjoy the better sight lines and have never complained (to my knowledge) that they don't feel a part of the shul. I have, however, heard complaints about the elderly having greater difficulty in climbing the stairs. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 07:48:54 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Harry Maryles wrote: > > The Balcony concept was taken from the Bais Hamikdash. Until recent > times, all shuls had balconies for their ezras nashim. I fail to see how > Balconies would give anybody "seperation anxiety"any more than any The balcony may have , in fact, been based on the balcony in the Ezras Nashim. However, that balcony was a temporary structure built only for Sukkos for the Simchas Beis ha-Sho'evah, in order to keep men and women from mixing during the festivtites. In fact, the Simchas Beis ha-Shoe'vah WAS a spectator sport, both for men and women, as onlt Tzadikim and Anshei ma'aseh participated in the dancing, juggling, etc. Hence, it may well be that the balcony, in its earliest form, may have been just that form of spectator seating which seems inannapropriate to some women in Batei Kenesios today. (Like in so many shuls, the Gemara implies it took awhile to get the formula for crowd control right, and various other schemes for separating men and women were advanced.) [This by the way, as I rcall is all discussed in teh fifth perek of Sukkah and in the Rambam at the end of Hilkhos Lulav.] As to the fact that balconies were historically common, I have been in old Shuls in Eastern Europe that separated men and women with a thick wall , with small windows with bars. Was that wrong at the time it was done? Im not sure, but my agenda is not to be motzi la'az 'al ha-roshonim. i would imagine that within the context of 16th century Poland, such a floorplan made sense, just as in some Hassdic communtities, a balcony with extremely limited views is also acceptable today. Most women that I know, would, I imagine, be horrifed at a similar kind of mehitza being employed in batei kenesios today. The fact that something was often done does, though, not make it appropriate in all communtiies today, and if there are women dissatisfied with balconies, why not use an equally acceptable halakhic solution? ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 08:01:25 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: The Chafetz Chaiim's heter for girls to Learn Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Wed, 8 Jul 1998 DAHLIA2@aol.com wrote: > In a message dated 98-07-07 16:37:31 EDT, you write: > > << The issue originally, which I think was not responded to, was the origin > of a distinction b/t nashim no tbeing allowed to engage in Talmud Torah at > all, and a prohibiton of their learning davka Gemara. Does this > Daniel >> > > The distinction dates to well before the Chofetz Chaim. See the Rambam, > Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:13, who discourages both but makes a distinction > between Oral and Written; the Taz to Shulchan Aruch yoreh De'ah 246:4, who > corroborates the Rambam, based on Deut. 31:12, parshat hamelech, where only > the pshat (=Written) was explained and not the more detailed explanations > (=Oral Law). > Brigitte Dayan I began looking up the mekoros provided, and then realized that the question had still not been articualted properly, for which I apologize. The issue I was asking about is why specifically Gemara? If the issue raised by the raMBaM, for instance, is Torah she-bi-ksav v. Torah she-ba'al peh, what about such things as : *Midrash Halakha (Sifra, Sifre, Mekhilta) *Midrash Aggadah (certainly Torah she-ba'al Peh type material) *Tzena u-Rena (may not by itself be a primary source per se, but certainly [although I haventlooked at it in a while] contains TshBP material) *Avos *Rashi al ha-Torah *Malbim al ha-Torah, which is in many places a Perush on Midrash Halakha *the Torah Temimah I am under the impression that many seminaries that would never teach a blatt gemara would use these Sefarim as parts of their curriculum (although my experiences with seminaries has been limited. If any women alumni could comment, that would help ground this discussion in reality). Chaftez Chaim/r' Moshe seem to make such hilukim, and that seems to be the practice in those segments of the Torah world that currently do not include Gemara as part of their curriculum for women. Is there an earlier source that has such a fault line? Daniel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 08:52:28 -0400 (EDT) From: Mordechai Torczyner To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 120 Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT M. Frankel writes: >M.Toczyner writes: >>Interesting note to this conversation - we are not the first generation >>to have access to new scientific ingformation. The Tzlach wrote that it >>is >>impossible to suggest that our thumbs are larger than the trhumbs of the >>ancients, for the generations shrink rather than grow. Scientisits of >>his time, as well as the general public, knew of archeological and >>anthropological evidence which contradicted this >While it is quite true that the Tzlach suggested that our thumbs must be >less than or equal to chazal's thumbs (relative to the doros chazal) >because of the principle of nisqatnu hadoros - which he apparently took >quite literally, we ought note that, in this generation, the Igros Moshe >(Y'D, part 3, s' 66) very >specifically rejects this particular suggestion of the Tzlach and >suggests that, if such a systematic physical-biological change should >have occurred, it was just likely that any change would have gone the >other way, and things could have grown. LAN"D, Rav Moshe does not dispute the Tzlach's view. He writes that the _eggs_ could have shrunk or grown, but he says people have not changed. The Tzlach's position was specific to people. >By the way, what was the "archeological or anthropological evidence which >contradicts this" known to scientists of that day? I'm still not >cognizant of any early little people. Are you familiar with the digs which have uncovered homes and implements which are clearly designed for people of smaller physiological scale than ourselves? Mordechai ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave WEBSHAS! http://www.virtual.co.il/torah/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-ID: <642B2955645BD0118FEE00805FD4068228DE4A@MWEXCHANGE> From: "Pechman, Abraham" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: RE: Feminism and the JO article Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:40:49 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain > -----Original Message----- > From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer [mailto:frimea@mail.biu.ac.il] > Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 1998 12:17 PM > To: BaisTefila > Cc: Bat Sheva Marcus; Lawrence M. Reisman > Subject: Feminism and the JO article > > > In a previous posting of mine to Bais Tefilla, I commented > that both Bat > Sheva Marcus and Susan Hornstien indicated that they had been > quoted out > of context in the Jewish Observer Article on the Feminism and > Orthodoxy > Conference. Our distinguished moderator, R. Bechhoffer > suggested that I > ask them to indicate how they were misquoted. Bat Sheva Marcus > has asked me to post the following response: > > Subject: Re: Feminism and JO article from Bais Tefilla > Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 22:05:18 EDT > From: BJMARCUS@aol.com > > In the Observer article immediately following the First International > Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, my quote suggesting in no > uncertain > terms that Orthodox shuls should "Get rid of the balconies" > was clearly > framed > in a context which suggested that I meant to get rid of mechitzot > altogether. > Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a staunch advocate of > mechitzot, > but I feel strongly that they have to be constructed in such > a way as to > give > women a sense of being part of the Kahal and not merely spectators... Bat Sheva Marcus > Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is the halachic status of the area behind the mechitza ("the women's section")? Is it part of the shul but separate (separate but equal), or is it considered outside of the shul (= room in which a tzibbur is davening). Are there any ramifications this type of distinction might indicate - for example, a ruach ra sheyesh lo ikkar (maybe a soiled diaper) behind a mechitza? A man in the women's section? Others? If it turns out that the mechitza separates the women from the men, then I can understand a distinction between a balcony and a non-balcony separation. If, however, the mechitza excludes what is on the other side of it from the shul, then what is gained by lowering the balcony (other then the sensation that one is part of something when in reality he/she/it is not)? Avi Pechman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-ID: <000e01bdaa7b$060f3080$4a9efbd0@default> From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" To: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" Cc: "Highlevel Torah topics discussion group" Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 10:16:37 -0400 Bat Sheva Marcus's posting was received. As you will notice from my package, we took the quote straight from the New York Jewish Week. If Ms. Marcus was quoted out of context there, and we had seen a letter to the editor to that effect, we would not have run the quote. However, we did not see a letter, so we assumed she had no complaints. Avi Weiss had the same complaint with us, that we took a misquote from another newspaper. However, once again, we saw no clarifying letter. In 1988, Rabbi Norman Lamm was quoted by the New York Times about Conservative and Reform being "valid groupings." Anyone who read the original speech, as reprinted in Moment magazine, would have known that he was not referring to legitimacy, but viability. However, once again, there was no clarifying letter to the New York Times. In each case, however, when the Jewish Observer picked up the quote, we were criticizied. Thank you again for your interest. Levi Reisman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu Message-Id: <9807088999.AA899908884@smtplink.mssm.edu> Date: Wed, 08 Jul 98 10:35:02 -0500 To: Subject: Re[2]: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posti Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="simple boundary" --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Description: "cc:Mail Note Part" _______________________________________________________________________________ Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting From: at SMTP-for-MSSM Date: 7/8/98 10:16 AM Bat Sheva Marcus's posting was received. As you will notice from my package, we took the quote straight from the New York Jewish Week. If Ms. Marcus was quoted out of context there, and we had seen a letter to the editor to that effect, we would not have run the quote. However, we did not see a letter, so we assumed she had no complaints. Avi Weiss had the same complaint with us, that we took a misquote from another newspaper. However, once again, we saw no clarifying letter. In 1988, Rabbi Norman Lamm was quoted by the New York Times about Conservative and Reform being "valid groupings." Anyone who read the original speech, as reprinted in Moment magazine, would have known that he was not referring to legitimacy, but viability. However, once again, there was no clarifying letter to the New York Times. In each case, however, when the Jewish Observer picked up the quote, we were criticizied. Thank you again for your interest. Levi Reisman --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; name="RFC822.TXT" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RFC822.TXT" Received: from shamash3.shamash.org by smtplink.mssm.edu (ccMail Link to SMTP R8.10.00) ; Wed, 08 Jul 98 10:11:14 -0500 Return-Path: Received: (qmail 20523 invoked from network); 8 Jul 1998 14:06:59 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 8 Jul 1998 14:06:59 -0000 Return-Path: Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 20474 invoked from network); 8 Jul 1998 14:06:51 -0000 Received: from smtp.email.msn.com (HELO UPIMSSMTPUSR06) (207.68.143.178) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 8 Jul 1998 14:06:51 -0000 Received: from default - 208.251.158.74 by email.msn.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC; Wed, 8 Jul 1998 07:03:13 -0700 Message-ID: <000e01bdaa7b$060f3080$4a9efbd0@default> From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" To: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" Cc: "Highlevel Torah topics discussion group" Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 10:16:37 -0400 X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.2106.4 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4 Return-Path: LMReisman@email.msn.com Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN --simple boundary-- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-ID: <35A39220.BD4023D0@netmedia.net.il> Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 18:37:04 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Feminism and the Balcony Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer wrote: > In a previous posting of mine to Bais Tefilla, I commented that both Bat > Sheva Marcus and Susan Hornstien indicated that they had been quoted out > of context in the Jewish Observer Article on the Feminism and Orthodoxy > Conference. Our distinguished moderator, R. Bechhoffer suggested that I > ask them to indicate how they were misquoted. Bat Sheva Marcus > has asked me to post the following response: > > Subject: Re: Feminism and JO article from Bais Tefilla > Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 22:05:18 EDT > From: BJMARCUS@aol.com > > In the Observer article immediately following the First International > Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, my quote suggesting in no > uncertain terms that Orthodox shuls should "Get rid of the balconies" was > clearly > framed in a context which suggested that I meant to get rid of mechitzot > altogether. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a staunch > advocate of > mechitzot, but I feel strongly that they have to be constructed in such a > way as to > give women a sense of being part of the Kahal and not merely spectators. I > > have an aversion to balconies even though they improve the sightline of > many > women, because I believe that they send out the message that women are not > part > of the kahal but watching the tefillot as they unfold. Can you ever > imagine > men in an Orthodox shul sitting in a balcony? However, without question, > someone reading the article out of context would have concluded that the > Orthodox Feminist were suggesting doing away with mechitzot. And that is > simply > not my, (or anyone else involved in the conferece that I am aware of,) > agenda. > > Thanks. Bat Sheva Marcus Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe O.H. II #43 page 230) deals specifically with the validity of moving the Ezras Nashim from the balcony to behind a mechitza on the same floor. He notes that even though a mechitza is clearly valid - the balcony is preferrable..."therefore even though it is not ossur nevertheless since the shul already has a balcony for all the women that wish to be in the shul and that this has been the situation up till now - it should not be changed to a mechitza. In particular when it is obvious that the [desire] for change is they wish to denigrate the issue of mechitza and they start with a minor thing and they will remove the mechitza itself until they actually sit in mixed seating. And this is the manner of the advice of the Yetzer HaRah...Therefore Yirei Shamayim should protest the change. And this that the women claim that it is difficult to climb up to the balcony - is a weak claim ... but it is because of the denigration of Mechitzos and the desire to change the minhag of Yisroel Kedoshim. Therefore it is necessary to protest not to change and in the zechus of the sanctity of the shul they will be blessed from Heaven. However as regards the Rav - if he does his best and is not successful and it becomes an issue of his losing his position (parnosa) there is no obligation [to lose it] because the Mechitza is valid according to Din." This position is similar to his view of women's prayer groups - where the motivation is paramount. Daniel Eidensohn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:23:22 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Merger in the Works? Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Just to let you all know, another member of our group and I are exploring the possibility of merging our group with another one of similar membership and parameters. Aside from eliminating redundancy, there are other advantages to this merger, and, if all goes well, iy"H, I will let you know more ASAP. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer c/o Shani Bechhofer sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-Id: <199807081740.NAA14433@dvqa1.nyc.deshaw.com> Subject: Science and Halachah To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 13:40:09 -0400 (EDT) From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I've mentioned to the list before that Rav Dovid Lifshitz felt that bugs found inside meat are kosher -- even though the rationale given in the gemara is based on a belief in abiogenesis. The reason being that these bugs are only treif once they are visibly large. There are two causes that made visibly large bugs: their eggs, and the meat they ate since they hatched. The eggs, being invisibly small, have no halachic mamashus, so the only goreim as far as halachah is concerned is the meat. When I posted this discussion on soc.culture.jewish, it was noted that Rav Kook would not rely on ascientific s'varos lihakeil. So, in this case he was machmir, and considered the maggots treif. Interestingly, and possibly relevant, Scientific American in the late 80s compared intuitive physics -- how people assume objects behave -- and Aristotelian physics. The two are nearly identical. I said it may be relevant in that the science they based halachah on, even if wrong, does describe the world the way most people expect it to behave. OTOH, the halachic process is never (rarely?) ta'am based. The reason given for a p'sak is at most reverse engineering -- a guess as to why the halachah is a given way. If the science is wrong, that could merely mean the reason they gave is false, however, the din they were trying to explain is untouched. -mi -- Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5859 days! micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 8-Jul-98) For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 12:53:56 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: More Info on Merger Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII The list we would merge with is "avodah" from aishdas.org (BTW, for those of you who write me directly, I have an address at aishdas that might be eaiser to use: ygb@aishdas.org). Here's the information about the list as it was constituted until now: The avodah mailing list hosts a discussion of hashkafah (Jewish philosophy), ta'amei hamitzvos (reasons for mitzvos) and the meaning of words of prayer -- the places where halachah (Jewish practice) and philosophy meet. Through this discussion we hope to foster greater thought and emotion in our performance of Orthodox Jewish practice and prayer. The focus would be loosened to address baistefila's needs. Avodah has 88 subscribers, with significant overlap (roughly 2/3) with baistefila's membership. The remaining third are all Orthodox or sympathetic to Orthodoxy. The average education level may be a tad lower on avodah, although time has shown these people to be readers, and not contributors. Nor are we talking (with one or two exceptions) of people who can't follow the jargon. The level of conversation on the list would not need to change to accomodate a merger. The listowner is Reb Micha Berger, a frequent contributor to our deliberations - who, I might add, is far more computer (Internet and Web) savvy than me (we are talking about light years of difference here). YGB ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: R. Moshe on Feminism and the Balcony Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 14:30:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit D. Eidensohn writes: > Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe O.H. II #43 page 230) deals specifically with the >validity of moving the Ezras Nashim from the balcony to behind a mechitza on >the same floor. He notes that even though a mechitza is clearly valid - the >balcony is preferrable..."therefore even though it is not ossur nevertheless >since the shul already has a balcony for all the women that wish to be in >the shul and that this has been the situation up till now - it should not be >changed to a mechitza. In particular when it is obvious that the [desire] >for change is they wish to denigrate the issue of mechitza and they start >with a minor thing and they will remove the mechitza itself until they >actually sit in mixed seating. And this is the manner of the advice of the >Yetzer HaRah... This is an important teshuvah and like most teshuvot, it was written in response to a specific question from a specific person in a specific circumstance. The question was from Baruch Litvin, who lived in St. Clemens, Michigan. The year of the teshuvah was 1959. Mr. Litvin belonged to an Orthodox shul which decided to take down the mechitzah (a common decision in American shuls at that time). Litvin sued in court to prevent the removal of the mechitzah and won. He elicited responses from Gedolim all over the world attesting to the fact that a mechitzah is required according to Halakhah. These (along with the legal papers from the court case) are collected in a book entitled Sanctity of the Synagogue, reissued recently by Ktav. Given this background, I believe it is easier to understand why R. Moshe regards the desire to move the ezrat nashim as a subtle move toward abandoning mechitzah altogether. It goes without saying that Orthodox shuls today are no longer moving to adopt mixed seating or join the Conservative movement. Indeed, a charitable interpretation of Ms. Marcus' remarks suggests that she would like women to be closer to the shaliach tzibbur and the kre'iah, out of a desire to take davening seriously, rather than treating shul as a social experience. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 From: Message-ID: <90cf379b.35a3f1bd@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 18:24:59 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-08 10:07:04 EDT, you write: << As you will notice from my package, we took the quote straight from the New York Jewish Week. If Ms. Marcus was quoted out of context there, and we had seen a letter to the editor to that effect, we would not have run the quote. >> Although the Jewish Week may have misquoted her, it is standard journalistic practice NOT to share quotes. Transcripts of a speech are fair game, but a quote is given to a newspaper and an interviewee has the right to give new quotes to new articles. The rationale for this convention is that it allows for greater clarity, as different articles have different angles. Had you quoted BatSheva Marcus directly, you would have had a clearer conception of her agenda (not that you would have agreed, nor should you have, but it would have been fair practice). Brigitte Dayan ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 19:58:32 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807082358.TAA06265@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: RE: Heter of Chafetz Chayiim for Torah Cc: C-Maryles@neiu.edu, duker@ymail.yu.edu I recently posted the heter of the chafetz chaiim for girls to learn torah >>The gmarrah doesn't see torah as intrinsically posol but rather >> is concerned that if girls are exposed to logic they will use it >>for "physical ends"...the chafetz chaiim points out that since girls >>are exposed to logic in their basic secular schooling the issur no longer >>exists and they are permitted to learn. Cheryl asks me to either cite an explicit source that gmarrah too is included or admit its my heter based mistakingly based on the chafetz chaiim I will do neither. I do not give a heter for girls to learn gmarrah and I retract my explicit statement that the chafetz chaiim explicitly included gmarrah. HOWEVER I do insist that the above was his reasoning(As often happens reasons get omitted from discussions of halachah if the authorities are prestegious enough..unfortunately the gmarrah says that a person who learns mishnah (=paskins) without gmarrah(=reason?) destroys the world...I am not claiming that the world is being destroyed...really, all I want to do is enlighten people as to the reason...thats all) In my opinion however (impoverished from sources!!) a female Phd candidate in science or law would be so exposed to logic as to nullify the gmarrahs reason for prohibiting gmarrah and hence SHE (phd female) should be permitted to learn gmarrah. I would be surprised if Rav Moshe would disagree here (actually nothing surprises me) Anyway..I brought this up so we can have a discussion and I think the thread should now be: What is the prohibition for a female phd from learning gmarrah? Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 20:37:58 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807090037.UAA06681@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, yherczeg@netmedia.net.il Subject: Re: Bin or Ben Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Excellent question (translation: I don't have an answer)--why it is Avner Ben Ner vss Avner Bin Ner. All I can say is that since I started this I will take my Konkordance and look at all examples and come back with a modified theory.(For one thing I want a list of all Mileyl words after Ben) Give me a week or two Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121 Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 20:45:45 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807090045.UAA06830@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, dis203@is8.nyu.edu Subject: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer Cc: cbrown106@juno.com, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Rav Hirsch (I forget where) asks about two periods in history when Miracles were very prevalent: Yetziath Mitzrayim The miracles of Elijah during the Achav Period Rav Hirsch continues that in a time of great Toomah/confusion/anti-semitism people need Chizuck and God provided them with miracles even though that is not His usual method. But the norm is a "non miracle" approach. Two other highly relevant sources to "non miracles" are * The God-Elijah confrontation: God is not found in great fires, winds...but only in small hushed tones * The controversy in the Gmarrah on the man who grew breasts to feed his son (was he great because of the miracle or not great because he troubled God to violate nature) Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_121-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__899956865449978432-- From baistefila@shamash.org Thu Jul 9 19:48:44 1998 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 19:48:41 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 122 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900028121450014060" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900028121450014060 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 122 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) avodah-digest by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) 2) Re: avodah-digest by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 3) (no subject) by Eli Turkel 4) (no subject) by Eli Turkel 5) Hazon Ish on Talmudic period shiurim by Shalom Carmy 6) Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting by "Steve. Katz" 7) Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures by Michael Frankel 8) Rambam's position on shinui tevoh by Michael Frankel 9) Re: Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures by cbrown@bestware.com 10) Re: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer by cbrown@bestware.com 11) Re: Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures by 12) Secularism and the Enlightenment by Daniel Eidensohn 13) Re: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer by Cheryl Maryles 14) Re: emunas chachamim and science by cbrown@bestware.com 15) RE: Secularism and the Enlightenment by "Clark, Eli" 16) Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah by Heather/Chana Luntz 17) Re: Feminism and the JO article by Heather/Chana Luntz 18) Re[2]: Feminism and the JO article by meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu 19) Mechitzos and Tefila Bitzibur by Harry Maryles 20) Re: emunas chachamim and science by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900028121450014060 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_122" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-Id: <199807090423.XAA16231@atlas.host4u.net> Subject: avodah-digest To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 23:23:15 -0500 (CDT) From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) Content-Type: text As all of you may have noticed, I prematurely subscribed everyone on this list to avodah-digest. R' YGB and I were discussing the possibility of moving this list to my server, and I thought I was only testing the script that would do so. The two people who unsubscribed from avodah-digest would probably want to rejoin, so that you can be with us even after the move occurs. -mi -- Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5859 days! micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 8-Jul-98) For a mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah its light. http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 05:56:02 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: avodah-digest Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII So there won't be any misunderstanding - as I was already queried on the topic by a member of the group - there will be the same free choice of digests or individual posts after the merger. Just as in baistefila, however, the default will be digests. Members can then either switch themselves, or ask to be switched, to individual posts. YGB On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Micha Berger wrote: > As all of you may have noticed, I prematurely subscribed everyone on this > list to avodah-digest. R' YGB and I were discussing the possibility of moving > this list to my server, and I thought I was only testing the script that > would do so. > > The two people who unsubscribed from avodah-digest would probably want > to rejoin, so that you can be with us even after the move occurs. > > -mi > > -- > Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5859 days! > micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 8-Jul-98) > For a mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah its light. > http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed > > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: Eli Turkel Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 09:50:45 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <199807091350.JAA00566@moray-f.icase.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: science & Halakha R. Eidensohn asked for some sources. Some references are: Mictab Me-Eliyahi part IV p355 Hazon Ish Even Ezer Nashim 22:3, Yoreh Deah 5:3, Choshen Mishpat Nezkim 11:1 & 8:1 Igros Moshe Even Ezer 2-3 Michat Yitzchak 4:123-5 Rivash 346 Tzitz Eliezer 13:104 Assia 5: 185-209 (Dov Frimer) Chacham Tzvi 74-78 Crsei u-plesi 2-4 For secondary sources there are: The book of R. Neriah Gutel "Hishtanut hatevim bahalakha" (machon yachdav 5755). This also has an extensive set of "comments" from R. Nechemia Zalman Goldberg A lengthy article in the encylopedia on Halakhah and Refuah by Rabbi Dr. Steinberg (both in hebrew). There are also articles in BDD (Bar Ilan) #4 by Dr. Low (lev) in Hebrew and Dr. Sternberg in English. There is also an article in the latest techumim demonstrating that Rambam (in Moreh Nevuchim) did not beleive in changes in nature even though Chazon Ish assumes that Rambam did hold of this concept. As to Eidensohn's main point I completely agree that Rav Moshe Feinstein rarely gave general principles and usually gave a psak for an individual case. As such it is hard to generalize to new cases. In fact R. Gutel attempts to give general rules when one can apply hishtanut hateva but it is doubtful how successful he is. Dr. Lev in his article gives the rule that I quoted (p84) that anything almost everything that is not learned from an explicit verse and is not a halacha from Moshe at Sinai but is learned from logic oe asmachta can be changed accoprding to the scientific knowledge of the generation (based on rashbash 513: the third reason). I also left off some topics in my original list. 1. blood typing - The Gemara states that blood is inherited from the mother. As such one should not be able to use blood tests to establish (or at list disprove) paternity. In fact a number of poskim including the Tzitz Eliezer hold such a position. In opposition I bring a quote from a letter R Herzog to R. Unterman (from the article of Sternberg) " I cannot hide the fact that I am almost ashamed and embarrased by your (the questionner who disallowed paternity testing based on blood testing) derogatory attitude toward the use of blood testing to negate paternity, that is, to prove that this is not the son of that person. What possible relevance is there to talk about the reliability of doctors in matters that is accepted as a clear cut fact by all the leading medical authorities in the world. Our sages never said that they received as a revealed law that ... and there could not have been such a revelation since it is now absolutely clear that this is not so. It is true that they accepted as true and built halakhot on this assumption, since Aristotle declared it to be so and it was accepted as true by all the philosophers in the world. But look at the huge difference between the medical knowledge in their time and in ours! And at the communication that exists today between all parts of the globe; it is as if we live in one town in comparison to what existed in those times ... It is a shame that while science conquers new worlds and uncovers hidden secrets, even though it may fall into error on occasion, our attitude towards science as it applies to our Holy Torah is like the well known bird who hides its head in the sand ... BTW I have heard that Rav Eliashiv also distinguishes between accepted facts in the medical world which must be accepted and the opinions of individual doctors which are not always accepted. 2. A woman needs a "hargasha" before becoming Niddah from the Torah. Today women do seem to feel any special sensation. (The exact definition of "hargasha" is controversial). 3. Treifa for a person is different than for an animal. In particular while Treifot for an animal are not affected by medical science treifot for a person can be affected. 4. Of course the famous disagreement over the size of shiurim. Chazon Ish held that these shiurim constantly change and are fized only relative to each other but otherwise change in each generation. Many others disagree with this opinion. Greenfield (Moriah Tamuz 5742) shows that if one mesaures the thumb by its thickness rather than its length which shortens it by 25% then all the problems disappear. As an aside Chazon Ish writes that halakha is determined by what was the situation at the time of hazal even though nature has changed since (possibly before) then. It is not clear on what basis this time is special. Rav Feinstein seems to say that the special time is what was nature at the time of the receiving of the Torah. I don't think there are any practical differences between them. R. Steinberg in his encylopedia indicates that Hazon Ish believed that that this changes actually occured and are not just halakhic distinctions to answer a difficulty. Scientifically it is difficult to justify how the human anatomy changed over two thousand years. Did this happen gradually, overnight? Only to jews or also in China and to the American Indians? Eli Turkel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: Eli Turkel Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 10:18:20 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <199807091418.KAA00575@moray-f.icase.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: secular learning R. Bechhofer writes: >> where he (Rav Soloveitchik) forcefully and eloquently described Torah >> and Secular Knowledge as a "Ramasayim Tzofim" - two towering peaks that face >> each other, with the students of Yesh. R' Yitzchok Elchonon building bridges >> between the two.The tape is awesome, but I was bothered afterwards by how the >> Rav could ascribe so much significance to Secular Knowledge - far more than >> the "rakachus v'tabachus" approach of Torah im Derech Eretz. But, lefi >> devareinu, yesh lomar that the great secular scholar toiling in his field and>> achieving great heights, has a validity and significance that is equivalent >> from his perspective, although technically barred legitimacy from ours, and >> the rest is obvious Rav Soloveitchik said numerous times that there is a "mitzva" to expand our knowledge and control of the world becuase of "ve-kibashkto". Much of the Torah world is anti-secular because of recent Jewish history. However, Chazal and certainly most rishonim has admiration for secular achievements. In the argument about the achievements of the Romans Rebbi Yehudah praised the Roman government for building roads etc. Even Rebbi Shimon disagreed only for political reasons, that the Romans built the roads only for their own benefit. However, he would have admitted that it was great had he thought the roads were built for the benefit of the local population. Of course in the middle ages many rishonim were comfortable with secular knowledge, philosophy, mathematics etc and used it both in their professions and in halakhah. It was mainly due to the Jewish stay in eastern Europe living with a peasant population that many rabbis developed a anti-secular position. Of course this was based on earlier traditions. Thus, for example the Rosh was not in favor of philosophy. Recently I read that several of his descendants, in Spain, became proficient in philosophy. However, the present status in many communities is to denigrate those who do anything besides learning Torah. Fir example, in Israel, the debate is not just about hareidim serving in the army but more fundamentally that there is no appreciation for those that do serve and protect the country. If they are not learning they are unimportant. My son-in-law recently did reserve duty guarding the city of kiryat sefer. For shabbat he got time off to go into town and daven and eat there. In talking to people there he found out that many residents didn't even know that there was an army outpost guarding the city. Living in the west bank they hadn't the vaguest idea of what was involved in protecting the city and certainly little appreciation. We live in a generation in which we take for granted refigerators etc. and even computers that allow international email. Of course there are all the advances in medicine, engineering and basic science. I find it difficult to remove legitimacy from all these disciplines and to say that only those who learn Torah full time count. Of course reward in the world to come depends on spiritual deeds and not material deeds. Nevertheless, I feel much is lost due to the fact that few combine Torah with an outside profession. The fact that Hazal almost always worked as did most rishonim gave them a different perspective on life. I am convinced that Rabbi Yehoshua looked at life differently because he was a smith. He even castigated Rabbi Gamliel for not knowing what the other rabbis did for a living. Today many Roshei yeshiva are completely cut off from the world outside of the yeshiva. I remember reading a while ago an interview with a member of the Israeli party Shas. He was asked what Rav Ovadiah Yosef thought about the war in Bosnia. He answered that Rav Yosef had no idea what Bosnia was. This is even for Rav Yosef who is one of the more involved rabbis. Thus, unless we grant the secular world legitimacy in some sense we are forced to denigrate those that give us the tools to work and live with. Returning to my other issue of science and halakhah Sternberg in his article points out a correlation between secular knowledge and psak. Those without any contact with the outside world are more likely to state that statements in the gemara outweigh modern medicine. Those with a secular eductaion are unlikely to dismiss modern science so easily. Eli Turkel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 11:36:40 -0400 (EDT) From: Shalom Carmy To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Hazon Ish on Talmudic period shiurim Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII To the best of my recollection, Hazon Ish's argument that Halakha privileges shiurim ascertained during period of Hazal is connected to the Gemara which defines the "second 2,000 years" of creation as the period of Torah. He takes this to imply that the Rabbinic period is determinative for Torah categories. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: <35A4D817.2CE8@sprintmail.com> Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 09:47:51 -0500 From: "Steve. Katz" MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article: Bat Sheva Marcus's posting Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit DAHLIA2@aol.com wrote: > > In a message dated 98-07-08 10:07:04 EDT, you write: > > << As you will notice from my > package, we took the quote straight from the New York Jewish Week. If Ms. > Marcus was quoted out of context there, and we had seen a letter to the > editor to that effect, we would not have run the quote. >> > Although the Jewish Week may have misquoted her, it is standard journalistic > practice NOT to share quotes. Transcripts of a speech are fair game, but a > quote is given to a newspaper and an interviewee has the right to give new > quotes to new articles. The rationale for this convention is that it allows > for greater clarity, as different articles have different angles. Had you > quoted BatSheva Marcus directly, you would have had a clearer conception of > her agenda (not that you would have agreed, nor should you have, but it would > have been fair practice). > Brigitte Dayan kol hakovoud, brigitte steve katz ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 18:59:21 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT While the rambam's opposition to astrology is well known, perhaps not as well is known is that he also disputed the efficacy of the so called "cures" contained in hizqiyoh's sefer. Rambam rejected the notion that any real cures would possibly have been withheld (contra the usual explanation of the genizoh so that people wouln't place their trust in medicines rather than God) from people who, after all, are advised to seek medical help when needed. Hizqiyoh's sefer was rather held by the rambam to contain magical cures, which didn't necessarily work - or weren't meant to be actually used by real sick people, rather they indicated areas where people ought to concentrate their studies - a topical research guide. When people ignored its true function and actually started to utilize it for practical cures, presumably with no success and abandoning "good medicine" in the process for something with no therapeutic value, it was nignaz. There seem to be three eras of attitude towards the talmudic cures. 1. towards the end of gaonic times R. Sherira's matter of fact assertion that chazal were not doctors, and their words -the talmudic cures - are not a mitzvoh or matter of qabboloh, they merely reflected the best medical knowledge of the day, and one should take care to consult with the best (modern) doctors available, and only use those talmudic suggestions which the doctors feel will not bring any harm. 2. While r. sherira advises us to consult with doctors to avoid those particular talmudic cures which may not work - implying that perhaps many others do fine, Tosephos already flatly asserts the medicines in the shas simply don't work in these days. 3. A last stage assumes the existence of an actual issur against using talmudic cures - to prevent la'ag on chazal when they don't work for whatever reason. This last reason, la'ag of chakhomim, also contains an obvious loophole, excluding a ban on cures which will not bring down such la'ag. D. Eidensohn's quote already noted one such exception: >All medical treatments and incantations from the Talmud is prohibited >to try because we don't properly understand them and it will lead to ridicule >of us and Chazal - except that which is stated in Shabbos concerning one who >has a bone in his throat - this is thoroughly tested and reliable.. i.e. we have a loophole for those cures which do in fact work. (though perhaps these too should nowadays be assur for the original rationale) However another means of exploiting the no-la'ag loophole also exists. And that occurs when chazal could not be fingered with the blame for the cure's non-efficacy. Thus shulchon aruch O"H 4:2, where the cure for a facial skin problem lies in washing well with appropriate lotion. A suggestion for the SA's inclusion despite the ban on talmudic cures is that chazal couldn't be blamed for failure, because one may always taineh that the patient didn't wash well enough. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 18:59:33 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Rambam's position on shinui tevoh To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT In a previous posting where I mentioned en passant that rambam was one of those posiqim who reject the notion of histanus hatevoh, C. Brown rightly notes that (speaking of the chazone ish) >He interestingly uses the Rambam (who you say rejects nishtana hateva) in peirush hamishnayot to justify.. I'm afraid that I've been guilty of providing only the side of an ongoing argument that I happen to agree with. This is embarrassing if only because I occasionally whine about the lack of either scholarship or honesty (though generally politely I hope) on the part of those who neglect to mention other opinions which do not conform to current RC understandings -as all too frequently occurs in hashqofic discussions, another reason I generally try to avoid involvement in such. Having been fingered here however, R. Brown is quite correct in supposing that chazone ish held such an opinion, as did others. Thus another big gun, chasam sofer responsa Y"D, 101, (if we model hisdardirus hadoros with a gradient scale length of a century, I should probably refer to chasam sofer as a howitzer) explicitly assumes that rambam holds shinui hatevoh. Also R. Gutel, author of the recent sefer on the subject assumes such as well, though with the twist that he claims rambam only held from "gradual" shinuim (with no guidance on what "gradual" might be, which also is fraught other difficulties). On the other hand the rambam in the Moreh explicitly states that the nature of man has not/will not change - which could I suppose be interpreted as referring to spiritual nature alone (I think not for other reasons but loa zu ha'maqom). Since the first post-talmudic deployment of shinui tevah within a halakhic context is by tosephos, i.e. after rambam's time, we all have to infer what it is he would have held in a rubber meets the road instance. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663C:00645F5A.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 14:34:27 -0400 Subject: Re: Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Just for the record, Chazon Ish also discusses this Rambam rasied by M.B. in Emunah U'Bitachon (I think it is at the end of section 3 - I'm at work and don't have a copy). The issue revolves around the Rambam's unconditionally accepting medicine as the cure for ills - are we all bound to the laws of nature/teva? I would say the answer is Yes, at least for the Rambam. R' Dessler attempts to read the Rambam as advocating medicine for those of us (the majority of humankind!) who are unable to wholly rise to a level of emunah that would place us in Hashem's hands and worthy of miraculous super-natural help. The context of the Rambam makes this reading difficult. Chazon Ish is more blunt - he rejects the Rambam's position outright. See also Ramban on rapoh yerapeh. I recently saw noted by the G"RA "rapoh yerapeh" is a heter for the rofeh, but not for the ill person, who is bound to place his/her trust in Hashem. In the "Ma'ashe Rav" with R' Shernbruch's notes he immediatly limits this to only tzaddikim of the highest order, similar to R' Dessler. This carries us to a new thread unrelated to psak on the persobal level. Is teva an absolute entity (Rambam), proportional to the level of emunah (R' Dessler, Chazon Ish), or perhaps non-existant (see Ramban, also Ramban end of P' Bo, though whether this is Ramban's position can be debated). -Chaim ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663C:0052A52E.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 14:34:55 -0400 Subject: Re: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii The constant repitition of the "zecher l'yetziat Mitzrayim" motif may be interpreted as basing all avodah on this miraculous event. Of note is the Ramban at the end of P' Bo who seems to make this very point. R' Hirsch seems to be addressing the question of why miracles occur in certain periods of history rather then on a regular basis. (Question: is there a dor in more need of chizuk then ours? Why no miracles? - a different thread for discussion). Hirsch is concerned with the historical context of miracles rather then their meaning or source of inspiration in an eternal way as a basis for faith. I tend to agree (I always knew we would eventually agree on something :-)) with R' Hendell, but would make the case in a different way. I would argue miracles have no meaning as an end in themselves in Judaism; they always serve some higher aim, such as law (mattan Torah), freedom (yetziat Mitzrayim), faith (Eliyahu), etc. In other religions miracles are a form of revelation as ends in themselves to demonstrate the existance of their god. The Ramban is consistant with my point. -C.B. Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org, dis203 @ is8.nyu.edu cc: cbrown106 @ juno.com, rhendel @ mcs.drexel.edu Subject: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer Rav Hirsch (I forget where) asks about two periods in history when Miracles were very prevalent: Yetziath Mitzrayim The miracles of Elijah during the Achav Period Rav Hirsch continues that in a time of great Toomah/confusion/anti- semitism people need Chizuck and God provided them with miracles even though that is not His usual method. But the norm is a "non miracle" approach. Two other highly relevant sources to "non miracles" are * The God-Elijah confrontation: God is not found in great fires, winds...but only in small hushed tones * The controversy in the Gmarrah on the man who grew breasts to feed his son (was he great because of the miracle or not great because he troubled God to violate nature) Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: Message-ID: <214005ad.35a518c9@aol.com> Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:23:52 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Hizqiyoh, Talmudic Cures Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-09 14:41:23 EDT, you write: << This carries us to a new thread unrelated to psak on the persobal level. Is teva an absolute entity (Rambam), proportional to the level of emunah (R' Dessler, Chazon Ish), or perhaps non-existant (see Ramban, also Ramban end of P' Bo, though whether this is Ramban's position can be debated). -Chaim >> This is consistent, I think, with R' Dessler's position (as I remember it) that our level of hishtadlut in earning a living is inversely proportional to our level of emuna(ie a true maamin would only need to buy a lottery ticket to qualify as needed hishtadlut) Kol Tuv Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: <35A51AE9.A6093230@netmedia.net.il> Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 22:32:57 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Secularism and the Enlightenment Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Eli Turkel wrote: > Subject: secular learning > > R. Bechhofer writes: > > >> where he (Rav Soloveitchik) forcefully and eloquently described Torah > >> and Secular Knowledge as a "Ramasayim Tzofim" - two towering peaks that face > >> each other, with the students of Yesh. R' Yitzchok Elchonon building bridges > >> between the two.The tape is awesome, but I was bothered afterwards by how the > >> Rav could ascribe so much significance to Secular Knowledge - far more than > >> the "rakachus v'tabachus" approach of Torah im Derech Eretz. But, lefi > >> devareinu, yesh lomar that the great secular scholar toiling in his field and>> achieving great heights, has a validity and significance that is equivalent > >> from his perspective, although technically barred legitimacy from ours, and > >> the rest is obvious > > Rav Soloveitchik said numerous times that there is a "mitzva" to expand > our knowledge and control of the world becuase of "ve-kibashkto". > Much of the Torah world is anti-secular because of recent Jewish history. > However, Chazal and certainly most rishonim has admiration for secular > achievements. > Your sources and clarification were much appreciated. I am interested in clarifying the source(s) of the anti-secular. Aaron Marcus's book on Chasidim claims that the Bal Shem was responsible for saving Judaism from the Secular (Greek) threat. In contrast, he claims that the Litvaks - especially the Gra - were strongly influenced by secular knowledge including philosophy. Prof Etkes in his recent book on the Gra indicates that it was a common Chassidic approach to link the Litvaks and the secular (especially as Maskilim). Is it true then that the Enlightenment forced Jews to chose between secular and religious authority for the first time and that those who chose secular authority tended to be lost to assimilation while those who chose religious tended to remain in the fold? Previously in Spain it was possible to utilize both while there the choice was to be Jewish or Christian. In the Ashkenazic countries there was little exposure to Science and Jews lived separated from the non Jews and thus there was no alternative to being religious. Any information would be appreciated. Daniel Eidensohn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:28:04 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: :ubject Why the fuss on miracles in Yetziath Mitzraim: Rav Hirsch Answer Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Thu, 9 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > (Question: is there a > dor in more need of chizuk then ours? Why no miracles? - a different > thread for discussion). Two quick points: 1. See Rabbi Aryeh Kaplans book "if you were God" for an interesting look at what miracles accomplish and why we don't have them. 2. As far as the talmudic cures issue I find it difficult to judge if they are effective because we don't have a clear definition of what many of the ingrediants were, how they were mixed, in what quantity, exactly how they were applied and we don't know what precise illness they were used to cure. To add in another dimension maybe they worked because the ill person had emunas chacmin (a radical thought for many of our group who are scientifically and rationalists inclined) and we all agree it's Hashem who cures not the medicine. Furthermore, I find it hard to say that none of the cures were effective since the gemara brings maasim which describe how they work. What I might suggest, that like many aggagatas the outline is provided in the gemara whereas the true meaning is hidden, so too with the cures-the outline is in the gemara but the precise application of the cures was known by the people of the time and not included in shas. After all-who said shas was a medical journal. So although the general outline of the medicines were included in shas and thus remembered, the precise applications were forgotten because of the hardships of galus. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663C:00718D36.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 17:00:44 -0400 Subject: Re: emunas chachamim and science Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii >>>2. As far as the talmudic cures issue I find it difficult to judge if they are effective because we don't have a clear definition of what many of the ingrediants were, how they were mixed, in what quantity, exactly how they were applied and we don't know what precise illness they were used to cure. To add in another dimension maybe they worked because the ill person had emunas chacmin (a radical thought for many of our group who are scientifically and rationalists inclined) and we all agree it's Hashem who cures not the medicine. <<< Not radical, just requiring of a leap of faith in a concept that lacks sources or evidence. Would you assert that the refuot of Chazal did not work on non-Jews? What about Shotim and children who were not up to such a high level of faith? If you say no, please provide a source! Re: emunas chachamim - What exactly must I believe? When I go to the doctor I exercise belief - I beleive he is trained, that he will do his best to cure me, and that he has a knowledge of medicine. My belief in my doctor COMPLEMENTS my belief that without G-d's help his knowledge, skill. and training will not be effective. Please define what else someone in the times of Chazal had to believe under your "emunas chachamim" model. If it is the belief in the chacham's power as a mystical entity divorced from the cure at hand, then the ingredients, proportions, etc. should be meaningless, which contadicts what you write below. Lo HaNachash meimis, ela haCheit demands the parallel assertion that the nachash hanechoshet has no INTRINSIC value except as a vehicle to direct one's gaze Heavenward . If one accepts a function of teva as an independent force then other tools of teva work and medicine has the INTRINSIC property of curing illness. The Rambam seems clearly add odds with your formulation. -Chaim >>>the outline is in the gemara but the precise application of the cures was known by the people of the time and not included in shas. After all-who said shas was a medical journal. So although the general outline of the medicines were included in shas and thus remembered, the precise applications were forgotten because of the hardships of galus.<<< ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: Secularism and the Enlightenment Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 17:23:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Daniel Eidensohn writes: > Is it true then >that the Enlightenment forced Jews to chose between secular and >religious authority for the first time and that those who chose secular >authority tended to be lost to assimilation while those who chose >religious tended to remain in the fold? Previously in Spain it was >possible to utilize both while there the choice was to be Jewish or >Christian. In the Ashkenazic countries there was little exposure to >Science and Jews lived separated from the non Jews and thus there was >no alternative to being religious. Any information would be appreciated. There is no question that the Haskalah (there was really more than one, but that is not relevant to our discussion) made a substantial impact on Askenazic Jewry. But I do not believe that it represented a fundamental change in the way that Jews related to secular culture. If one looks at pre-Haskalah Jewish history, a clear pattern emerges. When Jews lived in tolerant societies, their interaction with their non-Jewish neighbors was quantitatively and qualitatively more substantial. As a result, they had more exposure to secular culture and a more positive attitude toward it. (They also tended to be less fervent in their own religiosity.) On the other hand, when they lived under heavy persecution, their interaction with Gentile society was more limited, their exposure to secular culture was narrower, and their attitude toward that culture was more negative. (They also tended to be more fastidious in their observance.) In broad outline, this trend applies to the Haskalah as well. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:40:15 +0100 To: Paul Rothbart Cc: baistefila@shamash.org From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Birchas hatorah MIME-Version: 1.0 In message <19980705.232841.13222.0.sroth4@juno.com>, Paul Rothbart writes >In relationship to women making a brocha each time they learn, the >Tzlach in Berachos actually suggests that they should although he admits >that he has never found such a postion in Rishonim or Achronim. Oh wow, so I am not completely off my rocker. > THe >Aynayim Lemishpat on Berachos seems to want to justify this by saying >that women do have an obligation of Talmud TOrah in the mitzvas that they >are obligated and therefore in that sense are no different from men >(based upon the Semag) and therefore the beracha would be indentical to >them (which certainly seems like a very unique position to say that >women's obligation to learn their mitzvos is like a man, day and night!) > It does seem a rather unique position - rather gives bite to the question asked a few days ago about whether it is an issur gamur for a woman to get married! The Smag is cited all over eg in the Magan Avraham and the Aruch HaShulchan. Unfortunately, I do not have the original, only that which is quoted, but I certainly assumed that while there may be a d'orisa obligation to learn applicable mitzvos, it does not necessarily extend to day and night. >The most reasonable explanation seems to be that we essentially hold like >the G'ra that it is like any other mitzvas aseh shezeman gramah, and >therefore it is only a reshus, and since there might not have been hesech >hadaas it is better not to make the Bracha > I think it is difficult to say that we essentially hold like the Gra. Firstly because at least half the Jewish world clearly does not - Sephardi women say birchas hatorah, and given that they do not hold by the Rabbenu Tam principle, they only say brochas where there is a chiyuv, contrary to the Gra (so at the very least, the question would be a relevant one for Sephardi women). Additionally, the Mishna Brura, by stating that according to the Beis Yosef and the Magan Avraham a women could say the brochas for a man, while noting that the Gra argues, does not sound like somebody who is poskening like the Gra - and as noted the Aruch HaShulchan brings all reasons, including the Smag's, which the Gra implicitly rejects. However your logic works also for those who hold it is d'rabbanan - since safek d'rabannan l'hakel - and *maybe* there has not been hesech hadaas. On the other hand hesech hadaas is something that has been extensively analysed - in this and other contexts, and one should be able to come up with some guidelines (which presumably ought to be being taught to women on a need to know basis)! >SHraga Rothbart > Regards Chana heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 22:37:48 +0100 To: "Pechman, Abraham" Cc: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Feminism and the JO article MIME-Version: 1.0 In message <642B2955645BD0118FEE00805FD4068228DE4A@MWEXCHANGE>, "Pechman, Abraham" writes > >Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is the halachic status of the area >behind the mechitza ("the women's section")? R'Aryeh Frimer in his article in tradition on women's prayer services has a brief piece on this. His basic conclusion is that "there is even a minority opinion of several leading poskim who maintain that women sitting in the Ezrat Nashim (a separate women's section or balcony) *never* fulfil tefilla b'tzibbur" (p17) - but see footnote 86 "...most other poskim seem to disagree however ... " > >Is it part of the shul but separate (separate but equal), or is it >considered outside of the shul (= room in which a tzibbur is davening). > >Are there any ramifications this type of distinction might indicate - >for example, a ruach ra sheyesh lo ikkar (maybe a soiled diaper) behind >a mechitza? A man in the women's section? Others? > >If it turns out that the mechitza separates the women from the men, then >I can understand a distinction between a balcony and a non-balcony >separation. > >If, however, the mechitza excludes what is on the other side of it from >the shul, then what is gained by lowering the balcony (other then the >sensation that one is part of something when in reality he/she/it is >not)? Nobody disputes that women have an obligation of private tefilla. An environment that encouraged women to gawp rather than to daven would not seem to be condusive to encouraging the fulfilment of that obligation, whereas an inspiring davening environment might. BTW, there is a principle in halacha that it is forbidden to daven from a height of greater than 3 tefachim (unless you are dealing with a separate floor ie of daled amos by daled amos). While this clearly does not pose problems for balconies on the Lakewood Yeshiva model, which are separate rooms with flat floors on the floor above where the men are davening, I suspect that many of the staggered step balconies that are so common are in fact a somewhat halachically problematic (besides which, some - most notably Ohel Nechama in New York, is liable to give you vertigo - I have never been convinced, on coming forward from the amida there, that I was not in fact going to tumble over). I also wonder whether it is a good thing that the immediate association most people make with the architecture in such shuls is with a goyishe theatre (which also has a lot to do with the behaviour. If you encourage the idea that what is being performed is "theatre" it is not surprising that when the "performance" lags, the response is similar to the theatre). Additionally, the fashion parade that is so much a part of certain yomim tovim is greatly aided by the fact that for the standard model staggered balcony running along three sides, every woman gets a full view of what every other woman is wearing (and in significant numbers of these shuls, so do the men sitting on the other side of the shul). On the other hand, it clearly is good for the clothing business, and the nosh business, not to mention the gossip that glues the community together. I guess it depends on what your priorities are. > >Avi Pechman > Regards Chana heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu Message-Id: <9807099000.AA900019218@smtplink.mssm.edu> Date: Thu, 09 Jul 98 17:15:31 -0500 To: Subject: Re[2]: Feminism and the JO article Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="simple boundary" --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Description: "cc:Mail Note Part" >Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is the halachic status of the area >behind the mechitza ("the women's section")? >Is it part of the shul but separate (separate but equal), or is it >considered outside of the shul (= room in which a tzibbur is davening). >Are there any ramifications this type of distinction might indicate - >for example, a ruach ra sheyesh lo ikkar (maybe a soiled diaper) behind >a mechitza? A man in the women's section? Others? Two different modern sources: 1) Halichot Beyta (Rav David Auerbach), p. 70, brings down the machloket between the hochmat adam, who says that ezrat hanashim does not have kedushat bet haknesset, and the Aruch Hashulchan, who holds that it does. He offers several suggestions to explain the Aruch Hashulchan, including one that it has kedushat bet haknesset because ten women, who (may) constitute a zibbur, daven there. 2) shut bnei banim II, by Rav Yehuda Henkin, in his tshuva on women saying kaddish, argues that, at least partially, whether or not a mehitza was floor to ceiling, completely separating the two reshuyot, has an impact on the halachic status of ezrat hanashim, and what women may say in ezrat hanashim. (see for a detailed discussion). He furthermore suggests that the difference in shul architecture between, say, Hunagary (full wall) and Lita (balcony or not full wall) may explain some different approaches by poskim. Meir Shinnar --simple boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; name="RFC822.TXT" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="RFC822.TXT" Received: from shamash3.shamash.org by smtplink.mssm.edu (ccMail Link to SMTP R8.10.00) ; Wed, 08 Jul 98 09:45:32 -0500 Return-Path: Received: (qmail 16216 invoked from network); 8 Jul 1998 13:41:17 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 8 Jul 1998 13:41:17 -0000 Return-Path: Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 16166 invoked from network); 8 Jul 1998 13:41:02 -0000 Received: from mweprx.mwellp.com (HELO mwexchange.MWEllp.com) (205.159.21.6) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 8 Jul 1998 13:41:02 -0000 Received: by MWEXCHANGE with Internet Mail Service (5.5.1960.3) id ; Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:41:54 -0400 Message-ID: <642B2955645BD0118FEE00805FD4068228DE4A@MWEXCHANGE> From: "Pechman, Abraham" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: RE: Feminism and the JO article Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:40:49 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.1960.3) Content-Type: text/plain Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN --simple boundary-- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Message-ID: <35A53C7D.6F0@neiu.edu> Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 17:56:13 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Mechitzos and Tefila Bitzibur Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Pechman, Abraham wrote: >Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is the halachic status of the >area >behind the mechitza ("the women's section")? >Is it part of the shul but separate (separate but equal), or is it >considered outside of the shul (= room in which a tzibbur is davening). The status of the Ezras Nashim regarding Tefila bitzibur is a structural issue. One is only Yotze Tefila Bitzbur if he is standing in the room where the tzibur is. If one stands in an outside room, one is not Yotze. If a balcony is considered to be in the "room" then you are yotze tefila bitzibur. The same is most certainly true if you have a typical "divider" type mechitza. In those shuls where the the Ezras Nashim is an entirely seperate room, then one cannot be Yotze tefila Bitzibur. In Bnai Ruven, here in Chicago, the daily shacharis minyan has men davening behind the mechitza all the time including our list owner, R. YGB. As a matter of fact it's almost as if it were some kind of status symbol to daven there. Certainly you are yotze tefila betzibur behind the mechitza. The concept of Ezras Nashim was not meant to be a physically seperate room. The Mechitza was only meant to provide a spritually higher environment w/o the distractions of the opposite sex and is only limited to batei kennesios. The question should really be: Do women have any halachic standing vis-a-vis tefila bitzibur? They certainly don't have the same requirements as men do. Even men do not have a clear cut mandate to daven tefila betzibur. I believe my Rebbe, R. Aaron Soloveichik say's that it is a mitzvah Kiyumis and not a chiuv. If I remember correrctly, when he was asked, after his stroke, by many of his devoted talmidim if he would like to have a minyan at his house every shabbos his answer was no because he believed Kvius is more important than Tefila bitzibur. He told those talmidim to continue davening in there regular shuls. The question remains, do women have any halachic standing in Tefila Bitzibur. Do they even get "credit" for going? It can be argued that it is an emotionally uplifting experience for both men and women to go to shul and daven together with the tzibur, and for that reason alone one (man or woman) should always strive to go to shul in order to improve the quality of their tefilos. But, Meikkar Hadin, if there is no requirement for either men or women, then one could entertain the notion that, if one gets a more spiritually uplifting perosnal experience, has better kavanos etc. by davening alone then one should be encouraged to do so. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 18:50:25 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: emunas chachamim and science Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII In response to R. Chaim Brown-I really believe what I said at the end, ie that there was medicinal value in these cures but they don't work because - we only have the outline of the cure ie we're missing specific details in the implementation of the cure. My emunas Chachamim model serves one major purpose--it says that even though I believe what I said above ther is no point debating the chachamims medicinal knowledge because it's possible thta the cures worked because the patients believed in the chachamim. As far as your question about goyim,kids etc my answer is simple. Anyone who actually tries this as a medicine obviously believes in the chachamim-vis a vis the medicine. In another words the way to demonstrate your emunas chachmim would be to follow their advice-this would apply equally to goyim or children. However we can't try these cures now because ONE-we don't know how to apply the medicine TWO-we can't try them with full kavvana that we believe in the rabbis-even if we'd try these cures tere would be a little shelo lismah --ie to see if the rabbis are smarter then modern medicin thus it's assur to try these now adays. We are left with are modern scientists(our histadlus) and trust in HAshem to cure us. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_122-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900028121450014060-- From baistefila@shamash.org Fri Jul 10 00:01:10 1998 Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 00:01:05 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 123 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900043265450021632" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900043265450021632 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 123 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) My Article on Secular Knowledge: A different approach by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 2) Yes-An Absolte Proof does exist..Another Approach by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 3) Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 4) A Short Comment on Kant's Life by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 5) Some stories/comments on how to teach Faith by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 6) Continuation of the Hendel-Bechhoffer controversy on King Blessings by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 7) Mekoros on Changes in Nature by Mordechai Torczyner 8) Re: Learning during chazarat hashatz by 9) Re: Yes-An Absolte Proof does exist..Another Approach by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900043265450021632 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_123" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:56:35 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100156.VAA27140@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: My Article on Secular Knowledge: A different approach I published the following article with a totally different view on secular knowledge than is usually presented. (Anyone who wants a copy kindly email me your full postal address). A synopsis of the article is given below R Hendel TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF TORAH, Proceedings of The Orginazation Of Jewish Scientists (Vol III-IV), 1976 Here is a synopsis: 1) AN EXAMPLE: Torah or Science? -------------------------------- >>The square root of 2 could not be 7/5. For if 7/5 was exactly the >>the square root of 2 then 7/5*7/5 = 49/25 =2 (& by clearing denominators >>49 = 2*25 = 50). The above quote appears to be SECULAR MATHEMATICS. But in reality it is an arithmetic paraphrase of a geometric proof used in Succah (8a?). Hence it is TALMUD TORAH. It emerges from this example that a piece of knowledge may at one point in time be classified as SECULAR while at another point in time be classified as TORAH 2) FIVE METHODS OF TRANSITION ----------------------------- I then proceed to give several dozen other examples and classify them into five methods by which secular knowledge becomes TRANSFORMED into Torah. One obvious example is the use of say medicine to clarify halachic categories (like "danger to life"). There are other less obvious categories (like metapohoric use of science to derive moral values). I also give two methods by which Torah can be transformed into science. 3) My DYNAMIC approach vs former STATIC approaches -------------------------------------------------- Other discussions of the science problem have ASSUMED that there is something called Torah and something called secular knowledge and then there is the issue of e.g. how much time you spend on each, which one is believed when there is conflict etc Such a view may be termed static since the domains--torah and secular-- are FIXED But I propose a DYNAMIC view by which secular ideas may be transformed into science (I cite a biological experiment which looks like a journal article but became a Midrash Rabbah..many good examples are given in the article). This Dynamic approach bypasses many of the problems raised on this list. You don't have a conflict of secular and science you simply have things that have not yet transformed The article is filled with finer distinctions on why this approach works and the halachic underpinnings. I also differentiate myself from those viewpoints that cite that "everything is holy"..I claim this is Kedushas Gavrah (you make yourself holy so that everything is related to God).. my approach is operational and creates Kedushas cheftzah (you actually change the science info into Torah info). I could go on but I hope the above complements some of the other approaches being discussed Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:57:11 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100157.VAA27145@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Yes-An Absolte Proof does exist..Another Approach I believe that there is a simple straightforward solution to the "proof question" that is accessible to anybody. Here are the details 1) HALACHIC SOURCE OF PROOF --------------------------- The Rambam in Foundations of Torah clearly indicates that the Jews (at the time of Egypt..this parenthetical insert being my own) believed in God because they experienced prophetic revelations (at Mount Sinai) and hence knew that Moses was a prophet and bringing Gods word. According to Transition after hearing the 1st two mitzvoth they asked that Moses bring them everything since they found prophecy too frightening. Rambam brings explicit verses that when Moses asked >>But why should they believe me<< God answered him that they would believe because of their own prophetic experience. Note I am applying this Rambam to the Jews of that time. 2) GIDEON ---------- What about those who weren't there (or who don't remember being there) Such a problem is mentioned in Shoftim by Gideon. I don't want to go into the whole thing now but basically Gideon's prayer echoes the sentiment that >>They saw and they believed what about us<< and his prayers were answered. 3) Job -- The book with the solution to evil -------------------------------------------- By now people will see where I am going (though I have NOT yet filled in the details--give me a sec to do so). I am basically positing that we all have access to dreams and at least a partial degree of Rauch Hakodesh and this suffices to prove for us our questions about God etc. I will answer the obvious questions in a minute on this. First let me explicitly site the answer to why evil exists as found in the primary book in Tenach that deals with the subject: Job. According to Tradition Job 33-40 is the final answer to Jobs question. Throughout, a very strong component is what Elihu states: >>This (that God is unjust)--- you are not right in asserting >>For God speaks to man in a dream or a night-vision >>or in a prophetic stupor..it is then that God reveals >>discriminatory insights in people .... >> >>For you should ask "Please show me those things that I don't >>see"... (The above translation is my own...I have given parenthetical inserts and combined some verses from various parts of Chap 33,34.... If I/we had the time/interest I could show that other parts of the chapters also deal with dreams (e.g. the "lightning descriptions" (..underneath the whole heaven it spreads...) are really descriptions of (full) prophetic experiences). At any rate a strong component of the solution of evil (and of its sister problem..the reason for belief) is the realization that God speaks to people in dreams (and warns them of what to do/not to do). 4) Secular Sources ------------------ THere are many secular books on use of dreams and while they don't all acknowledge God they all seem to indicate that the world would be a better place if we maintained contact with "that world" and that we get "insights" from "that world(the world of dreams)" that we couldn't get otherwise 5) Are Dreams Ruach Hakodesh ------------------------------ Sure they are. Full prophecy means e.g. you are told multiple specific events about the future and they come true. But Ruach hakodesh simply requires *a certain abstention from marital intimacy (ala Ex 19) and *some involvement in spiritual matters (e.g Reading Baistefila postings on a regular basis) and *prayers for enlightenment from Hashem (a la Job.. >>that which I don't see please enlighten me.. Just as even prophets see God with a "fuzzy mirror" so to for ruach hakodesh. Needless to say the Ruach Hakodesh of e.g. the Lubavitcher Rebbe is going to be different from John Does but it is there. Ruach Hakodesh simply gives personal insights for self betterment, gives people guidance and warns people of disasters. Furtheremore Hester Panim simply means * there is no public prophecy * there is no friendly prophecy (like Sauls request from the prophet that he be told where his fathers lost animals are). Hester Panim does * not mean God is not there. * according to the Rambam Ruach hakodesh for personal enlightenment (but not public) can exist at any time >>main point<<< In fact all I am saying is the obvious statement that since our religion has at its basis prophetic experiences then the only way to believe in it is to have (pre) prophetic experiences. >>main point<< 6) Summary: ----------- I am simply positing that people should pray for enlightenment and experience Ruach hakodesh first hand. Like the Jews of the Wilderness after a while you are told to much about yourself and don't want to go further (not everyone or anyone has to be a full fledged prophet) A person who daily /weekly has ruach hakodesh experiences has direct experience of God just as the Egyptian Jews, Gideon and Job did. (S)He has direct experience and has the "proof" they need. Before someone poo poos this I again emphasize that almost every book on dreams I have picked up even by secular writers acknowledges how dreams influence ones life and can be used for self betterment. And before people start citing all the rishonim ("we don't have this today...we don't understand dreams etc..." all I can say is I have brought sources to the contrary and secular sources also..it works ...why certain halachic authorities did not believe in it (if that is the case) is not my (present) concern. It is conceivable that different people will take the above in different ways. But I am interested in a reaction. From my point of view instead of spending close to 20 BaisTefilas on philosophy we would have profitted better if we spent them on how to use Prayer and Dreams to become self aware. And there is a beautiful rich literature in the middle ages (Starting I guess with Chovas Halvavos) on exactly that topic.. What a pity that these things aren't taught anymore Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:57:43 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100157.VAA27151@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin I believe it is Rabbi Litvin not Mr Litvin. I was visiting assistant professor of actuarial mathematics in 1995 at the University of Kentucky and lained in Louisville where Rabbi Avrohom Litvin is the Rabbi (I believe his father is Baruch the same person who wrote the book on Mechitzahs (or maybe that was his grandfather and I am wrong??). Anyway it is worth checking. This is the same Rabbi Litvin who brought to my attention the prohibition of reading a received fax on Shabbath (because of nolad) (If someone wants to ask him directly his email is Litvin770@Aol.com, I think) Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:58:14 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100158.VAA27156@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: A Short Comment on Kant's Life Kant may have believed in God but did not believe in approaching God thru symbolic means (as e.g. happens in many mitzvoth and in korbanoth). Interestingly, consistent with this dry approach (no symbolism) is the fact that in his personal life he was a bachelor (Marriage requires both the analytical and symbolic sides of the mind (left and right?). So does religion. In effect Kant was "half a person" -- that effected his belief in God (and his beief in women). Kant was an brilliant Physicist (analytical ability) but e.g. he lost a philsophy prize to Moses Mendelsohn (I believe on proofs of Gods existence). Perhaps the above sheds light on him Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:58:51 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100158.VAA27161@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Some stories/comments on how to teach Faith A note about "teaching people to believe" -- a topic brought up in recent postings. EMUNAH--does NOT mean to believe. Rav Hirsch citing the other meanings of AMN--to nurse, to mold,--states that it is an intensive on going making. Thus a mother nurses her child everyday and creates him. Similarly the sculpturer continuously works on his sculpture to create it. A few years ago on Mail Jewish I commented that Machaloth Nemanim probably means CANCEROUS diseases..since this denotes a disease that continuously and intensively devotes itself to the host organism to make it sick So EMUNAH--would simply be the continuous use and thinking of HASHEM in ones daily life--the MAAMIN continuously molds his life by doing mitzvoth and thinking of ways to connect to Hashem. As such..emunah is something that happens AFTER belief. Emunah itself has nothing to do with belief but denotes intensive action. Incidentally this interpretation of EMUNAH shows HOW TO TEACH BELIEF. You don't teach belief but you do teach EMUNAH...you tell a person to continuously do mitzvoth and think about Hashem and presto one day that person believes in it. In high school I had a Jewish Hashkafah teacher who survived the holocast. After the holocast he had a faith problem. It is interesting how it was solved for him >>Someone paid me to put on tefillin every day(Not lubavitch) >>After 90 days all my problems were solved. In the categories we are using I would say that he was payed to be a MAAMIN and this EMUNAH (re)created his BELIEF. Russell Jay Hendel; PHD ASA RHENDEL @ MCS DREXEL EDU (I believe the Rav Hirsch is on VeHeeMiN BADOSHEM....) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 21:59:50 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807100159.VAA27166@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Continuation of the Hendel-Bechhoffer controversy on King Blessings I couldn't stop laughing. RYGB cited a Raavad that to make the blessings on kings an American president would have to have the right to execute (which he doesn';t have). I retorted that the President has the right to execute in war (and hence we should say the blessing) to which RYGB stated "Generals can kill but you don't say a blessing". But certainly KILL=EXECUTE. Before continuing I am reminded of a story the Rav told us when he first started the Rabbinate. This young couple was being bothered by a mother in law. So the Rav spoke to her >>Why don't you let them be..they are starting out in life.. >>why do you continuously give them advice.<< The Rav continued: She replied >>Rabbi .. I don't give advice..I give AyTzOTH<< Let me return to our situation. A general can kill/execute and the president can kill/execute. You Must therefore Modify the Raavad as follows: You say a Bircat melech if (a) the person has the right to kill/execute and (b) he is the head person with this right. Let me continue further. There are two interpretations of >>Right to execute/kill Interpretation a: He has ALL rights to execute/kill (e.g. war/judicial..) Interpretation b: He has SOME rights to execute/kill(e.g. war only like our president). So now RYGB I ask you: What halachic principle states that your interpretation a is the true way to interpret the Raavad. I claim interpretation b is true and therefore you say a bracha on an American president? Let me further elaborate. The blessing states >>Who has given of His Honor to flesh and blood<< So the blessing is on his being the primary leader of people and that he is listened to. Certainly that is true of an American President in time of war. As to my citing the Tenach (The jews wanted a king to lead them in wars)...you stated that was only motivation...but the motivation indicates HOW THEY THOUGHT OF A KING (in fact that is what Samuel attacked them for..they thought of a KING as a military leader.. and apparently that is the main attribute of KINGS among Goyim and SHOULD NOT be the main attribute among Jews). So we are back where I started from. I fail to see how a person who can authorize (without other approval) use of nuclear weapons can possibly not qualify as an "executioner" on whom we say blessings. Russell Jay Hendel Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 22:24:00 -0400 (EDT) From: Mordechai Torczyner To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Mekoros on Changes in Nature Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII From: Eli Turkel >R. Eidensohn asked for some sources. > Mictab Me-Eliyahi part IV p355 >Hazon Ish Even Ezer Nashim 22:3, Yoreh Deah 5:3, > Choshen Mishpat Nezkim 11:1 & 8:1 >Igros Moshe Even Ezer 2-3 >Michat Yitzchak 4:123-5 >Rivash 346 >Tzitz Eliezer 13:104 >Assia 5: 185-209 (Dov Frimer) >Chacham Tzvi 74-78 >Crsei u-plesi 2-4 > See also: Sefer haEhskol 126a #698 - Critical, I think, to this discussion! Tosafos Chullin 47a, Avodaha Zarah 24b Rashba 1:98 Rivash 446-447 Rashbash Teshuvah 513 Tashbetz 2:101 Yam Shel Shlomo Chullin 3:55 Maharam Shick YD 244 Beis Yosef Even HaEzer 156 (just before d"h "UViTshuvos") Rama EH 156:4 Tzlach PEsachim 116b Chazon Ish EH 115:4, OC 39:6 (Kuntrus haShiurim) Kehillos Yaakov "Shiurin deOraysa" Anaf 11, 13 Mordechai ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave WEBSHAS! http://www.virtual.co.il/torah/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 From: Message-ID: <67721b79.35a57b4e@aol.com> Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 22:24:08 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Learning during chazarat hashatz Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit This topic is covered in mishna brura 124:4:17. The most liberal opinion, brought down in the bear haytev is "ein lmchot biyadam". R' Moshe in orach chayim 6:2 is even stricter against this practice. One major concern is the lesson being taught concerning the need to focus on chazarat hashatz. However it seems that on all "wings" of the spectrum this is still a common practice among some who are considered "learned". Given that in at least some of these same communities the decorum during chazarat hashatz is less than stellar, I'd be interested in any sources or insights that would support this practice. Kol Tuv, Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 22:25:57 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Re: Yes-An Absolte Proof does exist..Another Approach Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII very interesting post-the Ramchal also (in derech Hashem) says dreams are related to prophecy-ruach hakodesh-eyain sham On Thu, 9 Jul 1998, Russell Hendel wrote: > I believe that there is a simple straightforward solution to the > "proof question" that is accessible to anybody. Here are the details > > > 1) HALACHIC SOURCE OF PROOF > --------------------------- > The Rambam in Foundations of Torah clearly indicates that the Jews > (at the time of Egypt..this parenthetical insert being my own) believed > in God because they experienced prophetic revelations (at Mount Sinai) > and hence knew that Moses was a prophet and bringing Gods word. > > According to Transition after hearing the 1st two mitzvoth they asked > that Moses bring them everything since they found prophecy too frightening. > > Rambam brings explicit verses that when Moses asked >>But why should > they believe me<< God answered him that they would believe because > of their own prophetic experience. > > Note I am applying this Rambam to the Jews of that time. > > 2) GIDEON > ---------- > What about those who weren't there (or who don't remember being there) > > Such a problem is mentioned in Shoftim by Gideon. I don't want to go > into the whole thing now but basically Gideon's prayer echoes the > sentiment that >>They saw and they believed what about us<< and his > prayers were answered. > > 3) Job -- The book with the solution to evil > -------------------------------------------- > By now people will see where I am going (though I have NOT yet filled > in the details--give me a sec to do so). I am basically positing that > we all have access to dreams and at least a partial degree of Rauch > Hakodesh and this suffices to prove for us our questions about God etc. > > I will answer the obvious questions in a minute on this. First let me > explicitly site the answer to why evil exists as found in the primary > book in Tenach that deals with the subject: Job. According to Tradition > Job 33-40 is the final answer to Jobs question. Throughout, a very > strong component is what Elihu states: > >>This (that God is unjust)--- you are not right in asserting > >>For God speaks to man in a dream or a night-vision > >>or in a prophetic stupor..it is then that God reveals > >>discriminatory insights in people .... > >> > >>For you should ask "Please show me those things that I don't > >>see"... > (The above translation is my own...I have given parenthetical inserts > and combined some verses from various parts of Chap 33,34.... If I/we > had the time/interest I could show that other parts of the chapters > also deal with dreams (e.g. the "lightning descriptions" (..underneath > the whole heaven it spreads...) are really descriptions of (full) > prophetic experiences). > > At any rate a strong component of the solution of evil (and of its sister > problem..the reason for belief) is the realization that God speaks to > people in dreams (and warns them of what to do/not to do). > > 4) Secular Sources > ------------------ > THere are many secular books on use of dreams and while they don't all > acknowledge God they all seem to indicate that the world would be > a better place if we maintained contact with "that world" and that > we get "insights" from "that world(the world of dreams)" that we couldn't > get otherwise > > 5) Are Dreams Ruach Hakodesh > ------------------------------ > Sure they are. Full prophecy means e.g. you are told multiple specific > events about the future and they come true. But Ruach hakodesh simply > requires > *a certain abstention from marital intimacy (ala Ex 19) and > > *some involvement in spiritual matters > (e.g Reading Baistefila postings on a regular basis) and > > *prayers for enlightenment from Hashem (a la Job.. > >>that which I don't see please enlighten me.. > > Just as even prophets see God with a "fuzzy mirror" so to for ruach > hakodesh. Needless to say the Ruach Hakodesh of e.g. the Lubavitcher > Rebbe is going to be different from John Does but it is there. Ruach > Hakodesh simply gives personal insights for self betterment, gives > people guidance and warns people of disasters. > > Furtheremore Hester Panim simply means > * there is no public prophecy > * there is no friendly prophecy (like Sauls request from the > prophet that he be told where his fathers lost > animals are). > Hester Panim does > * not mean God is not there. > * according to the Rambam Ruach hakodesh for personal > enlightenment (but not public) can exist at any time > > >>main point<<< > In fact all I am saying is the obvious statement > that since our religion has at its basis > prophetic experiences then the only way to believe in it is to > have (pre) prophetic experiences. > >>main point<< > > 6) Summary: > ----------- > I am simply positing that people should pray for enlightenment and > experience Ruach hakodesh first hand. Like the Jews of the Wilderness > after a while you are told to much about yourself and don't want to > go further (not everyone or anyone has to be a full fledged prophet) > > A person who daily /weekly has ruach hakodesh experiences has direct > experience of God just as the Egyptian Jews, Gideon and Job did. > (S)He has direct experience and has the "proof" they need. > > Before someone poo poos this I again emphasize that almost every > book on dreams I have picked up even by secular writers acknowledges > how dreams influence ones life and can be used for self betterment. > And before people start citing all the rishonim ("we don't have this > today...we don't understand dreams etc..." all I can say is I have > brought sources to the contrary and secular sources also..it works > ...why certain halachic authorities did not believe in it (if that > is the case) is not my (present) concern. > > It is conceivable that different people will take the above in different > ways. But I am interested in a reaction. From my point of view instead > of spending close to 20 BaisTefilas on philosophy we would have profitted > better if we spent them on how to use Prayer and Dreams to become > self aware. And there is a beautiful rich literature in the middle > ages (Starting I guess with Chovas Halvavos) on exactly that topic.. > What a pity that these things aren't taught anymore > > Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu > > > > ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_123-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900043265450021632-- From baistefila@shamash.org Sat Jul 11 00:01:11 1998 Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 00:01:06 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 124 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900129666450064833" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900129666450064833 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 124 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Large messages (fwd) by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) Re: Continuation of the Hendel-Bechhoffer controversy on King Blessings by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 3) Chazaras HaShatz by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 4) Re: Learning during chazarat hashatz by Daniel Eidensohn 5) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 123 by gershon.dubin@juno.com 6) (no subject) by Herschel Ainspan (862-1197 fax-4134) 7) RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin by "Clark, Eli" 8) RE: Removal of rabbinic titles by "Clark, Eli" 9) Re: Removal of rabbinic titles by "Dovid Eliezrie" 10) Re: emunas chachamim - a definition from a rationalist by cbrown@bestware.com 11) Re: R. Steinsaltz by "Clark, Eli" 12) But it is *MY* Role! - Re: R. Steinsaltz by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 13) chareidi media- truth or propoganda by "Newman,Saul Z" 14) Re[2]: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin by "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> 15) Re: Secularism and the Enlightenment by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 16) Re: Secularism and the Enlightenment by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900129666450064833 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_124" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 23:02:09 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Large messages (fwd) Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Please note the post below (identifying characteristics deleted!). I too have noticed that people are hitting the reply button with nary a care to cut the irrelevant passages from their replies - "nosei b'ol im chaveiro" demands greater concern! Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 20:59:33 -0400 Subject: Large messages Dear Rabbi Bechhofer, Maybe one of the reasons the digests are so large is that people overquote. I must have seen the piece from Batsheva Marcus ten times. Maybe one more urging from you.... ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 23:15:29 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Continuation of the Hendel-Bechhoffer controversy on King Blessings Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Thu, 9 Jul 1998, Russell Hendel wrote: > But certainly KILL=EXECUTE. No. A policeman has the right to kill, in the line of duty. The president has the right to kill, in the line of duty - by authorizing nuclear bombing. So, for that matter, does any general (the sevara which you could not stop laughing over!) - the fire bombings of Tokyo killed more civilians than the atomic bomb and they did not have to be authorized by the president. Warfare and wartime are not relevant to our discussion. Try again! YGB P.S. It was *Mr.* Baruch Litvin - he was not the Rav of the Shul, just a *very* concerned Ba'al HaBayis. Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 23:18:08 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Chazaras HaShatz Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Briskers (I asked one here in Chicago by the last name of Soloveichik...) are of the opinion that as long as there are ten people listening to Chazaras HaShatz, they are exempt, and that is why they learn during the chazaras hashatz. Their position is that it is a chovas hatzibbur, not a chovas hayachid. YGB ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-ID: <35A5C329.83D4F9E8@netmedia.net.il> Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:30:49 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Learning during chazarat hashatz Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Joelirich@aol.com wrote: > This topic is covered in mishna brura 124:4:17. The most liberal opinion, > brought down in the bear haytev is "ein lmchot biyadam". R' Moshe in orach > chayim 6:2 is even stricter against this practice. One major concern is the > lesson being taught concerning the need to focus on chazarat hashatz. However > it seems that on all "wings" of the spectrum this is still a common practice > among some who are considered "learned". Given that in at least some of these > same communities the decorum during chazarat hashatz is less than stellar, I'd > be interested in any sources or insights that would support this practice. > > Kol Tuv, > Joel Years ago I spent a Shabbos at Ner Israel and observed Rav Ruderman learning during chazaras hashatz. The next near when I visited he was not learning during chazaras hashatz. I was told that he had heard that Rav Moshe was makpid and therefore stopped. One of my rebbeim said that while theoretically one should not learn - but given the state of most people's concentration it is better to learn than let their minds wander to meaningless things. Daniel Eidensohn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 07:37:09 -0400 Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 123 Message-ID: <19980710.073721.12294.18.gershon.dubin@juno.com> From: gershon.dubin@juno.com >Subject: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin >Litvin is the Rabbi (I believe his father is Baruch the same person >who wrote the book on Mechitzahs (or maybe that was his grandfather I read the book some time ago and remember vaguely that the author was a *member* of the shul and not the rabbi. Let's compromise and call him "Reb" Gershon _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 08:09:01 -0400 From: Herschel Ainspan (862-1197 fax-4134) Message-Id: <9807101209.AA38788@haa.watson.ibm.com> To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: tallis before marriage Now for something completely different - Would anyone know of any sources in poskim that support the minhag not to wear a tallis until marriage. I know about the Maharil, of course, but was wondering if any more recent poskim have said anything on the subject (R. Moshe? The Mishna Brura calls the minhag not to wear it a davar tamuah.) Kol tuv -Herschel (ainspan@watson.ibm.com) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: "rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu" Subject: RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 09:45:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Russel Hendel writes: >I believe it is Rabbi Litvin not Mr Litvin. I do not know the source of your belief, but I can tell you with certainty that Baruch Litvin was a courageous man with a stubborn commitment to halakhic tradition, but he was not a rabbi and never claimed to be a rabbi. You can check with any member of his family or with R. Aaron Rothkopf-Rakkefet, who served as Mr. Litvin's rabbi in Mt. Clemens. Baruch Litvin did not write a book on mechitzah. He solicited the opinion of contemporary gedolim on the subject and compiled the materials into a book. Later, working with the historian Sidney Hoenig, he compiled a book called "Jewish Identity." This too is a compilation of essays by Gedolim and other Jewish scholars who were asked by David ben Gurion (!) to answer the question: Who Is a Jew. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: Removal of rabbinic titles Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 11:46:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Last month, Mechy Frankel wrote: >in fact, I'd be quite interested >if you could shed light on any responsa/miqoros which address removal of >rabbinic titles - I'm unaware of any - (as opposed to miqoros which address the >quite different issue of removal of a rabbi from his job). I do have a contemporary source involving the "removng" of a rabbinic title, though it is not a teshuvah. People may recall the tempest some years ago revolving around R. Adin Steinsaltz in which his writings were put into cherem. In order to back up this cherem, several long articles were published in Yated Neeman identifying a number of statements of R. Steinsaltz (mostly taken out of context) which were heretical. Interestingly, throughout the articles, the author is referred to quite deliberately as *Mr.* Steinsaltz. As a practical matter, given that contemporary semikhah represents permission to engage in hora'ah, it seems fair to assume that it can be rescinded only by he who granted it. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-ID: <006901bdac1f$e3335e00$7d8faec7@newmicronpc> From: "Dovid Eliezrie" To: Subject: Re: Removal of rabbinic titles Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 09:29:14 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Rabbi Steinsaltz problem was not his statements, rather his identity as a Chassid. That was the motivation behind Yetad article and attacks. I understand that this statement may cross some of the boundries of this list effort but I feel that this issue must be placed in the proper context. D. Eliezrie -----Original Message----- From: Clark, Eli To: bais tefilah list Date: Friday, July 10, 1998 8:46 AM Subject: RE: Removal of rabbinic titles >Last month, Mechy Frankel wrote: > >>in fact, I'd be quite interested >>if you could shed light on any responsa/miqoros which address removal of >>rabbinic titles - I'm unaware of any - (as opposed to miqoros which address >the >>quite different issue of removal of a rabbi from his job). > >I do have a contemporary source involving the "removng" of a rabbinic >title, though it is not a teshuvah. People may recall the tempest some >years ago revolving around R. Adin Steinsaltz in which his writings were >put into cherem. > >In order to back up this cherem, several long articles were published in >Yated Neeman identifying a number of statements of R. Steinsaltz (mostly >taken out of context) which were heretical. Interestingly, throughout >the articles, the author is referred to quite deliberately as *Mr.* >Steinsaltz. > >As a practical matter, given that contemporary semikhah represents >permission to engage in hora'ah, it seems fair to assume that it can be >rescinded only by he who granted it. > >Kol tuv, > >Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <8525663D:004ABFD0.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 12:23:09 -0400 Subject: Re: emunas chachamim - a definition from a rationalist Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii As a rationalist (though I hate to label myself) who supposedly rejects "emunas chachamim" I have to ask for an illustration of the term. Here's the extent of a rational belief as I see it; what additional form of belief do you subscribe to? 1) When I go to a doctor I excercise my belief in that doctor's knowledge of medicine, his/her committment to foster his/her patients good health, and his/her ability as a practitioner. When I go to a Rav I excercise my belief in that person's training in halacha, his desire for my spiritual well being, and his ability to pasken sheilos. Nothing a rationalist will reject. 2) Whether a Rav can cure me of illness had we both lived in the times of Chazal is not in any way different then the question of whether my doctor could cure me had we both lived 1000 years ago. There is no extension of belief in the ability of the Rav or doctor; we have just added a new question as to the efficacy of the medicine or Talmudic cure they might prescribe -the emunah is in the kabbalah of Torah or in medicine as a science, not in the talmid chacham or doctor as a person (which is the implication of the term emunas chachamim). Nothing here a rationalist will reject. 3) My doctor practices medicine to the best of his ability but is not infallible. My Rav paskens to the best of his ability but is not infallible - Netziv on Lo Tasur, as discussed before. 4) Talmud Torah is unique in that it can lead to a transcendent state of consciousness (see Ramban B.B. 12, Ra'avad Hil Sukkah - "kamah shanim hofia Ruach HaKodeh b'beit midrasheinu...) that is a product of closeness with Hashem. Belief in transcendent states of mind is not irrational; when Mozart composed music or Shakespere wrote they reached a state of mind that can be described as "transcendent" (though not in the same way as Ruach haKodesh) in that it is not reducable to simple logical processes - a computer cannot be creative (some rationalists will fight me on this one). The groundowrk of music is still notes and the groundwork of halacha is still objective sources; the state of transcendence or ruach hakodesh enhances, but does not supplant, our ability to work within those parameters. Sorry for the length of this posting, but thought it might help crystallize the issue. Is there something else that should be added to the list that you mean when you use the phrase "emunas chachamim"? When you write someone who tried cures of Chazal showed emunas chachamim - you either mean the same rational belief someone who goes to a doctor exhibits (#1) of belief in the literal kabbalah of Chazal (#2) that has nothing to do with the personal power of the chacham. Is there some other definition that I'm missing? Good Shabbos! -Chaim Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: Re: emunas chachamim and science I believe what I said above ther is no point debating the chachamims medicinal knowledge because it's possible thta the cures worked because the patients believed in the chachamim. As far as your question about goyim,kids etc my answer is simple. Anyone who actually tries this as a medicine obviously believes in the chachamim-vis a vis the medicine. We are left with are modern scientists(our histadlus) and trust in HAshem to cure us. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: Re: R. Steinsaltz Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 12:36:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Dovid Eliezrie writes: >Rabbi Steinsaltz problem was not his statements, rather his identity as a >Chassid. That was the motivation behind Yetad article and attacks. I >understand that this statement may cross some of the boundries of this list >effort but I feel that this issue must be placed in the proper context. Fortunately, it is not my role to determine the boudaries of this list. However, I believe that the underlying factors in the R. Steinsaltz controversy are open to interpretation. It is a fact that R. Steinsaltz himself was not put in cherem, only his writings were. If his chasidut were the issue, that distinction makes little sense. One of the greatest living experts on post-medieval rabbinic controversies is Dr. Shnayer Leiman. With regard to understanding the reason for a cherem, he points out that one must look at its timing. Usually a cherem is placed on a person in response to an act or event. With respect to published writings, a cherem usually follows the work's publication. This was not the case with R. Steinsaltz. The works with "offending" statements had been published years, even decades, earlier than the cherem. Why then was the cherem imposed in the late 1980's on books published in the 1960's and 70's? Dr. Leiman's answer is both prosaic and disheartening. The only new project begun by R. Steinsaltz in the late 1980's was the English translation of his gemara. The announcement of the project -- to be published by Random House -- in the New York Times appears to have shaken a number of individuals who were embarking on a similar project. Ve-ha-mavin yavin. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 12:53:19 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: bais tefilah list cc: Yosef & Shoshana Bechhofer Subject: But it is *MY* Role! - Re: R. Steinsaltz Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Ok, Rabbosai, before this gets out of hand, let me make an observation stemming from experience here, which has ramifications: baistefila functions best as a forum for scholarship. It actually functions quite poorly as a forum for sociology. This obvious when one contrasts the outstanding exchanges on birchas hatorah for women, emunas chachomim and the like, vs. certain elements of the discussions of feminism and reason vs. faith. While it is not reasonable nor desirable to limit forays into those areas altogether, it is reasonable and desirable to limit areas that will inevitably generate frays. This is one of them. While it is reasonable to discuss issues and analyze the passages in R' Steinzaltz' works that may generate controversy, and it is reasonable to discuss the Lubavitch/Litvish divide from the perspective of the issues, the kind of speculations that my two esteemed colleagues here are engaging in is neither scholarly, issue-oriented, or, in fact supportable with evidence (let's no visit again what evidence means :-) ). Indeed, some might see one or two of the claims here as outrageous, me'lashon generating outrage. So, I would like to nip this in the bud. Thank you for your cooperation! Have a Good Shabbos, YGB On Fri, 10 Jul 1998, Clark, Eli wrote: > Dovid Eliezrie writes: > > >Rabbi Steinsaltz problem was not his statements, rather his identity as a > >Chassid. That was the motivation behind Yetad article and attacks. I > >understand that this statement may cross some of the boundries of this list > >effort but I feel that this issue must be placed in the proper context. > > Fortunately, it is not my role to determine the boudaries of this list. > However, I believe that the underlying factors in the R. Steinsaltz > controversy are open to interpretation. It is a fact that R. Steinsaltz > himself was not put in cherem, only his writings were. If his chasidut > were the issue, that distinction makes little sense. > > One of the greatest living experts on post-medieval rabbinic > controversies is Dr. Shnayer Leiman. With regard to understanding the > reason for a cherem, he points out that one must look at its timing. > Usually a cherem is placed on a person in response to an act or event. > With respect to published writings, a cherem usually follows the work's > publication. > > This was not the case with R. Steinsaltz. The works with "offending" > statements had been published years, even decades, earlier than the > cherem. Why then was the cherem imposed in the late 1980's on books > published in the 1960's and 70's? > > Dr. Leiman's answer is both prosaic and disheartening. The only new > project begun by R. Steinsaltz in the late 1980's was the English > translation of his gemara. The announcement of the project -- to be > published by Random House -- in the New York Times appears to have > shaken a number of individuals who were embarking on a similar project. > Ve-ha-mavin yavin. > > Kol tuv, > > Eli Clark > > Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: chareidi media- truth or propoganda Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 11:28:54 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35a65d645036002@laurel.kp.org> in re previous discussions of writing on a bias in chareidi publcations. in this week's email yated, r jonathan rosenblum responds to critique of his article about the shavuous kotel disturbances. the letter writers attacked him for a variety of reasons. one wrote him that chareidi media is for the purpose of positive propoganda on behalf of bnai yeshiva and chareidi causes. r rosenblum wrote that emet supercedes propoganda. shabat shalom ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Message-Id: Date: 10 Jul 1998 12:54:12 GMT From: "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> Subject: Re[2]: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin To: baistefila@shamash.org Boruch Litvin wrote a book called "The Sanctity of the Synagogue" that I think speaks about the battle over the machitza in the shul in Mt. Clemens, MI. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting him many years ago when he visited Telzer Yeshiva in Cleveland. Ahron Einhorn ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin Author: SMTPGATE.BAISTEFI at EMIS Date: 7/10/98 7:00 AM Received: from FW-ES05.HAC.COM by GSGMVS.EMIS.HAC.COM (Soft*Switch Central V4L40P1A); 10 Jul 1998 07:00:15 GMT Received: from shamash3.shamash.org ([207.244.122.42]) by fw-es05.hac.com (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id HAA23178 for <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM>; Fri, 10 Jul 1998 07:01:45 -0700 (PDT) Received: (qmail 25008 invoked from network); 10 Jul 1998 14:01:19 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 10 Jul 1998 14:01:19 -0000 Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 24997 invoked from network); 10 Jul 1998 14:01:12 -0000 Received: from unknown (HELO DNSSERVER.HUGHESHUBBARD.COM) (208.130.17.67) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 10 Jul 1998 14:01:12 -0000 Received: by DNSSERVER.HUGHESHUBBARD.COM with SMTP (Microsoft Exchange Server Internet Mail Connector Version 4.0.995.52) id <01BDABE7.88D816E0@DNSSERVER.HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>; Fri, 10 Jul 1998 09:45:55 -0400 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: "rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu" Subject: RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 09:45:00 -0400 X-Mailer: Microsoft Exchange Server Internet Mail Connector Version 4.0.995.52 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Russel Hendel writes: >I believe it is Rabbi Litvin not Mr Litvin. I do not know the source of your belief, but I can tell you with certainty that Baruch Litvin was a courageous man with a stubborn commitment to halakhic tradition, but he was not a rabbi and never claimed to be a rabbi. You can check with any member of his family or with R. Aaron Rothkopf-Rakkefet, who served as Mr. Litvin's rabbi in Mt. Clemens. Baruch Litvin did not write a book on mechitzah. He solicited the opinion of contemporary gedolim on the subject and compiled the materials into a book. Later, working with the historian Sidney Hoenig, he compiled a book called "Jewish Identity." This too is a compilation of essays by Gedolim and other Jewish scholars who were asked by David ben Gurion (!) to answer the question: Who Is a Jew. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:48:21 -0400 Subject: Re: Secularism and the Enlightenment Message-ID: <19980710.154825.3254.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) I hate to be naive but I never fully understood why doesnt the discussion of the value secular studies ever deal with the explicit psak of the Rama in Shulchan Aruch . As the Rama says in 246:4 at best one should only have even minimal involvement with these areas only after one has totally mastered Torah. And even then it should never be works of minim. (Does Betrand Russel qualify??) Since the vast majority of Klal Yisrael are clearly not on this level it would seem that the entire issue is rather moot, only affecting people like R' Soloveitchik . On a completely different issue a discussion came up about which no one had a clear answer. On rosh chodesh if a person is without a siddur and does not know yaaleh veyaavo by heart is it still better to daven the shemona esrei and just leave that out or to not daven at all. (Note he will not be able to say tashlumin since he will still have the same problem.) Any information would be appreciated SHraga Rothbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124 Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:29:38 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Secularism and the Enlightenment Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 10 Jul 1998, Paul Rothbart wrote: > I hate to be naive but I never fully understood why doesnt the discussion > of the value secular studies ever deal with the explicit psak of the > Rama in Shulchan Aruch . As the Rama says in 246:4 at best one should > only have even minimal involvement with these areas only after one has > totally mastered Torah. And even then it should never be works of minim. > (Does Betrand Russel qualify??) Since the vast majority of Klal Yisrael > are clearly not on this level it would seem that the entire issue is > rather moot, only affecting people like R' Soloveitchik . > Ironicaly enough, it is the famous Teshuvas HaRama that is part of the evidence that the pursuit of secular philospohy is permissible. > > On a completely different issue a discussion came up about which no one > had a clear answer. On rosh chodesh if a person is without a siddur and > does not know yaaleh veyaavo by heart is it still better to daven the > shemona esrei and just leave that out or to not daven at all. (Note he > will not be able to say tashlumin since he will still have the same > problem.) Any information would be appreciated. I don't know, passhtus me'ein ha'me'ora is essental - but I would like to mention that in Nefesh HaRav the Rav is quoted in the name of Reb Chaim as having said that if you forget yv"y in Shacharis but will daven mussaf shortly thereafter, that counts, and one need not repeat the Shacharis S.E. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_124-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900129666450064833-- From baistefila@shamash.org Sun Jul 12 00:01:19 1998 Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 00:01:15 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 125 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900216075450108037" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900216075450108037 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 125 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: by Heather/Chana Luntz 2) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm by Heather/Chana Luntz ----__ListProc__NextPart__900216075450108037 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_125" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_125" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_125 Message-ID: <8lEiWBAUOmp1EwBI@luntz.demon.co.uk> Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 19:55:16 +0100 To: Eli Turkel Cc: baistefila@shamash.org From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: MIME-Version: 1.0 In message <199807071802.VAA20459@virgo.math.tau.ac.il>, Eli Turkel writes > > At the other end the gemara assumes that a women after birth > does not menstruate for 24 months. Can this be relied on today > for the laws of niddah? Not to dispute any of your other examples, but I have heard it suggested that this is not a function of change of teva, but of a healthier (and richer) diet - that is, I have heard it claimed that this is still true in third world countries like Africa, where food is not abundant (I am neither a doctor nor an anthropologist, so I have no way of assessing the truth of this claim). Good Shabbas Chana > heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_125 Message-ID: Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 00:46:51 +0100 To: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" Cc: baistefila@shamash.org From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm MIME-Version: 1.0 In message , "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" writes > > RW >includes, say, to the best of my understanding, the talmidim of Rav Kook >and others at the RW of the Religious Zionist world as well). > ... > but to a definition I >heard on a Yiddish tape from the Rav from the 50's - where he forcefully >and eloquently described Torah and Secular Knowledge as a "Ramasayim >Tzofim" - two toweing peaks that face each other, with the students of >Yeshivas R' Yitzchok Elchonon building bridges between the two. The tape >is awesome, but I was bothered afterwards by how the Rav could ascribe so >much significance to Secular Knowledge - far more than the "rakachus >v'tabachus" approach of Torah im Derech Eretz. It is interesting that you group talmidim of Rav Kook in the same camp - on the subject of Secular Knowledge, I quote from Orot Hatehiya XVI (and as I certainly do not have the chutzpa to translate Rav Kook, this is the R' Naor translation)(Apologies for the long quote, but I suspect this is unfamiliar territory for most in the group - and it is worth getting a flavour): "At times the righteous have the power to inject a light of holiness into the essence of labor so that it has a force reminiscent of Torah, to bring to life in the world-to-come, to correct flaws and to move those involved in it to complete return (teshuva) :"Greater one supported by the toil of his palms than a fearer of Heaven". Just as there is a capability of drawing holiness and inner, divine light into all categories of labor, bringing them out of their cursedness - so there is the ability to discover a light of holiness in all languages and wisdoms of the world. The great zaddikim (righteous) must pray that the light of G-d's pleasantness come into all wisdoms and languages, so that from every place will spread the light-rays of Torah. The prayer of the righteous and the illumination of their will produces an infinitely powerful effect. Especially must prayer be directed to this at a time when there is seen a great attraction to languages and sciences, and it is not possible to battle all those who would turn to them, for the signs of the time show the necessity - then the inner zadikim come to the rescue. Through silent work, through greatness of soul, they open shut conduits to put the mystery of G-d in His studies, and the "studies of G-d" are all that is in the world, especially all that contributes to the perfection of the world (tikkun haolam). The righteous arouse the holiness that is in every language by the power of Joseph, who included all in the letter he' (through which the world was created) that was added to his name, and by the power of the speech at Sinai that came to add a light much, much greater. "The Lord gave tidings, the messengers a numerous host - every pronouncement was split into seventy languages". So too Moses explained the Torah "well". "Well" means that he found the true positive value in each language, the power that enobles it with holy majesty. Then the language is clarified, and a clear language turns all nations to call by the name of G-d. All labors will shine with the light of life through the labor of holiness. The more physical labor increases in the Land of Israel, through Israel the work and labor will come out of its cursed baseness. The greater the influence of the Holy Tongue in the world, the stronger the power of Torah and pure prayer, which strives to broaden the light of the divine emanation in the world, to clarify it and to tell mankind its beautiful glory through all forms of communication and all means of clarification and explanation - the more the light will be revealed upon every tongue and language, upon every wisdom and science. All the more so will the light of G-d rest on the aesthetic realm, beauty and song, etiquette and manners, even the most modern frills, refinements, and modes of behaviour - of course, the choicest and most delicate of them. On all of these, the light of G-d will begin to rest. The thought that binds all to the good and straight, to pleasure and loftiness of spirit, to the love of work with the beauty of divine confidence and the supernal love that pours light and life on every soul, will be visible on all those distant branches. Eternal life and temporal life will be inseparably bound; they will receive from one another. All the details, and all the practical and intellectual manifestations of the world, will be illuminated by the light of the whole - from the higher light of the Torah that (Abraham) "the father of a multitude of nations" illuminated; Ethan the Ezrahite, "who waked from the east righteousness, called it in his steps" And earlier you write: >The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never >accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the >pale - even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and >assistance. Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im >eino min ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of >Shavna's massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" >cannot apply - "sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common >courtesy, la'adam ba'asher hu adam, Perhaps contrast this with Rav Kook's famous statements in Orot Hatechiya 43: "The nefesh (lower part of the soul in kabbalistic tradition) of sinners of Israel in the "footsteps of the Messiah" - those who join lovingly the causes of the Jewish people, Erets Yisrael and the national revival - is more corrected than the nefesh of the pure believers of Israel who lack this advantage of the essential feeling for the good of the people and the building of the nation and land. But the ruah (higher part of the soul in the kabbalistic tradition) is much more corrected in the G-dfearing and Torah observant, even though the essential feeling and arousal to Jewish activism are not yet firm within them, as they are in those whose heart is perverted by a perverse spirit to the point of contacting foreign philosophies and deeds that sully the body and prevent the light of the ruah being corrected and concomitantly the nefesh suffers from their flaws. The tikkun(correction) that will come about through the Light of the Messiah- which will be greatly aided by the proliferation of the study of the mysteries of Torah and revelation of the lights of divine wisdom, in all forms fitting to be revealed - is that Israel should bond together, and the nefesh of the observant will by corrected by the perfection of the better transgressors, in regard to communal affairs, and material and spiritual ideals atttained through human understanding and perception; whereas the ruah of these transgressors will be corrected by the influence of the G-dfearing, observant of Torah and great faith, and thereby both groups will receive great light. Complete return (teshuva) will appear in the world, and Israel will be ready for redemption. The higher zaddikim (righteous) masters of neshama (third and highest part of the soul in kabbalistic tradition), will be the uniting conduits, through which the light of the nefesh will flow from left to right, and the right of ruach from right to left, and the rejoicing will be great Your priests will wear righteousness and your pious rejoice. This will be accomplished through the Light of Messiah, who is David himself "who erected the yoke of return (teshuva". For the sake of David your servant, do not rebuff your Messiah." Or his statements (see p52 of the Naor edition of Orot) "Disbelief has a right to a temporary existence because it must digest the impurity which adhered to faith for lack of intellect and service ... Disbelief must come out in the form of civilization to uproot the memory of G-d and all the institutions of divine worship ... and upon the desolate ruins wrought by disbelief, will the exalted G-dknowledge build its palace. The distructive wind of disbelief will purify all the filth which gathered in the lower realm of the spirit of faith ... He who recognizes the interior of disbelief, as a result sucks its honey and returns it to the source of its holiness; he beholds in the majesty of the terrible ice - the frost of heaven." Of course Rav Kook was (and is) radical, to the point that one suspects that many of the talmidim to whom you refer may not fully understand how radical (although as is pointed out by R' Naor, so was the Maharal, there are similarities in approach - and true kabbala, from the little I know of it, appears the most radical of all). But I do not think he can be ignored - and it is worth bearing in mind that he was the other thinker, besides the Rav, who seriously grappled with what it meant to be a frum Jew in a post Kantian world >YGB > >Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer >c/o Shani Bechhofer >sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu >http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 > Shavuah tov Chana heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_125-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900216075450108037-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 13 00:01:10 1998 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 00:01:05 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 126 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900302465450151232" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900302465450151232 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 126 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) Fwd: Learning during chazarat hashatz by 3) Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda by Hershel Ginsburg 4) Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 5) No! No! No! Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 6) Re: Beth Din of America by Harry Maryles 7) Re: Beth Din of America by 8) emunas chakhomim by Michael Frankel ----__ListProc__NextPart__900302465450151232 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_126" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 23:17:33 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Rabbi Bechofer's putdown of Norman Lamm Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Sun, 12 Jul 1998, Heather/Chana Luntz wrote: > > RW >includes, say, to the best of my understanding, the talmidim of > Rav Kook >and others at the RW of the Religious Zionist world as well). > > > ... > > > but to a definition I >heard on a Yiddish tape from the Rav from the > 50's - where he forcefully >and eloquently described Torah and Secular > Knowledge as a "Ramasayim >Tzofim" - two toweing peaks that face each > other, with the students of >Yeshivas R' Yitzchok Elchonon building > bridges between the two. The tape >is awesome, but I was bothered > afterwards by how the Rav could ascribe so >much significance to Secular > Knowledge - far more than the "rakachus >v'tabachus" approach of Torah > im Derech Eretz. > > It is interesting that you group talmidim of Rav Kook in the same camp - > on the subject of Secular Knowledge, I quote from Orot Hatehiya XVI (and > as I certainly do not have the chutzpa to translate Rav Kook, this is > the R' Naor translation)(Apologies for the long quote, but I suspect > this is unfamiliar territory for most in the group - and it is worth > getting a flavour): > [Quote deleted.] Let me explain that I am well aware of Rav Kook's personal perspective. The statement I made was meant as a comment on the contemporary reality in the Merkaz HaRav educational world, where secular studies are almost as limited and disparaged as in the Israeli Charedi camp. > And earlier you write: > > >The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never > >accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the > >pale - even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and > >assistance. Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im > >eino min ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of > >Shavna's massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" > >cannot apply - "sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common > >courtesy, la'adam ba'asher hu adam, > > > Perhaps contrast this with Rav Kook's famous statements in Orot > Hatechiya 43: > > "The nefesh (lower part of the soul in kabbalistic tradition) of sinners > of Israel in the "footsteps of the Messiah" - those who join lovingly > the causes of the Jewish people, Erets Yisrael and the national revival > - is more corrected than the nefesh of the pure believers of Israel who > lack this advantage of the essential feeling for the good of the people > and the building of the nation and land. But the ruah (higher part of [Much cut.] > Of course Rav Kook was (and is) radical, to the point that one suspects > that many of the talmidim to whom you refer may not fully understand how > radical (although as is pointed out by R' Naor, so was the Maharal, > there are similarities in approach - and true kabbala, from the little I > know of it, appears the most radical of all). But I do not think he can > be ignored - and it is worth bearing in mind that he was the other > thinker, besides the Rav, who seriously grappled with what it meant to > be a frum Jew in a post Kantian world > Again, let me explain. While this is one of Rav Kook's famous perspectives, the positive value of Zionism, even in its secular forms (a position to which, I should say, I cannot subscribe. If you would like my understanding - although there is no good reason why you should - you may read my heroes' comments, R' Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan's essay on Herzl in B'Ikvos Ha'Yirah and Dr. Breuer's coments in Moriah) - our conversation centered on Reform and Conservative. These are very different issues, and what Rav Kook said on Zionism is not necessarily transferable. I am not anywhere near an expert on Rav Kook, but you will have to prove that he saw positive value to these movements. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 From: Message-ID: <56208181.35a8daf3@aol.com> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:49:06 EDT To: Baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Fwd: Learning during chazarat hashatz Content-type: multipart/mixed; boundary="part0_900258546_boundary" This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --part0_900258546_boundary Content-ID: <0_900258546@inet_out.mail.aol.com.1> Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII << In a message dated 98-07-10 03:37:27 EDT, you write: One of my rebbeim said that while theoretically one should not learn - but given the state of most people's concentration it is better to learn than let their minds wander to meaningless things. Daniel Eidensohn Briskers (I asked one here in Chicago by the last name of Soloveichik...) are of the opinion that as long as there are ten people listening to Chazaras HaShatz, they are exempt, and that is why they learn during the chazaras hashatz. Their position is that it is a chovas hatzibbur, not a chovas hayachid. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Interesting but not unexpected responses. Question to all Briskers - There seems to be a fallacy of composition issue here. Any one individual can learn (I assume there is some methodolgy to be sure that there are actually 10 people listening) but not all can learn. Given the importance of learning I assume there is some methodology- lottery perhaps - to determine who learns and who listens. Is there an issur of lifnei ever to not tell those who think it important to listen that they really could be learning if at least 10 people listened? With regard to minds wandering- I would agree, perhaps, if the learning were generally considered bdieved but I'm not sure that's the popular conception especially when its the more learned doing it. In any event we still haven't dealt with the core issue of misleading the hamon am unless one is surrounded by only knowledgeable individuals. Perhaps we should consider the suggestion of the Rambam(tshuvot-36 as quoted in the yichaveh daat 5:12) that we do away with chazarat hashatz all together. I don't really expect much to change-it's just when one studies the Rambam's words concerning tfillat hatzibur, it's a bit hard to understand the lack of attention focused on it. have a meaningful and easy fast Joel --part0_900258546_boundary Content-ID: <0_900258546@inet_out.mail.aol.com.2> Content-type: message/rfc822 Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit Content-disposition: inline From: Joelirich@aol.com Return-path: To: Joelirich@aol.com Subject: Re: Learning during chazarat hashatz Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 16:09:29 EDT Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-10 03:37:27 EDT, you write: << One of my rebbeim said that while theoretically one should not learn - but given the state of most people's concentration it is better to learn than let their minds wander to meaningless things. Daniel Eidensohn >> Briskers (I asked one here in Chicago by the last name of Soloveichik...) are of the opinion that as long as there are ten people listening to Chazaras HaShatz, they are exempt, and that is why they learn during the chazaras hashatz. Their position is that it is a chovas hatzibbur, not a chovas hayachid. Interesting but not unexpected responses. Question to all Briskers - There seems to be a fallacy of composition issue here. Any one individual can learn (I assume there is some methodolgy to be sure that there are actually 10 people listening) but not all can learn. Given the importance of learning I assume there is some methodology- lottery perhaps - to determine who learns and who listens. Is there an issur of lifnei ever to not tell the souls who think it important to listen that they really could be learning if at least 10 people listened? (perhaps this applies to making a living versus getting a stipend as well?) With regard to minds wandering- I would agree, perhaps, if the learning were generally considered bdieved but I'm not sure that's the popular conception.Would we also be matir reading the wall street journal as better than daydreaming about ... Perhaps we should follow the suggestion of R' Avraham ben harambam that we do away with chazarat hashatz all together --part0_900258546_boundary-- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 23:44:11 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda > in re previous discussions of writing on a bias in chareidi >publcations. in this week's email yated, r jonathan rosenblum responds >to critique of his article about the shavuous kotel disturbances. the >letter writers attacked him for a variety of reasons. one wrote him that >chareidi media is for the purpose of positive propoganda on behalf of >bnai yeshiva and chareidi causes. r rosenblum wrote that emet >supercedes propoganda. >shabat shalom very interesting... I often read Rosenblum in the Jerusalem Post and have never seen him write anything that is critical of the Hareidi world in the slightest ... can you (or anyone) cite me a single example where he takes a stand that is contrary to the Degel / Yated "positive propoganda" line? hg =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Internet: ginzy@netvision.net.il Shechtman St. 38/9 Phone: 972-2-587-0068 Building 101 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 Ramot 1, Jerusalem, 97225 Israel -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 16:54:03 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII If anyonew is interested in Yonason Rosenblum's Yated articles on the Conservative minyan at the Kotel and the chaos surrounding them, I I have email versions available. They are worth reading, and I think very atypical of the Haredi press. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 19:14:04 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Hershel Ginsburg cc: baistefila@shamash.org, Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut Subject: No! No! No! Re: chareidi media- truth or propoganda Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII As noted at the end of last week, issues that focus primarily on sociology are obviously inappropriate for bt. Analysis of the Charedi press is definitely within this category! Let's not continue along this path. Much appreciated, Your ever-friendly listowner, YGB On Sun, 12 Jul 1998, Hershel Ginsburg wrote: > very interesting... I often read Rosenblum in the Jerusalem Post and have > never seen him write anything that is critical of the Hareidi world in the > slightest ... can you (or anyone) cite me a single example where he takes a > stand that is contrary to the Degel / Yated "positive propoganda" line? > > hg Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Message-ID: <35A962FA.52FC@neiu.edu> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 21:29:30 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org CC: mbroyde@emory.edu Subject: Re: Beth Din of America Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Michael J Broyde wrote: > Michael Broyde > Director > Beth Din of America > 305 Seventh Avenue > Twelfth Floor > New York, NY 10001-6008 > Voice: 212 807-9042 > Fax: 212 807-9183 If possible, I respectfully would love to know the answers to the following questions: What is "Beth Din of America"? Who is the sponsoring organization (if any)? Does any group endorse it? Who founded it? What is it's function and purpose? What connection do Rabbi's Rackman and Morgenstern have with it? How is it different from the RCA Bet Din? From the Agudath Israel Beis Din? When was it founded? Was it founded as a specific rersponse to a particular need? Are the Conservative, Reform, or any other denominations involved in any way? does it have universal acceptance? For example, would Rabbi's Shach, Svei, H. Schechter, and Lamm be confortable with it? Would Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik have been comfortable with it? How frequently is this beth din used? What kind of cases does it hear? HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 From: Message-ID: <8d87dae6.35a976a1@aol.com> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:53:20 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Beth Din of America Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-12 22:28:10 EDT, you write: << If possible, I respectfully would love to know the answers to the following questions: What is "Beth Din of America"? >> Until R. Broyde or someone more knowledgeable than I can reply to all of your questions, I'll just answer this one: Beth Din of America is the RCA Bet Din. They brought Rabbi Broyde in last year, and if I'm correct, he sits on the Beth Din with Rabbi Gedaliah Dov Schwartz (I can't recall the third rabbi). Brigitte Dayan ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 04:40:20 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: emunas chakhomim To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT C. Brown writes: > As a rationalist (though I hate to label myself) who supposedly rejects "emunas chachamim" I have to ask for an illustration of the term. Here's the extent of a rational belief as I see it; what additional form of belief> I would hope that you might re-consider, as rejection of emunas chakhomim would be a direct conflict with a biferusha mishna - pirqei avos 6:6, which lists emunas chakhomim as an entry in the list of things by which the torah is niqneis. On the other hand, just what this concept might entail has certainly been a matter of long standing machloqes. For a review of different perspectives on emunas chakhomim see article by the late simchoh friedmann in Tradition, summer, 1993. Biqitzur nimratz, friedmann distinguishes a strain of interpretation best exemplified by R. dessler, where acceptance of emunas chakhomim also mandates acceptance of their pronouncements on milei di'almoh, as opposed to other strands of traditional thought which restricted this emunoh to halakhic or torah she'bi'al peh matters. presumably R. Brown's rejection is only focused on the former school. Not mentioned in the friedmann article is another, novel understanding of what emunas chakhomim means. And that is the suggestion that it means simply the emunoh of the chakhomim, i.e. we aspire to the same quality of spiritual faith that was possessed by the chakhomim, rather than some requirement to have faith in the chakhomim. Unfortunately, I can't quite recall where I saw the maqore for this prepositional proposition, but I have the impression it might be from r. lamm, unfortunately as well it seems to fly in the face of close to two thousand years of interprative history. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil . ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_126-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900302465450151232-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 13 20:05:14 1998 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 20:05:12 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 127 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900374712450187356" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900374712450187356 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 127 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Non political question by gershon.dubin@juno.com 2) Rabbinic Titles by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 3) Re: Beth Din of America by Michael J Broyde 4) RE: talit before marriage by "Clark, Eli" 5) (no subject) by Eli Turkel 6) tzurat hadaf-gmara vs chumash by "Newman,Saul Z" 7) Re: tzurat hadaf-gmara vs chumash by 8) Re: emunas chakhomim by cbrown@bestware.com 9) Re: your mail by Cheryl Maryles 10) bitachon and lottery tickets by David Riceman 11) Accuracy in Reporting History by Harry Maryles 12) Advanced Workbook Methods in Rashi--(In last weeks Parshah) by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 13) The BIN in Yonah--An Amazing Controversy: Rashi vs Rishonim by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Final Summary: Why BIN vs BEN is Used by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 15) Summary: BIN vs BEN: The FOUR CASES by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 16) Some Added Insights On Bircath Torah by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 17) RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 18) Re: Beth Din of America by Harry Maryles 19) Re: Moving Graves (fwd) by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900374712450187356 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_127" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 07:45:43 -0400 Subject: Non political question Message-ID: <19980713.074544.8526.1.gershon.dubin@juno.com> From: gershon.dubin@juno.com The Gemara says that answering Amen after your own beracha is "meguneh". Question #1 is why; Question #2 is why answering after either a unit of berachos according to some Rishonim or after Boney Yerushalayim according to others, takes off the genai? Gershon _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Rabbinic Titles Message-ID: <19980713.075149.16447.0.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 07:53:54 EDT Several people have recently mentioned the idea of "Removal of rabbinic titles". I think that this subject can be properly understood only after understanding the significance of *giving* a rabbinic title. It seems to me that if there exists a sefer written by a person who did not have s'micha, and then the world relies on that sefer for standard p'sak halacha day in and day out, then that world sees little or no significance to rabbinic titles. I'm speaking, of course, about the Mishna Brurah. Personally, this issue confuses me a great deal, and if anyone can put these matters in a clearer perspective, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks Akiva Miller ------------------------- Visit our home page at: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/6661/miller.html _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:15:27 -0400 (EDT) From: Michael J Broyde To: Harry Maryles cc: baistefila@shamash.org, menahel@bethdin.org Subject: Re: Beth Din of America Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII One writer asked about the Beth Din of America. I am responding. The Beth Din of America is the bet din founded by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and sponsored by the Union of Orthodox Congregations (OU). The Av Beth Din is Rav Gedialia Schwartz, and the Segan Av Beth Din is Rav Mordechai Willig. I am the menahel/director, and Rabbi Yona (Jonathan) Reiss is the Associate Director. The Beth Din of America works in three different areas of halacha. We are mesader gitten (many many). We sit in finacial dinai torah regularly, and we resolve end of marriage disputes with increasing frequency. Our web page www.bethdin.org contains our rules of procedure as well as much other information about the Beth Din and its functioning. Reading the rules of the Beth Din will help one understand what we do. We were commonly called the RCA beit din for many years, but (at least to the best of my knowledge) that never was our name. I will now answer the specific questions posed. The writer asked: > What connection do Rabbi's Rackman and Morgenstern have > with it? We have no connection with either of the above two rabbis. > What is "Beth Din of America"? Who is the sponsoring organization (if > any)? Does any group endorse it? Who founded it? See above paragraph. > How is it different from the RCA Bet Din? From the Agudath > Israel Beis Din? See above. To the best of my knowledge, there is no Agudath Israel Beis din. > When was it founded? 1960 > Was it founded as a specific rersponse to a particular need? No. > Are the Conservative, Reform, or any other denominations involved in > any way? No. > Does it have universal acceptance? The psaking from the Beth Din of America are recognized everywhere. > For example, would Rabbi's Shach, Svei, H. Schechter, and Lamm be > confortable with it? Would Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik have been > comfortable with it? Psakim of batain din are non-political, and generally accepted by all. Thus, batain din accept gitten from Satmar to Mizrachai without questioning the validity of the gitten or the dinai torah. We are generally populated with talmidim of Rav Solovietchik. Because the large number of commercial dinai torah we do, the director is also a lawyer, as is the associate director. > How frequently is this beth din used? What kind of cases does it hear? Many many gitten are done, and approxamately three dinai torah every two weeks. See above for a discription of the types of matters. Rabbi Michael Broyde Director ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: Herschel Ainspan Subject: RE: talit before marriage Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 10:46:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Herschel Ainspan asks: >Would anyone know of any sources in poskim that support the >minhag not to wear a tallis until marriage. I know about the Maharil, >of course, but was wondering if any more recent poskim have said >anything on the subject (R. Moshe? The Mishna Brura calls the minhag >not to wear it a davar tamuah.) See D. Sperber, Minhagei Yisrael 3, 63, n. 6. For those who do not have ready access to Sperber, I will summarize: Sperber cites R. Levi, Minhag Yisrael Torah, regarding the custom among the Sanzer chasidim for young (unmarried) men to lay tefillin on chol ha-mo'ed. The Divrei Chayyim explains that before marriage "lo shayyakh chasiduta" (piety is impossible), and refaining from laying tefillin on chol ha-mo'ed is a minhag chasidim (custom of the pious). Sperber suggests that this may be the source of the Ashkenazic custom to refrain from wearing a talit before marriage. He quotes the Maharil (see below) and notes that this custom is already hinted at in the Roke'ach (siman 353). Cf. Sefer ha-Manhig siman 108. R. Levi, Minhag Yisrael Torah, p. 57, also refers to another explanation for this custom in Benei Yissakhar, Tishrei, 13:3. While Herchel knows about the Maharil, we may not all be familiar with it. Maharil writes (Hil. Nisu'im siman 10) that in the Rhineland men would not put on a talit before marriage, though he found that in other lands they would do so from Bar Mitzvah age. On the Shavuot before his own wedding, the Maharil put on a talit li-khvod regel. For this he was rebuked by Mahari Segal, who told him he should wait until his wedding day. This is also cited in the Be'er Heitev, Orach Chayyim 17:4. Kol tuv, Eli Clark ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 From: Eli Turkel Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 11:34:49 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <199807131534.LAA00900@moray-f.icase.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org Eli Clark writes >> Dr. Leiman's answer is both prosaic and disheartening. The only new >> project begun by R. Steinsaltz in the late 1980's was the English >> translation of his gemara. The announcement of the project -- to be >> published by Random House -- in the New York Times appears to have >> shaken a number of individuals who were embarking on a similar project. >> Ve-ha-mavin yavin. I am not a fan of Artscroll but if this is a reference to Artscroll I don't believe it. In fact I heard that when Rav Schach came out with his cherem against using the "Steinsaltz" Gemara they were very afraid that they would be included in the cherem and worked hard to avoid that. as such it is inconceivable that they were the originators. kol tuv, Eli Turkel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: tzurat hadaf-gmara vs chumash Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:19:49 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35aa33a70928002@laurel.kp.org> please refer in the Schottenstein gemarot artscroll to the haskama of r elyashiv, about the variety of new gmarot coming out that are not appropriate and the chizuk for artscroll's efforts. in their intro they point to their decision to have the daf facing the peirush. i assume this was a {?the} major objection to the steinzaltz gemarot. can someone please explain to me why there is [or is there] more of an inherent kedusha to a gemara pagination, then to a mikraot gedolot edition. Is it because we guard the tora she baal peh more vigourously? kol tuv szn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 From: Message-ID: <9d00638c.35aa520f@aol.com> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 14:29:34 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: tzurat hadaf-gmara vs chumash Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-13 12:20:12 EDT, you write: << please refer in the Schottenstein gemarot artscroll to the haskama of r elyashiv, about the variety of new gmarot coming out that are not appropriate and the chizuk for artscroll's efforts. in their intro they point to their decision to have the daf facing the peirush. i assume this was a {?the} major objection to the steinzaltz gemarot. can someone please explain to me why there is [or is there] more of an inherent kedusha to a gemara pagination, then to a mikraot gedolot edition. Is it because we guard the tora she baal peh more vigourously? kol tuv szn >> I think we're probably veering into "sociological" territory although clearly halacha must have something to say on the issue. I suppose it's a meta- halachic issue akin to R' Moshe's tshuva on women's prayer groups. Having said that I have spoken to an individual heavily involved in one of the cd versions of the gmara who told me they made sure to line up the proper haskamot prior to getting the project underway. Perhaps the source of the project is a halachic issue. The use of a particular individual's/group's publications might somehow bestow validity(ouch) on that group.For example if JTS(l'havdil :-)) were to have published the Talman shas would it have affected sales? Kol Tuv, Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256640:004A470F.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 15:06:03 -0400 Subject: Re: emunas chakhomim Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii I do not deny emunas chachamim and have defined its parameters. It was H. MAryles who referred to a concept of emunas chachamim which rationalists deny, which I challenge. R' Dessler (Michtav) develops the concept with a discussion of Purim, a historical occurance spread out over more then a decade with no obvious connection between the party/sin, Haman's decree, and the numerous steps of Divine intervention that brought about the resolution, other then Chazal saw all the events as one unit. The difficulty with such an analysis is (a) megillat Esther was written b'ruach hakodesh and is part of Tanach as sanctioned by Anshei Knesset Hagedolah. No comparison to advice from your local gadol. (b) It represents a religious dimension of a broad historical episode rather then a particular piece of advice. I can see a gadol offering a religious interpretation of a major religious and historical event like the Holocaust, but not who to marry or which profession is best for me. (c) Purim represents numreous religious themes, e.g. hashgacha, scar v'onesh, galus, etc., not simply milei d'alma such as what to major in in college. All that is besides the point. My whole point is that one can be a "rationalist" and sustain a model of emunas chachamim, contrary to popular belief on this list. If one wishes to support a model that would advise seeking the advice of a gadol on who to marry, what car to buy, where to live, what profession to pursue, etc., please provide any makor or evidence that would extend the concept to such a degree. I would like to hear from someone who is not a rationalist defend from sources reliance on a gadol in a way that does not fall into the model I have outlined. Again, if a gadol knows your family well and you feel candid in discussing personal matters with him, then he can be the best advisor NOT because of the mystical power of Torah, but because of the psychological insight he has. The disciplines of psychology and psychiatry are built around such rational assumptions. I suspect using a vague term like "melei d'alma" adds to the confusion - lets deal with concrete examples. -CB Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: emunas chakhomim I would hope that you might re-consider, as rejection of emunas chakhomim would be a direct conflict with a biferusha mishna - pirqei avos 6:6, which lists emunas chakhomim as an entry in the list of things by which the torah is niqneis. Biqitzur nimratz, friedmann distinguishes a strain of interpretation best exemplified by R. dessler, where acceptance of emunas chakhomim also mandates acceptance of their pronouncements on milei di'almoh, as opposed to other strands of traditional thought which restricted this emunoh to halakhic or torah she'bi'al peh matters. presumably R. Brown's rejection is only focused on the former school. N Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil . ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 15:38:42 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: your mail Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII > I am not a fan of Artscroll Why not? whats wrong with a publication which allows many people to learn gemara when they are lacking the proper skills. Do you think the last siyum hashas would be so successful without artscroll, do you think daf yomi would be so successful without artscroll. Artscroll is responsible for a lot of harbotzas torah, and if you'll tell me it's abused by certain people i'll tell you that Hashem shouldn't have made the sun because certain poeple worship it (see gemara A.Zara for reference). what is not to be a fan of? ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Message-ID: Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:07:23 +0000 From: David Riceman MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: bitachon and lottery tickets Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Someone last week cited the opinion (I first encountered it in R. Dov Katz's book Tenuath HaMussar) that someone with sufficient bitachon who buys a lottery ticket will necessarily win the lottery. My question is this. Hazal say "mi sheyesh lo hayom v'doeg l'machar harei ze mikitnei emuna". Unless the lottery is for a very small sum, or the person in question supports a very large number of others, I would think that the purchase of a lottery ticket is, ipso facto, evidence that the purchaser is mikitnei emuna, and, by definition, lacks bitachon. David Riceman ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Message-ID: <35AA83F6.B7A@neiu.edu> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 18:02:30 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org CC: c-maryles@neiu.edu Subject: Accuracy in Reporting History Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Cheryl Maryles wrote: > > > I am not a fan of Artscroll > > Why not? whats wrong with a publication which allows many people to learn > gemara when they are lacking the proper skills. Do you think the last > siyum hashas would be so successful without artscroll, do you think daf > yomi would be so successful without artscroll. Artscroll is responsible > for a lot of harbotzas torah, and if you'll tell me it's abused by certain > people i'll tell you that Hashem shouldn't have made the sun because > certain poeple worship it (see gemara A.Zara for reference). what is not > to be a fan of? Sari: Nice post. You should have signed it. I hope it wasn't directed at me personally. I am a big fan of Artscroll, but with reservation. When it comes to the Talmud there is no question as to the benefits. There was a discussion about the pros and cons of Artscroll gemmorahs on MJ about a year or so ago, and even though some of the criticisms were valid, the benefits far outweigh the liabilities. When it comes to their history series, however, there is a lot to be desired in terms of accuracy. You can't put a spin on historical events or biographies and still call them history. To those who say that it is better to fudge or hide the truth because it may reflect badly on this or that Gadol , or it may send the wrong message, I say let the facts be reported as accurately as possible and let them speak for themselves. To those who would say that history has to be suppressed because we can't understand or appreciate the actual "truth" of those Gedolim of past generations who engaged in behavior that to some, today, would seem inappropriate, I say, you can learn more from the faithful reporting of the behavior of the previous generation of Gedolim, than you can from some twisted, agendized reporting. I personally believe that certain individuals, who have a particular agenda are the ones who protest the loudest. After all, look what happened when a little truth filtered through one particular Artscroll book... it was pulled from publication! You can't teach "isolationism" if the Netziv engaged in dialogue with Maskilim. You therefore have to suppress a book like "My Uncle the Netziv", a translation of the M'Kor Baruch" which tells of the Netziv consulting with Maskilim. This book was written by one of the most respected Gedolim of the last generation, R. Baruch HaLevi Epstien, son of the Author of the Aruch HaShulchan, and author of the Torah Temmimah. My rebbe, Rav Aaron Soloveichik told me he was very upset and angry when that book was pulled from publication. He said that the author of the "M'Kor Baruch" could have been the rebbe of any and all who critisized it. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:04:54 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132304.TAA18310@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.oRg, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Advanced Workbook Methods in Rashi--(In last weeks Parshah) Cc: AmyBassan@Juno.Com I reminisced last week. When my sister Chana (AmyBassan@Juno.Com) was in grade school she stormed into my room one day: >>We were learning in class Rashis explanation of the differences between Bilams request to curse the Jews (Nu 22:5,6) and Balaks summary of that request (Nu 22:10,11).<<<< >>Why does rashi ONLY explain some of the differences? What about the others? Since this type of question happens frequently and since the answer here is rather short I thought I would mention the Rashi. The Two texts and the Rashis are presented below in alligned format. Note how Rashi only comments on items 3,6,9,10. I explained to my sister that Rashi was using a workbook method. He filled in some of the answers and expected the students (namely her) to fill in the rest!!! I then asked her is she could explain the other 6 (She scored 100 (with occasional prompts from the teacher!!??). The reader is invited to do likewise!!. My answers are presented below (no peeking). The use of this table should be clear. E.g. Item 10 shows that in verse 6 Bilam asked to "expel the Jews from the Land" while in verse 11 he is quoted as asking to "expel them". Rashi explains that Bilam wanted them expelled only from his immediate vicinity while Balak wanted them expelled from the world. ITEM Nu 22:5,6 Nu 22:10,11 RASHI NUMBER BILAM'S REQUEST BALAKs SUMMARY THEME: Military Fear THEME: Hate/Destroy ---- --------- ----------- ----- *) HiNaY HiNaY 1) AM YaTZaH HaAM HaYoTZaY *) MiMiTZRaYiM MiMiTzRaYiM 2) HiNaY CiSSaH VaYCHaS *) ETh EYN HaAReTZ ETh EYN HaAReTz 3) VHu YoSHayV MiMuLI I WORRY ABOUT WAR 4) VeATAH ATaH 5) LCHaH Na LCHaH 6) ARaH LI KaVaH Li KAVAH IS STRONGER 7) ETh HaAM HaZeH OTHo 8) Ki ATzUM HU MiMeNI *) OOLaY OOChaL OOLaY OOChal 9) NaCeH BO LeHiLaCHeM BO NCH=REPULSE/WAR 10) VaGaRSHeNU MiN HaAReTZ VeGayRaSHTiV. FROM LAND/WORLD SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO THE REMAINING ITEMS: ---------------------------------------- Elementary Answers: -- Similar questions answered in Rashi ------------------- Item 8 = Item 3---Bilam cited reasons for what he wanted--he was afraid the Jews would attack him(Balak however simply hated them without reason) Item 4 (the extra VAV) is similarly interpreted...Bilam LOGICALLY connected the military triumph over Egypt with what they might do to him (Balak however was motivated by total hatred) Intermediate Answers: -------------------- Similarly though less obvious is items 1,2: Bilam described the exodus with the past tense...it is something that happened (hence the HiNaY). He was only concerned about his own safety. Balak by contrast exaggerated what the Jews did using the present tense... >they are continuously conquering, they are a nuisance and a problem.<< Advanced Answers:--Student must supply his/her own answers ----------------- Item 5: Why did Balak leave out the word NA = Please? Simple enough--he was motivated by hatred and was a vulgar rude person (no "na"=no manners) Item 7:A sign of advanced hatred is the inability to "talk" about the being you hate. Thus Bilam said "HaAM HaZeH" while BaLaK said "OTHO"-- in effect he could not even acknowledge their Statehood (=AM). In summary: Bilam emerges as a politician who must protect himself from the Jews while Balak emerges as an antisemite filled with hatred. The use by Rashi of advanced workbook methods with fill-ins must inspire one with awe. That Rashi could do this with the primitive printing utensils and forms at his disposal speaks of his greatness. I hope this inspires others to similar learning of Rashi. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel Edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:05:57 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132305.TAA18325@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.ORg, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: The BIN in Yonah--An Amazing Controversy: Rashi vs Rishonim There is a controversy on the meaning of BIN in the verse (Yonah 4:10) >>(God says to Jonah) You had pity on this plant shade >> that sprung up over night and was gone overnight INTERPRETATION 1: ---------------- Ibn Ezra and Radack argue that BIN = BEN = Attribute --the plant shade had the "attribute" of "night"(being created overnight) INTERPRETATION 2: ----------------- Rashi quite simply argues that BIN = ByN (with a Yud) = Built Thus BIN LAYLAH = BNiYath LAYLAH = "Overnight construction" The verse then means --the overnight construction that existed (to give you shade) and the overnight construction that was lost. SUBSIDIARY PROBLEMS ------------------- There are several auxilliary problems which I cannot deal with in a posting: a) Can ByN LAYLAH act as a participle, b) what is the function of the verb HaYaH in the verse (HaYah always suggests questions) c) why the deficient spelling. etc The chief advantage of preferring Rashi is that of a *unified* approach-- BIN is ALWAYS a verbal form from a 3 letter root with one weak letter. The alternate approach BIN=BEN, makes the ad hoc assumption that BEN can in a small percentage of cases have rare unusual spellings. Incidentally, this antogonism to a small percentage of rare unusual spellings (or equivalently, the insistence that unusual forms have by default different meanings) is a THEME in RASHI-RISHONIM controversies and shows Rashis attention to detail. (For another example, See Isa 30,33: Ibn Ezra holds EthMOL = EthMool while Rashi holds EthMOL is a proper name for MONDAY (the first day of the week that has a yesterday---this emphasis on detail with examples in English is cited in my article PESHAT and DERASH Tradition WINTER 1980). Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHEndel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:06:49 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132306.TAA18335@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.ORg, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Final Summary: Why BIN vs BEN is Used The posting just made on interpretatin of BIN as a verbal form vs an unusual spelling of BEN raises several points on whether Rashi vs other rishonim were in possession of true peshat. Since the Rashi-Peshat issue has been raised by one poster (without examples) I thought this BIN posting might afford an excellent opportunity to clarify issues: ISSUE 1: ATTENTION=INTERPRETATION of DETAIL -------------------------------------------- 1a) Rashi in the BIN example gave interpretation to FOUR cases of BIN. Other rishonim simply dismissed them as unusual spellings of BEN. Who is right? Well, one issue is whether we SHOULD be explaining minutae or wheter we have the right to gloss over them. 1b)Similar comments can be made on the Rashi-Radack controversy on KI IM Read but not written). In that case we had 4 cases out of 4200 (.1%). Again: Should we be interpretating such minutae. 1c) In my article, PESHAT and DERASH, Tradition Winter 1980 --I use Isa 30:33 to illustrate this. Rashi insists on interpreting ETHMOL vs ETHMooL as a proper noun--it means MONDAY--the first day of the week that had a yesterday, while Ibn Ezra (and I guess most modern scholars) would shrug their shoulders and interpret it as an unusual spelling of ETHMOOL. Again, what compels Rashi to insist ETHMOL=/=ETHMooL--I suggest the controversy is over whether we are obligated to interpret minutae or if we have permission to ignore them ISSUE 2:--DO OUR TEXTS HAVE SUFFICIENT ACCURACY FOR MINUTAE ------------------------------------------------------------ 2a) Gershon-Gottstein (Forgive my misspelling) the scholar at Hebrew U who helped published the Aleppo codex wryly pointed out (I forget where) that if it wasn't for the Baalay Mesorah we wouldn't even be aware of these minute differences. In other words, if I understand him correctly Prof Gottstein IDENTIFIED the Baalay Mesorahs contribution as that of literary analysis thru minutae!! 2b) The discovery of the Aleppo vs say the Leningrad codex allows us for the first time to see what superior attention to detail can produce. For in numerous cases the Aleppo gives TOTAL ATTENTION to detail in cases where the Leningrad is corrupt. Since this is only a posting allow me to give one example: Ps 104:6 YAamdu Mayim PS 69:16 MiMAamakay Mayim Jb 12:15 VeYAhafchu Aretz These are the only 3 verses in the Wisdom (Psalms,Proverbs, Job) cantillations *that end the verse with a TARCHAH SOF POSSOK *that are Pushed back (Nasog LeAchor) to the 3rd to last syllable Of the 5000 or so verses (all of which end in SOF POSSOK) the standard supportive cantillations are MUNACH and MAYRCHAH. These are the only three with a TARCHAH. The Aleppo carefully preserved the rule and its reason (if pushed back to 3rd to last syllable it is Tarchah). The Leningrad didn't. Again we have a phenomenon here that occurs in 3/5000 ~ .06% of the time. Codexes with inferior levels of preservation of text like the Leningrad do not preserve the rules in cases of minutae while the Aleppo does. I am simply suggesting that Rashi is to say the Ibn Ezra what Aleppo is to other codexes. 2c) I have recently defended the requirement of believing that the Torah we have in our hands is identical with the Torah gives to Moses as a requirement in belief of 99.99% (or 99.999%) accuracy. THAT MEANS that phenomenon that occur MORE FREQUENTLY (e.g. .1% of the time) --and that includes KI IM (4/4000=.1%, the 3 tarchas (.1% of the time) athe 4 bins---can NOT (according to my theory) be dismissed as accidental variants but rather MUST be interpreted as emanating from rules. Again: I am not (at least not here) trying to convince anybody..I am simply trying to show deeper issues in Rashis approach...one of them is the degree to which we preserved our Mesorah. ISSUE 3: THE PEOPLE JUDGING THE PESHAT vs COMPLEXITY OF THE RULES ----------------------------------------------------------------- I just posted the BIN example and explained the difference between *BEN Hacoth (Dt 25:2)=An Attribute= Something that happens once You either deserve lashes or don't The attributes needed are negative prohibition an act with a specific deed etc *BIN Hacoth = A Process= something that varies Thus the defendant is given a medical examination to see how many lashes (s)he can withstand. Now if this is a true valid distinction then indeed we can say BIN=Examined is peshat. If this is an ad hoc distinction then the peshat should be BIN=BEN. So now we have the question: How do we decide. The answer obviously depends on the intellectual acuity of the person reviewing these cases. I have been raised in a talmudic atmosphere and feel comfortable with adjective-verb or attribute-process distinctions. But many secular scholars find this to picky--they do not readily see the diffenence between adjectival and verbal forms and further they are used to seeing corruption in texts. So the issue of whether Rashi is Peshat or not is a function of the people doing the judging. In summary I have suggested that there are three issues in Rashi approach to Midrash. Rashi should be judged as peshat if these 3 issues are decided on way but as derash if they are decided another way: The 3 issues are * whether we are obligated to interpret minutae at the 1% level * whether the Mesorah has provided us texts with that accuracy * whether the critics of Rashi (or his supporters) are sufficiently trained in the distinctions necessary. I again invite further discussion on this important topic Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:11:33 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132311.TAA18397@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.ORg, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Summary: BIN vs BEN: The FOUR CASES [My apologies---the last posting should be READ AFTER THIS ONE The last posting should have been titled: 3 issues in Rashi I will not repost because of its length but this posting deals with the 4 BIN vs BEN while that posting deals with issues in accepting Rashi as Peshat] My humble thanks to Yisrael Herczeg (YHerczeg@NetMedia.Net.Il) for his requested modification of my theory on BIN vs BEN. Upon investigating further I found the crucial Rashi-Rishonim controversy on Jonah 4:10. Let me now give the entire story: BEN means "Son" or "attribute". ByN is a verbal form of verbs denoting building or understanding and occurs in its fully spelled form in Tnach (e.g. Prv 23:1--again see Minchat Shai there and on 30,1). There are FOUR cases where BiN is spelled deficiently (perhaps misleading people into thinking it is an usual spelling of BEN). Here are the cases and their meaning CASE VERSE(s) MEANING ---- ----- ------- 1 Prv30:1 Who gathered wisdom and regurgitated it 2 Yon 4:10 the built-in-a-night plant shade (See my posting on this) 3 Dt 25:2 if he (the defendant) was "cleared" for lashes ["cleared" = medically examined/studied = ByN(Baal Turim); This is the 1st time I've seen Baal Turim give Peshat; BeN HACOTH would mean "HE deserves LASHES"--the Sifra notes that this is the case if he violated a negative prohibition which has a specific act etc. BiN HACOTH would mean "HE WAS studied IF HE CAN RECEIVE LASHES"--in fact, under Jewish Law a medical examination is given to determine HOW MANY lashes the defendant can receive without endangering his life The difference between BEN and BIN is that one is an ATTRIBUTE (he either deserves or doesn't) while one is a PROCESS (something that varies from situation to situation). In summary from BIN vs BEN we can learn both a) the attributes needed for lashes -- (specific,negative.) b) the processes needed for lashes --(an examination) 4 Numberous The Baal Haturim suggests that Joshua Joshua Bin Nun = Joshua was very smart BiN NuN (BiN=smart; NuN = very) In order to declare this as peshat (vs wishful derash) we must study carefully the consistency of this usage. Indeed, we never say Shlomo BiN David..we never use Bin at all in any other setting. True, we MIGHT have a reason (he was very smart)--but besides giving the reason we have to indicate WHY IT WAS SO IMPORTANT. Towards this end allow me to mention 5 facts and let the reader draw his/her own conclusions. a) The Bible explicitly says: Joshua was filled with wisdom(Dt34:9) b) His fathers real name was not NooN but NOWN (Chr 1:7:28) c) In regard to b) apparently there is emphasis that Joshua "left his father" and devoted himself to wisdom (a pun on the change of NooN to NOWN). We note that indeed c1) Joshua is described as devoting himself to apprenticeship with Moses and to not living with others (Ex 33:11) c2) Leaving ones "family" and devoting oneself to spiritual matters is a "prerequsite" to prophecy (e.g. Kings 1:19:20) d) We may summarize the above by stating that the interpretation of BIN NOON = MUCH WISDOM is justified as Peshat if the Hebrew language thinks it appropriate to emphasize that a prerequisite to prophecy is leaving ones family and devoting oneself to spiritual matters. In fact in Mishnaic Hebrew the scholars who entered the so call orchard of knowledge have unusual names * Rabbi Akiva (never cited with his father) * Ben Azai (never with his first name) True They say that Ben Azai, Ben Bag Bag and Ben Hay Hay never got married (and hence no paternal mention) but abstention from ones wife is a prerequisite to prophecy. e) Finally let me note a few more obscure supporting ideas: e1) The Radack in Kings asks how Moses could have 49 out of 50 gates of wisdom while King Solomon was "the smartest man". The Radack answers that King Solomons wisdom was in "this world" while Moses wisdom was in mystical matters (where he surpassed King Solomon). SImilarly Joshua may have attained this state e2) I take it for granted that people know that the letter NUN indicates ALOT. Thus Ex 21:18--When people DISPUTE= VChi YaRiVu Ex 21:18--When people FIGHT = VChi YeRiVuN (See Rav Hirsch) Ps 50:23 (YeChabDannni) is a good example of a "double nun" This "Letter nun=alot" principle avoids the use of "Nun=fish= verb for reproduce alot" in explaining the nun. The chief virtue of Rashi's approach on BIN (no substitute for Ben) is that * we have one unified approach (BiN = verbal form) * no unusual rare spellings (how does it look if only 4 cases have Bin vs Ben (assuming Bin=Ben) * interesting moral norms/lessons are preserved (like the prerequisites for prophecy) Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:12:55 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132312.TAA18430@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.Org, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Some Added Insights On Bircath Torah There have been many postings on Bircath Hatorah with a rich variety of sources cited. Allow me to supplement these with three additional points: POINT 1: TALMUD TORAH INTRINSICALLY REQUIRES CESSATIONS (HEFSEK) ------- For convenience let us go back to PreMishnaic times (when Torah sbal peh was learned orally). On a typical day a person might get up, go to his Rebbe, learn a Perek Mishnah, memorize it, repeat it several times, and THEN TAKE A BREAK, and then repeat it some more etc. Taking breaks is an intrinsic part of memorization. Indeed, the Sifrah (Lev 1) asks why the Torah was broken up into Parshas and answers >>To give reward for the breaks like the reward for learning<< (In other words if you spend 5 minutes reciting a perek mishnah, a 5 minute break and then another 5 minutes learning then you have 15 (not 10) minutes of Torah. Since memorization INTRINSICALLY REQUIRES BREAKS it follows that it is impossible to have INTERRUPTIONS to talmud torah. Indeed if I eat, take a break and go back and eat then I have interrupted my original eating and must say a blessing again. But Talmud torah intrinsically requires breaks and hence there can't be interruptions. It immediately follows that in Pre mishnaic times one brachah is all that is needed for Bircath hatorah for men. POINT 2: WHY WOMEN WOULD NOT SAY A BLESSING -------- Now consider a woman (say someone like Bruriah)--someone who goes around and learns all day and memorizes texts. Nevertheless, she is not obligated! On any day she can e.g. have a baby or help her friends who have a baby or stop. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH HER STOPPING. Hence she should not make a brachah because it is not clear if she will change her mind in the middle of the day and the ESSENTIAL POINT OF THE TORAH BLESSING is on PERIODIC REVIEW and MEMORIZATION (according to the way I have explained it, just reciting a mishnah in and of itself is not the main part of Bircath Torah..rather periodic review is--- and there is no way for a woman to be sure she is/will be engaged in that--more on this below). POINT 3: WHAT ABOUT TODAY ------- There has been a suggestion on this list that the Torah today is Textually based vs mimetic. Allow me to clarify certain things about the heter of Rabaynu Hakadosh to write down the mishnah. 3a) It is universally accepted that no law of halachah can be permanantly (or indefinitely abrogated) 3b) Consequently Rebbe could not possibly have abrogated the prohibition against writing down the Mishnah 3c) What he did do however is the following: People agree that e.g. you can write down "initial letters of words" or other mnemonic devices to help you memorize. What Rebbe did is to observe that since the Roman persecutions were so horrible--and it is almost impossible to learn under conditions of torture---the permissability of writing mnemonic devices was extended to writing down whole texts!!! What did that accomplish (or what is the practical difference)? The answer is that although the texts are written down they are written down as mnemonic devices and the obligation to memorize is still there. Consequently our obligation to learn mishnah today is the same as it was in premishnaic times...we must memorize and review...the only difference is that in premishnaic times people were allowed to use say "initial letter mnemonics" while today people are allowed to write down whole texts as mnemonics. POINT 4: WHY DO I EQUATE talmud torah=memorizaton vs TTorah = Learning ------- In a nutshell learning can be PREPATORY FOR A MITZVAH PERFORMANCE (Hacanah) or FOR MEMORIZATION. It is memorization that is the Ikkar of Talmud torah. The above analysis only makes sense if we accept this. Let me give an example A woman gets up and tries to ascertain say if she is permissible to her husband because of Veseth. She takes out numerous sefarim, reads numerous mefarshim (according to the shittahs she follows) and finally reaches a conclusion. She spends several hours doing so. How should her learning be perceived. My opinion is that her learning is perceived as PREPATORY FOR A PERFORMANCE. Let me give another example. Before going to shule on a Friday a man gets up and his wife asks questions about what she can leave on the blech and what she can take out of the frigidaire and put on and whether she must pour water first etc etc. It appears to me (please give me a source if I am wrong) that this man can answer his wifes halachic questions WITHOUT FIRST RECITING BIRCATH HATORAH...for his primary intention is PREPARATION FOR A MITZVAH. Bircath Hatorah on the other hand is recited on citations or analysis that are part of periodic reviews. It is for this reason that Bircath hatorah is different than other bracoth and that is why one brachah suffices for a man and a woman is exempt. Finally---the classical statement "He who teaches his daughter torah is as if he taught her Tifluth" is NOT to be interpreted in terms of teaching halacoth. For certainly all women should know (thoroughly) the laws of e.g. kashruth and niddah. Rather the above quote refers to someone who has his daughter memorize mishnah. And why is it like tifluth. Because eventually she will devote herself to family matters (either her own or others) and stop reviewing (and there is nothing wrong with this). And anyone (man or woman) who stops reviewing ultimately forgets their learning and starts distorting things. I hope the above analysis helps Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:20:40 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807132320.TAA18527@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM Subject: RE: Rabbi Litvin or Mr Litvin Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Eli I guess I will check with his son (whom I lained for) I will get back to you and the list when I find the answer Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Message-ID: <35AA924E.70C5@neiu.edu> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:03:42 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: Michael J Broyde CC: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Beth Din of America Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Thank you for clarifying the issue. I am of course very familiar with the RCA beth Din only I didn't know it was called Beth Din of America. R. Gedaliah Schwartz (of whom I am a very big fan) was first the Av Beis Din of the Chicago Rabinical Council before becoming Av Beis Din at the RCA. Also, The Agudath Israel of Chicago has a Beis Din who has as it's Dayan, R. Shmuel Feurst, who is a Musmach of R. Moshe Fienstien, I believe, and most certainly a Talmud Muvhok of R.Moshe who Paskins all piskei Din according to the Shita of R. Moshe. I'm not sure if the Agudah has a National version of this or not, or, if they formally or informally consider R. Shmuel Feurst their Dayan on a national level. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:04:58 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Re: Moving Graves (fwd) Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE Interesting News! Please note at least one typo - the Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim is R' Koolitz, not Karelitz. Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:39:52 +0300 From: Hershel Ginsburg To: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" Subject: Re: Moving Graves At 8:33 -0500 13/7/98, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote: >Someone forwarded me a news article saying Rav Elyashiv's car was stoned >last Thursday by fanatics because he allowed moving graves to build a >road or something. > >Is this true?! > >If so, what's going on?! > The short answer is according to the general Israeli press, yes, according to MK Rav Ravetz (Degel Hatorah), no stones but yelling, fist waving and general nasties. The fanatics in question are the esteemed individuals of Atra Kadisha and other shining lights identified with the Eidah Hachareidit. Now for the details: The populating of a new ~1500 unit development in J'lem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood has been delayed for over 1.5 years because the construction of the access road has been frozen as a burial ground, mostly Byzentine, but a possibly a few Bayit Rishon, were discovered. The Antiquities Authority wanted to do a "rescue dig" (which includes giving the disinterred bones over to the Ministry of Religions for prompt reburial) as required by law but Atra Kadisha & others would have none of that and blocked the dig and construction. Important to note that absent the requirement for the rescue dig, continuing the construction of the road would have likely destroyed the graves in all events. What exacerbated the problem was that the housing, whose occupancy was blocked pending the building of the access road, was designated for young couples & army vets for which there is a severe housing crunch in Jerusalem. The apartments were already paid for and the delay is causing a financial hardship as well as the owners are forced to rent a place to live in the interim. Anyhooo this problem with the road has been in the news a lot of late, with much finger pointing all around. Several weeks ago a solution was announced whereby the construction company would simply "lower" the bones 20-30 meters deep into the ground vertically, i.e., in same location but just much deeper. For some reason or another (cost? practicality? technological problems? geological problems? ???) this solution seemed to have fallen by the wayside. Then at the beginning of last week, the news was published that the construction company had been consulting with Rav Karelitz (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) who gave them a heter to move the graves outright to the side of the planned road; more interestingly, Rav Karelitz apparantly secured the agreement of Rav Elyashiv, and the P'sak was announced in both their names. Atra Kadisha & Co. being Atra Kadisha & Co. did not like this solution and made it quite clear that did not see themselves bound in the least by Rav Elyashiv's p'sak (let alone Rav Karelitz's) and in fact would fight it. So this past Wednesday or Thursday when Rav Elyashiv was being driven to his Yeshiva, his car was surrounded by a mob from Atra Kadisha & Co. that pounded on his car, shouted nasty things at him, and were generally quite unpleasent. Again, the news reports had it that stones were thrown, but during a Kol Yisrael radio interview MK Rav Ravetz who claimed to have been there said screaming and yelling nasties yes, stones no. As you might expect this cause a big brouhaha. Yated apparantly had a front page article quoting its Rabbanim condemning the action. In an unusual display of unity, HaModia (the Agudah mouthpiece) reprinted the Yated condemnation on its front page, and issued a condemnation from the Aguda Mo'etzet Gedolei Hatorah. Finally Aguda and Degel Hatorah threatened to boycott products with the hechsher of the Eidah Hachareidit BaDaTz (there are at least a half dozen different BaDaTzim around) if they also did not condem the action. This serious threat apparantly forced the Eidah Hachareidit to condemn the behavior against Rav Eliashiv, but they made it clear that they still object to the p'sak itself. So that's the story as best as I know. Rav Eliashive has not withdrawn his p'sak and the site to which the graves are going to be transferred is being prepared. The next expected confrontation is expected to come when the bones are actually moved, so stay tuned for the next exciting chapter.... When are you due to arrive? hg P.S. If you want to post this under the "Darchei No'am" heading, please feel free to do so. =2E........................................................................= =2E... Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il =2E........................................................................= =2E...=9D=9D=9D ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_127-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900374712450187356-- From baistefila@shamash.org Tue Jul 14 00:01:19 1998 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 00:01:15 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 128 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900388875450194437" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900388875450194437 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 128 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Moving Graves (fwd) by Harry Maryles 2) 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut ----__ListProc__NextPart__900388875450194437 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_128" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_128" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_128 Message-ID: <35AA98BA.1980@neiu.edu> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 19:31:06 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Moving Graves (fwd) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit From: Hershel Ginsburg > Then at the beginning of last week, the news > was published that the construction company had been consulting with Rav > Karelitz (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) who gave them a heter to move the > graves outright to the side of the planned road; more interestingly, Rav > Karelitz apparantly secured the agreement of Rav Elyashiv, and the P'sak > was announced in both their names. Interesting news, as you point out. The front page of today's Chicago Tribune has a similar story happenning right here in Chicago. It is also interesting that such a psak was made by R. Elyashav in light of the many protests in the past on uprooting gravesites for various different reasons in the Holy Land. I don't remember any such psak by anyone in the past, no matter how important the various construction projects were. What do you suppose is different about this case? HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_128 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:54:17 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII In discussing the halkhot of the 3 weeks, I noticed the discussion in the SA and RaMA about music after Hurban Bayit, and was struck by how they are generally disregarded. What is the source for the absolute heter with which Jewish music is regarded today, with radio shows, cassettes, and concerts all being considered perfectly acceptable in (many? most? all?) frum circles, without any kind of restrictions of 'al hayayin, le-shem mitzvah or the like. In general, these halakhot seem to be honored mostly in the breach: I havent noticed people leaving spaces at meals or any of the strictures mentioned in the SA. Has this always been the case, or has our dor, feeling less galus either due to theluxury which we b'h find ourselves in in Western countries, or due to the Yad Hashem manifest in EY over the last 50 years, allowed these halakhot to slip away? Does anyone have mekoros on this? ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_128-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900388875450194437-- From baistefila@shamash.org Wed Jul 15 00:08:36 1998 Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 00:08:32 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 129 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900475712450237856" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900475712450237856 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 129 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by Harry Maryles 2) More on Bin and Ben by Yisrael Herczeg 3) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 4) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by Daniel Eidensohn 5) [Fwd: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv] by RABBI YOSEF BLAU 6) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by 7) The Grave Matter by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 8) Grave's Reposting by Hershel Ginsburg 9) Re: [Fwd: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv] by Hershel Ginsburg 10) Re: More on Bin and Ben by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 11) a sefer's owner by "Newman,Saul Z" 12) Answer to Geryshom: Why MEGUNEH to say AMEN to ones own Brachah by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 13) A Delicious Gmarah on the Learning During Shatz Question by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Poverty: The real? reason for not wearing Tallith before Marriage by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 15) Steinsaltz and the Cherem: Halacha? and What really happened? by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 16) Have a Pleasant Trip..To Rabbi Bechhoffer by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 17) reprinting sefer--halacha by "Newman,Saul Z" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900475712450237856 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_129" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Message-ID: <35AB2D31.B01@neiu.edu> Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 06:04:33 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote: > > In discussing the halkhot of the 3 weeks, I noticed the discussion in the > SA and RaMA about music after Hurban Bayit, and was struck by how they are > generally disregarded. What is the source for the absolute heter with > which Jewish music is regarded today, with radio shows, cassettes, and > concerts all being considered perfectly acceptable in (many? most? all?) > frum circles, without any kind of restrictions of 'al hayayin, > le-shem mitzvah or the like. In general, these halakhot seem to be honored > mostly in the breach: I havent noticed people leaving spaces at > meals or any of the strictures mentioned in the SA. Has this always been > the case, or has our dor, feeling less galus either due to theluxury which > we b'h find ourselves in in Western countries, or due to the Yad Hashem > manifest in EY over the last 50 years, allowed these halakhot to slip > away? Does anyone have mekoros on this? R. Aaron Soloveichik has given a heter to any kind of non live music during any kind of Aveilus period such as the three weeks, as long as there is no one in the vicinity that would object to it. Most of the people that I know do not listen to any music during the three weeks as other poskim say Lo Plug. HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 15:04:09 +0300 (IDT) Message-Id: <199807141204.PAA15942@alpha.netvision.net.il> Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Yisrael Herczeg Subject: More on Bin and Ben Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Russell Hendel writes: >There is a controversy on the meaning of BIN in the verse (Yonah 4:10) > >>(God says to Jonah) You had pity on this plant shade > >> that sprung up over night and was gone overnight > >INTERPRETATION 1: >---------------- >Ibn Ezra and Radack argue that > BIN = BEN = Attribute >--the plant shade had the "attribute" of "night"(being created overnight) > > >INTERPRETATION 2: >----------------- >Rashi quite simply argues that > BIN = ByN (with a Yud) = Built > >Thus BIN LAYLAH = BNiYath LAYLAH = "Overnight construction" > >The verse then means --the overnight construction that existed (to give >you shade) and the overnight construction that was lost. I don't see this in Rashi on Yonah. On the contrary, Rashi there appears to say that bin is the equivalent of ben. In the two editions of Mikraos Gedolos that I have, Rashi begins dibbur hamaschil "shebin laylah" with the what I assume to be the words "kemo ben." The second word is spelled "beis nun." I don't see how that can be seen as a form of ByN. Had Rashi meant that, it seems that he should have spelled the word with a yod between the beis and the nun. Rav Yitzchak Maarsen's scientific edition of Rashi to Trei Asar (The Hague, 5695) has the beis of the word "ben" in that Rashi marked with both a dagesh and a segol. I venture that Rashi on Yonah makes a point of stating that "bin" is the equivalent of "ben" because that it the only place where the word is applied to an inanimate object. Rashi does not comment in all of the other places in Tanach where the word appears, because it is used with reference to people, and thus it is obvious that it is the same as ben. Yisrael Herczeg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 08:38:06 -0400 (EDT) From: Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Tue, 14 Jul 1998, Harry Maryles wrote: > Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote: > > > > In discussing the halkhot of the 3 weeks, I noticed the discussion in the > > SA and RaMA about music after Hurban Bayit, and was struck by how they are > > generally disregarded. What is the source for the absolute heter with > > which Jewish music is regarded today, with radio shows, cassettes, and > > concerts all being considered perfectly acceptable in (many? most? all?) > > frum circles, without any kind of restrictions of 'al hayayin, > > le-shem mitzvah or the like. In general, these halakhot seem to be honored > R. Aaron Soloveichik has given a heter to any kind of non live music > during any kind of Aveilus period such as the three weeks, as long as > there is no one in the vicinity that would object to it. Most of the > people that I know do not listen to any music during the three weeks as > other poskim say Lo Plug. > > HM The issue I was asking about (which I unfortunately did not make clear, the perils of writing late at night ;) is not music during the 3 weeks, but music in gneral after the Hurabn, which at the very least seems to have certain halakhic limits zekher le-hurban. These general halakhot of zekher le-hurban were the ones I wan interested in. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Message-ID: <35AB5D92.4FB59C47@netmedia.net.il> Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 16:30:59 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit > Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut wrote: > > In discussing the halkhot of the 3 weeks, I noticed the discussion in the > SA and RaMA about music after Hurban Bayit, and was struck by how they are > generally disregarded. What is the source for the absolute heter with > which Jewish music is regarded today, with radio shows, cassettes, and > concerts all being considered perfectly acceptable in (many? most? all?) > frum circles, without any kind of restrictions of 'al hayayin, > le-shem mitzvah or the like. In general, these halakhot seem to be honored > > The issue I was asking about (which I unfortunately did not make clear, > the perils of writing late at night ;) is not music during the 3 weeks, > but music in gneral after the Hurabn, which at the very least seems to > have certain halakhic limits zekher le-hurban. These general halakhot of > zekher le-hurban were the ones I wan interested in. The issue of music is discussed fully in the Igros Moshe O.H. I #166. Look in Mishna Berura 560 (2) and Biur Halacha 560 *(2). The Aruch HaShulchan 560 also discusses the issue. Daniel Eidensohn ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Message-ID: <35AB899B.4012@mail.idt.net> Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 09:38:51 -0700 From: RABBI YOSEF BLAU MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: [Fwd: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv] Content-Type: message/rfc822 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Disposition: inline Message-ID: <35AB84E1.3B76@mail.idt.net> Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 09:18:41 -0700 From: RABBI YOSEF BLAU Reply-To: yblau@mail.idt.net X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01C-IDT-v5 (Win16; U) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: beistefila@shamash.org Subject: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit A most troubling aspect of the attack on Rav Elyashiv's car is that it was done by a mob. The system of total dependence on authority does not encourage developing an individual conscience. Nor is there any tolerance for different halachic positions. Since their authorities disagreed with Rav Elyashiv's psak,this mob felt justified in using tactics that have been used often against those outside their pale. We are shocked that anyone would apply this against someone who is as widely accepted a posek as Rav Elyashiv. After this latest manifistation of mob behavior the incident on Shavuot can no longer be dismissed as an aberration. Sincerely yours, Yosef Blau ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 From: Message-ID: <235e2a8f.35ab6750@aol.com> Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 10:12:31 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit There's a good summary article by R'Aharon Kahn in The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society volume 14(Fall 1987) Tha article discusses the differing opinions as to the source of the prohibition(ie The meiri doesn't have the churban as the source) as well as the scope. Kol tuv, Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 12:59:20 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: The Grave Matter Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII I am curious as to the grounds for leniency that R' Elyashiv and R' Koolitz employed. The psokim are pretty machmir in this area - unless the government absolutely will not give in. See, for example, the discussion in Tzitz Eliezer 5:20. R' Abramski, cited there, notes that the assumption in Israel is that all graves are Jewish. In the newest edition of R' Herzog's teshuvos 5:133-134 he discusses the removal of several graves that were in a neighborhood called Sheikh Adar, that had to be moved to build Binyanei Ha'Umah, and only permitted such under very limited conditions. So, what happened here? YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:26:35 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Grave's Reposting Cc: sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu, ygb@aishdas.org, (Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechoffer) Per Rabbi Bechoffers request (see below), I am reposting the note on Rav Eliashiv and the Stoners. This time with Rabbi Koolitz's name corrected. My apologies. hg >Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 11:30:05 -0500 (CDT) >From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" >To: cbrown@bestware.com >cc: Hershel Ginsburg >Subject: Re: R' Blau's post >MIME-Version: 1.0 > >I posted it yesterday to the entire group and then deleted it. I am cc'ing >this to Heshy Ginzburg, who sent me the original, maybe he still has a >copy. > >On Tue, 14 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > >> >> To what does the forward by R' Blau about the car attack on R" Elyashiv >> refer? Please excuse those of us who are not up on current events in the >> JEwish world. I was hesitant to post this to the list, but maybe you can >> post or fill me in. >> >> -CB >> >> P.S. I'm disappointed in no reaction to my emunas chachamim definition. >> ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:39:52 +0300 From: Hershel Ginsburg To: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" Subject: Re: Moving Graves At 8:33 -0500 13/7/98, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote: >Someone forwarded me a news article saying Rav Elyashiv's car was stoned >last Thursday by fanatics because he allowed moving graves to build a >road or something. > >Is this true?! > >If so, what's going on?! > The short answer is according to the general Israeli press, yes, according to MK Rav Ravetz (Degel Hatorah), no stones but yelling, fist waving and general nasties. The fanatics in question are the esteemed individuals of Atra Kadisha and other shining lights identified with the Eidah Hachareidit. Now for the details: The populating of a new ~1500 unit development in J'lem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood has been delayed for over 1.5 years because the construction of the access road has been frozen as a burial ground, mostly Byzentine, but a possibly a few Bayit Rishon, were discovered. The Antiquities Authority wanted to do a "rescue dig" (which includes giving the disinterred bones over to the Ministry of Religions for prompt reburial) as required by law but Atra Kadisha & others would have none of that and blocked the dig and construction. Important to note that absent the requirement for the rescue dig, continuing the construction of the road would have likely destroyed the graves in all events. What exacerbated the problem was that the housing, whose occupancy was blocked pending the building of the access road, was designated for young couples & army vets for which there is a severe housing crunch in Jerusalem. The apartments were already paid for and the delay is causing a financial hardship as well as the owners are forced to rent a place to live in the interim. Anyhooo this problem with the road has been in the news a lot of late, with much finger pointing all around. Several weeks ago a solution was announced whereby the construction company would simply "lower" the bones 20-30 meters deep into the ground vertically, i.e., in same location but just much deeper. For some reason or another (cost? practicality? technological problems? geological problems? ???) this solution seemed to have fallen by the wayside. Then at the beginning of last week, the news was published that the construction company had been consulting with Rav Koolitz (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) who gave them a heter to move the graves outright to the side of the planned road; more interestingly, Rav Koolitz apparantly secured the agreement of Rav Elyashiv, and the P'sak was announced in both their names. Atra Kadisha & Co. being Atra Kadisha & Co. did not like this solution and made it quite clear that did not see themselves bound in the least by Rav Elyashiv's p'sak (let alone Rav Koolitz's) and in fact would fight it. So this past Wednesday or Thursday when Rav Elyashiv was being driven to his Yeshiva, his car was surrounded by a mob from Atra Kadisha & Co. that pounded on his car, shouted nasty things at him, and were generally quite unpleasent. Again, the news reports had it that stones were thrown, but during a Kol Yisrael radio interview MK Rav Ravetz who claimed to have been there said screaming and yelling nasties yes, stones no. As you might expect this cause a big brouhaha. Yated apparantly had a front page article quoting its Rabbanim condemning the action. In an unusual display of unity, HaModia (the Agudah mouthpiece) reprinted the Yated condemnation on its front page, and issued a condemnation from the Aguda Mo'etzet Gedolei Hatorah. Finally Aguda and Degel Hatorah threatened to boycott products with the hechsher of the Eidah Hachareidit BaDaTz (there are at least a half dozen different BaDaTzim around) if they also did not condem the action. This serious threat apparantly forced the Eidah Hachareidit to condemn the behavior against Rav Eliashiv, but they made it clear that they still object to the p'sak itself. So that's the story as best as I know. Rav Eliashive has not withdrawn his p'sak and the site to which the graves are going to be transferred is being prepared. The next expected confrontation is expected to come when the bones are actually moved, so stay tuned for the next exciting chapter.... When are you due to arrive? hg P.S. If you want to post this under the "Darchei No'am" heading, please feel free to do so. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Internet: ginzy@netvision.net.il Shechtman St. 38/9 Phone: 972-2-587-0068 Building 101 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 Ramot 1, Jerusalem, 97225 Israel -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:36:12 +0300 To: RABBI YOSEF BLAU From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Re: [Fwd: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv] Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Not posted... private response. hg At 9:38 -0700 14/7/98, RABBI YOSEF BLAU wrote: >Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 09:18:41 -0700 >From: RABBI YOSEF BLAU >Reply-To: yblau@mail.idt.net >Subject: Attack on the car of Rav Elyashiv > >A most troubling aspect of the attack on Rav Elyashiv's car is that it >was done by a mob. The system of total dependence on authority does not >encourage developing an individual conscience. Nor is there any >tolerance for different halachic positions. Since their authorities >disagreed with Rav Elyashiv's psak,this mob felt justified in using >tactics that have been used often against those outside their pale. >We are shocked that anyone would apply this against someone who is as >widely accepted >a posek as Rav Elyashiv. After this latest manifistation of mob behavior >the incident on Shavuot can no longer be dismissed as an aberration. >Sincerely yours, >Yosef Blau I'm surprised you're surprised.... After living here three years nothing surprises me. This is not the world according to Artscroll. hg =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Internet: ginzy@netvision.net.il Shechtman St. 38/9 Phone: 972-2-587-0068 Building 101 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 Ramot 1, Jerusalem, 97225 Israel -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 18:59:10 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807142259.SAA08236@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, yherczeg@netmedia.net.il Subject: Re: More on Bin and Ben Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Yisrael, thank you for pointing out that there might be other editions I shall spend a week checking every edition I can find and report back (In case it wasn't clear I take it for granted that what Rashi actually said is important). As to your comment on the other "bins"---if something happens in 2 or 3 or 100 cases and Rashi comments on ONE of them then it is legitimate to extend his interpretation to the other 99. This is in fact one of Rabbi Ishmael's principles of interpretation which we read everyday: >>Consider one member of a class to which is attributed some property: >>The attribution of this property is NOT solely an attribute of this >>member but of the whole class(unless the text suggests it is unique) It is not Rashi's job to cross reference..one explanation suffices. Incidentally--even if Rashi did not say this, I still have a logical approach to the text (though I would consider it a serious shortcoming if Rashi didn't adopt this approach...at any rate I am going to look up the editions and report back) Russell ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: a sefer's owner Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 13:51:24 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35abebdd36b9002@laurel.kp.org> al pi halacha, who owns a sefer's rights, the author or the publisher? i.e. in the case of the Netziv sefer, can an author demand the publisher to publish--and if not he can republish elsewhere--or, does the publisher own all rights lolam vaed. another nafka mina would be if a publisher should buy the rights to publish a work he disagrees with, so that it can't be published elsewhere. kol tuv ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:23:44 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807150023.UAA09233@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Answer to Geryshom: Why MEGUNEH to say AMEN to ones own Brachah If If I I repeat repeat every every word word I I say say then then people people think think I I am am MEGUNEH MEGUNEH Did I make my point. AMEN = "What I just said was true". If you say something and then say "And what I just said was true" it looks like you are repeating yourself (a sign of gross insecurity and being Meguneh (not sure how to translate meguneh) On the other hand AMEN at the end of a collection of Bracoth has a DIFFERENT MEANING. It rather affirms NOT THE TRUTH of the preceding blessings BUT THE FACT THAT THE WHOLE GROUP OF BLESSINGS INTERACTS/COMPLEMENTS each other. (AMEN ON A SINGLE BLESSING=Affirmation of truth; ON A MULTIPLE BLESSING=Affirmation of interconnectedness) Hope this answers your question Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @MCS DREXEL EDU ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:24:23 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807150024.UAA09248@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTEfila@Shamash.Org, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: A Delicious Gmarah on the Learning During Shatz Question The following Gmarrah occurs someplace in Shabbath(Maybe someone can look it up and tell me the daf--I think daf yomi just passed this) >>Rabbi X was spending alot of time engaged in prayer. >>Seeing this Rabbi Y said << According to this Gmarrah Prayer is NOT a spiritual endeavor!! Indeed there is a well known controversy among the Rishonim whether the Biblical obligation of prayer is on DAILY PRAYER or only on PRAYER WHEN IN ANGUISH. Let us think about the opinion that Biblically PRAYER is only obligatory when we are in anguish. It would emerge that just as we have physical needs--to eat, to drink, to sleep, to perform ones bathrooms needs, to have intimacy--so to we have a physical need (To Pray to God) when we are in anguish. In fact for those that doubt that prayer can be perceived this way there was a front page article on prayer by Times magazine a few years ago with lots of juicy statistics: Among them is that 25% of aetheists pray--apparently there is simply a "physical need" to pray (even if you don't believe in it). Thus there seems to be a controversy on whether prayer vs Torah is the premiere spiritual worship. Perhaps CHASIDUS and MITHNAGDUS similarly argue!! While one should not paskin by agadic concepts it would emerge that someone who learns during Chazarath Shatz is leaving the temporal world for the true spiritual world. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:25:03 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807150025.UAA09263@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.Org, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Poverty: The real? reason for not wearing Tallith before Marriage 1) OTHER BACHELOR EXEMPT LAWS ------------------------------- In support of Eli (who claimed that people don't wear tallithim because it is middath chassidus and a bachelor cannot be in that state) is an obscure halachah that a bachelor cohayn does not have to duchan if he doesn't feel up to it. 2) TEFILLIN ON CHOL HAMOED -------------------------- My understanding however was that Holidays = Symbolic affirmation of our relationship to God Tefilin = Symbolic Affirmation of our relationship to God Chol Hamoayd = Yom Tov Hence we don't wear tefillin on Yom Tov because we don't need to and similarly on Chol Hamoayd. Thus the not wearing tefillin has nothing to do with (PERSONAL) middath chasiduth and should be observed by everybody. To put it another way: The middath chasiduth here is in IDENTIFYING CHOL HAMOAYD with YOM TOV not with PERSONAL middath chasiduth and hence it would apply to bachelors. 3) TALLITH--PARSHATH VAYMOER ----------------------------- Even if bachelors are considered steeped in Toomah that would be no reason for them to abstain from tallith. Indeed, The torah EXPLICITY states in VAYOMER that all performances of tzitzith (like Tallith) enable >> you will not deviate after your eyes >>and your hearts(desires) that you are (indeed)deviating after On the contrary: A bachelor needs a tallith much more than a married man. It is inconceivable that personal states are a factor in the heter. 4) TALLITH- POVERTY ------------------- The reason I heard for not wearing a tallith was that certain communities were very poor and therefore could not purchase tallithim so they delayed till there marriage (since people get many gifts at marriage..the reason has to do with money not with the toomah of not being married) In relation to the above (a suggested reason of poverty) note that * the talmud speaks about monetary conflicts e.g. chanukah vs kiddush etc * I personally heard from the Rav (Soloveitchick) that he was so poor that sometimes his father would bring home a book and he could only read it by the moonlight. In conclusion I consider poverty to be the reason for the minhag. SInce we are no longer poor (or equivalantly tallithim are easy to purchase) I don't see any reason for following the minhag. In fact I have worn a tallith since I was 13 for precisely this reason. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel Edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:25:48 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807150025.UAA09269@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Steinsaltz and the Cherem: Halacha? and What really happened? I agree with RYBG that BT has better things to do than discuss Charedi headlines. Therefore if this posting is inappropriate please ignore it. But I would like to deal with some halachik issues (thats right: Pure halacha...and no sociology) QUESTION 1: Are we allowed FOR ANY REASON to place people in Cherem today E.g. Since we have a member of the RCA Besdin on our list I can ask if people who violate e.g. requests to give gitim are put in Cherem. If not, why should anyone have the right to place a sefer in Cherem QUESTION 2: Are we allowed to place in cherem publications vs people even in the time of the Gmarrah QUESTION 3: Does anyone have the Exact text Exact time Exact wording Exact reading of this so called Cherem QUESTION 4: (I know this sounds clishayish..but I wouldn't want to be cited for this on the Day of Judgement--here is the question)Leaving aside the issue of cherem is there ANY heter (a la shmirath lashon) for say a shule Rabbi to get up and RECOMMEND not purchasing a Sefer. If there are criteria for so saying (e.g. the 7 criteria of the Chafetz Chayyim) have they been fulfilled here (have all of them, 6 of them, 1 of them). QUESTION 5: (One more clishay..again I wouldn't want to be caught doing this on the Day of Judgement) Independent of the answers to the above questions isn't it a direct violation of the Biblical law of ONAAH (causing emotional anguish) to publicly insult the work of a person. To be very blunt--I am not interested in talking about politics or sociology and in my opinion I haven't. I am asking what is the matter with everybody. In my opinion it is the greatest Chilul Hashem when anyone runs around performing the type of infantile behavior involved in this so called Cherem (I still haven't heard what happened) and I for one would at least like to know the facts Russell (And please..don't send me to some obscure reference which I don't have time or resources to look up) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:27:48 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807150027.UAA09302@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.ORg, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Have a Pleasant Trip..To Rabbi Bechhoffer If I remember correctly our Friendly Listowner, RYBG is going on a trip to Israel and England. We must wish him well with a dvar torah. Since he invited me to continue trying in the famous ongoing controversy on whether to say blessings on Presidents I will continue. 1st a disclaimer--embarrassing as it is, I don't follow my own psaks. I was guest at the President of ISrael's house when I was one of the winners in the International Bible Contest (an example of My Tenaching). ALthough I still consider it totally irrational I didn't say a blessing (with Shaym and Malcuth)--so...maybe I should convince myself before I convince others). 2nd--a new strategy...I will continue the argument but on a different thread!! Rabbi B suggests that the fire bombs killed more during WWII than the A Bomb. (I had used the President's ability to throw A Bombs as an example a la Raavad of his ability to execute) However, fires don't mutate genes -- A Bombs do. Citing the famous Rashi on the Kayins murder of Hevel---A Voice, THe blood(S!!!) of your brother scream from the ground (Rashi..because of the descendants that could descend from him)--I would say that A Bombs mutate numerous future generations and hence in the end kill more than Fire BOmbs. In fact that is why there is so much resentment to the BOmb..not because of the quantity of people that it kills but because of what it might do to human form. So I think the authority to OK use of A Bombs is greater than the authority to use fires. (Note: My winning this (part of the) argument goes back to my promise to help Rabbi B learn quantum physics from our holy books... In this case I cited a Rashi..Rabbi B now knows both the speed of light and the dangers of the A Bomb from our Tenach) What about the rest of the discussion--maybe I can invoke Gilgul..since I am winning one part of the arugment I automatically win the others (I mean it works for oaths why not for arguments) Anyway..Rabbi B have a nice trip and bring back many chidushim Russell PS The above Rashi was taught to me by the Rav (We learned Berashith and Rashi for 3 years) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: reprinting sefer--halacha Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 16:15:09 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35ac15e85e96002@laurel.kp.org> in a case such as the Netziv book, which a publisher removed from print, i assume secular law forbids it being published by another. halachically, is it so? can an author demand of his frum publisher to publish more copies, especially when there's a demand? Who halachically owns a sefer-the author or the publisher? kol tuv ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_129-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900475712450237856-- From baistefila@shamash.org Thu Jul 16 00:01:09 1998 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 00:01:04 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 130 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900561664450280832" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900561664450280832 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 130 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Have a Pleasant Trip..To Rabbi Bechhoffer by Hershel Ginsburg 2) Bombs & Bullets Post Script by Hershel Ginsburg 3) re: wearing a tallis *after* marriage by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 4) Re: Music all year 'round by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 5) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 129 by gershon.dubin@juno.com 6) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" 7) RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by "Clark, Eli" 8) RE: reprinting sefer--halacha by "Clark, Eli" 9) RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by Cheryl Maryles 10) RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by cbrown@bestware.com 11) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 12) Re: your mail by Joel Margolies 13) RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Music, the Heter by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 15) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by 16) Re: BAISTEFILA digest 129 by palix@juno.com (Moshe Pollack) 17) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 18) Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification by cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) 19) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 20) Re: your mail by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900561664450280832 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_130" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 08:15:19 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Re: Have a Pleasant Trip..To Rabbi Bechhoffer Cc: Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu At 20:27 -0400 14/7/98, Russell Hendel wrote: > >2nd--a new strategy...I will continue the argument but on a different >thread!! Rabbi B suggests that the fire bombs killed more during WWII >than the A Bomb. (I had used the President's ability to throw A Bombs >as an example a la Raavad of his ability to execute) > >However, fires don't mutate genes -- A Bombs do. Citing the famous >Rashi on the Kayins murder of Hevel---A Voice, THe blood(S!!!) of >your brother scream from the ground (Rashi..because of the descendants >that could descend from him)--I would say that A Bombs mutate numerous >future generations and hence in the end kill more than Fire BOmbs. > Many chemical weapons like the nitrogen mustard gasses used in WW I also mutate genes. In fact any weapon that has a carcinogenic side effect (like mustard gas) **BY DEFINITION** can mutate genes. That can include smoke caused by fire bombs that can easily contain carcinogenic chemicals. >In fact that is why there is so much resentment to the BOmb..not because >of the quantity of people that it kills but because of what it might >do to human form. > To say that the fear of nuclear weapons vs. fire bombs is because of nuclear weapons effect "to human form" is IMHO overly simplistic. First of all the power of nuclear weapons has greatly increased by several orders of magnitude since WW II, particularly since the development of the H-bomb. Thus the killing potential is far far greater than fire bombs. Second of all, the trend in H-bomb R&D was (is?) to try to develop bombs with greater and greater destructive potential but less and less release of radioactive fallout. hg ............................................................................. Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il ............................................................................. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 09:23:08 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Bombs & Bullets Post Script A post script to my response below to R. Hendel's comparison between fire bombs and A-bombs: The reason why more people died from fire bombs than by A-bomb is that many many more fire bombs were dropped than A-bombs; remember, "only" two A-bombs were dropped, one on Hirsohima and one on Nagasaki. So although more people may have died from the fire bombs, more people died per weapon unit dropped with the A-bomb. To carry it further, I suspect that more people died in WW II from bullets, artillery shells, and conventional bombs than from fire bombs etc., because many many more units of those were used. Back to the drawing board. hg >At 20:27 -0400 14/7/98, Russell Hendel wrote: > >> >>2nd--a new strategy...I will continue the argument but on a different >>thread!! Rabbi B suggests that the fire bombs killed more during WWII >>than the A Bomb. (I had used the President's ability to throw A Bombs >>as an example a la Raavad of his ability to execute) >> >>However, fires don't mutate genes -- A Bombs do. Citing the famous >>Rashi on the Kayins murder of Hevel---A Voice, THe blood(S!!!) of >>your brother scream from the ground (Rashi..because of the descendants >>that could descend from him)--I would say that A Bombs mutate numerous >>future generations and hence in the end kill more than Fire BOmbs. >> > > >Many chemical weapons like the nitrogen mustard gasses used in WW I also >mutate genes. In fact any weapon that has a carcinogenic side effect (like >mustard gas) **BY DEFINITION** can mutate genes. That can include smoke >caused by fire bombs that can easily contain carcinogenic chemicals. > > >>In fact that is why there is so much resentment to the BOmb..not because >>of the quantity of people that it kills but because of what it might >>do to human form. >> > >To say that the fear of nuclear weapons vs. fire bombs is because of >nuclear weapons effect "to human form" is IMHO overly simplistic. First of >all the power of nuclear weapons has greatly increased by several orders of >magnitude since WW II, particularly since the development of the H-bomb. >Thus the killing potential is far far greater than fire bombs. Second of >all, the trend in H-bomb R&D was (is?) to try to develop bombs with greater >and greater destructive potential but less and less release of radioactive >fallout. > >hg > > ............................................................................. Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il ............................................................................. ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: re: wearing a tallis *after* marriage Message-ID: <19980715.025627.12015.4.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 02:58:35 EDT Several answers have been offered regarding why many do not wear a tallis gadol until after marriage. They all seem to boil down to it being optional, and then there are various reasons for opting out. Is there anything wrong with a married man who chooses to simply wear a tallis katan, and not bother with a tallis gadol? Can anyone offer another example of a mitzva which can be performed in either of two different ways, and a different bracha was offered for each way? Why is it that the very specific bracha of "l'his'atef b'tzitzis" can cover a tallis katan, but the very general bracha of "al mitzvas tzitzis" does not cover a tallis gadol? Akiva Miller ------------------------- Visit our home page at: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/6661/miller.html _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Music all year 'round Message-ID: <19980715.025627.12015.3.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 02:58:34 EDT Daniel Eidensohn wrote <<< The issue of music is discussed fully in the Igros Moshe O.H. I #166. Look in Mishna Berura 560 (2) and Biur Halacha 560 *(2). The Aruch HaShulchan 560 also discusses the issue. >>> I believe that those sources *oppose* listening to music all year round, and the original post by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut was asking for an explanation of why we seem to ignore that. I have heard some quote the Rama as the source for our leniency. The Mechaber writes (560:3): "Similarly they decreed not to play with musical instruments, or any type of music, or anything that makes a musical sound to get simcha with." The Rama adds: "Some hold [that this applies only to] one who is "ragil" with them, such as kings who get up and lie down to music, or at a party." But I do not understand how that leniency can apply to us nowadays. Music surrounds us constantly, from the clock radio when we get up, cassettes when we drive to work, background music in the stores, piped in through the phones at the office, headsets on the joggers, and many more examples. Not all those examples will apply to everyone, but it is a rare person who won't put on some music when the house is too quiet, and that sure sounds to me like the kings as described by this Rama. Akiva Miller ------------------------- Visit our home page at: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/6661/miller.html _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 07:35:25 -0400 Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 129 Message-ID: <19980715.073734.18926.5.gershon.dubin@juno.com> From: gershon.dubin@juno.com >Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:23:44 -0400 >From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) >Message-Id: <199807150023.UAA09233@mcs.drexel.edu> >To: BaisTefila@Shamash.org, rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu >Subject: Answer to Geryshom: Why MEGUNEH to say AMEN to ones own >Brachah > >If If I I repeat repeat every every word word I I say say then then >people people think think I I am am MEGUNEH MEGUNEH They think you're MESHUGAH MESHUGAH; meguneh to me means disgusting, not strange. >On the other hand AMEN at the end of a collection of Bracoth has a >DIFFERENT MEANING. It rather affirms NOT THE TRUTH of the preceding >blessings BUT THE FACT THAT THE WHOLE GROUP OF BLESSINGS >INTERACTS/COMPLEMENTS >each other. (AMEN ON A SINGLE BLESSING=Affirmation of truth; >ON A MULTIPLE BLESSING=Affirmation of interconnectedness) Zo minayin loch? Gershon _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-Id: <35ACB101.5AA0CA24@lsr.nei.nih.gov> Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 09:39:13 -0400 From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" Mime-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org, "Barry D. Jacobson" Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit R' Aharon Kahn's article in The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society was his shorter version. He had a three part version in the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy (put out by YU's Belz School of Music). It was in vol 9 (1986-87) pg 55-72, vol. 10 (87-88) pg 32-49, and vol. 11 (88-89) pg 65-75. (Those who are familiar with Rabbi Yehudah Kelemer's knowledge of all of Jewish Literature, which is quite a few on this list, will appreciate that he pointed me to this source several years ago when I was researching the topic) Joelirich@aol.com wrote: > There's a good summary article by R'Aharon Kahn in The Journal of > Halacha and > Contemporary Society volume 14(Fall 1987) Tha article discusses the > differing > opinions as to the source of the prohibition(ie The meiri doesn't have > the > churban as the source) as well as the scope. > > Kol tuv, > Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: "rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu" Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 11:11:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Russel Hendel writes: >2) TEFILLIN ON CHOL HAMOED >My understanding however was that > Holidays = Symbolic affirmation of our relationship to God > Tefilin = Symbolic Affirmation of our relationship to God > Chol Hamoayd = Yom Tov >Hence we don't wear tefillin on Yom Tov because we don't need to and >similarly on Chol Hamoayd. >Thus the not wearing tefillin has nothing to do with (PERSONAL) middath >chasiduth and should be observed by everybody. To put it another way: >The middath chasiduth here is in IDENTIFYING CHOL HAMOAYD with YOM TOV >not with PERSONAL middath chasiduth and hence it would apply to bachelors. The issue is far more complex, involving issues of minhag, lo titgodedu and the role of the Zohar in Halakhah. The list is invited to peruse Yaakov Katz's article on the subject from 1981, the 7th Int'l Congress on Jewish Studies, repr. in Halakhah ve-Kabbalah, 102-24. A brief summary follows: Eruvin 96a explains that tefillin is not laid on Shabbat and yom tov because of the the gezerah shavah "ot" "ot." The Geonim appear to have applied this Chol ha-Mo'ed as well. See Otzar ha-Geonim ad loc. and Bahag. But the Ba'alei ha-Tosafot resolved the question by reference to the Gemara in Mo'ed Katon 19a, that one may write tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed. While this Gemara could be following the view that tefillin are laid on Shabbat and yom tov, the Yerushalmi quotes Rav as permitting tefillin writing on Chol ha-Mo'ed. See Tosafot, Eruvin 96b; Sefer ha-Terumah Hil Tefillin 213; Or Zaru'a 1, siman 589; Hagahot Maimuniyyot, Hil. Tefillin 4. It seems clear that the dominant minhag in Ashkenaz was to put on tefillin, see, e.g., Piskei Rid, Mo'ed Katon 19a, Sefer Hashlamah, ad loc. But Ra'avad, Temim De'im, writes that one is patur, and one who wishes to lay tefillin shoud do so without a berakhah. Cf. Semak 150 and Mordekhai Halakhot Ketanot 1435. The Maharm Rothenberg and Rosh laid tefillin with a berakhah. See Mordekhai; Shut ha-Rosh 23:9; Tur O.H. 31. In Sefarad the minhag was not to wear tefillin, according to Rashba, see Teshuvot ha-Meyuchasot la-Ramban 237, Shut Rashba 1, 690. Cf. Ritva and Ran to Mo'ed Katon 19a, who also cite the view regarding laying without a berakhah. But the Zohar changed all that, stating that laying tefillin is prohibited and one who does so is liable to die ("bar katola"). Hence the Mechaber in his Bet Yosef and Kesef Mishneh expressly adopts the Zohar's view, as does Radbaz, Shut Radbaz 4, 8. In the back of the Shut of the Mechaber is a teshuvah of his uncle, R. Yitzhak Caro who tries to prove from the tefillin question that the Zohar's pesak is always authoritative. In contrast Shut Maharshal 98 tries to prove from the tefillin question that the Zohar is not authoritative, because in Ashkenaz tefillin was laid on Chol ha-Mo'ed with a berakhah. Rema also holds this, but adds that the berakhah is said silently. In Italy the two customs clashed, see pachad yitzhak, taf, 108a-114b; Shut Rema Pano 108, and some sefardic jews would lay tefillin pesulin so as to maintain their custom without violating lo titgodedu. The Taz, also wishing to reconcile the Ashkenazic minhag with the Zohar, recommends laying without a berakhah. With the advent of Chasidut, another group of Ashkenazim adopted the Kabbalistic practice. Then the Gra, see his Biur to SA OH 31, decided that the Yerushalmi brought by Tosafot was not a valid proof, and decided that one should not lay tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed. (As most are aware, Eretz Yisrael follows minhag ha-Gra on this issue.) But the Gra was not generally followed. See Chayyei Adam, kelal 14, 16 (lay without a berakhah) and Shut Mishkenot Yaakov 38. For the response of a chasid to this teshuvah, see Avnei Nezer, OH 60, 2. In sum, the issue of tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed was not resolved in the Gemara, and two minhagim developed -- one in Ashkenaz and one in Sefarad. Only in the 1400's does the impact of the Zohar make itself felt and its halakhic authority itself became an issue in the debate. The majority of Ashkenazic posekim stood their ground and defended their minhag, though many attempted to soften the conflict by relenting on the recital of the berakhah. In contrast, most mekubbalim refused to compromise, especially in view of the Zohar's dire warning. Although the Chasidim adopted the Zoharic practice, the tefillin issue did not become a football in their conflict with the Mitnagdim, no doubt becaiuse of the Gra's own idiosyncratic view. Today, the problem is primarily one of variant minhagim within a single shul or minyan, an issue to be dealt with another time. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: "Newman,Saul Z" Subject: RE: reprinting sefer--halacha Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 11:50:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Saul Newman asks: >al pi halacha, who owns a sefer's rights, the author or the publisher? >i.e. in the case of the Netziv sefer, can an author demand the publisher >to publish--and if not he can republish elsewhere--or, does the >publisher own all rights lolam vaed. another nafka mina would be if a >publisher should buy the rights to publish a work he disagrees with, so >that it can't be published elsewhere. The posekim have primarily analyzed this issue in terms of hasagat gevul. The famous teshuvah of the Rema (no. 10) argues that a publisher can prevent a rival publisher from printing a competing verson fot the same work where the competition constitutes a bari hezeika (certain harm). R. Mordekhai Benet, Parashat Mordekhai, H.M. nos. 7-8, holds that an author has a right to control publication of his work, but that a publisher does not have any such rights. Hatam Sofer, H.M. nos. 41, 79; vol. 6 no. 57, argues that publishers do have rights over what they publish, based on an ancient takkanah made to protect their interests and promote the publication of Torah. Moreover, once the publisher has sold all of the copies he has printed, his rights over the work expire. Finally, no one can have any roghts over a work of hiddushim or piskei halakhah, because it is forbidden to make a profit from Torah. On author's rights, see R. Yosef Shaul Nathanson, Sho'el u-Meshiv, Mahdura Kama, 1 no. 44, who claims that an author has an eternal right over his work. He is disputed by his student, R. Yitzhak Schmelkes, who holds that once a work is published and all copies sold, it enters the public domain and may be reprinted by anyone. These sources are discussed in English in J.D. Bleich, Cont. Halakhic Problems 2, 121-30; in Hebrew in S. Rubinstein, Torah she-be-al Peh 19 (1977), 54-61; E. Batzri, Tehumin 6 (1985). Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 13:03:06 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Whenever I read about such a dispute as how to do something that was done many times a year, year after year I always have the same question...Did Moshe rabanu wear teffilen on chol hamoed or not. the common answer to such questions is people forgot. Of course that's difficult to say with a mitzva which is done about 6-8 times a year, every year. For that matter i can ask on the question of whether or not teffilen are worn on shabbos or not--that happened 52 time a year. I have a mehalach how to answer such questions primarily based on the book "dynamics of dispute" an excellent book which I recommend to all. However, I was looking to see if anyone on the list had a different mehalach how to deal with this question Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256642:0062F1E1.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 14:50:40 -0400 Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Your question assumes that tradition was forgotten and for lack of an alternative we had to rely on derashos and logic, which begs the question how could so much have been lost. That assumption may be fundementally incorrect. Tradition was not lost, but the gemara chose to ignore it in order to arrive at the truth by reasoning, textual derash, etc. What Moshe did is irrelevant. The historical reality does not determine halacha, rather the absolute logical/ Midrashic argument does. Your model is turned on its head; text and logic reign supreme and "ma'aseh rav", "puk chazei mai ama debar" are last resorts. R' Akiva was able to darshen every crown on the letters and Moshe declared Torah should be given through him. This is the converse of R' Haym Soloveitchik's reliance on the mimetic tradition - the gemara preferred to seek truth in a textual or logical source. Of course, since we are dealing with Moshe Rabeinu there are those who will cringe at this notion, but I will be happy if you grant it as a legitimate approach in many other cases. -CB P.S. regarding forgotten traditions note R' Hai Gaon at the end of Mes. Rosh HaShana, Aruch HaShulachan raises this regarding Rashi & RT tefillin, sugya of Hillel paskening about slaughtering korban Pesach on Shabbos Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Whenever I read about such a dispute as how to do something that was done many times a year, year after year I always have the same question...Did Moshe rabanu wear teffilen on chol hamoed or not. the common answer to such questions is people forgot. Of course that's difficult to say with a mitzva which is done about 6-8 times a year, every year. For that matter i can ask on the question of whether or not teffilen are worn on shabbos or not--that happened 52 time a year. I have a mehalach how to answer such questions primarily based on the book "dynamics of dispute" an excellent book which I recommend to all. However, I was looking to see if anyone on the list had a different mehalach how to deal with this question Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 17:12:20 -0400 Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Message-ID: <19980715.171222.3926.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) On Wed, 15 Jul 1998 14:50:40 -0400 cbrown@bestware.com writes: > > > > >Your question assumes that tradition was forgotten and for lack of an >alternative we had to rely on derashos and logic, which begs the >question >how could so much have been lost. > >That assumption may be fundementally incorrect. Tradition was not >lost, >but the gemara chose to ignore it in order to arrive at the truth by >reasoning, textual derash, etc. What Moshe did is irrelevant. The >historical reality does not determine halacha, rather the absolute >logical/ >Midrashic argument does. I found it very difficult to understand how you can say what Moshe did was irrelevant. If Moshe recieved instructions from Hashem (Halachah lemoshe misinai) how something was meant to be done how could we ignore that? Clearly the concept of "Lo beshamayim hi" only begins after Moshe or else we have no Torah shebaal peh at all! To use logic to go against the mesorah from Moshe is the equivalent of being metaher a sheretz with logic. And to say that Moshe acted on his own initiative seems strange and not from an explicit explanation seems strange. And even if that were to be true, what would give us the right to disagree with Moshe's psak, any more than a Tanna has the right to disagree with an Amora. (One would imagine that the difference between Moshe and the Tannaim in the understanding of Halachah was certainly greater than the Amoraim and the Tannaim. ANd don't quote the Gem. in Menachos with R' Akiva and MOshe, because look at Rashi there. SHraga ROthbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Message-ID: <35AD29FE.4B3DFA4@ms.com> Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 18:15:26 -0400 From: Joel Margolies MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: your mail Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Cheryl Maryles wrote: > > > I am not a fan of Artscroll > > Why not? whats wrong with a publication which allows many people to learn > gemara when they are lacking the proper skills. Please forgive me if someone has responded to this already... Reb Ginsparg - It is true that Artscroll has done a lot of good, but many find fault in their loose reporting (in many cases erroneous)of historical events, especially with regards to gedolim, their sometime blatant insults directed at the zionist camp, their high pricing, the impression that they give that they are poskim to the exclusion of other opinions... I think all would agree that they have done a lot of good- but that doesn't mean that we have to love "artscroll". The institution may have many faults precluding our "fandom." (For example, if a rich man gives a lot of tzedaka but happens to be a real horrible person in other areas of his life- we might be a fan of what he has accomplished, but not of him.) Take care, Joel -- Joel Margolies margol@ms.com W-212-762-2386 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 19:41:59 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807152341.TAA27594@mcs.drexel.edu> To: baistefila@shamash.org, clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Cc: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu I thank Eli for his quite erudite and detailed explanation in the name of Yaakov Katz. Permit me to add one more serious source that hasn't yet been mentioned. The Mishnah in Avoth states >>whoever despises the Holidays has no share in the next world and Rashi explains >>who wears weekdays clothes on Yom Tov. My understanding (and the above quotes (cited from memory..hope I didn't distort anything)) is that CHOL HAMOAYD = YOM TOV at least as far as its status (though of course not from Issur Mlacah) Therefore I don't see how ANYBODY for ANY REASON could possibly NOT wear tefilin on Yom TOv and WEAR THEM on chol hamoayd As to the Yerushalmi: I would say quite simply that Shabath and Tefillin are called OTH but not Yom Tov. So presumably the Yersuhalmi holds that Tefilin aren't worn on Shabboth but worn on Yom Tov and hence on Chol Hamoayd also. Since we don't wear tefilin on Yom Tov I don't see any heter to wear it on Chol Hamoayd. Russell (PS In passing Rav Hirsch in his mammoth essay >Grundlinien Einer Judischen Symbolik<< points out that there are only 3 1/2 mitzvoth that are classified EXPLICITLY by the Torah as OTH (Shabbath, TEfillin, Milah and Pesach Mitzrayim) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 19:26:32 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Music, the Heter Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII I believe the Yechave Da'at has an explicit teshuva in vol. 1 arguing on R' Moshe by shirei kodesh so long as the intent is Avodas Hashem (I realize that bans most current Jewish music, but it should suffice to permit Modzhitz, other Chassidic music, Carlebach and you don't really need more than that :-) ). As for classical music, the heter - so long as you do not wake up and go to sleep to music - is found in the Rama OC 560:3. Music with lyrics is a little more difficult. YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 From: Message-ID: <49ad8c7.35ad572a@aol.com> Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 21:28:02 EDT To: baistefila@shamash.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-15 14:01:40 EDT, you write: << Whenever I read about such a dispute as how to do something that was done many times a year, year after year I always have the same question...Did Moshe rabanu wear teffilen on chol hamoed or not. the common answer to such questions is people forgot. Of course that's difficult to say with a mitzva which is done about 6-8 times a year, every year. For that matter i can ask on the question of whether or not teffilen are worn on shabbos or not--that happened 52 time a year. I have a mehalach how to answer such questions primarily based on the book "dynamics of dispute" an excellent book which I recommend to all. >> Can you summarize? Does it cover rashi and rabbeinu tam tfillin? Kol Tuv Joel ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 21:02:42 -0500 Subject: Re: BAISTEFILA digest 129 Message-ID: <19980715.210245.12278.1.palix@juno.com> From: palix@juno.com (Moshe Pollack) >If If I I repeat repeat every every word word I I say say then then >people people think think I I am am MEGUNEH MEGUNEH MESHUGA MESHUGA yes MEGUNAH MEGUNAH no but I would agree with the rest of what you said _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Message-ID: <19980715.223045.7591.0.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 22:22:03 EDT >I found it very difficult to understand how you can say what Moshe did >was irrelevant. If Moshe recieved instructions from Hashem (Halachah >lemoshe misinai) how something was meant to be done how could we >ignore that? Clearly the concept of "Lo beshamayim hi" only begins >after Moshe or else we have no Torah shebaal peh at all! To use logic >to go against the mesorah from Moshe is the equivalent of being >metaher a sheretz with logic. You are assuming again that Moshe knew all halachos as a function of halacha l'Moshe M'Sinai. I beg to differ. Clearly only a small minority of laws fall into the halacha l'Moshe M'sinai catagory, which is a technical term. The vast majority of halachos are learned out from the derashos and logic (sevara) of Torah sheB'al peh. Since the gemara in Menachos 29 says when Moshe heard R' Akiva darshening the tagim of the letters he was baffeled it seems Moshe was not aware of every derasha. See Ritva Eruvin 13 - Moshe was given 49 panim of tumah/tahara - not a list of the "right" answers. There are a multiplicity of truths - see intro to Tanya on "elu v'elu". We are not bound to say Moshe knew every single halacha and chiddush ever to be darshened or taught. The concept of chiddush is not to reveal a law which was known to Moshe and forgotten through the ages but is an act of creation. See Halachic Man section XIII. Do you have a source that would substantiate your assumption that Moshe received instruction on every issue to ever arise? >And to say that Moshe acted on his own initiative seems strange and >not from an explicit explanation seems strange. And even if that were >to be true, what would give us the right to disagree with Moshe's >psak, any more than a Tanna has the right to disagree with an Amora. >(One would imagine that the difference between Moshe and the Tannaim >in the understanding of Halachah was certainly greater than the >Amoraim and the Tannaim. ANd don't quote the Gem. in Menachos with R' >Akiva and MOshe, because look at Rashi there. > Why is Moshe acting on his own initiative as a posek any stranger then any Bais Din deciding a matter? Again, Moshe was not shown all the "right" answers and was forced to employ thev methodology of Torah SheBal Peh in consonance with his understanding, which need not be the same as any one elses - note again this point made in intro. to Tanya (we are back to the concept of relative truth again!) Also, Moshe's personal hanhagos might very well not constitute psak in the formal sense which would make is bound to his word (would you suggest every Bais Din in future doros that took a position was risking a violation of "lo tasur because Moshe already paskened on the matter?) I agree with you in practice but not in your philosophy. There is no fundemental rule that says we can't disagree with tanaim - it is a result of the practical fact that we just don't know enough. It is like the difference between saying I can't fly and I can't do calculus. One is a fundemental limitation; the other is a limitation due to the circumstances of my knowledge which is theory could be overcome. You assume a fundemental limitation on our halachic autonomy; I say that it is a result of lack of knowledge and niskatnu hadoros. -CB _____________________________________________________________________ >You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get >completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno >at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification Message-ID: <19980715.231408.7591.2.cbrown106@juno.com> From: cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 23:05:48 EDT I think my Moshe line was a bad example and hurt my point rather then clarified it. I think a little summary with a better example (f) will help clear up a touchy subject. (a) Moshe Rabeibu was not given the absolute definitive psak on all isues. He was shown a multiplicity of truths and the methodology of learning to arrive at psak (I think Netziv touches on this - have to look) (b) There is no absolute rule that prevents a later source from disagreeing with an earlier one. It is a matter of practical difficulty in reaching the level of scholarship of earlier doros that results in a heirarchy of Tanaim, Amoraim, Rishonim, Achronim. Because of the practical limitiations this tefillin was not a good example for me to use to make these points SEE BELOW for a better example. (c) Not every hanahaga of Moshe (or anyone) is psak. (d) Moshe Rabeinut was bound by the parameters of all batei dinim and poskim. He is therefore subject to rule (b) above. (f) A better example to get back to what I think is the main point: I can happily assume that 100% of the people in R"T's neighborhood wore Rashi's tefillin and R"T,, despite the mimetic tradition, could still confidentally assert his shittah becasue the textual tradition of halachic analysis reigns supreme. The people didn't forget generations of tradition - they were just overruled by halachic analysis! I think this example illustrates my point much better and would ask S. Rothblat if he agrees. (Haym Soloveitchik's thesis may still be defended on the grounds that the halachic tradition in our times has sunk so low that mimetic tradition has surpassed it in accuracy.) Hope this clarifies things (and apologies for the length)! -Chaim P.S. While a discussion of whether if Moshe gave a psak are we practically or theoretically bound to it is might be seen as splitting hairs it does serve to underscore attitudes toward autonomy in psak, mimetic tradition and psak, the parameters of chiddush, the nature of authority in halacha, etc. . _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 23:19:24 -0400 Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Message-ID: <19980715.231926.3926.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) On Wed, 15 Jul 1998 22:22:03 EDT cbrown106@juno.com (Charles Brown) writes: > > >You are assuming again that Moshe knew all halachos as a function of >halacha l'Moshe M'Sinai. I beg to differ. Clearly only a small >minority of laws fall into the halacha l'Moshe M'sinai catagory, which >is a technical term. The vast majority of halachos are learned out >from the derashos and logic (sevara) of Torah sheB'al peh. Since the >gemara in Menachos 29 says when Moshe heard R' Akiva darshening the >tagim of the letters he was baffeled it seems Moshe was not aware of >every derasha. As I mentioned, according to Rashi in Menachos that Gem. is irrelevant since it only means that Moshe had not yet recieved the information yet, but was soon to recieve it. As regards to the idea of the vast amount of halachoh learnt out from drashas etc., R' Hirsch argues rather cogently that the process was really the exact opposite. SInce Klal Yisrael only got the Written Torah at the end of the 40 years the first thing that they were exposed to was the oral Torah and only later did they have the written Torah which served like lecture notes to a lecture they had already heard. They did not darshan halachos from the chumash. The idea of Halachah Lemoshe Misinai being a technical term is true, but simply it only means those aspects of Torah SHebaal Peh that has no reference in Torah Shebechtav, how it does not mean to imply that the rest of Torah Shebaal Peh was not given to MOshe at Sinai. As the Rambam clearly says in the first line of his introduction to MIshneh Torah , based upon the Gem. in Brachos 5a, " All the MItzvos that were given to MOshe at Sinai were given with their understanding" Also I believe your description of Moshe's functioning is not consistent with the way the Chumash portrays it. When Moshe had a question on Halachah he did not convene a Beis Din to investigate but directly asked Hashem, for example Bnos Tzlopchad. It seems strange, if Moshe had access to Hashem to ask questions, why would he rely on his own judgement. See Ritva Eruvin 13 - Moshe was given 49 panim of >tumah/tahara - not a list of the "right" answers. There are a >multiplicity of truths - see intro to Tanya on "elu v'elu". We are >not bound to say Moshe knew every single halacha and chiddush ever to >be darshened or taught. The concept of chiddush is not to reveal a >law which was known to Moshe and forgotten through the ages but is an >act of creation. See Halachic Man section XIII. Do you have a source >that would substantiate your assumption that Moshe received >instruction on every issue to ever arise? Again, one does not need to say that Moshe new every issue that was ever raised. However to say that he was unaware of practical halachah that was applicable every shabbos or every chol hamoed seems to violate the Rambam adn begs the question why did he not ask Hashem, something that he is not hesistant to do in other cases And again we don't find a single incident that Moshe asks Hashem a halachah and Hashem tells him its up to you. The Ritva is a tremendous chidush Also I don't really understand how the Ritva helps you, the Ritva is going on the Gemarra of Beis SHammai and BEis Hillel. Do you mean to say, that for the over thousand years of various Sanhedrins these issues were kept as doubts and now Beis Shammai an d Hillel decided to resolve the issues? Furthermore the GEmora explicity says that there Machlokes by based on the idea that the talmidim were not meshamesh their rebbis sufficiently so it clearly indicates a break down of the Mesorah, so I don't understand the Ritva really? > >Why is Moshe acting on his own initiative as a posek any stranger then >any Bais Din deciding a matter? Again, Moshe was not shown all the >"right" answers and was forced to employ thev methodology of Torah >SheBal Peh in consonance with his understanding, which need not be the >same as any one elses - note again this point made in intro. to Tanya >(we are back to the concept of relative truth again!) Also, Moshe's >personal hanhagos might very well not constitute psak in the formal >sense which would make is bound to his word (would you suggest every >Bais Din in future doros that took a position was risking a violation >of "lo tasur because Moshe already paskened on the matter?) Its stranger because Moshe had access to absolute truth, (I couldn't resist!) and no other posek does so why not just ask Hashem as he did in other cases. And I don't understand why Moshe's hanhagos would not be a psak, why is it different from every other maaseh rav that the gem pokens from. Future Battei dinim are clearly anusim since they do not know the psak of Moshe, just like when a modern day posek explains a Gemara or Rishon he might not be correct but he has no choice. > >I agree with you in practice but not in your philosophy. There is >no fundemental rule that says we can't disagree with tanaim - it is a >result of the practical fact that we just don't know enough. It is >like the difference between saying I can't fly and I can't do >calculus. One is a fundemental limitation; the other is a limitation >due to the circumstances of my knowledge which is theory could be >overcome. You assume a fundemental limitation on our halachic >autonomy; I say that it is a result of lack of knowledge and niskatnu >hadoros. > IT is true that it is probably just a practical fact (depending on the Machlokes between the Chazaon ISh and R' Elchonan) however the practical fact is a consequence of yeridas hadoras and therefore certainly applied from Moshe to the Tannaim. See Rashi in Devarim where MOshe criticizes Klal Yisrael for wanting to learn Torah from someone else other than MOshe, and scattered Rashi's throughout Chumash where it seems clear that even in that generation no had MOshe's understanding of TOrah, certainly for future generations. >__________________________________________________________________ Shraga Rothbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130 Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 22:50:36 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: your mail Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII The context of my statement was made in respect to the artscroll gemaras specifically,as such there is no dispute here.....also welcome back from your trip I hope you had a great time Elie Ginsparg On Wed, 15 Jul 1998, Joel Margolies wrote: > Cheryl Maryles wrote: > > > > > I am not a fan of Artscroll > > > > Why not? whats wrong with a publication which allows many people to learn > > gemara when they are lacking the proper skills. > > Please forgive me if someone has responded to this already... > > Reb Ginsparg - > > It is true that Artscroll has done a lot of good, but many find fault in > their loose reporting (in many cases erroneous)of historical events, > especially with regards to gedolim, their sometime blatant insults > directed at the zionist camp, their high pricing, the impression that > they give that they are poskim to the exclusion of other opinions... > > I think all would agree that they have done a lot of good- but that > doesn't mean that we have to love "artscroll". The institution may have > many faults precluding our "fandom." (For example, if a rich man gives > a lot of tzedaka but happens to be a real horrible person in other areas > of his life- we might be a fan of what he has accomplished, but not of > him.) > > Take care, > > Joel > > > -- > > Joel > Margolies > margol@ms.com > W-212-762-2386 > > ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_130-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900561664450280832-- From baistefila@shamash.org Fri Jul 17 00:01:23 1998 Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 00:01:18 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 131 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900648078450324039" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900648078450324039 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 131 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) ArtScroll and Microsoft by Mordechai Torczyner 2) Re: Bombs & Bullets by Michael Frankel 3) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed, reply to S. Rothbart by cbrown@bestware.com 4) Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website by cbrown@bestware.com 5) Re: Bombs & Bullets by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 6) Re: Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 7) Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban by "Ira L. Jacobson" 8) Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by Douglas I Segal 9) Merger News and a Note from Micha Berger by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 10) Music, and Zekher le-Hurban by Harry Maryles 11) Rav Kook by Heather/Chana Luntz 12) Re: Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification by Heather/Chana Luntz 13) Jon 4:10//[Herczeg]//2 Texts--Greatness of Baalay Mesorah-Rashi by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Re: Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 15) Abbreviated kiddush by "Ira L. Jacobson" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900648078450324039 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_131" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 08:39:16 -0400 (EDT) From: Mordechai Torczyner To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: ArtScroll and Microsoft Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII This may be non-list-appropriate, but I offer it apropos of the recent spate of "I'm not an artscroll fan" comments: It seems that the general problem with Artscroll is, as my Subject Header sugests, similar to the problem computer users have with Microsoft. I speak not of the legal entanglements of monopolies and the qusetion of the industry harm/benefit of a monopoly, but of the way we view a highly succesful organization that (1) errs from time to time, and (2) seems fairly arrogant about its right to claim authority above other organizations. We can all prove (1), as people cite from the Netziv case so often. What about (2), though? Where does that come from? I can sense within myself the feeling that, were they capable, ArtSCroll would be pleased to be the only publisher of Seforim on the planet. Further, I have heard others express similar concerns. I have no clue where this comes from, though. Is it just our native suspiciion of large organizations? Is it time we got over it? Mordechai ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congregation Ohave Shalom, Pawtucket, RI: http://members.tripod.com/~ohave WEBSHAS! http://www.aishdas.org/webshas & Leave the Keywords at Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:44:03 +0000 (GMT) From: Michael Frankel Subject: Re: Bombs & Bullets To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-id: MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=ISO-8859-1 Content-transfer-encoding: 8BIT H. Ginsburg writes: >Thus the killing potential is far far greater than fire bombs. Second of all, the trend in H-bomb R&D was (is?) to try to develop bombs with greater and greater destructive potential but less and less release of radioactive fallout.> Actually, that's quite incorrect. rather, for a long time the trend has been quite the opposite - towards much smaller yield weapons. presently, because of the (unfortunate) state of (non)testing , there is very little "new" device design going on. fallout release has generally been minimized not by any continuous development, but rather by the fact that fusion weapons inherently produce less radioactivity than fission weapons and by operational considerations associated with the height of burst- i.e fallout due to activation of soil particles entrained in nuke cloud rise. basically the higher you detonate, less fallout produced. your garden variety nuke would produce only a very very tiny amount of radiological pollution as compared with, say, the Chernobyl nuke power plant disaster. needless to say, all this information is in the public domain or i would not be able to comment. if there are listmembers with such peculiar interests, the unclassified "bible" for tutorials on such matters is Glasstone and Dolan, "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" 1977, a joint pub of the dept of defense and dept of energy. > post script to my response below to R. Hendel's comparison between fire bombs and A-bombs: The reason why more people died from fire bombs than by A-bomb is that many many more fire bombs were dropped than A-bombs;> The implied apposition of "A-bombs" to fires in terms its lethal effects is also too simplistic. nukes are very efficient fire bombs-assuming anything around that can burn, and since it may spread, fires have the potential to significantly enhance the damage range of a weapon. A very large number of the casualties of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in fact were fire casulaties. and to think RYGB was complaining about sociology being outside the purview of the list. Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil ............................................................................. Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D. Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant Shechtman St. 38/9 Jerusalem, 97225 Israel Phone: 972-2-587-0068 FAX: 972-2-571-0390 e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il ............................................................................. ------------------------------ Message-Id: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 09:23:08 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Hershel Ginsburg Subject: Bombs & Bullets Post Script A remember, "only" two A-bombs were dropped, one on Hirsohima and one on Nagasaki. So although more people may have died from the fire bombs, more people died per weapon unit dropped with the A-bomb. To carry it further, I suspect that more people died in WW II from bullets, artillery shells, and conventional bombs than from fire bombs etc., because many many more units of those were used. Back to the drawing board. hg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256643:0052DBA0.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 11:47:52 -0400 Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed, reply to S. Rothbart Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii >>>A SInce Klal Yisrael only got the Written Torah at the end of the 40 years the first thing that they were exposed to was the oral Torah and only later did they have the written Torah which served like lecture notes to a lecture they had already heard. <<< Agreed. However, there is no reason to assume Moshe taught the entire Torah sheBal'al Peh (as you admit below)- just the methodology so people could arrive at their own answers. >>When Moshe had a question onHalachah he did not convene a Beis Din to investigate but directly asked Hashem, for example Bnos Tzlopchad.<< Take the example of Pesach Sheni. This mitzva in its entirety was unknown. Not comparable to tefillin or other cases where the outline of the mitzva is known but the details are subject to debate. >>It seems strange, if Moshe had access to Hashem to ask questions, why would he rely on his own judgement.<< Again, please substantiate. Didn't the GRA have access to a Malach yet chos to learn halacha through his own logic? Doesn't BM86 reject Bas Kol as binding where it is inconsistant with human logic? >>Again, one does not need to say that Moshe new every issue that was ever raised.<< So I guess somehow you have resolved your kashe from the opening of Mishne Torah. Whatever you answer l'shitascha, I agree :-). >> However to say that he was unaware of practical halachah that was applicable every shabbos or every chol hamoed seems to violate the Rambam << Agreed. See R' Hai Gaon at the end of Rosh haShana regarding the takkanah of R' Abahu. The nature of tekiya/teruah was undetermined and ALL minhagim were correct till codified. Could it not be that until B"D chooses to codify through a formal process the nature of the din of wearing tefillin etc. all minhagim are correct - the mitzva allows for a multiplicity of truths. The proof: why wasn't the nature of the tekiyot done by the B"D of the greatest TAnaim considered psak and binding?! Clearly the issue came up in every B"D of Tanaim and had to have been resolved! Same with Moshe. >> Do you mean to say, that for the over thousand years of various Sanhedrins these issueswere kept as doubts and now Beis Shammai an d Hillel decided to resolve the issues? << There was do doubt, just multiple acceptable truths. Saying both Bais Shamai and Hillel were followed is not the same as doubt, just a single uniform practice was yet to be established. >>Its stranger because Moshe had access to absolute truth, (I couldn't resist!) and no other posek does so why not just ask Hashem as he did in other cases. << So did the GRA, or the Tanaim in BM86 who rejected the Bas Kol. >>And I don't understand why Moshe's hanhagos would not be a psak, why is it different from every other maaseh rav that the gem pokens from.<< See above regarding undetrmined nature of mitzvos. Personal hanhaga is not psak; it is a source of evidence. See R' Schachter's comments in Nefesh haRav on the talmidim who observed the Rav and paskened based on "ma'aseh rav" of mimicry. He notes that grounding in the sources that frame the ma'aseh in its textual halachic context is what defines it as pask. YGB has written on the distinction between anecdotal psak and ma'aseh Rav - maybe he can fill in. >> Future Battei dinim are clearly anusim since they do not know the psak of Moshe, just like when a modern day posek explains a Gemara or Rishon he might not be correct but he has no choice.<< Dachuk. I find it amazing that the process of psak is defined as a potential ma'aseh aveirah with a ptur of ones. I thought that a reductio ad absurdum, but I guess you do not. >>IT is true that it is probably just a practical fact <<< Huh? DIdn't you just finish saying that disagreeing with a psak of Moshe is fundementally impossible, not just practically difficult? As I wrote, I think its like doing calculus - I practically am ignorant of math, but that is a function of who I am, not philosophical limitations. As opposed to my deciding now that today is my birthday - fundementally impossible, because my birthday was yesterday! In any case - the Ritva is a Rishon. Doesn't he accept a notion of multiple truths? Isn't this the Ba'al HaTAnya's hesber (in intro) to the concept of "elu v'elu"? Halacha accepts multiple truths till we choose to codify a single standard for practical purposes. Psak becomes relevant not in determining what is correct (as there are multiple truths) but in disqualifiying practical options. Therefore, Moshe's actions represent one possible path of truth, but not formal psak in that maybe Moshe wore Rashi's tefillin, but would have been machshier R"T in the sense of a theoretical halachic truth. It is only later when B"D (perhaps Moshe's, perhaps some other - tefillin is a bad example for this) decides to formally codify must one of the options be rejected. I don't deny Moshe paskened on many issues; just once you admit he didn't pasken on all issues you open the door to the model I have set up. -CB >__________________________________________________________________ Shraga Rothbart ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256643:005D91EB.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 13:18:01 -0400 Subject: Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii On the elu v'elu issue, the Ritva , and the Ba'al HaTanya, see our listowner's essay on his website (www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147). The approach of R' Tzaddok that YGB uses is basically identical with Ba'al HaTanya - they both use the chacham harazim beracha to make the point. Of course, nothing beats seeing the sources inside, but our listowner deserves a plug! I used the concept of elu v'elu is to justify multiple, relative equally acceptable halachic truths till B"D chooses to standardize the issue and declare certain approaches practically out of bounds. I do not know if YGB would agree with that based on his essay, but it would fit nicely with his sources. -CB ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 12:56:11 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Bombs & Bullets Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Give me an eitza! You are a stiff-necked people :-). On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Michael Frankel wrote: > and to think RYGB was complaining about sociology being outside the purview of > the list. > > Mechy Frankel frankel@hq.dswa.mil Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 13:01:34 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Thu, 16 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > declare certain approaches practically out of bounds. I do not know if YGB > would agree with that based on his essay, but it would fit nicely with his > sources. > > -CB Agreed. Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980716194059.008e3d90@netvision.net.il > Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 19:40:59 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: "Ira L. Jacobson" Subject: Re: 3 weeks, music, and Zekher le-Hurban Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" In BAISTEFILA Digest 129, R' Harry Maryles wrote: >R. Aaron Soloveichik has given a heter to any kind of non live music >during any kind of Aveilus period such as the three weeks, I had understood the original question to refer to music in general, rather than only during the three weeks. Harav Shemuel HaLevy Wosner is widely quoted as banning even the owning of a tape recorder, let alone other forms of electronic music reproduction today. The reference is to Shevet HaLevy, but I don't have anything more specific. Needless to say, this is a minority view. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Fundamental to our faith is the daily anticipation of the Redemption: not only a belief in, but also a constant expectation of, Mashiah's imminent coming. In the words of the Rambam, "one who does not believe in him, or does not anticipate his coming" disavows the whole of Judaism." --------------------------------------------------------------------- Ira L. Jacobson ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 17:09:22 -0400 (EDT) From: Douglas I Segal To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII reagarding the issue of whether we can disagree with moshe: obviously there are many different aproaches to this issue. one of these approaches does not assuem that moshe received every single nook and crany of the oral law from hashem. he received a few basic, incontrevertible laws, and many, many rules. according to this idea, these few revelations cannot be changed, but the ones that moshe extracted from the torah text using the rules can be reversed nby a later beis din (even if they are not bigger tahn the first in number and preestige- see the rambam, mamrim 1:1). this approach dramatically reduces the strength of the issue of what moshe rabeinu did during his lifetime. one final note, this approach fits nicely with the gemara that says: yiftach b'doro k'moshe b'doro k'shmuel b'doro. (this is all from the book dynamics of dispute mentioned previously on this list.) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:23:10 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: Merger News and a Note from Micha Berger Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII As you will note from Micha's note below, avodah and avodah-digest are both up and running. Everyone currently on baistefila is subscribed to at least one of those lists. Posts should only go to one, either by hitting your reply button when you get *avodah* mail or sending original messages to the list. You may start now! I have subscribed avodah@aishdas.org to baistefila. That means that all your messages sent to baistefila will also go out again to you as a single message or digested from avodah. This somewhat cumbersome arrangement is necessary because beginning Monday I will be overseas for three weeks with only spotty e-mail access if at all. This way Micha can monitor the situation and guide individual subscribers in tackling any difficulties in the switchover. In the meantime, you can still contact me as well till Monday, and I'll bl"n post information as to my whereabouts before I leave if you need to reach me. If all goes smooth with the merger (my inherent distrust of computers led me to that *if*), when I get back we can close down bt altogether! Kol Tuv, YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 14:12:43 -0400 (EDT) From: Micha Berger Rabbi Bechhofer has chosen not to continue administrating the baistefila list to make time for other projects. Instead of letting the discussion end, we worked out a merger between baistefila and avodah@aishdas.org. You have already been subscribed to the new list, so unless you unsubscribed yourself, you shouldn't miss a thing. However, to switch baistefila over, we do need you cooperation. Please email all messages to avodah@aishdas.org. Even instead of hitting reply. (Pehaps using Forward to send a quoted message to the new list will make things easier.) We thank you very much for your patience during this transition period. Hopefully, the worst is over. I look forward to hosting you all in the future, Micha Berger micha@aishdas.org -- Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 Help free Yehuda Katz, held by Syria 5866 days! micha@aishdas.org (11-Jun-82 - 16-Jul-98) For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light. http://www.aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Message-ID: <35AE6253.60B2@neiu.edu> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:28:03 -0400 From: Harry Maryles MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Music, and Zekher le-Hurban Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Ira L. Jacobson wrote: > > In BAISTEFILA Digest 129, R' Harry Maryles wrote: > > >R. Aaron Soloveichik has given a heter to any kind of non live music > >during any kind of Aveilus period such as the three weeks, > > I had understood the original question to refer to music in general, rather > than only during the three weeks. Harav Shemuel HaLevy Wosner is widely > quoted as banning even the owning of a tape recorder, let alone other forms > of electronic music reproduction today. > > The reference is to Shevet HaLevy, but I don't have anything more specific. > Needless to say, this is a minority view. Ira L. Jacobson I did not ask R. Aaron Soloveichik personally but a very close Chaver who was in aveilus for his father at the time,(about 25 years ago) asked whether he could listen to either recorded music or music over the radio during his aveilus period. The answer was that as long as there was no one around objecting to it he could listen to it. I, also, somewhat vaguely remember the same question being asked by someone else, about the Sfiras HaOmer period and being given a similar response. This psak does not addresss the greater question (that you are reffering to) of listening to music in general in the post Temple era, as a sign of our general state of aveilus over the destruction of Beis HaMikdash. There are various opinions about what is permissable, and, where and when it is permissible. But I believe most poskim today would allow listeneing to recorded music during non aveilus periods. And there are many peiods where even live music is permitted by most poskim, such as weddings anywhere outside of Jerusalem. Some poskim, I believe, even allow live music at a wedding even in Jerusalem. Of course, on the other extreme, I believe there are some poskim (R. Wosner?) that never allow music, even recorded music. This raises the question: How can we ever attend any concerts that are not connected with weddings and the like. Where would MBD (Mordechai ben David, not Moshiach ben David!)be today? What about the myriad of other siger/performers that give concerts in our day? What about all the Music CD's and tapes that are available? Also, the reference to Shevet HaLevy. What do you mean? Only Shevet Levi is forbidden to listen to music? (because of there status as singers in the BM?) HM ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Message-ID: <2Fqu+aAm6mr1EwTM@luntz.demon.co.uk> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 22:20:38 +0100 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Rav Kook MIME-Version: 1.0 In message , "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" writes > >Let me explain that I am well aware of Rav Kook's personal perspective. >The statement I made was meant as a comment on the contemporary reality in >the Merkaz HaRav educational world, where secular studies are almost as >limited and disparaged as in the Israeli Charedi camp. Yes, I am also aware of the irony. It is a bit odd though isn't it given his position? > > >> And earlier you write: >> >> >The RW, holding Yahadus as emet muchletet ("emes l'amisa"), can never >> >accept that there is any spiritual significance to those beyond the >> >pale - even if they are sincerely misguided and worthy of pity and >> >assistance. Their strength would only be regarded as "kesher resha'im >> >eino min ha'minyan" - Hashem's reassurance to Chizkiya in the face of >> >Shavna's massive threat. Terms like "valid" and "spiritual dignity" >> >cannot apply - "sheker ein lo raglayim" - human dignity, common >> >courtesy, la'adam ba'asher hu adam, >> > >Again, let me explain. While this is one of Rav Kook's famous >perspectives, the positive value of Zionism, even in its secular forms (a >position to which, I should say, I cannot subscribe. If you would like my >understanding - although there is no good reason why you should - you may >read my heroes' comments, R' Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan's essay on Herzl in >B'Ikvos Ha'Yirah and Dr. Breuer's coments in Moriah) I would indeed be interested. > - our conversation >centered on Reform and Conservative. These are very different issues, and >what Rav Kook said on Zionism is not necessarily transferable. Agreed. >I am not >anywhere near an expert on Rav Kook, but you will have to prove that he >saw positive value to these movements. > Neither am I (nor am I totally a "fan" either, which is why I may not do him justice - my personal perspective on Rav Kook falls into the - one needs to know and consider what he says even if one doesn't always feel comfortable with his positions, but he is an important part of the mosaic that makes up the frum world). I don't know whether Rav Kook would have seen positive value in these movements. But I do think that his initial position would have been to *try* to. That is, he would first look as hard as he could for the divine spark that he believed could be found in any Jew and certainly in any congregation of Jews (after all, they are Yisroel), no matter how sinning. In this case, it is possible (perhaps not unlikely) that he would conclude that it was just not possible to find such sparks, that they had been buried too deep - but *any* positive sign would have been seized upon to demonstrate that they were not irredeemable after all. And it wouldn't surprise me if he was willing to work with such people (after all, if every Jew contains a divine spark yearning for holiness that just needs to be stimulated, the more contact they get with holiness, the more likely that that spark will burst into flame). And that gets back to the kiruv discussion. I was somewhat surprised by the suggestion that the MO camp is less involved in kiruv. My distinct impression is that, if anything the MO camp is involved in more kiruv than the more charedi world. I would, however, distinguish the two in the sense that, my impression is that MO kiruv is more low key - whereas charedi kiruv is more audible (and organised). But such a distinction is obvious. If I am standing next to you, I can talk to you in a normal voice - if I am some distance from you, the only way I can attract your attention is to shout and jump up and down. Many of the stalwarts of MO communities (when you discover that in fact they did not grow up frum - something that appears to me (although I could be wrong) is less "known" than in charedi communities, ie ba'alei teshuva appear, to integrate more seamlessly) admit that it was classmates at school, or university, or work, or youth group that influenced them - ie the people with whom they shared their everyday life. On the other hand, your average frei person just does not meet charedim as part of their everyday life - so one has to organise and orchestrate the meetings. However I am not sure that that fact tells you very much more about the communities than we know already. >YGB > > >Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer >ygb@aishdas.org >Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 > Shabbat Shalom Chana ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Message-ID: Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 22:27:37 +0100 To: Charles Brown Cc: baistefila@shamash.org From: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification MIME-Version: 1.0 In message <19980715.231408.7591.2.cbrown106@juno.com>, Charles Brown writes > >(f) A better example to get back to what I think is the main point: I >can happily assume that 100% of the people in R"T's neighborhood wore >Rashi's tefillin and R"T,, despite the mimetic tradition, could still >confidentally assert his shittah becasue the textual tradition of >halachic analysis reigns supreme. The people didn't forget generations >of tradition - they were just overruled by halachic analysis! Except that if you ask an archeologist what the tephillin were like around the time of bais sheni and after (we have numbers of examples of such) - Rashi or Rabbanu Tam, they will answer that both kinds have been found - well before either Rashi or Rabbanu Tam! It is thus more likely that each was supporting his own memetic tradition by way of textual analysis. In fact I think the Tosofists are your worst example, because they are known for an analysis that justifies minhag Ashkenaz (ie the memetic tradition, and what the people were actually doing) by reference to the texts. > I think >this example illustrates my point much better and would ask S. Rothblat >if he agrees. (Haym Soloveitchik's thesis may still be defended on the >grounds that the halachic tradition in our times has sunk so low that >mimetic tradition has surpassed it in accuracy.) > Um, don't think that is likely to be his position. After all, contrast Tosphos (strong support for mimetic and attempts, as far as possible, to explain mimetic in terms of textual, and thereby reconcile the traditions) with the Gra (who surely has to be seen as the father of the modern textual tradition - and who comes out against established minhag time and time again if it contradicts his understanding of the text). I think rather Dr Soloveitchik's thesis is that the memetic tradition has (or is perceived to have) sunk so low that (people feel that) the textual tradition has surpassed it in accuracy! >Hope this clarifies things (and apologies for the length)! > >-Chaim > >P.S. While a discussion of whether if Moshe gave a psak are we >practically or theoretically bound to it is might be seen as splitting >hairs it does serve to underscore attitudes toward autonomy in psak, >mimetic tradition and psak, the parameters of chiddush, the nature of >authority in halacha, etc. Agreed Chana >. > >_____________________________________________________________________ >You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. >Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com >Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] > heather@luntz.demon.co.uk ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 20:56:11 -0400 From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Message-Id: <199807170056.UAA25745@mcs.drexel.edu> To: BaisTefila@Shamash.ORg, Rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu Subject: Jon 4:10//[Herczeg]//2 Texts--Greatness of Baalay Mesorah-Rashi The 2 variant texts in Rashi on Jon 4:10 afford the opportunity to * discuss how such variants can be dealt with * discuss the higher issues involved * see the Greatness of Rashi and the Baalay HaMesorah An outline of this posting is as follows: OUTLINE ======= A: The 2 texts of Rashi B: What the 2 texts mean--English translations C: 5 Sources for these two texts D: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Approach 1: The "Manuscript approach" E: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Approach 2: The "Mesorah approach" F: The Amazing Perplexing Seven Nun Mesorah--The Text G: Mesorah basics--2 possible messages--syntactic or semantic H: A Chidush: The Amazing Prov 14:9 I: Tabular Summary of the BIN-BEN issue--Pros/Cons J: RECAP Of Three fundamental issues in dealing with Rashi/Mesorah PRAISE BE HE WHO CHOSE THEM AND THEIR LEARNING A: THE TWO TEXTS OF RASHI--JON 4:10 =================================== >>Jon 4:10<< (God to Jonah)..You had pity on the plant shade that was made overnight (BiN LayLah HaYaH OoViN LayLah AVaD RASHI-TEXT 1:BIN LAYLAH:Like Ben Laylah. It only grew in one night RASHI-TEXT 2:BIN LAYLAH:Like ByN (with a yud)Laylah. It only grew in one night B: WHAT THE TWO TEXTS MEAN--ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS ================================================ TEXT 1: BeN literally means SON. It is also used to denote ATTRIBUTES. Thus "a lamb the SON of a year" means "a lamb that is one year old" According to this variation of Rashi, God says to Jonah, >>You had mercy on this plant shade whose existence had the attribute of "(made during) one night (only)" and whose destruction had the attribute of "(destroyed during) one night only" TEXT 2: ByN would come from the verbs BNH/BYN which mean "to construct" (Understanding = ByN = denotes "mental construction"). According to this variation of Rashi, God Says to Jonah, >>You had mercy/pity on this plant shade which (only) existed as an overnight construction and was (only) destroyed as an overnight construction (i.e. it is "let go"). (Grammatically BiN is a construct state (See Section H)) C: FIVE SOURCES FOR THESE TWO TEXTS: ==================================== I used my own library and went into 2 synagogues. Here are the variants. c1: bEn (Warsaw, 1866 123b--Mikraoth Gedoloth-MG) c2: bYn (MP Press Inc NY City, 5734, Pollack Brothers,195-MG with Malbim) c3: bEn (Eshkol: J Weinfeld and Co, 5736, 324--Tray Asar) c4: bYn (Solomon Freund Hebrew Book Store, Edison Lithograph,195b-MG) c5: bEn (Tnach Publishing Co;123b--MG) Yisrael Herczeg added several other manuscripts. D: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: APPROACH 1: THE MANUSCRIPT APPROACH ========================================================== How do we deal with these two texts? One approach might say: Look at the best manuscripts and decide. Good manuscripts are certainly a factor in studying Rashi. But consider the issue here...EVEN if a good manuscript had ByN in it it would be normal for a typesetter to PERCEIVE this as an error and AUTOMATICALLY CORRECT it to BeN. In other words while manuscripts are important I posit that the logic of the two variants is also a factor. Also if Rashi wanted to equate BiN with BeN he could have just said: >>Like BEN LAYLAH<<. He wouldn't have to add an extra sentence since the meaning of BEN as ATTRIBUTE is common enough in Tnach and said in our daily prayers (Indeed, Rashi nowhere else explains frequent words with obvious meanings like BEN). If Rashi wanted to explain BiN= ByN = Construct form of "To Construct" then the added sentence makes more sense: >>Like ByN Laylah = it was an overnight construction<< Be that as it may the above is speculative and not proof. I am only asserting that manuscripts are just one factor in considering Rashi and sometimes must be taken against a background of what else is involved. E: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: APPROACH 2: THE MESORAH APPROACH: ========================================================= A second approach taken up immediately is to investigate statements of the mesorah on lists of rare occurences (this is similar but more powerful than using a computer or CD rom). These lists place unusual occurences into context and make conclusions/generalizations possible. The following Remarkable Mesorah occurs on Jon 4:10. F: THE AMAZING PERPLEXING SEVEN BIN MESORAH--THE TEXT ====================================================== >>There are 7 occurences of BIN:(And all (Joshua) Bin Nun are similar) 1* Dt 25:2 (Bin hacoth harashah) 2* Jon 4:10 (Bin Laylay ...Bin Laylah) 3* Prv 30:1 (Agur BiN Yakeh) 4* Prv 23:1 (ByN TaVyN Eth ASheR LeFaNeyChah--note that this ByN is fully spelled with YuD and clearly means "understand" 5* Prv 14:1 (The Anomaly...The verse uses BayN not BiN) 6* OoViN Eth HaDaVar (Daniel)--(Note: Full spelling of the verb) 7* OoViNaH Lo Bamareh (Daniel)--(Note: The verbal form of ViNaH) G: MESORAH BASICS--TWO POSSIBLE MESSAGES--SYNTACTIC OR SEMANTIC =============================================================== I frequently encounter severe resistance to the mesorah. Its language is ten fold more terse than Gmarrah or Rashi and to the novice it appears enigmatic. The Mesorah of course tries to preserve the text by giving exhaustive lists. But how? * It can list all OCCURRENCES or ALL VERSES (8 occurrences in 7 verses, above) * It can list all SYNTACTIC occurences or all SEMANTIC occurences * In syntactic mesorahs it may separate FULL/DEFICIENT spellings * It lists all SIMILAR occurences with similarity occuring in either WORDS, CANTILLATIONS, ACCENT SCHEMES, SENTENCE FORMS.. Thus the above mesorah (on BN)clearly lists VERSES (not occurrences), of the SEMANTIC unit of BN (not the syntactic unit) and is indifferent to spelling (actually associated mesorahs discuss spelling). H: A CHIDUSH: THE AMAZING PRV 14:9 ================================== Ah! So now we KNOW that the MESORAH *must* have considered PRV 14:9 as an example of the semantic unit ByN (even though it is spelled with Tzaray). First the explanation and then the spelling: PRV 14:9--Meaning: The wicked poetically present their guilt offerings while \ / | \ / | \ / | \ / | / \ | / \ | The understanding of the righteous is pleasant to G-d Note what students of literature call the X form (Chiastic) of the verse. The verse contrasts WICKED vs RIGHTEOUS, the UNDERSTANDING of the righteous vs the POETRY of the wicked and the SACRIFICES vs the PLEASANT WAYS. (Rashi gives the Philistine example from Sam as an example: First they stole the ark, then they were punished and they spoke poetically:>> Let us return the ark, maybe their God will have mercy on us<<..the righteous by contrast simply understand proper action and this is pleasing to G-d). What about Grammar? The verse used Tzaray not Chirik. But here also..we must use the grammar of rare forms. For example in Ki Tissah we contrast HeELiThA vs HeELayThA. So too BayN and ByN might be two forms of the same verb. I: Tabular Summary of the BIN-BEN issue--Pros/Cons ================================================== The above might appear ad hoc. To fully appreciate we recap the 7 BINS and WHY we shouldn't translate them as Ben: 7),6),4) Prv 23:1 and the Two in Daniel--Clearly mean UNDERSTAND Prv 30:1--AGUR ben YAKEH..but Solomon was the author and there is no need to assume this is someone else. Also the works AGUR(Gather), YAKEH(Vomit) have strong picturesqe meaning. So BIN=Understanding fits in well(GATHERED UNDERSTANDING and then REGURGITATED IT) Dt 25:2--Attribute of "lashes" would mean "follows regulations" (negative commandment etc)> "BIN lashes" means -- medically examined and cleared for lashes (Which is the Halachah) Jon 4:10--Even if you translated it as BEN=ATTRIBUTE you still have to elliptically add (ATTRIBUTE that it WAS MADE overnight) Rashi simply bypasses BEN and translates it as "overnight construction" Prv 14:9--As indicated, the parallel-chiastic form shows we are dealing with understanding not with the word inbetween JOSHUA BIN NUN--Linguistically emphasizes that Prophecy requires separation from family life and devotion to understanding J: RECAP Of Three fundamental issues in dealing with Rashi/Mesorah PRAISE BE HE WHO CHOSE THEM AND THEIR LEARNING ================================================================= I recap the 3 issues when dealing with such Rashis: * Rashi frequently deals with minutae--items that occur in 1% or less of the cases * Rashi is backed by the Mesorah which preserves the accuracy of our text (at the 1% level) and ENABLES meaningful generalizations and chidushim * The people who criticize Rashi frequently don't have the artificial intelligence methods to critically test and study his theory by examining rare occurences. I could go on but let me close with a note of admiration. The Baalay Mesorah did not have computers or CD Roms. Look how great they were. For they knew not SIX verses but SEVEN verses where BN *had* to be interpreted as a verb rather than a participle. They knew about the rare Prv 14:9 and how the chiastic interpretation makes it look more natural. Certainly one must stand in awe behind such devotion to our holy texts and its details Well did the disciples of the Holy Lamp, the so called Friendship, frequently say: Praise be He Who Chose them and their learning. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd; ASA; RHendel @ Mcs Drexel edu ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 23:20:39 -0400 Subject: Re: Multiple truths, elu v'elu - a plug for YGB's website Message-ID: <19980716.232042.3382.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) I don't want to belabor the point but I still don't really understand this idea of multiple truths (especially as expressed by the Ritva) for all of the following reasons (if I am just repeating previous points I appologize) 1. The Gem. says (Tos CHagiga 15) says that until Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel there were almost no machlokes which even if you assume like the Ritva must mean that all doubts that were given to MOshe was already reconciled. THe new Machlokes of the time of Beis Hillel cannot therefore reflect some type of multiple truth but rather a tragic breakdown in mesorah (I realize the Ritvah is a RIshon and this is my problem not his, but I just don' t get it) 2. THe comparison to R' Hai and the tekiahs of ROsh Hashanna with R' Abbahu just doesnt work for me either, there the rishonim explicitly say that deoraisa none of the ways of blowing is meakev and bideved you are yotze. How can we compare that to all the other places where the machlokes is meakev such as tphillin (I know it has been said that Tphillin is not a good example, is this the reason?) It seems clear from the rishonim that where Chazal wanted to standardize the practice then deorayasa it should not be meakev 3. Finally (and I think most importantly), I never understood according to this idea of multiple truths why would there ever be a halachah of a par helem davar if a Sanhedrin makes a mistake or reverses its decision. CLearly a machlokes in a Sanhedrin is like a Machlokes of any Gedolim that I should say Eilu veEilu (certainly if it was a Sanhedrin that was at the time of Tannaim or before). IF the majority of a Sanhedrin switched but the minority still maintains the previous position then by definition both positions must be "truth", why then do they need kaparah, (and an individual who followed them need a chatas) I know this is a well accepted idea (just another reference is R' Moshe's introduction to the first volume of Igeros Moshe where he brings a proof from the Gem in SHabbos that the people who did like R' Eliezer with machshirei Bris Milah got sechar even though now they would be killed for be mechalel Shabbos. ALthough again I dont know how that differs from someone who listened to a Sanhedrin and now must be a chattos. SHraga Rothbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131 Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980716191519.00900100@netvision.net.il > Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 19:15:19 +0300 To: baistefila@shamash.org From: "Ira L. Jacobson" Subject: Abbreviated kiddush Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" R' Akiva Eiger has been alleged to have written that one could be yotze (d'oraita) for kiddush merely by saying "Good Shabbos." Has anyone a source for this claim? -------- Quotes for today: "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice," notes computer scientist Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut. "But in practice, there is." "The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football," former NFL quarterback and analyst Joe Theisman once asserted. "A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." -------- IRA L. JACOBSON ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_131-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900648078450324039-- From baistefila@shamash.org Sat Jul 18 00:01:16 1998 Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 00:01:13 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 132 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900734473450367236" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900734473450367236 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 132 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Abbreviated kiddush by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed by "Clark, Eli" 3) RE: Music, the Heter by "Clark, Eli" 4) Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by cbrown@bestware.com 5) Re: Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification by "Clark, Eli" 6) A challenge to YGB on relative truth by cbrown@bestware.com 7) ArtScroll and Microsoft by "Clark, Eli" 8) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 9) Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth by Cheryl Maryles 10) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by cbrown@bestware.com 11) Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth, response to Elie by cbrown@bestware.com 12) Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth, response to Elie by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900734473450367236 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_132" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 23:41:05 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Abbreviated kiddush Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII I don;t have a Teshuvos RAK"E at home, but it is there, in one of the first simanim, perhaps in the hosafos thereto. YGB On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Ira L. Jacobson wrote: > R' Akiva Eiger has been alleged to have written that one could be yotze > (d'oraita) for kiddush merely by saying "Good Shabbos." > > Has anyone a source for this claim? Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer ygb@aishdas.org Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: Tefillin on Chol ha-Mo'ed Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:40:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Russell Hendel writes: >The Mishnah in Avoth states > >>whoever despises the Holidays has no share in the next world >and Rashi explains > >>who wears weekdays clothes on Yom Tov. >My understanding (and the above quotes (cited from memory..hope I >didn't distort anything)) is that > CHOL HAMOAYD = YOM TOV >at least as far as its status (though of course not from Issur Mlacah) >Therefore I don't see how ANYBODY for ANY REASON could possibly >NOT wear tefilin on Yom TOv and WEAR THEM on chol hamoayd I hope it is as clear to you as it is to me that the critical link in your argument is not the mishnah nor the Rashi but your equation of Hol ha-Mo'ed to yom tov. Thus, for anyone to wear tefillin on Hol ha-Mo'ed, he must simply reject your equation. This is not difficult to do, given that, as you yourself note, there is no issur melakhah. Also there may not be kedushat ha-yom -- as we do not make kiddush. Also there is no (or less of a) hiyyuv in the mitzvah of matzah/sukkah. And so on. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: RE: Music, the Heter Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:58:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit R. YGB writes: >I believe the Yechave Da'at has an explicit teshuva in vol. 1 arguing on >R' Moshe by shirei kodesh so long as the intent is Avodas Hashem (I >realize that bans most current Jewish music, but it should suffice to >permit Modzhitz, other Chassidic music, Carlebach and you don't really >need more than that :-) ). >As for classical music, the heter - so long as you do not wake up and go >to sleep to music - is found in the Rama OC 560:3. Music with lyrics is a >little more difficult. I think another point should be borne in mind: the distinction between recorded and live music which has been mentioned in the name of R. Ahron Soloveichik underscores a critical difference between the category of music referred to in the posekim and much of the music we are now exposed to. When reading the mekorot, it is clear that music (which of course was live in those days) was essentially related to simhah or, in the case of a king, to ceremony. This was music to dance to, to make one happy, or engender respect toward a monarch. In the time of the rishonim, especially in Sefarad, we see music of a different nature, that of the wine-song, associated with drunken revelry and sexual immorality. Rambam wrote a classic teshuvah about this, and the Hovot ha-Levavot also condemns this. Music today -- especially the recorded variety -- has little in the way of hashivut attributed to it by the posekim. For the most part, the radio and cassettes which people listen to in their homes and cars is background music. They listen with (at most) half an ear. Consider that there are two kinds of music played at a wedding: the music you dance to (which is certainly the kind of music the posekim opposed) and the music you eat to, which is hardly noticed at all. I submit that background music, especially if such music is not live, falls entirely outside the interdict of the posekim and need not be avoided during period of personal or communal avelut. Kol tuv, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256644:004AC8AC.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:03:31 -0400 Subject: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii >>>1. The Gem. says (Tos CHagiga 15) says that until Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel there were almost no machlokes which even if you assume like the Ritva must mean that all doubts that were given to MOshe was already reconciled. <<< Reconciliation by definition assumes there is a conflict. Assuming multiple truths means all positions were legitimate and no conflict existed. I would read the gemara as follows: until the B"D of Hillel and Shamai there was no need to codify one position; however, at the point we decide to choose one option among others we must entertain conflict and reconciliation to resolve our doubt about what the one practical path should be. >>>2. THe comparison to R' Hai and the tekiahs of ROsh Hashanna with R' Abbahu just doesnt work for me either, there the rishonim explicitly say that deoraisa none of the ways of blowing is meakev and bideved you areyotze. How can we compare that to all the other places where the machlokes is meakev such as tphillin <<< You are assuming somethings are m'akev in an absolute sense and B"D are constrained within those parameters. Again, the answer is multiple truths does away with absolutes. The definition of what is m'akev is a function of B"D as well. Pre-B"D chosing to resolve the manner all possibilities are open. B"D reserves the right for practical purposes to declare some positions illegitimate (m'akev) under any and all circumstances (tefillin) while others are tolerable (such as multiple shofar blasts), but the definition of what is out of bounds did not exist a priori (uh-oh, a Kantian word :-). >>>3. Finally (and I think most importantly), I never understood according to this idea of multiple truths why would there ever be a halachah of a par helem davar if a Sanhedrin makes a mistake or reverses its decision.<<< Par he'elem is not brought for mistaking truth for falsehood, but for choosing the wrong PRACTICAL alternative among multiple truths all of which are theoretically legitimate. -Chaim PS - look at YGB's article. SHraga Rothbart ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Cc: Heather/Chana Luntz Subject: Re: Moshe and the forgotten halachos: a clarification Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:09:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Chana Luntz writes: >In fact I think the Tosofists are your worst example, because they are >known for an analysis that justifies minhag Ashkenaz (ie the memetic >tradition, and what the people were actually doing) by reference to the >texts. Two important points. The ba'alei ha-Tosafot were staunch defenders of minhag Ashkenaz, which, as you point out, did not always seem to follow the talmudic texts. But I think it is fair to say that the ba'alei ha-Tosafot did not perceive this as a conflict. They knew what they were doing was correct. They also knew that the texts were authoritative. This provided them with an intellectual challenge, to reconcile the two, but they never entertained any doubts about the reliability of either. The same cannot be said in the contemporary context. Also Rabbenu Tam, who remains the most influential of the ba'alei ha-Tosafot, frequently overturned practice on the basis of his interpretation of the texts. kol tuv and Shabbat Shalom, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256644:0052B936.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:35:40 -0400 Subject: A challenge to YGB on relative truth Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii I don't understand our listowner. His accepts the notion of relative truth to justify "eku v'elu". Yet, Kant is a heretic for declaring religious truth and evidence relative. Of course, one can declare that certain truths, e.g. Hashem's existance, are absolute, while others, e.g. the order of parshiyot in tefillin, are relative to the psak of the chachamim. The question then becomes which truths fall into the absolute catagory and which fall into the relative category. The problem is the answer to that question relative. What is an absolute truth to you might be relative truth to me, and we have once again been reduced to declaring absolute truth to be relative truth - relative to my religious paradigm that holds them to be absolute, but not in your paradigm where you think they are relative. It seems we are reduced to the notion that truth is a construct within its own paradigm (yes, I'll abuse that word) but cannot be proven outside its context. Consistant with modern philosophy; inconsistant with concepts of proof and evidence in an absolute sense. (Don't say the existance of G-d is a truth that is consistant in all paradigms like 2+2=4 or a fact like the earth is round. The fact that atheists, agnostics, and a multitude of religious persuasions exist prove that religious truth is a synthetic truth and ain't so simple the way those examples are.) Sorry to bother you YGB when you are leaving for Israel, but I couldn't resist. Good Shabbos! -Chaim ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: bais tefilah list Subject: ArtScroll and Microsoft Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:10:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Mordechai Torczyner writes: >Is it just our native suspiciion of large >organizations? Is it time we got over it? I admit that I did not care for ArtScroll long before it became the dominant publisher that it is today and long before it launched the ArtScroll "History" series. A few reasons: * The early ArtScroll volumes were works on Tanakh, starting with the megillot. On any given pasuk, the commentary tended to bring a hodgepodge of sources, mixing midrash and rishonim, pashtanim and mekubbalim in an incoherent and inconsistent mass (mess?). *The writing follows the basic rule of college Freshman English: never use a large word where a prodigious one will do. *The Hebrew transliteration adopts neither Mivto Ashkenozis nor Mivta Sefaradit but Mivta ArtScroll, which borrows a little from each and offends anyone who loves and cares about dikduk (all 3 of us). *In the ArtScroll Sir ha-Shirim, the English translation is not a translation of the Hebrew. Rather, following the understanding of Hazal, the physical imagery of the pasuk is rendered in English in terms of the midrashic interpretation. The point of this, I presume, is to prevent anyone from thinking this is a love poem, though this point is made repeatedly elsewhere. In any case the actual English translation does appear, but only within the commentary. In my view, this is akin to second-guessing the Torah, which did use the physical imagery in the Hebrew. Is there a reason the Torah assumes we can appreciate the mashal and nimshal in Hebrew, while ArtScroll felt we couldn't manage that distinction in English? *As an educational matter, countless high school students are not developing Hebrew textual skills because of reliance/dependence on ArtScroll translations. Is this ArtScroll's fault? Absolutely. Many translations can foster Hebrew skills by appending the Hebrew and English text, especially in a linear form. (I recognize that Artscroll has now jumped on this bandwagon as well, but only recently.) I am happy to concede that ArtScroll has manged to make much Torah available to others and they deserve credit for that. Their siddur is highly regarded. I am told their Mishnah series is excellent as well. But I can still wish that, given their popularity, their content was always as good as their graphics. Kol tuv and Shabbat shalom, Eli ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 13:15:48 -0400 Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Message-ID: <19980717.131550.3382.1.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) On Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:03:31 -0400 cbrown@bestware.com writes: > >Par he'elem is not brought for mistaking truth for falsehood, but for >choosing the wrong PRACTICAL alternative among multiple truths all of >which >are theoretically legitimate. If all the choices are legitimate what makes it the wrong Practical alternative? If truth is not the criteria what is? ANd why does one need a chatas for following the Sanhedrin if at that time he was following the "truth" and was functioning according to the rules of psak what did he do wrong? (THe way the Rambam paskens). I look forward to reading YGB's article as soon as I get someone with the internet to download it for me. I hope this isn't just rehashing material he already discussed! Shraga ROthbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:57:05 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII A clarification or two: Not all halacha is relatively true. Any halacha that moshe was told on har sini (whether as a halacha with or without a remez in the Torah) is absolutely true. No person in gemara ever argues on a halacha like this.(sometimes there is an argument whether a halacha falls into this category or not) but once established that a halacha was told to moshe--it is indisputable. Relatively true halachas are those learned out from pasukim. Even if moshe learned one way, Rabbi Akiva could learn another way. Both are "true" but if codified only one is accepted halacha. The fact is that until codification the followers of each opinion must follow the one they believe is true. Thus beis Hillel and beis shammi didn't observe Judaism according to one set of rules. We do because we codified law in favor of beis hilled . I understand p'sat in the gemara which says there was no dispute until beis Hillel and beis shammi to mean that no dispute survived. When an argument would develop the different sides would discuss it and a particular way was decided on. Beis Hillel and beis shammi introduced disputes which didn't get resolved, ie they were left as arguments. the amoraims inability to argue on taanim is because they didn't know which halacha were objectively true and which were relatively true. the proof to this is that many times if taanim argue a amora will argue on both tannaim. This is allowed because if the tannaim argue it proves that the halacha is relatively true, not objectively true, and thus even an amora can argue, because if the halacha was objectively true then the tannaim wouldn't argue either. The last point is that people shouldn't be confused between tannaim who argue on a halacha(because a particular halacha is relatively true) and tannaim who argue on the remez from the Torah of a halacha which is objectively true--most of this comes from the book dynamics of dispute and is fairly close to what Charles Brown has suggested. To throw one more loop into this question-how do we explain the dispute between beis Hillel and beis shammi on what order to light the chanuka lights--this happened less then 300 prior and chanuka happened every year in between--was the original takana to light 1 to 8 or 8 to 1 (unless the original takana was to light an extra one each day but never defined as adding one or subtracting one,hmm? I hope this clarifies a little and raises some questions good shabbos Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256644:0063FDB1.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:24:43 -0400 Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii I have been thinking about those questions myself. I can't say I fathom why Sanhedrin chose one position over another, and who knows the multiplicity of reasons that might be involved. If I was inclined to mystical reasons (I don't have to consistantly be a rationalist, do I :-))I would introduce them as a factor to explain my inability to even begin to understand why Sanhedrin issued certain rulings. The Ba'al HaTanya offers a clue dealing with the composition of the neshama's middot, but I'm not sure. Even if you hold that Sanhedrin determinines the absolute truth, why the korban - Sanhedrin gave a psak and ones rachmana patrei, he had no choice but to follow what appeared at that moment to be true. Your question is why does a mistake neccesitate a korban, and doesn't relate to which model of truth you adopt. No? -CB Please respond to baistefila@shamash.org To: baistefila @ shamash.org cc: baistefila @ shamash.org Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart On Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:03:31 -0400 cbrown@bestware.com writes: > >Par he'elem is not brought for mistaking truth for falsehood, but for >choosing the wrong PRACTICAL alternative among multiple truths all of >which >are theoretically legitimate. If all the choices are legitimate what makes it the wrong Practical alternative? If truth is not the criteria what is? ANd why does one need a chatas for following the Sanhedrin if at that time he was following the "truth" and was functioning according to the rules of psak what did he do wrong? (THe way the Rambam paskens). I look forward to reading YGB's article as soon as I get someone with the internet to download it for me. I hope this isn't just rehashing material he already discussed! Shraga ROthbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256644:0067C33D.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 15:52:48 -0400 Subject: Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth, response to Elie Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii >>>A clarification or two: Not all halacha is relatively true. Any halacha that moshe was told on har sini (whether as a halacha with or without a remez in the Torah) is absolutely true... <<< I agree 100% but it doesn't answer the challenge to YGB. The confusion is in the 2 meanings of absolute. Meaning #1: Within the context of halacha (and those are the key words), there are things we both agree are absolute truth, and other things that are relative and are subject to interpretation. We are using the word "absolute" to mean "agreed upon by all parties". Meaning #2: "Absolute" means that which conforms with an metaphysical reality. A circle being round is absolutely true not because we all agree to it, but because it corresponds exactly with reality. When you say halacha is "absolute truth" you mean all observant Jews will consent to it without machloket (meaning #1), not that it self-evidently correspondes to reality and is therefore indisputable the way "a circle is round" is. The proof: 1) no one would say a circle is square, but plenty of atheists exist 2) take a look at YGB's R' Tzaddok quotes - halacha creates reality through the agreement of chazal. Before they agree no outside reality to conform to exists! SUummation: If "absolute truth" in the religious sense simply means "an agreement by all" within their frame of reference (paradigm) how can you ever have objective irrefutable religious faith for those outside your context/paradigm/frame of reference? Isn't that what YGB wanted? >>>-most of this comesfrom the book dynamics of dispute and is fairly close to what Charles Brown has suggested. <<< And to think I thought I was being radical : - ) >>To throw one more loop into this question-how do we explain the dispute between beis Hillel and beis shammi on what order to light the chanuka lights--this happened less then 300 prior and chanuka happened every year in between--was the original takana to light 1 to 8 or 8 to 1 (unless the original takana was to light an extra one each day but never defined as adding one or subtracting one,hmm?<<< Why should this dispute be different then all others (wrong holiday ) Different uncodified minhagim existed . good shabbos Elie Ginsparg Likewise, good shabbos -Chaim (which I prefer to Charles) ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132 Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 17:06:00 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth, response to Elie Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII On Fri, 17 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > > Why should this dispute be different then all others (wrong holiday ) > Different uncodified minhagim existed This dispute would be different because any dispute based on how to darshan the Torah can have multiple truths(whether you call it elu velu or shevim panim ltorah) but here the dispute is based on fact-did chazal at the time of chanuka say that you should light 1 to 8 or 8 to one, there would seem to be one truth(unless you say that chazal themselves didn't establish it one way or another. I also want to clarify that what I refer to as relative truth in halacha is up until the law is codified once it is codified then it is the halacha and you can't rely on the other opinion (unless the codified halacha allows you to ) this would cross the issue of zaken maamra to voice your opinion against the established p'sak of beis din .(I believe that this definition has been used by all throughout the discussion, I just wanted to clarify my position) > > good shabbos > Elie Ginsparg > > Likewise, good shabbos > -Chaim (which I prefer to Charles) Sorry Chaim Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_132-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900734473450367236-- From baistefila@shamash.org Sun Jul 19 00:01:11 1998 Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 00:01:09 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 133 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900820869450410434" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900820869450410434 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 133 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 2) Fw: Abbreviated kiddush by "M. Gaffen " 3) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900820869450410434 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_133" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_133" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_133 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:46:13 -0400 Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Message-ID: <19980718.224616.3278.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) On Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:24:43 -0400 cbrown@bestware.com writes: > Even if you hold that Sanhedrin determinines the absolute truth, why >the >korban - Sanhedrin gave a psak and ones rachmana patrei, he had no >choice >but to follow what appeared at that moment to be true. Your question >is >why does a mistake neccesitate a korban, and doesn't relate to which >model >of truth you adopt. No? > >-CB I agree with you it is difficult no matter what position you maintain (especially according to the Sifrei which says even if they say about the yemin that it is smole (right is left ) you are still bound to follow them. HOwever, at least I understand that while the person did the right thing in following the Sanhedrin, but intrinsically there was something wrong in what he did. BUt if you maintain that both positions were "truth" then there was nothing wrong either in his action of following the Sanhedrin or in the intrinsic act that he did than why the korban? Shraga ROthbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_133 Message-ID: <004101bdb2c2$db349da0$76a051d1@ns1.megsinet.net> From: "M. Gaffen " To: "Highlevel Torah topics discussion group" Cc: "Rabbi Bechhofer" Subject: Fw: Abbreviated kiddush Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:06:00 -0500 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit It can be found in Shulchan Aruch beginning of siman 371 in RKA. Rabbi Bechhoffer- Tzaschem L' Shalom moshe gaffen -----Original Message----- From: Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer To: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Thursday, July 16, 1998 11:41 PM Subject: Re: Abbreviated kiddush >I don;t have a Teshuvos RAK"E at home, but it is there, in one of the >first simanim, perhaps in the hosafos thereto. > >YGB > >On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Ira L. Jacobson wrote: > >> R' Akiva Eiger has been alleged to have written that one could be yotze >> (d'oraita) for kiddush merely by saying "Good Shabbos." >> >> Has anyone a source for this claim? > >Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer >ygb@aishdas.org >Cong. Bais Tefila, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6147 > ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_133 Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 23:01:48 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII clarification about par helem dvar she l tzibbur- when Sanhedrin makes a mistake and klal yisroel follows the mistake then each member of klal yisroel DOESN'T bring a korban because they were relying on beis din. The Rambam (perek 12 hilchos sheggagos) says "the rest of the nation is patur from a korban even though they acted because they relied on beis din (this works well with lo tasur as well as with ones rachmana patrei. Only beis din brings a korban when beis din errors. As far as why beis din is responsible based on the relative truth issue, we have already concluded that many laws don't fall into the relative truth issue. Any law told to moshe on har Sinai is not disputable.it is only the laws which are learned from the 13 middos which are disputable. So if beis din gave a wrong ruling on an indisputable halacha they would be responsible to bring the korban (assuming they fulfilled all the other requirements that they must do in order to be responsible for the korban). Therefore, I don't understand how the issue of par helem dvar shel tzibbur is difficult according to the model which Chaim and I have presented Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_133-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900820869450410434-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 20 00:04:34 1998 Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 00:04:31 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 134 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900907471450453735" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900907471450453735 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 134 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) Re: Music, The Heter by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 3) Re: par helem dvar shel tzibbur by kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) 4) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 5) Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart by Cheryl Maryles ----__ListProc__NextPart__900907471450453735 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_134" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134 Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 23:10:59 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: A challenge to YGB on relative truth Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII If you read my essay, you are undoubtedly aware that I addressed there why Conservative and Reform "Halacha" does not fall into the category of eilu va'eilu. The tack I took was not that there is relative truth - there is relative halacha, and there is a significant difference. YGB On Fri, 17 Jul 1998 cbrown@bestware.com wrote: > Of course, one can declare that certain truths, e.g. Hashem's existance, > are absolute, while others, e.g. the order of parshiyot in tefillin, are > relative to the psak of the chachamim. The question then becomes which > truths fall into the absolute catagory and which fall into the relative > category. The problem is the answer to that question relative. What is an > absolute truth to you might be relative truth to me, and we have once again > been reduced to declaring absolute truth to be relative truth - relative to > my religious paradigm that holds them to be absolute, but not in your > paradigm where you think they are relative. Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659 ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM Subject: Re: Music, The Heter Message-ID: <19980719.001534.11815.0.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 00:17:19 EDT Rabbi Clark wrote: <<< When reading the mekorot, it is clear that music (which of course was live in those days) was essentially related to simhah or, in the case of a king, to ceremony. This was music to dance to, to make one happy, or engender respect toward a monarch. >>> I'll agree with this, but only as a general rule. Let's keep in mind that since the only music available was live music, the price would be prohibitive, except for rare occassions (like weddings and other parties) or for the very wealthy. He also wrote <<< For the most part, the radio and cassettes which people listen to in their homes and cars is background music. They listen with (at most) half an ear. Consider that there are two kinds of music played at a wedding: the music you dance to (which is certainly the kind of music the posekim opposed) and the music you eat to, which is hardly noticed at all. I submit that background music, especially if such music is not live, falls entirely outside the interdict of the posekim and need not be avoided during period of personal or communal avelut. >>> This makes no sense to me at all. If this kind of background music is allowed, then what did the Rama (560:3) mean by "Some hold [that this prohibition applies only to] one who is "ragil" with them, such as kings who get up and lie down to music, or at a party." Do you think that the kings danced when they woke up and went to bed? What can "ragil" mean, other than referring to one who is used to having music around him, and if so, how is that different from background music? It seems to me that the recording and broadcasting of music has reduced the price to a point where we all have as much music today as did the kings of old. It is undeniable that there are acts which the Rama prohibits on account of being "ragil". If background music doesn't count, then what do you suggest those forbidden acts might be? I submit that even if you insist on allowing "background music", then if one catches himself singing along, then it is no longer in the background. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: C-Maryles@neiu.edu Subject: Re: par helem dvar shel tzibbur Message-ID: <19980719.005534.11815.1.KennethGMiller@juno.com> From: kennethgmiller@juno.com (Kenneth G Miller) Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 00:57:28 EDT The current discussion about "relative truth" touches on one of the very first discussions in the creation of this mailing list, namely, whether or not the Sanhedrin was infallible. The argument was made that even though the Sanhedrin was, of course, human and fallible, we are still obligated to act *as*if* they're infallible, by following their decisions even when those decisions appear mistaken. If an incident occurs where the Sanhedrin really did err, the "par helem davar" would seem to prove the above idea, that the tzibur is obligated to follow the Sanhedrin whether they are correct or not. In this vein, Elie Ginsparg wrote: <<< clarification about par helem dvar shel tzibbur- when Sanhedrin makes a mistake and klal yisroel follows the mistake then each member of klal yisroel DOESN'T bring a korban because they were relying on beis din. The Rambam (perek 12 hilchos sheggagos) says "the rest of the nation is patur from a korban even though they acted because they relied on beis din" >>> One response which I remember from months back was this: It is true that this korban is brought by the Sanhedrin who erred, and not the people who committed the act. But that korban was ON BEHALF of the ones who committed the act, to atone FOR THEM. Unfortunately, I do not remember who made this point months ago, nor was I able to find a source for it. But I think that Elie unwittingly gave an even better proof: <<< So if beis din gave a wrong ruling on an indisputable halacha they would be responsible to bring the korban (assuming they fulfilled all the other requirements that they must do in order to be responsible for the korban). >>> Check out that Rambam (Sh'gagos perek 12 and 13). You'll see that there are several requirements which must be met for the Sanhedrin to bring this korban. Among then is that the majority if the Jews must have actually followed the erroneous p'sak. If only a minority followed it, then it is indeed the INDIVIDUALS who sinned who must each bring their own korban to atone personally for what they did. Now, some might say that this "majority" requirement is merely a technicality, but to me it proves that the Sanhedrin *can* be wrong. Akiva Miller _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134 To: baistefila@shamash.org Cc: baistefila@shamash.org Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 06:48:29 -0400 Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Message-ID: <19980719.064832.11142.0.sroth4@juno.com> From: sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) On Sat, 18 Jul 1998 23:01:48 -0500 (CDT) Cheryl Maryles writes: >clarification about par helem dvar she l tzibbur- when Sanhedrin >makes a >mistake and klal yisroel follows the mistake then each member of klal >yisroel DOESN'T bring a korban because they were relying on beis din. >The >Rambam (perek 12 hilchos sheggagos) says "the rest of the nation is >patur >from a korban even though they acted because they relied on beis din >(this works well with lo tasur as well as with ones rachmana patrei. >Only >beis din brings a korban when beis din errors. As far as why beis din >is >responsible based on the relative truth issue, we have already >concluded >that many laws don't fall into the relative truth issue. Any law told >to >moshe on har Sinai is not disputable.it is only the laws which are >learned >from the 13 middos which are disputable. So if beis din gave a wrong >ruling on an indisputable halacha they would be responsible to bring >the >korban (assuming they fulfilled all the other requirements that they >must do in order to be responsible for the korban). Therefore, I don't >understand how the issue of par helem dvar shel tzibbur is difficult >according to the model which Chaim and I have presented I appologize for being unclear. What I meant was the Rambam in perek 13 that pokens that an individual who acts on the psak of Beis Din (Sanhedrin) is obligated to bring a chatas (not like the Mishnah in the beginning of Horayos but like SHmuel ) If I understood Chaim Brown correctly, he would not agree to this distinction of two different types of halachos, the very giving over of the halachah at Sinai contained the possibility of more than one understanding. NOt merely those halachas that are derived from 13 middos (Remember the Ritva that was quoted from Eiruvin 13 b!) By the way, where did you see this distinction about which type of retraction of the Sanhedrin requires a Par Helem Davar or a Chatas by an individual? The Rambam and the Gem. only speak about it having to be something that is punishable by Kares, no one ever has said that it cannot be a law derived from the 13 midos! Shraga ROthbart _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134 Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 13:12:39 -0500 (CDT) From: Cheryl Maryles To: baistefila@shamash.org Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, multiple truths - a response to S. Rothbart Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII > I apologize for being unclear. What I meant was the Rambam in perek 13 > that pokens that an individual who acts on the psak of Beis Din > (Sanhedrin) is obligated to bring a chatas (not like the Mishnah in the > beginning of Horayos but like Samuel ) I always understood most of the paturim for beis din not to bring a korban was that if such and such was the case then the individual should have realized that beis din made a mistake. for example if beis din rules in error against an explicit law in the Torah one shouldn't follow beis din. Here to if only a minority follow the ruling it shows that the average person realized that beis din error-ed and every individual who didn't realize this is responsible. Therefore when the majority sin it shows that the average person couldn't realize that beis din made a mistake and therefore beis din is responsible. (I also believe that ultimately this law is a gezaras hacasuv) > > If I understood Chaim Brown correctly, he would not agree to this > distinction of two different types of halachos, the very giving over of > the halacha at Sinai contained the possibility of more than one > understanding. NOt merely those halachos that are derived from 13 middos > (Remember the Ritva that was quoted from Eiruvin 13 b!) > I will let Chaim defend himself, because I haven't seen the Ritva but blineder I will look at it today to see if it is difficult with what I'm suggesting. > By the way, where did you see this distinction about which type of > retraction of the Sanhedrin requires a Par Helem Davar or a Chatas by an > individual? The Rambam and the Gem. only speak about it having to be > something that is punishable by Kares, no one ever has said that it > cannot be a law derived from the 13 midos! > I believe that its pasut because of your question. Beis din can't error on something that is subject to interpretation. By definition as long as beis din darshans a pasuk according to the 13 middos they can't be mistaken. It's only when they contradict a law given at Sinai which isn't agreed upon by the sadducees can they be considered as if they error ed and be responsible for the korban. As far as akiva's point, how do people say that beis din is infallible---if they rule that there is no issur of throwing from a rasus hayachid to a rasus harabim, or that bowing to an avoda zarah is mutar, they are objectively wrong, can someone explain the other side. Elie Ginsparg ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_134-- ----__ListProc__NextPart__900907471450453735-- From baistefila@shamash.org Mon Jul 20 23:42:58 1998 Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 23:42:55 EDT Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org From: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group To: Highlevel Torah topics discussion group Subject: BAISTEFILA digest 135 X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart__900992575450496287" ----__ListProc__NextPart__900992575450496287 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" BAISTEFILA Digest 135 Topics covered in this issue include: 1) Whereabouts by "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" 2) Re: Whereabouts by 3) RE: Avodah V1 #2 by "Clark, Eli" 4) Re: Elu V'elu, S. Rothbart, YGB's solution by cbrown@bestware.com 5) Re: Avodah V1 #2 by Joelirich@aol.com 6) Re: Whereabouts by "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> 7) dancing ma yofis by "Newman,Saul Z" 8) Multiple truths and Kabbala by Daniel Eidensohn 9) Plurality by micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) 10) Re: Plurality by sroth4@juno.com (Paul Rothbart) 11) We *CAN* Know Gods Reasons For the Commandments!!!!! by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 12) Real Reason for the Music Heter: An enactment the Tzibbur couldn't do by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 13) Other Examples Like Tallith by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 14) Re: Other Examples Like Tallith by Daniel A HaLevi Yolkut 15) The Truth about Aylu VeAylu by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 16) My approach to Paskining: Tefillin on ChM: Answers t Eli, Elie.... by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 17) re: Masora on "bin" by alsilberman@juno.com 18) Response to Chana: Who is more likely to Do Keyruv by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 19) Answer to AL: My Citation of the Mesorah was correct by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 20) Re: Other Examples Like Tallith by rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) 21) RE: Tefillin on ChM: Answers t Eli, Elie.... by "Clark, Eli" 22) Backround Music by Saul Weinreb ----__ListProc__NextPart__900992575450496287 Content-Type: multipart/digest; boundary="--__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135" Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="BAISTEFILA__digest_135" ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 08:19:38 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Undisclosed recipients: ; Subject: Whereabouts Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Sorry for this "form letter," but it is the most efficient way for me to let you know where we hope to be and how to reach us, if possible, during the three weeks that we shall be abroad. We leave iy"h to E.Y. tonight. While there, we will be spending time at the Rogoways in Petach Tikva, 03-933-8744 and the Shapiros in Matityahu, 08-926-2031. We are, with gratitude to my father for arranging this, going to be at the Plaza Hotel in Yerushalayim for Shabbos Mattos-Masei and next Sunday night. The immediately following three nights we will be spending in Tzfat, at the Hadar Hotel. For the balance of the time we should be with the Shapiros or Rogoways - my wife knows the exact details, I don't. On Monday after 9 Av we leave to England for a week. Here I have no details for most of the time except that Wed. night we shall be in Manchester at the Fulda Hotel, and that over Shabbos Nachamu we shall be in Hendon, at the Ner Yisrael Shul. The only information I have about that is the Rabbi, Rabbi Kimche's, phone number, at: 181-455-7347. I hope, courtesy of arrangements by my father-in-law, to have e-mail access, at least from time to time, in Israel - but no guarantees! In England I am pretty much sure that we will not have e-mail access. We would be very happy to see old friends and meet new acquaintances on our trip! Kol Tuv and L'Hitra'ot, YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659 ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 From: To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-Id: <85256647.004CAA00.00@3cmc04smtp.chase.com> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 09:59:30 -0400 Subject: Re: Whereabouts MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii We wish you a fine trip. What's your shaychus with Rogoway? I believe they are part of my AUnt and Uncle's chevra at the Young Israel of Kfar Ganim in PT. If you see my relatives (Hadari) please send my best. Have a great time. Regards to Gold, Fendel, etc. - ab ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 Message-ID: From: "Clark, Eli" To: "owner-avodah@aishdas.org" Subject: RE: Avodah V1 #2 Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:19:00 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Micha Berger writes:) >Every mitzvah has two reasons: >1- Because Hashem said so. >2- Whatever reason Hashem had for saying so. >To be really pedantic about it, a makor speaks to #1, above, but doesn't >address #2. Admittedly, #2 can only be addressed by successive approximation, >since no one can ever understand HKB"H's Motivation for doing anything. >However, the language that "X is done because of a gezeirah shavah" can >obscure the fact that the real reason for "X" still isn't known. As a general rule, the gezerah shavah is presented in the gemara as a source for a halakhah, not as a reason. I think the distinction is clear. (When the gemara asks: Minayin? it is not engaging in a quest for ta'amei ha-mitzvot.) >Rav Yisroel Avraham Abba Krieger (a talmid and ben-bayis of the Or Samei'ach, >and my great-grandfather) argued in a teshuvah that the macholokes over >wearing tephillin on cholo hamo'ed was tied to that of whether one may write >on on ch"hm. Now you know what rishon he was drawing upon. Of course, once you take that view, you are going to come to the conclusion that tefillin should be laid on hol ha-moe'd. Needless to say, defenders of the Sefardic/Zoharic/hasidic minhag sought to de-link the two issues. Kol tuv, Eli [ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list. ] [ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org ] [ For control requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org ] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 From: cbrown@bestware.com To: baistefila@shamash.org Message-ID: <85256647:0049A915.00@mail.bestware.com> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 13:17:46 -0400 Subject: Re: Elu V'elu, S. Rothbart, YGB's solution Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii >>>If I understood Chaim Brown correctly, he would not agree to this distinction of two different types of halachos, the very giving over of the halachah at Sinai contained the possibility of more than one understanding. NOt merely halachas derived from 13 middos <<< I agree with Elie's split, and I touched on it last week - though I distinguished more broadly between things like "there is a mitzva of tefillin" which is indisputable, vs. the order of the parshiyot, subject to interpretation. Eli's split is more precise, and in fact, worrks nicely with the definition of hora'ah for zaken mamreh and Par he'elem, see Mishna in Sanhedrin (11:3) which distinguishes between denying the mitzva of tefillin, which is not called a hora'ah, and the number of batim, which is a hora'ah, also Mishna Horiyot 1:3. >>>BUt if you maintain that both positions were"truth" then there was nothing wrong either in his action of followingthe Sanhedrin or in the intrinsic act that he did than why the korban?<<< Sanhedrin has erred becasue they chose to reconsider their previous decision and define it as an error. Sanhedrin can codify a path of action that follows one of many possible truths; it is that decision which defines all other options (even ones they might have chosen in the past) as errant. The key is we codify right/wrong; it's not relative to any absolute standard. Bear in mind a person who knows Sanhedrin has erred (meaning a reversal of their decision is inevitable) should NOT follow them - see first Mishna in Horiyot (please don't confuse this with the "yemin u'smol" drasha). A response to YGB: you say Conservative and reform do not fit into multiple truth because it is outside halacha. But you've just assumed a definition of halacha that you subscribe to but they don't! Within their definition of halacha your distinction is meaningless. Which brings us back to the same question: how do you propose to demonstrate "absolute" truth to those who do not at all subscribe to your set of assumptions/paradigm? -have a great Monday everyone! -Chaim B ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 From: Joelirich@aol.com Message-ID: Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 13:30:36 EDT To: avodah@aishdas.org, owner-avodah@aishdas.org Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: Re: Avodah V1 #2 Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit In a message dated 98-07-20 12:19:46 EDT, clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM writes: << As a general rule, the gezerah shavah is presented in the gemara as a source for a halakhah, not as a reason. >> On a related topic: The reason I've heard given to reconcile that a g"s can be attacked if its not mufneh with the rule that one must have a mesora for a g"s was that they may have had a mesora that there was a g"s between 2 inyanim w/o a mesora of which words were involved; or that there was a mesora of the words but not the inyanim. Thus logic may still be needed to determine the g'"s. Two questions: 1.Has anyone heard a different explanation? 2.Has anyone gone through shas to see if a g"s is attacked does the attacker have those words or inyanim in another g"s? This would seem to be needed to uphold the reason I gave. Kol Tuv Joel [ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list. ] [ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org ] [ For control requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org ] ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 Message-Id: Date: 20 Jul 1998 11:01:11 GMT From: "Arthur J Einhorn" <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM> Subject: Re: Whereabouts To: baistefila@shamash.org Lecvod Harav Shlit"a, I have two questions from the last time I stayed at the Jerusalem Plaza. 1. Is it mutar for a frum Torah observant Jew to stay in a hotel or eat in the dining room where they have mixed swimming in plain view where you can not avoid seeing the women when you go into the dining room which is right next to the swimming pool with large windows? 2. The pool opens about 7:00 am. The women start to come about 7:30. Is a man aLlowed to go to swim till the women come knowing that they will showup in bathing suits albeit the man will not swim when they are in the pool and will leave as soon as they come? Thank You, Ahron Einhorn ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: Whereabouts Author: SMTPGATE.BAISTEFI at EMIS Date: 7/20/98 6:19 AM Received: from FW-ES05.HAC.COM by GSGMVS.EMIS.HAC.COM (Soft*Switch Central V4L40P1A); 20 Jul 1998 06:19:18 GMT Received: from shamash3.shamash.org ([207.244.122.42]) by fw-es05.hac.com (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id GAA21873 for <0017801@CCMAIL.EMIS.HAC.COM>; Mon, 20 Jul 1998 06:20:45 -0700 (PDT) Received: (qmail 2499 invoked from network); 20 Jul 1998 13:20:20 -0000 Received: from shamash3.shamash.org (HELO shamash.org) (207.244.122.42) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 20 Jul 1998 13:20:20 -0000 Delivered-To: baistefila@shamash.org Received: (qmail 2488 invoked from network); 20 Jul 1998 13:20:17 -0000 Received: from casbah.acns.nwu.edu (129.105.16.52) by shamash3.shamash.org with SMTP; 20 Jul 1998 13:20:17 -0000 Received: from localhost (sbechhof@localhost) by casbah.acns.nwu.edu (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id IAA20899; Mon, 20 Jul 1998 08:19:38 -0500 (CDT) Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 08:19:38 -0500 (CDT) From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" To: Subject: Whereabouts Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Reply-To: baistefila@shamash.org Sender: owner-baistefila@shamash.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.06 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Sorry for this "form letter," but it is the most efficient way for me to let you know where we hope to be and how to reach us, if possible, during the three weeks that we shall be abroad. We leave iy"h to E.Y. tonight. While there, we will be spending time at the Rogoways in Petach Tikva, 03-933-8744 and the Shapiros in Matityahu, 08-926-2031. We are, with gratitude to my father for arranging this, going to be at the Plaza Hotel in Yerushalayim for Shabbos Mattos-Masei and next Sunday night. The immediately following three nights we will be spending in Tzfat, at the Hadar Hotel. For the balance of the time we should be with the Shapiros or Rogoways - my wife knows the exact details, I don't. On Monday after 9 Av we leave to England for a week. Here I have no details for most of the time except that Wed. night we shall be in Manchester at the Fulda Hotel, and that over Shabbos Nachamu we shall be in Hendon, at the Ner Yisrael Shul. The only information I have about that is the Rabbi, Rabbi Kimche's, phone number, at: 181-455-7347. I hope, courtesy of arrangements by my father-in-law, to have e-mail access, at least from time to time, in Israel - but no guarantees! In England I am pretty much sure that we will not have e-mail access. We would be very happy to see old friends and meet new acquaintances on our trip! Kol Tuv and L'Hitra'ot, YGB Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659 ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 From: "Newman,Saul Z" To: "'baistefila@shamash.org'" Subject: dancing ma yofis Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 12:07:36 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain Message-Id: <35b3957a430f002@laurel.kp.org> wht is the origin of the attitude of 'dancing ma yofis before the poritz' ? is this a halacha, a 'daas tora', or just a wise practice in dealing with goyim? i'm curious as to whether it is an operational derech still. i believe i read that r shach was against begin annexing the golan as violating this principle, and said there would be dire consequences for defying the Nations. Is this tied to the three shevuot, on a national level? kol tuv ----__ListProc__NextPart____BAISTEFILA__digest_135 Message-ID: <35B3A5E6.47C6BCC4@netmedia.net.il> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 23:17:42 +0300 From: Daniel Eidensohn MIME-Version: 1.0 To: baistefila@shamash.org, Avoda Digest Subject: Multiple truths and Kabbala Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Paul Rothbart wrote: > I don't want to belabor the point but I still don't really understand > this idea of multiple truths (especially as expressed by the Ritva) for > all of the following reasons (if I am just repeating previous points I > appologize) > There is an interesting tshuva Zivchei Tzedek Y.D. 26 where he addresses the current thread. In part he says, "This question is very deep and we are not able to reach a full understanding on an issue that even the Rishonim z"l were not able to handle. He brings the Ritva (French rabbis) and quotes a similar answer from Rabbeinu Chananel. Brings down Chagiga 3b to conclude that multiple answers were actually given on Sinai and quotes the Shelah Hakodesh that this is actually what happened. Then he quotes the Chidah that conflicting answers were actually given to Moshe and that the conflicting answers actually helps clarify each position "light is seen only in contrast to darkness" He quotes the Rashi Kesuvos 57 a that they are both true - if not here - but under different conditions it will be true elsewhere."that even though that this chachom says it is prohibited or permitted in this partic