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Volume 02 : Number 059

Sunday, November 22 1998

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:53:40 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@netmedia.net.il>

Concerning the position that pshat does not mean translation of the
words but rather the most direct interpretation that makes sense:
Besides the Chavas Yair [Mar Kashisa page 29]  I just found the
following from Rav Avrahom Eliyahu Kaplan page 131.

"What is Pshat. It seems to be so self evident that it needs no
discussion. The conventional wisdom is that it is understanding  which
comes  from a simple reading which requires no effort to understand. By
examining the matter in greater detail nothing can be added to the pshat
but only to the understanding. In fact, by studying it in depth the
danger grows of getting farther removed from the Pshat and coming to
This, however, is not the concept of Pshat from Chazal. From their
perspective it is not something which is self evident from cursory study
but only from repetition and review. At first the material is studied
and then afterwards Pshat is determined. The simplest explanation that
fits after learning is called pshat. We find this in the Medrash (Shemos
Rabbah #47) that for the  40 days and nights he learned Torah he would
learn in the day and at night he would determine the Pshat. Thus we see
that learning and ascertaining Pshat are two separate activities and one
follows the other. There is in Pshat what is not found in straight
learning. Learning is that initial study of the text or the shiur -
afterwards comes the work of determining Pshat.
.....Pshat itself is the uncovering of that which is covered. Even though
the outlines and the dimensions seem apparent  - the clarity of Pshat
comes from uncovering it and seeing the thing itself....Only through
Pshat does one come to Emes.

                                     Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 18:26:47 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Pshat

R' Daniel has struck a chord by quoting my hero, RAEK, so I must respond
with some contribution to the issue. I remember very distinctly a sicha my
Rebbe, R' Shimon Zelaznik zt"l gave in which he defined pshat, to
paraphrase: Sugyos may be compared to garments full of creases
("kematim"). Our task is to press, or flatten ("l'pashet") those creases. 


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:37:24 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Hitnachalus, Kiruv and Chillul Hashem

On Sat, 21 Nov 1998, Eli Turkel wrote:

> If most reform Jews would ask the orthodox Jews of Chicago to leave
> because they are not welcome is there any requiremnt on them to leave
> because of future kiruv work?  People are not required to leave their
> homes because many it might help kiruv or make people upset.  Certainly
> Jews would never had lived anywhere if they couldn't stay whenever much
> of the local populace didnt like it. 

I obviously did not make myself clear. The detriment to Kiruv is more of
a po'al yotzei, or a simman, of Chillul Hashem. By looking at the
Encyclopedia Talmudit on Chillul Hashem, I found, footnote 103, an
explicit Chazal that bears on our issue, B"R 39:4. where Avrohom Avinu
expresses hesitation to follow Hashem's command that he go to the Holy
Land, lest he thus cause a Chillul Hashem, when people deride him for
therrefore not fulfilling Kibbud Av va'Em. This remains a concern until
Hashem explicitly releases him from the chiyuv of Kibbud - and, it seems,
promises to wrrite the Torah in a way that masks the lack of Kibbud Av -
by killing off Trach prior to Lech Lecha.

Do we not see here that the mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel may be
overriden by cheshbonos of Chillul Hashem?


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:43:31 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Highlevel Torah Discussion Group <avodah@aishdas.org>

As a founder of this list, in a previous incarnation, I feel some residual
responsibility for its direction, and ask Micha to forbear some
interference in his leadership.

It seems that some posts recently have addressed topics of a worthy
nature, but without citing research, mareh mekomos, etc. I admit that I
indulge in such practices myself from time to time, and apologize for

As a "Highlevel Torah Discussion Group", I think it is essential, when we
discuss matters that are grounded in mekoros, that we are matri'ach
ourselves to bring those to bear. Even if they are obvious - citing them
raises the level of discourse in and of itself.


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:46:40 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
R' Kook on the Authority of the Knesset

Found it cited in the Tzitz Eliezer 10:1:14, from the Mishpat Kohen 144.


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 17:50:27 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Halachic parsha problems

In a message dated 11/19/98 5:24:10 PM EST, C1A1Brown@aol.com writes:

>  (1) The Netziv already resolves the difficulty of selling bechora, which is
> a
>  davar she'lo ba la'olam, with a chiddush of tshuvot haRivash that pre-
>  Torah this was not an issue (I do not have a Shut Rivash but am speculating
>  that perhaps this is a general din in kinyanim done by bnei noach). 

I didn't see the Rivash but from the quotation is Mashma that this is not
Yisroel/ben-noach issue, rather Kodom/lachar Matan Torah issue, (especially
according to the Gemoroh that Esov was a Yisroel Mumor). Further from the
Halochos regarding the sale a Bheimoh Hamivakeres, is Mashma that now too
there is no Kinyan in DSLB"L (Y"D 320:6), although one can argue that since
from the sellers (Yid) perspective he can't be Makneh it won't help that
Mitzad the Koneh (Goy) it would be good, the problem I have with that is that
since he Mfurosh wants the sale to take place (in order to avoid the problem
of Bchor) why should we say Lo Gomar Umaknee, (Bdugmas the Din of Mocheir
Sodeihu Mipnei Ro'osoh).

Another point Bpashtus Haksuvim it seems that this was a Kinyan Chalipin,
(which answers the questin of O'noh Urei Lihalon), if we say that Esov had a
din of a Yid we would not have to go into the issue whether Yesh Chalipin by a

However according to  the Even Hoezer which brings that there was a benefit
for a Bchor in the then and there, (Bnogeia to Pi Shnayim seems to be argument
among Mforshim whether Kodom Matan Torah was such a Din), hence that would
answer the Rivash's question, as it was Kvar Bah Lolom, and along with that
everything comes along (which is even stronger then one who sells a tree for
it's Peiros, C"M 209).

> I thought
>  perhaps one could compare the bechorah sale to a sale of tovas ha'na'ah.

Please elaborate as IMHO I don't see the Shaychus, the selling of a Shtar Chov
wouldn't qualify, the Bechoroh is like a document giving him certain rights.

>  any event, I am still bothered by why there is no issur of ona'ah in the
>  exchange of the bechorah for a simple pot of lentils.

1) The Klei Yokor Teiches the emphasis of "Michroh KAYOM", that he said on
this day it has no more value then the Nzid Adashim (as he could die before
the benefits would kick in).

2)  The Even Ezroh indicates that the fact that he sold for such a meager
price shows that Yitzchok was poor, and he didn't see any greater value.

3) Al pi Halacha if both sides know that the price is not right then it is as
if they clearly stipulated in which case there is no O'noh, (Oruch Hashulchon
C"M 227:9).

4) Al pi Drush Bderech Efshar [Ubderech Richokoh :-)], Yaakov held on to
Esov's heel, so that he should be considered as one with Esov (or that Esov
should have the Din of Korchoy Bsi'iv in which he isn't a Bchor), hence the
whole sale was just to satisfy Esov, that is also Teitch in the words (27:36)
Hachi Koroh Shmoy Yaakov  Vayaakveinee that how was he able to take the Brocho
was because he took Bchoroh, which he took by being called Yaakov for holding
onto my heel.

>  (2) Some meforshim seem to understand that Eliezer was the shliach to be
>  mekadesh Rivkah (I thought he was simply a messenger and Yitzchak did the
>  kiddushin later).  How could an eved serve as a shliach?

Just for the readers this idea is brought in Tosfos  (D"H Shenemar, K'subos
7b), the question is discussed by many Mforshim (as the Halacha is that since
an Eved is not Btoras Gitin Vekidushin, he cannot be a messenger (E"H 35:6)).
Among the answers given -

1) Lubavitcher Rebbe in Sefer Hasichos: Before Matan Torah was different
(especially that before Matan Torah there was no Toras Gitin Vkidushin as the
Rambam emphasizes in the beginning of Hil. Eeshus).

2) Mincho Bluloh, Veod: Avrohom freed him so he was no Eved.

3) Ponim Yofos, Makneh (Kidushin 41b): since "Yad Eved Kyad Raboi" so it is
not Btoras Shliuchs, rather as if he himself did it (it is only no good when
he is a Sholiach for someone other then his master), Similar to this idea is
also in the RaDaL on PRDR"E chapter 35 footnote (6). 

(I took all this from Sefer Hasichos 752 pp 99).

A few Nekudos.

1) WRT freeing Eliezer we enter the issue of Oveir B'esseh, perhaps this would
be like Mitzvoh D'rabim (Brochos 47b). I once heard a very nice Drush that
that is the reason that Eliezer said (24:33) that he would not eat until he
spoke, since in order to free an Eved it has to be for Mitzvoh Drabim (Brochos
47b) by him being needed for Mzumon that would fit the bill (since an Eved
can't be Mtzurof to a Mzumon  (O"C 199)).

2) Machlokes who freed Eliezer according to PRDR"E Yitzchok freed him.

3) Since Yitzchok is the Mkadeish how could Eliezer which is Avrohom's slave
become his Shalich, Bishlomo according to the first answer perhaps Yitzchok
made Avrohom his Shaliach, Vshaliach Oysoh Shaliach, but according to the 3rd
answer that Yaad Eved Kyad Rabbi, what would it help, we would be able to
answer that when Avrohom gave over all his possessions to Yitzchok, Eliezer
became like the Yad of Yitzchok, however the question on this is that when
Eliezer came to Rivkah's house he said (24:34) Eved Avrohom Onochee, however
since Avrohom's giving everything over to Yitzchok was in order to secure a
wife for him, so Kol Zman that wasn't accomplished he wasn't his slave yet,
however afterwards he became his slave and that would explain Eliezer
identified Yitzchok as his master (24:65).

4) The Possuk (24:65) is not a Stiroh to the Deioh that Avrohom freed him, as
we can teitch it like Vayeiroh 18:3.

Enough Droshos for the day.

Kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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