Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 152

Tuesday, August 3 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 19:59:04 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com

RYGB:>>Then, of course, every obscure and questionable source (Josephus, Philo, 
the Malmad) is a legitmate source to the contrary. Not that you need
sources, of course, since science validates and science invalidates, but 
additional arrows in the quiver cannot hurt.<<

My point re: Josephus was that the issue was not an ikkar ho'meuno.  Joesphus 
himself neither affirmed nor denied the literanlness of thses issues.  What he 
DID affirm was that they were NOT essential to being a good yid.

I would say the same for any of the stories, i.e. their literallness is not an 
ikkar unless we're talking Torah miSinai etc.  

Making every facet of Torah, (eg an aggedito that Noach was commanded 120 years 
before the flood to build the ark) is the proces of dogmatizing that has become 
de reguer lately.  This trend towards "that's the way it always has been". 
reminds me of the pictures of Maamad Har Sinai with the men wearing 

Rich Wolpoe


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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 20:15:06 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Future Sanhedrin

>>But this too is not true! Ironically, the new Beis Din (based, however,
only on EY - we in Chu"l do not count) could well overturn derashos based
on the yud gimmel middos, but not takkanos d'rabbonon, unless, as someone,
perhaps RCB, earlier pointed out - they are gadol b'chochmo u'b'minyon.
And, as we know, that is an impossibility.



Since the new Beis Din would comprosmise Eliyahu hanovi and Moshiach (possibly 
Chanoch) why can't it be gadol bechohcmo? Or is the problem gadol beminyan?

Doesn't yehei munach ad sheyeovo Eliyohu imply that Eliyohu will elingithen us 
to know the din better than the Chazal of the Gemoro? 

rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 18:27:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Future Sanhedrin

On Mon, 2 Aug 1999 richard_wolpoe@ibi.com wrote:

> Since the new Beis Din would comprosmise Eliyahu hanovi and Moshiach
> (possibly Chanoch) why can't it be gadol bechohcmo? Or is the problem
> gadol beminyan? 
> Doesn't yehei munach ad sheyeovo Eliyohu imply that Eliyohu will
> elingithen us to know the din better than the Chazal of the Gemoro? 

Agreed. Posters on Avodah were discussiing a Sanhedrin we ourselves might
deiign to convene prior to the speedy advant of Eliyahu. 


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: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 11:18:14 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
Subject: Munkacs

From: Shlomo Abeles sba@blaze.net.au
Subject; Munkacs

> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 11:37:00 -0400 (EDT)
>  Shalom Carmy <carmy@ymail.yu.edu> wrote
> Subject: 1. Munkacs;
> 1. It appears that the letter by the Munkacser has been questionably
> translated. For the benefit of those who have lost track: Please supply
> the specific reference to the original and the translation.

Shalos uTshuvos Minchas Elozor, Chelek 5, siman 36

As previously posted, I will fax the Tshuva to those who cannot get a copy of the sefer.

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Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:35:14 +0000
From: David Riceman <driceman@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
fun facts to know and tell

Saul Stokar wrote:

[2] Solomon ibn Gabirol, quoted by Ibn Ezra as offering allegorical
interpretations of the Garden of Eden and Jacob's dream (I Have been
unable to
identify the precise reference; all Ginzburg says is "Gabirol's
interpretation as quoted by Ibn Ezra in his commentary to Genesis. Does
anyone know whre this Ibn Ezra is?)

It's in the other version of Ibn Ezra's peirush found in the back of the
Mosad haRAv Kuk Mikraoth Gedoloth (which, alas, I don't own so I can't
cite more precisely).

On Fri, 30 Jul 1999 Joelirich@aol.com wrote:

> And at that time did contemporary historians/scientists have a common
> wisdom as to the age of the world and did it differ or coincide with
> Chazal's?(as usual I'm asking out of ignorance) 

Aristotle's view was that the world was eternal.  The Epicureans (and
others) disagreed.  "That time" is several hundred years of
extraordinary turmoil; one view did not predominate during the entire

David Riceman

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 15:22:58 -0400
From: Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil
Aggadic perspectives

Consider the following statements, perhaps from the perspective of a talmid,
or even graduate, of one of our current great institutions of torah
learning, and ask yourself whether you envision a visceral reaction spinning
up (I do): 

1) "Things inferred from pisuqim, are known as midrosh and aggodoh, and are
only conjecture...That which seems correct in them, supported by the
intellect and the written torah, we shall accept.  For there is no end to

2) " ..this is called agodoh and one only need learn from it mah she'yaleh
al ha'da'as".

3) "You ought know that the words of aggodoh are not like heard tradition
(shi'muoh). Instead each explains them as he understands, using "perhaps"
and "one can say" rather than a decisive manner. therefore one needn't rely
on them."

4) "We don't have to accept divirei qadmonim (talking about nach! here, or
at least the hitherto undisputed literal interpretation thereof) if they
contradict our intelligence." 

Whatever your reaction, visceral or otherwise,  to the above, it was
actually meant to be a helpful (and agenda-less) response RYGBs en passant
remark that:
<I believe there is already Geonic material on the interpretation of Aggados
Chazal, but I do not recall offhand where.>

The key to the above is then:
1. R. Sheriroh Gaon, 2. R. Shimuel b. Chofni Gaon (slandered it is true as
the MO gaon of his day, but a card carrying Gaon non-the-less), 3. R. Hai
Gaon (like father like son), 4. R. Shimuel Ha'nogid (not exactly a gaon, but
certainly gaonic era, and with a personal status probably roughly equivalent
to a reish golusoh).  The gaonic citations are from otzar hagionim, the
nogid from his movoh. 

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 325-1277
michael.frankel@dtra.mil		H: (301) 593-3949   

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 15:22:36 -0400
From: Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil
Semichoh revival

RCBrown writes:
<Wrong again.  Smicha is transmitted ish m'pi ish from Moshe - its not an
election.  The only historical attempt to revive smicha was based on the
Rambam;s chiddush that if all chachmei Eretz Yisrael agree to grant smicha
to a certain person it is valid. Aside from the ..>

Nope. There actually was at least one other attempt, as late as 1830, to
revive semichoh. This is the effort of r Yisroel of Shklov, who - acutely
aware of the problematic nature of rambam's suggestion as it played itself
out in the 300 year previous drama you refer to - attempted to circumvent
the problem by trying a new approach (one of three possibilities suggested
by radbaz).   R. Yisroel was apparently caught up in the same messianic
fervor which gripped the old yishuv of talmidei hagroh in the 1830s (and
which was to end with such psychological catastrophe in 1840-41) and
determined to do his shtadlonus part which required a sanhedrin/bais din
hagodole to be re-established before the moshiach could come (according to
rambam's requirements in perush hamishnayos, sanhedrin 1:1).  But in order
to do that you first needed semichoh, a conundrum that R. yisroel decided to
attack head on. 

His modest proposal (no. 2 or radbaz's list) was to make contact with
representatives of the aseres hashivotim who were known to live beyond the
sambatyon river. R. Yisroel offered a number of sivorohs to back up his
conclusion that amongst the shivotim there undoubtedly existed in 1830
honest to god musmochim who maintained the unbroken line of semichoh from
moshe.  It was then merely necessary to get one of these fellows to masmich
in turn some eretz yisroel rabbonim, and then voila! This, R. Yisroel
proceeded energetically to organize.  He raised money for this effort and
indeed dispatched an emissary, a certain R. Boruch of Pinsk, to seek out the
shivotim.  As to where to find them, he had a good general idea based on the
now ancient tales of Eldad hadoni and other traditions that led him to
believe that it was somewhere in the desert off the main caravan trail to
Mecca.  r. Boruch was dispatched, spent about a year or two looking, and
disappears under somewhat unclear circumstances - apparently he wound up in
Saana, Yemen for some period. Evidently however, he must have been
unsuccessful in his quest for the shivotim, or perhaps they proved more
uncooperative than R. Yisroel presumed, since we still have no "real"
semichoh today.  

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 325-1277
michael.frankel@dtra.mil		H: (301) 593-3949	  

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 15:23:14 -0400
From: Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil
Overturning taqonos

R CBrown (whom I don't ordinarily pick on twice in one day- i'm more likely
to agree twice a day) writes:
<Wrong.  The  Mishna says that you need a B"D of greater chochma and minyan
to overturn a takkanah.  The Kesef Mishne in Mamrim 2:1  writes that
although theoretically acc. to the Rambam a later Sanhedrin can rule against
the derasha or limud of a former Sanhedrin (not all Rishonim agree even with
this!) there is a kabbalah not to do so after the chasimas haTalmud.  What
do you do with the sources? >

I think this, and a few previous posts by others, have been treating the
(im)possibility of overturning taqonos with a too simplified take on the
legal subject. use of pithy legal principles, such as ain bais din
yicholin.. (or halochoh kibasroi for that matter) need to be taken for what
they are - which are professional legal tools to be wielded only by the
expert decisor who decides the precise circumstance of their deployment - or
non-deployment - in any given specific instance. They are not general
purpose universal truths amenable to an indiscriminate applicability.
Thus, for instance, let us consider the range of possibilities available to
a professional poseiq should he decide, despite this generalized ain bais
din imperative, to in fact support the overturning of a taqonoh.  What other
legal pathways might be open? 

1) The decisior may determine the taqonoh was not a dovor she'b'minyon and
therefor no greater minyon is required to overturn it. indeed the malbim
provides a significant opening by asserting that any taqonoh, for which it
is not positively known that it was instituted b'minyon (the overwhelming
majority one would think), the default status is that it wasn't a minyon
matter.  willy nilly, this opens up the theoretical possibility to overturn
practically anything by an appropriately constituted bais din with no
pretensions to being as great as that of a previous generation's. 
2) The decisor may determine that the initial taqonoh was originally meant
to have only a local character, in either time or space.
3) The Rosh's shitoh that a taqonoh, the reason for establishment thereof is
well known, whose original rationale has disappeared also cancels the
taqonoh (this requires some expansion. not all taqonos with reasons are
equal. some taqonos may have reasons attached, but are nevertheless not
cancelled since there may not be a single reason which is well known to
everybody, or some other doubt - again only a poseiq can make such a legal
determination of which class a particular taqonoh falls). 
4) if the continuation of the taqonoh would itself lead to some qilqul (e.g.
the original taqonoh that a mais mitvoh is qoneh miqomo and buried on the
spot biziman hazeh)
5) A slew of further distinctions based on whether the taqonoh is active or
passive, whether it's lichumroh or quloh, whether it involves a potentially
permitted mechiloh (say of taqonos involving rights of talmidei chachomim),
whether its a complete or only partial bitul, etc etc.   

Note i have taken these examples from R. Gutel's sefer on the shinui tevoh
where many more footnotes are provided as well.  sach hakol, this is not a
simple matter for we non lawyers and we should not necessarily assume that
the sha'ar ha'pisiqoh will be closed before the powers of our decisors when
there is a need of them. Just as certainly these are not kilollim that
laymen ought casually bandy around as we score debating points off each

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 325-1277
michael.frankel@dtra.mil		H: (301) 593-3949	   

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 23:15:42 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Semichoh revival - Tangent

On Mon, 2 Aug 1999 Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil wrote:

> by radbaz).  R. Yisroel was apparently caught up in the same messianic
> fervor which gripped the old yishuv of talmidei hagroh in the 1830s (and
> which was to end with such psychological catastrophe in 1840-41) and

Actually, this past Shabbos at our Shul Kiddush we were wondering what
happened to the Chassidim under R' Mendel Vitebsker, R' Avrohom Kalisker,
and R' Chaim Chernovitzer that were oleh to EY. You also now allude to
some catastrophic disruption of the Talmidei ha'Gro aliya (is this the
earthquake in Tsfas-related?).

Could you fill us in on what happened to these movements and how much of
the old yishuv consisted of them?


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: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 10:12 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il
Tower of Bavel: mixing of languages

A good friend of mine, Isaac Mozeson, whose field is comparative linguistics
wrote a fascinating text called THE WORD: The Dictionary that Reveals the
Hebrew Source of English. He has found a link between proto-Semitic and
proto-Indo-European as well as other language families ranging from obscure
South American Indian languages to Japanese. Professor Shiloni who runs the
Japanese Studies Program of Hebrew University was amazed at what Mozeson
found (thousands of Japanese words turn into Hebrew roots if the letter order
is reversed). Professor Louis Feldman of the Dept. of Classical Languages
at Yeshiva College stated that Mozeson's work "suggests a far wider sharing
of the world regarding the monogenesis of language and the primacy of Near
East culture".

That's what the Torah meant when it talks about: "Vayehi kol ha'aretz SAFAH
ACHAT". And that's what the Torah meant when it states: "V'NAVLAH sham
sfatam". Word roots are MIXED up. BTW if you take the American Heritage
Dictionary and look at its appendix of 200 IndoEuropean roots try looking
for the *mixed up* Hebrew roots.


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Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 17:23:47 -0700
From: Barbara Gibbs <leclerc@ozemail.com.au>
Is all music value neutral?

FWIW, I am a professional musician, with a doctorate in music, and have
taught university courses in the musicological field for some 30 years.
The question raised is one that has been puzzling music critics, and
others, for at least the last 200 years, and there is really no single
answer. For some, music is an 'absolute' art, and has no connotations
beyond itself; for others it is a powerful tool, and can both raise
specific emotions in listeners, and in another sense 'purge' them of
such emotions by their very act of listening to it. The contradictions
go on and on.... [If anyone wants the actual sources for the various
discussions of these issues, I am happy to provide them off-line.]

There is also a distinction made in music between 'absolute' music which
claims to be non-representational, and 'program' music which does claim
to represent. That which is represented may be specific acts (sometimes
the music tries to precisely replicate the action by its sound), or it
may be concepts or philosophies. It is this latter which is the most
contentious. Beyond this there is music which evokes an emotional
response by association -- national anthems in general fall into this
category. Finally there is music of the more popular sort which achieves
its effects more by a response to its often 'primitive' rhythms than its
melodic or harmonic content.

The matter of Wagner's music is even more complex, since, unlike
virtually every other opera composer, he wrote what he called 'music
dramas', i,e, he wrote the libretti, and supervised every element of the
performance. It is therefore very difficult to separate the effect of
his music alone from the effect of the total musical experience. Suffice
it to say that without a knowledge of his use of 'leitmotifs' it is
generally impossible to follow his operas on anything but a superficial

Personally, I do not happen to like Wagner's music, although I would
have to admit to his historical importance in extending the harmonic
language of his time, but I very much doubt that there is anything at
all *intrinsically* anti-semitic in it that is not more a product of

I shall now return to my 'lurking' status, and learn from you all in
much more productive areas.

Barbara Gibbs

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Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 22:13:52 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
MUNKATCH: Fasting for German Jews

From Shlomo Abeles (sba@blaze.net.au>
Subject: MUNKACS: Fasting for German Jews

> Eli Turkel <turkel@icase.edu> wrote

> > Subject: Munkacs:  Tshuvo in Minchas Elozor
> >>
> > This seems to be a classic case for
> > 'Chachomim Hizharu B'divrechem'. There is a huge difference in
> > the words first posted by R' Eli Turkel (>> "The Agudah wanted
> > to have a fast day in the 1930s because of the worsening
> > situation in Germany... The rav from Munkacz refused on
> > the grounds that German Jewry deserved what was happening to
> > them ...>>

> the truth is quite the OPPOSITE to RET's quote. The
> > Munkatcher  Rebbe clearly states, that, notwithstanding his (well-
> > known) opinions ...........(and)  fasting for the removal of the
>>  boycott  could be seen as an approval of the Chillul Shabbos,
> > nevertheless every rav SHOULD declare a fast in his town (''al ken
> > bevaday ro'ui ligzor taanis...kol rav b'iro'').  These words are
> > quite the reverse to the original quote by RET."

> First of all I quoted only part of Krischner's translation and so all
> selections were mine and not his. Sorry if that was not clear.

>  I have seen nothing in the additional portion quote by  Daniel
> Eidensohn that  changes my mind. His pain is that all Jews
> are not observing the Torah.

If you  read the original  you will clearly see the Munkatcher
 Rebbe's pain at the suffering of  the German Jews
 just as much as his pain at their Chillul Shabbos.

> Only he is the true tzaddik

An unfair, false and derogatory comment!

> <<that they should return back to G-d and close their
> stores and businesses  on Shabbos....then we will
>pray for them and decree a public fast to pray for
>their rescue and success amongst the rest of Israel... >>
> ...If the German Jews do not repent their sin of
>profaning the Sabbath  then [to ordain a public  fast]
> would be to reinforce their behaviour of
> profaning the Sabbath. >>

>> i.e. we will pray for them to be rescued from the
> nazis only AFTER they close their  stores on
 >shabbat. > The fact that they are   persecuted for
 >being Jews is not enough to pray  > and fast for
 > them as long as they mechallel shabbat.

Bimechilas Kevodcho, please look at the Tshuvo, and you will realise
that your " i.e." is a TOTAL distortion and falsely depicts the
Munkatchers standpoint.

> Sorry, but this teshuva is one of hate for all Jewish leaders. Only he

> cares for the defense of G-d and every else is a hypocrite.

Bimechilas Kevodcho, again, do you realise that with your offensive
cynicism you are insulting  the memory of one of the leading Tzadikim
and Manhigim of the previous generation, a Rav, Rebbe and Rosh
Yeshiva to tens of thousands of Jews - who was respected and revered
even by those whose political views and liaisons he so vehemently

> His pain is that German jewry desecrates shabbat.

That too, as well as their physical suffering.

> I am sorry but punishment should be decided by G-d. It is not our job
> decide who should be punished by G-d.

The Munkatcher did NOT say anyone SHOULD be punished.
He wrote that the punishment that  they
HAVE received i.e the nazi boycott of their shops,
was Midah keneged Midah for keeping their shops
open on Shabbos.

> To translate his teshuva to modern terms, I have been in a number of
> shuls recently that instituted a special prayer for the captive Jews
>  in  Iran. According to this teshuva we should first ascertain how
 > religious  this community was.

Unfortunately, that is the way YOU seemed to have learned the Tshuva
(via Krischner's translation). However, I have no doubt that anyone who
has studied  the original will come to a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
conclusion of this Gaon v'Tzaddik's attitude.   And AGAIN you seem to
overlook the fact that he writes in that Teshuva that every Rav SHOULD
BE Gozer Taanis!? Why do you keep denying such an open and clear

Hizharu B'Gachloson...Gedolim Tzadikim B'Misoson yoser
M'Bechayehen....Vehu Rachum Yechaper..

PS  My earlier offer to fax the original Tshuva to those who do not have

the Sefer Minchas Elozor available - but are interested in the Emes
L'Amito - stands.

Shlomo Abeles

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Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 10:10:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Mitzvos Ma'asiyos

A truly thought provoking and eloquent post. So what is there for us to

On Sun, 1 Aug 1999, Avi Feldblum wrote:

> For the personal coloration, my father is a product of pre-war Lita and
> the Yeshiva community there. My maternal grandfather was the Sambor
> Rebbe, and brought up completely in the Chassidic tradition. I was
> zocheh to spend many Yomim Tovim with my grandfather. I can clearly
> remember the intense joy that would come over him when he would first
> pick up the Lulav and Esrog on the first day of Succot. While sitting in
> the Succah, we would at times suddenly stand up and start dancing,
> exclaiming to us that we stood surrounded by the holy names of God (the
> kabbalistic tradition that the four walls are the shem Havayah and the
> floor and the sechach are shem Adni and shem Alokim). Similar with
> Pesach and also items in Shabbat and other mitzvot. To him, the mitzvot
> were an expression of Joy, Awe, even wonder.
> This is not something I have seen in a manner that I find truely
> convincing in those I see of the current generations. Maybe more of us
> have spent more time learning than the average Jew of my grandfathers
> generation (to be clear, my grandfather himself had a level of learning
> that I doubt many today come close to, being a true baki in Shas,
> poskim, halacha, aggada and kabbalah [as well as Greek and Latin, he was
> mavir sedrah in Greek or Latin}), but somehow the move from home to
> Yeshiva has failed to generate this intense feeling in most of our
> generation. This is something that Rav Y.D. Soloveichick lamented as
> well in describing the Yomim Noraim atmosphere that he remembered as a
> child. 


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: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:16:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe_feldman@yahoo.com>

R. Wolpoe wrote (in connection to the issue of the miracle of the Red
Sea, which Josephus discounts):
<<IMHO Josephus reported the more or less prevalent veiw of circa
Chazal as we have it starts from Mishno (circa 200) Gemoror circa
Chazal's opinions are binding NOW, but IMHO it's abit anachrnonistic
at times to
super-impose them as being normative hundreds of years earlier.
This opninion IS debatable.  It is based upon several presumptions:
1) Josephus was more or less accurate and w/o too many axes to grind
(except wrt
to the evetns surrounding his era)
2) That many opinions that Chazal took for granted later were still
in flux 
during Joesphus's time.
I wish to clarify that Dr. Louis Feldman did NOT lead me to this
rather it was based upon the above suppositions and lectures I attend
at BRGS.>>

I forwarded this to my father, Dr. Louis Feldman, who responded as
follows (with regard to Josephus' view of the Red Sea miracle):

We, of course, do not know what the prevailing view was in
Josephus' time, since no one took a survey of the population to
determine this and since the overwhelming majority of what was
written in that period has not survived.  However, it seems to me
very unlikely that Josephus' view reflected the view of his time
period.  In the first place, if it was the prevailing  view, no one
ever quotes these passages or, for that matter, any other passage in
Josephus during that time period.  In fact, the first citation of any
passage from Josephus in any author is found in Theophilus of
Antioch, a Christian, who died after 181; and he does not cite this
view at all.  No Jew, whether in the Talmudic corpus or anywhere
else, ever cites Josephus until Sefer Josippon in the tenth century,
and that,of course, is a praraphrase of the Jewish War, not our
view.  The fact that the rabbis never mention Josephus at all  would
seem to indicate that they did not have much regard for him.  His
autobiography indicates how extremely unpopular he was, whatever the
reason may have been.  The only Jewish writer, more of
(actually somewhat earlier) who mentions miracles at any length is
Philo, and he understands them as outright miracles, though in some
cases he says they may be explained by natural causes.  Of course,
Philo is not mentioned by Chazal or by any Jewish writer other than
Josephus until Azariah dei Rossi in the 16th century.

Do You Yahoo!?
Free instant messaging and more at http://messenger.yahoo.com

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Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 10:05:20 -0500
From: Steve Katz <katzco@sprintmail.com>
Re: MUNKATCH: Fasting for German Jews

SBA wrote:
> >From Shlomo Abeles (sba@blaze.net.au>
> Subject: MUNKACS: Fasting for German Jews
> Shlomo Abeles

Are not we all created b'zelem elokim?
Whatever happened to kol yisroel chaverim zeh lozeh?
Do you instruct the gabbai in your shul to inquire regarding the 
frumkeit of the cholim before including their names in a misheberach?
Take care and pray for kol yisrael.

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Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 12:19:26 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: MUNKATCH: Fasting for German Jews

Having now read the minchat elazar I have formed my own opinion which I'm 
sure no one is interested in :-). One question - in stating that he could not 
support a broad based day of taanit and tshuva he states "ki im me nelech 
bdoro  shel shmad kzeh etc. , vchi hatzionim o hamizrachim o haagudyim 
vdomeihem yashuvu el hashem vemunato?"  

Does anyone know historically exactly to whom he was referring (secular 
Zionists, mizrachi party members who weren't shomer tora umitzvot.....?) 

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich

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Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 13:48:11 EDT
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: Is all music value-neutral?

In a message dated 8/2/99 6:23:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
richard_wolpoe@ibi.com writes:

<< I believe Wagner is correct; amateurs such as myself do not understand
 such things. Are there any music scholars on this list who might try to
 teach us? >>

Well, I don't know if I would call myself a music scholar, although I might 
be the closest one on this list. 
If we were talking of purely instrumental music, I would find G Wagner's 
thesis highly debatable, unless he was aware of specific Kavanos that R. 
Wagner had when writing the pieces. In which case, the music would contain 
those meanings.....for R. Wagner, and all those who wish to follow him. One 
of the funny things about Art, as opposed to Literature, is that a lot more 
is left up to the subjective experience of the one enjoying the art. I feel 
no anti semitism when listening to Wagner, because I don't have to. As a non 
verbal form of communication, Music transcends concrete messages, despite the 
best attempts of program composers such as Liszt and Berlioz. This whole 
issue, in fact, is a very crucial subsection of analysis of 19th century 
romanticism. (Machlokes Brahms and Liszt) 
However, in the case of Wagner, we are talking exclusively of Opera. There 
was some instrumental music, but believe me, you haven't heard it. Neither 
have I. The only instrumental music of his that is common are the Overtures 
from the Operas. 
They contain melodies which are called Leitmotifs. Leitmotifs are musical 
representations of characters in the operas. So, for instance, there will be 
a Brunhilde Leimotif, a Seigfried Leitmotif, and so on. 
Here is where it gets sticky. There is no question that in some of Wagner's 
work, especially the greater works, such as the Ring Cycle, there are 
definitely ideas of an ethnocentric nature. But the most important example is 
Parsifal, which is a representation of Christianity with a most decidedly 
Anti Semitic bent. Because of the technique of Leitmotif, (which BTW was his 
innovation), even if you divorce the melodies from the words, there will 
still be definite associations between music and ideas which go beyond the 
programmatic suggestions of Wagner's contemporaries.


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Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 13:53:08 -0400
Re: MUNKATCH: Fasting for German Jews

To all of them.  My father z"l told me he remmebered when that Miinchas
Elazar came to Kisvarda, where he lived a child.  R. Shapiro was there
during the three weeks and began his Firday night derasha as follows:
"Sheit di gemora a Kamtza u Bar Kamta charva Yerushalayim.  Vas is Kamtza?
Katza ist Kommunitzin, Mizachtzeirin, Zionitsm und Aguditzen."  At that
point, Dov Gruner (who later was taken captive by the British during the
raid on the prison at Latrun) who grew up in Kisvarda took off his shoe and
threw it at the Minchas Elazar, breaking a window in the kloiz (the chasidic
schul) and stormed out.
----- Original Message -----
From: <Joelirich@aol.com>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: MUNKATCH: Fasting for German Jews

> Having now read the minchat elazar I have formed my own opinion which I'm
> sure no one is interested in :-). One question - in stating that he could
> support a broad based day of taanit and tshuva he states "ki im me nelech
> bdoro  shel shmad kzeh etc. , vchi hatzionim o hamizrachim o haagudyim
> vdomeihem yashuvu el hashem vemunato?"
> Does anyone know historically exactly to whom he was referring (secular
> Zionists, mizrachi party members who weren't shomer tora umitzvot.....?)
> Kol Tuv,
> Joel Rich

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