Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 187

Thursday, August 26 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 05:05:17 -0500
From: Steve Katz <katzco@sprintmail.com>
Re: Midgets criticizing Giants:Publication

Chana/Heather Luntz wrote:

> Yes, but Daniel is not describing "certain circles".  He is describing
> the world in which his son lives, which is made up of elite and masses,
> and we fit within neither.

Who are the elite?

steve (lurker) katz

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 06:16:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Midgets criticizing Giants:Publication

On Wed, 25 Aug 1999, Chana/Heather Luntz wrote:

> Yes, but Daniel is not describing "certain circles".  He is describing
> the world in which his son lives, which is made up of elite and masses,
> and we fit within neither. 

I do not think further conversation is of extraordiary benefit, but I
believe that you are slicing off an "elite" that is not so removed or
cloistered as you think. I think you, being in tht isolated island over
there (and, while this may not be PC, being a woman to boot) are at a
disadvantage. The distinctions between the males in the US and EY who are
or were in Ponovitch and those who are or were in other institutions are
very fuzzy at best, and information - of the type Marc Shapiro alluded to
- travels quite well. 


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: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 08:07:47 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Electric Fans on Shabbos and Y"T

Our esteemed listowner, Micha Berger, posted in 3:186 <<< A second issue
is the status of electric sparks. They cause heat and light and look like
little flames. However, the sparks discussed pre-electricity are actually
very tiny gechalos shel mateches. Perhaps this kind of sparking wouldn't
be assur? >>>

Relevant fact: Gas stations in my area have recently begun posting that
not only must the car's ignition be off when filling up, but cellular
phones must also be turned off.

Opinion: It sounds to me like a spark from someone's cell phone caused an
explosion at a gas station somewhere. Maybe these sparks are *not* any
different than pre-electricity. The shiur for aysh is a mashehu.

Akiva Miller

Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 08:56:18 -0500 (CDT)
From: Saul J Weinreb <sweinr1@uic.edu>

R YGB writes "Furthermore, the reality is that most of the "finds" that
people like RJJS
publicize, including the Volozhin and Netziv stuff, is well known to all
of us, as to all members of the Yeshiva world. Stuff like R' dessler
reading secular material, while the specific tract might not have been
known, was generally known, and, that Agudah Gedolim used ot paricipate in
Mizrachi events is also old hat."
 While you may be correct about he members of this list, unfortunately
this is not the case with the members of Klal Yisrael now receiving their
education in schools with libraries stocked with only "Torah-true"
biographies.  The "history" section in the library is stocked with
"Torah-true" historical masterpieces.  From here our children can learn
"what really matters." OY VEY.  
Our children, (mine and yours attend the same
school) are given only "kosher books" from which they will never learn
that Rav Dessler read
secular books.  In fact they will be learning "edited" versions that
distort the truth.  You and I don't even understand what the big deal is
that he read secular books, it is actually hard to undestand why anyone
would even find this surprising in any way.  However, many of the younger
generation, even if they know this as a fact, they for some reason find
something surprising about it.  This is itself something to wonder about.
Shaul Weinreb

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 10:56:00 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Lower Criticism

Question: did the Masoretes have one uniform Girso with which to work or where 
there discrepancies at that point in time?  

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 11:00:20 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Lower Criticism

Mehcy Frankel:
>>t.  There is however, one interesting yotzeih min hakilol, and that
is R. reuvein margolis who emphatically rejects the notion that there was
any actual sofeiq by Chazal concerning the correct girsoh even for moleih
and choseir. Qidushin 30a is then explained by him as follows. The lack of
biqiyus is only expressed by R. Yosi, who after all was blind and, at one
point, quite ill - to the point where he forgot much of what he once knew
and had to painfully start relearning things with the help of his talmidim.
But this was a personal problem and should never have been interpreted in a
general sense that the texts are in doubt or that everybody else isn't boqi.
indeed proof for this take is to be found in the fact that it is this very
same R. Yosi who expounded the halochoh that a sefer torah that interchanged
a moelih with a choseir is posul! (Minochos 29b) which is hard to reconcile
with the usual interpretaion of R. Yosi in Qidushin 30. As well, the usual
interpretation flies in the face of the often overlooked contrary eidus
offered by R. Meier that he himself was boqi in choseir and yeser (sotoh
20a). R. margolis also offers an interesting halochic sivoroh - to wit, the
observation that we make a birochoh on aliyoh to the torah, which - he
asserts  we should not - since on a real sofeiq, i.e. if we were really in
doubt that this was a kosher torah - we should follow the principle of
sofeiq dirabbonon lihoqeil and discard the birochoh. <<

Question:  Just how many professors at Revel do yopu thinkg would have 
subscribed to this peshat? <smile>
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 12:22:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@ymail.yu.edu>
lower criticism

To Rich Wolpoe:

1) Of course R. Hayyim Heller would recognize textual variants in Talmudic
literature. By the way, my sense is that R. Hayyim's scholarly competence
was not open to criticism: would that we all knew the relevant dead
languages etc. It can be said, however, that his apologetic tendency was
too open to get him a hearing among academics. Whether this is a
deficiency or not depends on whether his position is correct. Whatever the
merits of R. Hayyim's position on lower criticism-- and I don't believe it
necessary to follow him down the line on this-- it is no secret that the
academic establishment often excludes, on principle, the arguments and
views of those who don't share their presuppositions.

2) The distinction I made was as follows: On one possible view, despite
the high standards that Soferim have striven for, questions of textual
accuracy come up. This is something that cannot be denied, given that
medieval variants survive, and that drashot Hazal on occasion presuppose
different versions of the MT. The other possibility (exemplified in R.
Wolpoe's initial reference to kilkul heshbonot etc.) posits a confusion at
the very first stage of the tradition. I don't think it's desirable or
necessary to interpret the sources his way. R. Wolpoe admits that my
distinction makes sense, but considers it relatively unimportant.

He may be right.

3) Respecting #1: I think we need to recognize that part of the difficulty
people have with the existence of textual uncertainty is halakhic (how can
we read an imprecise sefer) and this has been discussed by Rishonim and
Aharonim (see Maori article in my book). Part flows from the fear that
uncertainty at any point endangers the entire system-- and here, after all
local arguments are exhausted, we must rely on our general certitude that
the Ribbono shel Olam protects Torah, even when the "mechanism" of
authenticity is not easily discerned.

Part of the difficulty also results from historical revisionism. Often
teachers who don't know better insist that certain things can't be the
case, and when students discover that they are the case, a crisis ensues.
A terrible price is sometimes paid when we are too pleased with our
ignorance or find excuses to misrepresent the truth. A significant amount
of the Israeli "new history" is wrong; much of the rest is one-sided.
Unfortunately it is impossible to judge how much without devoting years to
examining the archival materials (though one can doubt the "new
historians" when they do not take the trouble to check available
resources...) One thing is clear to me, however. If average Israelis
didn't know that something was being covered up, the "new historians"
would not have gained the prestige they have.

Lastly, to return to textual problems, many young people today can't
imagine what textual transmission really entails. We imagine that books
always looked like our books, and were produced the same way. My
generation is already sheltered in this respect. Though I saw such books
in the battei midrash of my childhood, it's hard for me to imagine a
non-Vilna Shass on the table like any other book. (See Yaakov Spiegel's
new book on textual transmission of Rabbinic literature.)

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 12:33:53 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Lower Criticism

Mechy Frankel:>>

2.  Indeed, to respond to comment 3) above, the examples cited in thegimoroh 
should not be taken as instances of lower criticism at all, as the
gemoroh invariably concludes that there was but a single girsoh - with the 
exception of moleih /choseir which i'll return to -<<

This is IMHO a quibble.  The point is NOT that we should change the girso, the 
point is that the Gemoro was willing to see the text as other than written.  If 
it's not lower criticism than what is it?

Or IOW, are you categorically stating that:
1) Our contemporary texts of Talmud are w/o deviation from the original? 
2) Same for Mishno?
3) Same for Nach
4) Same for Chumash?

Didn't the Gro, Bach and Rashi engage in restoring the proper Girso?

Didn't the Gemoro assert that at least a passage or 2 in Tanach did not 
transpire as our text says it did (EG Zayin Av)?

Didn't the Gemoro and the most common understanding of it allow for a flux in 
molei choseir?  Or IOW, even if one was a boki, might they not be a boki in what
was accepted then and not not necessarily the same set of molei choser that 
Moshe RAbbeinu had?  doesn't Rahsi' girso of Chanichov illustrate such a 

Let me make a valuable distinction:
My claim to "lower criticism" in no way affects the status of what we 
halachially consider to be a kosher, valid, proper sefer Torah.  

Let me make a 2nd distinction:
The Rambam's assetion wrt to our Torah's being the same as Moshe Rabbinu 
was restricted to rjecting the minus/apikorus assertion that the Torah was 
revised or tampered with. He was addressing a heretical belief re: the 
origin and transmission of a valid Mesorah, he was not ruling out the 
possibility of minor scribal discrepancies...

Illustration:  I might speculate based upon lower critical techniques that 
Numbers 2:14 should read ben Deuel instead of ben Reuel and that the Daled 
became a Reish via scribal error.

Halahcially today only Reuel is kosher.  The above spculation is merely 
academic. (It might "invalidate" all those wonderful medrashim, but it would not
be a premised upon which to cahnge OUR Torahs.  But I would not be at all 
surprised to unearth acnient texts that consistently used Elyosof ben Deuel 
throughout instead of having one exception.)

BTW, I suspect we have a form of literalism or chumro-ism at work.  Since the 
Rambam (or perhaps a predecssor) said that the Torah we have today is the same 
as Moshe Rabbinu's  that we now must literally apply this to the very last os. 
My professor was merely pointing out that this is possibly a form of 
reivisionism; that the Rambam was ONLY prohibitting the heretical belief that  
that a single os was forged or intentionally revised. 

OK Mechy how would you deal with an hypothetical Bayis sheini Torah that was 
unearthed and had devaitions from our halachically accepted version?  Would you 
point out that it was nignaz because of its deviations?  Or would you claim that
every Kosher Torah scroll that ever was matches ours?  That there never ever was
a text that deviated from what we now have?

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 20:46:33 +0300 (GMT+0300)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
Re: Avodah V3 #186

RYGB says
> I stress, not because of the friendship with Atlas! 
> But because of privacy, CDRG, and intent issues - things a pure 
> historian, by profession, must probably  disregard.

How is that different from the publication of the letters of
many gedolim after their death?
I assume that if the letters were not destroyed immediately there
was a resaon they were kept.

Micha writes 
> That said, according to Shneiur Leiman (my father asked him in shul) the
> Netziv *allowed* secular studies. He didn't want them in Vilozhin, however.
> Given the choice between allowing them and closing, he (unlike R' Chaim)
> chose to keep the doors open.
> We can not portray the Netziv as having a mod-O perspective.

RJJS writes this explicitly in his article.

I enjoyed the description of the yeshiva world by RDE.
However, I also wish to give a description of a different world
inhabited by my sons. They attend(ed) two yeshivot, Bet Morasha and
Siach. Both these yeshivot are for post hesder boys and so have
more serious students that continue their learning after the 5 years
of army/hesder. In contrast to Ponovezh I would guess that the "ideal"
student for them is not the next gadol hador but future high school
The goal of both programs is to provide a well rounded education.
Hence, in addition to Talmud they learn "philosophy" from Rambam
and Rihal through Maharal and until Rav Kook and Rav Soloveitchik.
My son EVEN learned some Rav Zadok.
They also teach history, chassidut, halacha, tanach etc.
They frequently bring in guest speakers from many different sectors.

Kol Tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 13:02:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Avodah V3 #186

On Wed, 25 Aug 1999, Eli Turkel wrote:

> RYGB says
> > I stress, not because of the friendship with Atlas! 
> > But because of privacy, CDRG, and intent issues - things a pure 
> > historian, by profession, must probably  disregard.
> > 
> How is that different from the publication of the letters of many
> gedolim after their death?  I assume that if the letters were not
> destroyed immediately there was a resaon they were kept. 

They were kept by Atlas, not the SE!

They were personal letters, not lomdishe ones.

The SE has no family to serve as a source for an umdena re publication.

The letters were of a type that are questionable for publication, as
opposed to ones that are clearly not.

Etc., etc.
> My son EVEN learned some Rav Zadok.



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: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 00:02:38 +0300
From: Hershel Ginsburg <ginzy@netvision.net.il>
Re: Avodah V3 #182: Midgets criticizing Giants:Publication: KEEP IT QUIET, PLEASE

The volume (as in quantity) of the list has increased significantly of
late, and so I apologize up front for (a) dredging up something a few days
old, and (b) if someone else already said what I have to say on the point

>Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 15:11:56 EDT
>From: Yzkd@aol.com

>In a message dated 8/22/99 1:45:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
>Joelirich@aol.com writes:
>> Of course maybe that audience might rethink it's position on newspapers or
>>  knowing what's going on in the world if they knew that the Netziv read
>>  newspapers.
>Lav Davkoh, a leader has obligation to know, i.e., the Sanhedrin were
>obligated to learn things that are prohibited for others, also the Mkurovim
>Lmalchus were permitted to have hair cut otherwise prohibited.
>Yitzchok Zirkind

I have been told by one of the "older" (i.e., pre-revisionist) talmidim
from Yeshivat Chaim Berlin, that Rav Hutner suggested that the talmidim of
the Yeshiva to read the New York Times on a regular basis and listen to
WQXR Radio (the classical music station of the NY Times, for you non-New


                             Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D.
              Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant
                          P.O. Box 1058 / Rimon St. 27
                                  Efrat, 90435
              Phone: 972-2-993-8134        FAX: 972-2-993-8122
                         e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 19:17:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Historical Revisionism

Due to circumstances beyond my control I've been unable to participate
in this list for awhile. I've just noticed an interesting thread on
accuracy in reporting historical fact and would like to throw in my two
cents.  I apologize if any of this is repetitive.

The issue is the extent to which historical accuracy is important
enough so that facts are not distorted.  Is historical accuracy an end
in itself?  What is the impact of Halacha on accuracy? Can a historical
biographer lie by omitting certain facts about an individual who has
become a legend and  hero to Klal Israel, in order to maintain as
unblemished a record about that individual as possible?  Indeed are we
even allowed to tell the truth if it will make that individual look
bad? Is that considered Lashan Hara?  

I think we live in a day and age where objective truth has been
replaced by agendized truth.  Truth has become outcome based.  Truth is
only useful if it furthers an agenda.  If an agenda cannot be realized
by telling the truth, then simply omit it.  

The most famous case where truth was a victim was the translation of
the M'kor Baruch written by R. Baruch HaLevi Epstein.  This translation
by Moshe Dombey entitled, "My, Uncle the Netziv" was a faithful
adaptation of the original work.  After Cheder Lakewood distributed it
in a fund raising effort, they received complaints that there were
facts in the book that made the Netziv look bad in the eyes of the
yeshivishe world.  (Just to name a few items, He criticized the Rambam,
he had friendly relationships with Maskilim, he read a newspaper on
Shabbos... I'm sure there was much more deemed objectionable, but this
is what comes to mind).  When Cheder Lakewood found out about the
content, they pulled the book, and to the best of my knowledge,  had
Artscroll cease the book's publication!  "True or not", they reasoned,
"we can't let this information about the Netziv out."  It just didn't
jive with the sanitized and  idealized versions of the Netziv that they
 were imparting to their students.  Neither did it jive with the
Hashkafos they were trying to teach.  

When R. Aaron Soloveichik found out about this Censorship he was
outraged.  He told me that in effect they were criticizing R. Baruch
HaLevi Epstein, himself, a man who could have been the Rebbe of any of
those critics no matter who they were!

The bottom line, in my view, is that it is counterproductive to revise
history.  Truth should reign supreme.  After reading the above
mentioned book (before the controversy) my own estimation of the
Netziv's greatness increased.  It humanized him in a most positive way.

If history becomes sanitized then previous generations become
superhuman and almost godlike.  
These icons become impossible to emulate.  Furthermore if the truth
does come out then all these historical revisionists  lose their

Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 22:30:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Leshon Hara is because of the Pain it causes--NO!

In v3n186, Russell Hendel exclaims:
: But leshon hara is not prohibited because of the pain it causes.

I agree but not for the reason you give.

: The Chafetz Chaiim makes this clear by classifying as leshon hara
: to say that someone with 10 children does not have time to learn.

There's a more fundamental question. It looks like we're engaged in Jewish
Alchemy (to quote "19 Letters") -- creating experimental data (halachah) to
fit the theory.

Halachah drives aggaditah, not (in general) the other way around.

The exception that made me say the "(in general)" is that I believe there is
a role in using aggadita when the halachic process leaves one with two equally
valid choices. But that's only /after/ the halachah was explored and two
piskei halachah are found to still be valid.

There's also issues of aggadita determining lifnim mishuras hadin, but we're
talking din here.

Once we find whether or not (or both) one is permitted to say lashon hara
about the dead, only then is it appropriate to explore how this fact effects
our understanding of L"H.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 25-Aug-99: Revi'i, Savo
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 28a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-I 14

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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 12:15:01 +0300
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il>
Lashon Hara About the Dead

Moshe Feldman wrote:

> - --- "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il> wrote:
> > Moshe Feldman wrote:
> > 
> > > Carl Sherer wrote:
> > > << [Moshe Feldman wrote:]
> > > > I also have a svarah to distinguish motzi shem ra from lashon
> > hara
> > > > regarding the dead.  It's not right to falsify information
> > about a
> > > > person whether he's dead or alive.  But the sin of lashon hara
> > > > (speaking the truth) is really one of causing the person pain;
> > dead
> > > > people don't feel pain (see Brachot 19a).
> > > 
> > > Ah, but we don't pasken like that Gemara. We pasken like the 
> > > Gemara at the bottom of Brachos 18a that says that we don't wear 
> > > tztzis or tfillin in a Beis HaKvoros because of loeg larash. If
> > the 
> > > meisim don't understand anyway, why would we pasken that way? 
> > > (See Yoreh Deah 361:3). Obviously the meisim do feel something. 
> > > (And yes, that's what the Zera Chaim I cited yesterday brought as
> > 
> > > proof).
> > > >>
> The flow of the gemara Brachot 18-19 does not accord with your
> assertion.  

The flow of the Gemara may not accord with my assertion, but the 
Shulchan Aruch certainly does. See YD 367:2-3 (or 3-4 depending 
on what counts as the first s'if). In any event, if you look at the Ein 
Mishpat, the part of the Gemara which is actually cited l'halacha is 
further up on 18a, whereas the part that you are citing starts 
towards the bottom. 

> Moreover, there is no clear contradiction between the statement of R.
> Yitzchak and the position that one may not drag his tzitzit over the
> graves of the dead because that makes them feel bad (i.e., the dead
> know what goes on in this world).  The gemara explains R. Yitzchak's
> position that *either* (1) the dead do not know, or (2) the dead know
> but it does not bother them (lo ichpat l'hoo).  The second position
> can be reconciled with the case of tzitzit--the dead know in both
> cases, but are bothered by their inability to perform mitzvot anymore
> but are not bothered when people talk derogatorily about them (ala
> "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt
> me"); it would make sense that the dead are particularly perturbed
> what flesh and blood think about them.

First of all, today, we don't pasken that the issur is just to drag the 
tzitzis over the grave. The Shulchan Aruch says that because 
today people wear tzitzis specifically to fulfill the mitzva, the very 
act of wearing tzitzis over or sticking out of one's clothes in the 
Beis HaKvoros violates the issur.

Second, I could argue exactly the opposite. When a person is 
niftar, all he has left is his reputation. If the dead know anything, 
the fact that someone is maligning them could be the worst thing.

Third, the Mordechai refers to "motzi laaz." It's not clear to me that 
means the same thing as "motzi shem ra."

Finally, if what you are arguing that it is permitted to speak lashon 
hara about the dead so long as it is true, I would caution you that 
the Chafetz Chaim in many, many places discusses how even 
when it is true, we mere mortals tend to twist things and 
exaggerate things, even when we do not intend to do so.

-- Carl

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 12:15:01 +0300
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il>
Toward a Definition of Chumra?

Russell Hendel writes:

> It looks like Carl and I are making headway.

Well, maybe....

> Carl asks for a definition of Chumra WIHTOUT NOTICING
> that he gave one:
> >>NOT ALL POSKIM HOLD (ex: husband and wife
> drinking from same soda can even if in different glasses)

I don't think I defined that as a chumra, and I don't think it's correct. 
What you have just done is to say that anytime there is an 
argument between two poskim and I choose the more stringent 
opinion that is a chumra. But that's not correct - if MY posek is 
machmir, I am "stuck" with that; I can't go psak shopping.

R. Moshe certainly didn't think that drinking the same soda can 
from different glasses was a chumra; he would have told you that 
as part of your chosson shiur (and BTW - the Rav I heard the shiur 
from said that this and many other aspects of R. Moshe's shita 
with respect to eating together when the wife is a nida made more 
sense than those of other poskim, and he urged people to keep 

I saw one definition that would say that wherever something is not 
clearly permitted in halacha and therefore we prohibit it, that is a 
chumra, but that definition also strikes me as too broad.

I'd like to try to argue that a chumra is where one refrains from 
doing something that is actually permitted by most or all poskim 
(including one's own), or performs a mitzvas aseh with an extra 
stringency that is not required (e.g. davka going to the Kotel to 
bentch lulav and esrog during Chol HaMoed Succos, which is 
something many Yerushalmim do, so that at least according to the 
Rambam's shita you are doing a d'oraysa and not only a 
d'rabbanan) out of a desire to strengthen his commitment to 
mitzvos and to Hashem.


And under my definition it's NOT a chumra, because you're doing it 
as a reminder to keep them from transgressing an aveira, and not 
as a means of strengthening their commitment to mitzvos and 
drawing closer to Hashem.

> Now that we have some definitions let us review :
> I make 5 points
> ===================
> 1) I and Carl certainly agree that you can ADVISE
> a couple that certain STRATEGMS exist for avoiding
> NICHSHAL (such as the soda issur) (BUT..I would
> caution a POSAYK against saying it is prohibited
> for them)

I agree with that.

> ====================
> 2) The way Carl defends himself against my
> claims of Kenayvath daas makes me think that
> he agrees with me that nothing should be done
> behind the couples back (Is this true Carl)

Again, I'm not sure what you mean by behind their back. If I agree 
with your point number 1, and the posek should not tell them that it 
is prohibited, then it seems to me that by definition it is not being 
done behind their back. I'm just not sure the posek has to go out of 
his way to stress to the couple that this is something extra that 
they really don't HAVE to do. I don't think he should tell them that 
they HAVE to do it, but I don't think he has to stress to them that 
it's extra either. I would say that he should suggest it, but in a 
manner that indicates that he expects that they will follow his 
suggestion. I would not call it a "chumra" in any event.

I flipped through R. Aryeh Kaplan's Handbook of Jewish Thought 
this morning, and he says that if a Rav is machmir because of 
special circumstances, he has to make it known so as not to set a 
precedent. From there I understand that the concern is about 
OTHER people thinking that it's ikar hadin, and not the people who 
actually asked the shaila (it's around Page 250 in Volume 1 if you 
want to look it up).

> In fact, that is the whole Chidush of Rabbi Akivah--
> besides AVOIDANCE we must also MAINTAIN
> attraction or the marriage will disolve (hence the
> heter to wear jewelry). 

I still don't understand why you keep dragging Rabbi Akiva into 
this. I don't know of anyone who holds that the woman can't wear 
jewelry during nidus, unless that is one of the Ben Ish Chai 
chumras that Chana referred to earlier. I'm not familiar with the Ben 
Ish Chai's writings on Hilchos Nida.

By analaogy IF THE COUPLE

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but I'm afraid we're about to 
head down a slippery slope. Halacha is halacha, and if the couple 
doesn't feel like following it, then life is tough. I would say that if a 
couple used R. Moshe as their posek, and R. Moshe told them 
that they couldn't share their can of soda in two separate glasses 
(which I understand that he held to be ikar hadin), then their 
feelings lose out. They might be able to find themselves another 
posek, but I don't think that would be permitted unless they were 
switching poskim in a much broader context than just deciding that 
they did not like one psak. But that is a whole separate issue....

> =======================
> Carl and I agree that there is a difference between
> the 2 posookim (DON"T EAT vs WE CAN"T EAT
> and WE CAN"T TOUCH) and we BOTH want
> to check sources before we make further comments

Just look in the Rashi there - he sure seems to be saying that 
Chava made it up on her own....

> ============
> My statements about the BAITOTHIM come from
> the Rambam (either on Avoth or his hakdamah to
> Mishnayoth (I can check).

Please do.

> The "simple law" is that you SHOULD DO MITZVOTH
> in order to receive candy (if you are a child), clothing
> (if you are a teenager), social status and respect (if
> you are a young adult). The Rambam explicitly
> states this (in his hakdamah to Chelek?). 
> Thus TELLING STUDENTS (Tzdak and Baitos)
> to do things for the sake of heaven is a chumrah
> (something not necessary). It led to them going
> astray and caused us much grief.
> Carl please let me know if you want me to look up
> the sources
> Carl is correct about the numerous Gmarrahs
> that say that one should do things for the
> sake of heaven (However in light of the
> Rambam these Gmarrahs are talking about
> Chumrahs not the strict law)

This I don't see at all. A chumra, at least the way I defined it above, 
is an extra stringency that draws us closer to Hashem. How doing 
mitzvos l'shem shamayim is a chumra is beyond me. I would argue 
that doing mitzvos l'shem shamayim is having the best kind of 
kavana, and not a chumra. No, I will not argue that doing mitzvos to 
get candy is not a mitzva (ha'nosen tzdaka al mnas sheyichye bni, 
tzadik gamur), but it is not the best way to do them. That doesn't 
mean, however, that doing mitzvos l'shem shamayim is a chumra.

> ====================================

Actually, it's not. What Chazal did consider to be intimate was for 
the wife to POUR the glass of wine for her husband in front of him.

> Come come Carl. You just celebrated your 18th
> anniversay. Surely you don't believe that wine
> and romance is an OPINION of chazal. 

Depends who the woman is. Adina doesn't drink any wine :-) 

-- Carl

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

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