Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 207

Wednesday, December 22 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 22:56:11 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Avodah V4 #203

> Most early chasidim were talmidai chachomim??!! You seem to
> be confused
> between early chasidim and chasidim harishonim.

I don't think so.

Name one of the Talmidei Bal Shem Tov who *wasn't* a Godol B'Torah.

I used the term "chassidim" to refere to the direct students of the Rebbe --
*not* the average Yid who came to the Rebbe with a kvittle or who davened in
the Rebbe's shul because he felt welcome there.

There were (are) two types of chassidim -- the personal students, who were
Talmidei Chachamim and who could understand and learn from the deeper Torah
the Rebbe tought (kabbalah) and the simple Jews, who had not learned much
beyond Alef-beis and maybe chumash/Rashi. They had been relegated to a
second-class status by the establishment. The Bal Shem welcomed them and
encouraged them to learn, whatever they were able to.

> If not for the lack of
> univeral Jewish education the Ba'al Shem Tov TZK"L, ZY"A,
> would not have found a void to fill.

Quite true.


Akiva Atwood
POB 27515
Jerusalem, Israel 91274

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 22:54:27 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
state versus individual tzedakah

> seriously, is there a distinction between our individual chiyuv of tzedaka
> and that of a secular state?
An individual can give tzedakkah to whomever he sees fit.
Thus if he wishes to support his sons or son in laws to learn their
entire lives it is certainly admirable.

A state uses collective money and so has to justify its use of tax
money. Thus, for example, it would be inapropriate to give charity
based on the whims of the minister in charge rather than on clear
Money from the bet hamikdash was used to pay for judges and other
public officials. Kesef Mishne derives from here that it would
also be appropraite to use public funds to pay for their education.

My interpretation is that this is permissible only if the public gets
a direct benefit, i.e. the recepients will (or at least most probably will)
become public officials. I personally find it hard to justify using
public funds to pay for someone to sit in his kollel and learn his
entire life without taking on a public position.

Almost the entire exception to this rule, in the past, was the vilna
Gaon who was paid a salary by the kehilla of Vilna.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:05:29 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Talmidei Besht

Is there a list in some sefer of whose who among the Talmidei haBesht?

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________

Name one of the Talmidei Bal Shem Tov who *wasn't* a Godol B'Torah.


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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:08:28 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: state versus individual tzedakah

My understanding is that the Vilna Gaon qualified for a stipend endowed by one 
of his ancestors.

Rich Wolpoe 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Almost the entire exception to this rule, in the past, was the vilna 
Gaon who was paid a salary by the kehilla of Vilna.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:12:26 -0500
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re: Military Halacha

RD Schwartz wrote:

>>Is not the horror of battle enough a "sha'a't had'chak" to carve out a 

Let's say that the dying soldier was of a different religion whose last 
rites consisted of he and a clergyman sharing a pork rind.  Would the 
horror of battle be enough to permit a rabbi to eat pork in order to 
comfort this brave dying soldier?  Of course not.  Why then should it 
permit him to address a prayer to Jesus?

The difference between the two prohibitions is clear - one is the physical 
consumption of food and the other is the mere utterance of words.  However, 
while that difference may seem important enough to us to make the prayer 
seem less "real," halachah views it as more "real."  Saying a prayer to 
avodah zarah is a more severe issur than eating treif.

Compassion has a place in halachah.  However, administering last rites will 
not in any way prolong this soldier's life.  All it will do is convince 
him, and according to Judaism incorrectly, that his soul is saved through 
his faith etc.

Again, I'm not a rabbi and certainly not a posek.

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:13:43 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: state versus individual tzedakah

In a message dated 12/22/99 4:04:53 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
turkel@math.tau.ac.il writes:

<< A state uses collective money and so has to justify its use of tax
 money. >>
Source? Would you differentiate between a Jewish King/State and others?

Kol tuv
Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 15:40:58 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Re: problem kids

> I don't think the "non-frum" kids infecting the "frum" kids are a major
> problem either.
On the contrary, I think the influence can be profound.  A great deal of
influence can be wielded  by  the hashkafah of the majority of any
particular clique in the school,  the more popular and charismatic
personalities there, and our kids' best friends.  Even taking into account
the positive influence of many of the teachers, our kids spend more time in
their peers' company than in ours. This is particularly true for teenage and
preteenage boys in charedi schools with very long hours.  It is essential,
especially in a large family where this is more easily neglected, to ensure
that each child has enough exposure to good hashkafahs on a one-to-one
basis,  and a generally good relationship with the parents.  The parents
need to know who the friends are, where they are holding  and where our
children are holding in terms of Jewish values. It's too easy to let these
things go and assume everything is OK when their are so many other concerns-
financial, household management,  health etc.

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:20:42 -0500
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re[2]: Military Halacha

RR Wolpoe wrote:

>>In general, if there only chaplain around is jewish, he is expected to 
ARRANGE but not to conduct services for other denominations.  EG, a Jewish 
chaplain would be responsible to arrange Catholic/Protestant services which 
could be actually  conducted by lay military personnel or non-chaplain 

Is it permissible to ARRANGE but not conduct Christian services?  I woud 
lean towards saying that it is permissible.  The only possible problem 
would be lifnei iveir.  However, since this does not require particular 
skills and could easily be done by someone else it is probably not a case 
of lifnei iveir.  Again, I'm not a rabbi.

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:51:47 EST
From: Broasters@aol.com
Re: Avodah V4 #206

In a message dated 12/22/1999 3:42:31 PM Eastern Standard Time, 

<< I doubt
  anyone really believes that a rabbi performing a non-Jewish ritual has any
  real meaning (from a point of view of the other religion in question); all
  it does is comfort someone dying in the most austere and frightening of
  circumstances.  I think anyone would be hard-pressed to deny anyone that
  level of peace.  I am not a rabbi; if I were one however, I know that my
  conscience would require me to give that comfort. >>

At the risk of yet again sounding extremely cold (I wear a gartel, for 
goodness' sake) and making no claims as to what I would do in the situation, 
I would opine that right and wrong from G-d's perspective have less to do 
with giving people comfort than they do with obeying halacha, which AFAIK, is 
pretty strict about acting out avodah zarah.


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Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 00:02:48 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Re: Is Kollel for the Elite

<< But, if we don't allow Yungerleit and their wives to learn about
> computers (even 
> > Bein HaZmanim in the case of the Yungerleit) and we do things like 
> > try to put the net in cherem, we will never enable those who need a 
> > parnassa to get one>>
Still I would argue that we have to recognize the potentially deleterious
effects of the net in the hands of someone lacking personal 
discipline and impulse control.   I'm not sure what the answer is
(because a sweeping issur would obviously have very negative 
consequences), but it is an issue that has to be dealt with.  Do we
simply treat it like alcohol and leave it up to the individual to regulate
his behavior?  I don't know if the cases are comparable.

> << for those who are wondering what I am talking about :-). If they come
> out of the army and become Charedi baalebatim who support  the Yeshivos
> but are seen by the chilonim as contributing to  society, I think it will
> take a lot of pressure off the rest of 
> > Charedi  society - both financially (in the long run) and in terms of
> the army (almost immediately).>>
> It might also encourage some chutznikim who would like to make aliya but
> don't see their way in current Israeli Chareidi society,  nor outside of
> it.

What would encourage the chutznikim?  The opening up of the 
possibility for a chareidi to enter the mainstream of Israeli
society (army service, parnassa) and be accepted by chiloni
society?  From my own personal experience I have found that that is
already possible today (and the possibilities for kiddush hashem
or, r"l, chilul hashem, are great).  You shouldn't think that
chareidi society is so monolithic.  And what of the chareidim that
don't serve in the army but do serve in various volunteer organi-
zations that benefit all sectors of society (Yad Sarah, Ezer miTzion,
Hatzolah, zihui chalalim after terrorist attacks, etc.) and leave a 
tremendously positive impression on chilonim?    If that is a 
person's excuse for not making aliya, he had better find another
one :-) . 

Shlomo Godick

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:23:32 -0500 (EST)
From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@ymail.yu.edu>
cooking the books

> I will be visited this week or next by an interviewer in my home who will 
> "check out" my family and home (and presumably my car in the driveway) and 
> require me to sign an agreement that I do not and will never own a TV.  I 
> don't know how much crazier this can get.
> As an aside, is it geneivas da'as to hide some of my more risque sefarim 
> like Moreh Nevuchim and Or Hashem?

Since you've already confessed ownership in public, isn't this a bit like
closing the bag after the beans are spilled? Perhaps the interviewer
doesn't mind your owning the books as long as you know how to hide them
when appropriate. In that case it would be like cooking the beans.

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Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 14:28:22 PST
From: "Alan Davidson" <perzvi@hotmail.com>
Re: problem kids

No, just be sure to prominently display your copy of the Rosh Yeshiva Speaks 
and borrow pictures of Rav Schach and Rav Moshe if you don't already have.

>From: gil.student@citicorp.com
>Reply-To: avodah@aishdas.org
>To: avodah@aishdas.org
>Subject: Re: problem kids
>Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:24:13 -0500
>RH Maryles wrote:
> >>This leads to newer and "better" schools for the precious darlings so
>they won't be tainted.>>
>I will be visited this week or next by an interviewer in my home who will
>"check out" my family and home (and presumably my car in the driveway) and
>require me to sign an agreement that I do not and will never own a TV.  I
>don't know how much crazier this can get.
>As an aside, is it geneivas da'as to hide some of my more risque sefarim
>like Moreh Nevuchim and Or Hashem?

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