Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 354

Thursday, February 10 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 09:19:55 -0000
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Beano

> don't think that for the chakira you are making it is a medical issue,
> rather an halachic question of how to define a trufah vs. a food
> additive.  I have no ideas about that one.

It's not a clear-cut distinction. About a year ago I looked into the
question of whether anti-oxidants taken as a supplement require a hechser,
and whether one can take them on shabbos.

The following are the results of that enquiry:

if it's medicine, then according to many poskim you can't take it on shabbos

If it's an additive, then you can take it on shabbos.

If it's an additive, then it requires a hechser, just like any food.

if it's medicine, then it's a big maklotet (involving why you are taking it,
the seriousness of the problem, derech achila and  ro'i l'achilas chelev,
whatever that means in practice) with answers ranging the full spectrum from
"l'chatchila yes they need it" to "no they don't"


A reality check a day keeps
the delusions at bay (Gila Atwood)

Akiva Atwood, POB 27515
Jerusalem, Israel 91274

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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 09:32:10 -0000
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Video cameras

> I do not understand what issur might be involved in changing
> an existing
> electronic impulse on Shabbos.

I had a long discussion with a few rabbanim regarding computers and voice
recognition a few months ago: I had asked what the problems would be with
dictating chidushim into a computer on shabbos, assuming the computer was
turned on before shabbos with the software running.

Their consensus was that there was probably no issur involved, but that they
wouldn't give a psak that it was mutar either, because of it's
non-shabbosdic/uvdei d'chol nature.

(There are varous factors, like the type of microphone, which could make it
assur. Some microphones modulate an existing signal, while others create a
new signal as a result of your speaking.)

Like many other areas involving electricity or technology (and many other
areas of life), the first issur or heter contines to this day, even if the
reasoning doesn't always make sense from a scientific viewpoint.


A reality check a day keeps
the delusions at bay (Gila Atwood)

Akiva Atwood, POB 27515
Jerusalem, Israel 91274

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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 03:21:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: MZ Redux

I find myself torn between the 2 positions posted
below. On the one hand, I agree with the sentiments
expressed by Shaul. OTOH, I understand the oft
expressed reluctance by RYGB to discuss this topic
openly on this list because of the sometimes graphic
nature some have responded with on this topic, and the
relatively young ages of the children of list members
who might access it. 

I cannot believe that there is any individual who
reads this list who can seriously argue that MZ is
Mutar min HaTorah, no matter how skilled he is at
manipulating the words of the Torah.  Also, I think
virtually the entire world knows the Orthodox Jewish
position on MZ. The only ones who believe we are
primitive in our beliefs on this issue are the
pro-active Gay militants with highly a highly
agendized strategy to undermine all of civilization to
conform to their warped sense of social justice. 

But I also, agree that there should be a more public
airing of the Torah viewpoint on this suject.  This
may be the only issue where the entire spectrum of
Orthodoxy can agree: MZ is Assur period, although,
there may be disagreement as to how to go about
treating those who Nichshol. But perhaps this is not
the forum to hash it out.


--- "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer"
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> wrote:
> Found another list to discuss it.
> From what I hear soc.culture.jewish or whatever it's
> called may be the
> appropriate place.
> Our list is not a catch all, as R' Mordechai noted
> earlier.
> Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
> Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago,
> IL 60659
> http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila    ygb@aishdas.org
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: sweinr1 <sweinr1@uic.edu>
> To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 07, 2000 11:48 AM
> Subject: homosexuality and our list
> > R YGB has raised objections to the recent posting
> which apparently was
> trying
> > to twist the Torah into somehow not really saying
> that same sex
> relationships
> > are a toevah.  While I understand the sentiments
> that prompted RYGB to
> make
> > this comment, I don't think that we should ban
> this topic for discussion
> on
> > our list. Unfortunatly, the why's and wherefore's
> of Orthodox Judaism's
> stand
> > on this subject are widely sought in todays
> culture, and widely
> misunderstood.
> >  To invoke the principle of "ein dorshin baarayos"
> is IMHO a big mistake.
> WE
> > cannot become defensive and hide away when soemone
> asks us regarding our
> > stance on this issue.  In the "outside world" this
> is considered a
> legitamate
> > subject for public discussion, and shtika kehodaa
> if we don't express
> > ourselves, it will be interpreted as if we have
> nothing to say Chas
> Veshalom.
> > Al Achas kamma vekamma when soemone tries to use
> the Torah itself in order
> to
> > justify their views, and they present a seemingly
> reasonable argument
> which
> > the untrained eye might actually become convinced
> that this is a
> legitamate
> > interpretation, how much more so are we mechuyavim
> to clearly,
> confidently,
> > and without anger and frustration - refute these
> claims.  Any scent of
> > apolegetics, or defensiveness would be very
> detrimental to our cause and
> if we
> > withdraw into our cocoons and ay "ein dorshin" it
> would be interpreted by
> the
> > public as if we had nothing to say.
> > Let me bring you an example.  If someone published
> a paper in a medical
> > journal based on statistics and experiments that
> sounded scientifically
> sound
> > to the layman that smoking was actually good for
> you, wouldn't it be the
> > reponsibility of the trained scientists and
> physicians to speak up and
> > demonstrate the basic errors that were made in the
> study (assuming of
> course
> > that the study actually was flawed).  If someone
> knew that this was an
> error
> > but he did not speak up, wouldn't he be at least
> in a moral ense partly
> > responsible for the horrible consequences that can
> be suffered by those
> who
> > follow the advice of the study?
> > In no less of a sense are those of us who are
> learned in the Torah, at
> least
> > more than the general public, fully responsible to
> speak up when someone
> tries
> > to use the Torah to be Mattir Issurim, especially
> issurim of the magnitude
> of
> > mishkav zachar.
> > May the Ribbono Shel Olam forgive me for making
> this statement, but I
> believe
> > that our Torah leaders reluctance to speak out
> regarding these types of
> > subjects is - in a small way - partly responsible
> for the worlds'
> ignorance as
> > to the severity of this issur.  Believe it or not,
> there are many people
> out
> > there who completely misunderstand what we be
> believe, and are convinced
> by
> > the popular PC propoganda that we are just
> backward "Homophobics".  I
> don't
> > think that such an attitude serves our best
> interests in terms of Kiddush
> Shem
> > Shamayim and the advacment of Yiras Shamayim in
> this world.
> > Shaul Weinreb
> >
> >
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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 12:40:25 +0100
From: David.Kaye@ramstein.af.mil
Torah and Science

For those interested in the issue of Torah and Science see Shut. Maharam
Shick Y.D. 244; Shut. HaRashba 98; Shut HaRosh 55:9.


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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 05:40:11 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Fw: video cameras on Shabbos

This is the response I received from the poster on MJ. I have not yet looked
up the IM's he cites, but I would have tended to the positon R' Akiva Atwood
cited previously. Unless there is film in the camera, I did not see how you
could be considered roshem, mav'ir or boneh. But the poster says there are
new circuits formed when you walk in front of a camera, if it is color.

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

----- Original Message -----

To: <ygb@aishdas.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 11:39 PM
Subject: video cameras on Shabbos

> You asked: I do not understand what issur might be involved in changing an
> existing
> electronic impulse on Shabbos.
>     I make no claims to be the "poseik acharon", but let me start with the
> facts on the ground: I -- together with a friend of mine who now lives in
> Chicago -- discussed virtually this Sheila with
> Rav Moshe zt"l [we discussed changing the image in front of a
> video camera] and he told us clearly that causing any change in electronic
> impulse on Shabbos is assur. This conforms with what Rav Moshe writes
> several places in Igros Moshe, including Orach Chaim IV #84-85.
>     As for the other Shittos about electricity: While "lo zachizi l'varer"
> exactly what Rav Shlomo Zalman held -- even after going through his
> Aish" and "Kovetz Maamarim Be'inyanei Chashmal Beshabos" -- I believe that
> he would "asser" this in most cases in practice, as would the Chazon Ish,
> who held making a circuit is binyan, for the following reason:
>     Video cameras have viewfinders. Those viewfinders are made either like
> classic TV [chas v'sholom, I mean computer] screens, or with LCDs.
>     Classic screens work on the principle of an "electron gun" at the back
> of the screen "shooting" electrons at the phosphorous-coated screen, which
> illuminates accordingly. On black-and-white screens there's one "gun,"
> screens basically have three. Now, as the image changes, the flow of
> electricity goes TO DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE "GUN", thus it is creating
> essentially a new circuit.
>     On LCD screens, the "cells," along the screen light up. Thus again, I
> don't think there's really any electricity flowing to certain of those
> at all times.
>     In addition, since the viewfinders "light up" there are the shiitos
> "asser", at least Midrabonon [since it's non-filament], because of
>     Even beyond the viewfinder, in order to be "mattir" one would have to
> establish the exact mechanism by which electricity flows to the recording
> heads (the electro-magnetic part that the tape runs across to receive the
> data), i.e. -- are all areas of the "head" always connected, or is the
> connection dependent on what's being recorded. If the latter is the case,
> you are creating a new circuit which, according to everyone, from what I
> understand, is assur.
> Beyond the clear and unambiguous hora'ah that I cited from Rav Moshe, what
> wrote is what is "nireh l'fi aniias da'ati" and is certainly open for
> (though, like everyone else, I'm SURE I'm right -- just joking).
> I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to clarify this in greater
> detail. In fact, the reason that I so rarely post any messages is because
> takes time to clarify the whys and whereofs of the halachos. I had thought
> that Rav Moshe's position on this was both well-known and generally
> accepted, so "l'afrushei mei'isurah" --before anyone was mechaleil Shabbos
> based on this Rabbi's "hava amina", I wanted to post a clear and succinct
> statement. No I know that I can take nothing for granted, so I guess I'll
> return to my cocoon until either I retire or win the lottery.

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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 05:45:51 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Whither Avodah

To ressurect a pet procedural peeve of mine from the past, I notice that
several recent posts do not contain the full names of the posters. I once
had a minhag not to respond to anonymous or first name basis posts, and
contemplate a returm to that practice. If we are trying, as Micha has noted,
to build a "chevra", then anonymity is not helpful.

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

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Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 17:54:02 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@SIRIUS.FTC.GOV>
Re: science and halakha

David Eisenman wrote:

<<I have a language quibble: David's terminology, and I assume this was
not his intent, implies an evolution of a halchah that chazal call
"liMosheh miSinai". Rather, the concept of t'reifah by animals was
defined as a set of medical conditions from day one (actually, from "yom
hashishi", as per Rashi on Ber 2, or even before day one if you speak of
"histakeil bi'oraisa uborei alma"). T'reifa WRT humans is a homonym,
having to do with fatal medical conditions.>>

I think the definition of human treifa as homonymous with animal treifa
is very nicely put, and I appreciate the he'ara.  

Just to provide some further clarification.  There are two kinds of 
animal treifa.  There is the treifa explicitly mentioned in the Torah 
"basar b'sadeh treifah" for the consumption of which one would be 
punished by the lash.  To qualify for this prohibition, the animal must be 
nat'ta la-mut mahmat makoteha, which means that it could not survive 
more than 24 hours.  The treifot that are subsumed under the heading 
of halakhot l'moshe mi-sinai are not derived from the verse in the Torah 
and consumption of these treifot do not entail a punishment of makot.  
These treifot therefore constitute a chumra over and above the explicit 
Biblical law of treifa.  As chumrot, it is irrelevant whether in any specific
case, the particular treifa would in fact have resulted in death within a
12 month period.  However, there is a mahloket in the gemara 
whether treifa haya o eina haya.  I gather that the halakha p'suka
is treifa eina haya which led the Rashba in one of his teshuvot to 
excoriate anyone who claimed that a treifa survived for 12 months,
going so far as to say that he would not believe eyewitness testimony
that a treifa had survived.  Of course, the Dor Revi'i resolves the issue
simply by interpreting the mahloket about treifa haya as whether one
can infer about a safek treifa that has survived 12 months that is in fact
not a treifa, so that if we say treifa eina haya, we can presume that a safek 
treifa that has survived for 12 months was in fact never a treifa in the
first place.

A doubt about a human treifa is not resolved by applying fixed 
categories, but must be resolved by the best (though fallible) medical 
judgment available, which is simply another appliation of the 
principle ein l'dayan ela ma she-einav ro'ot.

We all know that halacha l'mosheh m'sinai lo nafla bo machlokes, but,
in fact, what exactly this means is not 100% clear.  There are plenty of
hlmm"s for which we do find machloksim.  There is debate amongst the
rishonim whether or not there is a halacha of tzroros (which is a
hlmm"s) of shen or only of regel.  There is another example (which
eludes me at the moment) in the halachos of shiurim (hlmm"s) for tumah
and taharah.  So perhaps lo naflah bo machlokes means something like
"nobody argues that such a category exists, but what is included in the
category can be debated."

Actually, the Talmud is replete with examples of disputes concerning
halakhot l'moshe mi-sinai.  See Responsum 192 (or is it 198) of the 
Havot Yair.  The statement of the Rambam is simply untenable on any
straightforward reading of the relevant sources copiously documented
in that responsum.

I don't know enough about hilchos shechita, but is anyone cholek on the
Rambam on these 70 treifos [c'mon, somebody must disagree!]?  This
doesn't imply evolution of halacha to me, simply that machloksim could
arise here (by whatever route as the Rambam discusses in the hakdama to
the Perush Ha'mishnayos) as they have in many other places.  So,
although ultimately we consider all 70 to be hlmm"s, the Rambam can
still say that these are the 70 "she'manu chachmei doros

What about the mahloket of treifa haya o treifa eina haya?  What could be
more simpler than that?

David Glasner

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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 04:07:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: limiting posts

--- Kenneth Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> R' Carl Sherer wrote: <<< In my experience, this
> list's volume is not at all
> unreasonable. >>>
> In my opinion, the *volume* is not unreasonable, but
> the heat-to-light ratio
> *is* unreasonable, and I welcome ideas which might
> improve it, such as some
> kind of posting limit.

FWIW, I do  not favor limiting posts at all. That's
what delete button is for.  If we don't like a
particular thread we can simply delete that entire
thread if we choose, OTOH, if we do like a thread,
then we should have the ability to read everything
posted on it. As for moderating the content,  I
believe that this list for the most part, is a
responsible one and does not that often run amuck with
unacceptable posts.  On the rare occasions that it
does, Micha has been able, with his DNA's and
expulsions of repeated offenders to keep the list on
track. So has reasoned arguments by those on the list
such as RYGB.  More than this would be a form of
censorship that would severely limit the enjoyment I
receive daily from participating.


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Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 17:07:48 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@SIRIUS.FTC.GOV>
Re: gezel akum

Akiva Miller wrote:

I can think of several examples of where the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach do not
apply to Jews. One is that therapeutic abortion is assur for non-Jews in
certain cases which would be mutar for Jews. 

As I noted some time ago on the list, this is incredibly difficult. I hate
to sound like a right-to-lifer, but what this suggests is that a gentile
fetus is more worthy of protection than a Jewish fetus. Atmeha!

The other is that a non-Jew may
not eat meat until the animal is dead, but the Jew may eat it any time after
shechita, even if it is still moving.

This case, on the other hand, provides a wonderful example of the application
of the principle of mi ika midi. The heter to eat meat following shehita
but before death is derived by R. Akiva from the verse in Devarim 12:20-21
immediately following the commandment to perform shehita (v'zavahta
mi'bikarkha u-mi-tzonkha) which goes on to say v'akhalta bi-shearekha b'khol
avat nafshekha. According to R. Akiva, who holds that the Israelites were
allowed to eat meat during the entire 40 years in the desert without first
offering the animal as a sacrifice, the words v'akhalta b'shearekha b'khol
avat nafshekha seem to be gratuitous. R. Akiva held that before entering the
Promised Land, the Israelites only had to perform nehira on the animal (as
were all Noahides in order not to violate the prohibition of eiver min ha-hai).

Until entry into Israel, the mitzvah of shehitah was limited to sacrifices
and there was in fact a prohitibion against performing shehitah on an animal
that was not brought as a sacrifice (Vayikra 17:3-4). The commandment
to perform shehitah on hulin simultaneously entailed the invalidation of
nehira as a method of preparing hulin for consumption by Jews. (I would
observe parenthetically that the common assumption that the Israelites were
allowed to eat meat in the desert only if the animal were first brought as
a sacrifice is based on the conflicting opinion of R. Ishmael in Hulin 16b.
Even though every single commentator explains the verses in Devarim and
Vayikra according to the opinion of R. Ishmael, the halakha pesuka of course
allways accords with the opinion of R. Akiva rather than "his friend."
And the Rambam so codifies the halakha in Shehita 4:17)

So why did the verse have to add the words "v'akhalta bi-sh'arekha b'khol
avat nafshekha"? R. Akiva deduces from these words that one who lusted after
flesh to such an extent that he simply could not wait for the animal to die
after shehitah was allowed to eat meat immediately. What does this have
to do with coming into the Promised Land? Simply that until then, before
the mitzvah of shehitah was applied to hulin, one could perform nehirah on
an animal and kill it instantly by chopping its head off. So the mitzvah
of shehitah perforce required a waiting period between the severing of the
simanim and the expiration of the animal that was not previously required.
So previously a Jew could instantly gratify a desire to eat meat just as the
Noahide could. As a concession to the yetzer ha-ra similar to the law of
y'fat to-ar, consumption immediately after shehitah violated the principle
of mi ika midi, but was only granted as a grudging concession. However,
at another level, the concession simply restored a basic equality between
the Jew and the Noahide by allowing the Jew to satisfy a desire to eat meat
instantly as the Noahide could.

Many of you will have guessed by now that I am relying on the Dor 
Revi'i for this, see the petiha for a discussion of the mahloket between
R. Akiva and R. Ishmael in Hulin 16b-17a and the interpretations of the 
mahloket by Rashi, Tosafot and the Rambam.

I remember a gemara which discusses the shechita case, and rules that we
must not eat such meat, so as not to make it look like the Torah relaxed the
rules for Jews. 

Actually the gemara bases a rabbinic prohibition of eating meat taken 
from an animal that has not yet died on the verse lo tokhlu al ha-dam.

This seems to imply that the Torah *did* relax the rules for
Jews, but d'rabanan we must avoid letting it look that way.

If you understand the gemara as the Dor Revi'i explained it, that is not
what's going on.  The rabbanan rescinded a concession to the yetzer
ha-ra allowed by the Torah.  The Torah specifically allowed eating b'khol 
avat nafshekha just as it had been possible to do before the mitzvah of
shehitah was given, but Chazal decided, in their wisdom, that the 
concession allowed by the Torah should not be taken advantage of.
They were obviously not lacking in self-confidence.  But what makes
you think that Chazal were concerned about appearances?  The principle
of mi ika midi presumes that as a moral imperative, a Jew must comport 
himself in accord with a standard that is at least as strict as the standards
by which gentiles comport themselves.

This is how the Dor Revi'i put it:

Whatever is disgusting in the eyes of mankind, even if it has not been
specifically forbidden by the Torah, is prohibited to us even more than are
explicit prohibition in the Torah.  And this is not only because of hilul 
ha-Shem . . ., but because whatever is prohibited to the Noahides cannot
be permissible to us because of the principle of mi ika midi.  Thus, for a 
dangerously sick person, the consumption of human flesh or the flesh of
neveila [i.e., an animal that died of natural causes, not an improper 
shehitah] is certainly a more serious offense than the consumption of 
heilev or tevel.  The statement in Yoma 83a that it is preferable to feed
neveila that to feed tevel to a dangerously sick person must be referring
to neveila through an improper shehita, but not neveila from natural 
causes, the consumption of which is prohibited by the general laws of 
morality and decency.  Moreover, it is well known that the flesh of an 
animal that died of natural causes is dangerous.  So how could one 
imagine that the Sages would have commanded to give to a sick person
meat that is spoiled and fit for the dogs rather than tevel that was not
tithed?  And anyone who denies this dminishes the honor of the Torah
and causes it to be said of us, "A follish and depraved nation," instead of
"A wise and understanding nation" (Dor Revi'i, petiha, 27a)

 This whole Gezel
Akum thread says the same thing: Before Matan Torah it was assur to steal
from an Akum, but now I'd be allowed to, except that it looks bad.

Excuse me.  It doesn't LOOK bad.  It IS bad.  (Pardon the capitalization, I
couldn't help myself.)  Looks have nothing to do with it.  Even if I grant you,
for argument's sake, that one does not violate the commandment against
stealing if one steals from a gentile, there is still the commandment of 
v'asitem ha-tov v'ha-yashar b'einei ha-Shem Elokekha.  You can't steal 
from anyone without transgressing that positive commandment, which 
is the basis of all prohibitions that fall under the rubric of darkei shalom.
And the latter category, I would emphasize following the Dor Revi'i, is 
different from that of hilul ha-Shem, though one who steals from a gentile 
certainly does that too.  Darkei shalom is also a completely different 
category from those actions requjired or prohibited mishum eivah, though 
of course, many actions, like stealing, would be subsumed under both.

David Glasner

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Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 17:16:35 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@SIRIUS.FTC.GOV>
Re: science and halakha

remt wrote:

This topic was addressed by RYBS in an address to the RCA convention, in
a response  to Rabbi Rackman's approach of bitul kiddushin (in an earlier
gilgul, in 1975. Indeed, ain chadash tachas hashemesh).  A transcript of
the address appeared in a publication called "The Light," in its issue of
17 Kislev 5736.  He writes, "Not only the halochos, but also the chazokos
Chazal introduced are indestructible. You must not tamper, not only with
the halochos, but even with the chazokos. For the chazokos Chazal spoke
of rest, not upon transient psychological behavioral patterns, but on
permanent ontological principles rooted in the very depths of the
metaphysical human personality, which is as changeless as the heavens

Let us take for instance the chazoka -- that's what I was told about --
of 'tav l'maisav tan du mil'maisav arm'lu.' This has absolutely nothing
to do with the social and political status of the woman in antiquity. 
The chazoka is not based upon sociological factors. It is a posuk in
Braishiss, 'v'el ishaich t'shukasech'. It is a metaphysical curse rooted
in the feminine personality. She suffers incomparably more than the male
while in solitude. Solitude to a male is not as horrifying an experience
as solitude to a woman. And this will never change kiymei hashamayim al
haaretz. It is not a psychological fact; it is an existential fact. It is
not due to the inferior status of the woman, but is due to the basic
distinction between the female personality and the male personality.

"An old spinster's life is much more tragic than the life of an old
bachelor. This was true in antiquity; it is still true; it will be true a
thousand years from now. . . . If you should start modifying and
reassessing the chazokos upon which a multitude of halochos rest, you
will destroy yahadus! Instead of philosophizing, let us take a match and
set fire to the Bais Yisroel!"


Very moving.  But may I ask the following question in all humility:  
doesn't a rov overcome a chazoko?

David Glasner

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Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 17:33:04 EST
From: JoshHoff@aol.com
Fwd: Avodah V4 #348-emunah

In a message dated 2/9/00 10:15:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
owner-avodah@aishdas.org writes:

 Based on his great-grandfather the Beis HaLevi [but one can trace this to
 the Nefesh HaChaim as well], the Griz replied that Hashem implanted within
 every individual the capacity for emuna sheleima, to believe simply and
 straightforwardly in that which one must believe. By directing that belief
 at small things that are worthless, one expends that capacity for emunah.
 One therefore finds people that do not believe in Hashem at all, yet are
 highly superstituous: They too have the capacity for emunah, but have
 expended it on frivolities. >>
I think that Rousseau wrote something similar about attending theatre-it 
provides an outlet to have sympath/empathy instead of actually practicing it 
in the real world.One can however argue that it helps develop one's capacity 
for such feelings which can then be transfered to real life situations. 
Perhaps for some people involvement in chochmas ha-partzuf and the like can 
actually deepen emunah.I think it would depend on the person. 

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Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 18:21:17 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@SIRIUS.FTC.GOV>
Re: gezel akum

Gil student wrote:

RMS Dratch wrote: >>See, however, R. Yehezkel Landau's preface to Resp. Noda 
be-Yehudah, in which he writes, "It is already known and publicized in all of 
the places I have been, that I admonish in most of my public lectures that we 
are to be very vigilant in the respect of the nations of our times, in whose 
lands and countries we find refuge.  We must pray for the welfare of the kings, 
officers and their soldiers, and pray for the welfare of the state and its 
inhabitants.  God forbid, that we should be ungrateful, for they do good for us 
and give us food and respite in the land.>>
Don't we see this kind of disclaimer on almost every sefer?  They can't all be 
meant seriously.  

I don't mean to sound hostile, but aren't you being motzi la'az on all the
mehabrim in which that disclaimer has appeared? It is one thing to say that
the only reason the disclaimer was put in was to keep the authorities happy,
it is a very different thing to say that they would actually falsify their
opinions about what is arguably a d'var halakha.

I've even seen a sefer with this disclaimer who inside the 
sefer says clearly that the disclaimer is false.  

Pray tell, would you care to share with us the name of this sefer, or do you
have some reason for withholding it from us? If I know (or at least have good
reason to believe) that the Noda bi-Yehuda believed what the disclaimer said,
am I supposed to pay greater heed to some anonymous mehaber who by his own
admission is being less than fully honest?

The Noda BiYehudah also discusses this in a teshuvah in M"K Y"D 81 in which he 
paskens based on halachic sources (and not apologetic sources) that gezel and 
geneivas akum are assur min haTorah.  However, that makes the following 
>>Behold, it is explained that it is prohibited to rob or to steal from a 
non-Jew, a fortiori [from] the contemporary nations amongst whom we dwell, 
because they believe in the fundamentals of religion, in the creation of the 
world, in the prophecy of the prophets, and all the miracles and wonders written
in the Torah and the books of the prophets.>>
Why should that matter? Leshitaso, it is forbidden to steal even from a buddhist
or some other pagan who doesn't believe in the Torah and the prophets.

I don't see the problem. He says that you can't steal form an idolator,
but he is going out of his way to say that Christians are not idolators,
to teach people who think that they are idolators that they are wrong to
think that Christians are idolators.

David Glasner

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