Avodah Mailing List

Volume 05 : Number 091

Monday, July 24 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 22:02:39 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

Micha Berger wrote:
> The Rambam doesn't day "some aggaditos". He says all.

I am sure that Rambam does not hold that all agadata is a metaphor.
In any case does this apply only to aggadata or also to medrash.

>: IMHO this one is not a metaphor, as this is also brought in Tractate Soteh
>: 11b that this was a sign that Paroh gave to the JEwish midwives to know
>: wether the child is a boy or girl.

> Ah, but if aggaditos are metaphoric, then the story of Par'oh giving signs to
> the midwives is also a metaphor. IOW, you'd first have to prove the story
> is also true literally, then you can use it to show the biology was as well.

One example is in regard to Bilaam
If one reads through the parsha on a pshat level there is very little that
makes Bilamm into a rasha. He usually answers that he has to wait for G-ds
answer and openly admits that he can't curse the Jews without G-ds okay. Most
of our opinion of Bilaam is based on medrash.

Even esau is not the rasha common assumed based simply on pshat and Yishmael
also comes off better.

According to rambam are these methaphors?
I thonk most historians would relate the attitude towards Esau as a reflection
of the hatred towards Rome rather than pshat in pasuk.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:31:26 EDT
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
schar miztva b'hai alma leika, R' Cardozo's point

The oft-cited 'schar miztva b'hai alma leika' is presented in the gemara as
the shitas yachid of R' Ya'akov which goes againt a stam mishna (Kid. 39).
It is not the only opinion, and also does not absolve one from 'yemashmesh
b'ma'asav' (Berachos 5).

I did not understand R' Cardozo's argument. It sounds like he rejects the
notion of the Holocaust as an onesh, but all the Chazon Ish proves is that
there is no onesh for deliberate apikorsus. How do you make the leap from
that to the notion that the Holocaust is not an onesh for other aveiros?

(And I'm not suggesting that it is an onesh - I have no idea. I just don't
see R' Cardozo's point, unless I misread him).

Good Shabbos,

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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:55:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: alustig@erenj.com (Arnold Lustiger)
Nisuin Derabbanan?

Chana Luntz writes:
> I have this idea (but can't think from where to substantiate it at the moment
> although it seems to run through a whole bunch of sugyas) that kiddushin is
> d'orisa and nissuin is d'rabbanan (which is why you need a get m'diorisa even
> from eruisin). The Ran here is also clearly talking about the d'orisa level
> (quoting the Torah). I would assume that the reason that chiyuvim do not
> start from eruisin is because a) most chiyuvim are d'rabbanan and b) to the
> extent that you hold they are not, the Chachamim lifted the responsibility
> until nissuin. However I would have thought that the d'orisa form of baalus
> would commence from eruisin.

If eirusin is de'oraiso and nissuin is derabbonon, what would be the hava
amina of Rav Huna (Kiddushin 5a) that chuppa does eirusin mikal vachomer?
The pircha would seem to be simple - you can't learn a din deorayso from a
din derabonon!

In addition, earlier in the Gemara where the Kal Vachomer was regarding
kesef she'aino ma'acheles biterumah - if eirusin were only derabbonon, then
on a de'oraiso level an arusa could indeed eat terumah. In fact, all the
dinim deorayso that differentiate a nesua from an arusa (hataras nedarim,
etc.) all these are only derabonon?

As a matter of fact, there is a strong hava amina that kiddushei kesef is in
fact derabonon, and only Kiddushei bi'ah is deorayso (based on a famous
Rambam that kesef is "midivraihem" and the Gemara in Kesubos regarding
afkainhu rabanan kiddushin minei.)

Pilpul 'R Us.
Arnie Lustiger

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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:31:13 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Rashi in Balak

In Avodah V5#90, GDubin replied:
>> This morning, it hit me that these three mitzvos d'Oraysa are listed in
>> the Chumash in the order RaShY uses...

> Someone suggested that to me offline, but the problem is, that mitzvas
> tefilin is first mentioned in parashas Bo.

RaShY's "lachatof es hamitzvos" (the action, devotion, etc. which is part and
parcel of a mitzvas asai) implied to me that we should look at where these
mitzvos are "officially" counted as such. Re t'filin, perhaps it's the
"u'k'shartem" verb (which emphasizes the mitzvas-asai aspect) that causes
that posuk to be the "official" source.

A side point: this mitzva, my instinct tells me, is not the only one whose
count is "delayed," but I wouldn't know how many others are like t'filin
in that regard. (Privately, RWolpoe suggested milah iff we "ignore"
pre-matan-Torah p'sukim, which I propose we not do: for simplicity, I'm
asking for a list of such mitzvos considering the count of the Chinuch and
the corpus of Chumash.)

All the best (including wishes for a great Shabbos!) from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ
P.S. For those who receive the digest, the "All the best...HB to MB" from
V5#90 was accidentally transposed from my post to Gershon's!

[Moderator's error. I tend to put a number of emails into one file, edit out
extra quotation or overly long (or commercial) signature files, and reformat.
I must have made a cut-n-paste error. Sorry. -mi]

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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 19:46:45 EDT
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
The Holocaust: Divine Retribution?

In a message dated 7/21/00 8:09:03 AM US Central Standard Time, 
Gil.Student@citicorp.com writes:
> re you saying that all miracles are WITHIN the laws of nature? Was kerias
> yam suf really just a low tide? Makas dam just bacteria in the water?

> Science is great but it can only explain to us those phemona that are within
> the laws of nature. Revealed miracles which are outside of those laws do
> not exist today. There are, however, all sorts of paranormal occurences
> which science cannot explain. Some of them may actually be real (although
> I remain highly skeptical).

Whether a phenomenon is or is not within the laws of nature is sort of beside
the point. Anything we think we can explain is "natural"; anything we can't
explain is either "paranormal" or didn't happen in the first place. Lots
of phenomena have no label at all, because we can't yet determine that they
exist. The faster-than-light laser beam was an example of that, until it was
"discovered" by the physicists who ran the experiment. It's plain circular
to suggest that science can only explain what falls within the laws of
nature: science is just a synonym for the laws of nature, which expand as
our understanding of existence expands.

Anyhow, while all these categories are fine for us, they doubtless seem
incredibly naive in the eyes of the Creator. (See the Book of Job, which
suggests as much.) I don't know whether I believe in miracles, or even if it's
possible to define a miracle. I do believe, however, than nothing is miraculous
to HaShem. Ultimately, all that falls within the mind of G-d is scientific.

David Finch

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