Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 156

Wednesday, March 14 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 16:34:21 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Huqas Hagoyim

From: Seth Mandel [mailto:sethm37@hotmail.com]
> So this brings me back to my specific question: what are the limits if
> the Jews had a custom ...                                      and then
> later the Goyim adopted something similar for their churches...
>     if we say that indeed in such a case everyone would agree with
> the Gra', then how are benches allowed in shuls? A custom clearly and
> transparently borrowed from the goyim...

I don't understand the kasheh.  You yourself wrote--

From: Seth Mandel [mailto:sethm37@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 3:24 AM
> Yet most shuls now, even the most RW, have benches because you can fit in
> more people.

Isn't the utilitarian benefit sufficient to permit it?  If Churches had
introduced electric lighting before synagogues, would that have prohibited
synagogues from using electricity?

All the other cases you mention involve situations where the custom is
merely one of aesthetics; there, I understand the application of Maharik vs.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 22:10:14 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
lilui nishmat /lzecher nishmat

Someone asked about these.  A quick bar ilan check reveals the first use was
lzecher(maharam mrutenberg) but the majority (1750's and on) were lilui.
Some(ROY,minchat yitzchak) used both.


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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 01:26:34 +0200
From: "fish" <fish9999@012.net.il>
Bet El

For some background please see the Pitchei Tshuvah to Yoreh Deah 276(14)
section two to the Keset Hasofer on Breishit 12:8 (note 9) and Responsa of
Chatam Sofer (likutim) #5.Stuart Fischman

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:35:51 -0500
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
Re: Hilchos Aveilus

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
>I was told tonight by someone that the Chasam Sofer opposed anyone
>(except rabbonim) learning hilchos aveilus...

I cannot say if the chasam sofer did say such a thing, but I know that
hilchos aveilus is not learned in my community unless needed. This comes up
9 Av, because that would be one of things allowed.

moshe shulman mshulman@NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh       http://www.chassidus.net
Chassidus shiur:                  chassidus-subscribe@chassidus.net
Chassidus discussion list:        chassidus-subscribe@egroups.com
Outreach Judaism                  http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254    Yahoo/MSN Messaging: mosheshulman

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:40:50 -0500
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
Re: Chasam Sofer re nightfall

From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
>: Considering that he has a tshuva that states clearly that he holds like RT
>: (as did his father in law R. Akiva Eiger) I find this quite intetresting.

From: Phyllostac@aol.com
>  ... could you please give the mareh mokom for the tshuvah you cite.

The sefer Oros Chaim, on zaman Shabbos, brings from the shelos and tshuvos
Orach chaim #80.

moshe shulman mshulman@NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh       http://www.chassidus.net
Chassidus shiur:                  chassidus-subscribe@chassidus.net
Chassidus discussion list:        chassidus-subscribe@egroups.com
Outreach Judaism                  http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254    Yahoo/MSN Messaging: mosheshulman

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 19:11:44 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Tartei D'Asrei

In a message dated 03/13/2001 12:57:25pm EST, Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com writes:
>> So Lchatchila it would seem that even balabatim who go to a "normal"
>> mincha minyan just before shkia should go home and come back for the post
>> tzeit minyan if their community has one...
> There is davka a kula for Tefillah Betzibbur that has been accepted for
> the last 200 years or so.

understood - but why wouldn't a bal nefesh be machmir?


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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 21:11:01 -0500
From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
Starting Shmoneh Esrai Before The Deadline In Question

[I mistakenly sent this to Areivim. Please reply only to Avodah]

From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
>The Aruch HaShulchan is lenient based on Bilam. The gemara says that he
>was able to say a kelalah during the brief daily moment that Hashem is
>angry. The AH asks how Bilam could fit an entire kelalah in the brief
>moment. He answers that as long as he began at that brief moment,
>the entire kelalah is considered as having been said at that moment.

Thank you. Now that you say this, it does sound familiar. I think the
reason why I got confused and thought it was posuk about Yitzchak Avinu
is b/c it is from a posuk about Y.A. that we derive tefilas hamincha.

>Similarly, as long as we start davening before shekiah, the entire
>shemoneh esreih is considered as having been said before shekiah.

According to this shito, is this true for the other deadlines as well,
such as z'man tefilah, chatzos, alos, and the 7th hr. for mussaf?

Also, what about krias shema and birkas krias shema? (being that there
are shitos that birkas krias shema cannot be said after z'man tefilah)

- Noach

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 21:17:13 -0500
From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
Making Kiddush Early

From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
>First, it is possible to accept Shabbos without davening. So, tosefes Shabbos
>is not an issue with davening early.

Yes, but I believe that there are shitos that hold there is davka an inyan in
making kiddush early.

> Davening shemoneh esreih after
>shekiah is certainly mutar. The only question is Shema and its berachos.
>The rishonim disagree whether one can Shema and/or its berachos before
>tseis hakochavim. According to those who forbid it, there is then
>the question of whether one can daven shemoneh esreih without Shema,
>i.e. not be somech geulah litefillah.

Likewise, I heard that there are shitos that hold kiddush must be recited
after tseis.

- Noach

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Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 00:57:28 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Rambam, Karaites and the Principles

Gil Student:
> I misquoted the Rambam. He rules that Karaites cannot be counted for
> a minyan, but only because they do not believe that there is a mitzvah
> to pray. The clear implication is that someone who is an apikorus but
> believes that there is a mitzvah to pray can be counted in a minyan
> (and my rav paskened that way).

I don't believe this is precisely accurate, either. It is only in regard
to Karaites, who the Rambam carefully distinguishes from other apikorsim,
that the Rambam says could be counted theoretically for a minyan. And I
don't know what your Hebrew translation says, but the original (Blau,
#265) says clearly "they may not be counted for a minyan either of
10 or 3 because they do not believe in this obligation... It is well
known that they do not believe in the the obligation of q'dusha, nor in
the obligations of zimmun, nor in the count of 10, nor in the count of
3. Since they do not acknowledge these "huqqim," these [huqqim] may not
be done with them, and they may not be counted in the count for them."

In other words, the reason is not because the Karaites "do not believe
that there is a mitzvah to pray," to quote you. That would indeed be a
shocking thing to say; Karaites do indeed believe in the obligation to
pray. You are invited to visit one of their temples next time you are
in E'Y, there are a couple in Holon, and at least one in Yerushalayim,
IIRC. They willlove to be m'qarev you <grin>. Rather, the reason that
they cannot be counted for a minyan is because they do not acknowledge
the whole 'inyan of a minyan, even though they do acknowledge the hiyyuv
of prayer.

That is just a diyyuq that I know you will appreciate in the spirit of
CQ in which it was sent. However, the other issue is potentially more
serious. In #263 the Rambam says "the Karaites are not those whom Hazal
designated minim, but rather are called Z'doqim and Baytosim (excluding
Samaritans). Minim, on the other hand, are those who lack the belief
in one of the 'qawaa'id alSharii'a' including those who say 'ein Torah
min haShamayim'..." He then refers you to his Perush haMishnayos to
Pereq Heleq.

I used the Arabic "qawaa'id alSharii'a" precisely because that is a
defined term in the Perush haMishnayos there for the 13 Principles
of Faith, each one carefully labeled "the first Qaa'ida," "the second
Qaa'ida," etc. (translated by R. Qaafih as "yesodei haTorah," which is
close enough). At the end of the thirteen, the Rambam says "if a person
holds fully by all of these 'Qawaa'id' and truly comprehends them,
then he is included in K'lal Yisrael... no matter how many 'averos he
commits because of his weak spirit and evil yetzer... he is then just
one of Posh'ei Yisrael. But if one of the 'Qawaa'id' is defective in him,
he then is 'yatza min haK'lal and kafar ba'Iqar and is called a min and
an epikores and qotzetz baN'ti'ot' "

This is a crystal clear distinction that the Rambam is making. Karaites,
according to his reading, accept the 13 Principles (and indeed they do,
except for the authority of Hazal, although we may question how they
accept Principle 8, Torah min haShamayim, which includes accepting that
the "tradition is also 'mippi haG'vura,' viz. that the form of the sukka
and the lulav and the shofar and the tzitzit and the t'fillin that we
make today are the same form given to Moshe by G-d). But someone who
does not accept the Divine authorship of the Torah, or T'hiyyat haMetim,
or the Complete Unique Oneness and Unity of G-d, or any other of the
Principles, is unequivocally excluded by the Rambam from a minyan,
and even from belonging to K'lal Yisrael.

I am trying to be careful not to add anything of my own to the Rambam
here. He does not address here such important subjects in this regard as
tinoq shenishba. There is also room to discuss, even according to the
Rambam himself, that some things may be permitted in qiruv work, and
I take no position there. But to claim that any psaq such as "someone
who is an apikorus but believes that there is a mitzvah to pray can
be counted in a minyan" is in accordance with the Rambam is totally,
entirely false. The epikorsim according to the Rambam are not Karaites,
but precisely those who do not have a full acceptance and understanding
of the 13 Principles.

Bystepping the issue of tinoq shenishba again, it is unequivocally true
-- according to the Rambam -- that a Jew who grew up in an Orthodox
home/background, but no longer holds that the entire Torah, every letter,
is mippi haG'vurah, cannot be counted for a minyan. That includes
virtually all of the older conservative rabbis, many of the reform,
and many of the laymen of the older generation. It would also include
people who went, for instance, to Yeshiva of Flatbush, but later abandoned
their beliefs in the Principles. Chas v'shalom, I am not saying ANYTHING
against the Yeshiva of Flatbush or any other institution. Those who know
me know I really mean that. All Jewish institutions, including Volozhin,
Mir, Slabodka, Novardok, and among the hasidic schools as well, have had
graduates that have been "poreq 'ol" and let only him who is clear of
iniquity cast the first stone. But I used the Yeshiva of Flatbush as an
example, because some of their less successful (in terms of remaining
frum) graduates have published books about Judaism and otherwise have
become leaders/activists in various sectors of the Jewish community in
America, v'hamevin yavin.

This, to this curmudgeon at least, is not one of my customary quibbles,
but something VERY important. Adrabba, to me every dot of the Rambam's
Principles are of extreme importance, precisely because of their
centrality in the Rambam's own hashqafa. The fact of their centrality
is underscored by the fact that the Rambam makes multiple references
to them, in the Perush haMishnayos, in the Mishne Torah, in the Moreh
N'vukhim, in his t'shuvos. I have another long post coming out in Avodah
soon which will give one example. But I could not let this pass, and
my esteemed friend Gil will forgive me if my language has been blunt;
he at least knows the high regard I have for him and his posts.

The fact that the MB is not accurately quoting the Rambam, as Gil notes,
does not necessarily mean in this case that we can disregard the Rambam,
although we might want to be mahmir and include anyone who denies the
Torah sheB'al Peh, as the MB does and the Rambam does not fully. The
13 Principles have been an accepted yardstick for hundreds of years,
long before the MB, and I challenge anyone to show a place where the MB
is consciously altering any of them.

Seth Mandel

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

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Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 20:02:44 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Fwd: RAV -12: Intellect and Experience

another part of this series.
            Steve Brizel

			     by Rav Ronnie Ziegler

		     LECTURE #12: Intellect and Experience

In lecture #10, we explored Rav Soloveitchik's emphasis on inwardness --
the experiential aspect of Judaism. However, two other indispensable
elements of religious life must also be considered: knowledge and
action. Only through the combination of these three aspects -- thought,
feeling and action -- is one's religiosity complete. In fact, the Rav
believes that one's religious experience itself is lacking if it is not
based on knowledge of the Halakha, and it must certainly be accompanied
by -- or better yet, stem from -- observance of the Halakha. Therefore,
this week we will discuss Torah study as both a prerequisite for the
religious experience and as an experience in its own right, and next
week we will turn our attention to the need for action to accompany
thought and feeling.


In Rav Soloveitchik's view of Judaism, which has its roots not only in
Mitnagged theology but in the views of Chazal (the Talmudic sages) as
well, talmud Torah (Torah study) is a central, or perhaps THE central,
component of our religiosity. Far more than being a guide to practical
observance of Jewish law, talmud Torah allows us to penetrate G-d's
infinite will and thus informs every aspect of our relationship to
Him. Rav Lichtenstein sums up the Rav's approach as follows:

 "Torah study gives the Jew insight -- as direct and profound as man is
 privileged to attain -- into the revealed will of his Creator. Through
 the study of Halakha -- the immanent expression of G-d's transcendent
 rational will -- man's knowledge of G-d gains depth and scope. Further,
 religious study is a stimulus to the total spiritual personality. Faith
 can be neither profound nor enduring unless the intellect is fully
 and actively engaged in the quest for G-d." ("R. Joseph Soloveitchik,"
 in S. Noveck, ed., Great Jewish Thinkers of the Twentieth Century [NY,
 1963], p. 290)

In light of this, we can understand Rav Soloveitchik's insistence
that one's sense of inwardness in mitzvot be based not on "cheap
sentimentality or ceremonialism," but rather on serious familiarity
with halakhic sources. "...[W]ithout knowledge of Torah, the Jew cannot
attain the proper religious experience, nor can he fully understand the
beauty and splendor of avodat Hashem (divine service)" (Divrei Hashkafa,
p. 76). Recall also the Rav's claim that the laws of Halakha are the
basic data of Judaism, out of which any understanding of Judaism must
be derived.

Rav Soloveitchik believed that the demand for a strong intellectual
component in one's avodat Hashem, while true at all times, is especially
relevant in our generation:

 "With keen sensitivity to the malaise of commitment affecting
 contemporary Jewry, the Rav concluded that religious engagement of
 the intellect is essential to the cure... [T]he Rav deemed our time
 propitious for the intellectual quest:

 'The young American generation... is not totally engrossed in the
 pragmatic, utilitarian outlook... To the degree that average people in
 our society attain higher levels of knowledge and general intelligence,
 we cannot imbue them with a Jewish standpoint that relies primarily on
 sentiment and ceremony.' (Divrei Hashkafa, p. 78)

 If R. Kook witnessed the alienation of Jews from traditional
 religious commitment and decided that his generation needed exposure
 to a comprehensive Jewish philosophy deriving from the sources of
 Kabbala, the Rav offered a simpler, more startling solution: renew the
 covenant with the exoteric sources that confront directly our concrete
 experience." (Rav S. Carmy, "Of Eagle's Flight and Snail's Pace,"
 Tradition 29:1 [1994], pp. 26-27)

Talmud Torah is so central to the Rav's view of Judaism that he interprets
many seemingly unrelated mitzvot as actually being fulfillments of talmud
Torah. For example, he perceives sippur yetziat Mitzrayim (recounting
the exodus) on Pesach night as being fulfilled through Torah study. We
do not merely narrate a story; rather, we recount the exodus by means of
exegesis of biblical verses (midrash), recitation of set laws (mishna),
and analysis and conceptualization of halakha (gemara). Similarly, he
sees the recitation of Pesukei De- zimra (the psalms introducing the
morning prayer) as an act of talmud Torah -- understanding our position
vis-a-vis G-d, thereby allowing us to petition Him. In fact, according
to Rav Soloveitchik, all prayer must contain a cognitive element; the
word tefilla is derived from the root PLL, denoting thought, judgment,
discrimination. (See references below.)

[Tefilla, prayer, is to be distinguished from tze'aka, outcry:
"While tefilla is a meditative-reflective act, tze'aka is immediate and
compulsive" ("Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah," p. 68). We will devote
several shiurim to the subject of prayer.]


While he intellectualizes certain experiential mitzvot, Rav Soloveitchik
also experientializes the intellectual mitzva par excellence, namely
talmud Torah. In other words, he repeatedly presents talmud Torah not
merely as a cognitive endeavor but also as a powerful experience. At first
glance, this may seem somewhat strange: the intellect is characterized by
cold, dispassionate analysis, precision and detachment, while emotion
is characterized by warmth, fervor and involvement. However, this
seeming contradiction dissipates when we realize that, for the Rav,
pursuit of knowledge is a passionate and consuming quest, especially
when the knowledge is that of Torah and ultimately of G-d. [Regarding
the experience of knowledge in general, see lecture #14 on catharsis of
the intellect.]

Although one must approach Torah study with the utmost seriousness and
intellectual rigor, the attainment of Torah knowledge becomes a vibrant,
engaging and invigorating experience which reaches into the depths of
the human personality:

 "When a person delves into G-d's Torah and reveals its inner light and
 splendor... and enjoys the pleasure of creativity and innovation, he
 merits communion with the Giver of the Torah. The ideal of clinging to
 G-d is realized by means of the coupling of the intellect with the Divine
 Idea which is embodied in rules, laws and traditions... However, halakhic
 knowing does not remain sealed off in the realm of the intellect. It
 bursts forth into one's existential consciousness and merges with
 it... The idea turns into an impassioning and arousing experience;
 knowledge into a divine fire; strict and exacting halakhic discipline
 turns into a passionate love burning with a holy flame. Myriads of black
 letters, into which have been gathered reams of laws, explanations,
 questions, problems, concepts and measures, descend from the cold and
 placid intellect, which calmly rests on its subtle abstractions and its
 systematic frameworks, to the heart full of trembling, fear and yearning,
 and turn into sparks of the flame of a great experience which sweeps
 man to his Creator." ("Al Ahavat Ha-Torah," pp. 410-411)


The fusion of intellection and passion has a venerable history in Judaism
(although the Rav puts his own individual stamp on it). For example,
the Rambam wrote that love of G-d depends on knowledge of Him:

 "One only loves G-d with the knowledge with which one knows
 Him. According to the knowledge will be the love -- if much [knowledge],
 much [love]; if little, little." (Hilkhot Teshuva 10:6)

In other words, to know Him is to love Him. Given such a seemingly
intellectual and abstract conception of love, the following description
may come as somewhat of a surprise:

 "And what is the love which is befitting? It is to love the Eternal
 with a great and exceeding love, so strong that one's soul shall be
 knit up with the love of G-d, and one should be continually enraptured
 by it, like a lovesick individual whose mind is at no time free from
 his passion for a particular woman, the thought of her filling his
 heart at all times, whether hebe sitting down or rising up, eating or
 drinking. Even more intense should be the love of G-d in the hearts of
 those who love Him... The entire Song of Songs is indeed an allegory
 descriptive of this love." (Hilkhot Teshuva 10:3)

This passage serves as a source of great inspiration to Rav Soloveitchik,
and he dwells on it at length in his magnum opus on the religious
experience, "U-vikkashtem Mi- sham."


Rav Soloveitchik often stresses the importance of love of Torah, and
depicts Torah study as a form of passionate clinging to G-d. As we saw in
"Torah and Humility," man bonds with G-d intellectually through studying
Torah, and man strengthens his emotional connection to G-d via a mutual
object of love -- the Torah. Thus, the Rav frequently describes Torah
study as an encounter with G-d -- even a form of revelation. Much of
his scholarship regarding keriat ha-Torah (public reading of the Torah)
revolves around this premise. For example, he champions the practice
of Maharam of Rothenberg to stand during Torah reading, since this is a
re-enactment of the revelation at Sinai (where the Jews stood to receive
the Torah).

In revelation, there are two components: the contents (i.e. the actual
message, namely the Halakha) and the experience. Both aspects are
crucial, and the Rav finds it necessary to stress each. Against those
who accuse the Briskers of cold intellectualism, the Rav expounds the
vital experiential aspect of talmud Torah; against those (like Buber)
who focus only on the experience of encounter while ignoring the contents
of the revelation, he insists on the indispensability and centrality of
the study and practice of the law.


In discussing Torah study as a form of devekut (cleaving to G-d), we must
take pains to distinguish the Rav's conception from that developed by
certain branches of Chassidut. According to the latter approach, namely,
learning Torah FOR THE SAKE OF attaining devekut, Torah study is to be
viewed as a means to attaining some form of ecstatic experience. The
method is not one of intellectual rigor, and the actual contents of the
learning are of secondary importance.

For the Rav, a staunch advocate of the ideology of Torah lishmah
(Torah study for its own sake), one must adopt a method of strict
intellectualism and innovative analysis in Torah study. Torah is not to
be approached with less "sweep of creative thought, analytic acuteness,
subtle abstraction and systemic consistency" ("U- vikkashtem Mi-sham,"
p. 205) than any other field of intellectual endeavor. The experiential
aspect is a by- product of learning and not the reason to learn.


Apart from devekut, the experiential aspect of Torah study takes on many
other expressions, some of which we will briefly enumerate:

a) the uplifting and majestic experience of cognition and creativity
("Al Ahavat Ha-Torah," pp. 409-410);

b) relating to Torah as a living personality, about whom one is fascinated
and to whom one is committed ("Remarks at a Siyyum," pp. 182-183;
"Ma Dodekh Mi-dod," pp. 70-75);

c) the experience of a living tradition, of communion and dialogue
with previous generations of the Massora ("U- vikkashtem Mi-sham,"
pp. 230-233);

d) purification and sanctification of one's personality.

 "Torah study, aside from being an intellectual, educational endeavor,
 enlightening the student and providing him with the information needed
 to observe the law, is a redemptive cathartic process -- it sanctifies
 the personality. It purges the mind of unworthy desires and irreverent
 thoughts, uncouth emotions and vulgar drives." ("Torah and Humility")

Based on the famous aggada depicting a baby being taught Torah in the womb
(Nidda 30b), according to which Torah remains latent in one's personality
and is rediscovered through study, the Rav states that talmud Torah
helps man find his inner self and thereby redeems him ("Redemption,
Prayer, Talmud Torah," p. 69). In fact, the public reading of the Torah
on Monday, Thursday and Shabbat was instituted primarily for this purpose
(Shiurim Le-zekher, vol. 2, pp. 205-7; vol. 1, pp. 164-168, 175-178).

According to Rav Soloveitchik, there are additional dimensions to talmud
Torah -- for example, Torah as a means of perceiving the world and not
just as a source of norms. We will deal with these in later shiurim,
especially those on Halakhic Man and "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham."


1. Sippur Yetziat Mitzrayim: Shiurim Le-zekher Abba Mari z"l, vol. 2,
pp. 152-163; "The Nine Aspects of the Haggada," in Shiurei Harav,
ed. J. Epstein (Hoboken: Ktav, 1994), esp. pp. 35-37; see also Shiurim
Le-zekher, vol. 1, pp. 2-3, note 4.

2. Pesukei De-zimra: Shiurim Le-zekher, vol. 2, pp. 17-34.

3. The Experience of Torah Study:

A. "Al Ahavat Ha-Torah U-ge'ulat Nefesh Ha-dor," in Be-sod Ha-yachid
Ve-hayachad, ed. P. Peli (Jerusalem: Orot, 1976), pp. 403-432; reprinted
in slightly abridged form in Divrei Hashkafa (Jerusalem: WZO, 1992),
pp. 241-


B. "On the Love of Torah: Impromptu Remarks at a Siyyum," prepared by
M. Kasdan, in Shiurei Harav, pp. 181-


C. "Ma Dodekh Mi-dod," in Divrei Hagut Ve-ha'arakha (Jerusalem: WZO,
1982), pp. 57-98.

D. "Torah and Humility" (lecture #11 in this series).

E. "Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah," Tradition 17:2 (Spring 1978),
pp. 55-72. Of course, this is also an important theme throughout "Halakhic
Man" and "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham."

4. Rambam's Concept of Love of G-d: Shemoneh Perakim, chapter 5; Sefer
Ha-mitzvot, aseh 3; Hilkhot Yesodei Ha- Torah 2:1-2; Hilkhot Teshuva
chapter 10; Guide of the Perplexed III:51.

5. Love of Torah: see reference 3 above, essays a-d.

6. Keriat Ha-Torah as Revelation: Shiurim Le-zekher, vol. 2,
pp. 210-213. On keriat ha-Torah in general, see the three relevant
essays in Shiurim Le-zekher (vol. 1, pp. 135-156 and 157-178; vol. 2,
pp. 197-213).

7. Devekut: "Al Ahavat Ha-Torah," pp. 411-417; "U- vikkashtem Mi-sham,"
chapters 11ff.; "Torah and Humility."

Copyright (c) 1999 Yeshivat Har Etzion
All Rights Reserved

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Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 10:06:47 +0200
From: "Amihai Bannett" <atban@inter.net.il>
Bet El

On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, I wrote:
> Rav Shlomo Aviner (The Rav of Bet El) wrote in his book "Mikedem L'vet El"
> part 2 pp. 84-85. that there is no kedusha in the name of the yishuv "Bet
> El", and there is no reason to say "Bet Kel"

R' Ari Z. Zivotofsky asked:
> I assume you have the book.
> Does he discuss on which day they keep Purim (seeing that it is right next
> to the ancient Tel Beit El)?

I have a library here.

Harav Aviner does not discuss the issue. It is dicussed by R' Moshe
Harari in his sefer "Mikraei Kodesh" on Purim, P 101:

(my translation) "Bet El - Some say one should read the Megilah with
a bracha only on 14th, and some say one should read the Megilah with a
bracha on the 14th, and without a bracha on the 15th."

in footnote 55 he says that the first opinion is held by R Shaul Yisraeli
(Tehumin vol. 1 p. 123) and R Zalman Baruch Melamed (Rav of Bet El bet)
(Ibid. p.134). R Melamed says so in the name of R avraham Shapira (who
said that one wants he could read on the 15th without a bracha, but it
is not "midina", just a chumra. R Yisraeli explains that since today's
Bet El is high above the ancient Bet El, we read only on the 14th, just
as if someone flies over a krach Mukaf on Purim, he would still read on
the 14th. In footnote 56 he says that the second opinion is held my R
Mordechai Eliyahu (Ibid. p. 114 & 127) and R Ovadia Yosef (Ibid p. 120).
He also elaborates about the connection between archaeology and halacha.
Ayen sham.

A kosher Pesach,

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 16:44:46 +0100
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
wearing a tie

> While I agree there is a machlokes Gra vs Rema, I'm not sure how far it
> goes. The Rema/Maharik learn that hukas akum means there is NO reason
> why the goyim wear this, then we assume it is based in AZ from previous
> generations. Therefore, clothing of kavod, like a doctor's uniform
> is mutar....

Can someome explain accrding to the Remah what the purpose of wearing
a tie is? Why is it not prohibited?
Granted that many chassidim and Israelis do not wear ties yet many
others do wear them.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 11:56:13 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Huqas Hagoyim (was: fishy story)

R. Seth Mandel wrote:
> From a purely halakhic perspective, when do things that the goyim do in 
> church, as part of their service, asser us to follow them even if we were 
> doing it before them? Does it make a difference if they have a reason for 
> doing it in church not connected with their religious service, like perhaps is
> the case with benches (true, a more efficient way of packing people in, but it
> also serves a religious function for christianity)?

I'm not sure if I can answer this.  Consider the following pesukim fragments 
(Devarim 12:30-31): "do not inquire concerning their gods, saying, 'How did 
these nations worship their gods? I also want to do the same.' You must not do 
the same for the L-rd your G-d..."  The Ramban learns from here that there is an
issur to worship Hashem the same way Non-Jews worship their gods.  This is not 
the same issur as chukas hagoyim, which is how Rashi held.  This is a new issur.
R. Hershel Schachter writes in the name of RYBS (Nefesh HaRav pp. 231-232; 
BeIkvei HaTzon 5:10) that this prohibits us from having shuls with stain-glassed
windows, mixed seating, and the chazan facing the congregation.  Presumably, 
this would also prohibit having pews.  Personally, I've never seen a shul with 
pews that did not also have stain-glassed windows.  At least they are 

RSM's question was whether this only applies to something that Non-Jews are 
already doing or even to something that they adopt after Jews are already doing 
it.  I don't know but, from a balebatish perspective, the pesukim seem to refer 
to something the Non-Jews are already doing.  However, that might just be the 
historical context of the commandment and not be a qualification of the issur.

> Let me remind everybody that RSH, the opponent of the Reform with the most 
> draconian solution, austritt, wore a tahler (the white collar worn by German 
> pastors). Is that a proof that he held not like the Gra'? It would seem to me 
> the answer is yes, but then where do you draw the line? This doesn't seem to 
> be clearly muttar according to the Mahariq, either, unless you interpret him 
> very broadly.
I haven't seen these inside, but supposedly the Mateh Levi (vol. 2 OC 6) and R. 
Chaim Ozer Grodzinski (quoted in the journal Shiloh 1983 pp. 167-168) permitted 
wearing a tahler.  Lichora, even the Rama would forbid it because it comes from 
avodah zarah.  The only sevara I can think of is the Maharik's that as long as 
it is not done solely in order to imitate Non-Jews it is permitted.  Here it is 
done in order to command respect.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 12:26:17 -0800
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
newspapers on shabbos

At the MM, some folks were discussing the permissibility of reading the
newspaper on shabbos.  Rabbi Frand has a tape about it (#536: Newspapers on
Shabbos), available from http://www.yadyechiel.org/.  I don't know what he
says, however.

-- Eric

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Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 15:19:36 +0100
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
chezkat kashrut of a sefer Torah

> Does one require a kosher seifer Torah for leining, or a seifer Torah
> that has a chezkas kashrus?

A similar question arises in the use of any sefer Torah today.
The Shaagas Aryeh pasuls every sefer Torah because we dont know
chaserot. Others argue that we rely on chazakah even to say a beracha
on the sefer Torah.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.


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