Avodah Mailing List

Volume 08 : Number 033

Tuesday, October 30 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 15:16:20 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
[Administrivia] Torat Emet: Defending the Faith

A well-funded organization called Daat Emet has been distributing
anti-Torah pamphlets in Bnei Brak and on the internet for over three
years. The pamphlets contain lengthy essays on a wide variety of Torah
topics with the goal of showing that traditional Jewish texts, and the
religion itself, are inconsistent, illogical and outdated. These are
accusations that should be familiar to most of us.

However, these pamphlets are fairly well researched and are convincing
to all but experts. While the essays are written in a tone that is quite
off-putting, they raise many good questions that deserve a response.
Currently, the questions remain unanswered on the internet with over
45,000 hits to the website.

What I am proposing is that our frum internet community garner its
collective resources and respond to the website. I have reviewed every
essay on the website, broken them down into questions and arranged the
questions in topical order. Topics range from the transmission of Torah
SheBe'al Peh to animal anatomy, from literary biblical criticism to
astronomy, and much more.

Please take the time to review some of the questions, read the
respective essays, research the topic and formulate a response. I will be
coordinating the responses and writing many of my own. Even if you do not
currently have the time to help, please sign up for the occasional (very
infrequent) mailing list that will tell people what topics still need to
be addressed and will serve as a reminder for those who want to help out
(you can sign up on the Submission Guidelines page on the website).

Together we can defend the glory of the Torah with quality research.

Micha Berger has been kind enough to host the response on the Aishdas
website. You can find it at http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet or at

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:52:51 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Semi-permanent Cosmetics

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 02:50:23PM -0500, Stuart Klagsbrun cites R'
YD Love:
: There is no k"k prblem, k'siva is a requisite. So is k'akuah (under the
: skin). A woman who did, in fact, want to have her eye liner surgically
: applied asked R' Tuviah Goldstein (n"y) the sh'aila. My son-in-law (n"y)
: brought the sh'aila to me and I answered as above (first answer) R' Tuvia
: came to the same conclusion.

What is the definition of kesivah? Shetei osios? Would a tatoo that is
a picture with no letters be mutar?

(Off topic: WRT kesivah beShabbos, how many Chinese or Bliss ideograms
or Sanscrit syllables correspond to the shiur?)

:                                          Nonetheless, when it wears off
: and it's time to remove it or refresh the color, this must be done before
: the mikva since the woman is then seen a s being makpid on its present
: state. Briefly, it is the same as nail polish os "wraps" from a manicure.

FWIW, my wife tells me that when she ran the miqvah in Fairlawn, Rabbi
Yuden only replied on this Igros Moshe when he was dealing with a woman
for whom going at all was an issue.


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 00:32:53 +0200
From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
Re: Ikkarim

> 2) The question of course is what determines who the ba'ale hamesora that we
> follow are.  R Eidenson follows two rabbanim who are clearly part of the
> ba'ale hamesora. However, he also says
> since there is no Gadol who would modify his determination of heresy after
> reading Dr. Shapiro's article.

> I wonder how he knows that.  Does he know that, say, Rav Lichtenstein, Rav
> Norman Lamm, or others more associated with the Modern Orthodox school
> rejected it?  They may not be his gdolim, but are their positions irrelevant
> to what requires a halachic consensus??

While we can both speculate - why doesn't someone who is close the above
representatives of Modern Orthodoxy ask them what they thought of Dr.
Shapiro's article. If you tell me that Rav Lichtenstein, or Rav Herschel
Schacter thought it was a solid manifestation of their point of view -
I will readily apologize for misrepresenting their position.

However as far as I am aware - this issue of academic versus Orthodox
perspective is not inherently a Modern Orthodox versus Charedi issue. If
you have any quotes of either Rav Y B or Rav Aaron Soleveitchik to the
contrary I'd love to hear about it. Which gedolim amongst the Modern
Orthodox have ever either expressed such a perspective or have explicitly
approved of such?

> Note that there is a tshuva in Yad Eliyahu (cited by R Zvi Yehuda Kook - I
> can get the full reference) that argues that it is assur to label as epkoros
> large communities, related to the issur of making a large city an ir
> hanidahat.

I find this assertion astounding. I would like to see the actual tshuva.
Klal Yisroel has witnessed large communities labeled as apikorsim (e.g.,
Karaites. Reform, Conservative, Recontructionist).

> I sense from R Eidenson that he would extend the authority of gdolim to
> define not only hashkafic issues as relate to the halachic determination of
> min and epikoros, but in general to what is proper hashkafa ...
> This is a well known machloket I am somewhat surprised that this approach in
> general is written out of Orthodoxy, but am content to be with Rav Hai Gaon
> and the rambam.  This disagreement is not between academics and the Orthodox
> community  but rather, on the extent of da'as torah ("to understand what
> gedolim say about these things") - one of the major disagreements between
> haredi and MO.

Contrary to your intuition - I was not addressing the modern debate over
Da'as Torah and again I don't see that my position is alien to the gedolim
of the Modern Orthodox world. I would appreciate citations of Rav Hai
Gaon and the Rambam which contradict the position that I articulated. As
far as I know they only addressed the issue whether the science and
medical discussions of chazal are infallible (see Artzos HaChaim 4:4)
which is not directly relevant to my point concerning hashkofa.

> (by the way, the Harvard mathematician cited by RDE is also
> a major talmid chacham, and the casual disrespect shown to him as not
> representing a torah viewpoint would not have been tolerated by any of the
> gdolim ( Rav Ruderman and RYBS) who knew him)

I would find it astounding if Rav Ruderman and Rav Soleveitchik would
have approved of his comments and would appreciate any evidence to
the contrary. In fact I'd appreciate knowing any gadol who would have
published such comments. That is simply not characteristic of those
who are viewed as gedolim. Again evidence to the contrary would be
appreciated. Are you asserting that I was disrespectful for pointing
out that he expressed disrespectful criticism of major talmidei
chachomim??? He was not just disagreeing with specific points but was
critical in general of the competence of our rabbinic authorities. I
suggest you reread the article and responses. I will just quote his
final comments here.

Rabbi Menachem Goldberger raised the following objections [BDD 6 Winter 1998
page 71]:
4. Divine inspiration does not imply infallibility". This statement
of Sternberg is unexceptionable in relation to Leonardo, but it is
liable to be quoted out of context. As far as traditional Judaism is
concerned, divine revelation is immutable, and it is perhaps because
halakhah leMoshe MiSinai is regarded as belong to this category...that no
halakhic authority was prepared to consider changing the 18 categories
of animal terefot. This also applies to Rabbis like R. Samson Raphael
Hirsch, R. Herzog and R. Soleveitchik who were conversant with modern
science. R. Aaron Batt told me in the name of R. Solevietchik that
although individual talmidi hakhamim may be wrong, the masaorah community
of all talmidei hakhamim of all generations cannot be wrong. This
consensus is that hilkhot terfot cannot be changed.

Professor Sternberg replies BDD 6 Winter 1998 page 82.

I confess that I am confused as to Rabbi Goldberger's position...He
makes a claim in the name of a distinguished rabbinical authority [Rav
Soleveitchik] that "although individual talmidei hakhamim may be wrong,
the Masorah community of al talmidiei hakhamim in all generations cannot
be wrong" - reminiscent of a famous dictum of Abraham Lincoln. What have
we been talking about? the 8 month fetus as unviable was an established
halakhic dictum in consonance with a widely accepted but completely false
medical doctrine. The mistaken anatomy of the male urogenital tract went
unchallenged (as far as I can tell) until the time of the Hazon Ish in the
halakhic literature. I need not go down the list. Does Rabbi Goldberger
deny these statements? ....A more rational approach, taking scientific
advances more seriously into account is needed. No one individual can
solve these problems. But a solution is within our collective efforts,
provide that they be based on mutual respect, intellectual honesty,
and goodwill.

> Furhtermore, even for a haredi viewpoint, the limitations posed in the above
> paragraph are astounding.  If someone writes on hilhot shabbat, now I can
> not look at what the texts  (gemra, rishonim, achronim) say to see whether I
> agree,  I should only look at what gdolim have written about these
> texts...).

I never said such a thing. Of course one should be aware of the literature
- i.e., the comments of the gedolim through the ages. Ravina and Rav
Ashi were also gedolim. So was the Rambam

                                                    Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 16:36:26 -0800
From: "Eli Turkel" <Eli.Turkel@colorado.edu>
halacha and facts

> The tone of Prof Shapiro's article as well as the conclusions he has
> reached are apparently more than engagement in an interesting topic
> of discussion. It comes across the same way as the discussion in the
> BDD journal of Bar Ilan concerning Torah and Science by a distinguished
> Harvard mathematician. Both of these erudite presentations seem to be
> making two fundamental claims. ...

I was completely confused by the comparison between Shapiro and Shlomo
Sternberg. The article of Sternberg argues that many rishonim/achronim
and some gemaras were not aware of facts of nature and as such modern
psak has to deal with this problem. If some acharon did not believe that
a missing heart was a treifa it is not enough to call those who disagree
academics and therefore not to be accounted for. I do not know Shapiro
but have met Sternberg several times and he is a very knowledagble Talmid
Chacham in addition to his great knowledge of math and biology.

The questions that Sternberg deals with are physical facts while Shapiro
deals with historical facts. Even in academic circles people give more
credence to physical facts than historical events.
In fact there have been poskim that claim that when medical/physical
facts disagree with the Talmud that we ignore the facts and assume that
modern scientists/doctors do not know basic science. Again, I stress
we are not talking about controversial matters in science/medecine but
things that everyone agrees with, for example the existence of the blood
circulatory system.

I personally agree with much of Shlomo Sternberg's thesis and it has
nothing to do with shapiro's arguments.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 19:50:57 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Ikkarim

I am trying to understand the distinction of academic versus Orthodox
as applicable to the current discussion. I took your discussion ,
based on what you said that our focus is not on learning the texts but
that our "job is to understand what gedolim say about these things"
as reflecting classic da'as torah opinions. In view of your reply,
I am not sure how relevant the distinction of academic versus Orthodox
is to our discussion, except to suggest that you believe that one can
ignore anything written by an academic.

I would view the notion of academic as implying a certain objectivity
to the sources - that the conclusion is not predetermined. As Orthodox
scholars, there are issues of the extent to which some conclusions may
be off limits. The question is 1) what those limits are, and 2) Does a
process of inquiry that may lead beyond those limits inherently assur.

R Shalom Carmy has a nice article (A Room with a View, in Modern
Scholarship in the Study of Torah_) dealing with some of the issues
facing an Orthodox academic

In this context, there is a clear heritage of the Berlin school - Rav
Hildesheimer, RDZ Hoffman, and the Seride Esh who halacha lemaa'ase
allowed objective studies.

However, while this issue of the permissiblity of inquiry set off the
initial paper by R Shapiro (in response to R Parness), what I am unclear
about is how it relates to the actual article.

That is, R Shapiro documents in great length, using both obscure (and some
perhaps deservedly obscure) sources, as well as very mainstream sources,
that the 13 ikkarim were not universally accepted. This documentation
is independent of whether he is academic or Orthodox. The halachic
consequences are of course dependent on the halachic methodology brought
to bear on this data.

It seems (IMHO) that one can have only a few intellectually (and
hashkafically) legitimate responses

1) Try to claim that R Shapiro's documentation is flawed and inaccurate.
Such a claim needs to be substantiated, and no one has done that or even
seriously claimed that.

2) R Shapiro is right that major rabbanim have rejected the 13 ikkarim.
However, that is halachically irrelevant,as there is now a halachic
ocnsensus about the definition of minut. This consensus is loosely based
on the 13 ikkarim., but, (as in the case of tefila to intermediaries),
may be significantly different.

I think that this is your position. The problem is a) what are the
halachic criteria used here and b) is it true that there is such a
This option is actually unrelated to the academic/Orthodox divide.
It does relate to the halachic criteria used and the notion that a
consensus actually exists (something that I am not sure is at all
accurate, unless one limits the community greatly)

My sense is that many who argue that a consensus exists do so not
that there is now a consensus, but on the basis of the belief that a
consensus has always existed and it is quite clear to them what it is.
R Shapiro's article provides important data against such a belief
(regardless of its academic origin)

3) A consensus has always existed among gdole yisrael. Therefore, anyone
who has not agreed with this consensus is clearly not part of the Orthodox
community, and had "crum" beliefs (to use technical terminology :):))
even if the community at the time did not realize it.

At least two posters (including one noted rav and one noted academic)
have stated that.

Given the wealth of material that R Shapiro has brought down
(unfortunately, I don't have the article readily availabe, as it is on
loan) that requires a major redrawing of the boundaries of Orthodoxy,
something that I (from an Orthodox, not an academic) perspective am
loathe to do, and I think that most of our hachamim until quite recently
were also quite reluctant to do. These are not just a few minor players
(Reb Shlomo Chayim Hochlieber), unless you are willing to so characterize
the Minchat Eliezer and Rav weinberg from Ner (two very clear sources)

Therefore, as I said, I don't understand your statement about this
representing an academic / Orthodox divide.  I will discuss the halachic
implications below.

With regard to Professor Sternberg's article (who, I believe, has smicha
from Ner Israel (he studied there and was consiered an illuy)), it is a
different discussion. However, again, I fail to see how the academic /
Orthodox divide applies here - do you doubt his scientific documentation?
The question, as he says, is recognizing the problem and then trying
to solve it - not that he has a solution. As a talmid chacham, he is
owed a public apology. (by the way, a previous discussion, wcentered on
some letters of the Seride Esh, some published by him in his lifetime,
which attacked talmide chachamim far more strongly than Rav Sternberg..)

Getting back to the halachic implications:
1) The sources that RM Shapiro brought have halachic status in that if any
of the sources of the "consensus" were not aware of different opinions,
they many no longer be viewed as strong support for the consensus.

2) The issue of the halachot of minut are far trickier than those of
shabbat. In general, for most areas of psak, we have held that different
communities may have different psakim even though we disagree with them
and even though on our thinking they are mehallel d'oraita. (the mishna
on bet hillel and bet shammai)
However, while we may pasken lehumra on many issues, on the issues of
declaring people an epikoros, most tshuvot (at least until recently)
are very reluctant to do so. In most areas, poskim and shut are quite
willing to pasken against major rishonim. Even though there is a fair
amount of poskim and shut on the issues of kfira, this does not appear
to be the case. (perhaps the vikuchim over the rambam led to a certain
caution, but this is just speulation)

After all, while minut and epikorsut are halachic categories, they do fall
in the areas of hilkhot deot, where elu ve'elu is far more prevalent.
Most of us consider that there is a big difference between saying for
me that food is assur d'oraita while for you yochlu anavim veyisbau,
and saying that this belief makes me an epikoros while you can hold it
without problem.

Thus, I am not aware of any sources that would allow (or document)
different community standards for minut (sefaradim may believe this,
ashkenazim this..), and there doesn't exist the wealth of literature
for other halachic issues. THis is not because there weren't different
heretical movements to contend with.
While there appears that in some limited cases, previously valid positions
may be overridden (RAv Hillel is the canonical case), I think that
the application of this principle is very rare, and indeed the entire
basis for it is controversial, and rav Hlllel seems to represent more
an exception than a general rule (how many cases similar to Rav Hillel
can you cite?), which strongly suggests that the rules governing hilkhot
minut are fundamentally different .

Instead, until quite recently, when declaring epikorsut became a blood
sport, poskim tried to minimize the declaration of kfira (eg the famous
shut haradbaz about those who came to wrong beliefs through intellectual
activity)as also the shut of yad eliyahu (I will b"n try to find it
tonight) of not declaring communities as epikorsim.

Therefore, until quite recently, if argued that a position was kfira,
and you showed that an adam gadol held it, it would in general prove that
it wasn't kfira. That is why R Shapiro's position about the presence
of this positions disproving the halachic nature of any consensus is
true not just from an academic viewpoint, but from a torah viewpoint.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 02:39:50 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Ikkarim

On 28 Oct 01, at 21:48, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
> And so too, IMHO, we must not label a rishon as an apikorus just because
> he did not beleive in Yesh Me'ayin. Quite the contrary, we get a mitzvah
> of Talmud Torah when we work on understanding why Rabenu Tam felt melacha
> could be done so late on Friday, and we get a mitzvah of Talmud Torah
> when we work on understanding why other rishonim disagreed with other
> issues which we now take for granted.
> All this has seemed self-evident to me since the beginning of this
> discussion, yet it has continued for several weeks now. What am I missing?

I'm not sure that you're missing anything. But there's are two
distinctions that need to be highlighted:

1. There's a difference between a Rishon arguing these issues with
his contemporaries and we spiritual and intellectual pygmies (by
comparison!) deciding on our own to adopt the view that the Rishonim
rejected. Translation: a Rishon has the right to say that he doesn't
believe there was true yesh mei'ayin, but for us the issue is settled
and we no longer have the right to reopen it. Look at it like the halacha
of zaken mamrei - the Sanhedrin has paskened already.

2. There's also a difference between arguing on a theoretical plane
and doing something halacha l'maaseh. While there is no doubt schar for
understanding why Rabbeinu Tam held as he did with respect to zmanim,
I think there is also no doubt that someone who is doing melacha thirty
minutes after shkiya in 2001 is a mechalel Shabbos, regardless of whether
or not he holds shitas Rabbeinu Tam at the end of Shabbos.

-- Carl

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

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 20:59:12 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Ikkarim

In a message dated 10/29/2001 4:19:18pm EST, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> While there might be some limited times when we can take a previously
> valid opinion and declare it hutz lamachane, as with R Hillel. I think
> that most ba'ale hamesora have been extremely reluctant to take this
> step with regard to rabbanim who have been part of the mesora. I would
> say that today's willingness to take this step is a dramatic change in
> ikkarim, and reflects the truly revolutionary nature of much that is
> going on in the haredi community.

I think that most points are well-made...

for the sake of illustration:
Let's say we can prove that way back when some rabbanim accept
anthopomorphisms of HKBH, that does not mean we condone them now.

Similarly, the Avos put up Matzeivos and later on HKBH "hated them".

Furthermore, It is my opinion that the ikkarim - perhaps qualitatively
unlike other emunos v'deios - have been promoted to normative and are
therefore Halachic in nature.

As far as michutz lamachane goes... Compare the Ikkarim to the
Amidah. Just as in the Amidah we all concur that there are 18/19 Brachos,
but we quibble on details simlarly we all concur that ther are 13 Ikkarim
but we quibble on the details. IMHO a person who accepts the ikkarim
and quibbles with mainstream peshat is lav davka an apikoros.

Consider the Ikkarim as like firmware, they are not as mutable as software
but not as fixed as hardware either. <smile>

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 12:09:57 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <sjtait@surfree.net.il>
Re: Ikkarim

Several people have written things like <<< I don't see how a view
once advocated by gedolei Yisrael can now be invalid. Someone who
today believes that God has a body is certainly not to be regarded as
a heretic... >>>

The Rambam in Ma'amar T'chiyas Hameisim (sec. 9 in the Kafih ed.) explains
that the reason the Torah didn't clearly state t'chiyas hameisim was
because the idea was to novel for them to handle at that time
(straight out of Mitzrayim); it would take them a few generations to
get acclimated. Probably the same was true concerning the "nature" of
G-d; in the time of the mishne and gemara, you weren't supposed to even
consider these subjects. Later generations started to "philosophize"
(whether pro- or anti- philosophy) until we arrived at the present
position that G-d absolutely has no corporeality.

Shlomoh Taitelbaum

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:19:49 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ikkrim

On Fri, Oct 26, 2001 at 02:59:58PM -0400, Arie Folger wrote:
:                                   Acc to Rambam you need kavanah of
: your general demeanor, incl. any accidental and intentional mitzvot,
: to Hashem who is e'had umeyu'had. However, you do not need kavanah for
: the ma'aseh hamitzvah. Furthermore, we can distinguish between kavanah
: not needed for 'halos (chaleis for Brisers), but is needed for sakhar.

Actually, what the Rambam requires for sechar is beyond kavanah, closer to
lishmah but beyond that as well -- true yedias Hashem. But then, his model
for sechar is not one per chalos or even one per attempted asiyah, rather
it is proportional to that yedi'ah.

I think it is useful to view the Rambam as saying that one is chayav to
give oneself an opportunity to have that sha'ah achas in which he is
koneh olamo. Hashem does not require the actual kinyan. Bechirah does
not work that way. People can not choose to have a moment of insight.
They can choose to set up situations in which such moments are likely.

Note that the Rambam (even without my assumptions in the previous
paragraph) gives a meaning to mitzvos that does not involve metaphysical
forces, nor involves actions that one can not understand their purpose.
Perhaps this works if allows that the purpose could be in learning to
trust HQBH's word. Or perhaps the Rambam has a different peshat in

On Sat, Oct 27, 2001 at 09:51:11AM +0200, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
: The starting point of an academic is a compilation of sources and an
: attempt to objectively understand them. Truth is not known but remains to
: be discovered.

I have posted on this subject before, but I thought of a new way to put

To my mind, the goal of an academic is to find objective truth. (This
explains academia's trend toward relativism when it can not find anything
objectively verifiable.)

The aim of limud Torah is to make the truth subjective. This means that
Torah can also be supported by subjective experiences, things that can
not be relayed to a third party.

The role of poseiq is to apply that truth to a given situation and person
to produce halachah. Halachah is a legal system, one can even go so
far as to say it implies an axiology (although Briskers wouldn't),
but it is not a truth system. Right vs wrong; not true vs false.

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 12:06:42PM -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
: This is a well known machloket I am somewhat surprised that this approach
: in general is written out of Orthodoxy, but am content to be with Rav
: Hai Gaon and the rambam. This disagreement is not between academics
: and the Orthodox community but rather, on the extent of da'as torah
: ("to understand what gedolim say about these things") - one of the
: major disagreements between haredi and MO.

Actually, even MO believes that da'as Torah is the sole source of
Yahadus. The debate is about its role in determining the 'facts on
the ground' to which we apply our Yahadus.

The question here is clearly within Yahadus. We are not wondering if
some acharon's pesaq about stam yeinam was based on a misconception
about wine or about some belief system.

Earlier in that post RMS wrote:
: The following is the beginning of the eighth ikkar (my translation)
: from R Kapach's edition of perush hamishnayot
:     the eighth principle is torah from heaven. and that is that we should
:     believe that the entire torah (found in our hands today is the torah)
:     that was give to moshe, and that it is entirely from hashem..

: Note that rambam in the ikkar is addressing two separate issues:
: 1) revelation of the text...
: 2) The text that we have is the same that moshe has....

Actually, I am not sure if he speaks of revelation of the text, or
revelation of the ideas. Maybe R Mandel has time to look in the Arabic
and help us. Your choice of translating the idiom literally ('found
in our hands') makes an artificially strong case that the Rambam is
writing about a physical entity.

The problem is that the ikkar as you describe it nowhere discusses
the unity of TSBK and TSBP, that they both are miSinai!


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 08:46:21 +0200
From: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" <frimea@mail.biu.ac.il>
Semi-permanent cosmetis

My brother Dov brought to my attention an article by Rav Baruch Shraga
in Tehumin 18, pp. 110-114 who forbids semi-permanent cosmetics which are
applied with a needle into the lower layers of the skin based on Ketovet
Ka'aka. He points out that anything applied to the 4 upper layers will
be gone within 20-25 days. The only way it can last for 2-3 years is if
it is applied into the lower layers. That is ketovet Ka'aka.

He cites a battery of gedolim who concur le-Issur: Rav Ovadya Yosef; Rav
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv; Rav Y. Fisher; Rav Chaim Kanievsky; Rav Refael
Aipers in ve-Shav ve-Rapei sec. 45; R. Shraga Feivish, R. Efraim
Greenblatt. See also Piskei Din shel Beit haDin Shel HaRabbanut
Yerushalayim, IV, p. 153-160.

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Ethel and David Resnick Professor of Active Oxygen Chemistry
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: FrimeA@mail.biu.ac.il

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 22:40:25 +0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Vaikhulu

R. David Bannett: <In all the vaikhulu discussion, in reference to the
three-time repetition and to the need to repeat after shmoneh esrei as
lo plug because of yomtov shechal b'Shabbat, I am surprised that nobody
noticed that the old siddurim, namely R' Amram Gaon and R' Sa'adia Gaon,
do not include vaikhulu in the shmoneh esrei. So they scored only two
out of three.>

Thank you, R. David, for helping me out when I was very tied up and blue
(or is it green?) like t'kheles from overwork.

The fact is that the position of the Tur that one has to say all 3 p'suqim
of vaykhullu on Friday night is against most of the oldest sources of
nusakh. Both R. 'Amram and R. Sa'adya had a completely different nusakh
that starts "me'ahavatkha H' E" she'ahavta et yisrael 'ammekha" etc, and
has nothing of vaykhullu at all. But the two that do mention vaykhullu are
the Roqeah and the Rambam, and both of them only bring the last pasuq. The
Rambam has "v'qiddashto mikkol hazzemannim, kakkatuv 'vayvarekh E' et yom
hassh'vi'I vayqaddesh oto' etc." The Roqea, the best source for authentic
Ashk'naz tradition, has "v'qiddashto mikkol hazzemannim, v'khen katuv
b'toratekha 'vayvarekh E' et yom hassh'vi'i' etc." The Roqeah holds that
you must say it exactly this way, since it was written to have 35 words
from the beginning of atta qiddashta to the end of "bara E' la'asot,"
and that corresponds to the 35 words in vaykhullu and the 35 m'lakhot
that HQB'H created in His world (see there for details). He goes on and
says (p. 475) "yesh b'nei adam to'im v'sovrim sheyesh l'omro batt'filla,
v'hevel yiftzeh pihem, ki ein l'hosif [vaykhullu] ella ahar hatt'filla,"
"there are people who commit an error and think you should say [vaykullu]
during the t'filla, but that is ridiculous, since you are not supposed
to say vaykhullu until after davening." He then proceeds to write the
entire nusakh (something that he usually doesn't do), and says "katavti
hatt'filla hazo she'ein l'shannot heimenna, ki ra'iti to'im umshannim,
v'katavtiha kullah," "I have transcribed this t'filla, which should not
be changed, since I have seen those who commit an error and change it,
so I have written out the whole thing."

According to both the Roqeah and the Rambam, the posuq brought fits
in exactly, perfectly: "uVERAKHTO mikkol hayyamim v'QIDASHTO mikkol
haz'mannim," as it says "VAYVAREKH... et yom hash'vi'I VAYQADDESH
oto." The Tur has to give a rather convoluted explanation for what
vaykhullu is doing there.

The g'moro that the Tur brings as proof must be seen as either aggadta,
or as referring to the vaykhullu that was said b'tzibbur after davening on
Friday night. R. 'Amram Gaon, R. Sa'adya Gaon, the Roqeah and the Tur all
mention specifically that it was said b'tzibbur after davening, and there
is no reason to suppose that the Rambam did not say it as well. The whole
idea of 'edus has to be viewed as aggadta as well. Even though the Tur
brings it as an idea as to why vaykhullu is said standing and b'tzibbur,
he himself would admit that as far as we pasken, the 'edim do NOT testify
in unison, but one after another, and there is no 'edus at night.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 19:39:31 +0000
From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>
Re: Eila Toldoth was: Lech Lecha - Questions and Answers

What does Eile Toldos Yishmael come to restrict?

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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:23:29 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: tekheles

On Sun, Oct 28, 2001 at 07:40:58PM +0000, Seth Mandel wrote:
: That is my argument. The evidence for Murex is interesting, but hardly
: overwhelming. ...
:                                                   So why should anyone
: do anything other than what R. Yitzchoq Elhonon, or the Roshei Yeshiva
: of Mir, Telz, Ponyevezh, Grodno, or Slabodka did and sit it out, waiting
: for definitive evidence?

Or were they sitting it out waiting for something they would consider
a viable safeiq?

With the possible exception of the Briskers, there is no proof (and a
Maasei Ish to the contrary) to assume they were waiting for a vadai.
Your sevarah, while beautiful, is not actually given by any of them.


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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 10:58:09 -0500
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Confessions of a hyper correct leiner?

Having spent last shabbos in paris and davening with the tunisians, i have
been giving further thought to the issue of 'correct" pronunciation of
hebrew for leiners. The tunisians are very careful to pronounce sh'voh
nohs -- but only if it appears under a letter which is dogeished. All
the other sh'vohs, even after a t'nuoh g'doloh are pronounced as sh'voh
nochs. At first i was kind of pleased at this, since it in fact follows
the old rules of pronunciation established by the ba'alei mesoroh (almost
all generally ignored today), so i figured i was witnessing a living
fossil -- a survival of the masoretic era. Alas, as i continued to listen
i heard less pleasing articulation, including sh'voh nochs pronounced
like sh'voh nohs in such words as "limadtem", i.e. the "typical" error
made by diqduq-ignorant ba'ale q'rioh. (i.e. most ba'alei q'rioh). And
then i reflected that perhaps all the care i take to -- now more or
less automaticallly -- differentiate my sh'vohs (and a couple o! f other
things) are no more than hyper corrections by a rule fixated elite group,
but which not only doesn't exist -- but perhaps has never existed as a
spoken realization of loshon haq'qodesh. And what should be determinative
is the living tradition of spoken hebrew, not some artificial rule based
system that has never won a communal acceptance. Anyway, that was a quite
depressing thought, but before i abandon -- if i can at this point -- my
midaqdeiq habits and revert to the sigheter accent of my earliest youth
-- which may be somewhat discomfiting to the qohol, i wanted to query
the readership, especially those who have access to or may frequent,
minyonim from the various exotic (to ashkenazim) eidos, whether they are
aware of any community which regularly differentiates all their sh'voh
nohs in spoken hebrew.

I also wanted to acknowledge the impeccable timing of list members
who posted an article about arab-jewish riots along the champs elysee,
two days before we planned to spatziere there. we went anyway of course
(what else, besides learning, to do in paris on a shabbos afternoon)
but it certainly added a certain j'en sais quois edge to the activity.

Mechy Frankel                           W: (703) 588-7424
michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com             H: (301) 593-3949

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