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Volume 08 : Number 053

Wednesday, November 21 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 11:12:30 -0500
From: yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU
Re: be-khol levavkha

Gil Student is uncomfortable with my repetition of Dr E Hurvitz's
suggestion that when the Sifrei says "Be-khol levavkha=bi-shenei
yitsarekha" it is based on the limud of the word "kol" and not because of
the doubled bet. In fact, "it does not sit well" with him. Understandably
so, for he -- as I, and no doubt many others here -- grew up with the
double bet explanation. And for good reason: rov mefarshei ha-Mishnah,
Tosefta and Sifrei as well as mefarshei Rashi, have so understood it. But
we make a berakhah daily, thanking G-d for giving us the opportunity "la-
'asok be-divrei Torah," to fight be-milhamtah shel Torah, understanding
and defending not just Torah we already know and believe but also in
fighting for new ways of understanding the old. So I am happy to have been
given the opportunity to return to the sources and defend our teacher's
explanation. And, though I cannot be sure that what I am about to say
is what he had in mind, if it helps to further understand the mekorot,
ve-hayah zeh sekhari. Further, if R. Andre Isaacson is reading this and
would contact me offline (please!), I think I can gather another witness
to my memory of that class.

As with most things in life, statements cannot be divorced from their
context. So it is the sugya that must be examined in order to understand
the individual statement. The sugya under discussion occurs in three
places that I know of in Hazal. They are Tosefta Berakhot 6:7 (in the
standard editions: 6:11), Mishnah Ber. 9:5 (54a) and Sifrei Devarim piska
32 (on Va-Et'hanan). While similar, there are differences between the
three and it is these differences that, when analyzed closely, will
prove the case.

Let's start with the basics: of the three mekorot, two are brought
setam, with no tanna's name attached; only in the Tosefta is the memra
attributed to R. Meir. We know from Sanhed 86a that setam Mishnah R.
Meir and setam Sifrei R. Shimon, both "aliba de-Rabbi Akiva." Thus,
we know that this sugya [in its three parallels] theoretically comes
from the "bet midrash" of R. Akiva (as opposed to that of R. Yishmael,
using the dichotomy first proposed by Rav DZ Hoffmann).

Next: all three mekorot have the same limud for "be-khol levavkha" except
that in the Sifrei there is an added "davar aher." We will return to
that soon. Notice that Rashi has chosen to use the Sifrei and that added
davar aher, as opposed to the other two sources, which don't have it.

Re the "uve-khol nafshekha": notice how all mekorot have the same
explanation at first ("afilu Hu notel et nafshekha") but the Mishnah is
the only one not to include an added explanation. The other two have a
memra by Ben Azzai, which can be seen as a development of the original
idea above. However, only the Tosefta has the added "davar aher: be-khol
nefesh va-nefesh she-bara bekha." Does this not parallel exactly the
limud of "bi-shenei yitsarekha," which is really just another way of
saying "be-khol lev va-lev she-bekha"? And as further proof that this
idea comes from the bet midrash of R. Akiva, see Devarim Rabbah 2:37,
where this basic idea is quoted in the name of R. Meir.

Re the "be-khol me'odekha": the Tosefta is silent, the Mishnah has two
explanations and the Sifrei has one...by R. Akiva. Since the lashon is so
similar one sees that the Mishnah's davar aher is really R. Akiva's memra
in Sifrei, namely "be-khol midah va-midah she-Hu modeh lakh." From the
"preface" of the Mishnah (".Hayav adam le-varekh al ha-ra'ah ke-shem
she-hu mevarekh al ha-tovah"), one may conjecture that though it
appears as only an added (and not the primary) explanation, it was
originally intended as the primary one. In other words, the whole
Mishnah until this point was parenthetical, so to speak, only leading
up to this statement of "be-khol midah va-midah." After all, "be-khol
mamonkha" does not really have much to do on the surface with "berakhah
al ha-ra'ah." [The fact that it does have what to do with "al ha-tovah"
is not much of an explanation, as the Mishnah is interested in the
"unusual", the unexpected, viz. the bad, and not the good for which we
knew already to be thankful].

What can be seen, then, is that the structure of the sugya must have
intended one type of limud. Namely, each of the "kol"s in the pasuk
were darshened for to include an opposing doublet: two (opposing) hearts
(i.e. inclinations), two (opposing? cf Zohar cited below) nefashot, two
(opposing) midot (=slices of life?) that HKBH grants each individual. We
are to love G-d with each of these. There is no room for the two vetin
explanation in regards bi-shenei yitsarekha.

Now, that some of what was a whole got divided up into the different
mekorot, and what was primary became secondary and vice versa, is a
different issue. But we see that Rashi chose the Sifrei for the first
two parts (levavkha and nafshekha) and the Mishnah (with additions from
Sifrei) for the last part (me'odekha). Why he chose to highlight those is
a subject for mefarshei Rashi, but that the original sugya had nothing
to do with two vetin -- at least, vis a vis the first explanation --
should be clear.

Further, I am happy to report that the Zohar at 3:267a [paragraph 139
in Va-Et'hanan in the Sulam ed.] has our explanation exactly (minus
the me'odekha part). Since the Zohar is from the school of Rashbi, who
followed R. Akiva, this is support for the traditional, or at least RRW,
explanation for its origins.

Now, the second explanation of levavkha -- found only in the Sifrei
and quoted by Rashi -- was indeed based on the two vetin. After all,
the Sifrei makes it clear "levavkha= lev bekha, she-lo yiheyeh libkha
.haluk al ha-Makom." It clearly divides up the word along the bet axis.
And, as Gil points, that Amoraim such as R. Aha or Hama understood the
two vet spelling as explanation for the yetser ha-ra should not alter
our understanding of what the Tannaim had in mind. Elu va-elu. (We
do know that sometimes a double letter is darshened. This past week's
parshah has the derash on "va-yitrotsetsu" probably due to the doubling.
But my gut feeling -- and I eagerly await correction or confirmation --
is that such a limud is mostly found among Amoraim, and not Tannaim.)

In light of the above, then, in explaining Rashi's citation of the
Sifrei, the Sefer Zikaron's interpretation is difficult to understand.
Also, the Maskil le-David al atar (and at Bereshit.18:5; cf Hasdei
David) seems so close to what we are saying but then backs down. But
on that for another time.

Yisrael Dubitsky

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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 00:11:07 +0200
From: "Yisrael Herczeg" <yherczeg@Barak-online.net>
Re: Rava; R Zeira; and the Shechita on Purim

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Since v4 I saw a different peshat in the story. We know that R Zeira
> ran toward depression; or at least, that he alone amongst Chazal has
> stories told about people trying to chear him up.

> Rabbah, however, was quite the opposite. (Unfortunately, I forgot the
> raayos. Anyone want to provide some?)

Rav Elyakim Getzel Levitan, the Maggid of Brisk, (cited in Kehilas
Yitzchak by R Yitzchok Reitbard, in Pirchei Nisan to Parashas Mikeitz)
cites a number of sources. Shabbos 30b says that Rabbah would begin
every shiur with a milsa dibedichusa. As for R Zeira, Niddah 23a has R
Yirmiyah trying to cheer him, and Sanhedrin 59b has R Avahu calling him
by the name of a bird with a mournful dispostion. REGL says that Chavos
Yair 152 speaks about this. I don't have one. Kehilas Yitzchak directs
us to Hagahos R Shaul Katzenelenbogen, Berachos 30b, which is printed
in the Vilna Shas. it's worth looking up.

Yisrael Herczeg

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 21:58:37 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
More on Simchah

 From R Binyamin Hecht of Nishma <nishma@interlog.com>.


Nishma <nishma@interlog.com>
Insight 5762 - 7: Simcha

Tehillim 100:2 declares: ivdu et Hashem b'simcha, serve G-d in joy.[1]
Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch explains; "Thus serving G-d...should not be
a burden to be borne because of fear. We are summoned to serve the Lord
with gladness..." The implication inherent in these words is that the
human being has some control over his/her feelings of personal joy --
we can choose to be glad. The verse thus informs us that we should be
joyful -- we should make ourselves joyful -- in the service of G-d. Yet,
is this an actual possibility that the human being can control? Can we
control our emotions? Can we simply will ourselves to be joyful? If the
answer is no, how then are we to understand the call to serve G-d in joy?

Rashi, in explaining this verse, states that one serves G-d b'simcha
because one is sure that he/she will be properly rewarded for the
effort. With these words, Rashi offers a different perspective on the
ability of the human being to control emotions. It may be that the human
being cannot directly control an emotion; that it is impossible for a
human being to simply make himself/herself happy. Yet, through education,
it is possible for one to learn to examine and look at a situation in
a different manner. This change in perspective may then result in a
different emotional response. In calling upon us to serve G-d in joy,
the verse is thereby telling us to gain an appreciation of the service of
G-d that will result in joy. Malbim, it would seem, thus contends that
the verse is calling upon us to have faith that G-d will reward us --
and with this faith, the necessary response will be joy.

In fact, Malbim furthermore argues that this verse is calling upon us
to gain an appreciation for the very joy inherent in the service of G-d
itself. Rabbi Hirsch actually has a similar view. He writes: "For it
is such a life, and such a life, only, that can give us true simcha,
the feeling of steady and constant spiritual and moral 'growth,' the
continuous growth of all that is truly human in us, a blissful joy of life
that is not subject to change in any manner by the outward circumstances
which life may bring." The call to serve G-d in joy is thus a call to
investigate the service of G-d and to understand why it is joyful. It
is a call to study, to comprehend the value inherent in such service
with the intent to bring out the desired emotional result -- joy.

Ivdu et Hashem b'simcha thus has a two-fold demand. One is to look at
the service of G-d and to understand why it is joyful. The other demand
is to look at oneself to uncover one's true sources of joy. To be told
to serve G-d in joy means that it is possible to serve G-d in joy. This
means that the service of G-d and one's personal joy can meet. Through
education we are commanded to create that connection -- through gaining
an understanding of the service of G-d and ourselves that will foster
this connection.

Bereishit 27:4, however, informs us that there is another factor that
must be considered in creating this connection. Before blessing Esav,
Yitzchak Avinu asks his eldest son to bring him his favourite dish so
that he (Yitzchak) may bless him (Esav). Torah Temima states in the name
of the Maharam that from these words we learn that one giving a blessing
should be b'simcha. As Torah Temima explains,[2] when one is hungry, one
is not at rest. Yitzchak wished to be satiated, specifically with his
favourite foods, so that he would be b'simcha and thus able to properly
bless Esav. When we contemplate ivdu et Hashem b'simcha, we usually
presume the definition of the service of G-d to be a given. What is
demanded by G-d is perceived to be clear and unalterable. The call to
find joy is thus understood to be limited to the realm of understanding
-- in how we give meaning to our service of G-d or in how we look at
ourselves. Yitzchak added a new dimension. He altered his service of
G-d. He wished to give a blessing and thus determined how to proceed in
a manner that would ensure joy. He therefore asked for food first for he
recognized his nature as a human being and thus contemplated the service
of G-d in joy as a human being. The call to serve G-d b'simcha may also
demand of us to evaluate how we serve G-d and whether we consider the
reality of our human nature in defining that service.

There is, of course, much risk inherent in enunciating this
recognition. There are those that can use this idea to introduce
hedonistic ideas and practices in defining how they wish to describe the
service of G-d.[3] Serving G-d in joy does not mean that we are to avoid
any and every discomfort. The development of ourselves as true human
beings demands of us to also, at times, control our human natures and
subjugate them to the service of G-d. Yet, at the same time, the call
to serve G-d in joy, also demands of us to recognize that we are human
beings and that our human natures are still part of us. To serve G-d
in joy means to recognize that we are to serve G-d as human beings with
consideration for our human natures. Yitzchak wished to be in joy when he
gave Esav the blessing. He did not simply will himself to be b'simcha. He
recognized that this was beyond his capabilities. The reality of hunger
inherently decreases the human being's joy -- and he was human. Thus he
acted as a human being to establish a situation that would bring forth
joy -- and thus enable him to bless.

Ivdu et Hashem b'simcha demands of us to create a connection between
the service of G-d and ourselves. How this connection is to be achieved
demands much contemplation and many potential considerations. At times,
we are to look at ourselves and demand of ourselves different outlooks and
understandings. At times, we are to investigate the true meaning of the
service and understand its value. At times, we are also to recognize our
humanity and understand the service of G-d in that context. The task is
not an easy one and there is the possibility of mistake. But it is only
through accepting the challenge of truly bringing together the service
of G-d and oneself that one is able to meet the demand to serve G-d in
joy. Only then is it possible for the human being and G-d to meet.

Rabbi Benjamin Hecht


1) It should be noted that while we have translated the Hebrew word
simcha as joy, as is often the case, there are difficulties with this
translation. What is implied in the Hebrew word simcha is not truly
represented by the English word "joy." While the discussion within
this Insight will necessarily further the reader's appreciation of the
meaning of simcha, a full examination of the word is beyond the scope
of this Insight.

2) See note 3.

3) See Ramban, Vayikra 19:2.




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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:44:02 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
RE: Definition of zaddik

From: Shinnar, Meir
> With regard to the Rambam, Hilkhot Tshuva, 3:1, where he defines mi
> shezechuyotav merubot al avonotav zaddik
> RYGB suggests that this is not the definition of a zaddik, but a zaddik
> bedino.
> 1) linguistic. The Rambam brings three categories - zaddik, rasha,
> benoni. While one might try to understand zaddik and rasha as not
> referring to the individual, but zaddik bedino and rasha bedino, this
> is quite difficult with regard to the third term (benoni bedino??)

I fail to see the problem.

> 2) The source of the Rambam for the tripartite division is in a braita
> in Rosh Hashana 16:b
> bet shammai omrim shlosha kitot hem leyom hadin echat shel zaddikin
> gmurin veechat shel reshaim gmurim veechat shel benonim
> The Rambam does not use the word gmurim - see the yad pshuta (Rav
> Rabinovitz) for one explanation (there are different levels of zaddikim)
> - but it is clear that the rambam is giving a definition of who is a
> member of each kat.

And the fact that he does not use gmurim - only the Yad Peshuta has pshat?

I have no clue how RAS's point relates to this discussion, so I am
deleting it.

> Finally, one more source - R Saadia Gaon (Hanivhar beemunot vedeot,
> maamar 5:2 (p. 173 in my Kapach edition), which is very close in language
> and discussion to the rambam;s discussion

> Trying to define the different levels of humans
> Yikare zaddik mi shehayu rov ma'asav zchuyot

The RSG is exactly my ra'ayah - he says there that tzaddik and rasha
here are used just as we use the term "hot" to describe a substance that
is relatively warmer than another substance, even if it is not truly
"hot", and, vice versa, for rosho, we use the term cold to describe a
cooler substance even if it is not absolutely "cold".

Hu asher dibarti lei'mor.

But I already noted that to call Herzl even a tzadiik b'dino, is
non-normative and incorrect.


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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 13:57:17 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>

With regard to RYGB postings: (which I am finding increasingly difficult
to follow the logic)

I am aware of many different evaluations of Herzl, and avoda is not
quite the right place to fight it out. However, it is quite clear that,
as RDG pointed out, the DR and RAYK had a very positive evaluation of
Herzl, whose faults they also knew. Furthermore, the DR specifically
puts Herzl in olam ha'emet at a high stage. I view my statements as
justified and logical extensions of the position of the DR and RAYK.

One is entitled to disagree with the DR, as many have. Clearly,
RYGB finds it difficult to give zchut to Herzl
or as he put it
> To brazenly assert that one who was not Oved Hashem, did not to our 
> knowledge to teshuva, and besides was a Mechallel Shabbos, Ochel tereifos 
> etc., because of some collateral zechus is therefore a tzaddik b'dino, is 
> nothing lessthan the Christian doctrine of saving grace, and inimical to 
> Jewish concepts of reward and punishment!

However, the reality is that the DR (and, I believe, RAYK) did give
zchut to Herzl, enough to merit olam haemet. They view his actions not
as collateral zechut, but as real zechut, and I don't think that the DR
was using Christian doctrines. Remember whom you are attacking...

(by the way, this discussion is in some ways a continuation of a previous
discussion about the status of a tinok shenishba - RYGB asserted that
a tinok shenishba had the intrinsic status of a mumar and a rasha,
something with which I disagreed and brought sources back then. I think
(although can not prove) that the DR, RAYK, and most RZ would view Herzl
as a tinok shenishba, therefore all of his hillul shabbat etc is far
less of an issue)

To get back to the real core of the argument:
> It seems pashut to me that there is an equation between place in olam
> haemet, zechuyot, and being a zaddik.

Let us focus on this equation rather than on the individual to whom it is
applied. (RYGB doesn' t believe that Herzl merited any of the three, but
that is a different discussion....)

When I equated olam haemet with zaddik, RMB and RYGB said no, olam
ha'emet means zchuyot, not zaddik. (I am not sure if RMB now agrees
with the equation of olam haemet and zaddik, given his question about
the midrash on veamech kulam zaddikim leolam yirshu aretz)
So I then tried to show tht zchuyot also means zaddik. I still haven't
gotten a logical counter response from RYGB

It is then argued (by RYGB) that Herzl can't have zchuyot, as it wasn't
lishma, etc, etc. Clearly, many have had different evaluations of herzl,
and I am not going (or trying) to convince RYGB. I woudl merely point
out that his evaluation and argument is incompatible with the DR -
on what basis did he put Herzl there?

It is clear that RYGB is extremely unhappy with the end result of my
logic. He is is quite unhappy with the DR's statement, and would like
to limit it to only what is precisely said and not draw any conclusions
from it.. However, I would like a logical answer of when we find this
disjunction between zchuyot and zidkut and olam haeemet - something that
seems a major novel innovation on avoda. All of the resources that
RYGB brings on Herzl merely shows that he has a different assessment
than the DR, which is a fundamentally different issue. Indeed, his
statements proves the fundamentally polemical nature of the criticism.
Within the charter of avodah, I would think that statements logically
based on a gadol such as the DR would be acceptable, and not require
the editiorial board comments...

Finally, RMB asks about why I bring a halachic source for the definition
of zaddik. Quite simply, many people have many different definitions of
a zaddik, and there are many levels of zaddikim. However, I would have
thought that in general, a definition in a halachic setting carries more
weight than a purely hashkafic one, and that the use of a term that is
sanctioned by a halachic definition would be, at the minimal, acceptable,
even if people would have other preferred definitions. I am aware of the
Mesillat Yesharim, and multiple other definitions and understandings of
how to be a zaddik). Ultimately, I think that the definition by the Rambam
(and Rav Saadia Gaon) should be acceptable definitions.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:09:22 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Yeshaya Lebovitz

With regard to my citation of Yeshaya Lebowitz, with whom RYGB shares many
ideological points (in spite of his horror at such a comparison), RYGB wrote
>you will join me in excoriating an 
>individual who actually called temimus'dike Jews Nazis! Afrah l'pumei!

Toward the end of his life, Yeshaya Lebowitz (who also would have
objected strongly to the use of z"tl for Herzl), wrote a letter where
he apologized for using the term Judeo Nazis, and says that he meant
something quite different than what everyone understood by it (letter
is in a volume of his letters)., so he did tshuva over this..(whether
adequate tshuva I will let the ribbono shel olam decide)

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:32:58 -0500 (EST)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Tzidkus (was Herzl)

> RMS:
>> much controversy. However, in general, when we have someone with major
>> accomplishments, we don't sit there picking at them and saying maybe
>> they weren't lishma. we especially tend to be dan lkhaf zchut those who
>> helped save israel (hayonatan yamut asher asa hayeshua hazot..)
> Huh? Dan l'kaf zechus? On what basis? Was he a Marrano-like Ma'amin?! As 
> the CC (whom, of course, you probably regard as no greater than Herzl!) 
> said, l'kaf zechus, not l'kaf shtus.

and later: 
> To brazenly assert that one who was not Oved Hashem, did not to our 
> knowledge to teshuva, and besides was a Mechallel Shabbos, Ochel tereifos 
> etc., because of some collateral zechus is therefore a tzaddik b'dino, is 
> nothing lessthan the Christian doctrine of saving grace, and inimical to 
> Jewish concepts of reward and punishment!

Maybe there's something to that.  Perhaps, for a tinok shenishba, the 
"saving grace" *would* help.  Vide infra. 

Esteemed Moderator:
> One last nequdah: Tzidqus (as used in this context) is an absolute.
> Someone who lacked the background or opportunity to be a tzadiq still
> is not a tzadiq. Zechuyos are lefum tza'arah, and therefore can be
> accrued even without succeeding in an absolute sense.

RMS responding to the above: 
> With regard to the Rambam, Hilkhot Tshuva, 3:1, where he defines mi
> shezechuyotav merubot al avonotav zaddik
> RYGB suggests that this is not the definition of a zaddik, but a zaddik
> bedino.

and bringing... 
> R Aharon brings in the name of Rav Haim according to the Rambam (3:3)
> veeyn shoklin ela beda'ato shel kel deot vehu yodea haeych orchin
> hazechuyot kneged haavonot.

snipped paragraph summarized, with reaction: 
> I would add that this svara - that divine justice is based on the nature
> of the gavra, rather than human justice which is based solely on an
> action - implies that the difference between zaddik bedino and zaddik
> disappears when the din is the din of the kadosh baruch hu...
and from Saadia Gaon:
> Yikare zaddik mi shehayu rov ma'asav zchuyot

In the spirit of the Rema's teshuva on the wine of Moravian Jews, let
me introduce a theoretical construct that would lend support to RMS,
to show that he (& the pshat reading of the Dor Revii and RAYHK) may
not be completely in left field.

RYGB introduces the concept of "tzadik bedino", the tzadik of the Rambam.
However, he seems to want to reserve 'zt"l' for essentially a tzadik of
the Tanya (or at least a beinoni of the Tanya).

If we go with the Rambam's definition of tzadik, one whose merits outweigh
his sins, perhaps we can construct a reason to allow "Herzl zt''l".

1) Herzl was raised non- (or anti-?) religious. Therefore, he could be
considered a tinok shenishbah.

2) A tinok shenishbah may be exempt from punishment for his sins, on
the grounds that ignorance is a defense.

3) The one big nasty idea he may have had, the mass shmad idea, he
clearly repented of.

4) He had one indubitable kiddush Hashem - motivating the modern Zionist
movement to actually settle and acquire the Land of Israel (of course,
some may disagree about the value of secular Zionism, but we're in a
fantasy justification here).

5) Adding up his almost-zero culpability for his avonot, and the credit
for his teshuva from the shmad idea and for the inspiration of the
settling of Israel (which paved the way for the modern State which is the
world's biggest mokom Torah, even if its government isn't so religious -
look at the governments of Bayis Rishon, which actively promoted avodah
zarah, so maybe it's not so bad): you get someone whose zechuyos outweigh
his avonos.

Thus he could be considered a tzadik of the Rambam. So, like, don't
go around saying nasty things about the Dor Revii, RAYHK, and ybl"ch R'
Meir Shinnar.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:39:26 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Herzl

RYGB wrote
> Dr. Shinnar's views are non-normative. They are not heretical - simply
> wrong. 

I have asked (unsuccessfully) for documentation of my errors...

with regard to my statement to Rena, RYGB wrote
> Don't be nasty to Rena. It is you who misunderstood. They were of the 
> opinion that MBY is a political leader, and that if follows that just like 
> there is a person ra'ui to be MBD in every generation, so too there is a 
> person ra'ui to be MBY in every generation. Kinda like R' Akiva and BK. But 
> if that person does not do teshuva, he may have accomplished a nitzoz of 
> what MBY is supposed to accomplish, but ehr bliebt a rosho.

I didn't misunderstand. She didn't address the issue of zidkut of Herzl,
merely my calling Herzl MBY - something that you agree that isn't
my hiddush. (Clearly Rena's views are closer to yours, but we should
stick to what is actually said...)

The fact that ehr bliebt a rosho is your own opinion. However, what
is at issue here is that clearly others disagree with that assessment
(who are closer to RAYK than either of us)I don't think that Herzl is
referred to as a rasha in most RZ circles or merkaz harav circles.

>Again, RMB and RYGB posited that the scale of zchuyot (allowing
>for status in olam haemet) is different than the scale for zaddik -
>and I wonder about such a distinction - and think it is quite a hiddush.

> If you really need mekoros, read the Mesillas Yeshorim from beginning to 
> end, and you will get an idea of how one becomes the tzaddik of zt"l, but 
> if that does not suffice, I will get you more.

I have read Mesillat Yesharim, and am working on my own stages. The
Mesillat Yesharim deals with how one becomes a zaddik. It is not clear
(to me) that the path outlined is the sole path, and it doesn't deal with
the disjunction between olam haeemt (as per DR), zaddik, and zechuyot)

> Huh? Dan l'kaf zechus? On what basis? Was he a Marrano-like Ma'amin?! As 
> the CC (whom, of course, you probably regard as no greater than Herzl!) 
> said, l'kaf zechus, not l'kaf shtus.

I am moche on the personal attack, unjustified by any of my postings.
Ad hominen attacks are usually a sign of the failure of one's position,
and I will just leave it at that and not drag avoda further into the mud.

Meir Shinnar

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 16:59:25 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
divrei hesped for Rav Schach z"l by Rav Shemuel Birenbaum

For the benefit of those who could not be there, I am offering (from memory 
and without notes) a partial report on the recent massive gathering in 
Brooklyn in memory of Rav Schach z"l. I hope my recollections are basically 
accurate, but do not guarantee everything I write to be totally so. I request 
that anyone who notices any errors should please point them out to myself and 
the readers.

For starters, here is what I have written so far, giving general background 
and some words of the first speaker.

This past Sunday (3-4 Kislev 5762) a massive gathering took place in memory 
of Maran haRav Elozor Menacheim Man Schach z"l, on the premises of Edward R. 
Murrow H.S. in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, NY.

Over 1,000 people attended - perhaps as many as 1500. 

The assemblage davened mincha, followed by recitation of a few prokim (I use 
the term prokim, as opposed to 'kapitlach', based on a piece of writing I 
recently saw by one of Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky z"l's grandchildren in which he 
states that his grandfather held that the divisions of Tehillim come from a 
Jewish / kosher source, as opposed to those of Chumash, e.g. - Therefore Rav 
Yaakov called those of Tehillim prokim, while those in the Torah he called 
kapitlach and not perakim, as they were made by a priest) of Tehillim.

The first speaker was Rav Shemuel Birenbaum shlit"a, rosh Yeshivas Mir, 
Brooklyn, who spoke along the following lines......

It says '..viYaakov ish tam, yosheiv ohalim' - Rashi says on 'Tam' - kipiv 
kein libo - mi sheeino chorif liramos karui tam. It seems that Rashi says 
that Yaakov Avinu was a person who was so simple (and not a 'charif') that he 
had no yeitzer hora for ramaus (lying/deception). If so, is it such a big 
praise on him that he was a straight person - after all, that was his nature?

Perhaps this has to do with the famous Ramba"m in the shmoneh prokim about 
which is a higher madreiga - one who has no yetzer hora (chosid hameulah) or 
one who struggles to overcome his yetzer hara. The chachmei haumos (?) said 
that a chosid hameulah is on a higher level than the one who struggles. OTOH, 
we have a gemara that says that one shouldn't say 'if efhsi le'echol bsar 
chazair', etc....elah efshi vaHKB"H gazar alai...' (I do not wish to eat 
chazir - rather, I want to, but what can I do, being that my father in heaven 
decreed on me not to do so.....).

A chiluk can be / is made between things that seichel enushi would be 
michayeiv (like not to murder, steal, etc. and presumably not lie too) and 
chukim (things which would not be observed out of basic humanity). In the 
former things, a chosid hemeulah is on a higher level. However WRT chukim 
like achilas chazir, the one who struggles with his yetzer hora is on a 
higher level.

One can also ask a question from a Chaza"l later (brought in Rashi on 
Bireishis 29:12) which says that Yaakov avinu said WRT lovon, 'im liramaus hu 
ba, gam ani achiv biramaus' (if he is coming with deception, I am his brother 
in deception too). We see from this that Yaakov Avinu did have talent / 
ability in the area of ramaus - seemingly a contradiction to the earlier 

IIRC, R. Shemuel tried to say that perhaps Yaakov Avinu did have a yetzer 
hora for ramaus - but he worked on himself until he was oker (uprooted) this 
yetzer hora.

He drew a parallel to Rav Schach z"l. 

Rav Schach was a man who was dovuk in Emes and uprooted his yeitzer hora for 

Derech agav, a great theme of the speakers at the gathering was the midas 
haEmmes of Maran z"l. It was told how careful he was with emes in his 
learning. Just two of many examples cited were, how he stopped his shiur and 
closed his gemara (in front of app. 500 people! - R. Dovid Barkun of Telshe) 
when he felt that he could not satisfactorily answer a kasha on his shiur. 
How when he distributed money to bnei Torah, he did not give to his own 
eineklach, because he felt he was a nogeia bidovor (R. Dovid Barkun of 

Rav Birenbaum said that despite the fact that Maran z"l he was okeir his 
yetzer hora for ramaus, he still outsmarted/outmaneuvered the Mayor of Tel 
Aviv, a politician who was well versed / an expert in ramaus......(I don't 
know exactly what that meant - anyone know what incident he may have meant, 
which Mayor of Tel Aviv, when, etc.?).

Following Rav Birenbaum, Rav Dovid Barkun (?) shlit"a, mashgiach of Telshe - 
OH (?) and talmid (muvhak?) of Maran z"l spoke, followed by Rav Mattisyohu 
Solomon shlit"a, mashgiach of BMG.

Athough presumably, reports will appear in the frum press, perhaps they will 
not include all the details I am reporting, and not everyone will see them - 
therefore I am taking the opportunity to record and disseminate some of the 
info myself.....


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:53:01 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Definition of zaddik

Tzaddik in the context of ZTL is bepashtus a role model of what a Tzaddik

Tzaddik in other contexts might mean zakkai bedin, but are not a status
to be handed out willy nilly.

I'm not sure of the Rambam's definition but I'll take Potter Stewart's:
I know a Tzaddik when I see one - and Herzl was no tzaddik. {apologies
to Lloyd Bentsen , too}.

If you want to bless Herzl why not just say the traditoinal Alav Hasholam?
AFAIK there is no problem saing this except that according to R. Michael
Broyde it is a probably a Moslem-based corruption of Eved Hashem but let's
not go there! <smile>

[A 2nd email. -mi]

In a message dated 11/20/01 5:01:47pm EST, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> Finally, RMB asks about why I bring a halachic source for the definition
> of zaddik. Quite simply, many people have many different definitions of
> a zaddik, and there are many levels of zaddikim. However, I would have
> thought that in general, a definition in a halachic setting carries more
> weight than a purely hashkafic one, and that the use of a term that is
> sanctioned by a halachic definition would be, at the minimal, acceptable,
> even if people would have other preferred definitions. I am aware of the
> Mesillat Yesharim, and multiple other definitions and understandings of
> how to be a zaddik). Ultimately, I think that the definition by the Rambam
> (and Rav Saadia Gaon) should be acceptable definitions.

Chachmas Adam 158:5
We do not bury a Rasha next to a tzaddik and even {not} a Rasha Chamur
next to a Rasha Kal
So we do not bury a Taddik and Kol Checkian a beinnoni v'kasher next
to a Chassid Muflag
And it is not kdin that Chevro Kadishos bury a wealthy man who is not
a kosher man nex to a Taddik mefursam.
But we do bury a Ba'al Teshuva next to a Tzaddik Gamur but NOT next to
a Chassid...

I suggest researching the Chachmas Adam's sources and seeing what is
meant by the above cateogires.

Bepashtus the average "kosher" person is a beononi.

Certain people - such as the well-to-do - may have tremendous zchuyoos but
a sample of outstanding good deeds do NOT make a person an adam kosher,
otherwise why exclude the rich guy - after all he might have given a
million dolars to a yeshiva nad hakessef ya'aneh es hakol, etc.?

[A third email. -mi]

Shlomoh sjtait@surfree.net.il :
> Sof davar, a horse by any other name is still a horse.

Bepashtus Misa is mechapper for a lot of people who were far less than
Tzaddikkim, I would guess especially for mumorim leti'avon....

And with this I agree with Micha. Just because sof kol sof HKBH is
Rachum v'chanun does not mean we should make role models out of less
than ideal types. IOW Tzaddik is an honorifc earned by great middos,
not by a few extra-ordinary acts of greatness.

Regards and Kol Tuv,

Go to top.


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