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Volume 09 : Number 078

Wednesday, August 21 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 14:26:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
siddur RY Emden

Mordechai (?) mentioned Feldheim's new English version of the siddur RY
Emden nusach sfard, on areivim.

1) I was told that RYEmden says in the introduction to his siddur that
he wrote it for nusach Ashkenaz, and that others were forbidden from
redoing it in nusach Sfard.

2) Doing it in nusach Sfard seems kinda counterproductive anyway.
 From what I can tell from his commentary (in the new Eshkol edition
that distinguishes between RYE's words, those added from elsewhere
in his works, and those of later interpolations by typeface), RYE was
trying to do for nusach Ashkenaz what the Ari had done for nusach Edot
haMizrach - give a set of kabbalistic kavvanot for the nusahc Ashkenaz.
In which case, recasting it in nusach Sfard voids the whole enterprise
- if you want Sfard with kavvanot, there are umpteen "siddur ha-Ari"
versions already.

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

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Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 08:58:43 EDT
From: RaphaelIsaacs@aol.com
Re: siddur RY Emden

In a message dated 8/19/02 12:44:40pm Jon Baker, jjbaker@panix.com writes:
> 1) I was told that RYEmden says in the introduction to his siddur that
> he wrote it for nusach Ashkenaz, and that others were forbidden from
> redoing it in nusach Sfard.

Re: point 1, assuming RYE did instruct this; if an author gives
instructions about how he wants his book to be published (no green cover,
printed in Rashi print only), are publishers 250 years later obligated
to follow those instructions?

> 2) Doing it in nusach Sfard seems kinda counterproductive anyway.
> From what I can tell from his commentary (in the new Eshkol edition
> that distinguishes between RYE's words, those added from elsewhere
> in his works, and those of later interpolations by typeface), RYE was
> trying to do for nusach Ashkenaz what the Ari had done for nusach Edot
> haMizrach - give a set of kabbalistic kavvanot for the nusahc Ashkenaz.
> In which case, recasting it in nusach Sfard voids the whole enterprise
> - if you want Sfard with kavvanot, there are umpteen "siddur ha-Ari"
> versions already.

Re: point 2, regardless of his intent, many people, myself included
who owns the Ashkenaz version, want to own the siddur because they are
interested in the peirush, period. For those people, there is nothing
counter-productive in owning a Nusach Sefard Siddur with a peirush that
interests you, even if that peirush was written for NA.

As was discussed in the "MB and Psak" thread, sefarim usually evolve in
their usefulness far beyond the author's wishes and intent.

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Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 19:03:00 GMT
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
women driving and kli gever

: From a discussion on Areivim about kli gever as pertains to non-clothing
: items:
: The Targum Yonoson on Kli Gever says that a woman should not
: put on Tefilin...also not an article of clothing...

Tefilin are an article of clothing: one can wear them if found in the
street on Shabbos. So are kelei zayin-if they were not an embarrassment
per the Mishna in Shabbos, they would be derech malbush.

So it is restricted to (a broad definition of) clothing.

:SBA (whose wife drives...)

Gershon (whose wife drives a car with Hatzolo markings, in Williamsburg,
and gets these incredible stares!!)


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 19:33:28 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Eilu va'Eilu Continued - Too Long, but some useful material if you skim!!!

 From RMB, responding to RAF:

>At 12:45 AM 08/16/2002 +0200, you (Becker Family) wrote:
>I have plans to write a book entitled "The Seventy First Face: Not all
>Vortlach are True". I figure I can easily fill the book with a few hundred
>pages of thoughts I've had over the years.
>Having said that I do understand and indentify with several of R.
>Bechoffer's assumptions.
>1) The issue as to whether there is an absolute, objective Torah truth is
>clearly debated. I don't know if you've seen Shalom Rosenberg's Eilu Ve'elu
>Divrei Elokim Chayim where he outlines the various positions. I think you
>would enjoy the book (it is less pedantic than Lampel's book).
>I personally think it is clear that in normative halacha there is no
>absolute truth or if there is it is irrelevent.
>Several interesting examples come to mind:
>One of the most normative of rulings is Achrei Rabim Lehatot. The Sefer
>Hachinuch clearly states that this is a functional rule that allows for
>orderly psak but may indeed be "incorrect". In fact the Sefer Hachinuch
>states that when chachamim say yemin is smoll this does not determine the
>facts but is rather an operative ruling that we must follow their ruling
>(once the process of halachik voting has taken place) even if they are
>wrong! According to Sefer Hachinuch we are told to follow the rulings of
>Sanhedrin not because they are most likely to be closest to Retzon Hashem
>but rather because the Retzon Hashem is to follow the rulings of Sanhedrin.
>(It would seem from Sefer Hachinuch that there is an absolute truth but on
>an operative level we are not interested in it)
>The ruling of the majority does not entirely invalidate the opinion of the
>minority as normative halacha. See for example the perush of the Raabad on
>Mishna Ediyot 1:5 where he suggests that the minority opinion can be relied
>upon by a "lesser" court "against" the ruling of an earlier more
>authoratative court either in cases of shaat hadchak or even in the absence
>of shaat hadchak. The only way to allow for a ruling to be valid in one
>generation and its opposing view to be valid in another is to suggest that
>in normative halacha there is no absolute truth or again, that the objective
>truth bears no relevance to practice.
>The Chazon Ish is reported to have said that if we were to happen upon the
>sefer torah of Moshe Rabeinu and find that it was not in accordance with our
>sifrai Torah we would be gonez Moshe's torah! (see Tradition Summer 1980
>where Tzvi Yehuda has a nice letter on this topic). I understand Chazon Ish
>to say that halacha is an organic, living entity that develops through the
>use of analysis of sources, logic, custom, historical circumstances and even
>error. The legitimacy of each of these components and their relative weight
>is a matter of argument within Orthodox psak. In my mind what differentiates
>our method of psak from that of the Conservative movement (leaving aside the
>issues of belief raised by R. Bechoffer which are of course relevant to many
>in the Conservative movement) is whether the effects of historical
>circumstances are taken into consideration as a proactive, conscious factor
>or whether they play a subconscious, post facto role. In any event it seems
>clear from the opinion of the Chazon Ish that normative psak does not seek
>an objective truth. It approaches questions with honesty and integrity, with
>commitment and awe of the holy Torah but follows the rules of psak and does
>not search for an objective truth.
>2) I am a big fan of halachik intuition. The concept is not one of nevua or
>syata dishmaya as you suggest. Rather it is an intuition that halacha
>operates with certain preconceived notions that must be taken into
>consideration when reading the sources. It is similar to, lehavdil,
>understanding your spouse and her mindset. Having been married for some time
>one learns the assumptions and world view of one's spouse. If you then heard
>a statement made by her that was in gross contradiction to everything you
>knew she stood for you would know to look for a means of interpreting the
>statement in a way that would allow it to remain consistent with what you
>know to be true about her. This would not be dishonest. In fact if you know
>your spouse well it would be the only valid way of properly understanding
>the statement.
>R. Kook was a proponent of this approach believing that there are certain
>assumptions with which the Torah operates that are so self evident they
>didn't need to be stated. I recall once in the Gush both Rashei Yeshiva were
>asked what the halacha would demand were one at risk for starving to death
>and being able to eat either pork or a human corpse. R. Lichtenstein said
>that the corpse should be consumed as it consitutes the lesser issur. R.
>Amital quoted R. Kook that the pig should be eaten as cannibalism is assur a
>priori to the Torah and is so self evident that it did not have to state the
>prohibition. (A poor analogy to this idea would be whether belief in God is
>commanded by the Torah. Those who argue that it is not commanded state that
>it is an obvious a priori belief that predates the commandmants. Without a
>mitzave there cannot be mitzvot. Similarly there are assumptions that
>predate the commandments and must be understood when reading the Torah).
>Such a concept of halachik intuition can clearly be abused by those with an
>agenda. The possibility of abuse does not, however, invalidate the
>legitimacy of such a concept. I don't have a clear picture of all the
>requirements one needs to have to be able to have halachik intuition but I
>can probably recognize someone who's missing them. It is of course clear
>that what to one person is intuitive is to another ludicrous. As David Shatz
>once wrote "what to one person is reductio ad absurdum is to another in
>hachi nami!" The fact that there might be differences of opinion as to what
>would be "halachikally intuitive" also does not invalidate the concept.
>Best regards

RAF's response:

>Dear Maier,
 You have not answered my basic contention and that is that
"Halakhic intuition" cannot be better than Nevuah, about which we say "Lo
baShamayim Hi." Indeed, even Le-Atid lavo, many indicate that when
eliyahu hanavi returns he will resolve issues by solid proof -- not by nevuah.
 If absolute truth is determined by sanhedrin, how is it that they
ever bring a Korban on a mistake! I may be bound to act like them, but I
don't have to believe they are right. Thus a zaken mamreh is not
obligated to believe that sanhedrin is correct -- he only has to act as
they rule!! This is a question of Psak (how to act) -- not emes.
 warm regards

RAF responding to RMP:

>Dear Reb Melech,
>Thanks for writing again. I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion!
>Yiyasher Kochacha!
>At 02:12 AM 08/16/2002 -- 0400, M. Press wrote:
>M. Press, Ph.D.
>Professor of Psychology, Touro College, 1602 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY 11230
>718-252-7800, x 275
>Dear Aryeh,
>Clearly I was insufficiently clear in my post and I will try to clear up
>misunderstandings. I will also raise some further questions about your
>Looks like I also was not clear enough. perhaps i was using psychological
>jargon without knowing the exact meaning.
>Did you really mean to say the following?
> What is nevuah if not Cognitive knowledge without proof.
>If so, you have asserted that every human being is a navi and that much,
>if not most, human cognitive activity is prophecy. I find it hard to
>believe you meant that. I would assert that nevuah is cognitive activity
>in which either the content is directly communicated by God or it is at
>least the result of a direct divine inspiration manifesting itself in
>cognitive, affective or perceptual dimensions. All mental activity of
>non-divine origin is not nevuah.
>What I wanted to say is the following. If the ultimate criterion is
>knowledge of haShem's will, then how is nevuah different than intuition.
>In bona fide nevuah I know for sure! Intuition, at most, is only a very
>educated guess.
>Secondly, lo bashamayim has nothing to do with human judgemental
>processes. It is highly likely that many, if not most, judicial decisions
>are based on interpretations not subject to explicit proof. That does not
>mean they are irrational (which seems to be your implication) but rather
>that they are the products of probabilistic reasoning rather than
>algorithmic problem solving. Certainly much of psak is the result of
>disagreement in the interpretation of sources that have no obvious correct
>meaning. The issur is to claim divine origin for a psak, not to rule out
>any form of human thought.
>Logic also plays a role in Halakha. After all "Sevara de-Oraita hi." So
>arguing that an explanation or derasha is illogical -- also carries weight.
>That to my mind is not an issue of intuition but of seikhel haYashar.
>Third, your assumption below that a gadol had a proof is exactly the issue
>under discussion. We do not necessarily make any such claim (though I am
>not disputing the possibility of taking such a position). We claim that
>authority in our system is rational and thus capable of being defended by
>appropriate arguments. This is not the same as saying that the person who
>arrived at the decision was necessarily aware of those arguments. That is
>exactly the point of the psychologists to whom I referred. They have
>demonstrated convincingly that much cognitive activity goes on outside of
>our awareness and that persons often don't know the reasoning processes by
>which they arrive at a conclusion. That is very different than maintaining
>that they got there based on itches in their left toe. The Chasam Sofer
>did not mean (if he ever said what is attributed) that he paskened based
>on aesthetic preferences, but rather on what he intuited to be correct.
>My point was merely that intuition is often the result of a well-reasoned
>but temporarily unconscious operation. One might note that Rav Moshe has
>said similar things.
>Here you make an interesting point: the difference between explicit proof
>and unconscious proof. But I argue that until the proof is explicit, the
>ruling has no binding quality of halakha. This I believe is pshat in what
>R. Elaxar ben azariah meant when he said "lo zakhiti she-teameir Yetsiat
>mitsrayim ba-leylot, ad she-darsha ben Zoma". As long as he only intuited
>the answer, but could not prove it, he could not make his opinion
>acceptable or part of the halakhic process. What he did personally, is of
>no concern or binding nature for others -- it's not part of the halakhic
>process which relies on hard evidence -- not "boikh sevarot" (gut feelings
> -- intuition, no?!) or even bona fide nevuah!
> Sometimes we act in a particular fashion because of a
> mesorah or the psak of a gadol -- but here we assume that he had a
> proof. But The Hatam Sofer paskening based on his feelings without
> convincing proof is no different than nevuah.
>As to point below, it is not the issue at hand. I have read Lampel's book
>and like it, but it does not address the aspect of the issue that I spoke
>about. I did not question that there is an a priori truth that God
>initially intended. I just raised the possibility that it is also his will
>that we decide, and that after we decide, using our bekhira, the decision
>is not merely a psak but it is also God's perception of what is now
>"truth." By the way, I agree with you; I'm simply arguing that one can be
>a rationalist and still agree with YGB.
>Here we clearly disagree. I believe that there is an absolute divine Emes.
>Psak is different; it is a question of how I should act when I don't know
>what that absolute Emes is. There are rules (including lo bashamayim hi) -- 
>and if I follow the rules then I am doing what Hashem wants of me -- even
>if it is not according to the Emes. That's what tanur de-bei achnai is all
>about. God revealed the Emes to us in a bat Kol=nevuah. The rules say lo
>ba-Shamayim hi. Hence Knowledge of the the Divine truth obtained this way
>is inadmissible proof. We follow hard arguments and logic. That's why
>hashem said "Nitzhuni banai". HaShem attempted to sway psak by
>transmitting the correct answer via nevuah. R. Yehoshua and the Rov
>paskened that this is against the rules: such prophetic knowledge is
>inadmissible evidence in psak. When it comes to action -- we are required
>by hashem to follow the rules of Psak even if it doesn't coincide with the
>absolute truth. That's pshat in "Al yamin she-hu smol..." The psak is
>Sheker! But that is what we are bidden to do! And if at a later time
>sanhedrin discovers its error it will have to bring a Korban on its Error.
>This itself proves that what Sanhedrin pasken's does not ex cathedra
>become the divine truth!
> As to one truth vs multiple truths -- please read R. Tzvi Lampel's
> book "The art of Dispute".
> Emes is what Hashem intended.
>Agreed, but, as noted above, it's not so clear what he intended. Did he
>want us to agree with him or to use our own judgement?
>Both. But the latter has priority over the former. See above.
>And if we don't agree, then what? The term "netzakhuni" does not readily
>lend itself to your interpretation if all that it means is that we are
>bound to follow their error (even so, I'm inclined to read it your way).
>See above.
>Psak is how we function in our attempt to approximate the Divine will.
They don't always coincide, since humans are not perfect. And hashem took
this into account when he declared "lo bashamayim Hi".
>Again, not at all obvious; just as possible that the divine will is that
>we do our best to develop the system regardless of what he originally intended.
>Agreed. But that does not turn a Divinely wrong decision into Emes
>Note that if the Sanhedrin Paskened wrong -- it doesn't then become
>right because of their psak. They even have to bring a Korban Hatat!
>No one asserts that Hazal can't be wrong, as witness the gemara in Yevamos
>as well as your citation. There are, however, different kinds of decisions
>with different statuses -- dvar mishnah, shikul hadaas, midrash halakhah,
>etc. The rules of error apply to some but not all of these, leaving us
>room for our discussion.
>Kol Tuv and Shabbat Shalom

 From Prof. Levi:

>To: R' Gavriel Bechhofer & R' Aryeh Frimer
From: Yehudah Leo Levi
>Re: Can halakhah dictate reality?
>Here are a few relevant sources:
>Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 4:2 (a similar passage in Tractate Sofrim 16:5):
>Said R' Yanai: Had the Torah been given decided, we wouldn't have a leg to
>stand on. Whence? "And Gd spoke to Mosheh." He said before Him: Master
>of the World, tell me what is the halakhah. He responded "Decide according
>to the majority."... So that the Torah be interpretable 49 ways tamei and 49
>ways tahor.
>Re R' Frimer's claim about RYTBA's opinion being 'da'at yachid' I fear
>that this is not true. RaN (Derashot 7 s.v. ve'akhshav) writes, referring
>to Bava Metzi'a 86a: "Even though they knew that, in truth, the doubtful
>case was tahor, they said "tamei" because halakhic decisions were put
>into their hands, and their reason compelled them to declare tamei, it is
>appropriate to be tamei, although it is the opposite of the truth."
>The only Rishon I found implicitly contradicting is Rashi (Ketuboth 57a,
>s.v.ha ka mashma lan). Perhaps also RaMBaN (Devarim 17:11).
>R' Ya'akov Kamenecki (Emet LeYa'akov, Emor, begin.) has an original and
>very appealing explanation of the enigmatic bat-kol's endorsement of Bet
>On the whole, if we consider that psychological factors may play a major
>role in the effectiveness of halakhah, it should not surprise us to find
>opinion influencing its final form.
>The issue of halakhah impacting physical reality is another question. The
>only Talmudic source for this that I am aware of, is the famous
>Yerushalmi: "if Bet Din declared a leapyear etc.". It might be argued
>that this is meant "Bitmihah" a rhetoric question, a challenge, rather
>than a statement. While I do not have a good interpretation, it seems
>difficult to build an extremely fundamental concept on this single
>statement, especially, since in the related question of "gadlut" (i.e.
>puberty), the age is not decisive at all. In addition, the Jerusalem
>Talmud is notoriously badly edited and full of textual errors. All the
>other sources cited are based on Kabala, the key to which has been lost to
>us for many generations, at least in the opinion of many of our greatest
>authorities (cf. my "Facing current Challenges", Essay no. 60).
>Hopefully the above is useful to some of you. Bivrakhah, Yehudah Levi

 From RMB in response to RAF above:

>We haven't had a chance to chat in Torah in quite some time and I'm glad
>we have the opportunity to do so now.
>As I said I believe that in order to address the questions you raise we
>need to define several terms which I realized in your response to my
>letter are clearly insufficiently clarified.
>Objective truth: By this I refer to God's initial intent with regard to a
>mitzva. How, kaviyachol, does God understand a particular mitzva.
>The only way to know the objective truth is through nevua.. No human
>endeavor can uncover the Divine will.
>Ratzon Hashem: By this I refer to what God wants from us. In my letter I
>argue that God does not want us to perform the objective truth unless he
>revealed it to Moshe (halacha le'moshe mi'sinai). Any subsequent
>revelation (to another navi or via miracles or bat kol) is immaterial
>with regard to how we are to act. In the story of Tanur shel Achnai no one
>questioned the presence of the bat kol or the miracles R. Eliezer
>performed. No one questioned that R. Eliezer had uncovered the objective
>truth. The message of the story is that the objective truth is not germane
>with regards to normative halacha. Halacha demands that we use our human
>faculties to arrive at the proper conclusions. If we have utilized our
>human faculties properly then the conclusion we arrive at is the Ratzon
>Hashem although not necessarily the objective truth. Our conclusions may
>in fact be known to contradict the objective truth (as in the story of the
>tanur) but that again in immaterial.
>The next definition will, I hope, offer a solution to at least the second
>set of questions you raised to my letter.
>Truth in psak: Our job is to use our human faculties to come to a truthful
>conclusion. By truthful I do not mean one that is consistent with
>objective truth. Rather, I refer to the proper use of source material,
>logic, and precedent; all tools that are available to humans without the
>use of Divine intervention. If I provide you with a good sevara it is emet
>and if I provide you with a krum sevara it is sheker. But the emet to
>which I refer is not the emet of objective truth. It is the emet of human
>endeavor. We may both espouse opposing views based on an analysis of
>sources regarding a particular halacha. I may be convinced that my sevara
>is emet and you may be convinced that yours is emet. Neither of us think
>(or for that matter care) that the emet that we espouse is the objective
>truth. In fact if I (like R. Elieazer) could prove to you that I had
>arrived at the objective truth by invoking God's "opinion" you would
>rightly tell me that God's opinion is not relevant to the discussion and
>you still uphold your view of the emet. Those who argued with R. Eliezer
>about the tanur would have gladly accepted arguments he may have advanced
>based on logic and sources against their position. In fact, had he shown
>them to be at variance with a dvar mishna they would have been forced to
>agree with his position. He would then have shown them to have been
>proposing a position that, based on human understanding, is sheker. But no
>one would claim that the dvar mishna is objective truth since Tannaitic
>sevara that generated the mishna has validity even if it contradicts
>objective truth.
>Said somewhat differently, when you ask whether a Bet Din can err, and
>indeed it can, its error must be a result of faulty logic or human
>methodology. If such an error exists, and they agree that it exists, then
>they must reverse themselves. If a talimid chacham is certain that the
>majority erred and the majority continue to disagree then halacha demands
>that the talmid chacham follow in practice an opinion he knows to be
>sheker. He is convinced that his opinion is emet but again, not objective
>truth. Indeed, he will remain convinced that his opinion is emet even if
>the majority are able to solicit a bat kol to agree with them. God's
>objective truth is not the emet to which the talmid chacham/posek strives
>to attain. He strives to attain an emet based on his human faculties even
>if they lead him to an opinion contrary to objective truth.
>Now on to the issue of halchik intuition:
>I think we both agree that a posek is not a computer. All the wonderful
>stories about R. Shlomo Zalman relate not to his breadth of knowledge or
>analytic skills (I'm certain both were quite formidable) but to his
>incredible sensitivity, compassion and understanding. These latter
>attributes are not based on cold logic or an analysis of seemingly
>contradictory source material. Rather, they are based on an understanding
>(what I call intuition) as to the rhythms and mindset of halacha. The
>attainment of this intuition is through the study of torah itself and
>development of an understanding of the halacha through human faculties. No
>one would claim that R. Shlomo Zalman's highly developed sensitivity was a
>form of nevua. Nor would R. Shlomo Zalman himself claim that sensitivity
>is an external trait he brought to psak because he happened to be a really
>nice, sensitive person. I believe R. Shlomo Zalman felt that he had
>learned to understand that compassion was part of the fabric of halacha.
>The rules of it's application and scope are not based on solid proof.
>Knowing how to apply sensitivity requires great intuition but not prophecy.
>One additional point. While it is true that Eliyahu Hanavi will adjudicate
>halacha based not on nevua but human psak I don't think he will rely on
>logic, or in your words, solid proof, alone. I would certainly hope that,
>like R. Shlomo Zalman, Eliyahu will be a sensitive and compassionate
>posek. Like R. Shlomo Zalman, Eliyahu will need great intuition and wisdom
>(not just logic or analytical skills) to arrive at psakim acceptable to
>Neturai Karta, Lubovitch, Modern Orthodoxy, Maier Becker and Aryeh Frimer.
>Best regards to your crew

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 09:59:09 -0400
From: "Sholem Berger" <sholemberger@hotmail.com>
LeDovid Hashem Ori

What is the origin (chronological and otherwise) of the recitation of
this kapitl Tehilim during this time of year?

Thank you.

Sholem Berger

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 10:14:41 EDT
From: RaphaelIsaacs@aol.com
Re: LeDovid Hashem Ori

>>>What is the origin (chronological and otherwise) of the recitation
of this kapitl Tehilim during this time of year?<<<

I think a good place to find out would be in Shaar HaKollel by Rabbi
Lavut, a great-grandpa of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I don't have one, but someone else might...


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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 15:10:13 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: LeDovid Hashem Ori

In a message dated 8/20/02 10:09:01am EDT, sholemberger@hotmail.com writes:
> What is the origin (chronological and otherwise) of the recitation of
> this kapitl Tehilim during this time of year?

According to the Nitei Gavriel it's first mentioned in the Sefer Shem Tov 
Katan (printed 5466) (to say until *after* Simchas Torah). and that this 
seems to be the Mokor for the Siddurim of R' Shabsai and R' Yaakov Kopil, it 
is likewise brought in the Sefer Shaarei Rachamim (R' Chyim Cohen talmid of 
the RaCHaV) page 22a, the Mateh Efrayim (581:10) says that the custom is 
based on the Medrosh Shochar Tov that Ori goes on Rosh Hashana Yishi on Yom 
Kippur and that Ki Yitzpineni Bsukoi is a Remez to sukkos, (this may be 
support until end of Sukkos Hoshana Rabba).

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 14:22:15 -0400
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: siddur RY Emden

In a message dated Mon, 19 Aug 2002 7:58:43am EST, RaphaelIsaacs writes:
> As was discussed in the "MB and Psak" thread, sefarim usually evolve in
> their usefulness far beyond the author's wishes and intent.

Imagine that, a Text Evolving beyond its original Concevived scope!

I am beginning to wonder if it is possible that Moshe Rabbeinu would
have been surprised by some of Rabbi Akiva's Chidushim <big grin>

Ksiva Vachasima Tova

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 14:37:06 -0400
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: The MB and psaq

In a message dated Sun, 28 Jul 2002 01:28:15 +0200, Daniel Eidensohn
yadmoshe@012.net.il writes:
> Igros Moshe OC V 13.9 page 26 he refers to the Chofetz Chaim as "Maran
> Doros Basrai B'Hora'os Orech Chaim".

Even conceding this to be a given {which I am not so sure is the case}
would you be happy with learning Yoreh De'ah with the Shach and w/o the
Taz based upon the idea that after all the Shack is a basr'ai kengged
the Taz?

I suspect not. Just for the sake of diversity and for being thorough
the usual system has been 2 no'sei kelim throughout.

Being totally steeped in the MB's derech w/o knowing AT LEAST on other
derech {EG Aruch Hashulchan} will tend to blind one to the sublties re:
when the MB is being mainstream or when he is being a Da'as Yachid etc.

Ksiva Vachasima Tova

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 15:33:52 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: women driving and kli gever

In a message dated 8/20/02 10:09:03am EDT, gershon.dubin@juno.com writes:
> Tefilin are an article of clothing: one can wear them if found in the
> street on Shabbos. So are kelei zayin-if they were not an embarrassment
> per the Mishna in Shabbos, they would be derech malbush.

> So it is restricted to (a broad definition of) clothing.

Actualy it isn't restricted to "clothing" see Y"D 182 refers to hair
styles (or lack of hair), looking into mirror, while these have to do
with the person him/her self, see Darkei Tshuva Ois 10 WRT a man fanning
himself with a feminin fanner, or a woman using a cane, the criteria is
if it is meant Lshem Kishut of the opposite gender it is Ossur.

WRT Tfilin the Shiurei Bracha (Ois 2) asks on the Targum Yonoson from
the Gemara (Eiruvin 96) that the Chachomim were not Mocheh on Michal
Bas Shoul for putting on Tfilin, however perhaps for her it can be
considered a Geder of Refuah (Cholas Ahava) which would have removed the
Issur, which also explains why WRT Hanachas Tfilin the reason brought
to be Moche is due to Guf Noki, (while OTOH there is room to argue that
instead of mentioning an external issue, we bring Minei Ubei).

However WRT finding Tfilin in the street on Shabbos the issur mentioned
is Hotza'ah not Lo Silbash, but there too Issur Shabbos (Asei and Lo
Sasei and Skila) is Chomur then Lo Silbash (Lav and Malkus).

There would be a Nafka Mina WRT Michal Bas Shoul if she found Tfilin
on Shabbos.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 18:54:14 -0400
From: Turkel Eli <turkel@icase.edu>
elu v-elu

I enjoyed reading agin RYBG article on chumrot - thanks to him- and
agree with much of it.
However, I still have some questions.

1.When taking chumrahs to satisfy all possible opinions brings to greater
awe of Hashem I agree that this is an admirable trait. However, some
poskim eg MB take this as a standard psak for everyone.
As an example MB discourages the use of a linen beged with wool tzizit
even though the Ramah allows it. This would seem to apply even in the
summer when a wool talit katan can be quite hot. Why should we have a
general chumrah like this for the general population (We have discussed
that other poskim may disagree - but that is not relevant to my question)

2. In a recent Daf Yomi Rava was cursed by a woman when he followed
the position of Shmuel against Rav. The curse that his boat should sink
indeed happened. The Ritva explains because Rava should have paskened
like most other amoraim like Rav.

I am confused by this. The Ritva himself was the one to brought the
shitah of multiple possibilties of truth. Since Shmuel is a legitimate
opinion and Rava is an amora what can't he pasken like a minority view
and it also be a correct viewpoint?
This is not the same as paskened against the gemara in accordance with
a minority view. In fact many times an Amora will pasken even like a
minority view of Taanaim and certainly can back a minority of earlier

If there is only one truth than G-d punished Rava because he picked
the wrong ruling. But if all legitimate views are okay than why was
Rava punished?

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 15:20:07 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
More on Sechar, Onesh, and Hashgachah Peratis

RDK wrote the following for last week's Toras Aish. Please CC him on
any further conversation.


Taking a Closer Look
Rabbi Dov Kramer

"Fathers should not be put to death because of [their] sons, and sons
should not be put to death because of their fathers; [each] man should be
put to death for his own sin" (Devarim 24:16). Rashi says that the first
part of the verse refers to testifying against a child or parent, while
the last part teaches us that a child is not held accountable for the
sin(s) of the parent (or a parent for the child). The Talmud (Sanhedrin
27b, upon which Rashi is based) asks how this can be reconciled with a
verse that says, explicitly, that a child will suffer the consequences
for the parent's sin. When the prohibition against idolatry is mentioned
in the "ten commandments," we are warned that G-d will "remember the sin
of the fathers against sons, against the third generation and against the
fourth generation" (Shemos 20:4).). Which is it? Do children get punished
for what their parents did, or does one only suffer the consequences of
his (or her) own actions?

The Talmud answers that if the subsequent generations continue the
same sinful behavior, they will suffer because of the parent's (or
grandparent's, or great-grandparent's) sin. If, however, they do not
commit the same sin, they cannot be held accountable for it.

While this may explain how the verses are not contradictory, it does not
explain how, even if the actions are the same, the responsibility for
them is placed on subsequent generations. The son that sins should have to
pay for his own actions, whether his father was also bad or not. But why
does he have to suffer more just because his father was also a sinner?
If anything, one whose father was righteous and still deviated from his
upbringing should be punished more than one who is just doing what he
saw in his own household!

The Even Ezra (Shemos 20:4) explains that G-d does not exact punishment
right away. Instead, He waits, so that the sinner can repent, and have
a son who is better than he is. If, by the fourth generation, there is
no better offspring (as they all transgress the same sin), He no longer
waits, punishing the fourth generation, and thereby eliminating any
remembrance of the four sinning generations. The fourth generation does
not get a worse punishment than was deserved; rather G-d was merciful
in not punishing the earlier generations.

The Ramban (ibid) doesn't like this approach, for a couple of
reasons. First of all, the verse implies that the punishment for the
sin(s) of the first generation is exacted upon the second, third and
fourth generations, not just on the fourth. Secondly, the context of
this "pekidah" (taking note of, i.e. remembering) is that of trying
to convince us not to sin. It would be inappropriate to mention one
of G-d's attributes of mercy (not exacting punishment right away, see
Shemos 34 :7) as motivation for not going astray. Additionally, our Sages
(quoted by Rashi to Shemos 20:5) tell us that from this verse and the
one following it (that thousands of subsequent generation will benefit
from good deeds) we learn that G-d's reward is 500 times greater than
His punishment (2000:4). If the punishment were only to one generation
(the fourth), and not to all four, the ratio given is way too low!

Therefore, the Ramban understands this verse as referring to (possibly)
punishing all three subsequent generations, depending on when the
sin-limit is reached. This limit is not dependant on number of
generations, but severity and amount of sin. (See Sefornu to Shemos
34:7, that the limit is when there is no longer any real possibility
of repentance, which doesn't usually occur until there are generation
after generation of sinners.) This sin-tolerance limit may be reached
by the second or third generation, but will not go past the fourth.

This may explain why the son (or grandson or great-grandson) might
suffer more than the previous generation(s) (as the limit hadn't yet
been reached), but the good:bad ratio would still be, at worst, 2000:3
(not 2000:4). It also still seems strange that the one who initiated
the sinning ways does not get punished (during his lifetime), while one
whom we might consider a "tinok she-nishba" (infant taken captive into
an idol-worshipping family) does.

The Ralbag (Shemos 20:5) explains that punishment comes in one of two
ways. Either G-d punishes directly for the sin committed, or G-d's
punishment takes the form of the removal of His divine providence over
the sinner(s). When G-d is no longer directly involved in a person's
life, he is subject to the consequences of happenstance. Once no longer
protected through divine intervention, the resulting consequences can
affect subsequent generations. The Ralbag uses the exile as an example:
The generation that sinned caused the exile, but their children and
grandchildren lived in the same exile, even though they didn't commit
the kind(s) or level of sin that would cause the exile in the first
place. Another example might be the loss of value in a retirement
account; not only will the retirement no longer be as comfortable,
but the children that may have gained because of a family fortune can
no longer benefit from it. If the children regain the level of divine
intervention, any negative effects will be countered, and they can enjoy
the benefits of G-d being directly involved with them. But even if they
do not re-attach themselves to G-d, the Ralbag continues, the negative
effects of happenstance ("mikreh") do not usually last more than a few
generations. The positive effects of G-d's divine providence, on the
other hand, can last for thousands of generations. (This last point is
reiterated in lesson #7.)

If the punishment is a direct one, while still under G-d's divine
providence, the level of punishment depends on how deeply embedded the
sinful nature is. Therefore, a first generation sinner doesn't need that
strong a "slap" to mend his ways. However, as each generation continues
to sin, it becomes more and more rooted in their character, requiring an
even rougher treatment to reawaken them, and to remove the problematic
disposition. This type of "punishment" (direct, rather than through the
removal of divine providence), the Ralbag says, is what the Talmud is
referring to when it differentiates between those that continue in the
sinful ways of their parents and those that do not. While the subsequent
generations do "suffer" more than the generation that first sinned,
it is for their benefit, as a means of bringing them closer to G-d,
rather than being just a punishment.

It is always important to consider the consequences of our actions. When
we realize that they affect, sometimes to a large extent, not only
ourselves, but our future generations, we can appreciate how great the
imperative is to follow His will. May the upcoming New Year bring an
end to our exile and the beginning of G-d's providence over the world
becoming evident.  2002 Rabbi D. Kramer

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