Avodah Mailing List

Volume 10 : Number 113

Wednesday, February 26 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 12:40:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Midvar Sheker Tirchak

Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@actcom.co.il> wrote:
> Actually, if you look at Rashi, the Gemara is going even further than 
> that. For the eid to actually testify would be an issur of giving 
> false testimony. Midvar sheker tirchak means that the talmid cannot
> even go to court and stand there without saying anything AS IF he 
> were a second witness. 

I believe that is the next case in the Gemmarah.


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Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 22:42:08 +0200
From: "gofman" <mgofman@zahav.net.il>
Re: apikorsus

RMFeldman 1:
> Do you truly believe that a person's surroundings have no impact on the
> way he paskens? I have to say that to my recollection, all the professors
> at Bernard Revel, including Dr. Chaim Soloveitchik and Dr. David Berger,
> would disagree with you.

The Chazon Ish was specifically referring to accusing a talmid chochom
of paskening based upon negiyos. Negiyos could include monetary gain,
self justification, personal vendetta... Everyone agrees to the concept of
mevaze talmid chacham and the gemara states that such a person qualifies
as an apikores. The professors at Bernard Revel would agree that the
concept of mevaze talmid chochom does exist. My original objection to
RRW was his accusation that talmidei chachamim poskened a certain way
to justify their own lifestyles. The implication was that had they been
modern professionals, they too would be willing to say the truth about
the rambam. Does that not qualify as mevaze talmid chochom. Would the
aforementioned professors argue?

RMF4, continued:
> WADR, the CI is not the last word on apikorsus and reflects a world view
> colored by the belief in daas torah (very strong Divine influence on poskim
> and gedolim).  I believe that professors at Bernard Revel would argue that
> *everyone* is influenced by their surroundings, preconceived notions, etc.

Why not ask Dr Chaim Solovechik himself whether accusing the Kesef Mishna,
Aruch Hashulchan, Mishna Berura, and Rav Moshe of manipulating the Rambam
to justify themselves would be legitimate.


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Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 23:07:30 +0200
From: "gofman" <mgofman@zahav.net.il>
re: rambam yisachar zevulun

R David Riceman wrote:
>1. Why does the Rambam not mention the option of Talmud Torah for schar
>in H. Talmud Torah

I maintained that the Rambam was only assuring someone who throws
himself onto the tzibbur, i.e., the kesef mishna's main pshat in the
rambam. Consequently, there would be no reason to mention schar since
the rambam is only saying what is assur.

>the Rambam defines how to get to Olam HaBa in the proper place (H.
>Ysodei haTorah 4:9)

I repeat my earlier assertion that the rambam is not saying the
exclusive way of reaching olam haba. The discussion there is very
specific- should a person devote himself to learning nigleh or nistar.
The Rambam concludes that the main schar is for nigleh; therefore,
a person should devote himself to that.

>the relationship between mitzvoth and knowledge in H. Deoth 3:1-3

The rambam in h. deos is not refering to mitzvos rather how to approach
mundane matters and be "mekadesh" them.

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Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 22:42:22 -0500
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Re: Self Evident Apikorsus

a correction. As RDE points out I inadvertently conflated two separate
issues. In b'reishis 18:22 the issue was rashi's understanding of
tiqqun sof'rim. the other mareh moqom was b'midbor rabboh (and ovos
d'rabbi noson) where the issue was the aggodoh relating ezra's putting
"editorial" dots in the torah. It was only the latter item which IM
insisted must be a forgery.

RGil's rejoinders -- which I will comment briefly -- rather miss the
point. I have not presented any sort of "consensus" position with these
quotes (though some, contra Rgil, do represent the "majority"). It is
rather that such opinions are expressed at all by significant talmidei
chakhomim with, lets call it at least as much bona fides as Rgil to
determine what is k'firoh and what isn't. but "muskam" is irrelevant.

RGil:<<... is kefirah.It does not make, say, R' Yehuda HaChasid a
kofer retroactively. Nor does it make him or anyone who holds like him
incorrect. It does, however, give anyone who holds like him the status
of a kofer (although other issues such as tinok she-nishbah need to be
taken into account). >>

There is something a bit eyebrow raising in the spectacle of areivimites
now issuing p'soqim on what is k'firoh and what isn't. I propose we rather
stick to our traditional list specialties of character assassination
and mind reading, and not branch out into the pasqening business.

> 1. i'm not really sure if these letters/words were actually part of the 
> original torah text, so lets just mark them for later removal or 
> confirmation.

1. Ezra Hassofeir, per B'midbor rabboh (3:14), also ovos d'rabbi noson

RGil: << If taken literally. And we certainly know that not all midrashim
are meant to be taken literally.>>

Quite misses the point. The "historicity" of ezra's remark one way or
the other is irrelevant. What is relevant is the casual propagation of
this aggadah by the chazalic sources who did not gasp in astonishment
at the self-evident apikorsus of such a notion of ezra's powers.

> 2. of course the bible critics are quite correct. the torah does contain 
> many contradictory versions from different perspectives that are not 
> harmonizable as the traditionalist approach has it.
> 2. R. Mordechai Breuer

RGil: <<Oversimplification. I don't think that anyone would consider RM
Breuer to be a kofer.>>

No, it's not. In fact, if I do say so myself (and I do) it's a rather
good summary of R. Breuer's position. If you think otherwise I invite you
to actually read R. breuer (article in the volume on Modern Scolarship
and Torah Study, or something like that, in the Orthodox Forum series)
and point out any of your conjectured versimplifications. Don't think
you'll find them.

And of course no one considers R. Breuer a kofer, which is the entire

It is only your own presumption that if we can't "explain away"
or otherwise wave off these quotes that the speaker would have to
be accounted a kofer. However, to allay your concerns a bit about
R. Breuer let me also mention that (somehow) he also believes that all
these contradictions noted by the Bible critics were built in from the
beginning and thus are all Mosaic. He was subsequently attacked for
this notion by, amongst others, prof leiman who accused R. breuer of
"giving away the store" to (Higher) Biblical Criticism.

> 3. to say our torah is like moshe's torah should not be understood 
> literally, because it isn't. rather it should be understood in the general
> sense, i.e. it is for all intents and purposes the same as moshe's.
> 3. R. Yaacov Weinberg z"l (late rosh yesivoh of ner israel)

RGgil: <<In a popular work that was intentionally vague and overly

There you go again with "overly simplified." I'm tempted to ask just what
part of "should not be understood literally" (an almost direct R. Weinberg
quote) don't you understand, but exercise restraint. R. Weinberg, as was
his wont, was neither vague nor inaccurate. He simply had a different
perspective than you espouse here, but despite this, it hardly needs
saying that he wasn't a kofer.

>6. Ezra changed words of the torah, but that only restored the original 
>jversion which moshe had.
>6. halivni

<<Only PARTIALLY restored the original version. Halivni holds that we
still do not have the original version.>>

As I mentioned before, I haven't actually read this source and abstract
entirely from the editorial quotes provided previously on this list,
fully recognizing just how authoritative those are. However if rgil
is correct about the "partially" it merely throws this source in more
direct agreement with #s 7, 9, 10.

> 7. the sof'rim changed words of the torah
> 7. Rashi

<<Not a davar muskam by ANY means. Mizrachi the super-commentator,
for example?>>

There's that "muskam"stuff. As explained earlier this misses the point.
Its enough that some opinions held this to be the p'shot to make the
point being pursued by this posting. In any event, what makes you think
this is not the majority opinion? I could have mentioned the arukh and
sh'mos rabboh as explicitly holding this opinion as well.

> 8. there really is no religious objection to investigations of Lower
> Bible Criticism (i.e. those that deal with purely textual-girsoh issues).
> 8. R. Hirschenson, Malki Baqqodesh

<<I would be interested to know if there was even one chapter in
that sefer that did not get severely criticized throughout the Torah
world. Look at some of the letters he received in response. And we
only know the ones that he printed. By the way, in vol. 4 there is a
fascinating letter from his mechutan, R' Tzvi Pesach Frank, in which
he gently lectures R. Hirschenson about not disregarding shitos of
rishonim and, derech agav, gives some history on the founding of the
Edah HaCharedis.>>

Again misses the point. It matters not that R. Frank may have disagreed
with him about this or other assertions in the sefer. It matters that
a respectable talmid chokhom espoused such opinions. BTW, apparently
Minchas Shai was also a believer in Lower Biblical Criticism, else our
torahs today would look much different than they do.

> 9. of course there are verses in the torah that are post-moshe (and not 
> just the joshua 8 or 12)
> 9. Ibn Ezra, rasbam, R. avigdor

<<I don't know about the latter but the former is not a davar muskam.>>

the latter is a rishon. But again you try to fall back on "muskam". It
simply doesn't matter that some may have understood this differently --
though here i think you just might find a majority understanding it
the way I've suggested. You are also under intellectual obligation to
understand things yourself no matter what somebody else thinks. Reading
ibn ezra it is also my personal opinion that this is the correct peirush
of his words. Try it yourself.

> 10. anshei k'neses hagg'doloh wrote some parts of chumosh
> 10. Midrash Tanchumo, R. Yehudoh Ha'chosid

<<The former, lav davka.>>

No, davka. What's the problem? While not everybody has a r yehuda
he'chosid document lying around, you can easily check the tanchumoh on
b'shalach and verify the assertion.

> 14.  you know, that version of the torah which the Rambam himself had 
> was not identical to our own.
> 14. R. Yaacov Kaminetzky

<<I believe that this was regarding one letter, right?.>> No. that is
wrong. In fact in Emes L'yaacov R. kamenetzky also footnotes a biblical
critcal source. But again why are you having a problem with this?
Quotations in tos indicate they were looking at a version different than
chazal and from our own.

BTW, If you find 1-14 a problem, then you should also find disturbing
the fact sifrei torah in use by halakhic communities today (Ashkenazi,
s'faradi, Yemenite) differ by more than choseir-moleh or even
p'tzuoh dacoh. (though why that too seems somehow not problematic
is puzzling). They also differ by use of a different word (b'reishis
8:29), open and closed poroshios, word joinings, and a couple of other
things. perhaps R. Weinberg and R. Kaminetzky even knew this. To suggest
that these are all minor deviations would be correct -- but deviations
they are. One wonders how they got there.

I have elsewhere bemoaned the narrow educational exposure afforded by
so many of our traditional institutions of learning. This is not their
"fault" as they are concentrating on other matters -- usually straight
g'moroh. But if the talmidim do not encounter matters outside this
traditional orbit, such as inyonei mesorah -- and most of them do not
-- then they may wind up both ignorant of important torah matters, and
simultaneously convinced they are extremely knowledgeable. charges of
k'firoh often follow. (i exempt Rgil from the ranks of the unknowlegeable,
perhaps he just likes a good debate). such as it was, that was the point
of this little quiz.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
michael.frankel@osd.mil		W: (703) 845-2357

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 08:28:58 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
FW: Rav Moshe and Conservative rabbis as witnesses

> From Rav Daniel Eidensohn 
> I had been told that a young lady whose parents had been remarried after 
> being married by a Conservative rabbi and it was therefore had a question of 
> mamzerus. R' Moshe told her that she was not a mamzer because the parent's 
> marriage was posul because of the chazaka that the Conservative Rabbi was 
> not shomer shabbos. She being very frum investigated and found that the 
> rabbi was in fact shomer mitzvos. When she called back to announce her 
> discover R' Moshe was very upset and said that there was nothing he could do 
> for her now. 

The story makes no sense, and is therefore of suspect authenticity.

There was very much RMF could do for her, which is to be mevarer, if possible, 
who were the witnesses. 

Indeed, that a CR is passul l'eydus is only helpful if the CR serves as an
eid kiddushin, or if the umdena is muchach that he used passul witnesses.

Thus, the whole story is clearly incomplete and not at all of halachic 
significance. Aside from the fact that it is hearsay. 

Perhaps you might call R' David or R' Reuven Feinstein and they might
be able to help you find some support for your argument. Hatzlacha.


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Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 17:22:32 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@fandz.com>
Airev Rav?

Interesting comment (which I don't recall hearing before) from the
Chadrei Chareidim site to which RSBA gave a pointer [on Areivim -mi]:

[Translated by me]

"The idea that an Airev Rav will rule the land (EY) before Mashiach
comes is mentioned in the Zohar several times and also the Gaon MiVilna
wrote it. These things are as clear as the sun and are not in the sky,
that those who rule now are the Airev Rav, and the more they pressure
and oppress faithful Jews, their merits will expire earlier hastening
the Geula."

Anyone have a source for the Zohar and Gra he's referring to? 

-- Carl
mailto:cmsherer@fandz.com      mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 20:00:04 +0200
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamy@hotmail.com>
Edah conf. - agunot panel

Yitzchok Zlochower wrote <<the Rabbi is a quite elderly and frail-looking
gentlemen. No one, I am sure, would want the responsibility of provoking
him and possibly causing a health crisis>>

If I would have been on the panel, I would have delighted in provoking
a health crisis for Rackman. The damage he causes in deceiving married
women that they aren't is incalculable.

Akiva B.

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Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 19:40:38 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Rav Kook, Separatism, and PSL

[From an Areivim conversation. If people would kindly post here the
relevent parts of their post as I will probably not get around to bouncing
the thread. -mi]

It is important here to distinguish between the issue of yetziah from
Knesset Yisrael (KY), which was the issue that faced RAYHK in the 1920's,
and the Austrittsgemeinde issue of the 1860's. This is a very core issue
which reverberates till today, as we shall see.

To wit, the Gemeinde in Frankfurt and elsewhere was a group of Jews
which emblazoned Reform Judaism on its banner.

KY, OTOH, was the religious arm of the Yishuv He'Chadash in EY. The
yishuv as a whole did not embrace Reform Judaism. It embraced Zionism.

This is a very, very important distinction.

The argument can be made - and was made - that it was forbidden to remain
an affiliated member of the Gemeinde when that embraced Reform as its
"official religion," even though it made accommodations for the Orthodox;
but that it was not forbidden to remain part of the Yishuv (or KY)
which to the extent that it embraced any religion, embraced Orthodoxy
(as RCS put it earlier: "The shul I do not go to is O.").

RAYHK fought the battle against yetziah from KY - which is, of course,
exactly what the Eidah Charedis did. This is the separatism that he
opposed. There is no source in RAYHK, to the best of my knowledge,
to say that if one lives in a community where there is only a Reform
synagogue that one must affiliate with that temple (as RMS's casting of
RAYHK's position would have it). And, of course, there is no precedent
anywhere to sanction the taking of a leadership position in a C seminary.

Now, the Gemeinde O Rabbonim, many of them great talmidei chachomim,
went beyond RAYHK and took the position that even a community that has
taken the banner of Reform as predominant need no longer be considered
as a Chillul Hashem if it was willing to provide equal support for the
O, who would remain a distinct entity within the general community. I
believe they were in error, but kevodam be'mekomam munach. The religious
institutions, however, were to remain wholly and completely separate -
and did. Which is why Gemeinde O and k"v RAYHK's anti-separatism hoht
gohrnisht tzu tohn mitt nidon didan.

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org  or  ygb@yerusalmionline.org
essays, tapes and seforim at: www.aishdas.org;
on-line Yerushalmi shiurim at www.yerushalmionline.org

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 18:36:49 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com

In a message dated 02/23/2003 9:42:43 PM EST, Joelirich writes [in reply
to RCS -mi]:
>>  I don't know where you heard that. The crockpot psak was issued about 
>> four weeks before Rav Shlomo Zalman was niftar (maybe less). It is 
>> true that there were American poskim who tried to talk RSZA out of 
>> issuing the psak, but that had nothing to do with how widespread 
>> crockpot use was - it was because they told him that Rav Moshe and 
>> Rav Yaakov had seen crockpots and approved of them...

> From a tape of a hilchot shabbat shiur given in a Yeshivat Hesder - I will 
>contact someone there B"N to get permission to disclose the exact source.

The source is R' Asher Balanson who gives a hilchot shabbat chug at Yeshivat 
Shaalavim - he heard it from Rav Neuvirt author of Shmirat Shabbat 

Joel Rich

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 14:55:57 +0200
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamy@hotmail.com>
Rambam and Yissachar Zevulan

Following the recent postings on RMG and negios in psak, it seems to
me that there are 2 separate issues here, one that RMG is talking about
and one that people are replying to. Based on my close association with
poskim, I have found that half the job of paskening is to understand the
sugyos, and half is to make sure that you are being absolutely honest,
i.e., without personnel negios. This depends entirely on the Yiras
Shomaim of the posek. This is how I have understood RMG. A separate
issue is to take into account local circumstances, cultural values and
relevant technology in determining what the Halocho is. This can only
be done by someone who is familiar with the above. This has nothing to
do with negios, and is not what the Chazon Ish (and RMG) is dealing with.

Akiva B.

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 19:20:01 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Austritts: The Klausenberg Controversy, from our own RDG

Reposted from Areivim, with addendum 

We will come to the Netziv later. First, as to the DR issue, it had
nothing, according to our very own RDG, to do with Austritts. V'harei
shelcha lefanecha


David Glasner, great-grandson of RDavid Glasner, great-grandson of
R. Moshe Shmuel Glasner, is an economist with the Federal Trade Commission
in Washington, D.C.

    Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner, The Dor Revi'i 
In the spring of 1922, about to realize his lifelong dream of aliyah to
Israel, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner (1856-1924), z.l., addressed some
10,000 well-wishers at the Klausenburg (Cluj) train station, before
taking leave of the city that, for over forty years, he had served as
Chief Rabbi. Having witnessed the inhuman brutality and carnage of World
War I, the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the downfall
of the Hapsburg dynasty under whose protection Hungarian Jewry had long
survived and even flourished, and sensing the rising tide of nationalist
passions surging through Central Europe, R. Moshe Shmuel implored
his flock to follow him to Israel while they still could, "because,"
he warned, "there will come a time when you will want to leave, but you
will no longer be able to." With what anguish and pain must those who
heard, but did not heed, those prophetic words have recalled them when
the awful moment came when they did want to leave, but no longer could.[1]

When R. Moshe Shmuel left Klausenburg forty-four years after succeeding
his father, R. Avraham, as Chief Rabbi, he occupied by virtue of office,
family connection, and scholarship, an undisputed position among the
rabbinical elite of the early twentieth century. A great-grandson of the
Hatam Sofer, and author of several renowned scholarly works, especially
his commentary, Dor Revi'i, on Hulin, R. Moshe Shmuel's greatness was
acknowledged by such Lithuanian gedolim as Rabbi Haim Ozer Grodinsky,[2]
R. Meir Simkha Hacohen of Dvinsk,[3] and, of course, Rabbi Abraham Isaac
Hacohen Kook, alumnus of the Volozhin yeshiva, the fervent admirer and
devoted friend of R. Moshe Shmuel. A skilled and sometimes acerbic
polemicist,[4] possessed of a magisterial bearing and countenance,
R. Moshe Shmuel never shrank from halakhic or communal controversies.
Although his scholarship and distinguished lineage gave R. Moshe Shmuel
considerable latitude to take controversial stands in such disputes,
neither his family connections, his personal stature, nor his learning
could shield him from the violent reaction to his outspoken Zionism.
Deeply moved by the writings of Theodore Herzl, R. Moshe Shmuel
enthusiastically embraced Zionism, undeterred by the nearly unanimous
opposition of the Hungarian Orthodox rabbinate. When the First World
Mizrahi Congress was held in Pressburg in 1904, most of the leading
Hungarian rabbis denounced the Congress for aiding secular Zionism.
Almost the only Hungarian rabbi at the Congress, R. Moshe Shmuel,
in a memorable address, defended both Zionism and Mizrahi, rebuking
those who portrayed the effort to reestablish the Jewish homeland as
inimical to Orthodoxy. Estranged from his colleagues in the Hungarian
rabbinate, R. Moshe Shmuel endured the unbridled vilification and rage of
the extreme anti-Zionists in defiant isolation -- but never in silence.
He spoke out ceaselessly on behalf of Zionism and Mizrahi, and shortly
before his departure for Israel, he wrote a final work on Zionism and
faith, arguing that it was the anti-Zionists who, in denying the national
aspect of Judaism, had deviated from Orthodox principles.[5]

So vicious was the abuse visited on R. Moshe Shmuel that in 1923, Rabbi
Kook rose to his defense in a famous open letter.[6] By demeaning a
sage of R. Moshe Shmuel's stature ("gadol ha-dor b-Torah, b-hokhmah,
b-yirat shamayim, u-b-zkhut avot, u-b-midot t'muriot"), his attackers,
irrespective of the merits of their case, had mounted an attack against
the Torah itself.

Not even in Klausenburg was R. Moshe Shmuel secure from the anti-Zionist
vitriol. Numbering about 20,000, the Jews of Klausenburg were divided
into separate Orthodox and non-Orthodox communities.[7] In Klausenburg,
as in most of Hungary, Hasidut made only limited inroads among the
Orthodox who clung to the teachings of the Hatam Sofer. However,
late in the nineteenth century the westerly migration of Polish Jews
brought many Hasidim into Hungary, especially into Transylvania on
Hungary's eastern border. Unwelcome in most Hungarian communities, the
newcomers were received cordially by R. Moshe Shmuel,[8] who even asked
visiting rebbes to address the community in his own synagogue on the
Sabbath.[9] However, most[10] Klausenburg Hasidim, incensed by R. Moshe
Shmuel's Zionism, established a separate community of their own in 1921.
They chose as their spiritual leader a young rabbi already noted for
his militant anti-Zionism, Rabbi Yoel Teitlebaum. From his residence in
Satmar, where he as yet occupied no official position, Rabbi Teitlebaum
waged a fierce personal campaign against R. Moshe Shmuel. Unrelenting,
Rabbi Teitlebaum continued his battle, after R. Moshe Shmuel's departure,
against his son and successor, R. Akiva, even though R. Akiva, seeking
reconciliation, never openly expressed Zionist sympathies.[11]


[1]. This scene has been described to me many times by my father who,
as a boy of six, witnessed it from the train that took R. Moshe Shmuel
on the first leg of his journey to Palestine.
[2]. See Introduction by Rabbi Yekutial Klein to Sh'eilot u-T'shuvot
Dor Revi'i, vol. 2, quoting R. Haim Ozer on R. Moshe Shmuel's unsurpassed
mastery of the Rambam.
[3]. Oral communication to me from the late Rabbi Abraham Klein about the
tribute R. Meir Simcha paid to R. Moshe Shmuel upon meeting Rabbi Klein's
father, Rabbi Shlomo Menachem Klein, R. Moshe Shmuel’s son-in-law. Rabbi
Aaron Paperman of the Telshe Yeshiva, who was a student in Telz in the
early 1930s, has also told me of the extraordinary impression that the
Dor Revi'i made when it reached Telz. See also the letter of R. Moshe
Feinstein to R. Abraham Klein published in Sh'eilot u'T'shuvot Dor Revi'i.
[4]. R. Moshe Shmuel realized that his strong language sometimes gave
offense, but he felt compelled to disagree emphatically with opinions or
arguments that could not be rationally defended. See R. Moshe Shmuel's
introduction to his pamphlet, Or Bahir, (Sighet, 1908) which reproduces
his letter to an unnamed rabbi who questioned his strong criticisms of
the Divrei Haim's [R. Haim Halberstam of Zanz] stringent opinions on
the laws of mikvaot. See also below note 8 and p. 16.
But with all the honor and homage that I feel in my soul for the glory
of [the Divrei Haim's] greatness, I do not find it any way belittling
or dishonoring to write that one of his rulings . . . was erroneous if
the truth . . .forces me to do so . . . This was the practice of the
Rishonim and many of the greatest Aharonim, who, concerned only about
the truth, annihilated and demolished . . . the words of others without
pity and without asking pardon . . . So we find many times in the Talmud
and the Rishonim astonishing things, as Abaye said about R. Avin,
Pesachim 70b, and the like. Who can count the similar expressions in
the Ra'abad's glosses on the Rambam and the Rashba's in the Mishmeret
Habayit against the Bodek Habayit of the Ra'oh, and the Ramban against
R. Zerachiah Halevi? . . . And should you say that in this late
generation, they have veered from this path and speak with greater
humility . . . do you really believe that we are more humble and more
civil than our forefathers and teachers . . . ?
Heaven forbid. The only reason for this is that in our generation
the truth has been debased and that no one cares for it as in earlier
generations. On this account, flattery has been magnified, and the
poisoned fruit has ripened to speak one way and to think another.
So the land has become full of flattery with various exaggerated
descriptions that terrify the ear that hears and the eye that reads."
[5]. Der Zionismus und Zeine Nebenersheinungen im Licht der Religion,
(Klausenburg: 1920). Edited and translated into Hebrew by Naftali Ben
Menachem with the Hebrew title Ha-Tsionut b-Or Ha-Emunah, Jerusalem:
Mosad Harav Kook, 5721.
[6].  Originally published in Yishuv Mishpat (Klausenburg, 5682/1922). 
[7]. Separation of the communities was allowed by the Imperial government
in 1869, at the behest of the leading Hungarian Orthodox rabbis, after the
non-Orthodox faction took control of the official religious institutions
in many cities and suppressed Orthodox practices in the name of reform.
[8]. My father, Rabbi Juda Glasner, has told me that, as a token of
appreciation, one of these rebbes gave R. Moshe Shmuel a shtreimel, which
he used to wear at home on the Sabbath and holidays. He wore the shtreimel
publicly only once -- when accompanying a dangerously sick person to the
hospital in an ambulance on the Sabbath. 
[9]. On one occasion, the speaker declared the ritual bath, whose
construction R. Moshe Shmuel had overseen, to be halakhically invalid.
R. Moshe Shmuel, who had followed the opinion of the Hatam Sofer in
designing the ritual bath, walked out in protest. To defend the opinion
of the Hatam Sofer against that of the Divrei Haim (on the basis of whose
authority the ritual bath was challenged), R. Moshe Shmuel published
his monograph Ohr Bahir.
[10]. A number of the rebbes who had settled in Klausenburg remained
loyal to R. Moshe Shmuel. In a show of support, they wrote an open
letter opposing any split in the Orthodox community.
[11]. Rabbi Teitlebaum issued a declaration invalidating any legal
action, halakhic decision, or sh'hitah carried out by the official beit
din of Klausenburg presided over by R. Moshe Shmuel and later by R. Akiva.
Even after his nephew, Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam succeeded him
as leader of the Klausenburg Hasidim, Rabbi Teitlebaum continued his
personal onslaught against R. Akiva, even rebuffing R. Akiva's entreaty
for reconciliation when they were both prisoners at the Bergen-Belsen
concentration camp. See Rabbi A. A. Y. Miller, Olamo Shel Abba (Jerusalem:
Hod, 5744) p. 336. Ironically, years later, after leaving Brooklyn to
establish a settlement in Israel, Rabbi Halberstam was subjected to a
similar campaign of vilification by his uncle.


To this RMS responded: 
> The very learned article by RDG is of great interest (I believe he
> wrote something similar in Tradition). However, it is irrelevant to
> our discussion. It tells us about the DR and the sociological and
> historical background of the attacks on him.

> However, the question is how RAYHK perceived them - and in his article,
> published by him in his lifetime with his permission, he focused attention
> on the issue of austritt as the defining issue. The question was R
> Teitelbaum's attempt to discredit the DR - which used the background
> of austritt and the "issur" to associate with avaryanim and their
> institutions - and RAYHK used that background in his tshuva.

> The DR may well have phrased his own defense in ways that didn't involve
> the issue of austritt - but that is a different discussion.

To which i now respond: 

Well, I guess you will have to fax me RAYHK's letter, becaue I am hard
pressed to believe that in defending the DR in his battle against the
future SR that RAYHK addresssed the irrelevant issue of Austritts.
[Telephone number deleted. -mi]


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 19:27:18 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Austritts: The Netziv

Variation on a theme posted to Areivim: 

The irrelevance of the Netziv to the issue of Austritts is apparent if
you look at the teshuva (MD 1:44). He is addressing a community where
the Rav and Rashei ha'Kehilla are shomrei Torah u'mitzvos - i.e., the
community is not one in which Austritss is required - and admonishing
them not to forsake their R brethren but be mekarev them by setting up
Torah education (even including limudei chol) under their auspices to
educate the non-O. Outreach.

The Netziv in this teshuvah has no discussion about about common

THe teshuva also cannot serve in any way as a basis for RMS's original
premise that there was some precedent in Gemeinde/Netziv/DR issues for PSL
to serve in JTS. Nothing about teaching in their institutions. Aderaba,
the education must be under the supervision of the Rav and thr Kahal.

I can't even see the teshuva as pro-Gemeinde! But, as I noted, the
Gemeinde Rabbonim, zt"l. would never have entertained the notion that
they serve as precednt for PSL at JTS!


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 08:14:58 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Austritts: Netziv and Separatism Redux

Firstly, let me note that an essay concerning the Netziv and separatism,
and a translation of Meshiv Davar 1:44 by R' Joseph of Montreal may be
found at:


I did not check the translation for accuracy.

R' Joseph's essay is focused on proving the Netziv's positive attitude
towards avaryanim. What he does not highlight is what I have noted
earlier, i.e., that this is vis a vis individual sinners and cannot be
taken as an endorsement of the Gemeinde position.

Indeed, R' Joseph does note MD 1:9, but does not focus as much on that
short teshuva as on the much more elaborate 1:44. Teshuva 1:9 would make
RSBA proud! It might even have been written by the Minchas Eluzor. I have
attached it in RTF, which will not help Avodah readers, but can send it
to all those who want it and will not have received it with this e-mail
(I tried to cover all the regular Avodah posters that are in my Eudora
address book).

In it the Netziv says, concerning what seems to be the Bilu'im ("Bais
Yaakov"), that one may not count them in a minyan, nor join with them
in any matter of Avodas Hashem (joint activities for Yishuv EY?). Even
though one cannot avoid them one may not go hand in hand with them,
meaning that while one cannot avoid commercial activity with them, it
is forbidden to join in partnership and friendship with them. Although
one should not combat them because it says "Al tischar im Merei'im,"
one must be very careful not to stumble in their society "Ki zeh shoresh
poreh rosh v'la'anah."

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org  or  ygb@yerusalmionline.org
essays, tapes and seforim at: www.aishdas.org;
on-line Yerushalmi shiurim at www.yerushalmionline.org

Go to top.


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