Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 073

Wednesday, January 7 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 15:16:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Gam zu l'tova & Bechira

Sholom Simon <sholom@aishdas.org> wrote:
> My 10-yr old son raised an interesting philosophical problem last
> night.
> How do we reconcile "everything is for the good" with "free will"?

> At a given point in time, I am faced with choice A or B. How can it be
> that if I pick A over B, that is for the good; but if I pick B over A,
> that is also for the good?...

Gam zu l'tova is kind of like making lemonade out of lemons.

This question is one of those philosophical conundrums. I'm not sure it
is answerable to your son's satisfaction. Ultimately one may ask this
question of the holocaust: Is that Gam zu l'tova as well? Co-incidentally
this very question is addressed by R Chaim Keller in the most recent JO.

The idea expressed by Gam zu l'tova is that in God's universal plan
everything is ultimately for the good. That is, that as far as His
divine plan is concerned, the result of our earthly actions are for
the good... and therefore for our good as well, even if we cannot
understand it.

Although it isn't always the case that we can see how something so
apparently bad is Gam zu l'tova... sometimes we can. This can be
illustrated by the following.

When my father passed away a few years ago, it was a very sad day.
None of us (his family) could understand why a vital man albeit elderly
who brought anyone whoever met him joy and happiness on a regular and
constant basis was taken from us somewhat suddenly by a deadly infection
that overwhelmed his system. He was a "young" and sprightly eighty seven
year old who walked a brisk mile everyday.

We all wondered how my mother would survive as he took care of her
every need and she took care of his. He did not live to see any of
my four children get married and have children of their own (12 and
counting). How can this be Gam zu l'tova?

It is now eleven and one half years later. My mother suffers from a
debilitating mental disorder that would have caused my father immeasurable
suffering had he lived to see even the onset of it shortly after his
Petirah. He was spared this anguish. Until his death he had lived a full
and active life. Although having suffered great pain and loss during the
holocaust years most of the rest of his life post holocaust was filled
with tremendous Nachas from his two holocaust surviving children and
one new one. He saw my two brothers marry and have 8 wonderful grand
children from them. He saw my four children grow and become his great
pride. He served as an role model for all of us and there are now many
great-grandchildren and others that bear his good name, including two
of my own. So his death while sad and inexplicable at the time seems a
bit more understandable now. He lived a very rich and satisfying life,
fulfilling God's Tachlis for him and was spared the suffering he most
certainly would have gone through had he lived to see and care for my
mother as she now continues her slow descent into a mental abyss. So
in the end, one can say about his death at that moment in time: Gam
zu l'tova.

Your question about the bechira aspect, links it to that other great
conundrum: "everything is foreseen yet there is freedom of choice".
Perhaps the following rationale can be applied. When bad choices are
made by man, God "sees to it" that even though it may seem bad now,
ultimately Gam zu l'tova as part of his divine plan.


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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 20:23:31 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Gam Zu LaTovah and Bchirah

How do we reconcile "everything is for the good" with "free will"?
There are a number of "answers" , none of which are totally satisfactory
because of the complexity of the question and because the issue arises
in the context of theodicy /Holocaust/suffering type discussions. Here
is a small summary which I am sure many will elaborate upon:

1) HaShem lets us exercise good will to make the right or wrong choice
( attributed to R Velvel ZTL)

2) There is evil in the world that is here, regardless of how the
cause. Our job is to try to eradicate it ( RYBS in Kol Dodi Dofek)

3) We have a complete choice to be in our own lives as good as Moshe
Rabbeinu or as bad as Yeravam ben Navat . Our sins impact on a macro and
micro level with respect to Klal Yisrael ( See SR and RYH on the Shoah)

4) That which appears at first glance to us to be evil may be good in
the long run (REED)

5) HaShem constricts Himself in order to allow man to fully do right
or wrong ( Tzimtzum based on Rashi on Chet HaEgel and Moshe Rabbeinu's
request to be told how HaShem functions).

These are a few theories which I believe other list members may feel
free in disputing or elaborating upon. Hope that I was of help. Sounds
like your son has a sensitive personality to his surroundings.

Steve Brizel

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 01:38:53 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Final redemption requires a suffering tzadik?

On Mon, Jan 05, 2004 at 07:36:22PM +0200, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
:                            Within this same category, however, there is
: a class that is even higher than this. There is suffering that comes to
: a Tzadik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones
: discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to
: bring about the chain of events leading to mankind's ultimate
: perfection....

It's the Besh"t's peshat in chevlei mashiach.

Hopefully that's enough to prod RYZ into giving a mar'eh maqom.

More, from <http://www.torah.org/learning/hamaayan/5758/tzav.html>:
> Chazal say: "The Todah will never cease to be brought." R' Aryeh Levin
> z"l (died 1969) asks: Why is this a happy tiding? The korban todah is
> brought, after all, by one who has been saved from danger! If the todah
> will never cease to brought, that means that people will never cease to
> find themselves in danger!

> R' Levin answers: When Pharaoh refused to release Bnei Yisrael from
> Egypt and instead decreed that they work harder, Moshe asked Hashem
> (Shmot 5:22-23), "Why have You made things worse for this nation?"

> Hashem answered him, "You will see!" He meant: You will see, Hashem
> told him, that from every tragedy comes something good; from exile and
> persecution comes redemption.

> The midrash says that when Yosef died, the Jews wanted to assimilate into
> Egypt. Hashem therefore made the Egyptians hate the Jews, thus causing
> the Jews to reunite and to support each other. This is an example of how
> good - the continued existence of the Jewish people - came from bad -
> the Egyptians' hatred.

> So, too, Chazal say that the gift of Eretz Yisrael is acquired through
> suffering. The Torah (Devarim 8:5) tells us, however, that it is the
> type of "suffering" which a loving parent imposes on a child for the
> child's own well-being. (Quoted in Ish Tzaddik Hayah p.303)

> Why is it that Eretz Yisrael can be acquired only through suffering? Why,
> similarly, do Chazal say that the gift of Torah is acquired through
> suffering? What kind of gift is that?

> R' Yehuda Alkali z"l (of Saraevo; 1798-1878) explains that the holiness
> of these gifts requires that man be purified before he receives them. The
> purpose of suffering is to break down man's material nature. (Darchei
> Noam: Introduction)


Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905      

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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 18:44:29 -0500
From: "Rabbi Baum" <RabbiBaum@ketertorah.org>
Role of Emotion in RYBS

The Rav put great emphasis on emotion in Avodat Hashem. See Hesped for
Rebbetzin. I have many more citations available.

Shalom Baum

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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 21:21:49 -0600
From: "Shlomo Argamon" <argamon@argamon.com>
RE: RYBS conference

On 6 Jan 2004 at 10:16, Eli Turkel wrote:
> 7. The Rav claimed his students had an intellectual attitude to
> Yiddishkeit and not enough emotional. It was pointed out that in many
> of today's yeshivot the exact opposite is true. There is emotion but
> not enough interest in the deep gemara learning.

From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@fandz.com>
: This is a very curious comment coming from someone whom we would all
: classify as "Brisker." Any more details?

I can't comment on that, but here's a relevant (possibly garbled by me)
story that I heard a bunch of years ago from R. Aaron Batt who was in the
Rav's shiur and witnessed it: One day a particular fellow was chosen to
be the one reading through the sugya, and the Rav wanted to cover ground
through the aggadeta, and so urged the guy to read faster and faster,
and so he was just blazing through the text. He then read through a
story where an Amora's rebbe had died, just as fast as before. The Rav
gave a big klap and yelled: "Ferd on a harts!! His rebbe just died,
and you just keep on reading?" Suffice it to say, I don't think that he
was a "typical" Brisker... (Of course, the poor guy got the nickname of
"Heartless Horse" thereafter...)


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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 11:11:18 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
RYBS conference

On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 08:54:46 -0600, Avodah wrote:
> Does RET recall what RAL said at the conference ? WAR to R Greenberg
> and R Korn, their remarks neither appear to be born out by the historical
> record nor the views of others such as R D David Berger who are also aware
> of and involved with ecumenical type forums. There is also zero proof
> that RYBS either modified his views on entering a shul without a mechitza
> or on the deviationist nature of R and C. IMO, the inclusion of RYG and
> R Korn on these issues was an exercise in LW & PC revisionism. ...
> Notwithstanding the reluctance of RAL and RHS to dally in the
> philosophy of RYBS, IMO, their respective opinions as to the legacy
> of RYBS should carry more weight than the other speakers at this well
> meant conference. In fact, if you listen to RYBS's 1975 shiur on Gerus
> to the RIETS alumni, RYBS himself mentioned that he has been a rebbe
> or a RY for the greater part of his adult life, as opposed to a Jewish
> philosopher....

1. This was a 3 day conference which had mainly academics as speakers.
for the debates RAL, R. Sherlo were invited and at the last minute R.
Ziegler from the Gush. Both RAL and Tova came for their talks only and did
not attend the full 3 day sessions. RAL gave his talk on modern orthodoxy
and did nor refer to any other speakers. He left shortly after his talk
to be mesader kiddushin.

2. No one cliamed that RYBS changed his psak concerning the C movement
(in fact it was asked if he ever discussed differences between R and
C). R. Greenberg did indicate his personal displeasure with the psak
but clearly stated that was his own opinion and not that of RYBS.

3. R. Korn discussed relationships with the catholic church not R or
C. Again, he never claimed that RYBS changed his mind. On the contrary
he lamented that even though RYBS seemed to allow dialog under certain
conditions this was never taken up by the RCA. There was a detailed
talk of the different approaches of Heschel and RYBS. What R. Korn
did claim was that the historical background has changed and so even
according to the psak of RYBS increased dialog with the church should be
encouraged. Changing history is different than claiming that RYBS changed
his psak. In fact after about 1968 RYBS never dealt with the issue again.

Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 07/01/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 04:08:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: RYBS conference

Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>: This is a very curious comment coming from someone whom we would all
>: classify as "Brisker." 

> "We would all"? I already went on record both on mail-jewish and here
> with the opinion that RYBS was /not/ a classic Brisker. His limud Torah
> was bederekh Brisk, at least in his regular shi'urim (as opposed to
> public speechs). But a true "Ish haHalakhah" never would have taken the
> step back to write a book like "Ish haHalakhah". His publications and
> public speeches used Brisker chaqiros to frame answers to the more
> Telzer question of "Why?" He wasn't satisfied only studying Brisk's "How?"
> of halakhic mechanics.

I don't know that one can apply the term "Brisker" to anything other
than one's Hashakafos HaChaim. But I propose that it quite possibly
can. In a nutshell it is about how one interacts with his encounters
in the physical world. Its intellectual "motor" is the Brisker Derech
in learning.  This does not preclude one from writing a treatise on
the subject so that others can understand Halachic man's essence and
they too can become Halachic Men. The religios mind encountering the
cognitive encounter with philosophy is perhaps also a manifestation
of Halakhic Man's encounter with his environment ie the development
of thought in the service of God. It is also possible that no one
ever became the perfect Halachic men and that that is only the model
for man to strive for.


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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 01:40:50 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 10 Teves doche Shabbos

On Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 09:20:16AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: Rav Weiss said that the Abudraham had two chiddushim here:
: 1. That Asara b'Teves isn't nidche, which he learns from a pasuk which
: lichora isn't going on Asara b'Teves, but on the date on which the walls
: of Yerushalayim were surrounded (and he certainly could not be doresh a
: gzeira shava with the "etzem ha'yom ha'zeh" that's written by Yom Kippur
: because the Abudraham could not be mamtzi a gzeira shava by himself).

Even Chazal couldn't make a gezeira shava from Na"kh.


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Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 09:52:41 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Asara b'Teves on Shabbos - Part 2

For those who missed Part 1, you may want to go back and read it [see
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol12/v12n071.shtml#10> -mi]. I should
stress (and should have stressed yesterday) that any mistakes are mine -
not Rav Weiss'. And that this is a totally unauthorized translation of
his shiur....


The Minchas Chinuch in Mitzva 301 asks on the din of the four tzomos being
deferred because of Shabbos. The din of Oneg Shabbos is itself Divrei
Kabbala* (it's learned from the pasuk in Yeshayahu "v'karasa l'Shabbos
oneg v'li'kdosh Hashem m'chubad") as are the four tzomos ["Tzom HaRevii,
v'Tzom HaChamishi..." C.S.] and therefore it seems that we should just say
"shev v'al ta'aseh adif" and push off the fast altogether (i.e. not defer
it, but not fast any year that it falls on Shabbos). The Minchas Chinuch
is m'chadesh that when the pasuk in Zecharya says "tzom ha'rvii v'tzom
ha'chamishi..." it's fixing MONTHS for the fasts, but not DATES within
those months. The dates were fixed mi'divrei sofrim and therefore they
are not doche Shabbos because divrei Kabbala (from whence we learn Oneg
Shabbos) is more chamur than Divrei sofrim. The exception to this is Asara
b'Teves, where, as already noted, it says "b'etzem ha'yom ha'zeh" so that
ASARA b'Teves and Oneg Shabbos are both m'divrei Kabbala and therefore
we do not defer Asara b'Teves. And therefore the Minchas Chinuch posits
"shev v'al ta'aseh adif" - that in a year where Asara b'Teves comes out
on Shabbos, we don't fast at all rather than deferring it.

Rav Weiss didn't like this chidush because he said that it doesn't make
sense that only the months for ta'aniyos would be fixed, but each person
would be able to decide for himself what day of the month. Even though
it appears that the Minchas Chinuch was m'chaven to the Tashbetz 2:278,
there is a big difference between them. The Tashbetz writes that although
the Neviim were m'saken in which months the fasts would take place, they
left it to Chazal to decide which days in the month. But the Tashbetz
would not allow each person to decide for himself on what day to fast
as the Minchas Chinuch seemingly does.

Similarly, we find in the Ritva (Ta'anis 28b and Rosh HaShanna 18b),
who asks how Chazal could have fixed a fast for the 17th of Tamuz after
churban Bayis Sheini when the wall of Yerushalayim was breached on the
9th of Tamuz in the times of Bayis Rishon [and presumably they fasted
on the 9th of Tamuz between the two churbanos C.S.], and he answers that
since the wall was again breached in the month of Tamuz in the times of
the second Beis HaMikdash, it was impossible not to fast on the day of
that breach. Chazal felt it would be too difficult to fast both on the
9th and on the 17th of Tamuz, and since Churban Bayis Sheini was newer
and more chamur for the people, and since they knew that the Neviim had
made a gzeira of a fast in Tamuz and had not fixed a day for it, they
made it on the 17th. But Rav Weiss felt there was no indication whether
the Ritva was holding like the Tashbetz or like the Minchas Chinuch.

We find some support for the Minchas Chinuch in the Yerushalmi at the
beginning of Megilla, which says that all of chodesh Adar is kosher for
reading the megilla, but that case is different too because l'chatchila
Chazal were m'saken the 14th and 15th of Adar and everything else is
b'dieved and that's different from saying that each person can choose
a day of the month as the Minchas Chinuch is saying with the fasts.

And another question is that the pasuk in Yechezkel is going on the
day of the siege and not on the day of the fast as noted (in his first
objection to the Abudraham - see yesterday's post).

The Kiryas Sefer tries to understand in the Ohr Sameyach (Ta'aniyos 5:6)
that although it is an issur Torah to fast the entire day on Shabbos,
that is only if one fasts the entire day, but if one fasts only part of
the day, that is only an issur d'Rabbanan, and therefore the fast could
be doche Shabbos since it starts only from alos ha'shachar and therefore
the mitzva of the fast from divrei Kabbala could be doche the issur of
fasting d'Rabbanan. [And this would answer why the Abudraham could say
that Asara b'Teves would be doche Shabbos. C.S.].

But (the Rav noted that he had not seen the Kiryas Sefer inside)
the Kiryas Sefer is difficult because clearly one who fasts from alos
ha'shachar to tzeis ha'cochavim is m'vatel the mitzva of Oneg Shabbos
and the mitzva of three seudos (and it seems that if he were to fast
the entire Shabbos, the 'd'oraysa' he would be m'vatel is the mitzva
to eat three seudos), but maybe the Kiryas Sefer meant the mitzva of
"mikraei kodesh" which is brought in the sifra - this has to be checked.

The Ramban in Toras Adam writes that the four tzomos all should have one
din and should start from sundown as Tisha b'Av starts. But after Churban
Bayis Sheini the people only accepted to fast from sunrise, except on
Tisha b'Av where "tachfu tzoros" and therefore it's not dependent upon
"ratzu mis'anin ratzu ain mis'anin." If this is the case then you can't
use the Kiryas Sefer to answer the Abudraham (and say that the Abudraham
is talking about a time when the fasts are not dependent on the people's
will) because in that case either the fast would start Friday at sundown
(and would come up against a d'oraysa against fasting on Shabbos) or
you have to say that the fast is dependent on the will of the people
("ratzu mis'anin, ratzu ain mis'anin") in which case it could not be
doche Shabbos.

The Achronim are nistapek whether under "ratzu mis'anin ratzu ain
mis'anin" whether it's mitzvas neviim, divrei sofrim or minhag b'alma. The
Aruch LaNer (Rosh HaShana 18b) is nistapek in this question, the Minchas
Chinuch says it's d'Rabbanan and see also the Mishkenos Yaakov OH 149.

But the Tur 150 says it's mitzvas neviim and says "Hilcach ha'kol chayavim
l'his'anos mi'divrei Kabbala u'mi'takonas neviim." So writes also
the Tashbetz. You have to say that according to them, the Neviim made
their takana dependent upon the consent of the chachamim of subsequent
generations - im ratzu mis'anin, and if they accept to fast then
it's considered as if m'divrei Kabbala despite the role of subsequent
generations in fixing the fast, and if they don't want to, they are
completely patur. According to this, the Ohr Sameyach, who says that
even when the fast is dependent on ratzu, it is still doche Shabbos and
m'divrei kabbala, makes sense [recall that the Ohr Sameyach tried to prove
from the Gemara in Eruvin 40b that Asara b'Teves is doche Shabbos. C.S.].

More later bli neder.

-- Carl

* It's important to note here that Divrei Kabbala = Divrei Neviim,
i.e. that it's written in the Navi as opposed to Divrei Sofrim which
comes later and is on a lesser level. You have to keep these distinctions
straight to understand much of what follows. C.S.

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

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 01:45:52 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 10 Tevet

On Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 10:41:01AM -0500, Jonathan Baker wrote:
: So I've got a question that has nothing to do with dechiyat shabbat.
: One of the things that 10 Tevet mourns is the translation of the Torah
: into Greek. How do we square this with the clearly positive assessments
: of the Greek language and the Greek translation in Megillah 8b (Mishnah)
: - 9b?

Perhaps the difference is in the purpose of the translation.

The LXX was made under duress imposed by someone who was looking to
accrete Judaism into the Hellene religion. Presumably the megillah in
question was made to enable Jews who were deprived of their knowledge
of Hebrew by the effects of Hellenic culture on the Jews.

Compare/contrast it with our arguments over Mendelsohn's Biur vs RSRH's


Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905      

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 01:49:55 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Pronouncing Het (and other letters)

On Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 06:12:36PM -0500, Seth Mandel wrote:
: I appreciate the efforts of people to pronounce ehad correctly. However,
: there are lots of other words to be pronounced correctly in Sh'ma'....

However, "echad" in particular comes with recommended kavanos for each
letter. There is therefore a semantic difference between giving more time
to the ches and thoughts of Hashem being the sole Source of 7 reqi'os
and aretz and spending the time on dalet and thoughts of His rule over
the human space of 4 compass points. This debate gets into being able
to balance thoughts of transcendence vs those of immanence!

See, I can make anything difficult.

That said, I do try to be careful with the other issues RSM lists.


Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905      

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Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 19:52:39 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zsero@free-market.net>
Re: Some historical thoughts re Chanuka

Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 04, 2004 at 02:31:40AM +1100, SBA wrote:
>: He says that the Chashmonoim, who were tzadikim, insisted on keeping
>: mitzvos even during their wars. Therefore when - lemoshol - they had to
>: eat, they spent time looking for water for netilas yodayim, they had
>: to take time off war to davven 3 times a day, they had to seek Kosher
>: food and similar restrictions and extra needs - all because they were
>: 'Tahorim, tzadikim and oskei sorosecho'.

> Isn't someone who risks the lives of himself and others when halakhah
> doesn't call for it the definition of "tzadiq harebei"? What gave them
> the right lismokh al haneis?

This also seems to go directly against Matisyahu's position in favour
of fighting on shabbos (1 Maccabees 2:31-44). Perhaps the distinction is
direct pikuach nefesh v general inefficiency caused by mitzvos. When the
Yevanim attacked on shabbat, the choice is stark: fight or be killed,
and Matisyahu said they must fight, and not be moser nefesh. Similarly,
I'm sure the opinion cited above would not claim that the Chashmonaim
would wander off in the middle of a battle to daven, or put on tefillin,
etc. But when there is no actual battle going on, a soldier has a choice
whether to take time from training, sleep, etc, for these things, and a
choice to devote time and resources to mitzvos may make him less efficient
a soldier than he might otherwise be. An army that does so ought on
average to be less efficient than an opposing army that doesn't, and
therefore ought, bederech hateva, all other things being equal, to lose.

BTW, R Aviner explains the opinion of the other side, the ones who refused
to fight on shabbat, and were killed. I have seen some who interpret
this as meaning that Matisyahu was mechadesh the law of pikuach nefesh,
and even that this is an early example of Reform, ch"v. R Aviner explains
that the opponents also knew that pikuach nefesh doche shabbos, and in
an ordinary war they would have fought on shabbos. But they were not in
a war. They fled to the mountains not to fight, but to be free to keep
torah and mitzvos. Then the Yevanim followed them to the mountains, and
demanded that they come out and break shabbos or they would all be killed.
Since that was the case, they feld that if they broke shabbos to fight,
the Yevanim would automatically have won! In that case they might as
well have come down from the mountains and gone home, and complied with
the government's orders. So they decided that this was a sh'as hashmad,
and they had to be moser nefesh for shabbos, including not fighting.

Matisyahu's chidush was to look at the big picture, that the aim of
the Yevanim was not to cause individual acts of chillul shabbos, but to
wipe out the community of shomrei shabbos, that there should be no more
shabbos in the world, ch"v, and therefore it was necessary that they go
to war against the Yevanim. In that context, when the Yevanim attacked
on shabbos, pikuach nefesh would mean that they had to fight. If they
didn't, if they were all moser nefesh and died, then the Yevanim would
indeed have won, because their goal of making Hashem's torah forgotten
would have succeeded - the exact opposite of the intent behind the sh'as
hashmad rule.

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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 20:28:00 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com

> I recently heard R' Shlomo Pearl say, in the name of R' Moshe Bick
> regarding the 1978 blizzard, that they can stay on the bus even during
> Shabbos mamash because of pikuach nefesh but that they are guilty of
> peshi'ah for not anticipating the delay.

Even if one knew of the weather, it is very tough to leave earlier than 2
PM on a blizzard day from any job in the secular world for Shabbos. The
bus for Lakewood and the kids' buses seemed to have left as early as
possible. Where is the peshiah ?

Steve Brizel

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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 22:52:04 -0500
From: "Moshe & Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Drashot HaRan

> The Drashot HaRan raises this question. He gives two possible answers:

Which Drasha?

Sorry - it's in #11, which I cited more extensively in Avodah #70.

- Ilana

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 08:31:08 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Mrs Katz's dilemma

From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@KolSassoon.net>
> Lets go back a bit further.  The reference to giving priority to a kohen
> in terms of reading first from the Torah and benching is found in
> Nedarim 62ab ....

No, the source of the issur of hishtamshus is a Yerushalmi (Brachos 8:5,
12b, column 62 in the Akademiah L'lashon HaIvrit edition [which I strongly
recommend]). There it really is a case of personal service, not priority.

> Note also that Rama does not say that being hishtamesh b'kohen it
> actually being moel bakodesh, just that it is k'moel bakodesh.

But Shmuel, cited in the Yerushalmi, does say maal. You can make hay
from the fact that the Rama added the kaf hadimyon, but the flavor of
the hay is somewhat speculative.

> I suspect that RSM would concede
> that the obligation in the ketuba to do menial labour is only in
> circumstances where the person was not able to finance somebody else to
> do it (pay the  butler and the maid, shall we say).

No, my impression of RSM's position is that the obligation is of physical

> But a king is not allowed to ever be poor (see Horayos 9a) so he will
> always have the alternative of paying somebody else to do the labour.
> However, a kohen (who is not a kohen gadol, the same din prohibiting
> aniyus relates to a kohen gadol) may indeed be poor, and hence may not
> have the other alternative of financing others available.

This is a major hiddush you are proposing, and it will take me time
to assimilate it properly. As far as I knew there were two types of
husbandly obligations: physical (e.g. onah) and financial. You are
proposing that some obligation may straddle these two categories.

Now I am aware of certain contingent obligations, e.g., if a husband is
sufficiently wealthy he must hire servants for his wife (Kethuboth 5:5).
Those servants, however, are to perform her obligatory labor, not his
obligatory labor. I know of no source obliging a husband to perform labor
for his wife, and though you and others have postulated such a halacha,
I would like to see it in print.

Incidentally I cited previously EH 154:3, that voluntary poverty is
grounds for a coerced divorce. I didn't mention the dispute about
involuntary poverty (Pithchei Tshuva ad. loc. and the sources he cites,
e.g. Rama EH 70:3). No one I saw mentioned the option of substituting
the husband's physical labor for his financial obligations. I'd expect
to see it somewhere.

> Well but you still run into the basic problem raised by the Taz, that
> the same din of kedusha is involved when a cohen marries a gerusha, and
> why do we not say that he can be mochel on that?

> You have to posit some distinction between this and that ...
> "thinking highly of kohanim" translated into halacha is kavod, and
> delimiting it is about being able to be mochel,

As I hinted, I'm not very happy with the approach I suggested, but I
don't think this is a telling objection. There's a difference between
the presence of kavod and the absence of bizayon, and the issur of
hishtamshus is to prevent bizayon, not to produce kavod.

> But there are stories in the gemora of famous rabbonim being found on
> all fours bouncing children on their  backs, which is about as unkovodic
> as it comes, so I don't think that can be the reason

My point was his apparent disbelief in an obligation to help his wife,
not a point about kavod.

David Riceman

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 09:59:31 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Admin: Subject Lines

I'd like to ask everyone to pay more attention to the subject lines on
their posts.

We currently have a thread with the two different names "10th of Teves
being doche Shabbos" and "10 Teves doche Shabbos". We also have the
concurrent "Mrs. Cohen's dilemma" and "Mrs Katz's dilemma" subject lines.

There are two groups of people who are at a severe disadvantage when
this occurs: Those who get Avodah as individual posts (rather than as
a digest) who then sort their email by subject line. And those who use
the Avodah archives to research an old discussion. Both of these people
can easily miss half of a converation, or even more.

I beg you all, when responding to someone's post, please use the exact
same subjuct line as they did.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 16:51:04 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@fandz.com>

On 6 Jan 2004 at 20:28, Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
>> I recently heard R' Shlomo Pearl say, in the name of R' Moshe Bick
>> regarding the 1978 blizzard, that they can stay on the bus even
>> during Shabbos mamash because of pikuach nefesh but that they are
>> guilty of peshi'ah for not anticipating the delay.

> Even if one knew of the weather, it is very tough to leave earlier
> than 2 PM on a blizzard day from any job in the secular world for
> Shabbos. 

Since this is an Areivim rather than an Avodah topic, I will ignore 
this except to say that I disagree. 

> The bus for Lakewood and the kids' buses seemed to have left
> as early as possible. Where is the peshiah ?

Who says you have to leave at all if you're not going to make it to 
your destination before Shabbos? Aderaba, it's assur to leave on a 
trip if you're not reasonably sure you're going to make it before 
Shabbos. See SA 248:1 and MB 10-11 there. 

 - Carl

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Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 12:38:11 -0600 (CST)
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>

Steve Brizel wrote:
>Even if one knew of the weather, it is very tough to leave
>earlier than 2 PM on a blizzard day from any job in the secular
>world for Shabbos. The bus for Lakewood and the kids' buses
>seemed to have left as early as possible. Where is the peshiah ?

The weather was not a surprise. According to R' Shlomo Pearl, people
should have either stayed home from work that day or made other
arrangements that did not require such a long drive right before Shabbos
(such as staying in Brooklyn for Shabbos).

He said the same regarding driving up the mountains in the summer. It is
not uncommon for men to get stuck in traffic and arrive at a bungalow
colony after Shabbos started. Since that is not a valid option, people
have to plan differently.

Gil Student

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