Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 086

Wednesday, February 23 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 13:51:14 -0000
From: <davidhof@bankisrael.gov.il>
RE:Relationship of Science to Torah

I would respectfully submit as follows:

The purpose of Torah is to allow people to distinguish between
right and wrong acts, or, put differently, to inform them of their
moral obligations. These may include the obligation to accept certain
assertions as true, which is also a type of act. Failure to do so may or
may not be heretical. For example, there is a mitzvah to remember, and
therefore certainly to accept as factual, the wicked behavior of Amalek,
but it is not one of the Ikkarim. Of the 13 Ikkarim of the Rambam, 4
are concerned in whole or in part with past events (4th, 6th, 7th, and
8th). What category belief in paleontological pre-history falls into --
mutar, assur aval lo kefira, or kefira -- can be debated.

(Of course one can also classify someone else's belief as mutar aval
shtut. The practical consequences will be governed by relevant dinim
bein adam l'chavero.)

The purpose of science is to predict the future; specifically, to predict
when and how certain behaviors of natural phenomena can be reproduced. It
does this by posing a model of the part of the world which is of interest,
called a theory, which can be used to generate testable predictions. So
long as the predictions of a theory are consistently accurate in a context
which is of interest, the theory will continue to be used, even if it
is known to give wrong answers outside that context (e.g. Newtonian
mechanics). When the predictions of a theory are both consistently
accurate and of practical usefulness, the theory is generally incorporated
into a technological discipline such as engineering or medicine. In the
observational sciences, such as astronomy and paleontology, predictions
will be of the form, "In thus-and-such geologic strata, you will only find
fossils of thus-and-such type." A theory to generate such predictions
often takes the form of a statement about past events, but need not be
accepted as a true statement, any more than one needs to accept that
magnetic fields "have real existence" in order to use a computer's hard
disk. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science on the
difference between naive empiricism and instrumentalism.)

Since neither Torah nor science have describing the past as a core
purpose, but only as a means to an end (keeping the mitzvot, predicting
the future), they ought to be able to get along fine.

David Hoffman

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:37:51 -0500
From: Mendel Singer <mendel@case.edu>
Re: Was kefira or Age of U. or something along those lines.

Thank you for your clarifications. As always you are right on target. I
have already privately e-mailed and apologized to Rael for my hasty
posting. As I explained to him, I made a big mistake and posted while in
the throes of fever, and a bit over the limit on R Slifkin related posts!

Still, some comments below.

At 11:19 PM 2/19/2005 +0000, you wrote:
>In message , Mendel Singer <mendel@case.edu> writes
>>However, it appears to me that your reading of Adam and Chava is merely a
>>reflection of your own issues.

>Actually, this is the reading of R Y Henkin, shlita, not of the poster.

Was it my fever or was the source not cited? Either way, it's nice to know 
a source was being cited, though I would have to see source to appreciate 
the full points being made.

>>If you have a classical source to support
>>this thesis of Adam's sexist behavior, please cite it, otherwise consider
>>the following simpler explanations.

>>1. Adam tells her not to touch the tree. Why is this treating her like
>>a child? he employs a standard approach in halacha that we have myriad
>>examples of today, building fence around the Torah. One could just as
>>easily argue that he told her this out of love, that he so desperately
>>wanted to make sure she came to no harm, that he told her not to touch
>>it so she wouldn't come to eat from it and lose his soulmate. As we are
>>not privy to many details of the communications between Adam and Chava
>>we must be careful about how much we read into the few written lines.

>Um, nice try, flat contradiction to Rashi and Chazal though.  Rashi states 
>there on the posuk "lo tigu"  "by adding onto the command she therefore 
>came to diminish it and on this it is said "do not add onto his words" 
>Mishlay (30:6)" (see also Breishit Raba 19,3, Sanhedrin 29a).

>The question should actually be turned on its head - please provide 
>sources to back up your reading, because my impression is that our sources 
>pretty much agree that adding in the no touching was a violation of baal 
>tosif and did not constitute a legitimate fence around the torah.

I agree. My understanding was that this was intended as building a fence, 
but was an incorrect application, and was therefore wrong and led to the 
problems it did. I was not trying to say it was a correct application of 
"building a fence", merely that this was the reason for his changing the 

>What Rav Henkin adds to this is not the basic that it was wrong for Adam 
>to do this, that is pretty uncontroversial from our sources, but an 
>attempt to understand why Adam did what he did.  In that he is actually 
>not that that far from what you are saying - one loves one's child, that 
>is precisely why one tries to protect them even if at times that may mean 
>overprotecting them in ways that may ultimately be to their detriment.


>>2. You seem to imply that Chava did not know the name of the tree because
>>she described it rather than name it to the serpent. I think it is just
>>as easy to say that she did not know if the serpent would know the tree
>>by the name Adam knew. Instead, she was more specific, and described it.

>But how would that describe it to the serpent? Earlier (Breishis 2:9) it 
>is specifically the eitz hachayim which is described as being "b'toch 
>hagan". So if one just refers to the tree b'toch hagan it would seem most 
>likely that the eitz hachayim is the one meant.

>And while like Seforno  (see 2:17) it seems likely that the eitz tov v'ra 
>was nearby,  calling it haeitz asher b'toch hagan,  is still clearly not a 
>unique identifier given what we know from the earlier psukim about the 
>eitz hachaim, so it seems an extremely odd way to identify it to the 
>serpent when it has a name of its own which does distinguish it from the 
>eitz hachayim.

My complaint with the original post was that there was no convincing
argument brought to support this line. If there had been a source cited,
then I would have known that there was likely such an argument. The post
came off as rather off the cuff, and was unconvincing. To make this
case there had to be a strong reason why the description offered was
clearly inadequate. The one supplied did not seem to be such a reason,
though perhaps I was too sick to appreciate what was written.

>>There is much, much more to say about this, and the commentaries are
>>extensive, and I'm sure others here will be able to do a much better
>>job than I in answering this off the top of their heads. I just find
>>the whole approach here one of looking to find sexism, when there are
>>such simple answers to the contrary.

>I think you will have to do better than that if you are going to take on a 
>talmid chacham of the stature of R' Henkin (I was going to use the term 
>gadol, but I realise that these days that often seems to be used only to 
>define somebody on the Aguda moetzes - and since in other contexts 
>gadol  has become a word that has become impossible to define and using it 
>gets into whose gadol is a gadol debates, lets stick with talmid chacham, 
>about which there is absolutely no shiala) .

Ahhhhh...but I wasn't taking on R' Henkin, Shlita, Gadol or not :) I
was given no source (I thought, anyway), and no compelling rationale for
the position. My point was that there needed to be more to support such
a position. I have full confidence that R Henkin, Shlita, does provide
a clear and strong rationale for his position.

>At the very least answers to the contrary need to be in accordance with 
>the classical meforshim and the psukim themselves.

Absolutely, and all i wanted was to see this done. The way I read the
post, this was not done.


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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:10:33 -0500
From: "Moshe & Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Admin: Toronto chevreh

An Areivim/Avodah gathering will iy"H take place Thursday evening in Toronto
in honour of the visit of Rn Toby Katz. We haven't exactly worked out when
and where yet, but contact me at  sober@pathcom.com offlist for details.

- Ilana

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Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 20:29:06 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: R M Sternbuch-Science and Torah

> HaRav M. Sternbuch shlita - Relationship of Science to Torah

I read the same letter and reached the same conclusion as R D Riceman.
Yet, if you read the letter carefully, and then read it next to The
Lonely Man of Faith, you will see the following common denominator that
all Briskers work with in Hashkafic matters. Man has the ability to be
creative and a monster and has to realize both the Gadlus HaAdam and the
Katnus HaAdam. Chiddushei Torah, especially if they remotely challenge
long assumed Chazakos must come within the Torah, as opposed to being
predicated upon outside proofs from science or other disciplines. When
read in context, RMS is distinguishing between scientific discoveries,
the scientific method and the belief in science as an overall cure all,
even for deviant behavior. That critique is not old nor one that should
be dismissed especially when one considers how science can be perverted
by totalitarian regimes.

Steve Brizel

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 01:06:52 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: It recently became kefira

On the example of wearing Raenu Tam tefillin, R' Micha Berger wrote:
> How is it following if one is saying the other is din, but I want to
> also... It's accepting the pesaq! >>>

IOW, one can accept the pesaq, and agree that the din is with Rashi,
and still say "I want to put on Rabenu Tam tefilin!"

Yes, a person might feel that way, and even so he is capable of mouthing
those words, but why on earth would he want to?

There are many halachos where are person might have reasonable reasons to
follow the non-standard psak. One example would be a man who agrees that
occasional glances at a woman are mutar, but he avoids it for reasons of
prishus. Another person might have separate kitchens for meat and dairy,
even though it is not required, because he wants to take extra steps to
prevent mistakes. A third will avoid melacha for four hours past shkia
on Shabbos, not because he holds it is halacha, and not even for Tosfos
Shabbos, but simply because he doesn't want to rush back into things.

But please, pray tell, why would a person put on Rabenu Tam tefilin,
unless it had something to do with the possibility that Rashi was
wrong? (I know someone probably answered this a few months or years ago,
but I've forgotten it.)

Akiva Miller

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 09:27:18 -0000
From: <davidhof@bankisrael.gov.il>
It recently became kefira

RMB (quoted by RAMiller) wrote:
>>Back then it was suggested ... that the authority of Sanhedrin derives from
>>the consensus of the kahal. That the Sanhedrin's role WRT din is the 
>>same as their role WRT purchasing korbanos hatzibbur or kiddush 
>>levanah -- they are acting as representatives of the kahal.... this would 
>>imply that without a Sanhedrin the matter devolves back to the tzibbur, and
>>that a p'sak backed by consensus DOES have the same authority of that
>>made by a Sanhedrin.

RAMiller responded:
>>Really? I always thought that the Chumash described the court system 
>>pretty well. See, for example Devarim 17:8-11. Isn't *that* where "the 
>>authority of Sanhedrin derives from"?

This gets back to the shita of the N'tziv I was trying to locate (see
ISTR from years back that the N'tziv would be supportive of RMB's
position. However, the tzibbur in question would be the Jews in Eretz
Yisrael only.

David Hoffman

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 08:33:59 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: RE:Relationship of Science to Torah

From: <davidhof@bankisrael.gov.il>
> (Of course one can also classify someone else's belief as mutar aval
> shtut. The practical consequences will be governed by relevant dinim
> bein adam l'chavero.)

See PHM Hagigah 2:1.

David Riceman

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Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 10:42:44 +0200
From: "David Eisen" <davide@arnon.co.il>
RAL on Zionism

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il> [to Areivim -mi]:
> to see an interview (in Hebrew) with Rav Lichtenstein on the issues of
> the day see <http://tzionut.org/articles_details.asp?id=61>

In addition to Zionism and politics, Mori v'Rabi, HaRav Aharon
Lichtenstein, Shlit"a candidly and comprehensively addresses such
important issues as whether or not Medinat Yisrael is indeed Athalta
D'Geula, his concern with both secularization and "Haredization" trends
within the DL community, and his comparison of the philosophies of R.
(AY) Kook and RYDS. I am not sufficiently familiar with the writings
of R. Kook to properly appreciate his remarks, though IMHO a talmid
of Merkaz HaRav will take serious issue with RAL's comments that Rav
Kook's philosophy is naturally more receptive to DL ears as opposed to
the writings of RYDS since this is:

"...merchandise that is not sold very well in comparison to someone
who speaks in terms of Victory, Victory and Victory and promises you
mountains and hills. Nu, this is obvious! Who wants to buy into messages
of failure and crisis even when told that ultimately 'the honor will
arrive at the end' when in lieu of this he can accept a world view that
speaks to a great extent about success virtually throughout its entire
corpus? People tell me that HaRav Kook is also not to be understood in
this simplistic manner; as you know, there are many debates as to what
was his approach. However, the bottom line with respect to HaRav Kook's
historical grasp of reality is as my teacher and master, HaGaon HaRav
Yitzhak Hutner, ZT"L said: 'Maror is insufficient!" In our world, there
is one who has succeeded the path of Hegel and who has succeeded the
path of Kirkegard, and the merchandise of Hegel is unquestionably more
sellable. I definitely think that there is a future - and an important
future at that - within a portion of our community for the thought of
HaRav Soloveitchik ZT"L, but I do not know if this will capture the
community as something popular ("hamonit"), as I do not know if this is
so appropriate for the masses.

Could anyone on this list well versed in RAYHKK's (R. Avraham Yitzhak
HaKohen Kook) writings please respond?

KT u'B'virkat HaTorah,
David Eisen

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 02:57:39 +0200
From: "reuven koss" <kmr5@zahav.net.il>
Re: hamotzi

From: Simon Montagu <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
> On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 11:15:23 -0500, Mlevinmd@aol.com <Mlevinmd@aol.com> 
> wrote:
>> My minhag is to uncover htme. I think that theit is based on the other
>> explanation of why the challos are covered - because it is a busha for
>> bread when Kiddush is made on wine and not bread.

> I know everybody learns this explanation in cheder, but what is the source
> for it? RTK's shita is a Gemara, in perek Kol Kitvei if memory serves.

The Mishna B'rura brings it bshem the Yerushalmi.


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Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 23:02:51 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: hachana [was: R' Elyashuv against prenups]

In Avodah V14 #85 dated 2/21/2005  RMB writes:
> Saying "nisht Shabbos geret" doesn't stop the rest of the sentence
> from being hachanah;

Actually, according to a shiur I once heard, it does. 

 -Toby Katz

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 22:37:20 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>
HaRav M. Sternbuch shlita - Relationship of Science to Torah

R' Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il> writes:
>HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita asked me to translate and disseminate his
>letter concerning the relationship of Science to

The problem I perceive with this letter can be summed up by these words 
which I quote from it:
>"In contrast they prefer to explain that man is the product of millions of
> years of development.  As evidence they cite what appears to be ancient
>bone fragments that have been discovered in Madagascar and other
>places.  Their evidence is total nonsense since prior to the Flood, Nature
>was totally different than we have to day.  Prior to the Flood man live
>for 1000 years.  This difference in what was normal growth and 
>development makes the bones appear as if they are a million years old. 
>With this type of shaky evidence they want to refute the words of our 
>Sages and undermine the faith that exists amongst the Jewish people".

The problem with this statement is that, there are very many types of
scientists, and it is only biologists and archeologists and the like
that are interested in bone fragments or man's development. And yet the
concept of the world being more than 6000 years old is something that is
found is many other scientific disciplines, based on many other reasons.

For example, an astronomer will explain that, given the speed of light
(something measurable in the laboratory) and the distance of the stars
(as measurable by other means) there is not time in 6000 years for
the light of the stars to reach us and that the light of the stars
demonstrates that the universe is millions if not billions of years old.

For example, a chemist will explain that, the speed of radioactive
decay of many of the elements of the periodic table, and the extent of
the products of such decay leads one to calculate the universe as being
millions if not billions of years old.

For example, a geologist will explain that they can see evidence in
the sea bed and elsewhere for earthquakes and teutonic plate shifts,
with some of that evidence with little erosion, indicating its recent
occurance, and some with much greater erosion. Given measures of erosion
that can be made today, that leads one to calculate that the world is
millions of years old.

And the list goes on and on.

Now that is not to say that you cannot respond and say: - well not only
did the nature of man change at the time of the Flood, the nature and
speed of light changed, the gravitational forces that influence the
universe changed, the speed of radioactive decay changed, the nature of
erosion changed and G-d created what appear to be earthquake and teutonic
plate shift evidence, some of it made to look older and some of it made
to look younger etc etc.

BUT, to suggest that the only reason why somebody might be led to believe
that the world is more than 6000 old is because of bone fragments in
Madacascar and other places unfortunately sounds to anybody with even a
smattering of scientific awareness like the person making the statement
does not know very much about science. And if somebody does not appear
to understand the fundamental issues with which they are grappling -
and appears not to even know that they do not know, it makes it very
difficult to convince anybody who does know these things that anything
else that is said by such a person is credible.

Rav Sternbuch further writes:
>"Modern scientists have absolutely established that the earth rotates
>every day. That rotation indicates that there is a power which causes the
>rotation. That power is our G-d, blessed be his name. If the scientist
>would reflect for a moment about this they would come to agree with the
>words of our Sages. Our Sages have tught us that G-d did not just create
>the world but is constantly creating it."

There are many physicists of my acquaintance that would have no problem
with this statement. In fact they would go further, and state that
the power which means that when I let go of an object I am holding it
falls to the ground is also G-d, blessed be his name. And the power
which means that when a very accurate (ie atomic) clock is run near the
earth's surface it runs slower than the identical clock when placed high
up from the earth's surface is also G-d, blessed be his name. That the
shorthand to describe each of these powers (the rotation, the falling,
the clock running slower) is gravity in scientific terminology does not
take away from this fact.

Rav Sternbuch further writes:
>Concerning the time of the creation of the universe and its development
>into its present form, it is important to know that time does not exist
>at all in Heaven. ... The scientists have only recently discovered that
>time has a different meaning in the realm of stars and galaxies.
>Nevertheless they still don't understand that there is no time at all
>in Heaven..."

While I know many physicists, some religious and some irreligious, I do
not know any that does not understand that there is no time at all in
Heaven (even the non religious, who do not believe in Heaven, know that
if there was a Heaven there would be no time). That is because the basic
tenet of (Einsteinian) relativity theory (which is nearly 100 years old
now) is precisely that - that time is integrally bound up with matter,
and that unless Heaven is corporal, then there can be no time in Heaven.
Anybody who has studied any special relativity (and it is taught as a
first year course in most physics degrees, and many students study it
before then in High School) knows that if one cannot assign corporality
to G-d, one cannot assign time either.

Of course, what they also learn as part of relativity theory is the
concept that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light
(and one becomes more massive) relative to the one against which such
movement is measured, and that time slows down when closer to a massive
gravitational object relative to further away (hence the atomic clock
test vis a vis the earth, which although not a very massive object,
is sufficiently massive for the change to be detected).

Thus the first question anyone with a smattering of physics training
asks in relation to time is relative to what/whom? Knowing that to answer
relative to G-d is to assert G-d's corporality.

It is these kinds of matters that underpin a physicist's questioning
of the statement that the world is no more than 6000 years (6000 years
relative to what/whom?). As mentioned, chemists and geologists and
astronomers and others have their own questions, none of them to do
with fossils or even man. And to imply that fossils are the only issue,
and that if that issue is dealt with then there is nothing to talk about
vis a vis 6000 years, is liable to make us and our Torah look foolish in
the eyes of any Jew or non Jew, believing or non believing, frum or not
frum who has ever paid attention in a science course - and that means
in the eyes of many thousands upon thousands.

I say this with a heavy heart, because the greater in Torah the one who
says it, the more foolish it makes our Torah look. Because how can we
pretend to give a satisfactory answer if we appear not to even understand
the question. And I was always taught that to make our Torah look foolish
in the eyes of the nations, and in the eyes of other Jews, religious
and non religious is the quintessential definition of chilul Hashem.
And b'mkom chillul Hashem ain kavod l'Rav. I don't know what else to say.

Chana Luntz

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 23:43:30 -0500
From: Jonathan Sperling <sperling@post.harvard.edu>
Meor Einayim

[R Yaakov Goldstein]
> Gil Student:
>> FWIW, the Netziv also quotes the Me'or Einayim many times.

> Can you please tell us where he quotes him?

The Emek HaNetziv on the Sifrei cites the Meor Einayim in the following

Naso Piska 2
Beha=B9aloscha Piska 26
Balak Piska 1
Devarim Piska 23
Ekev Piska 12
Shoftim Piska 17

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:51:18 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: It recently became kefira

From: <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
> But please, pray tell, why would a person put on Rabenu Tam tefilin,
> unless it had something to do with the possibility that Rashi was
> wrong? (I know someone probably answered this a few months or years ago,
> but I've forgotten it.)

Because there has been a persistent custom to write tefillin in the RT
manner, attested to in the pre-Hurban era, the Geonic era, and the time
of the Rambam.

David Riceman 

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Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 20:37:15 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 70 and 70

On Sun, Feb 20, 2005 at 05:12:41AM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: Over Shabbos, a friend noted that the same number (70) is used for
: the number of nations of the world, and also for the number of Yaakov
: Avinu's descendants who entered Mitzrayim. He wondered if anyone draws
: a connection from one to the other, possibly along the lines of our
: responsibility towards non-Jews, or something like that.

I don't know how much weight to give the number 70. The number of yoredei
Mitrayim was 70, as were the zeqeinim -- from which we get the size of
beis din hagadol.

But either the number of nations or the number of languages caused by
the initial hapelagah was not literally 70. There were more nations than
languages, e.g. the 7 amim shared a language.

We also have the chilazon described as emerging from the water once every
70 years, and are warned about a beis din that imposes misah as often as /
only once every 70 years.

It would seem that shiv'im is also an idiom for "many".


Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
micha@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 15:53:50 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: It recently became kefira

I wrote of my opinion that Rabenu Tam tefilin are unrelated to any sort
of prishus, and I asked <<< But please, pray tell, why would a person put
on Rabenu Tam tefilin, unless it had something to do with the possibility
that Rashi was wrong? >>>

R' David Riceman answered <<< Because there has been a persistent custom
to write tefillin in the RT manner, attested to in the pre-Hurban era,
the Geonic era, and the time of the Rambam. >>>

Okay, I'll rephrase my question:

How did there arise a persistent custom to write tefillin in the RT
manner, unless it had something to do with the possibility that Rashi
was wrong?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 15:15:55 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: It recently became kefira

On Wed, Feb 23, 2005 at 03:53:50PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: How did there arise a persistent custom to write tefillin in the RT
: manner, unless it had something to do with the possibility that Rashi
: was wrong?

E.g. if someone had kavanos that shtim with Rashi's and another set that
better fit RT's tefillin. He could feel that the pesaq is correct, and
even feels right because of the first set of kavanos, but still wants,
lifnim mishuras hadin, to have both.

The only rav I know who claimed "there is no place for ritual in
Judaism" was a scion of Brisk. (RYBS, if you don't recognize the quote.)
Most derakhim have no problem with lifnim mishuras hadin ritual. (Where
would Chassidus or the more qabbalistic Sepharadim be without it?)


Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 14:26:49 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Crispy Matzos

On scj(m), we were discussing www.softmatza.com. Just like what it sounds
they would sell. It's under the auspices of Rabbi Mordechai Maslaton of
the Keter Sion Torah Center in Booklyn.

(BTW, they also sell prechecked rice.)

Two questions:

1- Anyone know whether Ashkenazim are permitted to use it?

2- I posted (as I did here, way back), that crispy matzos must date back
to at least the 4th cent CE, since the Council of Nicaea standardized
on a ritual using wine and wafter, not wine and pita. So that puts it
sometime between churban bayis sheini and Hillel's koreich (wrap) in
the 1st cent and the 4th cent.

To which RLMinden asked:
> Wasn't it the Yavetz or the Noude bihude who wrote about the
> introduction of crisp matzes during his lifetime?

I didn't know, so I am repeating his question here.


Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
micha@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:54:09 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: R M Sternbuch-Science and Torah

From: <Zeliglaw@aol.com>
> read in context, RMS is distinguishing between scientific discoveries,
> the scientific method and the belief in science as an overall cure all,
> even for deviant behavior. That critique is not old nor one that should
> be dismissed especially when one considers how science can be perverted
> by totalitarian regimes.

RMS's innovation is to accuse his opponents of heresy, and it is that
to which I object.

David Riceman 

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 16:10:42 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Mezuzah

To go back a step.

I'm convinced that my conclusion is correct. That mezuzah is more like
tefillin, for which RSZA utilized a teshuvah that utilizes "barukh Hashem
cheilo" to show that when gets sechar even if kelapei Shemaya galya the
tefillin are pasul. Even, as in his case, the person eventually knows they
weren't kosher at the time. Rather than comparing it to pesulei kehunah.

So I was viewing this discussion as a fishing expedition to find why pesulei
kehunah are different. While I'm trying to find out why the two are different,
R' Zev Sero asserts:
>> We have a pretty clear RSZAurbach quoting Shu"T Rav Poalim 4:2,
>> that somene gets sechar for wearing tefillin that turn outo to be
>> pasul. RYZirkind said the maqor for the teshuvah is the mishnah
>> on 66b, from "barukh H' cheilo."

> It's a gemara there, BTW, not a mishna, and it's absolutely clear to me
> that it does *not* apply to this case. How can one possibly say that a
> pasul tefilin or mezuzah is like a ben grusha, and not like a baal mum
> or a short mikveh?

IOW, he's convinced enough of his peshat in the gemara to question the
teshuvah and RSZA, while I'd prefer to find the chaqirah that RSZA must have
seen. We are having different discussions, and therefore somewhat talking
across eachother.

RZS finally brought me around to the realization that oneis Rachmanah patrei
is an issue of chiyuv oneshim while we're looking at sechar, not onesh.

Back to the dialogue:
>> Which is why I asked:
>> :> 2- How can "keman de'avad lo amrinan" apply, since he actually
>> was avad?

> And I repeat my answer that he was *not* avad, any more than the person
> who tovelled in a short mikveh was avad, or the baal mum she'avad was
> "avad", so to speak.

This is presuming the conclusion. I feel that "avad" means "do", and therefore
if he did what he is chayav to do, he is "avad". You have a different
definition, each simply rephrasing the conclusion as a definition.

>> It's not like either the baal mum or the ben gerushah, as neither are
>> about getting sechar bedi'eved, but about deciding lechat-chilah whether
>> he should do avodah.

> No, they are not. They are explicitly about bedi'avad. Do you really
> think a ben grusha can do the avodah *lechatchila*? ...

Let me rephrase: The question WRT to the kohein is whether he should do the
avodah. Thie question WRT the homeowner is NOT whether he should have done
everything he did (and nothing more) to put up and inspect the mezuzah.
Rather, it's a question of whether he got sechar now that he did it. (Thus my
abuse of the terms lechat-chilah and bedi'eved.)

> Of course he can't!
> Once he knows his status he is a chalal. "Barech Hashem cheilo" only
> kashers the korbanot he did before he found out....

I thought you would hold that he's a chalal with or without his knowledge;
however the pasuq kashers the qorbanos of an ignorant chalal. Your phrasing is
more along the lines of my sevarah.

> And it is explicit that
> the same principle does *not* apply to a baal mum, or to a short mikveh.
> It's not clear that it applies to *any* other case, because it's a gezerat
> hakatuv, but there's at least a hava amina that it can be extended to
> other cases where the psul is not objectively verifiable, which would
> include a mezuzah that was written out of order; but this is not such
> a case.

Or to any case where verification is not feasible? Or where verification was
performed, but the verification itself was flawed? In which case, RSZA's
placement of tefillin on the "barekh H'" side of the chaqirah would be

>> 1- Efshar levareir would be a non-issue bedi'eved.

> Not true.  It's an issue because it's a way to distinguish between ben
> grusha and baal mum.

After the act is done, one's ability to verify the state before doing it is a
non-issue. I have no idea what your reply is addressing.

>> 2- The lav vs asei distinction made above.

> Not sure how this applies to this gemara. The avodah of a pasul kohen
> (whether a ben grusha or a baal mum) is a lav, but we're now concerned
> about the consequences, i.e. whether the korban he brought should be
> considered retroactively pasul. Bringing a korban is an asei.

I think the asei is a secondary effect of violating the issur of chalal, and
the actual nidon is a pesul.


Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
micha@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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