Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 087

Friday, February 25 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 16:09:30 -0500
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Re: Crispy Matzos

On Wed, 2005-02-23 at 14:26 -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
>On scj(m), we were discussing www.softmatza.com....
>1- Anyone know whether Ashkenazim are permitted to use it?

not saying if his chasgaha is ok or not, I brought this up last year.

I asked RHS 3 questions after shul one day about sfardi matza I saw
in Israel.

1) Can we eat Sfardi Matza on pesach?
2) Can we use it for the Seder?
3) Is it better to use it for the seder? (i.e. can actually make
a koreich)

to the first 2 he answered yes, to the last one he said he didn't see why.

he also said that it's only true if their is no salt added to the matza
as some sfardim add salt to their matzot as we're makpid it's just flour
and water.

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 16:21:46 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Crispy Matzos

On Wed, Feb 23, 2005 at 04:09:30PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
: I asked RHS...
: 1) Can we eat Sfardi Matza on pesach?
: 2) Can we use it for the Seder?
: ...
: to the first 2 he answered yes...
: he also said that it's only true if their is no salt added to the
: matza...

What is "it"? Was RHS saying that we can only use if for the seider if
the matzos have no salt, or that we can only eat in on Pesach if they


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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 16:30:29 -0500
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Re: Crispy Matzos

On Wed, 2005-02-23 at 16:21 -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
>What is "it"? Was RHS saying that we can only use if for the seider if
>the matzos have no salt, or that we can only eat in on Pesach if they

hmm. good question. I don't remember the context of his response (was
a year ago, and I wasn't so much asking for psak purposes)

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Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 00:12:47 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <akiva.atwood@gmail.com>
Re: Crispy Matzos

> On scj(m), we were discussing www.softmatza.com. Just like what it sounds
> 1- Anyone know whether Ashkenazim are permitted to use it?

I know a few Ashkenazim here who use it at their seder (after having
asked several recognized poskim if it was mutar).


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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:12:38 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Brisker Philosophy?

On Mon, Feb 21, 2005 at 08:29:06PM -0500, Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
: 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...

It's not Brisker to work with hashkafic matters at all. RYBS was not
quite being mainstream Brisk when he endulged in philosphical speculation.

Similar to their non-use of scientific or other external data, pure
Brisker derekh wouldn't even use aggadic data to derermin questions
of right or wrong.

See my most recent blog entry

BTW, in that entry I also discuss the Telzher chumrah, and why one would
wear RT tefillin despite being sure the halakhah is like Rashi.


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 23:39:17 +0200
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <zivotoa@mail.biu.ac.il>
Re: Crispy Matzos

Shaya Potter wrote:
>On Wed, 2005-02-23 at 16:21 -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
>>What is "it"? Was RHS saying that we can only use if for the seider if
>>the matzos have no salt, or that we can only eat in on Pesach if they

>hmm. good question. I don't remember the context of his response (was
>a year ago, and I wasn't so much asking for psak purposes)

this was lema'aseh for us and we were told not to use any matzah made with
salt (or anything except flour and water) at all on Pesach and to treat
it as chometz. the only ones who use salt are a subset of the taimanin.

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 17:52:16 -0500
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Relationship of Science to Torah

Science is the intentional collection and interpretation of data in order
to make sense of the world. (Relating to this, I remember hearing the
most interesting 3 word definition of intelligence as "decoding your
environment"). A field is only a science to the extent that it has
intellectual integrity and is convergent, constrained by testability.
The purpose of science is to build and maintain useful frameworks for
understanding reality.

This accounts for 99% of science, the science that is measured and
tested in the lab and finds its way into practical applications. The
remaining 1%, which includes the questions of origins and naturalistic
vs. supernaturalistic explanations, doesn't fit into this approach,
and thus it becomes a contentious issue. This 1% is basically what
we are discussing on Avodah. Science may in fact point to evolution,
or it may not, but because scientists cannot perform experiments to
prove evolution or to prove Creation, and more to the point, they cannot
derive any practical application from their supposed knowledge, the non
religious public views it as a matter of speculation rather than science.

It has been suggested that the goal of science is to discover the
objective truth. Another opinion regarding the goal of science is to
describe the natural world naturalistically and provide an increasingly
useful model of physical principles.

Science may be described as attempts to give good accounts of the patterns
in nature. The result of scientific investigation is an understanding
of natural processes. The real paradox here however, is that scientific
explanations are always subject to change in the face of new evidence.
This actually strengthens the argument for Torah absolutism.

Hunt (in Malhotra, Yogesh. (1994). Role Of Science In Knowledge Creation:
A Philosophy Of Science Perspective, p. 17-18) argued that the major
purpose of science is to develop laws and theories to explain, predict,
understand, and control phenomena. It would be very interesting to see
what the relationship with G-d is of those who view the conscious purpose
of science as control of nature. In other words, who do they see as the
ultimate controller of nature: man or G-d?

Richard Wolberg

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Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 10:01:45 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Freedom to Interpret

R. Aryeh Carmell has recently disseminated an essay relevant to the
current controversy of R. Slifkin's books titled "Freedom to Interpret"

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books
Phone: (718) 951-1254  Fax: (718) 228-5150

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 11:25:28 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: HaRav M. Sternbuch shlita - Relationship of Science to Torah

When I read RMS's article (as quite readibly translated by RDE), I too
was struck by the things I percieve to be in error: the notion that
there is pesaq in hashqafah (R' Shterbuch extrapolates from Sanhedrin
to minhag to popularity of hashqafic stance!), that within halakhah,
opinions can be retired from eilu va'eilu without nimnu vegamru (or the
equivalent), the lack of knowledge of the science to which he's objecting,
the confusion of changing the duration of creation and changing the
duration since creation, etc... All issues raised already by others.

I'm also concerned by this reaction to the shock of modernity, common in
a large segment of the population. Someone emailed me about the current
"ansisophical" trend in world view. He described it as a reaction to the
birth of Reform. I also described this phenomenon way back at the start of
the creationism discussion, when I wrote that I believe that more people
insist on literalism now than did before there was a scientific challenge.

(Still waiting for that ma'amar Chazal that assumes 6 days from yeish
mei'ayin to Adam...)

There is no word "antisophical". The tendency to prefer black-and-white
solutions is described from a word related to the Sophists, though: it's
"unsophisticated". Preference should be given precision, not simplicity.

This trend I see as more damaging even than another reaction to R --
the neglect of Nakh and diqduq.

That said, whie the reaction is bad, so is the action. There's an
undercurrent to RMS's letter to which I strongly agree.

While many scientists do realize that saying "The apple fell because of
gravity" and "G-d made the apple fall" do not contradict, many do. There
is an entire culture of Scientism which believes that religion stems
entirely from an ignorance they're working to eliminate. For example,
I found a HS bio book that said (roughly, from memory):
    Using evolution, we can explain how life as we know it emerged. We see
    how complex organisms can arise without there being any preexisting
If not exactly that, it's pretty close to it. Or less subtly, they
wouldn't be complaining about Intelligent Design, the idea that all
of current theory about our origins is as right as any other theory,
but that it shows there is a Designer who got us to this point. ID
has been labeled "Creationism in sheep's clothing" by more than one
author. (Including SciAm's "The Skeptic" and Dawkins.)

Why are we seeking physical explanations? Why isn't "G-d performed a
miracle for His unfathomable reasons" sufficient? How many of us are
doing so because deep down we've bought into Scientism's premises,
and we only do invoke G-d for things we can't otherwise explain.

Nor is a lack of creationism the only objection under discussion. It's
also, as we saw in this list's early days, a question of the mabul and
Bavel, for which one doesn't have the same mesoretic foundation to build
from. And a general question of when Chazal's pronouncements are to be
questioned. The role of changes of theory in pesaq. Are maamarei Chazal
placed "on the run" fleeing from the advancing tide of science? Or do
we better anchor them, and try our hardest to find their own logic,
unchanging in the face of changes in theory?

Regardless of the existance of a reason or justification for each step
taken (for which I would say "yeah" but RMS denies), there is an emergent
pattern in much of contemporary O thought that is disconcerting. Why
does one seek those reasons that so consistantly justify retreat?

I think that's what RMS was writing about when he quoted "Nevertheless
their concern is to make even this miraculous event as close to nature as
possible. In other words, they much prefer to make the world as natural
as possible and to minimize the miraculous."

And if it's not R' Shternbuch's concern, it's still mine.

Emesliameto@aol.com wrote: > R' Daniel Eidensohn in Vol. 14 #73
tried to explain the reasoning > of this idea based on statements of
Chasam Sofer. In his Teshuvot he > writes regarding the view of Hillel
that there will not be a personal > Moshiach. "In fact someone today
who asserted that there will be no > Moshiach because he accepts R'
Hillel's view is in deny the principle of > the Torah to follow the
majority position. Since the overwhelming majority > of sages have
rejected this view no one has the right to go against that > majority
and insist on accepting the sole dissenting view of R' Hillel." > I
don't see how this is similar to here. We may not follow the view of >
Hillel because the Gemara rejected his view & according to Rambam it is >
an Ikar in Emunah, which makes it into a question of Halacha. However in >
our case,first of all who says the age of the universe is an Ikar?

I think the point is that these contemporary poseqim are trying to do
that right now.

The age of the universe is to the beri'ah as the person who will be
melekh hamashiach is to the concept of a messianic redemption.

Had the gemara not already ruled out Hillel's position from within the
din, then presumably the Rambam would have phrased his ikkar to refer
to the redemption without insistance on an individual king.

Since this pesaq post-dates the Rambam, one wouldn't expect to see
an insistance on this detail about the beri'ah in his phrasing of the
first ikkar, rather than in making it about the existance of a Creator
(and therefore of creation as a verb).

The problem is that we have no contemporary mechanism for ruling out a
rishon or acharon's opinion from the realm of eilu va'eilu. Certainly not
simply because of a claim of "we all hold" when we very much don't. And
certainly not by rabbanim who claim that the shitah never existed when
it clearly did. (How can you vote on whether RSRH's, R' Kook's or REED's
shittos are no longer viable when you open by saying they don't exist?)

:-)BBii! -mi

PS: About the presentation of REED's position in R' Aryeh Carmell's new
essay: Barukh shekivanti. Although I still am confused how anyone could
have taken him otherwise.

-- Micha Berger A person must be very patient
micha@aishdas.org even with himself. http://www.aishdas.org
- attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 10:28:05 -0000
From: <davidhof@bankisrael.gov.il>
RE:Relationship of Science to Torah

> (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.)

R. David Riceman:
>See PHM Hagigah 2:1.

"All aveirot begin with shtut" does not imply "All shtut leads to
aveirot." (To assert the contrary would, among other things, put a
real damper on Simchat Purim.) In the Yad (Hil. AZ 2:3), the Rambam
implies he was referring to the kind of ruminations that lead people
to toy with the Ikkarim. As with any other hirurei aveira, these should
certainly be waived, whenever possible. I was thinking of more prosaic
subject matter. (I would give examples, but might inadvertently offend

David Hoffman

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Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 12:41:09 -0500
From: "m cohen" <mcohen@touchlogic.com>
age of universe

Does anyone have any input for me on the following question(s)..

Independent of the question whether the AofU is 5765yrs+6 days of
unknown/mystery/time_and_physics_not_as_we_know_it , or even according
to the view that the AofU is millions of years because the 6 days were
a 'guided evolutionary period of millions of yrs', both agree that the
first man as we know him (with neshama) was created 5765 years ago,

How did man get from the Asian continent (Eden) to N&S America,
Australasia, etc (and in such a short period of time)?

Short of having to assume land bridges from Asia to Alaska were created
and disappeared in recent history (and even that w/t help for Australasia)

If due to haflaga, do you have any sources/midrashim that pple were
flown all over the planet (as opposed to haflaga thru migration/wandering)

I assume that even the later opinion above would agree that NA Indians
etc are descendants of Adam. (lo shamanu that they have the din of apes,
not of B'Noach)

Also, any sources for yichus of nJewish nations of today wrt b'shaim /
b'cham / b'yefes.
India. shem?
Japan/china. cham?
N&S America Indians/Incas ?

Mordechai Cohen

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Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:54:24 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Halachic authority and eilu va'eilu

On Fri, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:50:53PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: Almost all of those posts related to conflicts between two
: Sanhedrins. Regarding psak WITHOUT a Sanhedrin, all I saw was the
: suggestion (at the end of the second of those cites)

That's all we had. Suggestions based on theories about how Sanhedrins
worked. Whether that leant authority to the Mishnah, the Mishna and Shas,
also the SA, whether that meant that each of the above sefarim marked a
difference in era and halachic authority or if not arguing with people
of an earlier era was "simply" an issue of kavod, not authority.

: <<< 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. I would like to add now that 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. >>>

: 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"?

No, it proves that the Sanhedrin has authority, not where the authority
comes from. IOW, if you hold that Sanhedrin works as a representative of
Kelal Yisrael (as it does when buying qorbanos tzibbur), you'd still need
a pasuq to prove that such authority through representation is possible.

You're confusing ra'ayah and sevarah. Much like saying that one needn't
discuss public safety in understanding the din of ma'akah because the
din is simply from a pasuq. It only works for chuqim, where one can't
find the full sevarah.

: I wrote <<< To give a concrete example, there is a certain time in the
: morning, after which HaShem will consider my Krias Shema invalid... >>>

: RMB answered <<< Not if eilu va'eilu is literal. Then H' gave us different
: mahalakhim that we (in a creative partnership with Him) choose from. This
: notion that kelapei Shemaya galyah that one is right and the other not
: doesn't fit them both being "divrei E-lokim Chaim". >>>

: My understanding of Eilu V'Eilu is that one shita can be right for me
: and the other for you. We can both say Shma together, and HaShem will
: be satisfied with one of us and upset at the other. In that sense, both
: shitos are "right". Is that the same as your understanding, or do you
: have a different explanation?

Very. Both are right in the sense of both literally being divrei
E-lokim Chaim. Both were given at Sinai, either explicitly or by
implication. Hashem gave 49 derakhim letaheir, and 49 letamei.

One then needs to find a pesaq, as in the seifa "halakhah kebeis Hillel".
You can only do one or the other. And then, barring a ruling of a national
entity like the Sanhedrin, we can have a "right for me" vs "right for you"
because we have different pesaqim. But the reisha is talking before /
without pesaq -- what did HQBH say?

(FWIW, I hope a better-written symmary of my opinion will make it to my
blog in the next week or two.)


Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 00:04:13 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: 70 and 70

In Avodah V14 #86, Micha replied to RAM:
> But either the number of nations or the number of languages caused by
> the initial hapelagah was not literally 70.

Re nations, see RaShY on 4-29:18. Re languages, see Targum Yonasan
on 1-11:7-8.

All the best from
 - Michael Poppers via RIM pager

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 10:30:49 -0500 (EST)
From: "Sholom Simon" <sholom@aishdas.org>
Uprooting Torah

My chavrusa and I are learning Mishna (two per day).

When we first encountered the idea of "uprooting torah", i.e., abolishing
mitzvos (in meseches R"H), we were a bit uncomfortable. Nevertheless,
we weren't surprised, as we all know that, e.g., we don't blow a shofar
on shabbos. Via R Jonathan Sacks, which RMB incorportated into the scj
FAQ, we knew of the following criteria for taking such an action:

A mitzvah could be nullified if:

a) it was a positive mitzvah
b) the abolishment is merely inaction.
c) the abolishment is to helping avoid other issurim (issurei d'oraissa).

(Tangent question: is there a (d), that this can only be done by a

(Another tangent question: are (a) and (b) completely equivalent?)

In any event, the above is not what prompts this email (although any
further elightenment on it would also be appreciated). After 2-1/2 years,
we are closing in on finishing Seder Nashim, and at the end of Sotah
we read of many mitzvos that were abolished. What was troubling is that
they didn't seem to fit the above criteria.

Speficially, Sotah 9:9, where we read of the abolition of the eglah
arufah. Meforshim offer two explanations: (a) The murderers became well
known, and so there was not a case of complete doubt, and so one couldn't
do it; and/or (b) Murders were more brazen and acted publicly. (Eglah
arufa is done only when there is complete doubt as to the identity of
the murderer).

Neither is completely satisfying. And I don't see how (a) (b) and (c)
are accomplished here -- unless doing the eglah arufah when there is
not complete doubt is a torah violation.

(Granted, the Sotah procedure was discontinued, and has a more sound
basis: when adultery increases, the chances of the procedure working
decreases (since, if the husband has committed adultery himself,
the waters don't work). And then you are erasing HaShem's name for a
procedure that doesn't work anymore. Our question isn't on that one.)

Then more questions arose in 9:10 when we read that the ma'aser confession
was abolished. I suppose this makes sense in light of what Ezra did (he
decreed that the Levi'im forfeit their ma'aser rishon (!) -- which was
news to me. This is apparently described in Gemara Yevamos which I had
not yet read). And so, therefore, others couldn't make the confession.
Which begs the question, of course, what happened in between the time
of Ezra and when this was abolished. Why didn't we read anything about
this in an earlier Mishna? (Somewhere in Seder Zeraim? Like, perhaps,
masechtes Ma'aseros?)

More importantly, as my chavrusa wrote: "I don't understand how this is
different from R [or C] Jews saying "this mitzvah is not relevant anymore"
 -- which is to say, there must be something deeper I don't understand."


 - Sholom

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 00:07:59 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Crispy Matzos

"Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> 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 wafer, not wine and pita.

That council did no such thing. It's not clear when Catholics started
using unleavened bread, but it may not have been until as late as the 9th
or 10th century, and it took even longer for them to evolve down to those
paper-thin things which look exactly like kimmel crackers. The Orthodox
to this day use leavened bread, and until 1439 they actually held that
unleavened bread was pasul. At the Council of Florence, Catholics and
Orthodox agreed that both chametz and matza were kosher for the mius,
but that lechatchila each should follow their own minhag.

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

And the Shulchan Aruch Harav refers to it as a recent innovation.

Zev Sero

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 01:08:03 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Mezuzah

"Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> To go back a step.

Yes, let's.   Let's start with the clear halachos in the gemara:

1. A kohen did the avodah and then found out that he is a ben grusha.
The korbanot that he did do not have to be brought again. The gemara
offers several pesukim to justify this, one of which is "barech Hashem

2. A kohen did the avodah and then found out that he was a baal moom.
All the korbanot that he did are retrospectively pasul, and must be
brought again.

3. Someone toveled in a mikveh, did taharot, and then it was discovered
that the mikveh is short. We don't know whether it became short before
he toveled or after. The person must be considered to have been tamei
all along, and the taharot he did must be destroyed.

The gemara distinguishes between the first case and the next two, because
the psul of a ben grusha is not objectively verifiable, whereas the psul
of a baal moom or a short mikveh is objectively verifiable, and could
have been discovered at any time.

Now in all three cases, we're not talking about someone who is a mezid,
nor does the gemara indicate that we're talking about a poshe'a. I assume
that the baal mum did have a check up at some point, but his moom either
went unnoticed or appeared after the inspection. Similarly, I assume
that the mikveh was checked at some point and was found to be kosher,
but it became pasul some time between then and the next inspection.

Given this distinction the gemara makes, how can anyone even suggest that
"barech hashem chelo" can possibly apply to tefillin or mezuzot whose
psul could be found by an inspection? How can they be compared to a
ben grusha, rather than to a baal moom? Even if they *were* like a ben
grusha, you'd still have the hurdle of demonstrating that the gemara's
hava amina, that the din of ben grusha can be extended to other cases,
is valid. But as it is, they're clearly not like a ben grusha, so we
don't even have to get into that question.

> 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.

But "barech Hashem chelo" *is* about one specific psul kehuna. And it
explicitly does *not* apply to a different psul kehuna. So the question
isn't whether to compare it to psulei kehuna; if you want to use "barech
Hashem chelo" you *have* to compare it to them. The question is *which*
psul kehuna to compare it to, and then, *if* you were to conclude that
it's like a ben grusha, the next question would be whether it's valid
to compare *anything* to that case.

>>> 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.

According to your definition, why is the baal moom not "avad"?
And why is the person who tovelled in the short mikveh not "avad"?
Both did exactly what they were supposed to, just like the person with
the pasul tefilin or mezuzah. And yet what they did is pasul, and they
are explicitly excluded from any possibility of "barech Hashem chelo"
(or the other psukim suggested by the gemara) applying to them.
>>> 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.

No. Once he knows his status there is no question that he must *not*
do the avodah. The question is WRT the avodah that he did before he
found out.

> 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.)

And how is this different than the Kohen's question, which is also

>>> 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.

I was addressing your suggestion that the ben grusha's "heter" is
lechatchila. Once he knows his status, he may not do the avodah, because
he's a chalal, and the pasuk no longer helps him. Before he knew his
status he was, of course, also a chalal, but the question of whether,
lechatchila, he should have done the avodah, didn't arise, because he
didn't know. The pasuk doesn't address this. All the pasuk does is to
kasher, bedi'avad, what he did before he found out. And this pasuk only
applies *at most* to cases where the psul is even in principle not able
to be found by an inspection.

>> 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?

Who says that was not done with the baal moom or the mikveh? The
gemara doesn't specify that it's only pasul if the last inspection was
a long time ago. It applies equally if the cohen or the mikveh was last
inspected yesterday, so long as the korban or the tevilah happened after
the last inspection (or if the moom is one that by its nature must have
been there earlier, but was somehow missed).

>>> 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.

My reply is addressing the fact that *haya* efshar levarer is *the*
crucial difference between a ben grusha (which is kosher bediavad)
and a baal moom or short mikveh (which is pasul bediavad). This isn't
a debatable sevara, it's explicit in the gemara that this is *the*
distinction. And the gemara is explicitly talking after the act was done.
It's not whether we can be mevarer now; we *have* been mevarer now.
We now *know* the truth. It's whether we could in principle have been
mevarer before the act.

Zev Sero

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