Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 106

Thursday, March 31 2005

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 01:14:17 +0200
From: Simon Montagu <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Re: Do I say Kedusha, Borchu?

On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 01:02:51 +1000, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:

> It is really very interesting, to sit here in Melbourne and watch and
> hear - clearly - what hundreds of people are doing on the other side of
> the world.

> My shaalo is, what do I do when I hear the Shatz saying brochos, borchu,
> kaddish and kedusha? Do I answer - or not? Does anyone know of tshuvos
> on this?

I remember reading a teshuva of ROY (which I can't now find) about
services broadcast on the radio in which he paskens that one should
answer to berachot and kaddish as long as it is a live broadcast and
not a recording.

It seems to me though that a webcast is significantly less "live" than
a radio broadcast, since the data stream will have been buffered along
the way on servers and/or your own computer.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:38:40 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: fallibility or non fallibility of chazal

kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
>R' Daniel Eidensohn quoted Emes L'Yaakov (Bereishis page 15), regarding
>astronauts on the moon: "How could the Rambam explain this since he has
>written that the moon is a spiritual entity."

>It seems to me that this "spiritual entity" has a physical manifestation,
>and this strikes me as contradictory. Are there any other "spiritual
>entities" which are visible to even the most ordinary of people?

I don't pretend to understand the issue, but the following sources seem to
indicate that there the spiritual and material words are on a continuum.

*Kuzari (4:2-3)* [[[Glory of G-d is a fine substance by means of which
select individuals saw G-d."Similarly from the aethereal and spritual
substance which is called "holy spirit" arose the spritual forms called
glory of G-d (Exod 19:20)ג€¦[4:2]How can I individualise a being if
I am not able to point ot it and can only prove its existence by its
actions? [4:3] It can be designated by prophetic or visionary means.
Demonstration can lead astray. Demonstration was the mother of heresy and
destructive ideasג€¦There are differences in the ways of demonstration
of which some are more extended than others. Those who go to the utmost
length are the philosophers, and the ways of their arguments led them
to teach of a Supreme Being which neither benefits nor injures, and
knows nothing of our prayers, offerings, obedience, or disobedience
and that the world is as eternal as He Himselfג€¦His influence also
being with the pious, they comprehended Him by means of intermediaries
called: glory, Shechina, cominion, fire, cloud, likeness, form, the
appearnce of the bow, etc. (Ezek 1:28). For they proved to them that He
had spoken to them and they styled it: Glory of G-d. Occasionally they
addressed the holy ark by the name of Gג€‘d as it is written "Rise up O
L-rd (Num 10:35-36) when they made a start and Return O L-rd when they
halted, or G-d is gone up withat a shout the L-rd with the sound of the
trumpted (Psalms 47:6). With all this only the ark of the L-rd is meant.
Sometimes the name L-rd was applied to the connecting link between G-d
and Israel as it is written "Do I not hate them O L-rd that hate You?
(Ps 139:21). By "haters of the L-rd" are meant those who hate the name
or covenant or the law of G-d. [[finish]]

*Rav Saadiya Gaon(2:12)* how could man see G-d? [[Now some people are
confused by the story related in scripture that our teacher Moshe
requested of His Master /Show me, I pray You, Your Glory (Shemos
33:18)/. They are even more confused by G-d's answer to Moshe: /You
can not see My face for man shall not see Me and live (Shemos 33:20)./
And their confusion is doubled by G-d's subsequent remark: /And you
shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen (Shemos 33:23). /I say
then invoking the aid of G-d in the effort to reveal and clarify all
this, that G-d has a special light which He creates and makes manifest
to His prophets in order that they may infer there from that it is a
prophetic communication emanating from G-d that they hear. When one of
them sees this light he says /I have seen the glory of the L-rd/. Often
however he would say simply /I have seen G-d/ by way of ellipsis. You
know this also about Moshe and Aaron, Nadav and Abihu and 70 elders
of Israel (Shemos 24:9). This is explained afterwards as follows: /And
the appearance of the glory of the L-rd was like devouring fire on the
top of the mount /(Shemos 24:17). However when they beheld this light,
they were unable to look upon it on account of its power and brilliance.
Indeed whoever looked upon it incurred the disintegration of his entire
makeup and the flight of his spirit from his body, as scripture says
/Lest they break through unto the L-rd to gaze and many of them perish
(Shemos 19:21). /Moshe accordingly asked his Master to give him the
strength to look upon this light. The latter, whoever, answered him
that the first rays of this light were so powerful that he would be
unable to view them clearly with his naked eyes, lest he perish. He
would rather cover him up with a cloud or the like until the first
rays of this light have passed, because the greatest strength of every
radiant body is contained in its initial approach. All this was implied
in the statement /And I will cover you with My hand until I have passed
(Shemos 33:22)./ When, then, the first portion of the light had passed,
G-d removed from Moshe the thing that had covered him, so that he might
be able to look at the back of the light, as Scripture says: /And I will
take away My hand and you shall see My back (Shemos 33:23). /As for the
Creator Himself, however, there is no means whereby anybody might see
Him. That is in the realm of the impossible.

Ramban*(Bereishis 18:1)* the divine presence is seen in order to reward,
to motivate faith, and to protect

*Chizkuni( Shemos 33:18):* When Moshe requested to see G-d's glory he
requested to actually see the Divine Presence

Rabbeinu Bachye (*Shemos 33:18):* There is an upper and lower glory.
Since Moshe reached the seven realms at the Revelation at Sinai, therefore
he now requested access to that which was above them. this glory is the
great upper glory which is called Keser (crown) of the clear lense...And
Moshe requested to be able to see this glory directly with his own
eyes. It needs to be determined whether it is actually impossible that
a human being can see G-d's glory while he is still a physical being -
how can a material being perceive something totally spiritual? Moshe -
the greatest prophet because he had already moderated his physicality
in the 40 days which he had fasted thought that even though he hadn't
ceased being physical but his physical being was so purified as to
no longer being relevant and that he could comprehend now that which
he would comprehend later when in fact he was no longer a physical
being. Gג€‘d answered him that even the purification he had done was
still insufficient and he was still unable to comprehend G-d's higher
glory without complete separation from his physical being.

Daniel Eidensohn

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 20:45:06 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Eruvin

R  N Witty commented: 
> Second, I have heard that the main reason for the inability of there
> installing an eiruv in Brooklyn is that 600,000 travel through Ocean
> Parkway daily. However, each vehicle is a reshus hayachid. So the
> population of vehicular traffic ought not count toward 600,000, and
> therefore, an eiruv ought to be viable. Since there are eiruvin in other
> large cities, including Queens, NY, (I may be mistaken, but i think even
> across Queens Blvd), we are maikel against Rashi's opinion concerning
> the width of the street/avenue. Baltimore also has some very wide avenues
> inside its eiruv.

> Finally, I have also heard it said that Rav Aharon Kotler zt"l told RMF
> never to permit an eiruv in Manhattan or Queens.

RNW may be unaware that RMF is the posek who approved in writing the
eruv in KGH. Forest Hills may present more of an issue vis a vis Queens
Boulevard. Far Rockaway, AFAIK, has had an eruv and involves no major
highways. As far as Manhattan is concerned, R Lamm is fond of telling what
happened when RAK was ready to place him in cherem or the equivalent for
establishing an eruv on the UWS. Puuting aside of other possible problems
with the eruv, R Lamm consulted RYBS who said to him that he was a rav
and musmach and that he should defend his position. R Lamm visited RAK,
who admitted that he not learned Eruvun but that he was against eruvin
in general.

Steve Brizel

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:03:12 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Races of Mankind

> The whole system doesn't work too well WRT Edom.

The ibn Ezra points out that Edom lived in what's now southern Jordan,
and were semi-assimilated into Bnei Yisrael long ago. Europeans may
be in some sense spiritual descendants of Edom (he suggests that some
of the early Xian evangelists might have been from Edom), but they are
certainly not physically Edomim.

Zev Sero

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 10:10:57 -0500
From: mlevinmd@aol.com
The 13 Rules and Logic

If DYO is loogic, why do we need to derive it from a verse?

ALso, in the case of Miriam's banishment which is the source for dyo,
there are logical reasons why it should be 14 days and that's why you
need a pasul. According to you, these reasonable supposition whoud have
been a-priori rules out by the logicals tructure of teh argument.

Bava Kamma 25b and Tosafot ibid. You would think that it should be
fourteen days for God, the life giver, is considered as both a father
and a mother (R. Tam) or, because the second isolation must also be at
least 7 days (R. Chananel). Underlying the latter comment is probably
a supposition that isolation for ritual purposes can only be in units
of 7 days. Therefore, the next step after 7 days must be 14 days Isefer
Hakritut, 1,3).

M. Levin

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 05:11:21 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Do I say Kedusha, Borchu?

R'SBA asked <<< I have in the past day or so logged on to www.770live.com
which is a Chabad website and includes a 24/7 coverage- video and audio -
of the main L shul in 770. ... My shaalo is, what do I do when I hear
the Shatz saying brochos, borchu, kaddish and kedusha? Do I answer -
or not? Does anyone know of tshuvos on this? >>>

Speaking about a typical Chazaras Hashatz situation, Mishna Brurah
124:33 says that as long as you know which bracha the chazan said,
you can answer Amen to it, even if you did not personally hear any of
the bracha at all. I recall (but can't find a source right now) that
this is true of any bracha recited by a Jew. I have heard of poskim
(but I don't remember exactly which) who cite this halacha to allow
answering Amen to the chazan in large settings where you can't hear the
chazan at all but you can hear the copy of his voice which comes from
the loudspeakers. (Musaf at the Kotel on Birkas Cohanim day would be an
example of this.)

If all the above is accurate, I don't see why RSBA's example is any
different. Presuming that the audio track is indeed broadcast live,
and that the time delay as it works through all the circuitry is faster
than a toch kday dibur, then you have a situation where you know which
bracha the Jew said, even though you didn't actually hear it, so you *can*
answer Amen.

Kedusha and Borchu might be different. Or maybe not. If I'm in my house,
and I cannot hear the chazan in the shul next door, but I *can* hear the
tzibur saying "kadosh, kadosh...", I *can* answer with them, right? If
closeness a factor? If not, then half a world away should be okay too.

Akiva Miller

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 08:31:00 +0200
From: Simon Montagu <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Re: Do I say Kedusha, Borchu?

I found the reference: Yehhaveh Da'at volume 2 siman 68. The question
was about selihhot, so ROY doesn't mention barechu and kedusha, but he
does explicitly say that one should say the 13 Middot. The chief source
is Tosafot on Sukkot 52a and Berachot 47a, WRT the Alexandria synagogue.

I would still distinguish between radio and webcast. The reasoning is
that your Amen is not yetoma as long as you know that the hazzan is
saying the beracha at that moment, and on a webcast you don't know that:
there could be a delay of several seconds or longer depending on traffic.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 12:12:37 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Chazal and Rishonim - relative importance

The current controversy regarding book banning has highlighted an
important issue. What is the relative importance of Chazal and the
Rishonim -- i.e., to what degree do we understand Chazal directly and
to what degree do we rely on the understanding of the Rishonim -- even
if they seem to reject Chazal?

I was taught in yeshiva that Chazal are to be seen and understood
through the lens of the Rishonim. However, Rabbi Meiselman (Jewish
Action devoted to Gra Fall 1997) asserted that this was the innovation
of the Gra. This apparently means that prior to the Gra, Chazal could
be understood independently of the Rishonim

Similarly it was stated in the Jewish Observer that Rav Moshe Feinstein
 poskened from the gemora. Something which had not been done since the
Chasam Sofer. Is it valid to assume that prior to the Chasam Sofer it was
much more common to posken from the gemora -- thus bypassing the Rishonim?

 Jewish Observer (March 1996): [["Rabbi Shlomo Karelitz (a nephew of
the Chazon Ish and an Av Beis Din in Petach Tikva) once comment to my
father (Rabbi Yonah Ganzweig, who served as a Rav in Los Angeles for
over forty years), 'I disagree with the Igros Moshe on many points,
but I bow my head [in acceptance]; since the time of the Chasam Sofer
there has not been anyone who can decide halacha issues directly from
the gemora as Reb Moshe does.'" [ page 14 Jewish Observer March 1996
"An Appreciation of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein by Rabbi Chaim Ganzweig]

However, in contrast to the contemporary world of halacha, in the realm of
aggada and hashkofa it seems that Rav Dessler requires that the Rishonim
conform to chazal and have no independent understanding.

Rav Dessler (4:355): 5) It is important however to distinguish between
those explanations which are basically interpretation of the verses and
those of our Sages which are the actual meaning of the verses. Given
this clear distinction it is puzzling why many Rishonim strive to
follow a different understanding than the true explanation given by
our Sages? We find such tendencies in the commentary of the Rashbam,
Ibn Ezra and other Rishonim. What is the purpose of offering explanations
which differ from the definitive true ones? I think that they offer these
alternative explanations for the sake of confused people. In other words,
these Rishonim want to show that there are many different aspects even
in the simple understanding of the verses and that it is permissible
for a person to create new interpretations according to what makes
sense to him. (Of course, any alternative explanations which contradict
foundation principles of faith are prohibited.) This is consistent with
our understanding of R' Shmuel HaNagid. This advice is very critical
in order to save the souls of the confused people. Such an approach is
similar to that of the Rambam who wrote so much for the confused. We see
this from the fact that many difficulties that exist in what he wrote
could have been explained in a much clearer fashion. However, since he
was addressing confused people he provided alternative explanations which
they could acceptas long as it didn't contradict the Halacha. Using
this approach, I have been able to understand the difficult comments of
the Radak who was a very holy person and one of the great members of
the period of the Rishonim. In particular, it justifies his comments
concerning the disparity of the text of the Torah and how it is to be
read in a number of places (kri v'kesiv)....

What I am searching for are conflicts resulting from switching
between understanding Chazal directly and viewing the Rishonim as the
final arbiters of understanding of Yiddishkeit. The consequence being
whether a person today can bypass or reject the views of the Rishonim.
Alternatively can a person rely on the Rishonim even if they seem to
contradict Chazal?

Daniel Eidensohn

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 10:01:33 -0500
From: mlevinmd@aol.com
Startling historical beliefs

R. M.Schapiro:
> Let me also note one more thing regarding R. Yehudah he-Hasid's view
> that the Great Hallel (Ps. 136) was removed from the Torah by David. In
> my book I state that there must have been soe tradition regarding this
> verse, the source and nature of which is unknown. In fact, nowhere in
> rabbinic literature does it say that the Great Hallel was recited by
> the Israelites. Yet I recently found that the Rokeah, in his Perush on
> the Siddur also says that the Israelites recited the Great Hallel and he
> claims that is is found in Seder Olam (but it's not in our versions). He
> doesn't say that this was every included in the Torah, just that they
> recited it, but it is still significant in that it shows that in Ashkeneaz
> there was this tradition about the Great Hallel being sung.

There are three points I would like to share with the group and I hope
to hear comments.

1, R. Yehuda Hachasid story as I understand it. THis does not include
R. Menashe Kelin's interpretation as recently published.

In the year 5735, Rabbi Y, S, Langer brought out "Peirushe Hatorah
L'R. Yehuda Hachasid" from a manuscript. This work consisted of
explanations attributed to R. Yehuda Hachasid and collected and written
down in decades subsequent to his passing. It is a heterogenous work,
uneven in style and content and not authenticated by scholars of
subsequent generations.

The book contains several suggestions of peculiar character and
provenance. It is often difficult to understand the basis and precedent
or some of the recorded remarks; among them are several that bear directly
upon the issues that we are now discussing.

 Among these is the surprising suggestion that the Song of the Well
 (Bamidbar 21,17) originally included the entire Hallel Hagadol (Tehilim
 136) but that it was removed by David and incorporated into his
 Tehilim, as he also did with several other psalms originally composed
 by Moshe. Similarly, there are three other statements to the effect
 that certain verses in the Chumash were inserted by the Men of the
 Great Assembly. Curiosly, these statements appear to have neither the
 force of logical argument behind them nor do they truly resolve serious
 questions of pshat or structure; they seem almost intentionally inserted
 to some polemical purpose.

The matter was referred to the attention of R. Moshe Feinstein. In
Igrot Moshe, Y"D, 3, 114 he judges the matter and concludes that the
attribution to R. Yehuda Hachasid is mistaken or has been made with
sinister motives. He quotes the passages in Sanhedrin and Rambam that we
have already discussed and deals with the correct text of a passage in
Avot D'Rabbi Natan[1] that bears on this issue. He concludes: " We have
it already an accepted law (on the authority) of Ibn Ezra[2] that such
a work should be burnt (in the comments to Genesis 36, 31) and now new
books of this type are being printed. This book is even worse for the
wicked heretics falsified in it views that they attribute to R. Yehuda
Hachasid...it is worse than other heretical works which are not likely
to be trusted by simple folk whereas the name of R. Yehuda Hachasid is
ascribed to this work... and it leads the multitudes to sin". R. Moshe
then continues by questioning the reliability of the rest of the
manuscript and advises that it should not be printed in its entirety[3].

Subsequently, it was pointed out to him that one of the offending remarks
in this manuscript is also quoted in the name of R. Yehuda Hachasid by
R. Menachem Tsiuni, an Italian commentator of 15th century. R. Moshe
responded that he most likely simply transcribed something that he
discovered in some manuscript in the name of R. Yehuda Hacahsid without
giving it due consideration and that, perhaps, it would be best to
withdraw that work as well[4].

One may restate R. Moshes's position as follows. The manuscript
in question has never been authenticated as representing positions
that R. Yehuda Hachasid truly held, neither had it been available for
evaluation and criticism by subsequent generation of Torah scholars. It
clearly contradicts an accepted, time hallowed principle of our faith. It
must therefore be presumed to contain forgeries and not to be published.

This assumption of R. Moshe that an unknown heretic ascribed these views
to the reknown R. Yehuda Hachasid received unexpected (and unintended)
support when Professor I. Ta Shema published an article in which he
identified a little known student of R. Yehuda Hachasid (1240-1160) who
apparently held views similar to the ones ascribed to R. Yehuda Hacasud
in the manuscript under discussion. He discovered in a manuscript of
R. Shlomo ben Shmuel Hatsarfati, a student of various Ashkenazic rabbis in
the generation after R. Yehudaj Hachasid and an author of various works
extant primarily in manuscript form.. In a series of notes on Chumash,
he attempts to interpret Ibn Ezra's comments regarding the goat which
is sent on Yom Kippur to Azazel, in a way which our text of Ibn Ezra
cannot possibly contain. Basically he calims that the word Azazel is of
Arameic origin and that it was inserted into the text of Chumash at the
time of Babylonian exile.

It appears that R. Shlomo may have been the source of the claim that
R. Yehuda Hachasid held views ascribed to him in Langer's manuscript and
may have actually been the one to propagate them in the name of this
distinguished individual. The tendentiousness with which the view is
presented strongly suggests that he may have seen himself as discovering
the secret significance of Ibn Ezra's words and from there ascribing them
also to the greatest authority that he knew, R. Yehuda Hachasid himself.

[1] We will leave the discussion of that passage for another venue;
suffices to say, it is clearly of later origin and cannot outweigh
explicit passages in the Mishna and Talmud that serve as the basis of
Rambam's view.

[2] The Ibn Ezra cites this view in the name of Yitshaki, who is otherwise
unknown. Some have identified him with R. Yitshak ben Shlomo Harofe;
however, it is difficult to attribute such views to this well known
student and poppularizer of R. Saadua Gaon. Others have identified him
with R. Yonah ibn Janach, based on Ibn Ezra citation to Shemot 21,8 (
a view also found in latter's Sefer Harikma), also an identificqtion
diffcult to accept. For a full discussion ג€" see Mossad HaRav Kook
edition of Ibn Ezra on the Torah, p.64-65

[3] IT has continued to be cited by some, for example Baal Haturim with
commentary Shoham Yakar, Feldheim, 1995, p.16

[4] This presented a difficulty to those who accustomed to study
R. M. Tsiuni's commentary to the Zohar. See Mishne Halakhot (R. Menashe
Klein), Tinyana,2,214 and R. Shalom Hakohen Weiis, Tsefonei Tsiuni
(from manuscript), 5745

2. THe view of the NEtsiv that Kisvei Hakodesh were edited second time
by Ruach Hakodesh and some speculation on what this means for Sefer
Ben Sira. Netsiv dpecifically addresses M. Schapiro's issue with Hallel
Hagadol, which is in Pesachim 117a. Rokeach is merely quoting that source.

"Moshe wrote his book and the section of Bilaam and Job. Joshua wrote
his book and eight (last) verses on the Torah. Samuel wrote his book,
Judges and Ruth. David wrote Psalms together with ten elders (Adam,
Malchi Tsedek, Abraham, Moshe, Heiman, Yedutun, Asaf, three sons of
Korach). Yirmia wrote his book and Kings and Lamentations. Chezekia and
his group wrote Isaiah, Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes.

The Men of the Great Assembly wrote Ezekiel and 12 prophets, Daniel
and Esther. Ezra wrote his book and the genealogies of Chronicles"
(Bava Bathra 14b-15a).

It is quite apparent from even a superficial reading of this beraita that
"wrote cannot mean wrote down or authored in every case. Whereas for
the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Kings, Lamentations and Ezra "wrote"
can be reasonably taken as authorship for the others this word must
mean something other than sole authorship. It is quite apparent to any
reader of the books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs or Song of Songs, Ezekiel,
Isaiah or the 12 prophets that they are a record of these prophets'
words as they were delivered or recorded for posterity. How can one
possibly maintain that these books were written de-novo by the Men of
Great Assembly. Clearly this word refers to some process of arrangement
and editing rather than de novo composition. Perhaps, a better way of
translating the word "wrote" would be "transcribed, which is exactly how
the widely accepted ArtScroll Talmus translates it in these latter cases.

This is an important point for it implies that there was a process of
final transcribing or possibly even redaction for many of the books of the
NaCh. In fact, that is exactly what we find in much of traditional writing
on this topic. There is internal evidence for this position within the
book of Psalms and Chronicles[1]. Similarly, Rashi ibid brings evidence
form the book of Proverbs itself (24,1) regarding the role of Chezekia
and scholars in the generations subsequent to him.

It is important to realize that this second transcription was under the
influence of Ruach Hakodesh, not mere work of men, G-d forbid.

It follows then that at some point of prior to closing of the canon of the
Bible, three kinds of books could have existed: those written and already
canonized in their final form, such as Judges and Ruth; those written or
orally passed on from generation to generation, such as Isaiah, Daniel,
or Esther and those not written under the influence of Ruach Hakodesh or
containing a mixture of inspired and non-inspired writing. In the case of
the latter, it would fall to the Men of the Great Assembly to transcribe
or edit them under the influence of Ruach Hakodesh so that they may also
join the canon in their final form. Alternatively, they may choose to
completely or partially exclude such writings form the canon. They can
be sifted carefully to be retained as part of Oral Law; in the latter
they may be kept as sanctified but without all characteristics of full
membership[2].We will return to this point when we discuss Apocrypha
and the book of Ben Sira.

What was this process of editing like and what form did it take? It
is described by the Netsiv in the following words: "Song of Songs
ג€" that was composed out of many separate songs of which many were
composed through Ruach Hakodesh by others (not Solomon). For example
the song "tell me...(1,7)" was said by Moshe as is explained in the
Sifri... Also the verse "kiss me..." (1,2) was received (as tradition)
by our Rabbis to have been written prior to Solomon and they asked :When
was it composed?". Similarly "We have a little sister (8,8)" was said
at the days of Avraham, as explained in Genesis Rabba, section Lech
Lecha. Solomon gathered songs through the Holy Spirit and also added of
his own and fashioned it into one song. This is also like this regarding
the book of Psalms that his father produced and which was called by his
name even though it contains songs that were said by others.... So it
says in Pesachim 117a that all the praises in the Psalms David said,
as it says"completed songs of David son of Jesse", because David edited
and added to them. So also Solomon gathered verses that he had at hand
and added many others of his own and made of it into one song... There
are songs that were composed with a certain meaning at one time and
Solomon adjusted it through Ruach Hakodesh for a different time". (Rina
Shel Torah 1,1)

"This prophecy (in Micha) is very difficult to understand. It appears that
it was pre-existing form the time of the Judges and at the time of Micha
it was added to the rest of his words. It states similarly in Leviticus
Rabba that two verses in Isaiah were already known for the time of Be'eri
(father of Ezekiel) but were added to the book of Isaiah. There are many
such instances in Prophets and Writings (He'emek Davar to Genesis 49,
10)". The Netsiv expands on this and cites many other examples in He'emek
Sha'ala 166,5, among them that Shema Yisrael was first pronounced by the
12 tribes thorough Ruach Hakodesh and later incorporated by Moshe into
the Torah, as per Pesachim 56a. This process of second transcription,
he explains, accounts also for the phenomen of Keri and Ketiv, that
is for the many words in the Hebrew Bible that are written in one way
but are read somewhat differently. The Ketiv represents the original
wording as first said through Ruach Hakodesh and the Keri the wording
as it was transcribed in its final form the second time around, under
Ruach Hakodesh[3].

I must again emphasize the absolutely central role of Divine inspiration
in the process of canonization, or fixing of the final wording and place
of some of its books inside the canon of the Bible. I must also reiterate
that we do not have authority to assume that this process applied to any
books or verses except those specifically pointed out to us by Talmudic
sages. It goes without saying that extending this idea to the Chumash
is not only unwarranted but constitutes a transgression of a principle
of faith, G-d forbid, and anyone suggesting such an idea is likely to
have taken himself out of the community of believers.

[1] See extensive discussion of this point and the sources that he
brings to support it in M. Eiseman's introduction to his commentary to
ArtScroll Chronicles.

[2] See Megila 7a and Tos s.v. Ne'emra likrot vlo lhikateiv.

[3] We will discuss Keri and Ketiv in the chapter on the Mesora.

The enigma of Ben Sira

The book of Ben Sira is unique among the Apocryphal books. It is the only
such book quoted frequently by the Talmud and Midrash; more importantly,
it is at times referred to in a way reserved for quotations from the
Tanach itself[1]. This is difficult to reconcile with other statements
that prohibit study of this book[2]. In addition, Sanhedrin 100a
approvingly quotes a number of verses form Ben Sira and concludes that
"good things form it you can read but bad (nonsensical) things from
it you may not read". The Talmud brings examples of some of the "bad"
things; it is obvious that they are rejected as aphorisms of no great
depth or significance.

After what we have established in the preceding discussion, a solution
suggests itself after a perusal of the introduction to the book of
Ben Sira. This introduction explains that it was written and "almost
competed" by Ben Sira "who "did not only gather the grave and short
sentences of wise men who were before him but also uttered some of his
own..." Farthermore, this Ben Sira lived "in the latter times, after all
the people have been led away captive and called home again and after
almost all of the prophets".

It may be suggested that Ben Sira represents a work that is a compilation
of statements of various prophets and inspired authors that lived
before him. However, and crucially important, it had never undergone a
second editing under the influence of Ruach Hakodesh; rather it was put
together and added to by someone who did not possess Ruach Hakodesh. The
Sages were aware which verses stemmed form which source. They did not
refrain from quoting or commenting on those that were divinely inspired,
even to the extent of referring to them as if they originated for the
Scripture. They did not accept the book as a whole, however, for average
people were not capable to make this determination and would come to
treat verses that are not inspired as if they are.

[1] Bava Kama 92b, See Tosafot ibid s.v.meshulash bektuvim, Chagiga 13a,
Eiruvin 65a, and more than a dozen other places. Maharits Chiyos in Kol
Sifrei Marits Chiyos, Vol1, p152 maintains that the acceptability of
Ben Sira is subject to a disagreement of Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud.

[2] Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 28a,Sanhedrin 100b, Kohelet Rabba 12,12,Tosefta
Yadaim 2,13,

3. What does R. Schapiro think about my suggestion that R. Y. Hechasid
is basing himself on R. Saadia Gaon's view that Tehillim were dictated
to David word-for-word just as CHumash was dictated to Moshe R.

M. Levin

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 08:42:20 -0800 (PST)
From: shmuel pultman <spultman@yahoo.com>
Re: Eruvin

On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 12:52:00 Noach Witty wrote:
> Second, I have heard that the main reason for the inability of
> there installing an eiruv in Brooklyn is that 600,000 travel through
> Ocean Parkway daily. However, each vehicle is a reshus hayachid...
>                                             Since there are eiruvin
> in other large cities, including Queens, NY, (I may be mistaken, but i
> think even across Queens Blvd), we are maikel ??against?? *utilizing*
> Rashi's opinion concerning the width of the street/avenue. Baltimore
> also has some very wide avenues inside its eiruv.

> Finally, I have also heard it said that Rav Aharon Kotler zt"l told RMF
> never to permit an eiruv in Manhattan or Queens.

Please see my prior post that the issue concerning shishim ribuy
traversing Ocean Parkway has nothing to do with RMF zt"l's shita unless
we consider Ocean Parkway a sratya.

Nevertheless, since it would be of concern for most poskim, it is
important to note that Ocean Parkway has nowhere near shishim ribuy
traversing it daily because it has fewer then 55,000 vehicles, with an
average of 1.5 occupants per vehicle (NYSDOT, A Transportation Profile
of NYS, 2004 p. 4). So we don't have to rely on the heter of, "each
vehicle is a reshus hayachid." I will add that most poskim subscribe
to the view that a vehicle is not included in the tally as well (Bais
Ephraim, O.C. 26; Maharsham, 1:162; Yeshuos Malko, siman 26-27; Harei
B'samim, 5:73; Bais Av, 2:9:3; Mahari Stief, siman 68; Divrei Yatziv,
2:172:13; V'yaan Yoseph, 1:155:1; Kuntres Tikkun Eruvin Manhattan,
siman 12 p. 105; Kinyan Torah, 4:40:6, and Rabbi Eliezer Y. Waldenberg
shlita, author of the Tzitz Eliezer, as cited in The Contemporary Eruv,
2002 p. 54 note 119).

I don't believe that RAK said anything regarding Queens since RMF
stated that the reason that he had signed against the Manhattan eruv was
because RAK and others had signed (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86 and Addendum
to O.C. 4:89). Why then would RMF allow an eruv in Kew Gardens Hills,
Queens (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86) if RAK objected to one?

I personally heard from RMF's Talmud/Chaver Rav Tuvia Goldstein zt"l that
in 1960 when there was a meeting of the Agudas HaRabbonim regarding the
Manhattan eruv, RAK spoke against establishing an eruv there and quoted
from the Mishkenos Yaakov. RMF told Rav Tuvia that we don't pasken
like the Mishkenos Yaakov and he was extremely disappointed that RAK
was employing the Mishkenos Yaakov against the Manhattan eruv (see also
Kuntres MeiOz U'Mikedem p. 21). So in any case, I don't think that RMF
would follow RAK's chiddushim regarding eruvin.

Smuel Pultman

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 13:14:42 -0500
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Re: Do I say Kedusha, Borchu?

On Thu, 2005-03-31 at 05:11 +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
>  I don't see why RSBA's example is any
> different. Presuming that the audio track is indeed broadcast live,
> and that the time delay as it works through all the circuitry is faster
> than a toch kday dibur, then you have a situation where you know which
> bracha the Jew said, even though you didn't actually hear it, so you *can*
> answer Amen.

I would think that all the encoding time + buffering would cause it to
be not toch kday dibur anymore (3 seconds?)  players usually buffer more
than that themself.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 14:11:54 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Do I say Kedusha, Borchu?

On Thu, Mar 31, 2005 at 01:14:42PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
: I would think that all the encoding time + buffering would cause it to
: be not toch kday dibur anymore (3 seconds?)  players usually buffer more
: than that themself.

I agree that it's likely the berakhah is not heard tokh kedei dibur of when
it's said.

If it were (using some other technology) does hearing the berakhah
over the telephone constitute hearing, or is it more like the gemara's
description of the Great Synagogue of Alexandria where it was so big
they would use flags to let people know when to answer the chazan?

Possible nafqa mina (but this too could be argued): Does shomeia'
ke'oneh apply?


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      

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 14:55:47 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Chazal and Rishonim - relative importance

From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
> See Rabbi Waldenberg's letter on p. 245 of Sridei Eish volume 1

My mistake.  I meant Rabbi Weinberg.


Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >