Avodah Mailing List

Volume 15 : Number 075

Wednesday, August 31 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 19:02:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Tisha b'Av in America vs. in Israel

R Moshe Feldman wrote:
> <<You're confusing galus with golah. Both are punishments. But we even
> had a bayis (rededicated by the Chashmonaim) throughout galus Yavan!
> You can't leave the golah, it requires the Shechinah's return.>>

> Galus and Golah are different forms of the same word....

True. However, (as you also note) in lashon chazal, they imply different things.

My point is that without further elaboration, the default "golah" is the
Jewish People from their land. However, the default "galus", without semichut
spelled out, is galus haShechinah. Which is why there could be a galus Yavan.

This is why many mefarashim on Daniel (and I believe RYGB posted something
similar besheim R' Tzadoq) show how each of the 4 galiyos involved a different
kind of spiritual battle, a different hesteir panim. Galus Yavan was Hashem
hiding to allow us to grapple with the ideas and ideals of Hellenism.

Shib'ud malchiyos is part of the hesteir. It doesn't define the galus, because
the galus isn't that of the people suffering oppression. (Aside from His "imo
anokhi betzarah", Hashem's sharing our pain.)

I'm not sure what you mean by:
> Regarding "Galus Yavan:" According to my computer search, Galus Yavan is
> used only 4 times in Tannaitic/Amoraic literature....

Wouldn't once alone be a ra'ayah that the word can refer to Jews on their land
-- with some measure of autonomy, even?


Micha Berger             A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow
micha@aishdas.org        man's soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries
http://www.aishdas.org   about his own soul and his fellow man's stomach.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Date: 30 Aug 2005 19:48:13 -0400
From: aishdas@aishdas.org
Re: hashkafa and psak

On the same subject as

In contrast to RSRH (see links in referenced post), RSWolbe makes an
ikar emunah out of agadita miSinai. In Alei Shur II pg 15, he sites the
Maharal's Be'eir haGolah (be'eir 6) as the source of these 4 conclusions:

1- Agada is like the rest of Torah -- given miSinai. And whoever believes
otherwise has no cheileq in olam haba.

2- "Ein sho'alim al ha'agadah" because it's possible that anything
may have been said al derekh ne'elam. Therefore there is no Q&A about
the peshat.

3- Aggada isn't explained using a shaqla vetarya format, as is shemaatesa
and halakhah. This is why you don't learn halakhah from aggadita --
aggadita lacks the Q&A format that is an obligatory part of learning

4- All of aggadita is chokhmas haTorah about which we say "if you want
to recognize the Yotzeir hakol, toil in aggada".


Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:19:44 -0400
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
An Age Old Issue

Moshe Feldman wrote: if an individual is meritorious to the extent that
if all Jews were as meritorious as this individual then all Jews would
be redeemed, then there is a mitzvah upon this individual to live in EY.

He has hit upon an issue that has bothered me for years. Most often we
are told that since WE constantly sin etc. etc., then WE will suffer,
etc. etc. Moshiach won't come until WE are worthy. And so on, and so on.
My point is that I have always felt that our individual behavior has
very little influence on all that has happened in our history. Surely,
there were righteous people in the time of the beis hamikdash. Surely,
there were righteous people in the time of the Shoah. Surely, there
are righteous people in EY. So why is it that their righteousness is
discounted in the punishments meted out. If you believe that all the
devastation in EY is a result of collective guilt, then what meaning
does an individual's righteousness have?

The point that Moshe makes is a very good one theoretically and should
apply to everything. If an individual is righteous to the extent that
if all Jews were as righteous as this individual, then all Jews would
be redeemed. Human nature being what it is and has been for thousands
of years seems to contradict this possibility. When will all Jews be
meritorious? As long as the Yetzer Hara has a place in our design,
I submit the answer to my question is: NEVER. Never will all Jews be
meritorious or worthy.

This is why much of the lofty goals articulated sound wonderful but
practically speaking do not exist. It would be like saying "As soon as
society ceases to commit crimes, there will be no need for prisons."
What a brilliant insight! The fact remains that as long as mankind
exists, so will crime. As long as computers exist, there will be
malicious hackers trying to destroy them. As long as there are banks,
there will be bank robbers. As long as there is the yetzer hara, there
will be evil.

So to say that when ALL the Jews are meritorious, ALL Jews will be
redeemed seems naive.

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Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 20:08:01 EDT
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
> The are also rishnim that hold that the principle of ein adam dan
> applies to all 13 middos, except kal vchomer. Does anyone remember who
> holds like that; I cannot currently recall.

I just remembered - Tos. in Sukkah 31a

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Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 22:30:45 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>

On Mon, Aug 22, 2005 at 08:02:06PM -0400, Zvi Lampel wrote:
: Actually, there /is/ a mesorah that good and evil as-we-know-it did not
: exist at a point in the Creation, although (naturally) before Hashems
: statement that "all that He did was very good."...

I understood the Bereishis Rabba you quote (2:5) to place it much earlier,
in Bereishis 1:4 -- when Hashem calls the or "tov". And actually,
that the first thing created was good (or), and the declaration was the
determination of or as the prefered state rather than tohu vavohu. Not
really a creation but a declaration.

But I can't understand your thesis. Are you saying:

1- Like the Maharal, the Divine Truth is incomprehensible, and therefore
our mappings of halakhah to olam hazeh are necessarily incomplete. This
explains how two models can be equally accurate yet contradict.

2- The Ramchal concludes that since logic is a nivrah, Hashem need not
conform to logic. (In contrast to the Moreh, where the Rambam considers
it a feature of emes, and therefore of His Essence.) The Ramchal would
allow for two perfect/complete representations of Divine Truth contradict.


Micha Berger             "Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes
micha@aishdas.org        exactly the right measure of himself,  and
http://www.aishdas.org   holds a just balance between what he can
Fax: (270) 514-1507      acquire and what he can use." - Peter Latham

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:05:12 +0200
From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Rav Shalom Gold's Response to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

[First see the original letter from RAL:
English translation:
And Rav Yoel Katan's (from Yeshivat Shaalvim) replied:

*Regarding Rav Lichtenstein's Letter
to Rav Avraham Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz Harav* 

Harav Lichtenstein writes "For example, what would * *the esteemed Rav
recommend to one of the students of HaRav Yosef Dov HaLevy Soloveichik
OB"M who vigorously determined that there is absolutely no transgression
involved in handing over parts of Eretz Israel to the nations of the
world considering the question of *pikuach nefesh *[saving of a life in
mortal danger], and also established that the opinions of military and
political figures may even be taken into consideration."

This is Torah and I am obliged to learn it. I do not understand what
connection there is between Rav Soloveichik's words which were said thirty
years ago and our situation today. I want to understand the words of a
*gaon * who was one of the great Torah figures of the past generation
and merited to be *mechanech* [educate] and raise thousands of students,
and through his *shiurim* and writings we are able to benefit from his
advice, resourcefulness and Torah knowledge. I will explain what it is
that I have trouble understanding.

There is no person alive who can state with any degree of certainty what
Rav Soloveichik would say if he were alive today. There is absolutely
no comparison at all between what he said and our present day situation.

For example, he may have been referring to handing over territory
[of Eretz Israel] to another "nation", but not to a band of terrorist
murderers who have adopted the destruction of the State of Israel as their
raison de etre. Murderers who we ourselves have brought here, and to whom,
in an act of insanity, we even gave weapons and ammunition. Maybe the Rav
would have said, that there is no way that we can rely on their promises
and that they endanger the very existence of the State of Israel. And we,
being used to suffering at their hands, have learned that agreements
with them carry no value at all. No one ever considered speaking with
them during the Rav's lifetime, and in fact, the State of Israel even
outlawed any contact with them.

Furthermore, at the time of the Rav's *halachic *decision, the question
was one of handing over unsettled territories which fell into our hands
during the Six Day Way and which were not full of vibrant, thriving Jewish
communities and thousands of Jewish settlers. Who can say that the Rav
would agree to the expulsion of thousands of honest, innocent Jews from
their homes where they settled with the approval and encouragement of
all the governments of Israel, from across the political spectrum? The
same settlers who were exposed to over six thousand mortar rounds and
who have been living on the Israeli border (see *Shulchan Aruch Orach
Chaim Section 329*), heroes of Israel, as Rashi describes them three
times in *Parshat Vezot Habracha*.

I imagine that he would say "My dear students, have you all gone
mad?! This is not what I meant. Please do not profane my name and my
memory. How can you possibly distort my words after my death?"

Who can say that the Rav would have agreed to the disengagement plan
which is unilateral and does not include any sort of agreement with any
other parties, and there are no guarantees that it would not lead to
a further increase in terror activity. Maybe the events of 9/11 would
have become an important consideration and would have caused a major
shift in his thinking.

Who can say that the Rav would agree to the destruction of Yeshivot,
Shuls, Ulpanot, educational institutions, and other institutions of
Torah and Chesed? My dear students, have you gone mad?

Perhaps the Rav would explain himself saying that it would be acceptable
to consider the opinion of politicians and military leaders as long
as they are honest and have an innate love for *Eretz Yisrael *and a
fondness for *Torat Yisrael*. Do you think that the Rav's intention was to
take into consideration the opinions of military and political figures
who are only looking out for their own self-interests and political
careers? Those whose opinions are so strongly influenced by their own
personal aspirations and ambitions that today they say one thing and
tomorrow the exact opposite?

Would he consider the opinions of cowardly political and military figures
driven by personal interests, or might he say that he would in no way
consider their assessments and recommendations? Can we possibly rely upon
those who promised peace with security but were unable to defeat the
bitter enemy and because of whom we have paid with thousands of Jewish
lives? Can we rely upon an expert doctor who has left thousands of dead
patients on the operating table?

Were the Rav alive today, he would protest to his *talmidim* quoting
things in his name which have no relevancy at all to the current

Maybe he would shout out loud: "This shall not be done". A nation elects
a Prime Minister on the basis of his promises not to transfer Aza to
the enemy, and the nation casts their ballots electing the candidate who
opposes the withdrawal plan and he changes his mind completely reversing
his previous stand. He does not bring the decision to new elections or
to a referendum, and fires the ministers who disagree with him, then
agrees to abide by the decision of his own party, and when the party
electorate answers with a resounding "no", he simply ignores them! The
Rav would shout at his students "Can you rely on a man like this, someone
who blatantly tramples democracy? Have you gone mad??? You are using me
to justify an injustice which cries out to the heaven? How could you
possibly even have considered that I would agree to such a loathsome
and abominable action?"

In my mind's eye I can see the Rav saying "Have I not strived my entire
life to the absolute, pure truth, and if I erred would I not admit it
and accept the truth? My soul is disgusted by falsehood, so how can you
possibly justify and support a lie like this and place the blame on me?

Do you no not know how many political and military figures were against
the Oslo Agreement and the Disengagement Plan but became avid supporters
in order not to negatively impact their careers? Does the lie not glare
directly at you?

The Rav would say to his *talmidim*: "Open a *gemara*, *Masechet Baba
Batra, *page 130 (side 2) and internalize what is says:"
    *Rava said to Rav Papa and to Rav Huna the son of Rav Yehoshua:
    When a document containing a judgement of mine comes before you
    and you see a flaw [in my judgement], do not rip up [the document]
    until you come before me. If I have an explanation I will tell
    it to you; and if I do not, I will retract. If you see a flaw in
    one of my decisions after my death, do not rip up [the document];
    but neither should you learn from it. Do not rip up [the document]
    -- for if I would be there, perhaps I would give you a valid reason
    for my decision, but neither should you learn from it, i.e. do not
    apply my ruling in other cases, for a judge has only what his eyes
    see; he should rule on the basis of his perception alone.*

The words of the gemara are crystal clear. Rava told his students that
after his death it is their responsibility to determine their stand on
any questions which arise. Do not cancel my words, but at the same time,
do not decide based upon them. *He [a judge] should rule on the basis
of his perception alone*!!

The Rav would demand that his students study the various issues that arise
from day to day, seriously discussing and analyzing them, and not simply
rely upon a thirty year old quote which was relevant to a different time,
under different circumstances and a reality that is totally different from
today's. The exaggerated use of the Rav's words by some of his students
seems to be a lot more dangerous than those of the group that relies upon
"*Daat Torah*" which many of the Rav's students reject? The opponents of
"*Daat Torah*" use the Rav's supposed "*Daat Torah*" regarding *Pikuach
Nefesh*without actually having seriously discussed the issue.

The author of the "*Eim Habanim Smeicha*" on pages 161-162 quotes "two
prophets who prophesize in a single style". The Kedushat Levi, from Rav
Levi Yitchak of Berditschev and the "Mabit" in his work "Beit Elokim". The
"Mabit" was from the *Beit Din *of the *Beit Yosef.* They ask, why in the
future will we be asking Eliyahu Hanavi, as the gemara says "*Teiku*"
-- *Tishbi yetaretz kushiyot ve'abayot*" -- Eliyahu Hanavi will answer
the unanswered questions, why not ask Moshe Rabenu himself?

They both answer that Eliyahu Hanavi remained alive and lived through
all the various periods [of Jewish history] and experienced all that
the Jewish People experienced. Only he can be *posek *[decide the
open questions]. Moshe Rabenu had died and could not therefore be the
*posek*. See the original for the rest of his wonderful words.

*Talmidim* of the Rav, *please*. Do not profane the words of your great
Rabbi. Do not transfer to him the responsibility that should be yours. Do
not think that by quoting the Rav's words , the argument is ended and
any and all claims of the opposing side are no longer relevant. Even the
*Gaon*, *Harav Ovadia Yosef*, whose famous responsa permitting the return
of territories in consideration of *pikuach nefesh* [mortal danger], a
responsa from the time of the Oslo Accords which the Israeli government
dissemenated around the world, changed his mind and determined that
the return of territories was the reason for the loss of Jewish lives,
and not the opposite. Also Rav Shach retracted his original *psak*.

Talmidim of the Rav, please retract your statements. Have mercy on
his honor.

With deep pain,

Sholom Gold
Email: goldb@actcom.co.il

Yisrael Medad

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 12:58:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: TIDE Redux

R Harry Maryles wrote:
>                        Objectively, however, it is possible that one
> Hashkafa is superior to the other. We may not know which one since no
> one can be completely freed from his or her own perspectives and biases,
> but it is as legitimate to say that various Hashkafos are not equal,
> as it is to say they are.

Superior on what axis? Aren't both divrei E-lokim Chaim? Then in what
sense /can/ one be superior other than pragmatic?

I would argue that the only ranking one can have between derakhim
(speaking only of the ideals of movements that qualify as derakhim,
of course) is how effective they are for what percentage of a given

>>: Why is the study of Mada for its own sake less likely
>>: to expand the horizons of ways to understand Torah and practice
>>: Mitzvos?

>> Because the study of mada for its own sake is just that -- for its
>> own sake. TIDE encourages treating the two as a single body of
>> knowledge, and therefore fosters using chol to "expand the horizons
>> of ways to understand Torah.

> Studying Mada for its own sake does not preclude using it in pro-actively
> Torah ways. On the contrary, the more objective the study, the more
> likely the knowledge obtained from it is to be accurate.

As for the reisha, there's a far gap between TuM's "does not preclude"
and TIDE's mandate. In TIDE it's a primary value and a given in the
attitude of the adherent. TuM does nothing to promote it and make it a
more often chosen choice.

The seifa would imply that academics understand the Torah better than
rabbanim do. Studying with an eye to a given application doesn't guarantee
subjectivity and more than doing so with an attempt at objectivity
doesn't prevent tendencies toward disbelief.

How does seeing science as part of the Torah lifestyle impact the quality
of the scientist's objectivity? And is that effect any stronger than the
scientist who is struggling not to be influenced -- IOW, intentionally
compartmentalizing! -- being pushed to bend over backwards?

> I have already conceded that TIDE's emphasis on a unified approach
> gives one better protection in the short term in the level of Yiras
> Shamayim. But in the long term TuM will give one the same level of Yiras
> Shamayim....

Again, for whom? The comparison is meaningless as the answer will vary
by adherent.

> You say it's the centerpiece of the Yeshiva movement. I would argue that
> TuM would be impossible without the Yeshiva movement because that is
> the primary source of one's Torah learning today. If one is going to
> study Mada at the highest level, one must study Torah at the highest
> level first. One without the other is not TuM, by definition.

Since RYBS's thought defines TuM to a great extent (and RAS a likely
second), both are largely offshoots of Brisk. There will be overlap.

However, I wasn't playing down the role of Torah in comparison to mada,
but the role of Torah in comparison to the other 612+7 mitzvos. The
yeshiva movement takes "talmud Torah keneged kulam" very literally,
giving TT a central role at least equal to everything else combined. Thus
the centrality of the yeshiva and RY rather than the kehillah and rav.

Maybe I just misunderstood you on this point.


Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 13:42:24 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Re: Misheberach leyoledes

From: Danny Schoemann <>
> The newish Eshkol siddur "Mekor Habrocho" which I have at work (after
> salvaging it from sheimos), has the Misheberach in chronological order
> on pg 105 and again on pg 297.
> (Not the Eshkol is an authority on nussach...

To those interested in the topic of publishers who changed nuschaos
hatefila [which IIRC was recently discussed on Mesorah], there is a
sefer by the baal Minchas Elozor called "Chamisho Maamoros"
 which includes a nearly 30 page "Maamar Nusach Hatefiloh"
all about this. Ayen Shom.


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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 22:31:54 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Re: Misheberach leyoledes

From: Micha Berger <>
> I once saw a nussach in a chassidishe siddur (Boston?) that I fell
> in love with and retained, decades after I forgot the context. 
>     lahachniso bevriso shel A"A be'ito uvizmano,
>     ulegadlo leTorah lechupah ulmaasim tovim
>     vela'alos ito laregel

> The last line adds a nice touch of tzipiyah liyshua'...

Are you sure that this wasn't a mishabeirach leyoledes being made
during the Sholosh Regolim??


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Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 23:41:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Gershon Seif <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
Rambam and kollel

I was reviewing the Rambam's Hilchos TT on leil shavuos with a small
group in a local beis medrash and I needed to cut my hour short because
the next shiur needed to begin. I ended by quickly summing up the Rambam's
point about not coming on to handouts in order to learn Torah. The magid
shiur right after me overheard this and chimed in said "but that's not
the ikar Rambam. Let's not forget about the Rambam at the end of Hilchos
Smitta V'yoveil" (that's where he says that not only shevet Levy but
everyone can dedicate their lives to Torah and throw their fate into
Hashem's lap and He will provide...)

So for the next few days, I started thinking about these 2
Rambam's.... Here's what I came up with: I think the Rambam in Hilchos
Shmitta V'Yoveil is clear that if you have a way to make it, (enough rich
family members... enough bitachon, the ability to be mistapek b'muat,
etc.) then try to learn as much as possible, perhaps all the time. But if
you don't have a logical way for it to work, then you are obligated to get
a job. (One more thing, when the Rambam does describe the job, it turns
out that a large part of a person's waking hours should still be learing)

Let's not forget, while the Rambam is touted by so many as the one who
advices getting a trade and working, he himself had a kollel-style
arrangement with his brother. After they had arrived in Egypt, the
Rambam set down to write Yad Chazakah and his brother who was a trader of
precious gems, supported his family. Only after his brother died at sea
and lost his entire fortune as well, did the Rambam decide to try his and
at medicine. (There weren't medical schools in Spain in those days. He
must have spent some of his time observing doctors. Also take note that
by the time the Rambam left Spain (I believe he was 18) he was already
writing peirush Hamishnah - that would have required a complete knowledge
os shas... Not much time left to have gone to medical school, was there?

I find it wrong when people use the Rambam in Hilchos TT to say that he
was against something that he himself did!

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:25:10 -0400
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
kohanim vs talmidei chachachim

> The analogy between kohanim and leviim, whose support is mandated,
>and between talmide chachamim, whose support is forbidden (according to
>the rambam), is an old one, and people even try to find a makor for it
>in the rambam (end of hilkhot shmitta veyovel) - but the rambam quite
>clearly sees a difference - because he allows one and forbids the other.

I don't see the difficulty. The kohanim and leviim did functions for
the community and so were entitled to support. It is clear the money
for the Temple was also used to pay for various functionaries possibly
including some dayanim of the cohanim. Thus, cohanim & leviim though
not paid from the treasury were supported by the community through the
various terumot and maasrot.

It is well known that R. Karo qualified the Rambam in his
commentary. What has always bothered me is that perush also assumes that
one is being supported by the community because the talmid chacham is
either serving the community or learning in order to become a community
worker. Even according to this view there does not seem to be any
justification for someone to be in Kollel is whole life.

RYBS stated several times that he would have much preferred not to
receive a salary for being a rebbe. However, since that is impossible
under today's circumstances he reluctantly accepted a salary.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:25:11 +0200
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: R Zechariah b Avkolus

Somebody posted:
>> R Zechariah b Avkolus was, in fact, the greatest member of Sanhedrin at
>> the time. When the case of Bar Kamtza came before the Sanhedrin he should
>> have given his opinion last, in accordance with "poschin min hatzad."
>> However, Rav Zecharia b Avkolus was a great "onov"...

R Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:
> At the time of the Churban there was R. Yochanan ben Zakai and R.
> Shimon ben gamliel I. How can one say that R Zechariah b Avkolus was the
> greatest. He is not well known outside of this story.

Well, who says that they were active at the same time. RG survived the
'Hurban IIRC, IOW lived right around that time. However, there is no need
to posit that the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza happened right before the
'Hurban. It could have been one of many contributing factors preceding the
'Hurban by several years and leading up to it. While I haven't reread
Josephus in years, I do recall his mention of the cessation of the
imperial sacrifice some fifteen years before the 'hurban, which could
be linked to the Kamtza and Bar Kamtza episode. If so, Rav Zekharyah
ben Avkulos might have been the Av Beit Din or the Nassi before Rabban
Gamliel, although I would then question why he doesn't show up in the
first mishnah of Avot.

Kol tuv,
Arie Folger

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:10:21 -0400
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Re: R Zechariah b Avkolus

Arie Folger wrote
> Well, who says that they were active at the same time. RG survived the
> 'Hurban 
> IIRC, IOW lived right around that time. However, there is no need to posit 
> that the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza happened right before the 'Hurban.
> It could have been one of many contributing factors preceding the 'Hurban by 
> several years and leading up to it. 

As an aside I mention R. Shimon ben Gamliel who was Nasi at the time
of the Churban.
However if it was much earlier then indeed R. Gamliel was Nasi.
BTW is there any mention of an av bet din after Hillel until much later?
R. Yochanan ben Zakai was a talmid of Hillel and so active for a while
before the Churban. According to most historians he in fact shortly
after the Churban. The Mishna in Ketuvot mentions Admon and Chanan. If
R Zechariah b Avkolus is really the gadol hador it is strange he is not
mentioned in a single Mishna including Avot

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 08:12:18 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Authority to make takanot

In "The Student's Guide" the Maharatz Chiyut discusses takanot made by
various individuals and groups. He specifically mentions the nissim
and roshei sanhedrin (I assume in contrast to the full sanhedrin).
Has anyone seen anything on where these individuals power to make takanot
flows from (in the time when the full sanhedrin existed)? What category
would Yochanan Kohein Gadol fall into?

Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 15:20:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Rav Shalom Gold's Response to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@gmail.com> wrote:
> Talmidim of the Rav, please retract your statements. Have mercy on
> his honor.

> With deep pain,
> Sholom Gold

I have met Rabbi Gold. His wife's sister lives across the street from
me and I heard him speak at the Sheva Brahchos of a daughter of that
neighbor a few uears ago. He is a wonderful and dynamic orator and very
knowledgeable on matters pertaining to Eretz Yisrael. But one needs to
take his quite emotional response with a grain of salt. Suffice it to say
(that my recollection is) that his attitude on keeping all parts of Eretz
Yisrael and Arabs in general is slightly to the right of Meir Kahane.

That being said, I agree that it is inappropriate to speak with complete
certainty that the Rav would have held one way or the other. But his
protestations to the contrary of RAL have no more legitimacy than he
ascribes to RAL. And since RAL was the Rav's son in law, I think he
probably has a better handle on the Rav's Shittah than Rabbi Gold does.


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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 14:31:01 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
RE: Rav Shalom Gold's Response to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

> *Talmidim* of the Rav, *please*. Do not profane the words of your great
> Rabbi. Do not transfer to him the responsibility that should be yours. Do
> not think that by quoting the Rav's words , the argument is ended and any
> and all claims of the opposing side are no longer relevant.

> Talmidim of the Rav, please retract your statements. Have mercy on his
> honor.

I certainly haven't collected all the statements of the *Talmidim*
(BTW what's the deal with all the *'s -it reminds me of "The Education
of H*Y*M*A*N K*AP*L*A*N") but I haven't seen any that state that
this ends the argument etc.. All they seem to me to be saying is that
there is another approach to the question at hand. One may think for
all the many reasons listed in the email that the R'YBS would think
differently today based on the facts on the ground but I don't think
it's profaning his memory to suggest an application of the approach to
current circumstances. In fact I'd say his lips are moving in the kever
when it is invoked even if ultimately rejected.

Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 23:41:14 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Midrash R'eh, Reward and punishment

I forwarded from RML:
: Reward and punishment: Automatic or Personal.

I think that at a second level, there is no contradiction.

It's kind of like the question of omnipotence and miracles: Since HQBH
knows everything and can do everything, there is no reason for nature
to be imperfect. Why then would He need to "tweak" things with nissim?

The Ramban offers two answers in parashas Bo, the Maharal and R' Hutner
argue (in two very different ways) that nissim are not tweaks, etc...
One of the Ramban's answers is that nissim were written into the rules
when they were created. (As I understand him, that the law is that fluids
seek the lowest point except for the 22nd of Elul on... and ...)

To apply the parallel idea here:

HQBH is the both the One Who created the system of supernatural law that
would cause any automatic sechar va'onesh, as well as the One Who would
be imposing it personally. The difference is merely when the decision
was made. And since Hashem has no when...

The same resolution that would explain how nissim can exist while the
rules don't need second-guessing would explain who personal reward and
punishment can exist even while being automatic.

IOW, each option is a simplification of the Divine Truth whittled down
to fit into the human mind. It seems possible to get a glimpse of how
they could be describing the same reality.


Micha Berger             Take time,
micha@aishdas.org        be exact,
http://www.aishdas.org   unclutter the mind.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm

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