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Volume 16 : Number 059

Thursday, December 15 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:08:35 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
RE: Shemoneh Perakim Chap. 6

I would like to challenge an understanding of a thesis the Rambam
presents in his Shemoneh Perakim (introduction to his Pirkei Ahvos
commentary). Some have taken it to mean that desire for all forms of
sexual misconduct is not a character defect -- whether the desire is for
natural forms, or unnatural, such as incest, mishkav zachar and mishkav
behema. The passage, in chapter six, reads:

"When the philosophers said that someone with no desire in the first
place for evil behavior is more respectable than someone who, although
he refrained from the behavior, had to fight the desire -- they were
speaking of such acts which are "mefursamim" (blatant/recognized/widely
acknowledged) by all mankind as evils. E.g., things such as shefichas
damim, gneyvah, ona'ah, harming someone who has done you no wrong,
returning a favor with bad, disparaging one's father or mother, etc. These
are the kinds of prohibitions about which Chazal [too] said, 'If they
were not written, they should have been. ... And there is no doubt that
the neffesh that craves for such things is defective.

"When, on the other hand, Chazal said that someone who [experiences the
desire to do wrong and then] conquers his will is more respectable [than
one who has no such desire in the first place] and receives greater reward
-- they were talking about those wrongs known as "toros ha-shemi'os"
[the prohibitions that are not based on widely recognized improprieties,
but simply "heard" from Hashem]. And this is so true. For if not for the
Torah, these would not be considered evils at all. They therefore said
that one must leave his neffesh loving them, and nothing but the Torah
should be preventing him from doing them.

"Examine their wisdom, and what examples they chose to illustrate their
point. They did not say, 'A person should not say he disdains ("ee
efshi") murder, theft, and lying; he should say 'I have no problem with
these things ("efshee"), but what can I do, my Father in Heaven decreed
upon me to refrain from them.' Rather, the examples they chose were all
"shemi'im:" bassar b'chalav, levishas shaatnez, and arayos. Hashem call
these mitzvos and those like them 'hukkos.'"

One might indeed conclude from the last paragraph that the Rambam
considers all forms of arayos as mere hukkim; that the Rambam understood
Chazal to have held that your common morally healthy man does not,
and should not feel any repugnance toward bestiality, homosexulaity,
adultery, incest, etc. But this entails several difficulties, in addition
to the counter-intuitiveness of the thought. For one, in both Mishneh
Torah and Moreh Nevuchim the Rambam describes the prohibition against
gilui arayos as something toward which "ha-da'as noteh,"[1] putting it
squarely in the class of "mefursamim," not "hukkim:"

Hilchos Melachim (9:1):
"Adam HaRishon was commanded regarding idolatry, blasphemy, murder,
/gilui arayos/, theft, and maintaining a judicial system. Although they
are all a kabballa from Moshe Rabbeynu ... /the mind inclines toward
[the reasonableness of] them/ (ha'daas noteh)."

Hilchos Melachin (9:5):
"Six forms of arayos are prohibited to b'nei Noach: The mother, the
father's wife, another man's wife, one's maternal sister, a male, and
an animal."
Likewise, in Moreh Nevuchim, we see the Rambam describing the immorality
of homosexuality and bestiality as obvious:

Moreh Nevuchim (III:49):
"The [reason behind the] prohibition of homosexuality (Lev. xviii. 22)
and carnal intercourse with beasts (ibid. 73) is very clear. If in the
natural way the act is too base to be performed except when needed,[2]
how much more base is it if performed in an unnatural manner, and only
for the sake of pleasure."

And similarly (MN III:26), he describes as obvious the reasons for the
prohibitions against relations with a needa and aishus ish:
"The reason it is prohibited to cohabit with a menstruous woman
(Lev. xviii. 19) or with another man's wife (ibid. 20), is obvious,
and requires no further explanation." This certainly indicates that the
Rambam classifies these as "mefursamim," not "hukkim."

Secondly, both times in the Rambam gives examples of chukim vs. mishpattim
in Moreh Nevuchim, (III:26 and 28) he lists shaatnez, kil'ayim,
kisui ha-dam, egla arufa, pidyon petter chamor, basar b'chalav, seir
hamishtaleach, but never arayos.

Thirdly, the very passage we are dealing with in the Shemoneh Perakim
indicates that Rambam places "gilui arayos" in the "gut-feeling of
immorality" category. For, as we saw above, he describes the "mefursomos"
as prohibitions "about which Chazal said, 'were they not written, they
are fit to be written," because they are "mefursamim to all mankind." But
this Chazal (Yoma 67b) lists, along with gezel, avodah zarrah, shefichas
damim, etc. -- "gilui arayos"! So, do Chazal and Rambam hold that "gilui
arayos" is a universally recognized matter if immorality or not?[3]

All this points to the solution offerred by Rabbi M.D. Rabinowitz
in his commentary on the Shemoneh Perakim: When calling "arayos" and
"ervah" hukkim, Rambam is referring to those behaviors which are not
manifestly immoral -- such as marrying one's aunt or marrying two
sisters, and the other forms of arayos permitted to b'nay Noach. This
is in contrast to those forms that /are/ forbidden to b'nay Noach and
universally acknowleged as sinful, which the Chazal the Rambam refers
to as "gilui arayos" -- such as adultery,[4] and unnatural forms such
as bestiality and homosexuality. These are "mefursamos," and having a
desire for them, even if one conquers that desire and soes not act upon
it, is a character defect.

We therefore understand the cited challenges of "arayos-type hukkim"
the Rambam referred to as faced by the Amoraim because the greater the
person, the greater his yetzer hara: Abayye remonstrating himself because
"had I been in the position of that man walking with that girl I would
have succumbed to sin" (Sukkah 57a); and Rav Amram Chasidah who upon
feeling a desire to lay hands on a beautiful girl cried "Fire!" on his
way to her, to gain attention and thereby withhold himself (Kiddushin
81a). These two cases certainly fall squarely outside of the category of
adultery and gilui arayos. They pertain to that protocol described by the
Rambam, which existed "before Mattan Torah, [when] a person would meet a
woman in the market place, and if they consented, he would give her her
hire and have intercourse with her on the road and then go on his way,"
explaining why Yehuda's behavior with Tamar was not intrinsically immoral
or forbidden (Hilchos Ishus 1:4).[5]

I reason that these "hukkim" types of arayos are those kinds of
relationships about which Rambam (Hilchos Issurei Biah 22:18 ) cites
Chazal as saying that "nothing in the entire Torah is as difficult
for most of the people to keep away from as is arayos and bee'os
assuros. Chazal (Sifri Bemidbar 11:10) said, 'The moment Israel was
commanded concerning arayos they cried and accepted this mitzvah with
resentment and wailing ...'" Indeed, the Sifri specifies that this
was regarding their marriages to their (paternal) sisters and aunts
-- not to adultery, bestiality and homosexuality. For the former are
"hukkim/shemi'os," while the latter are "mefursomos." Similarly, the
Rambam continues, "Chazal said, 'Gezel and arayos -- a person's neffesh
desires and lusts for them, and you will not find a community in any
time whatsoever that does not contain perutzos in arayos and bee'os
asuros. Furthermore, Chazal said, 'Most in gezel, a minority in arayos,
and all in aivek lashon hara.'" Again, I reason that this is all referring
to the subtler forms of these aveiros.

[1] R. M.D. Rabinowitz in his commentary on this (Hadamos L'Peyrush
HaMishnah, Mosaad HaRav Kook) notes that in Millos HaHiGayon, the Rambam
limits the imperatives to believing the truth of something to four:
Authority, sensual perception, "muskallos" -- conclusions reached by a
healthy use of analysis (muskal rishon and sheyni), and mefursamos. "Da'as
is noteh" can only fall in the category of "mefursamos."

[2] In a previous post I pointed out that the Rambam considers all
"hukkim" really to be but subtle forms of "mefursomos," behaviors
(arbitrarily chosen, perhaps, but nevertheless directly) connected to
the more blatant forms of wrong behavior. We must also remember that
the Rambam (MN III:33) considered all forms of bodily pleasures, even
eating and drinking, as shameful enterprises, albeit necessary evils,
but certainly never to be overly indulged in -- recognized as such by
the informed and philisophically trained.

[3] One may propose that Rambam's girsa of Yoma 67b did not read "gilui
arayos" after "avodah zarra u'shefichas damim," just as his reading
"basar b'chalav" is in place of our reading of "achilas chazir." (Rav
Kapheh in his commentary to Shemoneh Perakim cites the marginal note on
Yoma 67b that suggests this hypothesized variant text [and attributes it
to R.Y. Berlin in Mesoras HaShas] but retracts the idea in his commentary
to Moreh Nevuchim [p. 335, III:26 note 5, now attributing the marginal
note merely to a "somebody.") -- But then one may also propose that --
given that when Rambam discusses mishpatim vs. hukim in MN (3:26, 28)
he never lists "arayos" among the chukim but does list "orlah" -- the
girsa in Shemoneh Perakim is really "orlah" rather than "ervah," the top
of the "lamed" having gotten rubbed out. (Although in Shemoneh Perakim
Rambam's primary language and script is Arabic, this term, as well as
most halachic terms, he wrote in Hebrew with Hebrew characters.) But
in the absence of any known manuscripts of either the Gemora Yuma or
of Shemoneh Perakim with such variations, we should dispense with such
creativity and just work with the texts as we have them.

[4] The natural form and drive involved in adultery is of course something
the Rambam would agree one should not eradicate, nor claim "ee efshi"
about. But (perhaps, among other reasons,)adultery is immoral because it
involves a severe form of theft. This aspect should override any natural
attraction a moral man has towards this particular woman, and it should
result in his feeling of repulsion toward the entire enterprise. One
who does not feel this repulsion, and only feels the attraction, even
if he does not succumb to the sin, is suffering a character defect.

[5] Similarly, the Rambam writes in the Moreh (III:49), "For before
Mattan Torah, intercourse with a harlot was as lawful as cohabitation
of husband and wife is after Mattan Torah; it was perfectly permitted,
nobody considered it wrong. The hire which was, in those days, paid to
the harlot in accordance with a previous agreement, corresponds to the
ketubah which in our days the husband pays to his wife when he divorces
her." (Rambam thus considers an agreement between consenting partners,
when accompanied by monetary legal obligations, something on a morally
higher plane than premarital sex with no such commitment. The former is
not intrinsically immoral, but the latter is.)

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:06:13 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: time

On December 12, 2005, Eli Turkel writes;
> Ezra writes
> <The Torah is telling you something scientific about the world. There is
> an absolute way of determining day and night without the sun, and there
> is an absolute way of telling time. It's not relative. The sun and moon
> are there only for our benefit so we too should know what time it is.>
> The only minor point is that this goes against the theory of Einstein
> which has been verified experimentally many times that time slows down
> as one approaches the speed of light and that gravity fields also have
> an effect.

So? What does this have to do with R' Ezra's comment? Heavenly bodies were
not flying through space at speeds approaching light propagation. The
earth was fully formed on the first day (although some further division
had to be applied the following day). There is no reason to assume that
the earth was not orbiting in space in the same manner we see now.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:23:19 -0500
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Re: Being exposed to minus

On Mon, 2005-12-12 at 17:08 -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
> Last, when were the ma'amarim in the gemara in relation to when they
> decided he was not only messiah, but also deity? Perhaps the words we're
> reading simply predate his being made into an AZ?

the council of nicea (in reference to the arian controversy) clearly
shows that at least in 325CE the christians viewed him as an AZ.

the yerushalmi was redacted soon after that, but the bavli was redacted
a few hundred years later.

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 14:36:49 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Being exposed to minus

On Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 11:23:19PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
: the yerushalmi was redacted soon after that, but the bavli was redacted
: a few hundred years later.

I asked about when the statements were made, not redacted. I didn't want
to confuse the issues: the permissability of using the name vs that of
quoting one's rebbe who did so beheter. Once we established that the
original statement was okay, then I'd raise issues of quoting one's
rebbe literally, a la Mes Edios's "'in".


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Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:29:59 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: Jewish clothes

In Avodah V16 #58 dated 12/14/2005 RMB writes:
> No fedoras. No black, as already shown by REMT. On Shabbos your
> clothing would be white, of course.
> I raised the question on list about why it's permissable to dress
> otherwise. No one took me very seriously at the time.

My father said that wearing Jewish clothes could mean wearing the
clothes specific to one's Jewish group -- eg chassidish garb -- but
it didn't necessarily mean wearing some specific type of garment.
He said that dressing Jewishly is dressing in the most conservative,
formal clothes of one's society. (Formal -- I don't mean tuxedos --
I mean what I guess you would call "business dress" -- not blue jeans.)

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 09:33:33 -0600
From: "Kohn, Shalom" <skohn@Sidley.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 09:33:33 -0600

R. Simcha Coffer wrote:
>As it happens, we make a bracha on a hat every day..."oter Yisrael b'sifara"..

My recollection of the gemara is that this has reference to the
Tefillin shel Rosh. Oy vey if we give the [black] hat the chashivus
of tefillin....

                     Shalom L. Kohn

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 13:08:16 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Aggada & Rav Sherira Gaon

In v16n58, I wrote:
> RDE provided RSRH's letters to R' Pinchas Wechsler (1876)
> on the subject of emunas chachamim and aggadita. The
> original, published by RMBreuer in Hama'ayan 1976 at
> <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/hirschAgadaHebrew.pdf>.

> And an English translation from Light Magazine, distributed by Neve Y-m as
> a fundraiser: <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/hirschAgadaHebrew.pdf>

But I typoed -- both URLs are the same! The English version is at


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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:51:25 +1100
From: "David J Havin" <djhavin@vicbar.com.au>

Simon Montagu asked about the practice in the UK.

I do not know whether the Chief Rabbis made the brochoh. However,
the practice in the UK generally is to recite it with shem and malchuth.

That is the case both amongst the mainstream United Synagogue as well as
in the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (the Adath or the Kedassia).

I know of two interesting anecdotes.

First, an extremely well known and wealthy Jew in Stamford Hill was
sitting shivah for his brother. He had been invited to a Garden Party
at Buckingham Palace. He asked the previous Rav Padwa what to do.
Rav Padwa told him to shower, put on his finest clothes and go the
Palace and then to return home and continue observing the shivah.
What is particularly interesting is that there were some thousands of
people at the Garden Party and the person in question may never actually
have met HM The Queen and his absence would not even have been noticed.

Secondly, I recently read the autobiography of an elderly Stamford Hill
Jew who visited Australia for a wedding. In the book he recounts that he
received an MBE and went to the investiture at Buckingham Palace. The day
before he had delivered to the Palace a beautifully engraved plaque with
the blessing to be said in front of a monarch in both Hebrew and English.


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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 08:14:20 -0500
From: "R Davidovich" <rdavidovich@cox.net>
Re: RAL Psak on Bracha for Seeing King

> Agnon did make the beracha when he received his Nobel prize, and made
> a big deal of it in his speech:
>The last three Chief Rabbis of Great Britain have all been knighted by
>the Queen. Does anyone know if they made the beracha?

I think history can help clarify.

In 1974, after Agnon was there but before Aumann, the Swedish Parliament
passed a new constitution, removing ALL power from the Swedish Monarch,
EVEN in theory. All powers that were formerly the King's to exercise,
even in theory, were given to either the Speaker of the Parliament or
the Government.

In theory, the Queen of the UK still has all the power an English Monarch
had in the days of Henry VIII. No laws have taken those powers away.
It is only in practice that Britich Monarchs have decided to exercise
these formidable powers only with the advice of the Ministers who have
the support of the elected House of Commons.

So perhaps even Agnon would not make the Bracha today b'shem u'malchus
when seeing the Swedish King, but would upon seeing Queen Elizabeth II.
(Others might claim that the powers need to be exercisable in practice,
like with King Hussein, and not only in theory that has not been in
practical effect for over 300 years.)


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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 11:45:29 -0600
From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
RE: Let's talk Tuna

I received 3 responses to my Tuna question:
1) It's silly to worry about it, fish is good for your heart - these
reports are all nonsense
2) A Dr. saying to only eat 1 can a week
3) an offline comment saying that such matters don't require a halachic
decision - use you common sense

Oh, and then there's the question, why is this on Avodah at all?

Let me explain... I eat a lot of tuna...

My question was, at what point does a report that comes out go beyond
common sense and become halacha? I'm sure that when cigarettes first came
out, they were *recommended* to relieve tension. Then reports started
trickling out about their dangers. Somewhere in the middle, there must
have been the naysayers who thought it's silly to stop. Eventually Rav
Moshe Feinstein wrote a Teshuva giving his ruling...

It's not a bad thing to know halachic parameters in areas of common sense.
When I moved to the states after living in Israel for 13 years, I asked
a Rav for a ruling on driving and speed limits. My question was, are we
bound to the law (dina d'malchusa dina) as an halacha. I was told that
since going 5 mph over the limit is very common, that's still halachicly
ok, more than that depends on what's common in that area.... So now
when I speed, I can have some Jewish guilt! But more seriously, knowing
"it's halacha" is a good motivation over and above common sense.

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 08:37:28 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
EvE Update

> What I meant was doesn't the concept of "eilu v'eilu" *obligate* us to
> believe that all statements of Chazal are true? And if so, how then can
> one "choose" one statement over another in the case of a machlokes over
> a matter of opinion?

No, it does not obligate us to believe the statements are true in the 
literal sense. R' Yisroel Salanter states explicitly that incorrect 
statements are also Torah. Eilu va'eilu instructs us that the rejected 
position is also worthy of study and consideration.


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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:52:59 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Rishonim and Chazal (was One Opinion)

S & R Coffer wrote:
>On December 7, 2005, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:

>>Similarly when talking about the rainbow. He does not say that
>>the rainbow occurred first after the malbul like chazal say and that it
>>also preexisted the malbul since the Greeks have shown it is a natural
>>phenomenon. He says we are forced to accept the views of the Greek
>>scientists that the rainbow always existed - and thus he is rejecting
>>the view of chazal.

>I don't remember any Chazal that claim that there was no rainbow until
>Noach. Also, the Ramban doesn't say that he is accepting the Greeks
>in lieu of Chazal but rather in lieu of what would ostensibly seem
>to be pshat in the pasuk; although two seconds later he is chozer
>and indicates that it *is* pashut pshat in the pasuk. He then brings
>down a maamar Chazal al pi sod that in no way contradicts the "Greek"
>interpretation. I think you need to scratch this instance off your list.

*Avos****(5:6): *There were ten things created at sundown immediately
before Shabbos. The opening of the earth that swallowed Korach,
the opening of the well that was in the rock Moshe struck to produce
water, the talking mouth of Bilaamג€™s donkey, the rainbow, the Manna,
Mosheג€™s staff, the shamir which split the stones of the first Temple,
the letters of the Ten Commandments, the writing of Gג€‘d, and the
tablets of the Ten Commandments. Some add demons, Mosheג€™s grave, and
the ram of Avraham. Some say also the first tongs for making other tools.

This list indicates things that according to Chazal were built into
Creation - but did not appear until an apparently miraculous event was
called for. The rainbow was viewed by chazal as a miracle - which means
Chazal believed that it did not exist until after the Flood. According
to you it preexisted the Flood and there was nothing miraculous about
it. Thus if you agree with the Ramban - you are also rejecting the view
of Chazal.

*Rambam****(Avos 5:6): *We already mentioned that our Sages did not
believe that Gג€‘d miraculously alters nature on a regular basis. However
at the beginning of Creation He created nature and the laws that it
would follow. This included the rare occasion when there would be a
miraculous divergence from natural events as well as the typical conduct
of nature. Thus miracle was built into nature when it was createdג€¦.But
since all miracles are built into nature why does the Mishna list
only these ten? You should know that it is not limiting the principle
of natural miracles to these ten but simply that these were the ones
created just before Shabbos. In fact all miracles are built into nature.

*Rambam****(Shemona Perakim #8): *Gג€‘dג€™s will is that from the six days
of Creation everything should function solely on the basis of natural
law. This is stated in Koheles (1:9): ג€œWhat wasג€”will be and what
has happenedג€”will happen and there is nothing new under the sun.ג€
Because of this our Sages had to state that the miracles that are against
natureג€”those that have happened as well as those that will happenג€”all
of them were built into Creation. Thus the ג€œviolationsג€ of nature
occur when they were programmed from the time of Creation. However
when this miraculous ג€œviolationג€ of nature occurs it is erroneously
perceived as something new.

*Rabbeinu Bachye**[i]**(Avos 5:8): *We can conclude from these medrashim
that everything that was, is and will be has already been decreed from
the first six days of Creation since there is nothing truly new since
then. Thus everything that comes into existence is only a revealing
of that which was created in the beginning. This is true also of the
miracles. If you insist that Gג€‘d did not actually create them until
they happened that would mean that something new was createdג€”Gג€‘d
forbid. In fact from Creation there has been no actual change in Nature
because at the time of Creation it was implanted in Nature that it would
happen according to Gג€‘d's wishes.

*Maharal (Gur Aryeh Bereishis 9:12 - 9):* There are scientists who say
that that the rainbow is a natural phenomenon resulting from the suns
rays. Accordingly this raises the question as to how the rainbow could
be a sign that there would never be a Flood again. This apparent problem
[that the rainbow is a natural phenomenon and thus preexisted the Flood]
is readily answered. Prior to the Flood the sun's rays were not powerful
enough to create a rainbow and therefore it was possible for a Flood to
exist. However after the Flood the rays of the sun became more powerful
and the sun itself obviously changed... the rays were now able to make
a rainbow [for the first time] Therefore the rainbow was the sign of
the covenant.

*Ibn Ezra(Bereishis 9:12): *also explains that the rainbow occurred
first after the Flood because of the increased strength of the sun's rays.

*Kesubos (74a): *states that the rainbow does not appear in a truly
righteous generation. That the rainbow is a miraculous phenomenon
dependent on the sinfulness of that generation.

We see from the above that the rainbow was viewed by chazal as a
miraculous phenomenon that came into existence after the Flood. Ramban
in contrast says that the scientists say that it is natural and we are
forced to accept their words.

Thus Ramban rejected the view of Chazal as well the view of rishonim
and he even disagreed with the Maharal - all because of scientific data!

[Email #2 -mi]

Micha Berger wrote:
>>Ramban also rejects the views of chazal concerning the length of the
>>Egyptian exile. He is not saying from some perspective both views are
>>correct. Similarly when talking about the rainbow. He does not say that
>>the rainbow occurred first after the malbul like chazal say and that it
>>also preexisted the malbul since the Greeks have shown it is a natural
>>phenomenon. He says we are forced to accept the views of the Greek
>>scientists that the rainbow always existed - and thus he is rejecting
>>the view of chazal.

>I'm sorry to harp on this point yet again, but...

>Thus, the Ramban is NOT rejecting the view of Chazal. He is rejecting
>the historicity of the mashal. There is no indication that the Ramban
>questions the nimshal, which is the thesis of the maamar.

I don't understand what you are saying. There is a difference between
saying that Pharaoh existed - but was not literally an amah tall and
that it was only a metaphor for his being a moral midget and saying that
the Egyptian exile in fact took place or the Ark in fact came to rest on
on the 17th of the month but it did not happen at the time Chazal said.
However when the Ramban says the Rainbow prexisted the Flood historically
and Chazal say it was a miraculous occurence that appeared only after
the Flood - they are in fact saying mutually exclusive statements. Thus
it is a rejection of the view of Chazal. Not every aggadic statment is
a metaphor - some of them were meant literally. The examples I cited
were where the Ramban is disagreeing with statements of Chazal which
were meant to be understood literally.

Daniel Eidensohn

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