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Volume 16 : Number 061

Thursday, December 15 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:53:35 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Malchut

> 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.

Er, there's the little matter of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.
And the Act of Settlement in 1701. These clearly established that
Parliament is sovereign, and has the power to hire and fire kings.

Perhaps a more relevant difference between the UK and Sweden is that
the UK monarchy still has the notion of kevod hamelucha, that the queen
stands above and aloof from the people, which is after all the point
of the bracha. The gemara says that a person should try to see goyishe
kings, in order to learn about the concept of kevod melachim, which is a
distant mashal for the kavod of the Melech Malchei Hamelachim. "Malchuta
de'ar'a ke'ein malchuta dirkia`." This kavod can still be seen in the UK.
But the kings of Sweden, like the queens of the Netherlands, have given up
all of that kavod. They go biking in public, dressed in ordinary street
clothes, they go shopping in public, they behave as if they were merely
some kind of civil servant. The Dutch queens even retire when they turn
65! (The late Queen Elizabeth despised this practise of the Dutch queens
in particular, because it treats the monarchy like a 9-5 job; this is
what she was getting at.) It would surprise me to learn that there is
any kind of mitzvah to see such a king, let alone to make a bracha.

Zev Sero

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 17:13:25 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha

On Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 03:58:15PM -0500, S & R Coffer wrote:
:> But nearly everyone (pace RCS, but I trust the meivi la'or's opinion
:> over yours, doubly so since it matches my naive reading) reads REED as
:> somehow asserting that that's only part of the Ramban's story.

: Nearly everyone? In any case, even if everyone read Rav Dessler that way,
: it would simply make Rav Dessler wrong. The Ramban couldn't be clearer
: than he is about the literalness of 6 24 hour days; I don't see the
: possibility of interpreting the Ramban any differently than RZL.

I'm not revisiting this. Of course you don't see the possibility, because
you require that time in the days of ma'aseh bereishis be comprehensible,
and therefore there must be a setirah between 6 literal days, 6 millenia
and 12 or 15 billion years.

:> But the Ramban, like most mequbalim, holds that there was time between
:> Bereishis 1:1 and 1:2. So he too agrees there was an extended process;
:> the Ramban simply disagrees about how that fits the pesuqim.

: I don't know of any mikubalim that hold that there was physical time
: between 1:1 and 1:2. Kindly illustrate your assertion with sources please.

This is again a request to revisit a discussion. RYGB already compiled
and posted such a list in the original incarnation of the "A of the U"
thread. See <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n065.shtml#09>,
sources in the paragraph that begins "Many Mekubbalim....

:>: believe is concerned, we don't need all the details in Braishis, only
:>: the fact stated in the Asseress HaDibros that the world was created IN
:>: SIX DAYS....

:> Six yamim. And I've already argued that "yom" has other literal
:> definitions.

: I ran a search in Tanach and the word yamim appears 292 times. There are
: two connotations...

I already gave a famous example. "Hinei anokhi sholei'akh lakhem es Eliyah
hanavi, lifnei ba yom Hashem hagadol venhanora." Do you believe that the
Yom Hashem will be 24 hours? (In the frame of reference experienced by
all or nearly all of humanity, of couse.)

:>:                         ...  And the Rambam says the first day as well
:>: as the following ones was timed by one revolution of the sphere. And
:>: many other rishonim also obviously assume that a day is a day, not a
:>: tekufah. Not one suggests it was a tekufah. In a previous post I showed
:>: that Rashi, Ramban, Rambam, R. Saadia Gaon (who says that a professed navi
:>: who claims that Hashem took ONE YEAR, rather than six days, to create the
:>: world, is a navi shekker)...

:> But that was argued as being about the navi sheqer's sevarah, not the
:> maskanah.

: Huh? How can his sevara be positively established as being wrong such that
: he is put to death if, according to you, we have no clue what period of time
: six days represents?

Yet another request for a point already discussed in the past year.
Why does he reject 6 literal days -- because he rejects the notion that
yom means day (whether because it's taitch or idiom/metaphor)? Or because
he rejects the chumash as a source? Rav Saadia is explicit, he's talking
about the latter. See EvD 3:6.

:> And who said the spheres moved at the same speed, or even at a constant
:> speed? Perhaps yom = one revolution, but it was revolving REALLY slowly?

: But the Rambam compares the revolutions on the first three days to the ones
: on the subsequent days. The mashmaus is that all of them were uniform in
: time. And since there is no reason to impute to the Rambam that he imagined
: that day #four was any longer than 24 hours from sunrise to sunrise, the
: same should apply to the first three days.

But there is no reason to impute to the Rambam that things had to be
that way either. IOW, he defines "yom" and one revolution, and as you
note, takes no position in either way about the length of a revolution.

:> We've been through this before. The only rishon who explicitly connects
:> yom to hours and minutes of the normal sort is the Ramban -- as addressed
:> in two different ways above.

: And Rashi (midas yom umidas layla = 24 hours in Chagiga). And the Rashbam
: (ad loc.) And the Radak (ad loc.) And others. I will post soon bl'n.

Will wait.

: I don't know what you mean by dozens of theories. You list three above and
: then you go on to say 
:> The history of life,

: Which is evolution and carbon dating

Even if it is "only" (?) limited to three displines, it's a number
of different data points generating a number of different theories in
those displines.

: It's the same three branches of science and all of them have already been
: addressed. The truth is, I myself would have been highly suspicious of
: anyone dismissing the findings of science. B"H I had the benefit of being
: associated with Rav Avigdor Miller who demonstrated clearly and lucidly the
: inaccuracies of scientists in the fields of origins...

Bemechilas kevod Toraso, I read and heard RAM's position, and he dismisses
misunderstood versions of out-of-date theories. If you don't know the idea
well enough to follow the formula, you can't really discuss how solid
it is.

(Which is why "string theory" isn't technically a theory. No formula,
ie no specific predictions to confirm or falsify.)

: You mention carbon dating. But carbon dating is only good for organic
: material, not sediment layers...

But one can use argon dating on rocks.

: There is another issue that Rav Avigdor Miller brings up. The dating methods
: all assume certain parent-daughter ratios for their calculations but they
: have no proof that these ratios existed at the beginning of time...

And all ratios changed by the same factor. Even when the radioactive
isotope is the lighter of the two, or the heavier.

Of those three disciplines, you only attacked one. Geologically, the
plates are puzzle peices drifting away from eachother. If you trace things
back, they all would have been next to eachother billions of years ago,
and the peices would have fit! Google the word "Pangea". You also don't
touch cosomology, the expansion of the universe and how the energy of
an explosion that would impart the right momentum for that expansion
matches the energy level in background cosmic radiation.

: Hashem created a fully mature world with advanced biological processes
: already in place, he may very well have created elements with partial ratios
: of various isotopes for whatever reason. Thus, you cannot prove an ancient
: universe using these methods.

That's true. The "fully mature universe" idea can not be scientifically
proven or rules out. By definition. But then, one would not need
to dismiss current theory. Carbon dating works -- but things were
created pre-aged. I already posted my philosophical dilemma with this
shitah. Perfect fake history equals real history. But scientifically,
it's off limits.

If RAM and yourself really believed this, there owuld be no motivation
to pick holes in the science. Simple answer: They presume everything
was bederekh hateva, we know from the Torah better, that it was
made to look exactly like it was bederekh hateva over many many years.

: A third point is the flood. The Malbim states that in addition to the
: enormous pressure that existed from the inundation of the earth, there was
: also tremendous heat....

Chemistry and nuclear physics require differences in energy by many
orders of magnitude. To think this does anything to decay rates requires
knowing very little of the subject.

:> Once you presume that the current physics didn't apply, neither did the
:> current notion of time. Time without formulas mapping various behaviors
:> to the same t is just meaningless. Brains run at different speeds,
:> experiencing the time as different. Bodies age at different speeds. If
:> there were clocks, they would have run at different speeds and the
:> one clock from one moment to the next. 

: Why? The watch on your hand marks the passage of time when you observe it
: (your behaviour). What if you took your watch off your wrist and locked it
: up in a safe for two hours. No human observer would have access to it and it
: could not be calibrated with any human enterprise whatsoever. Do you imagine
: that when you take it out of the safe it will record anything different than
: two hours of the regular passage of time?

You're confusing QM with relativity. If the watch and safe were on Saturn
(where the gravity is stronger) or moving at high speeds, it would record
somehting different. That's the basis of the science behind the opinion
you're rejecting.

The Michaelson-Morley experiment hitned as much, which is what motivated
Einstein, but the actual phenomenon was measure by astronauts and
GPS engieers, who look at systems that do move rapidly enough to have
measurable effects. Which is why I took this away from whether relativity
is right. Regardless of explanation, there are multiple rates of time.

But that's not the point in the text you quote above either. I said that
given a situation in which nothing need be in sync with anything else, nor
even stay at the same rate from moment to moement, time has no meaning.

In relativity, that means that I can't say "1 hour" without at least
implying "in frame of reference x". Since most of us are barely moving
relative to eachother and in the same gravity well (the earth), the
implication is usually obvious.

But it need not be that Hashem chose that particular phrame of reference
when writing Bereishis 1, since no objects were at that velocity and
mass-energy density on day 1 anyway. The RSO could have chosen the
perspective we now inhabit, or one of some fast moving (relative to us)
star, or a frame of reference that no object actually moved or will
move at!

Schroeder argues for a particvuular frame of reference, one with a lot
of gravity, and justifies that choice. The energy level that he can
argue is associated with the end of tohu vavohu, since it's the level
at which individual particles emerge from the big bang flash. His math
was somewhat off, but even post correction (and similar results by R'
Dr Morris Engelson, our R Shlomo Argoman's father) the idea holds.

IOW, given the truth much of QM (when symmetry breaks and particles
individuate) and the truth of much of relativity, there is a reasonable
choice of frame of reference that runs at just the right speed relative
to ours to collapse the same theory's age of the universe into ours.


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

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:57:44 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
RE: midvar sheker tirchak

>But Beis Hillel would not seem to disagree that in
>other contexts, falsity is not permitted.

Yes, there are other heterim for falsities (cf. Bava Metzia 23). But you
need a specific heter and, even then, many poskim recommend avoiding an
actual lie at all costs so as not become murgal in lying. See R. Daniel
Z. Feldman's chapter on this in his The Right and the Good: Halakhah
and Human Relations.

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:10:43 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: EvE Update

On December 15, 2005, YGB wrote:
>> 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.

Rashi in Gittin (57a) learns not like you. Ditto the Maharal who goes so
far as saying that the notion of elu v'elu does not necessarily apply
after Bais Hillel and Bais Shamai. What R' Yisrael probably meant to
say is what the Maharal says in the hakdama to Tiferes Yisroel on the
pasuk in Shir haShirim "diglu alai ahava".

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:17:39 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Re: Moshiach

>I recall learning a Meiri somewhere in Ervin but I don't remember
>where, that states that l'gabei whatever halacha that sugya was
>talking about, beeas Moshiach is a milsa d'lo schicha. Do you
>know where I can find that?

43b is the most likely place.

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:18:24 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>

On December 15, 2005, Shalom Kohn wrote:

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

> 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....

What are you talking about? A black hat is yeihareg v'al yaavor....

See SA OC 46:1 as far as the mechaber's interpretation of oter yisrael

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 00:26:41
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Placing oneself in danger [tuna fish]

Before I give the halachic aspect (below) here's my medical hat on: I
wouldn't eat canned tuna fish more than once a week and would completely
avoid frozen tuna steaks. [That's from my being the Assistant Editor of

As to the mercury problem in tuna and "danger": see Yoreh Deah Siman
60 in Hilchot Treifot (on whether an animal that eats a deadly poison
that kills cattle is permitted to be eaten). The halacha is specific (YD
60:1): it's permitted. Only if the poison is dangerous to humans is the
meat prohibited (not because of treifot but because of sakana. There is
an halachic dictum "chamira sakanta m'issura" and the parameters of this
halacha are delineated in Rambam Hilchot Rotzeach u'Shmirat haGuf 11:5-6;
Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 116 and in the Aruch haShulchan YD 116.

Here (tuna) the danger is incremental rather than acute and may not fall
into the category of sakana. It may be similar to smoking one cigarette
(no immediate danger only chronic) [Incidentally as I posted on the
AVODAH a few years ago, even smoking 1 cigarette would be prohibited
to a male due to hashchatat zera (damaging sperm motility and count)
[based on Beit Shmuel EVEN HA'EZER 5 s"k 13 and the medical evidence
that the damage to sperm motility from one cigarette is almost immediate
(under 10 minutes)].


To what extent can one put oneself in danger? Choshen Mishpat 420:31
indicates that one who injures himself even though he isn't permitted to
is not subject to punishment. See also Yoreh Deah 155:1 in Shach s"k 7."

Halachic discussion on danger has ranged from diets (Iggrot Moshe CM
II 65), aesthetic plastic surgery (IM CM II 66, Chelkat Yaakov III 1,
Minchat Yitzchak VI 105 #2, Tzitz Eliezer XI 41), performing a mitzva
(e.g. drinking wine at Seder for someone with a severe allergy to wine
(Halacha u'Refuah Sefer Daled p. 125), undergoing risky medical procedures
(Shvut Yakov III 75; Achiezer II 16 #6; Binyan Tzion I 111; Beit Meir
YD 339 #1; Yad Halevi I YD 207; Harav Unterman in NOAM Vol. 13, p. 5;
Tzitz Eliezer IV 13 and X 25 #17; Shearim Metzuyanim B'Halacha 190 s"k 4;
Mor u'Ktziya 328), volunteering for medical research, and others.

PEYRUSH RASHI: If I were you, I wouldn't *fress* on tuna fish and would
try to avoid giving it to kids. A "nice piece" of pickled herring would
be much healthier for kids (especially kids with learning disabilities)
[From my position as Consulting Editor of the JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC



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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 18:22:36 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: Jewish clothes

In Avodah V16 #60 dated 12/15/2005
>: He said that dressing Jewishly is dressing in the most  conservative, 
>: formal clothes of one's society... you would call "business  dress"...

> Did he state a source for this  approach? I'm also curious as to why
> "formalwear" for important occasions  (e.g. wedding, siyum) is not
> practiced in Charedi  community?

No, my father never stated sources when he spoke to me. He and I were
not members of Avodah at that time. This was his mere sichas chullin,
so to speak. As for formal wear, I'm not sure if you are speaking
tongue in cheek. Chareidim certainly do dress formally to a wedding,
siyum and so on. They do not wear what you may be thinking of --
tuxedoes -- because that would not be "conservative" -- i.e., quiet,
modest, and unobtrusive -- but the opposite.

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 01:28:28 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Oter Yisrael Betifara

R' Shalom Kohn wrote:
> My recollection of the gemara is that this has reference to the Tefillin
> shel Rosh

Those who reference this bracha to Tefillin -- Do they say this bracha
on Shabbos et al? And if so, what is their kavana then?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 18:23:59 -0500
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
RE: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha

Simcha Coffer wrote:
>I ran a search in Tanach and the word yamim appears 292 times.
>There are two connotations: 1) Days 2) Seas. That's it!

It seems very clear that "Yom" does not always mean a 24-hour period.
Look at Bereishis 1:5, 14 & 16. "Yom"/"Yamim" alternately means daylight
periods (of unspecified length) and full days. Then look at 2:4. "Yom"
seems to refer to a six-day period.

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 18:39:06 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha

In  Avodah V16 #60 dated 12/15/2005 [R' Simcha Coffer]:
> I ran a search in Tanach and the word yamim appears 292 times. There
> are two connotations: 1) Days 2) Seas. That's it! So even if you do come
> up with an alternate pshat for the word yamim in Asseres haDibbros, what
> RZL mentions in the second half of his post is very much applicable....

    Karev yom, karev yom asher hu lo yom velo layla
    Karev yom, karev yom asher hu lo yom velo layla
    Ram hoda hoda hoda
    Ki lecha hayom af lecha halayla
    Ram hoda hoda hoda
    Ki lecha hayom af lecha halayla

If you would like to hear the melody I'm singing, call me at 305 999
9955 or have your better half do so.

BTW is there not a difference of opinion as to whether the world
was created in Tishrei or in Nisan? So leaving aside the dispute
about the length of a day, there would seem to be a Chazalic dispute
about how long exactly it has been since Maaseh Bereishis -- give or
take six months. Our calendar is um not the product of an absolutely
uninterrupted masores going all the way back 5766 years it would seem.
(I'm guessing this has already been discussed on Avodah but I missed it.)

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 01:56:38 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Rishonim and Chazal (was One Opinion)

Micha Berger wrote:
>: 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....

>What's the line between them? Isn't the Ramban qualified to decide whether
>the landing date of the teiva or the first rainbow were given as historical
>statements that have moral/hashkafic content or as meshalim?

>I am therefore trying to argue that phrasing it as "the Ramban rejects
>the view of chazal" is overly harsh. It's perhaps more accurate to say
>that he classifies the view as a non-historical mashal.

It is obvious that he views the question of when the Ark came to rest as
a historical issue. He brings scientific observations to refute chazal's
asserted rate of recession of the waters. He does not mention any
moral/ethical lessons. Thus he is saying that the medrash is deducing when
the Ark came to rest - however since it is based on mistaken scientific
principles it came to a mistaken conclusion. What aspect of the medrash
is he not rejecting in this case?

>Given the Ramchal's notion of the purpose of aggadita, chazal weren't
>trying to make historical statements. They probably repeated these ideas
>with no concern one way or the other about hystoricity. (The focus on
>separated history from myth wasn't a concern of their contemporaries,

You would have to offer some evidence that the Ramban agreed with the
Ramchal. There are other views which indicate that Chazal were also
interested in objective historical facts.

*Maharal(Beג€™er HaGolah 6:14): *The Meor Ainayimג€™s study of the
historical writings of the nations led him to disgaree with the
words of our Sages. For example he wrote in chapter 12 that there is
a contradiction in the words of our Sages concerning who destroyed
the Jewish community of Alexandria in Egypt. He makes the nonsensical
charge that the Sages erred concerning this historical event. He is
basing himself on the apparent contradiction between Sukka (51b) which
states that Alexander the Great destroyed the magnificent community of
Alexandria and the Yerushalmi and the Medrashim ג€” which asserts that
Archilus destroyed it.* *What need did he have to stir up trouble and
to assert that the difference between these acounts is the result of our
Sages erring? Obviously he is the one who is in error ג€” not our Sages.
He seems to desire to find difficulties simply because the text states
Alexander the Great. If were simply an error in the text then we know that
the classic commentators such as Tosfos would have pointed it out and
corrected it. It is common for them correct the text ג€” especially in
a case where the names were accidentally switched. Therefore he had no
reason to act like an idiot with his wild and unfounded assertions. ג€¦
We have already cautioned that his assertions should be ignored since
there is no substance to his charges ג€” only a lot of rhetoric. Asides
from his unsubstantiated criticisms, we find nothing of value in
his proposed ג€œsolutionsג€ ג€” especially what he cites from the
writings of the nationsג€¦Most of his writings are bizarre because they
are based primarily on nonג€‘Jewish authorities which he values more
than our Sagesג€¦ It is obvious that there are answers of the issues
that he raises and thus they are not genuine problems. *However, the
important point is that the words of our Sages are not to be viewed as
mere chronicles. Their words are not the historical observations and
deductions written by mortal historians describing events as they have
seen, heard or deduced having happened. *If they were simply describing
observable events than their words would indeed be problematic. In fact,
however, they were describing only the facts and deeper issues which
pertain to the Jewish people and Israel when it was destroyedג€¦.

*Rav Tzadok**(Ohr Zarua): *This is the reason for the many noticeable
differences in the account of the Destruction of the Temple that which
is found in the Talmud and medrashim and that which is reported by
the eyewitness to the events ג€” Yosefus. For example while our Sages
describe Titus as wicked and fully describe the extent of his wickedness,
Yosefus views Titus as a righteous man mentions many examples. This
is an example of the distinction we have just made. Yosefus was not a
prophet or even a person with ruach hakodesh. He simple describes what he
observed, heard and dededuced and interpreted. Consequently since Yosefus
was simply an ordinary human being it was impossible for him to know the
clear truth ג€” as we have already mentioned. In contrast our Sages were
all divinely inspired and they knew all that what in a personג€™s mind as
well as unpublicised events and were totally objective. What they said was
the objective truth. That is why the accounts of the historian Yosephus
diverged from the views of our Sages. This is a general explanation for
the differences between the words of our Sages and that of historians
and chroniclers.

*Rav Yaakov Kaminetski(Emes L'Ya'akov Bamidbar 11:5): *The verse
clearly states that they were complaining because they were lacking
the food that they had had in Egypt. Nevertheless Rashi quotes Chazal
that their primary complaint and reason for crying was concerning the
prohibited relationships. It is necessary to understand where Chazal
got the justification to put words in their mouths which they apparently
didn't say themselves? Furthermore what did Chazal find inadequate in the
existing description that they had to find a complaint for the Jews? It
appears that here Chazal plumbed the depths of human psychology. In other
words there are "dark forces" that underlie many of man's activities
that a person is unaware of. They are aspects of the thought processes
associated with the kidneys or heart. They are products of the human
intellect which have not become manifest but have their impact one's
activities. Thus the answer to the original question is that Chazal ג€“
either with ruach hakodesh or with their intellect evaluated that the
reality was not as it seems from the simple reading of the verses. In
other words it is not reasonable that people would cry over the taste of
onions and garlic at the time when they had the Manna which contained
every possible desired flavor. Therefore it must have been that even
though they themselves thought they were crying because of the garlic
and onions which the lacked, nevertheless on a subconscious level they
had a different complaint ג€“ the prohibited relations.

>I disagree. All were meant metaphorically. Some might happen to also be
>history, some not. Above I argue it from the Ramchal, I could otherwise
>show it from Peirush haMishnayos lehaRambam, pereq Cheileq.

>Chazal never worried about separating history from myth, because that's so
>far from the point of the story. Even if the tanna who made the statement
>happened to believe that historically, the first rainbow was after the
>mabul, that had nothing to do with what he was trying to impart to the
>mesorah. Nor would he have given this historcal belief much import.

Again - the fact that the Ramchal felt that chazal never were concerned
exclusively with history - Citation would be apprreciated - it doesn't
mean the Ramban agreed.

Daniel Eidensohn

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