Avodah Mailing List
Volume 17 : Number 069
Tuesday, June 13 2006
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 22:16:59 EDT
Subject: Re: Avodah V17 #67
From: "Eli Turkel" <email@example.com>
> Does anyone know the origin of the connection between Pinchas and Eliyahu?
> whether physical, gilgul or simply similar in spirit.
> This is assumed in a number of medrashim though others assume that Eliyahu
> is not a Cohen.
In a message dated 6/11/2006 9:29:26pm EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> See Ralbag on Melachim Aleph, Perek 17, Pasuk 1.
Also see Rashi Bava Metzia 114b D"H Lav Kohein Mar, OTOH see Rashi Megila
14a who brings the Seder Olom who counts P. and E. as 2 separate Nvi'im
in the count of 48 Nvi'im.
Among other sources brought (ET erech Eliyohu), Pirkei Drabi Eliezer Perek
47 and rhe Rada"l there, Yalkut Shimoni Pinchus Remez 771, Soteh 13a and
Rashi (seems to say that Rashi does not hold here that P. is E. otherwise
we could learn Kipshutoi that E. learned Torah from Moshe RA"H).
The Michlol brings also (among other less none Midroshim) Shir Hashirim
Raba 2, Zohar 3:214,215.
Also see Tos. Bava Basra 121b D"H Shiva Koflu Kol Haolom.
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 10:44:28 -0400
From: Zev Sero <email@example.com>
Subject: Questions in Eruvin
In SA Harav 363:32 he talks about running a rope from one roof to the
opposite roof, and putting the sticks under the roof, in a line directly
underneath the rope. The first opinion opinion says this is OK, but
the second opinion (the Taz) has a problem with it, because the roof is
mafsik between the doorpost and the lintel, which is not the way real
doorways are constructed (and he asks a question on this from a dome).
In RYGB's book (4:4) he raises a problem when the stick is inside a
fence. Surely, according to this, the case in the SAH should be pasul too?
Either beisa keman demalya dami, or pi tikra yored vesosem; either way,
according to this, the lechi under the roof should be considered not to
exist, and we shouldn't have to come on to the Taz's reason, which may
or may not be valid, and has a question on it.
In regard to a hotel, guests are not tenants. Not only can the management
shift people from room to room, they can *and do* enter the room at will,
in order to clean it, make the bed, check and restock the minibar, etc.
If one has a guest for shabbos, even if he's eating his meals elsewhere,
and even though one can't evict him on Shabbos or even at bein hashmoshos
(because where would he go?) he doesn't create a need for an eruv,
because he's a guest. The same should apply to hotel guests.
Of course in those hotels which include breakfast the question doesn't
even arise - all the guests are eating (or entitled to eat) from the
same table, so there's an automatic eruv anyway.
However, RYGB also says that if one lands in an airport on or close to
shabbos, one can carry from the airport to a hotel, so long as it's
all under the same roof (thus no problem with techumin). What about
the tenants of the shops in the airport? If any of them are Jewish,
doesn't that create a problem? Similarly, sometimes the hotel doesn't
open directly into the airport, but there's a mall connecting them.
The mall itself may be owned by a Jew, and surely at least two of the
shops in the mall are rented by Jews. The same situation also arises
with hotels attached to malls, etc, or to such public enclosed systems
as the underground PATH in downtown Toronto. In all these situations,
is there a problem?
One more question: In a condominium, each person owns his own apartment
outright, and a share in the building as a whole. This seems similar
to the classic chatzer. (BTW, does that mean that a street with
two condo buildings on it is a classic mavo?) In Australia this is
called a "strata title", because there are two levels of ownership.
But there's another kind of arrangement, which is rare in most places
but very common in NYC, which is a co-op. In a co-op each resident does
not own his own apartment, but rather owns a share in the building, and
the share comes with the right to live in the apartment. In Australia
this is very rare, but the law does provide for it, and it's called a
"stratum title", because there's only one level of ownership. It seems
to me that since each shareholder is explicitly a baal-habayis over the
entire building including the private apartments, even though he may
not have the right to enter them, there is still no chiluk reshuyos,
and therefore no need for an eruv. What do you think?
Zev Sero Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
firstname.lastname@example.org interpretation of the Constitution.
- Clarence Thomas
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 08:15:23 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject: Shevet's Nusach Hatfila
> Over the past decade, I've heard several Shi'urim which discuss the question
> of the Shevatim and Achrit HaYamim. They all discussed how each Shevet had
> it's own rabbinical council; they had their own Nusach Tefilla, and their
> own Sha'ar in Shamayim.
> Shoshana L. Boublil
Above from Areivim - Does anyone know of the source that each shevet
had its own nusach hatfila? Does anyone know of any discussions of the
interaction between the sanhedrin of the shivatim and the sanhedrin in
Yerushalayim (what cases went where? Was there an "appeals" process? Did
talmidim move between them? Judges?
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 10:52:14 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: eliyahu hanavi
R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> Does anyone know the origin of the connection between Pinchas and
> Eliyahu? whether physical, gilgul or simply similar in spirit.
> This is assumed in a number of medrashim though others assume that
> Eliyahu is not a Cohen. However, I have not found a source that
> indicates why the two are connected.
> One possibility is because the two are kanayim as hinted above
See Rashi in Baba Metziah 114b (sv Lav Kohen Mar). The Gemara is
discussing a conversation Rabba bar Avuha had when he found Eliyahu in a
non-jewish cemetery. He subsequently asked Eliyahu, "Isn't Mar a Kohen,
why is Mar standing in a cemetery?", Rashi explains that there are those
that say that Eliyahu is Pinhas, alluded to by the P'suqim of qano qineisi
(M'lakhim I 19:10), and about Pinhas it is written B'qano es qinasi
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 21:33:29 -0400
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Questions in Eruvin
Zev Sero wrote:
> In RYGB's book (4:4) he raises a problem when the stick is inside a
> fence. Surely, according to this, the case in the SAH should be pasul
> too? Either beisa keman demalya dami, or pi tikra yored vesosem;
> either way, according to this, the lechi under the roof should be
> considered not to exist, and we shouldn't have to come on to the
> Taz's reason, which may or may not be valid, and has a question on it.
I don't see the tzu shtell - I think I noted that in the book - because
a fenced in, non-roofed in area is neither malya nor does it have a tikra.
> However, RYGB also says that if one lands in an airport on or close to
> shabbos, one can carry from the airport to a hotel, so long as it's all
> under the same roof (thus no problem with techumin). What about the
> tenants of the shops in the airport? If any of them are Jewish,
> doesn't that create a problem? Similarly, sometimes the hotel
> doesn't open directly into the airport, but there's a mall connecting
> them. The mall itself may be owned by a Jew, and surely at least two
> of the shops in the mall are rented by Jews....
As far as the mall situation, I cannot say, but as for the shops, the
odds that the landlord has no tefisas yad seem, to me, very slight.
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 12:19:09 +1000
From: Joe Slater <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Calculating the Molad - a new theory
R' Arie Folger wrote:
> [H]ow do you observe the number of sidereal months?
This is actually easier than observing the number of sidereal years.
There will be one sidereal month each time the moon makes a great circle
through the sky and returns to the same position relative to the stars.
List members who are lucky enough to live outside a major city can test
this for themselves. The tip of your finger held at arm's length (as
if you were a child saying "One!") is about one degree wide. There are
360 degrees in a circle, so in a sidereal month of about 27.3 days the
moon will move about 13 degrees per day, or a little over a degree in
two hours. Look at the moon, and if you're lucky enough to see it near
a star you can see it move a fingersbreadth away over the course of two
hours. This will be easier when the moon is a relatively-dim crescent
than when it is full.
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:12:26 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Please do search
Can someone do a Bar Ilan or other such search on the phrase "Rayach
Torah" or Rayach HaTorah"? Thanks.
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Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:59:11 -0400
From: Zev Sero <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Questions in Eruvin
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:
> Zev Sero wrote:
>> In RYGB's book (4:4) he raises a problem when the stick is inside a
>> fence. Surely, according to this, the case in the SAH should be pasul
>> too? Either beisa keman demalya dami, or pi tikra yored vesosem;
>> either way, according to this, the lechi under the roof should be
>> considered not to exist, and we shouldn't have to come on to the
>> Taz's reason, which may or may not be valid, and has a question on it.
> I don't see the tzu shtell - I think I noted that in the book - because
> a fenced in, non-roofed in area is neither malya nor does it have a tikra.
That's exactly my point. You do note a problem with having the lechi
behind a fence, even without a roof, because beisa keman demalya dami,
and then give the fact that there's no roof as a reason not to say that,
but you say there's still a problem because of gud asik. In the SAH's
case, there is a roof, so if keman demalya is really an issue then it
should be an issue here. And pi tikra is equivalent (isn't it?) to gud
asik, i.e. the same problem should apply -- if gud asik of the fence cuts
off the tzuh"p, then so should the pi tikra. And yet it seems that even
the Taz wouldn't have a problem with it, if not for the hefsek between
the lechi and the rope.
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 08:12:17 +0200
From: Arie Folger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: nevuah in Hebrew
Re: the question of what language the Canaanites spoke and what
neighboring people spoke, I vaguely recall a theory, supported by
Rashi's comment on vehaKena'ani az baaretz, that the Canaanites were
originally from further East, and Avraham came as part of a general
population movement. G"d's command to leave his birthplace would have
been effectively a command to join the population movement, and not stay
behind. Avraham might otherwise have thought "halalu 'ovdei AZ and halalu
'ovdei AZ, why bother with one rather than the other?"
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 07:49:08 -0500
From: Lisa Liel <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: shanim mekuta'os
On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 15:02:45 -0400, "Aryeh Englander"
>The gemara in Megillah says that two of the kings of Babylonia and
>Persia had shanim mekuta'os. But the gemara in Rosh Hashanah says
>that we count the last year of one king as the first of the next,
>unless the first king died before Nissan (or Tishrei for goyishe
>kings) and the next took over after Nissan/Tishrei. So why didn't
>almost all of the kings have shanim mekuta'os - unless every king
>other than those two died in the end of the year and the next king
>took over at the beginning of the next year?
In the ancient world, there were two different systems used for dating.
The one described in Megillah is called the non-accession year method,
or the Egyptian method. The accession year method, or Assyro-Babylonian
method, calls the initial fractional year of a king's reign his "accession
year", and only his first full year is called year one.
According to some studies of the period of the kings (and yes,
I'm speaking of studies other than Seder Olam Rabba), the method of
counting used by the kings of Israel and Judah changed at various times.
According to this one: <http://www.starways.net/lisa/essays/jcim.html>
The system described in Megillah, with non-accession year dating and a
calendar beginning in Nisan, was used only by Yehoyakim and Yechoniah,
the two kings of Judah who took the throne under Egyptian influence.
Generally, the kings of Judah used accession year dating, which is to say,
not shanim mekutaot. But it would stand to reason that the gemara would
have gotten its information from the descendents of Yechoniah there in
Bavel, so they would have described the system he used.
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 11:07:51 -0400
From: "Zvi Lampel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Calling A Spade A Spade: Rambam and Kollel
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 from: R. David Riceman:
> From Goitein "A Mediterrenean Society", vol. 5, p. 393: "It was
> customary in merchants' families that one member, ususally a father
> or elder brother, stayed out and the other travelled. Labrat and Judah
> (like Moses and David Maimonides later) had divided the family business
> between them in such a way."
> Goitein had not only letters from the Rambam to his brother but also
> letters from the Rambam's brother to him, so I think his opinions are
> definitive in this matter.
Funny, I just ordered a copy of that book, since it has been cited, but
not quoted, as support for the claim that the Rambam provided capital
for his brother's business. This in turn was used to support the claim
that the Rambam forbade a talmid chacham to accept family support,
if that support was not contingent upon the talmid chacham's financial
contribution to the business.
Authentic writings from the Rambam that state this prohibition would be
definitive, and such writings showing that the Rambam himself contributed
financially to the business (and not just that he offerred his brother
advice) would be impressive. Professor Goitein's statement as it stands
(although perhaps I'm missing the context), that the business was divided
in such a way that one member of the family would travel while the other
"stayed out" (stayed home, maybe?) does not tell us anything more than
what we already know--except that the arrangement in the Maimon family was
not the "usual" one, since David was the younger, not older brother. I
would also consider the possibility that one of those staying home to
be involved entirely in scholarly pursuits was also unusual.
Perhaps the Prof. Goitein reproduces letters that shed light on the
question. I hope to get the book soon and check it out. Meanwhile, it
would be appreciated if R. Riceman would cite and reproduce the letters
determining the facts.
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 11:46:04 -0400
From: "David Riceman" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Tzimtzum KePeshuto
From: "S & R Coffer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> RDR claims that I improperly argue that the Rambam accepts Aristotle's
> position that necessity (#1) is independent of simplicity (#2) but this is
> not due to my personal reading of the Rambam. AFAIC, it's obvious. In 1:1-4
> the Rambam says nothing about simplicity. He speaks only about independence
> and concludes with the pasuk Hashem Elokim Emes. Many halachos later, he
> delineates the idea of simplicity (2:9-10) and concludes with his famous "He
> is the knower, He is the known and He is the Knowledge".
See MN 1:&1 "Therefore, you will always find in my halachic works that
when I mention the principles of religion and speak about proving the
existence of God I write in a manner that can be harmonized with belief
in the eternity of the world ("notim l'tzad hakadmut") - not that
I believe that the world is eternal, but that I want to prove God's
existence in an irrefutable way."
RSC's diyyuk was intended by the Rambam, not to describe his own opinions,
but to simplify his proof of God's existence.
> He brings no
> pesukim to back his conclusions there and claims that this idea of
> simplicity is impossible to comprehend and almost impossible even to
> express. OTOH, when it comes to independence, he makes no such claim and in
> fact, 1:2-3 makes it clear that the Rambam felt that the doctrine of
> independence is clearly understandable.
This is false. See MN 1:56-57 that both are incomprehensible. On the
other hand RSC's definition of incomprehensible is not the Rambam's. See,
for example, MN II:1: "There cannot be two necessary existents, since,
if there were, necessary existence would be an accident appertaining to
their essences, and neither would be essentially a necessary existent,
but would be necessary due to this other thing ...." This, by the way,
is a version of Aristotles "third man" argument. It indicates that
the Rambam rejects RSC's radical interpretation of what it means for
a doctrine to be incomprehensible. Also see MN I:50, where the Rambam
makes fun of Christians for affirming the doctrine of the trinity while
admitting they don't understand it.
> Otherwise, RDR
> may as well ask on any quality of Hashem such as love or anger etc.
> According to RDR, we shouldn't be discussing *any* independent qualities of
> Hashem because they are included in His simplicity.
The Rambam doesn't discuss this in MN I:56-57 because there he is
addressing people who believe in "essential attributes". Nonetheless
existence and unity are different from other attributes because they
relate to God's existence rather than to His relations with His creatures.
> Once again RDR seems to be ignoring an offena Rambam. The Rambam states
> explicitly that lack of shinui is taluy primarily in lack of a guf 1:11.
You've misread this. I'll translate: "Now that it's clear that He has
no body, it's clear that no accidents appertaining to body can occur to
Him. Neither attachment nor seperation, nor location nor measure, nor
ascent nor descent, nor right nor left, nor fron nor back, nor sitting
nor standing. [here is where the qualification of having a body ends]
And He is not existent in time so that he lacks a beginning and an end
and an age, and He doesn't change, since nothing can cause Him to change."
Even non-physical things like tax laws can exist in time. My bracketted
statement points out where the specific qualification of having a
> OTOH, Tzimtzum as a process of he'elem is far more profound because it
> applies to *all* of Havaya, even the kutzo shel yud.
I think this is the center of our disagreement. Tzimtzum is the
ground for permitting differentiated existence (according to the tzad
tzimtzum kipshuto as I explained it). RSC seems to claim that it has
an instantiation at each level of existence (a la Rabbi Bloch in the
essay "Darkah shel Torah" in the introduction to the first volume of
his father's Shiurei Daas). I would like to see a source for that, but
I'm skeptical, if only because tzimtzum is never mentioned explicitly
in the Zohar.
> The above paragraph is breathtaking. I have never heard Tzimtzum lav
> Kipshuto expressed so well in English.
Thanks. You should chat with philosophers more often.
> I'm sure RDR would agree that free-will exists. If it does,
> this allows for human beings to ignore the philosophical implications
> introduced into their consciousness by their awareness of hashgacha and
> ignore, and even deny chs'v the presence of a creator. This is the
> purpose of Tzimtzum regardless of whether it is kipshuto or not.
No. Tzimtzum kipshuto explains the actual existence of people, not their
awareness. See my first post.
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 15:03:49 -0400
From: Micha Berger <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Tzimtzum KePeshuto
On Tue, Jun 06, 2006 at 11:19:12AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
: 1. In the beginning of H. Yesodei HaTorah the Rambam describes God as
: necessarily existing, while everything else exists only contingently.
: For example, if Hizkiyahu had become Mashiah God would still be the same,
: but where would the subscribers of Avodah be?
I think this is tangential to the question of the Rambam and atzilus.
Being more contingent doesn't make something less real. For example,
a statue is contingent on an artist's decision to carve it from a
stone. Does that make statues less real than stones?
I think the Rambam's point is that Hashem is more True because His is
a non-contingent truth, whereas our existence is something that "just
happens to be" true.
The Rambam's discussion of atzilus (as I suggested in Dec 04) is more
in Moreh I:69, where the Rambam argues that Maker and Agent are not
contradictory ideas about G-d. Moreso, in YhT 2:5, where he speaks of
levels of mal'akhim "vehu matzui mikocho zeh lema'alah mizeh, vehakol
nimtza'im miKocho shel HQBH veTuvo."
The same "Amiso" in YhT 1:1 is used to describe yichud haYadu'ah
vehaYodei'ah in 2:10. And his chain of mamtzi'im mentioned above refers
to "lema'alah mizeh", and this non-physical altitude the Rambam continues
(2:6) to define, "kemo she'omerim bishnei chakhamim she'echad gadol
meichaveir bechokhmah, shehu lema'alah mimaalos al zeh". Also 2:7 "kol
hatzuros ha'eilu chaim umakirim es haborie, veyod'in oso... kol tzurah
vetzurah lefi ma'alaso".
But that's not explicit in 1:1.
Li nir'eh from all of the above, that the Rambam identifies the Or of
atzilus with ability to comprehend the Borei.
On Thu, Jun 08, 2006 at 07:52:54PM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
: RSC is making a subtle error here. According to Aristotle the world is
: necessarily existent, and, of course, the world is subject to change.
: God is necessarily existent and is simple (i.e., unchangeable)...
But the Rambam gives a proof to show that necessary existence requires
simplicity and is a necessary consequence of simplicity (thus answering
the question of why the Creator doesn't require a creator). See
propositions 19 through 21 at the begining of Moreh II, and their use
(In short: anything that is more than one is contingent on the parts being
combined, and anything that isn't contigent on that combination obviously
doesn't have parts.)
On Fri, Jun 09, 2006 at 02:24:45PM -0400, Moshe Shulman wrote:
:>> But many seforim do speak of Him. The discussion of philosophers
:>> about attributes of G-d is an example of such discussions.
: Not really an error. Kabbalists are just more radical in their
: monotheism then philosophers. There is an interesting note in Tanya
: chapter 2 relating to this.
I was surprised by this claim.
The philosophers -- R' Saadia, the Rambam, R' Yosef Albo -- all have a
negative theology, that all attributes that sound like we're attributing
to Hashem are really statements of what He isn't (or of how his actions
appear, or of our relationship to Him, etc... depending on the rishon).
Specifically because they do NOT allow for the idea that Hashem really
has attributes. See Moreh I:51-60.
In contrast to RMS's position, R' Yichyeh el Qafeh (R' "Kapach"'s
grandfather) was purported to have said of qabbalah, "These [Notzrim]
have three, and these have 10... How are they different?" (Not to say
RYeQ had a problem with sefiros as understood by R' Saadia.) I am
not supporting or defending the position, just showing that the notion
that Qabbalah asserts a more strict unity than the philosophers is VERY
FAR from a given.
On Tue, Jun 06, 2006 at 11:35:20AM -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
:> I once was given the mashal of tzimtzum being like a slide. (Remember
:> slide shows?) By blocking parts of the light, a slide can make a picture
:> on the wall....
:> through the removal of the potential for things and attributesHashem
:> does NOT want to exist.
: I like the mashal until the final sentence. It doesn't make sense. If
: 'Creation' is the 'removal' of potential, said potential must have existed,
: at least conceptually, before the 'removal' process. That doesn't work with
: Beriah yesh may'Ayin.
The Borei is kol yachol. The act of creation required Shakai to declare
dai, so that creation is defined as the setting of limits. If Or exists,
then there is potential for *something*... What turns that into potential
for the particular things that do exist? It's a limitation of how the
Or is expressed, the slide in the mashal.
:> And so, if everything could exist nothing would exist,
: I don't follow the pathway from the postulate to the conclusion.
Tohu vavohu. Dai, as per above. The wholse concept of needing tzimtzum
to restrict the infinite in order for creation to exist.
: From my exposure to L Chassidisim, the cosmos are, in a sense, more real
: than the supernal worlds inasmuch as they represent their 'raison deter' (an
: idea fully developed in the Litvishe velt by Rav Dessler)...
Except that those too are ne'etzal, Chabad doesn't believe in a literal
tzimtzum, and therefore the other worlds are no more real by the same
line of reasoning as for this world.
"Ein od milvado."
On Sun, Jun 11, 2006 at 05:58:57AM -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
: But you and I weren't discussing olamos higher than Atzilus as your
: aforementioned note mentions; we were discussing Atzmus versus non-Atzmus
: which has nothing to do with the note in Tanya. In fact, this is precisely
: what the baal haTanya is coming to be sholel.
"Olamos higher than atzilus"? Are we positing layers between the Ma'or
and the Or that He is ne'etzel?
IIRC, Chabad places the leap between Absolute and the limitations of
created beings axplicitly at the juncture of Ma'or and Or. Although I
still haven't figured out how they can say the juncture is real, since
the Ma'or was not ne'etzal even from our perspective (non-literally),
and therefore is memalei hakol...
On Mon, Jun 12, 2006 at 08:35:56AM -0400, Moshe Shulman wrote:
: Are you saying that 'atzmus' is not higher then Atzilus?
Are you placing the Borei on the same spectrum? The Ma'or isn't higher
than the Or, height simply isn't relevent.
To put it another way... The "altitude" of which we speak is how far
down the "beam of light" the item in question is. (See above WRT the
Rambam.) The Ma'or isn't anywhere on the beam.
Micha Berger A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
firstname.lastname@example.org It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (270) 514-1507 - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"
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