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Volume 25: Number 113

Thu, 27 Mar 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 19:51:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] schechtworthy

R'n CL:
> You made mention in a later post about the fact that husbands are not
> controlling, but the issue here is, I believe, that we are dealing with
> a violation of daas Moshe - ie a d'orisa, and something which is
> specifically stated as a reason a woman should be divorced in the
> Mishna in Kesubos (along with, I would note, feeding her unsuspecting
> family treif).  As a  divorce is indeed within the control of the
> husband, the connection is quite close.  The somewhat unusual aspect of
> this psak appears to be that the community norm might be said to go so
> far as to permit somebody who is over on an issur d'orisa or who fails
> to divorce his wife in accordance with the Mishna in Kesubos which
> would seem to require it.

Rambam Hilchos Ishus 24:14 implies that he doesn't have to divorce her if he
doesn't want to. The point of the Mishnah, AIUI, is that if he does, he
doesn't have to pay her Kesubah. (Although, granted, community
norms/standards might be more stringent than the Mishnah.)


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Message: 2
From: "Meir Shinnar" <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 23:06:59 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

>  The Rambam and SA both list the criterion of not excluding a single
>  din. How then can one not require the enterprise of dinim? If someone
>  saw R' Uziel or R' Goren inside, I would appreciate explanation.
>  \
I don't have sources in front of me, and it has been a while.
However, as I previously said, the notion of kabbalat ol mitzvot as
being central in the giyur process is not universal - although it has
become the dominant notion, to the extent that people are matmiah at
the notion that this can be doubted.  there is a book by Zvi Zohar and
avi Shagya, GIyur vezehut Yehudit, published by Machon Hartman, that
makes the following claim:  It is extensively documented.  A while
back I went through many (not all) the sources, and while I didn't
agree with all their interpretations, they make a powerful case, which
also makes simple pshat of many gmarot and rishonim.

The basic argument is that there are two main approaches to giyur: In
one, the acceptance of the religious dimension of being a Jew is the
fundamental part- leading to kabbalat ol mitzvot as the fundamental
part of giyur.  This is the more familiar model.

However, there is another model of giyur - where the primary process
is the transformation of becoming part of am yisrael (and not in the
notion that we are only an am through the mitzvot) - and mila and
tevila are the technical acts that transform a non Jew into a Jew.

Now, as keeping the mitzvot is a fundamental part of being a Jew - by
becoming a Jew, one perforce is bound by the mitzvot.  Kabbalat
hamitzvot here becomes, rather than an intrinsic part of the processof
giyur,  an outcome of it.  The questions that arises in this model  is
a) If someone who has no particular desire to keep the mitzvot
undergoes giyur - is the giyur valid, or is dependent on whether he
actually keeps the mitzvot
b) how much does one have to investigate the ger's desire to keep the
mitzvot c) If an insincere ger is accepted, and the giyur is valid
what are implications both for the ger (eg, better being a poor Jew
versus nonJew) and implications for klal yisrael (eg, in the notion of
kol yisrael areivim)

The latter implication,especially for klal yisrael, are quite widely

Many rishonim do not discuss a requirement of kabbalat hamitzvot as
part of the giyur process (eg, the rif),and the rambam, who does want
investigation of the potential ger, says that if bet din of hedyotot
converts without informing anything about the mitzvot - the giyur is
valid - even if we don't let him marry until we know whether he will
keep mitzvot - and furthermore, if the ger does not keep mitzvot, he
has the status of a yisrael rasha - rather than a nonJew (this is the
simple pshat - I am aware of other readings).

This also gives a simple pshat to the entire discussion in the gmara
about gere arayot, gere mordechai, gere isha, etc - there is a
position that those gerim are not valid, but the halacha is that they
are valid gerim - even though kabbalat ol hamitzvot was not an
intrinsic part of the giyur (and I am aware of the other pshatim) -
and much of the ma'amre hazal about gerim oppose gerut precisely
because they fear that many of the gerim were not sincere in kabbalat
hamitzvot, leading to a problem for klal yisrael - but not to
questioning their basic status as a ger.

There is also the gerut of a kattan - where again, kabbalat hamitzvot
is not required ( a kattan is not a bar da'at) - and the requirement
to reaffirm before a bet din is actually quite late...

There are  later poskim who continue this or a modified thread - even
if they require kabbalat hamitzvot, it is more of an added requirement
than an intrinsic
part of the giyur - and so therefore, something that is more
susceptible to a kula under some circumsances.  IIRC, Zohar and Shagya
bring down Rav Kluger holds that kabbalt ol mitzvot is only
derabbanan, and the bet meir holds that kabbalat ol mitzvot refers
that one is doing the mila and tevila for the sake of the mitzva of

.  There are multiple other sources brought down by Zohar and Shagya.

I think that the evidence they bring that this was a position is
fairly strong, and I think that this underlies many of the more
radical positions on giyur.  To the extent that giyur is primarily
about a transformation into being a Jew, the issue of kabbalat
hamitzvot  becomes secondary - the issue becomes a public policy one
about the desirability of having large numbers of non shomer mitzvot
gerim, and whether it is good for the individual ger to be a non
shomer mitzvot.  .  Many tshuvot which are mekil on gerim seem to
implicitly assume a form of this position.  I think much of Rav
uzziel's position seems to assume at least part of this position -
although I don't think he ever explicitly states it.  I remember
hearing this position in the name of someone who is a major MO talmid
chacham - but as I didn't hear it from him directly, I don't want to
state it.

On the otther hand, there are clearly major poskim who would radically
reject this position - and even view it as incomprehensible and not
part of eleh ve'eleh.  When I previously referenced this, RM Berger
was surprised and viewed it as clearly against Shulchan Aruch.

The question is wehter

a) This is reasonable reading of at least some of the sources

b) Even if this is a reasonable reading, whether this position is
still a legitimate halachic position, or the other viewpoint has
become so predominant that the
this is no longer part of the halachic process

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 3
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:59:34 +0200
Re: [Avodah] RAYK and the end of chol

> From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Subject: [Avodah] RAYK and the end of chol

> On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 03:28pm IST, R Michael Makovi wrote (on the
> thread "R' Angel & Geirus Redux"):
> : Rav Kook too I think implicitly held like this. His philosophy was
> : that today, we are seeing people that are bad on the outside but good
> : on the inside. They have tremendous neshamot yearning to improve the
> : world (look at all the Jews in left-wing causes), and the Torah had
> : been made into something so small and parochial...

> But the whole zerichas hashemesh model of geulah didn't stand up that well
> to subsequent events. He wrote before WWII, after all.

I'm sorry, but there is a basic misunderstanding of the model.  The model is 
"Ayelet HaShachar" that is - at first it comes and goes.  In real life there 
are ups and downs. There are moments of great steps toward Ge'ulah, and 
there are moments of great falls away from Ge'ulah, into darkness.

The claim that it is a step ladder going one way is one I've seen, but not 
in Rav Kook.

> RAYK thought that the world was in an accelerated path to the geulah.

Not at all.  What he saw was that the a change has come over the world.  For 
the first time groups of Jews have successfully resettled Eretz Yisrael and 
have begun to make it flower. As brought in the G'mara R' Abba: Eil Lecha 
Keitz Meguleh MiZeh: VeAtem Harei Yisrael Anfeichem Titeinu UFiryechem Tis'u 
Le'Ami Yisrael" (Yechezel) and Rashi says: When the land of Israel will give 
forth fruit generously, then the Geulah is close and there is no end more 
revealed than that.

Can anyone honestly say, after seeing Israel export fruit and vegetables to 
the world, when comparing the situation here to what it was 120 years ago - 
when it was a land of swamps and desert, that something hasn't changed?

> :                                    ... Also, compare Torah im Derech
> : Eretz to Rav Kook's view of learning chol, "sanctify the chol by
> : infusing it with kodesh". Rav Kook and Rav Hirsch say the same thing
> : on learning chol, but in different language.
> First, TIDE is built around "Yaft E-lokim leYefet". The idea human
> being is ennobled, raised above the animal -- both in Torah and in being
> cultured. Far from RAYK's Zionism, I have no idea how TIDE is defined when
> not living amongst a host population of Benei Yefes defining high culture.

> Second, RSRH's TIDE is an entirely different paradigm. Rather than speak
> of a cosmic fading away of the whole concept of chol, RSRH speaks in
> terms of the ennoblement of high culture.

Rav Kook's view of learning chol has nothing to do with Zionism.  So, please 
don't mix the issues.

Rav Kook's view is based on the sentence (Zohar?) "Histakel BaTorah U'Vara 
Alma". So, there is no knowledge of this world that exists that is outside 
of Torah.  Therefore, there is no real "chol" as is common to think of 
history, math, archeology, languages etc. and in Rav Kook's view one has to 
study these topics and not just limit oneself to what he finds within the 
pages of the Talmud.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 11:56:32 GMT
[Avodah] Chazan pacing the tzibur

I know that in many shuls the chazan does not begin until Yishtabach. But
in many others he begins long before that, and his role is to say the last
line of each paragraph out loud, to lead the shul, so that each member of
the tzibur can pace themselves, so that they reach Yishtabach at the same

The same procedure carries through Birchos Krias Shema, Kabbalas Shabbos,
and Hallel, in every shul I can ever remember being in. And as far as I can
tell, it generally works pretty well, provided the chazan's voice carries
well enough for people to hear him. Some might feel that the chazan is too
fast or too slow, but at least everyone knows what he is up to, and won't
be surprised when he gets to the last section.

My question concerns the long (Mon & Thur) Tachanun, and the many pages
at the end of Selichos. I have almost never found a Chazan who raises his
voice anywhere during these portions. (Ditto for certain piyutim.)

Why not?

I frequently find myself finishing these tefilos long after the rest of the
tzibur has done so. Sometimes that's a good thing, but if going at one's
own speed is good, then it would be good for Hallel and Kabalas Shabbos
too. Besides, it can also happen that (for lack of a chazan to pace me) I
finish long *before* everyone else, and that's a problem too.

Can anyone suggest why this difference is made? It's been a pet peeve of
mine for years, even to the point where I sometimes (especially during
selichos) walk up to the chazan to see what page he is on. The fact that
this doesn't bother anyone else suggests that there's a good reason for the
way everyone else acts, and that I'm just clueless about it. I'd love to
know what the reason is. Thanks in advance.

(PS: I am aware that in shuls of the Edot Hamizrach, the chazan says pretty
much everything out loud. So unless there are exceptions to that rule, this
post does not apply there. I'm also aware that Yekkes (and maybe others)
say Kabalas Shabbos in unison (or responsively), so that is another

Akiva Miller
Need cash? Click to get an emergency loan, bad credit ok

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Message: 5
From: "Shayna Livia Korb" <shayna.korb@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:17:14 -0700
[Avodah] sefer hachinuch

Does anyone have a copy of sefer hachinuch around? I am giving a class in
shiluach hakan tonight and would love a quote - I can't get Bar Ilan to work
for me and I think it's mitzvah 33. Please email me off list.
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Message: 6
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:54:48 +0100
[Avodah] living together

Whilst looking into this, I noticed that the Pischei Teshuva EH 62:9 writes
beshem the Nodah Beyehuda "..be'inyan noef shenoso be'uloso ein mevorchin
sheva brochos ele yom echad.."- as his Simcha is far less that in case of a
bachur ubesula.
So BTs who after living together (in their previous life) and now get
married. If one makes 7Bs for a week is it a brocho levatolo?>>

There are also problems with the ketuva. The standard procedure in the Israeli
rabbanut is not to ask questions. I have no ideea what is done when
they volunteer
information unasked. Perhaps they are not asked.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 7
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 19:31:26 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Tiqun Olam

>  :>  But AFAIK that's not true... Whle RSRH was a strong proponent of
> :> social justice beyond the Jewish community, he didn't call it "tiqun
>  :> olam".
> :> R' Micha Berger

>  : http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n030.shtml#08
> : Mikha'el Makovi

>  I don't know if RnTK there meant the idiom, or if she was specifically
>  saying she meant the literal words taken non-idiomatically. If the
>  former,  I'm not sure she is correct. Many argue that RSRH's symbols
>  are a presentation of qabbalah. If so, his metaphor system would turn
>  Lurianic tiqun olam into a matter of teaching the truths that are the
>  opposite of tum'ah. Which is different than his call to social
>  justice, even if the two distinct concepts would overlap in what they
>  demand of us.
>  SheTir'u baTov!
>  -micha

Assuming I understand what you mean between idiomatically and
literally non-idiomatically, I don't see how she'd mean the idiom -
she specifically says she's taking it as p'shat, not according to its
popular Kabbalistic meaning. Tikkun olam means "repairing the world".

And how does Rav Hirsch describe repairing the world? By doing mitzvot
and educating, in practical terms, to world as to the meaning of
belief in G-d and avodat hashem, etc. Moreover, IMHO, the fact that
his entire approach to mitzvot is practical/worldly (i.e. giving
tzedaka doesn't pull spiritual strings; rather, I've simply helped a
poor person materially) and educational (tefillin teaches me something
about G-d; no strings to pull), it stands to reason that his approach
to tikkun olam is exactly the same - since tikkun olam is by
definition via performance of mitzvot, it stands to reason that
whatever one thinks about mitzvot, one thinks the same about tikkun
olam. I'll wager a guess that what Nefesh haChaim says about mitzvot
applies to tikkun olam the same way that whatever Horeb says about
mitzvot will apply to tikkun olam.

Many argue that Rav Hirsch was a Kabbalist, yes, and I have yet to be
able to understand this. In 19 Letters, he decries magical mechanism -
Dayan Grunfeld says he is merely decrying the popular
misinterpretation of Kabbalah, and DG does have textual basis.
However, one cannot ignore the fact that everywhere in RSRH's writings
where he interprets Kabbalah, he always takes the theosophy and
theurgy out - for example, in Parshat Bereshit near the beginning, he
says that our deeds influence the heavens because G-d sees what we do,
He takes cognizance, and He responds accordingly. If I am not
mistaken, I believe he might even have a partial quotation from the
Zohar here; in any case, notice the parallel to the Kabbalistic notion
of influencing upper worlds. But, Rav Hirsch has stripped all
theosophy and theurgy. Dayan Grunfeld will insist that Rav Hirsch did
so not because he denies, but only because his audience was not
receptive. But moreover, Rav Hirsch in 19 Letters also decried
theosophy and theurgy **b'klal**! Moreover, he elsewhere, in many
places, takes great pains to emphasize that Judaism is an anthropology
and is concerned not with knowledge of G-d and the heavens, but rather
solely with our duty here on earth in the temporal realm. In his
letter on aggadah, he says that he never much contemplated Olam haBa
or took sides on the machloket between Rambam and everyone else in the
reality of astrology, because there's no nafka mina. This is hardly
what a normal Kabbalistic says. Moreover, as 19 Letters makes clear,
and I will assume applies to all his writings, his objective was to
reinvigorate Judaism with the true, proper approach, after we had
become occupied with a dry hashkafa-less 4-cubits-of-halacha Judaism -
he is trying to pave the correct, true path, the true way to return to
Judaism as it is meant to be. So how could it be that he was hiding
the truth just because his audience might not have been receptive??!!
Rather, Rav Hirsch, I would say, simply stripped the theosophy and
theurgy out of Kabbalah and read it like any midrash - true, he
accepted Kabbalah per se, but on his own terms. It turns out that I am
holding aliba d'Rabbi Shelomoh Danziger. What needs iyun, however, is,
according to this shita, how did Rav Hirsch view Arizal et. al.? Did
he read Arizal as a metaphorical allegorical midrash like the Zohar,
or did he say Arizal had misinterpreted Zohar? How much Kabbalah,
besides the Zohar itself, did Rav Hirsch know, and how did he view it?

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 8
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 21:44:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Parshas Parah

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 8:37 AM, Michael Makovi <mikewinddale@gmail.com> wrote:
>  What I'm curious about: It says of Parshat Parah "zocher", and the
>  Gemara says that zocher means read it from a Sefer Torah.
>  But if so, we have five other zochers in the Torah (see your Artscroll
>  siddur after Shacharit - page 176f in the Nusach Ashkenaz), but in
>  only two of the six zochers do we read anything from a Sefer Torah.

Perhaps you're conflating two drashos on Megillah 18a, one of which
states that "Zachor es asher asah l'cha Amalek" must mean an oral
commemmoration, being that "Lo Tishkach" already prohibits the inverse
of a mental commemoration[1] and the other of which states that just
like Zachor must be read from a scroll b/c of "K'sov zos zikaron
ba-sefer", so, too, must Megillas Esther be read from a scroll, due to
a gezeira shava through "V'hayamim ha-eileh nizkarim"?

If so, the gemara's limud implies that any other mention of the word
Zachor - ma'amad Har Sinai, Miriam, etc. - can be b'leiv, and
certainly we can't extrapolate from the two zechiros of the gezeira
shava to other zechiros to require a reading from a scroll.

>  4) Zachor, al tishkach, et asher hiktzafta et hashem elokecha bamidbar
>  (i.e. cheit ha-egel) - Dev 9:7
>  We have parshat parah from a scroll

Being that MB 685:16 and other poskim reject the Magen Avraham's
chiddush that one can be yotzei the mitzvah of Zechiras Amalek by
hearing the leining of "Vayavo Amalek", it seems dubious to say that
P' Parah is a kiyyum of Zechiras HaEigel.

AhS OCh 685:7, after noting that gedolei ha-acharonim rejected the
shita that Parah is d'oraissa[2],suggests nonetheless that a potential
remez of the obligation could be from the two mentions of "chukas
olam" in the parsha, one of which is expounded in Sifrei to teach that
the mitzvah is noheges l'doros and the other of which can therefore be
an allusion to a chiyuv to read the parsha.

Joshua Meisner

[1] I don't know why the gemara doesn't simply say that Zachor comes
to add an asei in addition to the lav, like it does on numerous
occasions in Sefer Vayikra, but perhaps having two distinct meanings
is preferred to a having a two-dimensional meaning?

[2]MB says similarly.  Be'er HaGolah cites the source of the yesh
omrim cited by the Mechaber as being Tosfos on Brachos 13, but in DH
B'Lashon on 13a, he only mentions P' Zachor, so what's the Mechaber's
source for saying that P' Parah is d'oraissa?

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Message: 9
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 16:26:21 +0200
Re: [Avodah] RAYK and the end of chol

>  Therefore, RAYK expected the masses to somehow show that progression to
>  universal qedushah. However, it could still be in a semirevealed form.
>  The misguided idealist who is holy in his idealism but a sinner in his
>  choice of ideal.
>  But the whole zerichas hashemesh model of geulah didn't stand up that well
>  to subsequent events. He wrote before WWII, after all.
>  And since his day, there was far from a rise in idealism. ...
> The competition to Yahadus is a vapid
>  culture, not what RAYK would forsee in the hayday of Communism. And over
>  in Israel, the Communism of the kibbutzim is over, Zionism gave way to
>  post-Zionism, Israel too had is Yeled vaKelev generation, etc...
>  RAYK thought that the world was in an accelerated path to the geulah.
> R' Micha Berger

Everything you just used to say Rav Kook was wrong, Rav Kook already
responded to.

Rav Kook said that his generation was idealistic and simply didn't
know how to express it, and he was confident that soon they'd learn.
You protest that time has proven him wrong, because rather than
improving, subsequent generations have only gotten worse, and now that
lack not only religiosity but even Zionism too (i.e. post-Zionism).

But Rav Kook himself said that the future generations would throw away
all Torah and Judaism, and be left with nothing of those, b'klal.
Without Torah, all their Zionism had no basis - a Jew removed from
Torah is like a flower from water and soil, and while it can live for
a while, and perhaps even appear to thrive, it will eventually die.
Zionism without Torah has a very fleeting lifespan, before people
start crying that the Arabs have equal rights and we have no right to
the land and that we all ought to return to Europe since we want to be
just like them anyway, etc.

(As an aside: Rabbi Isidore Epstein in The Faith of Judaism, quotes a
gentile whose name I cannot remember, to the effect that while it
appears that one can have morality sans religion, this is only a
temporary thing - R' Epstein says the flower can live for a time
without water and soil, and so too morality can live for a short time
without religion. But sooner or later, they both will wilt and die.
Secular morality is simply running on the momentum of religious
morality, and eventually it will run out of steam, and then it will
have no motivating power source left.

Perhaps we can say that similarly, secular Zionism fed on centuries of
traditional Jewish pining for Tzion, and borrowed its steam and
momentum. But eventually, without any drive or power of its own,
secular Zionism will conflate itself with left-wing assimilationism
and secularism and such. In any case...)

Rav Kook said the generations would get progressively worse (having
run out of steam, etc.), and eventually, we'd think they were totally
gone and the whole Zionistic experiment was a failure, and everyone
will proclaim that the seculars in fact were NOT idealistic, and also,
"back to the ghetto - Zionism was a flop as we said it was all

So he said there'd be post-Zionism - more, he said that that which
resurrected the state of
Israel in our days is enough to have *killed* a *healthy* state of
Israel in the 1st/2nd Temple periods!

But, he said, this would all pave the way for a total disillusionment
- they'd see that several
generations of secularism (long after his death) led nowhere, and
eventually, at long last, they'd finally turn to Torah in a sudden rebound.


Lo yasur shevet mei-yehuda u-m-chokek mibein raglav ad ki yavo shiloh
v-lo yik'hat amim. Rav Hirsch translates (according to the old English
translation): The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the
law-inscribing style from between his feet, ***until the last weak
sprout comes, and to him, then virilely strong, the effete weakness of
the nations will turn***.

He explains:
Shin-yud-lamed-hei can be derived from shin-vav-lamed, the lower hem
of a garment, and denote the extreme end. Jacob is lying here on his
death bed, at the very beginning of the nation of which the foundation
stone has hardly been laid, and looks down the centuries at the last
"sprout from the stem" of Judah. The suffix vav is written with hei to
indicate weakness (feminine I.L. [Isaac Levi, translator - Mikha'el
Makovi]) and by calling the last generation shilo, Jacob says: - that
time will come when the malkhut beit david will appear at it lowest
deepest end, and Judah no longer as ari, strong as a lion, but
femininely weak, and one will think that it has reached its final
state where Judah's strength and virility will almost have
disappeared, and then - just then when the undertakers of
world-history will already have ordered the coffin for Judah's body
apparent come to its end, lo yik'hat amim, it will it will manfully
arise and to th  yik'hat will come.

Yik'hat, root yud-kuf-hei, identical with kuf-hei-hei (like
yud-aleph-lamed and aleph-lamed-aleph, yud-ayin-lamed and
ayin-yud-hei, yud-samech-fei and samech-fei-hei, yud-fei-het and
fei-het-hei, yud-fei-taf and fei-taf-hei) to become stunted, dull.
Thus, of the eye that mocks at the lik'hat eim the dullness of the old
mother (Prov. XXX.17). Here also, the dullness, the senile weakness of
humanity come to its end, and the world at large, have become worn out
and dull, have lived through everything, tried and tested everything,
feels that the some new regeneration spirit must come, and this, that
las sprout from the stem of Judah will bring.

So if we put this back into Rav Hirsch's translation of the pasuk:
"until the last weak sprout [of Judah, being weak, and all the nations
have declared him far-gone, a relic, a fossil - Toynbee] comes, and to
him, then [Judah suddenly being] virilely strong, the effete weakness
of the nations [who previously were strong and laughed at weak Judah,
they] will turn.

Already, we have seen that Orthodoxy was declared in the early 1900s,
and in the WWII era Judaism and the Jewish people were declared dead.
Now, we are seeing all the idealism of secularism crashing. Europe has
a negative birthright and Arabs are flooding in, and no one knows how
to fight radical Islam, etc. etc. Moreover, Rav Hirsch said that "and
the world at large, have become worn out and dull, have lived through
everything, tried and tested everything" - the world has tried every
philosophy under the sun, and nothing has brought satisfaction and
peace. The world "feels that the some new regeneration spirit must
come, and this, that las sprout from the stem of Judah will bring".

I brought so much of Rav Hirsch's words because I thought they were
valuable in and of themselves. But what I really want to focus on is
that last section - what Rav Hirsch says the world will do (have gone
through everything, and finally look at Judaism), is what Rav Kook
says the Jewish people will do - they will have tried every secular
philosophy, and finally, out of desperation, they'll finally try
Torah. (Cf. From Central Park to Sinai, where the author literally
tried almost every religion he could, for ten years, before he finally
deigned to try Torah.)

So Ravs Kook and Hirsch say the same regarding disillusionment and
return, except Rav Kook speaks of Jews specifically, whereas Rav
Hirsch speaks of mankind.


disproving Rav Kook. He suggested that Rav Kook thought darkness would
segue to sunrise, and he didn't know that the Holocaust would come. Of
course, R' Micha can respond himself with more detail. But in the
meantime, I'll say for now:

I'm sure Rav Tzvi Yehuda said something about the Holocaust - I cannot
imagine that he taught his father's philosophy without every
mentioning it.

However, I myself will say that the Holocaust has nothing to do
anything here: Rav Kook is referring to the loss and regain of
idealism and Torah by the Jewish people, and the Holocaust is an
external event not caused by the Jews. Any objection has to be that
the Jews are not returning to Torah as Rav Kook thought they would,
not that the Nazis didn't behave according to what Rav Kook said the
Jews would do.

In fact, the Holocaust has been compared to the Dry Bones prophesy,
and it has been said that if the 3 Oaths have any halachic validity
(which is itself questionable), then certainly the Holocaust dashes
them away - see Rabbi Shlomo Aviner's essay on Yashar Book's Open
Access, that the Shoah is
1) A violation of the third oath not to oppress us, thereby freeing us
of our obligation, and
2) A Divine Remembrance - the Shoah is all of galut crammed into one
singularity of suffering, fulfilling our entire chiyuv to be punished
and/or educated in galut, and thus cleansing us in one get-go.

And surely no one can miss the fact that immediately after the Shoah
came 1948. I'm sure both of the two Rav Kooks would have something to
say about this.

According to Torat Eretz Yisrael: The Teachings of HaRav Tzvi Yehuda
HaCohen Kook (English adaption of Sichot haRav Tzvi Yehuda), we find
the following:

Pages 364-5:
The Gaon of Vilna concludes: 'And we are now rising to a resurrection
of the dead. Waking up. Rising from the dust. And an exalted spirit
will rest upon us.' 42 The end of the Galut is revealed. The Guardian
of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. The Geula is compelled to
appear. 43 The dead return to life. And even the evil doers, who are
called dead in their lifetime, 44 come to return in repentance. 45

Any intelligent person, who looks with open eyes on what has happened
to us in recent generations, will understand this as the work of
Hashem who, Names generations from the beginning. 46 In the past
generation, the impurity of the gentiles, and their greatest evil was
seen (the Holocaust), and now, the time of the Exile's end has
arrived. The atmosphere of the world is compelled to purify and
cleanse itself from this contamination of devastating impurity.

The eternity of Israel advances onward and appears with splendor, with
valor, with Kedusha and purity, and with Hashem's magnifying and
glorifying Torah. 47 Baruch Hashem, our revival can be seen in all
corners of the Land. More and more people are returning to Torah and
to spiritual health, even if there are still Jews in our midst who are
called 'not religious.'

42. Likutei haGra, at the end of Safra D'Tzniuta
43. The dead which Ezekiel saw...this was a metaphor. Sanhedrin 92B.
"A metaphor - it hinted to them that the Galut was like a dead man who
returns to life. Likewise, Israel will return from the Galut." Rashi,
44. According to Berachot 18B.
45. See, Responsa of the Maharshdam, Orach Chaim, 17.
46. Isaiah, 41:4.
47. Isaiah, 42:21.

Chapter 10, "The Holocaust", pages 259ff - I will summarize:

- Those who stayed in Europe perished, those who made aliyah lived.

- Many try to figure out why. Some say that it was because of
reformers or secular zionists. Rav Tzvi Yehuda said this has a few
problems: (1) It isn't historically comprehensive, (2) It fragments
the klal, blaming only one group not the entire nation. The klal is a
unity, a unified whole, and one is myopic if he tries to break it up
into segments without keeping its unity in mind. It's not a question
of lacking ahavat yisrael, but rather, it's simply objectively and
factually wrong and will lead to wrong conclusions. Am Yisrael cannot
be segmented into factions. (3) Criticizing Hashem is a grave sin
stemming from lack of emuna [My note: Tzarich iyun, because in plenty
of places we learn that questioning G-d is healthy; eg, Avraham at
Sodom, Job, etc. I don't know if Rav Tzvi Yehuda is saying b'klal, or
if he is speaking of a certain kind of criticizing. Perhaps if one
criticizes G-d as a loving child full of faith, and implores Him to
keep that which He has promised ("Shall not the judge of the world do
justly?") there is no problem. The footnote quotes Sotah 42A on
scorners, so perhaps we are dealing with questioning G-d in a
disrespectful or scornful way. I don't know - tzarich iyun. Any
students of Rav Tzvi Yehuda around? If not, maybe I can invite my
teacher Rabbi Moshe Kaplan to join the chevra...]

 - We cannot comprehend G-d. Expecting the Holocaust to be rational
according to our limited understanding, is childish and immature and
shows a lack of emuna. "One mustn't subject Hashem to our reasoning
and perception. Only after we understand this, its it possible to
approach, in fear and awe, a comprehension of a tiny part of the
Holocaust. [The following is bold in the original text] In our
generation, we have seen an awesome new form of destruction (the
Holocaust), and an incredible new revival and building (the State of
Israel). [end bold] There are people who don't agree with this order
of Divine Providence. they become confused when they encounter these
events. ... These people think that things happen accidentally,
randomly, without cause. But the truth is that nothing happens
randomly. There isn't a thing which transpires that isn't done
according to the Providence of the Almighty. Not only do the good
events, but also the things which appear evil to us happen according
to the Divine plan."

- We are not healthy in galut (galut = graveyard), and eventually the
time comes to resurrect us - Ezekiel dry bones. But when we fail to
come home, an upheaval is needed. He quotes the  Siddur Beit Yaakov,
Kol Korai (R' Alkalai), Eim haBanim Semeicha, Meshech Chochmah, the
Netziv's Haggadah, the Gra, the Chafetz Chaim, and Rav Kook the elder,
all to the effect that if we fail to come willingly to Eretz Yisrael
(because Berlin = Jerusalem), G-d will force us to and that EY will be
the ir miklat. Rav Tzvi Yehuda compares this to the slave who refuses
freedom at the end of six years - G-d has shown the end of galut, and
we try to remain there. But we cannot remain there, the chillul hashem
cannot continue, and so G-d forces us out. [However, is this not
blaming a specific sector of Judaism, viz. the non-Zionists? Rav Tzvi
Yehuda answers this objection, saying that we are not criticizing one
sector, but rather the entire klal, anyone in the klal, whether
religious or not, charedi or modern, etc, who repeats the sin of the
spies.Tzarich iyun. In any case, Rav Tzvi Yehuda's argument is very
similar to Eim haBanim Semeicha's, which was written during the
Holocaust. - M.M.]

- "The Holocaust uproote the Jewish people from Europe. Suddenly,
after two thousand years, in the wake of the Holocaust, the Jewish
people returned to Israel. This is not happenstance. There is no
denying the inner connection of these two awesome events."


>  : Eretz to Rav Kook's view of learning chol, "sanctify the chol by
>  : infusing it with kodesh". Rav Kook and Rav Hirsch say the same thing
>  : on learning chol, but in different language.
>  : Mikha'el Makovi

>  First, TIDE is built around "Yaft E-lokim leYefet". The idea human
>  being is ennobled, raised above the animal -- both in Torah and in being
>  cultured. Far from RAYK's Zionism, I have no idea how TIDE is defined when
>  not living amongst a host population of Benei Yefes defining high culture.
> R' Micha Berger

We still have Yafetic culture today - take a glance at Israel. What we
need to do is Judaize it. I think Rav Berkovits is a good example of
taking TIDE and transplanting it to Israel.

>  Second, RSRH's TIDE is an entirely different paradigm. Rather than speak
>  of a cosmic fading away of the whole concept of chol, RSRH speaks in
>  terms of the ennoblement of high culture.

Yes, but Rav Hirsch nevertheless speaks of elevating the chol by
infusing it with Torah and using it to further a Torah lifestyle, etc.
Obviously he doesn't speak in mystical terms of there being no chol at
all; neither does he speak mystically by using the words "kodesh" and
"chol" in the first place. But he does say that the whole world is
G-d's and that nature testifies to Him, etc. - is this not saying that
nothing is truly chol? And he does speak (in his own lashon) of
elevating the chol by associating it with kodesh, which is *exactly*
what Rav Kook says. After all, what Rav Hirsch called "high culture"
and "derech eretz", Rav Kook calls "chol" - they were speaking of the
same thing. Rav Kook's chol was poetry and science and literature and
theater and all those - even soccer!

Mikha'el Makovi


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