Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 151

Tue, 29 Apr 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 15:27:03 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] airline prayer

On Fri, April 25, 2008 11:11 am, R Dov Weinstock wrote to Areivim:
: Re: the kaddish issue - despite the importance which kaddish has taken
: on in
: modern times, my understanding is that it has little true halachic
: significance. While I don't want to dissuade any avel from being
: conscientious about davening with a minyan, isn't this is a personal
: stringency which would have little weight vis-a-vis the other issues
: being discussed?

Minhag Yisrael (possibly dating back to the tannaim, but at least in
common in ALL major eidot) isn't simply dismissable as chumrah.

Otherwise, why not tell him to skip maariv?

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
micha@aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org     - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 16:31:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] letter of RSRH

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 01:16:04PM -0400, T613K@aol.com wrote:
: It is a bit anachronistic to speak of Zionism, whether Religious Zionism or  
: the secular variety,  in Germany in the nineteenth century.  There  was no 
: such animal.  Hirsch loved Eretz Yisrael...
: Had he been alive when Zionism really got under way, he would have followed  
: the majority of gedolim and majority da'as Torah, and would not have been a  
: Zionist...

Given your first sentence, I would have to conclude this second paragraph
is conjecture and meaningless.

Bottom line is that RSRH was against Jews trying to redeem themselves
politically or try to bring the ge'ulah through hishtadlus. Add to that
Austritt, and his banning joining Jewish groups that stand behind Isms
that aren't Yahadus.

Someone might take the new realia that emerged after his petirah and
reach the conclusion that RSRH wouldn't have been anti-Zionist (perhaps
only non-Z). But I personally don't see how to construct such a thing.

In any case, such conclusions (pro or neutral or con) are structures
atop RSRH's thought, and shouldn't be projected back to RSRH.

:                                    Overall, it seems to me ...
:                                      that the Hashgacha has a  plan for the 
: Jewish people that includes both a strong Torah-only community in  Eretz 
: Yisrael AND a Torah-plus-work community in chutz la'aretz....

TIDE isn't Torah uParnasah. That's yet another hashkafah.

But why are you limiting Torah-only to EY, and Torah-applied to chul?

: A sign of the essential yiras Shamayim of Yekkes in general and Hirschians  
: in particular is that when they do (unfortunately) deviate from TIDE  
: philosophical purity, they tend usually to head right rather than left. I
: speak of their Torah affiliation, not their political views.  

Lo sosuru mikol asher yagidu lekha semol? I seem to remember another bit
to that pasuq.

Yekkes differ toward Litvishkeit because Litta exported its talmud
Torah. That's not a shift to the left or the right, but a shift from
basing avodah on menchlachkeit to basing it on talmud Torah. Calling it
left-vs-right belies the complexity of the differences in thought.

: I am totally and absolutely convinced that they are both wrong.  

: What has happened in E'Y in the last hundred years simply cannot be  ignored, 
: cannot be gainsaid, and cannot -- chas vesholom even to say such a  thing -- 
: all be attributed to the workings of the Sitra Achra...

And what does that have to do with my insisting you can't project back
onto what RSRH would have said?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 8th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        1 week and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Gevurah: When is holding back a
Fax: (270) 514-1507                           Chesed for another?

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 16:36:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Im ANi Latzmi Ma ani

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 10:52:49AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
: Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner 
: Answer: Your analysis is correct except for one detail: It applies not
: just in this generation but throughout all the generations. People have
: always been more interested in themselves. They've always had an
: exaggerated self-love, and they've always had an evil impulse which
: said, "Me! Me!" I am not against self-love. After all it says, "Love
: your neighbor as yourself" (Vayikra 19:18). That's a sign that you've
: got to love yourself, too. Yet I'm talking about exaggerated self-love. 

I have to quote the famous words of RSS on this (translation mine,
from <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/ShaareiYosher.pdf>:

    HOWEVER, what of a person who decides to submerge his nature,
    to reach a high level so that he has no thought or inclination in
    his soul for his own good, only a desire for the good of others? In
    this way he would have his desire reach the sanctity of the Creator,
    as His Desire in all of the creation and management of the world
    is only for the good of the created, and not for Himself at all. At
    first glance one might say that if a person reached this level, he
    would reach the epitome of being whole. But this is why our Sages of
    blessed memory teach us in this Midrash that it is not so. We cannot
    try to be similar to His Holiness in this respect. His Holiness is
    greater than ours. His Holiness is only for the created and not for
    Himself because nothing was ever added to or could ever be added to
    the Creator through the actions He did or does. Therefore all His
    Desire could only be to be good to the created.

    But what He wants from us is not like this. As Rabbi Aqiva taught us,
    "your life comes first." [Our sages] left us a hint of it when
    they interpret the scripture "Love your neighbor as yourself" in
    a negative sense, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your
    peers." In terms of obligation, it is fitting for a person to place
    his own good first.


    Although at first glance it seems that feelings of love for oneself
    and feelings of love for others are like competing co-wives one
    to the other, we have the duty to try to delve into it, to find the
    means to unite them, since Hashem expects both from us. This means [a
    person must] explain and accept the truth of the quality of his "I",
    for with it the statures of [different] people are differentiated,
    each according to their level.
    The entire "I" of a coarse and lowly person is restricted only to
    his substance and body. Above him is someone who feels that his "I"
    is a synthesis of body and soul. And above him is someone who can
    include in his "I" all of his household and family. Someone who walks
    according to the way of the Torah, his "I" includes the whole Jewish
    people, since in truth every Jewish person is only like a limb of the
    body of the nation of Israel. And there are more levels in this of
    a person who is whole, who can connect his soul to feel that all of
    the world and worlds are his "I", and he himself is only one small
    limb in all of creation. Then, his self-love helps him love all of
    the Jewish people and [even] all of creation.

    In my opinion, this idea is hinted at in Hillel's words, as he
    used to say, "If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am
    for myself, what am I?" It is fitting for each person to strive
    to be concerned for himself. But with this, he must also strive to
    understand that "I for myself, what am I?" If he constricts his "I"
    to a narrow domain, limited to what the eye can see [is him], then
    his "I" -- what is it? Vanity and ignorable. But if his feelings are
    broader and include [all of] creation, that he is a great person and
    also like a small limb in this great body, then he is lofty and of
    great worth. In a great engine even the smallest screw is important
    if it even serves the smallest role in the engine. For the whole is
    made of parts, and no more than the sum of its parts.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 8th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        1 week and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Gevurah: When is holding back a
Fax: (270) 514-1507                           Chesed for another?

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Message: 4
From: "Meir Shinnar" <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 16:24:37 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mixed swimming

>  Meir Shinnar wrote:
>  > WRT mixed swimming
>  > This discussion has come up in the past, and, as I previously
>  > documented, it was common practice for rabbanim and rebbitzens to go
>  > mixed swimming at least through the 1950s -  including names that are
>  > well known - and the standards of tzniut were comparable to what is
>  > seen at most family friendly beaches and pools.
>  No, you did not document this, you merely claimed it, while refusing
>  to name names.   I do not accept that the people who did this were
>  bnei samcha.

I have named names to the moderator and to others (Micha, I can give
documentation to you again, if desired) .  Given the current climate,
I don't want the memories of those besmirched by the shualim who would
view this as reflecting badly on those who did it.  BTW, RH Maryles
can confirm that the mishpachot of some recognized litvish gdolim in
the litvish family went mixed swimming and that it was the norm...

Another poster mentioned Marienbad.   Another common resort was
Trieste, that my father remembers - and it was common for rabbanim to
go swimming there (and my father's rav from Europe, smicha from
Pressburg, rosh yeshiva in the states, went swimming at the beach
until the early 50s, until he said that it was becoming impossible to
do so in his position, given the kanaut that he was experiencing  -
that banned all normal activities such as  swimming...

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 5
From: Gila Atwood <gila@atwood.co.il>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 23:52:01 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Dinosaurs kosher?

> Basically, preliminary genetic studies show that T-rex (and presumably
> other dinosaurs) is more closely related to chickens and ostriches
> than to alligators, and even less related to lizards.

True,  however, the dinosaurs, such as the velociraptor and T. Rex that had 
a feet configuration like that of chickens were pretty much all *carnivores* 
(as far as I know, probably some exceptions but you'd have to know them) and 
would have probably been on the nix list of birds if one accepts the svara 
that birds of prey are on that list for that reason.
Those dinosaurs that were herbivores (probably with some gizzard structure) 
had a different skeletal anatomy, especially in the hip, and foot 
configuration. (all toes forward).

By the way, there is some evidence that some of the dinosaurs had feathers, 
probably for warmth and in a few cases for gliding, but likely these also 
had carnivorous habits.

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Message: 6
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 11:49:49 +0300
Re: [Avodah] R' Berkovits = Conservative halacha??

To understand the concern with R' Berkovitz it is helpful to note 
another promient rabbi who has very similar views

R' Rackman. There is a recently published article discussing the issue 
of having a view of halacha which deviates from the majority of rabbis

 David Singer, "Emanuel Rackman: Gadfly of Modern Orthodoxy," /Modern 
Judaism/ 28:2 (May 2008): 134-148.

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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 00:38:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Daas Torah

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 5:11 AM, Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>

> R' R. Wolpe wrote:
> "...as far as Siyyatta Dishmaya goes, Rabbonim do not have a monopoly.
> Doctors have it,
> too. Ever watch House?  He is a Kofeir who gets Siyyata dishmaya!"
> To further validate the above statement re: Siyata Dishmaya, I would
> say "Ma Tovu" is a
> pretty good indication of Siyata Dishmaya and for whatever reasons,
> Bilaam had it for a
> while.
> _________

Agreed. And contrary to the "politically Correct" idea taht only
"tzaddikim" get  siyyata dishmaya, I have  seen some pretty mediocre people
and  several vanilla Gentiles get incredible siyyata dishmaya.

When we say nevu'ah is  no more, we mean no more NATIONAL authoritative
nevu'ah.  Personal messages are emanating all the time from HKBH to all
kinds of people .

Obvious Bil'am did not get is words into the Torah w/o HKBH telling Moshe to
put them there. But his pre-existing abilities were not a quotient of his

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 8
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:45:44 +0300
[Avodah] 2 days of yom tov

Relatives of mine who live in the US but own a home in Israel
have for years been keeping 2 days in Galus and 1 in Israel.
This coming succot they are coming to Israel on chol hamoed.
Their LOR again said to keep 2 days for the first days of
chag and one day for Simchat Torah/Shemini Atzeret.

Has anyone heard of such a split in the middle of chag?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 19:10:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Eating Two Kezeisim of Matza for Motzi-Matza.

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:05:28AM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
> : No, it's got nothing to do with that; the question is which matzah
> : the "al achilat matzah" is on.  Is it on the prusah over which the
> : hagadah was said, or is it on the shlema...
> To which I would still add that this chiluq only exists if you separate
> mishneh lechem from lechem oni. And thus, shouldn't apply to those who
> only use two matzos.

Right.  Since the sevara of two matzos is that on this night the
prusa is as chashuv as a shleima.

> :                        Obviously for those who eat from neither one
> : but from the box, there is no point in eating more than one kezayit.
> Wouldn't your sevara indicate that they're wrong to do so? If there is a
> haqpadah to eat from the persuah or the sheleimah, then how can one eat
> from neither?

How can each person at the table eat a kezayit from each of the top two
matzos, when we use such tiny matzos?

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 19:16:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] When does mixed swimming mean?

Micha Berger wrote:

> Merianbad was frequented by many of the gedolim of a century ago. The
> Agudah's Mo'etzes Gedolilei Yisrael even met in the health/swimming
> resort in 1937!

1. At Marienbad did one take the waters in a communal pool, or in
individual baths?

2. If a communal pool, was it mixed?  Surely not!

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 11
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 20:04:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Violate Shabbat to Save a Jentile

> It would seem that darkhei Shalom is either using Shalom as a sheim H',
> or referring to emulating His "oseh shalom".
> R' Micha

I forget where, but I saw someone once who made the point that darkhei
shalom is not to ensure shalom for ourselves (which would be mishum
eiva according to the view that mishum eiva is davka pragmatic), but
rather, it is to create shalom in the world in the same sense that the
Gemara says (where?) the entire purpose of the Torah is to create
shalom. (Of course, mishum eiva could still be either the same as
darkhei shalom, or else decidely not the same.)

> That quote [Ben Azzai and all humans from Adam, etc.] is problematic,
> as some girsa'os are "miYisrael", some > not. Yes, the latter makes
> more sense given the reference to Adam.
> R' Micha

I believe it the "to save one life is to save the entire world" pasuk
(actually, it's Gemara not a pasuk) that many say is davka
"mi-Yisrael"; AFAIK, everyone agrees that Ben Azzai holds that the
pasuk "sefer toldat adam" refers to all mankind, Jewish and not.

But as for that Gemara about saving the world, it seems clear, IMHO,
that it must surely mean all mankind and not davka Yisrael. For one,
its proof is that Adam was created singly, and Adam was not created as
a Jew. Now, obviously, one could go with some sort of Kuzari argument
that Adam was a "true" human and the direct spiritual ancestor of the
Jews, whereas gentiles are some sort of spiritual sub-human; I believe
the Artscroll Mishna Sanhedrin in a footnote says something about Jews
inheriting Adam's spiritual mission and therefore we are the only true
descendants of him. But this logic seems forced, IMHO, unless one
prefers mystical sources, and it's much much easier to say, based on
the sources, AFAIK, that Jews are taken out of mankind, made separate
and distinct and unique, in order to serve a mission to the rest of
mankind and elevate them all to where they are to be (see Rav Hirsch
to Shemot 19:6). If so, it means that all of mankind is not
intrinsically fallen from Adam's level, but rather, any blemish of
theirs is an external one, viz. their conduct. But in terms of their
intrinsic selves, all of mankind today is still Adam-ic, and it is the
Jews who are the odd man out.

But let us forget sevara. The fact is that the standard editions of
the mishna, the Yerushalmi's mishna, Tanna debe Eliyahu, and the
Rambam (somewhere in the Yad; I forget where) all say "nefesh achat
m'bnei adam"; only the Bavli's mishna says "nefesh achat m'bnei
Yisrael", and I think it's clear here which girsa ought to win.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 12
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:12:39 -0400
[Avodah] Newspaper and LH

On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:31:12AM -0700, Liron Kopinsky wrote:
: The end of the 3rd perek of Megillah (25b) seems to say that if it  
is known
: that someone is an adulterer that it is permissible to embarrass  
them in
: public....

It's also interesting that much of 25b deals with avodah zarah and how  
you are allowed to mock it. Then near the end Rav Ashi says that if  
someone has a bad reputation and people say he is immoral and commits  
adultery, you can embarrass him b'gimel and shin (which is not too  
pleasant). However, it does NOT say that one can do it in public.  
Perhaps you can infer that but it doesn't specifically say "in  
public." Also, immediately afterwards it says that if people say  
something complimentary and good about someone, you can praise that  
person. I see it as a balance to the first scenario.
My question is: without witnessing it, how would you know if someone  
is an adulterer?  Just because people say it doesn't make it so.

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Message: 13
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:52:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] HQBH speaks through History [was R' Angel &

> Please do not conflate TIDE with TuM.  They are two very different
> philosophies, often at odds with each other.  This has been extensively
> discussed on A/A before you came aboard.
> --R' Toby Katz
> =============

Rabbi Shelomoh Danziger discusses how the mekor of TIDE is that before
a person is a Jew placed in his particular spiritual place, he is a
human placed in this physical world - derech eretz kadmah et ha-Torah
(or something like that). G-d placed us in this world to live in it
and to develop it as per Bereshit 1:28. Rabbi Weinberg says that Torah
is the form and derech eretz the matter. How then can understanding
our world not have independent value? How can you fulfill the mitzvah
to conquer earth if you don't understand it? Torah is the how, but
derech eretz is the what, and how can the how exist without the what?

If chol has no independent value, but is only something to be subdued
and conquered by Torah, why not simply sidestep the issue and ban all
chol? Make a Torah-only environment and be done with it. If TIDE is to
avoid irrelevancy, then chol must have value - there must be an
imperative to have im derech eretz and not Torah-only. Torah may be
higher than chol, but chol must have its own value if there is an
reason to have IDE. Rav Hirsch said that TIDE is an eternal value;
surely he would have said that having DE is an unfortunately necessary
evil if that is what he meant. That TIDE is eternal must mean that
there is a positive value to having DE.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 14
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:55:37 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lying to protect the simple of faith

> What I meant was, Moshe received from Hashem the text for the last 8 pesukim, dictated
> them to Yehoshua with instructions to write them only AFTER his death.
> Thus the chronology is in order, and the entire Torah text is the prophecy of Moshe
> Rabeinu. The gemorra does not entertain the idea the anything could have been written
> independently of Moshe (that would be kefira). Even if it would be a valid reading, there is
> no proof now that the gemorra sanctions post-Moshe additions, since my reading is no
> less valid (and, I think, the only correct reading).
> Git Shabbos and Yom Tom
> R' Akiva

Okay, focusing on "there is no proof now that the gemorra sanctions
post-Moshe additions, since my reading is no less valid", I'll ask:
are there any commentators who suggest that Yehoshua added these
pesukim independently of Moshe? If there are, then while R' Akiva's
reading is valid, mine would be valid too. I unfortunately lack a
Gemara at the moment.

Mikha'el Makovi


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