Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 215

Fri, 06 Jun 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 22:26:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] D'rabanan vs. D'oraita

On Tue, Jun 03, 2008 at 11:38:52AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
: And it just so happens that the amount of bitul needed to physically do
: away with kashrut problem also does away with the timtum problem (or why
: does bittul brov or bshishim work, and why any difference if it is
: objectively poison)

Never mind bitul, what about safeiq? The textbook two chatichos shuman,
one of cheilev -- it's mutar to eat all three. The machloqes rishonim
is whether that even means bevas achas. But one can eat all three if on
three separate occasions lekhol hadei'os.

Now, if the cheftzah itself is metamteim es haleiv even if eaten beheter,
how could someone be told he may take a 100% risk of timtum? How could he
even take a 1/3 risk?

: BTW I don't think anyone holds the non-Jewish wet nurses milk is not
: kosher - just not recommended due to timtum.

On Wed, Jun 04, 2008 at 02:58:29PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: In other words, the same way that we are machmir on meat and fish
: even though current science doesn't identify any health risks with it,
: but that is because it has become accepted as an issur in klal yisrael,

(Yes, my reply is more about this thread than the originating one for
RAM's post, "fish and milk".)

To repeat my pet theory: Had the medical prescription been phrased in
terms of anything other than "qasheh letzora'as", it would have been
neglected like much other medical advice in the gemara.

However, invoking the word tzora'as may mean there is something more
spiritual involved, and therefore we were loathe to simply go with the
doctors (declare "nishtanah hateva").

Of course, this implies a belief in spiritual consequences to food BEFORE
this gemara created a minhag/din not to eat it. Which raises the question
of why Chazal would address this case, and not every other danger of
spiritual consequences. Why isn't the wet nurse's milk assur derabbanan?

For that matter, why isn't it assur deOraisa? If issurim deOraisa are
based on / cause metaphysical realities, how do we have something that's
metaphysically harmful with no associated issur?

On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 03:14:06AM +0300, Michael Makovi wrote:
: The Rambam tells us that for a SHOGEG violation of a d'rabanan, we don't need
: to do teshuva. My rabbi answered that since a d'rabanan is not an
: intrinsic sin, but rather the sin is only in ignoring or defying the
: words of the rabbis and rebelling against them, there is absolutely no
: sin whatsoever in violating a d'rabanan b'shogeg.

There is a more prosaic explanation.

The mitzvah being violated is lo sosuru. Negligently violating divrei
Chazal isn't "turning away from whatever they tell you". The issur is
phrased in a way that by definition can only include meizid.

: I don't really like the model of mitzvot having intrinsic effects on
: the universe. For example, when I eat treif, or when I put on
: tefillin, I don't really think anything spiritual is happening in the
: universe. Rather, it's that

: 1) It affects yourself - it is educational, whether in your knowledge
: and intellect, or in affecting your behavior (practicing tzedaka will
: make you charitable, etc., as per Sefer haChinuch).

: 2) It shows loyalty to G-d. As Rav Hirsch near the beginning of Sefer
: Bereshit says, our deeds affect the heavens (so to speak) because G-d
: sees what we are doing, and His attitude towards us changes
: accordingly.

I have little use for #2, since /any/ mitzvah would be equally showing
fealty to the Metzaveh. (Contrary to RMM's take on "Toros".) "Lo sirtzach"
or even had He said "Sirtzach". It doesn't explain the function of
any mitzvah since it gives function independent of content. It's true,
but has no explanatory power.

In a followup written on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 01:07:06PM IDT, RMM adds:
: 3) It is stam what G-d wants - For example, G-d wants you to help the
: poor, be nice to others, honor the elderly, clean up the environment,
: etc. He just stam wants them. Not because they pull any spiritual
: strings in the upper worlds to reunify any broken disunity, but
: rather, simple because He wants a world where the poor have what to
: eat and where all His children get along. He intrinsically just wants
: these things in the world.

In Nefesh haChaim I (and perhaps of NhC in general) the main thesis is
that man is the sole link between the worlds, composed of all the forces,
and thus the only means by which physical actions have metaphysical
effect is through the impact on human souls.

This is akin to the sevara RMM tacked onto #2, by pasting it onto #1.
Similarly I would take that whole sevarah that way. RSRH writes that
lehispallel is in hitpa'el because it effects change in Hashem's
response by changing the self. IOW, it's not that Hashem rewards you
for providing what He wants. If that were it, Hashem would simply do it
himself. It's that you become a "doer of what Hashem wants", #1 style,
changing -- in RSRH terms "educating" -- the self and thereby deserve
different treatment.

Similarly RYBS's take on teshuvah. Through teshuvah I can remake myself.
The person who deserved onesh no longer exists.

R' Chaim Volozhiner would add to that the mystical level that this in
turn changes the universe.

Which I could extrapolate from in two different (but not conflicting)

1- Since the universe exists as a arena in which we prepare ourselves
for Shabbos, it should conform to whatever preparation is necessary. As
the person changes, Hashem should be adapting his corner of the universe
to maximize his potential.

2- In REED's worldview (MmE I, his essay on olamos) the world you live
in is at least as much how we perceive it as what's out there. Thus,
as a person changes from "shoemaker" to "taylor" (to leverage his, and
the Alter of Slabodka's, mashal), the universe evolves from a sea of shoes
to a sea of suits.

: So for me, a d'oraita is not truly intrinsic reality...

I therefore have less problem understanding how a deOraisa can be
transformative in purpose and still create -- rather than reflect --
intrinsic reality.

:                                                       but only
: conventionally so, using "conventional truth" as used by Rabbi Moshe
: Shmuel Glasner in his hakdamah to the Dor Revi'i, that anything
: decided by Chazal is not really really objectively true, but only
: "conventionally true", i.e. it is true insofar only as that it was
: Chazal decided, and tomorrow they can decide something else, and that
: will then be "true"....

"Conventional truth" to me sounds too much like an oxymoron. They define
what is law, which is binding. As the Maharal puts it, Hashem's Truth
simply doesn't fit in this world, and the poseiq decides which pieces
to implement and which to stop (lifsoq). As I put it half a year ago,
by weighing the conflicting values that emerge.

: Whereas with a d'rabanan, there is no reason to pretend it is
: intrinsic - humans invented it, so why should we treat it as an
: intrinsic reality? It is but a fence, a protection, to what is
: "intrinsic", and as such, the only possible sin is in willfully
: rebelling. A shogeg sin in a d'rabanan involves no rebellion, and it
: does not involve anything "intrinsic".

Perhaps one should distinguish between gezeiros, which protect people from
issurim through habit or accident, and other dinim derabbanon. The above
reasoning has mitzvah as the cause of intrinsic reality, which means that
new mitzvos can still reflect realities -- because they will perforce
engineer new ones. Particularly legislation like Chanukah candles which
doesn't protect from sin, it commemorates.

: Ramban says that it is Chazal who decided that d'rabanans would be
: safek l'kula, and perhaps it is indeed so.
: But all the same, I'd say that perhaps the Torah itself told us (in
: Torah She'be'al Pe) this! A d'rabanan is invented by humans and is not
: "intrinsic" (whether the intrinsic-ness is truly intrinsic like most
: say or simply metaphorically so as I would have it), and so there is
: no reason to take it seriously unless it is deliberate. If it is in
: doubt, then we are merely concerned that you *might* do something that
: *might* bring you to an intrinsic d'oraita sin - every d'rabanan is
: already a safek (that you may do a d'oraita sin), and so a doubtful
: d'rabanan is automatically a safek safeka!

On Sun, Jun 01, 2008 at 04:02:32PM +0300, Marty Bluke wrote:
: Eating non-kosher it would seem is intrinsically harmful for a
: person's soul even if they eat it b'heter.

Here's where my model fails.

Because if the supernatural effect is a product of the mitzvah or issur,
then the "power" is in the halakhah of the action, not the nature
of the cheftzah. Whether it is the timtum haleiv caused by treifos,
or the protective power of a mezuzah. (The latter is the example with
which I usually express my confusion on the topic when it comes up here
on Avodah.)

OTOH, the problems with associating it with the cheftzah are the cases
I cited above -- why do we allow mi'ut to be a birur allowing us to play
russian roullete with our souls? Why aren't all these dangers deOraisa,
which get left for the rabbanan to protect us from? And why isn't there
an issur hana'ah (or even theoretical issur achilah) on that milk from
a treif-eating wet nurse?

And the bigger problem -- where is midas hadin in this? When dealing in
olam hazeh, I need my actions to have predictable consequences. "Hakol
biydei Shamayim chutz mitzinim upachin" because if I can't know that
not wearing a coat increases my chance of getting sick, how can I
make decisions? What value does bechirah have without the ability to
plan? #2, teva allows for hesteir panim.

But metaphysical causality by things other than compliance or violation
of halakhah hides sechar va'onesh without such offsetting rationale.

Sorry for bringing it up again. I think I do it semiannually. The
only way to stop the ritual is to help me find an answer. Thanks.

: The Ran in his Drashos says this explicitly. In the 11th drasha ...
:                                              He then explains that
: even though eating non-kosher food is harmful the mitzva of listening
: to Chachamim may counterbalance the harmful effects...

Then it would seem that at the end of everything, while the Ran
associates the koach with the spiritual nature behind the cheftzah, the
effects are the same as if one said it inhered in the halakhah. If
one listens to the chakhamim, the cheftzah has no negative power.

That doesn't help the guy who checked the mezuzah when he was supposed
to but because kelapai Shemaya galya that it's pasul, he gets less
shemirah. Unless one goes beyond the Ran and says that listening to the
chakhamim not only protects, but also provides metaphysical effects.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 46th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 4 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Netzach sheb'Malchus: How can some forms of
Fax: (270) 514-1507                         "unity" be over domineering?

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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 23:09:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 2nd day Y"T

On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 8:51 AM, Rich, Joel <JRich@sibson.com> wrote:

> *======================================*
> *Question - I assume this is based on the Chacham Tzvi which iirc was
> based on the makom being gorem so ben C"L doesn't observe 2nd day in aretz
> but does that also mean that you're kovea your status at the beginning of
> the day for the whole day so shinui makom makes no difference (except in
> mazal :-)?
> KT J*
> *Joel Rich*

I know the Chacahm Zvi says this, but I cannot find the Teshuva [I have  TWO
editions  BTW]
Does anyone know the precise Tehsuva #?

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 23:42:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] D'rabanan vs. D'oraita

On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM, Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com> wrote:

> Note:  I am not stating any opinion on the issues of rationalism,
> reincarnation, theodicy, and the very validity of the application of
> the concept of normativity to beliefs.  I am merely making the point
> that at least one major pre Arizal and Besht figure maintained an
> unequivocal obligation to accept the non-rationalist view, at least on
> the question of reincarnation.
> Yitzhak
> --

FWIW I personally know several frum  Rationalists - including a very
rational frum Psychotherapist - who find re-incarnation quite rational.

Why?  Because it really explains how things can be fair and balanced over
the long run because individual life-spans seem often VERY unfair.

It would also allow for punishments fitting crime. E.G. Imagine AH Yimach
shemo being re-incarnated as each one of his 6 million plus victims! It
would certainly allow him to suffer midah knegged midah in quite a  precise
way that a simple "fire"in gehnneom could not match so precisely.

It also effects real tikkun. A miser in one lifetime can be a philanthropist
in another. Ever wonder why a really non-Shomer Mitzvos might be a chashuva
ba'al tzedakkah? well, maybe he was a very Observant Miser in a previous
lifetime and he really needs to be mesakken that one bad middah.  Poof!  He
r e-incarnates and focuses on his one area where he was a letdown.

Re-incarnation can really make a lot of sense to me. Everything can be
accounted for in a most just way.

The middos of Tzedek and  Chessed are highly ingrained in us Jews. A system
of s'char v'onesh that  really can account for each  good and bad middah
HERE is very attractive

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 4
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 23:46:16 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mood of Tehillim

R' MB:
> To return from the drift to my original question... What is the indended
> mood of saying tehillim be'eis tzarah. We read them all as baqashos. But
> is that the intent?

I don't know if this will help, but it's good to know, nonetheless... :-)

R' Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz explained the Zohar that says that there are
three types of Tefillos: Tefillah L'Ani is the Tefillah that comes from the
depths of the heart, with tears and beseeching, like a pauper begging. This
prayer is most accepted before Hashem.
Tefillah L'Moshe is with deep thought, and Hisbodedus about Hashem and
Yichudo, until one reaches the level of knowing that Ein Od M'lvado. 
Tefillah L'Dovid - who was the N'im Zemiros Yisroel - is to request
closeness to Hashem, Tzamah Nafshi L'elokim... When one experiences such a
feeling, he wants to and is capable of singing with the whole world in the
praise of Hashem. (See Perek Shirah.)


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Message: 5
From: "Liron Kopinsky" <liron.kopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 22:09:28 -0700
[Avodah] Hashavat Aveida or Lifnei Iver?

One of the shabbatot in the last few weeks I spent in a hotel for a
shabbaton, and one of the people who I was rooming with left a razor behind
when they left.

Is there a mitzvah of Hashavat Aveida, or can I not return it because of the
obvious halachik implications of using it?

I am inclined to say that I cannot return it, although if possible I should
let him know that it is assur. This may or may not be possible however, as
it is someone who is slowly becoming more shomer mitzvot and might not be
quite prepared to take on only shaving with electric razors. I guess the
second question is, is there a mitzvah of Hocheiach Tochiach if he will
eventually come to not keep the mitzvah but is not going to do so

Kol Tuv,
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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 01:24:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] D'rabanan vs. D'oraita

Yitzhak Grossman wrote:

> It is worth noting that Rav Levi Ibn Haviv, writing prior to Arizal and
> Besht

Wasn't the Ralbach a contemporary of the Arizal?

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: 7
From: D&E-H Bannett <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:12:36 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Mood of Tehillim

Re: RMB's quote from RSRH
<<Mizmor leDavid:
 1. The tehillah chosen to correspond to Friday (ch. 29) is 
 from the same section of Tehillim as those for the previous 
days (chs. 95-99).

Although I'm an Ashkenazi, I have felt the need to complain 
a number of times about the tendency in many postings to 
limit the world to an Ashkenazi one and discuss Ashkenazi 
behavior as the only proper or only existing one.

Kabbalat Shabbat, (a.k.a. as Qabbalat Shabbat or even 
Kabbalath Shabbath by the better informed) was instituted by 
the mekubbalim in Tzefat.  The Ari, who evidently did not 
say the preceding mizmorim, said Mizmor leDavid as a 
kabbalat tosefet Shabbat.

This mizmor was preceded by six mizmorim for the days of the 
week. They are 95 to 100.  The Sefaradi nusach, to this day 
has the sixth mizmor, Ch.100, for Friday and the 
instructions in many siddurim point out the "Shabbat" aspect 
of the following Mizmor leDavid.

BTW, while R' Ya'akov meEmden wrote that R' Moshe Cordevero 
added the six mizmorim, I have evidence that it is not so 
and RMC started with Mizmor leDavid as do ROY and some other 
Sefaradim to this day.



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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 06:14:27 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mood of Tehillim

On Fri, Jun 06, 2008 at 12:12:36PM +0300, D&E-H Bannett wrote:
: Re: RMB's quote from RSRH

Point of correction: People shouldn't think those footnotes are from
RSRH, they're from Ashirah Lashem <http://www.aishdas.org/siddur.shtml>,
and are my own extrapolations from RSRH.

: Although I'm an Ashkenazi, I have felt the need to complain 
: a number of times about the tendency in many postings to 
: limit the world to an Ashkenazi one and discuss Ashkenazi 
: behavior as the only proper or only existing one.

I could claim that it's a non-issue, as this is a footnote from a Fri
night siddur that is a recreation of Nusach RYBS.

However, then people would think I actually knew that Sepharadim held
differently. I didn't.

: Kabbalat Shabbat, (a.k.a. as Qabbalat Shabbat or even 
: Kabbalath Shabbath by the better informed) was instituted by 
: the mekubbalim in Tzefat.  The Ari, who evidently did not 
: say the preceding mizmorim, said Mizmor leDavid as a 
: kabbalat tosefet Shabbat.

How do Sepharadim hold today lemaaseh?

In Ashk shuls, the aveilim (l"a) enter the shul after LD, before Mizmor
Shir leYom haShabbos, as that's the last point at which they can
show aveilus berabbim. Do Seph aveilim enter before Mizmor leDavid?

Thanks again for the reeducation, and :-)BBii!

Micha Berger             Today is the 47th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        6 weeks and 5 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Hod sheb'Malchus: What is glorious about
Fax: (270) 514-1507               unity-how does it draw out one's soul?

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Message: 9
From: D&E-H Bannett <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:27:57 +0300
Re: [Avodah] examples of divergences between our texts and

Two more examples that came to mind as I read the ones 

Mezuzot in K"Sh. Rashi writes that, like one lulav from 
kappat temarim,  only one mezuzah per door as the k'tiv is 
mezuzat (vav ha-rabbim omitted).  But the vav ha-rabbim is 

Ha-pilagshim. Rashi "proves" that Ketura and Hagar are the 
same person because ha-pilagshim is written without the yud 
ha-rabbim.  But, to this very day, the yud is there.

Shabbat shalom,


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Message: 10
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 06:13:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] D'rabanan vs. D'oraita

> Yitzhak Grossman wrote:
> > It is worth noting that Rav Levi Ibn Haviv, writing prior to Arizal and
> > Besht
R' ZS: 
> Wasn't the Ralbach a contemporary of the Arizal?

I thought so, too, but Wikipedia has the Arizal being born in 1534 and the
Maharalbach being Niftar in 1545.


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Message: 11
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 07:17:02 -0400
[Avodah] One Reason for Reading Megillas Rus on Shavuos

We read Megillas Rus on Shavuos because it was written to document the  
yichus of Dovid Hamelech and Dovid Hamelech was born and niftar on  
Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 490:9, see also Shaarei Tshuvah 494:3

The Ollelos Ephraim says that one who dedicates a new Sefer Torah to a  
shul on Shavuos is considered as if he "brought a Korbon Mincha to  
Hashem in its right time".
Shaarei Tshuvah 494:3
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