Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 232

Sun, 29 Jun 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 00:21:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] common sense/halacha

On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 10:47 AM, <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org> wrote:

> http://torahweb.org/torah/2007/parsha/rsch_korach.html        .... This
> young *talmid chochom* told me, no, we may not use common sense at all,
> and even though the *halacha* ? as he misunderstood it ? made no sense, he
> has "*emunas chachomim*." I told him that this was a Christian concept
> (the principle of the infallibility of the *posek*).
Just Today I was reading the Levush and the Haguras Sh'muel [a coommnetary
on Levush YD]
Said that the author meant to clarify but he only obscured the issue and
"took issue" with his interpretation.

I cannot imagine a Talmudic dialectic as possible if everything were
accepted at face value w/o questioning.

To top it off, how about the Aggadic story of Rabbi Yochanan lamenting the
loss of his bar Blugta Reish Laksih who was succeeded by by Rabbi Elazar who
was a "yes Man" of sorts.  Truly  this story tlees us of the value of
dispute as a method for clarifcioation of the truth

Of course, one ought to disagree in an agreeable manner but even there the
Gmara discusses the zealousness of students who get heated during debate.

Anyway isn't the BEST way to make a point by asking a question?

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 00:47:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R' Samson Raphael Hirsch and the Imrei Emes

On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 10:31 AM, Prof. Levine <llevine@stevens.edu> wrote:

> Yitzchok LevineAt 08:29 AM 6/24/2008, Rn T. Katz wrote:
> It is noteworthy that Rav Shimon Schwab related that the Imrei Emes once
> told him that "the Tzaddik of Frankfurt [Rav Hirsch] was a liebidige
> mussar
> sefer [a living mussar sefer]."  The Gerrer Rebbe's assessment and awe of
> Rav
> Hirsch should now come as no wonder.
What is interesting is that Yekkes by and large learn little mussar at all.
They just practice a very polite and proper way of life.  I wonder if 1,000
mussar books are worth a few ounces of actual practice ingrained into a

After leaving a very pollite/coureeous society in West Hartford to go to
various Yeshivos, the first [and one of the only] community that gave me the
feel of  "home" was  the Washington Heights community in  which  people
naturally had a sense of etiquette.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 10:45:43 +0200
[Avodah] mechiras chametz

>>>> 4. BTW, if the goy takes the chametz and doesn't pay, he can be sued
>>>> for the money, but the chametz is still his.  His ownership doesn't
>>>> depend on his payment.  And in the forms I've seen there's a Jewish

>>> Actually, many Poskim consider a default on payment to be possible
>>> grounds for retroactively annulling a sale.  See, e.g., Nesivos
>>> (190:7), Bah (HM 96:23), Pis'hei Teshuvah (ibid. 2) and Beis Meir (EH
>>> 90:9 s.v. Kayamim Be'azmam ... V'hinei Ha'Zarich Iyun She'hiniah Harav
>>> Ha'Maggid ...).

>> Not if there's an arev kablan.

> If / when the arev kablan refuses to pay, then the sale will still
> presumably be void, according to the aforementioned opinion.

>Since the AK's chometz is presumably also included in the transaction,
>he's not going to refuse to pay.  He may have trouble paying, and ask
>for an extension until he can sue the goy, but he won't refuse.

I am confused by this whole discussion. Why would anyone selling chametz
over Pesach to a Goy include an arev kablen in the deal?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 12:26:57 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Heroes, Victims and Kedoshim

In the thread "Dealing with Perpetrators", R' Micha Berger wrote:
> PS: Note that ... I transliterated it "chilul hasheim". It's
> a chillul of the Eibishter's reputation. If "Hashem" were
> intended as a qinui, IOW if we were speaking of He Himself,
> would it make sense to say the Borei was made chol?

As an amateur translator, I thoroughly appreciate using the word
"reputation" in this context. A Kiddush HaSheim shows how special and
important our G-d is, and thereby enhances His reputation. A Chillul
HaSheim shows that our G-d is (chalila) not so special or important, and
thereby detracts from His reputation.

But we should remind ourselves that Kiddush HaSheim and Chillul HaSheim
come in two varieties: b'rabbim and b'tzina. Which makes me ask: Where the
action is not done publicly, how is His reputation affected AT ALL?

This question leads me to suspect that if it is not done publicly, then in
fact it's not really a Kiddush/Chilul HaSheim at all. In fact, I vaguely
recall hearing that the bracha on Kiddish HaSheim cannot be said except

I would like to suggest a radical idea:

When Av Harachamim uses the phrase "kehilos hakodesh shemasru nafsham al
kedushas haSheim", it is explicitly referring to communities which "masru"
- CHOSE to give up their lives al kedushas haSheim.

In contrast, could it be that although we do refer to victims of the shoah
as "kedoshim", they are indeed "victims". They did not have any choice in
the matter. Even though their murders were public, their lack of choice
served to eliminate the "enhancement of our G-d's reputation" which defines
Kiddush HaSheim, and, in fact, no such enhancement occurred, and they did
not do the mitzvah of Kiddush HaSheim.

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> The Belzer Rebbe concluded that one of the things produced by
> the Holocaust is that it was then possible for a Jew to die al
> qiddush Hashem simply for being a Jew, his existential essence
> despite his personal unobservance.
> My problem is more philosophical (surprise!). Who are we to
> dedicate learning in their memory? It's like a poor shoemaker
> donating a dollar to help the Rockefellers.

With all due respect to the Belzer Rebbe, I'd suggest that the Kiddush
HaSheim to the holocaust is not a real Kiddush HaSheim, in a manner similar
to how a Kiddush HaSheim B'Tzina is not a real Kiddush HaSheim. It is a
colloquialism, similar to how we say that it is "assur" to get married
during sefiras haomer.

When we speak of the Kedoshim of the shoah, we cannot tranlate this as
"those who sanctify His Name", or as "those who enhance His Reputation".
But we can and do translate it as "martyrs".

At long last, the purpose of this post has been to suggest and to
demonstrate that although we tend to use the words "kedoshim" and "martyrs"
interchangably, they are not identical. A martyr (or a kadosh in the
colloquial sense) has not necessarily done anything for our cause. But his
death does serve to galvanize and strengthen those in his camp, so that his
death will not have been in vain. It is an important and valued thing,
though it not quite on the same level as a real Kiddush HaSheim B'Rabbim,
which accomplishes *more* than martyrdom does.

Akiva Miller

PS: R' Micha wrote:
> This wasn't about any alleged "saving souls". They came
> to a ghetto and had themselves a pogrom. Yes, shmad
> would get someone out of the ghetto, but by the time the
> Crusaders got there, it was too late for someone to save
> themselves. The qedoshim of the tefillah are called such
> despite not choosing to die for the cause.

I do realize that this goes against my interpretation of Av Harachamim
above. If the reality of the Crusades is as described here, why does Av
Harachamim use the word "masru", implying that they DID "choose to die for
the cause"? I suggest that a distinction might be made between the Nazis
(who would come into town unannounced, giveing the colloquial kedoshim no
choice in the matter) and the Crusaders (who did march through Europe with
a plan for "saving souls", despite their rabble often getting out of
control even of their own leaders).

Free information on EMR systems.  Click here to compare systems.

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Message: 5
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 11:16:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] mechiras chametz

Eli Turkel wrote:

> I am confused by this whole discussion. Why would anyone selling chametz
> over Pesach to a Goy include an arev kablen in the deal?

It's a common practise, precisely to make sure that the sale is
unconditional.  This way the goy has no reservations related to his
ability to pay ("what if they decide not to buy it back, and demand
the money from me?"), and even if the whole deal falls apart after
Pesach it won't turn out lemafrea` that the chametz wasn't sold.

The sale I saw this Pesach included four different kinyanim: cash,
a shtar, kinyan sudar, and an elaborate handshake; *and* an Arev Kablan.

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: 6
From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 06:28:18 -0400
[Avodah] Feeling and Judaism

Judaism does not turn to feeling, is not satisfied with feeling, is 
not a religion of feeling; Judaism turns to the intellect, wants to 
be grasped by the mind to guide the will, to regulate the whole of 
our workaday, breadwinning life with its pleasures and all its 
ramifications and to subjugate it to God's law. Not feeling, only 
cognitive reason, bright with the rays of God's word, can fortify 
against life's trials and temptations awaiting the Jew.

This quote is from page 63 of Modernity Within Tradition by Mordechai 
Breuer, who attributes it to RSRH.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 7
From: "david guttmann" <david.guttman@verizon.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 10:02:17 -0400
[Avodah] Re : TuM discussion on Areivim

In a thread on Areivim discussing TuM and TIDE 
R.Noam Stadlan said:

"... Without the laws of nature and by definition the science that is
necessary to explicate, understand, and apply those laws) we would not know
that the apple that fell down off the tree yesterday will still fall down
off the tree today, and tomorrow, etc.  There would not be any dependable
consistency in the world. 

 There is no inconsistency in believing in evolution to some extent and also
in Orthodox Jewish dogma.  T'uM means believing that there is intrinsic
value to science, art, literature, and many other fields of human endeavor.
That understanding the laws of nature is a way to understand HKBH, because
He created those laws.  T'uM mean believing that Torah and nature are all
part of what Hashem created, and there don't have to be inconsistencies or
conflicts.  We may look at nature differently than Chachmei haTalmud, but if
they had modern science they also would look at nature differently than they
recorded in Shas.  Rn. Katz is finding conflicts where T'uM does not find
them.  This is not a 'science first' approach.  It is a belief that they do
not conflict, and if they seem to conflict, it is because we don't know
enough to realize they don't.  It doesn't mean that we throw out the
science, or throw out the belief.  We can wait for more information.  As
they say, no one ever died from a kasha.

The Rambam in Hilchot Deot(second perek I think) discusses how to achieve
belief in God, and he begins not by recommending Talmud Torah, but by
looking at the world.  He could be thought of as a T'uM kind of person.  He
studied science, astronomy, philosophy, and tried to apply what he knew of
nature.  He realized there was value in all of that, to the point he
incorporated it in his approach to Yiddishkeit. (Obviously Aristotle and
Moslem philosophers are prominent influences.  Platonic astronomy figures
prominently in hilchot deot as well-discussions of spheres, etc)..."

It is in Yesodei Hatorah 2 not De'ot that Rambam tells us how to get to
Yediat Hashem.

This is one of the clearest and best statements I have seen in the longest
time about Yiddishkeit - true yddishkeit. I wish people would drop these
labels MO etc... There are those who seek to serve HKBH ";Bechol levavchem
..."; and those who are not interested in more than following society as
Mitzvat Anashim Melumada. Whet is referred to as TuM, TIDE and other such
derachim are different approaches in that search for HKBH and as people are
different so are their approaches to these matters. Rachmana Liba Ba'I and
all are proper ways to Avodat Hashem and correct if done betmimut. 

The problem in our society is not which approach to use, it should be a
personal choice, Chanoch Lan'ar al pi darko, but the attitude and lack of
seriousness and commitment to Avodat Hashem which is synonmous with the
search for Yediat Hashem and Vehalachta Bidrachav. The problem is extant in
every segment, group and sect - unfortunately. How to change that attitude
should be the concern of our leaders and not which approach is correct. They
all are if their goal is to arrive at Yediat Hashem (in whatever form and
concept the different Rishonim had for it).

I believe R. Noam's statement should be circulated as widely as possible and
belongs on Avodah too! . Yeyashar Kochacho 

David Guttmann
If you agree that Believing is Knowing, join me in the search for Knowledge
at http://yediah.blogspot.com/ 
Ve'izen vechiker (Kohelet 12:9) subscribe to Hakirah at www.hakirah.org 

David Guttmann
David Guttmann
If you agree that Believing is Knowing, join me in the search for Knowledge
at http://yediah.blogspot.com/ 
Ve'izen vechiker (Kohelet 12:9) subscribe to Hakirah at www.hakirah.org 

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Message: 8
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 10:05:54 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Non-zionistic TIDE rabbonim


>>A question for Avodah -- were Austritt and TiDE inextricably  linked as
one overall hashkafah? Or can one agree with RSRH on TiDE but  relegate
Austritt to a time when R was in rapid growth and a challenge to  O?<<

Tir'u baTov!

If you are asking whether austritt was a hora'as  sha'ah -- no, I really 
don't think so.
The T in TIDE is uncompromising, a steadfast devotion to Torah that  brooks 
no compromises with any non-Torah movement that dares to arrogate to  itself 
the word "Judaism."
If you are asking whether austritt would be the correct approach to the  
modern-day Medinah -- a la those Neturei Karta who refuse even to purchase  
Israeli postage stamps -- my personal opinion is that Hirsch would have done  what 
99% of charedi leaders do, which is to accept the fact of a government  which 
must be dealt with because there is no realistic alternative.  
I also believe that he would have seen the events of the 20th century in  E'Y 
as a mixture of ohr vechoshech mishtamshim be'irbuvya, not purely the  work 
of the Satan -- that he would have seen the many positive developments  as a 
bracha from Hashem and a sign of His continuing love of His people,  "metzitz 
min hacharakim."
I admit that that whole last paragraph has no source other than my gut  
feeling, based on the emanations of penumbras from the corpus of Hirsch's  writings.


--Toby Katz

President Reagan talked with the Soviets while pushing ahead  with the 
deployment of Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly ?  after 
getting himself a bigger stick.  --Mark Steyn

**************Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for 
fuel-efficient used cars.      (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)
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Message: 9
From: ssvarc@yeshivanet.com
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 14:34:15 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] TIDE and Austritt

On Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 01:39:57AM +1000, SBA wrote:
: Does anyone deny that RSRH and SIL had strong kanoi and anti-zionist :
hashkafas? Or is that one part of the TIDE world that we want to forget :

R' Micha, in reaction, asked:
A question for Avodah -- were Austritt and TiDE inextractably linked as
one overall hashkafah? Or can one agree with RSRH on TiDE but relegate
Austritt to a time when R was in rapid growth and a challenge to O?

My answer:
To me it is clear, after reading R' Elias ;) and Collected Writings, that
they are inextricably linked. It is a clear outgrowth of the need for the
Torah to reign supreme in all areas, including communal as well.

However, the question of his reaction to Israel is more complicated, and I
won't venture a guess as to where he would of ended up. Someplace on the
spectrum from Brisk (total Austritt) to Agudah (ideological Austritt but
pragamatic cooperation), where exactly I don't know.


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Message: 10
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 13:13:17 -0400
[Avodah] Chukas "Knowing That You Don't Know Is A Great

Chukas begins: "Zos chukas haTorah".  [19:2]  It refers to the law of  
the Para Aduma.  As we know, a chok refers to a Torah law whose reason
is not revealed to man. Chazal teach that the parah adumah is  
connected with the Children of Israel's atonement for the egel  
hazahav. Yet, according to the gemara, the mitzvah
of parah adumah was given to b'nei Yisroel before the sin of the  
golden calf occurred.  (Ein mukdam um'uchar baTorah).

One question is asked why the Torah says "These are the decrees of the  
Torah?"  ALL the mitzvot are decrees of the Torah. The answer given is  
that the entire Torah
must be viewed as chukim (beyond our human comprehension).

And what I find quite interesting is that as this parsha deals with  
chukim (laws that have no human logic), this is the same portion where  
two of the most important characters in the
Torah, Miriam and Aaron, die. In other words, as a chok makes little  
or no sense to us, so also death, makes little or no sense either.

We must accept the decrees, as well as death, with equanimity and faith.

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