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Volume 27: Number 183

Tue, 12 Oct 2010

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 03:19:23 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Sukka must be kosher for sleeping?

R' Zev Sero wrote:

> One can fool oneself about ones knowledge, abilities, motivations, and
> many other things.  But what does it even mean to fool oneself about ones
> immediate feelings?  Either one is feeling something or one is not.  IOW
> if you think you're feeling something, then by definition you are.  You
> may be mistaken about the *reason* why you have that feeling, but not
> about whether you in fact have it.

I don't think so. People are often confused about their feelings. Someone
might think that he is happy, when actually he is just satisfied. Or he
might think he is happy, when actually he is fed up and has given up the
desire to complain. The opposite can also happen, like when someone thinks
that he is unhappy, when actually finding problems and complaining about
them is a great pleasure to him.

It's possible that I am mistaken in the above. But doesn't this sort of
confusion happen frequently? I'm hoping that the chevra might include a
Mental Health Professional who can explain my point better than I can.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 03:44:28 GMT
[Avodah] When no sukkah is available

I have always been intrigued by the manner in which Chazal describe the person who is very careful about Sukkah.

They could have said that "Anyone who goes out of his way, and even brings
water to the Sukkah to drink it, haray zeh meshubach." In fact, I believe
this would have been the simplest explanation of the story in Mishna Sukkah
2:5, where some Achilas Arai was brought to the Tannaim, and they went out
of their way to eat it in the sukkah. 

But that is *not* the message that Chazal teach us from that story. They
went further, and said, "Anyone who avoids drinking outside of the Sukkah,
even water, haray zeh meshubach." (Mechaber O"C 639:2)

Suppose a person is in a place where no sukkah is available or convenient,
and he must choose between drinking water outside the sukkah, or not
drinking the water at all. It is unquestionably muttar to drink the water
outside the sukkah, but Chazal teach that the person who forgoes the water
is meshubach.

To me, this is a reasonable conclusion, but I've never heard or seen it put
in such stark terms. If I am mistaken, then why did Chazal praise the one
"who avoids drinking outside the Sukkah", rather than the one who brings
his water *to* the Sukkah? Could I be reading too much into the phrasing?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:35:49 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Sukka must be kosher for sleeping?

On 7/10/2010 4:33 AM, Micha Berger wrote:

> Forced happiness isn't necessarily simchas yom tov. It's simchas
> whatever-I-used-to-elicit-happiness. Nor is it likely to qualify as
> "akh sameiach" with none of the original irritation/sadness/whatever left.

En hochi nami.  But it's surely enough to justify saying leshev basukah.

> Now, returning to mitzta'eir... Creating happiness doesn't necessarily
> remove the tza'ar. RMMS (the last LR) writes WRT R' Nachman's "mitzvah
> gedolah lihyos besimchah tamid" that even during times of aveilus,
> a person should simultaneously feel simchah. This is why HQBH created
> within us the capacity for ambivalence.

It's a Zohar: "Chedva tekia beliba'i misitra da, uvchiya tekia beliba'i
misitra da".

Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
                                                      - Margaret Thatcher

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 05:54:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sukka must be kosher for sleeping?

On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 05:35:49PM +1100, Zev Sero wrote:
>> Now, returning to mitzta'eir... Creating happiness doesn't necessarily
>> remove the tza'ar. RMMS (the last LR) writes WRT R' Nachman's "mitzvah
>> gedolah lihyos besimchah tamid" that even during times of aveilus,
>> a person should simultaneously feel simchah. This is why HQBH created
>> within us the capacity for ambivalence.
> It's a Zohar: "Chedva tekia beliba'i misitra da, uvchiya tekia beliba'i
> misitra da".

Lamah li Zohar, sevara hi? Who has not experienced ambivalence?

BTW, the gemara too, the case of the aveil who inherited a fortune has
to make a berakhah on each.

Now, apply that concept back to Sukkah.

If pushing yourself to be happy can at best create a shallow happiness
in addition to not really removing the tza'ar.... Is a person no longer
mitzta'eir because he buried his discomfort?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             We are great, and our foibles are great,
mi...@aishdas.org        and therefore our troubles are great --
http://www.aishdas.org   but our consolations will also be great.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabbi AY Kook

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 05:57:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] When no sukkah is available

On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 03:44:28AM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: Suppose a person is in a place where no sukkah is available or
: convenient, and he must choose between drinking water outside the sukkah,
: or not drinking the water at all. It is unquestionably muttar to drink
: the water outside the sukkah, but Chazal teach that the person who
: forgoes the water is meshubach.

R' R Yitzchak Eisenman spoke about this last Sukkos.

The praiseworthy thing is to bother to go in when you have a Sukkah

Chazal were not saying that one going without snacks or drinks for hours
on ch"m if they wish to go on a trip is "meshubach". That's not what
YT means.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Here is the test to find whether your mission
mi...@aishdas.org        on Earth is finished:
http://www.aishdas.org   if you're alive, it isn't.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Richard Bach

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Message: 6
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.du...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 16:59:43 GMT
[Avodah] Chumash question

Someone asked me the following:

When Adam and Chava ate from the Etz hadaas tov vara, the nachash was
punished, saying "...ki asisa zos, arur ata...".    When Adam was punished,
it was "ki shamaata lekol ishtecha".  Cause and effect.  For the isha,
however, it only says "harbo arbeh itzevonech verheronech";  no direct
cause cited.  Why?

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 13:58:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Truth and the Rambam

On Mon, Oct 04, 2010 at 09:05:42AM EDT, R David Riceman wrote:
> Someone asked for a summary, but they're all fairly dense discussions of  
> the Rambam's dependence (both in psak and organization) on the Ri  
> MiGash, the Rif, and the Geonim.

But what about the Rambam's own declaration of independence?

Yes, he might have lemaaseh agreed with earlier sources, but the Rambam
himself tells you that by the time he got to the Yad, no one after
Rav Ashi and Ravina (that's the Rambam's naming order) added weight to
his shitah because he said it.

On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 10:39:17PM EDT, R Zvi Lampel wrote:
>>: (1) The Rambam, in explaining talmudic texts and poskening therefrom,
>>: originally practiced in principle a "legal-process approach"
>>: of uncritically following the Geonim's decisions and explanations
>>: of talmudic passages...

>> RMB:
>> Not "uncritically". However, just as a contemporary teshuvah would cite
>> the Shach or the Taz, assuming their opinion of what was said before is
>> more authoritative than our own, so too the Rif does so WRT the geonim.

> The Rif? We were talking about the Rambam!

The Rif stands in contrast. The Rambam says he abandoned the path
he took in the Peirush haMishnayos, while acknowledging that that is the
mehalekh of rabbanim before him. I chose the Rif simply as a well-known
link in the chain between the geonim and the Rambam.

To continue what I replied to RDR -- the Rif WOULD consider a shitah to
be more likely to be peshat in chazal just because a gaon or a rishon
before him said it. Or at least, that's the Rambam's description of how
the Rif did things.

> But the fact the Rif preceded the Rambam in arguing with previous geonim  
> shows that the Rambam in doing so was following precedent, and shows  
> that the Rif's methodology--and I maintain that of all the geonim and  
> rishonim--was no less "Aristotelian" than the Rambam's...

The difference is that the Rambam considered his havanah an equal of
theirs, and therefore looked to them for suggestions, but will equally
go with his own havanah whether it's one they suggested or not. (Again,
this is what he claims in the teshuvos in question)

By implication, the Rif did what the rest of us would do -- consider
his understanding the gemara better than the geonim to be an unusual
event that would require extremely strong proof, working on trying to
make sense of their peshat and then failing, etc... Which is how later
acharonim treat the Shach, Taz and the acharonim before them. We CAN
disagree with them, but only with significant justification.

The Gra had no such reluctance. But the Gra isn't explained in terms of
finding the truth in the text, as the Rambam explains himself. Rather,
his talmidim consider him a "throwback", a historically displaced part
of the stream of mesorah.

The Rambam, by saying that one looks for the best understanding of the
text relying only on one's own mind, is talking about seeking truth.
In contrast, a legal system that gives authority to precedent would
give priority to opinions given in earlier generations.

Note: Priority -- not consistently bowing to it.

The Rambam considered his own havanah the arbiter of shitos. Which
makes sense when speaking of truth. What makes sense to me is obviously
what I'll end up believing. It's kind of difficult to picture people
being capable of operating differently than that.

However, WRT law... If someone else's understanding *defines* the law,
because precedent makes law, an argument I find less convincing but that
drove precedent would still be of higher priority.

>> The Rambam's approach in the Yad would be the same as a teshuvah that
>> ignores the early acharonim, feeling that this reliance on earlier
>> rabbanim to understand those even earlier introduces too many errors.

> The Yad is a code, not a teshuva. Comparing apples to apples would  
> entail comparing the Rambam's teshuvos to the teshuvos of the geonim,  
> and seeing if there is a difference in how they relate to previous  
> geonim's pesakim and their methodologies in reaching them...

Why? The Rambam tells us that until him, his rabbeim did things one way,
in the peirush hamishnayos (at least initially) he did as well, and in
the Yad he did things differently. So we don't need to compare the two
to know the methodology is different. The Rambam tells us the unstated
sevaros that would have been written out in shu"t format is different
in methodolgy.

> support your thesis about the Rambam's change of policy between the  
> Payrush HaMishnayos and the Yad, we should compare his teshuvos before  
> and after...

It's not "my thesis". It's a quote, spelled out by the Rambam himself.
I fail to see how we can argue the point as though I'm theorizing. He
tells you he changed methodologies, and that this change involved not
relying on geonim when their opinions are wrong, or to state it less
subjectively -- appear wrong to him.

>                         ... And in fact, in the Rambam's very next  
> teshuva to the one you are quoting in in Rav Sheilat's  
> chronologically-arranged collection (p. 650), The Rambam's first piece  
> of evidence for his pesak is the Rif. Next is the Ri Migash. Is this not  
> a continuation of a policy of examining the opinions of former  
> authorities, rather than a new policy of totally ignoring them? ...

"Totally ignoring"? No -- they're useful sources of ideas for the Rambam
to consider and judge *for himself*.

Mashal: When you write a PhD thesis, you must cite prior work. Not because
in science, someone famous saying something proves its correctness. But
you wouldn't bother creating a new scientific theory without reading prior
work and building upon it -- including deciding they erred.

Quoting prior work doesn't mean you believe it any more because it was
their idea first. And since the Rambam tells you explicitly that he

So it really boils down to how to understand those particular two
teshuvos, and I'll skip to there:
> Perhaps you are misled by an ambiguity introduced by RMShapiro's  
> translation, "I was influenced in this by the Sefer HaMitzvos of  Rav  
> Chefetz, z"l, and the mistake was in his [analysis], and I just   
> followed after him without verifying." The Hebrew reads, "V'nimshachnu  
> b'zeh ha-maamar acher mah sheh-zachar baal sefer hamitzvos...."  By the  
> words, "b'zeh ha-maamar" the Rambam was referring to the specific pesak  
> based on Rav Cheyfetz's take on a specific gemora--not the methodology  
> of following geonim uncritically. RMS did not translate the word  
> "ha-maamar."

I would say that "nimshachnu" describes how others due halakhah quite
explicitly. What I call "the stream of tradition" and "the orality
inherent in TSBP" the Rambam is calling "be pulled after" those who came
before him.

Bezeh hamaamar vs bezeh is a distinction without a difference -- "In
this statement" vs "in this"? In either case, he is discussing the
words and pesaq in question. The Rambam says he changed methodolgy,
and the instance the sho'el asked about (why the PhM and Yad differed
on a given maskanah) was one case where the old methology led to error.

Now on to a second instance of the Rambam's interpretation of halakhah
as truth rather than law, whether to explain to fit the gemara to one's
understanding of the mishnah, or the mishnah to one's understanding of
the gemara...

>> The Rambam gives more weight to the original than to later interpretation
>> not only when he is second-guessing geonim but also when comparing the
>> mishnah and the gemara.

>> This is a denial of the flow of interpretation, a continuity down
>> the genarations. I'm saying the Rambam's methodology is so radically
>> different, it doesn't really fit the generally accepted definition of
>> "halachic process"!

> You're repeating this, but I fail to see any evidence for it. I'll  
> repeat what I said: The methodologies of the Rambam and Rashi in the  
> examples we discussed differ in what they understood the amoraim on the  
> mishnayos to be saying. They differed over whether we should take the  
> wording of the mishna to modify our understanding of the words of the  
> amoraim (Rambam's approach), or take the words of the amoraim to modify  
> what the mishnah seems to say (Rashi's approach). But there is no reason  
> to deny that both Rashi and the Rambam agreed that the amoraim were  
> continuing the "flow of [accurate] interpretation" of the Mishnah's  
> true, original intent.

The question is where should a rishon *begin* his analysis. With where
the stream of mesorah "pulled us" until this point, or with the initial

Rashi chose the latter.
Rambam the former.

It's leshitasam -- the Rambam treats the mishnah as holding a truth to
be known, and therefore applied his mind to the mishnah first, and then
to the gemara.
Rashi treats the halakhah as a stream through time, and therefore
looks at the mishnah almost entirely through t

>> ZL:
>>: The idea that in transmitting the mesorah, the legal status of objects,
>>: actions or thoughts should conform to a single original Intent predates
>>: Aristotle and goes back to Moshe Rabbeynu and beyond. The entire
>>: enterprise in the Gemora that pits one Mishnah or speaker against another
>>: and concludes either that the later speaker is in error or that one of
>>: the statements must be modified so that they conform, assumes that there
>>: is a single original idea that must be complied with.

>> RMB:
>> What about the notion that eilu va'eilu reflects that fact that HQBH's
>> Original Intent (kavayakhol) is diffracted into a spectrum of opinions
>> by the time it reaches the human mind?

> Hmmm...I guess you have not internalized what I wrote in Dynamics of  
> Dispute on this...or you are not convinced....

Neither. In DoD you advocate a particular shittah. In the essays already
R Moshe Halbertal on "Controversy in Halacha"
R' Michael ("Michl") Rosensweig's article "Elu Va-Elu Divre Elokim Hayyim:
Halakhic Pluralism And Theories Of Controversy"

(RMH is a philosopher out of the Hartman Institute and Hebrew U.
RMR is one of the better known Rashei Yeshiva at YU.)

>> Or the Constitutive approach to
>> law of the Ramban, Ritva and Ran, which leads to their understanding
>> of machloqes?

> Constitutive approach? Nolo comprende.

FRom RMH's essay. He gives three schools of thought:
1- Retrieval: Machloqes is a consequence of forgetting (typical source
   text among many would be the numerous machloqesin of Batei Hillel
   veShammai being blamed on "shelo shimshu es rabbosam).
   There are geonim in this camp.

2- Accumultative: New pesaq is deduced from what was given. Therefore
   different minds could very well reach different conclusions. One
   source: R' Aqiva's mounds of halakhos derived from the tagim.

3- Constitutive: Pesaq isn't the determination of the current halakhah, but
   part of the definition of which potential pesaq is correct. It's a power
   HQBH gave man. eg: the need to be able to find 49 ways letaheir as well
   as 49 letamei in order to qualify for Sanhedrin.
   Ramban, Ritva, Ran. (I noticed the Iqarim to, although RHM doesn't say
   so. But then, the Iqarim is usually quite close to the shitah of his
   rebbe, the Ran.)

RMR raises the question of whether HQBH gave a true plurality of
possibilities, a literal eilu va'eilu. He attributes this position to
Rashi, the Ritva, the Maharshal, and Maharal. I already cited his Rashi
(Kesuvos 57a).

When I wrote about "the notion that eilu va'eilu reflects that fact that HQBH's
Original Intent (kavayakhol) is diffracted into a spectrum of opinions
by the time it reaches the human mind" I was describing the position
of the Maharal. He says machloqes is because Hashem's Emes can't fit in
this universe.

Because of vagueness, I was also describing R' Tzadoq's position, which
RMR doesn't mention. R' Tzadoq writes about the difference between
machashavah, where contradiction is not only possible -- but it's
difficult to spend time considering an opinion without also considering
it's opposite, and po'al, where such contradiction is called paradox.

RMR concludes with what RMH called the consitutive approach.

The contitutive approach must rest atop a true plurality -- Hashem gave
us 98 sevaros that lead to contradictory results as part of the tools
with which man should legislate -- "vehalakhah keBH".

The accumulative approach *could* be consistent with plurality -- both
opinions coexist because Hashem intentionally allowed for conflicting

Everything I said about the Rambam's approach to halakhah being
unique boils down to noting that the difference between accumulative
and constitutive approaches to machloqes. Add to that the Rambam's
insistance on a single right pesaq rather than plurality. This will
change how a poseiq views precedent:

Does he, at step N, look first to N-1, back to N-2, etc... in order
to understand a shitah? Or,
Does he go straight to the shitah, looking at the previous baalei
mesorah's comments as informative but not authoritative material?

To add more baalei mesorah to the list of those who would make a
different choice than the Rambam: The Chinukh's discussion of "lo sasur"
bizman hazeh, the Arukh haShulchan's statement that pesaq is only to
prevent two Toros, not that one is wrong. Which he then relates to a
zaqein mamre, who refuses to bring unity -- not about bowing to truth.
(Which in turn echos much of the Chunukh's "lo sasur".)

IOW, we do halakhah in a fundamentally different way than how the
Rambam describes what he did in the Yad.

Another mashal: The Qetzos was a very innovative thinker, and when
you learn his material, you are left thinking he presented what is
obviously the truth. However, because he was such a mechadeish, rather
than connecting to the stream and acounting for the authority given a
shitah by being the norm, how much impact (if any) did he have to the
world of pesaq?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Every second is a totally new world,
mi...@aishdas.org        and no moment is like any other.
http://www.aishdas.org           - Rabbi Chaim Vital
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:09:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Truth and the Rambam

On Wed, Oct 06, 2010 at 10:16:36PM -0400, Zvi Lampel wrote:
: The rishonim and acharonim treat "eilu v'eilu" as logically untenable, 
: indeed incomprehensible, if it is taken to mean at face value that 
: contradicting halachos of identical scenarios are both true...

I mentioned the Maharal and R' Tzadoq in previous emails.

Second, you presume we're talking about facts -- the word you use is
even "true" -- not law.

What if HQBH gave us many ways la'alos behar Hashem, and gave us a system
for finding different derakhim up the mountain based on where we are in
relation to the peak, how we see the world, and what kind of climbs we
are more capable of? Wouldn't then both results be equally correct?

: (Two blind men who, by feeling different parts of an elephant, each come 
: to a different conclusion about what the totality of the elephant is, 
: are both wrong. If each admits that the part he is feeling is a 
: different one, and therefore has different characteristics than that 
: felt and described by his fellow blind man, then each realizes that they 
: are not arguing, and will not think that the characteristics he 
: perceives form a kushya against what the other is describing.)

Simplifying models aren't "wrong", they are just "incomplete". IOW,
what if the blind man who felt its ear doesn't say "the elephant is like
a fan", but "the part of the elephant which I can relate is fan-like,
so I will use that approach to get closer to her."

A different mashal, one more akin to the Maharal...

This world is infintesimal compared to Hashem's emes. Kind of like the way
a 2D image is an infintestimal slice of the 3D object.

I can shine a light on an object and get a shadow on the wall. The shape
of the shadow depends on where I stand in relation to the object. I could
shine a light on the side of a cube to get a square. If I shine it on
a corner, I would get a hexagon.

Is that hexagon any less true than the square?

They are both projections of Divrei Elokim Chaim into this limited

R' Tzadoq (Tzidqas Tzadiq #17) would say that our havanah can get closer
to the full 3D object than the world of po'al can and focuses on that
gap as the point which causes machloqes. But still, the same basic
model applies.

: This is why Chazal refer to forgotten halachos being restored to their 
: [original] status. If something had really been both totally or 
: predominantly tamei and tahor in the identical scenario, depending upon 
: which diffracted view of the original intent one maintains, what was 
: there to restore?
: So whatever is meant by the notion that HQBH's Original Intent 
: (kavayakhol) is diffracted into a spectrum of opinions by the time it 
: reaches the human mind, one cannot deny the fact---held not only by the 
: Rambam but by every rishon in the world, and indeed every Torah 
: source---that Judaism is defined by the transmission of what Moshe 
: Rabbeynu received from Sinai, the laws of which he presented to the 
: people there "as a shulchan aruch." He did not transmit to us 600,000 
: conflicting rulings or conflicting sevaros on each case.

I disagree, especially to this claim of "every rishon in the world, and
indeed every Torah source". MRAH didn't necessarily get every din in "as
a SA", but rather the system by which we can either derive (accumulative)
or create (constitutive) every din.

See the articles I pointed to. RMHalbertal is more of an academic. But
surely you would invest time to see why a RY like RMRosensweig disagrees
with you.

Just to deal with a couple of things they didn't:
: Rabbeynu Peretz on Eruvin 13b prefaces the Midrash (as he refers to it) 
: by asking how one can say "eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim Chaim, since, "if 
: it is asur, it isn't mutar; and if it is mutar, is isn't asur. And he 
: follows up on the Midrash by saying, "Nevertheless, there is a kushya 
: [on the face value of this Midrash] from things that already were, such 
: as the Mizbayach---for one authority brings proof for it being 60 amos, 
: and one brings proof for it being 20 amos....V'yesih lomar ... "eilu 
: v'eilu divrei Elokim Chaim" means that from the pesukim there is basis 
: to darshan like each opinion, but certainly there was only one way [it 
: could have been].

Your example is from "olam hapoal" -- history. Not pesaq. The mizbeiach
couldn't have been both.

BTW, I think RMMS builds up a case otherwise. I can't remember clearly, so
I will hopefully write something that jogs the memory of someone from our
Lub contingent. Obviously there is nothing for the two of us discuss unless
they fill it in. Something about a derashah in which the LR simultaneously
uses both sides of the machloqes about whether the command to build the
mishkan preceeded the eigel or not.

: One cannot deny the fact that the principle methodology by which the 
: poskim and Talmud determine the halacha is through citing precedent and 
: assuming that there is an original intent to reach for. Otherwise, it 
: would be pointless for any amora to pit a contradiction to another from 
: an earlier and higher authority. His opponent could always answer, 
: "Hah!...that's the way you, or Aharon HaKohen heard it at Sinai, but I'm 
: saying how I, or Nachshon ben Amindava heard it at Sinai!"

Why bother writing "one cannot deny" if you already know I do?)
Who said that search for precedent is about original intent?

And yes, they do often answer this why. "Ha R' Meir, ha R' Yehudah"
boils down to just that. You have your development of the ideas
HQBH gave us, I have mine.

: So if it is true that the souls of the arguing tannaim and amoraim 
: witnessing the Sinai revelation literally received different messages as 
: to, say, the kashrus or permissibility of something (and that the source 
: of halacha was their individual receptions of the revelation, rather 
: than Moshe Rabbeynu's transmission of the revelation he alone received) 

That is a oft-given explanation of the 60 ribo osios shebatorah as well
as of the shiv'im panim.

: first we must say that the dispute can only be concerning things that 
: were not stated explicitly. You must admit that this can only be true of 
: corollaries of the distinct halachos that Hashem told Moshe Rabbeynu. 
: Surely you do not doubt that all the minds at Sinai did get it clear 
: that animals with split hoofs that chew their cud are kosher and the 
: others are not. You must admit that all minds at Sinai got it clear that 
: melacha on Shabbos is assur, and no one received a diffracted idea that 
: it is mutar.

In cases where there is a valid machloqes, why couldn't both be miSinai?
Moshe couldn't be given multiple approaches to a concept if they happen
to conflict?

: Secondly, the same kabbalistic sources also state it becomes the task of 
: the Chachamim to determine what the halacha is...


: see the methodology for doing this is eidus: tracing authoritative 
: statements as far back as possible and checking their consistency and 
: accuracy...

This is not well established, and we really do NOT find it in the
rishonim. There are geonim, OTOH, who do say this.

I think you are misinterpreting rishonim by forcing baalei pelugta
into agreement.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The fittingness of your matzos [for the seder]
mi...@aishdas.org        isn't complete with being careful in the laws
http://www.aishdas.org   of Passover. One must also be very careful in
Fax: (270) 514-1507      the laws of business.    - Rav Yisrael Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 00:04:00 +0100
[Avodah] Recent timers on Shabbat and Yom Tov posting on

On Hirrhurim recently R' Michael Broyde has a guest post on timers on
Shabbat and Yom Tov(
http://torahmusings.com/2010/09/timers-on-shabbat-and-yom-tov.html  ).  Some
of the things he said puzzled me, a bit, particularly his references to the
shita of RYBS.  Since there are a number of RYBS aficondos on this list, I
wondered whether anybody was able to explain a bit better (the reference
that R' Broyde gave to RYBS's shita is apparently more fully explained in a
book by RHS which I don't have access to).  R' Michael Broyde wrote: 
                >The second position, that of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
and others, states that the critical factor is whether the additional force
needed to finish the action is present at the time of human >activity.
Winnowing in the wind is prohibited only when the wind is blowing at the
time the wheat is thrown into the wind; the barrel case is permitted since
one is placing the barrels away from >the fire. Placing the barrels actually
in the fire would be prohibited.

                I don't really understand this.  Or at least,  I can
understand a distinction if it is not clear that the fire is going to reach
the barrels (eg there was no wind, so it might not spread that far).  But if
there was a wind that was pushing the fire along, how is this any different?
Or would RBYS and the others say that the barrel case is only talking about
a case where there was no wind and the fire's spread in the direction of the
barrels was not inevitable? (But isn't that a completely novel reading of
the gemora, as it introduces an element of uncertainty?)

                Thus of course I am having problems with the further
statement that:

                >Since when adjusting a timer the additional force needed to
finish the action, namely the rotation of the dial, is present at the time
of human activity, all adjustments that hasten an action are >prohibited. 

                As mentioned, I understand this if and only if you
understand that the fire might or might not reach barrels.  But otherwise,
why is the additional force propelling the fire (such as a wind) not
considered present at the time of human activity and why is the timer not
directly analogous.  Yes the rotation of the dial is continuing, but so is
the wind, and the fire (or dial) will inevitably come to the point where you
have placed your peg or barrel (actually most of ours work by pushing down
or up little levers so they are depressed or not - each lever corresponding
to about fifteen minutes - once the dial reaches the point at which the
levers are depressed, that enables the circuit to be complete and the
electricity to flow, once it reaches a point where the levers are elevated,
then the circuit is no longer is complete)

                >Thus, Rabbi Soloveitchik rules that under no circumstances
may one adjust the timer so that an appliance will begin to operate earlier
than expected.

                Now I can make sense of the following distinction, in that
the wind is only one force that is present when you throw the chaff in the
air.  But with regards to the fire, there are two forces ,the one propelling
the fire along so it gets to the barrels,  and the second which is the heat
of the fire which causes the barrels to explode (and release their water),
and the second is indeed not operating on the barrels at the time of the
completion of the human action.

                But it still seems to me that you have to say the same thing
for the timer (unless you take a general view that electricity is
electricity is electricity).  Because there is one circuit (which is closed
and operating) which is the one that makes the timer move round with the
time, and there is a second, open circuit.  When the timer moves around to
the peg or lever, it then causes the second circuit to close, and the second
circuit is what generates the electric current in the light that goes on.
So again, two forces.  So why under this analysis of grama is the time clock
situation not mutar?

                But then, I am having something of the same problem with the
third shita brought by R' Broyde.
                >A third view asserts that the critical factor is whether
the indirect process used is the normal process. If the indirect process is
the normal one, it is prohibited on Shabbat. Otherwise it is >permitted. The
barrel case is permitted only because it is not the normal manner to
extinguish fire through a time delay. Winnowing, however, is frequently done
through wind power
                This I understand, but then:

                >According to this approach, adjusting a timer is prohibited
since it was designed to be used in this manner; however, placing ice cubes
(or hot water) on a thermostat to increase the flow of heat >(or cold air),
would be permitted since that is an indirect and unusual manner of making
the adjustment.

                This bit I don't understand.  It is not the normal process
to light (or extinguish) electric lights by use of a time delay and timers,
but by a direct flip of a switch (unless you are referring to the case of
using a time clock to deter burglars when in fact the inhabitants of the
house are away - but is this not in fact proof that this is not the normal
function.   Ie this is done because in fact it is normal for householders to
turn on and off lights, and if in fact lights are going on and off in the
house, we assume burglars will assume it is inhabited and not burgle).   In
the case of the barrels and the fire, the emphasis seems to be on the end
result, namely extinguishing a fire, not on whether or not the barrels are
or are not designed to hold water as their normal function.  Why is the
design of the timer not similar to the design of the barrels (ie irrelevant)
making the end result of lighting or extinguishing an electric light by
means of time delay, being an indirect and unusual manner of turning on or
off lights completely mutar? 

                Shavuah Tov

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