Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 191

Fri, 23 Sep 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 08:16:45 -0700
[Avodah] supporting mehadrin


should  there  be parameters of those who  can't afford a 'mehadrin' 
lifestyle , in terms of  their  tzedaka requests?

can a donor  legitimately distinguish between supporting  minimal or even 
average needs, vs  chumrot that cost  significantly more?

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:04:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] supporting mehadrin

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 08:16:45AM -0700, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
: http://jewishworker.blogspot.com/2011/09/real-cost-of-mehadri
: n-standards.html 
: should  there  be parameters of those who  can't afford a 'mehadrin' 
: lifestyle , in terms of  their  tzedaka requests?

Wouldn't it qualify as dei machsero, no less than other luxuries the
person would feel pain if they had to give up?

: can a donor  legitimately distinguish between supporting  minimal or even 
: average needs, vs  chumrot that cost  significantly more?

Of course they can. Also, like dei machsero. Most of us need to triage our
way through causes to give to, and why wouldn't someone decide to spend
some money on someone who isn't refularly putting food on their table
rather than paying for some chumerah or the formerly rich person's car?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             None of us will leave this place alive.
mi...@aishdas.org        All that is left to us is
http://www.aishdas.org   to be as human as possible while we are here.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Anonymous MD, while a Nazi prisoner

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Message: 3
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:01:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] supporting mehadrin

can a donor  legitimately distinguish between supporting  minimal or even average needs, vs  chumrot that cost  significantly more

My take from R'HS is that you have to legitimately calculate whose need is greater when prioritizing tzedaka requests.
Joel Rich

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Message: 4
From: Ari Kahn <adk1...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 19:20:22 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Humanoids Talmud Torah

On 22 ???? 2011, at 06:01 ??????, Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com> wrote:
"I believe we have a duty to accept the words rulings and ideas of the Torah as absolute truth."

Therefore you need to learn them properly in order to know what the Pshat is

"The discussion of verses and MaAmerie Chazal, from my perspective is not necesssarily within the realm of Talmud Torah."

Would you make a birchas haTorah before reading these verses and Chazals? Could you learn it on tisha ba'v?...

I do find it strange discussing this as an abstract comment, you have not
read the essay in question, and nonetheless seem quite opinionated. The
chapter is not about humanoids, yet the possibility of the existence of
such creatures does emerge.
By the way the book has a lot of other chapters as well :)

Ari Kahn

> By way of example, when Chazal have a ?game? of suggesting various Pessukim to support various commonly held ?street wisdoms? I suspect this is not TT.
> Reading the Torah, any verses in the Torah is certainly TT. That
> includes the Passuk Bereshis 6:4 which certainly sounds like it is
> talking about humanoids, or something to that effect.
> But I strongly suspect that our speculation about these things and the
> construction of mental and spiritual edifices which support
> significant religious life perspectives; I am shaken and fear possible
> negative consequences.
> I similarly am concerned that these edifices are perceived to be an
> equivalent to Talmud study. As a consequence learning Gemara is no
> longer deemed to be valuable, critical and of core significance.
> -- 
> Best,
> Meir G. Rabi
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Message: 5
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 02:11:56 +1000
[Avodah] Humanoids and TT

R Eli,

Please help me locate the Gemara you refer to.

> The gemara brings a story about an amora that didnt want to go to a shiur
> since it was about health questions. He was told that in that case it
> is even more important to attend the shiur.

I agree -- it is important to learn about health and hygiene -- but that
does not mean I can make Birchas HaTorah -- it is important but it is not TT.

> RYBS maintains that learning a sugya about matters that are entirely
> derabban is TT -- 

who would disagree with that?

> Does someone who learns various gemarot about magic or medicines or
> health issues fulfil TT?

Probably not, unless it related to the Halacha of what is permitted or

> Rambam writes about healthy foods to eat. Is that more TT than reading
> a contemporary medical journal on the same issue?

Birchas HaTorah are made Levatala if one studies only the RaMBaM's rules
on health just as if one only studies a medical journal.

And in response to Lisa;

I find it difficult to condone some of the things that are used to
attract or retain people to or on, the Derech. I dont want people to go
off the Derech or not be attracted to a Torah life, but I do want them
to be presented with authentic Yiddishkeit. I fear that we have dressed
up our Torah and our principles with a cosmetic veneer that may be close
to but is no longer in fact Yiddishkeit. Certainly we are all different
and HaShem created and wants us to be and to celebrate those differences
but that does not mean there is no point at which interpretations become

I agree with you -- blind faith as you describe it, is not Torah, but
I dont follow why you mention this in regards to my thoughts.

I can not accept for example, that Torah tolerates the perspective,
"I can not accept that Avraham would ever attempt to slaughter his son"
or "I can not accept that a Loving Gd would ever demand that Avraham
slaughter his son" and therefore tolerate an alternative explanation of
the Akeida. I am V distressed when I hear orthodox rabbanim presenting an
approach that in fact is predicated upon such foundations. I believe that
every straight thinking Jew disqualifies such ramblings as non-authentic
Torah, heresy. I am fairly sure that we similarly can not accept the
purely speculative pursuit of humanoids as authentic Torah. I believe
that the energy for such interests has been fed, if not generated, by
our drifting away from authentic Torah values. I agree with you about
some requiring a Shabbat experience and others exposure to a Rabbi Meir
Kahane AH perspective, but I am sure that humanoids is a quantum leap
from these examples.

And do you really mean that without the ability and legitimacy of
being able to speculate about humanoids as TT, some would abandon their
Yiddishkeit? You either exaggerate or I must wonder if such people are
sincere about their commitments.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova
Meir G. Rabi

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Message: 6
From: Isaac Balbin <is...@balb.in>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:12:09 +1000
[Avodah] L'Dovid Ori in the Evening

If this has been canvassed before, I apologise.

I daven Nusach Sfard (as in most Chassidim and many Shules in Israel).

I have always said L'Dvid after the Oleynu at Ma'ariv. This is the way it was in the Chassidic Shule I used to Daven at.

I know that Chabad says it before Aleynu at Mincha.

Artscroll seems to suggest that it is said after Aleynu at MINCHA.

Is there no tradition for Nusach S'fard to say it after Aleynu at Ma'ariv (like Ashkenaz)?

Please advise what you have seen in your travels.

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Message: 7
From: shalomy...@comcast.net
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 22:13:24 +0000 (UTC)
[Avodah] Evolution, Hashgachah and Tehillah

RavMBerger has done a much better job than I ever could at describing how 
one can believe in evolution by natural selection and also believe in hashgachah 
pratis. However, I wanted to restate one point that he makes, and also add in one 
more element to the discussion: 

One problem that comes up is in the discussion of 'random mutation' that plays a 
role in natural selection. One problem in understanding this idea is that we have 
two uses of the term random. In common parlance, the word random means without 
reason or order. This is the usage that I think people see as incompatible with hashgachah 

However, in science/mathematics, there is a different definition. The fact that you can identify 
the underlying distribution of a random process is stark evidence that there IS order to the process. 
The role of a die is a random process, but, given enough throws it is going to come out as a rectangular 
distribution between 1 and 6. Furthermore, the role of the die is clearly based on the physical features 
of the die, the throw, and the surface where it hits. If one could calculate all the physical forces & properties, 
one could predict how the die would come out. (On this topic, I recommend the book "The Eudaemonic Pie" 
about a group who tried to predict the outcome of a casino roulette wheel in real time. It has been over 25 
years since I read this book, so although I do not recall anything that would bother someone frum reading it, 
I cannot guarantee it). 


On another note: Evolution is a process over time. It really only appears as organisms changing because we 
live our human life as a passage of time. HaShem, however, lives out of time. Or, perhaps all time is a single 
moment for Him. All this is beyond our understanding, but couldn't that explain how evolution can exist from our 
human perspective, but the Torah account of creation -- which seems to imply fixed species created in Gan Eden 
and never changing -- could exist too? 
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Message: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:51:03 -0400
[Avodah] Chasam Sofer: Why Don't Women Wear Tefilin?

From  http://revach.net/article.php?id=36

Chasam Sofer: Why Don't Women Wear Tefilin?

The Torah says that Tefilin remind us that Hashem took us out of 
Mitzrayim.  If so women should also wear Tefilin even if the mitzva 
is time dependant because "Af hem hayu b'oso hanes", they were also 
part of Yetzias Mitzrayim.  This same principal is used to obligate 
women in other mitzvos that they would otherwise be exempt from.

The Chasam Sofer answers that we must distinguish between Matza for 
example, where the underlying reason for the mitzva is to remember 
Yetzias Mitzrayim, and Tefilin where the underlying reason is to show 
our love for Hashem by wearing His signature on us.  As a natural 
consequence of our thinking about our love for Hashem we remember how 
he took us out of Mitzrayim in grand fashion.  However this is only 
an outgrowth of the main reason.  Since the main reason is not 
Yetzias Mitzrayim, this secondary reason does not obligate a women in 
the mitzva of Tefilin.

I must say that I do not understand the reasoning in the above.  If 
"the underlying reason is to show our love for Hashem by wearing His 
signature on us." then, given that men already have Ha Shem's 
"signature" on them through their bris milah, it would seem to me 
that this is a reason for women to wear tefilin to show their love 
for Hashem and not men.


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Message: 9
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:43:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Chasam Sofer: Why Don't Women Wear Tefilin?

> I must say that I do not understand the reasoning in the above.

How about this- Women don't wear tfillin because this is our mesorah.
Whatever "reason" one gives now is to make one comfortable with the
result and thus more in the category of "btaam vareiach ein lhitvakeach"?

Joel Rich

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Message: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:42:48 -0400
[Avodah] Parshas Nitzavim: Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch - The

 From http://revach.net/article.php?id=940

"Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem; You are all standing today." Rav 
Shamshon Refael Hirsh says that Nitzavim is from the word, Matzeiva, 
a monument, a pillar. In his last speech to Bnei Yisrael, Moshe tells 
them, "You are the foundation, the force, the future, and the eternal 
carriers of the flame of Torah and the banner of Hashem. I am merely 
a leader that will pass on and move into the annals of history. All 
the leaders that follow me will meet the same end.

The rise and fall of the Jews rests on your shoulders and the 
shoulders of your children in every generation. For Klal Yisrael to 
exist and to thrive, you, the ordinary people, must carry on as loyal 
flag bearers, since in you lies the strength of Am Yisrael."

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Message: 11
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:57:06 -0400
[Avodah] Pas Yisroel Article

  The following is a modified version of what the CRC sent out today.

During the Aseres Yemai Teshuva, many attempt to be more observant in 
keeping Pas Yisroel.

To view an informative article written by Rabbi Dovid Cohen, 
Administrative Rabbinical Coordinator, click below:

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Message: 12
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:12:46 -0700
[Avodah] r reisman's question

We know that Moshe Rabbeinu was born on the 7th of Adar and died on the 7
th of Adar. There seems to be a problem. If you say that someone lived a 
full year it would mean that someone born on the 7th of Adar would die on 
the 6th of Adar. The full year is complete at a moment that the year is 
up. When a boy is Bar Mitzvah if he was born on the 7th of Adar he is Bar 
Mitzvah at sunset of the 6th of Adar. The year is completed a day early. 
It does not seem correct that Moshe Rabbeinu should be born on the 7th of 
Adar and die on the 7th of Adar and we should say such an expression (???? 
???? ??? ??????). Tzorech Iyun. 

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Message: 13
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:52:49 -0700
[Avodah] if speed-of-light constant fails

are there any  theological implications if  it  turns out that fundamental 

constants  are proven to be not so?
or just not to put faith in science?


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