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Volume 29: Number 28

Tue, 28 Feb 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 07:52:40 -0500
[Avodah] Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz Web Site

Please see http://www.moreshesashkenaz.org/en/home

There are many things on this web that will be of 
interest to those who want to know more about 
Minhag Ashkenaz such as 
to Minhag 
Yeshivah Ramah of F?rth   and 
<http://www.moreshesashkenaz.org/en/luach>Minhagim of the Ashkenaz Synagogue

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Message: 2
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:32:08 -0500
[Avodah] Nusach Ashkenaz

The following is from pages 20 - 21 of  Guide to Minhag Ashkenaz 
(English) by Rav Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger available at


The topic of nusach is very crucial. It stands out in the field of 
minhag as the prime example of
the evolution of customs in different Jewish communities. Indeed, the
prayer text one uses identifies one's social circle, community, family
origins, and even the type of hashkafah (philosophy of life) one associates

Among the Ashkenazic Jews, two prayer texts are in common use: Nusach
Ashkenaz and Nusach Sepharad. Historically, Nusach Ashkenaz is the
authentic text of European (non-Sephardic) Jewry. Relatively recently, a
new prayer text named Nusach Sepharad, due to its heavy reliance on
Sephardic nusach, became prevalent. This divergence has raised the
question whether one may change an essential custom instituted by

Rabbinic leaders all over Europe wrote against this deviation. For
example, R' Yechezkel Landau of Prague (1714-1793), the Noda Bihudah,
claims adamantly:31

Our Ashkenazic text is as authentic as the Torah, but the Sephardic
Jews should still keep their minhag, as they have what to rely on,
and one should not deviate from his ancestors' minhag. Recently,
however, Ashkenazim have gone and changed the holy customs of
their fathers. In my opinion they are at fault and are degrading the
respect of the Tosafists and the Rosh, and will be judged
accordingly. There is no love or unity here; rather, there is just a
source of scorn, as it says, "He who keeps himself apart seeks to
satisfy his own vanity."32 About them I say, "Those who despise
me adore death,"33 and "He who goes back on a commitment has
the lower hand."34

31 R' Yechezkel Landau, Tziyun Lenefesh Chaya (Tzlach), Berachos 11b, s.v.
Tanya nami hachi.
32 Mishlei (Proverbs) 18:1.
33 Cf. Mishlei 8:36.
34 Bava Metzi'a 76a.
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Message: 3
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:27:24 -0800
[Avodah] MB vs AhS


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Message: 4
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 07:47:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] girsa d'yankusa

I too have heard many times about simcha on Yom Kippur.

I was going to cite the gemara about Tu B'Av and Yom Kippur, but when I
looked it up (Taanis 30b), I see they are called Yamim Tovim, but the word
"simcha" does not appear.

I also looked up RDR's quote from Sofrim, because I wanted to see it in
context. It seems to me that Sofrim there is establishing the text to be
said in the Yom Tov Amidah, in the paragraph "Vatiten Lanu". I was hoping
to dispose of RDR's question by showing that we simply do not follow
Maseches Sofrim, but it seems that we do: On other Yom Tovim, we say the
phrase "moadim l'simchah", but on RH and YK we omit it -- or at least, MY
machzor does.

RDR's question stands.

R'YBS explained simcha as being lfnei hashem, I would expand to say (much
like the flip side of R' Yonason Sacks who explains why we drink on Purim
because we are still avdei d'achashverush) the intensity of the
simcha/lfnai hashem on Y"K is so intense, no physical assistance is needed.
 Just a thought.
Joel Rich

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Message: 5
From: "M Cohen" <mco...@touchlogic.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 09:21:03 -0500
[Avodah] girsa d'yankusa. YK as day of Simcha

I also recall this chiluk, which practically expressed itself in halacha.

(source RSZA?)

Wrt those who are allowed to eat on Tbav/YK (ie children and cholim)
On Tbav they should not eat fancy food/cake/candies/etc, but on YK fancy
foods are ok because it is a Yom Simcha


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Message: 6
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 11:43:46 -0500
[Avodah] Evolution

At 11:35 AM 2/28/2012, Jon Baker wrote:

>Evolution is a fact, no matter how many Christian zealots like to  claim
>otherwise.  The descent of Man is the unproven hypothesis, the  idea that
>natural selection is sufficient to explain the diversity of species  and
>the development of  mankind.

If evolution is a fact,  then how come it is referred to as the 
Theory of Evolution and not the fact of evolution?


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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:06:44 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Evolution

On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:43:46AM -0500, Prof. Levine wrote:
> At 11:35 AM 2/28/2012, Jon Baker wrote:
>> Evolution is a fact, no matter how many Christian zealots like to  claim
>> otherwise.  The descent of Man is the unproven hypothesis, the  idea that
>> natural selection is sufficient to explain the diversity of species  and
>> the development of  mankind.

> If evolution is a fact,  then how come it is referred to as the Theory of 
> Evolution and not the fact of evolution?

Same reason why gravity is.
Or special and general relativity.

You misunderstand how scientists use the word "theory".

That said, I can't call evolution "fact". It has strong evidence, but nothing
really rules out RMMS's or R' Avigdor Miller's supposition that Hashem had His
own reasons for laying down that evidence.

In terms of applying evolution to human behavior...

From the time scale evolution works in, most features in humanity haven't
been testing long enough within the context of civilization to have been
weeded out by whether they add fitness or not.

Both RJJB and RnTK believe in a Divinely guided evolution. As I would think
does any O Jew who believes in evolution at all. In which case, during this
"brief" period, Hashem could have allowed genes to evolve for His Purposes
for human souls even though they have no survival advantage, and might even
prove a disadvantage. From the perspective of Adam-to-Techiyas haMeisim,
no violation of "survival of the fittest" is possible, so it wouldn't violate
some Ratzon to do things bederekh hateva for Him to include them.

Second, homosexuality isn't inherited. We don't even know if a propensity
for it is. One therefore can't compare homosexuality to classical cases
of evolution. I am not calling it a handicap, but handicaps too are often
combinations of mutation, environment and "happenstance". The possibility
of Downs doesn't mean there was a survival advantage to having people
with Downs in the community. Or people born with missing digits or limbs.

Not every mutation stood up to the test of evolution, doubly so when the
mutation isn't necessarily inherited.

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: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:20:11 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Ibn Ezra on the Moon

On Tue, 28 Feb 2012 5:31am GMT, RAM <kennethgmil...@juno.com> wrote:
: If anyone questions whether "Abenezra" is really named for
: "Ibn Ezra", the crater's Wikipedia article cites a reference
: to http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov ...

"Aben" and "Aven" are common Latinizations of "ibn".

Ibn Geveirol's (Gabirol, Arabic: Gibran) Meqor Chaim only survived as
Abicebron's Fons Vitae. There were centuries in which the Catholics
thought it was one of /there/ philosophical texts!

The mix of Neoplatonism and Aristotilianism one finds in Meqor Chaim
and Moreh Nevuchim is probably due to both authors relying on Averroe's
translation of Aristo's Metaphysics, which accidentally included parts
of Plotinus's Enneads. Averroe - the Moslem philosopher, Ibn Rushd, lived
in Cardoba during the Golden Age.

Another Moslem philosopher, ibn Sina, became Avicenna. His ideas make
several appearances in the Moreh.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A person lives with himself for seventy years,
mi...@aishdas.org        and after it is all over, he still does not
http://www.aishdas.org   know himself.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:36:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] MB vs AhS

On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 08:27:24AM -0800, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
: http://torahmusings.com/2012/02/mishna-berura-vs-aruch-hashulchan/

We have discussed this several times in the past.

RDLifshitz was also among the AhS supporters.

RARakeffetR believes that 200 years from now, the Shoah will be deemed
a line in halachic authority between the acharonim and something else.
Although he clearly thinks the line is only possible with hindsight, he
still proposes possible names without having that perspective yet:
mesaderim or me'asefim.

This is an era more characterized by people collecting and presenting
structure to existing ideas than by innovation. Otzar haPosqim, Bar Ilan
CD and Encyc Talmudit are extreme but peripheral examples. But all those
tertiary halachic guides are also produced by collecting, providing
structure and simplifying, rather than chidushim. They have eclipsed the
teshuvos in how halakhah is spread.

And although the MB is pre-War, I think it's of the new style. The CC
says his goal is to provide a survey of opinions that post-date the
standard SA page.

The AhS is still in the acharonic style.

Rupture and Reconstruction <http://www.lookstein.org/links/orthodoxy.htm>
fans would say the same thing for different reasons. R' Dr Haym Soloveitchik
    There is an injunction against "borer" -- sorting or separating on
    Sabbath. And we, indeed, do refrain from sorting clothes, not to speak
    of separating actual wheat from chaff. However, we do eat fish, and
    in eating fish we must, if we are not to choke, separate the bones
    from the meat. Yet in so doing we are separating the chaff (bones)
    from the wheat (meat). The upshot is that all Jews who ate fish on
    Sabbath (and Jews have been eating fish on Sabbath for, at least, some
    two thousand years [2]) have violated the Sabbath. This seems absurd,
    but the truth of the matter is that it is very difficult to provide
    a cogent justification for separating bones from fish. In the late
    nineteenth century, a scholar took up this problem and gave some very
    unpersuasive answers [3] It is difficult to imagine he was unaware of
    their inadequacies. Rather his underlying assumption was that it was
    permissible. There must be some valid explanation for the practice,
    if not necessarily his. Otherwise hundreds of thousands, perhaps,
    millions of well-intending, observant Jews had inconceivably been
    desecrating the Sabbath for some twenty centuries. His attitude
    was neither unique nor novel. A similar disposition informs
    the multi-volumed Arukh ha-Shulhan, the late nineteenth century
    reformulation of the Shulhan Arukh. [4] Indeed, this was the classic
    Ashkenazic position for centuries, one which saw the practice of the
    people as an expression of halakhic truth. It is no exaggeration to
    say that the Ashkenazic community saw the law as manifesting itself
    in two forms: in the canonized written corpus (the Talmud and codes),
    and in the regnant practices of the people. Custom was a correlative
    datum of the halakhic system. And, on frequent occasions, the written
    word was reread in light of traditional behavior. [5]

    This dual tradition of the intellectual and the mimetic, law as
    taught and law as practiced, which stretched back for centuries,
    begins to break down in the twilight years of the author of the Arukh
    ha-Shulhan, in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. The
    change is strikingly attested to in the famous code of the next
    generation, the Mishnah Berurah. [6] This influential work reflects
    no such reflexive justification of established religious practice,
    which is not to say that it condemns received practice. Its author,
    the Hafetz Hayyim, was hardly a revolutionary. His instincts were
    conservative and strongly inclined him toward some post facto
    justification. The difference between his posture and that of his
    predecessor, the author of the Arukh ha-Shulhan, is that he surveys
    the entire literature and then shows that the practice is plausibly
    justifiable in terms of that literature. His interpretations, while
    not necessarily persuasive, always stay within the bounds of the
    reasonable. And the legal coordinates upon which the Mishnah Berurah
    plots the issue are the written literature and the written literature
    alone. [7] With sufficient erudition and inclination, received practice
    can almost invariably be charted on these axes, but it is no longer
    inherently valid. It can stand on its own no more.

    Common practice in the Mishnah Berurah has lost its independent
    status and needs to be squared with the written word. Nevertheless,
    the practices there evaluated are what someone writing a commentary
    upon Shulhan Arukh would normally remark on. General practice as such
    is not under scrutiny or investigation in the Mishnah Berurah. It
    is very much so in the religious community of today.


    [6] Israel Meir ha-Kohen, Mishnah Berurah. This six volume work, which
    has been photo-offset innumerable times, was initially published over
    the span of eleven years, 1896-1907, and appears contemporaneous with
    the Arukh ha-Shulhan. Bibliographically, this is correct; culturally,
    nothing could be farther from the truth. Though born only nine
    years apart, their temperaments and life experiences were such that
    they belong to different ages. The Arukh ha-Shulhan stands firmly
    in a traditional society, un-assaulted and undisturbed by secular
    movements, in which rabbinic Judaism still "moved easy in harness,"
    R. Israel Meir Ha-Kohen, better known as the Hafetz Hayyim, stood,
    throughout his long life (1838- 1933), in the forefront of the battle
    against Enlightenment and the growing forces of Socialism and Zionism
    in Eastern Europe. His response to the growing impact of modernity
    was not only general and attitudinal, as noted here and below, n. 20
    sec. c, but also specific and substantive. When asked to rule on the
    permissibility of Torah instruction for women, he replied that, in
    the past, the traditional home had provided women with the requisite
    religious background; now, however, the home had lost its capacity for
    effective transmission, and text instruction was not only permissible,
    but necessary. What is remarkable is not that he perceived the erosion
    of the mimetic society, most observers by that time (1917-1918)
    did, but rather that he sensed at this early a date, the necessity
    of a textual substitute. (Likkutei Halakhot, Sotah 2 la [Pieterkow,
    1918].) The remarks of the Hafetz Hayyim should be contrasted with the
    traditional stand both taken and described by the Arukh ha-Shulhan,
    Yoreh De'ah 246:19. One might take this as further evidence of the
    difference between these two halakhists set forth in the text and
    documented in n. 7. One should note, however, that this passage was
    written at a much later date than the Mishnah Berurah, at the close
    of World War I, when traditional Jewish society was clearly undergoing
    massive shock. (For simplicity's sake, I described the Mishnah Berurah
    in the text as a "code," as, in effect, it is. Strictly speaking,
    it is, of course, is a commentary to a code.)

    7 Contrast the differing treatments of the Arukh ha-Shulhan and the
    Mishnah Berurah at Orah Hayyim 345:7, 539:15 (in the Arukh ha-Shulhan)
    539:5 (in the Mishnah Berurah), 668:1, 560:1, 321:9 (Arukh ha-Shulhan)
    321:12 (Mishnah Berurah). See also the revelatory remarks of the
    Arukh ha-Shulhan at 552:11. For an example of differing arguments,
    even when in basic agreement as to the final position, compare 202:15
    (Arukh ha-Shulhan) with 272:6 (Mishnah Berurah). This generalization,
    like all others, will serve only to distort if pushed too far. The
    Mishnah Berurah, on occasion, attempts to justify common practice
    rather unpersuasively, as in the instance of eating fish on Sabbath,
    (319:4), cited above n. 3, and, de facto, ratifies the contemporary
    eruv (345:7). Nor did the Arukh ha-Shulhan defend every common
    practice; see, for example, Orah Hayyim 551:23. (S. Z. Leiman has
    pointed out to me the distinction between the Arukh ha-Shulhan and
    the Mishnah Berurah is well mirrored in their respective positions
    as to the need for requisite shiurim in the standard tallit katan,
    noted by Rabbi E. Y. Waldenburg in the recently published twentieth
    volume of his Tzitz Eliezer [Jerusalem, 1994], no. 8, a responsum
    that itself epitomizes the tension between the mimetic culture and
    the emerging textual one.)

I am using RARR's thought to focus more on the content of the texts than
on textualism. As I've written here the the past, the dawn of textualism
was with the Haskalah, not WWII. I think the relationship change of the
1940s was more complex than only its detrimental impact on mimetics.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of
mi...@aishdas.org        greater vanity in others; it makes us vain,
http://www.aishdas.org   in fact, of our modesty.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              -Louis Kronenberger, writer (1904-1980)

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:47:27 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Clear Thinking About Male Homosexuals

On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 01:17:36AM -0500, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: [1] It is not necessarily the case that all the seven mitzvos are
: things people instinctively know...

I also don't know why one has to posit this. I would think the 7 mitzvos
need only be accepted as the basic moral code all cultures *started* with.
After all, it's a beris made between HQBH and Adam (except for eiver min
hachai, as meat eating was assur entirely) and then another with Noach,
not some act of creation or divine berakhah.

But whether that's true, or the instinct thing is...

:                                   Eiver min hachai? Even murder --
: people may instinctively know that it's wrong in general, but they find
: it easy to rationalize exceptions in which it's fine...

But they start off knowing it's wrong. The gut or the value they inherited
told them there was something they needed to rationalize. If people
couldn't rationalize away decisions they know are bad, there would be no
sin. But when we want to do something, we can find arguments to quiet
down even the noisiest Jiminy Cricket or yeitzer hatov... It doesn't
mean he isn't in there yelling, though.

To continue RAM's thought, Lot's daughter is held accountable for naming
her kid Moav. Nu, she thought she was saving the world. But she was
expected to be embarassed about committing incest.

The Jews leavng Mitzrayim had assimilated the values of a culture that
practiced sexual licence. They were in the 49th shaar tum'ah after living
among those who committed "kemaaseh eretz Mitzrayim". The fact that they
learned Mitzrayim's rationalizations doesn't rule out the exitence of
the baseline they rationalized away from.

For that matter, ritual murder or deviant sex are pursued in some cultures
just in order to get the thrill of violation.

I'll deal with the evolution piece separately.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "I think, therefore I am." - Renne Descartes
mi...@aishdas.org        "I am thought about, therefore I am -
http://www.aishdas.org   my existence depends upon the thought of a
Fax: (270) 514-1507      Supreme Being Who thinks me." - R' SR Hirsch

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Message: 11
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:02:48 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] The Superbowl Maariv

>> The Super Bowl Maariv works quite handily with Halakhic  Man....
The dialectic tension between homo-religiousus and cognitive man  is
nothing more than the process by which one arrives at the state  of
Halachic man.<< [--RHM]
I would like to suggest that anyone who is not actually RYBS should refrain 
 from trying to sound like him.  It is better to use plain everyday  prose. 
 The above sentence conveys no meaning and inadvertently comes out  
sounding like a parody of a great man rather than a homage to him.  
I also think it highly unlikely that RYBS would have approved of a shul  
changing its regular davening time to accommodate the Super Bowl.  
As long as they can get ten men to come at the regular time, that should be 
 the time of davening in the shul.  The other fifty men can arrange their  
own ad hoc minyanim if they like, even in the shul building if the rabbi 
doesn't  mind, but the shul should not officially recognize that the Super Bowl 
is  docheh Maariv.
Hm but I just thought of a counter-argument to what I just wrote a second  
ago.  Some shuls in my neighborhood have Shacharis an hour later on  Sundays 
than other weekdays, and also start later on legal holidays.  Some  people 
think this is improper, but it's what the shuls do.  So obviously  it's 
permissible and maybe even the preferred thing to do, in order to  maximize the 
number of men who will come to minyan?
Ay, I think I'm beginning to understand the tension between  
homo-religiousus and cognitive man.... 


--Toby Katz
Romney -- good  values, good family, good  hair


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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 13:22:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] The Superbowl Maariv

On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:02:48PM -0500, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: I would like to suggest that anyone who is not actually RYBS should refrain 
: from trying to sound like him.  It is better to use plain everyday  prose. 

Too wordy. Instead of saying "dialectic", we would need a phrase. That's
the whole reason why RYBS used the jargon himself. We would end up getting
lost in the miles of explanation and never grasp the thesis.

But to translate:
:> The dialectic tension between homo-religiousus and cognitive man  is
:> nothing more than the process by which one arrives at the state  of
:> Halachic man.

The human condition is characterized by conflicting truths, each of which
is correct in its own way, but still they conflict. A common example -- the
values of Truth and Peace, which creates issues like "tact". Another example
from RYBS's eovre:
A community is a collection of people that get together to have their needs
met. Thus, the community exists to serve the people.
A person's highest calling is to serve the community.

Man is a being who cannot redeem himself, and must turn to G-d for help. Thus,
the religious man who appeals "Mah anu, mah chayeinu...?"
Man is a creative, thinking, being capable of accomplishing almost anything.

Both are true, and trying to make decisions in cases where the two
provide conflicting priorities is a kind of tension.

Halakhah drives one toward a synthesis, a creative religion. The notion
of covenant lays out a partnership with G-d so that man is both redeeming
himself and relying on Him. It also creates a religious law, a means for
doing so, that is both fully from G-d and yet in which man has a voice.

: I also think it highly unlikely that RYBS would have approved of a shul  
: changing its regular davening time to accommodate the Super Bowl.  

I think he would approve of a shul doing so. He would be saddened by the
membership needing the shul to make that decision.

: As long as they can get ten men to come at the regular time, that should be 
:  the time of davening in the shul.  The other fifty men can arrange their  
: own ad hoc minyanim if they like, even in the shul building if the rabbi 
: doesn't  mind, but the shul should not officially recognize that the Super Bowl 
: is  docheh Maariv.

We don't know what RYBS would say, as he isn't here to ask. But that
doesn't sound like the founder of Maimonides to me. He writes the
co-education was the only way to get as many children into the school
as possible, and not an ideal he himself believed in.

But none of this is the tension between homoreligiosis and cognitive man.
It's not like the self-image of being fully dependent on G-d is on the
"go daven" side, and the self-image of being a powerful Tzelem E-lokim
is on the side of watching the game.

I don't think the entire concept of halachic man as synthesis applies to
the hamon am. We obey halakhah rather than create it. Even the typical LOR
rarely plays the cognitive man side of the synthesis in his relationship
to halakhah. Thus, halachic man isn't a synthesis that /can/ exist in
the lives of most people.

And, as RHM writes, the synthetic halachic man is an archetype to
reach for, not someone who ever entirely exists in the real world.
Halakhah is described as the means of *navigating* the unresolvable

Jumping back to RHM's original post on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 07:37am -0800:
: The Super Bowl Maariv works quite handily with Halakhic Man. This is very
: much the way I see living as Jew. The idea that we do not ask why... but
: the what.
: The classic Brisker Derech HaLimud tells you that that the Ikkar is how to
: do the Mitzvah properly...

Which then imbues the moment with meaning. As per:
: That's why RYBS uses the example of Neilah as seen thru the eyes of
: Halachic Man. he does not see Bein Hashmashos Of YK to have any other
: meaning than its relvance to being the last moment the gates of heaven
: are open to Teshuva.

Actually, he quotes his father as saying that the sunset of ne'ilah is
prettier than others. RMS isn't described as lacking an aesthetic sense
beyond the beauty of halakhah. But that's a quibble on your wording of
"any other meaning".

Yes, Brisk sees halakhah as standing on its own, divorced from prior
or even derived theories about its purpose. But this is then itself
is considered a value. Ne'ilah isn't just a moment of kaparah, it is
beautiful *because* it's a moment of kaparah.

(BTW, RYBS himself doesn't hew this line. He speaks of halachic
hermeneutics from which he derives lessons one can take from halakhah
that add meaning. Halakhic Man itself is an example, as are any of
his other philosophical works or speeches that draw from halakhah.
He is being basically Brisk, in that hermeneutical lessons are far
from finding the meaning. But in terms of RHM's point, RYBS does see
relevencies that his own Halakhic Man would not.)

Being yotzei-zein a mitzvah isn't the same as real qiyum even within
Brisk. Brisk doesn't mean mechanistic observance; it means thinking
about halakhah and its processes to the near-exclusion of hashkafic
meanings and purpose. But there is still a kavanah. There is a beauty
of halakhah that halachic man is supposed to be drawing from. Something
hard to obtain when fitting your davening into the halftime show.

And this is doubly true when dealing with tefillah, avodah shebeleiv,
for which there is no machloqes about mitzvos tzerikhos kavanah. Meaning
is itself part of the halakhah of davening!


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
mi...@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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Message: 13
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:45:08 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Evolution


>Evolution is a fact, no  matter how many Christian zealots like to  claim  
>otherwise.  The descent of Man is the unproven hypothesis,  the  idea 
>that natural selection is sufficient to explain the  diversity of species  >and 
the development of  mankind.  [RJB]

>> If evolution is a fact,  then how  come it is referred to as the Theory 
of Evolution and not the fact of  evolution?<<


Scientists would reply that the "theory" of evolution is a theory as to  
/how/ it takes place, not /whether/ it takes place. 
The dominant current theory is the neo-Darwinist theory, Darwinist in  
assuming that "survival of the fittest" is the explanation, "neo" in putting  
some sophisticated genetic touches to Darwinism. (Darwin knew nothing of  
genetics, he only knew gross anatomical structure.)
No one today argues that evolution does not take place. It takes place  
constantly, within every species. In my last post I gave the commonest example, 
 the way bacteria evolve to gain immunity to antibiotics. Other examples 
are the  various strains of flu that develop, mutate and change with every 
generation. A  flu generation can be just a year or two in human time.  Another 
possible  example might be Tay-Sachs disease, the gene for which apparently 
confers  immunity to TB and also maybe high IQ.

That evolution, which is a proven fact, is microevolution.

Macroevolution is also a proven fact if it is defined very simply as  
"change over time." You can look at ancient fossils and see horses and dogs that  
are recognizably horses and dogs, but different from modern-day horses and  

What scientists claim is that evolution can explain the origin of species,  
which is the very thing we dispute. Not gonna loop to that because it's 
been  done and done and done.  Of course some day when I'm in the mood I 
reserve  the right to loop again.......

--Toby Katz
Romney -- good values, good  family, good  hair


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