Avodah Mailing List

Volume 33: Number 88

Tue, 09 Jun 2015

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2015 15:16:42 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Right/Wrong

Continuing the discussion from Areivim...

R' Joseph Kaplan wrote:

> About some things there is a right and a wrong; it is right
> to fast on Yom Kippur and wrong to eat. But not everything
> fits so neatly into categories of right and wrong. Micha
> didn't like my example of Women learning Talmud was wrong,
> then it was right. In fact, now it's both right (MO) and
> wrong (Hareidi)." He argues that it is possible for
> something to be right in one setting and wrong in another.

I don't see the distinction between women learning vs eating on Yom
Kippur. Women learning is right in some settings (such as where an
unlearned woman would be in a spiritual sakana) and wrong in others
(the ideal or traditional situation). In the same manner, eating on Yom
Kippur is right in some settings (where the person would be in a medical
sakana) and wrong in others (where the person is physically healthy).

For that matter, learning is dependent on the setting even for a man:
In most settings, it is right for a Jewish man to learn Torah, but not if
he is in aveilus, or if he is davening, or if he is in other situations
where the learning would conflict with another mitzvah.

My point is that EVERYTHING depends on the setting. (I once tried to
think of a positive or negative mitzvah which is totally independent of
setting, and which always applies under all imaginable circumstances. The
only one I could come up with is Avodah Zara. If anyone wants to continue
that thought, please start a new thread.)

Anyway, getting back to *this* thread, which is about whether right and
wrong are absolutes decreed by G-d, or whether they are subject to the
opinions of the Sanhedrin or others, I was reminded of an interesting
gemara. As translated by
it reads:

> Eruvin (13b): For two and a half years Beith Shammai and
> Beith Hillel argued. These [Beith Shammai] said "It is
> better for man not to have been created than to have been
> created." And those [Beith Hillel] said "It is better for
> man to have been created." Together, they [reviewed the
> opinions and] reached a consensus: ...

I left out their conclusion, because it is not really so critical to
this thread. What *IS* critical is the fact that they had the chutzpah
to even discuss this question at all.

There is a thought in this thread that if G-d does something, then it
is good by definition. Yet Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai considered the
possibility that G-d had another option which was even better than the
option that He did choose.

This sounds to me like a good argument for the view that people (or at
least certain people, such as the Sanhedrin) CAN decide what is right
and what is wrong.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:41:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Right/Wrong

On 06/05/2015 11:16 AM, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
>> >Eruvin (13b): For two and a half years Beith Shammai and
>> >Beith Hillel argued. These [Beith Shammai] said "It is
>> >better for man not to have been created than to have been
>> >created." And those [Beith Hillel] said "It is better for
>> >man to have been created."

> There is a thought in this thread that if G-d does something, then it
> is good by definition. Yet Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai considered the
> possibility that G-d had another option which was even better than the
> option that He did choose.

The discussion was not about what is good or right, but about what is
better *for a person*.  What is in the person's interest. "Noach lo le'adam".
What G-d chooses for a person is right, but who says it's "noach lo"?

Zev Sero               I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you
z...@sero.name          intend to commit felony...if a robber meets me in
                        the street and commands me to surrender my purse,
                        I have a right to kill him without asking questions
                                               -- John Adams

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Message: 3
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2015 21:49:38 +0200
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Right/wrong

Moved from Areivim.

It is a case of muttar and assur, which in this case I am equating with 
right and wrong. For this person, something is muttar and for the other 
it is pasul.

The way I see, it would be absolutely wrong for the wealthier person to 
eat his chicken, and absolutely wrong for the poorer person to throw his 
chicken away.

Correct, popular opinion doesn't play a part in this one.


On 6/5/2015 5:08 PM, Zev Sero wrote:
> That's not a question of right and wrong,

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Message: 4
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2015 01:19:52 +0100
[Avodah] Fwd: Torat Chaim VeAhavat Chesed

R' Ysoscher Katz writes:


   <<Personally, my rejection of the Maimonidean ethos and realization of
   the degree to which chassidut can speak to the modern searcher was a
   long and arduous process. It came about as a result of a deep sense
   of betrayal by Maimonides, the champion of Rationalist Judaism. I for
   many years was the object and fool of Maimonides "the seventh reason"
   as presented in his introduction to the Guide by not seeing his
   philosophic views. In that passage, Maimonides condones misleading
   the masses for their greater good, even to the point of advocating
   contradictory ideas for different audiences and then obscuring those

   Growing up in Satmar and then Brisk, I was oblivious to his
   non-halakhic writings and led to believe that he fully and literally
   believed every word he wrote in the Yad. I was exposed to his other
   writings only later and when I did I felt cheated. I was part of
   that the masses, whom he thought could not handle his unconventional
   approach to theology and tradition.>>

And yet ironically RYK's experience in Satmar and Brisk would seem to
confirm the sense of what Maimonides did.  

RYK was only the object and fool of Maimonides "seventh reason" because he
was immersed in a society that had built very high walls against the risk of
engaging with philosophy.  Contrast his experience to mine.  I read the
Guide at fourteen - long before I had any real exposure to the Yad.  Why?
Because I grew up in a society in which it was more acceptable for girls to
read philosophic texts than it was to learn and engage with halachic texts.
And indeed, a translation of the Guide was published and available in
English, in my shul library, whereas the Mishna Torah, which was no doubt
there (I don't remember), was only in Hebrew and would have been in the
"halachic" section that only boys (and scholarly boys at that) were expected
to access.  Even more, when I started asking questions, the librarian
pointed me in the direction of the philosophy works, which included the
Guide, that is how I got to it. It was just assumed that if somebody was
asking theological questions, that was the place to go.  So by the time,
much, much later, that I read the relevant portions of the Mishna Torah, I
already knew Maimonides' philosophic works in some depth, and layered them
on to anything in the Yad.

And yet Maimonides was surely right, had the Yad contained the opinions
expressed in the Guide, in any detectable way, there is no way a society
like Satmar and Brisk would have allowed it into their hallowed betei
midrash - and what a loss to the halachic world that would have been.  What
occurred to RYK is merely a by-product and inevitable consequence (if you
step outside) of what Satmar/Brisk have created.  Not what Maimonides
created.  He created a work which, in any society that valued philosophy,
would be available to those who sought it.

And this is why RYK's experience is unlikely to occur in any true Modern
Orthodox setting.  Because curious, searching teenagers will inevitably take
advantage of what is available in languages they can read in their local
libraries (assuming they are encouraged to go there, and such libraries are
not off limits), and hence, while they might (hopefully) be exposed to the
Mishna Torah earlier than I was, they will certainly have the opportunity,
and if that way inclined, are likely to take the opportunity of exploring at
least the introduction to the Guide.

<<The two most dramatic changes that have happened is that Jews are now
   sovereign and women have made significant progress in their pursuit of
   religious equality. The pioneers of both these changes were driven, at
   least in part, by a chassidic ethos. R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson,
   the Rebbi of Lubavitch, was one of the first orthodox scholars to
   champion female Talmud scholarship, while R. Avraham Yitzchak Kook,
   a serious student of Chassidut, was an outspoken early proponent of
   a Zionist state.>>

Now this I find-  well perhaps touchingly naive to the point of bizarre.
Not the characterisation of the two most dramatic changes, necessarily, but
the idea that "the pioneers of both these changes were driven, at least in
part, by Chassidic ethos".  Of the two, the claim regarding female Talmud
scholarship is the most odd.  Chassidic groups have been at the forefront of
those fighting a rearguard action against women's exposure to any form of
text, not least Talmudic and halachic text.  Satmar in particular - I recall
once standing in a bookshop in Boro Park, perusing a book (written clearly
by somebody from the Satmar derech) who had gathered together all the
sources on the evils of giving women access to any text - but most
fundamentally, horror of horrors, to Rashi al haChumash.  It was of course,
an attack on what is taught in Beis Ya'akov.  The position advocated being
that at most, girls should be taught in school the stories of the Tanach,
outside and without any recourse at all to reading in original.

Lubavitch, I agree, was and is in this regard unusual amongst the Chassidic
groups.  But, growing up in Melbourne, a community heavily dominated by
Lubvitchers, I am pretty well acquainted with what was allowed and not
allowed vis a vis girls/women and learning from people with reasonably close
connections with the Lubavitche Rebbe.  Sure, streets ahead of the other
Chassidic groups - but more open than the Beis Ya'akovs? - dubiously -
although there was a fair bit of flexibility granted when dealing with
potential ba'alei teshuva who (it was acknowledged) could be seriously put
off by bans on access to knowledge of the nature of that on gemora.  But
what was granted begrudgingly and in a limited fashion in such circles were
standard parts of the curriculum in Modern Orthodox schools (with Maimonides
in Boston the flagship in this regard).  How high a level a girl was taught
in MO environments differed (especially given that often the overall level
of kodesh education was not always that high in such schools), but the idea
that any of this was driven fundamentally by the Lubavitcher Rebbe is
ludicrous. And if you look at Israel and the explosion of women's learning
there - not a chassid in sight.

R' Kook and Zionism is a more justified charge.  While it is hard to
describe Rav Kook as a "pioneer" of political Zionism (there were many
before him who saw political Zionism as logically arising out of their
religious belief), he unquestionably provided serious theological
underpinnings justifying the religious being involved in this endeavour, and
much of what he wrote is rooted in chassidus.  But note of course that the
major thinker against was again the Satmar Rebbe - ie chassidus provided,
yet again, the most reactionary response to this phenomenon.  Which is more
typical of chassidus - Rav Kook or the Satmar Rebbe? - I think it is far
fairer to say that Rav Kook was the exception, despite his deep roots, and
the Satmar Rebbe closer to the rule.  And note, while we are on the subject
of Rav Kook, that while he was "progressive" regarding political Zionism, he
was "regressive" regarding woman voting.  Was his attitude towards women's
place in society also fuelled by his Chassidic studies?

In general, while I do agree that Chassidic thinkers, such as Rav Kook, have
a lot to say to "the world we live in today" and that there is something to
be said for incorporating aspects of their theology in the pursuit of
meaning, I suspect that trying to create "chassidish modern Jews" is an
enterprise doomed to failure, and certainly not something that will be able
to speak to the modern orthodox world.


Firstly because Chassidism is all embracing.  I have watched many ba'alei
teshuva embrace Chassidism (in lots of forms) over the years - as indeed it
has a serious pull for many.  I have rarely found one who is attracted that
way who ends up in the modern orthodox camp.  Where do they usually end up?
Well amongst the most extreme Chassidic groups, where they can indulge to
the fullest extent.  Chassidism become so all embracing that it pushes
everything else out.  And while this phenomenon is already found amongst
Modern Orthodox children going "black".  It is certainly not going to save
modern Orthodoxy.

A further problem is articulated at the beginning of the piece, in relation
to RYK's father:

  > My father is the most non-chassidish Chassid. He does not study
  > "chassidus," nor does he want to "understand" it. 

But, however you cut it, those with a modern orthodox upbringing are taught
to want to "understand".  They are brought up with the scientific method,
even if some debunking then occurs in universities.  For sure, there are
those who reject that in favour of exploration of mystery and experience -
but as suggested above, by and large those "go right" - further into the
ultra orthodox world. By and large, while the ashrams of India are peopled
by many Jews, I don't think very many of them are modern orthodox dropouts.
The ones we are losing totally are going left, into the secular mundane
world without religious input. Because while they are usually aware of the
experiential, it appears to simultaneously contemplate a suffocation of the
mind that they cannot swallow (as an ashram also does).  Such people are
never going to be comfortable in a world in which there is any expectation
of not "wanting" to understand.  They may perhaps be persuaded to find
meaning in the writings of people like Rav Kook, or in other aspects of
Chassidic writing, but are likely to be even more repelled by a world that
implicitly or explicitly tells them to bin what is the attribute they have
been taught to spend most of their life cultivating - their mind.

I am probably going to be (metaphorically speaking) shot on this list for
even mentioning it, but if you want to see what you get when you mix a
modicum of Chassidic plus philosophic inspired thinking in a more "modern"
context, you could always look at the German thinkers (including Reform
thinkers) of the early twentieth century - people like (particularly) Franz
Rosenzweig, not to mention Leo Baeck, Martin Buber, Hermann Cohen.  What
about Levinas?  There is your post modern thinking (but note that it comes
out of a Lithuanian background with existentialism and philosophical
exploration rather than chassidus).  But it is a long way from Maimonidian
rationalism (despite of course Maimonides being the father of all this
philosophy, but only after it has been through Kant and the
existentialists).  Avraham Yehoshua Heshel is another example of those
attempting to integrate a Chassidic background with modern sensibilities.
But since he operated out of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was
closely identified with the Conservative Movement, he probably did more to
make such explorations treif to MO thinkers than he did to inspire them to
explore.  A bigger problem, I think, is that MO in America is so fixated on
RYBS, and his particular brand of philosophy, that philosophy linked to
Orthodoxy becomes identified only with his particular stance.  But there is
a much wider world out there, and a philosophical world that does not only
relate to transcendence (as RYBS appears to do) but to imminence as well.
Are those who speak of paradox/polarity of imminence and transcendence
inspired by the imminence of the Chassidic world?  Maybe, but it is
attenuated, and no longer strictly Chassidic.  



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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2015 22:09:21 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Brisker Theory of Everything

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 07:15:59PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: 1. The gemara (Ketuvot 5b) discusses whether causing a certain type
: of blood flowing is considered a Sabbath violation. The first attempt
: to resolve the question turns on whether "mifkad pakid or chaburei
: mechbar" (is the blood in the womb stored up or is it the result of a
: wound?). Rashi there (please look) seems to define this as a physical
: question. Is this acceptable or must we say Rashi was leaving out the
: "obvious" philosophical/halachic question (i.e. the physical was known,
: it's a question of how to categorize it halachically)?

It is very hard to identify a real machloqes in metzi'us.

There is a machloqes in the Y-mi about whether rice flower and water
makes chameitz. Pesachim 2:4, vilna 17a):

    Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri said: Qarmis (millet or something similar)
    requires [giving] challah [from the dough to a kohein] because it
    can become chameitz or matzah.

    And the Rabbis say it doesn't because it can not become chameitz
    or matzah.

    So check it!

    They disagree about the essence of the check (iqar bediqasahh): RYBN
    said they checked it and found it can become chameitz or matzah. The
    Rabbanan said they checked it and they didn't find it can become
    chameitz or matzah.

What looked like a machloqes about facts, that could just be checked
experimentally, was a machloqes about how to categorize the physical
reality. Is that dough a chimutz or a sirchon?

I am sure that can be generalized. We could be arguing about metzi'us,
but as the gemera asks, why not just check it? More likely, when the
metzi'us is in the gray area, the machloqes is about: Where is the line
between the categories?

: 2. That gemara continues to try to resolve the question and is willing
: to entertain the possibility that the halacha is like Rabbi Yehuda
: (vs. Rabbi Shimon) in mekalkeil (destroying) and like Rabbi Shimon
: (vs. Rabbi Yehuda) in davar sheino mitkavein (the result was not the
: major one intended). If these two issues were interconnected, could the
: gemara entertain this possibility?

I think the gemara is consistent with two posibilities:

1- The two machloqesin are not interconnected.

2- The hava amina as that they were not connected, but the masqanah is
that indeed they are.

: 3. If the answer to 2 is no, must we assume that when the Shulchan
: Aruch said he would decide the psak based on majority 2 of big 3, did
: he really mean this as a primary tie breaker, or only when he did not
: have a clear understanding of the underlying philosophy that resulted
: in their final opinions.

As I wrote in the past, I think it's easier to excuse the SA's exceptions
to his rule by saying he was talking about the majority when counting
consistent positions. Which means the rule is subject to which machloqesin
the SA held were interconnected, and therefore which statements on other
topics need to also be counted toward he majority.

: 4.Is it possible that R'YBS limited his "canon" to only a few major
: rishonim (in contradistinction to R" A Lichtenstein) because the more
: data points included in trying to determine the underlying theoretical
: construct, the more likely a single errant point would skew the results?

I would think the reverse: How do you identify an outlier point without
getting more full statistics on the data?

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             Worrying is like a rocking chair:
mi...@aishdas.org        it gives you something to do for a while,
http://www.aishdas.org   but in the end it gets you nowhere.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2015 22:16:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lifnei Iveir

On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 04:04:33AM +0000, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
: I will be the first to point out that Lifnei Iveir is one the many
: topics where my learning and expertise is severely lacking. Even so,
: I suspect that there is something missing from RMB's definition...

: It seems to me that RMB is giving a useful tool to distinguish between
: category 3 and category 4, but that tool is useful only in the case where
: a person already has the *desire* to commit a sin, but it lacking the
: *ability* to some degree...

Correct. I was only thinking of the original question, and the gemara only
discusses the one chiluq -- between lifnei iveir (deOraisa) and mesayeia'

: But what of the case where a person does *not* yet have a desire to
: sin? Rabbi Kaganoff is saying that one who incites or encourages him
: to do it is violating Lifnei Iveir. Even if the person already has the
: ability to do the sin, it was below his "bechirah point" until he was
: egged on to do it...

I didn't understand Orpah's offer that way. She was convinced her
daughters-in-law "converted" for the sake of marriage; and depending
which midrashim you quote, that likely wasn't even an actual conversion.

But if Rus didn't really buy into Jewish beliefs, she would be better
off not going through a pro-forma conversion than in the same boat
as Delilah or Shelomo's wives.

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
mi...@aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 7
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2015 07:46:04 +0300
[Avodah] right/wrong

<<The position I was suggesting that there is an objective Morality that
is part of Emes. Emes, with a capital "E", as in something that exists in
Shamayim (a/k/a the Olam haEmes) but can't fit in this world among human

comes back to the question of pluralism vs monistic vs tolerant monistic vs
As discussed before there are opinions on all sides

Eli Turkel
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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2015 07:06:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] right/wrong

On Sun, Jun 07, 2015 at 07:46:04AM +0300, Eli Turkel via Avodah wrote:
: comes back to the question of pluralism vs monistic vs tolerant monistic vs
: harmonism.

Or, as R Moshe Halberatal cateogired halachic legal theories: Retrival,
Accumulative, vs Constitutive.

But it only starts there. Here the question is whether
1- any of these positions imply that halakhah is man-made more than the
other positions would; and
2- does any of this conversation reflect on the absolute nature of right
and wrong on a moral plane?

Which also drags in the relationship between halakhah and morality.

Divine Command Theory (morality is that which Hashem commanded) may well
identify the two. But then, we were hard pressed to find an advocate
for DCT, (outside contemporary popularizations).

R/DR Y Leibowitz coms close, by saying we exist to follow halakhah,
and any attempt to map halakhah to some other value system was one step
toward AZ.

Someone else might say that halakhah approximates morality, but since
it's a blanket rule for all people in many situations, it's only an
approximate. That said, once the halakhah is set, preserving it and
the morality of the majority of cases has greater moral weight than one
loses in the exceptional cases.

But getting back to our question, while I consider the two related, I
do not think the evolving nature of halakhah reflects morality being
a human construction.

Rather, I think it's because of two effects:
1- dialectics between concflicting values can yeild different strategies
   for finding balance between them

One therefore finds that a machloqes is resolved by finding one strategy
more appropriate for the culture asking the question than another. And
if it is not resolved with finality, another culture may have the same
question (eg mixes of immigrants with different precdent) and choose a
different strategy.

As I put it last time: choosing different paths up the mountain doesn't
imply that the mountain's altitude is subjective.

But this assumes that the linkage between halakhah and morality is that
halakhah is a means to becoming moral.

2- changes in reality can cause two similar looking situations to have
   different moral outcomes.

I think the vast majority of seemingly reopened questions are really
of this sort. E.g. the categorization of today's dead mutes.

We didn't change our belief that demands cannot be made of someone who
cannot be taught them -- even if it means a consequent loss of priviliges
(if being able to be motzi another is a privilege). The realia of the
life of a cheiresh changed.

(Over Shabbos I read
which misses this point, creating a very bloated list of cases where
R' JD Bleich, and most contemporary posqim, allow halakhah to

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is our choices...that show what we truly are,
mi...@aishdas.org        far more than our abilities.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - J. K. Rowling
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2015 07:10:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Right/Wrong

On Fri, Jun 05, 2015 at 03:16:42PM +0000, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
: There is a thought in this thread that if G-d does something, then it
: is good by definition. Yet Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai considered the
: possibility that G-d had another option which was even better than the
: option that He did choose.

Aside from Zev's point, that the machloqes is over which is pleasanter
for the person, not which is good...

I think the discussion is more what if HQBH tells us to do something,
it is good by definition, necessarily good by implication, or somehow
more distantly related to morality. (I guess someone could say halakhah
is not connected to morality, but I don't see that coming up as an
O hashkagah.)

: This sounds to me like a good argument for the view that people (or at
: least certain people, such as the Sanhedrin) CAN decide what is right
: and what is wrong.

Can determine, which is still different than the original idea on
Areivim, that consensus *defines* morality.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
mi...@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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Message: 10
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Sun, 07 Jun 2015 08:52:37 -0400
[Avodah] Torah Scholars and Torah Education for the Masses

The following is taken from Rav Schwab on Chumash, Parshas Acharei 
Mos. I have posted the entire selection at


At all times the Torah's unchanging teachings must be applied to the
ever-changing derech eretz. All of our actions, attitudes, relationships to
man and beast, and positions within nature and history are subject to the
jurisdiction and evaluation of the Torah.

What follows is that the Torah scholar should be well informed of the
"ways of the Earth." The laws of nature and the paths of history should
be known to him. He should be well aware of what happens in the
world that surrounds him, for he is constantly called upon to apply the
yardstick of halachah and the searchlight of hashkafah to the realities
that confront him.

What also follows is that the greater the wisdom of Torah, the more
crucial it is that this wisdom be conveyed to the Jewish contemporary
world. It must be transmitted in a language that our generation
understands and that will attract the searching youth, the ignorant, the
estranged and the potential ba1al teshuvah to a joyous acceptance of the
yoke of Heaven. The Torah leader must be able to dispel the doubts
of the doubter and to counter the cynicism of the agnostic. He must,
therefore, speak their language masterfully so that he can convince and
enlighten them.

There is indeed a dire need for gedolei Torah, great Torah scholars,
who devote their entire lives to the study and dissemination of Torah.
The Jewish world today needs many talmidei chachamim whose life
task is to enlighten and inspire it with the love and the fear of G-d. We
are ready to accord to those "messengers of G-d" the highest respect and
a loyal following. These are the kohanim and levi'im of today. Like the
members of the Levitic tribe of old, they are to serve all the other tribes
and teach them the living Torah.

Yet education and leadership cannot function in a vacuum. Therefore
it becomes mandatory for the present day "Tribe of Levi" to initiate and
encourage an educational system that can serve the other "eleven tribes
who comprise the vast majority of our people. It becomes mandatory
for the Torah-conscious educator not to inspire fear of the world and
hesitancy to meets its challenges, but rather, to fortify the vast majority of
our youth to meet head-on the thousand and one pitfalls of professional
and business life. Our youth must be inspired to courageously and
intelligently brave the onslaught of scientific arrogance and the sensual
poison that is masked as intellectual liberalism.

The Divine purpose for which Yisrael was created can be served in
every capacity, in every profession, in all human endeavors, as long as
they are not excluded by the halachah.

Unfortunately, I do not see many Torah scholars today who are "well 
informed of the
"ways of the Earth." The laws of nature and the paths of history should
be known to him. He should be well aware of what happens in the
world that surrounds him, for he is constantly called upon to apply the
yardstick of halachah and the searchlight of hashkafah to the realities
that confront him."

I also do not see our educational institutions serving "the other 
'eleven tribes' who comprise the vast majority of our people.


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Message: 11
From: saul newman
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2015 09:25:43 -0700
[Avodah] replacement value

secular law  [US] recognizes that one need is not liable replace a lost
 item with a new one   ie  if you lost my used IPAD  [which happened in
fact this month to us] you don't owe me the value of a new one , but rather
some pro-rated amount accounting for wear and tear.  what does bais din
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