Avodah Mailing List

Volume 36: Number 134

Tue, 11 Dec 2018

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 12:31:07 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Bereishit

On Mon, Dec 03, 2018 at 09:36:04PM -0500, Zvi Lampel wrote:
:> Ramban is not talking about everything. He is talking about the
:> : miracle of Hashem making Nature respond to human behavior (whereas
:> : otherwise he has the world follow the path of nature established at
:> : Creation). He does not mention whether Hashem does this directly or
:> : uses intermediaries.

:> RMB:
: Except that he calls it a neis....

: So does Rambam. I already cited my sources. They both call sechar
: v-onesh through manipulating but not undoing minhago shel olom, a neis
: nistar....

Different "it". The Ramban calls everything a neis. The fact that that
doesn't imply what you would think if you only looked at those 2
comments doesn't change the fact that to the Ramban, teva is a neis.


The Rambam acknowledges sekhar va'onesh via neis nistar, for those
who earn such HP. (Hashgachah = both sekhar va'onesh.) And yet normal
teva is the action of the Seikhel haPo'al, a metaphysical automaton
"preprogrammed" by the Borei.

The Ramban holds that all of teva is neis nistar, whether it's hashgachah
(leshitaso: hashgachah = sekhar), onesh, or minhago shel olam.

Again, but in significantly different words: To the Rambam, teva follows
minhago shel olam because the Seikha haPo'al has a single mission and
lack bechirah. According to the Ramban, teva is a word that means the
subset of Divine Action that follows minhago shel olam rather than
being selected by HP.

I believe you agree that rishonim understand the Rambam's position on
teva and the Seikhal haPo'al the way I explained it. I am not clear how
you can insist they got it wrong.

:  ZL: I'll repeat myself. The subject of his clause,
: >  all our things and everything that happens to us
: is solely in reference to the events that affect human beings: the
: manipulated blissful or non-blissful weather, the successful or
: non-successful responses of nature to our behavior. Not the day-to-day
: behaviors of flora and fauna. I.e, specifically all OUR matters, and
: everything that happens TO US. THEY are not left to a unmanipulated minhago
: shel olom.

Right, but that's not HP. According to both Rambam and the Ramban, not
everything that happens to every person is HP. And yet they are all neis.

You are also incorrectly deducing from the Rambam's talking about that
whih happens to us that he means to exclude things that don't impact human
life, such as the growth of a tree in the middle of the Amazon where it
possibly effects no one. However, he is saying the Torah is founded on
knowing how to view what happens to me personally. Not abstract knowledge
about how the world works. That tree in the Amazon isn't on topic.

: ZL: So does Rambam. I already cited my sources. They both call sechar
: v-onesh through manipulating but not undoing minhago shel olom, a neis
: nistar. Rambam calls it the greatest neis nistar of all. So RambaN calling
: it a neis does not indicate he held it was any more or less ''directly''
: from Hashem than RambaM did.

Even before we get to our point, not really.

According to the Rambam, sekhar is a neis nistar. Onesh is almost always
abandonment to teva. (Similarly, to the Rambam on Cheileq, gehenom is
kareis is a lack of olam haba, and not suffering in olam haba.)

Suffering as onesh is usually just what happens to a human being trying to
fight what we would call today the law of increasing entropy. (It's easier
to break things than make them.) On rare occasions, there is a Makas
Bekhoros, but those are nissim geluyim.

After all, leshitas haRambam, sin causes a lack of knowledge of the Borei,
and thus a disconnection from Him, and thus a lack of hashpa'ah. HP
itself is causal, leshitaso. Just as nevu'ah is causal, and it take a
neis for Hashem to hide information from a navi who has enough yedi'ah
to be connected up to be able to "look" for it.

So, they disagree about whether onesh is HP / neis, even before we get
started with our dispute. (Something also mentioned in the shiur from
Gush I pointed you to.)

:> It can't both be Divine Intervention
:> AND left to metaphysical mechanics.

: Again repeating myself, both Rambam and Ramban say that at creation, Hashem
: created the mechanics of minhago shel olom, but in the realm of sechar
: v-onesh He intervenes to manipulate it, producing a neis nistar. In
: contrast to neis niglah,  it is metaphysical mechanics that divine
: intervention manipulates but does not undo.

And to repeat myself, you're nmistaken. The Rambam has a delegate Hashem
gave nature to, and when there is a break from minhago shel olam, Hashem
(via mal'akhim, beings higher than the Seikhel haPoal) is intervening.
The Ramban does not have such a delegate. When there is a break from
minhago shel olam, it's because someone earned Hashem making another kind
of decision; another priority rose to the top in (kevayakhol) how He
Chooses what to Do.

Your reasserting otherwise still doesn't explain why you feel the
Abarbanel and Narbonni got him wrong about this idea that a separate
seikhel was created to do teva, that just runs minhago shel olam.

And in fact, further down you stop denying this and instead argue from
the Ramban in Devarim that the Ramban also has such sikhliim. I am not
clear where exactly you stand.

: The source I presented to show that Ramban too holds that outside the realm
: of reward and punishment the world runs as a machine: Ramban says that each
: ''veyhei chein'' in maaaseh breishis means Hashem established the minhago
: shel olom/teva of  the phenomenon described.

Runs like a machine, ie following a minhag. Whereas the Rambam gives it
an actual metaphysical machine.

: To introduce a new source, in his commentary on Devarim 18:9-12, discussing
: astrology, Ramban says that from the creation oft he world, Hashem created
: the spheres that cause minhago shel olom, and the angels that control the
: spheres.

You are literally quoting a Ramban that says that even though there
are kokhavim, mazalos, mal'akhim and sarim which has a nefesh, one
cannot worship them or use astrology to tell the future (kesoa'avos
hagoyim haheim) because they're only responding to His Will. A navi,
who is looking at His Will, can know the future.

: ''When the Creator created everything out of nothing, He made the Elyonim
: controllers of the tachtonim below them...He vested in the stars and
: constellations power over the earth and all that is upon it...And over the
: stars and constellations he placed angels and minsters, as their life-force
: .''

Manhig = controller?

: And Ramban, in the above-reference commentary on Devarim 18:9-12 uses that
: very expression in describing the machine that Hashem made run on its own
: through the control of the angels over the spheres.

Not on its own.

A lichtikn un freilechn Chanukah!

Micha Berger             Problems are not stop signs,
mi...@aishdas.org        they are guidelines.
http://www.aishdas.org           - Robert H. Schuller
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Zvi Lampel
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 07:19:47 -0500
[Avodah] Science and Torah - two new links

> Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2018 13:19:13 -0500
> From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
> Einstein and G-d:

> ...Looks like his real position was closer to Spinoza's

He said so explicitly

''I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of
the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings
of mankind... ''

New Times, April 25, 1929, in answer to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein

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Message: 3
From: Ari Meir Brodsky
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 18:24:16 +0200
[Avodah] Tonight (Tuesday evening) begin Prayer for Rain

Dear Friends,

It's that time of year again, when I know many of you are expecting my
annual friendly reminder....

Jews outside of Israel should include the request for rain in daily
prayers, beginning with Maariv tonight (Tuesday evening), December 4, 2018,
corresponding to the evening of 27 Kislev, 5779, the third night of
Chanukka.  The phrase *??? ?? ???? ?????* "Veten tal umatar livracha" -
"Give us dew and rain for a blessing" is inserted into the 9th blessing of
the weekday shemone esrei, from now until Pesach.  [Sephardim replace the
entire blessing of ????? with the alternate text beginning ??? ????? -
thanks to Prof. Lasker for the reminder.]  I encourage everyone to remind
friends and family members of this event, especially those who may not be
in shul at that time.

Diaspora Jews begin requesting rain on the 60th day of the fall season, as
approximated by Shmuel in the Talmud (Taanit 10a, Eiruvin 56a). For more
information about this calculation, follow the link below, to a fascinating
article giving a (very brief) introduction to the Jewish calendar, followed
by a discussion on why we begin praying for rain when we do:
(Thanks to Russell Levy for suggesting the article.)

In unrelated news, here's what keeps me busy:

Wishing everyone a happy Chanukka,
-Ari Meir Brodsky

Ari M. Brodsky
Post-doctoral Fellow
Department of Mathematics
Ariel University
Ariel 4070000, ISRAEL

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Message: 4
From: David Riceman
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 14:25:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Bereishit

One clear difference between the Rambam and the Ramban is the value of
miracles as evidence; see H. Yesodei HaTorah 8:1 vs. Toras HaShem Temimah
Ed. Chavel pp. 146, 150, 152, etc.

I think the explanation is hinted at in the Ramban in Shoftim you cited. 
The Rambam holds that miracles are ad hoc, but the Ramban holds that
miracles also follow laws and those laws echo creation.

David Riceman
Sent from my iPad

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Message: 5
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 13:32:53 +0000
[Avodah] seuda shlishit

It is certainly preferable to either eat bread or stop eating before shekia
(or close to it - beyond our present scope). If you partake in a full meal
but refrain from bread for a certain reason, leniency has strong grounds.
If you are picking at food according to your mood, and even more so if you
previously fulfilled seuda shlishit, it is difficult to allow eating as
night approaches. (Me- Is this generally followed?)

Joel Rich

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Message: 6
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 22:45:10 +0000
[Avodah] Havdalah or Menorah on Motzai Shabbos Which comes

Do we first light the Menorah or make Havdalah on Motzai Shabbos - Chanuka?
Not a recent question, this situation of competing halachic principles has
been the basis of the centuries-old debate regarding which mitzvah has
priority and should therefore be performed first. In other words, on Motzai
Shabbos Chanuka this annual halachic dispute, simmering since the time of
the Rishonim, really heats up...

Please see https://goo.gl/oV2gpg

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Message: 7
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 19:21:41 +0000
[Avodah] Chanukah Party and Lighting the Menorah

Q. I will be traveling to New York from my home in New Jersey for a
Chanukah party at my parents? house and won?t be returning home until late
at night. I have the following options: I can light at home at 4:00 PM
(which is before sunset); I can appoint an agent (shliach) to light in my
house for me at the proper time; I can light at my parents? house; or I can
light upon returning home late at night when there are no longer any
passersby. What should I do?

A. The Mechaber rules that if one will not be able to light the Chanukah
candles at the prescribed time, he may light them any time after Plag
HaMincha (Shulchan Aruch OC 672:1). Plag HaMincha in the winter is
approximately an hour before sunset. However, if one must leave immediately
thereafter, it may not be advisable to leave candles unattended. The
possibility of using an agent is questionable, since Mishnah Berurah
(675:9) rules that when an agent lights for him, the person must stand next
to the agent and hear him recite the brachos; obviously, this is not
feasible in this case. The third possibility, lighting at one?s parents?
home, is not acceptable. One must light where he lives (i.e. the place
where he eats and sleeps on a regular basis). Since he does not live in his
parent?s home but is merely eating a meal there, he may not light there.
One should follow the fourth option and light upon returning home. As noted
in a previous Halacha Yomis, nowadays, the menorah is lit pr
 imarily for one?s family, and not to publicize the miracle to the public.
 Therefore, one may light even if it is late and there will be no passersby
 to see the menorah.

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2018 20:32:58 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Chanukah Party and Lighting the Menorah

> As noted in a previous Halacha Yomis, nowadays, the menorah is lit 
> primarily for one?s family, and not to publicize the miracle to the public.

What about people who live alone?  To whom are they publicising it, if 
not to the passersby?

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper


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