Sunday 31 October 2010
«Still, I have not elevated liberalism to the status of religion. I do not blindly follow the liberal agenda and my convictions take a backseat to my commitment to the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of U.S. Jews, who have substituted liberalism for Judaism and whose actions are often governed by misguided priorities. In lieu of traditional Jewish belief or value systems, many American Jews have adopted what is essentially a theology of universalism and tikkun olam, or social justice. In doing so, much of American Jewry has essentially become de-Judaicized.»
See the entire article at
I'm just now covering R A Chill's work on Commandments
As a big fan of the Sefer HaHinuch, I'm enjoying this other work as a review of "taamei mitzvot". I find his pithy style quite fascinating and I like the range of commentators.
P. 18 para 1
«Most Authorities explain this prohibition as deriving from the fact that on Passover, the Festival of Freedom, the Jew becomes a king, and Royalty is expected to show decent table manners and to refrain from such primitive eating practices as breaking the bones of an animal and sucking out the marrow."
There are several ways to take this. Full disclosure: I'm privately debating the Torah Parameters of "Refinement" with a Chaveir...
Here is a proposed "Mussar Based" explanation:
"The Torah is teaching/preaching good manners. In General, the Torah, and the Mitzvot are a vehicle for refinement."
Here is a contrary explanation.
"The Torah is stating that ROYALTY has manners, implying that others do not. Such Refinement is limited to the cases of -
• "Royalty" or "Y'chidim" the year 'round
• To All but ONLY on a very limited set of occasions - as in one feast a year!
Thus, perhaps this generalizing from this Mitzvah comes from one's pre-conceived paradigms.
Saturday 30 October 2010
It is imperative for each of us, little by little, to "let go" of the hurt.
Yet Forgiving may not mean forgetting ...
Certainly, the hurt and evil may be remembered. Sometimes, it must never be forgotten. Thus, it even may be taught to others, as we recount every Yom Kippur what the Romans did to our rabbinic martyrs, and as a new generation builds a Holocaust Museum to teach what happened in the 1940s. We may hold the memory, refuse to forget,
When will justice come for the Justice? by Rabbi Dov Fischer
Friday 29 October 2010
A colleague permitted me to quote this:
Professor Gerald Schroeder is a shomer Torah who is a physicist. ... [And] He [uses] the meforshim and scientists, including the Ramban and Einstein, to help explain relativity and how not only is there no conflict between Torah and Science, but how they must work in harmony, since they both have the same author.
I explained that the way I say it is that:
"true Torah and true science cannot conflict"
My Colleague added:
Schroeder also said that:
«If one thinks they found a conflict between Torah and science it's either because they don't understand what the Torah is saying or they don't understand the science.»
Thursday 28 October 2010
- Yeshivat Chofetz Chaim is likely to follow Mishnah Brurah
- Chabad has SA Harav plus other texts, including Siddur Harav
- Some Iraqi communities have adopted Ben Ish Chai
- R Ovadyah Yosef [ROY] pushes the Shulchan Aruch
- The Yeshivah World and the YU world should set up its own set of preferences
- Make the Tur and Beth Yosef primary, and supplement it with Darchei Moshe, SA, and Rema
- Then use Aruch Hashulchan as the Batrai, supplemented as needed by Kaf HaHayyim and/or Mishnah Brurah
- I would also skip the primary nos'ei keilim and opt for the Ba'er Hetev and supplement with Shaarei T'shuva and Pitchei T'shuvah to round this out.
- For more modern questions, a Bar Ilan Search of Shu"t would be helpful
Our mourning, shiva, and consolation rituals work quite well in the usual circumstances of death.
However, several friends have expressed deep disappointment that Jewish Ritual does not accommodate these exceptional tragic circumstances.
Can we fill this gap? Must we let these families in pain "slip through the cracks"? Or can we do something to ameliorate their pain?
Wednesday 27 October 2010
The Rema SEEMS to be disputing the mechabeir here
- Taz SQ 17
- Shach 28
- GRA 33
- Sefer Hasheetot
This avoids the questions of Taz SQ 17 and GRA 33
Changing the. Rema's v'yeish Om'rim [VYO]
D'yeish Om'rim [DYO]
Rabbi Michael J. Broyde and Rabbi Shlomo Brody
While halacha certainly recognizes the role of sexuality in shaping one's identity and human experience, it definitively limits sexual activity to marriage and encourages such activity within marriage. The Jewish tradition counsels self-sacrifice and restraint to an extent that our secular society deems unreasonable or untenable, even more so on sexual matters. In this context, the threats to the Orthodox way of life are much greater due to the culture of rampant heterosexual promiscuity than to homosexuality.
Tuesday 26 October 2010
Monday 25 October 2010
What the Political Correct World wants is to deprive Israel of the chance to be just like every other nation.
I actually take a kind of "perverse" solace in knowing that the enemies of Israel are so evil. I would be ashamed if Israel's foes had decency on their side. B"H that's no problem, because Israel's enemies have Satan on their side - which makes me even more proud to be a Jew.
Here are some of my favourites...
- A life here in Olam Hazzeh, another life in Olam Habba
- A life as a wife, a life as a mother
- A life as a public figure, a life as a private figure - I.e. both mother and wife
- Similar to #1 a Life as a real alive human being, and a postmortem life as a Matriarch and icon A legacy for the ages
Saturday 23 October 2010
The reaction was swift but mostly inappropriate. The appropriate action would be to PRIVATELY remonstrate and give hochachah FIRST - before going to the WEB or the PRESS. Without seeking out the allegedly offending individual FIRST, public denunciations are IMHO strictly verboten..
Of course if following private Hochachah, the offender says "af al pi chen" then one indeed may have license to go public...
Furthermore, on discussion lists, chat lists, the same is true.
One Adam Gadol was always kind and considerate to me and would challenge me to clarify OFFLINE prior to getting into any debate. Often he had discovered a typo - such as a missing "NOT" - or an ambiguity and he allowed me to clean up my own mess and to save face. I cannot see how we can we permit less.
Furthermore, when a member of a group does or says something - Denouncing that group as a whole may be odious. EG We now see all Muslims under attack for the acts of Islamo-fascists. And I find entire subsets of Jews being broad-brushed for the acts of a few
• The Rubashkin case does not mean every Hareidi or every Lubavitcher has the same issues.
•. The Baruch Lanner case does not prove that the OU or that NCSY is pervaded by perverts! Broad-brushing is IMHO odious bigotry
Finally schadenfreude - it's simply repugnant. Taking joy in the downfall of others - even the NY Yankees - is anti-Torah values. The ONLY mishnah that says nothing other than a passuq is the Mishnah in Avos quoting Mishlei "binfol oyivcha al tismach.."
Friday 22 October 2010
In this recent Jewish Tribune article, I develop this idea. See, further,
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Thursday 21 October 2010
Actually the converse is the case, but due to Tiqqun Soferim it got switched around. But, this was not literally done by some "editor" who changed the text. EG see Iqqar siftei Hachamim 1. [Any such idea of an editorial change could be deemed a perfect mis-understanding]
IIRC R Dr. MS Feldblum explained that tiqqun sof'rim is an idiomatic expression simply meaning "euphemism". This is only a slightly different than the Iqqar Sifte Hachamim and the sentiment is similar. It's not an editorial change TO the text; rather a LINGUISTIC change to say one thing but meaning another.
Wednesday 20 October 2010
To the Editor:
I believe that Rabbi Boteach, in his article, in Houses of Worship, October 15, has done a disservice to your readership in his portrayal of Orthodox Judaism's position on homosexuality. Contrary to his presentation, the
significance and importance that Jewish thought assigns to any individual commandment is not coloured by this distinction between 'moral laws' and 'ritual laws'. Homosexual behaviour is, simply, a weighty prohibition.
To further clarify the Orthodox position, even though our faith directs us to be sensitive and empathetic to all individuals, including those struggling with this issue, our moral stand regarding this behaviour should not be perceived as waning, nor should it be allowed to weaken. We cannot twist the Torah in favor of a predetermined
result and still remain faithful to our traditional teachings.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Our "Torah in the News" section is generated by Google and is offered as a service to our readers. We have no say about the entries.
At the present time, it has been brought to our attention that there is an article being presented that, we expect, our readership would find offensive. Please do not associate this article with Nishma. We still do believe that the benefits of offering this section outweigh the occasional time that such an article is found on it.
Rabbi Wolpoe: "what does Rava mean when he states in Yevamos 20a
«V'chol she'eino m'kayyeim divrei hachamim, kadosh Hu d'lo mikrei, rasha nami lo mikrei»"
«Anyone that does not fulfill the words of the Sages is neither termed Holy Nor Evil»]
Meaning so long as one disobeys the Rabbis he's still OK, but he is simply not Holy
But when one DOES obey the rabbis one would be holy."
As per this read, obeying the Rabbis is optional.
I protested that this cannot be what Rava means, because Abbayei said something similar and Rava is obviously disputing him
He then said to me - Rava is Abbayei's teacher. I found this really difficult because Rava was Abbayei's bar plugta and NOT his teacher.
Plus the conclusion of Rava's statement «ela amar Rava kadeish atzmecha b'mutar lach». [Rather Sanctify yourself with what is PERMITTED]
Implies that the previous statement was rhetorical, and that Rava said it to mean the Very Opposite of this Liberal Rabbi Mattir's read.
Why was this Rabbi Mattir opposed to reading Rava's previous statement as a rhetorical question? I was puzzled because the Talmud is replete with similar questions.
Apparently he never - or hardly ever - read the Talmud as using rhetorical questions as a debating device.
Strange indeed! Who would have thought the Talmud was devoid of rhetorical questions?
And who would read Rava here otherwise?
Tuesday 19 October 2010
«Mark, Your friend was just under a lot of stress and likely "misplaces things" typical of someone with ADD/ADHD. When objects like wallets re-emerge from what I call "small object purgatory" (despite looking in that place before, sometimes compulsively looking again & again in that same place) as in your friend's experience, it is likely stress and his subconscious intervening so he literally can't see/find it. He had a subconscious hidden agenda for not seeing it, such as not wanting to spend the money, etc. This used to happen to me when I really did not want to date someone anymore, I'd misplace my wallet or my car keys just before going out, then they would appear right where I "knew" I'd left them. Your friend may have hit the nail on the head about it falling off the chair. »
Does this explain
"Vayiphtach Elokim et eineha, vateira b'eir mayyim"
That the well was always there
That Avraham KNEW that the well was there
That the well was always there and the miracle was noticing it
And that Hagar's vision had been clouded by "depression" until it was lifted by Elokim [via prayer?]
And this appearance of the well was the "miracle" of simply seeing what was there already?
Monday 18 October 2010
The Bet Yosef [YD 1:1] says "Lo ra'inu eino raya". IOW, that absent a specific probition, that none ought be inferred
Yet WADR to R Yosef Karo, certain positions used to be so SELF-UNDERSTOOD, they were in the "ein tzarich lomar" cateogry, and needed no declaration, until that need arose later on.
And so we have arrived at that day when such a declaration IS needed.
Sunday 17 October 2010
«What I wrote in the first printing that Mundlock is permitted to keep, and my brother investigated that it is actually Hameitz Gamur»
Here we see that despite putting a p'saq in print, nevertheless the Hayyei Adam exerted no ego in order to preserve or defend his original contention
Aderabbah, once a thorough investigation proved opposite of his original hypothesis he
•. Withdrew his original p'saq
•. Related to us how he had come to change his mind
Yishar Kochecha Hayyei Adam for being so forthright
Saturday 16 October 2010
Here is a really simple p'shat from a literary point of view.
The text states that Yonah ran away from Hashem. Every Jewish child knows this is impossible, so a navi would CERTAINLY know that one may not flee the Divinity!
Yet flee - Yonah did. And so what did he REALLY flee? He fled his Divine assignment, his destiny, his mission. He didn't flee G-d, rather he fled G-d's WORD.
What was the immediate result of Yonah's flight? The sea turned stormy and Yonah had to be cast aside
Rabbotai, we have Divine Missions and Assignments in life. When we flee them, our life turns stormy.
If we feel turmoil, it's likely that there is a mission we are avoiding.
For example, if we were meant to be a rabbi and we get into business, we will experience agitation.
The Yishuv hada'at will follow our surrender to what Hashem has mapped out for us
Sometimes the difficulty lies in identifying what that mission is.
Yes, we have free choice. And so we CAN run away. But we do so at our own peril.
And this is the lesson of Yonah to me
Friday 15 October 2010
As an example of this concern, I invite you to read the following by a Muslim.
By extension, when I hear Islam being perceived as monolithic, I become concerned about how Judaism is also seen by many in the outside world as monolithic and how I am, incorrectly, coloured by a statement of another Jew who does not share my religious beliefs but is perceived to be by this monolithic perception. At the same time, though, we cannot weaken our efforts to challenge that which needs to be challenged. Recognizing distinctions amongst Muslims cannot lessen our need to defend ourselves against the intrusion of those who have a belief within the spectrum of Islam that is indeed a concern for us.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Thursday 14 October 2010
And FWIW She was born on General Eisenhower's 20th birthday...
I cannot hope to encapsulate a 90+ year life in a Blog Post or two
I will just remind readers that my Mother's Prime Passion was Jewish Education, and that her favourite baby was the Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford.
My Mom was no zealot for frumkeit. Her views on Observance were somewhat moderate to liberal.
On the other hand, she advocated that EVERY Jewish child have a Day School eduction regardless of the religious philosophy of the parents. Any Parent who deprived their child of a solid Day School background was de facto forcing that child towards assimilation. There was NO free choice between a Torah life-style vs. A secular life-style without a solid Jewish background
She didn't condemn people for not being frum enough, but she had low-tolerance for ignorance of Judaism,.
She really didn't follow any particular shul rabbi. The drumbeat she marched to was beaten by Torah uMesorah
And her icons were:
• R Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz
• Dr. "Joe" Kamenetsky
• Rabbi Charles Batt
Few realize that Hartford hosted one of the very first Jewish Day Schools in North America [outside NYC] when founded in 1939 - even BEFORE Torah uMesorah
My Mom was NOT one of its founders nor on the very ground floor. Rather several years afterwards, she was inspired. And recruited by the various "pioneers" who went collecting to keep the nascent Yeshiva of Hartford going.
Mom - I owe my Torah education to you - Thank you!
For Example see SA YD 69 and in particular the N'qudot Hakkesef "maaseh ba l'yadeinu"
Here the Shach dismisses the rule "s'feiq d'rabban l'kulah" He knows it does not apply because "all the posqim require" something in addition, in this case "mei'siach lefi tumo" or "yotseit v'nichnas" - the latter a function of mirtat.
Why do Posqim require this additional evidence or Mirtat required? Why doesn't the s'feiq d'rabbanan suffice? - Because as the Shach here points out
«Vkchol heicha d'itchazeik issur lo amrinan "s'feiq d'rabban l'qula"» and as he elabourates further in YD 110:63.
In my experience, many rabbinical students and new rabbis are prone to repeat the broad rule and to ignore the second rule. Which is perhaps the reason for studying issur v'heter in depth, in order not to come up with over-simplistic Halachah based upon superficiality.
Wednesday 13 October 2010
«We are at war. We are at war with an enemy as savage, as voracious, as heartless as the Nazis but one wouldn't know it from our behavior. During WWII we didn't refer to storm troopers as freedom fighters. We didn't call the Gestapo, militants. We didn't see the attacks on our Merchant Marine as acts by rogue sailors. We did not justify the Nazis rise to power as our fault. We did not grovel before the Nazis, thumping our hearts and confessing to abusing and mistreating and humiliating the German people. We did not apologize for Dresden, nor for The Battle of the Bulge, nor for El Alamein, nor for D-Day.
Evil – ultimate, irreconcilable, evil threatened us and Roosevelt and Churchill had moral clarity
Can they build? Certainly. May they build? Certainly. But should they build at that site? No — but that decision must come from them, not from us. Sensitivity, compassion cannot be measured in feet or yards or in blocks.
Believe it or not, I am a dues-paying, card carrying member of the ACLU, yet from start to finish, I find this sorry episode disturbing to say the least.»
For the entire article see
Sermon by Rabbi Shalom J. Lewis of Atlanta Speaks to Truth | Now Public News Coverage
The Daf for Shabbat B'reisheet [see Schottenstein edition fn 15]
Wine [treaded] by feet is not considered a libation
There are two essential approaches here
Any Libation made by means of Feet instead of Hands is NEVER constituted as a Libation - provided a generalization and a broad implementation of this rule - because feet are unworthy of making a libation.
A Strict or limited application would be applied to treading because The Talmud here is discussing feet in the context of the treading process. In that strict case it is not subject to libation. However, outside treading, feet indeed ARE capable of "libating" wine.
Tuesday 12 October 2010
To me, the greatest indication of the greatness of HaKodesh Baruch Hu is in the very accomplishments of human beings such as this -- for He created this being who could do this.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Rambam and Rashi object and state that a minhag may NOT trigger a brachah
Tosafot is predicated on YT sheini which is replete with all the brachot of YT
Rashi and Rambam are predicated upon the Talmud saying no brachah on Aravot which is a minhag N'viim.
Arguments for Tosafot
1. Maybe the restriction is Davqa Minhag N'viim and Strict Construction on that point might allow for brachot on OTHER kinds of Minhaggim
2. Hallel on Rosh Hodesh is like YT Sheini in that these Minhaggim are mei'ein existing halachah, unlike Aravot. Therefore Rashi-Rambam are being too strict, maybe certain minhaggim could have a brachah due to their nature mirroring Halachah.
Monday 11 October 2010
Translation - Hyman Goldin
«When a Child sees his father transgress a Divine Law, he must not say to him: "You have violated a command of the Torah"»
Comment - such direct confrontation is deemed disrespectful and humiliating!
«But he should rather put it in the form of Question: "Father is it not written in the Torah thus and thus?"
Thus we see that Talmudic Judaism views rhetorical questions as a respectful and desirable alternative to direct confrontation!
«As though asking for information and NOT admonishing him; so that the father may correct himself without being put to shame»
We see that Talmudic Judaism views rhetorical questions as respectful
and an indirect way to remind someone of something they may indeed already know
This is NOT a power play nor a ploy. It is Talmudic parlance for offering deference
However, SOME Assimilated and Americanized Jews have lost their way and think rhetorical questions are somehow intrinsically mean or devious!
Have we lost our way?
Aren't rhetorical questions THE halachically mandated format for respectfully reminding people of what they might know and should know?
How can it be otherwise?
1 Avraham "corrects" Hashem - Haf tispeh?
Hashofet call ho'oretz lo yaaseh mishpat?
Is this NOT a rhetorical question?
Does anyone construe Avraham as acting with Hutzpah here C"V?
Aderabbah. When addressing a superior, Torah and Hazal mandate rhetorical questions - whodathunk otherwise?
2. And how about Moshe Rabbeinu in Ki Tissa after the sin 32:11,12
Two "Lamah's" in a row
Are these not rhetorical in nature?
Sunday 10 October 2010
«Uvmaariv, keivan she'ein habrachah shlifnei sh'moneh esrai m'sayemet b'go'al Yisroel, Muttar l'hafsik...»
Maybe this explains how Baruch Hashem L'olam, Kaddish, and v'shamru etc. are not a hefseiq and are even attributed sometimes to "g'ullah arichta"
Michdi let's see
We have established "hashkiveinu" as "g'ulah arichta"
Now the KSA is seeming to say
"Once we break the Go'al Yisroel <=> Amidah connection, therefore other tefillot may be legitimately added on, even though they are not literally g'ulah arichta. Just that g'ulah arichta has created a heter that may be further exploited - albeit on a limited basis
• Baruch Hashem
are not literally g'ulah arichta, rather they just are not hefseiq BECAUSE of g'ullah arichta.
Saturday 9 October 2010
In this regard, I draw your attention to the following article at
which raises, for me, this very issue. The author of this article focuses on the American legal side of the issue which obviously, on a most practical level, has to be dealt with. The underlying question which the author does allude to yet does not really focus upon is the centralizaion/decentralization issue in Halacha and, more significantly, the very definition of Orthodoxy.
There can be no doubt that when the national Young Israel charter was first drawn up, one of the conerns of the founders of this entity must have been how to ensure that the organization indeed does remain Orthodox. At issue must have also been the very definition of Orthodoxy. The early Conservative movement in the US for example did not declare themselves as founding a new "religion" but saw themselves as simply extending the rule of Halacha as they saw it. In this regard, to be honest, it is most difficult to really define the line that separates. The greater question in this regard is, thus, not whether you disagree with someone or not but how you draw the line to determine when someone with whom you disagree is still within the pale and when this person is not. The simple way of drawing this line is often simply in action -- and so the safe way of ensuring some national standard is by critieria of action. The question, as such, cannot be simply whether the local rabbis who permitted a woman becoming president did so based on halachic standards but how these halachic standards themselves are to be measured. That ultimately is a much more difficult issue. The issue is not longer the practice but the very nature of the process of the psak.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Friday 8 October 2010
1. The more "magicallly" inclined will read this that Hashem Created the Rainbow to signify the Covenant. That this was a brand new Creature...
2. The more "rationally" minded will posit that rainbows long pre-existed Noah. Only Now, Hashem was investing that Rainbow with new meaning, new significance by means of the covenant.
As per Hashqafah #2 we create Holy artifacts by sanctifying them. EG a mundane piece of Gold is endowed with holiness WHEN dedicated to the Sanctuary or the like
Thus, the role of humankind is not only to "complete" the existing creation, but to endow the mundane with sanctity
Thursday 7 October 2010
Infusing Our Schools With Ahavat Yisrael By Guest Contributor, Rabbi Shmuel Jablon
If in the "ideal" world we would all learn to love all humanity
Then in the Real World Ahavat Yisrael is a necessary first step
Shalom al Yisrael
N.J. paper rues hasty apology on gay announcement | JTA - Jewish & Israel News
Wednesday 6 October 2010
Rashi quotes R. Yitzhak as offering "hachodesh hazzeh" as THE alternative to B'reisheet for beginning the Torah...
Q: What's peculiar to Parshat Hachodesh - or Why should the Torah begin there?
A: There are several approaches, EG this was the first Mitzvah given to all Israel
Along those lines, I see the main significance is that this begins the Mechilta, and thus the earliest strand of Torah sheb'al Peh [TSBP] begins with this passuq. Hence it would be natural to start Torah shebichtav [Miqra] at that same point.
«I see a love of Torah but a basic lack of ahavas Yisrael.»
I am not sure if this comment truly applies to Rabbi Tendler but this comment all too sadly does apply to many Jews and rabbis in all "denominations". This idea, though, still perhaps needs to be further examined.
I know this colleague follows the Carlebach tradition of Ahavat Yisroel. Similarly, there are parallel approaches such as
• Rav AI Kook's approach
• That of many Chabad Houses who embrace Jews just as they are
• The Writings of Rav Zelig Pliskin
To name a few
Former President Clinton voiced the following approach
We need to honor our unique communities, and yet, still overcome our differences by honoring our common humanity
We need to honor our own community's unique approaches to Torah, and yet we still need to overcome our differences by honoring our Common Jewish Heritage.
A constraint, though, can still be voiced. The call of Elu v'Elu is often made in support of this perspective, ultimately applied to defend pluralism within the Jewish community. Elu v'Elu, however, was meant to express the attitude that existed between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai and that should exist between variant views within parameters of Halacha. It was not and is not meant to apply to every disagreement found within the Jewish world. Nevertheless, in our relations with our fellow Jews, even if our dispute is outside the parameters of Elu v'Elu, there is still a call for ahavat Yisrael for we still are part of the one Jewish nation. However we approach divergent viewpoints, we must relate to a fellow Jew as exactly that -- a fellow Jew.
(with input from RBH)
Tuesday 5 October 2010
and is worth reading for many reasons.
You get glimpses into the world of the Lower East Side in the early part of the 20th century, Rav Moshe and the workings of the Jewish world amongst many other insights. But what hits me most about the interview is the directness and honesty of Rabbi Tendler. He seems to speak without an agenda; he is not trying to sell Orthodoxy as is so often the case whenever we hear of anyone talking about the Orthodox world. He is simply calling it as he sees it -- still with a clear voice advocating for Halacha over, what he terms, "frumkeit". The strange thing is that while I do not read in his words an attempt to 'sell' over simply speaking the truth, his presentation of the truth is perhaps the most powerful selling point of Orthodoxy in any event. He simply presents the serene grandeur of Halacha.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Monday 4 October 2010
«The rest of Klal Yisrael considers it a "potsh in panim" if it rains the first night of Sukkos -- a sign that Hashem seems to have rejected our efforts at fulfilling the mitzva of Sukkah. We wait even until midnight to see if the rain will stop so that we can sit in the sukka and make the bracha»
Actually the Mishnah in Sukkah does indeed state this, but IMHO this may be misperceived...
This IS true imho in Eretz Yisroel - Tamid einei Hashem Elokecha bah [Eiqev 11:12] and the Mishnah was composed of course in EY!
This is not true - or at least not necessarily true and seems hubris to say so - in the Golah based upon the small percentage of Jews and the varying climactic conditions
Ergo the potsh in panim to me would be
Applicable in EY
Not applicable and probably an unnecessary guilt trip in the Golah [unless it's a desert or the like such as Bavel]
One of the things that most bothers me is when a person cannot see that Torah Judaism is not taking sides on a specific issue but, rather, is articulating its own unique position. It is precisely because of this reason that many individuals mistook the message in the recent Statement regarding homosexuality signed by numerous rabbis including myself. See, for example, this editorial.
The author of this article maintained that the rabbis who signed this Statement were being influenced by modern mores and not Torah values. One could only say this if one believed that the issue is black and white -- as defined by our society -- and our allegiance to Torah simply informs us of what side to choose. Therein lies this individual's mistake. In that context, indeed Torah must be seen as siding with all the anti-homosexual forces in our society. The fact is that the Torah, in its own unique way, is actually articulating a third position -- separating the act from the individual who may perform the act. We are to have one attitude to the action -- clearly one of strong prohibition -- but quite another towards the individual. To that person, we are indeed to show caring, powerful caring. Where do we learn this from? The gemara informs us that, due to the mitzvah of v'ahavta l'rei'acha kamoch, we are to determine the kindest and least painful form of execution for a transgressor, even in the case of skila, stoning, the harshest form of execution. The act is one thing -- and that we must see as deserving a harsh punishment. The individual, though, we still must relate to as an individual -- thus bara lo mita yaffa, still treat him with caring and kindness.
Perhaps I really can only speak for myself as one who signed the Statement (but I am sure that I speak for many others that also signed) but my motivation was clearly from Torah -- and this, in fact, may be best shown by how much misunderstanding there has been over the statement. In reality, it actually is a statement with which either side in the world of the black-and-white definition of this issue should find difficulty. No wonder so many people had to define it a certain way, within their parameters, and thus miss the point even though the words were clear. It was a unique Torah document because it indeed came at its essence from the world of Torah.
Rabbi Ben Hecht
Sunday 3 October 2010
Identifying Illustrations of Taarovet In The Mishnah
That is to be able to obtain a basic level of Rabbinic Literacy in the Topic of Taaruvot by means of Mishnayot that are on topic
And so while I'm traversing Sha"s Mishnah I'm looking to locate and to identify those Mishnayot pertaining to the subject of Taarovet as defined primarily in Tur-SA Yoreh Deia'ah 98-111 and Mishneh Torah Maachalot Assurot 15-17
D'mai 7:7, 7:8
last 2 Mishnayot
Virtually entire subject.
Please feel free to contribute your own findings