Comments for Torah Musings Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:43:08 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Havdala With Wine During The Nine Days by Ephrayim Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:43:08 +0000 First of all, all of the references to Orach Chaim seem to be off by 100. Siman תקנא is 551.

I disagree with several of your assumptions. 1. The citations in Rema were not written by him (at least that is what the Mishna Berurah claimed in several places). 2. In medieval (western) Europe wine was not scarce. I’m not sure if the situation in Krakow 500 years ago was much different but to retroject from the the 19th or 20th century several centuries back is wrong.

Comment on Daily Reyd by joel rich Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:46:26 +0000 very interesting difference in approach between Lakewood and Ponevezh. Would be interesting to understand why.

Comment on In the Morning in the East, In the Evening in the West by Lessons from Jewish History in a Time of Crisis and Transition - Torah Musings Mon, 04 Aug 2014 01:30:38 +0000 […] the first part of this shiur, delivered in 1943 as the horrific contours of the Shoah were becoming clear, the Rav embraced the […]

Comment on Audio Roundup by joel rich Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:55:26 +0000 Please note the kaddish quote is from the kitzur shulcahn aruch, not the chayei adam.

Comment on Torah From Sinai by Yannai Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:48:32 +0000 This is an extremely important essay that I learned with my Rabbi and that really helps frame the Halachic process in a reasonable context for those of us with a rationalist/skeptic perspective.

It is a shame that the essay is written with almost too much subtlety — here are a few important implications that should be highlighted:

As stated the details of the Mitzvot preceded and were given to Moshe independently of the text of the Torah and not at all dependent on exegetical derivations. For example, the details of the laws of prohibited labour on Shabbat (a significant percentage of Shas) were given directly and not derived from the proximity between instructions to build the Mishkan and observe Shabbat.
However the ‘Oral’ Torah MiSinai was transmitted in full detail to Moshe via prophesy, it was transferred to the people mimetically and/or experientially, and again independent of the text of the Torah. Because many exegetical principles require the complete text to be effective, an exegetical approach would not have been appropriate until after 40 years even under ‘scroll by scroll’ assumptions.
What we now call the oral Torah is really composed of multiple layers – only the base of which is the mimetic core of ‘Torah MiSinai’. The many layers of Torah SheBaal Peh which include exegetical derivations to deal with new situations, rabbinic fences and such, are part of Torah SheBaal Peh, but not Torah MiSinai.

Comment on Daily Reyd by shaul shapira Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:37:24 +0000 Nachum-
If that’s what he’s saying, fine. (I actually pointed out in a comment that that’s essentially the causality the SR was using in his speech about the murder of the boys). What throws me off is that he’s pointing to the “sin” of disengagement: ‘a sin against Hashem, a sin against the Nation and a sin against the people who lived there.’ That sounds more like a theological cause than a security related one.

Comment on Rethinking Orthodoxy and Biblical Criticism I by Il Deuteronomio sotto una nuova luce | Sguardo a Sion Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:10:01 +0000 […] Articoli del Prof. Joshua Berman su questo tema (in inglese) […]

Comment on Daily Reyd by Nachum Lamm Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:57:53 +0000 R’ Aviner is here giving what seems to him (and me) to be a rational, practical cause. There’s nothing wrong with arguing that, say, differences between the states as to slavery caused the Civil War. Saying that God brought it on because of, say, alcohol use is something different.

Although Lincoln himself (in his Second Inaugural) said that God brought it as a punishment (on both North and South) for slavery. But people don’t talk like that anymore.

Comment on Daily Reyd by micha Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:40:41 +0000 I am convinced that the reason why the mashiach hasn’t yet come is because when we look to identify what sin is causing the delay, each of us point to someone else’s misdeed.

(Self referential irony noted, but the truth is, I do it too!)

Comment on Daily Reyd by shaul shapira Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:13:16 +0000 “▪ R Aviner: Shu”t Operation Protective Edge #2″

“Q: What sin caused the war of Operation Protective Edge?

A: You don’t know?! It was on account of the horrible sin of destroying Gush Katif, a sin against Hashem, a sin against the Nation and a sin against the people who lived there – and all because of false dreams of peace. After all, when we lived there, there were no missiles or tunnels. We lived in peace and contentment in Gush Katif.”

This seems to contradict an earlier Shu”T (link was posted here)

“In the wake of our tremendous pain over the murder of the three innocent teens, a desire has arisen within the Nation to understand why this has happened. The Admor of Satmar, who dwells in the Exile, claims that it is a punishment for the teens learning in the “Settlements” and blames the parents for sending them to learn there.

We fear that assigning such blame may violate the prohibition of “Ona’at Devarim” (distressing others). As the Gemara in Baba Metzia (58b) says, one may not speak to one who is suffering affliction or illness, or whose children have died, the way Iyov’s friends spoke to him: “Surely your fear was your foolishness, your hope and the sincerity of your ways” (Iyov 4:6). And we can add that the Rishonim on this Gemara write that the problem is not only causing distress to another person but also arrogance in thinking that we can know the ways of Hashem.

This recalls the reciprocal placing of blame that occurred following the horrors of the Holocaust: Some said that it happened on account of Zionism, others said it was because there was not Zionism. Still others blamed it on the Enlightenment. Each group’s explanation came from its own biased outlook, with no regard for the idea: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways” (Yeshayahu 55:8).”