Forum Replies Created
There are a number of studies that have concluded that what in many chumashim is called Targum Yonasan, was not written by Yonasan ben Uziel. Rather, it is an unattributed targum written in Eretz Yisrael during the times of the mishnah and its correct name is Targum Yerushalmi. One theory of how this error occurred is that some early manuscripts referred to this Targum as T”Y, which printers erroneously took to mean Targum Yonansan. The gemara makes clear, however that Yonasan ben Uziel wrote on Nevi’im and not on chumash. Regardless of who authored it, the Targum is very authoritative, was written during the time of the mishnah, and the mystery about its name should not detract from its value.
frum, that sounds quite krum 🙂 but seriously, do you have a citation? Anyone, including a teacher unfortunately, can pull an arbitrary number out of a hat. There may well be a legitimate source for 37 sec., but I would be curious to know what it is. . .
mosheemes2: If I remember correctly,the courts do not typically apply strict scrutiny to election laws alleged to deny the right to vote. Voting is not per se a fundamental right. Rather, to the extent that a right to vote exists, it must be applied equally consistent with the 14th Amendment. That being said, I could imagine a very reasonable important (though not compelling) State interest in limiting the franchise to domiciliaries and denying non-domiciled residents the right to vote in State elections. One’s being a resident of a State indicates a far less substantial interest in the affairs of the State than one’s being domiciled in the State, and so, only those that establish domicile can vote. The constitutional problems would also be mitigated by the fact that if a nondomiciliary can’t vote in State A, he can still vote in State B, since he must be domiciled somewhere.
truth be told: I could easily reason that since it takes 3 min. (lets just use that time frame) to be over an issur yichud, I can only be over once every 3 min. If yichud begins at 12:00, at 12:03 I am over issur #1. I suppose you could say that at 12:04 I am over issur #2 (from 12:01-12:04), but that would mean I am being punished twice for the time I was miyached between 12:01-12:03. That might not be an issue, but it may. There is an extensive discussion in Makkos (sorry don’t have the exact cite offhand) related to znus – i.e., whether if one has relations with one woman who happens to cover several issurim (i.e., the woman is the perpetrator’s sister, is an eishes ish, is a niddah) he can be liable for several issurim, or is just liable for the strictest one (in this case it would depend on the resolution of the machlokes whether missah or kares is more chamur).
I’m not sure. Saying that one who has not changed his Illinois domicile is eligable to run in an Illinois election is not at all the logical equivalent of saying that in order to vote or run in an Illinois election you must be domiciled there. Residence (legally defines, perhaps, as maintaining a residential presence for the majority of the calendar year) could still suffice. I’m not sure what the problem would be if Illinois domicile would be required though . . . you mentioned a possible constitutional issue, could you elaborate?
observanteen: Could you provide a source for this. On the one hand it makes intuitive sense, but on the other hand, since there is a specific minimum time one need to be miyacheid in order to be over the issur, there is a good reason to think one is only over for each relevant time frame (3 min./5 min./7 mi./9 min., whatever opinion one adopts). Compare to the issur of achilas sheretz for example: If one grabs a handful of ants and begins to eat, he is liable for each kizayis/whole ant (depending on whether the ants are whole or crushed). If I were to eat 1.9 kizaysim, I would still only be liable once (min hatorah, at least). If I am miyached for 1.9 periods of time, then, why should I be liable for more than one issur? There are good distinctions to be made here, just wondering if you have a source.
If I can butt in: I believe that traditional notions of domicile require intent to remain as a resident; physical presence may establish domicile for purposes of personal jurisdiction, but it is sufficient rather than necessary. Every person must have one and only one domicile. Intent to remain, is usually determined by common-sense factors – where one receives mail, where one hold bank accounts, where one’s driver’s license is issued, where one is employed/goes to school, ect. One’s first domicile remains his domicile absent positive expression of intent not to remain permanently in that jurisdiction.
It seems to me that its just a simple matter of determining Emanuel’s last known domicile (obviously Illinois/Chicago) and then considering whether he manifested any positive intent NOT to remain a permanent resident of that locale. Whether he owned or rented a residence in Chicago doesn’t seem to me dispositive. If my employer sends me to India for six months to train customer service reps, I would likely end my lease and put my things in storage, but that doesn’t mean I intend to change my place of residence. Why should leaving for a year, or four years, or eight years be any different – its a set period of time that you intend to be away for for a specific purpose, but you do not intend to permanently change your residence.
DISCLAIMER: I haven’t looked at the decision at all, just talking off the top of my head.
B”H, just when the CR was becoming really tiresome, mosherose reapers! I ran through all his posts and had the biggest grin on my face the whole time.
Jewish Source: There is an online program called Pirchei Shoshanim. You can find them online; just google “Pirchei Shoshanim” or “Shulchan Aruch Project.” They have programs of organized written shiurim covering just about every part of Shulchan Aruch. The program is geared towards the smicha exams given by the Rabbanut in Israel, which are known to be some of the most difficult tests around.
A word of caution: I think that if used as a crutch or as a replacement for quality learning of the Tur, Bais Yosef, Gemaros, Rishonim, Shulchan Aruch, and nosei keilim, the program can be really problematic. Like learning Gemarah exclusively with an Artscroll, you will learn a lot of information (which is good in itself, don’t get me wrong) but will not really know how to learn the material properly on your own, or how to reason to a practical psak. I am therefore supplementing the program’s shiurim with my own extensive learning of relevant shailos and teshuvos, and by listening to a very major set of shiurim given by a huge talmid chacham on issues of halachik reasoning and how to paskin.
Stam63: I have definitely been in the stop and start crowd. I truly enjoy my learning, and if I may be a bit immodest – I am quite good at it, but with many other obligations, it is often hard to maintain a solid comitment to koveah itim. Unfortunately, my attempts to force myself to comit by engaging chavrusos failed – mostely because my chavrusa had the same problem I did.
I have found that the best solution for me is to (1) Have a substantial substantive project to work on, (2) Make sure that the time est aside for learning can be reasonably maintained as part of my schedule, and (3) Not try to overdo the time commitment so that I can comfortably say to my wife and any others that have demands of my time, “I’m sorry, but for this time of the day I just can’t do X.”
When my schedule was lighter, my project was to write a volume of essays on chumash based on the ideas of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, a project to which I committed my weekday mornings (I spent my afternoons working, and weekends were entirely for my wife). I never completed the project to my satisfaction, but the goal kept me disciplined for well over a year. More recently, I decided to get smicha in Choshen Mishpat (I am a law student, so the project has special interest to me). I found a structured program that I could work through at my own pace, found a time to do it (5:20-7:00 each morning), and made sure that the time i devoted to the project would not interfere with my other obligations to my family. I believe very strongly that being koveah itim is MY obligation; I have to make sure to learn seriously and regularly. But that obligation does not give me an excuse to disregard or neglect my many other obligations. Consequently, I am compelled to cut into my sleep and personal relaxation time in order to learn without it seriously inconveniencing others.
Popa, I don’t know that you are correct. Just as yelling at someone is not a bad middah, so too, anger per se is not a bad middah either. I very much doubt that there are any bad or good middos; just good and bad uses of normative human character traits.
You say the person who angers easily should work on becoming engry less often. But there are of course situations where it is proper to become easily impassioned and angry. In such situations, being slow to anger might be undesirable. Jealousy too is appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in others.
The bottom line: learn to act appropriately in every situation. Control your natural tendencies when proper; let them loose when appropriate; and even develop the use of ordinarily base character traits in circumstances that warrant them.
In the learning context: Understand your chavrusa’s needs and sensibilities; be aware of your own position; keep in mind the physical setting, the topic of discussion, and the point your trying to make.
Zees: THat may be R’ Miller’s view. Others have a different approach. R’ Hirsch argued that God intentionally created the world imperfect, and He want us to make it better. He created perfect conditions that we can use to make the world better, but the world is not as it should be. The Ramban in Bereishis alludes to a similar idea.
True, its not good to to be a grouch, bear a grudge, and generally be depressed at the state of the world. But that doesn’t mean we should think the owlrd is perfect; it obviously is not. Instead of talking about how bad thing are, however, we have to ACT to make them better.
Yes it does.
No I’m not. I’m an American Jew of German and Lithuanian extraction who tries to dutifully incorporate R. Hirsch’s approach to life into my own existence.
Some German jews have a minhag that both the father and mother give the children a bracha on Friday night.
torahbob: I am a sofer (not certified – I mostly write and illustrate non-STaM stuff like kesubbos, smichah certificates, parshas haketores, and other artistic work). It is of course important to learn the basic seforim, but it is equally important to find a good experienced sofer that is willing to teach you the technical points. In many ways, safrus is much like the skilled artisan trades of yesteryear – to become really proficient, you need to apprentice. Good techniques and the basic mechanics of how to do this kind of work well is passed from mouth to mouth, form teacher to student.
observanteen: self-centered much? If you can’t try to help others without hurting yourself in impermissible ways, so be it, but please don’t paint that situation as if its the way it should be. You are expected to maintain your own observance of halacha and help others improve theirs! you are not on this world to live a pleasant calm life for yourself! your here to do good for others!
ItcheSrulik: I certainly don’t. I don’t really know how much I can blame Brooklyn College – they were wrong, in my opinion, but what’s the president of a CUNY school to do when confronted by an overzealous city councilman known for being loud, abrasive, and more concerned with inventing issues to further his own political career than neutral principles.
Halevi: If his view is a valid point for debate, why not allow him to teach it so that it can be considered, debated, and perhaps rebutted with substance and research instead of 1 minute sound bites at a guest lecture?
Also, please keep in mind that he was hired to teach a graduate level class. Undergrad students should be able to think independently and evaluate and do their won research. Graduate students should certainly be expected to do as much. Really, I can think of much to be gained by having one with such views as a professor; I can think of very little that is gained by preventing students from considering his positions – ideas they would be unlikely to hear or consider otherwise. But, I suppose comfort and insulation from our own views being challenged has prevailed over intellectual debate, the entertainment of ALL views provided they are confined to academic discussions, and being pushed beyond our comfort level. Well done Mr. Hikind!
The professor has apparently been removed. Perhaps it was an ill-advised appointment in the first place, but to remove him like this is just shameful!
Agree or disagree, the pro-Palestinian position is a viable academic perspective; the conflict is to fresh and present to expect any accounts to be unbiased, and historical and political truth is usually best arrived at through vigorous – even extreme – academic debate. I would be equally chagrined had the college dismissed a pro-Israel professor at the urgings of a Palestinian politician. This does little to commend the academic credentials of Brooklyn College, and does much to degrade it as an institution of higher learning.
“speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, free debate of ideas will result in the wisest . . . policies”
– Chief Justice Vinson, Dennis v. U.S.
“If there be a time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only emergency can justify suppression.”
– Justice Brandeis, Whitney v. California
I’m wondering, OP, would you have the same concerns if R’ Meir Kahane z”l or PM Begin were teaching the same course? Are you honestly concerned with the fact that the school has appointed a biased professor, or that you disagree with the professor’s bias and would prefer your daughter not be subject to it?
Personally, the appointment doesn’t concern me at all. What concerns me is students that are not mature or intelligent enough to recognize the professor’s bias (assuming he will teach from his bias), and will therefore not do there own research to supplement any readings assigned by the teacher. Such students would concern me even if the course was being taught by a kippa sruga wearing Jew that had been recently expelled from some hiltop in the West Bank. Of course, then, I would be concerned about students named Avraham and Miriyam instead of those named Ibrahim and Maryan.
To add on to Daas Yochid’s comment:
Jewish parties can also, of course, voluntarily contract around many halachik rules (provided they do not violate the law of t’nai al ma shekasuv b’Torah, which will require precise language in the contract, as well as some substantive restrictions on what can be done), and Beis Din will then be obliged to enforce the terms of the contract.
Contracting around halacha and incorporating State or Federal law into contracts between Torah-observant Jews is not uncommon, and is entirely reasonable when the parties generally run their businesses in accordance with secular law regulations. Complying with one system of law in some dealings, and an entirely different system in other dealings is inefficient, complicated, and sometimes unworkable entirely.
As a side note, this kind of case provides a great example of what I was saying before – how issues raised in the study of secular law can inform understanding of the application of halacha. If a Beis Din is in the position of enforcing a contract incorporating , for example, New York law, how does the Bais Din proceed? Do the dayyanim research the New York case law in order to accurately reflect the current State of New York law? If so, how can they do so without significant knowledge of the secular system (obviously they can employ lawyers as experts, but that raises a host of other issues, since different practitioners of New York law are likely to have different views on any particular question)? Perhaps the dayyanim should work off the New York statutes, ignore the case law, and interpret the legislation themselves? These are all issues that are dealt with extensively in secular law, and which are, to my VERY LIMITED knowledge, are not dealt with in traditional halachik literature. If not for my study of American law, such questions would likely not even occur to me in my study of Choshen Mishpat.
Never heard of the Top 6 being used a a criteria.
Top 10: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Chicago, NYU, Berkley, Penn, Michigan, Virginia.
Top 14: Add on Duke, Northwestern, Cornell, and Georgetown.
I don’t know much about Intellectual Property law. The subject fascinates me, and intellectual property in halacha is something I have always wanted to research, but and my other legal/halachik interests pretty much occupy all my time.
I have come across some of the halachik literature you mentioned. See, e.g., Shut Zichron Yosef, Choshen Mishpat, siman 2, cited in Pischei Teshuva, Choshen Mishpat 2:4 (discussing the famous case of the Zolbach/Amsterdam Brothers edition of shas). It seems to me from the discussion there that even if there is no explicit provision for intellectual property in gemara (though I think it might be tentatively teased from other talmudic discussions related to competition, and the notion that one has a chiyuv to relate ideas in the name of he who initiated them – speculative at best, and I haven’t actually researched it, but there may be something to it), there is significant room for local takanos and halachikly binding legislation on these matters, see generally, Choshen Mishpat, siman 2.
Thanks for your interest. Yes, the article is being written for an academic audience.
I don’t have any illusions of U.S.C. or Fed. Rep. being replaced by Shulchan Aruch and Shailos U’teshuvos Chassam Sofer. However, there is a growing movement in legal academia to study Jewish law.
There is also an interesting Law Review article (sorry, I don’t have the citation off hand, but I believe its available at jlaw.com) that goes through many State and Federal decisions that reference Jewish law. Even the United State’s Supreme Court has done so on occasion (a footnote in Miranda, and Justice Scalia’s dissent in Caperton are just two examples).
For me, its not so much about getting getting a Chapter on Arbah Avos Nezikin included in the next edition of Prosser on Torts. It’s more about bringing to light the Torah’s duty-based approach to life and law, which I believe stems from the Torah’s view that law is not just about regulating conduct; its about doing so in a way that calls individuals and communities to ennoble themselves by choosing to shoulder the burdens that the law imposes for the benefit of others.
Also, much of what American lawyers, judges, and academics do know about Torah law is unfortunately wrong as it is based on the work of several non-orthodox writers (Robert Cover, for example). I do not think correcting misconceptions among those who do care about Jewish law is an empty effort at all, and I hope to contribute more in this regard during my career.
“Not a good idea. You will corrupt the Torah you learn.”
Congratulations! From your comment I gather that you have both attended law school and studied for smichah in Choshen Mishpat. It isn’t easy doing both at once, and I commend you, especially on your Choshen Mishpat studies – its an area of halachah that is severely neglected these days.
On the off chance that you haven’t studied law and Choshen Mishpat, I might suggest that you do so before reaching such conclusions. I would also ask you to consider the fact that the secular legal world has a legal tradition that in some ways is quantitatively richer than our own. The American legal system, and its English progenitor has been serving billions of people for almost 1,000 years. The system has heard and decided tens of millions of cases on every issue you can think of – and many you never would imagine. Simply put, studying American law makes me aware of issues that Batei Din have never had to confront, and possible solutions to old problems that the Beis Din system did not have the experience to implement. Of course, since I do not yet have smichah, all of these ideas are purely theoretical, and I would not apply them as halachah l’maaseh. Nevertheless, they are interesting, insightful, and do much to sharpen the test my understanding of the halacah.
I think this is largely a myth. There is definitely an advantage in some respects, especially when it comes to analyzing a piece of legislative or constitutional text, or when trying to really pick apart the text of a court decision to support your arguments.
However, the way we learn gemara is in many ways antithetical to how we study and practice law in America. In learning gemara, there is of course a stress on understanding the CORRECT LAW. In law school, we study not so much to understand what the law really is, but more to see how we can use the existing state of the law to support a particular position. The secular-law idea that there isnt really an objectively correct law, but that there is a body of rules, standards, and precedents that we try to analyze and use to our advantage in practice is very foreign to most yeshiva students who have learned God’s law for the sake of simply knowing the right thing to do.
Even to the extent that genera learning helps for general skills needed to study law, american law study and practice is more and more dependent on excellent writing skills – command of the language, preciseness, clarity, ect. Sadly, many BTL guys lack these skills and have a hard time managing both legal writing classes and writing exams.
This isn’t to say there aren’t exceptions – there are, and I have seen them; and I am not speaking based on empirical evidence – just my personal observations. Learning gemara definitely helps develop many of the raw mental qualities that serve a law student well, but often they are just that – raw qualities. Many college students are better prepared in other essential areas (again, I am generalizing). I think both College and BTL students have advantages – each one has different ones, though – and I don’t think it is accurate to say that BTLs have any overall advantage. I think the opposite is true in most cases.
A23 has it about right. I ahve a friend of mine that got into Columbia this past year with a BTL, but this is definitely the exception, and it is becoming more and more uncommon.
Word on the street is that Fordham did not accept any BTLs for the Class of 2013. As a rule (though there are definitely major exceptions) BTLs have serious difficulties in the research, writing, and public speaking aspects of the law school curriculum. Be prepared.
Thank you both. I do hope so.
Stay tuned for an upcoming Law Review article I will be publishing arguing that American law could learn much from the Torah’s approach to the role of courts and judges, and the purposes of litigation. I’m sure I will post it online somewhere when its done.
kfb, Kol Hakavod to you! Those who feel a sense of duty as you do are unfortunately few and far between in this world.
This may not be what you are looking for, but you sound like a serious and intelligent person. I would therefore strongly urge you to read R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch’s “The Nineteen Letters,” and “Horeb.” I think that his ideas will open up a world of insight, inspiration, and encouragement to you!
Continue your college education! Learn all you can while you can, and store away this knowledge for use during you life ahead. Pursue a working path that appeals to you, complements your natural talents, in a field where you feel you can make a real contribution to the world at large! You have a great benefit, I think, in your family’s financial situation; it gives you an incredible opportunity that few working people have. You may be able to pursue a career the most appeals to your nature and where you will best contribute to society, with less of a concern for basic dollars and cents. Your desire for independence and your drive to shoulder your obligations is admirable, but please don’t miss the opportunity that your God-given financial situation affords.
And please, throughout all this, strive for excellence in Torah!!! Be ever conscious of how your chosen career path can contribute uniquely to the world’s appreciation of Torah, and also how your Torah knowledge can provide you and others a unique perspective and appreciation for your profession.
(As an example, I myself am a law student, and am also persuing smichah in Choshen Mishpat. My study of Choshen Mishpat allows me to constantly advocate and support Torah-informed perspectives on legal issues. I regularly find my teachers and peers impressed by my perspective, and I can only hope that my efforts contribute in some small way to a general recognition of the Ratzon Hashem among all peoples of the world. My legal studies too support and fine-tune my learning Choshen Mishpat.)
In my family we put the gruenkern in the chicken soup. It thickens it up, kind of like a thick vegetable or mushroom barley soup, but with chicken soup instead.
Actually, there is likely room for bankruptcy law and statutes of limitations in halacha.
Statutes of limitations are discussed expressly in at least one Teshuv cited by the Pischei Teshuva in the early simanim of Choshen Mishpat (I can’t find the exact place right now, I will continue looking). Statute of limitations may be imposed as a communal enactment for the same reasons statutes of limitations exist in secular law systems – to provide defendants with security, to encourage plaintiff’s to bring their claims early while evidence is fresh, ect. The statute of limitations only binds those in the community in which it is enacted. Thus, if Reuvain from New York (which enacted a statute of limitations) brings a suit against Shimon in Lakewood (which has not statute of limitations), Shimon may not be able to claim the benefit of the New York statute of limitations (though this might depend on which city’s Beis Din the case is brought in).
As for bankruptcy law, it is true, there is always a chiyuv to repay money that is owed. However, Halachah does allow local communities to prioritize which creditors of an insolvent debtor will be paid in what order. For example, a community may decide that a bankrupt’s unpaid school tuition and shul membership dues must be paid first, while loans taken from individuals are paid second, loans from banks or businesses third, and unpaid tzedaka pledges last. Hakol l’fi minhag hamakom.
TMB: Why does doing one preclude doing the other? Obviously, in order for the Jewish people to be an effective or lagoyim, they must be an or to each other and insure that k’hal Yisrael is presenting the proper Torah-observant image to the world. But I am not sure why looking out for our own conduct and development, as well as that of our fellow Jews prevents us from projecting the Torah view of a better world to the non-Jews all around us – our colleagues at work and school, the mailman (woman), the bank teller, the grocery checkout girl (guy), and anyone else we come in contact with.
A Jew’s calling in life is to continue the work of our forebear, Avraham, who toiled all his life to be an or lagoyim. Through our acting with chessed towards our non-Jewish brethren, and by setting an example by our own scrupulous adherence to God’s law in everything we do, we are to serve as a living example of how every member of the human race can leave this world a better place than when he entered it by developing the physical and intellectual universe in a uniquely creative way for the benefit of others.
Batei Din that are either made up of dayanim mumchim (which we do not have in present times), or that are appointed and accepted by the community over which they exert jurisdiction, have extra-legal authority to do as they see fit to maintain social order. (See Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, Siman 3).
When acting on such authority, a beis din can punish crimes not punishable at all under Torah law, or impose punishments not sanctioned by the Torah for violations of Torah laws in accordance with their understanding of the needs of the community. Additionally, batei din acting in this extra-legal capacity are not bound by the ordinary rules of evidence; they may accept testimony from otherwise invalid witnesses or circumstantial evidence.
The important point here is that the extra-legal rulings of batei din acting under “Siman 3” authority are not halachik decisions, and have no precedential value. They apply only to the particular circumstances in which they are issued. Also, the members of the beis din are strongly cautioned to use this great power with the utmost care – every precarious step must be taken with a mind towards their obligations to God and the community, and the kavod habrios due any defendant must never leave their mind.
Also, importantly, this extraordinary authority is limited by the need to maintain communal support. In modern times a beis din only has “Siman 3” authority if it acts with the consent of the community over which it exerts jurisdiction. It must temper its rulings to meet the approval of the community – it cannot be too strict or too lenient – because as soon as the court no longer enjoys popular assent, it no longer has any authority to act in an extra-legal capacity.
Personally, I am partial to the silver cross necklace; its less garsih and showy. White gold would work though, and you dont have to worry about it tarnishing. 🙂
I’m not quite sure I understand what the problem is. I have had Facebook for many years, and I find it to be a wonderful tool. I have met and interacted with people I never would have met in actual life. These interactions have served to challenge my ideas, refine my thoughts, influence others, and enjoy access to a wealth of valuable information familiar to my “friends,” but which I myself would have never dreamed of.
Facebook is a tool. Like all tools (knives, gins, hammers, computers, telescopes, cars, and yes, the CR!) it may be used for bad or for good.
If our children are capable of using the valuable tool for positive and constructive purposes, and are able to identify and resist negative influences (as we hope they do each day walking down the street, going into a store to buy some coffee, or do some research for school in the library or online), then by all means, let them be on Facebook. Let them broaden their knowledge and horizons; let them interact with those that are different then themselves. If they can’t handle the challenge, best to deny them this outlet. Though if we do, we had best be prepared to restrict them from other tempting scenarios like riding the subway or bus, walking down a city street, going to the library, reading a book that we have not pre-approved, meeting new friends, and enjoying some recreational time without big-brother (mother/father) literally looking over their shoulder.December 15, 2010 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm in reply to: Obeying Rabbinic Authority Even When They Are Wrong #1075557
Excellent explanation. It seems from R. Yosef’s teshuva that blindly following rabbinic authority is a very limited rule indeed!
One must follow rabbinic authority on a particular point despite his knowing that the rabbinic ruling is erroneous only if:
(1) The ruling is issued by the Sanhedrin itself. Only the Sanhedrin has absolute and final authority to decide questions of Jewish law and silence dissenting opinions, as is clear from the laws of zaken mamreh. We might even go so far as to say that only those ruling issued from the lishchas hagazis are subject to this requirement to obey. The rulings of every other Rav, no matter how great, may then be disregarded as inncorrect. Al achas kamah v’kamah, the rulings of some Rabbonim (even “gedolim”) need not be followed when a contrary position is maintained by other authorities.
(2) The ruling was issued in direct response to a question posed to and discussed adequately by the Sanhedrin, and is applied only to factual situation that are virtually identical to the one posed by the original question. One need not follow even the Sanhedrin’s erroneous rulings in new or different cases where that rule could be logically applied but to which the original rule did not directly speak.
I would love to buy some.
Mods: Is there a way I can get my contact info to good jew?
I am sorry you feel distraught over such a happy occasion. While he may not be what you were looking for, you aren’t going to be marrying him, are you? He will be your daughter’s husband, and she must be happy with her choice. Clearly, she is not looking for the same things and planning the same life that you would plan for her, but thats her prerogative.
This was actually dealt with by R. Moshe Feinstien, I think. I recall coming across a Teshuva when studying this case in a Criminal Law class. Its a classic question that gets focussed on by many legal systems.
I will try to find the Teshuva today.
poppa: I totally agree with you!!! They used to make regular suits with a 4″ drop (42 jacket, 38 waist). I am not overweight by any means, but with my build, I wear a 38 jacket and 34 waist, which means I have to take jackets in, take pants out, or go custom. The first two options often leave me with a great suit that fits less than perfectly. The third option is too expensive except for special circumstances.
Feif, I am not disagreeing with your point, but PLEASE GET YOUR HISTORY STRAIGHT.
Tach V’Tat occurred in 1648-1649 in Eastern Europe. The Cossack rebellion against the Ukrainian and Polish nobility began in Ukraine and spread to south easter Poland (Galicia). These were not areas in which Rambam’s writings had been previously been burned (Italy, Provence, Rhineland).
Perhaps what you are thinking of is the burning of the Talmud in Paris in 1242.
I usually work 14-16 hours a day, with another 1-2 hours of learning.November 24, 2010 3:46 am at 3:46 am in reply to: Jews Were Protected From Assimilation By Being Despised and Uncivilized #712292
myfriend: You quote often from R. Schwalb’s Selected Essays. You would do well to read R. Hirsch’s works yourself (The Nineteen Letters, Horeb, Commentary on Chumash, Collected Writings Vols. 1-8, Judaism Eternal, Commentary on the Psalms, Commentary on the Siddur, Commentary on Mishlei, Commentary on Pirkei Avos), then you can discuss R. Hirsch’s ideas with firsthand knowledge.
I actually agree with you about R. Hirsch and Zionism. I too, consistent with my adherence to R. Hirsch’s approach, and strongly anti-zionist (perhaps more than most, actually). But use have misused the principle of austritt (as many are wont to do). Austritt applies to Jewish distortions of Torah eternalized through systemic and institutional norms. It would not apply to non-Jewish ideas and institutions. Indeed, it cannot apply to ideas at all. Austritt is an associational principle; it governs interpersonal associations, not subjective mental thought-processes.November 24, 2010 2:32 am at 2:32 am in reply to: Jews Were Protected From Assimilation By Being Despised and Uncivilized #712290
I am voicing a public machaah against myfriend’s distortions of R. Hirsch’s view on this issue. Just about everything he wrote is incorrect. Unfortunately, I am a bit swamped with my pursuit of secular knowledge and cannot respond it full at the moment. I hope charliehall will post an adequate response.
To begin, the very characterization of learning that doesn’t come from a Torah sefer as “secular” is antithetical to R. Hirsch’s approach. All knowledge, whatever its source, that is consistent with Torah law is Torah; it is an awareness of the very essence of this world and God’s will. Based on that, secular knowledge is not instrumental; R. Hirsch writes repeatedly that one of the notion that learning “secular” knowledge is a means to end end is blatantly false and destructive. We do not study secular knowledge to earn money, or to influence the nations of the world. We study all knowledge that is consistent with God’s will because it is consistent with God’s will and therefore informs our earthly conduct and the fulfillment of our task as Jews and Human Beings!
Indeed, R. Hirsch emphasized the need to be extremely careful when learning “secular” subjects so as to be able to tell the difference between those ideas that are consistent with Torah and those that are not. To do so, however, does not require us to limit the amount of secular knowledge we ingest – that just throws out the bad with the good. Rather, the way to ensure that we can distinguish between what knowledge is consistent with Torah and what is not is to learn the laws of the Torah. Its a difficult task: We must learn much Torah in order to know how to evaluate the secular knowledge we face, but we must also learn Torah-consistent secular knowledge in order to fully comprehend the ratzon Hashem.
Its a bit like we are all caught in an inescapable circle; we must keep running around the circle; pursuing Torah knowledge to understand how we must act and how we must evaluate secular knowledge, and also pursuing secular knowledge in order to fully appreciate God’s will and how humanity can morally perfect itself on earth. We run and we run, and we never seem to get ahead of the curve because there is always more to learn, both secular and Torah. Our task is simply to do what we can, to learn what we can, to not put aside one obligation in order to more fully fulfill the other, because perfect and complete knowledge is unobtainable anyway.
Echad Hamarbeh V’echad Hamaamit, Bilvad Sheyichavein Libo L’shamayim!November 23, 2010 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm in reply to: Jews Were Protected From Assimilation By Being Despised and Uncivilized #712279
Very, very strange.
THe yozei Miztrayim were uncivilized? How does an uncivilized people organize itself by family clan and tribe, appoint tribal leaders to govern internal tribal affairs, recognize a national authority figure to decide and direct issues that affect more than one tribe, organize a military, judicial system, compose songs of praise to God and play those songs on musical instruments?
How does an uncivilized people produce artisans and craftsmen capable of designing and constructing the mishkan?
Interesting how ignorance and barbarity prevents assimilation. History has proven time and time again how less developed cultures assimilate when confronted with more developed civilizations that present a more refined, comfortable, stable, and productive state of existence.
To add to what Charliehall alluded to, R. Hirsch (a major opponent of the Chasam Sofer’s approach) held strongly that ignorance and barbarity are antithetical to Torah-life. We are tasked by God to become knowledgeable, creative, and civilized; we have a duty, like all other peoples, the further human civilization and further refine our existence; we are directed not to remain in a state of stagnant ignorance; we are told to confront the world and all it has to offer us, and to judge and develop human civilization and knowledge in accordance with the laws of the Torah!
WIY: Despite what popular Western conceptions of Islam may suggest, the greatest achievement a Muslim can achieve is not to die a martyr. In Islam, martyrdom is desirable only under specific conditions (i.e., when Muslim communities are under threat of attack by non-Muslims, or when the Umma – the Muslim equivalent to the Promised Land is occupied and governed by non-Muslims). Even under these conditions, there are many rules of Islamic law that govern when martyrdom is appropriate.
I dont know if the mods will let this post through (they don’t seem to have posted my last comment mentioning some similarities between our own practices and those of Muslims), but I hope they do.
I am writing this based on my own knowledge of Islamic law, which I have studied quite a bit (I think its best to fully understand other peoples, especially those that we have difficulties with, and especially those whose beliefs and practices are nuanced, complex, very old, and easily distorted and simplified by propaganda). My point here is not to justify or defend the actions of many Muslims. Rather, I hope to point out that if we want to deal with a problem, its best not to demonize it, simplify it, and then rest our proposed solutions on false understandings of what we face. It is far better to try to understand the nuanced reality of Islamic belief and practice, so that we can honestly evaluate where we stand and how we can deal with these issues.
Ok, here come the attacks (except perhaps from charliehall)November 22, 2010 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm in reply to: Lets ditch the labels there are only 2 TYPES of Jews! #711387
Helpful, I can’t speak for R. Miller, but as far as R. Schwalb goes, that is not at all what he was saying. R. Schwalb, steeped in Torah im Derech Eretz, did not have a problem with MO hashkafa (i.e., integration with the larger world while adhering to halachah). While there are significant differences between TIDE and Torah Umaadah, I do not think either would condemn the other so strngly. What R. Schwald has a problem with, as should we all, is the use of a particular hashkafa to justify violations of halacha. EDITEDNovember 18, 2010 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm in reply to: "Baruch ata Hashem? – How can we bestow blessings on Hashem? #1210632
As I usually do when I feel he has a unique (or perhaps not so unique, but useful) insight into an issue raised in the CR, I’ll try to convey R. S.R. Hirsch’s approach to Brachos.
R. Hirsch viewed the word “bracha” as related to “beraichayim” – knees. In his view, the purpose of a bracha is not for the giver to actually bestow the content of the bracha on the recipient. Rather, the purpose of a bracha is to make a definite mission statement that the giver or recipient is to internalize and strive to realize.
When we say “Baruch Atah Hashem . . .” we are not blessing God. Rather we are verbalizing a state or self-realization that we should internalize. Before we do a mitzva, we are to verbalize and strive to really appreciate why we are doing the mitzva – “asher kidishanu b’mitzvosav . . .” (exactly what that means is another long discussion). When we eat somthing, we must verbalize and internalize the idea of where it comes from, why we are eating it, and what the fact that the food is available to us means in terms of how we should utilize it in accordance with the Torah. When we are mispallel (which R. Hirsch understands to mean an act of self-reflection and self-judgement), we verbalize and hopefully internalize the idea of where our health, wealth, security, intellect, ect. comes from, what we need to be doing in order to merit these gifts, and how we are to use them once they are given to us.
Thus, Baruch Atah Hashem – You Hashem (middas harachamim) set goals and objectives for us, Elokeinu Melech haolam – You God (midas hadin) evaluate us based on our realization and fulfillment of these goals, then the rest of the bracha, which verbalizes the goal He has set for us in the particular circumstance (a mitzva, eating a food, ect.), and urges us to fully internalize the import of this goal and strive to accomplish it in our everyday life.
Bezalel: Yes, but we don’t know what kind of peyos they had, now do we?
OP: I think your original premise (Teymani Jews were undisturbed by outside influences) is highly questionable, if not plainly incorrect. First, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula has been populated since ancient times, both by nomadic tribes and smaller settled communities and city-states. Second, Yemen, of all places, was probably more susceptible to external influences than many other places in the Peninsula; it sits at the juncture of some of the most important sea-trade routes in history. The trade between China, India, Indonesia, East Africa, Egypt, and the entire Mediterranean Basin passed along the Yemenite Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts.
Even if you are correct that Teymani Jews practice Judaism as closely as possible to the original B’nei Yisrael, I’m not sure why this should matter. Teymani Jews live in a culture most akin to that in which the original B’nei Yisrael lived, so it makes sense that their customs would be similar. For the rest of us, it seems that we follow the customs that have developed out of our own unique individual, familial, and communal experiences throughout the world. Our customs are preferable for us precisely because we do have interactions with other cultures, and our customs grew out of those interactions. Teymani customs are not halachah. As another poster pointed out, they are not recorded in the gemarah; they are not particularly preferable or halachik, otherwise they would have been recorded for posterity by the compilers of the Torah shebaal pe.
Teymani customs are preferable for Teymanim (again, if your original premise is correct) precisely because Teymanim were isolated and there customs grew out of their unique circumstances. Our own customs are preferable for us precisely because they grew out of our interactions with other peoples and represent the way we molded the non-halachik aspects of our practice to deal with our particular living conditions.
Oh. Now I see. Thanks WIY.