Volume 14 Number 61
                       Produced: Sat Jul 30 23:46:07 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Mitchel Berger]
Baruch Hashem l'Olam vs. V'shamru
         [David Kaufmann ]
Brisk vs. R. Shimon Shkop Analyses
         [Sam Juni]
Kabbalistic Healing
         [Abe Perlman]
Pasuk Fragments
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 1994 14:14:51 -0400
Subject: AntiSemitism

At a shiur I attended at the Passaic Clifton Y last day 5 of Channukah,
R.  Aharon Soleveitchik shlit"a gave a different understanding for the
origins of anti-semitism.

He finds the root of what it is to be a Jew in Avraham's words to the
Hittites, when approaching them about the purchase of Ma'aras

	Ger vitoshav anochi imachem.
	I am a stranger and a resident among you.

The Jew, by willing to be the "ger", the outsider, to rely on G-d for
support, is irritating to the gentile. Empires like to claim "kochi
v'otzem yadi asa li es hachayil hazeh - my own stregnth, and the might
of my hand did for me this battle."

When himmler y"s asked hitler y"s what to do with the Romani (Gypsies),
hitler replied, "They are the same thing as Jews." What do we and the
Romani have in common? R. Soleveitchik points out that the only basis
for the comparison is that fact that we're both migrant people.

I'd like to add my own two cents. (I usually do :-)

Yaakov approached Yitzchak for a brachah, dressed in skins and hunting
clothes so that he would feel like is older brother Esav. Yitzchak,
confused, replies:
	Hakol kol Yaakov, vihayadayim yidei Esav
	The voice (Rashi: the phraseology i.e. the constant use of G-d's
	name) is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of
The gemara takes this line out of context, and uses it as a description
of the difference between Ya'akov and Esav. Following that lead, I'd
like to interpret Yitzchak's words as a summary of the idea R.
Soleveitchik conveyed.

The constant use of G-d's name, relying on G-d, that is the way of
Yaakov. Esav relies on might. As Yitzchak blesses Esav at the end of the
story, "al chabechaya tichyeh - you will live by your sword."

R. SR Hirsch, in an essay about Channukah (Collected Writtings) points
out the difference between Yefes, the son Noah blessed with beauty, and
Esav.  Yefes' descendents, the Hellenes posed a religious threat. They
had a strong culture, and built a civilization.

Esav's children, Rome, controlled by power. It built by copying Greece,
and truly lived up to Yitzchak's words - they maintained an empire with
miltary governers.

The is a metaphysical, perhaps you could say teleological, reason for
the corrolation between assimilation and anti-semitism. The purpose of
the anti-semitism is to stop the assimilation. However, for this to be
within teva (nature) there must also be a causal connection.

Perhaps what is irritating about the ger-toshav nature of the Jewish
people is not that our hishtalus (attempts to exist through natural
means) of the toshav, is supplemented by the ger's bitachon (faith in
G-d's aid).  It's only when that aid doesn't seem earned. The gentile
expects heavenly support for "men of the cloth". It's when we act no
different than them that our divine assistance grates on some people's


From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 1994 14:13:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Baruch Hashem l'Olam vs. V'shamru

From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)

> The "inside" story as to why the First Lubavitcher Rebbe put in V'shamru
> has something (I am not sure of all the details) to do with placating
> his father-in-law . It has remained in the siddur just like other things
> in which the actual motivating event passsed with a note on the bottom
> that it is not said according to minhag Chabad...........

Actually, it was to receive the haskomo (approbation) of his _mechutan_,
R. Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev.


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 1994 14:12:57 -0400
Subject: Brisk vs. R. Shimon Shkop Analyses

Regrettably, I lost the post where I was requested to amplify on my
diffeential description of R. Chaim Brisker's vs. R. Shimon Shkop's
methods of Talmudic analysis. Let me repond to what I thought the
questions were.

I will choose as focus the original distinction between the
classification of prohibition as Issur Gavra vs. Issur Cheftza. The
differential originates in the Talmudic discourse of vows which come in
two types: Shvuah and Neder.  The language of the Shvua is "I will not
eat this apple" while the language of Neder is "This apple is prohibited
to me." Both R. Chaim and R. Shimon have capitalized on this
differential and extended it throughout Talmudic discourse into Kodoshim
(sacrifice law), Nezikin (law of property damages), Tfila (prayer), and
elsewhere.  Typically, a prohibition or a duty will be analyzed into
possible components of Issur (prohibition) or Chiuv (obligation) or
Mitzva which are Gavra or Chaftza oriented.

The logical quandry in this approach has its origin in the very source
of the construct: vows. The statement which creates the prohibition in
Neder vs. Shvua is in fact identical in meaning despite the sequence of
the phrase components.

In the domain of vows, this quandry has been dealt with by the
introduction of metaphysical aspects. I.e., prohibitions are seen as
more than if-then consequences of decrees; rather they are
conceptualized as representing the RESULT (or symptoms) of an underlying
metaphysical entity (along the lines of Tumah (defilement), Kedusha
(sanctity), etc.). Thus, in Neder the vow is seen as creating a
metaphysical quality in the object, while in Shvua the quality is
created in the person.  This clean differential has, nontheless, been
brutalized when conditional or partial vows come into play.

While the structure up to this point is fairly unanimous, it must be
said that Brisk epistomology might begin to dissent at the last
paragraph. Brisk has adopted limitations in turf, which is verbalized as
"We can only explain the WHAT but not the WHY." While the linguistics of
What vs. Why are clearly relative to the observer's frame of reference,
this Brisk maxim tends to make this particular analytic method limited
to dealing with the constructs of Gavra, Cheftza, Chiuv, Kiyum
(satifaction of an obligation), and many others as entities which are
circumscribed to a legalistic terminology, with no recourse to (or
analytic interest in) metaphysical antecendents. Indeed, the true
positivistic flavor or the position is that antecedents are irrelevant.

When the analytic method is expanded away from the topics of Kodoshim
and Tumah (where the metaphysical Defilement and Holiness constructs are
intuitive) toward Civil-type areas, the two analytic methods begin to
appeal to different liguistic styles, although as a rule they do run
fairly much in tandem.

Brisk will be quite content analyzing with abandon, for example, the
Hallachic minutae of the Esrog and Lulav into components of 

 a) A Din (law) on the person, b) a Din on the Lulav, c) a Din on the
 combination of the Lulav & Esrog, d) a Din of Soccos, e) a Din of Yom
 Tov and perhaps others.

(Note: I am being hypothetical, but not off base.)  R. Shmon's approach
would play it closer to the vest, in that any such categorizations will
be formulated more along the vein of dealing with the "reason" or
"intent" of the Din.  Often, one would find such diferentials phrased as
"The Torah does not want the object to be handled" or "The Torah is
concerned with his safety," etc.

I hope this clarifies the question posed. As a reference for the
differential, there is a work (at least 30 years old) titled "Ishim
V'Shitos" (Personalities and Doctrines) by Rabbi Sh. Zevin which does an
elaborate job of analyzing the personalities and analytic approaches of
the above, as well as others.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: Abe Perlman <abeperl@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 12:49:16 EDT
Subject: Kabbalistic Healing

   David Steinberg wrote on July 11:

>I personally went to a Mekubal on several occasions, a number of years ago.
>In the course of our conversations he told me things that no-one else could
>know.  He also seemed to KNOW the bracha I needed.  On one occassion I came to
>him believing I had a health problem.  He responded (correctly it turned out)
>that I had nothing to be concerned about but gave me a bracha for something
>entirely different which became an issue months later.

   I remember when I was in Yeshiva high school and a fellow arrived in
Toronto who apparently could look at Mezuzas and tell things about the owners
of the house that only the owners knew (Aveiros, problems etc.).    In many
cases he was correct and in some he was way off.  He left eventually back to
Eretz Yisroel after stirring up the city .  Later, we heard that Rav Shlomo
Zalman Auerbach and Rav Ovadia Yosef (both who are not novices in the field of
Kabbala) stated that one should keep away from such people.

   David continues:  

>There is the story of the Rov who is told the Mofsim (wonder tales)
>attributed to a Chassidishe Rebbe by someone who obviously didn't believe the
>tales.  The Rov responded that if the question is 'was it possible' then the
>answer is that for a Koddosh (holy person) it is of course possible; if the
>question is 'do I believe all the stories' ....

   I once heard in the name of Rav Noach Weinberg, Rosh Hayeshiva of Aish
Hatorah in Yerushalayim when confronted with the challenge that all the
stories about the Baal Shem Tov certainly couldn't have happened.  One, he
didn't live long enough for all the stories to happen and two, they're too 
fanciful.  He replied that if one doesn't believe that each one individually
could have happened, he is an apikorus (an exxageration of course) and if you
believe that they all happened, you're meshuga.

   I also heard in the name of the Divrei Chaim (the first Sanzer Rov, the
first of what later became Bobov and other Chassidic dynasties) that if a
chosid says he saw his Rebbe do something, take it to mean he only heard about
it.  If he says he heard about it, Lo Hoyo V'Lo Nivro (it never happened and
it never will).

   It seems that followers embellish stories about their heroes.  Something
like what chidren do about their parents.  I remember one of my Rebbeim
saying, "The story isn't what counts, it's the message behind it.

   Even among the Litvishe I've heard about it.  My brother told me that one
of the Rebbeim in Lakewood East ( Lakewood in Eretz Yisroel) told him that Rav
Shach told him thusly.  He shouldn't believe anything said in his name unless
he sees it in writing.  My brother said he doesn't know if he should believe
that statement.

Mordechai Perlman 


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 1994 14:46:26 -0400
Subject: Pasuk Fragments

      Mike Grynberg asks about using fragments of Torah verses. There is
indeed a statement in the Talmud that one should not make breaks in
Pasukim where Moshe did not place them, i.e. one should not say partial
verses. Chatam Sofer discusses the problem of saying "Yom ha_shishi" at
the beginning of kiddush on friday night. He explains the origin as
yom ha-shishi begin with the letters yod and heh. Combined with the first
two words of kiddush (vayechulu hashamayim) this gives the name of G-d.
On the other hand it is not a good omen to start from the beginning of the
pasuk as that mentions "vayahi tov me-od" and the Talmud says that 
very good refers to death. So Chatam Sofer recommends starting from
"vayehi erev vayehi boker" quietly and then out loud "yom hashishi" so that
at least "yom hashishi" is said in context. Chatam Sofer felt that the
prohibition of splitting verses is waived when  it presents other

     Rav Soloveitchik said the entire verse since he felt that not
splitting verses was more important than a side reference to death.

     In a recent discussion of this question we were left with the
question of what one should do when learning Gemara. Most pasukim quoted
in the Gemara are actually fragments. One rabbi felt that the preferable
thing is to take out a Chumash each time and read the entire pasuk and
not rely on the "heter" of the Chatam Sofer. On the other hand I know of
no yeshiva where there is done. In fact the famous joke is that most
yeshiva boys know pasukim by where they appear in the Gemara.



End of Volume 14 Issue 61