Volume 18 Number 84
                       Produced: Tue Mar 14  0:40:07 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An Analysis of Darchei HaLimud (Methodologies of Talmud Study)
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Brisk Tea
         [Eli Turkel]
Community Computer networks
         [Joshua Lee]
         [Steven Shore]
Peaceful Paths
         [Ralph Zwier]
Poem by Mina Friedler
         [Franklin Smiles]


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 1995 13:46:01 -0600 (CST)
Subject: An Analysis of Darchei HaLimud (Methodologies of Talmud Study)

        An Analysis of Darchei HaLimud (Methodologies of Talmud Study)
                      Centering on a Cup of Tea - Updated

     I have slightly modified my attempt define the differences between the 
major classical Darchei Halimud in the 19th-20th century Yeshiva world, 
focusing on the cup of tea, based on some MJ input. Again, this is an albeit 
light-hearted, but hopefully illustrative example. 

     In Brisk they would mockingly say that in Telshe one would klerr 
(analyze) the following chakira (problem): 

     What makes tea sweet, is it the sugar or the spoon stirring?

     Now, the truth is that in Telshe, there were two derachim, that of Reb 
Chaim Rabinovitz (Reb Chaim Telzer) and that of Reb Yosef Leib Bloch & Reb 
Shimon Shkop. This chakira captures the hallmark of the former (Reb Chaim 
Telzer's) derech - Contingencies - but not the latter, which we'll explore 

     Let us now go through how the various darchei halimud would approach this
important conundrum:

Brisker Derech: Intrinsic Categorization and Definition - There are two 
(tzvei) dinim in sweetening tea: The cheftza (substance), i.e., the sugar; 
and the pe'ula (activity), i.e., the stirring with the spoon. Everyone knows 
that Lipton is the "Brisk" tea bacause it has a double (tzvei dinim) tea 

Poilisher Derech: Brilliant Novelty (pilpul) - Neither. It is the tea itself 
which makes the tea sweet, for if there was no tea, there would be no sweet 
tea either. 

The Rogatchover's Derech: Combination of the Two Previous Derachim - There 
are three dinim in sweetening the tea: The cheftza, the peu'la and the 
niph'al (the impacted entity), i.e., the tea itself. 

Hungarian Derech: Extrinsic Resolution - Since wine is sweet and it is not 
stirred, it follows that the stirring is not what makes the tea sweet, but 
the sugar. 

Reb Yosef Leib & Reb Shimon's Derech: Abstraction to an Essence - It is the 
Hitztarfus (Fusion) of tea molecules and sugar molecules that makes the tea 

Sephardi Derech: Uncomplicated Grasp - The Sephardi would walk away from the 
argument that the six Ashkenazim were engaged in over the tea shaking his 
head in disbelief about how silly these Ashkenazim were - obviously the 
sugar stirred into the tea is what makes the tea sweet! 

Another, more serious example of the difference between the Brisker and Reb 
Yosef Leib/Reb Shimon Derachim is in the area of Shee'abud HaGuf (personal 
liens). This was discussed once before on MJ, but I present it again as a 
challenge to the readership to fill in the other Derachim. The Briskers are 
satisfied to explain Shee'abud as a "partial acquisition" (a "miktzas 
kinyan"). They classify all such amorphous transactions in a category known 
as "chalos" (roughly: "transaction"). They concentrate on defining "What." 
Reb Shimon, on the other hand, feels compelled to explore the "Why." He 
therefore explains that Shee'abud is a logical construct of the social 
contract between individuals which precedes Halacha. He draws an analogy 
between Shee'abud and Emuna in the existence of G-d - which also, perforce, 
must precede the acceptance of Torah, and is based on logical constructs. 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 15:35:20 -0500
Subject: Brisk Tea

     I too enjoyed Rabbi Bechhoffer's description of sweeting and
stirring.  Nevertheless one might conclude from that piece that the
Sefardim have the straight forward logic while everyone else has pilpul.
As a student of Rav Soloveitchik I would like to defend the "Brisker"

     Rav Soloveitchik has stated that the purpose of the Brisker way is
to axiomize Halacha. To give an example that I heard many times from the
Rov the concept of "Kol" (rumor) is used many times in Gitten. Thus, in
many places the gemara states that we change the halacha because of the
presence of "Kol". Rav Soloveitchik stressed that this does not mean
that one can take a survey to see if a rumor really exists. This is just
the Gemaras language for some basic problem with the Get.  Rav
Soloveitchik always stressed that one must read between the lines and
not take the Gemara's words literally.  Hence, this method of analysis
is really only applicable to Halachah (Kant applied it to philosophy)
and not to natural phenomena.  However, to continue Rabbi Bechhoffer's
analogy were the talmud to present a discussion of sweet tea the
Brisker's would explain it as follows:

The gemara is obviously not teaching us how to stir tea hence we must
learn some fundamental halachah from the Talmud that could be applied to
other situations. Thus, the gemara must be teaching us that there are
two halachot involved one with regard to stirring and a second with
regard to adding sugar. This concept can then be used to explain a
difficult Rambam ...



From: Joshua Lee <jlee@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 11:17:00 +0000
Subject: Community Computer networks

> Our local (Detroit) Jewish Community Council has asked for 
> advice re setting up a computer network. Initially they have

Are you looking into ease of use issues? Perhaps a good approach would be
an ordinary BBS program, coupled with an offline reader program. The Fido
compatable systems, like Maximus, in particular, are highly customizable
and can handle large volumes of networked mail if neccesary. You'd also
have the advantage, of having a free or nearly free internet mail address,
and if you have a local Usenet gateway or can get a local Internet UUCP
account, cheap news. Plus, you can get specifically Jewish networks such
as Reshet or Keshernet, which only operate via FidoNet protocols. 

Also, it'd be easy to set up a simple, fast, and efficient dial-up and/or 
LAN local network of your own for exchanging messages.

> a) Making it possible for Jewish youth from all over the Metro
> area to communicate (via email or possibly chat)

Most good BBS programs offer email and chat.

> b) Community Calendar and related Jewish topics to be circulated


> c) Making it possible for local Jewish teachers and 
> other professionals (eg employees of Jewish agencies) to access
> the specifically Jewish parts of the internet (eg Mail Jewish).

It is simple to get a network address, and not too complex or expensive
to recieve mailing lists, or even gated newsgroups. Also, you would have 
access to other large Jewish forums, and if you wanted to get involved on 
an international level, a fully connected >32,000 node bullitin board 
network. Not counting the internet connection.

> Assuming they want a stand-alone system (not just a corner of usenet,
> compuserve, etc), does anyone know of another community that has tried
> this? Does anyone have (informed) advice re hardware and software?

You can run a single-line system with a 286, a multiline system with a 386
running either Desqview-386 or OS/2, with this solution. The software is
either inexpensive or free for non-commercial useage. Though if that makes
people nervous, one could buy something like TBBS and dedicate it to a
stand-alone computer for a good (though in not all ways my favorite)
software solution. 

Of course, if money's no object, by all means, buy a Sun Workstation
and plug a T1 line in at the back. ;-)

> Thank you. 

If you need any help in setting this sort of thing up, let me know,
although I'm only running a part-time system and a point now (and this
account's not my DOS BBS account) I have run a full-time bullitin board in
the past, and know some people you can get in touch with in the Jewish
speciality BBS world. (Such as Jason Froikin, or Dave Aaronson.) This is 
probably easier to use, and less intimidating, than the internet 
software; and again has the advantage of being able to create efficient 
ad-hoc local networks with only modems without worrying about 
transporting things over the internet, if you do not choose to.

Internet: <jlee@...>                      | Free internet/Usenet BBS
ArfaNet: <Joshua.Lee@...> | My personal machine.
FidoNet: Joshua Lee at 1:271/250.9              | The same address, in Fido.


From: Steven Shore <shore@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 95 14:56:53+010
Subject: Re: Hashgachot

>>There have been numerous cases cited in the Jewish Media on this issue
>>during the past few years.  The most famous case I can remember have to
>>do with clubs or halls in Tel Aviv which had belly dancers.  The Court
>>ordered the Rabbanut to certify these as kosher, despite the Mashgiach
>>being unable to enter as a result to modesty issues.  There have also
>>been a number of cases involving Shabbat observance.  I do not save old
>>issues of the various papers so I don't have additional specific
>All that is needed is to have no food brought into the hall while the
>immodest display is going on (what's in there can stay, we don't have
>to suspect that the guests brought in treif food in their pockets).
>Now can you cite a case where there was a real impediment to
>hashgachah but the court ordered it to be certified as kosher?
> |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
>/ nysernet.org

No kashrut certification can guarantee the food is kosher. In the end
we rely on the honesty of the person in-charge that they will not try
to deliberately break the laws of kashruth (usually in an effort to
save money). If a person shows by his actions that he is unreliable
(i.e. he hires belly dancers) then no kashrut certification should be

Friends of mine run a restaurant with a very good certification 
and they have told me that they are now very careful where they eat as
they now see how easy it would be for someone to serve unkosher food
even if they have kashruth certification.

The local grocery store in our neighbourhood had a "Sherit Yisrael"
(Rav Shach) kashrut certification for fruits and vegetables during
shmita. It was discovered that the manager was buying some produce from
kibbutzim which did not observe shmita and combining it with the
shmitta fruits and vegetables and pocketing a healthy profit.

Shimon (Steven) Shore			<shore@...>


From: Ralph Zwier <zwierr@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 1995 18:21:55 
Subject: Peaceful Paths

Can someone explain to me the concept of Darchei Shalom (Peaceful 
ways) ? I would like to know in what kinds of cases it is applied.
Is it some kind of Halachic "Last resort" when all else fails? Does 
it always have to do with interactions between Jews and non-Jews ?

Is it a very strong halachic statement ? For example, when the 
halacha says that we have to give Tsedakah to nonjewish Charities 
because of Darchei Shalom does it mean that I just have to give a 
tiny amount and I have fulfilled my obligation [ a weak halachic 
statement] or do I have to give the same considerations that I would 
give to a Jewish target [a strong halachic statement] ?

Ralph S Zwier
Double Z Computer, Prahran, VIC Australia       Voice +61-3-521-2188
<zwierr@...>                        Fax   +61-3-521-3945


From: <fsmiles@...> (Franklin Smiles)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 19:29:37 -0800
Subject: Poem by Mina Friedler

Mina Friedler is a poet in Los Angeles.
She wanted to share some poems with you from a collection of hers. Here is
the first poem.
Please send comments to her at <fsmiles@...>

Introduction:  The Book is Esther is rich in relevant lessons to the present
time.  Esther was an extraordinary woman who had to struggle with despair
and fear as we all do throughout many times in our lives.  Through her
decisions and the actions of those around her, we can learn lessons to apply
to all phases of our lives. 
    I dedicate this book to the fragile elderly who have reared and nurtured
the children of this generation.  Through their courage and determination,
they are the tzaddikim, the Esthers and Mordechai's, the ones who have risen
above their physical limitations to be the true teachers of our time. 
    The poems in this book are inspired by the Breslov commentary to the
Megillah.  May G-d give me the strength to decipher the words 
that will free them from pain.
     There are good days and bad days.  On our good days, we see the beauty
and light in everything.  On our bad days, we wallow in despair, like the
Jews in the time of Achashverosh who went to the king's orgy because they
didn't believe that God wanted or cared about 
     As human beings, we are given choices.  We can drown in our suffering
and bemoan the absence of God, or we can face our trials with courage and
strength and smile at God's wisdom in teaching us how to live and struggle
with life.  Neither choice is easy to make.

Why We Wail

Raw with pain
in my left hand
I could not see
His arms reaching
through the dull wail 
of my cries
to hug me
with his kindness

Instead I felt His slap
burn inside me
along with the pain
and the distance
between us flourishing
like a castle of water
where I would drown

It could have been
the other way around
I could have touched
my other hand
and felt its freedom
from suffering
knowing God's love and mercy
in the open moat
He gently lowered
for me to cross


End of Volume 18 Issue 84