Volume 19 Number 26
                       Produced: Mon Apr 10  1:45:32 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blinders, et al.
         [Zvi Weiss]
Deciding Halacha
         [Israel Botnick]
Goedel principle and Halakha.
         [Ari Belenky]
Modern Orthodoxy (2)
         [Ari Shapiro, M Horowitz]
Rabbinic Biases
         [Mike Grynberg]
Taking out three Sifrei Torah
         [Naftoli Biber]


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 13:31:12 -0500
Subject: Blinders, et al.

I would like to comment upon Yaakov Menken's approach.  We find that
Gedolim do not literally COPY the hashkafa that they receive...  Rather,
they take in what they learn and formulate a hashkafa in accord both
with what they learned as well as how they themselves understand "what
is happening".

For example, I do not know that the generation immediately prior to R.
Shimshon R. Hirsch, there was a formal outlook of "Torah Im Derech
Eretz" (and, maybe that is why to this day, there are those who state
that Torah Im Derech Eretz was some sort of Emergency Dispensation
rather than a valid philosophic approach).  However, R. Hirsch
formulated this hashkafa based upon what he learned, studied (in secular
fields), and saw...

Simlarly, the Musar movement did not necessarily have a major component
before R. I. Salant took the teachings of R. Zundel Salant -- and made
them "public".

Of course, this implies that there can be a range of philosophies in the
"frum velt" -- and that is the case.  Just look at the controversy *in
Yeshivot* when the issue of studying Mussar came up!  Yeshivot actually
split over this issue.  who was "correct"?  I certainly will not attempt
to judge.  The point is that hashkafa -- as long as it stays within
certain parameters -- can be somewhat variable and the hashkafa that one
develops need not be a "carbon copy" of what one learned -- but it is
BASED upon what one learned.

Thus, while there are many many people who revere "Maran Hrav Schach
SHLITA", there are still those who do NOT consider him their ultimate
posek -- not because they question his wisdom or devotion to Torah Study
but becuase their hashkafa (and development of p'sak/halacha under that
hashkafa) is not in sync with the hashkafa of Rav Schach.

Those who did not follow the P'sak/Shita of R. Soloveitchik Z"TL did not
(I believe) question his knowledge and love of Torah; they disagreed
with the Rav's HASHKAFA.  Again, it is not a matter of whose Hashkafa is
correct (Both come from Hashem, in my opinion).. it is simply a matter
of whose hashkafa one chooses to follow.

One caveat: If you follow a hashkafa, follow it HONESTLY.  Anyone who
ever saw/knew the Rav also knew that the Rav was scrupulous in all
aspects of halacha... Do those who claim to follow the Rav's hashkafa
demonstrate such halachic precision and exactitude?



From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 11:23:28 EST
Subject: Deciding Halacha

Eli Turkel objects to using what Rav Soloveitchik said in shiur 
for paskening (deciding) halacha.

What I quoted from Rav Soloveitchik has nothing to do with paskening 
halacha. It was the Rav's Explanation of the opinion of some rishonim that
women cannot read the megilla for men, and which has already been decided 
as the halacha by the Rama.

Israel Botnick


From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenky)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 22:05:09 PST
Subject: Goedel principle and Halakha.

Ben Rothke asked: Kurt Goedel proved a theorem that in the rich enough
system there is a statement which cannot be proven or disproven.  What
about Halakha?

I claim that Halakha does not exist - if we understand it as a set of
definite statements.  The "bottom line" of Halakha is a Makhloket.

There are many places in Talmud which indicate that Amoraim already knew
about explicit contradictions between certain Halakhic statements.
E.g., in Shabbat(90) there is a claim: "who learned this halakha should
not learn the opposite."

Sometimes one can meet in Talmud undesire to answer certain questions,
when all possible answers lead to contradictions: "Abaye asked (Gittin):
Why don't we do this? Because of that? Rav Josef answered: we do not do
it.  Then maybe because of that? Rav Josef answered: we do not do it."

This list can be multiplied infinitely.(I'd appreciate to see more

These places in Talmud indicate that Rabbanim are often in the situation
of the "Paradox of a Liar" rather than in the framework of Goedel's
theorem where they have freedom to choose one of the conflicting
opinions.  (Eventially, an argument "In the World to Come" is always



From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 95 21:46:44 EST
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy

<Hashkafically I agree with modern orthodoxy.  Unfortunately what modern
<orthodoxy seems to stand for is lax observance of halacha.

I would like to clarify what I meant by this.  I would define Modern, 
centrist, or whatever you call it, with the following 3 principles:
1) Belief in the centrality of halacha and commitment to its observance
(this actually is no different then the charedi viewpoint).
2) Belief that the State of Israel has religious significance.  R' Shachter
writes in many of his articles that the establishment of the state has
a status of a'tchalta d'geula (beginning of the redemption).
3) Belief that many people should work for a living as opposed to everyone
sitting and learning, based on the gemara in Berachos that harbei asu
k'Rav Shimon Bar Yochai v'lo alsa b'yadam (many people did like R' Shimon
Bar Yochai (sitting and learning and not working) and it did not work out)
harbei asu k'Rabbi Yishmael vals b'yadam(many did like R' Yishamel (worked
for a living) and it worked out).
Many would add a 4th principle the belief that secular knowledge has value
in and of itself (which I do not agree with).

This is all that modern orthodoxy should mean, however now it has come to 
mean halachik compromise and "innovation"(i.e Women's minyanim etc.).  It 
has also come to mean a Western outlook on life.  Unfortunately western
idealogy and halacha are diametrically opposed.  American society now
believes in the equality of all people, we are not allowed to discriminate.
However, the halacha discriminates time and time again.  For example, the
child born of an adulterous relationship is a mamzer(or a mamazeres) and
is not allowed to marry a regular Jew.  This person has done nothing wrong,
through an accident at birth they aquired the status of mamzer and because
of that we discriminate against them.  Another example is the idea of kehuna
(priesthood).  If you are born a kohen you have special priveleges and 
obligations solely because of your lineage.  The same would apply to women.
The torah clearly defines separate roles for men and women, American society
says women have the same roles as men.  American society is also amoral.
You are not allowed to judge anyone, homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle,
Greg Louganis is a hero.  In a halachik society Greg Louganis would be chayav
misa(liable for death).  I think the main opposition to "modern" orthodoxy is
not based on the 3 principles I articulated, while others may argue with them
they certainly are within the pale of halacha.  The opposition is to the
introduction of American values to Judaism which are diametriaclly opposed
to halacha.

Ari Shapiro

From: M Horowitz <BR00318@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 14:01:56 ECT
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy

Just to answer the poster who seemed to imply that in modern orthodoxy
people are supposed to make their own decisions, while in "charedi"
someone else makes it for them.

When I went to Yeshiva Hamivtar, who's Roshei Yeshiva are Rabbi
Chaim Brovender and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, both of who'm fit within
the centrist orthodox framework, the ideal that Jews must ask questions
of halachic authorities, was as ingrained in us as much as in any
haredie yeshiva.

While me may have followed different Rabbis than the Haredim, the
concept of the importance of gedolim, certainly was in what we were
taught.  No concept on individual religious autonomy existed.

While many people who call themselved modern orthodox may claim that it
means to follows ones own interpretation of halacha, this is not what
the Torah leaders of Centrist Orthodoxy are teaching.  Indeed the reason
that the term centrist orthodoxy was created, was as a rebuky to those
so called modern orthodox, who chose to substitute their own ideas for
that of the Torah.

True centrist Orthodoxy does not mean watch TV instead of going to a
Torah lecture.


From: Mike Grynberg <spike@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 1995 08:23:44 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Rabbinic Biases

On Wed Mar 22, Zvi Weiss wrote:
> In her post of 12 Mar 1995, Aliza Berger tries to claim that ALL
> religious subgroupings have their own "preconceived" biases thus
> attempting to refute Hayim's assertions re the "Modern Orthodox".
> Without getting into the question of whether this is indeed a valid
> characterization of the Modern Orthodox (If anyone has read J.Sack's
> anthology on Modern Orthodoxy, I think that one could find serious
> grounds for disagreeing with Hayim's characterization), I di think that
> Ms. Berger has prsented a very problematic approach.In effect, she is
> asserting that every group has a set of "biases" and that is the basis
> of our halachic evolution!I would like to see some cogent source
> material to backup such an assertion.Normally, our halachic evolution
> is based upon how our Gedolim in each generation continue the task of
> maintaining the Mesorah both through study as well as through P'sak.
> Even the application of statements in situations where they had not
> previously been applied is NOT necessarily be- cause of a bias but
> rather because that is how the p'shat of the statement appears to the
> Posek.

	I do not think that I would accuse the rabbis throughout the
centuries of being biased against women. Although i do believe that
they were aware of society around them, and sociological considerations
played a role in the development of halacha. For example although more
widely accepted today, a woman's right to learn gemara is still shunned
by some communities. (Although i cannot for the life of me understand
why we would try to limit a peson's (male or female's) learning.
If that is the situation today, what do you think
someone would have said a thousand years ago. It probably would have been
unheard of since in that time women were basically regarded as inferior.

Halacha does not exist within a vacuum, and does take sociological factors
into account. In light of this statement, I believe that the rabbis 
throughout the generations interpretations of halacha were influenced by
the prevalent societal values of their generation, and those values are
not alway present in our world which is why it might appear that the rabbis
were biased against women, yet were only reacting to the norms of the time.

michael grynberg


From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 1995 02:21:59 AEST
Subject: Taking out three Sifrei Torah

I am writing this on behalf of one of the Rabbis in our community.  He was 
concerned by a little known halacha and asked me to send his submission out 
to the mail-jewish community.  Any discussion or comments would be welcome 
and any mistakes are probably my bad typing.
Naftoli Biber
"Everything Relies on Mazal - Even a Sefer Torah in the Aron" 
                                                      (Zohar Parshas Naso)
There are halachos which are common knowledge and there are those which, for 
one reason or another, are overlooked.  This may occur in the cases where 
the practical application of a particular halacha is infrequent.
One halacha which fits this category occurs this Shabbos - Parshas Tazriya 
which is Rosh Chodesh and Parshas HaChodesh - when we take out three Sifri 
Torah (Torah scrolls).
It is well known that when there are two Sifrei Torah and we say kaddish 
after concluding the reading of the first Sefer Torah, we first place the 
second Sefer Torah on the bimah (reading table) so that the kaddish being 
said will apply to both of them. (Mogen Avrohom 147:12,  Sha'arei Ephrayim 
It appears from this that the main reason for placing the second Sefer Torah 
on the bimah is in order for it to be there when kaddish is said.    
Consequently, it could be assumed that at the times when we do _not_ say 
kaddish after reading the first Sefer Torah (but only after reading the 
second Sefer Torah) we would not put the second Sefer Torah on the bimah 
when we do hagboh (lifting up the Torah) after reading the first Sefer Torah.
(This occurs this Shabbos and also on Chol Hamoed Pesach when kaddish is 
said after reading the second Sefer Torah).
This assumption is completely erroneous and contrary to the words of the 
Remoh in the above mentioned chapter.  The Remoh writes in paragraph 8 "we 
are not to remove the first Sefer Torah until we have already placed the 
second Sefer Torah on the bimah so that the congregation will not divert 
their mind from the mitzvahs."
It is on this ruling of the Remoh that the Mogen Avrohom makes the statement 
(see above) that when kaddish is being said the second Sefer Torah should be 
placed on the bimah as well.  However, even in the event that kaddish is not 
said, it is required to place the second Sefer Torah on the bimah before 
doing hagbah with the first Sefer Torah.
This is written explicitly in the Sha'arei Ephrayim mentioned above and in 
the Mishna Berurah 685:13.

   Naftoli Biber                          <bibern@...>
   Melbourne, Australia                   Voice & Fax: +61-3-527-5370


End of Volume 19 Issue 26