Volume 39 Number 49
                 Produced: Tue May 27  5:19:22 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

bicycles on Shabbat
         [Ed Goldstein]
Can we say Rav Kook was wrong? (3)
         [c.halevi, Levy Lieberman, Daniel Cohn]
Can we say Rav Kook was wrong? (vegetarianism, etc.)
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Hair Covering
         [Batya Medad]
Prof. Sperber
         [Joel Rich]
R. Kook and animal sacrifices
         [Gershon Dubin]
Rav Kook and Sacrifices
Rav Kook on sacrifices
         [Gil Student]
Women in Pants
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]


From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Ed Goldstein)
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 05:53:58 EDT
Subject: Re: bicycles on Shabbat

A rav I follow forbade bicycles, baby carriages and similar wheeled
devices on Shabbat as a gezeirah mishum choresh when the wheel might
cross a grassy area that is soft.

Rabbi Ed Goldstein


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 11:49:37 -0500
Subject: RE: Can we say Rav Kook was wrong?

Shalom, All:

	Russell Hendel says >>Rav Kooks statement of cessation of animal
sacrifices would destroy and abrogate several Biblical commandments. It
therefore seems to me that in cases like this we are obligated to simply
say he was wrong.<<

	I seem to recall a statement that when the Mashiah (Messiah)
comes, various holidays will no longer be observed -- except for Purim.
If my recollection is correct, then there certainly would be no problem
with Rav Kook saying that the nature of sacrifices would change from
fauna and flora to just flora alone.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi

From: Levy Lieberman <kushint@...>
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 22:27:01 -0400
Subject: RE: Can we say Rav Kook was wrong?

In mail-jewish Vol. 39 #45 Binyomin Segal wrote:

> In general I would think that when we are talking about respected
> scholars of any sort, the more obvious the question, the less confidence
> one should have in the question. It seems unlikely that Rav Kook was not
> aware of the question that Russel raises. He said the same shmoneh esrai
> (and indeed wrote a commentary on >it). If we respect his scholarship,
> we must assume that he had an approach to deal with these criticisms. So
> a more tentative approach would be respectful - something along the
> lines of "I don't understand what he >meant" or "I don't understand how
> he could say this in light of xyz." On the other hand, if some evidence
> comes to light that we know that scholar did not have, that is an
> entirely different ball of wax.

I must say that I'm in full agreement with this approach. Indeed, this
is the method in which I was traind in Yeshivah; to approach even our
own Rosh Yeshivah in this manner -- not only out of respect, but
primarily because we RESPECTED his scholarship, and truthfully gave him
the benefit of the doubt, i.e. that he did think his Shiur through, and
most probably had an explanation to the problem we were addressing.

However I must comment on the following few lines from your posting:

>For example, I recall from my yeshiva days a certain rishon (whose name
>escapes me) that had written about talmudic topics even though he had
>only a rif and no actual talmud. There were times when we relatively
>quickly concluded "he made a mistake because he did not see the actual

It is brought down in the name of the Ba'al Shemtov, that up untill the
MAHARSH"A, all Rishonim and Achronim were written with Ruach Hakodesh.
Therefore, when it comes to these Rishonim and Achornim, even in the
most obvious cases (i.e. when various Meforshim quote their colleagues,
question them, and conclude that an incorrect Girsah was the reason for
saying xyz) *we* must respect that there was a reason for "making this
mistake". (I once heard in the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe'im, that
although it is hard to believe that for instance, the Rambam, actually
thought of every single diyuk that would later be made in his words, we
can be sure that the Ruach Hakodesh dictated it nonetheless.)

Of course, many times we won't succeed in explaining the apparent
question, and therefore no matter what we "believe", the respective
Rishon's opinion cannot carry much weight in further dialouge. However,
what I'm trying to point out is, that we should always look for other
ways to explain the problem, and only resort to "Girsah inconsistincies"
and the like, once we've dried all other options. The RASHA"SH (Rabbi
Shlomo Shtrashun) was critisized by many of his peers for using this
approach to solve the issues he addresses in his Pirush. (Of course,
here too, I do not wish to discredit the RASHA"SH, but rather point out
that this approach was frowned upon by many, and for obvious reasons).

From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 01:12:11 -0400
Subject: RE: Can we say Rav Kook was wrong?

I guess the logical counterthought is quite easy, and it goes like this:
don't you think we can assume that Rav Kook was aware of the fact that
a) the Torah requires animal sacrifices, and b) the Torah is not
supposed to be "ammended" in the future?

Therefore it follows that he must have had a reason for stating what he
stated, even though it seemingly contradicts a) and b) above.

I think every time you try to refute a Gadol (or any person who is at
least as smart and knowledgeable as you are, for that matter) you should
start from the point that he most likely is aware of all the facts you
are aware of, and can do the same deductions you can. I think the Gemara
uses this line of reasoning in many places where rav A refutes rav B and
the Gemara asks what would rav B said to this refutal.

Having said this, it is still difficult to understand why Rav Kook would
not explain how his view did not contradict a) and b) above. Or did he?



From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 14:23:20 +0300
Subject: Re: Can we say Rav Kook was wrong? (vegetarianism, etc.)

In MJ v39 n40, Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> wrote that, given
"the generally accepted position that ALL OF MOSAIC LAW will be
operative in the times of the Messiah... we are allowed to say that 'he
was wrong in stating that there will be no animal sacrifices in the time
of the messiah.'" notwithstanding his being a gadol. He brings an
argument from the law concenring a Sanhedrin that makes a ruling that
abrogates an entire Biblical commandment.

      That's not really  the point.  Of course, we can say that Rav Kook
was wrong.  We don't have infallible popes, and anyway there's no
universal agreement on who are the "gedolei hador."
   But two things to bear in mind:
   1)  The whole question is anyway not really one of pesak halakha,
since for the present the Messiah hasn't come, but more on the order of
theoretical speculation.  Hence all the citations about a Sanhedrin
which erred and caused the public to sin are really besides the point.
     2)  In terms of intellectual honesty and proper respect, I don't
think one should judge a serious thinker (of any sort!) until you've
read the entire text in context, preferably in the original language.
Rav Kook had a whole philosophy abot vegetarianism and wrote a small
book about it, "Hazon ha-Shalom veha-Zimhonut," I believe is the title,
which has recently been reissued.
     Will certain halakhot be changed in the Eschaton?  Noone knows for
sure. Look at Ezekiel Chs. 40-48.  Rambam says we shoudn't speculate
about when Mashiah will come, the various stages involved in the time of
Messiah, how excatly things will be, etc., because "these lead neither
to love nor to fear of Gd (Hilkhot Melakhim 12:2).  Perhaps one should
add, that one shouldn't engage in excessive involvement with "hilkheta
demeshiha" -- the details of whether or not all the halakhot will be the
same or not in the days of the future Temple?  (Asuming one isn't one of
those crazies who think we should slaughter a Korban Pesah (passover
sacrifice) today, perhaps tunneling under the Mosque of Omar, and damn
the consequences, such as maybe igniting World War III.  I hope Russell
doesn't belong to that school of thought.)

    So the whole vegetarian debate relates to what one may or may not do
today.  I don't understand why people can't leave others alone.  At
present, there is no absolute obligation for Jews to eat meat at any
time.  Even re the mitzvah of simhat yom tov (rejoicing on festuivals):
if you read Rambam carefully, both in Sefer Hamitvot (mitzvot aseh, #54)
and in the Mishneh Torah ( Hilkhot Yom Tov 6.17-18), he says that the
Torah obligation of eating meat for simhat yom tov is confined to basar
shelamim, to the flesh of the sacrificial offerings, i.e., to Temple
    If someone doesn't wish to eat meat, for whatever reasons, whether
health or aesthetic / ethical sensitivity, or because he/she just plain
doesn't like it, he can fulfill simhat yom tov in other ways -- i.e.,
having a festive meal of food which he does enjoy.  On one condition:
that he doesn't declare that the Torah is somehow wrong in allowing, and
even requiring, the consumption of meat.
    I once visited Rav Solovetchik ztz"l at his home during the daytime
meal on Simhat Torah day-- usually considered a particularly festive
meal--and he was eating corn flakes and soft cheeses or something
similar for his yomtov meal  (he was admittedly already quite elderly
and maybe had physical limitations on what he could eat).  But he also
said publicly that if you eat whatever you enjoy that's simhat yom tov.
    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 13:42:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Hair Covering

      Why do they look forward to covering their hair? It would seem
      they still prefer to show off their natural hair--unless they have
      bad hair.  My wife covers her hair all the time, but a shaitel can
      be uncomfortable and some of the alternatives don't always look

It's fun.  In some communities there's a "teichel party" before the
wedding, when the bride is given gifts for covering her hair.

Read the new book on hair covering by Urim Press, Hide and Seek. 

The concept of what "looks good" is totally cultural and subjective.   



From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 07:17:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Prof. Sperber

<< [I have only briefly met Prof. Sperber, but I have enjoyed reading his
 classic works on Minhagim. Based on all that I know, I do not think that
 Prof. Sperber is concerned about "rulings *they want* have not been
 issued", but rather about "general paralysis in halachah". Mod.]  >>

His works on the minhagim are a fascinating blend of history,detective work 
and creativity.  We spend shalosh seudot in our little shul studying his works. 
 My favorite story is wrt minhag taut(mistaken customs) In a town outside 
Israel the denizens would go out on the 8th day of Pesach to a ruined stadium and 
eat bread!  It turned out that an individual from Israel had done it a long 
time ago!

Joel Rich


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 25 May 2003 01:49:21 -0400
Subject: R. Kook and animal sacrifices

From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>

<<The Toda can be brought vegetarian.>>

How so?  What happened to the zevach?



From: <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 22:21:47 -0700
Subject: Re: Re: Rav Kook and Sacrifices

> I do not have the writings of Rabbi Kook, but I don't understand how he
> can make such a statement which seems to contradict one of Maimonides 13
> principles, namely the eternity of the Torah.

You don't have to go to RAMBAM, you can just go to Yechezkel - the Novi
talks about the meat hooks in the 3rd Bayit.



From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 09:51:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Rav Kook on sacrifices

 R' Josh Hoffman wrote:
>In a letter to Rabbi Chaim Hirshenson printed in the latter's Malki
>Ba-kodesh, Rav Kook writes that it is proper to believe that, in the
>time of Mashiach, the Beis HaMikdash will be restored and all the
>sacrifices will be brought.

I thank Rabbi Hoffman for the source.  The exact citation is Malki
BaKodesh vol. 4 p. 5.  The book is available for download at
http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdf/malki34.pdf.  Because this is a recurring
topic, I am taking the liberty of translating a relevant passage.

 "On the subject of sacrifices it is also more proper to believe that
everything will return to its place and we will fulfill, in its time
when the redemption comes and [when] prophecy and the holy spirit return
to Israel, everything said in the Torah as it is said."

 Gil Student


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 12:30:16 +0300
Subject: Women in Pants

BSD, erev shabbat behukotai

A contribution to the debate about women wearing pants or slacks.

Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin z'"l came from Europe to the US about 70
years ago and was immediatey recognized by his colleagues as a major
posek.  In addition to founding Ezras Torah, which saved many talmide
hakhamin during the Holocaust and maintained them and others
subsequently, he was kind of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Shlomo Zalman
Auerbach in his day. Sheelot were addressed to him from all parts of the
world.  In Shanah be Shanah 5739 his grandson, Rabbi Yehudah Hertzel
Henkin, published Rabbi Henkin's replies to questions he put to him.
Here is a free translation: p. 410

I asked him ztz"l if it is permitted for a soman to wear pants, and he
replied if the pants are loose and do not cling and adhere to the body I
do not see in this any prohibition. Quite the reverse, there is much in
it of modesty ( tzniut). But if they adhere and cling to the body they
should not be worn. [ [whether this latter is an outright prohibition or
merely something which should not be done, unfortunately I could not
discern from his words]


End of Volume 39 Issue 49