Volume 65 Number 34 
      Produced: Sun, 10 Apr 22 12:42:39 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Rabbinic Scholar and History 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Distinctive Jewish Dress? 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Libi Omer Li (3)
    [Isaac Balbin  Alexander Seinfeld  Yisrael Medad]
Shechting an animal with two heads 
    [Elazar Teitz]
The New Shtiebel Near Me 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Zelensky, Putin and animal sacrrifice 
    [Yisrael Medad]


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 4,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: A Rabbinic Scholar and History

The following is from the book Mavericks, Mystics, & False Messiahs by Pini
Dunner. While I have not finished reading this book, it is thus far a most
fascinating read.

"A rabbinic scholar cannot be ignorant of history and changing times ... and
must never be considered a fool or a simpleton in worldly affairs. One is obliged to
know history to understand our Talmudic sages and Jewish law."

- Rabbi Yaakov Emden (1697-1776)

How many rabbinic scholars do you know who are knowledgeable about history and
changing times?



From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 6,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Distinctive Jewish Dress?

Haredim and Chassidim think that their mode of dress is distinctively Jewish. I
have news for them. They look like some gentiles of the past.

See the picture of John Ridley at


John Ridley (26 May 1806 - 25 November 1887) was an English miller, inventor,
landowner, investor, farming machinery manufacturer, farmer and preacher who
lived in Australia between 1839 and 1853. He is best known for the development,
manufacture and invention of "Ridley's Stripper", a machine that removed the
heads of grain, with the threshing being done later by a separate machine.

In light of this, perhaps it is time for a new version of distinctive Jewish dress!



From: Isaac Balbin <isaac.balbin@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 27,2022 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Libi Omer Li

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#33): 

> Rabbi Asher Weiss often uses the phrase "Libi Omer Li (My heart tells me)" 
> when describing a position which is not based on concrete sources, especially 
> when it's due to new technology or circumstances. I"ve usually heard it 
> referred to as halachic intuition but I dont know anyone who seriously tries
> to dissect it.

Of course, there is an entire corpus of material which looks into the times that
the Rambam says Yeroeh Li [it appears to me], which implies that he didn't have
a Mekor in Chazal [explicit source] for his Psak [decision]. Equally, when he
doesn't say Yeroeh Li and there is no apparent Mekor.

There is no doubt that a Posek's final conclusion is not necessarily an
algorithmic determination. If it were, there would be more determinism. Instead,
we tend to gravitate towards an accepted opinion.

Indeed, some categories, such as Avsha Milsa vis a vis the spirit of Shabbos, DO
lend themselves to Libi Omer Li.

That being said, Rav Weiss does use it often, and it may well be his way of
saying that though one could argue and though there does not appear to be a
clear cut conclusion, this is his Psak.

Chachmei HaMesora are bestowed with divine inclination  perhaps this is Rav
Weisss way of expressing such.

> My own footnote is that I believe it is on this basis that those who say 
> anybody who has seen anything outside the Torah world is not fit to be a posek 
> because their intuition has been affected by outside sources. Of course, I
> opposite but that's for another time.

On that basis, the Rambam couldn't have written Yeroeh Li and been accepted ...

From: Alexander Seinfeld <seinfeld@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 28,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Libi Omer Li

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 65#33):

The article he cites defines intuition as "the influence of non-conscious 
emotional information.

I doubt R Weiss shlita would agree with that interpretation of Libi omer li. I
suspect he would state that he is fully conscious of the influences on his
judgments and that they are not emotional. I think he would say that libi omer
li means that this is my best judgment based on the sources, without having a
clear-cut black-and-white source that says this.

Therefore, I don't think the academic study of intuition is relevant here.

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 28,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Libi Omer Li

Joel Rich asks (MJ 65#33) if any of us have "thoughts" about the use of "libi
omer li" in expounding a Halachic position which is not based on concrete sources.

All I can contribute is that the Rambam uses "it appears to me" - as in Hiclhot
Ma'achalot Asurot, 7:16, in a similar way.

Yisrael Medad


From: Elazar Teitz <emteitz@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 27,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Shechting an animal with two heads

In response to Martin Stern and Perets Mett (MJ 65#33):

Although the animal in question is obviously a treifa, and its shechita would
not permit it to be eaten, there is still a halachic consequence, albeit of no
current practical applicability.

If a kosher-species animal dies without shechita, in addition to its eating
being prohibited, it renders impure the individual touching or carrying it. 
Shechita removes both consequences.  If the animalis a treifa, although the
shechita does not permit it to be eaten, it does remove it from being a source
of impurity.



From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 14,2022 at 11:17 PM
Subject: The New Shtiebel Near Me

R. Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 65#33):

> Prof. L. Levine tells us (MJ 65#32) about a new shteibel near him, talks about
> its extensive renovations, describes how it was built, its decor, its davening
> and its kiddush, and asks "What should one think of such a Kiddush? I wouldn't
> presume to tell those who daven in that shteibel what to think about its
> kiddush or anything else concerning their shteibel. For those of us like me
> who do not daven there (which is probably most or all of MJ's readership), I"d
> suggest that if we have enough time to think about a shul's kiddush (or its
> renovations, decor, or davening), let's spend that time thinking about our own
> shul and its activities and how we can improve it/them to reflect as best we
> can our understanding of keddushat beit knesset and Shabbat. 

Am I to deduce that you are completely ignoring the quote from Rav Shimon
Schwab, ZT"L that I gave? If so, I find this most surprising.  Rav Schwab was
a true and balanced godol and his writings reflect this. May I suggest, WADR,
that you go to


and spend some time reading some of his articles. I assure you that you will
find them enlightening and most uplifting. In particular, I think you will
benefit greatly by reading

These and Those <https://web.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/these_and_those.pdf>


Much Overdone <https://web.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/much_overdone_rss.pdf>

Yitzchok Levine


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 27,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Zelensky, Putin and animal sacrrifice

David Zohar, quoting from R' Albo quoted by Rav Sacks, writes "Why did Hashem
reject Cain's offering, the first meat sacrifice?" Did not Cain bring a grain
offering (see Genesis 4:3)?

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 65 Issue 34