by Joel Rich
Question: If one could lie to someone to get him to observe mitzvot (e.g. A tells B that A has had a revelation from HKB”H that B will be cured of a terminal illness if he observes mitzvot; B believes him and observes, then dies from illness), is A permitted, forbidden or commanded to lie to B?
Statement:Here is a link to Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb's “goodbye drasha” in Baltimore this past shabbos: link
Some may think that like many others, they are giving up a lot. I always remember R' Feivel Paretsky Z"L telling us that he couldn't believe HKB"H would let us be more successful in the long run cutting shiur to study for finals. Hameivin Yavin.
KT & Hatzlacha to all those with the courage to leave all the Babylons behind, may we all be inspired to act according to their examples.
Click here to read more
R’Gottlieb (now of Ramat Beit Shemesh/Shilo-see above) discusses shnayim mikra v’echad targum – is it to prepare for the following shabbat’s reading or to complete the torah on a regular schedule and some implications on practice.
Most importantly R’Gottlieb notes that the baal haturim would have made a “beautiful actuary”. The local keeper of the frum actuarial mesora tells me that the baal haturim actually considered pursuing a degree in actuarial science but was dissuaded by:
* the edgy actuarial lifestyle
* exam schedule conflicting with choref zman
* realization that using expressions such as “the data (sugyot) don’t support your theory (shita)” would automatically get him considered “modernish” and have his thought relegated to blogs (hat tip – R’Yisrael and Nosson)
* the fact that the science hadn’t yet been invented (unless you count those eye of newt guys)
Who was that plant in the audience asking all those questions? Topics include:
1. All year water only pump pots and urns for Passover use? – could be ok but a bunch of caveats.
2. An American in Israel (for Pesach) – Review of various opinions. R’YBS held 1-1/2 days (no melacha, tfilat chol and tfillin w/bracha on day 2). R’HS holds 2-1/2 days (full 2 but puts on tfillin w/o bracha). No closure on when bi-nationals are considered bnai eretz Yisrael.
3. No timtum halev if you eat something that is halachically kosher (always a rationalist at heart).
4. Milk and eggs purchase on Passover – most assume it’s really ok.
5. Hashgacha means no non-kosher ingredients (i.e. means no bittui) because that’s what people expect.
6. If you can ascertain reason for a minhag, and the reason doesn’t apply anymore, then minhag changes (e.g. no one feeds grain to animals).
7. R’Moshe holds we don’t add new categories of kitniyot (else wouldn’t allow kosher for pesach cheerios, etc.)
8. Quinoa – someone in South America uses as grain so some Rabbis see as problem. Since OU is a broadly accepted symbol, they won’t approve. Others will.
9. Karban Pesach was continued after churban!
10. (My summary) Ohev chumrot lo Yisba bchumrot [lovers of stringencies will never be satisfied with stringencies]
11. Machine vs. hand shmura
12. Soft matza (sfardic) is ok for Ashkenazim (R’HS thinks Rama was misunderstood). This would be good for korech (R’YBS apparently never heard of this matza).
A short dvar torah concerning our avdut (slavery) to HKB”H as an avdut bsimcha (we are happy in this condition)[me – Yismach Moshe bmatnat chelko, ki eved neeman karata lo. Sidepoint – While aiui mefarshim understand yismach as past tense, I like it as future commitment]
One of my favorite stories (ok – so I have a lot of them) of the Sfat Emet/Imrei Emet and the importance and power of “Ana Hashem” in hallel and meaning “Ana Hashem ki ani avdecha”, not hoshia na or hazlicha na [me – IIRC great R’YBS drasha (not here) on fact that there is no “object” of Ana Hashem in the sentence Ana Hashem ki ani avdecha – just let me have a relationship; a wordless prayer]
Some Q&A – most important (IMHO) – everyone needs to find their own kinyan in torah (no one size fits all).
Review of history of mishenadar/mishebeach (commiting to contribute) on Shabbat – IMHO generally looking for rationalization of what, by pure logic, would be prohibited.
Interesting take of “Shacteih” (what Rava did to R’Zeira (embarrass him?)) and history of how to be mekayem this. [IIUC everyone agrees injuring oneself is not appropriate]
R’HS & R’MW disagree on how much to drink on Purim and when to drink!
Parshat Parah – if it’s duraita, what exactly does it mean? (some surprising answers). Discussion (short compared to his series) of meaning of torah shebaal peh. What is “sof horrah?” Some insights on washing and Kiddush wine.
Moshe breaking luchot – Five approaches to how this was halachically acceptable.
Detailed analysis of opinions as to when and if one can/should/may give up life for religion. Is the focus on the intent of the perpetrator or the severity of the sin?
A quick review of otzar beit din rules (re: shmitta) - CLOR as there are differing opinions.
Low audio – Interesting issues concerning telling the patient and/or family about serious illness. Halacha, Hashkafa and psychology – including recent studies on the impact on the patient of knowing the full impact of the seriousness of his illness.
All mitzvot have reasons (even if not clear to us). Differing approaches as to whether their focus is on the impact on the individual or the world or on HKB”H?!
(Avodah readers – a few minutes on the recently discussed timtum halev impact – which “realilty” is it?)
R’YBS in Halachic Mind – don’t ask why HKB”H gave a mitzvah (no way we can understand!) ask what impact it’s supposed to have on us!
Discussion of nature of birchat hatora including requirement, if any, for women. R’YBS’s insight on brachot vis-à-vis focus on action vs. result and the implications for saying the bracha before or after the mitzvah and whether someone else can say it. Sometimes there are elements of both (e.g. tfillin). Perhaps this can be extended to birchat hatorah since learning also should result in a changed person.
When is fever a Shabbat danger? When you would take a kid to the doctor (or call them) during the week! There is no one temperature – it depends on specific circumstances.
It’s ok to have questions and doubts as long as you don’t act on them (= denial).
Pesach is a holiday of questioning on an intellectual basis vs. Shavuot which is one of functional faith.
R’Moshe on medical issues. Fascinating response on can you study medicine? He differentiates from past (e.g. Rambam was unique, medicine took less time to learn…) to today (no requirement to study medicine, should do torah only till can’t, people don’t study medicine lshma…) Maybe some few unique individuals…
Another tshuva allowing Hatzalah members to wear beepers on Shabbat (it’s an adornment!) and why allow Hatzalah – because even if paid non ben brit, they wouldn’t care about sanctity of life as much as ben brit [me – real shikul haddat – unclear if this situation requires ongoing monitoring]
Use the best doctor, even if an apikores! Painful memories (for me) of what some Rabbis said after Entebbe [me – imagine HKB”H sending redemption through non-frum, almost as unimaginable as having redemption through a young Jewish queen living with a non-Jewish king!]
Is it true that a Talmud chacham who learns anything other than “pure torah” (TBD) will never reach the level of one who didn’t [me – hmmm I remember the GRA had a thought on this?]
A quickie review of the implications of the “mesacheik bkuvia” (dice playing?) in Talmud Sanhedrin. How is asmachta defined – what are the implications?). His bottom line – generally gambling is prohibited.
Discussion of the mitzvot of being involved in torah learning versus knowing torah. Differing understandings of time allocations to learning and knowing torah vs. other priorities.
Interesting look back at the early years of the Yeshiva and R’Revel’s wide ranging brilliance.
Introduction to basics of genetics and genetic diseases including risk analysis.
R’Willig reviews his positions on genetic testing, who to get involved with and who not to get involved with. When to tell and when not to tell (seriousness threshold, timing threshold) when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em.
An interesting approach (meaning not the traditional beit medrash – but does the study of tehilim take place there as a matter of course?) to the organization and authorship of tehilim as well as a close reading psalm we say during the week before birkat hamazon. I’m not really into poetry analysis but this was eye opening to me (logical – in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, or in the zoo!).
Does a sefer torah that is pasul lose it’s kedusha and what are the implications for keeping it in the aron kodesh? [bet you didn’t know there could have been an issue with this!]
Thursday, March 18, 2010
by Joel Rich