Thursday, March 15, 2007

How superstitious can one be?

Jewish Worker posted this

http://jewishworker.blogspot.com/2007/03/important-information-for-all-daf-yomi.html

It is mind boggling to me that people of the stature of R. Chaim Kanievsky lend their name to such nonsense. What can one expect from his followers?


42 comments:

  1. I was absolutely shocked when I saw this ad. This is a result of the current Charedi simple (anti-science) emnua peshuta hashkafa.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What makes it even more galling is that they make a mitzvah De'oraita into an amulet. Believe me I restrained myself from voicing my real thoughts.

    I would have a problem following any psak by RCK after this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What is fascinating is that such an ad could come out in Charedi Israel where such an emphasis is placed on everyone sitting and learning and the importance of limud hatorah is stressed to the nth degree. This ad doesn't fit that hashkafa at all. In Volohzin they learned all of Shas including Moed Katan.

    This ad does fits the hashkafa where everyone needs to blindly follow what the Gedolim say.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is no hashkafah. The leaders of today's yeshiva world are great halachik technicians who have no concept of what the purpose of all that "technology" is meant for, help us to find and serve HKBH.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would have said the reverse - they are so hung up on hashkafa silliness that they lose sight of basic halacha. The segula of giving tzedaka has surpassed the power of talmud torah itself.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anything goes to make a buck-as is well known.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tzedakah is a direct enabler of Talmud Torah in the Israeli chareidi world, so that it doesn't seem to be a change of focus at all.

    Why blame R' Kanievsky, though? It does come from the Chasam Sofer, doesn't it? (On second thought, being that one is allowed to state a halacha that one knows to be true b'sheim a random gadol in order to give his words more weight, maybe...)

    ReplyDelete
  8. What makes it even more galling is that they make a mitzvah De'oraita into an amulet.

    Sounds vaguely reminiscent of the modern-day observance of nittel nacht.

    ReplyDelete
  9. >Sounds vaguely reminiscent of the modern-day observance of nittel nacht.

    Nu. Are you looking for a chavruta on nittel nacht?

    ReplyDelete
  10. >It does come from the Chasam Sofer, doesn't it?

    Do you have the reference? Did you look at it in context?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nu. Are you looking for a chavruta on nittel nacht?

    I meant in the sense of regulating talmud torah based on the external hashkafic reasons of not giving a zchus to Yeshu.

    Do you have the reference? Did you look at it in context?

    My question was a true question, not rhetorical. Is this statement of the Chasam Sofer recorded anywhere?
    [On a similar note, I've heard that Ta'amei HaMinhagim's cite of the Chasam Sofer's reason for why hilchos Chanukah are not compiled in the Mishnah (i.e., Rebbi's grudge against malchus Chashmona'i) is also not found in any of the Chasam Sofer's known writings.]

    ReplyDelete
  12. >My question was a true question, not rhetorical.

    I really have no idea and I was serious. Unless I look up the reference in context it means nothing.

    Re Nittel, it is not giving to Yeshu or SA. That is a much later invention. The idea started because it was dangerous to go to the Beit hamidrash in the European cities during that hour.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Re Nittel, it is not giving to Yeshu or SA. That is a much later invention. The idea started because it was dangerous to go to the Beit hamidrash in the European cities during that hour.

    I know, but my impression is that those who are makpid on it nowadays hold that there's some inherent hashkafic reason, similar to... I'd actually rather not defend the practice, so I'll just stop.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Eagle-Wannabe3/15/2007 8:46 PM

    Nonsense and foolishness is this. These rabbonim think they know what is best for everyone, so they create 'meisas' that are accepted by their hungry, ignorant masses. These folks live in a bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  15. >These folks live in a bubble.

    You are right. But have you gone to Lakewood, bnei brak, certain areas of Jerusalem lately? They think we are in the bubble. Unfortunately Avodah Zara is a very attractive addiction.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sort of gives some perspective on the Chazalic idea that some of the greatest ovdei avoda zara were actually very "frum." (eg, Menashe)

    ReplyDelete
  17. David, take a look at my latest post - very relevant to this subject.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is my first and bl'n last time on this blog but you guys are all attacking a straw man.Noone said not to learn moed kotton.Rather a tzedokah ornization is advertising and taking advantage of the possible fact that the chasom sofer said to give tzedokah before learning moed kotton to avoid problems.Any reasonble person reading the ad would understand it that way.Presumbly the chasom sofer is due to the gem in moed kotton which says over how people died because they learnt these halachos in a personal manner(if your father died...)Big deal.It's like a matzoh bakery trying to make business by advertising a new chumroh they have.
    BTW I once saw a secular article which claimed that even many athiests are scared to curse themselves or close ones(the main point of the article/study was that many people who claim to be or were brought as athiests act in amanner or say things which indicate an intuitive knowledge of god and the world to come.Personal anectodal experiance has confirmed that study to a large extent)

    ReplyDelete
  19. >the main point of the article/study was that many people who claim to be or were brought as athiests act in amanner or say things which indicate an intuitive knowledge of god and the world to come.

    You mean god is in Elohim Acherim!

    ReplyDelete
  20. >Huh?

    Do you mean that if someone is superstitious it proves he believes in HKBH? I understand that our Torah teaches us that HKBH is to be found somewhere else and that all these supe4rstitions are elohim acherim, whether Rambam's understanding Shtussim or Ramban's that it is assur.

    Al tifnu el ha'ovot ve'el haydeonim.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ודברים האלו--כולן, דברי שקר וכזב הן; והן שהטעו בהן עובדי עבודה זרה הקדמונים לגויי הארצות, כדי שיינהו אחריהן. ואין ראוי לישראל, שהן חכמים מחוכמים, להימשך בהבלים אלו, ולא להעלות על הלב שיש בהן תעלה: שנאמר "כי לא נחש ביעקוב, ולא קסם בישראל" (במדבר כג,כג), ונאמר "כי הגויים האלה, אשר אתה יורש אותם--אל מעוננים ואל קוסמים, ישמעו; ואתה--לא כן, נתן לך ה' אלוהיך" (דברים יח,יד).

    יח כל המאמין בדברים אלו, וכיוצא בהן, ומחשב בליבו שהן אמת ודברי חכמה, אבל התורה אסרה אותן--אינו אלא מן הסכלים ומחסרי הדעת, ובכלל הנשים והקטנים שאין דעתן שלמה. אבל בעלי החכמה ותמימי הדעת, יידעו בראיות ברורות--שכל אלו הדברים שאסרה תורה, אינן דברי חכמה, אלא תוהו והבל שנמשכו בהן חסרי הדעת, ונטשו כל דרכי האמת בגללן. ומפני זה אמרה תורה, כשהזהירה על כל אלו ההבלים, "תמים תהיה, עם ה' אלוהיך" (דברים יח,יג).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Speaking about R.Ch.Kanievsky-I read this morning a lengthy article in 'Maariv' about him.
    It describes how he became a celebrity & has a large following.
    Many come to him,even secular celebs,to receive his blessing.
    It tells of his modesty & humble lifestyle amidst the charedim,where you see many of them flaunting their 2 cell phones hanging from their belts & other ostentacious luxuries(& yet they are supposed to live in poverty...).
    It also tells about the many miracles & wonders ascribed to him.

    Two thoughts came to my mind when I read this article.
    1. How the chareidi world has deteriorated.
    That when a person lives according to his means & in modest surroundings,such a big tararam should be made of it ,instead of it being considered normal & laudable.

    2.About the wonders ascribed to him:
    after reading your posting of the email you received about Einstein ,nothing surprises me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. >after reading your posting of the email you received about Einstein ,nothing surprises me.

    I see you really liked that post!
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Comment on http://www.avakesh.com/2007/03/is_studying_moe.html

    ReplyDelete
  25. This ad was placed by "Kupat Hair" seeking to raise more funds for their activities. They routinely misconstrue the words of Rav Kanievsky as well as many other Gedolim. I would not take this at face value as something Rav Kanievsky has said. if he said it at all, it was probably taken out of context!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Vanter, I agree and my comment is on the social sickness that is, believing that learning Moed Kattan can bring about death and that that threat can increase Kupat Ha'ir income and that Rav Kanievsky does not protest the misuse of his name.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am actually aware of certain instances where Rav Kanievsky has in fact told people not to believe anything they see posted in his name, as he is aware that his quotes are often misquoted or totally fabricated. There is no point in him protesting this, as people will just keep on doing it to him and to other Gedolim, as they have been doins since time began.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Believing in the caohch hdibbur is not a superstision.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I came to this “party” late, but the gross misrepresentations noted here make it difficult to remain silent…

    The owner of this blog, who obviously professes to be a Torah-True Jew, takes exception to what a certain Tzedaka organization quotes the Chasam Sofer’s minhag to fast before learning Moed Katan, and R’ Kaneivsky comment that giving Tzedakah would therefore be appropriate…

    So, this blogger and his cronies go on to decry the superstitious Charedim. He actually quotes the Rambam “chapter and verse”, clearly stating that Jews are not superstitious. He goes on to question whether the Chsam Sofer actually ever said anything of the sorts…..

    What’s wrong with this picture? Many things!

    1) Nobody is saying that one should refrain from learning Moed Katan. The question is only how one should approach such study.

    2) The חשש that learning certain Mesechtos may ch”v bring unwanted outcomes is WELL documented.


    Let me explain: The Sefer Chassidim says (Siman (#1 or #261, depending on the print), states that one SHOULD learn those Meschtos like Moed Koton which the multitudes neglect. He goes on to add specific "instructions": 1) To be Mespalel before commencing the Limud, 2) To learn "בחשאי" and without קלות ראש.

    The Chayay Moshe quotes the Chasam Sofer's minhag (from Sefer Hazikoron Miminhokei Hachasam Sofer) to FAST before learning these Mesechtos. He also quotes the Yosef Ometz pg. 270 saying the same in the name of the "Kadmonim"(. Therefore, the Chsam Sofer is simply a variation of the advice given by the Sefer Chassidim.

    There does however appear to be a difference of opinion concerning the Sefer Chassidim's opinion on this matter. The Shiuurei Knesses Hagdola (246:3) quotes him as being of the opinion that it is preferable not to dwell on the details of these Mesechtos too much. The "Mefarash" in the Sefer Chasidim, however, seems to say that the unfortunate consequence of being afraid of unpleasant outcomes is that one doesn't understand his learning clearly, so we should therefore NOT be afraid.

    Does the owner of this blog believe that all of the aforementioned where superstitious????

    Okay. So let’s go back a bit further. The Gemara in Kesuvos 8: says:


    כי הא דרב חייא בר אבא מקרי בניה דריש לקיש הוה ואמרי לה מתני בריה דריש לקיש הוה שכיב ליה ינוקא ... א"ל קום אימא מלתא כנגד אבלים פתח ואמר אחינו המיוגעים המדוכאין באבל הזה תנו לבבכם לחקור את זאת זאת היא עומדת לעד נתיב הוא מששת ימי בראשית רבים שתו רבים ישתו כמשתה ראשונים כך משתה אחרונים אחינו בעל נחמות ינחם אתכם ברוך מנחם אבלים אמר אביי רבים שתו לימא רבים ישתו לא לימא משתה ראשונים לימא משתה אחרונים לא לימא דאר"ש בן לקיש וכן תנא משמיה דר' יוסי לעולם אל יפתח אדם פיו לשטן אמר רב יוסף מאי קרא (ישעיהו א) כסדום היינו לעמורה דמינו מאי אהדר ליה שמעו דבר ה' קציני סדום וגו'

    Clearly, if we believe in Chza”l, we need to be careful about what we say.

    Another Gemara, this one in Gitin 57:

    תהילים מד) כי עליך הורגנו כל היום נחשבנו כצאן טבחה ... ר' שמעון בן לקיש אמר אלו ת"ח שמראין הלכות שחיטה בעצמן דאמר רבא כל מילי ליחזי איניש בנפשיה בר משחיטה ודבר אחר

    Was R’ Shimon Ben Lokosh CH”V superstitious???? The Kaf Hachaim mentions the חשש of speaking about stories mentioned in Moed Katan in the “first person” as being the reason to be careful when we learn it.


    Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Gemara will know of a concept called "עין הרע". Is it all superstition?


    What about the Rambam Mr. Guttman quotes?

    I believe he totally misses the point. Of course we aren’t superstitious, but as the Shulchan Aruch O”C Siman 301:27 notes, things that actually makes a difference is not considered superstition. There are many differences of opinion in Halacha concerning which repercussions are REAL and therefore not superstitious, vs. which are only imagined and therefore considered superstition. So to is there a difference of opinion concerning this specific instance, namely whether to take special precautions before learning Moed Katan.

    I cannot fathom why the commentators who reacted negatively to Rav Kaneivsky’s “eytzah” didn’t even bother to check any sources before bashing a Talmid Chochom of tremendous stature. He should surely not be held liable for some organization using his words for their own benefit. (Though I do find the posters in bad taste…)

    In essence, this thread has taught me the dangers of too much Chakira: We tend to think that we are “better” than the next fellow, to the point where we get careless and go way overboard!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Y.K., thank you for your comment and I am impressed with your erudition.

    You ask if I believe R.Yehudah Hachassid was superstitious? I believe that he was strongly influenced by his surroundings and the culture he lived in. The people who lived in Germany and France, were quite ignorant of even the science of their time and could not distinguish between superstion and science (reality). That is why most of sefer chassidim was ignored by later posskim.

    Re the gemarot, as usual Aggadah needs to be interpreted and please note that Rambam totally ignores any Gemara that deals with any paranormal things such as Ayin Hara, Shedim and Ruchot. He in fact does not metion Negel Vasser, as it is based on Ruach Ra.

    Your interprertation of Rambam I quoted is wrong. You are referring to Kemeiah De'itmachi which rambam is Matir and if i recall correctly in Pirush Hamishna he sees it as a psychological boost to the sick person who believes it will help. He clearly denies any real efficacy for it.

    Re Rav Kanievsky, I did insinuate that this was not sanctioned by him. I have no proof but i prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I am sorry that you are so afraid of "Hakirah" which to me equals Sechel and Emet which are ultimately HKBH's derachim. One has to search and look for the truth with candles, flashlights and not be distracted by multitudes of opinions. It is the strength of the Torah that it will stand up to the scrutiny of itys most vehement critic. Truth should not fear critical analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  31. One more thing - re learning Moed Katan, Beshem Chasam Sofer is not the same as Cahasam Sofer. Re Kaf Hachaim , I don't believe his opinion is binding as the opinion of tanaim is not binding in inyanei aggadah as per Rambam in Shavuot et al.

    But fundamentally the Torah is not a medicine nor a poison for the body. It is involved only with our Sechel which makes us human as opposed to other living animals. Anyone that believes that Torah learning can have an influence in healing our bodies or in hurting it, is plain wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  32. TO DG:


    Thanks for your response.

    I most empathetically disagree with your response, and as time allows later today I will IY”H try to elaborate on why. But in the meantime, three short points:

    1) The Gemeras in Kesuvos and Gitin that I quoted seem to refute your totally “Sechel” based POV. I don’t see any mention of them in your rebuttal.

    2) The Shulchan Aruch O”C Siman 301:27that I mentioned does not necessarily pertain to Kemeiah De'itmachi, as you noted. The Mechaber notes two Shitos on that point. Frankly, I don’t think you are of the stature to decide between the two.

    3) The pertaining to Ayin Horah is one example of paranormal issues that ARE not just Agada, but quoted in Halacha.

    4) Even assuming the Rambam was of the opinion that you note (which I believe is not true), where do you get the gall to make blanket statements like “Anyone that believes that Torah learning can have an influence in healing our bodies or in hurting it, is plain wrong”. Who are YOU to decide between Gedolim of many generations before us?

    ReplyDelete
  33. >Anyone that believes that Torah learning can have an influence in healing our bodies or in hurting it, is plain wrong”.

    הלוחש על המכה וקורא פסוק מן התורה, וכן הקורא על התינוק שלא ייבעת, המניח ספר תורה או תפילין על הקטן בשביל שיישן--לא דיי להן שהן בכלל חוברים ומנחשים: אלא שהן בכלל הכופרים בתורה, שהן עושין דברי תורה רפאות גוף, ואינן אלא רפאות נפשות, שנאמר "ויהיו חיים, לנפשך" (משלי ג,כב). Hil AZ 11:13

    As you can see it sounds like I quoted Rambam.

    Re the rest of your responses I am not sure what you mean with the Gemara. As I wrote earlier divrei aggadah are meant to be understood not read literally.

    Re Ayin hara I do not believe it exists in a mystical sense. I understand it to be a defect of one who is jealous of someone else. I also believe that someone who shows off is asking for the reaction of those that are jealous and it is advisable to be hatznea Lechet from a purely practical sense. The fact that certain of these things found their way into halacha is in my opinion not binding. If someone wants to follow them so be it. it is certainly not something that mitzvat tochacha would apply. However someone who does things because he *believes* that divrei torah can harm or help is wrong belashon neky'a.

    ReplyDelete
  34. First off, concerning your compliment as to my erudition. Actually, I was very impressed with your own (not to mention, your much better command of the English language). Mine leaves much to be desired…


    1) I’ll add a few more citations as to “superstitious beliefs”. The basic issue of our discussion is actually a whole Siman in Shulchan Aruch: Yorah Deah 179. In the first סעיף the Rema brings the Bais Yosef that says something very similar to what you mentioned a while back from the Rambam about תמים תהי' as a reason not to follow astrology. But then in the rest of the Siman the Mechaber and Rema go on to permit many things that you would surely consider as superstitious. Many popular Minhagim could be included in this category, such as only marrying on certain days of the month (mentioned Y”D 179:2), saying Pesukim before retiring at night to ward off Mazikim (O”C 239:1) and Kaporos Erev Yom Kippur (O”C 605:1). Some not so popular, but nevertheless permitted minhagim include making note of one’s shadow on the night of Hoshona Rabba (O”C 664:1), preparing a table of delicacies on the night before a Bris Milah for good luck (Y”D 178:3). All of these are accepted. This is Halacha, not Aguda. Halacha is binding.

    Furthermore, your point about Divrei Torah not hindering or healing and the Rambam you quoted, is actually a Gemara in Shovuos 15: but as the Gemara notes (and also mentioned in Y”D 179:12) we ARE permitted to use Divrei Torah להגן. I’ll quote the Gemara:

    רבי יהושע בן לוי אמר להו להני קראי וגאני היכי עביד הכי והאמר ר' יהושע בן לוי אסור להתרפאות בדברי תורה להגן שאני ואלא כי אמר אסור דאיכא מכה אי דאיכא מכה אסור ותו לא והתנן הלוחש על המכה אין לו חלק לעולם הבא הא איתמר עלה א"ר יוחנן ברוקק שנו לפי שאין מזכירין שם שמים על הרקיקה:

    Indeed, the Toras Chaim in Mesectas Shovous explains a well-known Gemara in Eyruvin 54.that implies that we SHOULD use Divrei Torah for healing, by making the aforementioned differentiation:

    חש בראשו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר כי לוית חן הם לראשך חש בגרונו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר וענקים לגרגרותיך חש במעיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר רפאות תהי לשרך חש בעצמותיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ושקוי לעצמותיך חש בכל גופו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ולכל בשרו מרפא




    Granted, the issue isn’t simple. The Gilyon Hashas notes a long Teshuavos HaRashba 413 on this matter, and the Sugya concerning this in Shabbos 57. needs careful study. Unfortunately, my present schedule doesn’t allow it. But it’s definitely beyond our league to decide.

    2) Besides, the way I see it, the issue at hand has nothing to do with whether Divrei Torah hurt, rather it’s a question of אל יפתח פיו לשטן, which would mean that it is not the Divrei Torah that may ch”v cause damage, but rather the person’s indiscretions while speaking. As I recall, Seforim explain the concept as one where the damage is actually caused by a persons own prior transgressions, and his indiscretions serve as a “trigger” of sorts that cause a “spotlight” to be trained on those transgressions.

    3) Furthermore, I believe that your wholesale discounting of all Agadata is off the mark. For, as the Rambam himself notes in the Hakdama to Pirush Hamishnayos, the meaning is often hidden-but that does not imply that a Gemara saying אל יפתח אדם פיו לשטן doesn’t count for anything. (PS: Do YOU ever say “Chas Vesholem”? Assuming you do-Did you ever think about why you do it?)

    4) BTW, I don’t think that you’re in an enviable position; even assuming your “Shita” is indeed the Shita of the Rambam. Your burden of proof is to prove the Minhag of fasting before learning Moed Katan as wrong; your detractors (like me) only need to prove that it has a Mekor that is יסודתו על הררי קודש.

    5) I don’t know why you have a problem giving attribution to the Chsam Sofer. If you believe that the Yosef Ometz, Kaf Hachaim, ET el. Aren’t binding, why not just say the same about the Chsam Sofer?

    6) I believe that your comment that ayin horah is just practical advice to avoid jealousy is totally wrong. Ayin Horah and the related Hezak Riyah are also mentioned in Shulcahn Aruch as being PROHIBITED. (See C”M 157).

    7) Yes, truth is indeed what we are searching for. But picking and choosing parts of the Torah that match our preconceptions and discarding the rest is NOT truth. As Torah True Jews, the Torah should mold our conceptions. Our conceptions should not mold our understanding of Torah!

    We will have to accept the fact that the Torah has mitzvohs that we don’t understand and even some that we might find barbaric (מחיית עמלק) if measured only using our humanistic-rational minds.

    8) I stand by my earlier words that too much Chakira is harmful. And BTW, it’s actually not my words. Please see the fascinating שלטי הגבורים on Mesectas Avodah Zorah 5: of the דפי הרי"ף. I know, I shouldn’t waste my time because you’ve already made up your mind….

    As far as the “scientific fact” line, here’s a good link that I found very much to the point concerning the misuse of science (although I have no idea whether the writers premise concerning extraterrestrial intelligence has any merit)

    http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/scepticism/drasin.html

    PS: With my current workload, I hope I’ll be able to continue this give-and-take. It IS time-consuming!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I read some choice tidbits of venom-spewing anti-charedi hatred voiced earlier on this thread:

    “Charedi simple (anti-science) emnua peshuta hashkafa”

    “I would have a problem following any psak by RCK after this.”

    “This ad does fits the hashkafa where everyone needs to blindly follow what the Gedolim say.”

    “they are so hung up on hashkafa silliness that they lose sight of basic halacha. The segula of giving tzedaka has surpassed the power of talmud torah itself.”

    “Sounds vaguely reminiscent of the modern-day observance of nittel nacht.”

    “These rabbonim think they know what is best for everyone, so they create 'meisas' that are accepted by their hungry, ignorant masses. These folks live in a bubble.”

    SO GUYS: WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY NOW THAT THIS HASHKAFA IS SHOWN TO BE GOOD OLE’ FASHIONED GEMARA AND SHULCHON ARUCH BASED??? RABID ANTI-SEMITES THAT YOU ALL ARE!!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. >All of these are accepted. This is Halacha, not Aguda. Halacha is binding.

    Siman 179 deals with the issur of Mnachesh et al and the mechaber is matir certain things . It does noy mean that one has to do them but if one does it is not terrible. Even when he says Nohagim etc... that is the meaning.


    >we ARE permitted to use Divrei
    Torah להגן

    Rambam paskens that way in the same hallacha but it is a bedieved as does the SA in the same siman.

    >But picking and choosing parts of the Torah that match our preconceptions and discarding the rest is NOT truth.

    Again you are misinterpreting. I would never suggest that a mitzvah that I don't understand the reasoin for should not be kept. Adraba see rambam at the end of Hil Me'ilah. However one has to differentiate between halachot that are medina degmara (psak namely as recorded in Mishne Torah or at least the massigim like Ra'avad) and localized halaxchot and minhagim set in place later. (See Mishne Torah in the hakdamah)

    I knoew the Beit yossef in his hakdamah argues that his purpose ids to prevent Agudot agudot in klal YTisroel, that in itself is quite controversial as Rema did not give him breathing time and immediately wrote the Mapah. Are you saying R. Moshe Isserles was denying Torah?

    It is also important to understand the idea of bal tossif. Rambam tells us that we have to clearly differentiate when we do something me'ikar hadin or when it is a chumra or a geder. (see hil mamrim 2:9). The same applies to many of the things you enumerate if they don't fall under the rubric of bedi'eved.

    >I believe that your wholesale discounting of all Agadata is off the mark

    CV who discounts? On the contrary it is davka agadeta that is deep and important but never understood Kefshuto. See my post on how RMS in meshech chochma explains an aggadata.

    >I stand by my earlier words that too much Chakira is harmful.

    I understand your standpoint. Altough I find it harmful to me, I believe that hakirah is the yesod of the Torah, I can see how others are scared of it. I think it is a chissaron in self esteem and bitachon in the Torah that it stands up to all scrutiny.

    I thank you for your comments. You have just provided me with quite a few posts and much learning and research. Mina'i Uminach ytbarer shemaytetha. (Approximate quote)

    ReplyDelete
  37. To anon 7:45pm:

    I think you should tone down the rhetoric a bit. I also found many of the earlier comments disgusting, and that’s why I posted my comments. But in essence, I think many of these anti-charedi posters are just acting on their preconceived knee-jerk reaction. How else do you explain that so many have taken the time to post negative comments and so few have actually taken the time to look up the sources?

    Another thing-I think that many people instinctively recoil when they hear things that seem to be “scary” or restrictive about our religion. I think someone earlier said that he pities the person who learns Moed Katan and then ch”v has a tragedy befall him, then thinks that he brought it upon himself and therefore won’t forgive himself.

    As it happens, this reasoning DOES have merit. I think that when the Rema in (O”C 664:1) mentions that one should preferably NOT note of one’s shadow on the night of Hoshona Rabba כדי שלא ליתרע מזלי', this is what he had in mind. I’m basing that assumption on the Gemara in horios 12. which follows:

    אמר רבי אמי האי מאן דבעי לידע אי מסיק שתיה אי לא ניתלי שרגא בעשרה יומי דבין ראש השנה ליום הכפורים בביתא דלא נשיב זיקא אי משיך נהוריה נידע דמסיק שתיה ומאן דבעי למיעבד בעיסקא ובעי למידע אי מצלח אי לא מצלח לירבי תרנגולא אי שמין ושפר מצלח האי מאן דבעי למיפק [לאורחא] ובעי למידע אי חזר ואתי לביתא אי לא ניקום בביתא דחברא אי חזי בבואה דבבואה לידע דהדר ואתי לביתא ולאו מלתא היא דלמא חלשא דעתיה ומיתרע מזליה אמר אביי השתא דאמרת סימנא מילתא היא [לעולם] יהא רגיל למיחזי בריש שתא קרא ורוביא כרתי וסילקא ותמרי

    And Rashi implies that ולאו מלתא היא דלמא חלשא דעתיה ומיתרע מזליה means that sometimes the siman doesn’t turn out but he would survive his trip anyway, and his chalishes hadas would cause him to die. So we definitely have good reason not to go ballistic about these things. On top of that, the Gemara in פ' ערבי פסחים implies that certain things like זוגות are only detrimental if we are מקפיד about them. So there’s room for not making a big fuss.

    So the mistake these people are making is 1) Hating a fellow Jew out of habit, without checking the veracity of their claims. The language used here is totally inexcusable! 2) Assuming that giving Tzedaka before learning Moed Katan is equal to fearing the worst, and will be the cause of nightmares, etc. In fact, it’s just a matter of being “on the safe side”.….

    PS: I should have added this Gemara in הוריות earlier quoted to my list of supposed “superstitions”. You’ll note that the Gemara mentions looking at קרא ורוביא כרתי וסילקא ותמרי, and yes it’s in Orech Chaim 583.

    I wonder if Mr. Gutman who earlier said “It is mind boggling to me that people of the stature of R. Chaim Kanievsky lend their name to such nonsense”. Ahem… What about R’ Yosef Karo?

    ReplyDelete
  38. to DG:

    Nothing in your last post explains from where you got the license to call giving Tzedaka Before learning Moed Katan NONSENSE.

    Binding or "non-binding" minhagim that are irrational in our eyes and have a mekor מוסמך should never be treated in the manner you have treated them. Feeble excuses won't, either. An appology is fully in order.

    Furthermore, Your blanket statements that all my citations are either Bidieved or Chumros do not suffice to begin to explain your earlier overtly negative comments. Did the posters in Bnei Brak come across as Chiuv? C'mon!

    And as to chakira, I wonder if you actually looked up the שלטי הגבורים that I mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  39. >Nothing in your last post explains from where you got the license to call giving Tzedaka Before learning Moed Katan NONSENSE

    I think you miss the whole point. You are to prove that a Mitzvah that is keneged kulam, like Talmud Torah, can fall under the rubric of Al Tifeteach Peh lasatan notwhistanding all the hearsay and sources you cite. To me that is bordering on apikorsus. The rest is a discussion that can be had forever as both of us will find our supporters. The proof text you bring from a birchat aveilim and shechitah are not comparable to learning a mesechta or a persek or a sugya. When you learn hilchot aveilut you don't show it on yourself .

    The Shiltei Giborim was addressed a while back in one of our weekly groups and it does not change my opinion. There is no apology needed from either side. I can cite a host of Rishonim and acharonim who disagree with him.What makes you pick him over the others? Because it Ayin panim latorah and it is made to fit every one. Shnei dadayich ....Divrei torah nimshelu ledad...

    ReplyDelete
  40. My rebuttal to DG is on the new "Nonsense" thread.

    ReplyDelete