mail-jewish Vol.66 #72 Digest

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Mar 31, 2024, 7:07:16 AMMar 31
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Volume 66 Number 72
Produced: Sun, 31 Mar 24 07:07:11 -0400


Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Academics?
[Joel Rich]
Kol Nidrei
[Joel Rich]
Kuzari
[Alexander Seinfeld]
Mazal?
[Joel Rich]
Preferences For Family
[Joel Rich]
Shulchan Aruch Intent
[Joel Rich]



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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 20,2024 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Academics?

From Talmud Reclaimed re academic research (eg Shai Secunda):

> These latter two examples, concerning marriage to one's sister's daughter and
> afikoman, present convincing and highly interesting insights into the origin and
> development of the Rabbinic laws in question. Nevertheless, the extent of their
> utility to traditional Talmudic scholars remains unclear. Given that these laws
> were included in the Talmud, they are both invested with Talmudic authority in
> the form in which they were understood and legislated at the close of the
> Talmudic era. In terms of practical law, therefore, tracing the original
> meaning of afikoman bears negligible significance, even it could be shown that
> Sages at the conclusion of the Talmudic era had misunderstood the rulings of
> their predecessors. Furthermore, while comprehending the words of earlier
> Sages certainly holds value in terms of the commandment of Torah study,
> free-standing Rabbinic commandments of this nature are not usually the
> subject of the sort of analytical debates which are studied for the sake of
> gleaning Talmudic wisdom?

Thus it's hashgacha pratit that a misunderstanding was codified, but once
codified by the Talmud it's normative law even though as a data point it may
throw off many other interconnected laws (as in Tosafot making an ukimta to
explain it) Also does this apply to post-Talmudic psak?

Thoughts?

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich

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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 6,2024 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Kol Nidrei

A recent article in Hakirah discussed Kol Nidrei and the initial overwhelming
rabbibic opposition to it being said. While no one knows for sure, I remember
learning that it was almost demanded by amcha because of their having made
coerced commitments to other religions which they wanted to disavow. Anyone have
a source of any kind?

I wonder how many practices that seem at odds with what the pure would demand
are due to amcha insisting on them. A delicate dance between the people and the
gedolim?

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich

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From: Alexander Seinfeld <sein...@jsli.org>
Date: Fri, Feb 16,2024 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Kuzari

A month or so ago, I stumbled upon a book called Breaking the Kuzari. I'm
interested in the subject so I bought the book. It attacks not only the general
"Kuzari Argument" but specifically Rav Gottlieb's book on the subject and other
staples of outreach. I found it to be quite thoughtful and on the surface
unassailable - yet also containing errors of both logic and understanding. So I
decided to write my own book in response and it has just been released on Amazon
- Restoring the Kuzari

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CVNM9TJZ?ie=UTF8&tag=j0em-20&th=1

Critical feedback welcome!

Shabbat Shalom,

Alexander Seinfeld

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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 13,2024 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Mazal?

The Gemara (Shabbat 146) disputes whether yesh or ein mazal l'Yisrael. The
overwhelming majority say ein mazal which is interpreted as meaning that good
deeds and prayer can overcome what was otherwise predestined (AIUI). Most of the
proofs seem based on cases where the Amoraim knew what the result was supposed
to be but somehow it did not occur. I always thought that ein mazal was a slam
dunk, but now it occurs to me that there's a very strong reason for saying yesh
(that at least sometimes a future result can't be changed by human efforts.)

If every decree can be changed by human effort, it would seem to me that it
would be theoretically quite possible that HKBH could not promise us anything
with 100% certainty since there would always be a combination of human efforts,
even though extremely low probability, which would not yield that result.

Thoughts?

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich

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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 27,2024 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Preferences For Family

At a recent business conference there was much discussion about hiring/doing
business with other frum Jews (as long as there's no material loss caused). Any
thoughts on how this interacts with our responsibilities to our host societies?
How would we process non-Jewish businesses preferencing other non-Jewish businesses?

Bsorot Tovot
Joel Rich

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 27,2024 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Shulchan Aruch Intent

In the recent Hakira (34) there was an exchange concerning R Y Karo's authorial
intent in writing the SA. R M Shapiro uses the introduction to the SA to show
his purpose was to write a practical halachic work. R A Storch felt the purpose
was, a tool to remember the information contained in the Bet Yosef. I think R
Shapiro's position is more widely held but I always wonder why then didn't the
SA stick more to apodictic laws rather than so many yesh omrims etc?

Thoughts?

Bsorot Tovot
Joel Rich

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