State of Mind Relevance

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Steve Goldfarb

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Sep 25, 2002, 11:29:47 AM9/25/02
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A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
an act, and how that is treated in halacha.

Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.

(1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?

(2) If I have the intention of eating trayf, and I
have a reasonable belief that the soup is trayf, but
unbeknownst to me someone has secretly replaced my
bowl with kosher soup, have I committed a sin?

Thanks,
--sg

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Larry Lennhoff

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Sep 26, 2002, 10:04:54 AM9/26/02
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Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>...

> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.

Some background. There are four different Hebrew words for sin:
1) pesha - This is an intentional sin, in absolute defiance
of God.

2) ovon - This is a knowing sin, but a sin of lust or
uncontrollable emotion, not to defy God.

3) cheit - This is an unintentional sin, but a sin nonetheless.

4) aveira - This is a catch all word, which covers all of the
above categories

>
> Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
>

> (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
> it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
> the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?
>

As I understand it, you have committed a cheit, an unintentional sin.
Should you ever find out, when the beit hamkidash has been
restablished (bimhayra v'yamenu) you will have to bring a cheit
offering. The fact that the sin is unintentional makes a difference
in its 'weight'. This sort of thing is mentioned in Psalms, when
David says "Who can escape mistakes? From unintended faults forgive
me.."

> (2) If I have the intention of eating trayf, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is trayf, but
> unbeknownst to me someone has secretly replaced my
> bowl with kosher soup, have I committed a sin?
>

I'm less sure about this. Personally, I would say you have committed
a pesha in seeking to violate the halacha, but not the aveira of
eating treif.


I'm not very learned on these matters and will cheerfully acceptany
corrections.

Kol Tuv

Larry

Lisa

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Sep 26, 2002, 12:22:57 PM9/26/02
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2002 14:04:54 +0000 (UTC), llen...@yahoo.com (Larry
Lennhoff) wrote:

>Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>...
>> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
>> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
>> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
>
>Some background. There are four different Hebrew words for sin:
> 1) pesha - This is an intentional sin, in absolute defiance
>of God.
>
> 2) ovon - This is a knowing sin, but a sin of lust or
>uncontrollable emotion, not to defy God.
>
> 3) cheit - This is an unintentional sin, but a sin nonetheless.
>
> 4) aveira - This is a catch all word, which covers all of the
>above categories

There are also three categories of culpability:

1) Zadon (b'meizid) - this is full intent to violate the mitzvah

2) Shogeg (bishgaga) - this is a violation with no deliberate intent,
but where it could have been avoided had care been taken. A good
translation might be negligent.

3) Oness - Accidental. If someone bumps into me and pushes me off a
platform where I fall onto someone and hurt them, I'm not culpable at
all, because it was completely out of my hands.

>> Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
>
>> (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
>> have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
>> it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
>> the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?
>>
>As I understand it, you have committed a cheit, an unintentional sin.

You understand it incorrectly. This is pure oness, provided that the
"reasonable belief" is truly reasonable. If I buy a can of soup with
an OU on it and it turns out to have had trayf slipped into it, I have
not committed a heit. If I go to the home of someone who doesn't keep
kosher and they tell me the soup is kosher, but it turns out to have
had trayf in it, I was negligent and therefore culpable.

>Should you ever find out, when the beit hamkidash has been
>restablished (bimhayra v'yamenu) you will have to bring a cheit
>offering. The fact that the sin is unintentional makes a difference
>in its 'weight'. This sort of thing is mentioned in Psalms, when
>David says "Who can escape mistakes? From unintended faults forgive
>me.."

Sh'gagot are not mistakes. They are negligent mistakes. What
Goldfarb was describing, again if there was truly *reasonable* belief
that I was not eating trayf, with "reasonable" defined halakhically,
and not ad hoc by Goldfarb or anyone else, was not shogeg, but oness.

>> (2) If I have the intention of eating trayf, and I
>> have a reasonable belief that the soup is trayf, but
>> unbeknownst to me someone has secretly replaced my
>> bowl with kosher soup, have I committed a sin?
>>
>I'm less sure about this. Personally, I would say you have committed
>a pesha in seeking to violate the halacha, but not the aveira of
>eating treif.

You're misapplying these categories. Ein machshava k'maaseh, for
Jews. The intent is not considered as the deed. In Goldberg's second
case, what we'd say about it is that God has His way sometimes,
despite what you might try and do.

But since you'd probably not have said a bracha on the soup, since you
thought it was trayf, then yes, you'd have committed a violation.

Lisa

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Sep 26, 2002, 4:32:03 PM9/26/02
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In article <pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>, Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> writes:
> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
>
> Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
>
> (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
> it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
> the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?


no

>
> (2) If I have the intention of eating trayf, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is trayf, but
> unbeknownst to me someone has secretly replaced my
> bowl with kosher soup, have I committed a sin?
>

no

Josh

toichen

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Sep 26, 2002, 6:47:56 PM9/26/02
to
Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>...
> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
>
> Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
>
> (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
> it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
> the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?

Yes, though this is only the case when eating or engagin in forbidden
relationships that you thought permissible. If, for example, you
thought that a leaf was not joined to a tree, and you pulled the leaf
on shabos, and it turns out you tore it off the tree, you would not be
sinning.

> (2) If I have the intention of eating trayf, and I
> have a reasonable belief that the soup is trayf, but
> unbeknownst to me someone has secretly replaced my
> bowl with kosher soup, have I committed a sin?
>
> Thanks,
> --sg

No, in the narrow sense of the term.
toichen

toichen

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Sep 27, 2002, 9:17:55 AM9/27/02
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[ Moderator's Comment: Please translate Hebrew for those who do not
understand. In addition quotes only in Hebrew may hold up approval of
posts, if the original screener is not familiar with the Hebrew. hw ]
bac...@vms.huji.ac.il wrote in message news:<pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>...

> In article <pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>, Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> writes:
> > A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
> > understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
> > an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
> >
> > Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
> >
> > (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
> > have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
> > it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
> > the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?
>
>
> no

Hamisasek bechalavim vearayos chayav, shekein nehenah.
toichen

Lisa

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Sep 29, 2002, 3:28:35 PM9/29/02
to
On Fri, 27 Sep 2002 13:17:55 +0000 (UTC), toi...@my-deja.com
(toichen) wrote:

>[ Moderator's Comment: Please translate Hebrew for those who do not
> understand. In addition quotes only in Hebrew may hold up approval of
> posts, if the original screener is not familiar with the Hebrew. hw ]

<snort>

>bac...@vms.huji.ac.il wrote in message news:<pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>...
>> In article <pgpmoose.2002...@scjm.nj.org>, Steve Goldfarb
<alfief...@yahoo.com> writes:
>> > A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
>> > understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
>> > an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
>> >
>> > Imagine I'm sitting down to eat a bowl of soup.
>> >
>> > (1) If I have the intention of eating kosher, and I
>> > have a reasonable belief that the soup is kosher, but
>> > it turns out that someone slipped something treif into
>> > the pot without my knowledge, have I committed a sin?
>>
>> no
>
>Hamisasek bechalavim vearayos chayav, shekein nehenah.
>toichen

You're missing the point, toichen. And dropping context, as well.
The question would be what constitutes "reasonable belief". If you
just stam eat soup because you think it's probably kosher, then of
course you're right. But if you're eating soup with a reliable
hechsher, your statement wouldn't apply.

Josh was right.

Lisa

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Oct 1, 2002, 5:18:17 AM10/1/02
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li...@starways.net (Lisa) writes:
> llen...@yahoo.com (Larry Lennhoff) wrote:
>>Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote
>
>>> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
>>> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
>>> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.

Steve you keep trying to "fill-in" peices to some puzzle. I wonder
how practical a way that is to learn, especially on a forum like this.

IIRC, this is _exactly_ the case the Talmud describes regarding
Num. 30:9 (IINM). The situation is that a married woman made a vow.
Her husband, in certain cases, has the right to nullify the vow. The
woman went against her vow, but unbeknownst to her, her husband had
nullified it. The verse says "G-d will atone for her". This prompted
the following Talmudic comment (quoting from faulty memory) "If
someone who _wanted_ to do a sin but was prevented from doing so
needs an 'atonement', how much more so does one who wanted to do a
sin and was _not_ prevented from doing so need an ''atonement'".

> But since you'd probably not have said a bracha on the soup, since you
> thought it was trayf, then yes, you'd have committed a violation.

I _personally_ (OK Dan?) know a BT who in her beginings carefully
washed and made a brocho over a ham sandwich. But she wasn't _trying_
to eat trayf, she just hadn't gotten to that part yet.

Moshe Schorr
It is a tremendous Mitzvah to always be happy! - Reb Nachman of Breslov
May Eliyahu Chayim ben Sarah Henna (Eliot Shimoff) have a refuah Shlaima.

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Oct 1, 2002, 10:24:37 AM10/1/02
to


This is in the gemara in Nazir 23a. The last statement above is midrashic
and is NOT brought down as halacha. Only in the case of Nedarim (vows)
is the halacha used (see: Rambam Hilchot Nedarim 12:18 (ane even here
it's only a rabbinical not Toraitic violation) and Shulchan Aruch YOREH
DEAH 234). The sugya is also discussed obliquely in Pesachim 25b on
"ha'naah"

>
>> But since you'd probably not have said a bracha on the soup, since you
>> thought it was trayf, then yes, you'd have committed a violation.
>
> I _personally_ (OK Dan?) know a BT who in her beginings carefully
> washed and made a brocho over a ham sandwich. But she wasn't _trying_
> to eat trayf, she just hadn't gotten to that part yet.


See: Shulchan Aruch ORACH CHAYIM 196:2 "im achal davar issur b'makom sakana
mevarchim alav" (see: Magen Avraham OC 204 s"k 21; Chochmat Adam Klal 48 s'if
18).

Josh

Eliyahu

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Oct 1, 2002, 10:25:18 AM10/1/02
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<mos...@mm.huji.ac.il> wrote in message
news:2002Oct...@mm.huji.ac.il...

>
>
> I _personally_ (OK Dan?) know a BT who in her beginings carefully
> washed and made a brocho over a ham sandwich. But she wasn't _trying_
> to eat trayf, she just hadn't gotten to that part yet.
>
As a Chabad rabbi told me once, if you're doing the best you can with what
you have (and what you know), G-d understands. He's not playing a cosmic
game of "gotcha!", looking for a way to nail us for our mistakes.

Eliyahu

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Oct 1, 2002, 10:46:40 AM10/1/02
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bac...@vms.huji.ac.il writes:
> mos...@mm.huji.ac.il writes:
>> li...@starways.net (Lisa) writes:
>>> llen...@yahoo.com (Larry Lennhoff) wrote:
>>>>Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote
>>>
>>>>> A key piece of the puzzle that I don't fully
>>>>> understand yet is the issue of intent when committing
>>>>> an act, and how that is treated in halacha.
>>
>> Steve you keep trying to "fill-in" peices to some puzzle. I wonder
>> how practical a way that is to learn, especially on a forum like this.

snip

>>>>I'm less sure about this. Personally, I would say you have committed
>>>>a pesha in seeking to violate the halacha, but not the aveira of
>>>>eating treif.
>>>
>>> You're misapplying these categories. Ein machshava k'maaseh, for
>>> Jews. The intent is not considered as the deed. In Goldberg's second
>>> case, what we'd say about it is that God has His way sometimes,
>>> despite what you might try and do.
>>
>> IIRC, this is _exactly_ the case the Talmud describes regarding
>> Num. 30:9 (IINM). The situation is that a married woman made a vow.
>> Her husband, in certain cases, has the right to nullify the vow. The
>> woman went against her vow, but unbeknownst to her, her husband had
>> nullified it. The verse says "G-d will atone for her". This prompted
>> the following Talmudic comment (quoting from faulty memory) "If
>> someone who _wanted_ to do a sin but was prevented from doing so
>> needs an 'atonement', how much more so does one who wanted to do a
>> sin and was _not_ prevented from doing so need an ''atonement'".
>
> This is in the gemara in Nazir 23a. The last statement above is midrashic
> and is NOT brought down as halacha. Only in the case of Nedarim (vows)
> is the halacha used (see: Rambam Hilchot Nedarim 12:18 (ane even here
> it's only a rabbinical not Toraitic violation) and Shulchan Aruch YOREH
> DEAH 234). The sugya is also discussed obliquely in Pesachim 25b on
> "ha'naah"

So are you agreeing that it is a "sin"? I don't think Steve was asking
for a halachik determination. I would think that if you need an
"atonement", you have done a sin.

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Oct 1, 2002, 11:11:21 AM10/1/02
to


No, by definition, it's NOT a sin. A sin would require a korban (offering).
Again, by nedarim (vows) which is "action" by word (saying something) rather
than by deed, the halacha is more strict and thus by rabbinical ordinance,
the violator gets corporal punishment.

Josh

Steve Goldfarb

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Oct 1, 2002, 1:30:44 PM10/1/02
to
Just to follow up here -
the basis for my initial question was that I read the
articles on jlaw.com about interest that Josh had
recommended, and I was thinking about some of the
implications of them.

One aspect that I was wondering about was if, in other
cases, it made any difference whether you believed
that you were committing a sin - (i.e., paying or
charging interest) or if it didn't matter so long as
technically you were not actually committing a sin.

The answer seems to be that it doesn't matter - if
it's not a sin then it's not a sin, regardless of your
intent. If that truly is the case, then that supports
the "permitted venture" concept.

But I haven't had time to really work through the
issue - there are differences, as food for instance
either is kosher or it isn't, ones intent doesn't
change that, but an agreement between people is a more
complex animal, and intent is a component of an
agreement. But I don't have time right now to think
about it.

Harry Weiss

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Oct 1, 2002, 8:47:22 PM10/1/02
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Eliyahu <lro...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> <mos...@mm.huji.ac.il> wrote in message
> news:2002Oct...@mm.huji.ac.il...
>>
>>
>> I _personally_ (OK Dan?) know a BT who in her beginings carefully
>> washed and made a brocho over a ham sandwich. But she wasn't _trying_
>> to eat trayf, she just hadn't gotten to that part yet.

I know someone who when getting up to wash at a fast food place on here
cheeseburger, things clicked. That is when she started keeping kosher.

>>
> As a Chabad rabbi told me once, if you're doing the best you can with what
> you have (and what you know), G-d understands. He's not playing a cosmic
> game of "gotcha!", looking for a way to nail us for our mistakes.

> Eliyahu

--
Harry J. Weiss
hjw...@panix.com

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Oct 2, 2002, 1:53:42 AM10/2/02
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bac...@vms.huji.ac.il writes:
> mos...@mm.huji.ac.il writes:
>> bac...@vms.huji.ac.il writes:
>>> mos...@mm.huji.ac.il writes:
>>>> li...@starways.net (Lisa) writes:
>>>>> llen...@yahoo.com (Larry Lennhoff) wrote:
>>>>>>Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> wrote
>>

And what do you call it if it requires an "atonement" (kaparah) but
not a korban. I suspect we are arguing English terms and not Torah
concepts.

> Again, by nedarim (vows) which is "action" by word (saying
> something) rather than by deed, the halacha is more strict and thus
> by rabbinical ordinance, the violator gets corporal punishment.

And if it "just" requires _G-d_ granting an "atonement" rather than
man giving a corporal punishment, it's not a sin? What's the
atonement for?

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Oct 2, 2002, 1:57:29 AM10/2/02
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Steve Goldfarb <alfief...@yahoo.com> writes:
> Just to follow up here -
> the basis for my initial question was that I read the
> articles on jlaw.com about interest that Josh had
> recommended, and I was thinking about some of the
> implications of them.

Maybe that's my problem with you. Instead of just understanding
the law, you try to derive "implications". That in itself might
not be _too_ bad, but then you turn around and claim that the
"implication" _you've_ decided on is right and there is no other
way of understanding it. That _is_ very bad.

> One aspect that I was wondering about was if, in other
> cases, it made any difference whether you believed
> that you were committing a sin - (i.e., paying or
> charging interest) or if it didn't matter so long as
> technically you were not actually committing a sin.
>
> The answer seems to be that it doesn't matter - if
> it's not a sin then it's not a sin, regardless of your
> intent. If that truly is the case, then that supports
> the "permitted venture" concept.
>
> But I haven't had time to really work through the
> issue - there are differences, as food for instance
> either is kosher or it isn't, ones intent doesn't
> change that, but an agreement between people is a more
> complex animal, and intent is a component of an
> agreement. But I don't have time right now to think
> about it.

Don't bother. <drily>

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