Monday, January 11, 2016

macho'oh vs. Macho'oh: Being concerned for a man's honor and not G-d's

Nedarim (39b): Raba, or as others say, R. Isaac, lectured: What is meant by, The sun and the moon stood still in their zebul?15 What were they doing in the zebul, seeing that they were set in the raki'a?16 This teaches that the sun and the moon ascended from the raki'a to the :zebul and exclaimed before Him, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! If thou wilt execute judgment for Amram's son,17 we will give forth our light; if not, we will not shine.’ In that moment He shot spears and arrows at them. ‘Every day,’ He rebuked them, ‘men worship you, and yet you give your light. For My honour you do not protest, yet you protest for the honour of flesh and blood.’ [Since then,] spears and arrows are shot at them every day before they consent to shine,18 as it is written, And at the light of thy arrows they go, etc

Sanhedrin (103b):It has been taught: R. Nathan said: From Gareb to Shiloah is a distance of three mils, and the smoke of the altar33 and that of Micah's image intermingled. The ministering angels wished to thrust Micah away, but the Holy One, blessed be He, said to them, ‘Let him alone, because his bread is available for wayfarers.’ And it was on this account34 that the people involved in the matter of the concubine at Gibeah35 were punished.36 For the Holy One, blessed be He, said to them, ‘Ye did not protest for My honour, yet ye protest for the honour of a woman.’

Sanhedrin (110a): Raba said: What is meant by the verse, The sun and the moon stood still in their zebul, at the light of thine arrows they went?40 — This teaches that the sun and the moon ascended from the rakia’ to the zebul, and exclaimed before the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! If thou wilt execute justice for Amram's son [by punishing Korah and his assembly], we will go forth [to give light]; if not, we will not go forth.’ Thereupon he shot arrows at them, saying, ‘For My honour ye did not protest, yet ye protest for the honour of flesh and blood!’41 So now they do not go forth until they are driven to it.42

רד"ק שופטים כ
(כא) וישחיתו בישראל - אמרו כי העונש הזה היה לישראל בעון פסל מיכה שהיה בימים ההם כמו שפירשתי והנה קנאו לדבר פלגש בגבעה ולא קנאו לפסל מיכה והיה לה' לקנא ולעלות עליו למלחמה ולבער הפסל מישראל כמו שבערו זאת הרעה ולפיכך נענשו במלחמה הזאת אמר להם הקדוש ברוך הוא בכבודי לא מחיתם בכבוד בשר ודם מחיתם:

רמב"ן בראשית יט
 ומה נכבדו דברי רבותינו (סנהדרין קג ב) שהיה הקצף בפסלו של מיכה, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא בכבודי לא מחיתם, בכבוד בשר ודם מחיתם. לומר, בכבודי לא מחיתם במחוייבי מיתה ופושטים ידיהם בעיקר, בכבוד בשר ודם מחיתם יותר משורת הדין. ועל כן סכל עצת שתי הכתות ואמץ את לבבם ולא זכרו ברית אחים:


  1. While the banner of this blog says it is about issues of Jewish identity, it has evolved into the issues of Kovod HaTorah and Emes.

    We have seen from the saga of Tamar Epstein how what should have been no different than thousands of other divorce cases (sad as those statistics are) led to distortion of Torah and degradation to the legacy of Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky, zt'l, because of falsehoods. How ironic that the descendants of Reb Yaakov who was known for his scrupulous honesty should embarrass their family's reputation because of sheker, chazav, chachash.

    A few months ago major desecration of Shabbos was averted by the outcry against the lies presented by the makers of "Kosher Switch" despite their many choshuv endorsements.

    Unfortunately these cases are not the only situations where lies and falsehoods are denigrating a heritage and distorting the Torah. I know of two that have lingered yet must be dealt with.

    In Sharon, Massachusetts a synagogue under the name Young Israel has had a Women's Prayer Group for over ten years ( ) despite the hypocritical statements by National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) that they do not permit such groups as they are against Halacha. Young Israel would have you believe that they and all their shul's obey Halacha, ( )even though they continue to turn a blind eye to the Women's Playacting Minyan at their Sharon branch. (A relevant article appears in )

    Yet this is not the only case where the Torah and Emes are thrown away by NCYI. Please see

  2. I fail to see your point. The machoeh letter was meant to be a private letter to Rav Shmuel. There was no public machoeh for his kavod (until some chose to publicize it) and therefore no need for a big public Machoeh to oppose the psak. Many are upset about the psak and have expressed their frustrations in a constructive way without being mezalzel in Kavod Chachamim and without blaming the psak for all the evils and ills in the world and Eretz Yisrael (as if Israel was at peace before Tamar Epstein remarried)

  3. I just want to say that I see 3 mehalchim here.

    First of all no one compares this inyan to Harav Yudelevitch allowing chalitza with a shaliach. Second, Harav Shternbuch said that the mehalech of the Brisker Rav was to ignore the inyan and concentrate on the churban potential of such a heter, not the heter and its mechanics. Harav Soloveichik said that an ad hominem is in order against the Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva and his son.

    Similarly, at the time of the Goren heter , there was a response and an asifa at Menorah Hall in Boro Park where the Rav Harashi was called a Rav Mitaam, a nice ad hominem. This was in spite of the fact that the Military Rov wrote a long teshuva together with Reb Chayim Kaminetzer and was in fact probably backed by Harav Henkin, zatzal. Harav Henkin held the reverse that by attacking Harav Goren you were creating a danger for Klal Yisrael.

    Yet when it came to Harav Yudelevitch, the Bostoner Soloveichik in his shiur only discussed the pilpul of the heter and not the imminent dangers for Klal Yisrael, chas vesholom, nor a personal attack chas vesholom.

    So you have 3 mehalchim: if you follow Harav Sternbuch a descendant of the Gaon, you ignore the pilpul and the person and concentrate on the danger to Klal Yisrael. Similalrly, if you hold like Rav Henkin, you concentrate on the danger of chas vesholom attacking the Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva and his son and bite your lip. If you follow Harav Soloveichik and the Agudah , you attack the person giving the heter ad hominem and if you hold like the Bostoner Soloveichik zatzal you only talk pilpul not ad hominem or gevald we are in danger.

    What is the true mesorah of machlokes and what does one do in such a case is indeed subject to machlokes.

    Therefore everyone should try to get a horaah in this inyan from their mumchim.

    I thank RDE for being karyana deigrasa.

  4. The Bostoner Soloveichik was not in the league of Rav Yudelovitch as a posek. The Bostoner Soloveichik's linage is part of the reason why we have these problems today.

  5. It was not meant to be private . It's quite obvious when a private letter says on the bottom of it they're still acccepting signatures???? , this is a typical Philly wishy-washy attitude trying to make a statement but leaving the back door open so they can sneak out when things get hot . Did he really get such bizyoness to justify a letter ? Or rather was it a oblique statement of standing behind him and his opinions no matter what ?

  6. The letter was circulated amongst talmidim. That is why it says that signatures are being accepted. It was meant to be private.

    Blaming the psak for the situation in Eretz Yisrael and the suffering in the world. Refering to Reb Shmuel as Kamenetzky. Publicly stating that it is assur to learn by such a Rosh Yeshiva is more than enough bizyanos. That doesn't even include the rash and brazen comments posted on various online forums.

  7. Your response of "typical Philly wishy washy attitude" just highlights the problem of those that are willing to be motzei laz on rabbonim who have spent their lives involved in avodas Hashem. All who signed that letter have years of harbotzas hatorah. What have you done for klal? Is all mutar in the name of your misguided kayos?

  8. You forgot to mention the OO mehalech. As the chorus of top Poskim of the WORLD here said, This is a Nevolo beYisrael, no machlokes here except of Korach ve'Edoso.

  9. Politically IncorrectJanuary 13, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Macho'oh does not have the restrictions of tochacha", restricting halbonas ponim. Why? I think that it would obviously be ineffective.


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