Friday, November 1, 2019

Orthodox Rabbinic Statement On the Torah Imperative to Oppose All Forms of Assisted Suicide


  1. Did shaul hamelech sign too?

  2. So who would one vote for in an election between a pro-assisted suicide/anti-abortion candidate against an anti-assisted suicide/pro-choice candidate?

  3. Ein odom nitfas al tza'aro, he was terrified of the Plishtim pen yitallelu bo. Rabbi Levin, Rav of Assirei Zion in Yerushalayim smuggled in a handgrenade for Dov Groner in Migrash Harussim under the Mandate when he was dan letliya. It is a troublesome passage in any case

  4. Sorry, but you're confusing the facts here.

    Dov Groner died by hanging. He was executed by the British in the Acco prison on 16 April, 1947.

    Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein committed suicide with an improvised grenade which had been smuggled in parts, inside hollowed-out oranges, while awaiting execution in the Central Prison in Jerusalem's Russian Compound,

    Rabbi Aryeh Levin had NO PART in this suicide. The oranges were smuggled in by an Etzel fighter, and the grenade was assembled in the prison by another Etzel fighter. To my knowledge, no rabbi was privy to their plans, including Rabbi Yaakov Goldman, who met with them in their last hours, and they did this without consulting with Daas Torah.

  5. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 2, 2019 at 9:23 PM

    According to rabbi rackman's holy sefer, Rav yehuda Gershuni ruled suicide was permitted by captured soldiers who feared torture.
    It is a terrible situation to be in. Even if they say it's assur, a person is under duress.
    Funny, ironically, many are willing to commit suicide than to hear women sing or go to the army in the first place.

  6. I have no interest in debating the issue.
    My post was to get the historical facts straight, and to underscore the point that Rabbi Aryeh Levin had no part in the suicide of Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein, nor was Daas Torah consulted with in their case.

  7. Addenda:
    See also the biography of Rabbi Aryeh Levin, “Ish Tzadik Hayah”, by Simcha Raz (pp. 185-289) which describes the incident with Barazani and Feinstein.

    The night before their death sentence was to be carried out, the British called R’ Aryeh Levin to come to the prison to be with the condemned. R’ Aryeh could not bring himself to go, and instead, Rabbi Yaakov Goldman went to be with them. After R’ Goldman left, Barazani and Feinstein decided to blow themselves up (p.185).

    Contrary to what I wrote above, that no rabbi was privy to their plans, and also that Daas Torah was not consulted with, according to Simcha Raz, the Etzel commander came to R’ Levin, and revealed to him Barazani and Feinstein’s plan. He was not asking R’ Levin to take any active participation (ie. smuggle in the grenade). He just wanted R’ Levin’s agreement to such a course of action. R’ Levin refused to agree (p. 186).

    הוא בקש הסכמתי, לא יותר מזאת. שום עשייה, רק באם אני מסכים. התייפחתי בבכי והשיבותיו: "הרי ישועת ה' כהרף עין, ומוטב שיטלנה מי שנתנה ואל יחבל בעצמו". לא הסכמתי.

    R’ Levin was referring to the Gemara (Avoda Zara 18a) regarding R’ Chanina Ben Tradyon, and his refusal to sanction their suicide, was based on this story (p. 189).

    מכאן, סיכם רבנו, הסקתי כי גם מתוך מסירות נפש אסור ליטול בעצמו את החיים, וכה השיבותי למפקד שבא אלי לבקש את הסכמתי.

    [This could explain R’ Levin’s refusal to come to the prison, the night before Barazani and Feinstein’s death sentence was to be carried out. If R’ Levin was privy to their plans, he felt that he would be compelled to tell them in no uncertain terms, that he held that what they planned to do was Halachically wrong. He also assumed that they probably wouldn’t listen to his ruling, so he felt that it was Halachically preferable that someone else should go to be with them, someone who was not privy to their plans. Another reason may have been, that if they carried through with their plan, suspicion would automatically fall on R’ Levin, that he was part of the plot that cheated the hangman from killing his victims, and his permission to visit prisoners would be curtailed or totally rescinded].

  8. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 3, 2019 at 9:38 PM

    I have a different question for you.
    Do you accept Sevara at all, in response to a text? It seems to me you are purely a textual person. (of course, on non textual /non halachic matters, you do bring sevaras) thank you, and have a sweet Cheshvan.

  9. The canonical Torah texts are our Mesorah of the Oral Torah. Once we abandon these texts, and follow our own shallow intellect, it might not have anything to do with Torah or the will of Hashem. We've effectively crossed the line from Torah Judaism, to our own man made religion.

  10. By saying that, you deny the texts which you hold to be mesora _ eg Horayot, which discusses errors made by batei Din and sanhrdrins. Also chazal themselves say that sevara has the force of doraisa. Ibn Ezra goes as far to say that if a verse in the Torah goes against reason, we have to reinterpret it.
    The above are just as canonical as the rest.

  11. Sevara may have the force of doraisa, WHEN it doesn't contradict the words of Chazal.

  12. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 4, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    A Sanhedrin can make mistakes. In hilchot Shegagot, Rambam says that the original members of the beit din might die, and only a later bd discover the error. How can they discover an error if they are as close minded as you? If they had your view, then it would be heresy to think it's possible a previous generation could make errors.
    Which navi says that it is impossible for chazal to err? They themselves in horayot say it is entirely possible.

  13. Not my problem, if you deny the concept of "Mesorah".

  14. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 4, 2019 at 2:42 PM

    Not my problem if you deny certain mesechtot which don't support your ideology.

  15. There are responses to all your arguments. But first we we need to agree about the concept of "Mesorah".
    The same with the "sheretz". It's entertaining to talk about 150 sevaros to permit the "sheretz", but first we need to agree that a "sheretz" is Tamei, then we can engage in mental gymnastics.

  16. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 4, 2019 at 8:14 PM

    Mesorah _ please go ahead.

    Sheretz _ you mean anything that is assur?

    What drove me to ask you these questions was the discussion about keeping pigs. No amount of sevaras had any effect _ except when i found the Ramban saying it was forbidden to keep them because they cause damage. Im not trying to kasher chazir, unless you can grow human organs etc in them.

  17. IR: ""Sevara" may have the force of doraisa, WHEN it doesn't contradict the words of the Torah or Chazal."

    Sometimes, there are internal contradictions within Chazal (more than sometimes), or cross contradiction to the Torah. And as I mentioned, Ibn Ezra said that when even a pasuk of the Torah "contradicts" reason or science, we need to find an interpretation that is in harmony with reason.

    Rav Eliezer Berkovits ztl also made a big case for Sevara, although he was not well received by the Hareidi world.

  18. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 5, 2019 at 2:01 AM

    Here is one example, of what reason, and Tenach would "disagree" with: From Rambam's intro to the Helek (Mishnah):

    "Gehennam is a name for the pain and the punishment which will come upon the wicked. No specific description of this punishment is contained in the Talmud. One teacher says that the sun will come so close to the wicked that it will burn them. He finds proofs for this belief in the verse: “For behold, the day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud and all that work wickedness shall be stubble; and the day that comes shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (mal. 3:19). Others say that a strange heat will be produced within their own bodies to incinerate them. They find support for this position in the Scriptural words: “Your own spirit is a fire which will consume you” (Is. 33:11)."

    Actually, Gehennom is a truncated version of the name of a place called Gei ben Hinnom, the Valley of Ben Hinnom, which is just outside of the Old City. There is a history of this place in Tenach where real world acts took place.

    Gehennom, is making the name of that Valley into 1 word, and removing the "ben" in the middle. There is no conceivable way this name was given on Sinai as a name of the hell after death. If it was, it would have been used in this context by the Neviim, but it was not.

    Then look at this:

    "The Second Fundamental Principle: We are told to believe that God is one, the cause of all oneness. He is not like a member of a pair, nor a species of a genus, nor a person divided into many discrete elements. Nor is He one in the sense that a simple body is, numerically one but still infinitely divisible. God, rather, is uniquely one. This second fundamental principle is taught in the Biblical verse: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deut. 6:4"

    The same source for Ikkarim, whiich you presumably hold by, is an attack on the Kabablistic Sefiro-Trinity, i.e. a Tenfold "kosher" version of Christianity's Trinity polytheism, whcih is espoused in the Kabbalah, and which most Orthodox jews hold tobe part of the mesorah!

    Just like G-d forbid, G-d "cannot" be both the Father and Son and, kill his Son; and at the same time be One; also one cannot be an Orthodox jew who holds by the 13 principles , and also hold by the Kabbalah/sefirot, which violate the 13 principes. Although , one Masorti Rabbi claimed that he could - Louis Jacobs PhD, claimed that all Masorti rabbis accepted Torah Min Hashamayim, albeit not in the most fundamentalist interpretation.

  19. Not that I'm calling you a Karaite, but can you please explain how your belief system differs than that of the Karaites?
    You both believe in the Divine origins of the Torah, and you both deny the supremacy of the words of Chazal, when something they say doesn't sit well with your "logic".

  20. The Ramban, Arizal, R'Chaim Vital, Gra, and R' Chaim of Volozhin, all validated the teachings of Kabbalah. So I think that it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that you know better than them, when you don't come to their toenails in knowledge of Torah.

    You lack a fundamental understanding of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, and you should not slander a part of the Oral Torah, which was given by Hashem, and is intended to be studied only by people who are on an extremely high spiritual level.

    Your argument against the Sefiros is a rehash of an ancient "rationalist" slur against Kabbalah, which is quoted in Shut Rivash (157)
    וכבר שמעתי אחד מן המתפלספים מספר בגנות המקובלים והיה אומר הע”ג מאמיני השלוש והמקובלים מאמיני העשיריות.
    Here is one resource to help further your education:

  21. I. E. My argument is part of the Mesorah!

  22. Mesechet Horayot, is an integral part of the oral law. Was Rambam a karaite because he wrote shogegot? Im happy to be a rambam _karaite. Or a rivash_karaite. Or saadia gaon, who mocked gilgul.

  23. Kataites don't argue from the Talmud or Rambam. They, for example, derived from the Torah, that shaatnez is not limited to wool and linen, but any mingled fibres, eg cotton and linen, silk etc.
    There is an overlap with the karaites, wherever you look, even in rambam, he always says its assur to add. The karaites, arguably also added, eg with shaatnez.
    Btw, i heard this in a shiur from one of my yeshiva rebbes, based on Horayot - he says if you know a decision is wrong. Then not only can we reject it, ee are obligated to.

  24. Also, if we go back to the piggery discussion we had last week. One opinion stated that all treif species are assur to keep. I argued that this is false and invalidates the Torah. I based it on the mitzvah of redeeming the firstborn donkey, and techelet from chilazon _ which is technically a sheretz, totally forbidden for food. My method was a logical argument, based on pre existing Torah instruction. I did mention the karaites reject chilazon, and opt for vegetarian indigo dye.

  25. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 5, 2019 at 1:40 PM

    "So I think that it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that you know
    better than them, when you don't come to their toenails in knowledge of

    I've heard twice in shiur, from 2 separate rabbonim, that Rav Chaim Vollozhiner was asked about the Gra , relative to the Rambam, in terms of greatness. Rav Chaim's reported response is shocking - he said that the Gra was like a "worm" relative to the Rambam! I heard this from Rav Knopfler in Golders green.
    Now, of course i am even less than a worm , relative to the Gra, in Torah, and probably in most other areas.

    That doesn't mean I have to reject the Rambam, who was much greater.
    On the other hand, you mention Ramban - which is very interesting - not only was he the foremost religious Zionist (sorry Berel), and not only was he close to the Karaites in Eretz Yisrael (they learned by him); he also makes the shocking criticism of Rambam, regarding the mitzva of listening to the Rabbis! He says it is not a mitzvah d'oraita to follow the Rabbanim, it is just good sense.

    Perhaps I pick and choose what i like from various Rishonim and Gedolim, and you pick and choose the opposite from them.

  26. Shoiteh Apikoris AmHaorets!

  27. wow, you've incfeased your vocabulary!

  28. Joshua 15: 8
    וְעָלָה הַגְּבוּל גֵּי בֶן-הִנֹּם, אֶל-כֶּתֶף הַיְבוּסִי
    מִנֶּגֶב--הִיא, יְרוּשָׁלִָם; וְעָלָה הַגְּבוּל אֶל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר, אֲשֶׁר
    עַל-פְּנֵי גֵי-הִנֹּם יָמָּה, אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה עֵמֶק-רְפָאִים, צָפוֹנָה.

    18: 16
    טז וְיָרַד הַגְּבוּל אֶל-קְצֵה הָהָר, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי גֵּי
    בֶן-הִנֹּם, אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵמֶק רְפָאִים, צָפוֹנָה; וְיָרַד גֵּי הִנֹּם
    אֶל-כֶּתֶף הַיְבוּסִי, נֶגְבָּה, וְיָרַד, עֵין רֹגֵל.

    SO there is a Gei ben Hinnom, and also Ge Hinnom, towards the sea.

    2 Chron 28;3
    3 Moreover he offered in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

    Jeremiah 19:
    ב וְיָצָאתָ, אֶל-גֵּיא בֶן-הִנֹּם, אֲשֶׁר, פֶּתַח שַׁעַר החרסות
    (הַחַרְסִית); וְקָרָאתָ שָּׁם, אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר-אֲדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ.

    6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter;

    Even here, Gei ben Hinnom is neutral, and it takes on another name, . גֵּיא הַהֲרֵגָה Perhaps this association with death is the link to "Gehennom" , but ironically it it is no longer Gei ben Hinnom!

  29. Why did, according to Gra, the Rambam reject Kabbalah? Was he also on an allegedly low spiritual level?

    Was Saadia Gaon just a secular philosopher who rejected Kabbalah? Presumably, according to you, he was not on a high enough level to appreciate the Kabbalah, although today anyone who's been to yeshiva can outdo the Rambam, and Saadia?

  30. "If I shout a string of insults really loudly in short succession, maybe it will make Kalonymous's comment go away!"

    Beetlejuice beetlejuice beetlejuice!

    Man, I'm totally convinced! Amazing arguments, Berel.

  31. Kabbalah was mostly unknown in the Rambam's days.
    The Rambam passed away in 1204 CE., while the Zohar only appeared publicly towards the end of the 1200s. So it's hard to say that the Rambam rejected Kabbalah, when he might never have been exposed to it!

    The same for R' Saadia Gaon, who passed away long before, in 942 CE. It's important to note, that there is a commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, an eminently Kabbalisitc work, that is attributed to R' Saadia Gaon.

  32. Firstly, the Gra says that Rambam rejected it, andvcho

  33. Torah thought on לך לך
    “There was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, I know הנה נא ידעתי [or You; cf. the second person feminine form -ti in Judg. 5.7; Jer. 2.20; Mic. 4.13, etc.] what a beautiful woman you are. If the Egyptians see you, and think, She is his wife, they will kill me and let you live. Please say that you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may remain alive thanks to you.” (Genesis 12:10-13).
    Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 80a
    “Another explanation is that Abram said so because he saw with her the Shekinah. It was on this account that Abram made bold to say subsequently, she is my sister, with a double meaning: one the literal, the other figurative, as in the words “Say to Wisdom לחכמה, You are my sister, And call Understanding לבינה a kinswoman ומדע. (Proverbs 7:4). SAY NOW THOU ART MY SISTER. R. Yesa said: Abram knew that all the Egyptians were full of lewdness. It may therefore seem surprising that he was not apprehensive for his wife and that he did not turn back without entering the country. But the truth is that he saw with her the Shekinah and was therefore confident. THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH ME FOR THY SAKE: these words were addressed to the Shekinah, as if to say: that God may entreat me well for thy sake. AND THAT MY SOUL MAY LIVE BECAUSE OF THEE: because through this (the Shekinah) man ascends and becomes privileged to enter on the path of life. NOW IT CAME TO PASS THAT WHEN ABRAM WAS COME TO EGYPT THE EGYPTIANS BEHELD THE WOMAN THAT SHE WAS VERY FAIR. R. Judah said: He brought her in a box, and they opened it to levy duty. When it was opened a light like that of the sun shone forth, as it says that she was very fair. The word very indicates that they saw in the box another figure; for when they took her out, they saw a figure in the box as before. Hence the Scripture repeats, AND THE PRINCES OF PHARAOH SAW HER, and on this account THEY PRAISED HER TO PHARAOH. R. Isaac said: Woe to the sinners of the world who do not know and do not observe the work of the Holy One, blessed be He, nor do they reflect that all which takes place in the world is from God, who knows from the outset what will be at the end, as it is written, “I foretell the end from the beginning, And from the start, things that had not occurred. I say: My plan shall be fulfilled; I will do all I have purposed.” (Isaiah 46:10). He looks ahead and lays a train now for developments in the distant future. Thus had not Sarai been taken to Pharaoh, he would not have been plagued, and it was his castigation which caused the subsequent castigation of the Egyptians. The word great is applied here to the plagues inflicted on Pharaoh and also to the signs and wonders which God showed upon Egypt (Deut. VI, 22), to indicate that here, as there, were ten plagues, and that just as God performed wonders for Israel by night, so He performed wonders for Sarai by night.”
    Beautiful. Today we have the Soncino English translation of the holy Zohar.

  34. How about the calendar? Is Tammuz really part of Sinai Judaism? no, its Sumerian idolatry, which was mocked by Ezekiel, and then adopted by jews in exile.

  35. Daf hayomi Nidah 13a:
    “But why all these precautions [lit., and all such, why]? Because otherwise one might emit semen in vain, and R. Johanan stated: Whosoever emits semen in vain deserves death, for it is said in Scripture. “Then Judah said to Onan, Join with your brother’s wife and do your duty by her as a brother-in-law [a Cf. Deut. 25.5], and provide offspring for your brother. But Onan, knowing that the seed would not count as his, let it go to waste [lit. spoil on the ground] whenever he joined with his brother’s wife, so as not to provide offspring for his brother.” (Genesis 38:8-9) And the thing which he did was evil in the sight of the Lord, and He slew him also [What he did was displeasing to the Lord, and He took his life also.” (Genesis 38:10)]. R. Isaac and R. Ammi said. He [who emits semen in vain] is as though he shed blood, for it is said in Scripture “You who inflame [i.e., in some frenzied idolatrous rite] yourselves Among the terebinths, Under every verdant tree; Who slaughter שחטי children in the wadis, Among [Heb. under] the clefts of the rocks.” (Isaiah 57:5). read not that slay שחטי but that press out סחטי. R. Assi said: He [who emits semen in vain] is like one who worships idols; for here [Isaiah 57:5] it is written, Under every leafy tree and elsewhere [in reference to idolatry] it is written, “You must destroy all the sites at which the nations you are to dispossess worshiped their gods, whether on lofty mountains and on hills or under any luxuriant tree.” (Deuteronomy 12:2).”
    “For long ago you [for the form, cf. שקמתי, Judg. 5.7; others I] broke שברתי your yoke, Tore off נתקתי your yoke-bands, And said, I will not work [Following the kethib; qere transgress אעבור]! On every high hill and under every verdant tree, You recline as a whore את צעה זונה. (Jeremiah 2:20).
    ירמיהו פרק ב פסוק כ
    כִּי מֵעוֹלָם שָׁבַרְתִּי עֻלֵּךְ נִתַּקְתִּי מוֹסְרֹתַיִךְ וַתֹּאמְרִי לֹא אעבד אֶעֱבוֹר כִּי עַל כָּל גִּבְעָה גְּבֹהָה וְתַחַת כָּל עֵץ רַעֲנָן אַתְּ צֹעָה זֹנָה:
    מלבי"ם ביאור המילות ירמיהו פרק ב פסוק כ
    את צועה זונה. זונה היא שם הקריאה, את זונה, את צועה, וענינו רגש ורעש פנימי מרוח זנונים הסוער בקרבה, כמ"ש בישעיה (סי' נ"א י"ד ולקמן מ"ח י"ב):
    Nidah 13b
    “Rab stated: A man who willfully causes erection should be placed under the ban. But why did he not say, This is forbidden? Because the man merely incites his evil inclination against himself. R. Ammi, however, stated: He is called a renegade, because such is the art of the evil inclination: To-day it incites man to do one wrong thing, and to-morrow it incites him to worship idols and he proceeds to worship them.”
    Interesting the connection between spilling seed in vain and “On every high hill and under every verdant tree, You recline as a whore את צעה זונה” and idolatry. The evil inclinations starts with immorality/promiscuity to get us to break off our yoke to incite to idolatry. What is our yoke? “These are the laws and rules that you must carefully observe in the land that the Lord, God of your fathers, is giving you to possess, as long as you live on earth.” (Deuteronomy 12:1).
    Oh, I heard that Trump wants to come to Manhattan to the siyum of shas in about 2 months and that he wants to say the special kaddish. Wow. I hope it’s true. I love Trump. God bless Trump, America, Israel and Netanyahu.

  36. Kalonymus AnonymusNovember 6, 2019 at 4:12 PM


    Yechezkel ch. 8:

    Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which
    was toward the north; and, behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. {S}

    טו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי, הֲרָאִיתָ בֶן-אָדָם; עוֹד תָּשׁוּב תִּרְאֶה תּוֹעֵבוֹת, גְּדֹלוֹת מֵאֵלֶּה.

    15 Then said He unto me: 'Hast thou seen this, O son of man? thou shalt again see yet greater abominations than these.'

  37. Well said. The latest example, that of Tammuz, which is an idolatry of Sumerian/Babylonian origins, becoming part of the Jewish calendar - there is ZERO defence for this. It is already proscribed in the Torah and Neviim. I don't care who instituted it, whether is forced, was done by popular vote or by the sanhedrin /Anshei Knesset gedolah (which is highly unlikely, since they had Neviim amongst them).

    It is simply idol -sourced terminology, creeping its way into Judaism. No Sanhedrin, Chazal, Talmud, Navi or Gadol hador can make it kosher.

  38. Daf hayomi, allow me to explain 2 short opinions: genius, so typical of our Sages, wonderful Torah from God.
    Nidah 13a:
    “If you prefer I might say: He was a married man, and concerning such R. Nahman ruled, If a man was married, this [holds his membrum when he makes water] is permitted.”
    Nidah 15a:
    “Thus, he said to them, did the Sages at Jamnia enunciate the ruling: If the woman did not delay more than the time in which she can descend from the bed and wash her face [Sc. the time elapsed was no longer than that during which she can examine herself while still in bed], this [the discovery of a discharge within that space of time] is regarded as within the time limit and both are unclean on account of the doubt [in agreement with R. Hisda], and exempt from bringing a sacrifice but they are subject to the obligation of a suspensive guilt-offering. If she delayed for such a time during which she could descend from the bed and wash her face [a period of time which is longer than the former], this [the discharge discovered after the period mentioned] is regarded as being after the time [i.e., the interval following this interval as R. Hisda explained], Similarly if she delayed [longer than the periods mentioned] for twenty-four hours [after intercourse] or for a period between her previous and her present examination [when the discharge was discovered], the man who had intercourse with her is unclean on account of his contact [with the woman. Such a contact with a menstruant within the twenty-four hours period only subjects him to one day's uncleanness until nightfall and the uncleanness is only Rabbinical and of an uncertain character], but not on account of his intercourse [with a menstruant; sc. the uncleanness, even in its uncertain character, does not extend over seven days as would have been the case with one who had intercourse with a confirmed menstruant]. R. Akiba ruled: He also contracts uncleanness on the ground of his intercourse. R. Judah son of R. Johanan b. Zakkai ruled: Her husband may enter the Temple and burn incense.”
    I interpret R. Nahum that a married man may urinate and sleep in is bed in any way he’s comfortable. R. Nahum is lenient for a married man.
    I interpret R. Judah son of R. Johanan b. Zakkai that a Cohen who has sex with his wife at night must surely the next morning go to the mikveh and at nightfall may go to Temple. This Cohen is not even a doubtful unclean. Amazing. Why? See, the Cohen had sex with his wife surely thinking she was pure. She, as a righteous women has clean pads of small cloth or cotton and such prepared to examine herself for blood. Wow, she finds on the pad, much after the sex (maybe in the morning light) blood! She had a discharge. But when? Before or during the sex? Then The Cohen would be unclean. No. R. Judah son of R. Johanan b. Zakkai rules that surely she had her discharge after the sex and the Cohen is clean. A woman usually feels when she has a discharge. It’s very unlikely she the discharge exactly during sex. That’s a monstrous problem. That would make the Cohen unclean for 7 days: “And if a man lies with her, her impurity is communicated to him; he shall be unclean seven days, and any bedding on which he lies shall become unclean.” (Leviticus 15:24). There’s a question if the Cohen would have to bring a sacrifice. R. Judah son of R. Johanan b. Zakkai makes a lenient ruling. Bravo. Fine Gamara, thank you, God.

  39. See
    “Mr. Credico also said his text messages to Mr. Stone that appeared to be relaying confidential information about WikiLeaks were exaggerations of what he understood based on public information. Mr. Credico, a comic and radio host known for impressions, gave colorful responses after hours of testimony from Ms. Taylor devoted to text messages, emails and a transcript. One discussion of his impressions prompted laughter in the courtroom.”
    משטה הייתי
    Baba kama 116a
    “BUT IF HE SAID [AT THE OUTSET], I AM GOING TO RESCUE YOUR HONEY AND I EXPECT TO BE PAID THE VALUE OF MY WINE, THE OTHER HAS TO PAY HIM [ACCORDINGLY]. But why should the other party not say to him [subsequently], I am merely jesting with you? Surely it was taught: If a man running away from prison came to a ferry and said to the boatman, Take a denar to ferry me across, he would still have to pay him not more than the value of his services. This shows that he is entitled to say, I was merely jesting with you? Why then also here should he not be entitled to say to him, I was merely jesting with you? The comparison is rather with the case dealt with in the concluding clause: But if he said to him, Take this denar as your fee for ferrying me across, he would have to pay him the sum stipulated in full. But why this difference between the case in the first clause and that in the second clause? Said Rami b. Hama: [In the second clause] the other party was a fisher catching fishes from the sea in which case he can surely say to him, You caused me to lose fish amounting in value to a zuz.”
    Yevamoth 106a
    “Our Rabbis taught:2 A halizah under a false assumption is valid; a letter of divorce [given] under a false assumption is invalid. A halizah under coercion is invalid; a letter of divorce [given] under compulsion is valid. How is this to be understood? If it is a case where the man [ultimately] says, I am willing, the halizah also [should be valid]; and if he does not say, I am willing, a letter of divorce also should not [be valid]! It is this that was meant: A halizah under a false assumption is always valid, and a letter of divorce [given] on a false assumption is always invalid; but a halizah under coercion and a letter of divorce [given] under coercion are sometimes valid and sometimes invalid, the former when the man [ultimately] declared, I am willing and the latter, when he did not declare, I am willing. For it was taught: He shall offer it teaches that the man is coerced. It might [be assumed that the sacrifice may be offered up] against his will, it was, therefore, expressly stated, In accordance with his will לרצוו [ “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall make his offering a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, for acceptance לרצנו in his behalf before the Lord.” (Leviticus 1:3)]. How then [are the two texts to be reconciled]? He is subjected to pressure until he says, I am willing. And so you find in the case of letters of divorce for women: The man is subjected to pressure until he says, I am willing.”
    The Schulcan Aruch that a man could say I was jesting משטה הייתי when I made those statements outside the court.
    שולחן ערוך חושן משפט הלכות עדות סימן לב סעיף א
    אם אמר ראובן בפני עדים שהוא חייב לשמעון מנה, לא יעידו בב"ד סתם שהודה בפניהם שהוא חייב לשמעון מנה, אלא יאמרו דברים כהוייתן לפי שאיפשר לו להפטר בטענת משטה הייתי בו, או בטענת שלא להשביע את עצמי נתכוונתי
    I’m on Roger Stone’s side. All his emails and such he could say I was jesting. To prove perjury, the prosecutors have to examine only Stone’s statements to Congress.

  40. Was out for a while! Veitchem haslicha, vehama'asse shehaya kach haya. Upon visiting the Prison of the Mandate in Migrash harussim, one that acted as a tour guide told me the story as I described, please forgive and thanks for correcting me. Massada is another example, while they could have opted to fall into the hands of the Romans, they chose to sever each others shnei simanim Lo Aleinu H'Y'D'. Similar such incidents happened with Crusaders Y'S'V as commemorated in Av Harachamim e.g. kehilos hakodesh..., the 200 pair of boys and girls on the ship that jumped overboard, Chana veshiva baneha.
    Whatever the case may be, Ach es dimchem benafshosechem edrosh suggests in most circumstances outside of exceptions not to take one's own life, at least not under undue duress, sheim lo ken- tzivui ze ma tehe aleha. BTW, the meforshim are struggling with this passage. An exception might be explained if and when one fears they will not withstand the nisayon of yeherog veal ya'avor.

  41. Welcome back Ehud.
    Baba Kama 91b
    “But who is the Tanna maintaining that a man may not injure himself? It could hardly be said that he was the Tanna of the teaching, “But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man! (Genesis 9:5) [upon which] R. Eleazar remarked [that] it meant I will require your blood if shed by the hands of yourselves [i.e., for committing suicide.], for murder is perhaps different.”
    Mendel Epstein reportedly said:
    “Take an electric cattle prod. If it can get a bull that weighs five tons to move, you put it in certain parts of his body, and in one minute, the guy will know.” Mendel stroked his white beard, smiling at memories of past triumphs. “Karate also works well. We’ve learned on different people how to do this. The first shot, if you land it, puts him out. Whether it’s a kick to the stomach or a bat. My guys? They don’t meet with him and say, ‘Let’s do this nicely.’ That’s not the style. A minute ago you were standing there like a normal person. Now you’re lying on your back with handcuffs and a bag around your head. Then zap! And he goes nuts!”
    He said that on average he did one strong-arm case per year, and the price was $70,000.

  42. The Masada legend is just that. It’s a legend.
    The only source for the alleged mass suicide is Josephus, and his writing is suspect in many areas.
    Moreover, even if the story is allegedly true, we don't know that their actions conformed to the Mesorah of Halacha, as we know it today.

    The "Av Harachamim" prayer does not mention mass suicide. It merely alludes to the fact that they chose to be killed, rather than converting to Xtianity.

    I refuse to say the Tisha Be'av Kinnah describing how Jewish men killed their families, and then themselves. I'm not judging them for what they did, but I have serious issues about it, so I skip that Kinnah.

  43. "even if the story is allegedly true, we don't know that their actions conformed to the Mesorah of Halacha, as we know it today."-

    you mean they didn't follow the Shulchan Aruch? Of course they didn't, it hadn't been conceived, written or published yet. Neither had the Gemara. The bavli was written some 500 years later in Bavel, and decisions made by later sages.

    "I have serious issues about it, so I just skip that Kinnah"

    That's fair enough, but Rabbi cardozo also skips certain parts of Tisha b'Av service, because he says we live in a different world, and Jerusalem is built up. Rav Bar Chaim suggests (without actually concluding so) that it could be time to abolish Tisha b@Av altogether. (my 2 favourite rabbis)

  44. A Mishna mefureshes, af al pi shechoval beatzmo, acherim shechovlu bo chayav. M.E. shem reshaim yirkav, may he rot away in jail ad bias goel! My message to him is, "so now YOU know"!

  45. Although Josephus was a captive and had to comply to the Roman's wishes, intuition dictates that he would have not deliberately taken the wind out of the Roman's pride by the description of the victims jumping the gun. The last one left who had no one to take her life, an old lady hiding amongst the victims told the story, In my opinion reinforces the integrity. Why would anyone invent such details? This also conforms to yeh-e-rog veal yaavor., and never states yaharog es atzmo, veal yaavor. Tishah Beav is in the Tochecho. A thought possibly for Shaul etc. might be Halacha ve'ein morin ken.'ulay'. Shaul also did it passively as he 'fell' on his sword, then asked the youth to finish him off .

  46. Do you skip out the (Birkas haminim) Vilamnashinim al thee Tikvah? prayer from smoneh esrai?

  47. Why ? It also refers to zeidim, oyvecha v cholloh sonneicha.
    Minim were the early Christians . Oyvecha are enemies of Hashem. We may disagree on who they are. I have in mind people like Khomeini, jihad islami, Hamas, Arafat yemach shmam. Your friends from nk were saying tehillim for Arafat when he was ill. See how perverted your folk are?

  48. Go learn Horios , or is it forbidden?

  49. Btw, according to Rambam, in intro to the commentary to the mishnah _ Chazal didn't consider their words to be superior to that of their younger or smaller colleagues. He says sometimes an argument would be brought by a single person, which was so clear that they would reverse their majority opinion and adopt the minority view! Does that mean chazal fall outside of the mesora you think you have?

  50. Maybe there was no mass suicide at Masada?
    Top archaeologist questions a legend

    ...Complicating the narrative further, said Magness, Josephus’s Jewish War — the sole ancient source for the fall of Masada — was subsidized by the Roman empire. By elevating the rebel Eleazar ben Yair as the tragic hero, Rome’s Flavian dynasty emperors actually elevated themselves.

    “There is no glory in defeating a weak enemy; there is glory in defeating a heroic enemy,” said Magness. “The Flavians manipulated the Jewish war as the centerpiece of their dynasty,” she said.

    No More Heroes? Digging Deeper Into the Masada Myth

    Likewise, the tragic end to the Jews serves a moral purpose, she said. “Don’t even think about revolting against Rome,” she laughed.

  51. Mesirat nefesh and kiddush Hashem doesn't wait for a rabbinical sign-off. Very few could muster the bravery of these men. Calling it "suicide" is a distortion and extremely condescending.

  52. Suddenly, you accept the left wing archaeologists...
    Would you also be so excited when haaretz publishes their theories on the Bible?

  53. I don't recall ever making a blanket statement regarding archaeologist's findings.
    I judge each case on its individual merits.
    I merely argued that the Masada suicide legend is just a legend. Do have conclusive proof that the story really happened?

  54. It is only recorded by Josephus. These haaretz people claim he made it up. But thats based on a hypothesis that he made it up for political reasons.

  55. "Kabbalah was mostly unknown in the Rambam's days."

    Because it hadn't yet been fully invented. There were bits of mystical books floating around, but Zohar hadn't been written yet.
    How /why should something claiming to be a hitherto unknown work be believed if nobody has heard of it until that point?

  56. Josephus was not present at the siege of Masada, so what he recorded, was hearsay, at best, and he may have also embellished the tale for various reasons.

    The hypothesis, that Josephus made it up for political reasons, doesn't appear in the Haaretz article, so I guess that you didn't bother reading it.

    The Haaretz article refers to critical questions that archaeologists have about the site, as it pertains to Josephus' narrative.

    In the words of the article:
    The famous battery [at a site commonly referred to as the Roman ramp] couldn’t have fulfilled the role attributed to it in breaking through the wall, because it was too narrow and small and couldn’t have been used by the Roman army to position a battering ram. In light of the finds in the area where the [Romans] broke through, we understood that nothing happened there. There are no arrowheads, as one finds at other sites. There is no evidence of fires. The indications are that the battery structure was mostly naturally occurring.

    “In addition,” he continues, “there are no mounds from walls that had been destroyed, or other evidence of a battle."

  57. I don't subscribe to the "haaretz" rag of heretics, so i can't get through the paywall. Is it fre from your location, or do you subscribe to these apikorsim?

    They didn't need a battle, the people were already dead when they got there. Plus it has been taken over several times again. Are there any Roman arrowheads around Temple mount? Perhaps the Romans never went there either!

  58. this article states otherwise, even the arrowheads

  59. With all the mass chilul shabbos and mass apikoris, the abortions in IDF and the abortions all over Israel , the churches and Govenment buildings miss education in State of Israel,

    JUST the OPPOSITE we need another day of Tishah Biav!

  60. Churches belong to the goyim , who haven't yet been expelled, Mosques also , but they are not idol worship.

  61. Tisha b av literature is about physical destruction of Jerusalem. There is a halachic question whether it is physically destroyed or built up. Even brisk are building yeshivas, dorms there. Get it? Ohr Sameach are building in the eastern sector (liberated) . This would have been impossible before Zionism.

  62. What about the shrimp/ lobster eaters in secular tel Aviv, Russian half goyim, intermarriage with jews with token giur, fraud in both secular and religious worlds. Loshon hara, public insults, ribis relying on heter isska.... Etc.
    moshiach obviously has not arrived.

  63. AFIK Haaretz isn't free anywhere, nor do I pay to subscribe to them. You can get past the paywall, by Googling the words "masada legend". The Haaretz article is around #6 of the results.

  64. thanks for that trick!, Interestingly, I also I found the same trick works on the Financial Times :) Of course, it is not geneiva, since it is perfectly lgeitimate to search for an article :)

  65. one must also remember that in archaeology, at least, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".
    They use the same methods to deny , for example, that there was an Exodus from Egypt. So we have to be very critical of what these archaeologists tell us.

  66. NO !in spite of' new zionisim'
    The talmidai Hgrah came here over 200 years ago and flourished and protected the Mesorah from winds of haskalah.
    Zionisim is the enemy of Hashem!

  67. How many came? 1, 2? Or hundreds, including families. ?
    Even though your satmar oaths say don't go up en masse. But that's not a problem for the true Gra, he said they are not valid, except for building the mikdash.

  68. Gra perushim were religious zionists. Gra was a religious Zionist and only stopped coming because he heard a voice telling him not to.

  69. "Suicide", by definition, is the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally, and referring to an act by using its correct adjective, is neither a distortion nor condescending.

    The Mitzvah of "Kiddush Hashem" is a halachic term; which is defined by specific parameters and criteria. “Bravery”, and “Mesirat Nefesh” are fuzzy terms, which touch upon gray areas. All of these require input of Daas Torah, and are not defined by "feel good" emotions.

    There are two basic questions here. One is whether or not their act was permitted according to the laws of the Torah. The second question is whether their act was considered an example of fulfilling the will of Hashem.

    The ramifications are enormous. If their act was NOT permitted according to halacha, then instead of having the privilege of dying “Al Kiddush Hashem”, they instead, committed one of the most severe sins in the Torah, self-murder.

    If their act WAS permitted according to halacha, then the question is, was this considered an act of “reshus”, or is this considered dying “Al Kiddush Hashem”, a mitzvah.

    I previously mentioned that I have no interest in debating the halachic issues involved. My comment was merely intended to set the historical record straight, and to underscore the point that Rabbi Aryeh Levin had no part in their suicide, and when asked, was opposed to their drastic plan, based on a Talmudic source.

  70. Moshe Barazani ZTL and Meir Feinstein ZTL were foot soldiers in a war against the British empire who were on death row and scheduled to be hanged by an evil British decree. Your summation of their action entirely ignores the national aspect to the act and its intended defiance of the British Empire as an example for the Jewish people.
    Once again your idea that all behaviors by any common Jew must first be cleared with a rabbinical authority in his "daas Torah" to say yes or no, you may or may not tie your shoes, is a modern-day Haredi fallacy.
    All the more so, as stated before, acts of kiddush Hashem and mesirat nefesh do not await rabbinical sign-offs and supposed "daas torah" permissions. They chose what they chose, and it is wrong to condemn their act.

    If Rabbi Levin did not agree with the plan and did not play any role in it, it doesn't change it one iota for me. Facts are facts, he wasn't involved. Ok. I don't think more needs to be said than that.
    But what was the response after it occurred?
    Rabbi Herzog ordered them buried at Mount of Olives with victims of the 1929 Arab attacks.
    Rabbi Aryeh Levin attended and eulogized them. It was not treated as a simple case of suicide that is against the will of Hashem. They were honored as martyrs.

    And apparently, as I learned today, the original plan (A Lehi operation approved by Begin) was even more spectacular, as they intended to blow up the executioners and high ranking British officers in attendance at the actual gallows, during the execution. The plan shifted when the visiting Rabbi Goldman insisted on attending the execution to honor them, they could not convince him to not attend, and they refused to risk him being harmed. So, anyone can pilpul all they want as a monday morning quarterback, that's easy from our comfortable recliners, but these were brave warriors on behalf of the Jewish people and it is simply wrong to condemn their heroic act.

  71. even the Americans have revoked their opposition to the Settlements inYehuda v'Shomron - meaning no vestiges of the 3 oaths left !

    Rav Shach and Rav Yosef would talk about how Israeli actions would provoke the nations / especially America.

    This is another step in the atchalta d'Geula

  72. Tattoos _ but that's just out of ignorance, although not only is it assur, min ha Torah, also Jews after the holocaust were disgusted by tattoos.

  73. HI!
    Upon my visit to Massada, the ramp was made for -Avnei blistraot-, an assortment of round stones several inches in diameter as I had seen them in the museum displayed at the foot of the mountain along with taleisim colored blue and white, Tfilin remnants along with hairpieces. The Talith cloth appears as burlap, something like what's called today Turkish Taleisim. The landing on the snake trail (shvil hanachash) is still visible and at quite a distance of reach for the Karnei Tzvi or Battering Ram. The shvil is a deliberate man made curved path so as to ease the angle of elevation. If you can get a hold of the historic analysis from those that gathered the bones that have been given an Israeli military burial, I believe you can get a description of whether heads have been severed or broken bones from swords or spears. That should give you a better idea how they died. There haven't been any contradiction of facts in Josifin's History, outside of him being a captive mandated to write the History. Yigal Yadin was the head of the archaeologists at Massada and am sure he can shed light of what the findings were.

    In my humble opinion, I firmly believe that the description of the Menorah and klei Mikdash on Sha'ar Titus is dvarim kehavioson (outside of the tziyurei avodah zara at the base). Why would the artisan invent a Menorah shape that is completely false, of which would only diminish the integrity of Historical events. Vechi ma lo leshaker?

  74. America does not own any part of erets ysroel

  75. 'Zaidim' the Government of the State of Israel!

  76. so you accept that the opinion of the nations is irrelvant!

  77. no, it's the neturei karta who are zeidim!

  78. LOL, the pretzels that antizionists have to twist themselves into are ridiculous

  79. Vechi ma lo leshaker
    is on the avodah zarah on the base ?

  80. Nowe have to ask the arabs or the turkish

  81. Is that whom you have in your mind when you pray?

  82. Those are obvious Greek depictions to flaunt their claws as Judeau Kapta. It was not meant to deceive about the basic shape. If anyone knows the interpretation of those dragon figures, it would shed light why it is there.

  83. Interesting link regarding the menorah on the arch of Titus

  84. Turkish? Why, they were booted out by Britain!
    In any case, there is a serious Torah prohibition of Lo Techanem. The netziv brought this in his opposition to heter mechirah, i.e. it is so severe that it is better to violate shemitta than to violate Lo Techaneim! get it?

  85. Israel is the owner of the land lechol hadeot!!!
    Whether lo Techonem or Shtar mechira or keeping shmittah or Otzar BD, there is a buyer (Arab) and a seller (owner) /shmittah for the land owner. The fact we are in Galut doesn't diminish ownership! Einei Hashem ba mereishis hashanah... is bizman habayit or not, hen Ba'aretz vehen Bechutz la'arets, it belongs to us for eternity! Uva leTzion Goel, Amen!

  86. It's interesting to note, that that according to the Rambam's handwritten manuscript of his Commentary to the Mishnah, the shape of the Menorah wasn't round at all, but rather looked like this:
    See also the following article:
    Maimonides and the Menorah according to an Oxford Manuscript

  87. The Torah tells us, we offer them peace, if they refuse, we drive them out. What you are saying is the opposite of the Torah = reform!

  88. yes, this is the design of the Chabad Menoras that they puclicly use every year for Chanukah

  89. It's also interesting to note that Rabbis bend over and twist the law for themselves, but when it comes to people they are ridiculously strict.

    So , there is a story in the Talmud about one Rabbi who had a very high sex drive, so Chazal would arrange a quickie marriage an divorce solely for the purposes of znus.

  90. Does the Rambam bring any source for being beshipua/bealachson? Which dea'h is more prevelant?

  91. Rambam doesn't quote any source, but he was preceded by Rashi (Shemos 25:32), who also posited so.

    R' Abraham ben HaRambam, in his commentary to Shemos (ibid.) writes that the branches extended from the center of the Menorah to the top in a straight line (B’yosher), adding: “as my father of blessed memory drew, not in an arc shape as others besides him have drawn.”

    In effect, R' Abraham ben HaRambam is acknowledging that his and his father's position ran contrary to the prevalent way of thinking.

  92. שבת קיב ב
    אמר ר' זירא אמר רבא בר זימונא, אם ראשונים בני מלאכים, אנו בני אנשים, ואם ראשונים בני אנשים, אנו כחמורים, ולא כחמורו של ר' חנינא בן דוסא ושל רבי פנחס בן יאיר, אלא כשאר חמורים:

  93. that is true - it in now way refutes what I said
    that is the story in the Talmud - do you dispute it?

  94. This is what Lubavitcher Rebbe based himself on to say the same and unfortunately seems to be mistaken.
    AFAIK the Rambam never saw the Menorah in person, like most sources, and therefore can't hold much weight in the argument.

  95. LOL! "flourished andThey protected the Mesorah from winds of haskala" - so you obviously haven't heard of those Gra perushim who converted to Xtianity, becasue the Moshaich didn't come in time for them!

    "Zionisim is the enemy of Hashem!"

    a) Do you chat with Hashem on Messenger to know what His view is? Or is it your rebbe who convinces you that he knows?

    b) Considering the fact that the torah, which is Hashem's Word, sattes that at the end of days hew ill gather us fromt he 4 corners of the exile into the Holy land , and according to many opinions we are now in that phase, it is perhaps the opposite, or perhaps that even if the secular element of Z- is treif, it is being directed Divinely for a Torah purpose! Rabbi Mizrachi of Monsey brings a story from the gemara when sheidim actually do a mitzvah, and the Rabbonim were embarrased that it happened through the sheidim!

  96. I'm repulsed by the way you view the actions of the rabbis of the Gemara, through the filthy lens of a חמור.

  97. isn't that what you do? If you are a chamor? If you are above a chamor, then you are disproving the gemara.
    Oh, how about Ben durdya? An angel?

  98. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 1:44 AM

    the short term marriage was desgined to prevent him from falling into unlawful znus. How could one of the rabbis fall into unlawful znus if they were all above the angels, and in fact above hashem , in you hagiographic mythology? The answer is that this mythology - acording to the gemara itself - is false. It is avodah zarah and ziuf of torah to claim that all the rabbis in the age of chazal were perfect, and more perfect that humans are possible.

    They had to "bend the law" , ie provide a legal fiction of marriage/divorce on demand only for sex / oen night stands, and these were better within the law than doing it without the law.

  99. The Gemara in Shabbos (112b) is clear.

    If we humbly regard the early rabbis as angelic, only then are we regarded at least as human beings.

    But if you regard the early rabbis as subject to the same weaknesses of human character as yourself, then you're considered a simple חמור.

  100. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    That's an interesting interpretation. What about, say Ezra , Nehemiah? King David, king Solomon, , yirmiyahu?
    Isn't it true that you consider the rabbis as being greater than them too?

  101. The term "ראשונים" includes all those great people too.

  102. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    it follows logically, that for us, the consumer to aggrandize ourselves to be tzaddikm, we would need to view the rabbis as gods, deities. Hence your whole interpretation is leading to avodah zarah. Which is not surprising.

  103. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 4:41 PM

    But you don't believe anyone was greater than the rabbis of the mishnah_Talmudic period, do you? You don't accept, for example, that Shlomo hamelech was wiser than chazal, or that Zechariah hanavi had clearer vision of Torah than the later generations!

  104. You're putting words into my mouth that I never said.

    Without rating Prophets versus other great people, the term "ראשונים", as used in the relevant quotation (Shabbos 112b), includes all those great people too.

  105. Are you obtuse?
    Did the Gemara make any mention of gods, or deities???

  106. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 5:29 PM

    The gmara is talking about themselves vs rishonim, this is the idea of yeridot hadorot. However, I get the feeling that many people tacitly or explicitly hold otherwise _ that when neviim ended there was an aliyah, the generation of chazal. And that this peak was higher than Sinai. The Torah, neviim are not the basis of learning, but only used for one verse or other.
    So, Rav Bernstein ztl was asked why he learned Chumash, he answered it is Gd_'s commentary on the talmud.

  107. Apparently, you don't believe in your own lowly "yeridot hadorot", as evidenced by your presumptuous comments about ראשונים בני מלאכים.

  108. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 6:58 PM

    I definitely do. That's not a dispute. The question is was there an aliyah from end of book of Nechemiah to the beginning of the Chazalic period?
    Nechemiah hoped for the resumption of urim vThummim. No evidence that they did come into use.

  109. No. That was not the question.
    The question was, do you presume to be on the same level as the Sages of the Talmud, which gives you license to analyze and evaluate their actions?

  110. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 7:59 PM

    that was your question? No , I do not claim to be on any such level.
    however, your question is based on a false, anti-Torah platform.
    The Torah (Word of G-d) tells us, by raising the rhetoric question, How shall we know if that prophet was sent by Hashem? the answer is that we (lowly) people can test him, and if his words do not follow (hsi prediction does not materialise) we do not need to fear him!
    Now, your line of handing out licenses to analyze, is opposed to the Torah! The torah gives me the license - the Torah gives me the permission to question. It doesn't say you cannot question because you are donkey! Hareidi Judaism, and even the ultra Modern orthodox have this sheker view that questioning is assur!

  111. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    as an intersting halachic diversion- Rambam says you need to be greeater in number and wisdom to to remove a gezeirah of the Chachamim, to which Raavad retorts that Rav Yochan b. Zakkai removed a gezeira fom previous generations, who were greater than he!

  112. The Torah gives you permission to question.
    However you didn't ask any questions. You made derogatory statements, in line with someone rated by the Gemara (Shabbos 122b) as a חמור.

  113. When you have no reasonable response, you seek to divert from the discussion.

  114. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 2, 2019 at 8:47 PM

    When you are unable or unwilling to respond you simply say without this or without that or you don't do this or that

  115. You can only conjecture about why I deliberately choose to ignore some of your comments, but you won't catch me offering irrelevant diversions.

  116. The Torah gives you permission to question.
    Oh thank you for permitting me to accept the Torah.

    However you didn't ask
    any questions. You made derogatory STATEMENTS
    The Gemara itself made the statements, i.e. that certain rabbonim had temporary arrangments or marriages for when they were travelling out of town. I restated it, albeit in modern English. Is it that the Gemara is too radical for someone as "frum" as you, and hence since you cannot directly attack the gemara, you are projecting your anger at the messenger?

    on par for someone
    labeled by the Gemara (Shabbos 122b) as a חמור

    The gemara you cited is not talking about me, it is talking about the authors of the gemara, relative to the rishonim, whoever they may have been. It is also not necessarily taling about one's attitude, but the relative level.

    A very good example - nwohere in Genesis do we see that Adam had sexual relations with all the animals, but this is mentioned in a Midrash. I didn't author the midrash!

    This raises a number of problems for your worldview:

    1) how dare the Midrashic authors make derogatory statements about Adam if he was the rishon of rishonim!
    2) how dare I, a lowly donkey, state that the Midrash made such statements?
    3) If the gemara you keep citing has ontological truth, then why /how could Adam harishon have such "base" animalistic urges? Surely he was frummer than any Yeshiva boy who does not experience such desires , and waits till he gets married, so why couldn't Adam?

    4) the gap between, say the Rabbis of the talmud and Adam harishon is much greater than , let's say the rabbis of today and Chazal, or Chazal and the Neviim up to Zechariah, Malachi etc. How then, could any of this take place?

  117. it's not actually irrelevant- it tocuhes ona halachic dimension of the philosophical point you are trying to make - namely yeridot hadoros. The idea of greater in number and wisdom relative to previous generations, is related directly to the yeridot hadoros. Raavad is suggesting that this is a red herring!

  118. There is suicide, assisted suicide while being sick, risks in war getting killed, and suicide/assisted suicide while in captivity with a sentence of "capital punishment" in waiting, with iyum hadin hovering over you. When a calamity hits a person, e.g. loses his fortune, many committed suicide as in the Wall Street collapse, that goes under the category of Ach es dimchem benafshoseichem edrosh, since H' morish uma'ashir, therefore that is yet not the end of the world.

    On the other hand, when a person decides to go to war, he is putting his life in his hands, it is with mesirus nefesh, and Kidush Hashem while involved with the mitzvah of kibush ha'aretz/iskei teven vekash as the Etzel fighters have done. Once they have been captured and sentenced to capital punshment, they are under iyum hadin and it is bebchinat gavrei ktilei deko Kotil, whence Ach es Dimcham does not apply. Same happened by Shaul Hamelech, more so Keleachar yad falling on his sword and asked assistance from the Na'ar out of fear of hitallelut. Same happened with Shimshon haGibor, "Tamus nafshi im Plishtim", or in Massada. Chana veshiva baneho, 200 pairs of youth jumping overboard was Mesiros Nefesh al Kiddush Hashem. When however, someone is sick and wants to make a smooth exit without pain and asking for a helping hand doing so, Ach es dimchem applies.

  119. Kalonymus AnonymusDecember 3, 2019 at 8:41 PM

    actually, this is not a mechanism that converts us from donkeys to humans and back again, rather it is about how they viewed themselves relative to the rishonim.

    The rabbis were not angels, and neither were the Biblical figures. The great Biblical figures sometimes met angels, but they themselves were flesh and blood.

    So this may imply that we respect earlier generations, but there is no requirement to consider them as angels.
    furthermore, the same talmud that you claim fealty to, is actually saying that the rabbis were not angels and were subject to lusts and desires and yetzer hara.

    cases I have alraedy mentioned, others also exist, eg one rabbi saying to hsi friend that if he had been alone with a certain woman he would not be able to control his urges.


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